Last I Heard (...He Was Circling The Drain) (5:10)
Dawn Chorus (5:34)
I Am A Very Rude Person (3:52)
Not The News (3:57)
The Axe (6:58)
Impossible Knots (4:19)
(Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You For Coming) (4:57)
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Thom Yorke's impressive third solo album, "ANIMA", is available on wax (and in a fetching shade of orange, too). A future classic that continues the legacy he started with XL Recordings back in 2006 (with his solo debut The Eraser), ANIMA is well worth picking up, as Yorke and co-producer Nigel Godrich offer up evocative, off-kilter songs built around the twin attractions of the Radiohead man's distinctive vocals and skewed backing tracks rich in layered electronic noise, body-bending sub-bass, discordant synthesizer parts and intriguingly jaunty drum loops. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the creepy, lo-fi ambient swirl of "Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)" and "Dawn Chorus" (a blissfully dewy-eyed early morning soundscape), to the low-slung, post-trip-hop hum of "I Am A Very Rude Person" and the fizzing, jazz-fired thrust of "Impossible Knots". Melancholic, yes. Deep and self-effacing, of course. Nihilistic, not really. Percussive futurist sub-pop is back.
Review: Funkyjaws is the Belarusian DJ and producer Sergey Abramov, who you might have previously spotted on Kolour LTD and Shadeleaf Music, often alongside Four Walls. Now a new start up label from St Petersburg has called on Abramov to inaugurate their imprint with his incredibly funky touch, leading in with the sweaty Afrobeat thump of "Ole Ole" and following up in fine style with the sprightly "Heavy Salsa Pushka Bassline", where salsa rips, rudeboy breaks and disco strut gleefully bounce off each other. "Untitled I" and "Untitled II" continue the West African trip with another two brilliant edit workouts with plenty of oomph where it counts.
The Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Darkest Light" (45 edit) (4:18)
The Outlaw Blues Band - "Deep Gully" (45 edit) (4:17)
Review: The Mushi 45 series returns with something rather special: a limited edition seven-inch containing un-credited re-edits of two killer cuts that have previously provided sample fodder for some of the biggest hip-hop cuts of all time. On side A the mystery re-work merchants set to work on the Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's "Darkest Light", a jazzy laidback funk shuffler whose snaking sax line has popped up on countless rap tracks by the likes of Jay-Z, Public Enemy and Ice Cube. Over on the flip Outlaw Blues Band's "Deep Gully" gets the rearrangement treatment. It's another familiar favourite thanks to use in cuts by MC Serch, De La Soul and Cyprus Hill, with the secretive scalpel fiends tastefully cutting and pasting the deep grooves, eyes-closed guitar solos and jazzy horn arrangements.
Review: If ever there was a record that warranted a one-track single-sided pressing, it would be this one. The legend of this track harks back to the golden years of dubplate culture, when a track's infamy could be felt months before it dropped. Sherelle lay waste to the place when she dropped Fixate's utterly devilish bootleg of Double 99's timeless garage classic "Ripgroove," which artfully nudges the track back into the rudest jungle styles the original made such good use of. It had to get an official pressing, and who better than original label Ice Cream Records to do the business? This one is going to fly out, so don't hang around.
Review: To tie in with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, Brian Eno has decided to put out a new edition of his decidedly spacey 1983 ambient album "Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks", which started life as the soundtrack to a long-forgotten documentary about NASA's space program. The edition is rather special, not only because it contains a remastered version of the original set created by Eno, his brother Roger and regular collaborator Daniel Lanois, but also because it contains a second disc of previously unheard material. This is not old, though, but rather brand new recordings - described as "new interpretations of the film soundtrack" - made by the Lanois and the Eno brothers late last year in a similar style. In a word: essential.
