Monday, 10 March
Devilish debut from instrumental Grime architect Gage for Bristol's Crazylegs clubnight/label. 'Telo' is a bilious, destructive bit of work infusing the usually hyper-crisp palette favoured by his contemporaries with traces of incendiary distortion at pivotal points whilst galvanising the rest for optimum impact inna dance. Like the ruffest early Grime styles, it's borderline industrial in its unrelenting drive and angularity, and like the best industrial dance music, it's built of a core of steeliest, forward funk. 'Shiftin' is equally aggy and up-for-it, firing hyperventilating stabs, winding sub drops and militant snares for the maddest heads. Recommended.
Prolific micro-modular technician Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz presents his best album by a mile with 'Unfidelity' for Planet Mu. You may (or may not) have noticed a dearth of recent releases from the former blogger-cum-musician since his Morrisian gush of fertile ferric ideas covered the release schedules between 2011-2013 under myriad names - Nunton Complekz, EKOCLEF (with Bass Clef), PLKZFX (with Nochexxx), Ensemble Skalecktrik, and eMMplekz (with Mordant Music) - on almost as many labels. To be honest this head just couldn't keep up with them, and for every ace we'd find a couple we weren't … Read more
**Upfront Exclusive** UTTU follow up that utter madness from Mumdance with four tracks of 'floor scrambling rave by one half of Lakker, aka Eomac aka EeOo. Veering wilder than his 'Hither, Pappy' 12" for TTT and ruder than the Lakker output, four tracks come off something like Hecker & Haswell demolishing the R&S back catalogue, freaking out from the salty, brain-tweaking flex of 'Workout' to screwed hoover rave on 'Calc', onto darker AFXian bleeps in 'We Are All The Same', and wonky, exotic wobble with 'Battery Baby'. Recommended!
Glasgow newcomer Inkke debuts in mighty fine style with his instrumental beat suite for Astral Black. His productions have regularly appeared in Slackk and Murlo sets for the last year or so and also starred on Big Dada's Grime 2.0 compilation, but 'Faded with da Kittens' doesn't play up to expectations. Blending field recordings with a Memphis-learnt Rap lean, for the most part is low-slung scudder more intent on hypnotic (read: stoned) atmospheres and blowing your bassbins out than dazzling with percussive dynamics. At times it reminds of Terre Thaemlitz's little known 'Memphistophe… Read more
Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones enter the void together as Minibus Pimps on the eagerly anticipated 'Cloud To Ground'. For the first time outside of their Supersilent trio with Arve Henriksen, the two titans in their respective fields converge on an astrally smashed, detached sound that "contains composed and improvisational elements on an equal scale." The results are far bleaker than anything they've hatched in Supersilent, and thankfully leans more towards the Deathprod school of abyss staring than Jones' rockier inclinations. The duo arrived at this uni… Read more
Akkord and Felix K take on the smoky slowfast of 'DAM' from DjRum's 'Seven Lies' LP. Akkord duly dry out and ruff it up with crisp, glancing percussions, abrasive white noise and techy, rolling garage-techno flux. Berlin's D&B helmsman, Felix K ov Hidden Hawaii follows suit with an even drier reinterpretation riding reduced, slyding bassline, flickering hi-hats and percolating bleeps with an enveloping steppers momentum haunted by chorale pads. Tipped!
On the strength of 'Superscope''s heavyweight techno rollers, we suspect Clark's been hanging out in clubs a lot more recently. His first new material since the 'Iradelphic' (2012) LP swerves that album's fancier tendencies to go hard for the 'floor, especially with A-side 'Superscope', meshing sheer, ghoulish white noise shapes to a rude UK techno swagger somewhere between Regis and Beneath riddims. 'Riff Through The Fog' is more typical Clark, flush with tiered melodies and vaulted harmonics, but kitted to a rugged undertow of bouncing bass hits and intricate hi-hat play. Really good EP this.
Legowelt returns to L.I.E.S. with a Will Bankhead picture sleeve in tow for the epic 'Teen Romance', featuring that sick 7-minute title track, plus 'Days of Persistence' and 'SH-High School Daze'.
Crushed downbeat joint from Jeremiah Jae's upcoming 'Good Times' mixtape. Tipped to all Madlib and Dilla fiends.
