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Belladonna

Oram, Daphne – “Oramics” – [Paradigm Discs]

Belladonna   3/20/2012   A Library, CD

Daphne Oram is the creator of Oramics, a drawn sound technique designed in 1957. The machine was further developed in 1962 after receiving a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation. Daphne also co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, joining the BBC at 17 years of age back in 1942 (turning down a place at the Royal Academy of Music). She would camp out at the BBC studios for nights on end splicing tapes and working with various modified machines to create her abstract soundscapes. A true pioneer in electronic music, this release covers the whole range of Oram???s post BBC output. Field recordings, music concret, cat meows, noize, beautiful melodies, commercials, soundtracks, alien spaceships, its all here and its all amazing.

Esplendor Geometrico – “Nador” – [Geometrik Records]

Belladonna   2/8/2012   A Library, CD

Written and recorded in 1988-1989, first released 1995 and now recently re released for our enjoyment. It’s pure Esplendor Geometrico: crunchy skull crushers with relentless rhythmic beats and electronic screeches here and there. Some tracks are more difficult than others but most are approachable. You can hear that analogue, metallic edged quality that is reminiscent of earlier industrial. This is excellent!

Source Direct – “Controlled Developments” – [AstralWerks]

Belladonna   2/8/2012   A Library, CD

aka Jim Baker & Phil Aslett. Originally released on AstralWerks in ’97, this still sounds relevant, these guys were clearly way ahead of their time. Dark, deep, brooding Drum n’ Bass/Jungle, it will make you want to do bad things. Its super heavy, dangerous break beats that will give you whiplash and enough Bass too blow out your speakers. I wouldn’t listen to this while driving because I’m sure I would get a speeding ticket. Enjoy!

Hox – “It-ness” – [Apollo Records]

Belladonna   1/24/2012   A Library, CD

aka Andreas Karperyd and Edvard Graham Lewis. This is really awesomely strange. If you can imagine harsh metallic rhythmic beats (Henrik Rylander, Alva Noto, Esplendor Geometrico etc) with a subdued creepy vocal track (lets say an American Blixa meets colin Newman). Its a strange mix but works. Some tracks are a bit more difficult listening, electronic industrial bordering noize while a couple of others have a downright jazzy swagger that just makes you go “huh?”.
Some releases are hard to describe and this is one of them.

Hood, Robert – “Omega” – [M-Plant]

Belladonna   1/24/2012   A Library, CD

Robert Hood is a founding member “Underground Resistance and considered to be one of the founders of minimal techno. Hood is very critical of artistic and economic movements destructive to inner-city communities and has combined his musical enterprises with outreach and social activist ends and gave up city life to live in rural Alabama. He is very spiritual and regularly reads scriptures from the Bible. This release was inspired by the film “Omega Man” and its futuristic, spiritual and end-of-world themes have reverberated throughout Hood???s life. With all that said this is very inspired techno, minimal, interesting but you probably wouldn’t have known the inspiration if I hadn’t told you, its subtle. The spoken intro “Alpha” is great but I do love “The Workers Of Iniquity”. Enjoy!

Monoton – “Monotonprodukt 07” – [Oral]

Belladonna   1/24/2012   A Library, CD

Monoton is the infamous experimental musician and sound artist Konrad Becker along with Daniel Leeflang.
With interesting dark ambient experimental soundscapes, this is creepy, futuristic, rhythmic and intriguing. Becker has been making electronic music since ’79 but this release came out in 1982. Its very ahead of its time, in fact in 1998 The Wire magazine included “Monotonprodukt07” among the 100 most important records of the 20th century. Its not just music, its history.

Carter, Chris – “Electronic Ambient Remixes Three” – [Conspiracy International]

Belladonna   1/18/2012   A Library, CD

Amazing release from the iconic Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey etc etc). An amazing amount of intricate and intriguing ambient electronics and soundscapes. All tracks utilize original 1970’s and 80’s Throbbing Gristle rhythm tapes as a foundation for each piece and contain sub-sonics and resonant frequencies which “lower specified audio apparatus may find difficult to faithfully reproduce”. I think people are going to super dig on this, it’s very addictive and trippy. Bonus if you listen with headphones to catch every nuance.
Enjoy!!

Kryptic Minds – “Can’t Sleep” – [Black Box Music Limited]

Belladonna   1/17/2012   A Library, CD

aka UK producers Brett Bigden and Simon Shreeve. Drum n’ Bass-y Dub Step-y ness with a very dark and sinister side. Very dramatic with glitchy and crunchy moments. Very soundscapey/tracky. Overall this is pretty awesome. Even if you aren’t into the BEATS you can appreciate the DUB.

Fixmer, Terence – “Le Terrible” – [Electric Deluxe]

Belladonna   1/17/2012   12-inch, A Library

On Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe label, some chilly techno from Monsieur Terence Fixmer. The name may sound familiar from his collaboration with Douglas McCarthy as “Fixmer McCarthy”. This is very cold elecro techno, all spindly icicles and fragile rock formations, just the way I like it.
Enjoy!

Serengeti – “Family & Friends” – [Anticon.]

