Review: Oh gosh. Scratcha's up to his old head-spinning tricks again on this super limited 10" white label. His remix of "Basstone" takes the lead. A cult 1994 Louie Vega classic, DVA's twist is unlike anything you've ever heard; all sirens and frequencies and bashy clattering beats over uplifting chords, it's both overwhelmingly heavy and absurdly soulful in equal measures and it will totally melt brains this festival season. Comes complete with two deep and fractured perspectives from the mysterious/anonymous/perhaps-new-alias Singlewhitefemale; the shadowy fractured "Dub" and the woozy dreamweaver "Secret Garden". All stunning... Grab this while you can.
Review: Running Back Incantations was created as a series of non-dancefloor releases and its fifth edition came from Austrian producer Daniel Meuzard aka Feater earlier this year. The "Socialo Bianco" LP utilised the EMS Synthi AKS, which he painstakingly recorded entirely by hand and straight on to tape. The track lifted from the LP entitled "Time Million" has already received remixes by legends such as Ricardo Villalobos and Pepe Bradock on the first volume of reworks, followed by current scene heroes Pangaea and Krystal Klear on the second. On this third volume, Jamaican dub/reggae drummer with a Jah given gift for music, Blood Shanti takes over the whole release and serves up four perspectives. Feel the pure elation of the "Main Mix", followed by three jamdown versions: "Dub #2" works those delays and echoes to full effect in true old school style, while "Dub #3" veers into similar sonic territory as legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood.
Joy Orbison Vs East Connection - "Ready Mngo" (3:17)
Skepta - "Man" (Yung Bingles & Lil Chimpz Rebax) (2:44)
Review: Bristol / Manchester duo 'Yung Bingles & Lil Chimpz' (guess who?) go toe-to-toe on a one way rocket to cheeky version central. Two strictly limited vinyl only grime / jungle anthems, both tested around the world in the most demanding raves on road - "Ready Mngo" takes Joy Orbison's 2009 anthem and gives it the jungle rodgering it always deserved, while "Man" takes a dash of Skepta and takes him to the gulliest of north quarters. Grab it while you can, man don't hang around.
Review: Hailing from the London rat race, MUX step forward with the first release on Teenage Father and lay their distinctive style out for all to witness. Their broad-reaching indie rock sound has undertones of electronica, grunge and a very British swagger that deserves to get them onto radio playlists and festival line ups aplenty. "MDMA" rumbles along somewhere between Soulwax, Kasabian and Queens Of The Stone Age, while "Teenage Father" ups the intensity with a punky thrum behind the raucous guitars and grinding synths, and then "Stray" finds the band mixing up the time signatures for the most adventurous cut on the record.
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: It's been a fair old while since we last heard from Tropical Jam, the sneaky re-edit imprint from Vakula and Aussie crate digger Daniel Lupica. Surprisingly, this is the duo's first 10-inch missive of humid, floor-friendly revisions since the summer of 2018. They begin in a suitably sunny mood, offering up an on-point rearrangement of a cheery, sax-laden Afro-synth workout that sounds like it originated in the early 1980s. The A-side also boasts a second bubbly synth workout, possibly of a South African cut from the same period, where jaunty Clavinet lines and male/female vocals rise above a sparse but funky groove. Side B, meanwhile, contains a more Balearic-minded electronic cut rich in lo-fi drum machine beats, dreamy chords, chiming lead lines and glassy-eyed vocal snippets.
Review: Bruno E has plenty of history in the field of future jazz and downtempo, and now he's been snapped up by D3 to deliver some of that cold-chilling lounge business with some interesting remixers on board. Pat Van Dyke is up first, creating a blissful version of "Ventos De Outono" that feels as cosy as a warm fire and a glass of whisky on an autumn evening. The original version of the track is actually a peppier affair with a broken beat lilt that wouldn't sound out of place alongside the Dego and Kaidi Tatham crew. Kirk Degiorgio is a natural fit for another remix given his jazzy roots, and his swirling techno treatment is the perfection lotion to pour over Bruno E's excellent original ingredients.
