MAGIC MIX

house . techno . electronica . ambient

WEEK STARTING 14 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of RMI Is All I Want - Inc. Erol Alkan Remix by The Emperor Machine.
Oooof! It's always a pleasure to hear a new Emperor Machine release, and this one's a real blinder. The man responsible for 50% of Staffordshire's energy consumption (the other 50% being swallowed up by Dean Meredith, obviously) once again fires up his impressive collection of vintage synths and dons his space suit for a voyage to distant worlds. "RMI Is All I Want" is a mid-tempo cosmic chugger in the trademark EM style, but this time features some dreamy female vocals which could easily be the sound of a space siren. The live bass is funky and groovesome to a Bootsy level, while the wigged out guitar heroics add a frazzled stargazing charm to the track. As ever, Andy combines tough edged disco beats with more cerebral cosmic melodies into alluring soundscapes that bend your mind and drive your feet. Ace. On the flip, Nu Rave survivor, electro impressario and Phantasy boss Erol Alkan copies the original mix onto 3.5" floppy and whacks it into his Amiga 600, transforming the original into a belting nugget of micro(chip) house. 


Erol Alkan

Check Out Your Mind / Bang - U / Beau Wanzer Remixes

Here we are, still reeling from the realisation that the "Illumination EP" was Erol's debut production and drunk on the dark power inside the grooves, when Phantasy hit us with a jab-hook combo of remix EPs! On this first package, Man Make Music star U and Chicago young gun Beau Wanzer are at the controls with two completely different but both brilliant remixes. U does the honours on the A-side, reworking "Check Out Your Mind" into a psychedelic head fuck of rampant synths, fizzing distortion and bass power. This one's definitely a bad trip, it sounds like mechanical ants chomping on your brain! On the flip, L.I.E.S. man Beau Wanzer reimagines "Bang" from inside a malfunctioning toy factory. Mesmerizingly propulsive, percussive and repetitive, the hypnotic power this holds will turn any club into a land of dancefloor zombies. That's a good thing by the way.   


Erol Alkan

A Hold On Love / Bang - Tom Trago / The Emperor Machine Remixes

Here we are, still reeling at the realisation that the "Illumination EP" was Erol's debut production and drunk on the dark power inside the grooves, when Phantasy hit us with a jab-hook combo of remix EPs! This second instalment features Amsterdam house don Tom Trago and cosmic synth maestro Emperor Machine taking Erol's work to town. Tom Trago opens proceedings with his Tokyo Mix of "A Hold On Love", a minimal house cut with maximal emotional response thanks to its broad pads, stuttered vox and burbling bassline. On the flip, UK house stalwart Andy Meecham dons his Emperor Machine cap for a sprawling wormhole interpretation, bringing the crystalline synth to the forefront, and injecting the track with a sublte hit of acid funk.


Sound Signature continues its unrelenting grasp on the world with this new angel pursued by Andrew Ashong. Taking cues from Cody Chestnutt - a laid back, feel-good vocal delivery with a totally organic sound bed - live Rhodes, jangly drums and a breathy, low-end bass organ; the track is one of those timeless, captivating, understated tracks that could soundtrack anything from your daytime BBQ session, to one of the last tracks of the night in a sexy, sweaty nightclub to beginning your day dancing in the bathroom with the sun beaming through the windows. Its beautiful. Simple. Next track "Take It Slow" is also heavily influenced by Nu-soul / RnB - Andrew's delicate vocals serenading us against a syncopated synth bass / MPC groove and sharp guitar licks. Finally, "The Way She Moves" is the most subdued and sensual offering here. Totally acoustic, with a simple kick - snare pattern; gentle, strumming guitar chords and very subtle bass. It's a summery ballad with a totally slack, lazy vibe, perfect for lighting up post-BBQ, jussst as the sun's going down, the sky's all red and your sat all full and cosy on your camping chair taking in the world....Excellent release, Theo knows how to keep us his toes dunt he?! After the mind-bender that was "Any Other Styles" he roots us back down into soulful bliss. Grand.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Theo Parrish brings a Cody Chestnut type vibe into his hallowed Sound Signature halls.

Felix Dickinson & Nick The Record

Unbreakable / First Fruit

Tokyo dancefloor superpower, Ene, look to old blighty for their new release, tempting two acid house survivors into the studio with the promise of good drugs, strong booze and beautiful sportswear. Cynic boss, disco don and Balearic mischief maker Felix Dickinson and esteemed vinyl dealer Nick The Record take their collaborative relationship to the next level, swapping the editing scalpel for the full studio array. And in the true acid house spirit the duo decided the more the merrier and invited the mighty Kaidi Tatham (Bugz In The Attic fame) and his magic fingers to take care of keyboard duties. On the A-side "Unbreakable" is a huge smiling groove which throws serious shapes somewhere between disco and house. A conga-led percussion percolates away alongside a sturdy bassline while Kaidi hits us with some Floating Points styled keys, layering synth lines and samples until the club's awash with melody and colour. Deep and dope stuff. B-side cut "First Fruit" goes down a completely different route, exploring the dubby end of the synth funk spectrum. The synthetic rhythm has a tropical, almost baile flavour to it, whilst the bass synth womps away like it escaped a Joker single, giving the track a disorientating weightless quality. If there were a genre heading for off the wall electro-dubstep-disco-funk then this would be the sole occupant, which is almost worth the entry fee alone. It's already a winner for DJ Harvey, Lexx and Psychemagik, so get on board!


