Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat


Genre pick of the week Cover of Przelot by Ptaki.
Mr Zambon's (of The Very Polish Cut-Outs fame) side label Transatlantyk has made quite an impact across a handful of releases. This is their debut artist album, and who better to represent the free-wheeling spirit of their ethos than fellow Polish pals, Ptaki. The high-flying Warsaw based duo (Their name translates to 'Birds' in Polish) have found themselves the object of hysteria after a mere trio of very well received releases on parent label (TVPC) and more recently for LA's Young Adults. Their music has a depth and enduring quality that has clearly set them apart from contemporaries, and Przelot has given them a broader canvas to, pardon the pun, spread their wings. Familiar textures, acoustic guitars, Rhodes and treated bass are assembled in a fresh and uplifting way as the duo seem unencumbered by any sense of homage or reverence to past masters. Cod reggae (done well!), sleazy chuggers, and dreamy mid-tempo workouts sit easily alongside the yacht rock leanings and straight up blissed-out beach bar fare. All shot through with an undeniably Balearic sense of well being. 

Over the course of 40 release, Whiskey Disco has matured and developed like the finest barrel aged bourbon, and this latest release, "Summer Of My Life" joins newcomer and alumnus, Closed Paradise and BG Baarregaard. The title is a cheeky reference that sidesteps youthful sentiment with a nod towards middle age. BG establishes the mood with his impeccable balance of sample and synthesis with the loopy, upbeat "Astarjatning" and the carefree, Balearic "Astargardurinn". Closed Paradise produces original disco with sheer panache weaving sample and groove with the slightest hint of melancholy across "Breakin Down" and "Wolf Sisters". Whiskey Disco 40 sees the label look to its origins and future, a constant evolution of modern disco and vintage edits.

Tom Boogizm

I Can't Sleep Because My Mind Won't Switch Off

C35 Cassette tape documenting Tom Boogizm's second Pariah Caste tape, the first one being on his own label. Tom is a lad from Wigan in Lancashire he's an outstanding DJ with huge passion for music and a major love for digging only the finest tunes out for his panoramic dj sets. This tape seems like its a condensation of his wide knowledge and his passions recorded onto tape. Ive been listening to this one on repeat for days now and it never tires my ears to hear tracks like 'ECM' (from the german jazz and classical label) or 'Murder Bridge' still standing out for me on my 30th or so listen. The track 'Note From A Thief' is a totally beautiful organic masterpiece and a oddity on the tape when put up against the mostly sample heavy rhythms and soundscapes. As the closing bars of 'Note From A Thief' draw in, I feel it all starts to make sense . As a bonus track there is an outstanding reworking of ECM by new Ono artist Dispilio. VERY impressed and very proud to be low speed dubbing off 50 copies only of this beautiful little treasure that is Tom Boogizm's vision of nighttime walks around the quiet streets of Manchester. - Michael Holland, Ono

The fourth release from Palms & Charms sees the return of label co-owner Barnaby Bruce, who offers a four track rumination on the perils of fine fabric care. We've all been there, a lengthy session on the dancefloor playing havoc with the pile of your velvet coat. Faced with this dilemma, Barnaby reaches for the battered volume, passed down through untold generations of his family, detailing archaic yet uncannily effective methods for extending the life of even the most exquisite textiles.

As he does so, the percussive jazz-tinged boogie of "Sweat on Velvet" takes over his mind, unleashing a wave of dancefloor euphoria expressed through squiggling bass and clattering cowbell. Not to be outdone, Pete Herbert (Reverso 68), unveils his own masterful fabric care techniques, providing a housed up remix that will starch your collar and shake out the creases. Not the same clothes, but something brand new.

Freshly attired, Barnaby begins to notice curious and somewhat unsettling noises coming from the next room. He gingerly opens the door, and is confronted with a seance in full swing. Strangers sitting around his dining table wait with baited breath for word from the other side. But the unearthly howling of tortured spirits is quickly silenced by the devilish groove of "Seance Fiction". Eerie keys are set in motion by a voguing beat before the ARP makes its entrance and gets every ghost going. Finally, Barnaby Bruce also provides the eminently useful "Go Go Percussion Dub" of "Sweat on Velvet", rounding out a sartorially elegant EP with something for everyone, from sceptics to lost souls. 

Captain Sunshine

The Ocean Inside

    Captain Sunshine is the alias of Jon Tye, one half of revered cosmic quakers Seahawks. The style shares many of Seahawks deep space aquatic vibes but is if anything even more salt washed and faded, spaced and misted. The Ocean Inside was recorded alone during a particularly long and dark winter voyage. A dose of flu helped create a deep dream state, sometimes unsettling at others blissfully narcotic. The analog tape recordings were later cut and spliced together with occasional overdubs of guitar and vocal to form a collection of celestial tone poems that at times recall early Eno, Vangelis, Joe Meek’s ‘I Hear A New World’ or even Aphex Twin’s selected ambient works. Deep and meditative, warm and enveloping, this is a great album to put on of a clear evening as you stare at the stars, watch the distant ships bobbing on the waves or simply zone out in your favourite place. 
    The digital download that accompanies the cassette also includes some exclusive tracks and bonus content plus all the individual tracks.

