Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat


Genre pick of the week Cover of Crash Boom / Dream Dance by JAZ / Party Dad.

JAZ / Party Dad

Crash Boom / Dream Dance

The Universal Cave crew return for second helpings of dancefloor delight, uniting Charleston's finest disco duo back to back on wax. Coming from two regulars behind the decks, prolific crate diggers, collectors and editors, you'd expect good things, and you'd be right! Side A offers a hard-hitting vocoder disco bomb from the ever forward, deep and free disco minister JAZ. I haven't got the foggiest what the original is I'm afraid, although the Slavic vibe of the vocals suggests it has eastern European roots. Party Dad cools things down to pool party perfection with his "Dream Dance" edit on the flip. Pastoral, proggy and horizontal, this is one far out dude. It's all chiller, no filler on this soothing 7", packing plenty of autumnal Balearic vibes.

As summer fades and the nights draw in, the young lovers of the world need to keep themselves warm through til the morning. Lucky then that "Café Romantica" is here to soundtrack seductions, trysts and lingering embraces, whatever the weather. Man of the moment Andras Fox reconnects with Oscar Thorn on Dopeness Galore for another collection of stripped back, sultry and smooth proto-house grooves, decorated with rippling percussion, intricate and exotic melodies and Oscar's gorgeous vocals. Over the course of eight tracks, the Australian duo take us back to the old school and show us how it's done properly thanks to Nu Groove inspired rhythm sections, street soul motifs and Italian keys. From warm and uplifting floor pleasers to deep and intimate bedroom teasers, Andras and Oscar mack out in perfect harmony. 

Boards Of Canada

Hi Scores

Skam Records are very proud to announce the re-release of Boards of Canada 'Hi Scores'. This follows the reissue of their other seminal records by Warp in 2013.

The new edition has been re-recorded and re-mastered from the original DAT tapes and has been re-cut onto heavyweight collector’s edition vinyl.

The CD is placed in a digi-pak sleeve with some extra art and the vinyl includes a double-sided 12” poster.

The original image on the back of the sleeve is in colour. There is a spot varnish finish on the images and text alongside the usual Skam Braille sticker to give the whole package new depth and a refreshing look and feel.

Originally released in 1996, this six track EP signalled the arrival of a major force on the electronica scene. Everything you love about the BOC sound is here; crunching breaks, busy electronic infills, crystalline tones, synth lines reminiscent of the theme tunes and incidental music from 1970s Programmes for Schools and Colleges. Included are the wonderful title track 'Hi Scores', haunting 'Turquoise Hexagon Sun', electro-funker 'Nlogax', dancefloor slammer 'June 9th', sleazy, queasy 'Seeya Later' and melancholic hip hop cut 'Everything You Do Is A Balloon'.

'Hi Scores' hasn't been available since 2005, so take advantage of this limited remastered repress and grab yourself a copy of BOC history!

Quality reissue of Codek’s highly sought-after first release from 1980. This hard to find 12” version features the incredible full length six minute version of ‘Me, Me, Me’ a funky slo-mo new wave floorfiller that originally found favour with Baldelli, Loda etc. on Italy’s early eighties cosmic scene as well as the equally great instrumental ‘Demo’ version on the flip. Somehow bridging a sonic wormhole between Ian Dury, Talking Heads and David Bowie…Unmissable!

Two of the UK's finest underground labels join forces and share their talent on this killer 12. From IIB we have Coyote's "Sin Distracciounes", an upbeat sunkissed dancefloor meditation featuring the blissed out Flamenco guitar of long time collaborator Saro Tribastone. Futurboogie's Christophe remixes and chops up the guitar and adds some gypsymenesque organ stabs and layers of keys. Futureboogie's Felix Dickinson and Jamie Read drop the funky guitar heavy "Restless People". Sublime chugging beats and a beautiful vocal refrain imploring 'Slow It Down' creating a laidback house monster. IIB's Max Essa puts his remix right in the middle of the dancefloor with straight up house vibes and extra percussion.

