Perusal #010: Singles, Previews & Oddities Roundup: Shaw & Grossfeldt, Lucidvox, Makoto Kino, Supergombo…

April 29, 2020

New Music/Dominic Valvona





The Perusal is a great chance to catch up, taking a quick shifty at the mounting pile of singles, EPs, mini-LPs, tracks, videos and oddities that threaten to overload the Monolith Cocktail’s inboxes each month. Chosen by Dominic Valvona, this week’s roundup includes choice picks from Mexico City, Moscow, Lyon, and the UK from Shaw & Grossfeldt, Lucidvox, Makoto Kino, Quimper and Supergombo.

Lucidvox   ‘Knife (Нож)’
(Glitterbeat Records)   Single/28th April 2020 & Video/29th April 2020





Hell hath no fury like a squalling sonic quartet of post-punk and psychedelic razor slashing Muscovites banshees intent on a musical knife fight. Better known as the firebrands Lucidvox, Alina (vocals/flute), Nadezhda (drums), Galla (guitar) and Anna (bass) have returned from a two-year hiatus to once more kick up a caustic anarchic storm of emotional guttural truth with a new album, appropriately entitled, Knife (Нож). In a baptism of fire, the modestly acclaimed diy band will release this LP on the ever worldly Glitterbeat Records label: another coup and string to the bow of an ever expanding eclectic and welcoming hub for interesting new sounds.

Shared with our readers today, way ahead of the album’s release on the 9th October 2020, is the lead introductory single ‘We Are (мы Есть)’; a swirling post-punk meets prog and math rock union of stumbling and lugging drums, scuzzy resonance and tangled riffing guitars that regales a harshly worded witch-burning metaphorical story of guilt, affection, and acceptance:

I stuck a knife in your back

Trampled your dreams

Burn me like I’m a witch

Don’t look in my eyes, but burn

I’m lying, protecting myself

Burn me like I’m a witch

Burn me to the bottom, to the bottom

I don’t ask for trust

 

I’m not close, I don’t wait and don’t believe

I laugh and spit in your face

Crucify me and feed me to the beast

I don’t repent, I don’t care

I don’t cry asking for forgiveness

Do not believe my sweet lies anymore

Burn me like I’m a witch

Do not seek my salvation, but burn.

 

The fuse has definitely been lit for the third phase of the Lucidvox movement. You have been warned.


Shaw & Grossfeldt   ‘Klavier p’
Single/Available To Stream Now



Simian Mobile Disco’s Jas Shaw and “new talent” Bas Grossfeldt have teamed up to deliver a cerebral and sophisticated propulsive album of both Basic Channel imbued Techno and Hauschka purposeful piano minimalism built around the high-tech reproducing Yamaha Disklavier keyboard. It’s an apparatus style concept that produces the most poised and deep of albums without losing the throbbing and dub-y rhythms of dance music; a centrifugal unveiling of deft piano and kinetics in motion.

The background story and inspiration for this album, Klavier, came about by chance; whilst Jas was in Cologne for a gig with Bas, the latter booked studio time in the local art school he was working and studying at. On arriving, they noticed a Disklavier in the live room – a real piano fitted with electronic sensors and triggers.

Ditching their original plan to set up and use synths, this union decided instead to use the Disklavier and its attributes to produce something different. Instead of sequencing the synths, they ended up with an unusual and unplanned system where a Max MSP software patch controlled the piano and, while one guided the patch, the other controlled the piano by dampening strings to create interesting sounds.

Klavier is comprised partly of sections from the session where their system came together nicely – simply documented and with minimal postproduction. Other tracks are the result of treating the piano recordings as one might treat a synth – chopping and processing them through gear. The entire LP is defined by that lucky day though, when a spontaneous change of plan bore strange new fruit.

As one half of Simian Mobile Disco, Jas Shaw has been a key fixture in electronic music for over a decade. With SMD on temporary hiatus, in 2018 he released a collaborative album called On Reflection with Gold Panda under the name Selling, followed by his solo project Exquisite Cops last year. He continues to receive treatment for AL amyloidosis – a rare disorder of bone marrow cells.

