Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Compound One aka UKG stalwart, Qualifide, goes rude and techy. 'Pum Pum Beat' reduces crisp garage patterns to slick and punchy movements, while 'Back Off' opens out into joyful breakstep soul and comes over all old-skool Steve Gurley with seriously artful 2-step syncopations.
Man Like Me continue to flirt with dubstep and other raved-up sounds, enlisting Brackles, Tom Starr, Kill Light and Leatherhead for the remix session. Top of the pile, Brackles goes in on an organ spiked slice of socaFunky-ruffige and Leatherhead remakes 'Run Over' as a brass-heavy Funky roller. On the other side, Kill Light turns 'Lovestruck' into a grinding Electro-House/Dubstep romp and Tom Starr does a dirty party trick for the peakin' electro-house kids.
Man with the plan, Geiom's Berkane Sol imprint revives his own Hem moniker and sets it off with a killer Shortstuff remix, backed with two crooked 8-Bit boogie joints. This label has a habit of pulling out some cracking remixes and Shortstuff's exemplifies the rule, romping wi' bashy soca drums and an all round ballistic dancefloor flavour to complement Terrible Shock's infectious vocals. On the flip Hem's 8Bit New jack Swinger 'Rich Chroma' gets an outing, next to the unclassified sound of 'Plastic Lily'. On a mission indeed.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Outstanding debut 7" from Further Reductions for their Brooklyn buddies at Captured Tracks. Both songs are as good as anything we've heard from this label over their prolific last 12 months, adding to the canon of contemporary coldwave with a uniform yet individual sound. From what we can discern 'Decidedly So' locates itself in that parallel dream-pop nether zone where Suburban Knight lives in Belgium and produces DIY synth bands, while the exquisite 'Not Unknown' has glimpses of Kate Bush magic in Katie Rose's ghoulish vocals and a beautifully learned feel for baroque synth pop arrangement. This is a total must-have for fans of Altar Eagle!
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Fascinating 12" featuring "recordings of raw output from 49 configuration of an EMS VCS 3 synthesizer" released through Russell Haswell's Touch sublabel, Or. As many synth fiends will know, the VCS 3 was the first commercially available portable modular synthesizer, and renowned for it wide range of inherent electronic sound effects. But due to it being an early model, and with the accumulations of oxide which occur over time, the machine is also known for its melodic unpredictability and the microtonal fluctuations which this instability exaggerates. Theo Burt and Peter Worth of the Mus… Read more
Like a Funky's answer to the Bushwackas, Shortstuff and Brackles link up for a killer tag team effort featuring the vocal talents of Terrible Shock, and backed up with a sterling Doc Daneeka remix. The restless stop/start syncopations of 'Good Foundations' twist up brittle, punchy Soca snares and bubbling Garage bass for Terrible Shock's wicked sing-a-long styles, also included as an instrumental and acapella for the DJs. We can see the straighter Doc Daneeka remix getting some widespread play too, as it simplifies the drum pattern to a sleeker Funky jack and sharpens the melody … Read more
Charming compilation of 13 tracks including rare bonus cuts by late 60s/early70s Texan Funk outfit The Soul Brothers. Like many of their time, they would only release a few 7"s, but with the Funk revival of the last ten years or so they've emerged from obscurity to become appreciated by a new generation. get on the badass heavy Funk cuts like 'Git It' or the energetic 'Soul Train' or the more soulful 'I Saw Forever My Love'.
Fenin and Shitkatapult enlist the more-than-able services of MDSLKTR fave, Robag Wruhme, for a pair of sprightly Dub-House bouncers. Ont he A-side there's the vocal mix of 'None Of Them', balancing the rootsy vox with a super supple bassline, whereas the flipside drops the vocal in place of a more defined percussive drive. Definitely one of the smartest Shitkatapult releases in a while.
