Monday, 31 October 2011
100% take it down town with four tracks of flaunting, French-style filter House from Jason Letkiewicz (Steve Summers/Innergaze). The mid-90s spirit of Thomas Bangaltar, Dimitri From Paris or DJ Sneak is crossed with the raw EQ'ing of Jamal Moss' Members Only series for a proper knob-tweaking session bound to have mascara dripping and chest hairs glistening. A-side 'Broken Anthem' and 'Run For Cover' are boundless energy boosters, looping and bucking with a near-psychedelic delirium, whereas the the flipside 'Sunsets' and 'Fatal Games' are slightly more iced and groovesome, with that ineffable sense of silky elan.
Sophomore release of melancholic, dynamic Dubstep and beat-driven electronics. Since the release of his debut, also on Black Acre earlier this year, Memotone has picked up big fans at Radio 1 (Gilles Peterson, Huw Stephens) and XFM (Mary-Anne Hobbs) of his highly intricate and idiosyncratic rhythms. On the 'Lost Hours' EP he links with Leafcutter John for the cutlery percussions of 'Four Minute Hallway', sounding uncannily like Jamie xx (in a bad mood) jamming with Thom Yorke, besides the expansive halfstep of the title track, and the deft Mount Kimbie-isms of 'Small Good Things' and 'Slowly They Creep'. Tip!
A vital bit of modern House magic from Smallville's latest recruit, presenting his debut album 'The Story About You'. Like the rest of the label's roster, Moomin aka Sebastian Genz has a knack for sincerely lush and intimately narrated House music, offering ten vignettes which add up to a very sweet and comforting set. Both the elegant minimalism of 'The Story About You' and the soul swelling 'Neither One' exude the classy dancefloor potential, but equally the whole album could be deployed at the right moments to seduce any knowing dancefloor in the right mood. Essentially his product… Read more
Third single outing for Nashville's Myrryrs, chopping out a neat line in snapping, 808-driven FutuR'n'Boogie electronics. 'Burn & Turn It Up' works an ear-worming piano hook into fluttering arpeggios and martial 808 funk, while there's more a slowed electro Footwork slip to 'Blood Of A Slave' and some straight up synthetic romance on 'Paradis Parka'. With his remix Cedaa takes 'Blood…' on a rolling, raving 808 House tip, and Obey City sprinkle it with some mid '80s Hollywood synth sheen.
It’s only just stuck me how few compilations there are around these days, especially when you’re talking about electronic music. Only a mere ten years ago compilations were pretty much how you discovered new artists, and now they’re few and far between. ‘Air Texture Vol.1’, curated by Kompakt’s Andrew Thomas and Home Normal’s bvdub, reminds me of those Merck and Neo Ouija compilations of days gone by, maybe melted together with a few Pop Ambient CDs. It might run a little long at two packed CDs of tracks, but this … Read more
FINALLY AVAILABLE DIGITALLY! Sandwell District unleash the most anticipated techno album of the last twelve months, an inspirational double clear vinyl plus bonus 7" and fanzine affair executed to the highest standards. If you're of a technoid persuasion the label and its co-conspirators Karl O'Connor (Regis), David Sumner (Function), Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), and Peter Sutton (Female) will need little introduction, but if you're not au fait, they're basically the vanguard of contemporary, dark and electronic dance music. 'Feed-Forward' was originally conceived by Juan Mendez a… Read more
Seventh Sign follow previous aces from G-Strings and Marcellus Pittman with three tracks from Santiago Salazar aka Ican aka member of UR's Galaxy 2 Galaxy. Unlike his mroe recent, and tougher, solo tracks for Historia Y Violencia, these are full of electronic warmth and soul, driven by classic '90s Detroit House rhythm engines and showcasing his fluent Hi-Tech jazz musicianship.
Badass zoetrope picture disc of discombobulated Avant-Techno fractals from Sculpture. Like its predecessor 'Rotary Signal Emitter', this is a proper headful of intuitive sample mulching and cheap, busted electronics, bubbling and fried with a knowing sense of psychedelia. In the course of eleven tracks on 'Toad Blinker' Dan Hayhurst clearly rejects the normative values imposed on Techno which so many producers get bogged down in and ends up with something genuinely marvellous and thoroughly endearing. OK it might not rock a dancefloor, per se, but its rocking our tiny minds more than almos… Read more
Wave-riding House trax from NoCal's Seaside Houz Boyz for the ever on-it Creme Organzation. Sounds go well under on the swirling jakkers vibes of 'Deephouz Yall' and find a frothy, dubbed-out acid groove on 'Fantasy Island'. Our highlight 'Geto Glory' will put dancers in a heavily dosed James T Cotton-style delirium and 'From A Man's Journal' comes off like a vintage, direct-from-tape Hardy session at the Muzic Box circa '86. But if we're honest, it's all got the salty analogue smack of a Legowelt production (we could be totally wrong or even stating the obvious) and that's always a great thing.
