Thursday, 21 August
Hot on the heels of his lovely 'King Bromliad' 12", Floating Points deals another one-sided treat for the DJs and dancers. 'Sparkling Controversy' has all the hallmarks of a sterling F.P. joint - cone-caressing subs, dusted drums and effervescent keys - given nuff room to slyde and rub up the slinkiest sorta dancefloor friction.
**Full colour version - One sided vinyl with etching on the flip** In the egalitarian, sample-happy spirit of UK Rave, Jamie xx liberally filches from Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' soundtrack for his festive anthem 'All Under One Roof Raving'. Flyknit with extra snatches of atmosphere from rave tapes and youtube videos, Jamie underpins it all with rolling subs, crafty 2-step percussion and those signature steel drums to beautiful effect. Long live the spirit!
Omar S at his very best on FXHE! Detroit's dopest house cat brings the funk like few others with three cuts of driving, airborne electro-soul and techno on 'Annoying Mumbling Alcoholic'. The lead cut is a real blinder, opening with a cheeky vocal snippet before a glyding electro-soul groove takes control, springing crisp, loud boogie drums and greazy bass below a soaring melodic arrangement bound to turn any dance to a loved-up lather. It's a certified anthem! B-side, the chiming cosmic chords and supple thump of 'Serving Cavi on 18 and Garfield' find him at his loosest, jazziest,… Read more
A master at work: Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles gives Hard Ton three prime deep house remixes, including two exclusive to this 12". Up top, the Dubberama mix is our pick of the bunch, doing away with the original's fairly cheesy vocal in favour of bringing forward the rippling congas and boosting that rumpy sub for 13 minutes of warmest house sensuality. Of course, the key to its success is Terre's naked mastering - there is none - which contrasts so sharply with so much beefed up and overly masculine mix-downs in modern house music, resulting in a far more… Read more
A trio of burned-out house bangers from Detroit's Patricia plus a dead shifty remix from James T Cotton. As with Patricia's 'Body Issues' release for Opal Tapes and Inhalants 12" with Jahiliyya Fields for L.I.E.S., their debut on Ghostly International presents a heavily obfuscated house style, burying fizzing, toiling drum machines and melancholic pads behind ferric smokescreens. The style is most effective in the motor city moodiness of 'Hulderhusan' and 'Foie Gras', but the most effective dancefloor cut has to be JTC's itchin' I-94 Lick of 'Drip Dawn'.
Three tracks of slick and smooth American deep house. A-side 'The Hybrid' convects warm chords and electroid bassline; B-side serves the slinky shimmy of 'Someone (Brett Dancer Unreleased Dub)' and the fine balance of plush strings with tuffer swing in 'Something'.
Pure heat from Tia Maria Producoes on Lisbon's Príncipe label. Tia Maria Producoes crew in control, repping a further flung sound from Rennes and Paris, and back home in southside Lisbon. Their aesthetic is probably best described as a slower, "deeper" strain of the Príncipe sound, compared with the ruffer, grimier strains of DJ Marfox or the B.N.M. / P.D.D.G. crews. Under the gangster banner "TáTipo Já Não Vamos Morrer" - meaning "It's like we won't die anymore" - they drop six slick riddims ranging from DJ Téilo's strangely haunting "Afrohouse torchsong", '7 Maravilha… Read more
*7 track vinyl edition of Kompakt's annual outing* In among the minimal tech-house standards you'll find some peachy highlights, none more so than the Voigt Brothers' swaggering 'Tischlein Deck Dich'; Saschienne's darkside EBM driver 'Horacio Delirium' and the midi pomp of Jürgen Paape's 'Heuriger'.
Midland shakes out the swooning house of 'Before We Leave' for Phonica's white series, backed with a cracking Gerd Jansen remix. The original 'Before We Leave' pays dues to classic Pépé Braddock and Schatrax with crisp, shufflin' and swinging drums and lush string arrangement, whilst Gerd Jansen's remix takes it to Frankfurt with slick electro bass line and trim, direct drums.
Ric and Max do their bendy, extended remix thing with NoW's bona fide Warp classic, 'Aftermath'. The 24 year old bleep techno template is extruded thru their modular arsenal to resemble a strange older version of itself, the vocal pitched down to a pensioners ramble and all the energy of the breaks and bass diffused into snaking, whirring polyrhythms. Frankly, it's boring. However, their Electric Jazz Version is ace, dicing up sprung drums, darting bass motifs and feathered vocal flits to sound some menagerie of psychotropically-enhanced, flying chimeras performing an ancient ritual involving multi-dimensional time signature switches.
