Monday, 28 February 2011
Sweetest Dug Out revival of a deep sufferers song by Sugar Minott backed with rolling dub versions. 'Sheriff John Brown' originally appeared on Minott's co-curated and short-lived Black Victory label in 1987 alongside the recently reissued (and totally incredible) 'Tempo Explosion' LP. It's a tale of bent cops and going on the run ably driven by Studio One bassist, Bagga Walker's supple, hypnotic lope and killer digital drums, best heard on the stretched-out 'Brown Dub'. Superb, full colour sleeve and everything. Ace.
Brilliant, eerily affecting raw House tracks from 2AM/FM/X2's D'Marc Cantu, the 2nd on M>O>S Deep's 10" series. The title track is more melodic, mysterious and melancholy than we're used to hearing from Mr. Cantu, and all the better for it! 'Tonight' is more deranged, a mesmerizing Chicago head churner with unheimlich vocals and darkest late night, lost-in-it vibes.
MJ Cole puts his unique spin on four tracks of deft Dubtech, symphonic Funky and idiosyncratic electronics. 'TGV' is a lush and crisply finished Funky roller with swooning strings, 'Hawaii' is light-footed and widescreen Dub-Tech, and 'Bordeaux' swings' with a piquant Gallic elegance. 'Manta' is something different from MJ's usual style, much more electronic and abstract, with sensitive hints of Burial or Roof Light. A very fine effort.
So here it is; the track that catapulted Tyler, The Creator (and his collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill ‘em All) into the mainstream, thanks to a stunning appearance on late night chat show Jimmy Fallon. Surrounded by garden gnomes and featuring a Linda Blair (circa Exorcist) lookalike in-between them, Tyler and Hodgy Beats ran through the track with an energy unseen in rap for years. These suburban LA kids have more punk spirit than most punk artists you could care to name, and when Mos Def emerged after the set screaming “SWAG!”, it was clear that their path is laid out. Let’s j… Read more
Chances are by now you’ve at least heard mention of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill ‘em All (aka OFWGKA), and if you’re familiar with the Golf Wang crew, then you’re probably on first name terms with their self-appointed frontman Tyler, the Creator. After a slew of free albums appearing on their irreverent blog in 2010 (including Tyler’s debut album ‘BASTARD’) the band have in the last couple of months gone from being indie darlings to near mainstream. Tyler destroyed middle America with his appearance on late-night chat show Jimmy Fallon, and with Kany West noting ‘Yonkers’ as the “best vide… Read more
Brooklyn-based beatboxer and producer Tyler McFerrin (son of Bobby McFerrin, no less) offers up his Brainfeeder debut with ‘Place In My Heart’. Those of you familiar with his tunes will likely be caught off-guard by the title track which has more in common with Bjork than with Flying Lotus, but that’s no bad thing. McFerrin shows himself as an able pop producer, working with RYAT’s vocals masterfully and adding mere hints of his low-end pressure only when necessary. It’s all back for the remaining two tracks though; ‘Awake To You’ is my pick of the bunch, with a UK-inf… Read more
Tarmac Grime killer from Lil Nasty. 'Nasty By Nature' rides an abbreviated version of DVA's 'Nasty Nasty Nasty' riddim in fine style, next to the majestically dark and menacing horror-core vibes of 'Fall Back' on a boomin 808 tip. Oosh!
I really can’t believe it’s been thirty years since John Foxx’s pioneering ‘Metamatic’ hit the shelves. What was intensely futuristic back in the early 80s still sounds delightfully cold and alien, yet its importance now is highlighted by the re-emergence of the ‘cold wave’ sound thanks to bands like Cold Cave and Silk Flowers. Foxx here was at his creative peak, and tracks such as the unforgettable ‘Underpass’ deserve to be just as lauded as Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’. The fact is however that ‘Metamatic’ was far weirder than many of its contemporary electro pop records, Fo… Read more
Direct from Southside Chicago, six tracks of febrile Footwork programming and soul-slewing samples from DJ Spinn. With the dancefloor barometer tipping in Juke's direction Spinn is one one of the cats you really, really need to be checking. Just peep the blinding soul of 'U Don't Need', then get tangled in the sumptuous strings and bass turbulence of 'I Really Feel' to prep yourself for the exceptional 'Studio' - one of the best Juke tracks we've heard this year, no doubt - then jump on the slowfast soul tension of 'LOL' if your legs can take any more. A very healthy TIP!!!
