Review: Tribal, physical, psychedelic: Joe Claussell's Bolla project is one of his finest creative accomplishments for many fans, and his album Afrikan Basement: Makussa is the gift that keeps on giving. Having previously leaked limited 12"s, Joe's label Sacred Rhythm does it again with another super-limited, one-sided press. Hooky, insistent and far-out for the full 10 minutes, this is shaman material right here. Do not sleep.
Review: Whereas the first volume in Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's "Cosmicdelic Africa" series focused on sneaky re-edits by the Sacred Rhythm founder, this second instalment focuses on original productions "for the dancefloor and the head". In other words, Clausell has offered up DJ-friendly extended versions of some of his most cosmic, Afro-centric creations. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the psychedelic rock guitar solos, restless bass, layered Latin house rhythms and rainforest sounds of Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas (Demo Sketch Mix)", to the piano sporting cosmic house positivity of Mampo's "Emarofo Tech (Extended Sketch Mix)", via the spaced-out electronics, hallucinatory synth lines and sparse drums of intoxicating downtempo workout "Mundo De Agua (Psyxchdelic Transfusion Mix)".
Review: It's the big, bad Joe Claussell, and the master reigns in the new year with this absolute stunner of an EP for the Sacred Rhythm label. This is Claussell at his most daring, however, and while you might be expecting some phat-ass house beats and groovy tribalism, the man goes far left of the field on here. The opening "Dungeon Maggots" is a translucent blend of crystal synths and subtle dub echoing, while "Matter Of Factness" injects a delicate house flow into the mix, propelled into motion by a dubby guitar riff. "Affect", "Nuances", and "Seciov" all act as beatless electronic tools, a trio of synth sways to add extra effect to your DJ mix. Yes, Joe!
Review: Much to the surprise of many house enthusiasts, Joe Claussel's Sacred Rhythm imprint delves into plenty of different genres and styles, all of them bound together by a recurring thread of percussive delight. Paul David Gillman debuts here, coming through with three gloriously loose slices of kinetic ambient fuzz, with the terms 'new age' and 'balearic' coming through vividly. The opening "Red Earth" is a supremely jazzy whirlpool of sonics and harmonic delight, which evaporates neatly into the much vaster planes of "Installation III". "Winter's Moon (excerpt)" washes away all the fury and energy of the previous two tracks to end up somewhere desolate and calming, offering a beautiful piece of soundscaping for the ambient fans. Recommended.
African Drug (Joaquin Joe Claussell Hallucination version) (8:19)
Review: Long before the rise in interest in African music, British electronica producer Bob Holyroyd was making tracks rich in traditional instrumentation. "African Drug" is, undoubtedly, the most famous of these. Originally released as a single in 1994, the intensely melodious, Steve Reich-esque work has been remixed numerous times over the years. This latest edition arrives on Joaquin "Joe" Clausell's Sacred Rhythm label, with profits going to charities that work to save Africa's endangered Rhino. The A-side contains a freshly mixed and re-mastered version of Holroyd's brilliant original - which brilliantly increases in intensity with the addition of tribal drums two thirds of the way through - with a more percussive, pleasingly hallucinogenic Clausell remix on the flip. In a word: essential.