Review: While he's offered up the occasional remix, William "Burial" Bevan has been rather quiet of late. In fact, this two-tracker marks his first original material for almost two years. Lead cut "Claustro" is an unexpectedly up-tempo dancefloor affair - a sweet and sticky chunk of future-garage that sees Bevan wrap sugary female vocal snippets, spacey chords and bubbly analogue electronics around snappy two-step beats - drenched in vinyl crackle and tape hiss - and a rock solid bassline. It will raise a few eyebrows given his previous work but nevertheless sounds like a summer anthem in waiting. Bevan returns to familiar territory on flipside cut "State Forest", a ghostly, field recording-laden ambient excursion where pedal steel style motifs slowly rise above opaque electronics.
Review: With their "Foundations" series, DJ Spinna and Kai Alce continue to explore the formative years of house music culture, offering up seven-inch singles showcasing classic and overlooked gems. This fourth volume in the series contains two more must-have tracks subtly re-edited to fit the format by the effervescent Alce. First up on side A is Dreamer G's vocal anthem "I Got The Feeling", a 1992 NYC house classic - and Timmy Regisford favourite - produced by none other than Kerri Chandler. On the flip Spinna and Alce take us back to 1988, offering up an early New Jersey house production from the "Backroom Boys" team of Cassio Ware, Derek A. Jenkins and Dwayne Richardson, who would later find fame as DJ Spen. A superb song that's as soulful as you'd expect, it's largely been overlooked for over three decades.
Review: Max Wuerden's latest full-length excursion is apparently entitled "Format" because the digital download and vinyl versions are completely different (I.E he tailored the tracks to each format). We've not listened to the digital edition, but this vinyl version is, at times, breathtakingly good. While each of the nine tracks is beat-free and undeniably ambient in nature, there's still plenty of subtle variety to be found throughout. Compare, for example, the pulsing beauty of "Desiccate", where what sound like processed clarinet lines slowly rise above sunrise-ready chord sequences, and the clandestine creepiness of "Format", a paranoid and claustrophobic affair that creaks under the weight of its own post-apocalyptic intent. Other highlights include the hypnotic, stretched-out analogue electronics of "Wirkungsgrad" and the becalmed musical waters of "Exothermic Reaction".
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
Review: Faze Action last teamed up with Zeke Manyika, formerly of 80s funksters Orange Juice, for the effervescent "Mangwana" back in 2016. Now they're back in collaboration for more classically rooted house music with a deeply infectious African twist. "Kubatana" is punchy where it counts, but it's a light and springy proto house burner first and foremost, with Manyika's vocal sounding as smooth as silk in the middle of the mix. "Hapana" is equally rich in musicality and personality, albeit on a more simmering, meditative tip. On the B side, "Kubatana" gets reworked by Rudy Midnight Machine and Paradise, who turn in distinct versions without losing the overall 80s aesthetic that powers the release.
Review: As far as collaborative delights go, this really takes the cake. Miami boogie wildcard Noel Williams, aka King Sporty, throwing it down heavy with legendary Jamaican reggae axe man Ernest Ranglin - as you might expect, the results are incendiary. "Soft Touch" has a hint of the cosmic about it as it romps through insanely catchy chorus chants, stirring brass stabs and Ranglin's sweet licks. "Keep On Dancing" has a more uptempo feel, "In The Rain" slips into a laid back reggae skank and "Be What You Want To Be" turns the vintage disco heat back up. Throughout this wonderful mini LP, the duo switch between each other's strengths and bring out the best in each other, like all good collaborations should.
That's How Lovers Be (Scott Grooves That How dubs Be) (8:52)
Review: The Mysticisms label once more turns its attention to rarefied gold dust from the annals of deep house history, this time shining a light on Soiree Records, which was helmed by cult favourite Drivetrain. Nu-C Zn's "That's How Lovers Be" was an unconventional but oh so sweet curio back in 1995, and now it's been revived with Drivetrain delivering a new mix of the track that lets the smoky keys, plastic sax and gorgeous vocals hover tentatively. UK house stalwart Nail is up next with a bumping, crafty update on the track, while Scott Grooves lays down honey-coated keys that shift the mood of Nu-C Zn's original into a different emotional headspace.
