Review: Even though it appeared on his fine 1971 album "Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse" - a suitably dystopian set in which our hero rails against the ills of godless society - "Jagger The Dagger" is not one of Eugene McDaniels better known tracks. Yet as this Japanese seven-inch reissue proves, it remains a superb chunk of bizarre-but-brilliant jazz/rock/soul fusion full of delay-laden country style guitar solos, weirdo backing vocals, sumptuously laidback grooves and vocals that take aim at Mick Jagger and his "devil's dance". Flipside "Cherrystones" is a Vietnam War-era civil rights cry built around good old-fashioned fuzz-toned grooves, Chuck Berry style rock 'n' roll guitar solos and a pretty crazy lead vocal.
Al Man Muntzie & The Embraceables - "We Are Steady Rockin'" (8:02)
Review: It would be fair to say that Winston is nowhere near as well known as some of the record collectors who've compiled volumes in the "Under The Influence" series (think Nick The Record, Sean P and Red Greg), but it seems his crates are every bit as deep. Check, for example, the unashamedly celebratory, slap-bass propelled disco-funk of Doug Payne and Polygon's "Holiday", the heady, high-octane disco thrills of Expose's "I Just Wanna Dance With You", the low-slung early funk-rap headiness of Jungle Band's "Jungleland (Part 2)" and the wickedly percussive salsa-disco heaviness of Suave's "Salsa Gon Gitcha". In other words, it's a killer collection of top-notch cuts that you'll never have heard before. What's not to like?
Os Quentes De Terra Alta - "Praia Do Algodoal" (3:21)
Pinduca - "Pai Xango" (3:36)
Janjao - "Meu Barquinho" (3:13)
Messias Holanda - "O Galo Canta, O Macaco Assovia" (3:33)
Vieira E Seu Conjunto - "Lambada Da Baleia" (2:55)
Verequete E O Conjunto Uirapuru - "Mambo Assanhado" (3:25)
O Conjunto De Orlando Pereira - "Carimbo Para Yemanja" (2:19)
Pinduca - "Coco Da Bahia" (3:06)
Messias Holanda - "Carimbo Da Pimienta" (2:29)
Verequete E O Conjunto Uirapuru - "Da Garrafa Uma Pinga" (3:11)
O Conjunto De Orlando Pereira - "Maruda" (2:00)
Magalhaes E Sua Guitarra - "Xango" (3:20)
Vieira E Seu Conjunto - "Melo Do Bode" (3:45)
Grupo Da Pesada - "Voa Andorinha" (2:43)
Grupo Da Pesada - "Lundun Da Yaya" (3:15)
Mestre Cupijo E Seu Ritmo - "Despedida" (4:09)
Review: Analog Africa's latest must-have release focuses on the little-known musical culture of the Para state on Northern Brazil, and specifically the port city of Belem. Since the 1960s the city's musicians have been serving up unique and exciting new styles that draw as much on West African, Cuban and Caribbean music as they do the rhythms and instrumentation of the Amazonian tribes based nearby. It's these kinds of unique and exuberant fusions - think heavy bass, bouncy ska-style rhythms, punchy Afro-Cuban horns, densely layered drums, celebratory vocals and tropical guitars - that make "Jambu E Os Miticos Sons Da Amazonia" such an essential listen. Context is provided via the included 24-page booklet, whose extensive liner notes track the development of Para's unique musical culture.
Review: Hot Chip are back! The coolest dudes since Devo return like a monkey with a miniature cymbal with their seventh full length album. With vocoding effects layered over the sweet tone of Alexis Taylor's voice referencing all matter of contemporary and retro-active pop and trance sensibilities, this album once again sees Hot Chip at the front of pioneering, friendly and avant garde pop music. Produced by the late Philippe Zdar (one half of Cassius) - also responsible for applying award winning touches to albums by Phoenix and Cat Power, Domino is calling the record "a celebration of joy but recognises the struggle it can take to get to that point of happiness". Our tips: album opener "Melody Of Love" and the '80s trance-pop that is "Hungry Child".
