MAGIC MIX

disco . italo . cosmic . disco-not-disco . boogie

WEEK STARTING 18 May

Genre pick of the week Cover of 4 by Kerrier District.
Cornish acid dance pioneer, Luke Vibert, dusts off the old gladrags and revives his cherished Kerrier District moniker for a new album on Hypercolour.

Having already released an album in 2014 (the audacious 303 tweakathon ‘Ridmik’, released under the Luke Vibert name), Vibert returns to the label with a 14 track album as Kerrier District. “4” is the first Kerrier album since 2004’s self titled long player for the legendary Rephlex label. Two singles also emerged from this project in 2006 and 2011, so it’s a huge scoop for the British imprint and a welcome return for Vibert’s disco and funk led project.

Digging into a huge pot of influence, and ably assisted with a trusty MPC, “4” is not surprisingly made up of a glorious collage of samples, old skool drum loops and large doses of acid funk and deep electronic disco, inspired in parts by the landmark Black Devil "Disco Club” LP from 1978 that has since gone on to influence the music of many like-minded producers (step forward Metro Area / Daniel Wang et al).

A scan through the track titles (“Treacle Tits”? “Discuntek”?) reveal an album filled with humour and mischievous intent, most definitely a trait of many of Vibert’s past releases, but the music really is some serious business. From the album opener, “Discogram”, with its easy (listening) vibes and low-slung groove, right the way through to the closing “Come On Kerrier” with its frenzied synth work, deadly bass and incessant vocal stabs, the album is a Technicolor romp through feel good modern boogie-disco, electro-funk and acid house music as only Kerrier knows how. Drawing upon a wealth of incredible source material, playful beat programming and lush bass, “4” is an album that will quite possibly soundtrack the Summer of 2015 for many, many people.


Following the launch of his limited multi edition 'F O R M A T' project in February, Trevor Jackson releases a collected triple LP edition via The Vinyl Factory featuring 13 tracks including an exclusive bonus cut not available on any of the initial releases.

'F O R M A T' is the first album from Trevor Jackson since his acclaimed Playgroup album back in 2001. His recent "Metal Dance" compilations reinvigorated interest in early industrial and experimental electronic dance music that’s clearly had a powerful influence on much of today’s leftfield club music, Jackson's included. Curated from an archive of over 150 tracks Trevor had built up over the past two decades, the inspiration for the producer's music has come from “the times and places where genres weren't quite formed.” While his synth and beatbox workouts might touch on proto-house, on new wave, on Italo and techno, on ambient and psychedelia, they are at the same time none of these things.

'F O R M A T'’s initial limited edition release in February consisted of 12 separate physical releases each featuring a different track, available on 12”, 10” & 7” vinyl, CD, mini CD, cassette, USB, VHS, minidisc, DAT, 8 track + reel to reel. This was no ordinary release - it charted the legacy of the physical music format, in a characteristically beautiful and uncompromising way. An accompanying installation at The Vinyl Factory space at Brewer Street Car Park in London offered people the opportunity to listen to the album as a unique audio-visual experience.


FORMAT INFORMATION

3xLP Info: * 13 album tracks including an exclusive bonus cut
* Pressed on three 180g heavyweight vinyl records
* Housed in a bespoke clear sleeve
* Screen printed artwork by Trevor Jackson

CD Info: CD comes in clear printed jewel case

New imprint Special Edition launches in style with a top release from upcoming talent Kiu D. The Italian producer has been grabbing a lot of influential people's attention recently and it is not surprising on this kind of devastating form. A-side cut "I'm A Rocker" sees Kiu throwing boogie into the blender, transforming the Rocker's Revenge classic "Walking On Sunshine" into a synth heavy nu disco cut that'll tear the floor apart at Lowlife, Horse Meat Disco or El Diablo's Social Club. "Disco Brain" takes a slightly different route to the dancefloor, beefing up a storming soul jazz sample with the fattest bassline I've heard this week and a whole heap of sizzling percussion. Last but not least, "Calm Before The Storm" gets cinematic on your ass, rewiring the expansive sounds of spiritual jazz till they fizz and shimmer with dancefloor energy. This superb three tracker sees Kiu D get Special Edition off to a great start, jumping right to the top of the one-to-watch-list in the process.