Review: Fresh from delivering the "Dance Music" trilogy of 12" singles, NYC native Levon Vincent returns to action with an EP of untitled tracks. It's an impressively melodious and ear-pleasing affair, with the Berlin-based producer's no-nonsense house and techno drums being smothered in a variety of tuneful synthesizer lines, fuzzy but futuristic electronics and warm basslines. Picking highlights is tough, but we'd suggest starting with the bubbly analogue bliss of "Track 1" before moving on to the chunky goodness of "Track 3", where cheery lead lines dance above non-stop bass and crispy machine drums. Elsewhere, "Track 4" sounds like a tribute to the soundtrack to forgotten early '90s Commodore Amiga game "Fire and Ice" and "Track 2" is a heartwarming rush of luscious lo-fi lead lines and unfussy drums.
Review: Stunning stuff here from the mysterious but utterly intriguing West Loop Chicago, an outfit only known for two previous releases on City Volt and nothing else. Taking cues from the broken beat and jazz scenes, this new record is a force to be reckoned with, not least as "The Serpent" comes wheeling in with a skittering drum funk and bugging synth lines to send you pinging into the cosmos. On the flip, "Divinity" has a more organic feel with Rhodes keys and piano dancing across the rhythms - these aren't specifically billed as edits, but given the project's background in disco re-rubs it's safe to assume these are two soul jazz bombs buffed up for your wild card spinning pleasure. There's even bonus beats for each track included - how considerate!
Review: Somewhat poetically, Anthony Naples describes his third album, "Fog FM", as a "house music transmission filtered through fluorescent static, from a station out of place and time". You'll certainly find some blasts of evocative radio static dotted around the album - see the drowsy wooziness of ambient numbers "Channel 2" and "Channel 3", not to mention the pops and crackles wrapped around sub-heavy, stripped back peak-time workout "Unhygenix" - but the lasting impression is of a smartly-produced set of mostly club-ready cuts that subtly doff a cap to many sub-genres of house and techno. It's a superb set, too, with highlights including the wayward techno intensity of "Benefit", the "Brown Album"-era Orbital heaviness of "Purple Iris" and the tough, dubbed-out deep house headiness of "Lucys".
Review: Platform 23's celebration of Exquisite Corpse wraps up with this fourth installment of visionary proto trance bubblers from the dream team of Robbert Henyen, Debbie Jones and Tim Freeman. As with the previous installments, they've picked choice tracks from across the spectrum of the PWOG-affiliated project's output, kicking off with a transmission from the debut release, "Honeymoon". Throughout the mood is loose and wigged-out, with a pleasant stew of New Beat, acid, house, trance and dub among the core ingredients flavouring this thoroughly early 90s dish. This is psychedelic dance music crafted before the genre boundaries were established to ruin everyone's fun - savour the vibe as we return to more freewheeling times once more.
Review: LFT has already made a sizable impact on his gnarly, muscular brand of weathered electro and techno, and now he's been snapped up by Zement to deliver another four rowdy roundhousers. "Nucleon" channels the best of minimal wave and gives it a deadly dose of modern acid revelry that will incite fevered responses on the floor, while "Wounds" takes things in a spookier B-movie direction without shaking off those powerful 303 demons. "The Cure For My Kind" manifests as a kind of nightmarish electro, and "Hypno Haniwa" takes another route into machine funk for malevolent souls, with stunning results.