Review: Given his stargazing, intergalactic ethos, it's perhaps unsurprising that sci-fi techno overlord Jeff Mills has decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing by releasing an album containing his musical "interpretations of Earth's moon". As you'd expect from an artist of Mills' standing, it's a very good album. Evocative, atmospheric and hugely spacey - this is Jeff Mills after all - the seven-track set moves from scene-setting, string-laden ambient ("Control, Satva and Rama") to sparse, acid-flecked dub techno ("Electromagnetic") via a string of fine cuts that variously touch on electro-fired broken techno ("Stabilizing The Spin"), Steve Reich style minimalism (the brilliant "Lunar Power"), and semi-orchestral electronic positivity ("The Tides").
Tears For Fears - "Head Over Heels" (Sketches From An Island Sunrise Mediation) (9:03)
Trance - "Ambiente" (7:49)
The Advisory Circle - "Sundial" (3:32)
Richard Torrance - "Anything's Possible" (4:26)
Swing Out Sister - "After Hours" (4:51)
Mark Barrott - "Mokusho" (5:13)
John Stammers - "Idle I'm" (Colorama Coloured In remix) (3:17)
Review: Given their insanely strong Balearic credentials, you'd expect any album compiled by Pete Gooding and Mark Barrott to be stacked to the rafters with drowsy, sun-kissed gems. That's certainly the case with the latest volume of the La Torre Ibiza series, which is the third in total. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the exotic dub shuffle of Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell's "Alseema Dub" and the Penguin Cafe Orchestra-esque "Mornings At Made's" by Pacific Coliseum, to the new age ambient warmth of Satoshi & Makoto's "Crepuscule Leger" and the glassy-eyed blue-eyed soul brilliance of Richard Torrance's "Anything's Possible". Barrott's production and remix contributions are naturally stunning, with his epic Sketches From An Island remix of Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" being particularly worthy of mention.
Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box dips once more into the acid-laced honey pot and comes up with the lysergic maestro Luke Vibert, who delivers a crucial gurgler in "X To C" that ranks amongst his most incisive 303 workouts in recent memory. A snappy 808 drum line and quintessential vocal chops make this an all-round masterful jam for heads down moments in the dance. Robin Ball himself steps up on the B side with two equally proficient cuts, from the big and bold peak time propulsion of "Gripper" to the punchy tech-noir of "The Edge".
Review: Petr Serkin has been delivering classy funky house variations to Freedom Sessions and elsewhere for some time now, and after a three year break his dependable touch does the business once again on this new missive. "City Worms" is a gorgeous house track that draws on classic instrumentation - slinky live bass, gossamer Rhodes chords, brushed drums and wah wah guitar chops - to create an immersive groove. "Remember That Summer" takes things deeper, using similar ingredients but spelling out a smokier mood. "Water Planet" takes on a light and breezy disco funk veneer as viewed through a misted out lens, and "Jazz Drummer" takes a mellow trip into some seriously swinging drum cuts.
Review: Having slipped out a few choice drops on tape and vinyl for No Bad Days and Fruit Merchant in the past year, Native Cruise charts a course for Paesaggi Records to deliver the label's second release. The music has a humid quality that it's oh so easy to get stuck into, from the laconic house roll of "Late Nights" to the moody sundowner "Desert Theory". Things get even dreamier on the flip as "Bermuda Clouds" unfurls a dazzling polyphonic cascade of digi-synth work before low-slung closer "Whispers" brings the ship into dock in oh-so smooth style.
I Have Been Waiting For You (DJ Duckcomb Digimix) (7:19)
Review: Emotional Rescue serve up a balmy curveball cut perfect for the summer months here. Glen Ricks "I Have Been Waiting For You" was originally released back in 1983 on the highly collectible Seraf label, and it's rightly been a holy grail dig ever since. With a distinctive swinging funk in the groove and some deliciously wobbly dub chords, this is not your average 80s boogie cut. Ricks' vocal channels the most soulful Jamaican deliveries, sealing the deal on this evergreen jam that sounds great in original and version forms. DJ Duckcomb steps up with a tender "Digimix" that retains the dusty crunch of the original with just a little extra bite in the beats.
