Review: Remixes by 30Hz & DJ Quest. "Robots Ready From Mars" is tackled by Quest who gives the track a heavier, clubby breakbeat mix. Fits nicely next to tracks from the likes of The Stanton Warriors or Tayo.
Review: Under the A Vision of Panorama alias, Mikhail Khavsko has released some of the most beguiling nu-Balearic music of the past few years. Aquafusion is his long-awaited debut album, and is sure to further enhance his already high reputation. Drawing on sun kissed synthesizer grooves, languid nu-disco and hazy pop for inspiration, the album boasts all manner of ear-pleasing highlights. These include the new age inspired ambient slinkiness of "Open Sequences", the Gigi Masin style bliss of "Seagulls", the mid-'80s synth-pop-goes-dancing bounce of "Barbados", and the baked, horizontal pop of "Duality" (which notably features the drowsy vocals of Krista Michaela).
Review: A new project based out of Copenhagen - Aether's Spring comes shrouded in mystery but makes a bold statement with this first transmission. WATER: Dancing Moon 12" leads in with "House In Blue Rain," a downcast track bathed in melancholic pads and blown out percussion around a steady 4/4 tick. "Dancing Moon" is a more kinetic affair that works with all kinds of synth shapes alongside some primal drum machine percussion that lends the track a new wave quality that suits it just fine. Closer "Throne Of Clay" spreads across the B side in a brooding, journeying epic fit for the likes of classic James Holden or a more wave-minded Jon Hopkins.
Review: Alex Puddu's Afro Soul Prophecy project continues to blaze into the year with pure molten lava grooves. "Daddy's Groove" is a perfect summer heater with its laid back horns that ooze over the wah wah licks and strutting rim-shots. "Let Me Be Your Lover" takes more of a Latin approach with its upbeat rhythm and bossa tendencies. Listen out for those cosmic guitars in the background... Dreamy business.
Review: Alien Stadium is a collaborative project comprised of Martin Duffy of Primal Scream and Felt, and Steve Mason of The Beta Band. 'Livin' In Elizabethan Times' is an audacious and oddball cosmic rock concept mini-LP about a comically underwhelming invasion of drunkard aliens. As well as the sheer unadulterated fun of the record, the amount of dense and inventive genre-melting the pair have managed to cram into these four tracks is astonishing - dropping in theremins, sound effects, militaristic horns and much more when you least expect them. They set an interplanetary course from twanging and stomping bluesy opener 'This One's For The Humans', through hypnotic balearic-ish bleep and orchestrated retro-futurist pop, to the huge cosmic disco closer 'Titanic Dance'. At first glance, it's an unashamedly silly and fun offering, but repeat listens will reveal these maverick veterans have woven in far deeper layers of commentary humour and substance.
Review: While he may have been operating in the underground for some time, Darren Allen's music is only just coming to light through his own Underlying Form label now. There's a range of styles on offer across this EP, kicking off with the subtle pulse of "Feel" before moving on to a distinctly French-flavoured micro house groove on "Inmost Cave" that wouldn't sound out of place on Telegraph Records. On the B side, "Routine Kills Inspiration" switches the mood up with a rougher sound palette, even if the arrangement is still a minimally-minded affair. Then it's left to Vid Vai to drop a complex reworking of "MD Habitat" loaded with intricate textures.
Review: Don't be fooled by the smoky jazzy horns on the intro: The Allergies are still at the front of the party queue! They were just lulling us into a false sense of security before hitting us with a precision range of big soul swingers and dynamite party killers; both "Hold You Close" and "Since You've Been Gone" pop with big beat bangs, "Entitled To That" stamps and sweats like Wigan Pier is still holding the best dances in the country, "Main Event" parps and pumps while long-standing affiliate Andy Cooper reminds us who's boss while "It Won't Be Me" (also with Cooper) is coded with so much horn and guitar powered gusto you could be fooled into thinking Ugly Duckling are back. Yet another triumphant album from one of Jalapeno's most exciting acts.
Review: What a trip it's been for The Allergies; rolling from one killer album to the next, funk is flying from their HQ at a rate of knots. Here are two fine examples from their last LP Push On, both featuring their long-time friend and MC from Andy Cooper. Best known for his witty wordplay and character on Ugly Duckling records, here Andy gets to show off both sides to his expansive flow; "Main Event" is a chubby disco groove laced with mountains of funk, creating space for Andy's laidback-but-hypey charm. In perfect contrast "Buzzsaw" is a much sweatier funk jam allowing Cooper to get rapid and tongue-twisty in a way that only he knows how. Keep on pushing...
