electronic

The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (2011)

July 13, 2024

For those who found the Caretaker through the “Everywhere at the end of time” series, they will no doubt find An Empty Bliss Beyond This World an excellent companion piece; coming several years before Caretaker’s magnum opus, and consisting of similar elements both thematically and sonically, yet feeling more concise (although barely lol) and less demanding than its gigantic big brother, An Empty Bliss can almost be considered an enjoyed listening experience. Imagine that, would…

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Midnight Configuration – The Kissing Skull (1995)

Not sure what I expected in regards to returning to the very first album of Midnight Configuration: as if heading back to the debut would give me some sort of explanation for the crazy Cookie Monster on smack vocals, the cheesy beats or the token “female backing vocals”. Alas, I was very much mistaken, and I am just as perplexed by this record as I was its follow up. Truly, one of the most bizarre…

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Tangerine Dream – Sorcerer (1977)

This soundtrack recording is a bit of a novelty when approaching Tangerine Dream chronologically, because Sorcerer is far closer to a “traditional” album than anything they had done before. Short, isolated pieces of work make up the runtime instead of the longer, sprawling tracks, and it feels like a more active approach was taken to instrumentation; more anxious and suspenseful use of melodies and electronic noises sometimes create an almost hellish and frightening listening landscape….

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Midnight Configuration – Funeral Nation (1997)

July 12, 2024

Gooooooooood fuuuuuuckkkiiing griiiieeeeef this has to be one of, if not the worst thing, that I have heard all year. It’s mere existence beggars belief. Imagine Mortiis’ Smell Of Rain, but strip out most of the guitars, make the songs repetitive and annoying (inb4 “its danceable!”) and give THE WORST POSSIBLE vocal performance you can imagine over the top of it. Honestly, I’m not sure what the vibe here is, but Jesus fucking Christ those…

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Yuzo Koshiro & Motohiro Kawashima – Streets Of Rage 3 OST (1994)

June 8, 2024

Feels noticeably different from the first two soundtracks, no doubt in part because of additional composer Motohiro Kawashima. That being said, SOR / Bare Knuckle 3 was also a markedly different game than its predecessors, so perhaps also called for a slightly different approach. But hey; I’m no video game journalist or historian, I’m just an idiot with a RYM account. What I can tell you for certain that whilst this isn’t as legendary or…

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горемыка – дурак (2021)

June 2, 2024

Mournful, sorrowful, drab, everything you’d expect from soviet (insert word)wave. I’m not up on things when it comes to the particulars of this kind of genre, but it sounds like Молчат Дома only even sadder and more depressing. Just lovely. Fantastic production with that cassette wobble effect for the idiots like me who think that’s still cool in 2024. Art is great too.

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Jesu – Pale Sketches (2007)

June 1, 2024

Like a lot of people it seems, I wasn’t all that fussed on Pale Sketches when it came out (not to be confused with another JB project, Pale Sketcher). Returning to this album over a decade later however, I am happy to say that I was incorrect to dismiss this record. Whilst at the time it felt like a change of pace, nowadays it fits right on in to the larger Jesu canon of albums….

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Chrysta Belle & David Lynch – Somewhere In The Nowhere (2016)

May 24, 2024

Mystical, ethereal, magical even – like walking through a forest of thick fog where there is no discernible end. I find it difficult with David Lynch’s aural experiments to quantify his contributions, but I don’t suppose it really matters all that much. Tammy Preston’s (sorry, I mean) Chrysta Belle’s vocals are fantastic and the sparse music is excellent at setting the tone.

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Test Dept. – The Unacceptable Face Of Freedom (1986)

May 12, 2024

A harrowing collection of socio-political clips set to a gruelling background of industrial soundscapes and clanking, pounding machine percussion. Lyrics are sparse but effective, and the whole work gives off a unique sense of claustrophobia and desperation.

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The Caretaker – Everywhere, An Empty Bliss (2019)

May 9, 2024

Acts beautiful as a companion to / introduction to / extension of the enormous Everywhere At The End Of Time series. As groundbreaking as that is, it can be an intimidating listen – one that I have only made it through from start to finish once. Everywhere, An Empty Bliss pulls from most of the different stages present in the End Of Time series, and compresses them into a far more digestible – and dare…

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Tangerine Dream – Atem (1973)

May 8, 2024

A strange one (that’s saying something!) from the early series of Tangerine Dream albums. The unfolding soundscape is almost sinister in its composition, although it is ultimately enjoyable and even relaxing, despite the unexpected presence of drumming. I’m getting a personal sense of dissonance between the tracks; as in, there is no harmonous link between them all, and they seem very disjointed. For a project like Tangerine Dream, I think it is in important that…

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Hide – Girl On Girl / Mommy (2019)

April 28, 2024

Powerful industrial music that sits somewhere between the greats like Godflesh or Throbbing Gristle and the more (dare I say) energetic styles of say, Youth Code. There’s only two tracks here but it gives you a perfect taste of what to expect in terms of theme, vibe and general sonic palette. Good stuff!

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Overmono & The Streets – Turn The Page (2024)

April 25, 2024

Seemingly pointless reworking of the original (pirate material lol!) classic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely, but I’m not sure what purpose it serves. Does it need to serve a purpose? Dunno. I’m not going to get philosophical about it. It would be really cool to get more tracks from the first album reimagined like this, but on its own its ability to impress is limited.

