MAGIC MIX

synthwave . electro-pop . alt-R&B . minimal wave

WEEK STARTING 20 Apr

Sworn Virgins is one of the many perverted projects from the blossoming mind of Mutado Pintado, legendary vocalist for Paranoid London, head of Warmduscher and general purveyor of chaos and DIY videos. This release is all about rage and bits of broken down computer melted in tar, and is probably LDDLM's strongest release to date. The two original cuts on this madcap 12" come on strong and heavy like a youthful experience with class A's. Opening track "Michelle" bursts out the speakers like a ket addled cousin of Liquid Liquid, boasting trippy synth drum rhythms and detuned brass, shattering into your psyche like a giant metal freeze in the warmth of Trinidad. It's wild and it's fun; there's even a vocal that sounds like a kazoo. "Lazy Boy" on the other hand takes me back to my mispent youth in the dingy basement of Retro Bar dancing to Noblesse Oblige, Crossover and Suicide. This is scuzzy, sleazy electronic ghetto punk of the highest order, powered by distorted synths and deadpanned vocals. Fabrizio Mammarella manages to put a dog collar on the beast with his fist pumping remix. His version of "Lazy Boy" has been label head Ivan Smagghe's biggest hit since he got it and in his words "smells of poppers and GHB, leather and bum sweat." Finally Acid Arab muscle in on the action with their interpretation of "Michelle". They recorded the strings in Teheran (for real) and their mix drops the acid without the TB. This is pure retro-futuristic hypnotism, almost taking the track to the dark regions of James Holden and his Border Community consorts.


AIAIAI

TMA-1 X Headphones

    The AIAIAI TMA-1 X are democratically designed, closed headphones for DJing, monitoring and mobile devices. They feature a dynamic and balanced sound, suitable for all types of music.

    Inspired by the award-winning design of the AIAIAI TMA-1, the TMA-1 X makes a lighter addition to the existing TMA-1 range. Intended for both professional and everyday use, the headphones have an all-rounded, articulate and balanced sound.

    Designed with comfort and portability in mind, they feature a minimalistic headband and a unique capsule design, which makes them an attractive and lower-cost alternative to the TMA-1 DJ or TMA-1 Studio.

    Easy to walk with and use everyday, the TMA-1 X are versatile headphones for producing, DJing - or just enjoying great music.

    Technical Specifications

    Transducer Principle: Dynamic, Closed
    Driver Unit Size: 40 Mm
    Impedance: 34±15% Ohms
    Frequency Response: 20 - 20.000 Hz
    Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.1%
    Sensitivity: 102 3dB
    Maximum Power: 70 mW
    Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB 4dB
    Microphone Directivity: Omni-Directional

    Manchester / High Peak based dream pop outfit come correct here with their debut album. "Spinnerets" is the result of two long years of tenacity, tantrums, tea and occasional tardiness. During the process the band lost two band members, one recording studio and countless hairs - but gained a sparkle pop gem of a debut album. Throughout its ten tracks a state of woozy reverie ensues. There's a hypnotic quality running through the album, from opener "No Day To Save"'s sumptuous strings and horns through to "Man-Made"'s soothing one note coda. Along the way, the band meticulously weave in threads of dynamic swoops and soars, such as the analogue breakdown of "Bound To Fail" and the guitar driven fuzz of "Yoruba", to ensure consciousness is never fully surrendered. Spinnerets was recorded and produced by the band themselves in various bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms and in their former studio above a barber shop. An arsenal of vintage synths, rock 'n' roll guitars, children's toys, worn-out woodwind and old mahogany desks was deployed - anything that hit the musical target made the cut. Trumpet supreme Ben Dumville also adds blissful brass to "No Day To Save" and album centrepiece "Present Company". Coves & Caves have crafted a debut album of shimmering soundscapes, irresistible melodies and enigmatic lyrics. A steadily spinning web of a record that captures the heart and refused to let go.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Martin says: Beautifully gracious, dreamy and full of varied instrumentation, this is the soft, gentle side to Manchester's snotty-nosed, hard-edged underbelly. Coves & Caves lift us aloft the dirty, rainy streets and into technicoloured bliss clouds of pop-like sensibility.

    Darkness Falls

    Dance And Cry

    Justly feted for their debut album ‘Alive in Us’, a string of exquisite live performances and the single ‘Hey!’ - the most played tune on Danish radio in 2011 - Copenhagen-based duo Darkness Falls return with ‘Dance And Cry’, an album of atmospheric pop noir that - even this early in the year - will surely stake a claim to be one of this year’s musical highlights.

    Defying convention, Josephine Philip and Ina Lindgreen effortlessly blend a host of rock and pop influences, the textures and structures of electronic dance music and the haunting atmospheres of arthouse cinema soundtracks to produce an album of deep longing and icy cool, all drawn together by impeccable vocals that embody a decidedly glamorous melancholy. It’s an album that will tick all the boxes for a diverse range of listeners; as they themselves put it: “In our music, there is something for the mind, something for the heart and something for the feet too.”

    From the plangent drama of ‘Liar’s Kiss’ to the electro-tinged instrumental of ‘Thunder Roads’ via the pop drama of single ‘Hazy’, simply everything is a highlight. Forthcoming single ‘Dance And Cry’ best captures the album’s emotional core, a scene from an urban life tinged with loneliness and heartbreak but also the empowerment that comes from living life to the full. As its title suggests, it’s not a question of either / or but rather both. ‘Dance And Cry’ is a dizzying whirlpool, drawing in a dazzling array of influences: The Jesus And Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, Nite Jewel, bedroom pop, widescreen expanses, basement rock, church choir ethereality; each listener will bring their own personal touchstones and inspirations to mind.