Fantastic limited reissue of one of the holy grails of the Balearic scene. Recorded in 1981 by Guy Cuevas, a Cuban-born DJ living in Paris, every track is a killer. Side A features the full seven minute 12” version of ‘Ebony Games’ an epic Latin-tinged disco-funk floor-filler and for most, the stand-out track. Lush piano chords, tantalizing flute passages and a delicate picked guitar line accompany the most sensuous of vocal deliveries, taking cue from Sylveter's seductive falsetto. Side B’s mesmerising dubbed-out "Everywhere Is My Home" screams of early evening indulgence, the sludgy 80s beat carrying the exotic vocal chants and wigged-out synth parts beautifully while more of Cuevas' unique voice supports the track. Finally the sweet rays of "Inside My Mind" radiate slowly onto the listener. Swapping vocal duties with a female backing trio, Cuevas rolls out a soft, sunny, almost Bosa Nova pop ballad. Essential!

Welcome reissue of super-rare Balearic gem ‘Spanglish Movement’ from little known band Hot Pepper. This obscure Mexican release has garnered a cult following for side B’s massive afro-Cosmic anthem ‘Ritual Song’ - a nine a half minute epic throbbing slo-mo disco workout huge with DJs and collectors in the know and a firm dancefloor favourite for its pounding drums, heady synths and rhythmic chants. An awesome track but don’t overlook the LP’s other delights - ‘No Me Presiones’ is a superb slice of crazy swirling dirty space disco with a relentless energy while over on side A we have the Latin-tinged ‘Wrong Way’, a captivating Balearic-style instrumental disco odyssey packed with hi-octane percussion, superb guitars, firing brass and lilting synths plus joyful bubbler ‘Let The World Be Happy Again’. Don’t miss this essential exotic disco rarity!

With "Inspiration" Jah Wobble returns to his roots, the love of his youth; reggae music. With the singer PJ Higgins he found the perfect companion, voice and songwriter to accomplish this endeavor with flying colors - a match made in heaven. Already the opener "My Heart's Burning" sparkles with the magic that arose during the recording sessions between Wobble and Higgins and sets the groundwork for the next seven tracks to come. PJ Higgin's vocals are piled layer upon layer and weave seamlessly in the deep, dubby bassline and the mellow guitar sounds. This masterfully, delicate reluctance is present over the full length of the album. Now and then, for instance with “I Did Bad”, it almost gets trip hop-ish and you wouldn't be surprised if at it's finale suddenly Tricky would sneak around the corner.

It's only with the third track, “King Of Illusion”, that you finally notice that the foundation of this album is actually reggae. The trumpet of Sean Corby and the offbeat-played keys by Wobble himself make slight references to the bygone sound of Studio One. The core part of this masterpiece is of course the title track “Inspiration”. Alex McGowan caps it all off with his very distinctive guitar playing and the thriftily applied Fender Rhodes add extra virtuosity to the already very complex arrangement. “Floating On High”, sings PJ Higgins and means the transcendence you achieve when you addict yourself to all your inspirations and consider yourself as an aggregate of them. On “What Have I Become” there's no holding back anymore though and she catches fire delivering a performance that goes right through you. The drums and percussion played by Marc Layton- Bennett add a heavy dose of voodoo to the mix.

All in all, this is a well-rounded package trying to be a classic reggae album but overstating the case by turning out to be much more than that. If PJ Higgins and Jah Wobble were new kids on the block, they'd be a pair to keep an eye on. Keeping an ear to the ground doesn't hurt though


Backspace Unwind - Clear Vinyl LP+CD Edition

'Backspace Unwind' is the long awaited new Lamb album. The sixth album of the electronic music duo contains 10 new songs written by Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes with four featuring string arrangements by Tom Trapp, who also conducted the string section for the recording session at Air Lyndhurst Studios in London.