Review: Somewhat poetically, Anthony Naples describes his third album, "Fog FM", as a "house music transmission filtered through fluorescent static, from a station out of place and time". You'll certainly find some blasts of evocative radio static dotted around the album - see the drowsy wooziness of ambient numbers "Channel 2" and "Channel 3", not to mention the pops and crackles wrapped around sub-heavy, stripped back peak-time workout "Unhygenix" - but the lasting impression is of a smartly-produced set of mostly club-ready cuts that subtly doff a cap to many sub-genres of house and techno. It's a superb set, too, with highlights including the wayward techno intensity of "Benefit", the "Brown Album"-era Orbital heaviness of "Purple Iris" and the tough, dubbed-out deep house headiness of "Lucys".
Review: Max Wuerden's latest full-length excursion is apparently entitled "Format" because the digital download and vinyl versions are completely different (I.E he tailored the tracks to each format). We've not listened to the digital edition, but this vinyl version is, at times, breathtakingly good. While each of the nine tracks is beat-free and undeniably ambient in nature, there's still plenty of subtle variety to be found throughout. Compare, for example, the pulsing beauty of "Desiccate", where what sound like processed clarinet lines slowly rise above sunrise-ready chord sequences, and the clandestine creepiness of "Format", a paranoid and claustrophobic affair that creaks under the weight of its own post-apocalyptic intent. Other highlights include the hypnotic, stretched-out analogue electronics of "Wirkungsgrad" and the becalmed musical waters of "Exothermic Reaction".
Review: Having previously collaborated on tasty 2013 single "Speckbass", partners in audio insanity DJ Fett Burger and DJ Speckgurtel have united for a full-length excursion full of "dance music for clubs and pubs and some easy-going jams to jazz the sheets". In practice, that means a saucer-eyed mixture of retro-futurist house treats (see jaunty opener "Harpo" and the Italo-house giddiness of "6Drops (Piano Mix)", loved-up deep electro (the spacey warmth of "Red Scorpions"), unashamed Larry Heard tributes ("Sunshine In The Limousine"), densely percussive peak-time workouts ("Enjoy This Limousine"), ragged acid ("6Drops (Technocid Mix)"), rushing Balearic synth-pop ("Sting Collins") and chiming, early '90s style ambient house (the beat free lusciousness of "Sonnen Ambiente").
Review: As Warp gears up to celebrate its 30th birthday, it seems fitting that the label should be putting out a fresh album from one of its longest serving artists. As Plaid, Andy Turner and Ed Handley played a significant role in defining the label's approach to electronic music during the "Artificial Intelligence" era in the mid 1990s. All these years on, they're still capable of crafting fizzing, melodious, off-kilter electronic listening music that defies lazy categorization. "Polymer" is a hugely enjoyable and entertaining set, with highlights including the jumpy beats, post-electro melodies and mind-altering acid lines of "Los", the metallic bounce of "Maru" - a kind of twisted take on Afro-tech that's amongst their most club-ready cuts of recent times - and the disturbed, Autechre-style clang of "Recall".
Review: She may be best known as a TV and radio presenter, but Nigerian star Julie Coker also enjoyed a short but successful music career. She released two albums of note - highlife-focused 1976 debut "Ere Yon (Sweet Songs)" and 1981's more disco-centric "Tomorrow" - both of which now fetch eye-watering sums online. This fine retrospective showcases cuts from both of those sets, with the many highlights including the spacey, delay-laden highlife cheeriness of "Re Hese", the Clavinet-sporting disco-funk-goes-pop bounce of "It's All For You", the low-slung but rising, gospel influenced brilliance of "Gossiper Scandal Monger" and the heavily percussive, off-kilter goodness of album closer "Iyo-Re". You might also notice the intro of 'Ere Yon', which was recently sampled to great effect in Anderson .Paak's "Saviers Road"!
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "The Man Who Does The Work" (3:09)
Smith & The Prophets - "Valley Of Joesaphat" (3:45)
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Go To School Jah Jha Children" (3:39)
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Love Of Jah" (4:31)
The Prophets - "Sand In My Shoe" (4:25)
The Prophets - "Jah Vengeance" (2:58)
King Tubby - "Greetings" (3:01)
The Prophets - "Fire Fire Dub" (2:33)
The Prophets - "Stand Up & Fight Dub" (3:34)
Tommy McCook - "Sand In My Shoe Dub" (3:00)
Review: Pressure Sounds' latest release takes us back to 1976 and "Wall Of Jerusalem", a soulful reggae album by The Prophets that included production from both Yabby You (the band's lynchpin and lead vocalist) and dub mixer King Tubby. The album is something of a roots classic, with Yabby You's seductive, soul-fired vocal numbers being joined by delay-laden heavy dub revisions by King Tubby. You'll find the original set on LP 1, with the second being dedicated to alternate versions, previously unreleased tracks recorded in the same period, and alternate dubs that have lain dormant in Yabby You's archives for the best part of 40 years.
