Thursday, 17 November 2011
Deeply sophisticated R&B for the connoisseurs, including dubs and remixes from Machinedrum and Computer Jay. 'Fast Life' is the sun-blessed debut from Drive Me Home, gelling with Oliver Daysoul on the title cut for a heat-seeking Boogie bomb and bumping with South Africans Spoek Mathambo & Riky Rick for a slicker mid-tempo swing, while 'Don't Play Around With That' and 'Hook It Up' display a more contemporary awareness of slowfast instrumental dynamics and synthed-out romance. Remixing, Machinedrum turns Spoek and Riky's 'Blah Blah Blah' into a slick but twitchy slyde, and L.A. lynchpin Computer Jay twysts 'Fast Life' into a gloopy but piquant 8-bit grind.
*Hand-numbered edition of 320* Debut 12" of dope Italian Skweee from Andrea Bracali and Francesco Bigazzi, backed with a powerful Pinch remix. The original tracks cycle thru crushed, neck-snapping beats and colourful synth dissonance on 'M Rian' to Mortal & Chemist-style beat shredding on 'Lo So' and dusted, crystalline 8-bit moves reminding of Samiyam on 'Beghe'. Flipping the script, Bristol styles, Pinch's rebuilds the latter with a quick-stepping, forward-leaning Dubstep motion for the forward heads.
"12th edition of the Kitsuné Maison compilations, subtitled 'The Good Fun Issue'. These tunes don't beat around the bush and never fail to provoke emotion or make you want to jump with joy. Featuring rare and exclusive tracks by Citizens!, The Magician, Theme Park, Heartsrevolution and Mark Ronson, amongst others."
Kirk Degiorgio and TJ Kong deliver stylishly driven remixes of 'Rapture'. Aimed squarely for peak-time deployment, Degiorgio's builds and builds with a timeless grace, while Kong's is more romantic, grooving and lushed-out in classic Detroit-via-Lowlands style.
**Orange Translucent Vinyl- edition of 200 copies** Glasgow's dancefloor terrorisers return with six exclusive tracks from Adam X, Faustian Pact, Manasyt, Cestrian (Ali Renault), Microdot and Cymbol. Highlights have to be Microdot's dank Industrial jacker 'Flesh', Cestrian's synth-seared hell-raiser 'Remains' and the shifty, triplet-driven Techno of Cymbol's 'Sisyphean Task'. The label says "This record had been due for release in October 2010, but at the time we didn't think the world was a dark enough place. We could still sense there was a glimmer of hope... But now, just one year on, w… Read more
Two sleazier jacks from Glasgow's Silicone Soul, backed with Kiki's funked-up remix. A-side the title track features blunted vox over kinky, perpetually bass-driven Techno-House motion, while flipside features the more exotic darkly tribal flow of 'Time Mariner's Mirrour' and Kiki's leaner, reshuffled remix.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Pedigree '90s UK electronica duo, Paul Hammond and Ian Cooper aka Ultramarine follow-up their "comeback" 7" on Real Soon with two deft, bubbling acid steppers for West Norwood Cassette Library. A-side comes with the wriggly 303 sequences and Vibert-esque funky drum programming of 'Acid', hauling their vintage style into the '10s with a subtly spatialized finish. Flipside 'Butch' is ruder, cheekier, swinging with jazzy acid flourishes and dynamic syncopation shades off the likes of Plaid or Funckarma.
A pair of right charms from The Minks. A-side lands on vinyl after appearing on a dead limited cassette, making clear their allegiance to the shuffly jangle of early The Cure and co. B-side 'Little Fawn' is more stripped, setting Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies to panned, swirling organ loop and strummed mandolin. Almost guaranteed to melt the ice on your window...
Ten years since making his debut on Uncharted Audio, Langer returns with four pristine electronic House and Techno productions. There's a genuine pedigree to the placid Dub House groover 'Entity', while 'Athena' conducts warmer, jazzier vibes with authentic hints of Detroit flavour. Flipside 'System' arrives at a tidy fusion of the two vibes meeting at transforming into a quality club groove while 'Sensitive' exercises his more experimental side on a darker electro winner.
Monday, 14 November 2011
"The record is a sibling to the last Blackout Beach record, 'Skin Of Evil'. But the longing in 'F*ck Death' is not romantic; these are deserter's songs, coward's songs [...] I recorded 'F*ck Death' myself, which might be a 2011 thing to do; by that I mean that this record could not have been made with anyone else, anywhere else. I used three synthesizers (two mono, one poly), two drum machines, and one guitar amplifier. Megan Boddy sings with me on most of the songs. I thank her for that." - Carey Mercer, Blackout Beach"
Abraham Cowley is best known as UK electro stalwart Simon Brown aka The Dexorcist. However he's adopted this new name for a more stripped down brand of darker Detroit/Chicago House music with a UK warehouse tint. A-side is the ace 'A Step Goodbye' simmering shifty Jackers' patterns under arcing pads and a rogue bassline right out of the Kevin Saunderson textbook. Flipside 'Brother Number 9' remains faithful to the 313 but with craftier, cut-up drum edits and a swollen subbass undertow compatible with all manner of Bass flavours.
