Welcome to December’s Circuit Running, bringing you the best electronic music sounds around for the last month of 2016. As this remix of the Brexit debacle by topical mashup man Cassetteboy.video….will no doubt remind you:
It’s not been a great year for the world at large. But it’s been a bumper twelve months for electronica, and despite the holiday season deluge, there was another heavy downfall of great releases in December.
One bit of good news was the re-opening of that London clubbing Mecca known as Fabric, and hot on the heels of that reprieve comes arguably the best in the club’s mix CD series for some time. Nina Kraviz is at the helm for the 91st session in the series, and although she uses techno as her starting point, this is anything but a traditional banging outing.
It’s a proper roller coaster affair, dipping low into eerie ambience and pulsating weirdness from the likes of Panasonic and Air Liquide to strident dancefloor slayers by Detroit hero Claude Young and leftfield game changers from Mike Paradinas and Aphex Twin. It’s quite possibly a late entry for our mix CD of the year.
Another eclectic array of influences has gone into the melting pot of our next release too, ‘Live At Brixton’ by Public Service Broadcasting. Recorded during one of the biggest shows on their ‘Race For Space’ tour, the show sees them pulling out all the stops, from brass bands to choirs, to turn in a special and triumphant performance. There’s nothing like a massive crowd bellowing out its enthusiasm to add another level of intensity to any show – witness the duo’s rendition of the live favourite ‘Spitfire’ taken from the album and DVD here….
This has been quite a year for returns of the old guard, from The Orb and Coldcut‘s long awaited new material to the much anticipated reappearance of Aphex Twin in the live arena. As it turned out, the much hyped Aphex show in Texas proved not to be a live gig at all, but rather a two hour DJ set. We’d be disappointed if it weren’t for the fact that the entire spectacular was captured by an enterprising soul and posted on YouTube, where its genre-spanning beauty can be enjoyed in full HD glory.
There’ll be no such confusion about the return of fellow Rephlex label cohort Squarepusher to live gigging however. He’s formed an entirely live band Shobaleader One, who’ll be performing favourites from the ‘Pusher catalogue without the help of pre-programming or trickery.
After their high profile debut at The Troxy in East London, the four piece – he’s joined by improbably named band members Arg Nution, Strobe Nazard and Company Lazer – played live this month in Slovenia, Austria, New York, LA and San Francisco. They’re lined up for a massive UK show as part of the Bangface Weekender festival at Southport Holiday Park between March 16-20 alongside a massive line up of electronic talent from Atari Teenage Riot, Clark, The Black Dog, Luke Vibert and literally scores of others. For the full details, visit their site http://www.bangface.com/
December also saw the debut 12″ on Ninja Tune from Nathan Fake, who more astute readers will already know from James Holden’s Border Community label, Traum and his own Cambria Instruments imprint. ‘Degreelessness’ is a collaboration between the British producer and New York’s Vatican Shadow and it’s a real corker, a bewildering swirl of echoing voices, arpeggiated synth lines and stirring, driving percussion. It refuses to fall into any genre category too easily, with the only comparison for this kind of freeform freedom being some of the wilder moments on the Autechre-affiliated Skam label. Needless to say, there’s nothing fake about this – it’s the real deal.
If your tastes go even further out than that, then we’d recommend a quick listen to the glitch, windswept Ian William Craig remix of ‘Nollywood’ by Olivier Alary. It’s not out until January 13 but 130701 records – who are issuing Alary’s debut album ‘Fiction/Non Fiction’ – have shared it via Soundcloud because, well because they’re nice like that.
And finally, another top remix doing the rounds this month is the Catching Flies reworking of Foxtrott‘s infectious ‘Brother‘, crowning off a whirlwind year for the artist whose debut ‘A Taller Us’ gained widespread acclaim. It’s a wayward take on synthpop, with its backbone embellished with beautifully ragged around the edges sonic decoration. Get stuck in.
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