Review: The inimitable Theo Parrish is in a class of one. His brand of music is impossible to categorise as it draws on so many unique sounds in so many unique ways. This new album is another spellbinding affair that takes scuffed up house rhythms and intertwines them with freeform percussive patterns and off-grid synths that get pulled apart then rebuilt before your very ears. It is experimental music with an improvised jazz mindset that can range from complex and dense tapestries like 'Radar Detector' to the more upbeat and playful 'Hennyweed Buckdance' via fucked up drum sketches like 'All Your Boys Are Biters.'
Review: Long-serving Swedish producer Joel Mull, previously best-known for his club-focused techno sets, first started work on Nautical Dawn, his first album under his occasional Damm alias, over a decade ago. Inspired by the natural phenomenon of 'nautical dawn' - that point when the sun is not yet above the horizon, but bathes the sky in vivid colours - he wanted to make music for the break of dawn that combined home-made field recordings with suitably drowsy, opaque electronic motifs, slow-burn ambient chords, tactile aural textures and, when the mood took him, horizontal and hypnotic beats. It may have taken him a while, but the resultant set is little less than inspired: an evocative set of enveloping compositions that tease and tingle the senses.
Review: More from the bulging back catalogue of Park Rangers, an obscure Japanese reggae band who have spent the last decade delivering surprising cover versions of well-known pop, rock and disco songs. On side A there's another chance to wonder at their 1960s rocksteady style re-make of Pharrell Williams' mega-hit happy, in which the Neptunes star's lead vocal is replaces with a cheery Hammond organ solo. It's the kind of cover that can't help but put a smile on your face. The same could be said about their similarly minded flipside cover of Prince classic 'Kiss'. While it's not as instantly recognisable, it has a similar feel thanks to the band's canny fusion of tuneful Hammond organ solos and retro-futurist reggae riddims.
Review: Mash-up maestro, bootleg remix king and talented beat-maker Jim Sharp launched the Soul By The Pound label last year to offer up sneaky re-edits of classic soul and funk jams from the '60s and '70s. Here he finally delivers the imprint's second-single, delivering some Blaxploitation-era goodness that should tickle the fancy of all those who like their funk energetic and enthusiastic. A-side "I Got It Funky" more than lives up to its name, with call-and-response vocals, wah-wah guitars, tasty Hammond licks and rising horns riding a snappy, breakbeat-driven groove. He switches focus a little on flipside "Trippin' Out", adding bouncy hip-hop beats to a dewy-eyed, string-laden slab of Curtis Mayfield style soul.
Review: Much loved UK underground stalwart Truly Madly kicks off his new label with a trip to the outer edges of the dancefloor. It's a various artist affair drawing on some of the most interesting producers round right now. It's the much hyped Gene On Earth who kicks off with a cosmic tech workout for mind, body and soul, and Kepler keeps the uplifting vibes alive with his high speed and slick acid cracker. The flip side is taken care of firstly by Jhobei with his deeper, more spacious 'Grande Sultry' which erupts on fanatical sci-fi synths and Noiro cloys out with a gritty head-wrecker.
Review: A few weeks ago, the sneaky Soul Masters label launched via a must-have "45" featuring two 1960s soul bombs from Welsh sex-machine Mr Jones. For this sequel, the limited-edition imprint has dipped into the back catalogue of premier Motown legends and chosen two killer covers of songs first made famous by other artists on the iconic soul label's roster. On the A-side you'll find their storming version of Stevie Wonder hit 'Uptight (Everything's All Right)', a take that's just as stomping and horn-heavy as the more familiar original, with the added bonus of smoother soul vocals from the ladies. Turn to the flip for their interpretation of Barrett Strong hit 'Money (That's What I Want)', a more fuzzy and sax-laden affair of a song that was famously also covered by the Beatles on With The Beatles.
Review: Given that Mildlife's 2018 debut album Phase was both rather brilliant and a rip-roaring commercial success, this hotly anticipated follow-up will get plenty of attention. And rightly so, because Automatic may well be even better than its illustrious predecessor. Musically, it features the same unique mix of vintage krautrock synths, jazz-funk instrumentation and enjoyably organic grooves, just this time round they've stepped it up another notch or two. The Aussie combo is in fine form throughout, dotting between the Steely Dan style warmth of 'Rare Air', the Brit Funk style weightiness of 'Vapour', the cosmic, art-rock influenced haziness of 'Downstream', the almost horizontal bliss of nine-minute epic 'Citations', the colourful live nu-disco goodness of 'Memory Palace' and the seductive sweetness of 'Automatic'.