Extra-raw DJ tool EP from Delroy Edwards, aka the Big Pun, DJ Punisher. Manufactured in East Los Angeles, CA. A four, or possibly five track (four listed, five on the actual disc) DJ tool EP, with "tool" being the operative word: be warned, a couple of thse tracks are the sound of having your teeth drilled while someone opperates heavy machinery right by your ears. Industrial ouch! Elsewhere we get deep, dark Chicago jack tracks and dub reggae loopage. Super-limited - you know these LA Club Resource twelves all vanish very quickly!


FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Full picture sleeve.

More driving, aircraft-hanger sized techno cuts from the Selected Edits project. The A-side sees Italian dub-techno mainstay Giorgio Gigli team up with Edit Select, rolling out their typical flat-lined sound. Alien murmurings attempt to make audible their utterances but are silenced by waves of chunering bass and dark metallic sweeps. The flip offers two massive remixes of "Asperity" from the very first Edit Select release: First, a stone cold killer from Cassegrain who adopts a more post-apocalyptic approach, allowing a concentric bass groove to repeat while shards of acid rain fall on a baron, nuclear wasteland. Finally Edit Select joins forces with Markus Suckut to revisit the track, deploying some intricate hi-hat patterns and a seriously punishing kick drum, flattening all that dare to step in its path. Power!

Chet Faker’s first EP release, 2012’s ‘Thinking In Textures’, marked the arrival of a truly unique talent and began a dream run for Australia’s freshest new artist. Two years in the making, his full-length debut brings together all of his influences, from house to R&B, and fuses it together with his smoky vocals. ‘Built On Glass’ is set to truly cement Chet Faker as one of the most unique artists of 2014.

Fripp & Eno

Evening Star

    In 1975 with King Crimson on hiatus (as it would remain until 1980), Robert Fripp's appearances on album or on stage were rare. When he did appear, it was with Brian Eno. Circumstances following an accident in January 1975 led to Eno formulating the idea of ambient music as detailed in the notes to "Discreet Music" – released in December 1975. The title track of "Discreet Music", was initially conceived as a backing loop for Fripp to play over at a series of concerts. These concerts took place in Spain, France and England in late May 1975. A short section of one of these concerts provided the basic track for "Wind On Water" – the opening piece from the second Fripp and Eno album "Evening Star". The title track that follows features a Fripp solo that is regarded by fans as one of his most beautiful performances. The short, pretty loop called "Evensong" and "Wind On Wind" an extract from "Discreet Music" formed the remainder of the album's first half. Perhaps more pastoral than truly ambient, and in part indicative of the type of music that Eno would feature on his later "Music For Films" albums this was a firm step away from the long form pieces that had made up "No Pussyfooting". As if to balance the equation, the second side comprised a single piece "An Index Of Metals". Over thirty years on from its original recording, the sense of unease conveyed by the piece remains intact.

    Fripp & Eno

    No Pussyfooting

      In August 1972 King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp was producing some material for Robert Wyatt. Brian Eno – then a member of Roxy Music, came to the studio to add synth to the same sessions. Fripp & Eno found common cause. The 21 minutes piece of music that resulted, "The Heavenly Music Corporation" became one of the most significant and influential pieces of electronic music ever recorded. The other track on the album "Swastika Girls" was not recorded until over a year later in August 1973 – the track title inspired by a picture of girls wearing a swastika and little else that was pinned to the console. Also pinned to the console was a piece of paper with the words "No Pussyfooting" – Fripp's reminder to both musicians that they should not compromise what they felt to be right or be deterred by the hostility to the project shown by management and record label alike. (There was talk of Fripp leading Eno into 'un-commercial territory'.) The album was released in November 1973 and went on to sell over 100,000 copies. It was a unique achievement at the time to place an album of experimental electronic music into the hands, homes and ears of 100,000 rock music fans.

      Laurent Garnier

      AF 4302 EP

      You have to admire Laurent Garnier's continued desire to push boundaries and confound critics. His plan to devote 2014 to releasing five EPs on five different labels, whilst mixing up the styles, is undoubtedly bold. This three-tracker for the ever-intriguing 50Weapons imprint is particularly impressive. "MILF" bristles with stuttering analogue rhythms, foreboding chords and attractive bleep melodies, coming on like an unlikely jam session between Sweet Exorcist and Orbital. "DSK" sees the French veteran moving further towards his techno roots, while "He" sounds like an homage to darkwave with techno overtones and more than a hint of stripped-back early Chicago acid. Bravo Monsieur Garnier, bravo!

      Glimpse

      LED / Baretta

      Chris Spero has been at the cutting edge of house and techno for many years now, with landmark releases for labels such as Planet E and Hypercolour as Glimpse whilst his recent reinvention as Dense & Pika (alongside Alex Jones) for Hot Flush has seen him capable of hulking, powerful techno that has won him fans from Richie Hawtin to Koze whilst troubling the beatport top ten via their smash ‘Colt’. His first EP for Aus Music last year, ‘True South,’ carried the familiar weight of his Dense & Pika project, yet touched on a deeper, rolling house-leaning sound. With this new 12″, he once again steers straight down the house / techno divide with a set of perfectly weighted basslines underpinning some deliciously, rough-cut percussion. Both are catchy as hell and likely to get hoards of under 25s losing their shit next to the speaker stacks upon hearing. Already being supported heavily by the likes of Scuba, George FitzGerald (who played both tracks on his Radio 1 ‘In New Music We Trust’ residency).

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: H E A T from Aus Music... Glimpse getting on the bassline-techno vibe here.

      Golden Teacher

      Party People / Love

      After the success of their first EP “Bells From The Deep End” and their second “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, Optimo Music are very happy to present the third Golden Teacher EP featuring another sleeve designed and made by their very own fair hands. Further copies will be available in the usual pink Optimo Music house bag. Super-limited, so buy now or never!