Belladonna   9/28/2011   CD, Hip Hop

Debut from Chicago native (now in LA) Serengeti (aka David cohn). It has been said that this is a departure from the more introspective raps of his recent past, although to me its pretty introspective. Yoni Wolf is responsible for roughly half of the beats and the rest come from Advance Base, AKA. Owen Ashworth (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone).
Moody, melancholy, is this autobiographical? There is some heavy content here. It’s lo-fi indie hip hop, quirky, humorous and at times depressing and overall thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately most tracks contain profanity:(
Fucks & Shits on: 1, 4, 5, 6, 9

fuzzy beats
sad raps and rhymes
your life was hard

Black Dog, The – “Genetically Modified” – [Hydrogen Dukebox]

Belladonna   9/14/2011   12-inch, A Library

aka Ken Downie along with Scottish poet Black Sifichi providing spoken word. This is not at all what was expected but still extremely enjoyable. A mixture of electronics and beats, breakbeat and house with moments of strong jazzy undertones and bizarre spoken word and samples. The vocals are interesting and….very creepy. This has some Plastikman “Lose Yourself” moments for sure. You will either love or hate this, maybe both. Enjoy!

Lid EMBA – “Terminal Muse: Blue” – [Stickfigure Records]

Belladonna   9/14/2011   A Library, CD

aka Sean Moore from Atlanta, GA. This release is the second in a trilogy (Blue, Red and ?). His concept is that the creative urge is an incurable infection that both drives the artist while draining his or her life-force (the theory came during a year-long period of intensive medical treatment). Terminal Muse: Red. With comparisons to Cluster and Eno, this is very diverse experimental electronics that ranges from noize to glitch to crazy stoney space jams. This truly has something for everyone. Enjoy!

Aguayo, Matias – “I Don’t Smoke EP” – [Kompakt Schallplatten]

Belladonna   9/7/2011   12-inch, A Library

Chilean DJ Aguayo is known for his eccentricity and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. How refreshing! “I don’t Smoke” is probably the most entertaining/original, just plain silly. All of these tracks have a very old school 80’s drum machine kitsch quality to them, a little techno, a bit disco, a tad hand clappy. Its the kind of thing that you will either love or hate. If you have no sense of humor (or soul) you probably wont appreciate this. Enjoy!

Ambivalent & Delano, Alexi – “Brooklyn Weekdays” – [Minus Records]

Belladonna   8/17/2011   12-inch, A Library

Ambivalent (aka Kevin McHugh) and Alexi Delano NY DJ/Musician/Producer/Scenesters team up to bring this M_Nus release (Richie Hawtin’s label). This is very mellow and mild tech house. It needs some bite. Its enjoyable and inoffensive but its not going to blow your mind or anything. Good for an afternoon chill out, too benign for a late night club.
Enjoy!

Johannsson, Johann – “Miners’ Hymns, The” – [Fat Cat]

Belladonna   7/20/2011   12-inch, Soundtrack

From Icelandic composer J??hann J??hannsson. This is a collaborative score for “The Miners’ Hymns” a film about the ill-fated mining community in North East England. This was originally presented as a live performance at Durham Cathedral over two nights in July 2010 and this recording is the result of a collaboration between J??hann and American experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison. This is a dark and brooding soundscape with wonderful moments of organ, trumpet, french horn and cornets. Part modern classical, part film score and part minimal icelandic darkness, this is really amazing.

Mono No Aware – “Kika No Sekai” – [Hands]

Belladonna   7/20/2011   A Library, CD

A early release from German power noize artists Stefan B??hm (before he left to pursue other projects) and existing member Leif K??nzel. B??hm left in early 2002 so this is most likely his last release with Mono No Aware. This is harsh repetitive rhythm and noize. It’ll blow your mind and scare your dog and your neighbors. Its harsh, dark, German and requires ear protection. If you like Henrik Rylander and Empty Set, you will like this. Enjoy!!

Ahnst Anders – “Home” – [Ant Zen]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

Ahnst Anders aka Henrik Erichsen is a German electronic DJ and musican. Personal changes has caused a shift and while earlier releases were considered more ambient, these dark beats leave me swooning. Dark, sinister soundscape-y pounding goodness. Dark menacing beats I would like to play LOUD. Buzzy experimental elements and unexpected sounds make this not just another dark ambient release. Its beautiful, its amazing, I LOVE it!! Please enjoy!

Staccato Du Mal – “Sin Destino” – [Wierd Records]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

aka Ramiro Jeancarlo who is probably the spookiest person in Miami. This is very throwback synthy pop/industrial/gothyness. Its no surprise that Jeancarlos other project is an industrial/power noize band. Dude is dark, singing in both Spanish and English. This makes me want to smoke a clove and brood in a dark room. What sets this apart from other dark spooky stuff is the boisterous synth, which tempers the pained and despondent vocals. I found this to be quite intriguing. It has a death rock days friends band playing in a garage while we sat and acted aloof in our black eyeliner and buckle boots feel to it.
This reminds you of your roots! Enjoy!

Wols – “Unframe” – [Pingipung]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

aka Evgeny Shchukin and Alexander Tochilkin, both also known as “Modul”. Modul/Wols are part of Dubtarelka crew which holds dub oriented parties and events. This is space influenced dubby breaks and beats (including techno style). Dubhop? Quirky all over the place honkin’ bumpin, bleepin, groovin, funkyness. This should appeal to many peeps due to the extreme variety of sounds. I super dig their funky freshness.

Belladonna

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