Double deep house music from Fred P aka Black Jazz Consortium in his Anomaly guise. A-side is a headlong dive into milky cosmic synth spumes powered by percolating groove and anchored with a massive sub bass swell. B-side he brings the kicks up for a powerful, chord-riding techno-house winner called 'Dark Population', and clocks out with the lusher contrast of 'Convective Zone'.
Dubstep and ambient pop styles from Modifier on Glasgow's High Sheen label. The fusion of loping, bit-crushed rhythm and diced folk vocals of 'Haptic' and 'Under The Window' remind of Deep Medi's Clouds or Various Production; the icier ambient techno-pop of 'Lupica' nods to Robyn, The Field, Pantha Du Prince.
Thursday, 14 August
**Gatefold jacket with a free download of the album** Werk Discs' new MVP, Moiré, patterns a unique fusion of leftfield House and Techno with debut album, 'Shelter'. Rooted in wayward modern funk, and brimming with emotive chicanery, 'Shelter' is a thoroughly considered, robust LP statement that stands out from the current crowd. Sounding out somewhere between Carl Craig's erogenous house and the psychedelic zones of Actress, it occupies an unstable, shifty mid-ground, in flux between tiered layers of classic analogue synths, tape machines and drum computers (check his feature on Fact magazine for a r… Read more
Superb 100-110bpm house slugs on 180g wax from Madrid-based Downbeat label owners, Jose Rico and F-on. Riding under the Downbeat moniker, they do that slowed-down-funk with style on 100bpm A-side 'Moskitos En Siberia' clocking sparse, gritty percussion and impending waves of white noise drone emulating that wading-into-a-headwind dream state. Flipside, F-on goes dolo with with the floaty 110bpm chug of 'Smog' folding in railway location recordings and wistful pads to come off like Andy Stott reworking one of John Fahey's tape pieces. Tipped!
This is tasty: Dave Sumner aka Function presents remastered versions of his DMO and VEX trax originally issued in NYC circa 1998-1999. For anyone who has rinsed Sumner's discogs page, they're the enigmatic aliases without youtube links which have always left us wondering what they sound like. Well, now we know; 'VEX-1' pedals a canny Kraftwerk sample over snare-heavy tribal groove, whilst the DMO trax take heavy inspiration from Chicago in the Virgo-esque chords and drum programming of 'Fifteen' and the plush blend of wide-ass subbass and Larry Heard-like dreaminess of 'Movement'. All tracks are ta… Read more
Border Community's Nathan Fake and Wesley Matsell inaugurate Fake's Cambria Instruments label with a wicked pair of knotted, wayward techno grooves. A-side reveals Fake's first new material since 2012's 'Steam Days' album with a slippery garage-techno groove buffeted by off-the-grid drums and drenched in the kind of synth dissonance that makes your fillings ring. It's gotta be one of the craftiest dancefloor trax we've heard in 2014. That outro, too! On the flip, Wesley Matsell follows his rave reminiscence 'Total Order Of Being' with a moody but sublime piece of pastoral techno… Read more
Frak fire off four low-slung and sleazy slow-techno joints for Tsar. Operating at a strident 95-108bpms they plough darker zones with pounding kicks and unfurling, frayed synth modulations winding from the piquant percolations of 'Light People' to the mogadon moocher 'This Is Lance' on the A-side, and over thru the jagged acid throb of 'Twinhead' to a scuzzy little number named 'Drum Come True' on the B-side.
Heavy techno pressure from Helix in his DJ Vague guise for UTTU. Following his 'Porsche Trax' 12" for Templar Sound, the American producer brings di boum boum in three parts ranging from Len Faki-style big room behaviour to skippier, dubbed out styles reminding of Shed's Wax and EQ'D tools to a ferocious, spaced-out closer approaching old skool Luke Slater levelz. Tipped!
Enchanting, refreshing house from Deepblak's Damon Bell for London's Meda Fury division of R&S. Positively spilling over with good vibes, 'Hue-Man Made' serves five tracks of Afro-centric rhythms sprinkled with lush keys and radiant synths to mark out ground between Jamal Moss at his most lucid, and the supple grooves of Mr Raoul K or Aybee. Check for the breezy strums and triplet gyrations of 'Hue-Man Made' or the beaming cosmic grooves of 'Radius' and 'Enthusiastic Minor'.