Trensmat unleash the 2nd slab of gothic technoid turmoil from Chicago's Johnathan Krohn aka Stave, backed with an Israel Vines remix. As with 'Reform' for Flingco Sound and his excellent Talker hook-up with Karl Meier for Downwards' Halha compilation, the 'Trust' EP feels like the soundtrack to an end times rave. A-side, the title track rides slow, sprung bass and roiling drums with a heavy nod to Regis and Mick Harris' CUB project, all glowering atmosphere and queasy, driving momentum, whilst the rock-carving rhythmic rotors of 'Annon' plough a granite groove into cavernous, underground headspaces. … Read more
Trio of 909-driven techno tools from a shadowy new player. Check for the the neat rave signal synthline and emotive strings on the flipside, 'Solace'.
'Words I Don't Remember' is the first solo sighting of Tom Krell's heart-rending How To Dress Well project since the 'Total Loss' LP in 2012. It feels like a confident, more full-bodied return. The production is still intangibly elusive but buoyed by powerful, padded subbass and those synths really reach for the sky. However, Tom's the star of the show, doing his singing-in-a-faraway-shower thing to start, before coming right up close and unflinchingly personal and dicing with himself in some kinda strange 1st person to 3rd person character switches. Bet his next album's gonna be a beauty.
"Primera Norma" is the Hospital Productions debut for Arnau Sala Saez's Exoteric Continent - and a quick look on discogs reveals Arnau to be behind Opal Tapes' Ex-Con project, as well as one of the curators behind the impressive Anòmia label, home to that incredible MARS "Rehearsal Tapes…" box set and releases from L.I.E.S. regular Bookworms among others. The four tracks on "Primera Norma" were recorded purely on hardware and explore primitive analog techno that falls in line with some of Hospital Productions' previous forays into the darkest corners of the dancefloor, somewhere … Read more
Forward dubstep murders from two of the sound's brightest yung hopes on the steadfast System label. Their 'Firepusher' cooperative unleashes waves of layered LFO subbass modulations against tightest double-timed drums, melodica and duppy synth slashes. Flipside, Finland's LAS goes dolo on the tucked, skulky skank of 'Malfunktions' and outstanding Turkish stepper Emir Ongun aka Gantz twysts out the uniquely syncopated percussions, slyding subbass and swiped tape samples of 'Second Nature', no doubt one of his best solo pieces to date.
No way! Arthur Smith aka Artwork revives his legendary Grain alias to remix Midland for Aus Music alongside a Leon Vynehall mix. Back to show the kids a thing some ten years since his seminal FatCat 12"s, Grain reignites 'Trace' with all the bump 'n flex and studio trickery we could hope for, adding wicked field recordings and mesmerising flute motif to a sprung London swing groove dancing in the gaps between techno, deeper garage and funky house. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next in this guise. Flipside, Leon Vynehall's Port Side Manoeuvre, 130 Knot… Read more
Our favourite L.I.E.S. act by far, Bookworms, serve the label a sterling 2nd 12". In contrast to the label's signature aesthetic, there's was a rhythmic lightness and depth of touch to Bookworms' previous single, the revered 'Love Triangles', which percolates thru this one, too. Up top, 'Malfunction' marries mind-weaving trance arpeggios and shifty machine patterns with the transportive potency of early Kassem Mosse classics, applying deft EQ'ing to minimal elements to open a proper dancefloor wormhole. Flipside, they err more to that patented L.I.E.S. chug with the slompy bass swagger… Read more
Yves De Mey, John Tejada, Recondite, Paul Jebanasam and TM404 put their best jaw forward in slick remixes of Ricardo Donoso's vintage Goan trance-formations. Belgium's Yves De Mey follows impressive outings for Opal Tapes and Semantica with a midnight black take on 'The Sphinx', coolly transposing its darkly sublime early '90s vibes with up-to-the-minute, free-floating sound design, whereas Berlin's Recondite doses the 'floor with a powerful, droning remix of 'Diagonal Environment' amped by rolling bass and pistoning hi-hats. Paul Jebanasam's take on 'Affirmation' is typically … Read more
Jaw-dropping electro-pop debut from Chilean producer Nicolas Estany aka Visonia, including a stunning hook-up with Dopplereffekt. Boding very well for his imminent debut album, 'Impossible Romance', this single introduces a full fledged new artist paying dues to his influences - Depeche Mode, Detroit electro, classic synth-pop - with incredibly fine-tuned finesse and respect. Alongside Dopplereffekt on 'Die Reisen' he plays out a beautifully poised and ice-cool electro-noir waltz that's just left us for six, whilst flipside yields two solo productions - the sublime melancholy … Read more
Colour us teased. HTRK offer a seductive 2nd glimpse of their upcoming 'Psychic 9 - 5' album with 'Blue Sunshine'. Jonnine Standish is sorrowful, Tracey Thorne-like figure against opiated percussion and achingly lush midnight chords...
