MAGIC MIX

house . techno . electronica . ambient

WEEK STARTING 28 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Like Cannibal Father Like Cannibal Son by Felizol And The Boy.
Optimo Music is usually known as a 12” label, but occasionally something rare and dangerous comes their way that compels them to release a full length album…

It’s not exactly a dance album, although there is music you can dance to on it. It’s more filmic in nature, with references to wonderful directors like Kubrick and Carpenter that will enthrall a film buff, particularly if they’re interested in electronica and dance music. There’s a sleazy and unsettling feel to much of the tracks (“Tina Weymouth” is a sleaze-floor monster groove…), but Optimo hope it will intrigue and delight!

The film references are directly relevant as Felizol and The Boy are film directors Yiannis Veslemes and Alexandros Voulgaris, who live in Athens, Greece and have composed music for numerous feature films. They also perform live in house clubs, heavy metal dungeons and hippy-friendly festivals…

They have this to say about their release: “We had a loose concept for this album and we compiled tracks that we've recorded the last 3 years that have to do with the cannibalism. Literally but also as a metaphor for the blessing and the tyranny of paying homage and influenced from music and films (and directors and musicians).

So these are songs about the agony of creating something new and personal when so much information and influences are fused in them.”


Appetizer

Appetizer White Label

Long Island Electrical Systems give us a brief introduction to a familiar face's new alias Appetizer, on this super limited up front promo. Taking us back to the glory days of the faceless white label, this special ain't ever coming back so don't miss it. Appetizer dishes up a dastardly duo of rough, rugged and raw psycho jackers, to put you on while you wait for the main course. A-side cut "Sky" sees a frenetic and psychotic web of prickly synths layed on top of distorted drums with peaktime intensity. B-side cut "Image" aims a little deeper, marrying metallic and gloomy synth squiggles with a growling bassline and relentless percussion. Just the thing to whet your appetite.


Essen's premier space cadet Glenn Astro takes some leave from the ISS to drop a six track EP of celestial electronics on Bristol's home of leftfield house Space Hardware. With a growing fanbase of the creme de la creme of the house scene, I'm tipping Glenn for big things this year, and this EP's sure to show you why. Opening with as fine an example of warm and worn, dubby and dusty house you could ever hope for, the EP moves on to the complex sounds of "Invasion Der Klang-Kot-Artisten". Opening with a fragile and emotional sampledelia, the track soon explodes into the fuzzy bump of bass heavy house, before combining both elements into a off-beat house killer that shouldn't work, but definitely does. Title track "Amitriptyline" is a woozy and wonky sample house slammer that'll sit perfectly with your collection of Max Graef records. In fact, it's no surprise that the two of them head up the current wave of house producers. "Huh!?" is a skippy stepper at a hip hop pace with deep house chords and stuttered vocals, which shows of the producer's expertise with the MPC. "One Hill" sees Glenn & Rasho T hook up for some grainy and groovy deep house brilliance, while the EP closes with Astro's killer mix of Clara Park's "Uncertainty". Deep house chord progressions, soulful vocals and a shuffling garage rhythm all come together perfectly as Glenn takes us back to the old school. If you've heard Move D in the last 12 months, you're certain to recognize this monster. 

From the ashes of Well Rounded Records comes a new label riding that delicate line between the current hybrid garage, house and techno styles.
First up for us is Boxwork. "Pressureface" is a tribal-house revival tribute but produced with enough weight and drama for the wave of clued up club kids to go nuts in front of the speaker stacks too. With that UK soundsystem mentality, Boxwork fires off one-shot samples and effects with ease, never loosing that forward propelled flow. Heavy tackle. "That's His Take" juxtaposes rough as fuck techno drums with jazzy interludes and languid trumpet riffs, merging the harsh and abrasive with the soulful and delicate in mesmerizing ways; reminding one of an early Anthony Naples. "Michael Jackson" is a squelchy, drum heavy workout which works brilliantly in the mix, introducing this quirky but catchy vocal motif halfway through ('they call me Michael Jackson') which works brilliantly with the bouncy yet sophisticated drum palette. Excellent stuff. Vinyl limited to 250 copies.


Back with a third release Sean Dixon’s Final Chapter label has a very solid and defined sound, and up until now just displaying Dixon's own production talents. On this third release however, he enlists Oliver Deautschmann and Joel Alter onto remix duties. Opening with the OG of "Unknown", Sean delivers a deep, techy, eyes-down groover meant for big laser-guided dancefloors. Intricately pieced together and achieving lots of syncopation around the 4/4 the track has that glowing techno radiance that Kirk Degiorgio and Magda pervey so well through their DJ sets. Cool as fuck techno without a ket-vest in sight. Deutschmann's first reworking takes us deeper into the technoid elements, pairing Detroitian stabs with a repeating robot vocal hook - 'future' and blasting the whole thing with white noise hats and super compressed snares. Like the original, this is sublimely dark and well executed techno musica. "Rework V.2" keeps within the genre but gives us more pump, with a rubbery bassline accompanying the elastic vocal manipulations, which sees the 'future' refrain spiraling through the speaker stacks with little control or patience for our cranium's to keep up. Mind-bending. Finally Joel Alter's version goes all ethereal and plinkity plonky, saturated but tuned tom hits padding out a glistening thumb-piano melody while organic percussion elements are worked to the max in the background. Great stuff.