Review: In the face of all those Clone reissue compilations, Tresor are doing the right thing and digging into their own archive of seminal aquatic machine funk from Detroit electro legends Drexciya, and stepping up with the Hydro Doorways EP is the kind of power move that most labels can only dream of being able to make. From the cinematic drama of "Quantum Hydrodynamics" to the textbook boogie down synth abandon of "Polymono Plexusgel", not forgetting the heavy-on-the-one throwdown of "Lost Vessel" or the alien gurgles and peppy pace of "Species On The Pod", or the... oh you know the drill. This is timeless, essential business for anyone that takes electronic music seriously.
Gari Romalis - "Start The Game (Detroit On The Move)" (7:07)
Rafa Santos - "Love Song" (7:09)
Rafa Santos - "Mystic Voyage" (6:09)
Review: Spanish label Mate kicked off in style with Javonntte and Jesus Gonsev, and now it's back once again with another smart pairing of high class house heads. The ever prolific Gari Romalis is all over the A side with the upfront pep of "No Way Around A Groove" and the late night shuffle of "Start The Game (Detroit On The Move)". Rafa Santos lands on the flip with the romantic lilt of "Love Song" and sweet, subtly kinked synths coursing through the centre of "Mystic Voyage". It's another fine combination of artists offering up highly workable contemporary deep house jams for discerning spinners.
Review: The Sudd Wax label got off to a strong start with Gari Romalis, building on the foundations of the parent digital label to now bringing respected artists to vinyl. This three-track set from Norm Talley plumbs all kinds of depths, from the metallic mystique of "Magic Wand" to the dusty string swoon of "Black Tea", and the hushed and haunting whispers of pads setting out a gloaming mood on "Feel It". This is subliminal deep house at its finest, marked out with character and warmth, and never just playing it safe for the sake of it. Top marks for Talley!
Review: Don't get mad, go nuts... The sneaky Secret Squirrel team return for their 21st mission and it's every bit as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as everything else they've ever stashed. The A-side leads with a peppy horn-fired strutter that shoves us deep in the heart of the hottest dancefloor imaginable. Flip for an intimate, smouldering piece of end-of-the-night soul from 1979. Trust us, once you get a close hold of it, you'll never want to let go.
Review: In recent times, demand has soared for a trilogy of 12" singles that Matthew "Bushwacka!" Benjamin released on Sound As A Pound Recordings in 1996. This must-have 12" gathers together some of the series' most in-demand moments. Opener "8" is warm, positive and hypnotic, with marimba style memories and sun-kissed synth chords riding layered drums and a rich bassline, while "11" is a game-changing fusion of off-kilter breakbeats, heavy sub-bass and some seriously dreamy chords and lead lines. Flipside opener "5" adds sunrise-ready deep house chords and melodies to a funk-fuelled techno groove and is therefore the purest representation here of the early UK tech-house sound. As a bonus, Desert Sound Colony offers a tough and chunky peak-time revision of "8" that's altogether denser and heavier than Benjamin's original mix.
Review: (180g Axis Audiophile Series / color label/ black generic jacket) Including audio commentary by Jeff Mills himself. "Looking back in hindsight to the activity and accomplishments of Axis is with much pride - to witness the relationship between the music and listener evolving to this point. The Director's Cut reissue project is about manicuring detail. It's about a rare opportunity to enhance what we've done so that the relationship strengthens for the long term" - Jeff Mills
Review: After brief dalliances with Metereze, Meander and Serialism, Stefan Nicu aka Sublee brings his idiosyncratic, sublime and ethereal tones to inaugurate new Sao Paulo / Berlin / London-based imprint Moving People with the Moving Spaces EP. Quite possibly the most in-demand producer to have emerged from Bucharest's blossoming but elusive music scene recently, Nicu delivers the four-tracker in confident fashion beginning with the sublime yet tough rolling tech-funk of "Still About You", "Rokit" and the title track before going in deep with the hypnotic and evocative breakbeat action of "Miurshinis".
Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian (6:06)
Folle Vendredi Soir (6:14)
Review: Moscow-based editors Olta Karawane let loose on Special Delivery with five exceptional intergalactic sleaze jams. Each one sprinkled with their own sonic stardust, highlights include the sultry cake-listing koshmiche mash of "Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian", the Moroder-goes-b-boy-on-Omicron-Persei-8 jitters of "Farine" and the peg-leg post-punk and woozy Tropicana of "Oinj". Topped off with an epic synth chariot of fire "Racaille", it's another remarkable trip from one of Russia's most enigmatic disco acts.
When I'm Alone (JKriv & Peter Matson remix) (6:14)
Review: Adeline is undoubtedly best known for being the front-woman of Brooklyn-based disco band Escort, an outfit whose members also included Razor-N-Tape co-founder JKriv. It makes sense, then, that her latest solo single is appearing on their "Reserve" offshoot. Co-produced by Midnight Magic man Morgan Willey, "When I'm Alone" is a revivalist leftfield disco cut rich in "Beam Me Up" style walking bass, ear-catching guitar riffs and lolloping drums - all topped off by a fantastic vocal from Adeline. Jacques Renault delivers a slightly heavier, house-influenced remix with subtle Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, while Dirty Channels offers a more bustling but still pleasingly organic sounding disco-house take. Finally JKriv joins forces with Peter Matson on a remix that sounds like vintage Escort with added dub delays.
Review: TRAMP Records' latest must-have "45" is an incendiary double-header of killer cuts. On the A-side you'll find "Candy Man", the suitably obscure sole single from Josephine Jones. It's a lolloping, lo-fi soul affair, with Jones' distinctive vocals rising above the kind of head-nodding breaks, heavy bass and clipped guitar riffs that will get hip-hop DJs hot under the collar. Turn to the flip for another chance to savour Raw Soul's "Just Walk Funky", a track recorded in their home town of Norfolk, Virginia in the early 1970s that went unissued until Put released it in 2009. It remains a tidy chunk of off-kilter instrumental funk rich in intricate guitar licks, booming bass and fizzing drums.
Review: Analogue hardware enthusiasts London Modular Alliance return to Kirk Degiorgio's storied Applied Rhythmic Technology label following a string of fine outings on Private Persons and Dimensions Recordings. Interesting, LMA believe that the EP boasts their strongest collection of cuts to date and we tend to agree. Opener "Peach Heat" sets the tone via rubbery but rock solid electro beats, wild electronics and echoing deep space sounds, before they pitch down the tempo on the sparse, spaced-out heaviness of "Harnessed Black Holes". Further body-rocking dancefloor explorations are provided on the flip, first by the Dexter style heavy electro throb of "Lavendah" and then via the booming bass, foreboding tribal drums and razor-sharp TB-303 pulses of "Precious Materials".
Review: Originally debuting on Well Rounded Records' Housing Project sub-label in 2012, Leon Vynehall has since become one of the UK's most in-demand of the new wave of young house producers. He's released subsequent records for George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic and Will Saul's Aus, and most recently an album on Martyn's 3024. Vynehall is now in cruise control and he lays back on Clone's Royal Oak with what will prove to be a favourite with DJs this summer. "Butterflies" is this record's piano-driven house jam, but really it's all about "This Is The Place", a loved up peach of a production with the strength to appease the underground and crossover into the mainstream.
Electro Music Union - "Electroshock Mountain" (5:55)
Sinoesin - "Static Bodies" (4:57)
Sinoesin - "Angels Of Altitude" (part 2) (7:55)
Electro Music Union - "Immortal Cities" (4:30)
Review: For a brief period in 1993 and 1994, British imprint Metatone released some seriously good electronic music. The label was the work of former Jack Trax man Damon D'Cruz and J.M.Atkins, who wrote and produced almost all of the releases under aliases including Electro Music Union, Sinoesin and Xonox. This fine compilation from Cold Blow and AVA. Records showcases the best of this work, drifting between deep and intergalactic workouts (see the spacey ambient influences and pitched-down grooves of "Angels of Altitude (Part 1)"), blissful ambient techno ("Structures 1"), rush-inducing dancefloor positivity (the overwhelmingly good "Structures 3"), spacey ambient ("Descent") and heavyweight, post-bleep brilliance ("Electroshock Mountain").
