Love (Planetary Assault Systems Low Blow remix) (10:44)
Love (Marcel Dettmann City remix) (7:57)
Love (Silent Servant remix) (4:13)
Review: First released back in 1997, breakbeat-driven techno jam "Love" remains one of Luke Slater's most rush-inducing moments. Here the classic has been given a new lease of life via a swathe of fresh reworks. Fittingly, Slater provides cuts under two of his more familiar alternate aliases: an ultra-dreamy, glassy-eyed breakbeat take as The 7th Plain and a thrusting intergalactic techno revision as Planetary Assault Systems. The other revisions are all superb, too. Burial serves up an ultra-deep, super-dusty 4/4 interpretation full of his usual crackling samples, Lucy re-imagines it as a bouncy techno slammer, Marcel Dettmann gives it a clanking, metallic techno feel and Silent Servant offers up some carnival-ready drums and rising symphonic strings.
Review: Bottoms up! The Silver Rider and the Funk District saddle up for a two-way trip on the latest Whiskey Disco joint. Texan transdimensional traveller Silver Rider steps up for the A with a main course and a punchy side plate. "Woman" is a big War-style disco funk piece with precision spoken vocals and horns while "Hustle Up" is a stripped back wriggling bassline DJ tool guaranteed to disarm. Flip for the B to a trip into the heart of Mexico as the Funk District fires heated shots: "Imaki Ra Reo" is straight up Latin disco while "The Root Of Evil" takes us on an African International adventure for a stunning afrobeat finale.
Review: Some 20 years after "If" first hit stores, Jeff Mills has decided to get his old pal Terrence Parker to remix it. He's done a rather good job, with both versions making great use of Mills' ghostly original chord sequences and two different variations on the mesmerizing, seemingly drifting scat-style vocals that was arguably the track's most memorable feature. The A-side "Vox Soul Mix" includes new vocals in the original style by Marachka, whose haunting but soulful improvisations brilliantly rise above metronomic techno drums, spacey effects and those now famous chords. The similar sounding "Original Remix" is a little tougher and weightier, with tooled-up percussion (check the restless hi-hats) underpinning Anna F's original scat vocal and Mills' ethereal, ambient style chords.
Review: Said to have been created after a long period of writer's block, Mark Barrott wrote much of Sketches From A Distant Ocean when he returned to his former home of Uruguay for the first time in a long while. The long break is said to have taught him about the value of self-expression and connection, and he returned to work with an invigorated enthusiasm. This has certainly paid off, as Sketches From A Distant Ocean shines through musically. Our picks are the sun kissed balearica of "Galileo", bossa nova-inflected island dreams of "Low Lying Fruit" and the evocative trip-hop journey of "The Rowing Song", which calls to mind his earlier output from the '90s as Future Loop Foundation.
Review: Given that almost every single Ron Trent record makes us feel toasty and fuzzy inside, it would be fair to say that "Warm" is a rather fitting name for the deep house legend's latest release. A-side "Night Ride" sees him get busy with a vintage drum machine, adding whispered vocals, colourful riffs, undulating synth-bass and chiming melodies to a distinctive rhythm track. It's every bit as delicious and enveloping as you'd expect, with flipside opener "On A Journey" offering a surprise Balearic diversion rich in sun-kissed guitar motifs, swirling chords and a tactile, slow-motion groove. The sunset-friendly fun continues on "Exhale", where rock style guitar solos are buried beneath shuffling samba-house beats and Trent's usual impeccable keys.
Das Ding - "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" (4:04)
DJ Overdose - "I See No Stars At Night" (4:16)
DJ Overdose - "Potje Freaken" (4:55)
Review: The Go Finger label has been digging into the undergrowth of synthwave sounds and deviant electro for a few years now, more recently graduating from the tape scene to put out EPs of leftfield electronic adventures on wax. This EP in particular is quite something, calling on the vintage talents of Das Ding in all their eerie, warped, pulsing, analogue refinement. "Conun Drum" is a curiously playful trip through noirish cityscapes by way of strobing lead lines and militaristic machine beats, while "Life Is A Tool In The Hands Of Strangers" takes a more uptempo approach without losing the bombast of their melodic arrangements. Dutch electro champ DJ Overdose steps up for the B side, dropping the overcast and creeping "I See No Stars At Night" and the dishevelled robot beatdown "Potje Freaken".
