Review: Uwe Schmidt - he of Atom Heart, Atom TM and Senor Coconut fame - has used an insane number of aliases over the years, so you'd be forgiven for not knowing about the sole album he produced as Dots. It first appeared on CD way back in 1994 and has long been considered something of a slept on classic by '90s ambient fans. Here it appears on vinyl for the very first time courtesy of Astyral Industries, a label that knows a thing or two about unearthing forgotten ambient treasure. Stylistically, there are hints to some of Schmidt's other work - a dub bassline here, an abstract motif there - but for the most part the becalmed and beguiling soundscapes have more in common with the work of German ambient legend Pete Namlook.
Review: The colourful obi strip astride the cover of this audiophile reissue boasts that Imani's "Out of The Blue" album is "the ultimate private press jazz holy grail". While that claim is debatable, copies of the Gilles Peterson championed 1983 edition, which the San Francisco based band pressed up themselves, have been known to change hands for four-figure sums. Musically, the four tracks are breezy, sunny and summery. Opener "Just Another Love Song" sets the tone, with soulful group vocals and jazz solos rising above a warm groove, while "Somebody's Love" is a slow jam smothered in spacey synthesizers. "Byrd's House" is a jazz-funk dancefloor number - this time blessed with extended, eyes-closed guitar and piano solos - while "Friendship Cover Charge" is a stomping peak-time workout that should send dancers spinning.
Review: Adiel presents a collection of narcotic and trance-inducing grooves for Kangding Ray's new (ara) imprint, following up an impressive inaugural release by the man himself. The Danza Tribale boss steers crowds into deep ecstasy with her hypnotic sets as resident at the famed Goa Ultrabeat, and on her new Musicfilia EP she serves up exactly the kind of sounds that comprise her acclaimed sonic journeys. Adiel surrenders to the void on the tunnelling opening cut "The Call" (a truly majestic exploration!) and on the B side we have the pure adrenaline of the title track - which will have you in mental overdrive. This one fully channels that 'Sound Of Rome' vibe. The EP ends with the deep and introspective melancholia of "Rednight".
Review: Berlin-based British producer Joe Seaton dons the Onno Fudd alias once again, following up a couple of releases on Will Bankhead's The Trilogy Tapes label - namely 2016's terrific Blue Dot EP. Five deep and meditative cuts that merge classic house/techno flavours with IDM and ambient aesthetics - all with a modern experimental twist. We are loving the floaty and entrancing drifter that is the title track, the driving EBM style arpeggio that is central to the epic groove of "Joyride To My Inside" and the hypnotic heads down bounce of "Earth Queen Voice". On the flip, he even dons his more popular Call Super alias for the Rhythim Is Rhythim-ish vibe of "The Mess".
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: Gabriel Reyes Whittaker is The Abstract Eye: an L.A.-based producer also known as GB (Gifted & Blessed) and Frankie Reyes. Regarding the dynamic pace of the music industry, he asks the question, what's real anymore? For him, it comes down to the feelings this music evokes. Last year saw the much needed reissue of his underrated 2011 opus Cool Warm Divine on Holland's Rush Hour, and this new record is another emotive release which explores classic electro and techno sounds - borrowing from the best of the genre's recent past but reinterpreting it in his own distinct way. From the old school deep techno bounce of "Land, Sky & Sea" to the chill groove of "What's Real Anymore?" or the mellow electro of "Butterfly Patterns" - thia is as real as it gets.
Review: Kalita Records are proud and honoured to announce the first ever official reissue of the Sophisticated Ladies' sought after 1980 New York disco single. The short-lived outfit consisted of Emma, Laura and Reather, who released two singles between 1977 - 1980. They toured America (while also touring internationally as The Bobbettes) and received radio airtime throughout the country. Here Kalita have chosen to highlight their scarce cut "This Ain't Really Love" and have invited The Mighty Zaf to rework their version of Bobby Womack's "Check It Out" making it perfect for modern disco dancing.
Review: Japanese micro-house champ So Inagawa has long been serving up delectable singles for labels such as Minimood and Trimsound, and it seems high time that he delivered an album, ten years after his first single was released. This long player for Cabaret allows Inagawa to stretch out his styles without losing focus on what his distinctive sonic identity is. The grooves stay slight and serene throughout, with delicate threads of instrumentation woven in and amongst the needlepoint drums, and the overriding feeling is one of strung-out jazz. Closing track "I Will Do It The Same Way" perhaps says it all, this is an album of consistency that hits upon a refined style and maintains it throughout.
Review: Wewantsounds' 2019 Record Store Day release takes us back to 1978 and a hard-to-find 12" single from Lebanese composer, pianist, playwright and political commentator Ziad Rahbani. "Abu Ali" is perhaps not Rahbani's best known work - in the Arab world his various albums are far more celebrated - but it is one that has chimed with Western audiences thanks to its assimilation of elements of American disco, soul and funk. The title track is something of a beast: a 10-minute epic that wraps Arabic orchestration, mazy horn refrains and prominent piano motifs around an atmospheric disco groove and intergalactic synthesizer lines. It's bonkers but brilliant, making this reissue more than welcome. On the flipside there's a chance to enjoy "Prelude (Theme from Mais El Rim)", an epic example of Rahbani's 1970s soundtrack work.
