MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 22 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of The Rules Of The Game (Original Studio Recordings 1978 - 1996) by George Theodorakis.

George Theodorakis

The Rules Of The Game (Original Studio Recordings 1978 - 1996)

Into The Light Records continue to shine light on the undiscovered heritage of Greek electronic music, highlighting the work of prolific Greek composer George Theodorakis on the label's third archival release. "The Rules Of The Game" features mostly unreleased studio recordings Theodorakis made between 1978 and 1996, with the addition of selected material taken from his sought-after 'Margo' and 'Sima' LPs. George Theodorakis is the son of legendary Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. Unlike his father, George only released four albums - pressed in small quantities - over a period of time spanning nearly two decades. Despite such limited official output, Theodorakis was intensely involved in music. George has always had the privilege of owning a well equipped home studio - the SSR Studio (1976-1984) and later the Theta Studio (1985-1987, 1993-1997) - where he'd spend most of his days working, often completely losing all track of time. These studios provided the ideal environment where he could explore new synthesized sounds and freely experiment. Although Theodorakis' music can be considered reclusive, esoteric and personal - especially if measured against the standards of most Greek productions of the same time - a number of his compositions found their way into the soundtracks of theatre plays, TV series, dance performances, etc. Theodorakis' work was probably too forward-looking to meet with wider success and appeal to a broad audience back then; "The Rules Of The Game" hopes to finally earn the composer the attention and acclaim his music undoubtedly deserves.

Hull's finest son, Fila Brazilia's Steve Cobby returns with his first solo material in 18 years and it is well worth the wait. Released on his new Declasse imprint, "Saudade" sees the veteran producer superbly weave a lifetime of influences and experiences into a panoramic world view spread across twelve expressionistic soundscapes. Across four sides of pristine white wax, Cobby marries vibrant rhythm and playful melody, alternating irresistible grooves with the horizontal beauty of blissed out orchestration. The producer has scattered the album with souvenirs from all corners of the globe, be it the Caribbean pans of "Melismatic", the African thumb pianos of "Passerines" or the West Coast funk of "Clawfist" and "Why Sleep Through Your Dreams?". While the LP boasts plenty of hypnotic grooves to get lost in, but also delights on the more concise cuts, such as the jazzy "Rapelle" and the atmospheric "The End Of A Perfect Death". Essential for fans of our Balearic selections or the textured downbeat of Nightmares On Wax, "Saudade" is a strong contender for my album of the year. I'll leave it to our good friend boggy to have the last word...

"Those of you not aware of Steve Cobby will be one of two things. Young or tone deaf. Here is a solo album inflected with indescribable feeling of Saudade. True craftsmanship." - James Holroyd (Back To Basics, Bugged Out)

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLtd LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl pressing. 200 copies only!

With the debut release selling out in a matter of days and a repress already flying off the shelves, Rhythm Section International quickly usher in their second offering - reworks of Al Dobson Jr. by Polish rising stars Ptaki and tropical poster boy Ruf Dug. With neither of these tracks appearing on Dobson's debut either, you know this is gonna be another one that flies’ off the shelves. The Polish duo of Jaromir Kamiński & Bartosz Kruczynski take Al Dobson Jr’s tribal tom-tom rhythm from "Santiago Black" and extend it into a sprawling piano-driven slo-mo workout, adding funky, warm bass notes and sensuous vocals that aim to tease the most reluctant of movers onto the dancefloor and into the groove. Closing the A-side we have the original percussion jam which has a lovely live, breathing, organic feel and transports you instantly deep into the Carnival! Ruf Dug gives "Kirton Street" a '3AM Canavan' treatment - I Goggled 'Canavan' and discovered it to be either an Irish surname derived from two possible Anglican translations, or an Australian fantasy novelist whose forename is Trudi. The hardware mystic keeps us guessing as he deploys a vaped 'n' baked aesthetic of fizzing hats, glacial stabs and squelchy bass to the mix; taking us on a magical and ever-evolving journey across its five minute sojourn. Ace. "Kirton Street" in original form is a different beast altogether, an infectious, grooving West Coast guitar loop that could well have come out of Madlib's sound libraries. Highly recommended! 

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: The Peckham native returns with more hot, sweaty grooves; this time with Ptaki and Ruf Dug supplying some insatiable tweaks.

Fernando Feat. Fiorucci

Giant Desert

Fernando’s debut for Leng was the universally loved mid-tempo monster "Blue Impala". Now he’s back with yet another hypnotic bass heavy workout. "Giant Desert" takes the same low slung approach to stargazing sonics, but this time round Fernando makes room for some heavy guitar work from Fiorucci. As chuggy as they come, the head nodding groove is alive and kicking with flashes of vocal, analogue synths and a dirty rock guitar. On the flip, the "Extended Dub" allows guitar hero Fiorucci more space to hit the groove and riff the fuck out. If you're in the market for a hit of coke-fuelled, headband wearing excess, then this one's for you my friend.


