MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 13 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Hoshi - Japanese Import CD by Tempelhof & Gigi Masin.

Tempelhof & Gigi Masin

Hoshi - Japanese Import CD

According to Aficionado legend and Balearic shepherd Moonboots, 'Hoshi' is "a masterpiece", and who are we to argue with that. After two vinyl runs made their bid for a spot in the magic circle with their almost immediate disappearing acts, we've sourced some copies of the Japanese only CD for those longing for something lush in their life. This sumptuous collaboration between the supremely talented electro-acoustic duo Tempelhof and legendary Italian composer, director and musician Gigi Masin, comprises ten gorgeous fragments of warm ambience, cinematic jazz, elegant downbeat and deeply meditative compositions. The album's exploration of peaceful ambient, of organic musical textures and brain soothing soundscapes is as classically informed as it is contemporarily creative. Buy on sight!

You'd be forgiven for not knowing the newest addition to the slowly expanding Claremont 56 roster. You see, there’s been no recorded output from German combo Bambi Davidson since the release of their largely overlooked “minimal post-rock” debut album, 'El Faco', in 2000. Until now, that is. Following the release of their debut set, founder members Robin van Velzen (guitar / vocals) and Hans Christian Fuss (drums) became frustrated with their lot. Bored with “rocking out” as a two-piece, they decided to start inviting other musicians to join them on stage. That meant that each performance was unique, with new tunes - often improvised on the spot - being developed for, or at, every gig. It’s an approach that frequently paid dividends. One particular collaborative gig, with Frank Mollena (most famous for his involvement with fellow German rock outfit Mountaineer) and Sofia Fuss, went so well that both were asked to become permanent members of the band.

It was at this point that the newly expanded four piece Bambi Davidson finally headed back into the studio to record a new album, some 15 years after they’d recorded their debut. As you’d expect with a new line-up, things are a bit different this time round. Whereas 'El Flaco' was a stripped-back affair with most tracks featuring just guitar, drums and vocals, Bambi Davidson features additional bass, electronics and keys provided by Frank and Sophia. The result is an expansive but atmospheric album built around sensual, undulating grooves, gentle sun-kissed melodies, lilting pedal steel and woozy, dub-influenced production. Often magical and always immersive, the six tracks that make up 'Brunswick' are delightfully contrary. While pleasingly accessible and capable of inducing broad smiles on the first listen, each carefully considered, drawn-out composition reveals more intricate layers on each listen. This is particularly true of “Foxhunting” - reminiscent of fellow Claremont 56 act Bison, and as a result of similar sonic influences - and opener "Brunswick". Arguably the album's high point, the latter offers a 13 minute-long shuffle through Balearic post-rock territory with Van Velzen’s weary, emotional vocals riding a wave of vibrant colours. Hazy, intoxicating and evocative, it sounds like a horizontal anthem in the making. There are plenty of other highlights, too, from the hypnotic, pitched-down dub-disco-meets-Balearic rock shuffle of "Cattle", to the low-slung krautrock revivalism of "Artist", and the touchy-feely rhythms and stargazing chords of “Hubble”, the four-piece’s most intergalactic cut yet. Give it time, and we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with Bambi Davidson as much as we have.

Crosley

Record Player CR8005A - Cruiser (Tweed)

    Love the rich, warm sound of vinyl, but wish it was a more moveable music format? Put down the iPod and mobilize your music with the Crosley Cruiser 3-speed portable turntable.

    Constructed of wood and bound in a leatherette material, the briefcase-styled record player is lightweight and easily transported from place to place. It features built-in stereo speakers so you can listen to your music without having to connect it to a speaker system.

    Cruise over to a friend's house and experience vinyl's superior sound together.