Review: Shniece has become a key collaborator of Prince Fatty's having made such a fine impression when she guested on his 'In The Viper's Shadow' album last year. This new hook up is a winding journey that opens with some truly mind bending and psyched out 60s sounds riding on a trippy dub, and littered with samples from a public service broadcast on drugs. It's somehow a dark yet euphoric dub with a killer backbeat and futuristic edge A dub version peels things back to the drum work and lets the magic of this fine partnership shine.
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Redemption mix) (7:34)
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Mind Meld dub) (7:03)
AC Soul Symphony - "Manhattan Skyline" (JN Spirit Of 77 mix) (11:08)
Review: ave Lee has collaborated, produced or remixed many vintage soul, jazz-funk and disco artists over the years, though 'Power of the Mind' marks the first time he's worked with Billy Valentine, lead vocalist from legendary soul/jazz-funk duo the Valentine Brothers. The opening 'Redemption Mix' is particularly potent, with Valentine singing his own anti fake news lyrics over a jaunty disco-house groove rich in boogie bass, piano stabs and mazy, life-affirming piano solos. It comes accompanied by a suitably cosmic, synth-laden 'Mind Meld Dub' rework, as well as a fresh string-laden, late '70s style disco track from Lee under his lesser-known AC Soul Symphony pseudonym ('Manhattan Skyline'). It's 11 minutes of pure disco pleasure and almost as essential as 'Power of the Mind'.
Review: There's real storytelling at work on this rather splendid double vinyl score, whether it's in hints of tropical birdsong, the fluid motion of rhythms built from water, or the waves of breezy synths that seem to blow past (or through) your ears. Everything feels like it's setting a specific scene, conjuring images that are both vivid and abstract - colours acting as characters, and feelings as locations.
Following on from V2.0-2.9 comes the logically titled V3.0-3.9, and the new release picks up where the last left off. Four sprawling tracks running between 15 and 20minutes each, there's density here in spades giving enough depth to throw, or lose yourself in. Despite the scope, though, there's something strangely intimate here, too, meaning quite where you wind up is nobody's business but yours.
Review: The fantastic Parkway label bring a little - well, a lot of - joy into out collectively miserable lockdown-not-lockdown lives with a tenth release that dazzles on every level. The Whole Truth are a modern funk and boogie band with plenty of knowledge of the past as well as a vision of the future that leads them to create camp, analogue sounding gems like this one. The original has a nice heart swelling and gospel tinged vocal next to soaring chords and the club mix then dials back to the languid beats and sci-fi stabs. Last of all is a mix which goes heavy on the chords and amps up the effects to stellar effect.
Review: It's time for a serious slice of dance music history. Roberto Ferrante scored an international hit with 'Come On Closer', a bombastic slice of high energy Italo disco which became a staple on the nascent Chicago house scene before house music itself was defined and produced to a set of standards. Played by hand in lieu of access to a sequencer, there's a loose feel to the groove but the space age synths speak to the waves of electronic dance music that were to come. Now this holy grail of party fuel is given the reissue treatment it deserves, with both the extended mix and dub version given a plush remaster and a loud pressing to alight any dancefloor it has the chance to grace.
Party starters, get this on in the bag immediately, It is pure fire in 7" form, a record bursting with Latin flavours, bristling percussion and jazz-sing beats that will lift anyone off their seat and right into the thick of it. The samples are easy enough to spot but that doesn't stop the a-side doing plenty of damage. Then on the flip, classic soul anthem 'I'm a Believer' gets a big beat and funky bridge extension that will keep people stomping for days. This black version has only been pressed 200 times, so one quick.
