Review: Ole Mic Odd aka Michael Padgett is a hardware operator and DJ from Los Angeles and runs the wonderfully named label The New U.S. Government. Here he sweeps to power with four tracks across four sides of vinyl for the Zement label, two following a slower, punishing pulse that's like P-funk remade in a robot factory, only with tons of added bubbling acid, Drexciya-style filtering and Juan Arkins-like synthetic strings. The other two are way faster, Ice So Bright sounding like someone secretly spiked Kraftwerk's cocoa with something extremely sinister, sending them racing off on their bikes at treble speed. Echo Park has an even more distinct flanging acid flavour and hyper, hooligan electro foundations, again with those Model 500 misty clouds of synthesiser floating overhead. Absolutely cracking stuff.
Review: This collection of the Aussie funk and soul band The Bamboos' favourite cuts is a celebration of their 20 year anniversary. It culls cuts from 2007's Rawville and 2010's 4 and is a limited release with a full colour gatefold sleeve. Led by guitarist and main songwriter/producer Lance Ferguson, The Bamboos have been hugely prolific over the years, putting out no fewer than nine studio albums, two live albums, twenty-seven singles, and all while serving up many incendiary shows. They draw in elements of funk, pop, rock, psych, hip-hop, indie and soundtrack music into their own unique sound.
Review: The fourth album from the English pop experimentalist was made over just six week in a "do-it-yourself" collaborative process with her fans. It is inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and was executively produced by A. G. Cook and BJ Burton. Fans and critics alike fell immediately in love with the record which was also shortlisted for the 2020 Mercury Prize. Edgy experimental production and hooky pop songwriting have rarely collided as successfully as they do here, with plenty of hyper-energetic sounds and shimmering synths, bubblegum bass and mechanical motifs all making this as much an impromptu mixtape as a studio album. Truly, this is a work of its time.
Review: Seven months on from the label's last outing - a suitably trippy, acid-fired four-tracker from Justin Robertson's Deadstock 33's project - Tusk Wax returns to action with a fresh album from synthesizer fetishist and Giallo soundtrack specialist Antoni Maovvi. The Berlin-based Bristolian is at his atmospheric and far-sighted best, offering up a range of synthesizer and drum machine-heavy compositions that sound equally as good at home as they do in clubs. Highlights include - but are in no way limited to - the glistening, guitar-laden mid-80s bubbliness of 'Emotional Trigger', the hard-wired Italo-disco sleaziness of 'Disaster Code', the organ-laden horror-house of 'Insider', and the ever-rising starry brilliance of the album's standout moment, closing cut 'The Circle Remains Unbroken'.
Reinhard Vanbergen - "Blast From The Past" (edit) (4:15)
Jacob Gurevitsch - "In Search Of Lost Time" (Danilo Braca remix) (8:16)
Bongo Entp - "Soul Drums" (5:03)
Islandman - "Dere Boyu" (6:00)
Review: Kenneth Badger's Music For Dreams label has been at the heart of the ambient, Balearic and world music revival of the last few years. His own distinctive take on the genre is particularly soothing and cathartic for the soul and this Summer Sessions special for Record Store Day is another blissfully escapist collection. The boss himself kicks off with a gentle roller that takes you out to sea, and The Swan & The Lake keep you drifting without a worry in the world on an ocean of synth purity. Reinhard Vanbergen brings some exotica to the collection with his 'Blast From The Past' and Bongo Entp's 'Soul Drums' soars on some perfect trumpets.
Review: You wait three years for a new Arca album and then two come along at once. The Barcelona-based, Venezuelan artist has already dropped 'Kick I' and 'Kick II' on his standard XL stomping ground this month, and has now decided to remind us why we fell in love in the first place. &&&&&& is the producer's seminal debut album, and it still sounds fresh today.
Occupying a space somewhere between techno, the proto-footwork and juke popularised by the likes of Addison Groove at the turn of the last decade, IDM and ambient, it's a difficult thing to get your head around, from the strange piano discordance of 'Mother' to 'Feminine''s suggestion of intense 140s and the submerged liquid downtempo of 'Anaesthetic'. A seminal moment in recent dance history.