Review: Having demonstrated the breadth of his artistic vision with the excellent One Against Time album last year, John Dimas returns to Half Baked with a focused 12" of dancefloor heaters that keep the vibe varied but the beats ever-present. "5putn1k" is a cheeky, boxy workout with plenty of swing and some wriggling bassline flex. "@L5d" takes a trippier route through spaced out synth lines and a subliminal rhythm section for maximum lock-in, and then "5p@c3 T@lk" heads skywards with a gorgeous tapestry of melodious expression strapped to a rock-solid groove. "@rkyn" completes the set with a snagging 2-step funk and plenty of the space in the mix for the meditative crew to get all eyes-closed to.
Review: The Micronesia label has always impressed with its various artists releases, although they're never in a hurry to get another record together. Finally volume three is here, and it features another intriguing cast of characters. Rudolf C brings some crisp and crackling deep house bedded down with hazy pads and sprinkled on top with curious cosmic trills. LK is back on the label with a mellow roller, while Leonid gets things hot and sticky for the clamoring throb of "Cosmic Origin". Alpha Crucis pings off into super-deep backroom quarters with the gorgeous "About U", and DX2OV keeps things chilled but funky on the dust-caked "Cone".
Review: Previously seen (and heard) on Whiskey Disco, Barefoot Beats and Basic Fingers, Toronto twosome The Patchouli Brothers have crossed the Atlantic and set up home on G.A.M.M. As the title suggests, this is the first in a series of re-edit EPs for the storied Swedish imprint. First up is "All Good Things", a fine re-arrangement of an obscure disco gem that comes loaded with sweeping strings, soulful vocals, killer grooves, Chic style guitar riffs and just the right amount of spacey synthesizer action. Over on the flip, they work their magic on a bustling cut that sits somewhere between the sumptuousness of Philadelphia International releases and eighties disco-funk.
Review: It would be safe to say that Kayroy (real name Finian Langham) is on a roll. This is his third must-have EP of 2019 and his second outing on Whiskey Disco. It begins with "Rosella", a superb revision of Crown Heights Affair's "Say a Prayer" that strips out most of the vocals and layers up tasteful overdubs to give the track a more cosmic and dubbed-out feel. "You're The Reason Why" is a loopy but groovy rearrangement of a dewy-eyed laidback disco classic, while "Silk & Satin" is a riotous rework of a heavy disco-funk number rich in sharp, rising horn lines, screaming guitars, sweaty drums and toasty bass. Arguably best of all, though, is the fizzing, dubbed out Italo-disco-goes-poodle-perm-rock insanity of "One Night In Prague".
Review: From Patron and Wolfskuil to this first drop on Or:la's new label Cead, Utrecht producer Lewski is fast establishing himself in the buzzing space that exists between techno, electro and more experimental fare. "Guadala" has an uptempo bite, but there's plenty of dubby immersion to be felt in the bubbling synth drops and splashy reverb trails. "Jara" has its own kind of crooked intent, pockmarked with acid swerves and interlocking rhythms to get synapses firing. "Mariachi" takes things back to the peppier end of the tempo spectrum, clearly aiming for the peak time without making any cliched moves - no mean feat - and then "Descacorde" switches things up with a stomping electro house workout that brings a wholly different flavour to this excellent EP.
Review: New York City-based trio Escort are back for the first time since their Animal Nature LP from 2015. Their new track "Slide" was co-written with NYC soul artist Denitia and drives you gently with this west coast influenced roller produced by Eugene Cho and Jkriv - and featuring Adeline's wonderful vocal delivery. We absolutely adored this slick and low slung boogie-down number. For something more uplifting (and with dancefloor dynamics) you can try the classic '70s disco explosion of "Ride" (feat Brian Jackson) on the flip, which calls to mind the classic vibe of masters like Salsoul, Moulton Studios et al.