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Squarepusher – Do You Know Squarepusher (2002)

April 24, 2024

Love this shit. Comparisons to Aphex Twin are lazy but apt, let’s be honest. A clanking, clattering collection of electronic madness that’s over way too soon. Production is fantastic, and really shines on tracks like “Kill Robok”. The Joy Division cover is pretty dumb but otherwise this is solid.

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Dan Forden – Mortal Kombat Trilogy OST (1996)

April 12, 2024

Not sure if enjoy this soundtrack for what it is on its base electronic compositions, or whether because I played MK Trilogy religiously when I was a kid. The OST for the game, which shared a lot of tunes with MK3 and Ultimate MK3 if I’m not mistaken, hardly breaks new ground, but the dirty new urban sound the MK tunes got given for this era of the franchise seemed to really get the blood…

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Barrington Pheloung – Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror OST (1997 / 2010)

March 30, 2024

Barrington’s soundtrack for the original Broken Sword haunts me in my dreams, and the sequel is a continuation of that excellence. However, it should be said that the follow up is far more ethereal and atmospheric, with only a recurring leitmotif holding the whole thing together. Aside from that, breathy synths are the order of the day, with stabs of instrumental punctuation reserved for important plot or gameplay points. There’s a collection of “worldly” music…

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Bassnectar – Cozza Frenzy (2009)

March 28, 2024

Cozza Frenzy is a long-ass album. I didn’t really notice at first, listening with earphones at work, but when I went for a round two I found my attention slipping fairly easily. Frenzy has it’s highlights, but also a series of low points too. I guess you just gotta take the rough with the smooth. The production is huge, crystal clear and very, very tidy – to the point perhaps of being somewhat homogeneous, but…

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Bassnectar – Timestretch (2010)

Starts off good but loses me towards the second half, which is stuffed with pointless filler and shitty remixes, taking this “EP” to over 45 minutes long. Timestretch, indeed, my dude(s). Taken on the first 4 tracks alone, or even just “Basshead” (by far the strongest here), this is pretty cool, but as I said the rest drags it down.

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Borgore – Delicious (2011)

I’ve thusfar defended Borgore releases on here but today that stops (lmao). Production is great but the songs are pretty poor tbh, with Borgore’s terrrribbbblllle rapping taking center stage. When the highlight of your record is a song about taking a girl who is so ugly to a gloryhole so you can happily fuck her face without worrying about her looks (but not in a sleazy way, in a cheeky chappy bro its a joke…

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Bratkilla – Methamphetamine (2009)

This was my jam in 2010. Back when I first had Spotify (crazy to think I’ve had it for around 15 years now) I would make playlists of all the underground dubstep shit that I could find. Bratkilla’s “Methamphetamine” is not exactly the most inspired thing in the world, and the Family Guy samples are pretty cringe, but the bass on this is so fucking nasty I still play it fairly regularly 14 years after…

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Bratkilla – Nefertitie / Corona Virus (2014)

March 27, 2024

I haven’t heard Bratkilla since the Methamphetamine EP. I remember their tunes being pretty hard but I did not expect the project to go THIS hard. “Nefertitie” is a fucking bop, I’m sure the queen herself would approve. The “B-Side” is a banger too but that first track blew my dick off.

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Borgore & Skidope – Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse (2014)

March 26, 2024

A catchy song but one that doesn’t really sound like Borgore, at least the Borgore I know from Ruined Dubstep etc – this little number is more in line with mainstream electronic music. I wouldn’t call it a club track. It sounds more like something you’d hear in the background of a gaming compilation video on YouTube or something.

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Flux Pavilion – Lines In Wax (2010)

You may recognise the name of this EP. Yes it is the name I “borrowed” for my blog, YouTube channel and eventual RYM profile. It also made SEO for the first two things on that list absolutely impossible lmao, but there we go, you live and learn. Lines In Wax is a four track EP that is stacked with bangers, in all fairness. I guess this falls into the whole brostep / dubstep thing, but…

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Borgore – Ruined Dubstep Vol. 2 (2010)

March 25, 2024

Like part 1, but improved. Again, lots of asinine lyrics but the programming has improved tenfold. Tracks like “Money” and the excellent “Broken Rulz” (with metal drumming, no less – do I smell a Drumkit From Hell VST plugin!? Ha!) are pretty fucking experimental, I’ll give the man his due. Despite this, Borgore seems universally hated and this EP will no doubt never win any lifetime awards, but Vol 2 (along with Vol 1) are…

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Borgore – Ruined Dubstep Vol. 1 (2010)

This has aged pretty poorly, but I’m going to try and briefly review it from the mindset I had in 2010. The mainstream dubstep craze was in full effect. Radio 1 after 10pm was full of this shit. However, Borgore, who’d turned some heads with his unique “gorestep” style, dropped his first full EP proper with Borgore Ruins Dubstep Vol. 1. For the kind of stinky drops that we all listened to in my mate’s…

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Kovenant – S.E.T.I. (2003)

March 24, 2024

Not sure what happened here, because Animatronic, whilst divisive, appeared to come off as a successful experiment. I guess what SETI does is double down on the style of that previous album, but maybe the band pushed too far with this one. SETI is like, what, 80 minutes long? 80 minutes of mediocre industrial metal is enough to drive anyone to absolute madness, regardless of quality, but SETI fails to deliver the instant satisfaction of…

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Jarboe – Mahakali (2008)

Jarboe – Mahakali (2008)