      Their latest release is a party record… Play it loud, preferably with some lasers and strobes, and LET LOOSE.

      It's a double A-side release, with "Love" actually taking up the first side. A rip-roaring, tripped-out acid house workout, but with a large twist of post-punk no wave cool in the treated vocals, and a funky swing in the cowbells and percussion. "Love" has been cut at 45 so it can be cunningly played at either speed apparently, for extra added value. Bringing the pace down, "Party People" is a go-go au go go number with everyone having a go (go) on percussion, someone adding the sleaziest of analogue electro-funk keyboards, while vocalists Cassie Oji and Charles Lavenac freeform like a twin-headed James Chance. The 12" also features an added bonus track "Silver Chalice" - imagine Cultural Vibe's proto-house classic "Ma Fum Bey" with jazz-funk keys and live drumming.


      Max Graef

      Rivers Of The Red Planet

      Tartelet has a knack for uncovering virtuosic, off-kilter electronic music. Max Graef - born, bred and still holding it down in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg - is their latest artist in this mold. Though adventurous dance music is thick on the ground in the German capital, Graef's 2013 run of singles, cropping up on Graef's own Box aus Holz, plus Melbourne Deepcast, The Gym, Heist and Tartelet, continually surprised, infusing worn-in house with manic energy and acrobatic elasticity. Where many of his peers make languid, self-consciously laid-back tunes, Graef makes brilliantly restless ones. Dropping the needle on one of his EPs, you nearly expect it to pop right off again.

      "Rivers Of The Red Planet", Graef's first full-length and Tartelet's latest album project, takes all that wildness and refines, expands, updates and scrambles it. It's as ambitious and deviously entertaining a record as you'll hear in 2014, the fulfillment of Graef's desire to make anything but another contemporary house music album. At any given moment, Rivers of the Red Planet feels like it could have been recorded through the smoke at a jazz club in the booth at a techno club 30 years from now or inside an MPC stocked with crusty dollar-bin samples. (We'd guess the staff at Graef's beloved OYE Records in Berlin will have a difficult time settling on which section to file it in.) If it sounds sampled, it's a testament to Graef's natural musicianship and production prowess - the record is heavy on sounds he played himself, from drums and Rhodes to fat synth melodies wrung out of an old Crumar Performer water-damaged to perfection. For vocals, Graef enlisted Nigerian singer Wayne Snow, whose rugged soulfulness makes him a natural pairing. On cuts like "Drums Of Death" and "Speed Metal Jesus," the club- readiness of his EPs lives on. But "Rivers of the Red Planet" may be most at home in your living room, with a good bottle of red and a roaring fire's crackles mixing with the pops and hiss of the vinyl - a playful listen that sinks in, burrowing deep and getting you all warm and gooey on the inside.


      Brand new (circa 2012) Sound Signature from Craig Huckaby featuring production from Theo Parrish and Pirahnahead. This is a HOT HOT HOT twelve! "Black Music" is liquid bliss Detroit house. A totally infectious hook repeating over and over while a deep spoken word talks about black music, John Coltrain and Sun Ra in a righteous and invigorating manner. Deliciously long, this is one of the tastiest hooks to come out of Detroit for ages - the searing strings, live bass and soulful backing vocals just sitting perfectly on our ears. On the flip we get "Child Of The Sun" which features another spoken word, this time about a man / boy named Peanut who everyone called Squirrel. Or is it the other way roung? Anyway, the groove this time is more leftfield and quirky, but still with enough of that Detroit funk to keep everyone’s hips wiggling in the dance. It’s also got one of those nagging thin guitar lines that Theo likes so much to extended and tweak in the mix (remember that super extended James Brown guitar lick edit he used to always play?). Anyway, after a long introduction the track drops into an amazing live jam with this catchy-as-hell bassline and live Rhodes. Jaw-dropping, the hottest Sound Signature release for a good while. Finally we get the poem acapela, tagged onto the end of the record for creative mixing and sample use. Move fast on this one... like Mummy's hot cakes they won't be around for long.

      It's '94, it's Chicago, and it's totally going off! House music legend Paul Johnson has just dropped what became a ghetto anthem on the uncompromising Dance Mania. "Feel My MF Bass" is a slamming ghetto house bumper of the highest order. A pounding drum track, a selection of vocal cuts and that threat to 'Feel my mother fucking bass in your face', and absolutely nothing else. No bassline, no chords, no strings or pads, just simplistic rhythm assault. Mint! "Jack-U-Later" (which appears here as a reissue bonus!) is another completely off the wall thumper from Paul, who splices a crazy percolating synth part with a warped morse code riff (A La Lil Louis) and another punishing beat. Proper warehouse tackle if you ask me. The insanity continues on the flip, where Paul samples a ridonkulous conversation with his niece and lays it over a bass heavy ghetto tech groove that shows no remorse. I can only imagine how much this would twist your melon if you heard it on a system. On the flip, "Bootycall" is the sleazy twin of "Jack-U-Later", racheting all the elements up to eleven and adding a sexy little vocal. Essential Dance Mania reissue yo!


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: The Dance Mania enslaught continues with one of their finest ever moments. Paul Johnson at his most ridiculously quirky yet irresistible best.

      If the scattershot ideas of Melodic Records’ schizophrenically brilliant Manchester experimentalists Working From A Nuclear City seemed to be aural metaphors for a galactic explosion, then King Of The Mountains, the new project of their songwriter, keyboardist and producer Phil Kay, hones in on a singular galaxy hurtling away from the blast’s initial impact into the cosmos. With his debut solo LP, the now-London-based artist detaches himself from his band’s tumult of sonic thoughts and sets a flight for more cohesive plains.