    - Belt-driven turntable mechanism 33 1/3, 45 & 78rpm.
    - Dynamic full-range stereo speakers
    - AC power adapter RCA audio out
    - Dimensions: 15.50in X 14.00in X 6.10in

    Django Django

    First Light - Inc. Wrongtom / Mickey Pearce / Ghost Culture Remixes

    Django Django return ahead of their sophomore LP "Born Under Saturn" with the expansive single "First Light", an uncompromising and contrary piece of pop majesty which combines tough military drum beats and muscular bass sequences with ethereal Simon & Garfunkel / Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies. On the A2, East End dub peddlar Wrongtom meets Django uptown, dubbing the track out with a high plains riddim and spiralling guitar part, and pushing the kosmische synth of the original to the fore. On the flip, Mickey Pearce blocks the "First Light" out and creates a sweat-soaked kuduro-tinted basement shaker from the mangled remnants of the original. Deconstructed dancefloor brilliance from the Rinse FM mainstay. Last but not least, Phantasy synth wizard Ghost Culture offers a transportive acid flecked interpretation complete with a warm rolling baseline, brain dance electro rhythm and plenty of machine magic. Three killer remixes and one resplendent return from Django Django.

    Föllakzoid began seven years ago as a trance experience between childhood friends Diego, Juan Pablo, and Domingo from Santiago, Chile. Heavily informed by the heritage of the ancient music of the Andes, the band has learned to integrate this influence with contemporary sounds of their times, creating a rich yet minimal atmosphere.

    For III, the band wanted to expand their sound while building an atmosphere with mainly monochords and reiteration. After recording and mixing the album on their own at their studio at BYM Records, they partnered with German electronic maestro Atom TM to flesh out the album’s synth parts. Most of the sounds he provided were atonal electronic sounds, aiming for concrete frequencies and sampled organic glitches. (The Korg synthesizer Atom TM plays on this record was used by Kraftwerk on a tour during the ’80s and given to him by Florian Schneider.)

    III is a four-part minimal sound voyage in which you can hear Föllakzoid’s musical language developing into something more upbeat, obscure, and sharp, yet even simpler in terms of elements. During the past year, the band played more than 80 gigs, including at Primavera Sound Festival (both Porto and Barcelona), ATP Festival in the UK, Musique Volantes in Lyon, and Lollapalooza Chile. The shows for III, including a confirmed set at Austin Psych Fest in May, should spread the band’s fog-enshrouded gospel to an even wider audience. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Limited to just 400 copies only on GOLD vinyl!

    "Obscurant" marks the triumphant reunion of Sunao Gonno and International Feel after the all pervasive 2011 underground anthem "Acdise#2", an emotive acid stormer played by everyone from Todd Terje to Ewan Pearson. It sounds very much like DJs from the A-list down to the toilet circuit need to clear some space in their sets one more time, because Gonno's done it again! Title track "Obscurant" buries subtle acid energy and dancefloor drive beneath the hypnotic, circular chimes of the slo-mo electronic Steve Reich keys. Swelling pads, a dynamic arrangement and crescendant cymbals inject a profound sense of drama and euphoria into the track, perfect for taking dancers on a life changing trip. A2 cut, "A Life With Clarinet"  cools things down a couple of gas marks and provides a warm sunset excursion for the Balearic jocks out there. Packing a heartswelling burst of emotion into its expansive pads and hypnotic arps, "A Life With Clarinet" travels into the horizon with a stately grace, boasting transcendant beauty and rhythmic intricacy. Call Super drops by on the flip to close the EP out in style, delivering a deep and melodic techno rework of "Obscurant". The producer splits the original track apart and reassembles it around a new framework of snapping percussion and warm, round bass, creating a rolling techno cut reminiscent of Donato Dozzy's pearler on Acid Test last year. Another future classic from Mark Barrott's flawless label.