The 'Environment' series originally began as an archive of previously unreleased recordings but Environment Five features thirteen all new songs recorded in the first half of 2014.

Following on from the themes of the first four 'Environment' albums, 'Environment Five' explores the space / time / dimension that exists when we die. The moment of departure from this mortal coil. The album includes brand new recordings by The Future Sound Of London. Part electronica, part progtronic complexity, part Balearic-friendly psychedelic ambience, the album mixes synths and tablas, organic and synthetic sounds to create a meditative whole. It includes appearances from Daniel Pemberton (BAFTA nominated / Ivor Novello winning composer), Raven Bush (Syd Arthur) and Riz Maslen (Neotropic).



Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz are daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz. Naomi plays percussive instruments, the Cajon and the Batas, while Lisa plays piano. Together the twins have learned the songs of their father’s culture, Yoruba.

Yoruba travelled from West Africa to Cuba with slavery in the 1700s. The Yoruba people have the highest twinning rate in the World and twins occupy an important position within Yoruba culture. Ibeyi is pronounced “ee-bey-ee” and translates as ‘Twins’ in Yoruba.

Ibeyi sing in English and Yoruba and they have created a minimalist sound that merges elements of their heritage with their natural love of modern music as teenagers brought up in Paris, citing artists such as James Blake and King Krule amongst their wide range of influences. I'm hearing touches of Bjork and FKA Twigs in there as well. The EP includes two mixes each of 'Oya' and 'River'.

We were only speculating the other day whatever happened to Mcr's next-big-thing WU LYF, well now we know: drummer Joe Manning, bassist Tom McClung, and guitarist Evans Kati decided to form their own band, Los Porcos. After WU LYF's rather lively indie outings, Los Porcos offer something mellow, dropping a tripped-out dreamy piece of indie Balearic soft rock for us on 'Jesus Luvs U Baby via Uber records. Reverbed guitars and chugging bassline and a blissed out vocal. On the remix Claremont 56 boss Paul 'Mudd' Murphy delivers a stripped back atmospheric dubbed-out groove with extra acoustic guitars, whilst the second remix from Is It Balearic..? boys Coyote step on the delay pedal and and hit the pattering bongo and woodblock percussion. Their 'Lazy Hammock Dub' is exactly that. All mixes getting the thumbs up from Piccadilly's own Andrew 'Indie Jangle' McQueen and Aficionado's Jason Boardman, whose eyes lit up when we passed him a copy the other day.


For the sixth release of Macadam's heavy hitting OG production Trax series they make an international call to Italy and invite Giorgio Luceri to the label. The vodoo obsessed machine music expert is no new comer, having earned a serious rep on Jamal Moss' Chicago-based label Mathematics Recordings. For his Macadam debut he delivers five killer cuts of acid techno imbued with spiritual atmospheres, deep emotions and naïve melodies. From the chakra aligning opener "Aurora" we head deep into the jungle with two cuts of mystical tribal machine funk in the form of "Panther" and "Cheetah". On the flipside "Primordial Spiritual Energies" turns things up a notch or ten in the acid techno stakes, while "Silence At Sunset" is the kind of euphoric Chicago exoticism Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard used to dish up for fun at the start of the 90s. 


Lucky Elephant

The Rainy Kingdom

‘The Rainy Kingdom’ is the sophomore album from Lucky Elephant, released on Sunday Best.

Following the success of their self-titled debut in 2009, with syncs in TV adverts for Laterooms.com, Dannon and many more, Lucky Elephant are back with their follow up.

The album was inspired by and conceived around Ken Ashton’s 1971 film ‘We Was All One’, which focuses on a part of London affected by community upheaval during the development of Old Kent Road in Elephant & Castle in the 1970s and 1980s.

‘The Rainy Kingdom’ is to be used as the soundtrack to a two hour BBC documentary celebrating 50 years of comedy on the channel, with special guests including Ricky Gervais, Monty Python, The League Of Gentlemen, Stewart Lee and Miranda Hart, among many others.

Breaking an eight-month silence, Jex returns with three new cuts! Leading off this double A-side release (the third from the Toronto-based Good Timin' imprint) is the jazz-dance of "DZE" which borrows the mood - and an ACTUAL studio musician - from Asso's Italo-disco classic "Don't Stop." Yup, Jex tracked down Steve Galante himself at his project studio in Montreal and had him blast an incredible solo that's guaranteed to elevate!