March 23, 2024

I first bought the Mahakali album in 2010 or 2011 and despite being massively into Swans and even some of the guest players here (Atilla for example), the album didn’t really resonate with me. I found it slow, frustrating and directionless. I’m not sure what has changed, but coming back to it thirteen years later and I am immediately blown away by this thing. I listened to the whole thing through for the first time…

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Venetian Snares – Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole Vol. 1 (2005)

Venetian Snares – Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole Vol. 1 (2005)

March 21, 2024

I don’t want to say the first few tracks from the Winnipeg… sessions are “calmer” than the latter, but they definitely do not descend quite as far down the staircase of pure electronic fuckery and madness as tracks like “Die Winnipeg Die Die Die Fuckers Die” or “Winnipeg as Mandatory Scat Feed” from the Vol. 2 but they are still a test of patience for those who are not initiated into the world of breakcore…

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Venetian Snares – Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole (2005)

Venetian Snares – Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole (2005)

Bosh bosh bosh! “Album” which compiles both the Winnipeg 12″ singles, as well as a bunch of new tracks from the same session, into one super mega awesome 45 minute breakcore fuckfest. …Frozen Shithole seems to be one of those albums that gets more and more brutal as it goes on, just pounding you into the shitty, frozen dirt with each passing track. This is something which I do not doubt was a purposeful decision…

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New Order – True Faith (1987)

New Order – True Faith (1987)

March 10, 2024

Another one of my absolute favourite songs of all time. I am, at heart, an album guy, but when it comes to strong singles there are a core few which have been with me for my whole life. “True Faith”, not so much it’s b-side “1963”, is one of these incredible songs. The cold, mechanical drum machines and synthesisers mesh with soft vocals and odd bass leads, making a concoction which shouldn’t really work but…

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New Order – Blue Monday (1983)

New Order – Blue Monday (1983)

One of the greatest singles of all time, which probably needs little to no introduction, let alone a review from me. I remember falling in love with this song as a kid, hearing it on the radio but having no idea who sang it. I loved the drum machines, the synths, the vocal delivery. It all felt so futuristic, so new, so fresh, yet also rather dark at the same time. Just absolutely brilliant.

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Mick Harris – Hednod Session 02 (2000)

Mick Harris – Hednod Session 02 (2000)

March 8, 2024

More upbeat and driving than the first in the series. Proper get shit done kinda music, but with the usual unsettling underbelly that lurks beneath the surface of most of Mick’s music, like a great big fat fucker of a fish lurking barely visible beneath the surface of muddy, algae-filled pond water. Grimy!

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Mick Harris – Hednod Session 01 (1999)

Mick Harris – Hednod Session 01 (1999)

Slow, paranoid, sinister beats from the absolute master of the style. Not too dissimilar to certain eras of Scorn, this first “Hednod Session” is well worth your time, just maybe not after you’ve smoked too much of the devil’s lettuce.

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Quoit – Properties (2001)

Quoit – Properties (2001)

Mick gives Aaron Funk a run for his money here in this sophomore record under the Quoit moniker (how even the fuck do you say that name anyways? hah). With tracks averaging around the 7 minute mark, Properties can be a punishing listen, but rewarding in its own way for disciples of the fractured, scattered beats in the drum and bass / breakbeat worlds.

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Jesu – Sun Down / Sun Rise (2007)

Jesu – Sun Down / Sun Rise (2007)

March 6, 2024

How this was released the same year as the cumbersome Conqueror is anyone’s guess; this EP brings out the absolute best in Jesu. Broadrick’s hazy, dream-like songwriting can unfurl in its full glory and really soar. I had this on vinyl for many years, I must have sold it because I can’t find it anywhere, which is a shame as it’s really grown on me in my old age (ha).

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Jesu – Why Are We Not Perfect (2008)

Jesu – Why Are We Not Perfect (2008)

March 5, 2024

The first few tracks here originally appeared one year earlier on the split with Eluvium, only here they come with a few additional alternate takes to fill out the run time. I can’t help but notice the original split art was a photograph of either the Menkaure pyramid at Giza or perhaps one of the smaller satellite pyramids, yet this EP release has a photograph of the much larger and imposing Khafre pyramid. As someone…

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Jesu – Conqueror (2007)

Jesu – Conqueror (2007)

Y’know, it’s real sad boy hours when one of the lads throws on Conqueror. That’s the end of the party vibes, my friend. But that’s okay, because generally, Jesu is a very good project. Conqueror, despite hailed as Jesu’s masterpiece in some circles, is a transitional record for the band, as Broadrick led the project from the super-heavy style of the debut through to the lighter, more synth-reliant gazey songwriting that would come. This transition…

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V/A – King Records – Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War OST (2004)

V/A – King Records – Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War OST (2004)

I was recommended this as “one of the best video game soundtracks of all time”. Oh boy, can you imagine my disappointment. This is not a bad soundtrack by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m failing to see why anyone would put on any kind of pedastal. There are some interesting moments, for sure, but that’s about it.

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Muslimgauze – Iran (1988)

Muslimgauze – Iran (1988)

March 4, 2024

This is like the Muslimgauze version of Scorn’s Deliverance. The whole thing is just folded over on itself over and over and over and reworked into different sounds (at least, that’s how it feels). It’s easy to lose yourself in this half hour of sheer atmosphere, which is really quite sinister.

