Leonidas & Hobbes - Machines, Tapes & Electronic Setups EP

(Hobbes Music) ●●●●
The debut EP from Edinburgh electronic duo Leonidas & Hobbes (the latter, Andy Richardson is a well-known promoter about town and sometime writer of this establishment) is an impressive piece of work, not least for all the genres it manages to cram in -- from the beautiful, gospel-voiced flashback acid house of ‘Driftin’ to the luxurious old-school NY electro of ‘Jackin Pschidt’ and the *3Tron*2-sampling ambient synths of ‘Program’.

Frightened Rabbit - Late March, Death March

(Atlantic) ●●●●
Scotland’s newest famous band return with the latest single from *3Pedestrian Verse*2, a taut folk rocker with a lovely rattling rhythm, some boozy religious imagery and those ‘oh-oh-oh’ harmonies that Bruce Springsteen always used to employ. A lovely song that all their fans will know by now, although the extras are worth it: live versions of ‘December’s Traditions’ and ‘The Oil Slick’, and the understated hymnal of ‘The Architect, a track recorded with Manchester Orchestra and previously only a Record Store Day limited release.

theapplesofenergy - A ghost from a whisper

(theapplesofenergy.bandcamp.com) ●●●●
One for the ambient electronica heads here, and what a charming selection it is. Over five tracks, this EP from lone Edinburgh producer Steven Gribben bobs through some lovely territory, from the clanking windchime soundscape of ‘Clouds Through An Open Window’ to ‘Notes Erode’s sinister churn of static and distortion and ‘A Moment to Contemplate’s ghostly nocturne. All are obscure, but filled with eloquent musical charm and a rich sense of place and mood.

Harvey McKay - Goodbye

(Soma) ●●●
Long-standing servant of Soma, Glasgow’s Harvey McKay has released an EP containing two tracks - ‘Goodbye’ and ‘The End’. Rather than signalling the demise of the fresh-from-playing RockNess producer’s career though, there’s no need to break out the hankies yet; the label tell us it’s only his first release of the year. (In fact the track titles are more likely to be a reference to McKay’s father, who was sadly dying from cancer as McKay wrote these tracks.) He’s created two deep techno epics here, the first building from an almost dub-style bed of spacey effects to a pounding dancefloor groove and the latter a stomping metronomic beat which builds like a pressure cooker.