Sunday, 20 May 2012
Another sterling collection from the Fashion Records vault, all issued on digital format for the first time. Quality, cherry-picked '90s reggae and lovers rock in effect from Peter Hunnigale, Freddie McGregor, General Levy, Vivian Jones, Alton Ellis, Sweetie Irie, Mykal Rose, Starky Banton, Debbie Gordon and more.
Stone cold Junglist dynamite issued on digital format for the first time! Under the curation of London's legendary and hugely influential Fashion Records, classic General Levy and Top Cat tunes get the amen treatment from Potential Bad Boy, DJ Rap, Body Snatchers and more. WHEEEEL!
Wonder reprises his role as Grime producer with a deadly riddim for Trim on 'Something You Know', backed with a weighty, rolling House remix from Kozee. Better watch yer bassbins when sampling the original - the bass is set to eye-quivering levels and those drums are trained to bite. Kozee's Graver remix doesn't hold back on the bass either, only this time the drums are more sprightly, dancing, allowing more room for Trim's strangely Guru-like delivery. Get on this, it's wicked!
Super-taut, crystalline fusion of Hip Hop, Footwork and Electronic club music with a world-wide dancefloor outlook. XLII hails from Tokyo and his dynamic constructions are brimming with the sort of electric energy you'd expect from that city. 'Dilated' is a sharp slowfast burner with steel-tipped 808s, skewed synths and elastic bass stabs while 'No Cure' rocks up a rapid, outsider take on Chicago Footwork and 'Thro Yo!' works with flash, Amon Tobin-styled synthwork and ultra-criss drum programming beside the robotic ragga of 'Rasclap'. Starkey gives 'Thro Yo!' a fractal Grime overhaul and ex-Vario… Read more
Bedroom Community present the first of three 'Drones' EPs from Nico Muhly. The 'Drones' were originally commissioned by the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and produced by Nico's fellow Icelander Valgeir Sigurdsson with Bruce Brubaker accompanying on piano and Nadia Sirota on Viola. Nico explains the concept best: "I started writing the Drones pieces as a method of developing harmonic ideas over a static structure. The idea is something not unlike singing along with one's vacuum cleaner, or with the subtle but constant humming found in most dwelling-places. We surroun… Read more
Thursday, 17 May 2012
**Limited edition of 500** 'Kippschwingungen' finds Frank Bretschneider returning to a rare and obscure bit of East German electronic equipment with compelling results. In 2007 Frank was invited to compose music for the Subharcord, a unique electronic instrument developed in the 1960's for the creation of "special effects" at the RFZ, the technical centre for radio and television of the East German postal service. Of the eight machines originally made only three survive to this day in Vienna, Trondheim and Berlin, which could be considered as the Soviet counterparts to the Mixturtr… Read more
**Limited edition of 500 copies on 180g vinyl. Highly recommended to fans of Beirut** By all rights, the name of Iñigo Ugarteburu should be far better known than it is right now. His debut record, an exquisite labour of love some six years in the making should correct that matter. 'Back & Forth' is a sumptuous, heartfelt and beautifully affective piece of work entirely composed and produced by the virtuosic Spanish ex-pat with the aid of "fifteen musicians, three sound engineers, two illustrators, a graphic designer and dozens of friends." Drawing from a rich well of Spanish folk influenc… Read more
By all rights, the name of Iñigo Ugarteburu should be far better known than it is right now. His debut record, an exquisite labour of love some six years in the making should correct that matter. 'Back & Forth' is a sumptuous, heartfelt and beautifully affective piece of work entirely composed and produced by the virtuosic Spanish ex-pat with the aid of "fifteen musicians, three sound engineers, two illustrators, a graphic designer and dozens of friends." Drawing from a rich well of Spanish folk influence and accented with a fresh, sparingly minimal aesthetic, Iñigo uses a broad palette of … Read more
Last we heard of Deutch bass-head and best bud of Mr. Apparat Phon.O, he was crafting fluorescent Euro-rap with ex-Funkstoerung bloke Chris De Luca, but forget all that - he's on 50 Weapons now and has a brand new MO. 'Black Boulder' is Phon.O's take on the UK funky/2-step sound and who better to re-engineer that sprawling niche than someone with his production smarts? From the very beginning it's clear we're listening to something that has been sharpened by a diamond tipped blade - sure there are references to Burial, 2562 and Martyn (to name just a handful), but Phon.O's crisp, clean production … Read more