Jazzman says "Our never-ending mission to reveal the under-appreciated-yet-worthy-of-attention jazz masters around the world has now taken us far away and across the sea to Mexico. Not the first port of call you'd consider if you were looking for hard bop or modal jazz, but here we have found an incredible jazz drummer whose career has spanned over 5 decades, and is still playing to this day. In that time Tino Contreras has produced countless recordings, played on innumerable live dates, and has performed with various jazz groups all around the world. yet he is still… Read more
Thursday, 10 November 2011
One of Manchester's most promising production units come with contrasting flavours for all ravers on their 2nd plate for Fat City. A-side Samrai & Platt go gully on 'Creepin', a dextrous acidic swinger with 'floor-rinsing 303s synced to jostling snares and pushy subs primed for the ruddiest bashments. In sharp contrast 'Hold Your Corner' is all sinuous, staggered Streetsoul, squeezing off a clip of brass stabs over heavy-rolled HipHop rhythm and soundbwoy subs. Hype trax, tipped by everyone from Wifey crew to Gabriel Heatwave and xxxy. BIG!
*Metallic print sleeve. Includes added Araabmuzik instrumental* The Big Pink return with a new single, backed with a remix from trance-savvy hip-hop golden boy Araabmuzik. The tumbling beats and zinging electronics of 'Stay Gold' gesture towards the present day, but in pretty much every other way this tune is in thrall to the 1990s, with shades of Creation bands and some rather more questionable stadium rock acts. Araab's vocal and instrumental re-jig is surprisingly respectful and un-drastic - no supersaw synths! - preserving the body of the original and strapping … Read more
Masterful deep Acid and slow House grooves backed with a sterling Vakula remix. If case you've not checked the internet for the last two years, Cottam is the guy behind a string of deadly semi-edits and slow house grooves on his eponymous imprint and the likes of Story or Use Of Weapons. But remixes aside he's been short on new, original material this year, though we'd imagine a lot of time went into these two exquisite grooves. A-side 'Deep Deep Down' is probably one of the finest acid grooves we've heard all year, a pendulous lather of dubbed-out Roland tweaks and hot, sticky sax p… Read more
**Double gatefold with full liner notes** 'Bossa Jazz' explores the Brazilian jazz groups and artists at the centre of the Bossa Nova explosion of the early 1960s. Vinyl Part 1 charts the sound of groups such as Sambalanco Trio, Zimbo Trio, Meirelles E Os Copa 5 and Quarteto Novo, and important instrumentalists such as Airto Moreira, Milton Banana, Sergio Mendes, Milton Banana and Anton Carlos Jobim. Extensive sleevenotes provide a socio-political context explaining the exodus of many Brazilian artists to USA at the end of the '60s and the development of fusions such as those instigated by Airto Moreira's work with Miles Davis.
**Double gatefold with full liner notes** 'Bossa Jazz' explores the Brazilian jazz groups and artists at the centre of the Bossa Nova explosion of the early 1960s. Vinyl Part 2 charts the sound of groups such as Quinteto Villa Lobos, Quarteto Novo, Balanco Trio, Tamba 4 and Salinas, and important instrumentalists such as Deodato, Paulo Moura, Baden Powell and João Donato. Extensive sleevenotes provide a socio-political context explaining the exodus of many Brazilian artists to USA at the end of the '60s and the development of fusions such as those instigated by Airto Moreira's work with Miles Davis.
*Includes 6-page booklet with notes by Alasdair Roberts and photos from the Lomax archives* Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Alan Lomax's important first recordings of Scottish folk and traditional song, Drag City have tasked "bastard heir" Alasdair Roberts with collating the best of the archive circa 1951-'57. From "rumbustuous to ruthless, and from acapella to accordion" this is a gorgeous, revelatory collection of seventeen songs rare to these ears and most others, yet instantly endearing and enjoyable by anyone with a sense of craic. Lomax undertook the project in 19… Read more
The near-flawless One Eyed Jacks label offers a sterling collaboration between Photonz and Tiago Miranda. Both Portuguese natives, they've dedicated the tracks to remote, desolate beaches outside their capital city. 'Ponta do Mato' is a a sublime, supple Baleari-tinged groover with warm traces of classic Acid House done in deeply romantic style, while 'Cova do Vapor' is more disco-jacked and psychedelic with frothy cosmic synthlines. Both come with support from Tim Sweeney, Ewan Pearson, Jackmaster, Ghist On Tape and more.
Magik Marker Elisa Ambrogio meets Six Organs Of Admittance aka Ben Chasny in this sumptuous collaboration. They incubated and gestated the 200 Years album over a period of eleven months inside a former toolshed in Seattle, syncing their deft fingerpicking and shimmering amp hum sculptures to Elisa's comforting vocals, with subtle layers of harmonium, organs and chamberlin adding a chiffon depth depth. Lovely.
