Two Thou - "Group Technology" (with Alberto Collodel)
Autre - "Cosmic Roots"
Two Thou - "SOL"
Autre - "Futura"
Review: The Fields & Forest label has so far aligned itself with the stellar Russian label Udacha, featuring Dices, A5 and Cuisine Dub, but things are taking a turn into new territory with the inclusion of Autre and Two Thou with two tracks a piece on this new slab of wax. Two Thou's "Group Technology" is a snappily shaped, 80s influenced groover with some interesting timbres falling into a dynamic groove, while "SOL" shows another side to the artist with a snaking slice of jazz funk infused experimental techno. Autre's "Cosmic Roots" is a more esoteric, new age gilded slice of ambient house while "Futura" ramps up the saucy synths for a silk-tongued charmer of a warm-up jam.
Review: Emotional Rescue label boss Stuart Leath is particularly excited about this release, and it's not hard to see why. While Spanish singer/songwriter Javier Bergia is not widely known in the UK, his releases - either solo, or as part of the Finas Africae and Arium Musicae groups - are held in high regard by those of a Balearic persuasion. Eclipse is something of a treat, gathering together the best of Bergia's solo work from 1985 to the present day. Featuring Bergia's spoken and sung vocals atop a mix of gentle acoustics, atmospheric strings, delay-laden percussion and subtle global rhythms, Eclipse impresses from start to finish. It should be essential listening for anyone with even the tiniest interest in Balearica.
Review: Having built their reputation through 12" singles for the likes of Crosstown Rebels and Poker Flat, Dan Berkson and James What deliver their debut album, on their freshly minted imprint Modelmaker. Interestingly, Keep Up Appearances is an altogether warmer, melodious and more evocative set than you'd perhaps expect, with a smattering of rich downtempo cuts joining a solid selection of dancefloor-friendly deep house. You can hear a classic dub techno influence in cuts such as "Keep Up Appearances" and "Shadow Theory", while the acid-flecked, soul-soaked "Make It True" sounds like classic Osunlade. Best of all, though, are the more forthright efforts, with the ragged "Seraphim" standing out.