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: Having kicked off his Etheric label with the Origins EP earlier this year, Leonardo is back with more adventurous machine music for the spiritually inclined dancefloor. "The Offering" has a dark and moody tone thanks to the snaking synth line wriggling its way through the track, perfect for eyes-down submission as the strobe blinks slowly. "Symmetry" is a more open affair, all soft top chimes and vapour blasts pinging around an easy electro beat, while "The Afterlife" strikes somewhere in the middle with a tougher, club-minded sound that still favours a sunnier sound palette. "Droplets" is the consummate B2, shrugging off the dancefloor rules of the previous tracks to trip out in a dubwise atmosphere that further strengthens the quality of what Leonardo is up to.
Review: This excellent 7" single from Athens Of The North boasts more desirable deep funk business. This time dusty-fingered digger Euan Fryer has secured the rights to a sought-after seven from Papa Bear & His Cubs, a long-serving combo whose sole "45" has long been a sought-after item amongst serious soul and funk heads. "You're So Fine" may sound like it was recorded in a cement mixer on a cheap portable tape recorder, but musically it's soul bliss - a wonderfully languid, loved-up song blessed with a superb lead vocal and languid instrumentation. "Sweetest Thing On This Side Of Heaven" is, if anything, even more dewy-eyed - a seductive slow jam whose saccharine lyrics are delivered with heartfelt passion.
Review: Slow Town's 17th release from Melbournes Luis CL is an ode to analogue jams. The Cran town EP shows what Luis CL (one half of the Zanzibar Chanel duo and co-founder of Ruff Records) is know for: Dirty but groovy drum arrangements, analogue synths and dreamy melodies and his kind of lo-fi and blurry mixdowns with definitely some Detroit influences. The three tracks were recorded in one take during his studio sessions.
Review: Since 2012, Munich duo COEO has served up a swathe of sample heavy, disco influenced house EPs for such labels as Let's Play House, Toy Tonics, Lagaffe Tales and Razor-N-Tape Reserve. Here they pop up on Razor-N-Tape's main edit label with something different: a quartet of traditional scalpel works from their personal stash. First up is the elastic, horn heavy disco-funk of "Express Lane", which is quickly followed by the skewed Arabic boogie-funk brilliance of "Libyan Sun". Over on side B, "Don't Oho" is a breezy revision of a sun-kissed Afro-disco workout that sounds like it would be capable of causing a commotion in the club, while "Move Your Body" makes merry with a warm, rich and intoxicating early '80s boogie-soul jam of unknown origin.
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: On wax by dope demand! This Razor-N-Tape 2013 release has been a cult classic for many years but never seen the light of the 12"... until now, thanks to the constant pestering of the Discogs community. All three tracks from the original release are here but it's "Where You Belong" that most are after due to its beautiful spacious beats, sweeping strings and awesome Dionne Warwick vocal texture. The whole release is charmed, though; "Here's To You Mr. Robinson" gets a little smokey on our souls while "Makes Me Feel" should get us all very blissed out. Do not sleep on this one, it won't hang around.
Review: The SlapFunk crew have been enjoying plenty of attention lately, and quite rightly. Their pumped up house sound is hard to refute, taking the heads down trippiness of minimal house and beefing it up with classic jacking sounds for an infectious party mixture. Samuel Deep gets the message, bringing just the right kind of swing to "MOOV!" to get bodies popping all over the joint, while "Keek Iz" rides the same beat but in a lower register. "42915 Beatz" is just as drum led, but there's a little more fidgety sonic interplay popping off around the drums. Ingi Visions pops up on the B2 for the distinctly more eerie "Tekniq", placing an icy string synth refrain at the heart of the track with chilling results.
