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'.
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: Atalanta's Byron The Aquarius has established himself as one of electronic music's most interesting artists. The super skill musician is a virtuoso on the keys and dab hand with making beats. He's got a wide range of sounds in his arsenal and is a perfect fit for the raw, MPC loving Apron label run by Funkineven, which is where lands now. This fulsome EP takes you on a jazz tinged house trip to the edges of the galaxy with far-sighted chords and reflective moods one minute and noodling, funk laced beat pieces the next. It's as high in quality as it is timeless.
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.
Review: In 1997, to celebrate David Bowie's 50th birthday, the Thin White Duke was granted a BBC Radio special. It featured nine new versions of some of his favourite songs, all of which were recorded during the rehearsals for a celebratory show in New in late 1996. Happily, these recordings have now been made available for the very first time via ChangesNowBowie, a kind of alternative greatest hits collection. Much of the material is stripped-back and pared down, with Bowie delivering either lo-fi rock revisions (see 'Repetition' and the rip-roaring 'White Light/White Heat'), semi-acoustic translations ('Shopping For Girls', 'Aladdin Sane' and 'The Man Who Sold The World') or slightly orchestrated interpretations ('Quicksand'). It's Bowie as you've never heard him before, and that's got to be a good thing.
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: 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 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.
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.
Review: Marcella Bella's 'Nell'Aria' is an evergreen slice of Italian disco, originally recorded and released in 1985. On this POPART release, the swooning romanticism and crisp production of the original version sounds better than ever as the high profile Italian diva Bella soars over a full-fat arrangement loaded with bombast. Keeping things interesting, we're also treated to a 2017 update 'Aria Latina' which injects some Latin energy into the classic. Meanwhile, the B-side is given over to an extended edit of the original by Francesco Cicchini, who takes the track to the stratosphere with a tasteful treatment
Review: Recently, Steve Pittis' long-running Dirter Promotions label has offered up a number of vital vinyl reissues of early albums by veteran industrial music experimentalists Nurse With Wound. It would be fair to say that 1980's To the Quiet Men from a Tiny Girl is another. For starters, only 500 copies were pressed first time around, making it one of the band's most hard-to-find releases. It' historically significant, too -it was the final set recorded by all three founding members (NWW quickly became a Stephen Singleton solo project) - but more importantly it's a fascinating, immersive and otherworldly listen, with each of the side-long compositions combining strange noises, odd field recordings, spoken word snippets, electrical interference, weirdo electronics and tipsy, solo free-jazz horns.
Notes: The Smart Display Stand is a continuously adjustable and collapsible stand for common tablets and smartphones and offers a stable yet lightweight construction.
With an adjustable angle of up to 270 degrees of rotation, ideal alignment of smartphones and tablets is possible.
The Smart Display is perfect for djing, recording, live streaming, video chats, movies and watching series.
In a classic minimalist design made of high-quality aluminium, the Smart Display Stand is excellently suited as a monitor extension and is compatible with common smartphones and tablets from 7 to 13 inch.
Review: Here's something to get Talking Heads fans salivating: a fresh EP featuring previously buried, unheard alternative versions and outtakes recorded during the sessions for the celebrated New York new wave band's 1979 album Fear of Music. The EP begins with the completely unheard 'Dancing For Money', a typically undulating, off-kilter chunk of post-punk eccentricity that seemingly never went beyond the demo stage, before offering up a riotous alternate mix of the noisy, guitar-laden stomper 'Life During Wartime'. Over on the flip you'll find notably different arrangements and recordings of 'Cities' and 'Mind'; the latter, with its juju style guitar sounds and languid rhythm section, is particularly good.
Review: It's easy to forget this is the first new record we've had from Doves in more than a decade, given the rousing call to action and emotional intensity of aptly-titled album opener 'Carousel'. A huge, nostalgic fairground thumper that sets the adrenaline levels at 11, it could be their most confident album opener to date.
And The Universal Want is far from a tease, too, capturing the essence of what we hoped from this Manchester trio's comeback fanfare. From the science fiction synth beams of Bowie ode 'Cathedrals Of The Mind', to the redemptive and hope-filled stadium indie of 'For Tomorrow', and the title track's melancholic proto-house stomp, it's very much a record of our time but also one that will likely stand the test of time. A very welcome return for, and another schooling from, Jez Williams and his team.