Review: When a white label launches from an artist called MPX with single letters for track titles, you know there's some serious techno incoming. This four track EP is brimming with rugged, street-tough energy; from the slapping drum jack and throbbing b-line pulse of opener "G" to the crunchy strut of "J." There's plenty of psychoactive flair to match the classic drum machine flourishes though - "L" has a wicked arp coursing through its veins, while "K" takes the same rhythm section and boils it down to a hypnotising whirl of techno perfection.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best Italy turn their impeccable reissue powers towards a surefire burner from 1984 given the stamp of approval by the likes of David Mancuso, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy back in the day. "Come Back Lover" was actually mixed down by another legendary DJ - Tony Humphries - and it shows. Even the original mix plays out with an extended, floor-focused flow that captures the creative energy at work at this epochal time for DJ culture. As ever with Best reissues, there's a plethora of alternative and dub mixes to suit any spinner's specific requirements, with the groove front and centre every time.
Review: Earlier in the year, sometime Blip Discs and Ninja Tune man O'Flynn (real name Ben Norris) returned to action after a two-year absence. Here he attempts to keep up the pressure via a double A-side single on Silver Bear Recordings. "Sunspear" is little less than a rushing blast of summery dancefloor brilliance - a percussively dense and smile inducing house jam rich in filtered horns, throaty funk vocalizations and what we assume are samples from a cheery Brazilian disco record. A similar production approach be can be heard on the flip, where O'Flynn delivers a lolloping, bass-heavy revision of a lesser-known disco funk cut. It's suitably heavy, but also boasts the kind of rubbery rhythmic swing that's rarely heard on similar exercises in sample-heavy filter house.
Review: Juan Ramos and Luca Trentini AKA Trent have had a couple of prior outings as Greenvision, especially impressing with their excellent 12" on ESP Institute last year. Now they're back to where it all began, Cocktail d'Amore, with the lurid, pysched out freakery of "Mountain Of Madness". It's a truly devilish track, coming on heavy like a dangerous incantation, which is of course a good thing. On the flip, things stay firmly out on the wild frontier with the Sativa mix of "Rolling 2 Joints". The message is clear - this is music to lose your mind to, and you'll have a thoroughly wonderful time doing it.
Review: Back in March, Icelandic techno stalwart Felix Leifur inaugurated Lagaffe Tales' BROT series with a quartet of decidedly punishing cuts that joined the dots between icy electro and bustling, rave-era breakbeat. He's at it again here, opening with bass-heavy hedonism of "Brot 5" - a sweaty fusion of energy-packed breakbeats, dubbed-out chords and weighty sub bass - before brilliantly fusing dub techno and club electro on the deep and spaced-out "Brot 6". Over on the flip, "Brot 7" is a crunchy electro box jam and "Brot 8" is a rolling mixture of locked-in beats, rubbery bass tones, trippy aural textures and mind-mangling electronics.
Review: Two years on from the release of his critically acclaimed "Wallflower" album on Ninja Tune, Jordan Rakei returns with his most eagerly awaited set to date. Happily, it doesn't disappoint. Beginning with the electronic soul-pop brilliance of "Mad World", Rakei effortlessly flits between synth-laden hip-hop-soul ("Say Something"), slinky downtempo songs ("Mind's Eye"), 21st century disco-boogie anthems ("Rolling Into One"), slow-burn musical fusions (the military drums, Juju guitars and heartfelt vocals of "Oasis") and the kind of sumptuous, sun-kissed fare that defies easy categorization. With Rakei's sultry vocals taking centre stage throughout, "Origin" is a sparkling set that just gets better with every listen.