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No Bra – Love & Power (2019)

No Bra – Love & Power (2019)

Fractured, bizarre, overtly sexual and kinda like a bad acid trip taking place in a seedy Village nightclub. I’m sure there’s a higher purpose to all of this that’s going right over my head but the songs were entertaining despite what can only be a deliberately nonchalant vocal delivery. The electronics are the highlight here, scattered all over the place with little thought or care to continuinity, smoothness or the desire to relisten after surviving…

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The Prodigy – Experience (1992)

The Prodigy – Experience (1992)

I was three years old when this came out so I won’t pretend to understand the cultural impact that The Prodigy Experience had upon its release. I do however, remember just how much of an institution The Prodigy were by the latter end of the 90s, I vividly remember “Firestarter” coming out and being on the TV and so on, but Prodigy’s deeper electronic roots always interested me more, even as a kid. Experience is…

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Fear Factory – Remanufacture (1997)

Fear Factory – Remanufacture (1997)

March 3, 2024

A surprisingly solid and consistent collection of remixes, from a time period where remix albums are usually a death knell for creativity and are not exactly conducive to a good time during playback either (lol). Remanufacture however, genuinely does rework the original songs into something completely and utterly new. Its well worth giving it a go, unless you have some sort of allergy to 90s electronics. This thing is so 90s that wearing one of…

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Frank Klepacki – The Music Of Command & Conquer (1996)

Frank Klepacki – The Music Of Command & Conquer (1996)

February 26, 2024

What a really cool mix of styles. A lot of the tracks here probably explains my interest in industrial music. I heard this soundtrack a million times as a kid when struggling to get a grip on how play this game without being absolutely butchered by the enemy lol. I absolutely adore this dense, robotic sound which leads the majority of the tracks here.

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Godflesh – Purge (2023)

Godflesh – Purge (2023)

February 21, 2024

It took me a while to get my head around Purge. I think it’s because my head really has to be in a certain space to fully embrace a Godflesh record. I can admire the beats and wailing guitars at any time, but to fully allow the absolute claustrophobia of their music to envelope me, well that takes a special kind of headspace, I guess. With all the pieces aligned, I can finally make my…

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Faithless – Forever Faithless (2005)

Faithless – Forever Faithless (2005)

February 19, 2024

The compilation CD that introduced me to the fantastic project that is Faithless. For its 80 minute run-time, it does admittedly lose its way towards the end, but is toploaded with some of the best tracks of the band’s career.

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God – The Anatomy Of Addiction (1994)

God – The Anatomy Of Addiction (1994)

It would perhaps be slightly derivative of me to compare God to the spacey, dub-style Godflesh tracks that bounced around a lot in the mid 90s, or to the second half of the excellent Vae Solis by Scorn, another project to feature the guitar work of Justin Broadrick. But, without going on a mad trip that would involve shoving a trumpet up my ass and putting a beret on my head to adequately convey the…

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Klaus Schulze – Kontinuum (2007)

Klaus Schulze – Kontinuum (2007)

February 13, 2024

I have returned to this particular Klaus Schulze work many times over the past few years. It all started when YouTube’s algorhythm seemed hell-bent on recommending it to me, and I eventually gave in, due to the artwork being cool as hell and due to Schulze’s link to Tangerine Dream. I know very little about Schulze’s other works, but Kontinuum has become a go-to for “get shit done on the computer” kind of music, be…

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Avitronic – Enophophilia (2018)

Avitronic – Enophophilia (2018)

I thoroughly enjoyed this journey through the ages of electronic music. I was sitting here vibing, thinking, “damn, this thing covers some bases!”, from the deeper Berlin School origins to the bubblier “acid” approach of the 90s. When the beat kicked in during “Life Making Its Way” I was sold on Enophophilia and went to read the description on the Bandcamp, where the artist admits to wanting to create a hybrid electronic sound that encompasses…

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Jim Kirkwood – Master Of Dragons (1991)

Jim Kirkwood – Master Of Dragons (1991)

February 12, 2024

One of my favourite pieces of “dungeon synth”. It, of course, pre-dates the formation of such a genre by a considerable margin, and perhaps owes more to the worlds of Berlin School or film sountracks than it does Mortiis and other dark dungeon dwelling maniacs. There is a purity to Kirkwood’s releases that keeps it out of the mystery fjords and onto the rolling hills, the battlefields, the craggy cliffs etc. of far-off fantasy lands….

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Yuzo Koshiro – Streets Of Rage II (Bare Knuckle II) (1993)

Yuzo Koshiro – Streets Of Rage II (Bare Knuckle II) (1993)

February 11, 2024

Koshiro’s genius is (of course) ever-present on the SOR sequel as it was on the original. My one complaint is perhaps the lack of variety here when paired up with the OST for the first game, what we get is essentially more of the same kinda compositions. Now, in a world where such smoooooooooth fuckin’ pieces of work can be composed for the Sega fucking Genesis console there is the very real argument that if…

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Björk – Utopia (2017)

Björk – Utopia (2017)

I’ve struggled with reviewing this album for seven years. I just keep putting it off and off and off, and today, after one more listen, I feel exactly the same way. For as lush and as dense as Utopia’s production is, I cannot shake the feeling that this is a listless, rudderless voyage through a sea of magnolia coloured clouds. Every so often, a huge piece of glass or crystal is visible through the mist,…

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Spencer Nilsen – Ecco: The Tides Of Time OST (1994)

Spencer Nilsen – Ecco: The Tides Of Time OST (1994)

