MAGIC MIX

house . techno . electronica . ambient

WEEK STARTING 21 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Alien by Larry Heard.
One of Larry Heard's most under-rated albums finally remastered and available as a full vinyl release for the first time! Known for his classic late 80s releases as Mr Fingers, Larry Heard's productions always hinted at deepest outer space, but it took until 1996 and the 'Alien' album for him to release his first actual science-fiction record. It's as polished as his most club-aimed productions, and just as sublime as any music coming from Detroit over the previous decade. Heard's house roots often show themselves, while the chords and shimmering production make this an album almost on par with Heard's mid / late-80s peak. The project was a recording and sound-development experiment that was mostly constructed around a Korg O1/W workstation keyboard that was left at Larry's studio to check out by Victor “Melodious Myles” Houston along with some of the staple kit of his studio, including the Roland d550 and Oberheim Matrix 1000. Mr Fingers magic touch can be heard all over the album, and this showcases the incredible musical talents of the man, whose name surely has to be included any hall of fame when you're talking music innovators from the last century!

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Limited clear vinyl pressing.

Fresh from remixing Asusu on Livity Sound Dave Huismans (also of 2562 fame) gets top billing on this new EP for Will Bankhead'sThe Trilogy Tapes imprint. Opener "Fortress (The Hague, 2005)" strips Chicago house back to the bare bones of a kick drum, syncopated 808 percussion and a grumbling acid synth line. "Caustic Network" tumbles out of the speakers before the bleeping intro gets nailed down to another dull thud of a kick drum. "Kovaxxxt" ups the pace, sets the shaker on reverse shuffle mode and kicks it with a nasty taut machine drum. "Situation" borrows a vocal snatch from the Thin White Duke and rubs it up against a four-to-the-floor techno banger. Another TTT for the left of centre dancefloor.


Chaos In The CBD drop down on Hot Haus Recs In Effekt with two outsider house bangers backed with a Legowelt remix. Having released records on Clek Clek Boom to much fanfare the New Zealand brothers have honed a more analogue houz sound for their Hot Haus 12" keeping with the Unknown To The Unknown spirit of “offf the wall bangers”. 'DeLorean Dreams' is a proper jacker with hissing cymbals, a a driving metallic rhythm and "Everyone's getting higher now" vocal loop. Peak-time or bust! On his remix Legowelt emphasises the industrial side of the track, pushing the swirling synth spookiness front and centre and stripping away the bass music elements. Lastly 'Okinawa Race 1' offers another banger, with Detroit style keyboard lines over a propulsive 4/4 pump.


Willie Burns and Entro Senestre team up for their second release on L.I.E.S. under the Daywalker & CF moniker and make some serious leftfield techno moves. Picking up right where last year's release left off, the title track 'Supersonic Transport' turns out to be their most dancefloor driven effort to date. Doing exactly what the title states, it moves in beautifully epic territories throughout its almost 8 minutes long course, taking you where you need to go. The B-side turns the floor vibes down a notch, as both tracks are left alone to breath in their own worlds, each with equal space and unique sonic character. "Bulldog Named Carl" takes us way back to the gloomy stylings of first wave Detroit techno, with brooding synths, sampled spoken word vocals and a dark bassline all riding that electro rhythm. "Untitled" takes us into an introsepctive world of insular arpeggios and serrated synth lines; sci-fi techno at its deepest. 

Donato Dozzy & Tin Man

Acid Test 09

Acid Test completes a nonet of releases with this ultra deep three tracker from Voices Of The Lake's Donato Dozzy and Californian acid warrior Tin Man. The pair got together for a late night session in a studio in Rome on a Saint's day, and soundtracked the candlelit procession outside. "Test 7" runs over the course of the A-side, taking us into the subterranean depths with twilight synth lines and emotional 303 rolls. Dozzy creates one of his most immersive soundscapes for those trilling lines to permeate. Acid house at its most meditative, and already a winner with Balearic legend Moonboots. On the flip, "Test 2" is a tense cut which combines an unsettling synth prickle in the treble region, while a womping square bass wobbles about with malicious intent in the track's guts. Set closer "Test 3" is a complete change of mood as the duo raise us up into the daylight with a bright soundscape punctured by insistent acid lines and subtle percussion.  