Meanwhile, Jex himself tinkles the ivories and gets his hands emotional on the DX7-meets-DMX balladry of "Please Be Good To Me," which was inspired by a DJ trip to Japan earlier in 2013. Picture Kevin McCord bowling with the road crew from Pat Metheny's backing band at some Midwestern dive and you just might get a whiff of the vibe on this one. Finally, rounding out the flip on this all-thriller-no-filler AA-side is the Terje-meets-Vangelis strut of "Please Be Bad To Me." It's Jex's clubbiest material to date and it boasts one of those chugging basslines that kinda sounds like Change covering late 80s AC/DC!! Thunderstruck, indeed!!

Piccadilly Records

Mono Colour Print - Black Tote Bag

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


    Secret Circuit

    Dublab Proton Drive Theme - Inc. Nite Jewel Remix

    Stones Throw bring us this collaborative release with non-profit Internet Radio station Dublab to raise money for their Proton Drive fundraiser.

    For the second installment of the fundraising series we get Secret Circuit’s “Theme” on 45, backed with a remix by Nite Jewel. Secret Circuit's original combines a jaunty shuffling rhythm that creates an instant hipsway. This is sandwiched between a bubbling synth bassline and chiming highlife guitar licks, with ambient washes and droning synth tones acting as a creamy filling. One for the Balearic heads who like a touch of indie in the mix. the jauntiness makes way for a click-track chug on Nite Jewel's rework, upping the synth quota, filtering in some ethereal vocals and dispensing with the African influences.

    From Dublab’s Frosty: “Secret Circuit reached into his bag of cosmic love tones to craft a floatation device for your ears. His breezy theme song is a luminous call to action. Nite Jewel’s remix is a steady groover that will sway you into a state of generous bliss. Spin these songs on repeat in order to keep your philanthropic spirit glowing.”

    Sascha Mambo's gone all out on an A&R tip this month, scouting out three of the biggest names in Japan's digging scene for four tight edits of complete obscurities. The EP brings together Tokyo Matt from the Otaku Soundsystem originally based in Hong-Honk, and Mori Ra & Asn from Tokyo Oyama Edit, well know for their releases on Curt Jackson Rotating Souls’s label. Matt kicks us off in cosmic fusion fashion with the bubbling basslines, pitch bent synthlines and spaced out vocals of "I Had A Dream Of You", a Balearic pop winner for the Outlaws crowd. Next up Mori Ra & Asn delve into the zero gravity chug of space disco with the Moroder meets Weather Report madness of "Just Another Story", before blasting us way out of this world with the observation deck disco jazz of "Tour De Montreux". Imagine watching the galaxy expand from the comfort of your interstellar deck chair as the breezy guitars and wormhole synths go supernova. To close the EP Tokyo Matt delivers another intergalactic cruiseship classic in the form of "The Passenger". Possibly the soundtrack to a late seventies daytime drama about a lonely housewife on Alpha Centauri, "The Passenger" combines amazing synth textures with an array of wonderfully camp melodies. Another superb selection of obscurities from the Macadam massive.


    Leaving Records and Stones Throw Records jointly present the debut album of Trance Farmers. 'Dixie Crystals' is a sashay through the unique musical mind of time-travelling bluesman Dayve Samek - a soulful, exhilarating collection of tunes. Recorded over several years and across Los Angeles, 'Dixie Crystals' draws from Samek's experiences on the shores of Venice Beach to the majestic foothills of Altadena. An omnipresent haze hangs over the whole affair, choking twinkling tones like so much carbon monoxide.

    Songs range from warped ballads of friendship and love to inhalant-fuelled rockabilly joyrides. Over the course of ten tracks, a drifting young hayseed finds himself temporarily settled in a sprawling but claustrophobic megalopolis that feels more like a decrepit roadside attraction on the information superhighway. Sweaty garage ballads brush shoulders with drifter anthems and gasoline-drenched doo-wop.

    Before the album's release, Samek will have already sauntered on down the road, leaving the West Coast a distant, smudged memory. 'Dixie Crystals' can then be considered a memento, its songs fragments of getting lost, growing up and finally hitting the road.

    Balearica’s latest installation brings another top-quality selection of hard-to-find slo-mo gems. Includes the hugely in-demand instrumental version of French pop legend Plastic Bertrand’s hypnotic slice of sleazy electronic disco "Stop Ou Encore", only ever available on an uber-rare 1982 12” from US label Sugarscoop and massive on Italy’s Cosmic scene as well as in Chicago where it was championed by legendary DJ Ron Hardy. Also features the 12” long cut of "Dancing To Forget" from Romie Singh, an impossible-to-find chugger from 1986 with hauntingly beautiful vocals, dreamy tablas and a great reggae-pop groove. Flip over for Brazilian boogie classic "Estrelar", a laid-back summery dancer from the phenomenally talented Marcos Valle followed by the sought-after floor-friendly 'Bumpy' mix of Joanna Law's captivating, ethereal "First Time Ever". Superb collection.


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