Review: Will Buck makes his bow on Whiskey Disco after appearing on sister label Lovedancing (with PRTMNTO) on the Soul Sides EP ?last year. Buck is in fine form again on this new offering, opening with the infectious groove of "21212" (listen out for a familiar hook that has been respliced to perfection) - topped with a killer brass section, too! Elsewhere on the EP, move to the sexy late-night deep house of "Touch Down", sultry vocal disco on "Make Your Move" and the aptly titled after-hours shuffle of "Harmony (6AM Mix)", reworked by label head honcho Sleazy McQueen himself.
Review: Atina 'Mattiel' Brown is a 60s psyche-pop inspiration from Atlanta, Georgia, giving the ears of a modern age a new way to appreciate a lo-fi, garage rock style of storytelling. Satis Factory presents the band with its second album since debuting in 2017 with a self-titled LP, and Brown's voice for Mattiel still reigns supreme in its bluesy, telephone filtered manner. Co-produced by Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley and recorded in their native Atlanta, the vintage touches applied to the band's music sees an authentic blend of deadpan vocals, jangly guitars meet with a touch of spaghetti western, subtle touches of folk and rockabilly, with that perfect smattering of dusty sundown blues.
Review: Righteously rare recordings from the annals of UK-US music culture makes its way to disc via the legendary John Peel and the inimitable Steve Albini (and his Shellac band). Containing cuts from the late radio-jock's worshipped Peel Sessions broadcast in 2004, this archival release features a stream of previously unreleased recordings of the Chicago group's live & studio sessions for the legendary radio spot. The CDs deliver raw and seldom heard versions of "Crow" (from 1998's Terraform LP) alongside "Canada," "Disgrace" and "Spoke" from the Excellent Italian Greyhound LP (2007). Filled with stories of the BBC's "live From Maida Vale" sessions and the studio's famous 24-track console, these exhumed artifacts all make it out at a time when Albini has been quoted saying of Shellac: ""There will be more new material in the future."
Kim English - "It Makes A Difference" (Danny Krivit & Kyle Smith remix - Danny Krivit 7" edit) (5:39)
Loni Clark - "Rushing" (Mood II Swing dub - Danny Krivit 7" edit) (5:31)
Review: Danny Krivit is currently known as one of the music community's greatest purveyors of top quality disco & house as he continues to perform regularly before sold-out audiences around the world. With his unique ear for what works on the dancefloor he has also become known as "King of the Re-edit." Danny has a deep connection to Kim English's "It Makes A Difference" release on Nervous Records from 2006. Krivit worked with writer Kyle Smith on the remixes that originally made this tune an anthem at his 718 Sessions parties as well as one of the highlights of club nights from Tokyo to New York to London that appreciate quality soulful house. The B-side is Danny's re-edit of one of the most famed dubs from the Nervous catalogue as well as for the producers Mood II Swing. Upon its release in 1993 this dub emerged as one of the defining sounds of summer 1993 at Ministry Of Sound which had just recently opened the year before. The "rushing rushing rushing" hook is well knownby golden era of house afficianados around the world and he does an amazing job bringing this essential hook.
Review: During the 1970s, Sanifu Al Hall Jr decided to form a group dedicated to blending jazz, soul and cutting-edge electronic sounds. The brilliantly named Cosmos Dwellerz Arkestra never released any music during the period - not commercially, at least - with this fascinating 12" marking their belated debut. "Love Thoughts", which was committed to tape in 1977, is undoubtedly intergalactic, offering a spiritually-minded mix of spiraling jazz-funk synths, woozy horn solos, stoned drums and toaster-hot bass. On the flip you'll find an interesting curio: an extended 1967 radio interview with Sanifu Al Hall Jr in which he discusses his musical story and approach to life.
