Review: If you enjoyed the loose, warm and organic musical fusions of Italian outfits Nu Guinea and Mystic Jungle, we'd recommend checking out this fine debut album from fellow countrymen Aura Safari. The Perugua-based quartet explore similar influences - think jazz, jazz-funk, dusty deep house, Afro-cosmic, Balearica and boogie, for starters - and rely on a similar blend of vintage synthesizer sounds, live and programmed drums, jazz-friendly brass instruments and elastic bass guitar. The resultant album, then, feels like it comes from a similar sonic place, even if Aura Safari's distinctive musical blend is even more eclectic, emotive and atmospheric than that offered by their aforementioned contemporaries. Either way, it's a superb set.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Back Home (original Hip House instrumental mix) (7:17)
Back Home (alternative mix) (7:50)
Back Home (bonus beats) (4:28)
Review: A pioneer for the hip house scene in Chicago back in the 80s, Tyree is still at it thirty years later and sounding as vital as ever. This collaboration with Pure God is a thoroughly different concern to the jacking acid of the early days, bringing a live drum sound, funk bass and even a stirring string lilt into the mix on "Back Home". Whether you plump for the full vocal mix or the stripped back instrumental, it's an anthemic party starting beast of a jam for peak time maneuvers. The "Alternative Mix" of "Back Home" on the B-side is a more classic, throbbing slice of mechanical minimalism for the traditional Chicago jackers out there, and there's some "Bonus Beats" thrown in for good measure too!
Review: According to the South American music specialists at Matasuna Records, Ralph Weeks' 1971 single "Let Me Do My Thing" - recorded alongside backing Los Dinamicos Exciters - is arguably the most sought-after Panamanian soul record around. As this reissue proves, Weeks' original version is rubbery, heavy and rousing, with the singer's rasping lead vocal soaring above a weighty backing track that sounds like a breezier take on the New York boogaloo sound. On the flip, Voodoocuts tools it up for modern dancefloors, underpinning his club-ready edit with punchy new drums that give the cut more of a breakbeat style swing.
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Review: After launching with a buttechno 12", Russia's leading exponent of leftfield techno fires up his RASSVET label under his own name with a trip into the strange middle ground between trance and coldwave. "Main Loop" is certainly obscure in its leaning, coming on like an 80s soundtrack refrain, but there's no mistaking the dazzling leads undergoing surgery in "Chording". This is deconstructed trance mangled for the post club generation, all the euphoria straining against aggressive digital processing to create a very unsettling listening experience indeed. Trance aficionados will be aghast, techno snobs will be up in arms, and the new wave of heads drawing on all genres great and small will be relishing in the post modern madness of it all.
Review: The low-key but long-serving D2B steps up on a self-manned label to deliver two surefire club smashers for those who appreciate the grit and soul of proper Detroit techno. "My Love" on the A side is the friendlier cut, its taut machine rhythms embellished with dextrous synth work from pulsing chords to simmering strings, all shot through with a smoky after hours haze. On the flip side, D2B gets a little rawer with the component parts of the track, jacking up the drums and spacing out the arrangement for a more intense workout that should satisfy anyone who wants techno with personality that still smacks hard.
Review: Since opting to release more music under his given name, DeepChord man Rod Modell has largely stuck to dubbed-out ambience and heady drone soundscapes. His latest full-length is a little different, though, offering up club-focused cuts that mix his usual fuzzy aural textures and dub-fired motifs with up-tempo techno rhythms. By his standards, it's a very forthright set, with highlights including the noise-soaked stomp of "Reiki", the thrusting heaviness of "ITO", the hypnotic slam of "Jade" - where breezy, early morning electronics flutter away above tough drums and a mind-altering bassline - and the boisterous peak-time techno anthem "Scrawler".
Review: Commonly found rocking out on Unison Wax, Constant Sound and Pleasure Zone, Diego Krause is a certified mover and shaker in the minimal house scene, and he's on fire with this latest round of missives for Blind Box. "Malice" leads the charge with a plethora of eerie synth textures flexing organically round the sturdy beat, while "Monolith" slips into a slinkier groove while keeping the tripped out tone tweaking at the forefront of our minds. "Return" brings a tougher, fist-pumping rhythm section with a snaking syn-cussion tones trickling throughout, providing Blind Box with plenty of material to sink their gnashers into on the remix.