      Of course, King Of The Mountains being a product of the creatively restless Kay’s own fertile mind means that proceedings are rarely static; built largely around electronics but with its creator embellishing these artificial sounds with a variety of live instrumentation – even teaching himself saxophone in one afternoon to add extra layers. There are wonderfully interwoven structures, ranging from swelling tempestuous dance floor filler (‘Undone’) to richly textured maps of gently bustling sound (‘Stranger Things Have Happened’) and ambient secretions (‘Airstrips’).

      “The record was very nearly called Brutalism because I realised that what I was trying to do in music was similar to what brutalist architects were trying to do in the post-war period,” Kay explains. “There's a similarity in using these really hard edged electronic materials to try and create something human and meaningful, and the way the brutalists used concrete and steel to do the same. I'm more influenced by architecture than any other art form other than music. When you see a building like [Barcelona basilica] Sagrada Familia you realise the sheer potential of the creative mind. It gives you something to aim for.”

      With that attitude, it’s no surprise that King Of The Mountains contains grandeur even among its more direct four-to-the-floor yearnings; tracks like the sprawling ‘Zoetrope’ are constantly looking for pathways out of their tightly-meshed digital fabric, while the likes of ‘Surrounded’ seek to stimulate the imagination, offering woozy half-light evocations. “A lot of what I do is just trying to create a place (existing or imaginary) that I'd like to be in,” says Kay. “Cities, nature, buildings... Sometimes it’s better to be in a city or a place in your head than actually be there.”

      For a decade, Kay was part of the aforementioned Working For A Nuclear Free City – who produced three critically-acclaimed albums between 2006 and 2011 and saw their music included in numerous TV series, films and adverts (from the very first cook up scene in Breaking Bad, to the classic 100 years of Hovis advert that spanned over two minutes). However he found his and co-songwriter Gary McClure’s tunes were starting to drift further apart. “As a result, he released a very acoustic record last year, he really embraced that; my stuff’s been getting more electronic. One of the problems (and arguably one of the strengths) with Working For A Nuclear Free City was that it was very eclectic, which confused people. We wanted to see what would happen if we broke out the two key components of that sound instead of them battling each other.”

      It’s true that there isn’t much battling to be found here, with each track as though a different world, like moving through levels on an old arcade computer game. What differs between this and WFANFC though is that there’s a thread holding them together – elements that recur and snaps of sound that come back to you. Kay does most of his electronic work on antiquated software, using Windows XP and the same software he has for the past decade, relishing in attempting to challenge their limitations.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: LP is limited to 300 copies.

      Klaxons

      Love Frequency - Tom Rowlands / Mild Pitch Remixes

      Klaxons return to the battlefield ahead of the release of their "Love Frequency" LP with this covert operation on Erol Alkan's Phantasy imprint. This vinyl only release features two of the producers of the LP offering their own interpretations of the title track. On the A-side, Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands makes his return to Phantasy after the huge 2013 double A sided single 'Through Me' / 'Nothing But Pleasure', picking up exactly where that release left off. Huge, main room tech house with clunking vamps and clattering hats that'll have sweat dripping off the walls at Warehouse Project. On the flip, label head Erol Alkan, drops the tempo and ups the dub with a hollow, reverb heavy rework which puts its hands up for Berlin. 


      Irrepressible Dutchman Legowelt drops his long player, 'Crystal Cult 2080', on the Crème Organization imprint.

      The '2080’ part of the album title is taken from the Roland JV2080, a legendary digital synthesizer from the 90s that was used a lot in the making of the album. Bought second-hand in Tokyo for a couple of hundred dollars, it lends the record a very dewy eyed soul, whilst the 'Crystal’ part of the title stands for the self-made DIY Germanium crystal compressor Legowelt used throughout the writing process.

      The album itself features 12 new tracks of pure Legowelt music mainly recorded in The Hague in the past year, but also on the road during tours of LA, the Californian desert, Tokyo (which spawned 'Crystal Cult 2080') and Tejada Gran Canaria (where 'The Future of Myself' was written). Where his last album 'The Paranormal Soul' was an organic trip into misty forests, this one seems more concerned with medieval spirits; it’s deeper, darker and the whole thing is tied together by a more coherent sense of ancient alchemy.

      Given the use of a DIY germanium crystal compressor during production, it’s no wonder everything feels warm, fuzzy and mystic in a way that draws your attention in like that fabled philosopher’s stone… Stare too long and you might just turn to stone. Right from the opening track the mood is so encapsulating you are drawn right into Danny Wolfers’ mysterious electronic world. From there various different tempos are explored and plenty of famed synthesizer work comes to the fore, wrapping grooves in trippy themes, impish spirits and plenty of organic lushness.

      'Crystal Cult 2080' is sure to prove another lucid and distinctive chapter in the ever-captivating story that is the musical career of Legowelt.

      Here it is, the tenth and final chapter in the Seaghdha label story, as LoShea wraps up a monumental series with a special, limited 12" & "best of" CD combination package.

      First up we get four more new tracks on the wax: 'It's On' is an atmospheric, driving house jam complete with melodic guitar effects, which ride the groove and combine with the devilishly deep low end to startling effect

      'Got Swagger' strips things right back to the bone, a skeletal rhythm framework, those trademark atmospherics and rock solid low end.
      'Buchsheff' sees us back in familiar LoShea territory, with a powerful warehouse rattler. Finally 'To Be Sure' brings it all home with a cinematic ambient piece.

      As if that wasn't enough we also have a hand-stamped CD, featuring the best of the cuts from the earlier 12"s in the series, which are now fetching serious change on the second hand market.

