Monday, 20 May
Serious techno session from Shed in his EQD guise! These two tracks are the sound of a man working ever deeper into his artform, toying and tweaking the kinks in timelessly functional fashion. The A-side is driven by humongous kicks and offset with microscopically tooled, insectoid syncopation designed to enhance your body movements with the streamlined precision of a catamaran engineer. The flipside offers some melodic respite with hypnotic Detroit/Berlin chords while the razor-sharp shuffle uncompromisingly carries out it's purpose in style. Heavyweight DJ tools!
Highly effective techno rollers from Shed in his EQD guise. The A-side is a killer piece of Rob Hood-esque Berlin-meet-Detroit styles, replete with burning organ refrain for your Techno soul, while the flip is a grinding, heads-down romp with shades of of late 90's Surgeon. Both do the job in fine style. TIP!
The first 12" from the mysterious Equalised crew outta Berlin caused much speculation as to the identity of the unnamed producer, a timeless game of guessing and worng footing ensued until those with a keener ear were able to discern that the styles were quite obviously that of ****. The second 12" in the series comes from the same pair of hands, with a familiar drum palette this time reworked into one of the most elegiac and genuinely soul stirring breakbeat hardcore styled cuts of recent times. We really can't stress to you how good this track is (especially when you know the producer at work… Read more
We've been after these bad boys for a while now. Emanating from the Hardwax production line in deepest Berlin, Equalized is a new label dedicated to no nonsense club goods from some of the crew's finest button pushers, with EQ'D 1 coming from the trusted hands of one of their most skilled operators, who shall for now remain nameless. Side A is a steadily upbuidling techno tool with percolating Detroit vibes and electric bassline over booming kicks, while the B-side is the real floor melter with hard filter and EQ treatments on some devastating dub chord driven techno that sounds unreal on a big rig. Dettmann, Scion and Shed heads take note, it's an absolute winner!
Delta Funktionen returns to Delsin for the first time since last year’s Traces LP, supported with a remix from the increasingly ubiquitous Karenn. A side ‘Sun Storm’ is solid DJ gear attempting to reconcile the intimate, sweaty basement jack of Larry H’s ‘Washing Machine’ with big-room techno dynamics, while the other Delta original, ‘Challenger’, is moody, night-drive-thru-atlantis electro that nods to Drexciya’s Grava 4. Blawan and Pariah do their Karenn thing on ‘Onkalo’, a properly rough-and-tumble, heavy-industry techno banger that can’t really be argued with - it’s at once their grottiest, most degraded production to date, and the hardest-hitting.
Tenderised torch song backed with Ghosting Season and Flako remixes. 'Youthern' is heartbroken folksoul in the mould of James Blake - whom they recently supported on tour - and 'Hammerspace' weeps Forest Swords-style guitars and over-egged vocals on a dubstep rhythm. Ghosting Season join in with a post-rock-styled, bass-heavy remix of 'Youthern' while Flako tackles the original with a delicately bleepy variant.
The album formerly known as.."Landcrusing" with bonus cuts and a total of 12 completly re-mastered and re-worked tracks with additional edits. Features the unreleased 'Sparkle' and new ambient versions of 'Technology' and 'Home Entertainment', plus 'Technology' (original), 'They Were', 'Mind Of A Machine', 'Science Fiction', 'One Day Soon', 'Landcrusing', 'Einbahn', and 'Home Entertainment' (original), "A Wonderful Life" (alternate version), Technoloambient (Max Dub) and Home Entertainment (Caya Dub). These killers have never been availble on vinyl before … Read more
Calibre returns with a new 13-track album for Signature.
Ninja Tune's chill-out sophisticate Bonobo branches out with a pair of vocal collaborations underpinned by undemanding beats and lush-going-on-mawkish string arrangements. Inexplicably, Erykah Badu gets only second billing, with Grey Reverend taking the mic for competently executed but ultimately generic lead track 'First Fires'. The Badu-led 'Heaven The Sinner' is far classier and more absorbing, a piece of smoky, smartly turned-out future-soul with an elegant, jazzy sway to it; here the lavish orchestration feels earned. Recommended if you're into Bonobo (obviously), Jazzanova, Jaga Jazzist or Cinematic Orchestra.
"Boduf Songs and Jessica Bailiff re-work one of their older songs in totally different versions. Boduf Songs presents a stripped own but electric and heavy version of decapitation blues, originally a vibrating and pulsating track.. Jessica Bailiff brings a new take on Lakeside blues, heavily relying on keyboards."