Sorrow switches tack from his usual 2-step swingers with four X four-to-da-'floor cuts for L2S. The vibe is sweetly measured with more than an ounce of melancholy, Burial-esque soul, from the coohing R&B vox on 'Reminiscence' to the Todd Edwards-learnt skipple of 'False Sunrise' or 'Flutter' and the Rooflight-esque 'Darth Sharenghis Parkrace'. For balance, Troy Gunner weighs in with a more modern, swinging mix of 'Reminiscence' for the Midland/Joy O/Gerry Read fans.
Starkey wrong-foots us with this chilled little number - his debut for the Ninja Tune label. The EP kicks off with the haunting, downtempo ‘Open The Pod Bay Doors’ which is a million miles from the grimy dubstep the US producer is known for. We’re back on familiar territory with the hypercolor 1-2 punch of ‘Blood Roses’ and ‘Rayguns’ which do exactly what you'd expect; cheeky low end wobbles crossed with a knowledge of classic IDM that gives the tunes an emotional weight rarely witnessed in the scene these days. Good stuff.
Sounding like an 80s teen movie soundtrack, Summer Camp clearly aren’t afraid of wearing their hearts on their sleeve. The duo might not be the Swedish 14 yr old love story they were initially hoped to be, but their retrograde power pop has more than enough jangling dry-ice laced charm to keep things interesting. It’s almost like the demonic offspring of Autre Ne Veut and Washed Out – there’s a weird radio-friendly pop spring in the Summer Camp sound but it’s obscured by a wavering synthesized robotic quality that’s impossible to ignore. Well worth a gander.
TIP follows up his crafty white label edits with five full-blooded R&B fusions for PMR (home to the recent L-Vs album and singles by Julio Bashmore and Javeon McCarthy). Handily, they've included the ace 'Love You Up' from the aforementioned 12" besides his four brand new tracks. There's the slopped Italo-meets-R&B drag of 'Up In Your Mix' and a tender solo piano 'Winterlude', plus the cloyingly chirpy 'Her Heart Moves' and the hyperreal Blake-sian soul of 'Forgive Me (For Messin' Up)'. Sometimes the vocal treatments are a step too far, but ultimately there's a strange sense of dept… Read more
Meghan Remy has been pedaling her blasted noise pop for the last few years to varying degrees of success, and this latest full-length finds her chained to the esteemed Belgian imprint Kraak. It’s also her most consistent release to date, with scant regard for genre and influence as it choppily hops from country to R&B (there’s a cover of Brandy and Monica’s ‘The Boy Is Mine’, seriously) and to doo wop without any warning at all. Of course this is all piped through the kind of swathes of noise you’d expect from any ex-Portland artist, but still the scope of ‘US Girls on Kraak’ is pret… Read more
*Excellent collection spanning Now Again's eclectic roster of important artists from yesteryear - spanning Iranian folk-rock from Kourosh, Gary Wilson's wave funk, and the seminal pop composition of Galt MacDermot.* "Christophe Lemaire and Now-Again Records present a series of global psychedelic rock, funk and folk grooves. 16 tracks from 1968 until the present day. As Lemaire puts it… "a psychedelic journey of delicate perception.""
Rude Bashment from the island, backed with crafty Funky, Bass and Electro remixes. The original's a pure Trancehall sh*tter with hilarious lyrics while the remixes turn to vibe to Soca-infected 808-pop (Dubbel Dutch and Schlachtofbronx), deeper '90s Garage-House (Mosca), carnival-ready Funky (Funkystepz), and duttier Dubstep rave funk (Bert On Beats).
Zola Jesus and Prefuse 73 show some love for Finders Keepers with a cherry-picked 12-track selection of the label's finest - plus a bonus Prefuse 73 remix of Yamasuki! As with previous contributions to the series - Jarvis Cocker, Demdike Stare, Gruff Rhys - it's a revelation to hear what each individual curator draws for, and this duo seem to oscillate wilder than their counterparts. There's spooky Czech theme music from Zdenek Liska, Jiri Sust, and Lubos Fiser, besides bombastic prog symphonics from Jean-Claude Vannier, Toolshe… Read more
Mighty authentic-sounding R&Boogie flair from B. Bravo and guests including Zackey Force Funk, Lady Alema and The Gents. The title tracks is fresh-to-go, coming off like some junior Ryan Leslie studio production - a fat, contemporary R&B swinger - while 'Rite On Time' features The Gents drizzling silken croons and raps on a criss-like-Dâm Funk downstroke. Flipside opens with the juicy-bootied 'Substance', wrapping Lady Alema's breathy R&B sighs around booming 808 drums and starburst chords next to the wormy funk of 'Swang' and the diamond glisten of 'Right On Time'. Dangerously slick stuff.
