Review: Feeling lucky? With grooves as raw, sizzling and energetic as these, there's a strong chance you might be. Hot on the heels of their "Mesquite Beat" 45 comes this equally earthy and frank doublet. "'Bout To Blow" is a big pant swinging blues affair while "Saints & Beggars" takes us up a notch with a whirling 6/8 signature whirling waltz where the horns and drums take the lead and we follow in their every dreamy footstep. Look out for the album Mesquite Suite coming on Tramp very soon.
Review: London's legendary Mute institution goes back to its roots and digs up some of the best work by one of the UK's finest Cabaret Voltaire. These guys don't really need an introduction give the fact that they're pretty much responsible for the rise of post-punk right through to the birth of techno. It was about time a new compilation of their stuff was released, especially one as brutally on-point as this one! All the classics such as "Nag Nag Nag", "Kneel To The Boss" and "On Every Other Street" are one here but the more obscure rarities that were previously only available on 7" are the real winners. "Just Fascination", for example, is one you'll certainly want on a longer, re-mastered cut! Downright essential!
Review: Storage Media AKA Hugo Jay AKA DJ Kush Boogie next on UK lo-fi house merchants E-Beamz who served up that very talked about EP by DJ Boring recently. It is much more of the dusty and dreamy variety: meme house in the vein of Lobster Theremin and we are really digging it! Particularly the crunchy retrovert jack of "002" or the new age groove of "004" with its soothing FM bell tones hypnotising you in style. Nice!
Review: Chicago label Chained Library present some contemplative minimal noise experiments courtesy of the mysterious Agnes who presents the 012016002001 EP and it is mastered by the one and only Rashad Becker: which is fitting really. Fans of Becker's recent works will really appreciate these extreme and at times challenging sonic workouts on both sides, approximately 15 minutes each. Both extended pieces are reductionist electronic sound art at its finest. Very intrigued as to what this imprint is up to next.
Review: Many may know Seungyoung Lee AKA Mogwaa from his superb EPs and singles on Starwave, which sit somewhere between chillwave, boogie, proto-house and Italo-disco. There have been plenty of signs of his musical dexterity, though, and its' this side of his chameleon-like character that come to the fore on debut album "07307". While decidedly Balearic in vibe and tone, the album's nine instrumental soundscapes draw on a dizzying array of influences, from the synthesizer-based sounds he's known for to jazz, ambient, new age, dubbed-out synth-pop, Turkish style psychedelia and spaced-out movie soundtracks. In other words, it's a hugely enjoyable, atmospheric and alluring musical trip that surprises and delights at every turn.
Review: After releases from the likes of Dakini9, Fox and Franklin Da Costa, it was only natural that Jersey City-based label Green Village would turn to DJ Spider for a new 12 inch. Well, it seems natural to us, in any case. The NYC artist is now a respected member of the Big Apple's contemporary house and techno wave, and it's an absolute must for him to be represented on the city's bubbling scene, especially when he's up for firing off tunes like "Space Jungle" and Satsang", two mean, club-minded house bangers with a prominent lower-end. "Divide & Conquer" turns things darker and more ominous thanks to its icy, minimal approach - a cold blend of stripped-back beats and circling bass tones - while "Urantia Of Nebadon" displaces the traditional house framework in favour of a dark, molecular selection of electronic sounds guided by a simple pattern of 4/4 beats. Classic Spider material...
Review: Jorge Caiado certainly keeps busy. When not running the Carpet & Snares (and its affiliated shop), the Groovement label or doing A&R for Chez Damier's long running Inner Balance Music imprint, he's releasing some brilliant music - as heard on this year's Choice EP - one of our favourite records of this year. He now presents some new deep space transmissions via his Lisbon HQ, under new alias Conversion here and inaugurating the eponymous imprint. Reflective electro, Motor City techno and beatless trips are explored, dedicated to sonic excursions away from his housier roots.