Review: The music of Maltese producer Rudi Agius aka Jupiter Jax has become a staple of 100% Silk's catalogue over the last several years. His new LP No Such Thing is inspired by notions of escape and the unknown, incorporating the dexterous live instrumentation of flutes, trumpets, voices and percussion, with elements of electronica, downtempo, jazz, house and Balearic. From the cinematic brilliance 'No Such Thing pt. 1', the early Chicago house vibe on 'Moods No Grooves', to the particularly emotive 'Breathing You Out' or the glassy-eyed and bittersweet dancefloor drama of 'Solace' - overall, it is what the label best described themselves as a "Mediterranean midnight of the mind."
Review: A new one from Paris' Favorite Recordings. After two acclaimed LP's as Mr President released over the last decade, Bruno Hovart is back. One Night is soul and disco with a modern touch, fitting all the criteria to become an instant club classic. With special guest vocalists like Jennifer Zonou (Hawa), Cindy Pooch, Celia Kameni (Saving Coco) and Sabba MG - who you may recognise from previous releases. The title track is a sexy, loungey and jazzy deep house joint reminiscent of early noughties grooves on Naked Music or Hed Kandi. Plus, there's also a wonderful rendition of Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's classic 'Gabriel'.
Review: The world was very different in 1992, but some of the greatest musical moments from that year stand the test of time. Just take Polly Jean Harvey's staggering debut - the making of a musical icon and one of the era's finest examples of songwriting. It still sounds exceptional and its messages still resonate, lifting the woke-washed veil of our age in one fell swoop, laying bare the fact that many toxic attitudes prevail. It's rock music, but that's hardly the point. What matters isn't so much what's being played, but how and what's being said. Delivered with an air of Pixies and nod to Patti Smith, written in the wake of a relationship imploding, our introduction to Harvey remains vital as ever. A refusal to accept simplistic, patriarchal views of womanhood and femininity, or indeed simplistic patriarchal views of anything, the record's razor sharp observations, cunning wit and deft ability to reference but feel original is remarkable.
Review: Billing themselves as an ethno-industrial outfit, French group Vox Populi! have more in common with the German kosmische movement than the sound of their own fair land. They came from serious stock, including Axel Kyrou's mother who was a musique concrete pioneer at GRM, which set them up to make a bold and challenging debut album Myscitismes, originally released on their own Vox Man label in 1985. Combining advanced studio manipulation and liberal FX treatments with a pastoral folk thrum, motorik synth work and a heavy dose of pan-continental mysticism, they created a stunning and forward-thinking work that sounds shockingly relevant in the here and now. Finally reissued after more than 30 years, now is the perfect chance to grab this trailblazing slice of sonic sorcery.
Review: Here's something to get Talking Heads fans salivating: a fresh EP featuring previously buried, unheard alternative versions and outtakes recorded during the sessions for the celebrated New York new wave band's 1979 album Fear of Music. The EP begins with the completely unheard 'Dancing For Money', a typically undulating, off-kilter chunk of post-punk eccentricity that seemingly never went beyond the demo stage, before offering up a riotous alternate mix of the noisy, guitar-laden stomper 'Life During Wartime'. Over on the flip you'll find notably different arrangements and recordings of 'Cities' and 'Mind'; the latter, with its juju style guitar sounds and languid rhythm section, is particularly good.
Sare Havlicek - "White Russian (Lazy Summer)" (5:20)
Oliver Cheatham - "Get Down Saturday Night" (7:10)
The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper´s Delight" (3:34)
Gibson Brothers - "Cuba" (7:45)
Review: For the next installment of Argentinian label Music Broker's tribute series, they have selected some of seminal Parisian duo Daft Punk's finest works and remixes, spanning the last two decades, along with some of the music that inspired them. The Many Faces Of Daft Punk: A Journey Through The Inner World Of Daft Punk features disco royalty such as Niles Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone, while more contemporary producers from the house music spectrum feature also, such as Detroit's Scott Grooves (featuring Parliament/Funkadelic), The Micronauts and Versatile's I:Cube receive de Homem-Christo and Bangalter's midas touch. the latter's 'Disco Cubizm" from '96 being a particular highlight on the remix side of things. Not to mention their roaring rework of indie-pop darlings Franz Ferdinand's classic 'Take Me Out'.