Hans Edler

Elektron Kukéso

    After having served in the rich Swedish beat 1960's scene as a member of The Ghostriders and We 4, a.o., at the end of the decade Hans Edler became one of the pioneers of psychedelic electronic sounds experimentation in Europe. His "Elektron Kukéso" LP is a landmark in the genre. Released in 1971, it featured his explorations in electronic avant-garde music from the period 1969-1971. It was recorded at the Electronic Music Studio foundation, one of the world's most advanced studios in the era, and one of the few prepared for the creation of electronic music.

    Influenced by the works of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and using techniques similar to those of Pierre Henry or Raymond Scott, Edler brought a psychedelic edge into electronic music just like Silver Apples had done in the USA. The album has also a strong rock attitude plus a certain pop sensitivity in some passages, not far from that of David Axelrod's, which confers it a distance from what used to be the more serious appeal of what most electronic pioneers had been doing, giving the album an accessivity that is closer to the electronic hits of artists such as Gershon Kingsley, Jean-Jacques Perrey or Dick Hyman. However, be it because of the songs being sung in Swedish or the outsider reputation Edler seems to have in the Swedish musical scene, this great LP remained an obscurity - hardly spoken of outside a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors.

    "It really doesn't get much better than this. In these days of harsh turmoil to uncover a rock & roll sweetheart like Hans Edler it really proves the gods to be smiling. Bonafide electronic experimentation with a heart full of pop is a love potion most desirable. Listen to the religious Brian Wilson-meets-Jandek orayer hymns of young Edler and travel to a time when long haired girls and dope-laced boys were truly getting it "on". The hybrid fascination of electronic space composition and soul sweet pop-love in such a fresh state has me floating to my tombstone cloud." Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth).

    "Hans Edler's Elektron Kukéso reflects a man who, musically speaking, is in a world of his own. Edler's music seem to be totally uninfluenced by the music of his day. On the contrary, Edler seemed to be making up his own musical rules, and if the rest of the world didn't follow, that was probably fine with him. As for his tunes...(they)... resemble folk music, but in a strange, contorted way. I have never heard an album that is so devoid of musical influence of others, and to me, that's what makes it remarkable." Dana Countryman (Cool and Strange Music Magazine).

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Since the original LP was pretty short, seven bonus tracks not appeared on the original release have been added. These songs predate the LP tracks and are from 1969 / 1970. Remastered sound, an insert with photos and liner notes complete this great reissue of this legendary Swedish electronics LP.

    A new collaborative album from Brian Eno and Karl Hyde. The album is comprised of nine songs, composed and sung by Eno and Hyde together with a highly distinguished cast of supporting musicians, including Tessa Angus, Nell Catchpole, Marianna Champion, Will Champion, Kasia Daszykowska, Don E., Darla Eno, Fred Gibson, Georgie Gibson, Andy Mackay, John Reynolds and Chris Vatalaro. The release was produced by Brian Eno with 20 year old Fred Gibson, continuing an ongoing collaboration between Karl and Brian which sees the two together on a complete album for the very first time.

    Pulling in a variety of directions, 'Someday World' takes in the the esteemed duo's previous incarnations and ambient, rock, electro and techno producers, and then goes about meshing all those ideas together. Opener 'The Satellites' is anthemic stadium tech-house with a motorik rhythm and blasting synth horns. 'Daddy’s Car' offers busy indie-dance. Hyde's poetic vocals are front and centre on 'A Man Wakes Up', which combines highlife guitars and jazz-rock rhythms. Featuring choppy 'Virginia Plain' piano, uplifting chord progressions and spoken vox 'Witness' is sure to be another festival winner. Aiming for the home listener 'Strip It Down' gives minimalism a pop twist. Brooding and beatdown, 'Mother Of A Dog' sounds like an outtake from 'Mezzanine'. 'Who Rings The Bell' brings to mind 80s rockers the Blue Nile. 'When I Built This World' switches between angular, arty jazz squiggles and propulsive krautrock, leaving 'To Us All' to fade us out on a tide of dreamy soft rock uplift...

    Brian Eno:
    “A lot of the nicer cities I know are cities built on hills, and the cities are beautiful because the buildings have a challenge to adapt to. They have to mould themselves around the geology that they've formed upon. And that always makes for very interesting buildings, because they can't just be blocks, they have to somehow morph around the environment. A lot of the constructions on the album were deliberately irregular and awkward. I had a big collection of 'beginnings' sitting around waiting for something to galvanise them into life, to make them more than just 'experiments'. That something turned out to be Karl Hyde.”

    Karl Hyde:
    “It's a bit like being nine years old again. You have no idea what you've just been given, the record button has been pressed and you're on. And then these unlikely patterns start to happen. The biggest surprise was discovering we both had a love of Afrobeat, Cyclical music based in live playing. When Brian played me these early tracks it was, 'Oh my god, this is home! Can I borrow a guitar?”