    Once again we find ourselves lost in the land of Blah Blah with another very strong package of classy originals and special edits from the anonymous Balearic boffins. The EP opens in lilting fashion with "Compass Smokers", a classic from the early eighties, originally made by U2 producer Daniel Lanois and played by Ibiza legend Alfredo. KBE has edited it into a dubby melting pot, repeating the Grace Jones style chorus and adding Wally Badarou-esque keys to deliver a winner for the 2015 dance floor. "Not Med Theny" is a total hidden gem discovered by Kenneth Bager amongst a stack of scuffed James Last LPs at an Aarhus car boot sale. A beautiful sunset tune with hints of some famous Balearic artists as the title suggests, this secret weapon oozes pure class and beauty with its melodic jazzy guitar and emotional keys, bringing back memories of Jose Padilla at Cafe Del Mar in the early 90s. The flipside gets underway with "Paris In Reeed", a deep and moody cut edited by JM, an Italian with many releases under his belt. Theatrical and Balearic at the same time, the instantly recognizable and hooky accordion blends with newly added dynamic beats to make a futuristic Balearic classic. Closing this value-for- money package is "Balearic Generation", a perfect Swedish groover recently rediscovered bt Malmø’s Wild Life crew but here extended, looped and edited by the mysterious Mr Ri??olo. Limited vinyl - don't sleep ... 

    Firecracker are having a busy year indeed. 15 releases in their 10 year history and this is their third release in 2015 so far - and we're only half way through the year! Anyway we've all been eagerly anticipating this one in the shop and over the counter, Jason Boardman (Afionado) I'm talking about you! This compilation sees the monolithic label move away from their house roots and into the world of indigenous Scottish music. So we get some folk, plenty of ambience, bag-pipes, spoken word and many other sounds and styles. Not only is this compelling enough, but the whole project was commission by the Forestry Commission Scotland - who approached Firecracker themselves.

    Anyway, I should let the label get in their side of the story: 'Over 10,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age, humans began to explore and settle the place now known as Scotland. Evidence of our ancestors can be found in the various rock carvings, standing stones, tombs and dwellings still scattered throughout the lands today. Modern archaeological techniques can offer ever more detailed suggestions as to what these monuments might have meant, but it is still largely left to our imaginations to discern just what these spaces were used for. In this spirit, Firecracker Recordings were approached by Forestry Commission Scotland to make something that might capture the feel of these places. They assembled a crack squad of artists (Lord Of The Isles, Other Lands, House Of Traps, Wounded Knee) whom they felt would embrace the challenge, thanks to their shared interest in their own Highland ancestries. Visiting a handful of sites in an intense period of exploration late in 2014, they took field recordings, drank whisky, jammed in the ruins of brochs, studied rock art, sat in iron age forts, drank whisky, drove for many miles and generally began the process of channeling the shamanic forces (drank whisky) whose presence can still be felt all around. This album is the result of that brief adventure. The artists worked both together and in isolation, quickly and effortlessly, manipulating the recordings taken from the source and combining them with their own compositions, inspired by both the sights they saw in this time and those they have imagined from another. Here, they merge modern technologies with traditional instruments and the human voice to conjure up these ancient rites of celebration, ritual, offerings to long forgotten gods, changes in the features of the earth and the universe and the cycles of time. Accompanying the music is a booklet of archaeological images created by Forestry Commission Scotland, detailing some of the sites around which the music is based, again utilizing modern laser scanning technology to see these mysterious relics in a different light.'

    So folks, if you've read the above and need any more convincing, then get submersed in one of the most inventive yet organic compilations to have ever been conceived. On one of Piccadilly Record's favourite long term underground labels. Firecracker, as always, we salute you!


    Matt says: A true artistic sentiment, the booklet alone is interesting enough - with laser-scan image survey's of some of Scotland's wildest places. Then the music, inspired by these mythical places, is equally good to boot. Beautifully conceived and executed.


    2xLtd LP Info: Limited to 300 copies only. Screen print and sleeve design by House Of Traps. Bonus full colour booklet detailing laser scan techniques and ongoing archeological work by Forestry Commission Scotland

    Various Artists

    Polo House - A Look Into The Bowels Of The Polish House Underground

    Not content with bringing the beautiful and brilliant sounds of his homeland to the global audience through The Very Polish Cut-Outs, Zambon makes further inroads in his bid for Polish tourism minister with the first in depth exploration of the country's thriving house music scene. 'Polo House' collects the brightest and most talented house producers from Polska on two pristine slabs of black wax, bringing serious heat to forward thinking record bags. A combination of underground heroes and some of the most talented rookies results in nine high quality house tracks across a diverse range of styles. From the tropical adventures of Selvy and Naphta, through The Phantom's summery Baltic Beat and the raw warehouse grooves of Lutto Lento and JAZxing we're given nothing but the best from a burgeoning scene.

    Chuggy brings the exceptional SchleiBen series to a close with this breathtaking fourth instalment, featuring the production talents of Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound), Alessio Natalizia (Walls/Not Waving), Guido Zen (Brain Machine) and rising star Cass. The A-side unites the legendary Potter with a pair of Italy's best experimental / drone / industrial producers for a glorious marriage of methods. Combining warm, melodic and dramatic drones with techy percussion and insistent sequences, the trio create a textured soundscape deep enough to dive into. The flipside plays host to a Dusseldorf affiliated producer, with the ambient touches of Osnabruck based producer Niklas Rehme-Schluter aka Cass. Taken from the limited, cassette only “Hiding Place” the pieces here are the perfect completion. Found sounds, loops, piano, and synthesis all intertwine and overlap to bathe you in a gorgeous sonic shimmer.

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