Review: Xtra xtra read all about it! Backatcha excavate a serious New York disco boogie rarity from 82. One of the first productions by BC Records founder Began Cekic, led by prolific backing-vocalist for the likes of Chic and Talking Heads Dolette McDonald, the result is a sultry downtempo affair with an obscene slap-bass line, sweet synth sprinkles and a strut that's roomy enough for Dolette to do her thing. Complete with an instrumental, this lives up to its name. Special.
Review: Since its release in 1973, Ze Roberto's debut single "Lotus 72 D" has become something of an in-demand item amongst collectors of soul-fired Brazilian "MPB". So much so, in fact, that Mr Bongo has licensed it and served up this 7" reissue. In its original A-side form, the track is a carnival-ready slab of samba-soul brilliance rich in razor-sharp horn blasts, rich bass guitar, punchy hand-percussion and twinkling jazz piano solos. Roberto's confident vocals take centre stage, inviting us towards the dancefloor. Over on the flip you'll find a "Fast Version" of Roberto's tribute to 1972 Formula 1 champ Emerson Fittipaldi. This has a slightly more dancefloor-centric tempo, an effect achieved when it was accidentally pitched up for inclusion on a 2001 compilation.
Review: Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Saint Thomas LeDoux makes his vinyl debut here with the ever-essential Finale Sessions. The label alone should give you an idea of the vibe on this record, where Detroit-inspired deep house with soul, flair and grit gets steered in intriguing new directions. So it goes on LeDoux's first outing, kicking off with the dazzling chord trickery of "Me Time" before "Feels Like" nestles down into a broken beat groove sprinkled with gorgeous arpeggios. "Raw Meat" takes a dramatic turn into a more global, percussive sound world with stunning results, and then "Grief" simmers things down with a home-listening cut loaded with craft FX processes and a jazzy demeanor to offset the artistic distortion.
Movement 2 - "Toto, I've A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore" (6:03)
Movement 3 - Wherever Two Or More Are Gathered (8:24)
Movement 4 - Life In The Gravity Well (7:02)
Movement 5 - As The Earth Kissed The Moon (7:20)
Movement 6 - Something's Moving (7:35)
Review: Michael Stearns is perhaps less namechecked than many of the early ambient pioneers, but his expansive catalogue reaches back to 1977, when his first expansive synthesizer dreamscapes unfurled themselves on his own Continuum Montage label. Emotional Rescue have picked up on seminal 1981 album Planetary Unfolding, giving a much needed vinyl reissue to a classic slice of hyperboreal ambience spread across six long-form movements. Expansive, emotionally charged and constantly exploratory, this is deep space listening at its finest - an essential purchase for any lovers of truly classic, cosmic synthesizer music.
Review: Leo Gunn is an artist that has been truly dedicated to the cause of Deep Explorer. To date all the artist's music has come to light on Dubbyman's bastion of Spanish deep house, and it's no wonder when you listen to the illustrious tones of his productions. Ahead of a new album, this 7" of mystery and wonder starts off in the utterly enchanting world of "Voodoo", a spaced out lullaby of expressive pads and the softest house tick buffeting along the aqueous sounds. There's a slight change of mood on the flip as "Moondub" lives up to its name with a spacious soundworld marked out by echoing piano notes and a rock solid bassline, but still that inimitable Deep Explorer mood prevails.
Etta James & Sugar Pie Desanto - "In The Basement" (Soul Flip edit) (3:20)
John Gary Williams - "My Sweet Lord" (Soul Flip edit) (3:59)
Review: On their latest limited edition salvo, the hardworking Soul Flip crew (AKA experienced DJs and producers Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo) gets to work on two more stomping dancefloor cuts from the golden age of soul. First up on side A is a gently tooled-up and tightened up take on Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto's 1966 floor-heater "In The Basement", a hybrid soul-jazz/rhythm and blues jam rich in rubbery double bass, bustling drums, restless handclaps and brilliant lead vocals from the two legendary soul singers. On the flip they tackle Memphis musician John Gary Williams' 1972 cover of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", which brilliantly re-imagines the former Beatles' spiritual song as a sweaty gospel-soul stomper.
Your Beautiful Look Is Looping Endlessly In My Head (4:48)
Review: Having done such wonderful work alongside Wolf Muller on The Sound Of Glades album, Cass makes a welcome return with an expansive album release on Emotional Response. The German producer's ambient tendencies blossom here, occasionally meeting with laconic drums as on "U" but primarily dealing in huge swathes of melody. DJs will want to hold out for the dramatic pulse of "Ann", where a more pronounced drum set makes for one of the album's most club-ready moments. There's a strong variety of tones and moods across Youth Sessions, from the strafing arpeggios of "Running" to the bliss-out shapeless swirl of "Prismatic Prolog", and this ensures that the album will not dull with repeated listens.