Review: Ali Wells's Perc Trax has done incredibly well over the years, and in fact, this latest EP (the third in the series) marks the label's ten year anniversary! Patrick Sottrop aka Kareem drops "Just When You Thought It Was Over" on the A-side, unleashing a militant and subtly dubbed-out warhead for the peak time hours, while Wells himself touches down as Perc with the stormy, wide-eyed sound sculpture that is "Volley". Surprisingly, the kick drum - a menacing pound to the head - only pops up well into the track, leaving space for all other sorts of atmospherics and distortion to surface. Excellent, as per usual.
Review: A Merle Travis blues standard, as laid down by the one and only BB King in 56. A homage to the coal miner with strong clear lyrics and vibrant horns, the original was one of many breakthrough's BB made in the 50s. It was also futureproofed for Belgium's popcorn sound with a bold brass version that's loaded with so much swing you almost forget its deep deep blues. Records like this are what 45s are made for.
Review: Curtis Electronix is a brand new electro label out of Holland (where else?) run by CEM3340. The label is said to be is inspired by Doug Curtis, the father of the "CEM" chip as well as being a synthesizer pioneer and innovator, and the boss himself is behind this notable first EP. His brand of electro is a crunchy one, with distorted drums frying brains and computerised synth arps jagging their way about the mix. Next to three busy, textured originals is a remix from The Exaltics that is as raw as they come.
Review: Already the winner of a Brit Award (Adele was voted the 'Critics Choice' - the most exciting new British artist expected to 'make it big' in 2008),
'19' is Adele's debut album. Citing influences as diverse as Etta James, Jill Scott, Bjork, Dusty Springfield, Billy Bragg, Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley,
The Cure and Peggy Lee, Adele also recently completed her first solo UK tour, having toured previously with the likes of Jack Penate, Jamie T,
Raul Midon, Amos Lee and Devendra Banhart. '19' contains both her debut track 'Hometown Glory' and her smash single 'Chasing Pavements'.
Blues tinged and melancholic, Adele describes 'Chasing Pavements' as 'It's me being hopeful for a relationship that's very much over. The sort
of relationship you hate when you're in it, but miss when you're not'. A hymn to lost love and regret, 'Chasing Pavements' follows Adele's first
limited edition single 'Hometown Glory', which introduced her to the world to much critical acclaim, with NME calling it 'totally, absolutely beautiful',
Q Magazine calling her 'The voice of next year' and The Sunday Times saying 'A Star Is Born'
Review: Between 1971 and '73, Brazilian singer and composer Tim Maia released a quartet of eponymously titled album, all of which are now considered classics by those in the know. This is the third in the sequence, originally released in 1972 and now available on CD for the first time in the UK. The tracks largely lean heavily on American soul and funk tropes of the time - rich grooves, luscious orchestration, and so on - with Maia adding vocals in both English and Portuguese. There are occasional nods to jazz-funk, samba and rumba, but by and large Maia stuck to his funk and soul script. The results are uniformly excellent, with "Idade" and "Razao De Samba" being particularly memorable.
Review: We knew that Egyptian Lover had had a revival of sorts over the last five or so years, but we really weren't expecting an album of new material from the man, and as soon as this dropped onto our laps, we just had to throw it onto the HQ turntable. More than thirty years might have passed, but Greg Broussard is still doing what he does best, that is to release gnarly, off-the-chain electro with a Far-Eastern edge. Featuring twelve tracks of instant dance delight, the Lover develops his '80s sound further by stripping the grooves back further, and letting the beats do the majority of the talking. There are, of course, the inevitable bursts of vocoder voices, but unlike other artists, Broussard manages to make them sound fresh and compelling, utterly fun and cutting-edge. Highly recommended!
Review: Basic Rhythm's second appearance on Planet Mu plots a path from hardcore to footwork via jungle in devastating fashion. The A side houses the kinetic "2 Da Core" with mashed up vocal samples and crunchy drums into a bass heavy bomb, followed by "Get Up" with its hazy vocal samples and fat bass which comes together into a weird and wonderful rhythm. RP Boo's remixes are rather few and far between but we're treated to one here that is icy and skeletal, with echoing hits ringing out over impossibly deep sub bass. "Nah Ramp" is a destructive final offering with off grid clatter and lurching drums keeping you in a spin.