Review: In 1983 a group of Nigerian musicians in London headed into a studio in Hoxton Square and recorded their sole LP: a boogie and disco-infused set called 'Electric Murder'. The album was released the same year on a tiny Nigerian label, meaning that copies of this obscure classic have been sought after ever since. As this beautifully packaged and produced reissue proves, 'Electric Murder' has lost none of its lustre. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the slap-bass heavy celebration of opener "Funky Boogie Woogie" and the deep disco brilliance of "Electric Murder", to the low-slung, delay-laden disco-funk gem "Shake" and sugary, synth-laden slow jam "April's Girl", a track that boasts some suitably super electric piano solos.
Review: Originally released back in 2011 on two singles, Shades of Detroit is a journey of six deep and dubby house monsters! The new limited reissue includes both Dark and Light parts, marbled vinyl and a new updated artwork. Essential Detroit house classic!
Review: A new one from Paris' Favorite Recordings. After two acclaimed LP's as Mr President released over the last decade, Bruno Hovart is back. One Night is soul and disco with a modern touch, fitting all the criteria to become an instant club classic. With special guest vocalists like Jennifer Zonou (Hawa), Cindy Pooch, Celia Kameni (Saving Coco) and Sabba MG - who you may recognise from previous releases. The title track is a sexy, loungey and jazzy deep house joint reminiscent of early noughties grooves on Naked Music or Hed Kandi. Plus, there's also a wonderful rendition of Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's classic 'Gabriel'.
Review: Billing themselves as an ethno-industrial outfit, French group Vox Populi! have more in common with the German kosmische movement than the sound of their own fair land. They came from serious stock, including Axel Kyrou's mother who was a musique concrete pioneer at GRM, which set them up to make a bold and challenging debut album Myscitismes, originally released on their own Vox Man label in 1985. Combining advanced studio manipulation and liberal FX treatments with a pastoral folk thrum, motorik synth work and a heavy dose of pan-continental mysticism, they created a stunning and forward-thinking work that sounds shockingly relevant in the here and now. Finally reissued after more than 30 years, now is the perfect chance to grab this trailblazing slice of sonic sorcery.
Sare Havlicek - "White Russian (Lazy Summer)" (5:20)
Oliver Cheatham - "Get Down Saturday Night" (7:10)
The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper´s Delight" (3:34)
Gibson Brothers - "Cuba" (7:45)
Review: For the next installment of Argentinian label Music Broker's tribute series, they have selected some of seminal Parisian duo Daft Punk's finest works and remixes, spanning the last two decades, along with some of the music that inspired them. The Many Faces Of Daft Punk: A Journey Through The Inner World Of Daft Punk features disco royalty such as Niles Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone, while more contemporary producers from the house music spectrum feature also, such as Detroit's Scott Grooves (featuring Parliament/Funkadelic), The Micronauts and Versatile's I:Cube receive de Homem-Christo and Bangalter's midas touch. the latter's 'Disco Cubizm" from '96 being a particular highlight on the remix side of things. Not to mention their roaring rework of indie-pop darlings Franz Ferdinand's classic 'Take Me Out'.
Review: The last ten years have seen no shortage of bands with their delay pedals set to stun intent on capturing an aura of dreamlike radiance. Yet Texas 'pop-noir' troupe Cigarettes After Sex are no ordinary shoegazers, for a variety of reasons - frontman Greg Gonzalez' androgynous and dulcet tones may be part of the appeal, yet moreover it's the quality of the songwriting here, which never falls prey to the style-over-substance traps of their peers. Indeed, this debut is more than enough to justify the considerable hype around this outfit, being a collection of ditties as sultry as they are atmopsheric.
Review: You might have heard about this LP..... After a pre-release campaign that took on Hollywood-esque proportions, French pair Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter return as Daft Punk with their fourth studio album Random Access Memories sporting a A-list cast of guests and contributors. Given the input of disco icons Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers it's entirely understandable that the overbearing sound on Random Access Memories is one of classic disco with lead single "Get Lucky" a good indicator for what to expect. There's also a smattering of yacht rock within the thirteen track set, whilst the ubiquitous Panda Bear turns up on the midnight stutter funk album highlight "Doin' It Right". Those expecting a return to Daft Punk's Homework heyday will be disappointed but Bangalter and de Homem-Christo are touching forty so the polished, expertly constructed disco direction makes perfect sense.
