Review: When it was initially released three decades ago in the summer of 1990, Slowdive's eponymous debut EP was heralded as an instant shoegaze classic: a drowsy, dreamy collection of hazy wall-of-sound, reverb-drenched songs that put the Reading band right at the heart of a growing musical movement. As this 30th anniversary reissue proves, it remains a fine collection of cuts. While lead cut 'Slowdive', a more orthodox fusion of shoegaze, dream-pop and indie-rock, was the one that chimed with listeners at the time, it's the two-part soundscape 'Avalyn' - and in particular the epic 'Avalyn II' - that resonates loudest in the 21st century. The latter track is so good that it's worth buying the EP just to get your hands on it.
Review: Following two sterling turns from Dedication feat Danielle Moore and Smith & Mudd feat Quinn Lamont Luke, Adventures In Paradise returns with another effervescent, vocal-led bomb. Soma World team up with Falle for an energising track that fold high life, funk and Kwaito house into a potent blend given voice by the infectious singing of Falle. As well as the original version of 'Want This', we're treated to two remixes by Ray Mang, who dubs the track out into a simmering, bass-rooted groover that captures the moody allure of a picture-perfect sundown moment.
Joey Jackson - "Made This Wearing One Slipper" (6:04)
Review: BEEYOU Records continue their infatuation with apiculture and bouncy tech house on The Worker EP, featuring another finely selected cast of buzzing beatmakers. Le Louche and Mehlor team up for the sprightly 90s-licked tones of 'Beat Back To', which features a deadly garage hook and a cascade of zippy FX around the nagging swing of the drums. ADMNTi keeps the pressure up with the twitchy delights of 'E3 Shaolin', while Casey Spillman gets busy with some rubbery bass on 'Just A Sip'. Joey Jackson takes things deeper without losing the punch on 'Made This Wearing One Slipper'.
Review: Having established himself many moons ago on Alphabet Set, Cignol has gone on to become a firm fixture in the contemporary electro scene with drops on labels like Lunar Disko, Furthur Electronix, Seagrave and many more. Now he appears on 20:20 Vision with an EP that slots perfectly into the electro direction the label has been exploring in the past couple of years. 'Past Futures' pivots around a nagging acid line, a pitched-down vocal hook and an easy tempo, while 'Virtual Array' swerves for the plushest Drexciya-indebted territory. 'Gantm' brings forth more 303 action, matched with all kinds of other playful synth strokes and a tumbling beat. 'Lessened By Lessons' completes the set on a plaintive note, but with a similar palette of expressive synth lines and a keen sense of harmony powering the track.
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.
Review: The first release on Kamarads pulls together a solid mix of established tech house figureheads for a classy, versatile set of club tracks. Politics Of Dancing goes up first with 'Ote', a deep and rugged groover geared towards hypnotism and total immersion. Djebali follows up with an equally stealthy roller that will appeal to those who like it stripped back. Terence: Terry takes things in a swirling, trippy direction with the afters-ready 'Eastern Boy' and Stephan Bazbaz finishes up with a gorgeous, lilting deep house lullaby to soothe the weary raver's soul.
Review: The brilliantly dark world of breakbeats and stripped back techno that Illian Tape call their own gets that bit richer with this new EP from Pessimist. It kicks off with some rugged jungle rides that are coloured by bird calls, wood block hits and booming bass before 'The Crawlers' is a flurry of snares and hi hats that tie your mind and body in knots. The excellent 'Ridge Racer Revolution' is a hardcore track that never lets up, with flailing hits and hundred mile and hour breaks all demanding you dance. The closer is a dystopian cut of unresolved loops ad frazzled bass that lurches back and forth and traps you right where it wants you. Thrilling stuff.
Review: Buckle up for the latest space crusade from Salty Nuts. This one finds Oden & Fatzo at the helm and the trip begins with the slick and seductive tech house perfection of 'Spaceship For Sale' which glides on silky synths to an imagined future. 'Casinomania' bubbles with all the sort of pixelated sounds and hyper real chords that you would get on the gambling floor of a Las Vegas hotel and '69 Party Boys' is another lithe, neon-lit future-tech-funk gem that gets a remix from Fabe. In the popular Brazilian's hands it becomes a little more thrown back thanks to its warm organ bass.