Review: Following a string of sizzling singles released over the best part of a decade, The Pendletons (AKA E Da Boss of Myron & E fame and Bay Area producer Trailer Limon) has finally got round to recording a debut album. It's something of a slick, soulful and groovy affair, offering a mix of breezy West Coast grooves, sun-kissed instrumentation, snaking horn solos, colourful synthesizer lines and oodles of soul-powered vocals from the group and guests including Howard Johnson, K-Maxx and Gizelle Smith. While it's something of a time capsule, stylistically at least, few do this kind of warm, glassy-eyed nostalgia better. Put it this way: it's every bit as good as we'd hoped for and much more besides.
Review: Last month's debut salvo from off-kilter Balearic pop edit imprint Shelved Recordings sold out in record time, so it's likely you'll have to act fast to secure a copy of this speedy follow-up. Editor Andi Handley gets things going via the blissful bubbles of "Up and Down", where sustained synthesizer chords and meandering melodies stretch out across a sparse electronic rhythm, before diving even deeper into delay-laden slow-motion synth-pop pastures on the tactile and emotive drowsiness of "Stop Me". Best of all, though, is extended flipside edit "What Are You Fighting For", a typically dubby and on-point revision of an arpeggio-driven, guitar-laden alternative pop/post-punk cut by Marianne Faithfull.
Review: The Zenker Brothers and their Ilian Tape venture get stronger by the minute, and here Marco flies solo with this latest EP, sounding in utterly rude health with it. "Geezin" is a distinctive opener, ditching standard 4/4 propulsion in favour of an airy drum machine arrangement infected with the slightest flurries of hardcore breaks and offset by wistful synth patterns. It's a curious combination that works magnificently, but for those wanting something a little more direct "Splifer" is on hand to deliver a more classically Zenker techno mantra. "Darai" brings the swing back in fine style, throwing down a chunky stomp to match the sizzling hats, and then "Lubiana" wrecks the surroundings with its magnificent pummel of low end percussion and gritty production values.
Review: Deep Psalms from a deep man, Good Deeds Music delivers its fourth release that comes from Roxy Music founding member (and oboe and saxophonist) Andy Mackay. Recorded and performed with a band, choir and string orchestra, the music itself is based on the Book of Psalms and takes in a specialist selection of classical, rock and spoken word with the slightest of electronic influences too. God fearing or not, praise the Lord. Amen.
Review: Almost thirty years after it was first released and spawned an entire new sub genre, "Acid Tracks" still bangs harder than 99% of new tunes. Here it gets remixed by a selection of seriously big names as well as hot newcomers and then pressed up to limited green vinyl. The big man Carl Cox goes first and is in no mood to muck about, layering in hammering kick drums and making the 303 even more wild and serrated. Swiss-Chilean minimalist Luciano distils it down to a more soft and supple acid track that works on the mind, while the flip side offerings serve up stomping warehouse techno, strobe-lit anthems and rubbery drum workouts.
Review: Often cited as the sort of album that took hip hop in credible new directions and opened it up to a broader audience who had previously been put off by rap and all its streetwise slang and urban references, Hieroglyphics' "3rd Eye Vision" landed in 1998. It has been cited as one of the best indie hop hip albums of all time thanks to its lavish instrumentation and stellar production from Domino, with contributions from A-Plus, Opio, Del and Casual. Each of the 20 tracks tell their own stories but mesh them together and it's a coherent album overall that proves going your own way, away from the majors can be a scary but rewarding move.
Review: Helmed by Asaf Samuel and Katzele, Malka Tuti transmits cosmic boogie sounds from Tel Aviv that come from lesser-known sources. On their fifth release they turn to The Kloom, a loose-fit operation of unknowns making a debut appearance with the powerful strut of "40 Gram Beton". Mixing slow disco grooves with ranging synths and warm piano notes, it's an infectious track that provides a prime jump-off point for the cast of remixers that round out the release. Die Wilde Jagd adds a more mechanical coldwave pulse to the track while Khidja gets lost in a swirling trip of a version, with the label throwing in a radio edit as a bonus on the B2.
Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: William J.Youngman's Headless Horseman project has created a new and exciting techno sound that was only an offshoot of EBM and industrial in years past. Stepping out of his own imprint, the dark horseman lands on Tommy Four Seven's excellent 47 label, tearing through the speakers from the get-go thanks to the toxic sounds of "Revelation", and the even nastier sway of "Concussion". Metallic and hard-nosed in absolutely every way, "Locust" follows up on that with a menacing pounce of beats and cavernous bass, while "Gravity" breaks the techno groove for something much more in line with the likes of Powell's Diagonal output. Big boy sounds.
Review: Given his prolific nature, it's perhaps surprising to find that 5 is actually Medhi Djebali's debut album. The title was apparently chosen as both a nod to the fifth anniversary of his self-titled label, and as a reflection of the number of months it took the Parisian to record it. As you might expect, it's an enjoyable collection of largely club-friendly cuts, with Djebali offering nods towards Robsoul style tech-house ("Nineties Playground", "Mister Bastard"), spacey ambience ("Heartgroover", "The Other Night"), acid (the funk-fuelled "D.B Cooper", "God's Dreams"), and warm, early morning deep house ("Seven Blessings", "Ideal Dawn"). To round things off, he also includes a head-nodding chunk of dreamy instrumental hip-hop (John Dimas collaboration "Suzaku").
Review: Puglia, Italy based imprint Out-Er has had quite a year, with releases by the likes of Detroit minimal techno innovator Terrence Dixon aka Population One, British tech house hero Aubrey and Dutch techno legend Orlando Voorn. The label (run by Simone Gatto) now presents an impressive compilation celebrating five years in business and it is rather impressive, if we do say so ourselves and signifies some brilliant prospects on the horizon for 2017 and beyond. Highlights here weren't limited to: Dial Records and Berghain regular Efdemin with the oddball avant garde/techno crossover of "Don't Bang Your Fingers" where its hypnotic groove supports a bizarrely used dialogue from a cooking show. Then, quick: hide your AIRA because The Analogue Cops are here! They give us the slow burning and dusty hardware jam "Speculation", which is very good. Also, don't forget to check the aforementioned Voorn's collaboration with Motor City don Juan Atkins on "Reloaded" for your fix of hi-tech soul.
Review: Made up of tech house trippers par excellence Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo, Doublet have been steadily issuing forth their wares with aplomb since starting out back in 2013. Most of this material has been on their own label, and so it is on this fifth installment that finds them in especially fine form with the shimmering delights of A side track "Beautyfull". "Mush" is no slouch in the attractive stakes either with its sultry chords and slinky grooves, while "Robin & Maikel" takes a more esoteric route through tech house on the B side. It's a superbly produced EP full of imaginative ideas to match the proficiency of the beats.
Review: The undisputed godfather of Australian techno Cam Bianchetti aka DJ HMC has enjoyed a deserved second coming under his Late Nite Tuff Guy guise but this is where it all started with these two classics. First track "6AM" originally released in 1996 is a true mid-nineties zeitgeist that could have been spawned during an evening at the Packard plant in Detroit, but actually conceived in Adelaide. It's overdriven acid backed by the pounding kick and metallic hiss of a 909 just like Plus 8 Records were doing back in the day. What can be said about 'Marauder' that hasn't already? It's resurgence as a Berghain anthem in the last few years is well deserved. This rendition being a much more serious and restrained version than the 2001 version. Get your hands on this timeless piece of history.
Review: Donnacha's closing salvo in this three part mini-series of six tracks - six tracks of six minutes duration across six sides, written recorded and edited in six days, locked in his Dublin studio. The mordant swells of 6.5 seem to indicate Donnacha's self imposed studio discipline could have had serious effects - like the distant sound of a Sahko party held in a bunker many metres beneath the earth's surface - there's tremors and beeps, but nary the semblance of a groove. On the upside 6.6 adopts a rakish jacking mode, a vocal opines "well that’s enough, **** it" and seems to sum up Donnacha, climbing up the ceiling of his Irish studio space in the advanced stages of cabin fever - delirious and cranking out deadly house music. As the closing refrain of 6.6 has it "Everything continuous" - indeed!