February 1, 2024

This shit haunts the absolute fuck out of me. I could never really get very far in Ecco 2 (The Tides of Time), my little child brain couldn’t work out the abstract puzzles, concepts and messages that were on display. I used to just swim around eating fish and doing jumps out of the water, and that’s about it. I did end up using passwords that I got out of some cheat book to see…

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Aphex Twin – Blackbox Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760 (2023)

Aphex Twin – Blackbox Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760 (2023)

January 12, 2024

I’ve listened to this countless times since it dropped last summer all with the mind of writing about it here but as enjoyable as it is, I’ve had no real inspiriation to come and talk about it. One has to ask why that is the case. There is nothing particularily wrong with the songs on this EP, in fact they are actually rather pleasant and whilst I don’t feel they really push the envelope in…

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Crisis Sigil – God Cum Poltergeist (2023)

Crisis Sigil – God Cum Poltergeist (2023)

Damn, this shit is all over the place! A blistering mix of blasting grindcore carnage and barrages of industrial noise, all chopped and changed up into glitchy, headache-inducing soundscapes. I guess think of breakcore techniques but applied to a slightly different musical landscape. (Recommended by kay192x, thank you!)

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Michael Hoenig – Baldur’s Gate OST (2001)

Michael Hoenig – Baldur’s Gate OST (2001)

(It’s worth mentioning the OST originally came out with the game it featured in back in 1998, but wasn’t realised as a stand-alone OST until 2001) Easily one of the best game OSTs of all time, but there is always the risk that I am heavily biased, having played this game to death when I was 9 to 10 years old. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it. Hoenig’s soundtrack…

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Michael Hoenig – Departure From The Northern Wasteland (1978)

Michael Hoenig – Departure From The Northern Wasteland (1978)

I learnt recently that the composer for the Baldurs Gate 1 & 2 soundtracks was a member of Tangerine Dream and also released solo albums such as this. Hence then, the inevitable “working backwards” excercise in which I have now had the pleasure of hearing this lovely, well-made synthesizer record. Utilising, perhaps obviously, the spacey ambience of the Berlin School style, Hoenig presents to us a series of compositions that excellent detail other astral worlds…

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Mortiis – The Shadow Of The Tower (2021)

Mortiis – The Shadow Of The Tower (2021)

January 8, 2024

Archival, looping ambient drones from multi-faceted electronic genius Mortiis. The Shadow Of The Tower is purely for the die-hard collector, however. There is nothing really of merit here for the new listener, unless you are stumbling into this Mortiis release blind from the drone / ambient world, then by all means tuck in. The Shadow Of The Tower is one single 30+ minute piece of repetitive droning atmosphere. It does not invoke a sense of…

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Nigel Ayers, John Everall & Mick Harris – Mesmeric Enabling Device (1999)

Nigel Ayers, John Everall & Mick Harris – Mesmeric Enabling Device (1999)

Underwhelming.com flash sale! Mesmeric Enabling Device sounds like lazy noise I used to make in my early 20s when I figured out how the paulstretch tool worked. Considering the names involved, this is heavily disappointing.

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Jean-Luc Ponty – Mystical Adventures (1982)

Jean-Luc Ponty – Mystical Adventures (1982)

January 2, 2024

I took a chance on this after falling in love with the cover art. My previous experience with Ponty goes no further than the Aurora album, something which I found to be a touch underwhelming, in all honesty. Hopes were not high for Mystical Adventures, then. I am pleased to report however, that the record blew all previous conceptions that I may have held well and truly out of the water. Mystical Adventures does not…

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Young Scrolls – Balmora Vice (2017)

Young Scrolls – Balmora Vice (2017)

December 7, 2023

Excellent idea in conception, perhaps not as excellent in execution. Love what Young Scrolls is doing however, but this isn’t as good as something like “Neon Vivec”, which sticks the landing much better.

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Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

December 1, 2023

Libido Airbag has a dank fucking sound at the best of times, but the few minutes on offer here seem extra sleazy for some reason. Maybe it is the artwork and archaic format (the CD is super fucking easy to lose as its so thin – glad to see there’s a digipak version now available). CBT of course do what CBT does best, with their bludgeoning, dry-heaving gore clashing horribly (in the best possible way)…

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Beherit – Electric Doom Synthesis (1996)

Beherit – Electric Doom Synthesis (1996)

November 20, 2023

Pardon me for being tride in offering the plain fact that this is just more or less H418ov21.C Part II. There are slight differences, for example Holocaust’s production skill has come along a little bit and it therefore isn’t as spare perhaps as it’s predecessor, but for the most part, if you like sparse, ambient electronics with a slightly spooky cyber feel, you’ll be right at home here.

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Vangelis – See You Later (1980)

Vangelis – See You Later (1980)

November 16, 2023

An interesting effort from the legendary Vangelis, with the trademark dreamy atmosphere. Here the tones are a lot lighter and airy, giving the whole record a nonchalant feel. I couldn’t resist the album at only £3 for the 12″ vinyl, but after owning this for about a decade I have only played it a handful of times. The end of side A and the side B track “Suffocation” are probably my favourite. Unfortunately, my copy…

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Miles Davis – Decoy (1984)

Miles Davis – Decoy (1984)

November 1, 2023

I’ve fallen through the screen and into some rainy noir TV show set in LA or New York (probably the latter, let’s be honest). Next minute, I’m on the set of a very bad lesbian porno, with cheap tights, suspenders and hairy bushes galore. The next, beamed onto some windy beach where some buff dudes are running out into the waves, boards in hand, desperate to catch some waves. I keep falling, song by song,…

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Barn Owl – Lost In The Glare (2011)

Barn Owl – Lost In The Glare (2011)

October 28, 2023

I first heard Barn Owl when they were announced for (I think) Roadburn 2012. I’ve been in love with Lost In The Glare ever since. Combining smoky, laid back rock with soul-gazing atmospheric drones, the album is an instrumental journey that is at times low-key and at other times all-encompassing atmosphere. Comparisons to Earth are apt, but Barn Owl really are their own interesting beast and one that I would heavily recommend checking out.

