Thursday, 13 December 2012
Fabric resident and Weatherall favourite Daniel Avery turns up on Optimo Music with the kraut-disco-infected 'Magnetic EP'. The title track is made for midnight dancefloor/autobahn cruising, whereas 'Commercial Suicide' is a touch trippier, kinkier, and 'Manifesto For The Mutants (We Are Everywhere) Pt.2' drops down to a skulking, dubbed-out mid-tempo swagger. Best of all is Barnt's killer remix of 'Magnetic', following the course of his recent 12" on Magazine into noirish widescreen kraut-disco-tech.
Four Tet and Mike Q get down to remix Falty DL's rare-groovy future boogie cut 'Straight & Arrow'. The original stars the NYC-based producer at his most minimal and refined, blooming fruity Moog and big-boned bass with careful, subtle arrangement and a soulful vocal lick almost guaranteed to get some eyes-closed and beaming boogie tucks in the dance. Four Tet weighs in a slightly more Afro-beat-y remix working a charming shuffle and trickling electro lead to a driving, sub-loaded head of steam, while Mike Q laces it with ballroom Ha!'s, claps and haughty kicks.
Niche 'n Bump carves out it's place in the London sound with three specials from Spatial. The label's closely affiliated with the much-loved Wifey club events and strongly represents their tastes for all things fresh, funky and immediate with a blend of frisky garage, up-to-the-minute tech and a timeless disco burn echoing everything from FWD to Colin Dale on Kiss and the legendary Lost nights. Big 'un 'The Slammer' comes off like Jeremy Sylvester meets Shed at his fruitiest, while 'Book Down Way Round' gets craftier with body-carving bass swerve, percolated drums and sweetest vocal beside the du… Read more
Slugabed and his mate Greg's Activia Benz label debuts with a gleaming future funk session by Belarus-bassed artist, Deech, backed with a kinetic Slugabed remix. 'Lady86' is the hypercoloured slo-jam foreplay for the percolating deckside grind of 'Urnite' uptown. Downtown 'Beach 'n' Vine' does the hyper-pitched vocal and twitching 2-step thing well, and 'Windwave' nods to vintage Rephlex funk and Skweee. For measure, Slugabed makes good on an uptempo, extratropical overhaul of 'Urnite', ramping the tempo and splicing some trill cut-ups with Squarepusher-esque slapbass.
Thursday, 06 December 2012
San Francisco's Ben Winans aka Roche pays tribute to the Manchester institution with four misty-eyed and psychedelic house jacks. Much like anyone under the age of 30 or so, Ben's obviously never visited the Haç, but we can all tell he's got the vibe right here, from the sensual, teasing trip of 'A Night At The Haç' thru the spiritually enhanced groove of 'Outsider Insider', in the mind-melt flux of 'CG Vision' and especially with the Gerald-isms of 'Psycho Zombie Dreams'.
Mercurial electronica type Throwing Snow shapeshifts between dosed-up house, emotive slow/fast and dusted electro-disco on his 'Aspera EP' for Snowfall. His fine-tuned compositional talents come to the fore in the drowsily tempered near-baroque melancholy of 'Aspera' and in the yearning, uplifting arrangement of 'Behest', while 'Melum' takes to the 'floor with tightly double-timed drum programming and soaring Bladerunner synths beside the wavey future-disco funk of 'Lingewell'.
**White vinyl** Terrific new tech-step from the Ruffhouse trio. 'Demand' pivots off boulder-sized kicks and and super spacious percussions over droning subs on the A-side and 'Division III' swaggers with a cool and deadly dread swing on the flip. One for them what knows!
**Upfront exclusive** Stockport's Alan "Breadwinner" Redfern and The Breadwinners dub up an authentic niceness on King Spinna's 2nd issue - ranking highly in Steve Barker's end-of-year chart for The Wire magazine. 'Dubs Unlimited' is a dub album done in reel-skool style at Breadwinner's all-analog Bakery Studio. Composer, producer, and recording/mixing engineer Al Redfern also mans the majority of instruments - drums, bass, keys, guitar, percussions, and harp (!) - in a cast of some dozen players including Stally (sax, flute), KT Lowry (trumpet), Robin Sunflower (harmonica), and even … Read more
Old Apparatus resolve the 2012 cycle of compelling singles on their Sullen Tone imprint with the haunting sonic witchcraft of 'Harem'. Rich with industrial atmospherics, shoegazing harmonic emotion and ambient spectrality, we'd daresay this is their best yet. From the breathtaking, windswept drama of 'Sunday Service' to the creaking ritualistic intrigue of 'Mernom', in the purposeful tribalism of 'Dourado' and the imposing sepulchral weight of 'Octafish' they've refined their sound for potently affective and downright scary impact.