Review: Earlier in the year, Chilean minimal maestro Ricardo Villalobos reached an agreement with Rawax for the long-established label to release a series of singles and, more remarkably, a digital-only, hour-long track called 'Matsu'. This brown, marbled vinyl 12" is the first in the sequence of singles to hit stores and contains two typically lengthy workouts. Lead cut 'Aslohop' leads the way, with Villalobos once again delivering entrancing action built around oddly programmed, distinctively swung South American drum hits, curious noises and a hypnotic, undulating bassline. Flipside 'Detrand' is an even more spaced-out and druggy affair, with various barely audible samples subtly rising and falling for 21 minutes atop another deliciously out-there rhythm track.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: Just a few weeks after Abel Tesfaye's seventh album, After Hours, hit stores, he decided to put out a 'Deluxe Editon' of the album that replaced some of the original mixes with brand-new alternative takes. Initially, this tweaked edition was only available on digital formats, but finally his label has relented to pressure and released it on wax. By now, we should all know what to expect, namely chart-bothering fusions of R&B, hip-hop and synth-pop topped off by his own slick, soulful vocals and plenty of nods towards other artists work (think Elton John and Daniel Lapotin for starters). It's a slick, radio-friendly mixture of songs, some of which gleefully doff a cap towards dancefloor-friendly styles old and new (think electrofunk, dubstep and, most surprisingly, drum & bass).
Grounds (feat Colin Webster & Warren Ellis) (2:57)
Mr Motivator (feat Colin Webster) (3:24)
Anxiety (feat David Yow) (2:58)
Kill Them With Kindness (feat David Yow & Jamie Cullum) (3:39)
Model Village (4:03)
Ne Touche Pas Moi (feat Jehnny Beth) (2:34)
Reigns (feat Colin Webster) (4:23)
The Lover (feat Colin Webster & David Yow) (3:18)
A Hymn (5:14)
Review: This is not the first time we've asked if IDLES are the most important rock band of this century, and even if it was we wouldn't be the first to ask that question. The Bristol punk juggernauts refuse to be forgiving or compromising when it comes to tackling the issues they focus on - from racial prejudice and immigration to income inequality - and never fail to make a massive impact in the studio (and even more so on stage).
Ultra Mono is album number three, and it packs something serious. Well, actually an arsenal of serious things. Much like its predecessor, this is straight up sonic warfare being declared on the right wing patriarchy, weapons brandished from all directions. Staccato stomper 'Grounds' does more than reference thunderstorms, it sounds like the uprising has begun, with other highlights including 'War' and the electronic chaos of 'Squalls'. Exceptional, as ever.
Review: Stockholm label Omena raise a glass to celebrate one year of business with this special RSD 7" from the ubiquitous HNNY. Johan Cederberg was responsible for the label's debut release so it seems quite fitting he's back with more sweet HNNY business to usher in the second year of Omena. Up top, "Cheer Up My Brother" finds HNNY in laid back form, adding some subtle downbeat funk touches to the lazy afternoon groove of "Farther Along", transforming the gospel staple into an essential summer sizzler. It's complemented well by the B-side track "There Is No One Else" which ups both the tempo and temperature into something of a French Touch stunner.
Review: We all taking up right about now and Yosh is the one to do it. Four crucial cuts flexing around the UKG/breaks axis, all heavily entrenched in the turn of the century breakbeat, dark garage melting pot. Classic vocal samples galore and really punchy drums, highlights include the classic "What I Need" and the pure kick drum militancy of on the title track "Take Me Up". Serious vibes for all ages and all floors.
Review: Given that few clubs are open worldwide, it feels wrong to talk about potential 2020 summer anthems. That said, were dancing outside under a blanket of stars be allowed, we have no doubt that Social Lovers' new single would be getting plenty of spins. Warm, synth-heavy and sweet, it's a deliciously good lover's rock style cover of Evelyn "Champagne" King's '80s electrofunk classic "Love Come Down". Over on the flip the fast-rising outfit offers up another killer cover, re-imagining Sha-Lor's 1988 garage-house gem "I'm In Love" as a super-smooth and dreamy slab of proto-house/80s soul fusion rich in Fairlight stabs, spacey synth riffs and warming chords. Don't sleep on this one: it's a genuine gem.
Momma's Groove (Jimpster Hip Replacement mix) (7:36)
Review: The latest must-check missive from deep house reissue specialists Groovin' takes us back to 2007 and one of the most infectious, insatiable cuts in Osunlade's sprawling back catalogue. First featured on his Strictly Rhythm-released album "Elements Beyond", "Momma's Groove" features Osunlade adding his own evocative spoken word vocals to a low-down deep house groover crafted from disco-funk style bass, flanged guitar licks, jazzy sax solos and typically tribal drums. Over on side B there's a chance to Jimpster's "Hip Replacement Mix", which transforms Osunlade's killer cut into a rolling slab of immersive deep house haziness perfectly suited to heads-down peak-time plays.
