Hampshire & Foat – The Honeybear [Athens Of The North]
Hampshire & Foat make a triumphant return to the prolific reissue label Athens of the North with the stunning concept album The Honeybear. Each the chapter of a fictional children’s story book – ten ambient, charming folk songs form an intoxicating, slowly marauding tale of undeniable charm and cheer. Awash with the sounds of string and woodwind, tracks such as ‘Honey Dreams’ and ‘Rain Clouds’ combine instrumentation with field recordings for a truly immersive, hypnotic experience.
Derek Carr – New Planets To Conquer [Distant Worlds]
Derek Carr is the second, after the brilliant John Shima, to grace new label Distant Worlds with his second EP of the year New Planets To Conquer. In typical Carr fashion, the producer blends IDM, electro and techno to produce great tracks, highly emotive music. Top notch stuff!
Abyss X – Pleasures Of The Bull [Danse Noire]
Swiss label Danse Noire’s latest offering is the dark, mesmeric second album from Abyss X. Pleasures Of The Bull doesn’t just take it’s title from a Minoan legend of rage, greed and destruction, but also it’s chief artistic inspiration. The record seethes and pulses, growling synthesisers and faint, distant vocals entwine around dismal expanses of noise and bass. Amidst the brooding, gloomy bulk of the album’s six tracks sits a moment of blissful relief. ‘Lyrical Waxing’ sees the artist’s vocals break free from the drone, reaching dizzying heights over clear, reverberating guitar chords, eerily reminiscent of Cocteau Twins. It’s comparative humanity contrasts starkly with the gritty feel of the rest of the album, and helps to elevate it to new heights of emotion that accurately encapsulates the tale of it’s inspiration.
upsammy – Another Place [Nous’klaer]
Nous’klaer associate upsammy has made a name as one of the most exciting DJs in the Netherlands at the moment, regularly playing at the incredible De School. Having contributed two tracks to the label’s Paerels compilation in September, upsammy’s first solo release is upon us. Much like her highly distinctive DJ sets, Another Place is awash with ambient but incredibly gripping music: from the pensive, Aphex-esque ‘Zona’ to pounding rhythm of ’09-06′, upsammy’s debut promises much for the future.
Second Storey – Lucid Interpretations [Houndstooth]
The trilogy of releases surrounding Second Storey’s Lucid project for Houndstooth reach their conclusion with Interpretations – a full length album of remixes from a host of excellent producers. With a clear focus on electro inspired sounds, artists such as Radioactive Man, 214 and The Exaltics are enlisted to expectedly superb effect. However, it’s the sparser, less conventional remixes on the album that catch the ear the most – Machine Woman’s remix of ‘Acute Angels’ and Or:la’s remix of ‘Wherever You May Be’ are songs that we are sure to be have on repeat for some time to come.