Review: Repress time: released last year on a limited run of 45s, Chet Ivey's double-A "Dose Of Soul" / "Get Down With Greater" returns to the relief of collectors and funk lovers who missed out. Two of many swelteringly funky gems on his Sylvia Funk Recordings album curated in 2017, "Dose Of Soul" has a raw edge and looseness that's held together with Ayers-style vibraphone chords, while "Get Down With Greater" is much more of a traditional funk jam, with the organ player and bassist playing at their fullest of flavours and Ivey leading in his inimitable 'poisonous' style. Don't sleep!
Review: Man of many names and even more styles, Daniel Maunik follows up his "A Vicious Circle" EP with three more beguiling outernational adventures. Already a member of the Far Out family through the Far Out Disco Monster Orchestra, these singles represent a heavier, more intense mood as Daniel whips up dancefloor storms in the best unconventional ways. "Dirty Trix" sets the scene with a classic French filtered feel before the juiciest of basslines takes the lead, "Until The End" is pure jazz in its jittering key hook while the title track "Sombra Do Dragao" brings the EP to a fizzy percussive frenzy. Perfect summer business.
Review: After offering up EPs titled "Hard Times" and "Changing Times" in 2017, Kaidi Tatham returns to First Word to complete the trilogy with "Serious Times". Of course, the music contained within the EP's tightly packed grooves is as joyous, rich as intricate as ever. Check, for example, "Don't Cry Now", a samba-soaked, sun-kissed affair that wraps harmonic freestyle vocals, twinkling electric piano lines and darting jazz-funk bass around a seriously shuffling groove. Tatham's much-discussed jazz-funk influences are once again given an airing on "Sugar", while his fine piano work takes pride of place on instrumental hip-hop head-nodder "Zallom". Best of all, though, is opener "Cost of Living", which emphatically weaves together all of these strands and more besides.
Magic Mountain High - "Tiny Fluffy Spacepods" (7:17)
Dusted Links (8:47)
One Small Step... (with Reagenz Meets Thomas Fehlmann) (7:00)
Move D - "Building Bridges" (with Fred P - Move D Inside Revolution mix) (10:46)
Perpetual State (feat The Poem Alles Ist Eins by Thorn Hoedh) (4:56)
Review: Given that he's a born collaborator, as his vast discography proves, it's perhaps fitting that David Moufang's latest album as Move D is packed to the rafters with killer collaborations. Check, for example, the ultra-deep, woozy and off-kilter "Innit", a superbly dubby and opaque studio hook-up with German rave pioneer D-Man, and the shuffling, intergalactic deep house warmth of Fred P collaboration "Building Bridges". Fittingly, his renowned collaborative projects also feature. There's a wonderfully elastic and out-there dub techno/minimalist track by Reagenz (Moufang and Jonah Sharp AKA Spacetime Continuum) with German veteran Thomas Fehlmann, and a Magic Mountain High (alongside Juju and Jordash) track that takes slow-burn, softly spoken deep house/dub techno fusion and runs with it. As you'd expect, the solo tracks are impeccable, too.
Review: The thinking behind this impressive, deliciously loved-up and glassy-eyed EP from Chicago producer Aguila seems devilishly simple. The New York-born artist clearly decided to fuse three key musical ingredients: the rush-inducing electronic bliss of the best vintage trance, chords and sounds from turn-of-the-90s Italian and New Jersey deep house, and the shuffling breakbeats more readily associated with rave-era UK house. We're loving the kaleidoscopic electronics, rushing synthesizer melodies and fireside-warm grooves of "Trance Atlantic", not to mention the sunrise-ready rush of "El Sol Rojo", which is as breathtaking in its colourful melodiousness and life-affirming potential as 808 State's peerless "Pacific State". The rest of the EP is just as revelatory and spine tingling, making this one of the most inspired label debuts we've heard for a while.