Review: Dropping a searing double pack of 10" badness ahead of the forthcoming Angels & Devils album, The Bug is back in business with some apocalyptic gutter bass of the highest order. "Freakshow" matches the leering delivery of Danny Brown with the sinister croon of King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi over a horn-laden trap swagger to devastating effect. "Louder" pits Flowdan in the depths of a nauseating half-step march, while "Dirty" takes the London MC into a barrage of equally nerve-jangling drum rattles and alarm-clanging stabs. Long-time Bug collaborator Daddy Freddy rolls up his sleeves for "Kill Them", anchoring the dread stomp with a fearsome growl as anthemic as it is nihilistic.
Review: Naturally, there's been plenty of hype surrounding this new Hyperdub 10", which features Burial indulging his often-discussed ambient influences. It's a typically creepy and ghostly affair, with the lack of beats - if not rhythmic elements - only serving to amplify the shadowy producer's impeccable sound design and brilliant use of manipulated field recordings. A-side "Subtemple" is particularly paranoid in tone, featuring as it does chilling melody loops, curious vocal samples, looped vinyl crackle and all manner of layered background noise. Flipside "Beachfires" is, if anything, even more dystopian, with Burial basing the action around the kind of pulsing chords that gust back and forth like an autumnal breeze.
Review: Leipzig's finest M Ono and Luveless are back on Houston via Detroit's Kolour with volume three of their new limited 10" series. Starting out with the deeply uplifting soulfulness of "Never Gonna Leave You 2K16" they are then into "Losing Memory" on the flip which gets more reduced, dubby and emotive, giving a nod to the kind of loopy deepness as heard on labels like Office or Slices Of Life. There really is something in the water out in Leipzig at the moment, great stuff!
Review: Alive, kicking and whipping up the ghosts of rave, Eveson's Dead Man's Chest project continues to tap deep into the roots with modern day production muscle and dynamics. "Tears" is one for the rush crew: a one-way ticket to 1991, complete with authentic MC samples and breath-taking R&B vocal harmonies. "Rinsa" is more your 3am darkside joint. The type brock out Gachet or Doc Scott would have dropped back in the foundation era. Pranged, barbed and mean - your floor won't know what hit it.
Review: Brooklyn label Razor-N-Tape get in on the Record Store Day action with this 10" edition of Beatin Tha Breaks from Nashville-based Magic In Threes. It's the remixes that come first, with Dutch artist Fouk going into similar house territory to Kenny Dope with plenty of live instrumental touches blessing the bristling percussion. It's a totally different vibe on the Freddie Joachem remix, with the Californian opting for some midtempo funk breaks that stay closer to the sound of Magic In Threes' original version . This closes out the RSD release on the B-side and is an easy-breezy affair dripping with soulful guitars and harmonies.
Review: Woof! Hyperdub bring together two of the most recognisable and enigmatic artists of recent times on this 10", as Zomby and Burial square down ahead of the former's new album for the label. Zomby's Ultra LP is undoubtedly one of this year's most anticipated albums and "Sweetz" suggests it may be a very moody affair indeed. Whilst rooted in UK dance, Zomby and Burial do look elsewhere for inspiration too. Just under seven minutes long, "Sweetz" veers through various sub-heavy soundscapes with intermittent rhythmic patters and a distinctive looped vocal sample whose pitch changes with dramatic effect.
Review: Longstanding Innamind representative Mikael sparks up our inner freaks once more with two system-primed sub smashers. "Wildfire" see-saws on a pivot-like atonal riff over a lolloping sub/kick flow and big splash rimshots while "Lintumies" is a spacier jam where stretched outer-space aesthetics play games with your head and the bass keeps kicking you out of orbit.
Review: Hot on the heels of "Mission" earlier this year, Shuya Okino's Kyoto Jazz Sextet troupe present another gem from last year's Unity album complete with a remix of the highest calibre. This time the cascading, Latin rhythm and frenetic horn leads of "Rising" are given the midas dancefloor touch by none other than Ron Trent. Maintaining the wily spirit of the original while coating in warm organ blasts and subtly bumping kicks, it's a precision translation that brings the original into a whole new context.
Review: As we continue to recover from the sheer awesomeness of Paqua's debut album Alkaliko, Claremont 56 commission two very special versions of the modern day Balearic hymn "The Visitor". Ray Mang reminds us of the true meaning of dub as we're immersed in a truly enveloping dynamic where flickers of the original's vocals fly and in and out of the mix. Idjut Boys follow a similar sentiment but instead of teasing us with the vocal shades, they extend, break down and rebuild the instrumentation in a way only they know how. Super-limited, this is the perfect complement to a perfect album.