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Akatombo, "Short Fuse"

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cover imageGiven the current social climate across the world, it is not surprising at all that Paul Thomsen Kirk, the Scottish artist (by way of Hiroshima, Japan) has not lightened the mood on his latest work as Akatombo.  Short Fuse is a direct follow-up to the 2015 release Sometime, Never, and continues his penchant for memorable rhythms paired with often abrasive electronics and obscure samples, coming together familiar and timeless at the same time his first vinyl release.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:42

Caterina Barbieri, "Patterns of Consciousness"

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cover imageFollowing a handful of elusive limited edition cassettes, Berlin-based composer Caterina Barbieri makes her formal debut in a big way with this massive and mesmerizing double LP epic.  On one level, Patterns of Consciousness is quite possibly the epitome of Important Records' long-standing obsession with pure synthesizer albums.  On deeper level, however, this album is a unique and ambitious experiment that also happens to be synth-based, as it is structurally inspired by Barbieri's interest in baroque lute music and conceptually inspired by a desire to trigger a fracture in consciousness through subtle shifts in hypnotically repeated patterns.  Either way, it is quite an achievement.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:45

Mary Lattimore, "Collected Pieces"

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cover imageModestly billed as a counterpart to last year’s At The Dam album, the prosaically titled Collected Pieces is quite a big and very pleasant surprise, as my expectation was that it would just be some outtakes and orphaned pieces of interest to serious fans only (an expectation that was only reinforced by the limited edition cassette format).  I suppose these six pieces are technically orphans of a sort, as they never made it onto any of Lattimore's formal albums, but it certainly was not because they were not good enough.  Rather, they all just surfaced as an erratic trickle of one-off self-released pieces on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.  That method of working definitely seems to suit Lattimore, as this "box of memories"/impressionist travelogue is at least as good as any of her actual albums and the gorgeous "Wawa By The Ocean" and "The Warm Shoulder" easily rank among her finest moments to date.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:46

Alessandro Cortini and Merzbow

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cover imageIn classic Important Records fashion, this intriguing collaboration came together as a celebration of a specific vintage analog synthesizer (in this case, the EMS Synthi).  The Synthi is apparently quite well-known for its ability to generate striking analog "sci-fi sounds," which goes a long way towards explaining why Alessandro Cortini does not particularly sound at all like Alessandro Cortini here.  The singularly reliable Masami Akita, however, always unavoidably manages to sound exactly like Merzbow.  As such, this collaboration is best appreciated as an excellent and appealingly divergent Merzbow release, as Cortini's arsenal of drones, blurts, swoops, bloops, and chirps adds a welcome splash of vibrant color to Akita's characteristic howling blizzard of white noise.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:44

Axebreaker, "Burning False Flags"

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cover imageAxebreaker is a new project from Locrian vocalist/keyboardist Terence Hannum, and one that harkens back to the earliest days of the power electronics scene (right when it transitioned from the world of industrial), while putting an entirely modern spin on the sound.  It is heavily politically charged and packed with all of the anger and rage I could have hoped for.  The strength of Hannum’s performance ensures, however, that it will still be relevant even when the political landscape shifts to something hopefully more pleasant in the USA.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 April 2017 19:29

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