Jazzier, Detroit-indebted house on Belgium's Nowar label. Check the A-side for shuffly, swinging beats and frilly keys on 'Just For Fun' and the discoid tech-house of 'Unlimited 01', or the B-side for the uplifting synth strings and bumpier ride 'Thang' and the hypnotic tribalism of 'Inspiration'.
100% push the yacht out with their fanciest issue to date - including an I:Cube remix and lovely insert. As their pastiche schtick has become increasingly slicker they may have lost some of the weirdness that first endeared them to many, but you really can't argue with the Daz-fresh Jersey breeze of Magic Touch and Sapphire Slow's first hook-up. A-side they make a really sweet duo on 'Just Wanna Feel', marrying Sapphire's dreamy, distanced coos with with delicately filtered and glyding groove next to I:Cube's darker, trippier grip of late night house dynamics on the remix. … Read more
Lone and Lukid step forward to remix 'Paean', the opener, and stand-out track from 'Steam Days'. 'Lone teases out the psychedelic potential of the track, accentuating the plaintive synth lines and introducing sighing choral pads into his spacious sound design; the feel is very much of 90s ambient techno and IDM a la The Black Dog, Balil, Reload et al. Lukid darks it out on his claustrophobic but ultimately redemptive version, pinning repeated bell-tones together with scuffed, twitching, Autechre-ish breakbeats; it is to the source material what South London is to rural Norfolk. Also include… Read more
In fine style, Roska serves three of the best from his RKS 2012 cabinet. A-side gives up the overproof industro-Funky of 'Battlestar' by Shox; B-side Gemmy goes in as you've never heard him with the synth-seared Bashmentechno ruckus of 'Badman Ting' next to the jawside snares and gnarly kicks on 'Utopia' by Slap In The Bass.
Finders Keepers are at it again, this time unearthing more stunning material from Polish enigma Andrzej Korzynski, who the label introduced to many of us with the unmissable 'Possession' OST a few months back. This bumper twenty-two-track collection fills in some of the gaps in his catalogue, and Finders Keepers have done the legwork for us yet again, sweeping up tunes from lost master tapes and film reels to provide us with music that truly deserved to be found. The main stylistic pointer here would be Ennio Morricone, as Korzynski shares the same aptitude in genre-hopp… Read more
**Fruity, disco-spiked house music, the sort you'd hear in a Manchester bar circa 1998. Actually, it's the stuff you still hear in Manchester bars in 2012** EZLV crafts playfully luxurious extended-mix radio hits from the bi-curious, bygone dance-meets-soul era. It’s Soundstream in song form, luscious and light, brought to juicy lime-life with cool-curated club samples, late-’70s horn porn and elegant DJ creationism. With a certain je ne sais quoi-quoi for the Francophilic party fille and garçon in us all, Selfish Beat is sparkling, shimmering, alluring, uplifting fun. Both members of the French-Ca… Read more
Guardian of the purple legacy Gemmy arrives on Tectonic (his first release on the label, though he did knock out 2010's 'Maroon Chant' on Pinch's other imprint, Earwax) with one of his best releases in a fair while. 'Warrior' is a back to basics affair, and one to be applauded: it's a lithe dubstep roller punctuated with snippets of corny martial arts movie dialogue and, of course, those signature Gemmy synths, and you can see it slotting neatly into many a respectable modern dance. 'The Dome' is classic Gemmy, or Gemmy-by-numbers, depending on which way you look at it: all low-riding 808 drums, garish rave vamps and Megadrive FX.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
*New on Modern Love, edition of 700 mastered and cut at D&M Berlin* Jack Dice is a new project on Modern Love from John Twells and Walker Chambliss. Twells, amongst very many other things, runs the Type label and has been producing music of various different disciplines and varieties over the last 15 years. Although he's never released anything on Modern Love before, he's a long time friend and associate of the label. Chambliss is the manager of Main Attrakionz and has been DJing with them for the last couple of years as the official 'Green Ova DJ'. 'Jack Dice' is fuelled by an interest in bass… Read more
*Deluxe double LP pressed onto 180g vinyl, includes a copy of the album on CD free inside. Also includes a comprehensive 36 page booklet* It can't be easy following a record as beguiling as 2008's genre-defying 'The Drift', but pounding to life with the incessant woodpecker percussion of album opener 'See You Don't Bump His Head', it's clear that 69-year-old Scott Walker has shock and awe in mind. He's never been an artist who's struggled with originality, and 'Bish Bosch' takes his aural cubism even further than ever before with confusing instrumentation and some of his finest vocal work to … Read more
Cool halfstep/rap backed with fine Synkro and Gacha remixes. Shadow Child & Horx are new on our radar, impressing with the Emptyset-like bass and white-noise-shaped snares placed against TK Wonder's double-timed delivery on 'Bordertown'. Synkro feels a different vibe for the remix, hearing the vocal set to deft square bass and 2-step claps for the late night house set, while Gacha's mix is lost to a lush, cottony whorl of dreamhouse synth chords, harps and mercurial 2-step swing.