The first thing you have to note about this early Trunk classic is that it's not a re-issue, the Kes soundtrack was never put out without the film itself, so Jonny Trunk did something truly marvellous, a service to the world of music by spending the time, money and effort into releasing this material. From the first notes of the first track you'll know why we needed this record in the world - it's just got that special, nostalgic quality you can't put your finger on. The themes have sunk into the minds, hearts and souls of the British public (and no doubt farther afield… Read more
Odder Dub-Tech from Bristol's Orphan101, following an acclaimed drop for Apple Pips. With relentless intentions 'Into You' jacks Electro-House elements into a charging 140bpm framework, whereas 'Barraca' is proggy-tinged Techno riding quasi-speed subs and we're not sure what the feck 'Typical' is, perhaps some kinda spliced creature formed from sped-up Rhythm & Sound records and woozy ambient? Grab this if you were into the last Illum Sphere 12" on Tectonic.
Slick shots from Nottingham's Littlefoot on Brighton's Well Rounded label, reinforced with a cool remix from Blunted Robot; DJ Dom. 'Tuesday Club' imagines some fusion of '99 UK Garage rhythms and '89 Detroit Techno stabs, while DJ Dom gets frisky on the sharply rendered 4/4 Garage remix of 'Sell My Soul'. Flip over and the minimalist 'Great Dark Spot' keeps the vibes moody and compressed, next to the percolating 'Planet October'. One for fans of Hackman, Venom & Damage, DJ Whistla...
Horny cyber-disco dynamo from Bernard Fevre's Black Devil Disco Club, featuring vocals from CocknBullKid sounding like a sexier Anne Clark. From the original 3-minute vortex of 'In Doubt', Mondkopf extrapolates a murderous Industrial version, while Danger finds a slow-mo halfstep groove, and Ben Butler & Mousepad squeeze out the most potent neon blood for a supremely strange and dosed revision. Check these!
Untouchable bum bum beats from Daniel Maloso! His first solo release for Matias Aguayo's Cómeme is a cornucopia of elastic EBM/Disco synths, supremely cheeky fills and hypnotically insistent rhythms. It's almost like Liasons Dangereuses and Ron Hardy eloped to Argentina and started their own scene, from the heroic 11th hour momentum of 'Discoteca Carvernícola' to the sultry square bass bounce and soggy claps of 'Hijos De José' or the Latin-loose and steamy 'Coliseos', all infused with a narcotic, fetishistic and darkly frivolous disco sensibility. Recommended!
Heavyweight Detroit soul music from Oliverwho Factory, following their triumphant Planet E 12". Like the best of their work 'Galactic Transit' just brims with soulful energy and that untouchable 313 spirit. Whether it's the sincere diva vocals, the upbuilding arrangement or something that we just can't lay our finger on, there's few out there making Detroit House music like this. B-side features the 'Recall Instrumental Mix'. Check!
This is a sharp departure from the Bibio sound we're used to, 'Excuses' takes its cues from the likes of Rudi Zygadlo, Eskmo or Eeprom to make proggy, metallic robo-pop. Recommended.
Having served the dance music community for years as both a digital distribution powerhouse and label promotion service, EPM finally take the plunge and kick off their very own, eponymous imprint. This opening gambit does much to set out their A&R agenda with a well judged and picked selection of tracks from the likes of Sandwell District, Rob Hood, Alexander Robotnick, Mark Broom & James Ruskin and several other characters long connected to their network. For pure and modern techno look no further than Sandwell District's brilliant 'Live In Berlin' from t… Read more
Sterling new release from Cologne's Magazine label, presenting the first substantial recordings from Jaki Liebezeit's Drums Off Chaos percussion ensemble. For their debut album they're also joined by Köln lynchpin Jens-Uwe Beyer, who's best known for his Popnoname productions on Kompakt's Pop Ambient series and as a member of future kosmiche group, Cologne Tape. Despite being in operation for nearly 30 years, the group have only committed their sound to tape on a handful of rare instances including a mail-order CD from 1985, preferring to keep their t… Read more
Fine-tuned and cruising motorhythmic House from Marco Passarani. The 2nd part of his 'Colliding Stars' session for Running Back features the outstanding 'White Dwarf', a mid-tempo, subtly building and engrossing jacker with learned flourishes of Detroit synth and the kinkiest Italo/Chicago essence. Its 'Black Dwarf' counterpart on the flip is a more condensed and cooled version. 'Colliding Stars Pt.2' completes the groove on a superlative discoid House tip. Strong.
