Review: Space Of Variants recently described this collaboration between label artists Aura Minimum (real name Vladislav Ishkov) and Flying Cobra (Alexander Khaliulin) as "modern deep sound goodies". While that's a little vague, it's certainly accurate. Across a range of solo and jointly produced tracks, the pair explores a warm, hazy, atmospheric and quietly colourful sound that emphasizes meditative ambient electronics - drowsy chords, drifting motifs and yearning melodies - over the hypnotic dub techno and deep techno grooves that nestle below. It's a formula that results in a hugely soothing, ear-pleasing and smile-inducing listening experience.
Review: Some five years after their last full-length hit stores, Fat Freddy's Drop has finally got round to recording a new album. Entitled "Special Edition", it's set to be released in two parts. Part one (the second will follow later in the year) begins with the slow and steady soulful skank of "Kamo Kamo", before the more digital-sounding goodness of "OneFourteen" sees them wisely pushing honeyed vocalist Joe Dukie to the fore. More jazzy reggae warmth follows via "Raleigh Twenty", while "Special Edition" is a confirmed dancefloor workout - think disco-reggae - which mixes rapped and sung vocals. There's a surprising nod to house music on the hypnotic and synth-laden "Trickle Down", while "Six-Eight (Instrumental)" is Fat Freddy's take on dancehall.
Review: Alexander Khaliulin first donned the Flying Cobra alias earlier this year for an album on Space Of Variants that neatly showcased his seemingly innate grasp of atmospheric dub techno soundscapes. "Flowers Decay Quickly" is the producer's surprisingly speedy follow-up. It's another heady and intoxicating affair, with Khaliulin sashaying between the languid, head-in-the-clouds ambient of "Emanation", the gentle but hypnotic dub techno shapes of "Sleepless" and "Way Above", the sun-kissed laziness of "Night Walk" and the fantastically dubbed-out, slow motion soundscapes such as yearning closing cut "Light Of Truth Has Gone Out".
Review: Producer Lewis M and all-star reggae studio band The Inn House Crew have enjoyed a very successful 2020, delivering a swathe of must-check releases in their distinctive roots-reggae style. They're at it again here, offering up an EP of vocal and dub cuts inspired by the current global pandemic and based on the Inn House Crew's superb 'The Face Covering Riddim'. Barry Isaac sets the tone with a soulful plea for mask-wearing compliance ('Mask Up'), before regular collaborator Winston Ready re-purposes some of the lyrics from 'Hit The Road Jack' and David Janson delivers a more traditional Rastafari interpretation on 'Give Praise'. Elsewhere, pianist Fish delivers some evocative solos on 'Masked Up Piano', while Lewis M and Ben bell deliver a quartet of weighty 'Masked' dubs.