Review to follow shortly…
After well received editions for Mister Saturday Night Records and Well Rounded Individuals, New York's jazz/house/'tronica trio have coined their own label to issue these four groovers. Coming off like Falty DL's music school cousins, their 'Sly Gazebo' EP blends richly layered instrumentation with limber house grooves , taking in the almost Reichian freshness of 'Avocado Roller' featuring Becca Stevens and the bustling shuffler 'In The Room' on the A-side, backed with an extended, jazz-wise electro-stepper titled 'Sly Gazebo' and the nimble neo-classical meets IDM arrangement of 'Nancy's Library' feat. 5150 Sound on the flip.
Still operating incognito, Adesse follows up his edits 12" with a sterling trio of house and dope slow/fast grooves for Trus'me's Prime Numbers. A-side, 'Untitled Love' is a pendulous tech-house ace with some seriously canny swing synch that could only be the work of someone with lots of experience in this field. B-side, better yet, his slowfast roller 'Supernal' is quite possibly the best thing on Prime Numbers to date; a rugged-as-hell yet somehow delicate piece of low sunk subs and mosquito hi-hats with a hypnotic vocal stab that's got us bouncing the hydraulics on my office chair. Ret… Read more
Dave Clarke unveils his first original _Unsubscribe_ production alongside new studio spar, Mr. Jones, for Fabric's Houndstooth label. 'Spek Hondje' is a posh pounder par excellence, refitting the uncompromising, stripped down structures of Clarke's classic Red series with a refreshed production palette of digital studio ghouls and the gutter-steeped vocal of Bear Who? to gripping effect. Both the growling, vocal-driven original and B-side instrumental deliver exactly the sort of ruthless, peak time-intensive energy transfer we'd expect at Fabric come 4am, designed to trigger all kinda primal, nocturnal behaviours without a whiff of regret. Welcome back Mr. Clarke.
Monday, 13 May
**Upfront Exclusive** Deft dancefloor excursions from Laurel Halo, instrumental all the way and taking inspiration from UK club gear, continental techno and digital dancehall. ‘Throw’ sounds like a Bok Bok production routed through Jammy’s studio circa ‘85, irie piano chords peeling off a grimy snare attack, all extraneous crenellations sanded off for maximum club impact. ‘Uhffo’ is on a kind of introspective, quasi-tropical house tip, daubed with glassbowl percussion and deep blue comedown synths; this wouldn’t have sounded out of a place on an Irdial B-side back in the day… Read more
Outstanding debut album from Kevain Wayne Space, aka Footwork's founding father, RP Boo. Originally known as Record Player Boo, RP cut his dancefloor teeth as member of Chicago's House-O-Matics dance crew in the '90s, where, under the tutelage of Ghetto House pioneers DJ Slugo and DJ Deeon, he hatched an accelerated form of Dance Mania's already frenetic styles in order to fuel the city's increasingly demanding competitive dance scene. Armed with a display copy of a Roland-70 drum machine loaded up with beats by the store's previous customers - unnamed producers from Chicago - he coined a hyperacti… Read more
James Blake’s uncommissioned Harmonimix of ‘Changes’ finally gets an official release courtesy of Mala’s own Deep Medi, three years after it first started getting heard and turning heads at dances. It remains one of Blake’s most effective and affecting productions, sticking close to the trudging halfstep lean of the source material but placing most emphasis on the bombastic brass, strings and vocal samples that figure only as scene-setters in the original. What starts out as minimal, discombobulated dancehall, nudged along by eski drum clicks, swells to a rousing, quasi-sympho… Read more
Compilation of contemporary cloudiness from newborn London label Cleaning Tapes, originally intended as a VHS release but reconfigured for cassette (Ryan Lumley’s film component can be found online) and now download formats. The sounds are murky, degraded and dreamlike, representing a new generation of bass-heavy, internet-fatigued Isolationism for whom BoC are effectively God. Wanda Group impress with the clotted, chugging, Actress-ish ambience of ‘OVERR AREA’ (yet another contemporary track anticipated by Reinhard Voigt’s underrated Sturm project years ago), and hapti… Read more
*30 minute EP follow-up to Miles' recent 'Faint Hearted' album for Modern Love, mastered by Matt Colton* An addendum of sorts to his recent 'Faint Hearted' album, Miles' returns with a half-hour EP more squarely aimed at the floor with four darkened, robust variants. 'Blatant Statement' is up first, slowly emerging from a rough alignment of metallic percussion and abrasive stabs not a million miles removed from the kind of racket you'd most likely associate with Vatican Shadow, before the almost-clipped rub of those super-warm bass stabs shifts the perspective to a different kind of environment … Read more
The first taster of Stella Om Source’s upcoming LP for RVNG Intl., Joy One Mile, ‘Elite Excel’ comes backed with a fantastically brooding remix from Kassem Mosse. Christine Gualdi’s vision of electronic music has expanded since we last checked in; tantric analogue drone sequences have given way to more rugged future-city constructions inspired by her investigation of the roots of New York electro and Detroit techno. ‘Elite Excel’ begins in a nocturnal cruise mode reminiscent of early Carl Craig, before Gualdi unleashes an ebullient barrage of retro synth arpeggios and c… Read more