One to watch, Midland, drops his 2nd solo single, backed with an unconventional Radio Slave remix. 'Bring Joy' is purely indicative of the Midland sound, further loosening the strictures that separate House, Garage and Techno to create a very 2011-ready sound binding elegant Tech-House builds with crisp 2-step swing. 'Dead Eyes' looks more to classic, mid-'90s US garage, where linear, propulsive Tech-House patterns are offset with relaxed subbass for firm dancefloor guidance. Strangely enough for a Radio Slave mix, his version of 'Bring Joy' dispenses with the kicks to tease out 12 minutes of spaciously minimal techno grooving around that warm subbass groove.
Kompakt's new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there's only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern beats and lead to their fusion of post punk tropes with authentic Middle Eastern vibes on debut, the 'Basta' EP in 2008. Since then they've been encouraged … Read more
Man machine, Mike Dehnert prepares the ground for his forthcoming 'Framework' album for Delsin with three pure and uncompromising Techno tracks. Since 2007 the German producer has built an enviable reputation through productions for his own Fachwerk label, and the likes of Echocord and Deeply Rooted House - his release on the latter a big fave around these parts. Here, he offers the side-long propulsive pound of 'Phase Response', backed with the skippier, sandpapered textures of 'Moment' and the swinging House structure of 'Discrete'. The album shuld be ace if this anything to go by.
‘Basic Climb Re-Imagined’ sees harpist and singer Ana Caravelle’s gorgeous ‘Basic Climb’ record stretched, moulded and somehow re-invigorated by a whole host of hand picked artists. Remix compilations always run the risk of being simply a hodge-podge of ideas, but somehow LA label Non Projects have managed to keep things reigned in well without losing that important sense of experimentation. The tracks go from the beat-driven (Shigeto, Dibiase and DNTEL) to the delightfully strange (Dakim, A.D.L.R) but the high point comes from local LA artist Julia Holter. Holter takes Cara… Read more
Homespun electronic pop music has proved far more popular in the last few years than most of us probably expected. Panda Bear, Atlas Sound, even the expanded Animal Collective have all had unexpected hits with records that sounded like they were the result of more than a few cups of tea and Digestive biscuits in the home studio and that’s no bad thing. Banjo or Freakout (aka Alessio Natalizia) is hardly a newcomer to the scene having released a slew of EPs and being part of both Kompakt’s Walls and Italian post-punkers Disco Drive, but this self titled missive is his debut sol… Read more
After sterling drops with Shortstuff and Peverelist respectively, Hyetal goes in hard with Baobinga for Build records. Both tracks bear his signature light show of lazered synth excesses, alloyed with heads-down charging tribalism on 'Anything For Now' and coating the Beat mechanisms of 'Trouble' with technicoloured electro-static funk. Fierce tunes - big twelve.
Belbury Poly is Jim Jupp, co-founder of the Ghost Box label with Julian House and a notorious lover of analog electronics circa 60s/70s such as the Radiophonic Workshop or Raymond Scott. 'The Owl's Map' originally broke through the space-time continuum in 2006, setting another flag point in the development of Hauntological thinking. In comparison to the fractal sonic tapestries of Julian House, Jupp's sonics tend towards synth-driven sequences with slightly longer track lengths, we're not talking Tangerine Dream style side-long trips, but more commonly hovering around the pop-perfected… Read more
Well this is nice isn’t it? Famed musical genius Terry Riley has become all the more relevant in the last few years with just about everyone from The Alps to Emeralds to Sufjan Stevens pointing him out as a reference, and here we find the man performing with his son Gyan. Gyan is a guitarist, and his near-flamenco inflections sit comfortably alongside his father’s well studied North Indian-influenced piano melodies. The recordings have been culled from a series of live performances yet sound as haunting and personal as if they had been recorded in the bedroom. T… Read more
Matt O'Brien strips down to the bare and rugged House essentials for Curle. 'Starting Over' serves hypnotic, driving Chicago functions, whereas 'Koh Bida' cuts a deeper, more spaced-out groove with full sunken subs and dance-enhancing synth curls. 'End Of An Error' has a sinister and sexy early '90s House feel, with just a hint of suave EBM jack. Very cool.