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Basic House is the solo electronics project of Stephen Bishop, a mainstay of the DIY scene in the UK's North East and the brain behind the label Opal Tapes. Bishop works with equipment both rudimentary and highly technical which become aligned together without bias to create a singular sound that focuses on decay, stagnation and apathy towards clichés within the current climate of electronic music.
Oats is his new full-length record with six deep compositions woven together to create seamless transitions between them.
"AR II" opens the record with fragile and haunted electronics before developing into something almost melodic with an imposing 4/4 kick.
"Child Confession" follows with dead electronic hums, whispered samples and a sluggish half-speed techno thud which gives way to a collage of cruddy noise and scalpel-sharp bursts of clatter and a crude non-rhythmic bass pulse before ending in the buzzing maelstrom of "Interiors," which is equal parts Florian Hecker and Andy Stott at his most visceral.
"Est Oan" begins the second half of the record ominously with slightly absurd farmyard groans that eventually melt into hypnotic machine music.
The industrial lurch of "B.G. Feathers" is the closest Bishop comes on this side to hitting anything resembling a groove and instead evokes the grinding power of Maurizio Bianchi's best '80s material.
Mastered by Stephen Bishop with vinyl cut by Grammy Greg at Masterpiece.
CD version contains 40 minutes of bonus material, re-worked from previous cassette releases. Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.
1. AR II
2. Child Confession
4. Est Oan
5. B.G. Feathers
6. Dry Contract
7-15. (no audio)
Bonus Tracks CD only:
16. Time Table
18. La Coccinelle
20. L-Wave And Comb
£16.99Inverted LP version on white vinyl with different black and white artwork. Limited to 250 copies.Visit product page →
Container is the project of American noise veteran Ren Schofield, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and now based in London. Container first appeared at the turn of the decade with a slew of freakish tapes for various small labels.
In wake of these releases, Editions Mego offshoot Spectrum Spools – run by old friend John Elliott of the band Emeralds – took the punt to release his debut LP, a collection of mutated Techno tracks simply titled ‘LP’.
The record gained attention quickly in the Electronic music scene largely thanks to Schofield’s unique production style that separates him from forms of conventional dance music. Whilst the music of Container sits perfectly fine within the genre and is functional enough to blow apart the walls of any club, years on the US noise circuit have given Schofield’s brand of techno a rawness and direct intensity that stands out in the club and crosses over into other sub-sections of the underground.
His modest set up of Roland MC-909, a four-track porta studio and an array of pedals allowed him to hone his scuzzy and bewildering beat music over the years, leading to three more well received, and literally titled, LP’s.
Over this time period Container also released some EPs on Morphine, Liberation Technologies and Diagonal, did a variety of remixes for acts like Four Tet, The Body, Panda Bear and Fucked Up plus maintained a healthy touring schedule that reached over every continent.
His exhilarating live show has hit pretty much every major electronic music festival and club in Europe, as well as tours and gigs with a diverse range of acts such as Wolf Eyes, Zola Jesus, Daughters, Pharmakon and Ryley Walker.
Almost a decade since his debut, Container arrives on ALTER with his first non-”LP” titled album called ‘Scramblers’. The title taken from both a Baltimore street drug and a Rhode Island Diner he used to eat at with his father.
“The juxtaposition between these two Scramblers is a great one. I wanted to pay homage to a nice name that lends itself to both depraved and wholesome contexts and do my part to carry on the tradition.”
The eight tracks have their origins in live performance and a more high-octane delivery is noticeable when compared with previous Container albums. ‘Mottle’ sits in a mysterious zone between the productions of EVOL and early Ruff Sqwad. Fierce electro cuts like ‘Trench’ and ‘Nozzle’ work alongside the nauseous slink of ‘Duster’, which in typical Container fashion morphs into a frenzy in no time.
A frenzy which may be linked cosmically to the fact that ‘Scramblers’ was recorded, mixed and mastered in one day, reinforcing further his unorthodox and fun approach to club music.
Release Date: 03/04/2020
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Cremation Lily is the project of UK based Z.Zsigo. For the past 5 years Zsigo has been consistently working under most people’s radars with his distinctly personal take on power electronics, developing a modest cult following and a respectable catalog of releases through his Strange Rules label.
In 2012 the project was brought to the attention of Steve Underwood from Harbinger Sound who subsequently released the ‘Fertility Servent’ 7” and the project began to gather a more visible live presence thanks to gigs with the likes of Consumer Electronics, Con-Dom, Natural Assembly and on the east coast of America too with Alberich and Âmes Sanglantes.
Now Alter is pleased to present the first longform vinyl collection of Cremation Lily material – Fires Frame The Silhouette is compiled mostly from reworked and remixed tracks from previous CL cassette releases.
All pieces are thematically linked by a time and place in Zsigo’s life and bringing them together creates a record of masterful atmosphere which ranks high in the industrial / PE canon and closes a chapter in the project’s timeline.