    III Rivers bringen zee ruckus eins more time! Mark Forshaw providing the subterranean transmissions on this latest space nugget. With Shulgin gone, secret tales of him dosing up the clientele at Bohemian Grove have surfaced, with this record surely soundtracking the ensuing all night discotheque?! The north-west UK based artist provides three tracks of smoky, hardware-based techno infused with narcosis throughout. "Change Request" rides a glistening, arpeggiated crescendo of luminescent goodness. All eyes-wide-shut dancing under industrial backdrops. "Fantastic Flake" could well be what happens after smoking one of Ron Hardy's sherm sticks at Islington Mill. Muzik Box-inspired repetition and a concentric acid bassline mean this baby is crying out for a 2-copy, extended workout and destined to send dancers spiralling out of control into the speaker stacks.

    Occupying the whole of the B-side is "Where Did You Go" a cavernous 303 workout which lends itself to ADHD-levels of smoke 'n' strobe abuse. Journeying deeper and deeper into the rave cave as the track progresses, expect a hoard of lysergic gremlins and machine-elves leading the charge.

    Sterling stuff from our man Mark Forshaw, and another essential release on Manchester's most underground label.

    Well, well, well! Our mysterious teutonic chums come through once again with a couple of secret weapons for the DJ's serving on the frontline of modern dancefloor warfare. On the A-side,  "Haus Nej Schen" sees the House Master Boyz get ripped the fuck up, but this ain't Chicago and it ain't 1986! The classic acid house refrain gets welded onto a distinctly contemporary strain of retro sonics to create an acid laced behemoth that's equal parts new beat and strobe-lit proto-house. It's timeless and powerful floor food, and as such this stomper is equally at home in some Erol Alkan piloted stadium as it is in a stinky basement. A quick flip of the disc and the "JJ Jam" swaps the retro leaning homage we lost our shit to next door for a futuristic steppers workout potent enough to get you baked off just one toke. The mysterious production team deliver roughly hewn stabs underpinned by some ribcage rattling low end that rolls along for days. Big ting!


    Holy Ghost!

    Okay / Bridge & Tunnel - A/jus/ted Remixes

    Good evening and welcome to the Piccadilly sports desk where we bring you the all important decider of the Holy Ghost! Remix Cup 2014, where the USA look to overcome Norway's two-nil aggregate lead from the first leg of the tie. Team USA are represented by the talented pairing of Justin Strauss (Whatever Whatever) and Teddy Stuart (Eddie Mars), known collectively as A/jus/ted. Coming into the fixture off the back of a fine result on their Blood Orange remix, A/jus/ted take the opportunity to cement their place at electrnic music's top table. The remixers take on two consecutive singles from last year's Holy Ghost! LP “Dynamics”, breaking down and building up "Okay" and "Bridge & Tunnel" into 4/4 floor fillers. On their rework of "Okay" the duo summon a weighty bassline from the depths of the underworld and concoct a dense mainroom brew topped by an echo ladden vocal. On the flip, the duo reimagine "Bridge & Tunnel" as an Inner City inspired classic house shuffler which merges its fluid bassline with bleeping electronics on its way to peak time club success. This last ditch equaliser ensures honours are even, and makes winners of us all.


    We find Aus slap bang in the middle of a purple patch at the moment, with an almost one-a-week delivery rate of solid club bangers being supplied by their ever-expanding roster. This week it's Hypercolour and Leeds native, Huxley pumping out the jam. "Callin" has stadium-filling potential with its monstrous square bassline, radioactive leads and spine tingling breakdowns. A perfect example of how to execute a massive house banger. "Machina" opts for a vocal-led option drenched in melancholy while glowing pads and more phosphorescent synths accompany the emotive musings. "Tendered Mess" is abstract and ethereal in its outlook, swirling synth fragments and ghostly pads rising aloft ground-shaking bass stabs before dropping into a fractured techno groove more akin to Blawan or Midland. "Oil Spill" concludes this highly varied EP with a deep, hypnotic, end-of-night ride through blissy pads, tantalizing congas and enveloping bass sweeps. Four solid bangers, locked and loaded and ready for action. Recommended.

    Optimo Trax continue their relentless onslaught, this week initiating into their ranks son of legendary Glasgow DJ and close affiliate of Optimo Music, Harri. With his father providing 30 years+ (and still going) of music and producing knowledge it was gonna be hard for James NOT to get involved in the dance! At the forefront of the current generation of Glasgow dance ambassadors (he shares a flat with Jackmaster) this EP showcases the youngster's rugged and detailed, bumpin' tech house sound. "Sneaky" is all about the warehouse, a classic ring modulated synth riff riding a tight sqaure bass and chopped up party vocal samples. With nice two-part variations this just rolls and rolls and will get 'em shaking off the rafters and dancing on every conceivable surface. "Listen To My Buttons" unlocks the long sawtooth drones and dark eerie synth-strings for a heady, late night electrical excursion; made for elevating consciousness after a long session. "V Moog" deploys more rave-inspired hoover-leads (his Dad's surely been playing him all the old hardcore tapes) and allows more rampant drumbox trickery to carry the groove. Big breakdowns with fat drops characterize this as another huge warehouse number. Finally another Glasgow local Esa (under the Hillhead Young Team moniker) remixes "V Moog" into a wobbly Iberian-inspired terrace jam. Techy and stimulating, with those twangy, discordant sine tones that seem to be the favoured sonic drug of choice with the kids at the moment. Massive record from the next star of Glasgow's underground.