Review: Busta Rhymes has Flipmode, but Audio has Beastmode! After a slew of heavyweight albums on Virus, Audio is returning to the format with Beastmode forthcoming on the mighty RAM with this 12" sampler the first of many tasters. "Overdose" sets a high marker for the album, finding Audio returning with a brutish, rolling bassline, diced up with gritty drum loops and underpinned by quaking subs. Face down and Audio's signature RAM cut "Ultron" is given the Mefjus treatment, resulting in the sort of techy soundscape the Austrian producer reigns over. Mefjus moulds the original around the unfaltering guns of his peddled drums and wavering bassline.
Review: Hessle Audio's emergence from hibernation in 2012 really has seen the label release some of the most extraordinary music of its life, and this EP from Bandshell might top the lot. Tapping into the grainy, murky sound world of the like of STL, Shed and Actress, this record explores strange rhythms constantly on the verge of breaking out into a frenzy. The title track is comprised of little more than rattling percussion and dense, fizzy bass, while "Rise 'Em" places a jungle breakbeat atop a mucky hum. On the flip, "Metzger" takes the vibe of classic dubstep and fills it with subtle melodies and clipped snares, but "Dog Sweater" is the real killer - a homage to soundsystem culture whose threadbare rhythms are the only thing to stop you being dragged into the track's viscous centre. Make no mistake, this is a serious new talent.
Review: A Merle Travis blues standard, as laid down by the one and only BB King in 56. A homage to the coal miner with strong clear lyrics and vibrant horns, the original was one of many breakthrough's BB made in the 50s. It was also futureproofed for Belgium's popcorn sound with a bold brass version that's loaded with so much swing you almost forget its deep deep blues. Records like this are what 45s are made for.
Review: When it comes to sunny, summer-fresh drum and bass, few producers are quite as capable as Spearhead Records supremo Steve "BCee" Jefroy. Further proof of his mastery of soulful-but-punchy D&B comes courtesy of Jefroy's fifth solo full-length, "Shouting About Nothing". Highlights come thick and fast, from the gentle pianos, rolling breaks and stunning vocals of "Sincerely Yours (feat. Leo Wood)" and the weighty low-end rumble of "All Fired Up", to the ruffneck early jungle/vintage D&B fusion of "For All Your Worth", cinematic drum and bass soul of "Wanderer" and the dub-wise, hot-stepping dancefloor skank of the title track "Shouting About Nothing".
Review: 2016 has been an important year for the Beesmunt Soundsystem duo, led by David Va Der Leeuw and Luigi Antonio Jansen and, this new EP for London's Church imprint alongside San Proper is both firmly on-point and exactly the sort of smooth, laid-back house we're vibing on. "Simcha Riddim" gets three versions: There's the slow, balearic OG mix with its cool harmonics and warm glow of vocals, the more kinetic swing of the Percussion dub mix, and a fuller, more beat-heavy remix by Project Pablo. All in all, this makes for a fine slice of house and another stellar addition to the Church catalogue.
This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Review: This week's lesson in simple musical mathematics is demonstrated by Tensnake and Aloe Blacc. The former's inexorable rise in 2010 has perhaps been matched by the worldwide popularity of the latter's "I Need A Dollar", so getting Mr Niemerski on board to remix the track was a smart move. The end results are typically appealing, with Blacc's vocals looped brilliantly around a burning deep house arrangement that peaks in all the right places. The central energetic pulse of cavernous bass stabs and slick hi-hats are inundated by massive swathes of soaring chords as the track progresses, with the requisite breakdowns augmented by choral vocal refrains. Totally euphoric in its intentions and execution, this is bound to have devastating effects when implemented at the right time.
Review: Leeds based Bleaching Agent has been making a racket over at Opal Tapes, Komisch, Overlee Assembly and more in his time, but this appearance on Reposition marks the first we've heard from him in a while. The mood on "Free Fere Fer Fe" is boisterous but dynamic, while "Albeni" is more sharply chiselled. "To Tu Ti Tl H" switches gears with a reduced weirdo disco thrust that could do some serious damage. The D-56M remix of "Free Fere Fer Fe" is a bold reimagining as a trancey industrial deviation with a workable pulse.
