Review: Eight albums in and !!! are still as hard to define than the band's name is difficult to say. They've always managed to resonate with the sound and zeitgeist of the year in which they release, and "Wallop" doesn't differ from that modus. An amalgamation of tones at once uptempo and hedonistic yet brutally damaged, it's an electronic album built in the way the genres it pays homage to originally were - blueprint free. We've got dance-rock crossovers, straight up techno (albeit aimed squarely at non-die-hard-heads) and bouncing broken funk-house hybrids, so what more do you want? "Couldn't Have Known" nods to classic Basement Jaxx. "Domino" takes us down an IDM wormhole, where we meet the aptly titled "Ur Paranoid" and its pulsating intensity. Simultaneously referencing Primal Scream, trip hop, Madchester, whatever that track that set the club off last night was while sounding like none of the above, it's archetypal !!! business.
Review: After spending last autumn working alongside Rampa and Adam Port (see the trio's excellent "You Are Safe" album on Keinemusik), Andre "&Me" Boadu has enjoyed a quiet 2018. In fact, this outing on Pampa is his first release of 2018. He begins with the atmospheric and undulating delight that is "In Your Eyes", a slightly jazz-flecked rolling deep house excursion that brilliantly builds energy throughout. Boadu accomplishes this using two contrasting melodic elements: fluid piano solos and a foreboding electronic motif that increases in prominence and intensity as the track progresses. Over on side B, "As Above So Below" is an altogether deeper proposition, with hushed, cymbal heavy percussion, tech-tinged drums and a spacey, undulating synthesizer melody combining to create a hazy late night mood.
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: More wicked grooves from the vaults of UK legends 100 Hz. Comprised of Lee Renacre, James Chapman and Doran Walker, the team behind the seminal Format imprint have had retrospective works reissued on the likes of Bosconi, Slow Life and Howl in recent times - so indeed you can recognise the trio's influence on a new generation of underground house producers. Here they inaugurate Doozy Cult from Lisbon, with some timeless snapshots of bleep techno as heard on the cyclical hypnotism of "Tomfoolery", the tunnelling minimal techno of "Lapiz Boof" and the ethereal shuffle of "Neptune" on the flip - that is just as suited to present day afterhours parties as it was way back when.
Review: Robin Twelftree has been busy over the past year bringing back his particular take on peak time house with a disco edge. Prolific in the late 90s and early 00s, his 12Tree project went on an extended hiatus but now finds a new outlet with the Hot Piroski label. "In The Sun" is a sassy uptempo workout with funk and flamboyance to match the tougher edges of the track. "Magic Dust" slows things down to a supremely mellow strut, with heavy lashings of soul blissed out over the top of the drums. "Guitar Solaar" stays in the downtempo zone with a subtle cosmic lilt and gorgeous vocals unfurling over loose and lazy breaks.
Review: Sneaker Social Club are not messing around! Following their previous outings from the legendary trio 2 Bad Mice comes remixes from two impeccably forward thinking break crafters; Sully takes "Gone Too Soon" into some fantastical places as the breaks scream jungle but the big breeze pads scream Alex Reece but both elements work together emotively. Falty DL, meanwhile, gives us a hardcore schooling on "Limit Of Paradise" with its heavily layered breaks, wall of sound pads and dynamic drops into spacious hooks. Bad to the (clear vinyl) bone!
Review: More majestic electro workouts from Chris "214" Roman, a producer who has been serving up slabs of tightly wound machine funk since the dawn of the decade. He opens his first Frustrated Funk outing for three years with the bittersweet deep electro shuffle of "Growing Old Together" before breaking up the beats, ratcheting up the bleeps and cranking out the crackles on alien funk throb-job "Last Dance". Over on the flip, "Dislocated" is a high-tempo slab of end of days electro full of growling noises and creepy chords, while "Voice Check" is picturesque, dreamy and life affirming: a triumphantly positive and melodious conclusion to another stunning collection of cuts.
Habbanera (Leo Mas & Fabrice alternate remix) (6:41)
Review: Over the years, Italian eccentrics 291out have proved tricky to pin down. While their releases are rooted in the spacey end of the jazz-funk spectrum, they also touch on film soundtracks, quirky electronica and meandering progressive rock. This time out they're operating on a Latin tinged jazz-rock tip, with crunchy guitars, fuzz-soaked horns, rubbery bass and eyes-closed electric piano motifs rising above a head-nodding groove. The band's included "Alternative Version" is noticeably wilder and more intense, with a looser beat and a greater number of mind-mangling horn solos. In terms of remixes, you'll find Italian veterans Leo Mas and Fabrice at the controls. Their A-side revision sounds a little like a jazzier take on Italian Balearic rock merchants Almunia, while their flipside "Alternative Remix" is a bounding, peak-time-ready jazz-house workout.