Coming from a fine arts background working in installation, choreography and performance art under real name Søren Siebel, Shaw’s partner on this sonic voyage has adopted the alias Bas Grossfeldt to focus on music. His talent for recording has quickly been recognised, both with this album and also a forthcoming solo EP on Detroit legend Juan Atkins’ feted label Metroplex. Back in the wider arts world, he is working on “a constellation of seven contemporary dancers, a spatial intervention and a live-sound performance” called ‘The Architecture Of The Unconscious’.

Shaw & Grossfeldt are already working on more new material, a live show and a club tour – which will showcase their intense back-to-back DJ sets. Ahead of that new album, released on June 5th, here’s the single ‘Klavier p’.



Supergombo   ‘Alien Felines From Across The Galaxy’
(Z Production)  Video/Available Now





With paper-cut diorama visuals of half-human animals battling it out in a titanic struggle, the newest fused jamboree video from the seven-piece troupe Supergombo is a surreal anthropomorphic collage every bit as fun as the band’s eclectic sound. Underlined with an obvious cosmological message of interconnectivity amongst the debris of all-out worldwide war, the Supergombo raise their sun-bleached Afrobeat horns, strum their space funk licks and chops, and aim their guided Afrodisco lasers at the dancefloor on the B-movie entitled ‘Alien Felines From Across The Galaxy’.

There’s a lot to take in with this French group’s international offshoot-of-offshoot hybrid of rhythms and sounds; mixing as they do those sci-fi honk and squawks and infectious Kuti with the ‘a shock’, ‘jolt’ ‘jerk’ of the Congolese Soukous – a dance with seeds in the local rumba phenomenon -, and the sacred ceremonial Sabar drumming of Senegalese Mbalax. It all combines to produce a most pleasing funk.

A heralded fanfare and tantalizing taster, ‘Alien Felines From Across The Galaxy’ is being released ahead of the troupe’s extravaganza album showcase SigiTolo, released in October.


Makoto Kino  ‘Glitter Rose Garden’
Mini LP/available Now





The alter ego of the Mexico City based musician Francisco Cabrera Celio, Makoto Kino is a both dreamy and Gothic kaleidoscopic platform for the artist’s sonic rituals and multi-layering entranced mantras.

Composed and produced between 2015 and 2020, in-between other projects by the musician, Glitter Rose Garden showcases Francisco’s various electronic music influences; from the electronic stuttering cut-up abrasions and Grimes like dreamy high-pitched trip-hop pop of the opening ‘West Madoka’ to the cavernous bity club glitch spooky reverberations of ‘Scorpio Waters’ and the building trance-y traverse of the whispery chiming ‘Hànzì Semiotics’. However, the final twelve-minute opus ‘Angel’s Garden’ veers away from the electronica towards a strange dreamy fusion of bluesy Prince guitar licks and soulful gossamer vocals that eventually drifts towards a spiraling escalation of reverberated texturing.

Using the metaphor of a garden that needs due care and attention if it’s to avoid decay, Francisco explores the central themes of the consequences and emotional burdens of putting oneself as priority. This comes across as often searching, and even hallucinatory, on a soundscape and melodious mini-album of reflective quixotic electronica.

Francisco is influenced by artists like Rites Wild, Holly Herndon, Laurel Halo, Tentenko, Aqours, the Japanese idol scene, contemporary Asian music, the international club scene, astrology and mysticism, so expect some interesting if subtle multi-layering of ideas.



Quimper   ‘Boroq-Thaddoi’
EP/Available Now





Conjured up from the disturbed, if often quaint, imaginations of John Vertigen, who is on occasions joined in his visions by the ghostly visitation whispers of foil Jodie Lowther (Jodie also provides the neo-surrealist De Chirico meets Ensor praying to the Wicker Man artwork), Quimper gently and mysterious drift towards the most serenely disturbing of ruins.

Once more summoning up vague vapours of Eastern European art house magical-realism, 1970s library music and the sort of British horror soundtracks favoured by the Belbury Poly, The Advisory Circle and Berberian Sound Studios period Broadcast, Vertigen’s latest invocation of escapism, Boroq-Thaddoi, evokes The Cleaners From Venus in a haunted house of ambient paranormal activity.

The songs on this particular EP – though you’d be pushed to ever work it out for yourselves – are about ‘waiting, cleaning up, cheerful annihilation and monochrome computer games about ants’. In short, a strange plane of the supernatural and retro-futurism.



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Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

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