Thursday, 19 August 2010
Ikonika's profile continues an upward trajectory with three bittersweet dance injections for Planet Mu. Trailing a debut album and blazing remixes for Detachments, Oriol and Egyptrixx, 'Dckhdbtch' shows no sign of letting up, staining caustic, soca-synced beats with the fluorescent tears of her trademark lead melody, before the loose techno swagger of 'Ingredients' is deftly offset with bobbling strings and a fragile mid-section of swirling synths. With 'Shouldn't Be Here' the eye-watering synths are replaced with swooning cinematic strings and a pendulous subbass before a lone synth melody crops … Read more
Artfully dodgin' riddim futurism from the grime godfather, Terror Danjah! This is his second 12" for Hyperdub, following the hardcore reflux of 'Acid/ProPlus' with two highly unique builds in his signature style. 'Bruzin' loosens the joints of grime and dubstep with a twisted hardcore junglist sensibility coming from highly controlled string slashes and those inimitably sliding rhythmic gear changes. No doubt, 'Hysteria' is the more up for it tune, ramping out with lurid rave chords before switching up with super swung halfstep and back again before ya know it. Drop this at the right time to wreak a reet havoc in the dance. Large.
Juicy vinyl drop of L-Vis 1990's killer House riddim 'Forever You' and its dirtier 'Reprise'. Unlike his Night Slugs label co-owner Bok Bok's grimy productions, L-Vis strikes a seam of slick refinements with the title track, erring more to the Circle side of contemporary deep house with nods to DJ Gregory freshened with ecstasy-glowing synths. It's also a excellent vehicle for Shadz's redlit vocal, which really elevates this track beyond his peers. On the flip it's more of a soca-synched vibe with scattered sub pulses and a rugged swingjack flavour compatible with the likes of Ill Blu,… Read more
Local Action step out with four rollers from this hotly-tipped New Yorker. As the label's second release, following the T. Williams 12", it opens their remit to fold in darker strains of garage, tipping to El-B and Burial with an accomplished sleight of hand also indebted to Dilla. Lead track 'Killer' is the one, launching dread droning subs to scout the terrain while thumb cymbals and vintage woodblocks dance out skeletal syncopation in the upper echelons. You may think you've heard all that before, but it's deeply intoxicating stuff, trust! Over on the flip 'Fervor' surfs a more epic vibe with… Read more
In 1993, Alastair Galbraith released his debut album, Morse, for Siltbreeze. Now, seventeen years on he's back with the famed underground imprint for Mass, a sprawling collection of avant-garde musical clippings, ranging from heavily manipulated post-folk outings to hard-wearing, organic drones and loop-based constructions. "Consisting of 22 tracks, this new album runs the gamut from mysterious beauty to just plain mysterious. Broken guitars, percussive loops, backwards tracking, a (homemade) glass harmonium, lullabies, bagpipe thievery and the odd bit of fighting talk are just some of the … Read more
Thursday, 12 August 2010
The six year wait is at last over; LA alt. rock trio Autolux return with a brand new full-length, the severely overdue follow-up to their widely commended debut album, Future Perfect. This is a band who often find themselves summarised with just one or two handy pigeonholing comparisons - references to either shoegaze or Sonic Youth are commonplace in Autolux reviews, and Transit Transit doesn't always defy such categorisations - lead-up single 'Supertoys' is joined by 'Census' in paying homage to Thurston, Kim, Lee and Steve, although clearly there's a broadening of horizons afoot on Transi… Read more
A project initiated by DJ Scotch Egg and Boredoms' E-DA, Drum Eyes present their splendid debut on the dependably offbeat Upset The Rhythm. After the ADD analogue, squelching kosmische of '50-50', the excellent 'Future Police' takes a stance that's halfway between affable synth-pop and live-kit powered dubstep. The outcome is a gritty, yet oddly fun head-nodding club track. Turning towards more unearthly, psychedelic fare, 'Future Yakuza' is a lengthy stroll into nerve shredding weirdness, cueing up the Black Dice pilfering 'Gyanza' before the heavy and slow-grooving breaks return for the epic '13 Magicians'. Recommended.