Aww yeah. Get ready to take the vinyl time machine back to Chicago, '86, where ESP are on stage, in the mix, and tearing the roof off the place. ESP only released two records, but the collaboration of Tommy Thumb and Daniel Ellington seemingly favoured quality over quantity, as both releases are total classics! This official reissue of house music anthem "It's You", which has recently reached a whole new generation of fans through FCL's cover on We Play House and Defected, features all the original mixes, arrangements and acapellas as they were meant to be heard, but with added mastering boost for the modern sound system. Get on of these in your bag asap, it's completely essential for any fan of real house music.


Ooof! Get in. Underground reissue and remaster a complete belters from all the way back when. ESP were there at the very dawn of house music, and this their second of two singles, is a complete stormer. Stripped back to the bare essentials, "Let's Move" comprises of nothing more than a bassline, simple drum machine loop, sleazy male vocal (in that typical Chi-Town style) and occasional haunting synth line. Despite this simplicity, "Let's Move" is an unstoppable dancefloor monster that must have blown people away in those primitive days of house music. Across the four mixes, the parts are removed and added, played in isolation or muted completely, offering variation depending on the crowd you're working with. 


Last Waltz make their Is It Balearic? debut with two diverse moods hitting sweetspots on either side of the Balearic spectrum. On the A-side they don they get on board the junk and get in full CSN mode with the help of vocalist Smoove (presumably of Smoove & Turrell fame). "Just Hold On" is a pastoral rolling (hills) chugger, with heartfelt vocals over a deep bassline, folky guitar strumming and shimmering keys. On the remix Ess O Ess raise the tempo a little bring out the electric guitars and increasing the chug to almost Krautrock levels. On the Flip side Last Waltz give us "Tribute", a deep atmospheric acid affair. Mellow electric keys and percussion lull you into a false sense of security before the heavy kick and acid bassline drop with dark cello notes. Machete Savane take on the remix. Replacing acid for guitar and adding some machine groove this slowly builds and builds into a top bubbler that'll work wonders with the Japanese jocks on the Balearic scene. 

Lord Tusk makes his vinyl debut with “The Natural Partnership EP” on the esteemed Levels eries. A veteran of London’s underground as a selector, Lord Tusk’s influences run deep: electro, hip-hop, old jack swing, film scores, P-funk, roots and culture and dub. A devotee of sound system culture and martial arts, both are reflected in his approach to music making which is free of restrictions. There are no specific tempos, genre limitations or fixed methods he works by. With Lord Tusk it is all about sensation, emotion, stimulation and inspiration from the sounds, instruments and effects. These are raw sounds for the big speakers, with early support from Benji B (Radio One), Lakuti and Tama Sumo (Panorama Bar).

Michele Mininni is from Southern Italy where he says people are not interested in his type of music so he was forced to reach out to Glasgow where it turns out some people most definitely are. Citing his influences as kraut, post rock, new wave and electronic amongst others, this is his debut release and most accomplished it is too. Lowering the tempo somewhat compared with previous OT releases, "Tupolev Love" is a sub 100bpm cosmic trancer while "Telekomdisko" raises the tempo, adds some hardware drums and heads off into lazer-guided drug-chug. The EP is completed by Michele's fellow countrymen, Boot & Tax's great acid-inflected remix of "Tupolev Love".

Another classy Mood II Swing reissue for you! the five track 'Scenic Route' EP comes from Nite Grooves circa '94, and is another example of the duo's deep, funky house sound. Opener 'Nafara' pairs tabla and bongo percussion patterns to a simple organ line and then gets funky with the crisp garage rhythm. It's so infectious I'm doing sat-down dancing while typing this review! 'Chicago Blues' dips a toe in minor key melancholia, lush synth pads and honking sax (possibly synth sax!) for a touch of garage blues. 'Sunlight In My Eyes' has rising and falling chords, sliced vocals and quivering strings over more of those funky house beats. Lastly 'Freaky Funk Feeling'  sets the shaker to the stun position and shakes some booty. There's also a mix without the horns or vox. Remastered for 2014 from original files. Released in conjunction with Nite Grooves and featuring original label artwork.

Principal Records return for their third outing with another superb EP from S&M featuring vocals by D'Nae!

S&M is the collaborative guise of Danimal Swainger aka Daniel Swain and Thatmanmonkz aka Scott Moncrieff, the duo launched Principal Records with their 'In My Mind' EP in 2013. Here we see them return to the imprint to deliver more of their gritty house sound, again employing the vocal stylings of Jamaican born vocalist D'nae.