    Killing Sound

    $ixxx Harmonie$ Version

    Blackest Ever Black drop something very special for the djs operating at the dancefloor extremities on this single sided wax. "Six Harmonies', the febrile opener from Killing Sound's recent EP double-pack (BLACKEST028) gets refashioned as a shapeshifting, shark-eyed junglist wrecker with maximum bassweight and asymmetrical aggression. Definitely one for the brave, this track boasts nine minutes of pure dread at 180, cut by Matt Colton at half-speed for maximum dancehall pressure. Moody as you like, darker than your worst night on Ket, this is gonna do serious damage to the nation's youth. Brilliant stuff.

    Look out folks, we have a new sample-based house genius in our midst, Lay-far is here to reintroduce us to the joys of the MPC, organic house music and liquid soul. Lay-far is based in Moscow and this EP follows the "So Many Ways" LP, seeing the producer dish out 3 tracks of low slung, funky and soulful house music, done in that classic Detroit style. "That Voice From Far Away" has great vocal chorus elements, paired with a funky and tight instrumental backing which has early Andres and KDJ written-all over it (we should probably also mention Local Talk, Raw Cuts and Gamm records here, none Detroit labels also flying this sample-based house thang flag). On the flip we start with “Where I’ve Never Been Before (Yet)”, a jacking Harlem funk groove that builds up with layers of chords and intricate percussion combined with the now trademark vocal skits and riffing funk guitar. “You Know I’m Gonna Getcha” concludes this essential 3-tracker; a gorgeous blend of samba rhythms, deep chords and Rhodes keys, all given extra weight by a big bouncy house beat and huge wub'ing bassline introduced halfway through the track! Massive record, already garnishing lots of press, move quick!

    DJ reactions:
    Osunlade: "Loving "You Know I'm Gonna Getcha"
    Phil Asher: "Been playing it. Smashed Uber on sat night! X" Claude Young “real sexy slick stuff!!!!”
    Fudge Fingas "That boy's on it at the minnit”
    Takasi Nakajima “i just listen yeah that so good i really love that release!!”
    Titonton Duvante “Oh My goodness. Absolute FIRE! Much deck time and chart action on this one. I'm Gonna Getcha being my pick but all are wicked. Big UP Lay-Far!”
    Ourra: “ My fave cut here is the That Voice From Far Away.... lovely chords, especially melty around the 4m30s mark - love it! glad you sent it before I do my next mix, will def be including! :-) 'Where I've Never been Before'
    get loads of people sending tracks over....try to listen to everything but I know in seconds if I'm feeling it. Pleasantly surprised to receive something of real depth & quality.....the beats are right on point! All 3 tracks are great.....love all 3 with equal fervour....you have my recommendation & support” maybe a little too funk based for my house sets but obviously quality and again love the roy ayres kinda chords. 'You know im Gonna Getcha' would def be worthy of a play in a jazzier moment. Sorry to bang on about chords, but killer here too ;-)”
    Thatmanmonkz: "Lovin' it! "
    Mike 0’Mara : Fantastic stuff mate, love all three. Honestly couldnt pick a fave!
    Tomson: Love this lay-far EP! Will defo play one of the tracks on this month's radio show and also play in the club next week!
    S3A: "Where I've Never Been Before (Yet)" For me ! Great !"

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Organic soulful house for fans of Seven Davis Jr, Theo and Kenny, Local Talk and Raw Cuts. Watch out for this Russian bad man.

    Craig Leon

    Anthology Of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1: Nommos / Visiting

    Craig Leon’s seminal synthesizer albums 'Nommos' and 'Visiting' are finally re-editioned in definitive form as the 'Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1' for RVNG Intl.’s archival series.

    Issued respectively by John Fahey’s Takoma record label in 1980 and Leon’s Arbitor private press in 1982, 'Nommos' and 'Visiting' were the twin brainchildren of studio wizard Craig Leon. Leon’s production was pivotal in realising the debut recordings by Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Suicide. While those albums broke ground in new worlds of sound, Leon’s own debut album was arguably, if not literally, more alien.

    In 1973, the Brooklyn Museum hosted a comprehensive collection of sculptures by the Dogon of the Republic of Mali, a tribe whose religion is based in reveries and recollections of a visit from an extraterrestrial species they named Nommos. Years after experiencing the exhibit, Leon remained fascinated by the idea of alien visitors sharing not just stories of their home-planet, but musical traditions as well. For the classically trained Leon, a puzzle was presented and a challenge in place: what would music sound like if handed down from an ancient alien species? And how best to imagine it?

    Upon meeting Fahey in the late 70s, Leon pitched the concept as an opportune time to employ the latest and greatest synthesizer technology available. An avant empathist and eternally free spirit, Fahey enthusiastically green-lighted the project for his Takoma imprint. After a secluded week in an Austin, Texas studio with his partner, wife and collaborator Cassell Webb, Leon returned with a collection of incorporeal melodies generated by the Oberheim OB-X, Roland JP-4 and Arp 2600 synthesizers propelled by primitive rhythms programmed on a prototype of Roger Linn’s nascent drum-machine, the LM-1.