Review: Originally released back in 2011 on two singles, Shades of Detroit is a journey of six deep and dubby house monsters! The new limited reissue includes both Dark and Light parts, marbled vinyl and a new updated artwork. Essential Detroit house classic!
Review: It's easy to forget this is the first new record we've had from Doves in more than a decade, given the rousing call to action and emotional intensity of aptly-titled album opener 'Carousel'. A huge, nostalgic fairground thumper that sets the adrenaline levels at 11, it could be their most confident album opener to date.
And The Universal Want is far from a tease, too, capturing the essence of what we hoped from this Manchester trio's comeback fanfare. From the science fiction synth beams of Bowie ode 'Cathedrals Of The Mind', to the redemptive and hope-filled stadium indie of 'For Tomorrow', and the title track's melancholic proto-house stomp, it's very much a record of our time but also one that will likely stand the test of time. A very welcome return for, and another schooling from, Jez Williams and his team.
Review: You might have heard about this LP..... After a pre-release campaign that took on Hollywood-esque proportions, French pair Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter return as Daft Punk with their fourth studio album Random Access Memories sporting a A-list cast of guests and contributors. Given the input of disco icons Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers it's entirely understandable that the overbearing sound on Random Access Memories is one of classic disco with lead single "Get Lucky" a good indicator for what to expect. There's also a smattering of yacht rock within the thirteen track set, whilst the ubiquitous Panda Bear turns up on the midnight stutter funk album highlight "Doin' It Right". Those expecting a return to Daft Punk's Homework heyday will be disappointed but Bangalter and de Homem-Christo are touching forty so the polished, expertly constructed disco direction makes perfect sense.
Review: Carpets & Snares returns to action with some jaunty, off-kilter club fodder from their friends in the Portuguese tech-house community. This time round, the producer at the controls is Pandilla Ltd, an artist best known for unleashing 12"s full of tactile glitch-funk on his self-titled imprint. The real killer here is opener 'Bleu', a gloriously jumpy, shoulder-swinging fusion of tightly snipped electric piano stabs, jazzy synth-bass, Akufen-esque drums, curious vocal samples and oddball percussion sounds. Dan Andrei provides the obligatory flipside remix, re-casting the track as a deep, low-slung chunk of analogue house haziness perfect for wonky late-night sessions and bleary-eyed after-party shuffling.
Review: Since first emerging in 2018, Carpet & Snares sub-label Dream Ticket has become a reliable source of far-sighted fusions of acid, electro, techno, IDM and breaks. The imprint's latest missive, which comes courtesy of former Further Records, X-Kalay and SURVIVE Ltd contributor Pearl River Sound (real name Roberto Semeraro), conforms to type by delivering a quartet of cuts that draw on all those styles and more. The Portuguese producer is in fine form as he flits between hip-hop influenced IDM warmth (the Artificial Intelligence-era melodiousness of 'Topoplove'), Black Dog style angular, analogue electronica ('Biblio Time'), filthy, hard-wired acid insanity ('Just Fucking Days Without You') and skittish, up-tempo acid-electro (the Rephlex style brain-dance madness of 'Digiana').
Rockaway Beach/Teenage Lobotomy/Blitzkrieg Bop/I Wanna Be Well/Glad To See You Go/Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment/You're Gonna Kill That Girl/I Don't Care/Sheena Is A Punk Rocker/Havana Affair/Commando (23:14)
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow/Surfin' Bird/Cretin Hop/Listen To My Heart/California Sun/I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You/Pinhead (26:04)