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Zheani – The Spiritual Meat Grinder (2023)

Zheani – The Spiritual Meat Grinder (2023)

October 26, 2023

I have absolutely no fucking idea how I stumbled onto Zheani’s music, but Spiritual Meat Grinder is something of an aural palate cleanser. Insane, headache-inducing electronics meet absolutely manic vocal performances from sweet singing, yelping, growling to auto-tuned warbling. It’s like witnessing some sort of aural overdose of sugar. 19 minutes later and I’m sat here like “WTF was that?” but for some reason I want to listen to it again.

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Nmesh – Welcome To Warp Zone! (2014)

Nmesh – Welcome To Warp Zone! (2014)

October 8, 2023

I was searching RYM on the off-chance it had a listing already in place for Sam Powell’s work on the Sega Genesis Jurassic Park soundtrack when this DJ session came back in the search results (it samples one of the tracks from the Sega JP OST). What a happy little coincidence then, because this opened up an impromptu 4 hour journey that I listened to over the course of the rest of the day whilst…

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Flying Lotus – Reset (2008)

Flying Lotus – Reset (2008)

September 24, 2023

The first couple of tracks on this are phenomenal, but with repeated listens I continue to trail off as the EP goes on, which isn’t a good sign as it’s under 20 minutes long in total. I thought initially this was a symptom of my own concentration but after several attempts I’ll have to admit defeat. Not bad by any means, because when it hits it hits hard (the production on the opening track makes…

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Lustmord – Heresy (1990)

Lustmord – Heresy (1990)

September 18, 2023

Ah, now this is more like it! Previous forays with the works of Lustmord have left me wanting, but I should have started with the classics from the start. What a brooding, horrible noise! Such spooky, such creepy, wow. I decided to listen to this with headphones at night whilst in bed but admittedly it was infinitely better blasting out of my stereo the next morning at incredible volume. Embrace the all-encompassing noise!

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Boy Harsher – Yr Body Is Nothing (2016)

Boy Harsher – Yr Body Is Nothing (2016)

I went through a phase where I was super into this duo, but I kinda let that obsession fall to the wayside. Returning to Yr Body Is Nothing (the title reminds me of Swans, “Yr Property” etc) was long, long overdue then. As soon as this record starts thumping out of the speakers I’m wondering to myself why it is I let listening to this pair slide in the first place. This album is fantastic….

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The Prodigy – Fat Of The Land (1997)

The Prodigy – Fat Of The Land (1997)

Oi Oi Oi – let’s have a little dance then, shall we? If you want one of the fastest hours of your life to pass you by, throw this thing on. It has wall-to-wall bangers (some of which, as I’m sure most of you know, ended up as enormous chart-topping singles in their own right) and a stunning big sound. Not sure what sure I can say that hasn’t already been said, and I’m no…

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Vond – Green Eyed Demon (1998)

Vond – Green Eyed Demon (1998)

September 17, 2023

What the actual fuck is this? Off the strength of basically every single Mortiis side project (including earlier Vond), I got myself a copy of this on cassette. It’s a recent re-issue, but still. I wish I hadn’t bothered. This is easily the shittiest thing I’ve come across that’s got Havard’s name on it. Totally fucking pointless sound collages and minimal synths. It sounds like there has been absolutely minimal effort put into making this….

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Shygirl – Cruel Practice (2018)

Shygirl – Cruel Practice (2018)

September 16, 2023

Feel like I’m on a different planet to the rest of the folks hearing this. Beats are interesting at best, irritating at worst, and the flow is just…. shit. Feels like she’s rapping at me over the tanoy system at one of those giant Tesco Extra supermarkets at 3 in the morning when all I’m trying to do is cop a Monster energy drink and a cheese sandwich and get back to the rest of…

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The Bug – Fire (2021)

The Bug – Fire (2021)

Man, I love London Zoo, and Angels & Devils, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I’d slept on this thing coming out two years ago. I won’t tell you its straight fire, because as always with this kind of thing, its impossible not to be a bit hit and miss. Some of the collabs are a bit, err, not so great, to be honest, but the ones that are (I’m looking at…

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Tourette Syndrom – Gabbergrind (2005)

Tourette Syndrom – Gabbergrind (2005)

September 4, 2023

Hard to digest, jarring “gabbergrind” from QNZ (the guy who would go on to run Rotten Roll Rex) and some other folks, all wearing silly masks and costumes, as par for the course. Coming on like a mix between NHC666 / Libido Airbag grade sleaze and the more bottom-of-the-barrel bedroom goregrind projects one saw explode during the late 2000s (I’m looking at you, MySpace). Lots of ridiculous samples, song titles, vocals and drum programming, with…

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Scott Hull – Requiem (2008)

Scott Hull – Requiem (2008)