    Issued by Fahey with zero expectation of the same radio airplay Leon accomplished with his pop productions, 'Nommos' now stands as an innovative example of cosmic-synth composition that wasn’t made for its time or any other. For this edition, Leon has in fact re-animated 'Nommos' by re-recording the exact audio signals as preserved in the album’s original studio notes. Every patch, tape-delay speed and outboard setting was transcribed as first scored, materializing the best possible audio of an album whose masters were unaccessible to Leon due to a major label merger milieu from years ago.

    Additionally, the re-master of 'Visiting' was supervised firsthand by Leon. As its title suggests, 'Visiting' materialized in 1982 as a conceptual continuation of 'Nommos'. The album is in equal measure more improvisatory and constructed than its predecessor. Both albums were intended to be listened to as a set in the first volume of Leon’s 'Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music' (the title was an homage to Harry Smith’s influential collection of folk music issued two decades prior). A creative evolutionist, Leon made subtle edits and compositional additions to both albums to enhance the connectivity and encourage infinite interpretation.

    While reissues and bootlegs have appeared to relieve the demand for these records, this collection will stand as definitive versions authorized by Craig Leon himself. The vinyl edition will be housed in a 2xLP set that includes detailed artwork and two essays by Leon. The first tells the complete story of the stargazing Dogon people and their prescient understanding of cosmology. The second details Leon’s adventure in creating the 'Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1', an epic story bookended on this side of history as one seamless synth classic.

    Mr Fingers

    Washing Machine / Can You Feel It / Beyond The Clouds

    Trax pull the rabbit out of the hat and reissue the greatest house record of all time, complete with the iconic centre label that defined dance music for so many years. Actually, let me change that, "Can You Feel It?" isn't the greatest house record of all time, it's the greatest record of all time. End of. The heartbreaking combination of those huge emotive pads and that stunning square bassline have changed lives for nearly thirty years now, and I don't think they'll ever stop. This is a magical record, perfect in its simplicity and subtlety, with Larry Heard's masterful syncopated percussion giving you a different nuance every time you hear it. Stunning! And there's more! Back in '86, Trax had the dancers in mind and bumped "Can You Feel It?" to the A2, giving the floor oriented "Washing Machine" top billing. Officially the first record Theo Parrish ever bought, and an enduring classic of the Chicago house scene, the pyschotic and hypnotic force of "Washing Machine" is just as powerful now as it was back in the day. Considering he'd already delivered the defining peak timer and end of nighter on this single, I guess old Larry thought he may as well nail the after hours game as well with the blissful deep house of "Beyond The Clouds", a mellow and melancholic nodder with all of his trademark touches present and correct. Musical perfection for £7.99, sounds good to me. 


    Another absolute blinder from the glory days of house music gets the official reissue treatment, remastered and pressed on pristine wax for full scale club demolition. Originally released back in 89 on NYC's infamous Nu Groove (my favourite NY house label) this six tracker from Rheji Burrell is a perfect snapshot of the sounds and styles prevalent in the genre at the time. Rheji kicks the EP off with the orgasmic garage groove of "APT. 1A", a shuffling shoulder roller with a tasty little 303 line squelching underfoot. From there he moves through the darker, tech infused "APT. 2A" into the smooth, gorgeous dream house of "APT. 3A". On the flip, we head to peaktime at the Haç via the basements of Chicago, with the bass and strings groove if "APT. 1B", before experiencing the hard hitting intensity of the brain scrambling "APT. 2B". Rheji finishes the B-side in a similar style to the A, with the exotic and hazy beauty of "APT. 3B", an island groove topped by a blissed out flute solo. I can only imagine this was on heavy rotation at the Ku way back when, and if you're digging on the Andras Fox, Young Marco tip, then you need to hear this originator. I strongly advise you take this opportunity to put a little history in your collection. 


    The delectable Obsession Recordings presents their second release - a killer split EP between Primitive World and Yør. Primitive World's "Purple Caps" opens proceedings - a PCP laced exercise in paranoia with a jerking filtered loop oscillating around a thumping kick and intermittent percussive bursts while looming minor chords offer the only brief respite from the heavily swung and distorted bassline. Completely future-proof and soundsystem-ready, it'll be this track soundtracking messy afterhours sessions throughout the European centers of hedonism. "Tides Of Lust'' 's protean techno ups the urgency with the phantom punch of its caustic toms, skittering percussion and low-res tones that ride the steady pulse of the 808 subs. Sparse, minimalist but packing a heady mystic punch, it's another winner that'll find favour amongst forward-leaning club DJs. "Rites Of Passage Pts. 1& 2" see Yør delivering steady neo-equatorial rhythms - pt1. finds a throbbing bass and ritualistic percussion peppered with suggestive whispers and breaths that weaves as the track vibrates with restrained-intensity, capped off by a bubbling acid line and industrious snares. Pt 2. ups the ante with a more polished, jacking number; allowing post-Detroitian chords and stabs to decorate a rolling 909 groove and haunting vocal fragments. Four killer tracks on this understated but greatly evolving label. Recommended.

    Slam

    Rotary / Catacoustics

    A momentous occasion for Soma Records, as we see the label hit the milestone 400th (!!) release, and who better to see this in than label heads Slam?! "Rotary" opens proceedings with an aggressive rawness as a concentric synth hook leads the track from the offset. Keeping it stripped back and straight up, the boys slow add distortion and open up the filters on the hook to bend and evolve it over the course of the track. Reminiscent of early Robert Hood-esq minimalism this baby bites! "Catacoustics" takes things deep into the mainframe as low subs rumble underneath a nicely delayed bell tone, reverberating and rattling throughout the track. Strung out percussion flutters and sways as subtle time stretch is applied giving this a trippy and mind melting feel. Slam pull back on the reigns ever so slightly going into the break as yet more subtle builds give tension before firing back with the hypnotic essence of the track. Excellent stuff; proper techno as our man Matt likes to call it.