Review: Following the recent tragic death of founder member Philippe Zdar, this could well be Cassius' final bow. "Dreems" - the long-serving Parisian duo's fifth studio album - would be a fitting swansong. Less concerned with the potential of Ed Banger style power-pop, its' various glassy synth-pop moments (see the Owlie voiced "Don't Let Me Be") are outnumbered by vibrant, funk-fuelled tracks that pay homage to their own "French Touch" house heritage. "Rock Non Stop", for example, is like something from debut album "1999", "Cause oui!" is an exuberant mash-up of synth-pop, hot and heavy house and hip-hop featuring Beastie Boy Mike D and "Calliope" recalls the late night hedonism of Zdar's work with Etienne de Crecy as Motorbass. Rest in peace Philippe.
A Gargantuan Melting Face Floating Effortlessly Through The Stratosphere (4:58)
Review: Paul Woolford has spent a good chunk of his downtime over the last year or two making Special Request tracks in his pants. So much so, in fact, that he's created enough material to fill four albums, all of which will be released this year. "Vortex" is the first and is, in Woolford's own words, high on "bangers" and low on "conceptual guff". In practice, that means lots of gut-busting low-end frequencies, trippy analogue electronics, razor-sharp rave-style riffs and bustling rhythms that variously touch on electro, early '90s progressive house, breakbeat hardcore, slamming Joey Beltram style techno (see album highlight "Fahrenheit 451") and metallic, delightfully mangled drum and bass ("Fett", whose wonky electronic undulations hark back to early Woolford classic "Erotic Discourse").
Sous Le Meme Soleil, Vie Disparu Dans Le Ciel (Loops Variation) (1:02)
Majic Milk (Loops Variation) (4:06)
Ivana Vessel (2:19)
Battle Ropes (2:27)
Review: The seriously cool Jane Weaver returns with a remarkable 10th album! Following her Modern Kosmology LP in 2017 - Loops In The Secret Society - presents a re-imagined journey through that album and 2014's The Silver Globe. The result delivers a smattering of atmospheric fragments and remakes of previous tracks that never made it to her album past and it sees Weaver venture further down the rabbit hole of abstract and ambient electronics; with tracks like "H>A>K (Loops Variation)" (named after Hilma af Klint, a pioneering Swedish abstract painter) and "Battle Ropes" instantly affecting on first listen. There's no denying the original approach that the British singer-songwriter has gone for here - single-handedly embracing techno and folk - in a look and sound that's arrives like a cosmic curveball of electronic pop from tomorrow.
Review: Masked electronic maverick J-Zbel has a thing for ridiculous release titles - see his early EPs for proof - but even by his standards "Dog's Fart Is So Bad The Cat Throws Up" is an absolute peach. The music contained on the release, which marks his debut album, is a little more serious, though the fast-rising producer does sound like he's having bags of fun throughout. His style is fluid and hard-to-define, with the album's 12 tracks flitting between wobble-bass propelled, mind-altering dancefloor stompers ("Hardcore Jusqu'Au PeF"), weird and wayward dancehall riddims ("Le Riddim Du Bardouin"), psychedelic acid techno ("Tunnel Vision"), spaced-put experimental beat-scapes ("Rustie Le Clown"), pitch-black eccentricity ("Bertrand Au Mont D'or"), bleep-heavy post jungle ("Excremangue") and opaque ambient ("Check In").
Centric House - "Alright Alright" (Daydream mix) (6:57)
Underground Ghosts - "Really" (6:44)
Subway Ground Master - "Queensway" (4:11)
Syncopate - "Why?" (Underground) (5:41)
Korda - "Move Your Body" (club remix) (5:40)
Be Noir - "Give Me Your Love" (New York mix) (5:52)
Optik - "Music, Harmony & Rhythm" (6:31)
Review: Like Young Marco and Christiaan Macdonald's "Welcome To Paradise" compilations, this collection from crate-digging DJ Nick V offers a whirlwind trip through the golden years of Italian house in the early 1990s. The vibe is, though, decidedly different; while Nick V does doff a cap to the swirling, "Sueno Latino"-inspired "dream house" sound - see Subway Ground Master's impeccable "Queensway" and the seductive, sunset-friendly deepness of Optik's "Music, Harmony & Rhythm" - much of the compilation focuses on the warm, breezy, colourful and piano-laden "Italo-house" style that drew greater influence from contemporaneous U.S house and New Jersey garage. Highlights are plentiful, from the organ-laden, Jovonn style bump of "Really" by Underground Ghosts, to the growling bass and intense drums of Syncopate's "Why? (Underground)".