Review: Another great EP from the 3 boys from Sweden, the Blotnik Brothers. Strong percussive big room electro, thick melodies and perfectly-timed arrangements are the mark of their second EP. Kraftwerk on steroids!
Review: Bristol-based badman Borai has been quietly issuing some of the city's most immense club wreckers for many years now, sometimes in partnership with October, and sometimes flying solo (as on the crucial Anybody From London for Hotline Recordings). Here he's inaugurating Higher Level with some absolute dance slayers, kicking off with the mammoth pitched-down drum funk and gut-wrenching bass of "Razor" before switching stance for the dreamier but no less rowdy "Predators." Both cuts are a masterclass in classic breakbeat science, delivering the foundational UK sound with panache that sets these weapons far apart from the rest of the pack.
Review: It was two years ago when Finnish combo Bowman Trio (AKA trumpeter Tomi Nikku, double bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Sami Nummela) first rocked up on We Jazz to showcase their particular brand of "loft jazz". This fine single is the three-piece's first new material since the release of their eponymous debut LP in 2016. Both original compositions are pretty darn good, especially A-side "The Chase (Version 1)", where Tuuri's rubbery, "Bullit"-style bassline and Nikku's headline-grabbing trumpet solos brilliantly wrap themselves around Nummela's hybrid jazz/bossa-nova beats. The band opt for an altogether sunnier sound on flipside "The Hillary Step", an invitation to dance from the halcyon days of swing-time jazz that includes some killer stop-start sections and impeccable drum fills.
Review: More unreleased gold from Lafayette Afro congressman Bobby Boyd on Athens Of The North. Big 80s boogie funk, "Rock On" delves deep into Boyd's later material with a light Latin flare and a little p-funk sleaze and a full flavoured guitar solo. The main hit, however, is the dancefloor blunderbuss remix by decorated engineer of the time Bob Blank. With a discog that includes the likes of Larry Levan and Arthur Russell, he adds strong shades of proto house to the mix with big kick drums and an arrangement and dynamic that still boots floors and doors down to this day.
Review: Braiden's material has been slow to come out since he first landed with a bang on Doldrums back in 2010. A turn on Rush Hour confirmed his status as a producer in command of the chops necessary to get a dancefloor shaking, but this year's X Years In London OST cassette was a chance for him to expand into more experimental pastures. Not so on this new 12" for his Off Out label, which finds Braiden turning up the heat with some fiercely modern tech house workouts. "V.O.L.A.T" has the same kind of dangerous earworm armour that made Paul Woolford's "Erotic Discourse" so potent all those years ago. "Hydroplane" meanwhile takes some of the crisp but playful tropes of Pearson Sound et al and straps them to a thrumming motorik beat.
Review: After a quiet 2016 thus far Och's Autoreply label is finally back in action with a frankly fantastic selection of workouts from Mark Broom. In keeping with the style Broom has been exercising in new Perbec jams with Baby Ford, this is more restrained than the muscular techno Broom can also be known for. Instead, you get expressive, satisfying house tracks such as "18.2" and the neatly pumping "10" with its killer array of synths to satisfy the dancefloor and the mind in equal measure. Avoiding unnecessary fireworks in favour of perfectly chosen and shaped elements, this is a glittering demonstration of Broom's cool-headed approach in the studio.
Review: Argy's These Days label is an occasional treat in the world of stripped down tech house, and it makes its first appearance for 2016 with a selection of club-ready remixes from the label boss, tackling various productions from German techno mainstay Paul Brtschitsch. The "Floor Adaptation" of "Green" heads into subterranean pastures, albeit with a powerful beat propelling it, and "Eternal Aspects" maintains that underground mood with a warmer synth repertoire. On the more flamboyant B-side, "Squeezed" takes on a wild old-skool quality perfect for more fiery moments on the floor before "Subbass" continues the jacking theme in fine style.
Review: A serious self-press rarity from the heart of Clarksville, Suggs never achieved the recognition he deserved during his tenure as a band leading soul man. Still in Clarksville and now a missionary, the sentiments of this recording history peak resonate with what he does now: "Everything That Looks Good" is a JB style message on the lure of temptation while "You Don't Deserve", an instrumental that sees Bubba switching his vocals for equally commanding sax, is a moment for poignant, soul-searching reflection. Lord have mercy.