Jeremy Castillo - "Beat Dat" (feat Vin Sol) (4:24)
Review: Unknown To The Unknown spreads its wings with a new sublabel dedicated specifically to jacking house jams for proper white-knuckle party times. Steven BC turns the acid intensity up to 11 with the devastatingly on-point "Flanger Zone", while Mall Grab reaches for a classic bit of disco funk to sample and filter mercilessly. Lawrence Lee meanwhile opts for a playful, budget take on Eastern electro on "Pyongyang Rhythm" before Jeremy Castillo and Vin Sol return to primal Trax Records territory for "Beat Dat". It's a release that marks House Crimes out as a natural descendant from UTTU's irreverent approach to dance music, without compromising on the quality.
Review: Prolific Dutch producer Boris Bunnik wears several hats: Conforce, Silent Harbour and Vernon Felicity, but some of his most exciting music is produced under the Versalife alias where he delves deep into the electro sound. He makes his debut here for Leeds institution 20/20 Vision with "Machine Life", taking the classic electro sound further but with a modern twist. We're going deep underwater on the moody title track, before coming up for air via the soulful android funk of "MO5". On the flip, the eerie dystopian themes continue on the sombre "Monospace" and the seething reductionist electro-bass of "Axion".
Review: By now we should know what to expect from Tropical Records, namely beefed-up, house style re-edits of disco and boogie tracks that tend towards the hot, sticky and humid. Sartorial kicks things off this time round via the swirling, Latin style disco-bounce of "Warping" - all low-slung bass, new house beats, big orchestration and snaking sax solos - before Moodena straightens out and tools up a hybrid jazz-funk/disco jam that boasts some seriously exotic guitar solos and jammed-out electric piano parts. Simon Kennedy's contribution, "Back To Soul", is a bumpy and bouncy take on a fine disco soul classic, while Hotmood's "Everybody" is a sweaty, house style revision of a P-funk flavoured boogie number.
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.
Review: Following a strong cast including Myles Serge, John Barera, DJ Skull and Hakim Murphy, Mentha continues its strong run of form with a various artists 12" that broadens the horizons of the high-grade deep house label. Michael Lovatt keeps things groovy and understated on "Tides", while Kareen Ali gets into a slow and trippy mood on "Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez". Anaxander's "Unspoken" brings some neo-soul synth lines to the table, and Michael Zucker turns out a brooding, introspective workout. Each track may have its own traits, but the whole record hangs together as a fine next step for a promising label.
Neon - "Don't Mess With This Beat" (instrumental mix)
The Future Sound Of London - "Papua New Guinea"
De-Lite - "Wild Times" (Mayday mix)
D-Mob - "That's The Way Of The World" (feat Cathy Dennis)
Top Buzz - "Living In Darkness"
Brainkillers - "Screwface"
Tic Tac Toe - "Ephemerol"
Ability II - "Pressure Dub"
Awesome 3 - "Don't Go"
Review: To mark the passing of three decades since they became resident DJs at weekly club night Rage, Fabio and Grooverider have put together this killer collection of tunes that not only rocked the party, but also laid the foundations for the jungle revolution that followed. It's a fine collection, with the veteran D&B duo serving up deep early progressive house (Leftfield), weighty bleep and bass (Ability II's peerless "Pressure Dub" and Juno's "Soul Thunder"), breakbeat-driven hardcore smashers (Zero B, Frankie Bones), early jungle (Wots My Code, Foul Play), slamming techno (Rhythim Is Rhythim, Cybersonik), UK acid house (Ecstasy Club) and rush-inducing rave anthems (Awesome 3, Lennie De Ice). A nostalgic trip down memory lone that boasts just as many underground selections as it does chart-bothering classics.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Having worked with the likes of Don Cherry and Laurie Anderson, there's little doubting the credentials of Ramuntcho Matta. Emotional Rescue have tapped him up for some truly outernational jams that sport African percussion, skronky jazz tones and an engaging minimalism that's hard to resist. The fretless bass and exotic animal cries of "Ecoute" are especially appealing, while the squelchy sound design in "O Clapo" may well do funny things to all who hear it. It's a startlingly original record that serves as a perfect introduction to a lesser known figure in leftfield music with a great heritage behind him.
