Review: This tasty 10" from Ukrainian label Muscut features skilled musicians Ganna Brizhata, Polina Matskevich and Ira Lupu. Together as Chillera, they make for an EP that is influenced by everything from psyche to soft rock, dub to funk. Each track brims with live and authentic musicianship that makes them that bit more essential: "Koblevska AR" is all twinkling keys and star-gazing chords while "Pro Fun" is a more propulsive bit of funky dub with knotted bass guitar and splashing cymbals. "Spielc" closes things down in romantic fashion with plenty of bendy pitches and wah-wah effects.
Review: Standby for a proper cosmic trip on this brilliant digital dub delight from Planet Rescue. It features two tracks by Brussels-based trio Virginia Genta, David Vanzan and Ernesto Gonzalez who have run through a world of trippy effects. Out the other side come these more spaced-out versions of their sound under the name Jahder. "Bagigi Dub" is a rickety, sci-fi dub with lumpen drums and watery chords that melt you over and over again. Loping bass, delays that disappear to an infinite horizon and gentle organ chords characterise the deep cut b-side.
Review: Muscut's second EP in September is as hot as the first, and comes from Polina Matskevich, who is part of the Chillera band behind the label's other offering this month. Her trippy electric guitar rings out at the heart of each of these cuts while an experimental approach to sound collage, studio effects, field recordings and dub all colour the spaces around. "Gryaznly Sled" is a mysterious cut awash with warm southern guitars, then things get heavenly and soul soothing thanks to the gentle chords of "Avgust Na Zakate Dnya". "Toyota" is a more traditional but superbly slow and cavernous dub, and the flips explores more harmonic melodies and fatter rhythms. It all adds up to a rather refreshing EP.
Review: Way back in 1998 when Massive Attack's career-defining "Mezzanine" was first released, legendary dub technician Mad Professor cooked up some radical reworking. They now get their first official release alongside dubs of two tracks that never actually made it onto the album - Metal Banshee: a dub version of "Superpredators" which was a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Metal Postcard", and "Wire", which was actually recorded for the film "Welcome to Sarajevo". Wild effects, plenty of knob twiddling and oodles of reverb define this freaky late night collection and mark another essential release in the catalogue of the already legendary Mad Professor.
Review: The Studio One catalogue is the gift that keeps on giving, and Soul Jazz continually play Santa. This latest comprehensive collection is a great compilation of some of the best DJs and MCs to have been involved in reggae. Vital Jamaican stars like Dillinger, Prince Jazzbo and Lone Ranger all feature next to more hardcore names and some choice rare cuts. Spanning the 70s and into the mid-1980s, this 18-track offering gives a glimpse into the evolution of reggae to more digital and dancehall styles that come later, all with specially commissioned sleeve notes by Fashion Records head honcho Chris Lane.