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:50)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Review: Nicolas Jaar has been one of electronic music's most consistently hard to predict and innovative artists for a decade. The Chilean-American now offers up a full length on his own Other People label that he says is for inner battles. It is a work of masterful atmosphere that can be at times dense and gloomy, at others ethereal, and was written in isolation away from any form of stimulation-inducing drink and drugs. A constantly shifting sound means listeners are slipped in and out of reality as it plays out, making it tense, sombre and at times furious. This is yet another audacious record from the unrestrained mind of Nicolas Jaar.
Review: Having already surfaced as a digital release earlier this year, Dycide's impeccable deep techno excursion Fluctuation gets a vinyl pressing. Existing outside of space and time, this is immersive body and mind music of the highest order. 'Fluctuation' The title implies a sense of urgency in its kinetic rhythm patterns, but the beats are slender vessels for an expansive palette of atmospheric tones and impulses. 'Fluent Iteration' plumbs darker depths in a manner that calls to mind Consumed-era Plastikman. 'Inflation' adopts a broader set of sonic tools, using poised inflections of percussion and found sounds in a wide-open space that remains betrothed to the night. Claudio PRC comes on board for a remix of 'Fluctuation' that weaves subtle threads of warm melodic material around a straight and narrow groove, slotting neatly into the deep techno veteran's formidable canon.
Review: Japanese heavyweights HHV continue their ongoing trawl through the back catalogue of long-serving hip-hop producer, DJ, record collector and self-styled King of Diggin', Muro. Here they present the second part of the dusty-fingered hero's turn-of-the-millennium Pan Rhythm series of 12" singles, this time presenting it on a tidy seven inch single. 'Hip-Hop Band' is a weighty, floor friendly, horn-heavy re-make of the Stetsasonic song of the same name, with local mic man Boo delivering tweaked versions of the U.S crew's verses in his native Japanese. While jazzy, the bombastic backing track - which can be heard in full on the flipside instrumental version - is forthright and club-ready, making the single a must-have for working hip-hop DJs and those who love the more up-tempo end of the rap spectrum.
Review: It seems like almost every single new week brings with it a new album from dub icon Lee "Scratch" Perry. And who are we to complain, because rarely does the quality drop when it comes to this weed loving, purple-bearded and mystic musical maestro. This time out we are treated to a special, heavyweight Record Store Day pressing of his To Drive The Dub Starship Through The Horror Zone album made with Daniel Boyle. It's a record with its head in the cosmos, with oodles of reverb making cavernous universes in which you float next to mutterings for the man himself. Made exclusively on 70's and 80's analogue equipment and with Lee's signature Black Ark sound, this is another classic in his cannon.
Review: Vancouver has long been a hotbed for electronic talent, a city with a score that's as sharp as it is deep, noises that feel submerged in the post-rave, post-techno, post-ambient and post-whatever else underground we've now grown accustomed to as the melting pot of modern dance culture. Khotin isn't letting his hometown down here, nor Ghostly International, the label carrying this release.
The downtempo, space-y 'Heavyball' comes with a particularly pleasing sort of crunch to the beat. Its running mate, 'Groove 32', follows up with a low-stepping groove. 'Ivory Tower' briefly resurfaces into jazz-inflected, dusty house-influenced downbeat. 'Outside Light' takes us into complex, melodic ambient places perhaps most definitive of what this record sounds like overall, and certainly in keeping with its predecessor, Beautiful You.
Review: Party starters, get this one in the bag immediately. It is pure fire in 7" form, a record bursting with Latin flavours, bristling percussion and jazz-sing beats that will lift anyone off their seat and right into the thick of it. The samples are easy enough to spot but that doesn't stop the a-side doing plenty of damage. Then on the flip, classic soul anthem 'I'm a Believer' gets a big beat and funky bridge extension that will keep people stomping for days. This black version has only been pressed 200 times, so one quick.
Review: The latest drop on the consistently brilliant Kimochi comes from Eho Kates, a new project from Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. While the names involved may be familiar, the resulting sound is something wholly fresh. Certainly, Moeller's rightly heralded instinct for dubwise processes is no great shock, but there's a playful sense of experimentation powering every element of this release from the scuffed, fractured rhythms of 'Anxiety Sensitivity' to the submerged echo chamber surrealism of 'Emotional Distress Endurance'. Inquisitive processes and otherworldly sound design shape out the whole record, shot through with the alluring mystery that defines Kimochi output overall.