Roll The Dice and Fever Ray producer Peder Mannerfelt aka The Subliminal Kid coaxes some serious sounds from his modular hardware arsenal for Paul Purgas' (Emptyset) We Can Elude Control imprint. Up front 'Arss' comes off like a field recording of some huge, lumbering machinery grinding its daily toil, and 'Untitled 3 Edit' sounds as though Mika Vainio got sozzled on cough syrup at the controls of an ancient prototype Soviet synth, resulting a Sähköesque reduction of pinging bleeps and the kind of slurred subs that threaten to disintegrate your speakers. Flipside's 'Kommen Sie Doch Näher… Read more
**15-song double gatefold LP with extensive liner notes and 11" x 33" poster. A handsome thing!** Samy Ben Redjeb's wonderful Analog Africa series traces the Black Atlantic groove story to Colombia's vibrant port city, Barranquilla in the 1970s. Over 15 songs 'Diablos Del Ritmo' anthologises the virile melting pot of Afrobeat, Palenque, Tropical Funk, Terapia and psychedila rhythms and the tropical dance styles of Puya, Porro, Gaita, Cumbiamba, Mapalé, Chandéon, all exposing a steamy, grinding night's worth of pure groove heat irresis… Read more
Dubbed-out bass reductions courtesy of Hodge, backed with a smart Kowton remix. Frontside features the percolating dread Funky pressure of 'Tonda' and the rippling, shark-eyed roll of 'Dusted' layered up with subaquatic squirrel synths. Flipside, the billowing bass and skippy drums of 'Turmoil' sound like a Spatial production, whereas the Kowton remix is much ruffer, bringing distorted drums at an odd, unyielding angle submerged by wormy acid lines and droning, almost Badalementi-esque pads.
*Finally available again* "Taking the epic scope of Ennio Morricone, the artsy slash of 17 Pygmies, the desert-tones of prime Save Republic, bolster the mix with rhythmic chugalug of The Ex and add the Canadian tradition of radio drama and you begin to get a hint of what the band are up to. With twin percussionists, three guitar players, violin, cello, glockenspeil and tape loops, godspeed... can make a big rumbling sound or stretch out into delicate filigrees.". The first album from Godspeed, a reissued and reworked version of their self-released vinyl-only debut, now available once again on Kranky. Classic.
After a brace of instant-classic white label drops on his own No Symbols imprint, Beneath graduates to Keysound with an EP of ice-cold post-UKF murderers. Rhythmically, 'Prangin''s broken techno flex feels entirely of the moment, but you can detect something of the dark rollage of early Krust productions in there too; it's all arranged with a simplicity designed to come at you hard even over the weakest pirate signal, a shot of pure poison straight to soundboy head. 'Blonde' and 'Tribulations' are heavier on the snake-hipped soca syncopations, but nonetheless still infused with a sense of the de… Read more
Fourth Wave come correct with the release of the debut album from boy wonder Gerry Read, whose sidelong glances at house, garage and techno have resulted in some of most ruggedly soulful dancefloor plates of the past two years. He makes the most of the album format with some well judged mood pieces: were it not for its wilfully corroded surface, beatless intro piece 'Four Miles' could be mistaken for Convextion or C2. But Read's true metier is the club, and it's in the drum-driven cuts that his most powerful talent exhibits itself: 'Evidence' and 'Give Myself To You' are fierce, filter-happy Moodyma… Read more
Low-riding slow/fast bass pop/R&B from Spanish duo Jorge Caiado (Lisbon) and Clip! (Barcelona). Working off to the right of JETS, their album version of 'Looking Back' lays down some badass 808 and rhodes heat topped with suitably sensuous vocals by Marta Plantier. Their club version dips to a '90s-indebted house vibe.
*Double 180g DMM-cut LP in gatefold sleeve with four 300x300mm prints and download redemption card* 'Lux' is Brian Eno's first solo album for Warp Records and his first solo album since 2005's 'Another Day On Earth'. It's an absorbing 75 minutes of slow moving, glassy harmonics, plangent piano keys and evaporating strings, all bathed in reverb and allowed to serenely waft about the space with a seemingly aleatoric logic. The album breaks down to four long sections, yet in the classic tradition of Eno's finest ambient works, once you've settled into its pace and space it becomes hard to te… Read more
**Finders Keepers gone done it again - side-stepping style and fashion to haul up 18 hirsute, hip-thrustin', hard and heavy rock numbers from Greater Manchester's pre-punk years. Includes blaring stacks of unreleased gear and obscurities plus a profuse 36-page booklet of liner notes and photos compiled the beardy weirdo, Andy Votel** "18 outbursts of unreleased testosterone from the 1970's Mancunian rock underground. Unissued studio demos and rare tracks of hard rock, hairy funk, heavy, prog from the toughest unknown rock groups of Greater Manchester, England MAN CHEST HAIR lib… Read more