Mastered by Arthur Rizk and cut to vinyl by Noel Summerville - limited one time pressing of 300 copies.
£20.49Coming out of London and the South West of England, Hey Colossus are one of Europe's great live bands. Since 2003 the 6-piece has been driving around the continent with their “pirate ship” backline of broken amps and triple-guitar drang, elevating audiences in every type of venue imaginable; a doctor’s waiting room in Salford, an industrial unit in Liege and a vast field next to a river in Portugal. Wherever they may roam.Visit product page →
Four Bibles is their twelfth studio album and the first to be released by London label ALTER, whose sole proprietor (the electronic producer Helm) encountered the group at their first gig in 2003. Recorded by Ben Turner at Space Wolf Studios in Somerset, it's their most direct album yet and follows a well-documented trajectory of evolution that began (in the truest sense) with 2011’s RRR for Riot Season and continued across three albums for Rocket Recordings.
Lead vocalist Paul Sykes sounds more in focus than before, dialling down the effects and using reverb / delay to carry his lyrics rather than smother. The band has also fine-tuned to leave some room for extra depth. Piano, electronics and violin (by Daniel O'Sullivan of This is not This Heat / Grumbling Fur) all find a way in amongst a familiar mesh of interlacing guitars, wrapped round a taut rhythm section. Like every other Hey Colossus record before, the line-up has altered and the sounds reflect this.
From the weight of “Memory Gore”, to the subtlety and swag of “It's a Low”, via the sonic extremes of “Palm Hex/Arndale Chins” this is exactly as the band are live; raging & rail-roading but somehow in control. Grooves for those who want to dance or for those who want to hug a wall and nod...bleak dystopian imagery submerged in relentless rhythms and low-end rattle. The songs breath life and soul - Hey Colossus have never sounded fresher or more on point.
There is a book release to coincide with the album written by bass player (and founding member) Joe Thompson. It's part of a new series called “Sleevenotes” by Pomona Publishing and the first four are out this year. Joe’s book sits alongside other contributions by Bob Stanley (St Etienne), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees/Solo), David Gedge (The Wedding Present) and contains a diary of the years leading up to the release of this record.
Touring with bands Sumac and Grey Hairs through Europe, recording the album, line-up changes, the band's history and the big question is answered: Why?
1. Bees Around The Lime Tree
2. Memory Gore
3. Confession Bay
4. It's A Low
7. The Golden Bough
8. Palm Hex / Arndale Chins
9. Babes Of The Plague
10. Four Bibles
Release Date: 17/05/2019
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Sane Men Surround is the second album to emerge from Southend-on-Sea’s Liberez. Following on from their 2011 debut The Letter, the 9 tracks here continue to savagely EQ percussion, guitar, violin and electronics into abstraction with tracks like A Warning and My Madness Offends bearing the industrial, almost ritualistic, atmospherics of its predecessor, whilst Nema Te and What’s Mine Is Mine introduce a new style of composition and song writing which pushes the group towards a more bombastic ‘post-punk’ style of abrasiveness. As ominous as it is seductive, Sane Men Surround is a true product of the South-East of England.
It is a work of suburban claustrophobia that lurches around Britain's industrial past and glares at its future. It is an album with a brain and a heart, evoking the rumbling lorries of Essex, its scared sober marshlands, and peace riddled battlegrounds. Previously issued as limited vinyl edition of 100 copies on the Savory Days label, this CD edition features a different master to suit the format.
1. Nema Te
2. A Warning
3. Nema Te (Part 2)
4. A C A B
5. What’s Mine Is Mine
7. What’s Mine Is Mine (Part 2)
8. My Madness Offends
9. Landscape At Iden 1929
£14.99If there's a single guiding motif to this debut recording from Love Theme, it's the melancholic throb of love learnt and love lost, a descent that tumbles and slips through the overall feeling of looking back.Visit product page →
As intimately and carefully as its parts cohesively lament a narrative, it's the after-image that catches your breath, like a memory morphing as it is observed. Comprised of Alex Zhang Hungtai of the now defunct project Dirty Beaches, along with Austin Milne, and Simon Frank, 'Love Theme' is arranged from an improvised session with twin saxophones, synthesizer, percussion, drum machine, and voice. Over the course of a year the material was edited remotely from the members' home cities of London, LA and Taipei.
The record's sullen ambience is never left too long to set in. The aching wane of the saxophone arrangements frisk the propulsive aggro of the mixed percussion, forcing a melancholic halo upon the queasy stupor of the synthetic swing that closes each side of the record. It's a bizarre lust for life that's being divined from equal parts dislocation and invigoration, a potent remedy which perhaps Love Theme can call their own.
Percolating and finding form over time, the record instinctively follows a travel narrative, moving across a series of landscapes, reflecting the innate experiences of the expressions and voices that were first collected in South London back in February 2015.
