Review: The Philadelphian Alex Giannascoli has managed to hammer out eight solo albums in less than seven years, and one would be forgiven for assuming he's confused quality with quantity, were it not for the fact that 'Rocket' is unquestionably his most coherent, most memorable and most diverse work yet - replete with the same bleary-eyed charm that has always characterised this amiable slacker's work, yet with sharply constructed songs that bear the stylistic wanders from bucolic folk-pop to Elliott Smith-style angst to Beck-style bewilderment with ease. A piece de resistance from an increasingly fascinating ingenue.
Review: 100Hz have consistently snuck out 12"s since the early 90s, but their productivity is at an all time high and their Modugroove label is the perfect vessel to get more of their smartly crafted tech house treats into the ears of discerning DJs and dancers everywhere. This second release on their label kicks off with the atmospheric twinges of "Klon 6 Step", a sizzling, simmering cut for transcendental moments on the floor. "Wild Fudge" is a snappier affair peppered with folky string plucks that sound fresh in the club track context. "Infrastructure" takes things on an emotive tip with a range of strong melodic leads, and "Tinky Tink" ramps up the unease with a creeping jam for the less salubrious end of the night.
Notes: Documentary focusing on British singer-songwriter Kate Bush and her 1985 album 'Hounds of Love'. Featuring interviews with producers and musicians who worked on the album and music journalists, the film examines the making of the album and its impact upon release.
Review: Chris Romans has been rolling out crucial electro jams for a number of highly regarded labels since the early 00s. Amongst them are Touchin' Bass, Shipwrec, Frustrated Funk and Central Processing Unit, so that tells you everything you need to know about the level he's operating at as 214. Now he comes to 20/20 Vision with some body-poppin' jams of the highest order, broadening the tech house label's remit to embrace the thriving electro scene with one of its most vital practitioners. "Potential Events" is a brooding, atmospheric affair while "Windeye" draws on a more playful, Detroit indebted palette of sounds. Radioactive Man remixes "Windeye" with a steady, finely detailed approach, and then "Back To Sine" finishes the record off with another snappy salvo of funky drums and bubbling synths.
Review: 2DeepSoul are the core crew behind Inner Shift music, so as you might expect they've got a keen instinct for the finest strains of pure deep house as you'd happily dig from the likes of Patrice Scott or Fred P. They open up the Windows EP with the dreamy haze of "Clarity" before "Contour Lines" brings a pulsing, techy lead into the mixture of sweeping pads and snappy beats. "Someday" is a rich, harmonious ambient excursion, and then "It's A Sign" finishes the EP off with a truly meditative trip for the smoothest deep house cruisers to lock onto.
Notes: Right angle 2.1mm barrel plug (5.5mm outer diameter, positive tip). Short barrel to barrel cable for daisy-chaining Row Powers and/or Pods. Cable is 11" long (centre of tip to centre of tip), suitable for two Pods next to each other or in front/behind each other. Also compatible with Row Power modules.
Review: Surface Records has never pulled any punches as one of the UK's toughest techno labels, and The 65D Mavericks have embodied the same spirit with their charged, lyrically provocative approach. After a lengthy hiatus label and artist are back in action, and sounding as fierce as ever. "False Prophets" is not for the faint hearted - an avalanche of thunderous drums and expletive-laden diatribes. "Cosmic Drift" is marginally more meditative, but still positively unhinged in its execution. "You Lost Your Mind" flails around a muddy, punky swamp of deviant sonic behaviour, and "Immovable (dub)" throws one last curveball into the long grass, stripping out the bark without losing the bite of this proudly individual group of techno marauders.
Review: Smile & Wave appears from out of nowhere with two unknown names heading up the first release. There's no indication of who is behind A Houseband or Russian Hackers, but both of them have done a damn fine job of bringing two sure fire killers to wax. The first is "Another Love Another Happiness", which as the title candidly suggests is yet another version of the oft-sampled "Love & Happiness", this time framed in a bubbling, dubby deep house context for the mellow heads to soak up. By way of contrast Russian Hackers get busy with "303", bringing some forthright jack to the table.
Review: The Innate label made a sizable impact with its first release - a killer various artists 12" with Mark Hand, Lerosa and others. Now it returns with another balanced mix of established and emergent artists, leading in with a stunning A side cut from A Sagittariun delivering what might be his most beautiful production to date - a swooning, snaking slice of melodious techno that brims with emotion and canny programming. After turning heads on the first Innate release, Gilbert returns with "Polynoid," a punchy, Lately bass-powered workout with lashings of Motor City soul heaped on top. Sean Dixon completes the package with "Our Love For Music," a pointed machine mantra that maintains the classic techno tone Innate is shaping up as its MO.
Notes: An exclusive, fully authorized, first-person account by Ed Sheeran of how he became an internationally renowned singer-songwriter. Ed Sheeran is the soulful singer-songwriter from England who has captivated American audiences. With words by Ed Sheeran and illustrations by his childhood friend, artist Phillip Butah (who produces artwork for Sheeran's albums and singles), and accompanying photos, Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey explores Sheeran's early musical experiences and influences as well as his time recording and touring, right up to the release of his second album, x. The book reveals what drives and inspires Ed as he continues to evolve as an artist, while coping with stratospheric success. With close to 100 photographs and illustrations, this is a book that all Ed Sheeran fans should own and will cherish.
Review: Unsurprisingly, Above Smoke has long been closely associated with his brother Dubbyman's Deep Explorer label, and so it figures that the Spanish artist is releasing his debut album close to home. For those unfamiliar with the sound of Deep Explorer, think of the warmest, soul-inflected deep house rich with natural instrumentation as much as electronic elements and you should have an idea. On the album format Above Smoke has space to branch out into some refined neo soul excursions such as "Don't Stop (Till The Morning)" featuring Kikone's stirring vocal, but as ever it's the exemplary house music that truly defines this album.
Review: "Is the Cornuta Sound's return after a long resting time. This new 10" contains one of the most saved songs by Above Smoke (Deep Explorer) that runs into the jazz world and an outro take for djs. The flipside brings a great rework by the label boss (W&P Hgg)."
Notes: This 28.5cm x 21cm anti-static record cleaning cloth is ideal for taking care of your record collection. Soft brushed micro-fibre, lint free, designed to clean vinyl, CD's and DVD's. Removes dust, grease and static effectively with or without fluid.
Conductive carbon fibres eliminate static charges & fine dust particles
Notes: Keep your vinyl collection in pristine condition with this specially designed antistatic brush. Designed to clear the fine grooves of dust & fluff without damaging the delicate playing surfaces, an essential requirement for maintaining optimum reproduction quality.