"Making this album has been a journey of discovery in so many ways", says Lou. "After making music together over a period of almost 20 years (with a 5 year hiatus to take a breath) it’s reassuring that new routes and approaches seem to abound. Over those years I think we’ve learnt that this journey needs no map; in fact tearing that map up, at every twist and turn, has become our regular gleeful practice."

Musically we're treated to crisp electronica, tech-house and downbeats, sweeping orchestral passages and, as ever, Lou Rhodes fragile, folk-tinted vocals centre stage.

The LP version of 'Backspace Unwind' contains a bonus track that’s not available elsewhere (“As Satellites Go By (Piano Version)'). This fantastic package also contains a free CD copy! And to top it all off, just for the fans, the first 1000 copies are numbered and pressed on transparent vinyl!

Guitars, hip hop beats and traditional folk arrangements.

As one third of The Monks Kitchen, Luca Nieri wears many hats. He can typically be found behind the drums, or noodling on a Spanish guitar, or plucking a bass or contributing anything from eerie melodica lines to banjo, bar room piano or blues harp.

Featuring his own compositions and several cover versions, including Bert Jansch, Davey Graham and John Frusciante.

Nieri also finds time to be a member of Colorama, sessioning with Emma Trica and Fabienne Delsol, as well as co-producing the forthcoming John Stammers album.

Nightmares On Wax

Car Boot Soul

George Evelyn AKA DJ EASE took four years to follow up "Smokers Delight", but it was worth the wait as he came up with another seductive LP full of downbeat delights and dreamy instrumental hip hop gems, which, as the title suggests, is a sample-heavy session for sofa-surfing. Includes the Ibiza sunset classic ‘Les Nuits’.

Nightmares On Wax

In A Space Outta Sound

"In A Space Outta Sound" harks back to the trippy beats of NOW's sophmore album "Smokers Delight", woven together with some heavy references from older dub reggae sounds, recalling Prince Far I and Lee Perry, or subtle 70s soul and soul-jazz grooves. This is George Evelyn, aka EASE's fifth album for Warp in a discography that spans over ten years. Nightmares On Wax is one of Warp's biggest selling and longstanding artists and is most famously known for his "Smokers Delight" album, now regarded as one of the classic downbeat albums of the 90s.


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Nightmares On Wax

Mind Elevation

Another must-have LP from George Evelyn AKA Nightmares On Wax. Reissue of 2002 album. Expanding on the blunted instrumentals they had become known for, the trademark dreamy ambience and looped cratedigger samples of Nightmares On Wax’s world is joined by joyous vocal tracks such as ‘Know My Name’ and the nostalgic rap of ‘70s 80s’, the only track you're ever gonna hear that rhymes 'Muppet Show' with 'electro on the radio'!! Genius!


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Nightmares On Wax

Smokers Delight

Reissue of the 1995 magnum opus - a defining statement of intent in the development of the Nightmares On Wax sound. Moving away from the bleeps and breaks of their first album, ‘Smokers Delight’ presents a post-club comedown journey which experiments with elements of jazz, dub, soul and hip hop.

If you don't own a copy of this LP, you should get one right now 'cos it's one of the best LPs of the 90s. Originally out in '95, it's a defining moment of the 'trip hop' genre and ranks alongside LPs by Portishead and Massive Attack from the same era. Pure schmokers downbeat sounds!


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Nightmares On Wax

Thought So...

From 'bleep' pioneer to purveyor of the sunkissed, psychedelic downbeat funk, Warp records prodigal son returns - his sixth long playing release for the label. "Thought So..." continues the seasonal fun with it's warm, Quincy Jones-inspired soul, rootsy reggae and gentle, deep-funk. All tracks conceived during an odyssey from Leeds to his new home, the Balearic state of Ibiza.