Review: AUX88 Bass Magnetic re-Issue 1993-2018. Back by popular demand, the same unique spirits that brought forth the
sound of Detroit streets and turned it into the futuristic soundscape known as "Techno-Bass", The Original members
have collaborated to re-issue their catalog 25+ years later. Starting with their 1st double pack LP, "Bass Magnetic"
(considered to be a mesh of influences between Miami bass and Detroit techno), AUX88 established themselves in an
effort to stay true to their roots in the streets and the clubs creating their own genre into a global dance culture. After
the release and production of their own documentary ("AUX88-Portrait of an Electronic Band"), the group celebrates its
now classic recordings. Harkening back to its first days on cassette tape to revive a future generation of vinyl
aficionados. AUX88's "Bass Magnetic" = Classic Detroit Electro
Review: Very few labels within Romania's storied techno scene can match the wonderful curation of Vlad Caia & Cristi Cons' Amphia Records. The Bucharest-based imprint now presents a full length by NYC-based sonic sorcerer Kamran Sadeghi - considered by many to have one of the most singular takes on the minimal techno sound at present. His most bold and stylistic expressions await you on Ritual Signal and highlights are aplenty: from the ethereal alien transmissions of "More Than Tomorrow", exotic creatures of the deep ("Today"), afterhours reductionism ("Who New") to more leftfield groove expressions, best exemplified by the majestic micro-funk of "May Day" and the splintered/echo-laden hypnotism of EP closer "Decay".
Review: The Eastenderz label drop their 20th outing to date, just in time for the Easter weekend! That means you'll be able to smash out some killer house on the floor, and these tools are just what you need to do be able to do that. Wickham's "Digsy" kicks off with a delightful injection of bass, pushing a fat groove over a vast 7 minutes of bounciness, while Viceversa's "Aden" tones the pace down and heads into the murkier end of the deep house scale. On the flip, Doubtingthomas comes thorugh with "Jegun", a space-age roller with vast synths extending the track's reach, leaving Cosmjn's "Butterfly Drop" to deliver one final shot of bass-driven house that can only be smashed out on a jam-packed dancefloor. Badness from the Eastenderz!
Review: Following up the closure of his respected Jealous God imprint, former Sandwell District accomplice Juan Mendez returns to Hospital Productions to follow up 2011's bold outing Negative Fascination - presenting these modern EBM mutations in the same vein. Mendez captures the zeitgeist of classic early '80s industrial dance on the rusty rattle of "Harm In Hand", followed by more driving body music of the steelier persuasion on "Damage" and the pitch-black technoid riot "Death Of Decadence".
Review: Second time around for Icelandic neo-classical composer Olafur Arnalds' 2018 album "Re:Member". This version, pressed for Record Store Day 2019, boasts a fine bonus 7" containing strings-only re-recordings of three original album tracks ("Saman", "Momentary" and "Nyepi"). These are superb and genuinely compliment the original 12-track set, which was produced using specially created software capable of triggering new musical sequences on "two pianos chained to his primary instrument". This cutting-edge approach, combined with live percussion and the multi-instrumentalist's own considered electronics, resulted in an album that remains thoughtful, mesmerizing and entertaining in equal measure.
Review: Brawther makes his long playing debut on his new label Negentropy, and the long serving French house producer has never sounded freer in his vision of electronic music. "Flow" is a gorgeous ambient opener to the album, setting the scene for the immersive, mellow house tones of "Another Dub." "Theme From The Dungeon" switches stance again for a hip hop tempo, while Javonnte comes on board to deliver a soulful vocal over the broken beat lilt of "I Can't Explain." "Jaxx Freaxx" brings things back to a dancefloor focus, which "Brudan In Leeds" builds upon with an easy deep house tone that should satisfy Brawther's long time fans. "Hazy Groove" is a laid back minimal house roller, and then "Pickney" closes the album out with an even more stripped back workout for the later hours of the party.
Review: Berlin based retrovert Binh returns for another much anticipated edition of his Time Passages series with Lost 'N' Rex EP, which follows up some great ones of late by Evan Baggs, Metamorphic Interface and Omar. Featuring six doses of old fashioned techno and electro that take their cues from the early '90s sound; from wacky and strobed-out jam of "Rice In" which you can imagine him playing at one of his regular marathon sets in his hometown, the old school jack of "Waescherei" that calls to mind Blake Baxter's early sounds on KMS to the nefarious underwater electro of the title track which gives a respectful nod to Motor City legends Drexciya.
Review: Many years and many more 12"s have passed since Coco Bryce's last full album slapped us around the senses, but the wait has been worth it. "Night On Earth" captures the flying Dutchman in his most lucid state as he rolls out his acutely on-point contemporary jungle across two 12"s. Highlights include the dreamy breezes and cosmic touches of "Vertigo", the trippy Vibertisms of "Killing Me", and the darker steppier paranoia of "Polar" but let's face it; if you've so much as sniffed at a Myor release in your life you'll already know that every track is a highlight. There's no stopping Bryce right now.