September 1, 2023

Requiem, I believe, was a soundtrack that Scott did for a film. Now, I can’t remember if this film ever came out or if it was just an imaginary film which existed in order for such a soundtrack to be composed around, but you’ll notice some pressings of this release will have “The motion picture soundtrack” written above the word Requiem. Either way, this was the beginning of a short experimental series of releases from…

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Death in June – Take Care and Control (1998)

Death in June – Take Care and Control (1998)

August 31, 2023

I have disparaged all of the Death in June sound collage stuff over the last few years. Operating Hummingbird, and parts of albums like the latter half of All Pigs Must Die literally do nothing for me. I was surprised then, when returning to Take Care And Control, to find that it was incredibly listenable, enjoyable and of a high production quality. Now, I know Albin Julius did all the music here (this should have…

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Voivod – Kronik (1998)

Voivod – Kronik (1998)

August 24, 2023

A bit of a mixed bag, but such is the way of compilation albums. The first half – or two thirds – of this thing is fairly solid. Granted, danceable industrial metal is not the reason why most people come and listen to Voivod but if you enjoyed the E-Force albums then this is a natural next step. Some of this is very similar to Godflesh, at least their more drum’n’bass-focussed stuff. The record rounds…

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Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy (1997)

Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy (1997)

Come To Daddy is quite possibly my favourite Aphex Twin release. Perhaps there is some coincidence there with it also being my first purchase of one of his releases, but this thing is almost completely flawless. Over the years I must have heard this EP about 500 million times (slightly overstating it there), but I have never gotten sick or tired of any of the songs here. Speaking of which, they are all fantastic. From…

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Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994)

Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994)

August 23, 2023

I have a lot of nostalgia around Selected Ambient Works Volume II. I spent many an hour staring at the CD insert trying to figure out what each of the song titles meant, knowing full well that it was what, 2003 or 2004 at this point and I could have easily just looked it up on the internet. Going back to SAWV2 though, for the purposes of this review, I attributed my feelings of love…

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MegaSphere – Master Levels for Doom II – 25th Anniversary MIDI Pack (2021)

MegaSphere – Master Levels for Doom II – 25th Anniversary MIDI Pack (2021)

Avid players of Doom’s original run of games will know, that the “expansion” to Doom II entitled “Master Levels for Doom II” never had any original music. As a player, one had to load the maps individually, before the existence of a map orderer or sequencer, and therefore one was subjected to Map 1 music over and over and over again for the duration of the Master Levels, which is a bit shit because the…

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Tycho – Dive (2011)

Tycho – Dive (2011)

Clean, tidy and precise electronic music that is very nice as background music but perhaps a little “too nice” for the kind of thing that I’m looking for. This is entirely a personal preference however, so if perfectly composed and precision-tight, chilled-out electronics are your thing, then you’d do no wrong in checking out Dive. I can’t shake the feeling however that sometimes during this album I feel like I’m watching some transitional B-roll on…

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DJ Speedsick – Nothing Lasts (2019)

DJ Speedsick – Nothing Lasts (2019)

Very nasty, which is just lovely. Definitely on the grimier end of industrial techno. Doesn’t hit as hard as say, gabber techno, but still pushes sound to a fairly dark and brutal level, I’m sure that much can be gleaned from the artwork and song titles before even pressing play. Speaking of which, that artwork is very cool. Is it Pinhead smoking some harsh substance out of a bottle bong? I’m not sure. Either way,…

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Blakk Harbor – Petite Mort (2021)

Blakk Harbor – Petite Mort (2021)

Very dark, dense electonic music that’s upbeat enough for you to dance to. Not as hard and punishing as other forms of “industrial techno” but enough to keep you on your toes, for sure, and also hypnotic enough to keep you hooked. I get some 90s vibes from this but for the most part it’s a very modern sound and a very clean production. The art is killer too.

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The Weakener – What Do You Know About It (1998)

The Weakener – What Do You Know About It (1998)

A class Mick Harris / Scorn spin off project with the same level of quality paranoid beats, minimal yet spooky atmospheres and dense moods. Expect swirling, dark background noise with prominent and involving beats. They aren’t great big bass-wobbling stonkers, but they keep your attention just as well. Closing track “Silent Dust” is probably my favourite, but the entire album is best taken whole for the best kind of journey.

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Black Magick SS – Burning Bridges (2023)

Black Magick SS – Burning Bridges (2023)

August 10, 2023

An interesting but perhaps natural evolution for the band, Burning Bridges sees the once kvlt-as-fvk esoteric black metal band now plunge headfirst into synth pop and/or rock. Comparing this to something like Panzerwitch and the change is surprising, but put it up against something as recent as Rainbow Nights and the gradual change makes much more sense. That being said, I think Burning Bridges perhaps strays too far from what makes Black Magick SS such…

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Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks (1990)

Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks (1990)

August 2, 2023

Twin Peaks possesses one of the most magical and captivating soundtracks of all time. It is impossible, in my mind, to separate Twin Peaks the show from Twin Peaks the music. This is part of the reason I think, why Season 3 was so jarring to me at first, as Badalamenti’s score is used far less there. I now love Season 3, and Badalamenti’s contributions there are now some of my favourites, but not having…

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Gorillaz – 19 / 2000 (2001)

Gorillaz – 19 / 2000 (2001)

July 30, 2023

I had this CD single as a kid. I thought that the artwork was absolutely killer and way better than the actual album. I don’t really know why I bought this, as I already had the full album and I didn’t really like the sped-up remix by Soulchild. Still, I played this thing to death over the 2001 summer holidays and Left Hand Suzuki Method is still burned into my brain 22 years later. I’ve…