Dublin's dark pop wonders, Cap Pas Cap, have come a long way from the more krautrock-influenced new wave sounds on their first "Not Not is Fine" 12" EP released at the end of 2006 to the hypnotic and spacey new-wave-no-wave-what-wave terrain of their 'We Are Men' 12" single in 2009. The band now re-appear with a sound they can unmistakable call their own. Haunted Light, their debut album, is a product of this paradox - darkness | light : being | not being : quiet | loud - with the tension of such oppositional forces finding resolution somehow through the music. Early tracks such as 'Mirror… Read more
When last we encountered this New Zealand band they were releasing an eponymous EP on Berlin label Morr Music in late 2008. Now the band release a full-length via Fire Records that delivers on the promise set out by that Morr debut. Kudos bears the influence of acts like Jesus And Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 whilst also slotting alongside the reverberant, garage-bound preoccupations of contemporaries like Crystal Stilts. Never short of a killer tune, Surf City have loaded the album up with big choruses and searingly bright guitar hooks - at every turn there's something special to latch onto, from th… Read more
Following up their ace 7" 'Peppermint', up-and-coming Yorkshire-based indie stars Spectrals deliver a seven-song mini album for Moshi Moshi, having previously cropped up on such fine imprints as Captured Tracks and Slumberland. Both tracks from that 7" are included on this set, which gives a pretty full account of mainman Louis Jones' classic pop know-how. The band takes its name from Phil Spector but is equally in the debt of vintage American soul productions and the DIY impulse of garage rock. 'Dip Your Toe In' patters along with a charmingly bluesy bubblegum feel, while '7th Date' drops… Read more
From the community at Glasgow's Green Door Studios, Optimo's JD Twitch has assembled this thoroughly endearing comp of classic punk, funk and rock cover versions. As part of a series of musical workshops at the studio, local kids on the Youth Music Summer School course worked with a bunch of older, more experienced musicians from groups such as Mothers & The Attics and Michael Dracula, and got involved with mixing, engineering and producing this release. You may have already heard the incredibly infectious version of ESG's 'Moody' by two 10 year old twins from Ghana, but you've prob… Read more
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Danuel Tate is best known for his work in Cobblestone Jazz and The Modern Deep Left Quartet, but provides his most substantial solo offering in 'Mexican Hotbox'. The funked and jazzy traits of his other projects are still clearly apparent, but kinked with a kookier sense of melody and a raw, restless feel for percussive arrangements. The titular opener smudges Akufen-esque glitches and talkbox vocals into a unique Deep House fusion while 'Big Spender' belies some jazzy HipHop influences, and 'Careful Mind' jacks on a big band House vibe. His jazziest moments are perhaps a little too tastef… Read more
Monday, 15 November 2010
Hailing from Columbia, Missouri, Heater are a three-piece DIY indie outfit comprising former member of Cave and Sneakers - Zach McLuckie (guitars and vocals), plus Jeremy Freeze of Jerusalem and Starbaskets (guitar), and Jon Wujick of California Raisins. Their debut release together 'God and Hair' is a melodic, lo-fi pop album with elements of '90s indie-punk a la Sebadoh, Sonic Youth or The Clean with a very concise are satisfyingly raw and viscerally noisy sound, enhanced in no small part by the analogue recording from Cave's Cooper Crain. Like the Black Math LP, also out this week from Chicago's Permanent Records, it's limited to 500 copies, never to be repressed.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Rolling off their widely acclaimed 'North' album, Darkstar drop an edited version of 'Gold', their cover of Human League's 'You Remind Me Of Gold', backed with a terrific John Roberts remix. There's a clear hint of more recent Junior Boys productions to their revision, from the effete, subtly effected vocals and slow pulsing tempo to their sumptuous rearrangement and emotive attraction. However, we much prefer John Roberts' Deep House rework, bulking the cut up with crisp Chicago rhythms and sparse layers of glassy, marimba-like percussion to lock down a standout dancefloor groove with proper underground anthem potential.
Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) limbers up for the dancefloor with two heavily treated disco diamonds as Les Sin, recorded in 2009 at his home studio in Columbia, South Carolina. No doubt, his celebrated 'Causers Of This' album was a happily danceable effort, but these two tracks have a more clearly defined purpose, and they fulfill it in style. The instantly infectious 'Lina' cuts straight to the chase with ebullient strings, filtered guitar licks and irresistible uptempo groove laying the way for an anonymous female vocal (perhaps from Lina?). 'Youth Gone' goes even harder on the filters and… Read more
This latest signing to Kompakt is a real breath of fresh air, obscuring divides between dancefloor music and Animal Collective style electronic psychedelia. Jatoma have chosen to shroud themselves in secrecy, although we do know that they're Danish and may or may not be a trio who are already involved with better known projects. Whoever they may be, they're onto a winner with this vibrant and enormously creative debut; while other recent Kompakt acquisitions - Walls, for example - have cross-pollinated club sounds with home-listening, Jatoma take this blurring of boundaries to the next level, soundin… Read more
*Special Edition - comes with a 9 track Bonus Disc* 'Feast Of Wire' is arguably the bands most accomplished album to date, the alt-country formula retaining its quasi melancholly fusion of accordion's, skittering drums, Mariachi/Bossa tempo's and horns, complete with their signature tenor vocal that is at the root of much of the bands reflective quality. 'Feast of Wire' also explores Calexico's more cinematic aspirations with the inclusion of 5 or so instrumental pieces which are, quite simply, posessed of the quality to transport you elsewhere. Recommended.