    Following on from a hugely successful 2014, culminating in a nomination for ‘Label of the Year’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide awards, Rhythm Section International is back with a real statement of intent for 2015. Stepping up for RS004 is Canadian producer ‘Local Artist’, who delivers a 3 track EP via his native Vancouver, his second release following a stunning debut on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label. On the "Feelings" EP, Local Artist presents 3 very different tracks, tied together by a decidedly dubwise approach to production. From the glaring dub siren in "Feelings" to the hazy step of "Place I" via the uplifting shuffle of "Ozone", the record is as versatile as it is effective. The clever use of delay, spaced out atmospherics and sound-system dynamics on this 12” has been championed by the likes of Ben UFO, Osunlade, Noise in my Head, Alex Nut, Damiano Von Eckhert and Jack J who have all been vocal early advocates of the release. Occupying the grey area between house, dub and the new jazz-inflected beatdown sound of London, the EP also doffs it’s cap to the sound of the Canadian Riviera, a la Mood Hut, while paying respects to the pioneering studio work of King Tubby and Rhythm & Sound. I have to say, following up the work of Mr. Dobson Jr was gonna be one hard task, but somehow Local Artist has managed to do just that. Delivering something truly inspiring, unique, yet fitting completely with the already well established ethos and aesthetic of the label. Hat's off! Completely recommended. 

    Italian born Federico Costantini steps out of the Hell Yeah stable with a full-length album project that really showcases his style across nine great tracks. As a regular spinner at Rome's best parties, Luminodisco knows how to work a dancefloor in style, disregarding genre confines to explore all aspects of electronic music. Alongside Francisco (Jolly Music), he makes up Studio22, whose release on Edizioni Mondo went down a storm here at Piccadilly Records. The bird calls, humid jungle ambiance and rising synths of opening track "Understory" make for a great bit of evocative musical imagery that places you somewhere hot immediately. "La Mission" follows on with a serious slow-mo groove awash with elastic chords, stretched vocals and prickly percussion before "The Pirates" offers a playful disco jam with clipped vox and lively chord stabs. As we head to the end of the first disc, "Welcome" suspends listeners amongst celestial chords and baby sounds before "Equipe" gets freaky with bendy bass, blurts of synth and all sorts of beautifully odd sounds and samples that are charming and curious in equal measure. Continuing to prove he uses totally different sound sources and textures than anyone else, 'Da Simonetti' chugs along on the laziest of drums as sun kissed synths radiate from the core, opening the C-side in idiosyncratic style. "Zenigata" is a more dancefloor-aligned track with rising arpeggios, twinkling melodies and stirring, emotive synths. "Lavori Forzati" is a soupy, gooey number with cosmic ripples and deep space energy permeating throughout and the album closes with the upbeat and authentic disco jam that is "Oh Mary". This album has many tricks up its sleeve but always manages to sound like nothing else as well as making you feel good in its presence. It's moving both physically and emotionally and really takes you on a unique trip. 

    Piccadilly Records

    Mono Colour Print - Black Tote Bag

      One colour 'mono' print (white) of the Piccadilly Records logo on a black tote bag.


      Temples

      Sun Restructured

        A ‘reanimation’ of their much-acclaimed debut album by Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve (Erol Alkan and Richard Norris), released on Heavenly Recordings. 

        Taking the original record as their guide, Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve have created a kaleidoscopic trip that redefines and takes the original into new, twisted sonic spaces. 

        Using five re-interpreted tracks (‘Sand Dance’, ‘Shelter Song’, ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’, ‘Golden Throne’ and ‘Move With The Season’) from the original album to form the spine of the record, the 42-minute journey is interwoven with tweaked and warped snatches of other tracks from ‘Sun Structures’.

        Never one to stand still and fresh from a scheduled intermission whilst working on a dance record as Les Sins, loaning his vocals to Chromeo and starting his own record label, producer, songwriter, singer and melodic mastermind Chaz Bundick is all set to resume his Toro Y Moi guise with brand new album What For? And whilst most would think there were no genres left to play with, the intrepid musical explorer is about to throw one hell of a curve ball into the mix.