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Regis, Silent Servant and Pearson Sound on Sub Pop?! Yep, DNTEL have given up their track ‘Anywhere Anyone’ to the badboys for remix treatment, and we can’t imagine they’re not delighted, and also a little surprised, with the results. Sandwell boys Silent Servant and Regis keep the vocal intact, adding some extra layers of radiophonic distortion and delay, and anchoring it all with a galloping rhythm not dissimilar to the one on Regis’s CUB 12” from a couple of years back. Pearson Sound’s version is the real shock i… Read more
Following a run of ambient and drone-oriented full-lengths, The Black Dog get their rave on for Liber Dogma, a 12-track collection of square-jawed techno for the club. Within that remit it's a varied affair, from the skipping electro syncopations of 'Dark Wave Creeping', which nods to their Artificial Intelligence days, via the dark post-punk minimal of 'The Death Ov The Black Sun' and contoured tech-house jack of 'Drop Kick Kali', and on into Sandwell-esque warehouse movers like 'Worship: The Drum' and 'Heavy Industry'. It's a pleasure to hear these veterans applying a lifetime of skil… Read more
Strut Records' crucial compendium of Factory's lesser-known, deadly dancefloor killers trustingly collected by the legendary Bill Brewster - 24 in total spanning definitive early-mid '80s music by Section 25, The Durutti Column, Marcel King, Quando Quango, Biting Tongues and many more. They span the nascent years of the influential Manchester label, charting the double refraction of cutting-edge dancefloor ideas between Cottonopolis and New York which followed the flight paths of New Order, Section 25 and A Certain Ratio during their early '80s he… Read more
For the past seven years or more James Ferraro has been mapping out the MTV-reared, internet-scrambled parapsychology of an entire f*cked up generation, releasing countless tapes, CD-Rs and LPs to expound and expand his pungently postmodern vision. Recently that slew has abated a little while he's been preparing this full-length for Hippos In Tanks, and now we can see why: Far Side Virtual is by far the most evolved, immersive, accessible and acute Ferraro offering to date, at once a major departure from his previous work and a perfect distillation of his long-standing themes. On f… Read more
A new album from Belfast's cosmic techno prince SDC, supposedly a mere taster for his upcoming LP proper. One way or the other, the material on here is of the very highest quality. It showcases the producer's enormous gift for star-dusted melodies and the warmest analogue synthesis imaginable, and though there's a knowing camp that would be anathema to Mad Mike, we're reminded again and again of Underground Resistance. Many thousands have bitten UR's style over the last 20 years, not to mention that of SDC's beloved Juan Atkins, but few have done it with such … Read more
**Upfront Exclusive** UTTU deliver their hottest drop yet, a lethal platter featuring DJ Stingray, Heinrich Mueller (Dopplereffekt), and Cestrian (aka Ali Renault)! The original two parts of 'Sadist' features the shady UTTU characters in collaboration with DJ Stingray, pulling no punches with hyper-fused elements of D-troit Jit, Industrial-strength Electro and Chi-town Footwork honed to a body-owning flex. Flipside, following his notorious appearance at the UTTU party in June, Heinrich Mueller ices 'The Sadist' into stoic, spindly beats and hypnotic arpeggios leaving spide… Read more
Bruising techno manoeuvres from Luke Slater in his Planetary Assault Systems guise, presenting his second full-length on Ostgut Ton. At this late stage in the game there's no doubt that Slater has become a master of his craft, and aside from a couple of nice ambient mood pieces (recalling his occasional 7th Plain project), The Messenger goes straight for the club jugular, and with style to spare. It's really rare to find a techno this sure of its own purpose, and while much of it explores the bleepy, acid-flecked terrain that folks like Hawtin and Slater himself stalked ou… Read more
*Gargantuan 26-track digital edition including all previous EP's plus a tonne of remixes.* Monkeytown round up 26 tracks from the future-leaning B-Boy's three vinyl releases, and sling in an extra disc of remixes by Cosmin TRG, Anstam, Byetone, Lazer Sword and more for measure! The young talent from San Diego has eked out a niche on the label with his distinctively cute-but-rude Hip Hop productions. His sound is clearly comparable with other West Coast beatsmiths like Tokimonsta or Shlohmo (his pal from the WEDIDIT collective), largely down to a shared taste for Dilla's slackened bump and grine,… Read more
The alarmingly prolific Spectrum Spools delivers another killer, this time from Hive Mind aka Greh Holger. Building on the idiosyncratic sounds of the private press cassettes he's been banging since 2002, Holger here completely rejects the post-kosmische driftscapes that you probably associate with SS in favour of something substantially more demanding, and rewarding: it's a noise record, basically, but one of a rare richness and depth, focussed on exploring grainy textures and shifting frequency registers. Make no mistake, this is for the real heads, designed for deep listening, and… Read more
*Collecting 21 prime remix wares from the Rekids maestro.* Radioslave and Rekids collect 21 of his prime remixes for the likes of P Diddy, Len Faki, Mr G, Matt O'Brien, Chicken Lips and more, over 3 discs. The main man, Matt Edwards has a sterling reputation as one of the world's premier remixers, turning any source material into sleek, hypnotic Tech House with his signature finesse. There are some major highlights to be found here; his mix of Len Faki's 'My Black Sheep' is an out and out big room killer - when that sweeping synth drops you'll seriously know about it - while h… Read more