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.
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.
Review: It's been a hot minute since Timothy J. Fairplay slipped on his Junior Fairplay guise, but he's done just that for this bleep-tastic new 12" on (Emotional) Especial. "End Of Love" is unabashed in its embrace of early Yorkshire techno tones, making a fine job of resurrecting the bleep spectre and letting it shake up the dance once more. Roy Of The Ravers is a smart choice of remixer, and he brings an off-kilter acid rub to the table in his idiosyncratic, braindance-inflected style. The B-side is equal laden with purposefully dusty dance grooves transplanted from the late 80s / early 90s, with "Faxes From The Future" hitting a particularly sharp point in its lazy breakbeat roll and the clanging harmonies of the stabs.
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.
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: London-based Italian duo Konstress are back with their third release on their self-titled imprint, and it once again shows the pair progressing with a dynamic, detailed and original approach to stripped down dance music. The first track pits a stuttering groove against blown out keys and a smorgasbord of errant synth noises, and those noises jump across to the second track to plot a course through a highly textured, ominous soundscape where the drums have been left behind. The B1 track sports a tough, crooked groove and warm, sci-fi synth tones while the B2 takes a more eerie direction into deep and dingy techno. A classy, highly developed record for adventurous souls.
Review: Italian Latin jazz stalwart Nicola Conte first joined forces with trombonist Gianluca Petrella way back in 2001 on the nu-jazz era "New Standards" single. The pair started working on new material in 2014 and the "Free Your Mind EP" is their third joint release since. They're in a surprisingly up-beat, club-ready mood on EP opener "Free Your Mind", where Ebo Taylor style guitars, Africa 70 organs, tasty vocal samples and Afrobeat style horn lines are underpinned by a relaxed deep house groove. Vocalist Bridgette Amofah stars on the EP's other two cuts: the percussive tribal jazz of highlight "Imani River" and epic B-side "Infinity", a superb chunk of Afro-tinged deep house that sounds like it was inspired by Kai Alce and Ron Trent records.
Review: The Raw Joints series is one of the best things about the ever-excellent SlapFunk Records, and now the Dutch label is back with a fresh bout of sounds from some of the most inventive artists operating in the minimal house sphere. Ferro's "Electric Sunshine" leads the charge with a militant groove and a rubbery bassline to die for. William Caycedo has a rugged, sample slicing thrust at work on "Mi Casa", while Malin Genie takes things far out on the wonderfully freaky "Superposition". The record wraps up with Ingi Visions, whose "RJG" wriggles into a skippy 2-step groove that will have bodies shaking uncontrollably when it gets deployed in the dance.
Review: Some people shake their hips. Others shake their money makers. This anonymous longstanding editor crew shake their furry tales. And as we hit number 20 in their series of sassy party versions, we're reminded there's a lot to shake to. "Track One" shakes with a slight carnival theme thanks to its punchy horns before dropping into swooning funk guitars. "Track Two" shakes with much more disco deviance thanks to its stomping thumping Hi-NRG kicks, gutsy vocal loop and lolloping slap bass. It pops. But ssshhhhh.... some squirrels are best kept secret.
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
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.
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik main mix) (7:17)
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik 5am mix) (9:07)
Review: Martin Brodin's MB Disco imprint continues to deliver the good stuff, this time featuring two utterly essential Psychemagik mixes of Alico vs Cagri's "Les Mondes Engloutis". These mixes actually first surfaced on a digital-only release back in 2013, but now they've been buffed up for a full vinyl pressing, and rightly so. A side "Main Mix" is a full bodied, emotional banger with a lead drop to get crowds waving arms and singing along wholeheartedly. Our pick is the "5am Mix" on the flip though, where the synths take on a more shimmering nocturnal tone without losing that bright and bold character that will land this 12" in all manner of record bags this summer.
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.