Review: Dropping a searing double pack of 10" badness ahead of the forthcoming Angels & Devils album, The Bug is back in business with some apocalyptic gutter bass of the highest order. "Freakshow" matches the leering delivery of Danny Brown with the sinister croon of King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi over a horn-laden trap swagger to devastating effect. "Louder" pits Flowdan in the depths of a nauseating half-step march, while "Dirty" takes the London MC into a barrage of equally nerve-jangling drum rattles and alarm-clanging stabs. Long-time Bug collaborator Daddy Freddy rolls up his sleeves for "Kill Them", anchoring the dread stomp with a fearsome growl as anthemic as it is nihilistic.
Review: Naturally, there's been plenty of hype surrounding this new Hyperdub 10", which features Burial indulging his often-discussed ambient influences. It's a typically creepy and ghostly affair, with the lack of beats - if not rhythmic elements - only serving to amplify the shadowy producer's impeccable sound design and brilliant use of manipulated field recordings. A-side "Subtemple" is particularly paranoid in tone, featuring as it does chilling melody loops, curious vocal samples, looped vinyl crackle and all manner of layered background noise. Flipside "Beachfires" is, if anything, even more dystopian, with Burial basing the action around the kind of pulsing chords that gust back and forth like an autumnal breeze.
Review: Burial's first multiple-track release since "Rival Dealer" three years ago: "Young Death" takes the lead with weave of deep, scratchy and evocative human textures while soulful vocal shards yearn and flutter over soft faraway beats. "Nightmarket" takes an even more introspective meander through the shadowy unknown with fractured arpeggios, distant whispers and thick graininess that envelops almost overwhelmingly. As forward, unusual and unique as ever, Burial remains in a league of his own. Limited.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: Milan mystic funkateering five-piece Calibro 35 tease with two songs from their forthcoming album Decade. As always, expect full instrumental mischief as the long-haired gang duff us up with fast-paced, super-tight grooves laced with heady levels of cosmicity. "SuperStudio" is the entrance theme of your dreams. A big ballsy riff, full orchestration and a momentum that pushes you deep inside your favourite 70s movie. "Gomma" is straight up funk prog fusion with its warbling synths and big dark energetic waves. Bring on the album!
Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux - "The Same River Twice"
M:I:5 - "Masstab 1:5/11"
Jan Jelinek - "Tendency"
Dresvn - "Untitled B1"
Objekt - "The Stitch-Up"
Two Full Minds - "No Smoke"
Photek - "T'Raenon"
Don't DJ - "Pornoire"
Flanger - "Spinner"
Carl Craig - "A Wonderful Life" (Epic mix)
Call Super - "Acephale I"
Call Super - "Acephale II"
Marco Bernardi - "Demonia"
Jega - "ZX82"
Shanti Celeste - "Strung Up"
Bitstream - "Incubator"
Bruce - "Sweat"
Convextion - "Niche"
Karen Gwyer - "Hippie Fracca"
Thomas Ankersmit & Valerio Tricoli - "Plague #7"
Walter Brown - "Keep On Walkin'"
Yves Tumor - "The Feeling When You Walk Away"
Max Loderbauer - "Giant Hug"
Speng Bond - "Cutbacks"
Review: Soon, Fabric's impeccable mix series will reach its 100th installment - an impressive achievement in anyone's book. This 92nd volume comes from rising star Call Super, who joins the dots between all manner of tasty house and techno treats - some left-of-centre and quirky, others simply wonky and picturesque - over the course of 80 hugely entertaining minutes. According to the producer, it's designed for the break of dawn, rather than peak-time, a fact reflected in the presence of dreamy, loose, fuzzy and melodious tracks from the likes of Carl Craig, Speng Bond, Max Loderbauer, Shanti Celeste and Dresvn.
E Man Boogie '83 (Jimmy Castor/Gerry Thomas 12" mix)
Review: Larry Levan remix - v.e.r.y. r.a.r.e.! 12" Import pressing of the extremely rare Larry Levan remix of 'It's Just Begun'.
On the flip is the original Jimmy Castor/Gerry Thomas 12" mix 'E Man Boogie 83'. We found these Salsoul 12"s in
a warehouse and have hardly any, once they are gone - they. are. gone.