      It's a great package, and a serious send off for what has been a hugely successful and widely supported musical endeavour.

      Breathtakingly relentless, stomping techno here from Paul Mac and Ritzi Lee on Ben Sims' Theory imprint. Opening is Paul Mac and "Control", a tense and heady piece of late night techno which serves to both disorientate and energize the listener with its looped vocals and ethereal atmospheres. A2 sees Mac take on Dutch producer Ritzi Lee’s "Reverse Process", employing similarly overdriven aesthetics to the original’s buoyant and anthemic top lines underpinned by a mountainous drum assault. On the flip Ritzi Lee serves up a pacey filtered workout entitled "Subway Trip" – a neat title considering the tracks nifty manipulation of repetition and subterranean depths. This is really, really hard, fast and punishing and reminds me of a proper Ben Sims set mid-session - leaving you gasping for breath and going at it like a Duracell bunny. Finally we have the electrifying currents and Millsian bells of "Grind Returns" (Ritzi Lee remixing Paul Mac). This has got to be a tribute to "The Bells" but who's complaining?! One of the hottest blueprints in techno gets reinvigorated with extra vocal snippets, massive crescendos and even bigger drops. Worth the entrance fee alone! Recommended.

      More illicit, under-the-counter white label business from the elusive, highly coveted Objekt. Objekt rides the kinda vacuum packed, high pressure tech-bass electronics that can cause nightclubs to collapse under rubble. No more so has this been demonstrated that on "Agnes Demise" - a brutal piece of sonic artillery with the sole purpose of flattening all within its path. It’s pointless to try to describe the sound, just image the aural equivalent of a wrecking ball smashing to bits the Berghain while the DJ's inside still bang out techno. If you thought the recent Cloud's release was tough, then this just brought home the bacon. "Fishbone" on the flip is a little less destructive, but still highly charged. Objekt runs a plethora of elements through a stuttering noise gate, making the whole thing shake and vibrate manically. You may well detect some old rave melodies nestled within the chaos, along with gremlin voices and some junglist subwoofer action. Or you might just become overwhelmed with its sheer weight. Whatever happens, just enjoy.
      Early support from Perc, James Ruskin, Francois K, Four Tet, Ben UFO, Pangaea, Pearson Sound, 2562, Untold, Tiga, Call Super, Inigo Kennedy, Nathan Jonson, Randomer, Errorsmith, Cassegrain, Paula Temple, Alex Smoke, Optimo.





      The man known as Alex Omar Smith drops another double pack via his FXHE label. Last year's quad-pack (split across two releases) ended up charting in my end-of-year top 20, and as expected, became an Official Detroit Classic©. So it's with great excitement that we reveal the new shit for 2014! Smith's split four tracks across four sides of wax, making for maximum fidelity and loudness on the pressing. "Leave" kicks things off - a chuggy Detroit techno romp full of crashing hats, rubbery basslines and a charged dynamic. A near-epic track, riddled with emotion and energy and certain to cause more than just a few goosebumps on the dancefloor - 'taps aff' might even get declared when this baby drops. Title track "Romancing The Stone" has a beautiful gleefulness about it. The keyboard motif and simple string line elevating it to a world of foot-long smiles, dancing pixies and technicoloured flowers falling from the heavens. "Frogs" follows and is unbelieevably funky! A catchy guitar lick and squelchy bass accompanying reverberated talking percussion and a cheeky little acid hit. The track evolves into a full on gremlin attack, taking us deep within some medieval lair and setting the 303s and reverb chambers to work. Mind-bogglingly good! "Surpass" concludes the set and sees Omar S go to work on the pianos. Layering up lots of jazzy licks, emotional sweeps and twinkling solo work, this track'll kill any big main room hall, the sheer size and power of the production set to overwhelm even a space like Deep Space NYC. Omar S could be accused of bad value for money - only four tracks on a double pack of wax; but these four tracks are stone cold keepers. All given extended workouts. Put it this way - if separate 12"s this good came out in ten years time - you'd happily be paying £20+ for the chance to own them. And if you work it out - these only work out a £4.25 a cut - a bargain if you ask me! Recommended.

      After a slew of choice cuts on some of Bristol's finest labels, Outboxx step out of their hometown comfort zone and join the Local Talk fold. This three tracker keeps it nice and simple, and showcases the guys doing what they do best, warm, textured house music infused with electronic soul. "Planet Love" is given the A-side all to itself to take you on a eurphoric journey through Italo house pads, Galaxy 2 Galaxy sequences and percussion and classic chord progressions. Sunny, hazy and perfectly produced, this would knock 'em dead on a Sunday afternoon at Body & Soul. On the B-side, "Denim Dreams" picks up the dreamhouse batton and runs with it, pairing a circular marimba pattern with jazzy pads and a wriggling square bassline. Visions of a caravan park in the sunshine circa '92 I reckon. On EP closer "On My Own" Outboxx step away from the druggy fug of the previous tracks and take aim at the hotly contested Local Talk 90s style NY house title. Skipping drums, vamping keys, a simple bass groove and chopped up diva vocals are all present and correct, coming together to form the best retro house track since HNNY'S "For The Very First Time".


      Hot On the heels of "Love Triumphant" and "Going Downstairs", Theo's back with more essential Sound Sig. grooves. On "Chemistry" he hooks up with Vito Money, Andreya Triana, Steve Spacek, Sofie L, Adi Dick and Ommas Keith, with the singers, players and producers all riffing round a seriously soulful / funky head-nod house tune. This is like some extended improv soul-jazz session that just keeps going, but always keeps its focus on the GROOVE. Also coming in from the more 'free' end of the jazz-house spectrum is "Untitled One", a stuttering instrumental epic with contributions from Theo's pal Duminie Deporres, who goes to town on guitar noodling. This one has "big in Japan" written all over it, and should remind you of those sprawling, dubby and psychedelic house cuts Harvey would play at Ministry of Sound on a Sunday. 

