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DJ Best British Award 2009
SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Vakula may be scarily prolific (he released an astonishing 11 12" singles in 2011 alone), but his off-kilter brand of deep house and woozy electronica rarely disappoints. Here he delivers his fourth 12" on Bandura, once again offering up an intriguing set of tracks that defy easy categorization. As usual, expect to find a Read more...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK

With the spirit of Miles Davis as their guide and an ever-faithful commitment to futuristic advancements in electronic music, Aybee and Afrikan Sciences present an album that brings together three years worth of improvisational studio jams and it's sure to set alight the minds of all cosmic voyagers out there. The three-p Read more...
The Big Summer Sale
THIS WEEK AT JUNO
Shackleton - Deliverance Series No. 1 (Woe To The Septic Heart!)

Shackleton records tend to be pretty few and far between these days, so given the fact that we've already been lucky enough to be treated to one new Woe To The Septic Heart! record this year, a second is most unexpected. Although Shackleton hasn't yet shared full details on the intentions behind the record, its name would suggest that it's the first in a planned run called the Deliverance Series. It would also seem to continue his experiments with synthesis that featured on Freezing Opening Thawing, delivering two tracks that have as much in common with the music of Villalobos as they do dubstep.

Vakula - Bandura 004 (Bandura)

Ukrainian deep house producer Vakula may be more prolific than the aforementioned Shackleton, but his equally unheralded records still carry the same weight of expectation. Once again he returns to his Bandura label to deliver another five shimmering cuts that tread the delicate line between misty-eyed deep house and abstract acid shapes swimming in dub. If you're a fan of the Ukrainian's previous work there's not much here that will surprise you, but the fact is that there's nobody who quite makes house music as bottomlessly deep as Vakula - something especially evident on the strangely pulsating chord sounds and undulating pads of "Electric Spica".

Daze - Lips EP (Lobster Theremin)

While future RBMA participant and Lobster Theremin regular Palms Trax was the first to inaugurate the label's White Label series a few months ago, the second is Daze, an Australian producer who seems have a fetish for classic rave sounds if the productions on the Lips EP are anything to go by. Each of the four tracks here fit very much into the lo-fi techno mould, but it's these rave reference points that gives his a unique touch, especially in the stargazing melody of "Drag Ball" and swirling chords of "Lips ('94 Original DAT Dub)", which might also be one of the finest nostalgic breakbeat-filled rave throwbacks we've heard in some time.

Imre Kiss - Raw Energy EP (Lobster Theremin)

The Lobster Theremin label has been on something of a run of form of late, something especially evident in the fact that it has managed to slip out two great records this week. The second comes from Hungarian producer Imre Kiss, an artist with one cassette release on the city's Farbweschel label to his name. On the basis of Raw Energy however, he could be a producer worth keeping tabs on, brandishing a style that seems comparable to the freewheeling Danny Wolfers via Huerco S. Raw Energy is a record full of what the label describes as “drugged-out proto-ambient works” and “super-slo house jams”, but that doesn't quite do it justice - on the basis of this record there could be something in the water in Budapest.

Throwing Shade - Chancer (Happy Skull)

While Nabihah Iqbal's previous releases as Throwing Shade - on both Ominira and No Pain In Pop - showed her poppier, experimental side, the Chancer 12" for The Kelly Twins' Happy Skull label gives her a chance to engage a little more explicitly with the dancefloor. Despite both the title track and "Blanx" being filled with tough drum machine rhythms, there's an ethereality that still prevails, as her vocals are looped and weaved throughout glassy textures. Kowton is an interesting choice of remixer, but he turns in a tough percussive jam that maintains Iqbal's poppier sensibility while creating something bass-heavy and primed for the floor.

Huerco S - A Verdigris Reader (Proibito)

It may be nearly a year since Huerco S released his debut album Colonial Patterns, but it's still not lost any of its lustre, which makes his return with an EP on Anthony Naples' Proibito label all the more welcome. Released under the name H.S., the four-track A Verdigris Reader EP sees the producer creating some of his most Basic Channel-indebted work to date. While Colonial Patterns was surprisingly rich with melody, A Verdigris Reader is like that record's dark mirror image, made up of dubby textures and imperceptible bass. It may not be the most dancefloor-friendly material, but that's hardly the point - the producer seems happy to get weirder with each release and we're more than happy with that.

Various - Nautil 1-3 (Hidden Hawaii)

Known primarily for its unique fusion of experimental D&B and dub techno sounds, Felix K's Hidden Hawaii label is nevertheless incredibly difficult to pigeonhole, and has become a must-check label regardless of your musical inclinations. The three Nautil EPs that slipped out this week are proof of that, collecting three producers (or aliases) and giving them each a 12" to deliver two tracks each. Whether it's the sonorous rhythms of DB1, the delicately rolling rhythms of 943 or the dubby Basic Channel-inspired soundscapes of SKV18, there's something here to excite anyone entranced by the deeper end of the experimental spectrum.

Randomer - Stupid Things I Do EP (Clone Basement Series)

Having only just slipped out the Residents 12" on L.I.E.S. and another for Russian Torrent Versions, Rohan Walder makes a swift return on Clone's Basement Series with another set of drum-heavy bangers under the Randomer name. For those who thought his L.I.E.S. outing was a little on the gritty side, this four-track EP takes a different approach, with "Stupid Things I Do (New School mix)" sounding like Blawan going toe to toe with Head High, and the accompanying "Old School mix" delivering some rolling breaks across the dubby stabs. However, it's both "Percussion" workouts that really deliver some of the best stuff of his career, showing how effective Walder is when layering drums on top of each other.

ChannelXXX - Mangiami Edits (Golf Channel)

The edit 12" might have seen better days, but you can trust the ever-dependable Golf Channel label to come up with an interesting spin on the concept, with three 12"s that celebrate the legacy of the Mangiami restaurant run by former DJ Gianfranco Costa. A Lower East Side spot that became known for its DJ nights as well as its food, the three 12"s - overseen by Golf Channel boss and Costa himself - are an attempt to capture some of the vibe of the unique restaurant, which was open for business for six years from 2006. Interestingly, the edits come credited to the ChannelXXX name, though they could feature anyone out of Grackle, Populette, Thugfucker, Felix Dickinson, Nick Chacona and Alex From Tokyo, all of whom apparently contributed to the full compilation due later this year.

Vereker/Low Jack - Murder License (Berceuse Heroique)

Since making his debut on L.I.E.S. last year with two 12"s of searing techno, Oliver Vereker has graced both The Trilogy Tapes and Russian Torrent Versions with some similarly hard-as-nails techno. Murder License sees him join Berceuse Heroique, proving a logical addition to a label whose roster includes the likes of Ekman, Tuff Sherm and Gesloten Cirkel, artists whose material share Vereker's hard edges and funky disposition."Flesh & Blood" is about as straight up a techno track as they come, channeling classic Robert Hood and Jeff Mills and putting a contemporary spin on things, while "Bedroom Jihad" delivers a nightmarish collection of scrapes and wails. Equally as intriguing is the Low Jack collaboration "Event Horizon", another bleak soundscape that offers a decaying take on techno.
 
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