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b. fleischmann & herbert weixelbaum present duo 505 / late / morr

The interesting pairing of B. Fleischmann and classically trained guitarist Herbert Weixelbaum actually goes back a few years ago to what at first was to be a one-off live performance at a Berlin street festival. The two share a common love/hate for the Roland MC-505, better known as the Groovebox -- a fairly inexpensive workhorse sequencer/arranger that became a staple piece of gear in '90s-era electronic music. In lesser hands, I'd expect lo-fi attempts at crafting modern electronica out of dated sounds and beats; but if a Groovebox is capable of overheating, Fleischmann and Weixelbaum set it on fire.

The two split songwriting duties; in fact, almost every track is one man's musical response to the other. The two wring every ounce of sound from the machine, manipulating many recognizable tones in ways that I never would have imagined to come from the MC-505. Above the industrial-lite beats of "Facing It," robotic sequences chirp around somber synth melodies while the duo drives the Groovebox far past its limitations. And though most of the sound sources may be emanating from a singular device, the material on this album is pretty diverse. "LSDJ08" is super-playful and bouncy while Fleischmann's romantic closer "Disko+Bett" is full of saturated drones and a micro-tech pulse.

Through the years more than a few Groovebox themed records have been released, Late stands-out. Here, Fleischmann and Weixelbaum's tracks are multi-dimensional and at many points, transcend the novelty of the concept.
listen: b. fleischmann & herbert weixelbaum present duo 505 / toru okada
listen: b. fleischmann & herbert weixelbaum present duo 505 / facing it

radian / juxtraposition / thrill jockey

Viennese experimentalists Radian are back with their third proper album, and they've refined their approach without straying too far from their trademark sound. The group seamlessly intertwines buzzing, humming and throbbing ambient electronics with dubby live bass and drums, creating constantly morphing soundscapes that follow their own internal logic. This time the group carefully constructed sizzling electronic beds at their home studio in Vienna, and then took the tracks to John McEntire's Chicago studio to lay down the instruments. Elements of jazz, dub, and laptop electronica bubble to the surface on this ear-tickling headphone experience.
listen: radian / ontario
listen: radian / transistor