Review: Italian sound sculpter Spygeist maintains momentum with a bounty of touching compositions: "New Forms Of Beauty". The space and dynamics immerse you from the very first chime of "Hanged". Further into the fog we plough to discover the cinematic, slo-mo jazz of "Demoniac", the nostalgic piano whimsy of "Confidential Love", the yearning one note synth strikes of "Malinchonica", the more sprightly, springy classic electro beats and Amazonian atmospheres of "Light Pipe" and plenty more. Coming on strong like an album rather than a seven-track EP, this in itself is a form of beauty.
Review: For Record Store Day 2018, UK downbeat legends Zero 7 present an exclusive collectors box set. The package contains seven 7"s, containing 14 tracks picked by Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker themselves. Featuring their acclaimed collaborations with Sia, Sophie Barker, Mozez, Jose Gonzalez and Martha Tilston among others. This is the first time some of these tracks have been made available on such format. Four tracks are taken from 2001's Simple Things LP, a further three are taken from their 2004 album When It Falls, four from The Garden (2006) and the final two come from the 2009 album Yeah Ghost. Artwork is by the band's original design collaborator (Julian House) and the sleeves are colour coded - placed into a cruciform overwrap sleeve with heavyweight vinyl.
Review: Romania's newest source of experimental minimalist, Listen2Me, digs up a new talent by the name of MGCH, and shoots him - or her - onto our shelves with this small marvel of an EP. "87" is a delightful tune, a glitchy minimal groove that travels between house, noise and electro with utter ease and pure elegance, a sound that is matured further via the rhythmic sway of the moodier, dubbier folds and clicks of "Is This It". There's a trio of leftfield charmers on the flipside, spear-headed by the warm and placid glow of the near beatless "What For", evolved into something of a lounge house mood on "How You See", and tied off by a dubwise reinterpretation of "87" by Serb. TIP!!
Review: Originally Recorded live at Music Laboratories, New York, September 29, 1982 and eventually released 27 years later, William Basinski's 92982 receives a vinyl re-issue courtesy of the Temporary Residence label. Spread across two slabs of vinyl, the four separate parts to 92902 see Basinski teasing out ethereal, mesmerising loops from a reel to reel in all their decayed and degraded glory. It's all drenched in delay and reverb that works in the same tradition of his seminal LP, The Disintegration Loops . The truly haunting dark ambience of "92982.2" in particular is essential listening and a moment you won't forget, complete with eerie field recordings of NYC.
Review: On his newest release for avant electronic powerhouse Editions Mego, German minimal techno legend Thomas Brinkmann. Brinkmann digitally recreated the timbre of a grand piano and then subjected the synthetic sound to a brutal MIDI workout. Also of inspiration were airport terminals, or as he named them 'no-places', and their sterile surroundings devoid of any personality or soul which informed the track titles. The album sits somewhere between mystique concrete, glitch and death metal drumming, if you can imagine such a thing.
Review: The Vogs, unlike how they appear at first sight, are not a band from the 1960s, and are actually living and breathing today. Given the deluge of reissues that flood our charts these days, a new album from a new band feels like a winning combo. A Change Is Coming is also an apt name, then, and it takes us back to a feeling of truly relevant soul music hitting hard and deep. The band, as a complete offering, are unbeatable and outstanding in many ways, but it's the vocals of their lead singer that get us going - not to mention the bass player coming through with some utterly killer lines for us to vibe to. If you're looking for some mo-town charm through the medium of modern music, then you should be looking no further. The Vogs are here.
Review: It's hard to believe that Enzo Siragusa's Fuse label has now been carving out its own niche in the tech house world for a full decade. To mark the occasion, the label boss has pulled together more key tracks for his second volume of "A Decade of Rave". This compilation is another treasure trove of club cuts that feature the main man alongside some of his key associates, Rich NxT, Rossko, Archie Hamilton and Seb Zito. The tracks are unwaveringly dubbed out and driving, with weighted bottom ends that will get any moody dancer moving. From warms up to peak time to afterparties, these are hugely versatile tracks.