Kicking off the single is the original mix of title track 'Too Much Not Enough', a raw, Detroit style deep and soulful house number, built around ethereal analogue textures, sub bass licks and crunchy rhythms. D'nae's heartfelt vocal lines instil a further charm and character to the track resulting in a smooth and skilfully crafted composition.

Following is the second original from S&M entitled 'Mmmm', the duo throw vocal murmurs uttering the track title into the mix alongside looped Rhodes chords, rumbling sub tones and dusty drum samples to again create an elegant and understated piece. Beatdown but upbeat.

On the flipside is Magnus Magnusson's interpretation of 'Too Much Not Enough'. The newcomer strips back the vibe of the original with sparse percussion, dubbed out snippets of the vocal and sporadic synth and bass melodies, generating a stunning, contrasting mix against the original piece. 


FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Limited red vinyl pressing.

Sometimes it's best to let the music do the talking, and this is one of those occasions. Local Talk's 46th release comes from exciting debutant Sameed.

Slotting neatly into Local Talk's rough and funky garage / house niche, "Spend (Money)" opens the EP with dubby chords, vocal snippets and a wonky bassline, all slathered over crisp, swinging beats. "Still" goes for a raw acid house sound, but with plenty of funk in the trunk and, well, it sounds like waves crashing on a pebble shore... Flip it for "Getyoself", and equally stripped-to-the-bone 808 / 909 jammer recalling Todd Terry's late 80s Latin freestyle sound - snapping drum machine syncopation and a dull thudding bassline. There's also "Spend (Money Fo Dub)", taking the original mix a little bit deeper.


Editainment welcome a couple of new faces to their exclusive club and are repayed with this hefty four track of killer sounds, housed in a neon stamped sleeve. Shangri & La befriend us with a pick n mix bag of roto acid, bongo boogie, future reggae and sleek house that'll have you throwing shapes like a child at a family function in no time. "Paracelsus" is a sprawling acid rework of a Euro synth number (I'm thinking Propaganda or Liasons Dangereuses) which twists and turns throughout without ever losing its tight grip on the dancefloor. On "Percacelsus", Shangri & La loop, splice and dice about six different drum tracks to create an exceptional percussion monster that goes above and beyond a mere tool. On the flip "Rudeacelsus" is a lilting island groove pairing a thick reggae disco bassline with off beat keys, synth stabs and the occasional hint of dub. Lastly, "Padacelsus" is an emotional house groover for late in the club session, or cocktail party ambience when the carkeys have gone in the bowl. Massive emotive pads and sampled and replayed female vox take you out of your self and let you run free as a child again. Inspired by a club and a scene that never was, Shangri & La deliver great sounding music for good looking people.


6th Borough Project

Borough To Borough Remixes - Inc. Fantastic Man / Ben La Desh Remixes

They like a good remix at Delusions Of Grandeur and here the label present not one but three very different takes on three of the 6'Bo LP tracks. Opening up the A-side we have rising star Cuthead serving up his trademark scratchy, swinging MPC beats with clattering percussion and stabbing chords on his excellent remix of 'Back 2 Black'. Perfect, leftfield house music with depth and flair and a perfect example of why the Uncanny Valley regular is picking up so much praise right now. Next up Fantastic Man gets to grips with 'Read My Mind', bringing a lovely bit of proto-house flavour to the release on this James Mason ‘Nightgruv’ inspired remix. Chiming DX7 synths and lush pads are the order of the day here, creating a lovely warm up vibe before going heads down and dubby for the final 3 minutes. Flipping over we’re treated to some lush, slo-mo / lo-slung vibes on the Ben La Desh remix of 'Walk Away', the Dutch producer teasing things out with a chugging 7 minute workout which will sound dreamy and creamy on a big system.

LA duo Split Secs make their return to Machine Unlimited with the deep cave dwelling gloom of "I Stand Alone". Don't be confused by those psychedelic spaceman lyrics about 'the temple of the sun', this is deep, disorientating house for troglodytes and gremlins. Secret Circuits fire up the hardware for a warped and twisted remix of misfiring machines and fizzing synths. Synthetic house for the outsider crowd I reckon. Detroit's Monty Luke goes deep on the flip, transforming the original into a paranoid acid nightmare of a city submerged. Italians Do It Better boss Mike Simonetti cuts off all the excess and strips this one back to the bone to deliver a house remix which focusses on those intricate marimba parts and bonkers ravey basslines.


Hmmm, a house producer called Luke who isn't Mr Solomon... Who could it possibly be? Let's just say he has a few Nuggets up his sleeve, on previous LP compilations, and also on this 12" for FaltyDL's Blueberry Records imprint. 