Review: French dub techno engineers Berg Audio return with their fourth release in 2020, courtesy of one R.Y. with an A.C. We are not entirely sure who the former is, but the latter stands for Another Channel, a producer from Ausburg in Southern Germany. The acronyms collaborate on the cavernous and glacial groove of 'Move Dub' that is balanced out by its emotive male and female vocals. It comes with two terrific reworks: Mosaic man man Steve O'Sullivan is in fine form as usual, taking the track down a warmer path with a more sensual feel, followed by Roman Poncet aka Traumer's perspective which injects the track with a groovy minimalist stomp.
Review: After last year's killer Record Store Day edition featuring the Relative affiliated Vinalog, UK techno legend Colin McBean aka Mr G flies solo on this year's special installment with this wicked four tracker on his esteemed Phoenix G imprint. RSD 2020 features the soulful vocals and breakbeat action of 'Bands Tight' (4 Henry) and the moody, heads-down stomper that is 'Stinger 2' on the A side, followed by the loose and low-slung after hours vibe of 'The DJ' on the flip, and ending with the evocative and atmospheric slow burner 'Song For My Forefathers'.
Review: Adam Feingold once again dons the Ex Terrestrial alias, this time for an outing on box fresh Canadian imprint NAFF. He's in a typically melodious and glassy-eyed mood on the A-side, where "Portal Living (Kali)" and "Portal Living (Plain)" provide two contrasting takes on the producer's warm and wavy interpretation of early Italian dream house. "Vanilight (Re-Zoned)" sounds like his tactile take on obscure bleep pioneers DJ Martin and DJ Homes' brilliant (but little-known) bass-heavy remixes of Man Machine's "Animal", while closer "2DS" is a kaleidoscopic slice of deep musical bliss that sits somewhere between original New Jersey deep house and the turn-of-the-'90s Soul II Soul sound.
Review: If this is your first run in with New York's Ike Yard then Factory Records might be a good place to start - these guys were the first US act to sign with the iconic but doomed Manchester label back in the day, and that says a lot about what to expect from their output. This was their first EP, released in 1981, making their proto-post punk and no wave trappings all the more groundbreaking.
The five tracks still stand up today, and certainly compare with some of the era and canon's definitive names. It would be unfair to say you can hear A Certain Ratio, Joy Division or Section 25 here, though, as Ike Yard were doing this at roughly same time to those UK counterparts, so it's less about mimicry and more a sign of just how necessary noises like this were back then.
Review: 'Wanna Dance' is the new jam by deep house heavyweight Sean McCabe (Good Vibrations) and Last Forever chief Turbojazz. Said to be conceived during the lockdown period, the track recalls the energy of classic Detroit deep house and even features one of the city's favourite voices in the form of Javonntte. On the flip, the spiritual vibe of Moondance's rework calls to mind the work of Motor City legend Alton Miller, while EVM128 aka Evermean Beats really soaks up the vibe of his new hometown - London - on his nu-jazz broken beat perspective that would make even Kaidi Tatham stand up and notice.
Review: NDATL continues into the deep foray sounds of Roberta. The evermore elusive producer serves up deep dance EP for NDATL. The title track "Reaching Out" creeps lo fi percussion, haunting chords & yet upliftng samples for a unique energy. "The Get Down" with its snappy raw drum will have the doing just that getting down. "Reachin Out 2" is just more upbeat take on the original. "Dat Thang" is a catchy loop that you should brighten anyone set! "Gotta Have Love" is another deep one from the Roberta repertoire. Rounding the 12" an instrumental of the "Reachin Out 2"
Review: One of the joys of Pets Recordings' output over the last couple of years is how unpredictable it has become stylistically. Basically, you don't know what the next release will bring musically, but more often than not it will be rather good. That's certainly the case on the imprint's latest four-tracker, which sees London producer Jeigo (real name Jack Carr-Miles) flit between driving and occasionally dreamy breakbeat-house dirtiness (the retro-futurist peak-time pump of 'We Are Not Nothing'), Livity Sound-goes-deep house brilliance (the intricate percussion programming and gently swelling chords of 'Far Away'), hazy early morning deep house hypnotism ('FS Melody'), and ultra-deep, UK garage-influenced sunrise wooziness ('Beyond', whose emotive, ear-catching female vocal samples work wonderfully).