        “I’ve done electronic R&B and more traditional recorded R&B stuff. I just wanted to see what else was out there,”Bundick says of the record’s new direction. “It’s all coming from the same mindset and point of creativity. It’s just me trying to take what I already have, then taking it further asking, "OK, what can I do now?" or "What haven't I tried yet?"

        As mastermind and ringleader of the smeared electronic production sound that defined and established ‘chillwave’ before hipsters rode it within an inch of its life (see 2010’s Causers of This), an explorer of motorik space-age funk (2011’s Underneath The Pine), smoky 4/4 house-tinged pop, electro-funk and late-night electronic soul (2013’s Anything In Return) all to critical acclaim, What For? is where Toro Y Moi’s story continues - albeit one that leaves its true meaning only to imagination. “The album’s main themes are love and nature,” he hints. “I wrote about personal experiences but intentionally left them vague. I‘ve always felt that good songs should heighten your mental awareness.”

        Written and recorded over the course of eight months at his home studio in Berkeley, California,What For?draws inspiration from Big Star, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren, as well as the psychedelic soul of Brazil’s Tim Maia and ‘70s-era jazz-funk of France’s Cortex. Unknown Mortal Orchestra guitarist Ruban Neilson appears on the album, as does multi-instrumentalist Julian Lynch. This time, meticulous production of stereo-panned guitars, buzzing synthesizers, funky keys and live drumming has paved the way for the feel of a rock band playing together in the same room; “A studio should keep changing and all of the gear should be out and exposed or else you'll never remember to use it. With this album, I'd just walk up to an instrument somewhere in my house and start writing,”Bundick recalls.

        Having spent his formative years playing in punk rock bands and studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, Bundick began making bedroom recordings under the name Toro Y Moi in 2001. Those early demos made up the seeds of his distinct retro-future sound ahead of a brief stint in New York before relocating to California in 2012. It’s a move that has given Bundick time to reflect on what’s important, allowing him the freedom to create whilst also embarking upon new exciting projects such as establishing ‘Company’ records;
        “Having a label has been a goal for a while. I want to be a part of this generation,”tells Bundick. “I'm aiming to take Company as far as it can go. I'm helping artists with each release from production to the design of the album cover to make something timeless.”

        Whether recording and creating another album, or assisting with someone else’s work in progress, Bundick continues to prove to be as prolific as he is diverse. In the process he is constantly pushing the limits to point Toro Y Moi in new directions, yet never sacrificing his melodic sensibility or keen ear for arrangements and texture.

        What For? - Why Not...

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: Ace change of direction for Chaz Bundrick. This record reminds me of Teenage Fanclub in its retro pop directness: Big Star meets power-pop melodiousness. However, there's also a slightly wonky Todd Rundgren flavour mixed in to keep things fresh. Superb stuff!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Standard LP is black vinyl, includes digital download and sticker.

        CD Info: CD in softpak, based on LP design.

        Ltd LP Info: Deluxe Limited LP includes blue and white starburst colour vinyl housed in gatefold jacket with exclusive poster, sticker and download code.

        Wall Of Sound are pleased to announce details of a new label compilation ‘Walls Have Ears: 21 Years Of Wall Of Sound’ to be released through PIAS.

        The brainchild of Mark Jones, the Wall Of Sound label was launched in 1994. Following the underground acid house explosion of the preceding years the label set about unleashing a catalogue of releases that were to become synonymous with the era, mixing sonics and genres together with abandon. The first ever signing to the label, Mekon (John Gosling), sums the label up as “a well-oiled machine reversing into the future.”

        Available on double CD, the compilation features an array of artists from the heady days of the label’s inception and includes tracks and artists from the off shoot labels We Love You and Bad Magic.

        Also includes tracks culled from various BBC sessions, cruising through a catalogue that encapsulates the diversity of a label that has been home to the likes of Royksopp, Grace Jones, Propellerheads, Les Rythmes Digitales, Reverend And The Makers, The Human League, Aeroplane, The Bees, Tiesto and more.


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