Pumping big-room antics from Jee Day, making his solo debut for DFA. 'Like A Child' first cropped up as an exclusive on Juan Maclean's DJ Kicks mix, slotting hand-in-glove into his friday night-friendly set. It's the work of one Dennis McNany, a go-to engineer for the likes of The Rapture and Turing Machine, which would explain the studied rock thrust of his arrangement and taste for grinding electrodisco riffs. On remix detail, Run Roc serves a glimpse of the later hours with cavernous techno signatures leading to a virulent acid line with potential for much havoc on the 'floor.
Ramp drop the second summer session from Shortstuff; two future itchin' wrigglers from the top drawer. 'Tweaked' is the maddest of the two, scrambling a ruffed up garage riddim with wild snare punctuations and unpredictably loose, yet calculated arrangements. Meanwhile 'Galaxy' on the flip sounds like some cyber Afrobeat styles flipped for the future swingers with agile syncopations and a gorgeously alien Afro melody. Nobody else sounds quite like this.
Canadian doomgazers Nadja make an outstanding contribution to Southern's ongoing Latitudes series with this immense album, divided into two long-form compositions. The first, 'Jaguar' is a slow-building droner, stirring up a grim collage of processed bell tolls, guitar scrapes and difficult to decipher field recordings that builds up into a booming low-end dominated soundscape that exudes abstract sludge-maetal gravitas. 'Sky Burial' is quicker to assert itself, cranking up the Nadja drum machine to a curmudgeonly BPM count and wailing through fizzy, colourful walls of electronics bass that lurch … Read more
Thursday, 05 August 2010
Originating from Dublin and Wicklow, this Irish duo consist of John Kowalski and Rian Trench, who met at a sound engineering college and subsequently bonded over a mutual admiration for electronic music and cinematic scores by the likes of Morricone and Delerue. The musical vocabulary employed by Solar Bears perhaps isn't something you'd immediately associate with Planet Mu: these two draw as much from live, acoustic instrumentation as they do synthesizers and programmed elements. 'Trans Waterfall' finds a kosmische-inspired first half set against a quasi-new age, '70s acid-folk influence… Read more
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Strictly limited fresh rollidge from Bakongo aka Roska for Brainmath's slick 1-sided series. Afforded the opportunity to divert his energies from cheeky bangers, this is Roska's more flexible and tropically kinked side coming out to play. It's all about tucked, hip-shuffling syncopations and rich, wandering keys delivered with a loose sleight of hand that'll charm the deepest ends of the Funky spectrum. Fans of Aardvarck, Seiji and Kode 9 need to clock this!!!
Two quick right hooks of prickly post-UKG on the first 'Summer Of Shortstuff' 10". On 'See Ya' the Blunted Robots head spars with bristling rough edged percussion and abstract fluoro synth stabs synced for the new skool swingers. On the flip 'Herb Face' finds a space between 8-Bit grime and Roska's tropical percussive arrangements, creating the optimal conditions for a dose of febrile synth flavour to infect and make it twitch like a bad 'un. As per with Ramp releases, top sleeve too!