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Kate Tempest

Circles / The Truth - Inc. Mike Skinner / Micachu Remixes

"Circles" is the third single from Kate Tempest’s 'Everybody Down', which is being hailed from all quarters as a masterpiece; a beguiling record that rewards its listener in spades. The Guardian called the album "A stunning literary treatise,” whilst Mojo said this "debut is one of the most unique, startling and powerful you'll hear.” A narrative hip hop album - a modern-day London fable - that is enhanced and subverted by Dan Carey's sculpted production. No more so is that encapsulated than on "Circles"!

Following on from the singles "The Beigeness" and "Lonely Daze", it is one of the few tracks that is outside the narrative of the album; both giving context to the story while drawing on the universal themes of love, loss, returning, regret and truth that the album explores. With its whirring, intense beats and Kate's lyrical turn of phrase and imagery being at their sharpest, it is one of the most exciting tunes on the record. Witness the gorgeous description in the opening verse "My heart's...Trying to start wars on the bus / Dumb chunk of a muscle with its claws out / Throwing its oars out the dinghy in the middle of a gale / Making whirlpools the way I chase my tail." and be blown away. The Guardian claimed that live "Circles blossoms from paranoid playground chant to fully fledged club anthem."

The single also includes remixes by Micachu and The Streets' Mike Skinner, underlining how exhilarating this track is. It manages to be darkly atmospheric, joyful and redemptive, everyday and ephemeral, visceral and true - all at the same time.

Fantastic all killer no filler compilation of sun-drenched gems from pop-soul legend Tina Turner. First up is the super cool mid-tempo house groove of Justin Strauss’s 12” Dance Mix of ‘Afterglow’ from 1986 which hit big across the dancefloors of Ibiza. Also included are outstanding covers of Led Zepplin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and a great extended mix of Ann Peebles-penned ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’. Rounding things off we get a brilliant dubbed out instrumental version of ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ from the Mad Max soundtrack.

Although renowned for their unrelenting pursuit of boundary-pushing minimal techno, Cologne's Kompakt charmed all and sundry earlier this year with a curveball release from a couple of acclaimed party starters. Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow (that's Motor City Drum Ensemble to you and me) combined under the name Vermont for an album of adventurous jam sessions and sleek synth soundscapes, which drew from sonic curiosity and the spirit of informal collaboration  rather than the laser-like focus of the club tunes both producers have become known for. For this 12" release another revered hero of contemporary dance floors enters the stage, as Norwegian disco connoisseur and cosmic techno expert Prins Thomas plunges into three brilliant reworks that emphasize the rhythmic elements of original cuts "Dynamik", "Elektron" and "Macchina" without betraying their laid-back vibe. He does so by turning to airier variants of classic dance music styles - techno, house, even a hint of dub reggae (on the magnificent "Macchina Remix") - and let them do the legwork. The result presents itself as thrusting as needed and as relaxed as possible.

Lumberjacks In Hell maestro Marcel Vogel pilots the third excursion on his Intimate Friends label with the able assistance of his talented crew. Milos Gersi returns on vocal duties, this time joined by the sweet sounds Gianna Tam, while the possibly insane Dr. S Proper adds some percussive magic. Our ensemble cast take us for a trip through space and time to Jamaica '93 with a treacle slow reggae hip hop hybrid that'll get the lovers rocking in no time. African Shakedown expert Noema ups the ante on remix duty, pushing the tempo and looping the beat for a rolling groover with the right amount of bump. On the flip, Newcastle's NY*AK gets snug and cosy with Detroit's finest, pulling off the seemingly impossible and flipping the original into a storming house cut that'll have em hanging from the rafters.

Whyte Horses


What happens when you put an obscure Mancunian music chronologist on a three month sojourn in the heart of the Italian countryside with some battered analogue recording gear, some cheap guitars and a female vocalist and friend to explore themes of the human condition and daydreams of fantasy with one piece of decoration: a poster of their favourite band Os Mutantes looming large on the wall, offering some company and direction during this time of solitude? The answer is a new group of seismic psychedelic proportions. May we present Whyte Horses.

Inspired by the nomadic travels of cult folk artist Mark Fry and outsider Krautrock groups, strange sounds began to emanate from deep within a dilapidated cottage, deep in the Frosinone mountains range with no access to the outside world.