    ‘Darkness Falls’ was traditionally a phrase used in old plays, shorthand for indicating the ending of a scene: the moment where the drama is given over to you, to hold, to contemplate, to languorously enjoy. ‘Dance And Cry’ couldn’t be more fitting in these terms: an album of great richness in which you’ll want to immerse yourself.

    ‘Dance And Cry’ will be released on hfn music with the brilliant artwork of multi award winning Peter Funch, a Danish, New York-based photographer / artist, while all of the songs have been produced by the band with Adrian Aurelius (The Raveonettes) and Lasse Martinussen (Rosemary), except ‘Hazy’ which was produced with Anders Rhedin (Dinner, Choir Of Young Believers).

    Andi Hanley

    Rong Promo Only #10

    Body & Soul legend, deep digger and all round musical expert Andi Hanley helps Rong celebrate their 10th anniversary with the 10th and final edition of their groundbreaking "Promo Only" series. Now back in Manchester, Andi's been hard at work in the studio, turning out some exciting and eclectic edits which finally see the light of day courtesy of this killer silk screened double pack. The EP opens with the Balearic dancefloor in mind as Andi dubs out and pumps up Frankie's majestic "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" for some all out dancefloor ecstacy. Next up "Sylvia" takes us on a trip into a distant galaxy with all manner of rich space fx, a chugging bass sequence and the warm and airy sounds of the thumb piano, before "Dream" takes us down a proto-house wormhole with rubbery bass, swirling synths and sultry vocals. Slip on the second disc and step into your spacesuit! Andi out-cosmics Baldelli here, pairing a spacewalking bass sequence with synth asteroid belts and wild drum sounds. Get ready to get funky on the D with the badass boogie sound of "Burt", a spaced out stepper decorated with cascading keys, squirming sax and laid back vocals perfect for early hours in your local disco. "Yutaka" closes the set in sublime fashion, hitting us with the sweetest Japanese soul-jazz groove imaginable. The liquid bassline flows perfectly over the mellow instrumentation, while the exotic sounds of the Japanese flute leave you with goosebumps. Superb stuff from Mr Hanley, and the perfect end to a special series.


    The critically acclaimed Kelela debut is now available on double CD and triple LP for the very first time. Includes bonus unreleased remixes from the Fade To Mind and Night Slugs family - Kingdom, Girl Unit, Jam City, Nguzunguzu, MikeQ, Massacooramaan, Rizzla and Neana.

    Expanding on the power of Kelela's vocals in the club, this deluxe edition revisits underground anthems with dramatic reinterpretations. With 22 tracks in total, ‘Cut 4 Me: Deluxe Edition’ is the definitive version of Kelela’s breakout record. ‘Cut 4 Me’ followed Kelela through heartbreak, melancholy and the subsequent finding of resolve in order to go on fighting.

    The remixes explore five of the original songs, each pushing them in exhilarating new directions. Kingdom’s aptly titled ‘Destruction Before Paradise’ mix is a war chant for the brokenhearted, an enraged, pulsing halftime take on ‘Enemy’. Girl Unit’s ‘Send Me Out’ remix places Kelela’s vocals over a supple synth lead, only dusted by incredibly restrained percussion. Nguzunguzu’s very different take on ‘Send Me Out’ captures the feeling of a their legendary live performances, the stuttering acapella slowly giving way into a crisp grime beat. Jam City’s mix remakes his own original production ‘Keep it Cool’ into a personal VIP. MikeQ, Massacooramaan, Rizzla and Neana all twist the original songs into their own sonic universes, rendering a collection of heavy club tools for diverse dancefloors.

    Matt and Kim, aka Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums), get things rolling in their exuberant style with a performance lyric video for the song “Get It”: Three minutes and seven seconds of heaven for anyone who has, or hasn’t yet, seen Matt and Kim’s legendary live shows.

    Previously, Matt and Kim’s video for “Lessons Learned,” in which they strip naked in Times Square on a very cold February day, won an MTV Music Award for “Breakthrough Video” in 2009. 2012’s Lightning (FADER) featured the Alternative radio hit “Let’s Go” and single “Daylight” was certified Gold in the US and very close to platinum certification. All the while they toured the globe, becoming the go-to band for raw exuberance, bombastic beats, sing-along refrains and dance-ready anthems on larger and larger scales.

    Paid Reach

    Fair Trade Dark / Colddrinksnreverse

    The first release on Paid Reach - in collaboration with Ominira, edited and produced by Kassem Mosse. 

    'Fair Trade Dark' is pure minimal wave / industrial inspired electro-tech, with an insistent, elastic, siren-like analogue twang repeating over grimy synewaves, syncopated tones and machine noise. 'Colddrinksnreverse' is a minimal rhythm track... But running backwards... Not only that, but the track plays backwards as well, from the centre label to the outside edge, just to fox you...

    "Damogen Furies", Squarepusher’s first full-length since 2012’s "Ufabulum", finds Jenkinson’s kineticism in full flow. While the techniques and craftsmanship that Jenkinson has honed over the course of his career are clear, "Damogen Furies" is a record with all the brutal energy and the vivaciousness of a debut. 2014 saw Squarepusher release "Music For Robots", an EP composed by Jenkinson and performed by the three robots that comprise the Z-machines. "Damogen Furies" then marks the culmination of years spent experimenting with and hacking hardware and software, rejecting limitations choosing instead a compositional process that places the act of building instruments at its heart. On "Damogen Furies" we hear a truthful, unembellished representation of how those instruments sound. All of the recordings here were made in one take, with no edits. Raw and raging electronics packed with punk spirit.



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