    Through releases from the likes of Glenn Astro, Muff Deep, Brandt Brauer Frick and CTEPEO' 57, Copenhagen's Tartelet Records have become a coterie for an auspicious breed of modern-day oddball. Opting for analogue gear, the Tartelet mainstays bring together lopsided sampling and loose-limbed rhythms suffused with a distinctive degree of restless energy. The next instalment comes courtesy of Nigerian born vocalist, songwriter and Max Graef collaborator, Kesiana a.k.a Wayne Snow. His vinyl debut, "Red Runner" sees the Berlin based producer drop a deluge of soul over grubby Rhodes tones, contorted melodies and tumbling drums backed up by remixes from Glenn Astro and Delusions of Grandeur regulars Session Victim. The title track rubs Snow's harmonised vocal lines against choked horn stabs and chugging guitar flashes as the basement soul bassline keeps everything grooving along nicely. "Blue Moon" sees the producer flip the script, cooking up a slow burner which softly gallops like a Dilla record making use of stuttered shuffles and granular drum samples. Glenn Astro & Imyrmind are first to tuck into the remix buffet, injecting some bump and rattle into the rhythm section and adding some short circuiting synth stabs for a little extra melodic punch. The ever soulful Session Victim transform Snow's original into a tightly coiled dancefloor spring, bursting with spiraling synth energy and laid back funk. Another winner for Tartelet and an assured debut for a producer with a big future ahead of him.


    Following that corking rework 12" (a firm favourite with Piccadilly's Patrick) and their dark and moody ESP debut "Drogato", Tambien have ignited excitement among discerning dancefloors worldwide. This sophomore effort brings to light a deeper and more melancholic side of their house repertoire. The A-side’s "Der Elf" gives us serious goosebumps as its monotonous marching 909 snare lays ground for an almost random arrangement of beautiful bending synths and psychedelic chopped female vocals. The same off kilter attitude and psychedelic swirl that made "Indignatos" such a rampant banger are present and correct in a big way. On the flip, we have the lengthy and gorgeous come-down soother "Are You In Touch w/ Varan?". After more than half of this muted and breezy oscillating vibe, we’re awoken by the twinkle of naive keys, rainforest ambience and the soft glow fo sunlight, helping us all face the day ahead.


    Telephones

    Kanal - Inc. Prins Thomas Remix

    Another debut on Full Pupp! Henning Severud is Telephones, who originally hails from Bergen but has recently relocated to Berlin. He makes the kind of uplifing melodic disco-house people might tag as something silly like 'Balearic Beach House' (ooh, new genre alert!), but is actually just nice fat dancefloor music. Yes, it’s pretty Balearic (Prins Thomas says it reminds him of Nik Kershaw in places, but we'll brush over that), but Full Pupp really don’t care what you call it. All they know is they’re dancing around like happy little girls to his cool contemporary disco (I want photographic evidence of this). Around the obligatory Norwegian rhythm section of a dubby disco beat and squelching Scando acid bass, Telephones massages uplifting sequences and subtle pads to create a sunkissed, loved up vibe that'll last longer than the (admittedly decent) marios knocking around these days. On the flip, Henning delivers a proggy space disco groover for all the sunrise movers in the form of "Turkis". If you were to stumble across a bizarre rarities version of Now! 86, made up exclusively of studio b-sides knocked up by engineers and session musicians while the stars were out celebrating Thatcherism, then this would very much be the vibe. Sounds good don't it! To rounding the EP off in style, Prins Thomas stops by to remix "Kanal" into a pumped up cosmic nodder par excellence. Our favourite disco viking strips the original back, amps up the 303 b-line and then adds a mesh of acid squiggles on top as the track blasts us off to distant galaxies. Highly recommended!


    Tempelhof

    Piano Piano / Barbados

    Those expert ears at Aficionado work their magic once again to coax two stunning sounds out of the aether and into the warmth and comfort of a 12" vinyl. Harnessing the power of the international Balearic brotherhood, 'nado sought out these sublime frequencies from Italian sorcerers Tempelhof and transmitted them directly into our lives. Freshly inspired from recording an album with ambient maestro Gigi Masin, the Mantuan duo deliver two pieces united in quality but diverse in mood.

    On the A-side, 'Piano Piano' captures that bittersweet sensation of a joy you wish would last forever but you can't stop slipping through your fingers. Rhythmic guitar, emotive piano and rising strings build into a towering sculpture of sound decorated with blossoming chimes and intricate percussion. Over the course of nine minutes Tempelhof take us on a journey through euphoria and melancholy arriving at the perfect Balearic end of nighter. After all that exhilaration we're in need of some respite and our Italian guides duly oblige with B-side cut 'Barbados'. The intro of cadent guitar, serene synth washes and rippling hats invite you to slip your mooring and drift away to a distant land. The track swells like rising waves before crashing into a shower of rattling percussion, loon calls and echo drenched snares. Suddenly your mind floods with memories of Arthur Baker remixing New Order and the guitar and synth return in natural harmony like surf washing over the shore. On this 12" Tempelhof take us on a one way journey to emotional release, flying first class with all the perks.