Panoramic views baring an uncanny resemblance to Alejandro Jodorowsky's epic pseudo-western ‘El Topo’ began to filter the songwriting, as hazy instrumentals evolved into mutant pop sketches, blurring seventies MOR sensibilities, obscure imagery and everyday thoughts. The result is other-worldly, classically of another time and space. Triumphant yet melancholy, a colour-sound of psychedelic dream pop, fearless and tender at the same time.


Laura says: Whyte Horses is the new project from Finders Keepers' Dom Thomas. 'Snowfalls' is a gorgeous psych pop gem, all swirling melodies, chiming guitars and girl vocals. 'Morning Clouds' on the flip is a darker affair with melancholic vocals an rumbling drums, but is equally lovely.

Bastedos returns with another helping of their signature weirdo disco not disco (but disco) cut-up cuts. This time the painstaking editing comes from AM, Last Waltz, and Bastedos themselves. Side A brings us "Sit On This", a rolling, chugging, clapping, marimba-ing (!) disco workout in the vein of Material ,which pulls you along through a peak time vocal, a sexed up guitar break, and some chopped-up chanting, all the way to its inevitable hands in the air piano finale. The B-side opens with the celestial choral stylings of "No Smoking On The Moon", whose soft synths and tough bass play with each other beneath B-Movie fx and ecclesiastic organs. The sound of a space age disco cult... from the past. Closing the EP is the unpredictable brilliance of "Magicke", the extended soundtrack to the opening of the gates of hell. Shuffling go-go perc, syncopated drums and fuzzed out chords play out under Satan's saxophone, before giving way to a damned (damned fuzzy that is) guitar, sounding out the call of Cthulu. Believe me when I say this is as Balearic as it gets, the original is a little cut tucked away on the Ghostbusters OST!

A three tracker from Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams and an unusual new house direction for this normally quite Balearic label. All 3 tracks still have that definite White Isle feeling however, James Moor’s ‘Spirits’ kicking things off in an irresistible funky style, perfectly blending melodic bass with dark emotive elements. Electronic artist Hess is More's classic ‘Yes Boss’ (more than 9 million views on You Tube) is here revamped by Serge Devant with a very groovy B-line and mad vocals creating that after-hours DC10 feeling and already getting support from Jamie Jones. Born in Ibiza, Valentin Huedo is former resident DJ at Cafe Del Mar, now resident at Blue Marlin and this release is his debut for Music For Dreams. ‘Running On Grass’ is all flowing pads, rolling beats and a beautiful little melodic hook with spot-on production and an Innervisons feel. Sounds great on the dancefloor or on headphones - a true testament to Huedo’s versatility. Limited edition. Move quick!

This year sees the 15th Anniversary of Tru Thoughts Recordings, the pioneering and innovative label from Brighton which won the coveted Gilles Peterson Worldwide Award for Best Label way back in 2005 and has continued to go from strength to strength, amassing a truly international roster and fanbase as well as mainstream acclaim. This double CD compilation - all compiled by A&R Robert Luis - celebrates the past, present and future of his thriving independent label’s eclectic and adventurous catalogue. The deluxe CD booklet also includes exclusive photographs and an in depth interview with Robert Luis and label co-owner Paul Jonas.

This celebration of independent artistic talent encompasses the early leftfield electronica of Bonobo and Quantic’s trailblazing world explorations, to Alice Russell’s powerhouse soul and New Orleans’ iconic Hot 8 Brass Band; UK legends like Rodney P and Zed Bias, through to the stars of tomorrow with cutting edge production from Lost Midas, Titeknots and Werkha and the natural vocal prowess of Harleighblu. The double CD features some previously unreleased exclusives, including Wickaman’s D&B remix of the popular Wrongtom Meets Deemas J cut “Jump+Move+Rock”, and a new rework by Paul SG of Bonobo’s classic “Terrapin”.

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