**Limited edition of 500** 'Built Through' is a visceral, engrossing exploration of "acoustic architecture" schemed by prolific sound artist, collaborator, and Line Records boss, Richard Chartier (US), and sound artist/composer Robert Curgenven (AU/UK). As inferred by the title, 'Built Through' is focussed upon the aesthetics of space and features four pieces stemming from original source material (field recordings, older compositions) which was reprocessed/reworked by the two artists in order to further investigate theirs and our perceptions of the material's internal a… Read more
Cooly G presents a strong showcase of her Dub Organizer label, hitting hard right from the off with Fingaprint's dark, dancehall-derived Funky stepper 'New Dawn', before Mista P turns out something closer to European electro-house (!) in 'Airsteppin''. Royce Rolls' combo of choppy soca drums and video game rave synths on 'Avalon' works a treat, Arethis channels El-B's Ghost classics on tough garage mover 'Marteek', and other highlights include Sami Sanchez's hectic refix of Hard House Banton's mighty 'Sirens'. Cooly's own contribution, 'Telepathy', bodes w… Read more
The rise of Digital Soundboy has been unstoppable, and it's no less than their due - what other label or collective so successfully connects the disparate dots that make up the UK hardcore continuum? The Shy FX-led DS Soundsystem's Fabriclive 63 comp confirms why they're so in demand on the club and festival circuit, with 49 frenetically mixed tracks spanning grimy garage (Artwork's immortal 'Red'), raucous 'ardkore jungle (North Base), bashy UKF (Roska, Dark Sky), dubstep (Skream) skunked-out reggae and dancehall (Rodigan, Gyptian) and of course … Read more
Killer package of Illum Sphere remixes, headed up by Kidkanevil, whose version of 'Agent White' seamlessly, stylishly shifting from sub-heavy, rudeboy R&B swagger to choppy old-school jungle and back again - no DJ should be without this. Dabrye is brought in to give 'An Old Escape' a facelift, and he responds with an immaculately low-slung fix, one of his custom slouchy beats framing sparkling synths and raw boogie-down bass. Ikonika steers 'Chasing The Midnight Moth' into sci-fi steppers' house territory, Detroit-style strings rubbing up against soca-inflected snare syncopations an… Read more
Norway's ever-intriguing Fysisk Format presents Black Metal outsider Furze aka Kristian Knapstad and his first album in two years. In contrast to previous efforts, the vocals on 'Psyche Minus Space Control' are largely supplanted by electric violins, Mini Moog and Mellotron, but his curious fixation with all-analogue production methods is resolutely unchanged, still applying no compression whatsoever so you can really feel him glowering at you from his pitch black studio, probably dripping with blood and standing on a virgin. You'd imagine (or at least hope) there's a glimmer of humour … Read more
One year since their 'Weathering' album landed to much acclaim from fans and the press, Epic 45 have invited The Remote Viewer, The Gentlemen Losers, Fieldhead, Jasper TX, E.L. Heath and Sarah Kemp to "weather" said album with lovely results. It opens with an exclusive new track called 'Leaving Traces' from the Staffordshire duo, before The Remote Viewer tickle their crackle box into action on a tenderly scuffed rework of 'The Village Is Asleep'. Meanwhile, their sometime collaborator and producer Charles Vaughan stirs 'People Say This Place Is Slowly Dying' as a diffuse piece of nippy pop-ambience an… Read more
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Suum Cuique is the alias used by Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker to vent his purest analogue noise experiments. Giving a stoic nod to the hardware emissions of Mika Vainio or Maurizio Bianchi, and conducted with a meditative practice comparable with Eleh, his 2nd album 'Ascetic Ideals' is the sound of Miles' machines coaxed into revealing their bleakest secrets, often recorded straight from the mixing desk with no overdubs or edits. Aesthetically, it's closest to his Demdike Stare material, as opposed to his Pendle Coven or MLZ releases, and was - perhaps unsurprisingly … Read more
Depending on your tolerance for advanced electronic boogie jazz, Squarepusher's last album 'd'Demonstrator' as Shobaleader One was either the epitome of cool or unlistenably indulgent. Returning two years later as plain old Squarepusher, Tom Jenkinson presents what might well be his most popular side since 'Ultravisitor', focussing on a "big room"- friendly fusion of almost Trance-y hooks and dance-able machine funk, what he terms "…pure electronic music… Something very melodic, very aggressive." It's almost as though he's been listening to Rustie's nostalgic hyper-theatrics and thought, "w… Read more
Rachel Evans continues her pursuit of the synthesised sublime on a new album for John 'Emeralds' Elliott's Spectrum Spools imprint. Fans of her jaw-dropping Seeping Through The Veil Of Unconscious LP, and its follow-up Luminaries & Synastry, will feel right at home with the time-space-warping mantras of this fine effort, the self-titling of which suggests that Evans considers it to be her definitive artistic statement to date. While the utopian drift of 'The Dream' is all well and good, we've always been more drawn to the darker side of MSOTT's outpu… Read more
Direct from the echo chamber, two wicked Tapes oddities for Astro:dynamics. In light of the current fiscal climate your boy Jackson Bailey keeps matters strickly economical, running sparse and skulky drum machine pulses under warbly organ and restrained use of FX on the haunting dub wilderness of 'Dungeness', whilst 'Oberheimer' serves salty, skanking stabs from the titlular synth on a desiccated drum riddim with super tight efficiency. Rrrrude!