Notturno Italiano (Daniel Maunick & Alex Malheiros vocal) (5:55)
Notturno Italiano (Daniel Maunick & Alex Malheiros instrumental) (5:55)
Notturno Italiano (Ron Trent dub remix) (7:28)
Review: Mario Acquaviva's 1983 jam 'Notturno Italiano' is a hugely sought after Italian boogie gem. Mother Tongue have dug it out the archives and enlisted some key names to offer up reworks and reconstructions, with Azymuth's Alex Malheiros and Daniel Maunick going first. They offer vocal and instrumental versions with life-affirming jazz Rhodes and cool, seductive rhythm sections that take you into the cosmos. Eternal deep house hero Ron Trent then does his escapist and spiritual thing on a lush and star-gazing dub that transcends genre. All three of these are irresistible.
Felipe Gordon & Will Buck - "Back Into Time" (5:49)
Will Buck - "I Think It's Too Late" (6:31)
Will Buck - "I'll B Right There" (6:11)
Review: Honey Butter is back with another slab of was as sweet and seductive as the name suggests. Cassettes For Kids takes care of this one with more than one eye on a golden period of mid nineties house and tech. The grooves on the opener are quick but deep, the train-track percussion locking you in while lush, heart melting chords are draped over the top. 'Growing Frustration' is a more peak time cut that never lets up and the first mix of 'You're Leaving But I'll Still Love You' is built on big break beats and a fat, tumbling bassline. Saine remixes with a more playful mood to send you home with a big old smile on your face.
Review: Originally unveiled in 1992, Blue Day represents one of the most exciting periods in the evolution of British shoegaze heroes Slowdive - their formative years. Comprising the first three EPs, or at least a good chunk of each and the entirety of the seminal Morningrise, it's less of a history lesson and more a reminder of just how well the seven-piece's music has stood the test of time.
There are some notable omissions, it's true. So the Slowdive songs here are missing 'Avalyn II'. And there's no 'Catch The Breeze' or cover of Syd Barrett's 'Golden Hair' included from Holding Our Breath. Still, with the ethereal yet jangly rock of 'She Calls', 'Losing Today''s dark, almost choral atmospherics, and the white noise and discordance of 'Albatross', ain't nobody complaining here.
Review: Gerd Janson's Running Back has rarely made a missteps in its many years of business. Whether serving up camp disco, rugged techno or the sweetest of deep house, you can always be assured of quality music from quality artists. This time out the boss looks to reissue the 1990 Love Club single 'Das Rote Jaar.' It's a mournful piece with a closely mined, whispering male vocal that makes for an intimate vibe, with the deep and dusty drums are for sensuous late night dancing. The dub is a subtle one that removes the vocal and lets the drums roll, and the instrumental is that bit more upbeat, though the mood remains pensive and alluring.
Review: The Dutch label Klakson is a real mark of electro quality. It has been doing its do since before the current hype and will continue long after, no doubt. Sepher takes the reins for this one and fires out of the blocks on serrated synths and chattery 808s. The basslines are so dynamic and restless on 'Artificiality' your mind will get tied in knots trying to keep up, while 'Duplicate' brings clipped Drexcyian funk that doesn't hang around. There is a deeper, more pensive vibe to 'Izadi' that completes a fine EP with a broad array of styles.
Review: More Toxic Funk flavours from the Breakbeat Paradise crew, who've cannily snapped up a couple of killer collaborations from Prosper and Badboe. The experienced pair predictably goes in hard on A-side 'Beastie Lifestyle', where a classic Beastie Boys acapella is slapped down hard on a brand-new heavy funk-meets-breakbeat backing track that comes laden with mazy electric piano solos and fiery horns courtesy of Le Marabout. They change tack slightly on 'Without Funk', joining the dots between a handful of killer samples on a P-funk flavoured workout that's every bit as addictive and ear-pleasing as the duo's A-side banger.