      Theo Parrish

      Goin' Downstairs Parts 1 & 2

      Theo takes his Detroit beatdown track "Goin' Downstairs" from the "Sound Sculptures" CD, and divides it in two, spreading the cut over two sides of this 33rpm long-playing 12". "Goin' Downstairs" sees Parrish in bluesy space-jazz mode, with the main vocal refrain repeated through most of the track, keeping company with some Sun Ra like keyboard noodling, and sporadic synth chords all tied to a metronomic beat. The other half offers a bit of bass and a kick drum here and there, but essentially more of the same - a deep, almost spiritual, hypnotic groove. A massive hit at his Plastic People residency where it became a huge staple of his sets. Quirky yet deep and seductive, this is Theo at his idiosyncratic best.


      *Limited Sound Signature re-presses!*
      Further cementing Theo's creative reputation, Sound Signature number 5 features those Parrish trademark sounds, slowed down Motor City noises, teaspoon percussion and hybrid jazz flourishes, obscured by the unfamiliarity of the weird techno-soul. "Dan Ryan" features afro drumming jaunts combined with that powerful Parrish bass, riding that off-kilter organic groove all the way through its glorious duration.

      "Walking Thru The Sky" mixes jazz guitar with ghostly vocals. This limited re-press won’t be around long, so move quick if you want to grab a copy.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      12" Info: REPRESSED.

      Pharaohs

      Island Time - Another Beach / Tornado Wallace Remixes

      Early in 2013, LA's Pharaohs dropped their ESP debut "Island Time" at exactly the same time that Tornado Wallace opened his ESP account with "Thinking Allowed". The result was a Freaky Friday styled exchange, with both acts remixing each other over the following months. Finally the process comes full circle, as Tornado Wallace drops a killer rework of "If It Ever Feels Right". The Australian producer gets into the groove straight away, opting for a hypnotic bounce, which pulls you into its sprawling synthetic world before blasting you to the next level with a fireworks display of hazy pads and laser light. On the flip, Pharaohs perform the always tricky task of remixing themselves, with excellent results. The "Another Beach" version of "Ahumbo" is a churning psychedelic brew of African chant, organic instrumentation and spiralling synths, warmed in the summer sun and served up with a can of Panache as a Balearic chaser. This is my under the radar Balearic dancefloor record of the week tip, so take note. 


      KMS spread the reissue love to their offshoot Trance Fusion this time, giving R-Tyme's "Use Me" a fat remaster for 2014. Up first is a stuttering and stammering rework by the one and only MK, who employs his trademark vocal chopping to great effect here while a gorgeous garage groove rolls along in the backgroung. On the A2, D Wynn takes to the desk with a classic vocal house rework, which pairs a stone groove with vamping pianos, strings and diva vocals. Definitely one to vogue to, this is my idea of house music, get it in the bag! Carl Craig takes the reigns on the B-side with two interpretations for very different occasions. Up first is his "Piano Mix", a peak time romp through chunky keys, skipping percussion and a jazzy little vocal sample washed with echo. For his R Tyme Groove, Carl breaks out the Rhodes and serves up a backroom belter that'd hit the hot spot in a smokey basement anywhere in the world. A raw funk breakbeat, jazzy keys and loopy vocals are all winners on what surely must have been a Tony Humphries favourite. 


      Following the sad passing of Anthony Wayne Moore last year, Black Male pay their respects by reissuing one of his best remembered productions in remastered form for a new generation of DJs and fans. Since its release in 1993, the track's emotional energy has haunted dancefloors all over the world. Romanthony's vocals were rarely matched by any other producer or singer and he's on fine form on this one. The famous refrain gets served four ways here, with something for every dancefloor occasion. Whether you need a warehouse jacker, vocal cracker or action packer, this baby's got it all.

      A year on from the sad death of Anthony Moore, and the retrospective reissues of his work as Romanthony keep on coming. This time we get the incredibly rare 'Warning Tracks', released on Black Male back in 1999. Check Discogs to see how much some idiot wants for an OG copy (£160!), and laugh all the way home with this new official remastered 2014 copy featuring original label artwork.

      Opening track 'Pretty Ugly' is a rough Chicago jacker that's paired down to the bone, letting the garage / funky house beats lead the way while space age synths add to the rhythm and the obligatory extended 909 drum rolls pepper proceedings. 'Warning Trax 1' is even more back to basics - slamming rhythm, P-Funk horn stab, layered loops. Ditto 'Warning Trax 2', which loops up a spoken vocal sample over a fierce mechanical drum rhythm. If that had too much of the funk squeezed out, then 'Warning Trax 3' should suit. On this one Romanthony copies Armand Van Helden's 'Funk Phenomena' homework and passes the "The Ultra Funkula" vocal looping, butt-shaking identikit rhythm track off as his own, possibly hoping no-one will notice the similarity...