Falling Deep In Love (Joey Negro 12" Disco Blend) (7:11)
Review: Horse Meat Disco has been promising a debut album for some time, but there are now signs that it might, at last, be on its way. Here they present their second high-profile single for Glitterbox - a superb collaboration with legendary disco vocalist Kathy Sledge. In its original form, "Falling Deep In Love" is the kind of groovy, string-laden, sing-along disco treat that sounds like it could have been written and produced by Chic greats Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. It's utterly ace, all told, and deserves to be one of the tracks of the summer. On the flip, Joey Negro offers up a "Disco Blend" that combines the quartet's original instrumentation and Sledge's fine vocal with slightly more weighty, house-style drums.
Review: The ever-consistent Rutilance returns with old friend and fellow Frenchman Vincent G. Previously appearing on their last V/A collection with "Control Freak" here he takes control of our every sense with four sublime grooves. Each one coated in a dreamy haze the trip ignites with evocative, early DJ Gregory style "Lust" and comes to an end with the thunder-thigh kicks and warehouse dynamic of "Sub Experience". In between we have more deep dream escapades with "Nite Rider" and classic 93-style New York feels on "Aeterna". Ageless!
Review: For the latest missive on their reissue-focused Attic Salt Discs imprint, Dusty-fingered duo Colin Volvert and Otto Kraanen have snapped up the rights to a sought-after 1984 cut from Belgian new wave band 1000 Ohm. You'll find their original vocal and instrumental versions on the A-side, with both sounding like a delightful cross between bubbly Italo-disco, Bobby 'O' style Hi-NRG and the imperial synth-pop of the Pet Shop Boys. Arguably even better than both original mixes is Vanzetti and Sacco's more dancefloor-focused flipside edit. While this does make use of 1000 Ohm's Heaven 17/ABC style vocals and cheery melodies, there's far more focus on the druggy arpeggio groove and chunky drum machine beats.
Review: Some five years on from the release of his brilliant debut album, "Biology", Young Marco has finally got round to producing another full-length excursion. This one is similarly special and forms part of Island of the Gods' excellent "Island Explorer" series. It sees the colourful Dutch producer deliver a range of ambient and new age tracks that fuse his usual ear-catching electronics and 1980s synthesizer sounds with traditional Indonesian instrumentation recorded on a trip to the country a few years ago (one of his grandparents hails from the Asian nation, so it was a pilgrimage of sorts). It's all hugely atmospheric, evocative and entertaining, offering a humid but sparkling array of soundscapes that reminded us a little of Hanyo von Oosterom's work as Chi Factory.
Review: Funk/roots supergroup incoming! LA troupe Night Owls comprises members of The Lions and The Aggrolites and, for this special cover version double-A debut, the vocal fire of Breakestra's Afrodyete on "Break In Every Road". A warm, feel-good twist on the Betty Harris classic, there's a rootsy Jamaican twist to the groove while Afrodyete does the business on the top. Flip for another precision cover version as they woozy up Marvin on the evergreen "Inner City Blues". Trust us, this will make you want to holler...
Review: Trustworthy techno outpost Chronicle are the kind of label you can still get behind when they drop an unnamed artist. Whoever's behind Cycle De Motifs, the bar remains reassuringly high for those wanting fresh firepower in the serious techno game. "GPS" is a fist-shaking piledriver, but it's not without its cerebral nuances between the surging low end. Who needs a kick when you can have a relentless sub to carry you through the night? "C-Signature" darts out into equally intriguing territory with a creeping, insectoid array of sound design working around a minimal beat. "Gateway To Infinity" piles the eerie, looping figures on and continues spiraling outwards, and "Nepthys" plies an old-skool drum machine jack in the finest Plastikman tradition.
Review: Australian producer Andrew Wilson (House of Dad / Wilson Tanner) dons the Andras Fox alias once again for his latest outing for Munich's Public Possession crew, who describe the Boom Boom EP as a 'reprogramming of world music influenced dance music .. subtle and unwired'. From the Afro house influenced bounce of "Jingo" or "Rubber", moving from said aesthetics in to classic house on the upbeat "Conch" or the quite euphoric trance reduction of "Ipx 7" - this record is bound to be a major festival hit this season and guaranteed to sound good on any listening device you choose!