Review: Japanese jazz pianist Ryo Fukui is one of the most delicate and skilled payers of his generation. The Hokkaido pianist also owned his own jazz club, Slowboat, with his wife Yasuko, and this month two of his bets loved albums are being reissued with a special half speed remastering job. This one is a recording of him playing in New York with Lisle Atkinson on bass and Leroy Williams on drums. It was laid down in 1999 and inspired by Ryo's mentor Barry Harris. There are plenty of poetic reworks of classics and glowing piano pieces that easily wander their way into your heart.
Review: Romanian producer George Gavanescu (Monochrome / Premiesku) aka Floog starts a new label running parallel to his eponymous imprint. This one is called Floog & Friends and the inaugural release is a collaboration with scene stalwart Priku - he one Atipic and Motif fame. FLF 001 features exactly the kind of lean and hypnotic subtlety that Rominimal fans are seeking: from the glitched-out and dubby reductionism of A1, to the cavernous and glacial '002' which is perfect for for building up to more energetic moments on the dancefloor, or the heady, boompty bounce of '003' that's is perfect tackle for getting weird at the afterhours.
Review: Deep house might not be getting the headlines it did a few years ago, but that actually means those who jumped on the hype train have all alighted once again and now only those truly devoted to the form remain. That means we get high quality EPs like this one from Visions Inc. Aleqs Notal takes us on a spiritual trip littered with toms and jazz-chords to kick things off before Meftah gets more experimental with a broken beat, tripped out keys and rubbery bass all sinking you into a state of trance. For those who like it more straight up, Taelue obliges, and as with all Afrikan Sciences tunes, the closer is a masterfully deep concoction.
Review: This majestic jazz love letter was written in 2015. It was Hokkaido pianist Ryo Fukui's last album and now gets an official reissue allowing us all to once again sink into his personal contemporary jazz offering. Fukui is celebrated for his delicate styles and miraculous albums such as 1976's Scenery and a year later, Mellow Dream. He was not only a player, but also a club owner having linked up with his wife Yasuko to open his very own jazz space, Slowboat, in Sapporo in 1995. In the years after he honed and perfected his craft, taking it to new labels as heard here.
Review: Those with extensive knowledge of Nurse With Wound's gargantuan back catalogue will happily tell you that Merzbild Schwet is one of the industrial outfit's greatest albums of all time. It was recorded in 1980, when Stephen Singleton dispatched with his then bandmates to make Nurse With Wound a solo project - as it has been ever since. It remains an alluring and intoxicating affair: a kind of 50-minute sound collage in two parts crafted from a mixture of tape loops, borrowed spoken word snippets, discordant jazz horns, dystopian post-industrial field recordings, outer-space electronics and tons of special effects. If you're interested in experimental music, then you need it in your life.
Review: The second split release from fast-rising Belgian label The Void Project boasts tracks from Traffic co-founder Bodin and sometime Ext and Entity London artist Alec Falconer. The latter begins by offering a nod towards his work with UKG revivalists Phone Traxx on the aptly titled - and really rather good - "Wobble Roller", before peppering a chunky bassline and crunchy house drums with low-register organ stabs and occasional breakbeat blasts on "Bounce". Over on side B Traffic Records co-founder Bodin takes over and offers up two tracks that make the most of the Roland TB-303 (or at least something that sounds like it). "Sluga" is a bona-fide jacker with deep organ riffs, while "Hopez" is a snappier affair powered forward by a seriously squelchy bassline.
Review: American hard rock band Guns N Roses are one of the most iconic to ever do it. Their Greatest Hits album is jam packed with smash hit after smash hit. Released by Geffen Records in part because of the delay in the making of Chinese Democracy, it came in 2004 amidst some infamous legal challenges from Axl Rose and former band members who weren't too pleased with its tracklisting. It got no promotion as a result but still topped the UK Albums Chart and no wonder with 'Sweet Child O Mine', 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Paradise City' all featuring amongst plenty more.
Review: East End Dubs' Eastenderz label keeps on turning out hugely functional but also charming dub tech that is stripped back to its bones and laced with funk. This new various artist EP packs a powerful punch from the off, with Floog laying down some vital kicks and whirring machine sounds to send any floor into overdrive. Cosmjn then takes us to another planet with his dreamy pads and Vlad Arapasu's 'Egoland' sounds like a classic Terry Francis cut from the mid-90s, so in other words, pure fire. There's no mucking around on 'Mello', a razor sharp closer with hi hats that would cut though steel.