Currently limbering up for the long overdue follow-up to 2004's incredible 'Future Perfect', LA alt. outfit Autolux at last offer up some new material. Taken from their forthcoming 'Future Transit' long-player, 'Supertoys' finds the band's familiar hallmarks in check, sounding like an astutely poised collision between Sonic Youth at their most pop-savvy and a slimmed down version of shoegaze. This trio make a big sound, and while the production is crisp there's tremendous power behind the songs, all culminating in big, angled choruses fronted by drummer Carla Azar. 'Curtains' on the flip sounds l… Read more
Thursday, 22 July 2010
The Decline Of Female Happiness is the sixth Donna Regina album for Karaoke Kalk and (by my count at least) their eleventh in all, arriving twenty years after the duo's first published recordings. Over these years husband and wife team Regina and Gunther Janssen have refined their own corner of the pop universe, penning unassuming yet often heartbreaking little pop productions fronted by Regina's infinitely melancholy voice. The new album arrives with a like an old friend with a new haircut, delivering all you'd hope from a Donna Regina record while sprucing up the soun… Read more
DJ Deep's quality series of compilations gives an expert cross-section of heavy house music from Chicago to Berlin via Detroit and New York. For the LP version BBE have opted for the vintage end of his selection for 'City To City 3', including secret house gems from Armando, Gentry Ice, Chicago House Syndrome, Mike Dunn, Lidell Townsell and Dee Dee Brave, plus some up-to-date business from the Frozen Border camp. Basically, it'd cost you five times the asking price to track these down individually and you've also got the benefit of some seriously prime picks like M+M's 'M&M Theme'.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Following the unanimous acclaim for his 'Jarvik Mindstate' LP, Peverelist drops two righteously forward riddims for Punch Drunk - and for our money they're his finest yet. The Bristol ringleader has built his rep on quality, not quantity and these tracks bear testament to his prinicipled and stringently executed approach. 'Better Ways Of Living' nods to the pared down 808 aesthetic of Swamp 81 with a brittle bustling beat scaffold acting like monkey bars for a piped synth organ to twist, scuttle and roll around in, while 'Fighting Without Fighting' continues… Read more
Delectable art-disco from Brazil/London based Tetine, offering four tracks lifted off their recent 'From A Forest Near You' album. in pole position is an 'Mutant' edit of their signature cut 'Tropical Punk', a highly sophisticated floor burner with half sung/half spoken vocals and drifting, droning synth chords laid over an ass clasping bassline and crisp disco drums. 'Yr Daughter Lies' is grade-A post-punk skronk, scuffed with stray electronics and driven by a languid, nonchalant bassline heavily indebted to Talking Heads or PiL. On the flip 'Shiva' raises the tempo with pert drum m… Read more
No rest for the wicked as Jimmy Edgar drops his latest backed with remixes from Kris Wadsworth and Machinedrum. 'Hot, Raw, Sex' jumps on a Prince-indebted Detroit electro tip with some exceedingly frilly keys and snapping machine rhythms. Kris Wadsworth goes into a darker EBM mode and Machinedrum offers a clever quickslow mix for the slicker booty movers.
With two EPs and a handful of remixes, Mount Kimbie have opened a portal into the world of post-dubstep, electronic fusion soundscaping. 'Crooks & Lovers' is their much anticipated debut album, an assured statement comprised of crafty complexities and coherently juxtaposed angles making use of the freedom from any immediate dancefloor demands. With their releases landing on HotFlush and their inclusion in the catch-all net of dubstep, you'd be forgiven for thinking they're a purely dancefloor act but there's many more elements at play within Mount Kimbie that we've always felt would better… Read more
Thursday, 08 July 2010
*Debut release on Alex Nut's new label: Ho Tep!* Throwing Snow's debut 'Un Vingt' is the 1st drop on Alex Nut's promising new label, Ho Tep. The A-side is a very canny blend of broken dubstep and more psyched-out textures, perhaps best described as the mid-way point between older Martyn releases (before he went house) and Shackleton (er... before he went house too!). However, there is a unquantifiable element to this track that makes it stand out, whether it's the chord progressions or the tucked drums we're not sure, but it's impressive either way. On the flipside, it'd be fair to put … Read more
Thursday, 01 July 2010
Expanding Planet-Mu's remit further still, Oriol presents four splendid cuts of squashed modern boogie backed with remixes from Falty DL, Jake Slazenger and Shortstuff. The Barcelona born but Cambridge-bassed producer honed his talent at CDr, the same fertile night that counted the likes of Floating Points among their regulars. His sound is cannily close to FP's, only with a busier, psyche-fried element that balances very well with the oh-so-cool electronic boogie vibes. Falty DL firstly folds 'Coconut Coast' into a Chopped 'n Screwed delicacy with yearning vox and hazil… Read more
Courtesy of the same folks who reissued that crazy 'Killing Melody' LP comes an amazing outing from British bluesman Mike Cooper. Since the early 60s he's been active supporting American blues artists such as Jimmy Reed, and Howling Wolf on their UK tours besides earning a crust backing many homegrown R&B bands. He also mastered the steel blues and Hawaiian lap guitar before veering into more avant-garde territory during the 80s, consolidating his various styles into a unique sound. The tracks here were recorded in his kitchen in Rome onto minidisc and transferred to CD, displaying three var… Read more
Two neo-garage and dubstep hybrids from underground staples Rossi B & Luca. The pair are on a slick twisted shift here, going deeper with the ethereal vocal and submerged clip of 'Crystal Lady' making nods to MJ Cole and Burial while 'Saturn' shakes out some demons on a serious technoid shuffler tucked with tricky syncopations to mangle yer flow. Fans of SBTRKT, VVV, LHF or Indigo should check this.
