Stewart Smith digs out some of the best underground, DIY and self-released music currently coming out of the Scottish music scene as well as taking a look at a number of compilations for good causes

CUCINA POVERA Tyyni ●●●●● Maria Rossi returns with her third album as Cucina Povera, swapping the Zoom recorder for a studio set-up. On Tynni, electronics largely take the place of field recordings, but the results are as spellbinding as ever. On ‘Salvia Salvatrix’, a synth throbs ominously behind Rossi’s reflective vocal melody, dissipating into electronic birdsong. ‘Anarkian Kuvajainen’ lays a delicate melody over fluttering vocal loops, percussive scratching and a tambura-like drone, while ‘Teerenpelli’ flips the script by burying the vocals behind a trickle of dubby percussion. ‘Varjokuvatanssi’ is perhaps her most gorgeous offering to date, with Rossi singing over hummed harmonies, while ‘Polyton Nurkka’ is her club banger (of sorts), with digital chimes riffing over a solid 4/4 pulse. SOFT TISSUE s/t ●●●●● Glasgow-based artists Feronia Wennborg and Simon Weins conjure an uncanny magic on their debut cassette from the estimable Penultimate Press. Using everyday objects, pre-recorded elements and digital processing, the duo works within networks of micro amplification, obscuring the role of human intervention and taking environmental sounds down unpredictable paths. Far from being alienating, it’s a fascinating, strange and curiously touching experience, in which everyday sounds footsteps, teaspoons clinking on cups, the gurgle of water in the throat - meet the gauzy static, puttering delay trails and near subliminal synths of abstracted dub techno.

ANDREW PAINE: Chiron 1–4 ●●●●● THE DOMESTIQUES: Vol. 1 ●●●●● An Arthur Koestler quote provides the epigraph to Andrew Paine’s Chiron series: ‘Creativity is all about joining the dots. But first you have to collect the dots to join.’ On Chiron 1, those dots are shortwave radio and digital effects, yielding a dark, granular drone. The second instalment brings the post-apocalyptic bunker vibes, all buzzing security systems and electronic scratching, while Chiron 3 overlays radioactive guitar tones and metallic scraping with intense results. The Domestiques is Paine’s new duo with Smoke Jaguar’s Kevin McCarvel. While there are sonic affinities with blown-out Japanese underground rock, there’s a monomaniacal lack of looseness to these fuzz guitar, synth and drum machine throbs. Play loud. LIAM ROBERTSON Village of Killin EP ●●●●● The third release from Highlands via Glasgow label Redstone Press introduces Liam Robertson, an impressive young producer of brooding techno, bass and broken beat. Influenced by Ryan Esson’s photographs of Lawers Dam and the surrounding area, Robertson’s tracks reflect an anti-romantic view of nature. Dubbed-out percussive tendrils ripple against the cantering beats of ‘Common Weaver’, while ‘Loxia’ feeds deconstructed breaks and distorted foghorns into a bass warp. ‘Wrestling Halfbeak Fighting Taxa’ sets wistful vocal loops against flinty percussion, while the eerie synth effects of ‘Clay Petrel’ swoop over punchy machine beats.

88 THE LIST 1 Nov 2018–31 Jan 2019 88 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020