Thomas Leer is an innovative electronic musician who was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland. He began singing for a local band at age 13, and was writing his own music by 18. By 1977, he had moved to London, where he fronted Pressure, a Clash­-esque punk group with fellow experimental Scottish musician Robert Rental. After hearing Kraftwerk, Leer became interested in synthesizers - not long after, he was exploring the experimental techniques of Eno, Zappa, Beefheart, Faust, and Can.

In 1978, Thomas released his first single, “Private Plane” / “International”, on his own Oblique Records. Both songs were recorded in his small Finsbury Park flat over three days, using a TEAC A3440 4-­track recorder and an ALICE mixing board. The only effects used were a Watkins Copicat tape echo unit, Electo Harmonix DrQ filter, an old Roland drum machine, and a Stylophone. So as to not wake his sleeping girlfriend, Leer’s vocals were nearly whispered, which lends them a textural, psychedelic quality. NME named “Private Plane” Single of the Week, and the hand-stamped first edition of 650 promptly sold out. For this expanded reissue, we’ve added 2 bonus tracks. “Kings of Sham”, from the 1981 Cherry Red Records sampler “Business As Usual”, is perfect motorik trance, echoing Conny Plank’s 1970′s productions. “Saving Grace” is the extended instrumental version of Leer’s second single “All About You” from 1982, a slow­-burning cosmic work-out chock-full of anthemic synth riffs.

All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket is an exact replica of the 1978 handmade edition enlarged for the 12” format, featuring a cut and paste collage by Thomas. Each copy includes a two­-sided newsprint insert with never­-before­-seen photos, an interview, and liner notes by Professor Keith R. Laws. 37 years later this is fresh UK D.I.Y. post­-punk, compelling pop with a dark heart, vacillating between the pretty disturbing and the disturbingly pretty.

The Legendary 1979 Orchestra

Pure Legendary Edits #1

The Legendary 1979 Orchestra returns to his edit fetish with the first release in the new edit series, Pure Legendary Edits. We've all heard the edit thang a thousand times over but the main man updates the formula with pure grooves, pure sounds and pure spontaneity. The A side cut, "Diggin It", revolves around a funked out groove, cut-through drums and a summery melody that sizzles in and out via filters, delay and reverb. This a big and beefy discoid winner with a whole host of bounce to the ounce thanks to a monsterous bassline, killer. Things get even hotter on the B-side, "Loungin In The Sun", thanks to an exotic sun-drenched rhythm and Brazilian sea-side vibes. The filtering and subtle echo on the sultry vocals, rhodes undertones and horn accents is just dubby enough to conjure up images of summer swelter without taking anything away from the track's disco roots.


The mysterious Milq inaugurates this brand new series of house cut ups for the vinyl only Bones imprint, bringing pure heat for the big rooms around the world. Dominating the A-side is a big and beefy rework of Talking Heads' sublime "This Must Be The Place", which sees Milq loop up that gorgeous little keyboard melody (presumable the Naive Melody) and slam a hefty kick and filtered sub underneath. As the club begins to power up into the sky, a little hit of Byrne's vocal sneaks in and the rest is history. On the other side, Milq takes Michael McDonald's yacht rock favourite "I Keep Forgettin'" for a high speed race around the bay, working the filter with mad skills as the slow mo classic gets a high octane flip. Last but not least, Q Lazzarus's Buffalo Bill soundtracking, "Goodbye Horses" finds itself under the spotlights and strobelights, turning this way and that way under Milq's production brilliance.