Review: Mihai Pol is undoubtedly the current favourite of Romania's storied minimal techno scene at present, and continues with his consistent output with a new one for Berlin by way of Frankfurt's Subtil here - after some thrilling outings on Telum, Synaesthesia and Ibiza's More Than Music. Pol's signature groove is bouncy and uplifting as heard on the reduced funk of opener "Lost Ark" which was no doubt tested thoroughly on Bucharest's afterhours scene. On the flip, two more cuts await: the tough bass-driven entancer that is the title track ("Making Waves") which could be used to easily lead in to the peak time, or the heady and infectious tool that follows - fittingly titled "Mentalist"
Review: Last time we heard from James Ruskin, it was in collaboration with fellow UK techno veteran Mark Broom. Here he flies solo on Blueprint - the label he co-founded way back in 1997 - for the first time in five years. Title track "Reality Broadcast Off" is thrillingly wonky and unsettling, with Ruskin peppering a sturdy late night techno groove with waves upon waves of minor-key arpeggio lines and seemingly out of time motifs. It's great, all told, and most likely capable of inducing hallucinations in suitably refreshed dancers. He continues on a similarly off-kilter theme on the slightly more positive sounding - but no less mind-mangling - "We Are Everywhere", before rounding off a rock solid EP via the squelchy acid motifs and rumbling bass of "Disaffection".
Review: Following up last year's Moments EP, Dea Dvornik and Enrica aka Eris return to Japanese imprint Cabaret with yet more impressive minimal electro shenanigans. The Italian/Croatian duo are in fine form on the Champions League EP, which kicks off with the deep and trippy bass-driven jam that is the tile track, followed similarly by "Redemption In Friedrichshain". On the flip is the most upbeat and lively track by the pair here named "Moloko" which will mix well with the rest of the label's recent discography - this bleepy and funky old school techno groove is absolutely infectious!
Review: Last year, Raiders of the Lost Arp (real name Marco Pierro) popped up on Edizioni Mondo with a decidedly Balearic EP that ranks amongst his best work to date (and that's saying something). Here he returns to Francesco de Bellis's label with an album that's arguably even better. Rich in analogue synthesizers, bubbly lo-fi drum machine rhythms, sun-baked guitars and toasty bass, "Transmissioni" brilliantly strings together drowsy neo-Balearic gems in a range of interconnected styles. It's a superb set all told, with highlights including the subtle Tullio de Piscopo tribute "Studio Ritmico", the stargazing, arpeggio-led ambient of "Progressi Della Scienzi", the shuffling afternoon warmth of "Nightlife" and the Mark Barrott-esque goodness of closing cut "Timing".
Review: On celebrating 22 years of Josh Wink's cult acid classic "Sixth Sense" on his legendary Ovum imprint, they've invited one half of Masters At Work, Louie Vega, and Israeli techno hero Shlomi Aber for a set of remarkable updates. Vega looks after the A side with a couple of sweltering reworks: from the bouncy, bass-driven groove attitude of the main remix which retains industry veteran Ursula Rucker's powerful vocal performance, to the handy dub version up next. On the flip, Aber certainly has come a long way since the days of Chicago Days/Detroit Nights - it's about spending all weekend at Berlin's Berghain these days - getting on some proper tunnel vision with his steely and austere rework.
Review: Ben Sims has been busy of late, what with the Tribology compilation and its strong run of companion singles. Now the UK titan is revisiting the project once more with these additional tracks from household names and newcomers alike. Marcu Bruno leads the charge with the frankly massive "Any Given Sunday", which slams a whopping great techno chord front and centre and rides it to perfection. Cadans brings a bit more tribal pressure to "Bite", and it sounds just as mighty. Mark Broom takes things in a simmering, rolling direction on "Loop It" and Avision finishes the record off with shimmering stomper "Rebel".