Review: Certain Creatures in Oliver Chapoy who has appeared previously on Style Upon Styles and was involved in the BM/CC/WW project back in 2014 with Brendon Moeller and Clay Wilson. These five harsh and textural abrasions in greyscale techno are pretty serious; for fans of Shifted and Sigha; pay attention. On the A side it's all about the peak time fury of "Compulsion" which borrows from classic Regis in terms of brutal repetition in all its stripped, compressed and saturated glory like something of his classic Gymnastics LP. On the flip, the title track uses more restraint with its hypnotic and arpeggiated bell melody modulating out of control hysterically, executed as finely as Domenico Crisci has done of late; be warned! Closing track "HTMDML" is guttural electro beats served up as grungy and overdriven as you like and will appeal to Killekill fans.
Review: Bay City claim that between the 60s and 70s, the music scene "was so fertile that the speed with which tastes changed left a colossal amount of incredible music to gather dust - perhaps most famously a profusion of funk, soul and rock." This resulted in many local bands who released their music independently without a label. The rather short lived, James Brown indebted Chain were one of those bands. These impressive two tracks feature hard drums, sharp horns, raw vocals, and supercool guitar licks. And a whole lot of soul, of course!
Review: Saxophonist and keyboardist Jorja Chalmers has accomplished much over the course of her career - she's toured and recorded extensively with Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music - but debut album "Human Again" marks the first time she's stood centre stage as a solo artist. She has all the ingredients to succeed on her own, though: a bold look, a supportive label in Italians Do It Better and a signature style that's in turns creepy, claustrophobic, cinematic, atmospheric and seductive. More importantly, "Human Again" is superb, offering a synthesizer-powered mix of dark ambient instrumentals, David Lynch style soundtrack pieces, drowsy and clandestine sounding songs and cuts that wrap her distinctive saxophone solos around the most evocative of electronic soundscapes.
Review: There will always be a place for politically charged records, but lines like "The government man bring the working man down to his knees/It's time to take a stand against the government man" seem particularly relevant right now. It's the lead cry on the a-side of this new 7" from eight-piece band Christel & The Goldmaster AllStars who have a bold two piece horn section driving along this fusion of ska, reggae and rock which was first recorded in 1998 and has recently been unearthed. The flipside version has sci-fi studio effects and warped synths layered in for extra trippiness.
Review: Fresh and contemporary intergalactic reissue action from the ridiculously on-point Finders Keepers! For many old-school gamers and general niche nerds, the sounds of the inimitable Atari machines were the foundations of gaming culture. Never strictly available in soundtrack format until now, Suzanne Ciani's shimmering, quasi-techno sounds are the perfect example of the futurism that characterised the 1980s. This particular release features the opening theme and jingles from the Liberator game, which means that the wonderful Finders Keepers could certainly be planning another Atari-related release in the near future. He right, but in the meantime do not sleep on this badboy
Review: "Ma Fleur" is the first full studio album by Jason Swinscoe's Cinematic Orchestra since 2002's "Everyday". The record was written as the soundtrack to a specially commissioned screenplay for an imagined film (which may or may not be made). Shortly after finishing "Everyday", a piece of music which achieved great critical and commercial success, Jason Swinscoe relocated from East London to Paris. Here he began work on the instrumentals which would form the basis of his new record - more moods than finished tracks, a series of sketches or diagrams of directions to follow. Having completed a rough version by early 2005, he gave this to a friend who disappeared for three weeks and came back with short story scripts in which each scene represented a story of a different time in life, expressing the emotions which underpin the journey from birth to death. Jason then took this and worked some more on the tracks, and in turn gave this back to his scriptwriter, the two aspects of the project developing alongside one another. Gradually, Swinscoe recruited suitable vocalists for the atmospheres and themes he wanted to deal with. The remarkable Fontella Bass, who is now sadly in frail health, is the woman behind both legendary soul number "Rescue Me" as well as some of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's finest moments, had worked on "Everyday" and was an obvious choice to voice the parts of the elderly protagonist that Swinscoe envisaged. Mercury-nominated Lou Rhodes is not only a fantastic singer but a young mother and so perfect for the "mid-life" singer. The as-yet unheralded Patrick Watson, a remarkable vocalist from Montreal, became the youngest of the trio.
Review: Slow Town's 17th release from Melbournes Luis CL is an ode to analogue jams. The Cran town EP shows what Luis CL (one half of the Zanzibar Chanel duo and co-founder of Ruff Records) is know for: Dirty but groovy drum arrangements, analogue synths and dreamy melodies and his kind of lo-fi and blurry mixdowns with definitely some Detroit influences. The three tracks were recorded in one take during his studio sessions.