'Step influenced 'tronica debut from Lithuanian producer, Brokenchord. As an introduction to his sound 'Bluestar' should tell you all you need to know, mixing a keenly melancholy sense of melody with well tempered sawtooth synth pads and slo-mo halfstep to lull us into his world. 'With Tsunami' meanwhile comes off more like Rustie on a handful of Valium, tripping over swinging post-crunk beats and spun by dynamic sound design element reminding of Blue Daisy. 'Run Into The Light' finishes with a post-rock IDM flourish applied to slow paced 808 snap beat to tug on the old heart strings.
Compound One skanks on it with the dread junglist dubstep of 'Get Loose' backed with a lightfooted dubtech mix from Landslide and a hi-tech steppers mix at 170bpm from Fracture & Qualifide. Fans of Darkestral recordings should check this!
Lower Dens is the new band formed by Jana Hunter, who on 'I Get Nervous' seems to have ditched the scrappy freak-folk baiting tendencies of her earliest solo material in favour of more sonically ambitious and substantial work. This new single floats into earshot - almost like an early Verve release - buoyed on by waves of delay and effects pedal atmospherics. The dried out, ticking drum riff hints at Hunter's more rustic sounding past, but once the piece is in full bloom, there's clearly something special afoot here. B-side 'Johnssong' is a little more casual, but the feel of … Read more
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Hyperdub presents four tracks from the 'Contact, Love, Want, Have' album, reorganised and optimised for the floor. As with the album, all four cuts are strong on potent neon synthlines, touching on Drexciyan electro in the spiky 'They Are All Losing The War' or even Italo excesses with 'Look'. 'Psoriasis' is probably the most addictive and therefore highlight of the set, rompin' with a Funk-debted beat and wild computer game melodies while 'Video Delays' offers a deeper moment with more Detroit-sent synthlines and a rugged mongrel bass. Very smart!
With his regular Rinse breakfast show and a handful of superbly curated records, DVA has spun the latest 'nuum mutation into increasingly stranger shapes. 'The New World Order EP' holds two wickedly wired riddims nesting somewhere between the deadly swing of the title track and it's spooked-out synthlines, and the unchecked mood swings of 'Schizophrenic' alternating every 8 bars between happy-as-larry skank and technoid clown-out. Just trust us, UKF doesn't come much weirder than this! On the flip DVA's longtime peer Roska dips into Bakongo mode for a mystical, Eastern-tinged hip … Read more
Martin kemp drops his first plate in 2010, 'Wot U Got' is the big 'un, tucking kinky Latin percussion into a typically restless pattern before knocking your knees sideways with a dutty stinking synthline and decimated garage vocal. 'Fix' on the flip is a more laidback character, wearing his MAW influences proudly on a chunky Latin house style underlined with a effortless UK bassline to prop your batty. Big twelve!