Review: Before the pandemic struck, Versatile Records veteran Nicolas Chaix was working on a new improvised I:Cube live show to be taken on the road this summer. Sadly, events put paid to the long-serving producer's plans, so instead he sat down with the same hardware set-up and recorded some improvised workouts. It's those - or at least some of them, a second volume may appear in future - that form the backbone of Cubo Live Sessions. In typical fashion, 14-minute A-side 'Session 1' is formidably psychedelic, with Chaix peppering a jacking hardware groove with echoing, alien-sounding riffs, brooding pads and hallucinatory TB-303 motifs. He gets extra aggressive on fiendishly trippy and growling B-side opener 'Session 2', while 'Session 3' is a creepy, slow motion acid delight.
Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (feat Francis Mbappe) (8:58)
G-Force (feat EOL Soul Brothers) (4:52)
Aquilas Coisas Todas (8:35)
Play For Me (feat EOL Soul Brothers) (5:03)
Review: For his next album project, the Master at Work that is Louie Vega links with Luisito Quintero, a veteran percussionist who has played with La India and others in the New York scene. He is as creative and original as they come and fuses afro-Latin rhythms and bossa nova sounds into fresh new forms and now serves up Part One of his Percussion Madness album. It ranges from seductive deep house to swaggering Stevie Wonder style funk via irresistible afro beats. Luisito has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and more, but deserves just as many plaudits for his own solo work.
Review: In case you didn't know, Hedzup does it all - it is a vinyl and digital label based in the French capital, which is also where the founders Wlad and Mancini host their own parties. They deal in well regarded minimal sounds and pair up once more for the fifth EP on their own imprint. There's plenty to get excited about, too, with punchy acid house opening up before an IO (Mulen) remix sinks the track into more smooth and supple deep tech realms. House rarely gets as slippery and funky as 'Furbished' on the flip, while long time French house icon Djebali adds his usual jazzy depths to the remix.
Review: Underground techno veteran Johannes Volk's impressive discography has seen him release on Jeff Mills' Axis and 6277 imprints, in addition to labels as diverse as Dolly, Token and Cocoon in addition to his own operation - Exploration. Volk can now add Running Back to his list of credible affiliations, where he incorporates all of his influences from the glory days of Frankfurt's legendary techno scene in the '90s on the Extra Dimensions LP. From the Giorgio Moroder-style homage of the electrifying title track, the Motor City also receives a respectful salute in the form of the Reese-driven dancefloor drama of 'Reload Love' and the funky techno workout of 'An Old Android On A Broken Piano', while the neon-lit "Rainbow Rockets" channels the spirit of Paisley Park.
Review: You can always rely on Razor N Tape to serve up scorched soundtracks heavy on the samples and blended beats. This latest collection carries on from previous Pools releases with more heat-damaged chords, laidback grooves and the sort of jazz-funk instrumentation that has you reaching for the cocktails even on a drizzly afternoon in the North. The MPC beats drip with funk and cool, zoned out pads carry your mind away and the sun kissed vibe is utterly real. If you want to deny the existence of autumn and keep dreaming about lazy afternoons by a pool you don't own, cop this one tout suite.
Arnold Layne (Recorded live At The Barbican Centre, London At The Syd Barrett Tribute Concert) (3:47)
Review: Here's a Record Store Day 2020 special that all Pink Floyd fans will want to take a look at: an etched, single-sided seven-inch single featuring a previously unreleased version of Piper at the Gates of Dawn-era favourite 'Arnold Lane'. It was recorded at The Madcaps Last Laugh concert in 2007, a tribute to band co-founder Syd Barrett. It features three Floyd members - David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright - alongside vocalist Jon Carin, whose singing is very similar to that of Barrett, and bassist Andy Bell. It's a fairly faithful rendition all told, and one with added weight given the travails of Barrett after he left Pink Floyd in the late 1960s.
Review: German veteran engineer and producer Gregor Tresher's new release on Frankfurt's Cocoon gives us time out from dreaming of summer sun and euphoria. There are three contrasting cuts on the Trident EP, each carrying his distinct sound signature. The uplifting and life-affirming energy of the title track may not have had the chance to capture the moment in clubs this year, but we are fairly sure that this will be a cross generational anthem for years to come. On the flip, the full throttle 'Pariah' is equal parts peak time energy and dancefloor drama, while the slinky and hypnotic slow burner 'Witchcraft' closes out the EP in fine style.