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Ice – Bad Blood (1998)

Ice – Bad Blood (1998)

Personally, I really didn’t feel the second Ice record. I probably need to listen to it a few more times, but the dreamy, moody dub-like atmosphere of the first release is long gone, instead replaced with big stinky beats (not a bad thing) and a ton of guest vocalists ranging from Blixa Bargeld to EL-P, which makes this worth listening to if only for the strange cross-section of styles and voices. Bad Blood almost feels…

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Black Magick SS – Rainbow Nights (2020)

Black Magick SS – Rainbow Nights (2020)

I’ve been struggling to find the words to review this one for a while. It is also worth mentioning that Rainbow Nights has been in my regular rotation for a while now as well. There is just something so perfect about the balance of sounds here. I’ve never really been one much for 60s/70s rock or the recent occult rock revival movement, but this thing builds off of those two elements brilliantly, as well as…

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Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)

Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)

July 9, 2023

I’m not an expert on this kind of music so it’s hard to find the right words to describe it. In these cases I tend to just leave the review but I find myself coming back to Daft Punk over and over so I have to give it a go. It is also hard for me to not view this album through the lense of nostalgia. I was a kid when “One More Time” dropped,…

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Fret – Only For The Weak (2022)

Fret – Only For The Weak (2022)

July 8, 2023

Pulsing, throbbing (Oo er), constantly changing and endlessly brutal, Only For The Weak is the second full length from the Mick Harris project Fret. Experimental, hard-hitting techno is the order of the day, with less than a brutalising industrial slant than its predecessor. Only For The Weak moves around a bit more, and therefore more hypnotic and involving, rather than blunt and caustic. I thought the cover art was a pile of bullets, until I…

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Grausame Töchter – Vagina Dentata (2016)

Grausame Töchter – Vagina Dentata (2016)

May 29, 2023

Stale, repetitive, uninspiring in just about every possible way. I’m sure there are people out there that listen to this stuff, and I suppose the production quality is pretty good, but my god it’s so bland I can’t even find the words to write about it. I just wish I could get the time back that I spent with this. Oh well. Live and learn.

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The Body Lovers / The Body Haters – Compilation CD (1998/1999/2005)

The Body Lovers / The Body Haters – Compilation CD (1998/1999/2005)

May 21, 2023

I’ve had this CD for donkey’s years but broke it out recently after the annoucement of the track listing for the new 2022 Swans album, The Beggar. The CD version of this album contains the apparent third part of the Body Lovers’ trilogy (part 2 being the “Look At Me Go” suite on disc 2 of My Father… from 2010 – which I also need to revisit). I’ve never been that hot on The Body…

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Mortiis – Perfectly Defect (2010)

Mortiis – Perfectly Defect (2010)

May 5, 2023

The 6 year gap between The Grudge and Perfectly Defect had me completely checked out from the world of Mortiis. Granted, through the MySpace days I kept up to date on the hefty touring he was doing with his full band, and I even saw them myself in I think 2005, and they were great. The Grudge wasn’t my favourite thing in the world, but I really enjoyed the remixes on Some Kind Of Heroin….

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AFX – Analogue Bubblebath (1991)

AFX – Analogue Bubblebath (1991)

April 24, 2023

The opening track (coincidentally the title track) of AFX’s now legendary first entry in his Analogue Bubblebath series, will always live rent free in my head. It is, in my humble opinion, one of those tunes that just possesses a permanent timelessness quality. Yeah, sure, you can tell that this thing was recorded in the early 90s, as it smacks of those vibes, but that aside, I hope they will play this shit in museums…

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Stephen Rippy, Chris Rippy, David Rippy & Kevin McMullan – Age Of Empires OST (1997)

Stephen Rippy, Chris Rippy, David Rippy & Kevin McMullan – Age Of Empires OST (1997)

April 22, 2023

This has to be one of the greatest game soundtracks of all time (I probably say that about every game soundtrack to be honest). It is very difficult for me to not look back at stuff like this with rose-tinted glasses on. These games were a huge part of a childhood that was perhaps misspent playing silly games instead of being outside playing (although to be fair I did a good amount of both, I…

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Goblin – Greatest Hits (1979)

Goblin – Greatest Hits (1979)

I feel like I’ve heard multiple different iterations of this “best of” collection over the years, but it doesn’t really matter because everyone knows what tracks are always going to be on these things. Whether you’ve seen the movies that these tracks appear in or not, Goblin are such an unique band that listening to these compositions is always an enjoyable experience. The atmosphere is tangible, the instrumentation weird and tense. I mean, I guess…

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Flying Lotus – You’re Dead (2014)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead (2014)

I really enjoyed Cosmogramma and its odd mix of jazz tropes and disconnected electronic elements. It was a refreshing mix of styles (not to mention a mix of styles that has failed to mix well in the past). I appreciate that in the dense world of electronic music (and jazz, for that matter), FlyLo is able to give himself an unique, stand-out sound. But, there is something about You’re Dead that just does not gel…

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Orbital – Orbital (1993)

Orbital – Orbital (1993)

April 14, 2023

An album that defines the sound of the 90s for me. I was just a kid, but fuck me, these sounds are just forever burned into my head. It’s the closing epic “Halcyon + On + On” which for me just absolutely blows my mind apart every time I hear it, taking me back to the times where the world seemed like a less scary place (of course it wasn’t, I was just ignorant to…

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