The fine folks at Moton, that'll be Diesel and Jarvis, hook us up with something a little special this summer, slimming their usual 12" format down into three superb 7"s of edit delight, housed in a stickered box within a printed tote bag, russian doll style. The reward for working your way through the mutli-layered packaging is the audio bliss of six stunning Moton reworks, all exclusive to this boxset! From the top, the A1 goes deeper than deep with an uptempo space disco number alive with expansive synthlines, funky clavs and intergalactic fx. Next up, "Exotiq" drops down a few gears for an Eastern influenced synth trip in the true wonky cosmic style - all dub fx, off kilter melodies and chanted vocals. As we head onto the second disc, things only get better as Diesel and Jarvis pitch down some high camp, high emotion d-i-s-c-o to create a seriously trippy Balearocker that's already making the playlists of the A-list. "Man's Lifespan" follows presently, hitting us with "Never Can Say Goodbye" as we've never heard it before, thick with echoed vocals and spinetingling guitars. Unreal! E1 cut "Sister To Sister" does its thang with plenty of soul and sass, blowing our minds with far out funk, and full on frequencies. Last but not least, Diesel and Jarvis go beachcombing with the blue eyed boogie of "We Are The Sunset", a jazzed out, funked up cut ripe for early hours or end of night play.

FORMAT INFORMATION

7" Box Set Info: Printed Tote Bag containing hand numbered 3x7" box. Limited to 500 copies.

Rothmans return in the company of Berlin based Israeli outfit, Naduve, for a tribute to the silky smooth Italian maestro Paolo Rossi. The debut release from Naduve & friends finds Rothmans bringing another new dimension to their already diverse roster with another unique record. Alongside the pair of killer original tracks,  Manpower and The Claydermans join the Rothmans family on remix duties. The first track "Miracles From Erdine" sees the production team bringing that slowed down chuggy sound that Rothmans are well renowned for whilst "Nein" ups the tempo courtesy of a fat italo beat. Depsite doing their dance at different ends of the tempo sepctrum, both tracks deliver a unique sound which oozes the Tel Aviv vibe. Bringing up the rear Manpower does his thing the only way he knows how, hitting us with a classic Manpower version which inevatibley ends up kicking as hard as a Paolo Rossi penalty. On the B2 The Claydermans finish off the record with what can only be described as an absolute banger. Rothmans score the winner yet again!

Omena open their arms wide and welcome a new member to the family with this stellar 12" from Naphta. With stellar releases on Studio Barnhus (Palm Trees Love EP) and Transatlantyk (Solar Empire EP) and mad props from the likes of Eddie C, Justin Van Der Volgen, Soft Rocks and Mudd (Claremont 56) the RBMA graduate arrives as Omena in fine form. Getting down to business straight away on the A1, Naphta gets esoteric and psychedelic with the lopsided roll of "Kaiju Stomp", filling the background with a swirl of disembodied voices and rattling conga  while his undulating bassline does a ear catching duet with that skewed synth sequence. For "Striker Eureka", Naphta works the same sonic magic on some sax-led jazz, creating an immersive, headturning cut that perfectly evokes an acid trip in a jazz club (we've all been there...). On a remix tip, Omena boss Tooli swaps the office for the studio, injecting a Maze-styled bassline into the bottom end before rearranging "Striker Eureka" as a jazzy, break heavy, downbeat cut which could have leapt right out of a mid 90s Cafe Del Mar tape. Poland's rising stars Ptaki house things up a little with their rework, layering beachcombing guitar licks over a stomping beat and insistent sequences for a distant relative to "E2-E4". If you ever wanted a record that combines exotic rhythms with your favourite sunset chords, dervish basslines and snake charming melodies then this release is for you.