Ronan Girre - "Je N'Sais Pas Avec Qui?" (feat Arielle Dombasle) (3:12)
Reserve - "Une Fille En Transe" (3:31)
Review: Five years ago, French record collector Vidal Benjamin wowed us with "Disco Sympathie", a killer compilation of obscure Gallic disco and boogie gems. For this similarly dusty-fingered follow-up, he's set his gaze on French new wave and synth-pop. It's an entertaining and eye-opening listen that moves from the samba-chanson of Cecilia and the fizzing electro-funk of Electropic, to the sweet and cheery synth-pop of "Reserve". Highlights in between include the bustling synth-pop sleaziness of Sonia's "J'Sais Plus Ou J'En Suis", the throbbing new wave quirkiness of Milpatte's "Je Vais Danser" and the low-slung post-punk pop of I:Cube's fresh re-edit of Yogo's "Reve De Star".
Nata Alma (feat Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft (You Might Say)) (4:22)
Bezique Atout (feat Oxia) (4:08)
Ende #2 (4:29)
Anton III (2:31)
Ila I (3:05)
Review: While he's tended to maintain a fairly steady stream of singles, Robag Wruhme has never been a prolific producer of albums. It took him seven years to deliver a full-length follow-up to debut EP 'Wuzzelbud "KK"' and another eight to get round to creating "Venq Tolep", his latest album length exploration. So was it worth the wait? Undoubtedly! Beginning with the hazy grooves, gentle melodies and simmering strings of "Advent", the veteran German drifts between slow-motion ambient pop ("Westfal"), ethereal soft-focus deep house ("AK-Do 5"), intoxicating beat-free soundscapes ("Volta Copy (Ambient Version)") and undulating, glitch-heavy workouts that doff a cap to both pastoral techno and the glistening IDM of British greats such as Plaid and Boards of Canada.
Limited deluxe hardback book with CD of previously unreleased material
Notes: 260 page, full colour, hardback book full of previously unseen photographs from Mika Vainio's archive and the Vainio family scrapbook, plus contributions from his musical associates, friends and family, unseen texts, a full discography of everything Vainio ever released on his own and in collaboration with others and much much more - including a CD of previously unreleased material.
The book contains a heart-wrenching collection of photographs from the Vainio family archive, a broad range of artistic contributions (text, photographic and visual remembrances) from Mika's artist friends and collaborators, an Updated and exhaustive Mika discography, Jennifer Lucy Allen's unedited transcript for her The Wire magazine 2013 "Invisible Jukebox' - one of Mika's most animated media responses, a variety of Pansonic ephemera from Paul Smith's own Blast First archives, and an album length exclusive CD of previously unreleased Pansonic performance recordings - "Turku Moai - live on Rapa Nui"."
Review: From humble beginnings for Parisian label Kitsune back in 2010, the sub-pop of Two Door Cinema Club has reached great heights thanks to their albums Beacon, Gameshow and most of all, their debut, Tourist History. Now with False Alarm, Alex Trimble's vocals continue to collide in sweet harmony with the band's contemporary arrangement of synths, acoustic drums and undertones of tropical instrumentation - bear in mind that TDCC never stray too far from the poppy realms of disco either. Highlights include the radical '80s charm of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" (think Sting or Hall & Oates) to "Satellite" and the oddly, stylisticly French ballad that is "Break". Good times roll!
Review: Fresh from the success of two top notch EPs on iile, Leo Pol unveils his most ambitious release to date. All I Got In Me is something of a beast, with seven tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. It's a rather pleasingly varied affair, all told, with the experienced producer flitting between Detroit style techno futurism ("BH2"), warm, chunky and occasionally tough deep house ("All I Got In Me", "Live Concrete"), spacey beatbox electro ("Live Love") and the kind of tech-house cuts that look to both the Motor City and Chicago for inspiration. As a bonus, he's also included a collaborative cut under the St Ouen Connection moniker, the deep and hazy, techno-tempo positivity of "Masile".