Proper skulkin' riddims straight outta deepest darkest Bristol on the freshly minted Livity Sound. Frontside, Kowton goes on a sparse and slinkin' groove driven by pneumatic subbass pulses and coordinated by tuff yet limbre drum programming, all cloaked with roughed-up string pads. Rolling off a cracking run of tracks on Hessle Audio and Left_Bank, Pev's mix on the flip feel more tensile, synching rumbling dread bass, slippin' Toms and sheared hi-hats with a more junglist intent compared with Kowton's Garage/House flow. No fuss, just stone-cold aces.
Livity Sound in killer effect on two tape-smoked and emotional Bass rollers. A-side, their 'End Point' comes off like an MvO + Juan Atkins joint that lost it's way and ended up in Bristol, gracefully pacing from serene but pensive vibes to lush, alien romantic chords pushed by live hi-hat play and offset, shoulder-dipping bass hits bound to own your body for the duration. B-side, 'Vapours' tempers the tape noise from the first side to mingle with eerily resonant, blue-tinted chimes over infectious syncopations and splashing electro-dub zaps. Definitely one for the dancers!
Part of Bristol's Livity Sound triumvirate, Asusu returns to the label with techy bass and house rollers. A-side 'Velez' feels like a more robotic, metallic adjunct to Pev's 'Aztec Chant' on Livity 005, designed to tighten the tendons with tech-step angularity and killer, fake-out drops using space as punctuation. His flipside 'Rendering' is a much more supple, user-friendly groove, blending Berlin steppers' techno and hypnotic, insectoid electronics.
Following Peverelist and Kowton's lead, Asusu commandeers the 2nd drop on Punch Drunk affiliated label, Livity Sound. A-side is a lush, Detroit-inspired Techno groove, working a similar route as Shed's earliest Soloaction 12" with motor city-oiled grooves under melancholy strings and keys. B-side takes it back to Bristol, via Berlin, creeping with offset dub bass and grim late night vibes for darker heads. Ace.
4th release on Peverlist's Livity Sound White label series. Kowton's firmly in control on this one, coming off like Jam City doing raw New York with slashing strings, hulking subs and grazing percussion on the A-side, and again the haughty, Levon Vincent-styled power house grind of the B-side. Not to be missed; trust!
Deadly wares from the Peverelist! His fifth transmission for Livity Sound is arguably his best solo production in years, finding a crucial balance between bass-heavy 124-130bpm techno/house rollidge and polyrhythmic swerve. A-side rolls up dread 4/4 subs and breakbeat 'ardcore torque with the baddest manners; B-side reels with elliptic latin syncopation, all shuffling hi-hats, writhing synths and chiming Afro-latin cadence. Total no brainer. Highly recommended!
To coincide with the excellent 'Livity Sound' 2CD comp, the label deliver four brand new tracks, by Pev & Kowton and Pev & Asusu respectively, on two separate twelves. Surge / Remnants features the first collaboration between Peverelist and Asusu, 'Surge' being a robust, rugged slowed-down number tapping into those Levon comparisons but with added bass weight, while 'Remnants' has a more delicate touch, all snycopated, flanged hi-hats and Pev's signature thudding kickdrum programmed to high-imapct, slow burning effect.
The Bristol don continues to explore slower tempos with evident success on the 3rd Livity Sound white label. After dipping below 130bpm with last years ace remix of Vessel's 'Nylon Sunset' he conducts fluctuating dub chords and pendulous bass on A-side 'Salt Water', finding his signature, swinging and rolling syncopation from itchy hi-hats and shoulder-dropping snares while sparing daubs of synth colour the atmosphere with a dark blue melancholy reminding of recent Vatican Shadow moves. Flipside 'Erosions' sustains the moody tension but with more fractured, meticulous drum programming that's neither Dubstep, Garage or Techno; it's just Peverelist music. TIP!
"Warm Climate blew us away with a trio of tapes released on the wonderful Stunned label between 2009 and 2011, so we couldn’t have been more excited when given the chance to release their latest LP, Glass Singer, their first to be given the vinyl treatment. Glass Singer sees the band further explore a more straightforward rock approach, but remains as volatile and genre transcending as ever. Led by Seth Kasselman and featuring Caitlin Mitchell (Metal Rouge) and M. Geddes Gengras, Warm Climate fluidly swerves though thick drones, frightening whispers, BeeGees harmonies, up tempo rockers … Read more