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: While Pheek may have been in operation for as long as anyone can remember within minimal house and techno, Cleymoore has been most productive more recently thanks to his Pluie/Noir label. Following on from last year's Seikou single on Xquisite, here Cleymoore and Pheek link up to deliver some densely packed, production rich jams that keep the spirit of mid-00s clicks and cuts alive. The beats themselves may be slender slices that carry the energy of the tracks, but it's all in the infinitesimal details in between that the true magic of this music comes alive.
Review: Ahead of a fresh album due later in the year, Nat Birchall fires up his quartet and returns to the Jazz45 series with a second seven-inch salvo for the Jazzman offshoot. A-side "Obeah Man" is wonderfully sweet, soulful and breezy, with Birchall and company layering jaunty spiritual jazz style piano riffs and snaking solos (think Clarinet, sax, trumpet etc) over a warm, loose and bustling groove. They continue on a similar vein on the slightly bolder flipside cut "Seeking", where bandmembers trade solos atop a classic jazz style bassline and fizzing drums. That forthcoming album should be killer.
Review: D3 Elements continues to mine the fertile soil of Midwest inspired house, techno and electro with this fantastic new album from Michael Dykehouse (sometimes found turning out experimental fare on Planet Mu and Ghostly). Here the grooves are immediate and engaging across nine tracks, from the bubbly "Meltdown Morning" to the spooked-out "Clock Division", touching on a range of styles all bound together by a commitment to classic drum machine beats and synthesiser tones. This is far from a throwback record though, instead celebrating Dykehouse's innate musicality through all manner of tempos and moods and coming out as a well-rounded long player in the process.
Review: Following the excellent instalment from DJ Skull, Mentha continues to gather pace as a house and techno label of note with this sublime offering from Hakim Murphy. While the Chicago native may be known for some bruising hardware house and techno a lot of the time, he's showing his more sensitive side on this release with delicate tracks that head into deep techno waters. The title of the EP says it all, as nimble, expressive beats merge with soothing, aqueous pad tones for a most satisfying of listening experiences. Fans of early deep techno a la B12 and Stasis will find much to enjoy here.
Review: As part of Mura Oka, Louis Vial has already been spotted on the excellent Latency label as well as delivering a solo EP to Collapsing Market earlier this year. He once again dons his Eszaid cape on this release for the equally fine Meandyou stable, tapping into the labels predilection for obscure variations on the fringes of house and techno. "777,7" is especially captivating in its insistent cyclical minimalism, drilling straight for the subconscious, while "Eyeless Mannekin" sets adrift in aqueous climes for a proper floatation tank dub techno immersion. Using subtlety as a powerful tool, Eszaid ably matches up to the quality that has come before on Meandyou.
The Music Got Me (Nick The Record & Dan Tyler Re-Spanimated dubb) (7:44)
The Music Got Me (Bawrut Bawracid Workout) (7:05)
Review: Second time around for Ransom Note's essential reissue of the late, great Boyd Jarvis' sublime "The Music Got Me" - an alien, otherworldly proto-house instrumental that became a NYC club anthem when issued on Prelude under the Visual alias. Jarvis and Timmy Regisford's mesmerizing "original dub" kicks things off, creating a hypnotizing mood via an awesome bassline, cascading synthesizer melodies and sparse vocal hooks. It's accompanied by a stellar re-dub by Nick The Record and Idjut Boys member Dan Tyler. The pair smothers key sections of the track in tape echo, dub delay and ricocheting reverb, in the process creating a druggy, wide-eyed early morning classic. To round things off, Bawrut re-imagines the early '80s jam as a twisted, mind-altering acid house jacker.
Review: Alan Arbelaez makes his first outing on vinyl, launching the Keepers Of The Wild label with a forthright selection of rave minded goodies pitched at the darker side of the dance. "Ravejavik" revolves around terse breakbeats and uneasy DX7 keys, making for a most intense of club workouts pitched at an even tempo. "Downton Abbey Trax" equally keeps the tempo slow and deadly as a hailstorm of rave tropes meet with emotive string samples, while "Hidden Agenda" explores paranoid house with pan pipe leads flown in over the top. The release rounds off with "Matrix Wave", a more meditative, dubstep flavoured cut showing another side to this emergent artist.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: South Carolina's John Zahl aka Jaz returns. He's said to be a DJ/Episcopal Priest from Charleston, South Carolina who digs deep, uncovering vinyl gems from the mid-80s with lots of drum machines and tons of fun weirdness - as heard on his many mixtapes on Soundcloud. Some of that material gets featured on this collection of edits here for P&F Recordings, who make a departure from original compositions in favour of these four beautiful downtempo edits by a modern day master of the craft. From the low slung boogie funk of "Dancing In The Sunshine", to the neon-lit '80s R'n'B of "Here We Go" and the slo-mo rock swagger of "Push Comes To Shove" - there's all you need right here!