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.
Robert Glasper - "Enoch's House" (DJ Kemit remix) (7:03)
Guy - "Groove Me" (KZRekchampma club mix - part 1 & 2) (8:55)
Review: There's been little information released about this three-track EP, though we do known that it's the work of "a classic US label going incognito". Whatever the source, what counts is the quality of the music; happily, the EP is impeccable. Leading the charge is Karizma, whose remix of Flacko's "Lonely Town" is a breezy, soft-focus chunk of modern soul/broken house fusion smothered in hazy synthesizer chords and slowly strummed Latin guitar breakdowns. DJ Kemit dances towards peak-time floors with a wonderfully emotion-rich house version of jazz pianist Robert Glasper's "Enoch's House" built around similarly tropical drums, while KZRekchampma's glorious flipside club revision of Guy's "Groove Me" sits somewhere between bass-heavy UK house, soul-powered New Jersey garage and revivalist synth-boogie.
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Danilo Braca & Bahia Alegria remix) (5:05)
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Danilo Braca instrumental Saudade Bossa mix) (5:26)
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Eld Russell Reggae Basement mix) (5:56)
Review: A true product of 2020, Dino Simone wrote and recorded 'Samba du Scujonamentu' during Italy's early lockdown as a "lucky charm" of hope and positivity. Now the track enjoys a swathe of remixes that take this heartfelt ditty in new directions, from the easy groove of Massimo Berardi's version to the tender, soul stirring musicality of Danilo Braca and Bahia Alegria's Latin-influenced take rendered across three distinct mixes. There's also Simone's light-hearted original to enjoy, plus Eld Russell's swirling, heavily treated 'Reggae Basement Mix' for those who like things dubby.
Review: Pulp Corn Recordings is a brand new label out of, we think, France. We don't know any more other than the mysterious imprint promises to serve up "heavy dancefloor-oriented edits on limited 10" format," and the first one is a hand-stamped golden nugget that kick off with a nice analogue deep hue track featuring some classic samples from Pulp Fiction, amongst other things. It's an intriguing roller with a flamenco style breakdown, while the flip is a wild and free break beat banger with big stabs, hammering drum programming and all the energy any club will need to blow up.
Review: Jorun Bombay is one of Canada's most influential hip-hop protagonists and his fantastic cover of the recently turned 80 year old Roy Ayers in the form of 'Revisiting The Sunshine' is one of his biggest tunes. A recent reissue on white vinyl sold out in quick time so now comes another chance to own it, this time on black wax. This one followed Jorun's recent edit series and is authentic to its soulful core. As summer fades away and autumn looms, keep the sunny vibes alive with this golden, heart warming version. On the flip is something just as sunny - a fine version of 'Funky Sensation' that gets a precision Bombay treatment.
Review: There's a reason that Massive Attack's Blue Lines frequently appears in "greatest albums" lists. To put it simply, it's brilliant, and arguably remains the Bristol-based outfit's finest work to date (though some would argue that the dark and paranoid Mezzanine is possibly better). As this weighty vinyl reissue proves, it's lost none of its hazy, dub-propelled trip-hop charm. All-time classics such as "Unfinished Sympathy", "Safe From Harm" and "Hymn of the Big Wheel" have lost none of their soulful, mood-enhancing brilliance, while lesser celebrated cuts such as "Five Man Army" and "Lately" still sound great despite their vintage.
Review: Ole Mic Odd aka Michael Padgett is a hardware operator and DJ from Los Angeles and runs the wonderfully named label The New U.S. Government. Here he sweeps to power with four tracks across four sides of vinyl for the Zement label, two following a slower, punishing pulse that's like P-funk remade in a robot factory, only with tons of added bubbling acid, Drexciya-style filtering and Juan Arkins-like synthetic strings. The other two are way faster, Ice So Bright sounding like someone secretly spiked Kraftwerk's cocoa with something extremely sinister, sending them racing off on their bikes at treble speed. Echo Park has an even more distinct flanging acid flavour and hyper, hooligan electro foundations, again with those Model 500 misty clouds of synthesiser floating overhead. Absolutely cracking stuff.