From the land of the rising sun, Sailor Moon and throwing stars comes this superb edit EP of mindbending cosmic sounds. Oyama Edits is the studio moniker for a couple of Japan's underground legends, renowned diggers and DJs Mori Ra and DJ Ground. For the uninitiated, Mori Ra's "Japanese Breeze" series has offered heads around the world a rare window into the obscure and inscrutible world of Japanese electronics, while Daichi Furukawa's mixes on Chillmountain have caused a stir in the deepest musical circles. The Oyama rocket ship instantly hits warp speed with the spiralling sequences of "Niagra Pink", a brainpulping psyche edit that could easily serves as an alternate soundtrack to THAT scene in Kubrick's 2001. All manner of howls, traffic sounds and dislocated voices swirl through the background while clattering percussion tumbles over the wormhole synth, finally dropping us in the motorik breakdown at the track's conclusion. "Space Flight" takes a calmer approach, albeit still at about 125 bpm, flinging us around a melodic milky way on a carousel of filtering sequences, meteor showers and space dust, while the droning synthline waxes and wanes. This is the kind of space disco I lost my heart to back in the mid 2000s, and is a total treat for anyone with a healthy stash of Feedelity and Full Pup in their collection. For the flipside we drop out of warp speed, instead opting for a couple of wonked out zero gravity trips in the form of "Ghost Guide" and "Love & Love". The former kicks off the B-side with a irresistible bass groove, expansive strings and an ascending staircase of key changes which keeps you peaking again and again. The closest analogue I can come up with is Logic System's superb "Unit", but with the weight of dub effects and space echo going on here, that's still way off the mark. "Love & Love" closes the set in emotional form thanks to a killer fusion of cosmic magic, jazzy instrumentation and tripped out sonics, perfect for leaving you elated, inflated and a little unbalanced.  Domo arigato!

Pye Corner Audio

Stars Shine Like Eyes / Quasar II - Fluro Orange Vinyl Edition

Death Waltz Recording Company unleash a new offering in their Originals line, this time from the acclaimed head technician of Pye Corner Audio taking you on a sonic journey through yesterday, today, and tomorrow. On 'Stars Shine Like Eyes' mystery abounds; the hiss and buzz of old machinery envelops you - the voyage has begun and you have awoken from cryogenic slumber. Welcome to 2080. A doom-laden synthesiser riff takes control and guides you with unerring precision, the inevitably incredible beat providing weight and heft along the way.

Electronic screeches echo in the darkness, suddenly silenced. Of course John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream come to mind, but Pye goes beyond those influence and transcends them, creating its own frame of reference. Dystopian, foreboding, dissonant, like an unearthed soundtrack to a great piece of science fiction, one that you yourself can imagine. Just strap yourself in, close your eyes, and let your mind wander, intertwined with the terror and the colour of space that is Pye Corner Audio.


Tel-Aviv duo Rabo & Snob follow up their incendiary debut outing on Whiskey Disco #32 with another nu disco killer in the form of this four track 12". The fundamental goal of modern disco is to ride the groove and make folks move and Rabo & Snob just make it look easy, weaving new textures over old and creating instant classics. Up first, title track "You Get By" is a high octane disco stomper driven to the heart of the peaktime by that insistent bassline. Sustained strings keep the intensity high while the intricate mesh of twinkling keys and solid chords power through the midrange, heading up the supporting cast for those uplifting vocals. Next up, Love Dance offer a floor centric rework, slowing the pace, stripping things back and tweaking the original vocals for a headier combination aimed directly at the dawn patrol. Over on the flip, "Believe" bounces out of a cacophony of polyrhmic tuned percussion on the springiest bassline going, before breaking out into an assured shimmey once the guitar licks and synth melodies make a welcome appearance. Last but not least, Rabo & Snob take things into psychedelic chug territory with a pitched down rework of Raphael Cameron's "Together" (which you may remember from Stupid Human's high octane edit a few years ago). Rabo & Snob kill it once again with this non stop disco party.

Following a BBC Sound Of 2015 nomination and signing to XL Recordings, the hotly-tipped talent Shamir comes correct with his debut album "Ratchet". The Las Vegas-based singer crept slowly into the awarenesses of music fans with a steady rise in popularity following the release of debut EP "Northtown", which was put out on the Godmode Records label. Hypnotic single "On The Regular" marked the transition to the indie label giant XL and promised an album of addictive rhythms and bold pop magic.