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: Mr Cloudy has a sizable back catalogue on labels like Entropy, Dubwax and Millions Of Moments, and now he's been snapped up by Local Traffic to impart his sumptuous dubby wares across four tracks. "Memoria I" and "Memoria II" let the A-side simmer in a bubbling broth of dub techno ambience, all shimmering chords undergoing heavyweight processing. "Sprayer I" is still immensely mellow, although a little rhythmic pulse creeps its way into earshot via the movement of the gravelly chords, and then "Sprayer II" rounds the EP off with something approaching a beat-oriented excursion through the same billowing clouds of dub techno finery.
Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: The latest outing from Swiss reissue specialists WRWTFWW takes us back to 1981 and the debut single from Bern-based post-punk combo Grauzone. The 12" release of "Eisbaer" has long been a must-have amongst fans of off-kilter, dancefloor-ready new wave, and this replica reissue includes all three tracks featured on that version. Opener "Eisbar" sets the tone, with the bands weary, half spoken/half sung vocals rising above a backing track that's powered forwards by relentless bass guitar, screeching riffs and broken computer style electronics. "Film 2" is a heavy, synthesizer powered workout peppered with delay-laden drum hits and odd noises, while closing cut "Ich Liebe Sie" is a clicking and quietly melodious affair that's almost entirely electronic.
Review: Just shy of a year after their last Electropical escapade, Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel return with another fiery fusion of afrobeat, Latin, funk and disco treats. This time recorded in the Bolivar Film Studios, Caracas with Venezuelan drum ensemble, we're treated to two new originals and two exceptional updates. "San Juan" hits with a sleazy, dreamy groove and yearning vocals crying over the top while "Electropical" is an immense hit of percussive magic that gradually opens up into technoid chords that no crowd will hear coming. Flip for a loose-limed and sparkly take on the proto house blueprint "Spacial Paradise" and contemporary, heavier hitting take on their 2011 evergreen dancefloor kiss "Sexmachina". Get on the scene...
Miro SundayMusiq - "From Behind The Corner" (8:39)
Review: Following an excellent EP from Memphis, Animals On Psychedelics returns with more weird and wonderful party fare from the outer reaches. This time it's a various artists release that brings together all the producers involved in the label so far, while also introducing BPMF to the fold with the woozy, rubbery synth shapes of "Liza On Clouds." Jane Fitz and Dom Ahtuam's Invisible Menders project presents the rolling, psyched out melodics of "Three On Three," while Memphis pushes further into experimental territory with the wonderfully fractured "Altered States." That leaves it to Miro SundayMusiq to complete the EP with the wave-meets-Italo tones of "From Behind The Corner," a perfectly noirish flourish to finish a sterling record.
Review: By all accounts, Son of Sound and Jus' Ed have been pals for years, though this is the first time they've penned a joint release. They begin with the fluttering, riff-propelled deep house bounce of "Cuchfritos", where rubbery drum fills help to create extra energy, before notching up the tempo via the spacey, synth-fuelled stomp of "I Have You On My Side". The swinging, jazz-dance friendly organ garage swing of "Bridgeport 2 Brooklyn" brilliantly draws the curtain down on Side A, before the duo kick off the flipside with the ultra-deep beauty of "Wicked Self", whose undulating synthesizer solos are particularly tasty. As if that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, closer "Manhattan's Projects" is a fizzing chunk of rolling and spacey peak-time house.
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.
Review: Claremont 56 continue to disregard the genre boundaries - preferring instead to give good music the attention it deserves - as their latest looker of a twelve inch presents us the sounds of Torn Sail. Fronted by Smith & Mudd vocalist Huw Costin, Torn Sail go all 60s West Coast rock on us with the gloriously rich sounds of "Birds". From its acoustic beginnings the track gradually unfurls into a delightful groove embellished by soothing vocal harmonies. It's almost a thankless task enlisting anyone to try and remix what sounds like a perfect song, but Claremont 56 obviously chose right in requesting the services of Tiago. In the Portuguese producer's hands "Birds" is transformed into a heavily psychedelic freakout which gently develops into a kraut rock behemoth filled with swathes of heavy organ vibes. Containing several shifts in momentum - including a glorious half speed finish - this is a truly stunning remix which left our jaws occupying the floor!