Rugged, 1-sided dubstep construction from Octave and DLR, following suit from the Seven, DJ Madd, and Hatcha to release on Black Box. 'Red Tape' sounds like it could have scuttled out from some cave back in 2007, built firmly in the image of Vex'd's most concentrated and hard hitting hafstep crushers with snarling bass licks held in place with a muzzle of seething percussion.
**Now available on vinyl** The second album from the awe-inspiringly weird West Yorkshire combo Cleckhuddersfax arrives on Upset The Rhythm. There's no way to approach categorising this band, and the rate at which they churn out ideas is truly baffling - tearing through eight absolutely unique songs in around half-an hour. 'Four Principles' belts through some weird garage-prog shapes and features a great Middle Eastern-sounding synth line, while further bizarre angles are thrown by the truly unclassifiable 'Stellar's Sea Cow', complete with honking synth silliness and a Fever Ray-esque v… Read more
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Debut album of feral, blistered Rock 'n Roll and distorted cold wave from Timmy's Organism for the brilliant Sacred Bones label. All ten songs were recorded between 2007-2010 and cross electrified train lines between raucous stompers like 'Ugly Dream' to more tender moments of piano, distortion and electronics on 'Building The Friend-ship', visiting emaciated, Suicide-esque wavey sh*t in 'Give It To Me Babe' or the Cold Cave-ish 'Silver Mountain' in between. All comes in brilliant metallic screen-printed sleeve with lyric sheet insert.
Tuesday, 09 November 2010
The Non Projects label presents the debut album from 22-year-old Los Angeles-based composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Ana Caravelle. The central instrument on Basic Climb is Caravelle's harp, although the arrangements extend far beyond that, adding a beautiful array of woodwinds, strings and percussion to the recordings. While you'd probably be expecting a certain amount of Joanna Newsom comparison in a write-up of Caravelle's work (as is the certain fate of any harp-wilding female songwriter for a generation to come), on something like 'Shapeshifting' you'll hear a more experime… Read more
Howe Gelb's pioneering alt. country band Giant Sand returns with a brand new album, twenty-five years on from their 1985 debut album, Valley Of Rain. Of the new record, Gelb says: "These recordings were done in the space between the waking world and the sleeping one. There exists a point there with a broad landscape that has seldom been loitered in. As with every previous album, none of this was planned. Every record has its own atmosphere. For me they are always a new place to live in and spend some time before moving on. On this album, it happened that every session we were able to… Read more
Random Trio's Cyrus moves further into his sound with two heavily stripped and meditative earth movers. 'Minimal' is just that, the faintest hint of haunting melody cocooned in chest crushing subbass and tied up with sparing percussion. 'Underworld' takes to a dread jungle scene, unidentified sounds lurking from the periphery while warped tribal percussion balances the ballooning bassline underneath. Watch out for the wicked drums after the 2nd drop.
Monday, 08 November 2010
Justin Richardson aka Genotype/Just Jungle makes a welcome return to the fray with a 3x10" album of cold junglist futurism configured with old skool methods. Between the late '90s and early '00s he produced a string of underground heavy hitters for Renegade Hardware and Reinforced, but while much of the scene has moved into Techier Neurofunked territory, Justin has retained proper dub rooted principles. His aesthetic slots very neatly into Exit Reecords' sparse and dread filled vibe, between the noirish sci-fi strings and cyber-stepping flex of the title track and the gray warehouse reverbs … Read more
Thursday, 04 November 2010
Two truly unruly riddims from Icelandic producer Hypno for the Ramp stable. While his previous 12" for Ramp's funkier little brother, Pattern, went on a 2010 House mission, these two are faster and more agile, like a high impact collision of styles between Joe, Shortstuff, and Untold. From the A-side 'Go Shorty', swinging like an ADD gibbon, and chopping up rap samples over rambunctious B-More-meets-Garage patterns, we're spun into the flipside 'Sunkin', where he tucks into a tighter groove of super clipped percussion with sub-aquatic bass swells and woozy synth spirals. Very tidy dancefloor tools for all dancer and DJ!
J Kenzo follows DJ Naughty to release on Roska's homegrown Kicks & Snares label, backed with a swinging Martin Kemp remix and Roska's 2nd VIP mix of 'Feeline'. The chest hammering silverback riddim 'Ruckas' does the damage on the A-side, built with explosive dynamics yet keeping the tropical funk tucked tightly in the pocket. Martin Kemp rolls out a more dextrous swing-jacking remix on the flip, while Roska sees fit to tackle his early anthem 'Feeline' with a bulkier, heavier jacking VIP version, because the last one ran out of Cognac and blunts. Rude.