Review: Claremont 56 founder Paul "Mudd" Murphy has a thing for studio supergroups. New project Hillside follows in the footsteps of Bison (who once counted Holger Czukay, Ursula Kloss and Sal Principato amongst their members) and Paqua. Their debut single is closer in tone to the latter than the former, with opener "Hidden Port" offering a deliciously languid, wide-eyed fusion of eyes-closed jazz-rock guitar solos, unfurling kosmiche keyboards, bobbing Latin rhythms and an electric violin solo from a musician renowned for his work with British folk legend Bert Jansch. You'll find more electric violin on the wilder and more up-tempo flipside "The Kings Tun", where distinctive fiddle solos rise above jangling acoustic guitars, warm bass and spacey keyboard flourishes. Anyone fancy a cosmic hoedown?
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Johannes Klingebiel has slipped out a few gems on low key labels like Feines Tier and Mireia, but this release marks the talented German producer reaching a wider audience via the marvellous Beats In Space. You can easily detect his kosmische leanings (he's a member of krautrock inspired group C.A.R.) in the many layered, driving and soaring productions he's committing to wax here. These are electronic body jams crafted as songs, full of narrative twists and turns expressed through a smorgasbord of twittering machines - the kind of storytelling club tracks that lend themselves to wide-reaching, bombastic selectors with a penchant for drama, but never at the expense of the groove.
Review: D. Tiffany's Planet Euphorique is back, following up some great freak outs by the likes of Nite Fleit, Reptant and Big Zen, with this retroverted trip by Ambien Baby: comprised of the label boss herself and Dan Rincon aka NAP. "Tack" is their sophomore effort after debuting on local tape imprint Isla last year, and as you'd expect, it borrows from house and techno's yesteryear, reinterpreting it with a modern edge as heard on the warped tunnel vision of "El Kesh" (which calls to mind the late German innovator Christian Morgenstern's finer moments), the dystopian electro funk of "Stab Me" and its unashamed Detroit influence plus closer "Sacrifice", which further explores Sophie Sweetland's love of intoxicating breakbeat sounds.
Review: Distorted Sensory Perception is a new label emerging out of the Bristol underground to represent the deeper end of the techno and electro scene. The first release is a various artists affair that kicks off with the bold and expressive sound of rising talent Gilbert, last spotted on two excellent Innate releases. Mindless Evolving Objects takes a similar approach laden with harmonious pads and twinkling arps, while Datawave takes things in a darker direction without losing that melodic nous. Label founder Zobol has an emotive bent in his track "Scatterbrain," and Nikolay Sunak completes the set with the illustrious "Dance & Cry Baby."
Review: Mukatsuku's long running "Afro Funk & Disco Gems" series has always been a reliable source of obscure, high-quality dancefloor material from the African continent. This tenth edition is another must-have - on the A-side you'll find the synth-laden, boogie-era sunshine of "Everybody Dance", one of the undisputed highlights of Peter Yamson's in-demand (and notably hard to find) "Son Of Africa" LP. With wonderful vocals, glistening guitars, lolloping drum machine beats and some stellar synth work, the track ticks all the right boxes. Over on the flip there's a chance to own Cameroon legend Tala Andre Marie's 1981 classic "Get Up Tchamassi", whose snaking sax lines, elastic slap bass and dreamy chords are nothing less than sensational.As played by The Allergies,Smoov,Kalita, Faze Action,DJ Moar etc
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: A quick Google search confirms that copies of the original 1979 Bear Records Inc. pressing of Sunstreet's "Lovin" regularly change hands for eye-watering sums of money. This Rain & Shine reissue is, then, well overdue. While it's not one of the better known rare disco records, it's arguably one of the best. Certainly, the full-length A-side version is a perfect example of independent disco-soul/jazz-funk fusion, with super-sweet vocals riding a spacey backing track rich in walking bass, crunchy Clavinet lines, sun-kissed orchestration and rousing horn lines. The flipside edited version - which was also included on the 1979 12" - is a little punchier with more dominant vocals and an altogether slicker, radio-friendly feel.