Cracking UKG number from new-skool Garage patriot, Powell, backed with an updated 2012 remix. If your memory stretches that far back, you may recognise 'Brake' from Hot City's double rude Fact Mix in 2009 (if you don't - get to know!). But no worries if not, coz it's here and still bubbling like DJ Haus' bong. The 2012 mix evens the kink with a more direct drive locked onto salty 4/4 kicks and buttery bleeps.
*Includes a Radio edit of album track "This" plus new track "All Buttons In" on the flip* ‘This’ certainly isn’t the first time German pranksters Modeselektor have teamed up with their biggest (or at least most famous) fan Thom Yorke, but it might be their most successful collaboration so far. Yorke’s familiar vocal is set to a backdrop of hoover bass, pounding kick drums and synth arpeggios and Modeselektor seem to have absolutely no problem with slicing and dicing them almost beyond all recognition. It works though, coming across like a meeting of minds rather than simply a feature.
It’s hard to believe, but legendary jangle-poppers (and the influential touchstones for Vivian Girls, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and plenty more) are back again and what’s more they’re back with style. ‘OneTwoThreeFour’ is a straight-for-the-jugular four-way punch of Ramones covers, and while these ‘reform tour’ releases can be horrible, Black Tambourine have pulled out all the stops and made this one a winner. Yeah, you’re worried – and you have all the rights to be, it’s the Ramones, being covered by a twee pop band that have been broken up for umpteen years, but as soon … Read more
"Carlos Niño (Build An Ark) back to work, sampling, looping, editing, and processing recordings he's made of himself playing various instruments and recordings of ensembles that he leads. The feel is more ambient than his earlier work, and plays like the soundtrack to a film of psychedelic visuals for exploration, reflection and relaxation. A truly wonderful mix of blissful tones and meditative drones that is brought to life with the musical collaborations of Daedelus, Dntel, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and others."
Mathew Jonson, Danuel Tate and Tyger Dhula's sexy TechnoHouse unit in great form for K7. There's a summer storm brewing on 'Who's Future?', drizzling plush subs with warm acid rain and velvet chords with signature sophistication. 'Across The Nation' is better yet, like some extended and sleekly reduced take on UR-style Hi-Tech Funk with extra subbass pressure.
San Fran's Dave Aju steers Circus Company on one of their freshest rides since the Nicolas Jaar album with his sophomore LP. There's a distinctly rich and expressive musical consistency to 'Heirlooms' largely thanks to his use of vintage recordings and instruments inherited from his late father. It's still sophisticated party music, but it's also one of those "dancefloor" albums that's just as comfortable on headphones and sunk into the couch, wending its way through ten subtly morphing and spaced-out productions poised with a cool funk and tingling sense of psychedelia. He's joined by fellow … Read more
Deeper, dapper Bass and Techno swingers from the one like DBridge. 'Passing Encounter' makes sharp moves on a Bass-heavy and Broken House flex enveloped by deep blue chords and pads, assuredly arranged with the suave attitude you expect from DBridge. On the other hand, 'Scarlett' goes for the rave jugular with insurgent Reese bass on a burning Breakbeat Techno swivel with devastating potential. BIG tunes.
Future-fresh Dubstep-Boogie weight from one of Bristol's most colourful producers. The one to check is obviously the massive 'Da Dodgems', finding a sweet spot between jerkin', late '90s Timbaland-style R&B and rolling Dubstep-Boogie like few others we could think of. The flipside 'Too far' is a cool and kinda unusual piece of halfstep funk, but trust us, you simply need this for the B-side!
It’s funny how some bands just end up missing the audience they were seemingly destined to have. Happy Refugees popped up on the British DIY scene just after Brummie upstarts Swell Maps and just before the whole C86 craze, somehow arriving into limbo, destined to be never more than cult treasures to those lucky enough to have heard the (very few) songs they recorded. Thankfully the kind folks over at Acute have given their records the treatment they deserved bundling their mini LP and single together (with three unreleased tracks no less) and it couldn’t have been any … Read more
An ‘associative music’ project from New Yorker Nick Koenig, Hot Sugar is a new signing for Ninja Tune, and a smart one at that . Koenig has a good grasp of his craft, blending choppy glitched out percussion with the kind of unusual, dreamy samples you’re usually expect to find on a Madlib record. Sometimes sounding like an homage to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (‘The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp’) and at others coming across like a tweaked out high school jam (‘The Girl Who Stole My Tamagotchi’) ‘Moon Money’ is as star-gazingly weird as the title might suggest, and is well worth a peep.