Review: Josh Cheon's Dark Entries label plunge once more into the depths of the UK underground in the 1980s and come up the other side with this crucial reissue of A Dissembly by Konstruktivits. A quick history lesson: former Heute man and Throbbing Gristle/Industrial Records associate Glenn Michael Wallis was and remains the towering creative force behind Konstruktivits who are active to this day and have been "perverting your ears since 1980." Of the numerous albums Konstruktivits have been responsible for, it is their debut LP from 1982 that Dark Entries have chosen to reissue here, offering a newly remastered take on A Dissembly that suggests Wallis and associates to be worthy sonic companions to Muslimgauze, Tuxedo Moon, Clock DVA and Throbbing Gristle. The freaks out there will love this one.
Le Syndicat - "Prothesis Pack Xtract 08 (1983)" (3:52)
Le Syndicat - "Maximalist" (Ekman remix) (6:05)
Review: Continuing their uncompromising fusions of artists new and old, Contort Yourself return with a punishing array of industrial thuggery from hardware manipulators you wouldn't take home to your mother. Novacom were last seen on Slumdiscs back in 2014 and here bring a fast and gnarly rhythmic tryst to bear before JK Flesh do their own snagging dance with oppressive synths and drums twirling into a heavyweight whole. French brutalists Le Syndicat then dominate the B-side with their confrontational bastardisation of techno and industrial, making the perfect source material for Ekman to get nasty with on his remix of "Maximalist".
Review: Italian duo Rufus and Mass_prod are back once again as Nightdrivers, shoring up to Holic Trax with more of their infectious club-ready material. Beyond the functionality of their drums, where the Nightdrivers excel is in their choice of samples and textures to add a psychoactive twist to their craft. "A Funny Thang" is a delightfully unhinged workout, while "Stressedout" does a fine job of digging into a heads down, RnB inflected groove. "Rising" switches things up with a broken beat groove that loads up sunkissed soul samples to great effect, and then the record rounds out with a dub mix of "A Funny Thang".
Review: Former Bugz In The Attic crewmember Alex Phountzi first joined forces with fellow broken beat pioneer IG Culture four years ago. Together, they launched the NameBrandSound project with a tidy EP of bass-weight business on Ninja Tune's Technicolour offshoot. Here the experienced twosome return with their first - and presumably only - missive of 2018. A-side "Shrunken Heads" is something of a percussive, off-kilter dancefloor beast, as the duo re-imagines Talking Heads classic "Once In A Lifetime" as a rolling, bruk-up floor-filler. Over on side B, "Bebop" sees them pepper another swinging, house-influenced bruk-up rhythm with lashings of synth-sax and some suitably shimmering chords.
Review: Somewhat remarkably, A Life Without Notifications not only marks Alan Abrahams' first new material for two years, but also his first release on the admirable Dial label. All three tracks are typically positive and melodious, with the affable South African once more showcasing his love of colourful synthesizers and tactile electronics. Of the three, it's arguably A-side "I Open My Eyes", where mournful pianos, squelchy synth-bass and drifting vocal refrains ride a bongo-laden, up-tempo deep house groove, that makes the biggest impression. That said, the deeper, jazzier drum machine rhythms and toasty Fender Rhodes keys of "Wear Your Life Like a Loose Negligee" are little less than delicious.
Review: Since 2003, Record Kicks has been the "explosive sound of today's scene" and, by the looks of this latest nugget from Martha High, they're right on track to fulfill that promise! The talented US vocalist was on the front row of James Brown's hits in the 60's and 70's, but she's since then focused on her own glorious soul material. "A Little Taste Of Soul" comes as a ray of shining light on a wet October afternoon, full of funky sensibility and heartfelt vibes, making for the perfect dance number for those looking for that groovy thang. For the B-side, "Unwind Yourself" slows the tempo down, breaks up the groove, and unleashes High's Goddess-like voice amid those tasty breaks - what a winner!