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.
Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe - "Someone In The Crowd" (4:18)
Justin Hurwitz - "Mia & Sebastian's Theme" (1:38)
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone - "A Lovely Night" (3:55)
Justin Hurwitz - "Herman's Habit" (1:51)
Ryan Gosling - "City Of Stars" (1:47)
Justin Hurwitz - "Planetarium" (4:20)
Justin Hurwitz - "Summer Montage/Madeline" (2:04)
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone - "City Of Stars" (2:28)
John Legend - "Start A Fire" (3:11)
Justin Hurwitz - "Engagement Party" (1:27)
Emma Stone - "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" (3:45)
Justin Hurwitz - "Epilogue/The End" (7:55)
Justin Hurwitz - "City Of Stars (Humming)" (feat Emma Stone) (2:44)
Review: It looks like Damien Chazelle, the young, impressive director of Whiplash and the more recent La La Land, likes to surround himself with equally talented youngsters. For the latter film, he's chosen Justin Hurwitz to compose the score for his successful musical featuring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and we have to say that this is a real keeper. There's a bit of everything in here, a little vintage pop, some classical elements here and there, but jazz is what's at the core of this original score, and that's why we think it's great. What's more, you can listen to Gosling and Stone sing on your turntables. Check it out.
Review: As Warp gears up to celebrate its 30th birthday, it seems fitting that the label should be putting out a fresh album from one of its longest serving artists. As Plaid, Andy Turner and Ed Handley played a significant role in defining the label's approach to electronic music during the "Artificial Intelligence" era in the mid 1990s. All these years on, they're still capable of crafting fizzing, melodious, off-kilter electronic listening music that defies lazy categorization. "Polymer" is a hugely enjoyable and entertaining set, with highlights including the jumpy beats, post-electro melodies and mind-altering acid lines of "Los", the metallic bounce of "Maru" - a kind of twisted take on Afro-tech that's amongst their most club-ready cuts of recent times - and the disturbed, Autechre-style clang of "Recall".
Red Ken - "Big Love" (Big Four Letter Word mix) (6:17)
Review: Psychemagik love Fleetwood Mac. Their love is so enduring that the dusty fingered editors/DJs/revered record collectors have gone so far as to found Fleetmac Wood, a club night dedicated to the work of Fleetwood, Nicks, McVie and the various other manifestations, where anything goes so long as it's Fleetwood Mac related. Their remix of "Dreams" has been getting playtime at the night - and by other well regarded DJs - and finally makes an appearance on this limited 12". What's immediately noticeable about the Crystal Visions Remix of "Dreams" is how much they add to the track without messing with the original's essence - it's also a lot more inventive than Psychemagik's 2009 edit of "Everywhere" which shows how far they've come in three years. Flip over for a great extension of Juno's favourite Mac moment "Big Love" from AOR Disco's Red Ken.
Review: This new collaborative EP from Russia's Private Persons provides a healthy dose of twisted electro-minded tech that should appeal to all sorts of DJs seeking that 'raw' edge. This new pile driver comes from the minds of Locked Club and RLGN, both of them new to the scene and hungrily to deliver some good old dread into the dance floor. "Bosozoku" and "Baikal Boogie" are both made of the same, twisted sort of highly abrasive metallic percussion, and should light up more than a few light bulbs to fans of the Bunker stable. Over on the B-side, Locked Club appears on his own for "80.8 FM", an FX-heavy juggernaut with nothing but merciless energy at its core, whereas the duo are back together on the punchy warehouse techno of "Tsukare". Cold and effective.
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: First released in 1987, Stephane Severac's sun-kissed European pop gem "Hold On" has long been regarded as something of an under-appreciated classic by those DJs of a Balearic persuasion. This new edition replicates the track listing of the original 12", opening with the evocative extended version. This builds in stages, opening with Chic inspired guitars and dreamy synth chords before introducing a poolside-friendly groove, snaking saxophone solos and Severac's heavily accented vocal. Over on side B you'll find the shorter "Single Version" - less sax, but just as much eyes-closed vocal action from Severac - and "Dreams", a bonus cut that sounds like his take on Duran Duran's mid-'80s big studio synth-pop sound.