De Stijl's excavation of The Parasites Of The Western World turns up the lead single for their second album. Original released circa 1980-81, 'Politico' opened the B-side to 'Substrata' with a rippin' New Wave roller full of glam stomp, proggy arrangement and punky attitude. The synth-fuelled instrumental B-side was exclusive to the single, and as tradition dictates, far more interesting, featuring Terry Censky and Patrick Burke in an ebullient symphony of synths, drums and guitar.
Wednesday, 09 November 2011
“In short, it was fabulous: not really improvising, but suggesting the marathoning spirit of high-impact free jazz; not really composition, but held together with the technique and concentration of grindcore drumming. Just barely, through the amazing din and throughout the set, you could hear sounds that weren’t coming from Merzbow: the audience cheering.” NY Times. Merzbow (Masami Akita) is the Japanese legend and progenitor of Noise music. For three decades his view of making music has created a new and different sound entirely unlike any other in the history of musical compo… Read more
Thursday, 03 November 2011
*Deluxe vinyl Box - includes a download code for 3 bonus tracks - redeemable directly from the label* The results of Damon Albarn's recent musical mission to the Congo in aid of Oxfam's relief efforts in the DRC for which he was accompanied by the likes of Actress and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (hard not to picture 'em as some mismatched military platoon in a Hollywood war movie). But of all those involved in this attempt at culture-colliding pop music, it's the Congolese musicians who are the stars of the show, bringing the necessary grit and glee alike to each track. It's hard no… Read more
*Limited to 1000 copies. B-side is a Scully lathe cut, playing in reverse, and inside-out. Includes free download code redeemable from the label* With Swedish avant/experimental rock supergroup The Skull Defekts you rarely know what you're going to get next. It may be electro-acoustic drone collaboration with CM Von Hausswolff, a blistered noise session with Wolf Eyes or a deep psychedelic hypnosis. '2013-3012' is almost predictably none of the above. It sounds more like a muscled Current 93 jamming with Zomes's Asa Osborne and Lungfish's Daniel Higgs, which is at least 2/3rds verifiable.… Read more
Prolific Danish shoegaze/Techno bod personally cherry picks the best remixes and reworks of songs from his album 'Into The Great Wide Yonder'. Disc 1 takes in the UNKLE remix of 'Neverglade' besides Marie Fisker's downbeat rework of 'Sycamore Feeling' and the lovely Efterklang remix of 'Tide', among others. Disc 2 checks his own remix of 'Neverglade' next to Andrew Weatherall's strutting Sky 81 remix of 'Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!', and Modeselektor's 'Last Remix Ever' of 'Tide'.
Fright makes a very welcome return with three tracks of slo-mo horror-disco opulence from Optimo's Jonnie Wilkes and James Savage. They follow Gatekeeper and Anton Maiovvi's bloodline in the darkest, sleaziest fashion, evoking noirish imagery of Italian mafia in Glasgow and redlight transactions in the seedier sectors of The Hague or Düsseldorf. A-side is owned by 'The Crystal Line', where filigree, ultra-crisp cymbals and Phil Collins-sized floor toms sync with tense arpeggios and deadly, kerb-crawling bassline at 100 beats per minute. Turn it to 'Dmitri's Darkness' for a mid-tempo cruise… Read more
**14 tracks taken from the CD version** Ace, reverent collection of Japanese "instrumental surf, Eleki & Tsugaru Rock 1966-1974" compiled by Honest Jon's Howard Williams (the man behind Ethbo Records' superb 'Killing 'Melody' LP). 'Nippon Guitars' is actually the first ever Western retrospective of Takeshi "Terry" Terauchi's work and draws parallels between his American counterparts - Les Paul and The Ventures - and the heavily effected style of Eleki which he single-handedly invented in the late '50s thanks to his innovative echo box designs and electric style. When rock 'n roll real… Read more
Bristol's impeccably curated Futureboogie imprint hands the reigns to Behling & Simpson for the label's fourth release. Four tracks of warm, sexy and swung Disco-House are on the cards, from the frickled congas and R&B glossolalia of 'Politics' thru the smudged chug of 'UFO' and the certified highlight 'Yenisei', which sounds like something Aardvarck might make after one too many blunts. Cool beans.
I’m going to come clean – High Places have never really done anything I’ve been that taken with. Sure they’ve had some interesting ideas, but it’s never come together particularly well, that is until right now. ‘Original Colors’ works because the duo have stripped things down to the absolute bare minimum. Where their previous effort ‘High Places vs. Mankind’ was blighted by too many ideas and a pandering to an ailing indie sound, ‘Original Colors’ is focused, dark and utterly cold. At times we are simply treated to Mary Pearson’s alluring voice, a drum machine beat and a single, simple sy… Read more