Apologies to all Sonic Fiction readers for the lack of posts in October unfortuantly I (Liam) have been very ill and unable to write and complete posts. I’m feeling better now and I’m going to complete a post that I started in September this week ready for posting later in the month.

Anyway to the business of October’s releases, ‘a mixed bag’ is becoming an overused phrase of mine was I’m going to try to avoid it this month!! The overall majority of releases were impressive this month, starting with a brilliantly diverse remix album  ‘The Caliph’s Tea Party’ from Gonjasufi. I particularly enjoyed Broadcast & The Focus Group’s ‘DedNd’ Remix of the title track and Oneohtrix Point Never’s radical rejig of ‘She’s Gone’. I had disappointed with a lot of Gonjasufi’s ‘A Sufi and A Killer’ album and this make up for that.

Ratcheting the stakes up a notch were Mark McGuire’s ‘Living With Yourself’ and Salem’s ‘King Night’ both contenders for album of the year. In his day job as guitarist in Emeralds McGuire is mostly competing with a hug array of synth sounds (though this was remedied to some degree on this year ‘Does It Look Like I’m Here?’) on this his first widely available solo album he spreads out and creates 8 expertly balanced songs that move from elegiac delayed parts to distorted but not overly saturated waves of guitar noise. Salem’s syrupy, super slow-mo beats, bass and vocals combination produces some surprisingly beautiful moments (‘Frost’) amoungst what can be a brutal aesthetic (‘Release Da Boar’).

I’ve already talked about Gold Panda and Solar Bears in the last two months, so I’ll move on to Harmonius Thelonoius and his combination of Konono No.1 style thumb piano rhythms, African drums and techno textures, synths and bass. Over 8 tracks he finds a surprising number of ways to utilise these base elements and its a exhilarating ride!

There were a couple of disappointments though, I was massively underwhelmed by Darkstar’s ‘North’, I’d expected an ominious beast of a record with synth pop overtones. What I got so limp and insipid with few signs of the great songwriter and innovative  heavyweight combination of Dubstep and 80’s synth pop. Finally Avey Tare’s ‘Down There’ felt a little half baked but it could be a grower, so I’ll be revisiting and reassessing it soon.

October Spotify Playlist:

October playlist

Recommended for November:

Barn Owl – ‘Ancestral Star’ (Thrill Jockey) 1st November

Bjorn Troske – ‘Kokning’ (Smalltown Supersound) 1st November *

Jatoma – ‘Jatoma’ (Kompact) 8th November

Stereolab – ‘Not Music’ (Duophonic) 15th November

Various Artists – ‘Tradi-Mods vs Rockers: Alternative Takes On Congotronics’ (Crammed Discs) 22nd November

Kanye West – ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ (Mercury) 22nd November

Laurel Halo – ‘King Felix EP’ (Hippos In Tanks) 30th November

* I’ve read many releases dates for this album and this is the most quoted, it may actually come out on 15th or 22nd November and it may depend on where you are in world. Still from what I’ve read its worth the wait.