Short Cuts, the longer version
Various Artists - Chill Out
Long, long ago, at the end of the last decenium there was no such thing as "ambient", at least, not as we know it. Back then, the KLF released an album called Chill Out on which you could only hear very very quiet music, music to chill out with. About ten years later, 'ambient' is again nothing what it has been and Sabotage records release an album full of not-so quiet music. Sometimes it is, but there is always an dark undercurrent making this album something to freak you out, rather then to chill to. The artwork of this compilation is exactly the same as KLF's except the sheep in the field are replace by wolves. From my description you may think this is a collection of unlistenable tracks, but once your bitten by the venom of I-f, Ryoji Ikeda and Ostraslab, this music will not let you go.
(Sabotage Recordings) [JV]
Bannlust - Digital Tensions
More electronic venom from Germany. Bannlust, like Autechre and Funkstörung before them, fool around with electronics on a digital level. Fucking up sounds until they click in an extremely funky ways, creating rhythms from everything, but always intertwining these complex structures with catchy melodies. 'Digital Tensions' can easily match most releases on WARP or Rephlex. Hunt it down.
Various Artists - Interdimensional Transmissions FROM BEYOND
Not again! I hear you cry out. Yes, again! But for the last time in Shortcuts I think. The series of twelve-inches of which I reviewed three in this online magazine, was completed only a month ago and thankfully Interdimensional Transmissions has decided to release all the tracks also on CD, that way my vinyl copies will no longer get scratched and most of you will finally be able to hear what the hell I was raving about. Check out some of the old reviews, buy it and sit back and be surprised. This is the future of music and the future has started right NOW! Do you hear?
(Interdimensional Transmissions) [JV]
I-F - Fucking Consumer
Finally I-f's debut album. Over the past two years this music buff from Den Haag has released tracks on many twelve-inches, gradually getting better at it and this is what he has worked up to. An album containing thirteen of the nastiests motherfucking electronic dance tracks you're likely to hear this year. Tired of the electronic music scene of the past years, I-f has decided to look back, take the most basic electronic equipment and re-invent the genre. There's a very big chance Space Invaders are Smoking Grass will be picked up by everyone in the next few months. Not much later they'll buy this and a new star is born. Don't forget you can see this guy make music and play next week
Swervedriver - 99th Dream
The music business is run by criminals and complete and utter arseholes. Swervedriver know that like no other. For more that one and a half year they have been carrying this record around not being able to release it because Creation turned their back on them and A&M was more interested in promoting the next Sting record. Thankfully Zerohour helped them and released 99th Dream, giving the world back a guitarband who are masters at playing densely layered melodic rock once patented by My Bloody Valentine and copied by so many. Swervedriver is now the only one left and mastered it. A beautiful record by a beautiful band, who were one of the very first to spark my interest in music.
(Zero Hour) [JV]
Loftus - Loftus
Loftus also know what it's like to be fucked over, but at least they have other outlets they could attend to. Loftus is a kind of lo-fi/postrock supergroup made up of Rex and Red Red Meat members. This makes Loftus very much a sum of its parts so it sounds like you might expects if you know the bands, very country-like. But if you forget about the way the band is formed this record is just a very weird country record, with vocoded vocals, strange sounds, slow-paced and beautiful. Haunting.