Dismissing any questions of over hype straight off the bat, Shamir opens the LP with the Sylvester "I Need Somebody To Love Tonight" stylings of "Vegas", delivering the best low tempo cut of the year so far. From that point forward there's no looking back as the young gun unites Larry Levan-era house, DFA-style beats and strikingly sincere and lyrics into a ménage à trois which calls to mind the finest work of Hot Chip, Holy Ghost! and Tiga. Alongside the pure pop majesty of "Make A Scene" and "On The Regular", there's the thumping house hit of "Call It Off" and "Hot Mess" before the smooth R&B stylings of "Demon" closes the A-side. As we dive to the flip, LP standout "In For The Kill" goes woozy and wonky in an explosion of brass backed 'Arthur Russel goes house' genius. "Youth" channels Hot Chip at their dancefloor best (think of "My Piano") before "Darker" heads off on an emotive FKA Twigs-esque crank anthem. And how better to finish this glorious artistic statement off than with a high camp, high energy house slammer, which is exactly what "Head In The Clouds" is.

"Ratchet" sees Shamir live up to the hype and reset the bar for danceable pop music - get involved.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: LP includes 8 page illustrated lyric booklet.

It feels like a little while since the Giant Cuts crew hit us with one of their killer edit 12"s, but rest assured this bad MF is worth the wait. The ever reliable dancefloor experts at GCHQ have served up an awesome foursome of teasers and pleasers sure to blow the roof off any party this summer. Getting us off on the good foot is "Get Over It!", a bass driven mid tempo sizzler perfectly suited for early doors when you're turning up the pressure. Sweet vocals, blaring horns and tasty fx all weave together into a harmonious dancefloor delight. On the A2, "Why?" ups the tempo and wages war on the peaktime with tense strings, that bubbling bassline and real chunky guitar. If you're a fan of Combi, My Rules or any of the work of that NY crew, then this is the one for you! On the flip, "Dancin' Is The Only Way", spins like a mirror ball, sending soulful sparkle all over the show, while that heavy duty bassline keeps the floor bouncing. The perfect amalgam of disco and boogie, this should be the series' soundtrack. Last but not least, our intrepid editors take on Gaz's "Sing Sing", adding a whole load of reverb and reworking that arrangement until it's primed for club destruction! It's already getting up front spins from a whole host of top jocks, so make sure you're in the club too.

The international brotherhood of the Salamanca return with three more deeply dug edits for the discerning jock. Afrobot takes charge on the A-side, picking out  a stomping southern rock cut and giving it such an industrial strength facelift, it transcends the concept of edit and exists in its own entity. The whiskey soaked vocals ride a fearsome backbeat while synth drums tumble, fx fizz and crackle and a whole load of bose candy gets consumed (just wait for that guitar solo). First up on the flip, Joe's Bakery drop a punk funk / boogie showdown on our ass, prompting moves I didn't even know I had. The combination of New Order styled vocals, an ESG backline and a little euro madness in the buoyant synth bass will throw any dancefloor into a fit of throbbing pleasure. Last but not least, we arrive at the orchestral Italo sounds of Dolly Savalas' "Man On A Boat", a superb edit of an Italian obscurity from way back in '79 which sits prettily between Jim Noir and ELO. Immense. Comes in lovely two colour hand-printed sleeve and is limited to 300 copies... You know what to do.

Supafrico unearths another superb collection of impossible to find Afro Disco rarities. South Africa’s legendary songstress Margaret Singana is up first with her in-demand cover of the Stretch classic ‘Why Did You Do It’, a super-funky take on an already great song, previously only available on her 1977 ‘Tribal Fence’ LP. Next up is ‘Boogie Trip’ by Nigerian Doris Ebong, an uber-rare Afro boogie bomb, high on many a collectors’ wants list. The flip side features another couple of excellent cover versions, Sweet Talks’ party-starting Afro disco version of Andy Gibb’s hit ‘Shadow Dancing’ and the highly sought-after ‘Disco Push’ from late Seventies South African band The Movers - a great floor filling take on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’.


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