Ghost Box co-convenor Julian House is back to haunt your waking dreams with a new album of imagined library cues, test-tones, telly themes and yellowed sound-postcards from a 70s childhood you may or may not have endured. This is his first solo album as The Focus Group since 2007's We Are All Pan's People, though of course in 2009 there was the magickal, expansive Broadcast collaboration Investigate Witch Cults of The Radio Age. In the best possible sense, it's a return to business as usual: a deviant collector's collage of ersatz soft-psych, pastoral jazz, public informatio… Read more
Tectonic’s compilation series is always a reliable gauge of where dubstep’s at, and Volume Four suggests it’s in an open-minded place indeed. Most of the participating artists are familiar names: Guido is in fine form with ‘State of Joy’, his extrapolation from the ol' purple wow sound now approaching a kind of fine-tuned, psychedelic future-soul, while Beneath’s house creeper ‘Flight’ rattles the bones like an old Skull Disco track. Kryptic Minds’ ease off the snares on ‘Convoluted’ to produce one of the most serpentine, compelling tracks in their oeuvre, more darkling … Read more
Excellent hook-up between two generations of influential and explorative post-punks. The meeting was originally catalysed by an email from Factory Floor's Nik Colk Void espousing her appreciation for Gordon's 1982 classic 'Condo' as Love Life Orchestra (who variously counted Arthur Russell, Rhys Chatham and Laurie Anderson in their number at one time or another) which soon enough lead to demo swaps and these two aces for Optimo Music. The A-side, 'Beachcombing' is a beauty, some 14 minutes of plush, globular bass pulses and flighty sax lines feathered with Nik Void'… Read more
*Upfront Exclusive* Notts stalwart Kamal Joory aka Geiom tweaks out the electroid funky flex of '2-4-6' for Brighton's Well Rounded Records, backed with a ruggedly sprung Desto remix. Voiced by Terrible Shock, the original plays out a sort of lean, uptempo UK bashment bubble seared with strobing synthlines for the MDMA crew. The Desto remix cooly resets the riddim to a sparse 808 step 'n roll with bumping subbass and spacious sound design...
Pev linx with yung Bristolian, Hodge, for the first outing on his Punch Drunk label in over three years. Their 'Bells' manifest in two versions: the 'System Mix' is rolled up heavy for the rig with dense, plummeting subs, slicing percussions and minimalist synth trickles carving out cool and heavy headspace for those who dance near the bassbins; the 'Dream Sequence' eases off with a more spacious flex pushed by thick house kicks and lean subbass pressure to carry richer, plangent harmonics for those who like to dance in their heads.
Mr Beatnick's back in business with a third EP on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid label, his first since last year's ace Sun Goddess and arguably his best yet. The first half of the 12" comes over like Metro Area made over for London 2013: dubwise, richly melodic disco-boogie retro-futurism, and balm for tired ears. 'Savannah' in particular sounds breezy as anything, but - as with everything on this record - look under the hood and you'll find a surprisingly complex mechanism driving it. 'Symbiosis' is real class, wrought out of heartsore live string sounds, acutely funked-up synth lines and a c… Read more
For the past couple of years, Copenhagen’s Posh Isolation label has become the focal point for a new wave of Northern European kids equally smitten with P.E./noise, hardcore, minimal synth and black drainpipes. Now label co-founder Loke Rahbek, who’s one half of the excellent Damien Dubrovnik and also plays in Lust For Youth, has teamed up with his old mucker and Iceage singer/guitarist Elias Bender Ronnenfeld as Var, delivering a debut album for Sacred Bones that is by some distance the most accessible and accomplished artifact to emerge from this scene yet. Recorded in … Read more
Detroit's Submerge institution rounds up eleven of the Motor City's most sophisticated Tech, Jazz and Fusion joints. That means classic such as UR's Galaxy 2 Galaxy anthem 'Jupiter Jazz' and the gorgeous beat-less excursion, 'Big Stone Lake', plus a handful of Mr. De' baby-making electro-funk aces such as 'Mr. De's Theme', the super-smooth vibes of 'The Wizard', and sublime inner city jazz moods by John Douglas Quartet.
"Isolated in an upstate, NY bedroom studio exists TSTI, a solo project by artist S. Smith described as ‘dark, hazy synthetic pop.’ Constructing musical landscapes that combine pounding drum machines with elevated melodies, TSTI stirs the echoes of his 80’s influences into a pot of contradicting emotions to establish a diverse yet familiar and powerful sound. The genesis of TSTI began in a 2003 but did not show its face until the summer 2011 with the self-released, 4 song demo “Black Envelope EP.” The first 10 months of 2012 TSTI spent writing, recording and mixing his full-length release “evalua… Read more