      More rugged, slamming funk from the man John Swing on everybody's favourite bit-crushed tape-saturated disco-techno label - Relative. Harsh filter abuse, rough-as-a-bear's-arse editing and levels running well into the red categorize the sound; 4 whiplash jackers for your all night discotheque! "Dirty Disco" epitomizes this description with its hard to place sample looping over and over through an assortment of drum boxes cooked super hot onto the tape. A wah-wah low-pass lets fragments of the sample squelch through occasionally while a monstrous kick drum thunders on. "Re Funked" takes Azymuth's "Jazz Carnival" and suitably inebriates the track through distortion units, noise gates and some damn fine EQ'ing. Excellent stuff and a great tough take of this classic disco sample - hopefully you won't have the techno militia battering on the DJ booth complaining... "Madman Groove" opens the flip and takes cues from Glen Underground and early Peacefrog records - turning the 'swing' dial to 11 and firing off a plethora of catchy vocal samples and jacking percussion. We're treated to another surprise after the breakdown when a thin, weaving sine tone lead snakes through the mix with a real Dance Mania vibe to it. "Raw Twist" concludes with a squashed, lo-fi aesthetic as rattling drums accompany a fretted bass sound and more jacking grooves are deployed. Great stuff from the Relative camp!





      Tuk Tuk

      Chambray Record Shopper Tote

        Lovely new chambray (that's denim to you and me) tote bag from the good folk at TukTuk.

        The main compartment is big enought to carry your 12" vinyl purchases, and there's also a 7" pocket on the front for those few cheeky sevens you've picked up too.

        The main compartment has a magnetic stud fastening, and there is a phone pocket and zip pocket for all your other bit's and pieces, both in lovely check fabric (like the linings in their leather record boxes).

        It has nice long handles, big enough to sling it over your shoulder, but not so long that you can't carry it in your hand.

        Perfect!

        Groovitron waste no time and hit us with the first remix EP pulled from U-Ka's "Supernova" LP, scouring the globe for hot remix talent. On the A-side Ray Mang (Mangled / DFA) takes on the title track and delivers a fantastic body-poppin' electro jam which is completed with some classic 80's synth stabs - 'get yer lino out'. Next up, Japan's 9DW reworks 'Per Aspera Ad Astra', setting a nu-disco / Italo course towards a neighbouring galaxy while us passengers marvel at soaring synths and a dreamy piano.
         
        On the flip, Lusty Zanzibar take on 'Chilling In The Spaceship On The Outskirts Of The Universe', steering away from the cosmic disco and taking us on a smooth slo-mo journey across space and time, before dropping us safely on the beach. The final mix comes from Gonno who leads conjures a hypnotic techno vision complete with all his wonderful trademark production qualities. This won't be around long, so don't sleep on it.

        Finnish Arctic-house producer Ukkonen released his second album, ‘The Isolated Rhythms Of..’ through No Pain In Pop in late 2013. The new ‘Aika’ EP marks a further progression of his sound; a pair of twelve minute plus tracks centred around themes of growth and decay.

        'Luomus' takes a chord sequence and deconstructs it, whilst slowly constructing a rhythmic grid around it. Both elements then break down further before settling into a complex texture with multiple elements all working at different speeds and on different paths. This track also moves from synthetic sounds to acoustic ones.

        'Aikomus' starts with a lonely call that receives no reply. An uneven groove kicks in, contrasting harmonies with the call, but it slowly decomposes. Out of the darkness, a distant reply is received and the beat kicks back in, before calming to warm tranquility and finally cold silence.

        Unknown

        Never Thought / Love Is Stronger - Vin Sol & Matrixxman Edits

        Vin Sol & Matrixxman return with another couple of belting reworks of the jazzy pipes of Clackton's finest (Sade). The US duo revisit two of the hallowed songstress' classics from the 80s and give them a right royal going over for modern club use. First up is the beautiful 'Never Thought' which is no stranger to a remix or two due to the accapella being on the original 12". Here VS & M add early 90s house flourishes - warm pads, deep chords and the original vocal seeping in and out of the mix, whilst elements slowly start to build up for what is a fully tops off house rework of a classic. Warm, rushy and packing a little punch in the bottom end this one comes on smooth like your first dab of MD. Simple and effective. Fans of Innervisions won't be disappointed! On the flip, 'Love is Stronger' is a mellower take on one of her signature hits. Sticking to a cool 110 bpm tempo, it's got a bubbly, woozy late Sunday afternoon vibe emanating from the first four bars. Another solid rework from the Vin Sol & Matrixxman camp! 

        Jorge Velez returns to L.I.E.S. with his first effort since 2012's 'Hassan' LP under the Professor Genius moniker. Through this six track LP we see the ultra versatile Velez weave a path seamlessly through numerous strains of electronic music.

        From menacing drones and EBM influenced industrial dancefloor chuggers, to Sakamoto-esque melodic ambient experiments and sparkling new age synth-heavy dreaminess, he creates an atmosphere equally suitable for home listening or adventurous club play. All of this very much reminding us of the days when Mute, Factory, Cherry Red, or Fetish Records were at their best in he post-punk golden era.

        Shabby Doll may seem a little infatuated with Yorkshire house at the moment, but who's complaining? Next up is the 'Wanderlust EP' from Bradford born James Welsh. James has already performed remix duties for Shabby Doll, having whisked up Mella Dee's 'Things Don't Change' in 2013, but his appearance centre stage turns the attention onto his own propulsive house sound. Title-track "Wanderlust" is a wide eyed house mover with a little flavouring of German electro in those glistening synths. The occasional break into ruff house vocal snippets stake a flag in this country though, and the heavy bass sound will wukk plenty a system up t'north. Hypercolour's Ste Roberts drops by for a remix party, stripping the OG of its uplifting bounce and remoulding it as a gloomy darkroom banger breaking out the speakers through a thick film of distorted grime. On the flip James gets real smooth with the Larry Heard-esque groover "C64". Gorgeous jazzy pads extend all day long as that wriggling bassline rolls along the bottom end. Heartfelt vocals declare love for music and yearning for more and the early doors or late night crowd will surely follow suit. On EP closer "Moving Out", James shows another facet of his production, distilling the soulful beatdown of Detroit into that distinctly English house sound emerging from labels like Wolf, Shadeleaf and Shabby Doll. 