Falty's imprint gives like-minded producers the opportunity to spread their wings a bit and try out different ideas. 'Daydreamin'' opens the EP in fine style, meshing a proto-R&B broken rhythm with sweet female vocals and Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. 'Brockley Spears' brings hip hop and hip-house to the dancefloor, cramming as many old school samples as possible over classic funky breaks, then sliding in with some jazz horns as well. Amazing that a track with so many different elements doesn't sound cluttered. 'Instant Vibe' cuts up 80s / 90s house vocal samples and sets them in a swinging garage framework, with trademark acidic / electronica textures from Luke. 'Party Piece' is the perfect example of Mr Warm's work: funky breaks and analogue keyboard lines sounding like the BBC Radiophonic Workship dragged into the acid house era.

Early DJ / radio support from Gilles Peterson, Mark Pritchard, Francois K, Anthony Naples, Brackles, Dorian Concept, Illum Sphere.

D. Wilson & L. Carson

Tracks From The Tapes

Theo Parrish shows some serious hometown love and reminds us all that he's a true OG,  plucking a couple of gems from Chicago's thriving late 80s tape scene for Sound Signature #42. D. Wilson & L. Carson (who previously lit Sound Signature up with the smoking "Redlight Bulb Theory") hooked up on some heavy collabs back in the day, and these two previously unreleased acid tracks from '89 give a little insight into what the rest of the world was missing at the time. Bumping 808 programming, rattling 707 percussion and wriggling 303 lines nag away at your noggin, transporting you to worlds unknown where the party lasts forever.

In Theo's words... "This was southside Chitown ‘89. If you werent there you werent there…. lots of underground unreleased music circulated on the southside on maxell and tonemaster tapes from walgreens - 2 dollars for a pack of eight"


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: If you liked Carson's "Redlight Bulb Theory" then this should keep you happy with more lo-fi acid tape experiments from a golden age of the Chicago underground.

Maya Jane Coles, the multi-award-winning 26 year old British-Japanese producer / DJ, presents another new chapter in her remarkable career, following her critically-acclaimed debut album “Comfort” with Fabric 75.

The meditative propulsive house and techno for which Maya is renowned spurred Rolling Stone to include the young star as one of their top 25 most influential DJs on the planet, and secured her place at the top end of the Resident Advisor poll. It’s not hard to see why. Maya’s DJing highlights include a record breaking Boiler Room, much lauded Essential Mixes for Radio 1, a guest mix for XLR8R's hallowed 300th podcast, and live streamed mixes on Resident Advisor live from her residency at Richie Hawtin's Enter at Space.

Fabric 75 is a mix that avoids ornamental grooves in favour of fittingly percussive and musically rich simplicity; a raw house sound that is more mature and approachable than ever. The mix’s melodic qualities offer yet more wonderful insight into Maya’s music world, a rhythmic language spoken with the both the soft sonic variety and thunderous impact we’ve come to expect from Maya’s DJ performances. Wander with emotional caution, as deep chords dominate the mix and challenge the mere sight of mechanical beats.

Maya’s engaging atmospherics on Fabric 75 are esoteric to say the least, and the result clearly guides the listener through her own personal and fascinating approach to dance music.

Frisco disco imprint Voltaire hits us with its 'love potion number 9' in the form of the various artists "Viare EP". Featuring cuts from Jonas Reinhardt, Timothy J. Fairplay, PLAzA and Roche this thick wax hits you with knockout punches from all corners of the dancefloor. First up to the plate is Jonas Reinhardt, who clears the stadium with the starchasing "Virgo Cluster", a cosmic disco groover propelled like a Nasa shuttle by a irresistable bass groove. Expansive synth lines, the occasional echo of the Bee Gees and a scorching guitar solo courtesy of Phil Manley (Trans Am / Life Coach) all combine into a swirling nebula of dancefloor delights. Asphodell Timothy J Fairplay invites us to his souk and mixes up a gurgling sonic brew of dubby drug chug, zombie horror soundtrack and menacing slo-mo techno, perfect for any ALFOS fans out there. On the flip, "Guave" by PLAzA is a playful dancefloor workout, that employs a slow acidic line and some classic Italo house flavours to evoke the feeling of pilled up dancing in the summer sun. Space terrace vibes!  Lastly, "Back Outside" from Roche is druggy outsider house at its best, with an enormous subby bassline complementing an alien warehouse vibe.


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