Review: Singer-songwriting wrapped up in the dusty acid wash denim of Americana doesn't really get more authentic than what Bill Callahan of Silver Spring, Maryland, can deliver. His latest LP, a mass saunter through 20 tracks of smokey spoken word and lightly sung lyrics, falls upon a picturesque bevvy of humble and acoustic instrumentation. Callahan's songs croon with romance, metaphor, and folky yarns that find their place among fingerpicked guitars and light melodies that enjoy a contrast with the darker musings of Callahan's own world of experience and storytelling. It presents the artist with his first studio in some five years, and a sound that is looser than a typical Bill Callahan missive but full of melodrama that centres around life and death. Our pick, Callahan's cover of the Carter Family's "Lonesome Valley".
Review: Med School's travelling wilbury Etherwood delivers his first collection of originals since last year's album "In Stillness". Written on the road throughout summer 2018 in his van, each piece depicts an entirely fresh view that ranges from the azure waters and soft sand of "See The Sky" to much darker, tense rollers such as "Driving Out". Highlights include the soft introspection of "Clouds", the delicate pianos and meany moody bass groan on "Lulerain" and the skippy bliss of "Away From It All". Time to get lost...
Review: Times have changed since Jake Williams first donned the Rex The Dog alias for Kompakt in 2004, but his ability to deliver ear-pleasing, synth-heavy dancefloor cuts has never faltered. "Vortex", the lead cut from the producer's first EP on 2019, is a particular potent example of his art, with Williams building and releasing tension via sparse, spacey lead lines, new wave style synth chords, matter-or-fact techno beats, trance-inducing motifs and some suitably mind-altering breakdowns. It's arguably his strongest club cut for years and certainly the most alluring. Over on side B, "Elektromekanik" sees Williams brilliantly alternate between moments of loved-up, rush-inducing dreaminess and thrillingly angular, hard-wired modular electronics.
Review: Earlier in the year, Kutiman took his brand of psychedelic fusion to Wah Wah 45s for the very first time. Here he returns home to Siyal Music with Turkish vocalist Melike Sahin in tow. "Sakla Beni" is wonderfully odd and exotic - a spaced-out psych-funk affair that wraps mazy, Moog style motifs, mind-altering orchestration and Sahin's wide-eyed vocal around a skewed, low-slung groove. It's brilliantly hallucinatory, as is the accompanying "Karaoke Version" - a superb instrumental take that allows listeners a chance to revel in the intricacy of Kutiman's arrangements. In this context, "Sakla Beni" sounds like it should be gracing the soundtrack of a particularly odd late 1960s Turkish film
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best may be best known for jazz and disco reissues, but they're also dab hands at unearthing forgotten gems from the annals of Italian deep house too. The Countach were last seen in active service back in 1990, dropping just two singles but making sure they were bona fide classics. "Aqua Marina" has plenty of lashings of jazz funk rubbed into its loins, not least on the "Sweet Dream Version". The "Paradise Version" nudges the key of the club mixes and ramps up the reverb, and then the "Original Studio Version" switches up the mood with an organic, live band groove on this crucial 12".
Review: Finnish jazz scene heavyweights Timo Lassy (saxophone) and Teppo Makynen (drums) are old studio buddies. They've released a number of collaborative singles, but this self-titled set is their first joint album. After kicking off via the slow-burn ambient jazz creepiness of "Fallow", the pair shuffles through sparse but engrossing cuts that combine Lassy's meandering headline-grabbing saxophone solos with Makynen's ambidextrous drum rhythms and melodic percussion parts (think xylophone, marimba, kalimba etc). It's very experimental in nature and closer in spirit to free-jazz than some of their collaborative work, though the results are uniformly impressive and strangely alluring.
Review: Etch and Nico Lindsay make good musical bedfellows; the former's spacious left-footed soundscapes providing plenty of room for Nico's narrative, evolving lyrical style, they're kindred spirits linked by a glacial sense of adventure and refusal to compromise. Opener "Don't Wanna Know" kicks the doors down with force. Rough and switchy, there's a pulsing 2002 feel to both the step and flow while "Predator Vs Prey (Toxin)" takes us on a much swampier, weirded out trip that buns everything but survival. Finally, Tranq Sinatra joins the fray for an urgent finale where fast-tongue tales from Nico are backed from Tranq harmonies and another iced riddim from Etch. Cold.