**Hand-numbered edition of 300 whites with insert** Raw, hard-wired house deviations from Pxshdog on London's Trax Couture boutique. After a couple of killer 12"s from Rushmore consolidating Footwork, Ballroom and Chi House, they go shades tougher here with Pxshdog's debut striking a throbbing vein of tracky goodness. Uptown he balls between cowbell-stung Bassline garage-meets techno on 'Juicy Chocolate', blocky buck in 'Akira's Drift', and fierce filter house on 'Nubian 124'. Downtown they play nice 'n nasty with the darkside Dance Mania of 'Dancin N Shit' and the electroid slammer 'Tittytron'. Well aye we're dancing.
Second Storey - fka Al Tourettes - sets the scene for his upcoming debut album 'Double Divide' with the dense, fizzing techno of Shaman Champagne' and corresponding remixes by Perc and Aden. Like recent examples from Untold or Randomer, Second Storey boots UK techno into more wayward new shapes here, whereas Perc takes it right back to knuckle-dragging industrial pound and Aden gives it a kinky electroid boost.
Limber late night tech-house from Russia's Ygrok label. A-side plays out sweeping, romantic strings on a whirring swing groove whilst B-side is more reserved, minimalist, with tricksy detailing designed to burrow and tweak at 6am.
Raw live acid actions dialled in from North Wales via the cultish Crow Castle Cuts. There's four useful grooves on offer, razzing between rippin' swingers and wormholing basement jack.
Pumping big room techno standards from old skool UK techno pals, Kirk Degiorgio and Ben Sims. Check it for Sims' shark-eyed pounder 'Raw Hide' and the tense acidic burn of Degiorgio's 'Dark Fire'.
Thursday, 07 August
**White wax** Samuel Kerridge puts a donk on it for Blueprint, backed with three of his signature doom scapes. The Berlin-based artist's follow-up to 'A Fallen Empire' opens with the pounding coda and descending tones of 'Operation Neptune', streaking slow-motion Stuka screams over tortured bass hits to asphyxiating effect, whilst the bombed-out 'Surrender To The Void' sculpts monolithic black metal riffs and slow roiling drums reminding of Pan Sonic. B-side, 'Paint It Black' spills evil, muscle-wasting drones and bone-snapping percussion before rearing up the twisted metal relief of 'Paint It Black (Reprise)'. Strong twelve.
**Vinyl reissue of this Hospital Productions tape housed in printed inner and die-cut jacket** Killer vinyl edition of this blunt noise/techno session from New York stalwart K.P, highly recommended to followers of of Preserved Instincts, Miles, Powell, Vatican Shadow or Prostitutes. As Hospital Productions put it: " Dual Action combines the eerie atmospheric sound collage of crowded chinatown streets with the deafening silence of a new apartment and the hard industrial beats of subways and freeways. A dynamic, physical autonomism. Body complete." Check 'Body Automatic' for stygian industrial t… Read more
Cómeme gang-up for the nine-track 'Gasoline' label expo. Starts up nice 'n slow with Auntie Flo's technoid cumbia grind 'Jas' and travels a spectrum of kinky goods from Vaskular's mellow jacker 'Black Jesus' to the clipped, slippery swing of 'Cógeme' from DJs Pareja & Alejandro Paz, the trim industrial percolator 'El Rito' from Zombies In Miami, and Carisma's fairlight-sprung remix of 'A Bailar' by Rous. Sweaty.
Total Techno classic, reissued by Tresor for 2014. As Surgeon's sophomore album, 'Basic Tonal Vocabulary' established him as a unique force in Techno, appearing in the style's golden year of 1997 armed with seven of the leanest, most disciplined, and outright killer dancefloor tools around. While insistent movers like 'Rotunda' and the skewed drive of 'Krautrock' define this LP, the ambient moment of 'Waiting' also showed the man to be in possession of a uniquely nuanced electronic lexicon.
**Mastered at D&M. Vinyl-only** Squashed, knackered house from Terriers backed with a sturdy Tuff Sherm remix. A-side pushes the throbbing chug and radiant atmospheres of 'House No.9/Stardragon' and the gritty swing of 'Bay Walker'. B-side their 'Panama Jack' does that crushing Andy Stott-style swagger with their own, piquant twist, and Tuff Sherm tribalises 'Stardragon' with glinting percussion and mutated, unpredictable chord stabs fed thru a gauntlet of fizzing filters to leave the dance bruised but beaming.