Review: Balearic disco maestro Max Essa has named his latest EP in honour of "Barkhan Dunes" - those wind created, crescent shaped sand dunes often found in deserts. Quite how this fits with the music on offer isn't explained, though the Balearic-minded music offered up is excellent. Check first "The Price You Pay (For Loving That Way)", an arpeggio-driven slab of sun-kissed nu-disco/Balearic house fusion rich in life-affirming Rhodes chords, twinkling synth lines and delay-laden saxophone solos. "Kites At Nemoto Beach" is a gently unfurling ambient soundscape full of drowsy vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Sundowning" sees Essa wrap glistening guitars and thickset synth bass around a bubbly mid-tempo drum machine rhythm.
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.
Sly & Lovechild - "The World According To Sly & Lovechild" (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix)
Dorisburg - "Rytm804"
Hiver - "Pert"
Kyle Hall - "Flemmenup"
DMX Krew - "EPR Phenomena"
JRMS - "3"
Shades Of Rhythm - "Exorcist"
Kode 9 - "Magnetic City"
The System - "Vampirella"
Black Merlin - "Kundu"
Aphex Twin - "Vordhosbn"
R-Tyme - "Illusion" (Mayday remix)
Psyche - "Crackdown"
Deniro - "Epirus"
I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993"
Review: South Korean star Peggy Gou continues her seemingly unstoppable rise by serving up her first ever DJ mix CD. It's a contribution to one of the longest running series in the business, DJ Kicks, and she's used the opportunity to showcase the depth and variety of the music in her crates. Beginning with the classic early '90s ambient of Spacetime Continuum, Gou flits between humid, mid-tempo Balearic house (her own "Hungboo"), acid-fired downtempo electronica (Pearson Sound), throbbing 1990 peak-time anthems (Weatherall's ace but largely forgotten remix of Sly & Lovechild), hypnotic techno minimalism (Dorisburg), main room throb-jobs (Hiver), pulsating electro (DMX Krew), classic breakbeat hardcore (Shades of Rhythm), post-dubstep (Kode 9), dark tribal drum jams (Black Merlin) and sunrise ready Motor City brilliance (Deniro).
Notes: These are the same high-quality inner sleeves that MOFI use for their most-prized vinyl releases. They are imported, three-ply, anti-static, premium sleeves (similar to rice paper) and work with both LPs and laser discs.
Back construction consists of a paper layer sandwiched between two sheets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a translucent HDPE front.
These custom-designed inner sleeves protect against all common problems associated with regular sleeves of all types, such as scratching, static build-up and contamination etc.
Your records are irreplaceable, these sleeves will guarantee they last a lifetime.
Review: More from single-sided specialists EEE, a shadowy crew that specializes in sneaky contemporary club reworks of well-known tracks (many of which are, in their original form, about as dancefloor focused as your average miserable indie band or veteran cabaret crooner). What's on offer this time round is a heavily electronic tech-house groove - all Romanian style beats and bubbling, mind-altering synth notes - onto which is laid cut-up snippets from a famous old blues cut that's previously been sampled on a club cut to great effect. While the vocal does sit slightly awkwardly at times, there's no denying the heaviness or effectiveness of EEE's track. In other words, it's another winner from tech-house's most shadowy crew.
Review: Although Emile Facey has been producing as Plant 43 for roughly six years, the UK producer appears to be in a rich vein of form right now. Having debuted in impressive fashion on Dutch label Frustrated funk earlier this year, Plant 43 resurfaces on Semantica with this equally worthy five track 12" The Sentient City Awakens. No stranger to Svreca's label having first graced Semantica last year, this record will please Plant 43 fans no end, with "Inward Stream" and "Hydro Subway" showing equal reverence to melody and booming percussion that few other current electro practitioners can match. Concluding production "Frond Of Stars" is beautifully epic.
I Like It (Blow Out dub - The Maghreban Revenge mix) (9:36)
Review: Released on 1989 on Canadian imprint Big Shot Records, the "Blow Out Dub" of Landlord's sole single, "I Like It", cannily combined Bleep and bass style heavy sub business with the kind of bounding riffs and warehouse-friendly piano stabs that were popularized by early Inner City records. It's aged rather well, as this 2019 reissue proves. It feels like a current club record rather than one made 30 years ago. It comes backed by a fresh remix, with The Maghreban offering up an epic journey through rave-style breakbeat madness that builds, drops, builds again and then goes crazy over nine sweaty, mind-altering minutes.