Review: As hinted by the stark but bold cover art, Stockholm-based experimental composer Ellen Arkbro has adopted a more minimalist approach on her latest album for James Ginzburg's admirable Subtext label. "Chords" comprises two lengthy pieces, each of which stretches out alluringly across a side of vinyl. A-side "Chords For Organ" sets the tone, with Akbro making merry with unsettling sustained notes, foreboding electronic tones and droning electronic pulses. It's pretty challenging, but strangely alluring in a mind-altering kind of way. "Chords For Guitar" applies a similar approach to effects-laden guitar passages, with individual notes - processed to resemble odd electronic tones - sparring with slowly strummed chords over 17 mesmerizing minutes.
Review: Longstanding house peer Watson comes correct with this breathtaking outing on Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm. Taking off where he left us on his own Everysoul Audio last year, it's another lavish, unhurried and timeless composition that tips nods to all eras with its velvet pads and Julien Jabre style pianos. The words 'Epic Intro mix' say it all, as does the 13 minute length; Watson's timing ahead of the summer couldn't be better. Daydreamy, liquid in its development and soulful to the very core... If you're playing so much as one al fresco event this season - even your nan's BBQ - you need to pack this.
Review: West Midlands techno legend Surgeon is said to have produced the material on the Raw Trax series at Amsterdam Dance Event last year, with only a PIN Electronics Portabella synth and a TR-909 drum machine. Road tested extensively during his live show over the last several months, this series is "a return to the pure essence of techno" - and that statement rings true throughout this 12". In this second volume you'll hear familiar sounds from Anthony Child that throws back to the seminal days of his eponymous EP, Pet 2000 or the Basictonalvocabulary LP: all conceived during his legendary House Of God residency back in the early 90s. From the fierce and strobed-out adrenaline of "Raw Trax 10" and "Raw Trax 5", to the brutalist overdriven thud of "Raw Trax 7" with its grinding acid bassline, and the hypnotic minimalism of closer "Raw Trax 6", this 12" is packed with proper purified Techno bangers by one of the genre's very best.
Review: The hitherto unknown BEFORETHEBEATSBREAK crew step up with a low key drop on Blah Records, a label that has previously hosted the talents of Ronaldo and Crazy Bank. The mood is resolutely fixed on pumping garage house with oodles of swing, from the deeper shuffle of "Closer" to the heavy bump of "I Don't Want U". "Freak Me Out" is a wonderfully frantic workout with all manner of samples and skittish key flex pinging around an uptempo groove, before "Talkin' About" pushes the swing even harder to conjure up a jazzy feeling smattered with sax licks and squelching synth stabs.
Review: Having made its bow on digital download last autumn, JKriv and Adeline's brilliant "Vertigo" finally makes it to wax. The original Club Mix sounds like a long lost cut from Brooklyn disco revivalists Escort, a band that both JKriv and Adeline were members of. It's absolutely brilliant all told - think strong choruses, Nile Rodgers guitars, jangly pianos and walking bass - as is JKriv's throbbing, delay-laden Dub. In between you'll find a dusty disco-house revision from Yuksek and a storming interpretation from Z Records chief Joey Negro, who wraps Adeline's vocal and JKriv's bassline in colourful new boogie synths and some classic disco-funk horns. There's no doubt about it, this will be one of the biggest disco records of 2019.
Review: Robin Ball has been on a roll of late, flaunting his wares on the Memory Box label amongst others. He makes a second outing on Groovepressure with four tracks of dynamic, inventive machine jams touching on synthwave influences and a healthy dose of electro. There's atmosphere loaded into each of these forthright, roughly hewn workouts, not least on the eerie, trancey synth strings on "Mr Mumble". The B side features the steadiest material in the shape of two versions of "Satin" that tap into the housier end of Ball's output.