        ZSA Gang

        Beehive Rhythms EP

        Crikey! If ever there were an analogue house dream team then this is surely it. Max D, Jordan GCZ, Juju and Pissflaps (?) come together under the ZSA Gang moniker fire off some mind-bendingly weird hardware jams for dancefloor domination. A1 kicks off with some no wave styled vocals yelling "No Feedback", before the drum machine insanity begins in earnest. Frazzled synth parts, feedback assaults and off key solos all feature heavily in the madness which follows, before a spoons solo marks a moment of temporary respite. Nutso. The A2, reigns in the drum machines a little, and tops a rigid house beat with detuned machine tones, fizzing drones and the sort of distorted bassline you might find on a Roule release from 94. On the flip, the group usher in some tranquility and peace with the Larry Heard inspired B1 cut. The subtle drum pattern is topped with dreamlike pads, a ripping acid bassline and squelching keys as we get transported to a crystal lake of future primative house music. The abstact house experimentation of the B2 returns us to the melon twisting mood of the A-side, as springy percussion clatters away in a call and answer with almost random synth blasts. Completely bonkers and out there house music for the braver DJs out there. 


        Pablo Valentino's Faces imprint gets into the swing of 2014 with this tasty little sampler of what's in store from the beatdown boutique. The short answer is more quality house music! Side A strolls out the speakers with a beret and a nice bottle of plonk featuring two cuts from Parisian house heads. Aurelian AKA KM3 wins the toss and chooses to kick off, with the bumping and pumping "Come Here", a house workout with melancholic stabs and a heavyweight bassline custom built for tickling ribs and rattling cabs. Next up S3A continues his hot street, dropping the tempo to a soulful beatdown groove decorated with a collage of samples. As the rhythm works its magic things start to get very wonky, with keys clashing in the most satisfying manner. On the flip, 4004 & Sebastien Vorhaus step into the main room with a floor burning sample house bomb. MCDE style keys, soulful wails, diva chants, tension strings and tasty percussion all feature in this molotov cocktail for club use only. Last but not least, label head Pablo Valentino teams up with Steven Joyce Ames under their Creative Swing Alliance alias to work up a jazzy deep burner for very late in the session. Warped and weird strings, mournful vocal layers and reedy riffing occupy the space above an insistent bassline. Proper late night tackle.



        Those randy buggers at Roots For Bloom get disco frisky with volume three of their SHAG edits series featuring a double header (ooh err) from M.James and label head Jamie Trench. The A-side eases us into the swing of things with a little percussive foreplay, before Mr BB King whispers some sweet nothings in our ear and set about caressing his frets. M.James has upped the tempo to a danceable house groove and made tasteful additions to the percussion and bass departments. The result is a smooth and soulful house mover with a little emotional punch hidden away, reminding me of the excellent Henrik Schwarz rework of Bill Withers' "Who Is He And What Is He To You". On the flip, things get real hot, real heavy and real, real funky. Label head Jamie Trench takes a stone groove from People's Choice and gives it a duracell boost that'll last all night. A reworked arrangement, driving drums and a raw, party vibe make this the weapon you need to have in your bag.


        Phonica unveil the third in a series of three 12" samplers featuring a selection of tracks from their new compilation 'Ten Years Of Phonica'.

        As a long-time supporter of Phonica, Mr. G was a natural choice for the compilation and his contribution is yet another stone-cold Colin classic, named after his preferred day for record shopping no less! Ol of Faces Records is up next with the exceptional house/garage hybrid 'AMC Edit'.

        On the other side, Lady Blacktronika starts things off with the deep and wonderful 'Gods And Planets', one of her strongest productions to date. Finally, DJ Kaos teams up with Loudtone for their 'Buffalo Dub', an old-school inspired house gem aimed at the dancefloors of today.

        Phonica Records was established in September 2003 and set up shop in Soho, London, adding to the high concentration of independent records stores that inhabited the area. Founders; Simon Rigg, Heidi Vanden Amstel and Tom Relleen joined The Vinyl Factory with the aim of creating an exciting outlet for innovative dance music, traversing all sub-genres and cultures. Over the past decade the emporium has developed into a well-respected destination for DJs and enthusiasts, and has subsequently become a bustling hive of conversation and inspiration as part of a wider community of music lovers.

        While trends and movements in music have grown and faded over these years, Phonica has always remained in a state of evolution. It is this openness to change alongside a commitment to it’s original ethos and an enduring ardour for quality, cutting-edge sounds that has fuelled the shop’s staying power.

        To celebrate reaching this milestone, Phonica Records have invited some of their favourite artists to produce a track for an eclectic yet cohesive compilation, which will hopefully go some way towards sonically unfolding the ‘Ten Years of Phonica.’



        Latest Pre-Sales

        52 NEW ITEMS

        Remember, we're CLOSED this Sunday. Open on Bank Holiday Monday 11am - 5pm.
        Sat 19th - 7:16
        RT @urban_splash: RT @Mr_Dave_Haslam: The queue outside @PiccadillyRecs in our N/4 Smithfield Buildings at 9.am today Record Store Day http…
        Sat 19th - 6:47
        Ok that's it for another @RSDUK - thanks to all the djs and @smokefairies @smand all you punters for such a fab day!
        Sat 19th - 4:58
        RT @PastaPaul: Smoke Fairies right now @PiccadillyRecs Beautiful stuff. #RSD14 http://t.co/oPgE7ULgR6
        Sat 19th - 4:56
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