    Officially Aficionado

    Trulz & Robin

    I Takeskogen / Mosemannen

    Two of Norway's most far out and least well known producers make their Full Pupp debut with these two brain bubbling tracks of offbeat house. Trulz Kvam & Robin Crafoord hail from Oslo (where else?) where they have been making deranged and deep Detroit influenced Transmatic slow electronic house since the turn of the millenium. They like to call their particular strain of dancefloor brilliance "acid-house-gone-organic", and off the back of the Drexiyan machine funk of "I Takeskogen", I'm inclined to agree. The duo combine the familiar Norwegian sounds of twinkling synths and kosmische sequences with a gliding bassline and a shuffling drumbeat worthy of the first wave's finest. This is one of those wonderous grooves that works your body without fail, but will take you to another plane if you let your mind be free. On the flip, "Mosemannen" is an immersive synth driven soundscape so deep it bypasses the ocean floor and heads straight for the insanity of the Earth's core. The growling bassline rumbles away like shifting tectonic plates revealing the bleeping machines buried in the depths by the ancients. Sorry, that went a bit Matt Ward, what I mean to say is, this is deep and contemplative business on a future primitive vibe.


    Trus'me

    Somebody / I Want You - Roman Flugel / Alan Fitzpatrick Remixes

    Prime Numbers bring the curtain down on their Trus'me remix journey with a couple of proper blockrockers from Roman Flugel and Alan Fitzpatrick. Given a free hand to select a track at will from the acclaimed "Treat Me Right" LP, German legend Roman Flugel plumped for the moody and brooding "Somebody" and ratcheted the tension right up. Stripping the drums back with the kind of subtlety he delivers as standard and looping up that hypnotic organ part, Flugel builds the groove expertly with delay and a perfect flow. If you dug on his ace Jack For Daze release last year then this is a track you need in your life. On the flipside, Trus'me's sleazy little groover "I Want You" gets jacked up on steroids by Alan Fitzpatrick and dumped in the soundsystem starting fights with itself. Southampton's king of techno lays down a thunderous kick, loops the vocals and adds a neat little offbeat vamp and lays waste to the system. Fitzpatrick's rocking some seriously insistent action for the heads down crew and once he unleashes the bleeping synths in the second half it's game over. A fine way to finish the series.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Hi-grade technoid paranoia supplied by Roman Flugel. While Alan Fitzpatrick goes on sophisticated techno romp that'll get the Fabric heads twitching. Excellent stuff.

    Real Soon brings together a trio of heavyweight practitioners in the fine art of house music to remix tracks from Ultramarine’s critically acclaimed 2013 LP "This Time Last Year". Atlanta’s Kai Alce and Amsterdam’s Juju & Jordash are Real Soon veterans with five releases between them on the label whilst this EP marks the debut of long-term Ultramarine admirer Andy Butler of Hercules & Love Affair who teams up here with Viennese producers Ha-Ze Factory. Kai Alcé and Hercules & Love Affair take care of business on the A-side with two mixes with a similar approach; raw, jacking and dancefloor friendly. Kai gives "Eye Contact" a Chicago-flavoured jazz twist with a bassline reminiscent of Glenn Underground, fleeting high-register piano and thunderous drums. On "Passwords", Hercules & Ha-Ze layer rhythm and vocal samples from the original track and punch a hole in them with brutal sawtooth basses and bouncing syndrums. On the flip, Juju & Jordash reduce the downtempo "Decoy Point" to a warm, pulsing mantra. Throbbing organ and accordion drones, synth pads washing up in waves, a heartbeat kick-drum, ambient sounds from the room next door; all heard as though waking from a heavy, troubled sleep.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: With an all-star cast of remixers at the knobs it's no wonder this is causing a flurry of excitement here in Manchester at the moment.

    In a past life Vito & Druzzi toured the world with the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Soulwax as members of influencial NY punk-funkers The Rapture, but these days the duo split their time between all night sessions in their Brooklyn studio and DJ duties at raucous night spots across the world. This debut release on Throne of Blood marks the first airing of the fruits of their studio graft, and is surely only beginning for this new stage of their musical lives. “Moon Temple” and “King of the Jungle” have a classic (but not retro) feel to them: “Moon Temple” gradually builds towards analog madness, the groove held together by relentless rim shots reminiscent of Plastikman’s seminal “Spastik”. ”King of the Jungle” is to Chicago what “Moon Temple” is to Detroit: slightly groovier, with ample use of organ sounds that’ll please fans of Mike Dunn, all while retaining the same modern analog approach. Again, rimshots are omnipresent, but what did you expect coming from the guys who inspired an entire decade of cowbell driven disco jams?

    Curses reworks “Moon Temple,” molding the track into a'“doom house' stormer that fits right in with his 'Call the Doctor EP'; The reverbs are cavernous, the bass is low and the vibe is right. Fresh off their 'Achilles EP', PBR Streetgang house up “King of the Jungle”, adding hats, cut up vocal bits and sirens, steering the EP right into the middle of the dancefloor. Literally and figuratively, this is 100% Throne of Blood.

