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9 (Un)heard records not to miss this autumn

9 Plates full of extraordinary sound that will not go unnoticed and unsung.

Fatima Al Qadiri - Shaneera (Hyperdub)

Durban taxi techno and Arab queer culture come together on this pumping EP. Because, on this record, you hear how bare, cold drums chug outrageously under microtonal or game-like synth melody.

Heavy in the bass and loose in the underbelly, Al Qadiri breaks down gender pigeonholes. Consequently, according to the producer himself, this EP is a "love letter to benevolent and evil queens all over the world". And that complete with (allegedly) suggestive lyrics about love and lust taken in part from Grindr chats.

Orphax & Machine Factory - Reflection (Moving Furniture Records)

Finally, Rutger Zuydervelt and Sietse van Erve are working together. These two men are very active within Dutch experimental electronic music. And so, of course, they often bumped into each other, but it never came to a collaboration despite that. On Weerkaatsing, one remixes a piece by the other and they deliver a 'duet'.

The clipping sound of Machinefabriek and Orphax' undulating drone meet in a searching middle area. In it, there is plenty of room for resonance and reflection. One moment thoughts whiz to dusty smut films. The other you dive deep listening in. Together, Van Erve and Zuydervelt span their combined wavelengths. And with that, the three pieces emerge in a contrasting splash of colour.

Felix Kubin - Takt der Arbeit (Editions MEGO)

Sound tinkerer Felix Kubin is lord and master of 'wonky' pop. So: melody is conjured from toys more than once. Moreover, Kubin plays with everyday life now. This is mostly the shiny subject in his work, often with the requisite futurism.

So too on Takt der Arbeit. On it, he composes for percussion ensemble with rattling printers, digital pulses, machine-like fine motor skills and ringing phones. It delivers pop art in splashy poetry.

Glice - Cielo (Narrominded)

Amsterdam-based duo Glice fuse beauty and its demise into steaming noise. They do so with a certain JG Ballard-like feel. On Cielo, the men add more and more abstraction. But it doesn't float away; on the contrary, it provides grounding.

Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) signed on to produce. With him, Glice places itself recognisably and clearly in the here and now. Plus: that transparency provides excellent relief in the borderline explorations. So these are four groundbreaking pieces that crackle and shiver, but above all intoxicate. And not just in screeching noise. No, also with lovely strings, really!

Invenciones, La Otra Vanguardia Musical en Latinoamérica 1976-1988 (Munster)

Besides a few somewhat familiar names, this compilation mostly gathers acts that very few people will have heard of. In bringing together that melting pot, the focus is full on a fairly short but intense era. In it, hippie folk, punk, early krautrock and electro-acoustic experimentation intermingled in the Latin American underground.

What is striking is how much original, local (folk) music plays a role in this avant-garde that put openness to all musical sides at the top of the banner. And also: imagination towards new (sound) imaging, new space, new world too. The pioneers of this are now fortunately escaped obscure cult status or total oblivion, yielding two richly varied records.

Island People - Island People (Grid)

The fusion label Raster-Noton has broken up after 20 years. Noton has since continued alone with the work of Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto). Raster does the rest and the latest electronic music finds a warm home here.

Like the gentle Island People. These gentlemen make delicate ambient that flows organically. Therein lies a grounding feeling that is liberatingly euphoric. A dreamy ecstasy, moreover, reminiscent of post-rock.

Trepaneringsritualen - Oberhausen Ritual - Live at Maschinenfest 2016 (Raubbau/Pflichtkauf)

Ambient of a very different kind delivers Trepanation Rituals. You would find this death industrial could be called. Say: noise, feedback and revved-up nocturnal rhythms outlining a post-human world. In it, a few wandering souls remain, indulging in magical rituals.

Trepanation Rituals depicts both image and oppressive feel of Piranesi's dungeons on this live recording. But with the lights almost off. In the distance, a week-long pilot light of a human soul flickers.

COH - COHGS (Editions MEGO)

Ivan - COH - Pavlov opts for the spoken word and told stories on COHGS. The human voice contrasts with his messed-up, digital sound world and - strikingly for COH - acoustic piano, for instance.

The voices of Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson, Ann Demeulemeester, John Balance or Little Annie populate Pavlov's haunting and minimalist music. Which is spot-on. It seems familiar, yet chafes uncomfortably. The yawning abyss between human and machine takes care of that.

Philip Jeck - Live at Iklectic (Touch)

You can set the clock to it. Surely there will be another new Philip Jeck record this year. And yes. On it, Jeck does what he always does. That means: put on a little bit of records, there loops of it, delay over it. Ready is Philip. Pretty much.

Yet hardly anyone pulls up such ambient textures. Jeck grosses in high-pile fog banks of electro-acoustic riddles and puzzles. Smeared out and swept together, you no longer hear anything that recalls the original sources. Exactly that is typical Jeck. Just do it to him.

Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg

Sets his ear to places he does not yet know in today's sound. Writes the catalogue raisonné of Swedish artist Leif Elggren's oeuvre, is a board member of Unsounds and programmes music at GOGBOT Festival. His essays on sound art have appeared on releases by Pietro Riparbelli, Michael Esposito, Niels Lyhnne Løkkegaard and John Duncan.View Author posts

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