1. Desert Exile
2. Late Crossing
3. Docklands - Yaumatei - Plum Garden
4. She's Here
5. All Sky, Love's End
£7.99After a rugged debut EP for Hospital Productions last year, London's Shallow Sanction up the ante with a brand new single.Visit product page →
Two anthemic tracks of misanthropic, boot stomping deathrock that mix the dramatic lurch of Killing Joke, Part 1 and Christian Death with the primitive attack of the 4-Skins, Rudimentary Peni and early Blitz - so in case you were wondering if that strange mix was ever a thing, it is now.
Features extra synth and electronics by Zen Zsigo / Cremation Lily. Limited to 250 copies.
1. Vacant Rituals
2. The Sombre
£14.99Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' is the horrifically wry new album from The Bomber Jackets. Following on from 'Lister,' their debut for Alter, 'Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' has a restlessness that takes broader strokes. It finds and holds a register of meandering hope by setting the perverted detail of domestic minutiae against an acutely self-conscious melancholy that cynically daydreams its way into an awkward middle-ground between profundity and platitude.Visit product page →
Following the stop-start formation that plagued the group's early days, the three-piece of Russell Walker, Daniel Bolger, and Sian Dorrer remain intact. Both Walker and Bolger will be familiar from the ticklish post-punk of The Pheromoans, whilst Dorrer has a varied CV with groups such as Plug, and Ravioli Me Away, and with involvement across London DIY nodes. At times they give it a bit of a desaturated garage bump, other times there's the throb of marching mono-synth wave.
'Deranged Sauce Mum' comes off as a chopped and screwed hardcore, though with Walker's vocals it's less gurning glee and more furrowed brow, it should be said. There are very many disparate elements across 'Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' that come to give the new album a kind of uneasy grace, which is perhaps the groups singular force, the unchaining of an ingenious familiarity that's dizzyingly bizarre and equally bleak.
Lyrically and musically their new album contains the traces of many surfaces both interior and exterior. Its dream-like qualities are formed through a kind of musical frottage, always preserving the trace of the hand, arriving at its surreal heights through fidgety non-sequiturs of an aesthetically acerbic persuasion. In this way it never quite replicates anything that you feel to be present in its parts.
'Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' indexes petty despondency for better days, imagining some unforeseen and unremarkable circumstance that makes up for it all. Welwyn Garden City's former shredded wheat factory is on the cover. Redevelopment plans for the site are in progress.
1. Death Of A Bargain Hunter
2. Legends Never Die
3. Deranged Sauce Mum
4. Art Brussels
6. Tosh Lines
7. All I Wanna Do Is Stay At Home
8. The Death Of Old Woolly
£9.99"However you might try to find the words for it, Total Control's caustic charm is stunning and oblique. A sensible account of the band typically focuses on its parts—the associated groups, the touring configurations, etc.—as if finding ways by which Total Control is divisible gleans critical information for breaking through their cryptic sheen. With tonic, wry twists, and forever employing aphoristic brevity for the comic/cosmic dynamite that it is best reserved for, the band seems to indulge this with each new release, or tour, or whatever's put on the counter.Visit product page →
The band's European tour tape from 2015 was a sure reminder of this. Their new 12", 'Laughing At The System,' is a succinct statement, but it feels like the sharpest thing they've ever assembled. Written and recorded over the past couple of years in various lounge rooms, bedrooms, and rehearsal studios, across Melbourne, regional Victoria, and Western Australia, Al Montfort, Daniel Stewart, James Vinciguerra, Mikey Young, and Zephyr Pavey are—for the record—all accounted for in the process. 'Laughing At The System' is bookended by a title track in two parts.
The scattered mania of the opener is an unsettling beginning, with cascading madhouse-riffs somehow finding a ricocheting unison. The closing part has the familiar head-charge of Total Control's most gnashing moments, with the guitars balancing the equation between running-too-fast and drinking-too-fast in one queasy commitment. With a brilliantly acerbic wit, we're implored to gather that there's some equivalences here. And it's this kind of impulse that's kept up throughout the 12". Drizzled with Vinciguerra's fraught fills, which have the rare quality of being unmistakably his in both electronic and acoustic form, this punctuation comes in and out of focus between elegiac moments and breezy experimentation, the latter including the elated instrumental 'Cathie and Marg.'
Throughout, Stewart scripts a tumultuous wake for a flatlining reality, forever nudging the listener to second-guess themselves about the sincerity and intent. Far from cynical, but earnestly neurotic, the potency of the atmosphere that Total Control has mustered across 'Laughing At The System' registers as a deeply commanding, though bleak, psychedelicism for the future."
1. Laughing At The System 1
2. Future Crème
4. Vote Cops
5. Her Majesty, Budgie
6. Luxury Vacuum
7. Cathie and Marg
8. Laughing At The System 2
Release Date: 08/12/2017