    White Noise

    An Electric Storm - Vinyl Edition

      Cited as an influence by Aphex Twin and Chemical Brothers, White Noise's "An Electric Storm" was the work of American-born David Vorhaus, Delia Derbyshire (who had created the electronic version of the Doctor Who theme for the BBC) and Brian Hodgson. 1969 was a year which saw the world of popular music blossom. Musical freedom was the watchword and experimentation was welcomed by an ever increasing underground audience who were eager to feed their heads with ambitious albums by acts who embraced the worlds of rock and the avant garde. It was also a year in which independent record labels began to make their commercial mark in Britain. Of these companies, Island records was undoubtedly the biggest player.

      Of all the albums released that year by Island, "An Electric Storm", by White Noise was by far the most experimental and ground breaking. The album was equally surprising for the fact that two of the three members of White Noise were not long haired rock musicians, but were respected pioneers of electronic music who worked at the BBC's legendary Radiophonic Workshop. Initial recording work was undertaken by Vorhaus, Derbyshire and Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in Maida Vale during the night after staff had gone home. '

      It was all very unofficial and the BBC was unaware of us using the studio and equipment for our own ends' recalls David. 'However, it's common knowledge now that the first couple of tracks recorded by White Noise were actually recorded at the BBC, so I think it's safe to come clean!'

      Zero 7

      Take Me Away / U Know

      Soulful sonic architects, connoisseurs of beatific beats and sound design par excellence - Zero 7 - return with the kind of sun-kissed, blue-sky studio twinkling you’d come to expect from the boys. You could use the term ‘veterans’ to describe Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker and you might well be right but they remain inspired, enthralled and enraptured by new sounds. Still fresh then.

      “We're really glad to let you know that we've got a couple more 12" releases coming. The second of which, 'Take Me Away' features (the one and) Only Girl on vocals. On the B-side of this one is a track we knocked up after a long hang out at Block 9 at Glastonbury last year called 'U Know'. We hope you enjoy these next instalments …..and as always, massive thanks...S & H x”

      'Take Me Away' exemplifies the boys cinema-scope, widescreen sound and ambition. A tight, in the pocket bass line takes root over skittering, celestial synths and Only Girl’s sublime vocal line. This could be a phuture-phunky Quincy Jones track, utterly infectious. In perfect tonal-tandem with this is the uplifting, techy-pop of 'U Know'.


      Various Artists

      Autonomous Africa Vol. 3 - Midland / Auntie Flo / JD Twitch / General Ludd Edits

      Autonomous Africa returns with the third instalment of future thinking dancefloor action inspired by the mother continent. The returning cast of Midland, Auntie Flo and JD Twitch are joined this time round by Glasgow funksters General Ludd, who've been on an upward trajectory since their killer cut on Mister Saturday Night. Midland wins the toss and takes kick off, marrying clattering African drumming and chant with the most ribshaking bass house you'll hear all year. "Safi" is a straight up peak timer made for big rooms with proper systems. I can just see a floor going wild as those crashing ceremonial drums duel with the round synthlines; completely massive. General Ludd take a circuitous route to the club, opting for the deep and dubby realm of the backroom or basement over the glitz and glare of the mainroom. "Burning Mack" is a subby and dubby percussive groove with a hint of vintage Noid thrown in, which heads deeper and deeper until arriving at the cacophonous reverb chamber where all manner of fx hell breaks loose. Kickin Pigeon tackle I reckon. On the flip Huntley & Palmers man Auntie Flo steps into the fray with the hypnotic pulse of "Daabi". The producer lays an insistent vocal over a minimal backing, gradually building up the drum track with 808 claps, gentle jacks, and jungle bleeps until you've got a stomping and psychotic floor burner on your hands. That leaves Optimo boss JD Twitch to bring the curtain down, or the sun up with the deep and dense "Maya". Twitch opens the track with a polyrhythmic groove made up of clattering bells, taut conga and stuttering drum machines before introducing the slightly out of place synth melody and subby bassline. The track evolves through this madcap musical collage into a sunrise hymn of swelling synths and sampled vocal, preaching a sermon of identity and equality. Four cuts of Afro influenced brilliance with all proceeds donated to the Mtandika Mission in Tanzania, which is run by Midland's parents. This third edition keeps the quality sky high and paves the way for an Autonomous Africa compilation later in the year.


      Magic Feet boss Craig Bratley shows some serious sense of humour with this four track, various artists, remix EP. Since the ALFOS associate features on every single track on the record, he's cutely titled this release the "Vanity EP", and he has every reason to be vain. This release is aimed at the vinyl completist and features four remixes which have so far been unreleased or received a digital release. We begin with a couple of Craig's remixes on the A-side, a percussion heavy rework of Catalepsi's "Quartz Giaponese", which gradually builds into a chugging zero gravity groover, and a super slo mo sci fi acid version of The Souls' "Tonight" which has been a staple of Weatherall's sets for quite some time. On the flip, the sought after Sean Johnston remix of "Obsession" takes us into the deep darkness of the nightclub black room with it's evil sleaze and S&M synth work. The EP closes with a balearic acid chugger as Craig reworks Four Walls into a languid funk groove with squeeling synths and lysergic washes.



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