Review: Italy's TGP label has been a strong presence in the more wayward division of the house and techno game since 2010, and this has been thanks to the persistence and unifying vision of its most regular artists. Here, they team up in fine style on the label's third instalment of the TGPEXTRA series, with Claudio PRC and UNC leading the pack with "CXXV", a sombre, minimalistic techno deviation with just the right hint of dubby haze. "III" by Blazej Malinowski is an equally sparse and aqueous affair, stretching cold beats and placid stars of bass over a consistently shifting backdrop of soft harmonies and industrial sonics.
Review: Another two-pronged soul attacker from the Soul Tribe imprint, and this time we got some 60s specials for you to enjoy, First up are The Coasters and their 1965 hit, the upbeat, lighthearted tones of "Crazy Baby"", a tune that'll get you moving and shaking within the first drum roll. On the flip, we have a deeper, jazzier, instrumental vibes from The Innocent Bystanders and the magnetic "Frantic Escape", a diggers' dream come true, and a stone-cold B-side killer made to get the heads nodding. Quality material, as always.
Review: The Whiskey Pickle crew turn their attention to a new partnership from Steve Cobby and Laurie Welton, the former being known for decades of DJing, label management and producing alongside the likes of Stephen Mallinder for Throne Of Blood. Here the emphasis, as expected with Whiskey Pickle, is on disco with a slight leaning to the left. "Absolute" is a bubbling jam laden with illustrious threads of melody, cosmic in nature but still rooted thanks to a rock solid rhythm section. "Limoncello" is a more introspective affair that works with minor chords and a more intricate set of drums, but don't be fooled the groove is very much still intact. New York duo Whatever/Whatever bring a tougher dynamic to "Absolute," dialing in some beefy beats and amping up the synth touches for a surefire house heater.
Review: Finland's Timmion Records should, by now, be categorised as leaders in the leftfield soul game. Their catalogue contains a wealth of both old and new talents and, whenever we see that famous 'TRI' sign hit our shelves, we just know we're in for the good shit. Thankfully, this new collaboration by the mysterious Cold Diamond and Mink is right up there with the rest of the label's wacky, soulful mind-melters, except that here we head into even deeper quarters. The 7" contains two parts of "Queen Of Soul", a rough, wavy piece of lo-fi strumming that uses its wonderfully exchoing guitars to guide the listener into a state of total psychedelia. We love it, and we suggest you to cop one now before it pops up for the triple the price in a decade's time. Bliss.
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Timo Garcia & The Chesire Catz remix)
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Tom Belton S Ssl Re-rub)
Review: Coldcut return with the stand-out single from their critically-acclaimed album, "Sound Mirrors". The pioneering duo take Joe South's classic 70s hit "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and re-work it in the tradition which started with their own "Autumn Leaves" and incorporates Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" amongst others. And, as usual, Coldcut know how to pick a collaborator. Robert Owens should need no introduction. One of the true legends of house music, his career as a musical innovator (as well as the possessor of an all-time great voice) runs from pioneer days as one half of Fingers Inc in Chicago in the 80s right up to collaborations with Photek and London Elektricity, via any number of classic tunes including "Tears", "I'll Be Your Friend" and "Ordinary Son". The version of the tune included on the single ties the epic nature of Coldcut's production to a skipping, swinging house rhythm and the kind of anthemic build that leaves you exhausted. It's a truly beautiful piece of music, the contrast between the delicacy of Owens' voice and the weight of the orchestration perfectly realised. And that's before you've even reached the mixes. Tiga takes the original, strips out the music and replaces it with technoid pulses and a harder dancefloor rhythm, with the sweetness of Owens' voice cutting through the intensity. Henrik Schwarz (of Berlin-based Sonar Kollektiv) builds the original into a melancholy, jazzy number which still sets the foot tapping. Tom Belton goes straight for the disco-funk hands-in-the-air jugular, before Timo Garcia hardens up the kick for a full-on club odyssey.
Review: Not to be confused with the sports commentator, David Coleman was behind the scorching boardwalk vocals that graced Hector Rivera's debut 1966 album At The Party. The right levels of swoon and croons over vital Latin orchestration - led by the renowned pianist and regular Tito Puenta collaborator - David exudes some serious emotion. "Drown My Heart" lilts with a soft samba while Coleman scatters powerful heartbreak tales, "My Foolish Heart" takes a much more stripped back rhythmic arrangement with yearning, soaring strings that break out into the full orchestra on the chorus. Both cult attractions on the northern soul and popcorn scenes, it's another hearty reissue from them up north.