Review: As their bleak, black-and-white artwork and penchant for naming EPs after long-lost factories suggests, Craven Faults are post-industrial daydreamers with a neat line in hypnotic, kosmiche-inspired electronic workouts. "Nunroyd Works" is the third in an ongoing series of EPs crafted in part using the artist's vast armoury of modular synthesizers. Interestingly, it's a little more upbeat and melodious than its predecessors, with lead cut "Engine Fields" offering waves of over-lapping electronic motifs, Detroit-influenced futurist synthesizer lines and emotive piano flourishes. It's absolutely stunning and every bit as alluring as its' darker predecessors. While the other two tracks don't quite reach these dizzying heights, they are also superb.
Review: When it comes to electro, Carl Finlow has been doing it longer than most. The machine funk specialist rocks up to his regular stomping ground of 20/20 Vision with another slab of crucial beats for body poppers to get frisky to, kicking off with the crisp, future-noir stylings of "Electronic". Things take an even darker turn on the murky "Side Effects", while "Vortices" weaves a more mystical message out of the intricate threads of synths and drum machine hits. The EP closes out with "Flaw", a blown out and irrepressibly funky workout Drexciya heads will lap up.
Review: Toki Fuko has quietly slipped out some high-grade ambient electronics over the past 10 years, but this double-vinyl drop on the ever excellent Silent Season represents some his most striking work to date. In line with the label's aesthetic, gauzy dub techno atmospheres prevail in the main, as thick billowing clouds of chord drift over submerged, stripped down rhythms. There is also space for other moods to infect the process though - there's a laconic 90s chill-out room groove to "Spring Ray (Outtake)", which then gets reshaped as a pattering percussive meditation on the EP's closing mix. Stunning, immersive approaches from start to finish.
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: Lecce-based Marco Erroi (Common Series) returns with more of his hot edits on the second edition of the XXXV series. There's a strong, lo-slung Blaxploitation vibe going on in this volume, opening with "B Movie" followed by some trippy acapella action on the reduced, spacey and almost cosmic "Not Just A Groove". Flip over for a respectful edit of a well-known classic ("Dancing" - no guesses there!) and closer "Karon" which goes well deep and spiritual with its sweltering Afro vibe, thanks to Erroi's on-point splicing techniques. Tip!
Derrick Carter - "Squaredancing" (DC Nu Vox dub) (4:59)
George Alexander - "Promised Land" (feat Big John Whitfield) (3:23)
Review: This tasty release is the first instalment of BBE and Soul Clap member Eli "Bamboozle" Goldstein's "House On 45" series. The basic idea is to offer up rare and hard to find house cuts that have only ever been released on seven-inch singles. To kick things off, Goldstein has selected Derrick Carter's 2017 "DC Nu Vox Dub" of his 2002 classic "Squaredancing In A Roundhouse", an insatiable version of a killer cut rich in bluesy samples, bumpin' beats and scat vocals. Equally as impressive is George Alexander and Big John Whitfield's 2009 cover of Joe Smooth classic "Promised Land", a warm and musically expansive affair that adds superb new flute and electric piano parts to one of house music's most celebrated songs.
Review: Polish producer, graphic designer and writer/poet Karol Gwozdz aka Nail joins German label Dominance Electricity, who's hosted Blastromen, Dynamik Bass System and legends Jackal & Hyde in the past. The Silesia-based artist's vinyl debut comes in the form of "Revelation" - a brooding and majestic electro epic with vocoder lyrics in the same vein as legend Anthony Rother. This is followed up by the fierce and functional electro-bass workout "1987" on the flip. Proper heads down tackle which also comes with a handy "Arpeggio Bonus" where he shines the spotlight on the track's glistening, sublime arpeggio melody.