MAGIC MIX

Bass Music . Future Beats . Nu Garage

WEEK STARTING 24 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Universes by Seven Davis Jr.
Seven Davis Jr releases his debut album 'Universes' via Ninja Tune – his most honest and heartfelt musical statement to date. Recorded in LA, San Francisco, Amsterdam and London, it’s a unique exploration of his musical landscape, traversing tempos and flipping styles with typical panache but always embedded in the bedrock of soul and funk.

Born in Houston, Texas, before relocating to Northern California, Seven Davis Jr was raised on the classics - from Michael Jackson and Prince to Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. He studied gospel and jazz singing, inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Burt Bacharach. During his teenage years he discovered dance music, specifically house and jungle.

SDJR’s early Bandcamp output was more closely aligned to Los Angeles’ vibrant left-leaning electronic underground. Nurtured by the Hit+Run crew, he owes his first official release to Kutmah (who bagged "Thanks" for his ‘Worldwide Family Vol.2’ compilation on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint in 2012). It was the only four-to-the-floor jam on an album curated by a DJ who is rarely drawn to that style and that fact alone is significant.

When he’s making straight ahead house music, the swing is reminiscent of classic Todd Edwards and the drums bump ‘n’ shuffle like Tuff Jam and Derrick Carter. And the vocals… well at times it’s like he’s channeling the spirit of George Clinton, offset with the sweet character of Peven Everett - the perfect balance of rough and smooth - it’s that undeniable funk that hooks in the hip-hop fans, the cats that don’t generally mess with “house” music. "Good Vibes" (feat. Julio Bashmore) nails this dynamic in a whirlwind 3 mins 18 secs that recalls Daft Punk at their boisterous best - proof that sometimes all you need is a chopped-up disco loop and a hook.

Elsewhere on "Universes" Seven brings a similar soulful energy that Moodymann or Theo Parrish purvey. "Sunday Morning" picks up where Seven’s "Wild Hearts" 12” left off, a mighty ditty with the cheeky mantra “I bet ya never had a love like this before?” sitting pretty upon bustling drums and bass punctuated with snatches of guitar. “It’s about having healthy confidence in yourself and what you can offer the world,” says Seven. There are more introspective moments on the record too – such as "Fighters" and "Afterlife" (feat. Kutmah) – that explore murkier downtempo depths.


FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLtd CD Info: Exclusive indies-only 2CD edition with an additional disc featuring bonus beats from Seven’s ‘Life In Deep Space’ poetry opus.

The undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronics return with their first studio album since 2010’s "Further". Released to coincide with headline slots at Glastonbury, Sonar and Bestival, The Chemical Brothers’ eighth studio album - "Born In The Echoes" - is a magnificent 11-track collection of lean, propulsive machine driven music. From juddering robotic funk to unhinged futurist freakbeat; icy spectral psych to rhapsodic analogue synthetics; from euphoric spiritual acid to harmonic ambient distortion, the album is the sound of a reinvigorated Chemical Brothers creating some of the most mind-expanding music of their career to date. "Born In The Echoes" features a stellar cast of collaborators including previous guests Q-Tip, Ali Love (EML Ritual) as well as first time visitors to the studio - St. Vincent, Cate Le Bon and Beck (his first new music since his Grammy winning album "Morning Phase").


FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: The 2LP album comes on two disks of heavyweight 180 gram vinyl

The undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronics return with their first studio album since 2010’s "Further". Released to coincide with headline slots at Glastonbury, Sonar and Bestival, The Chemical Brothers’ eighth studio album - "Born In The Echoes" - is a magnificent 11-track collection of lean, propulsive machine driven music. From juddering robotic funk to unhinged futurist freakbeat; icy spectral psych to rhapsodic analogue synthetics; from euphoric spiritual acid to harmonic ambient distortion, the album is the sound of a reinvigorated Chemical Brothers creating some of the most mind-expanding music of their career to date. "Born In The Echoes" features a stellar cast of collaborators including previous guests Q-Tip, Ali Love (EML Ritual) as well as first time visitors to the studio - St. Vincent, Cate Le Bon and Beck (his first new music since his Grammy winning album "Morning Phase").






FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd CD Info: The deluxe CD album comes in a beautiful textured gatefold package along with four additional bonus tracks.

From the rugged streets of Detroit comes a dirty collaboration from the masters of electro: DJ Psycho from Detroit Techno Militia, DJ Lenn Swann from the 12 Tech Mobb, DJ Maaco of Detroit In Effect and DJ Diijital. "Alien II" commences proceedings with squelchy, farting bass and an obtrusive snare before wigged out buzzsaw leads trap the groove in a pincer movement. Great sonic / frequency adjustments mark changes in the arrangement, and the track rapidly switches tact with ease and sophistication. "Abduction Beats" is a street-ready weapon, primed for battle with turntable scratches supplied by DJ Lenn Swann and plenty of action for breakdancers and B-boys alike. In true classic electro fashion, the mob have supplied plenty of bonus beats, samples and loops to use at the end of each side and side A concludes with the raw beat of "Alien Dub" which, inversely, opens the B-side. It's "Alien Dub" that first got me really excited about this record. They don't make beats like this anymore, or rather they do, but only in the most ghetto back alleys of Detroit! With the ridiculously nonsensical but totally invigorating vocal - 'Alien due.....electro boogaloo' this is about as good as it gets electro heads! "Cosmic Position" fires up the pneumatic pistons for one last jaunt around the streets. A rapid-fire square wave bassline ricocheting against tight drum programming and the occasional analogue flurry. Simple and devastating. As previously mentioned, the end of the B-side has loads of useful samples and hits to load into your MPC for your music making pleasure. Made in Detroit. Available to the world. Super limited, no repress. Essential? Yup.

Koreless

TT / Love

Koreless steps back into the studio after his much lauded "Yūgen" EP with a spirited diversion away from the stark and cinematic sound of that release towards abstract club music. "TT" bathes the dancefloor in a golden glow as mesmeric sequences, glitching vocals and mystical chord progressions tessalate magically without a kick drum in sight. If you imagine a chance meeting of Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and James Holden amid the fire poi of Goa, then you'll be on the right track. "Love" cycles through the recyling bin and tumbles a vocal in an endless rhythm. Hypnotic and abstract dancefloor tackle.


Jessy Lanza meets the Teklife crew on this sultry EP, with DJ Spinn and Taso's first-released R&B track, and a Teklife footwork remix with assistance from the late DJ Rashad. The main mix is a dejected confessional slow jam with Jessy's plaintive vocal sitting in the middle of spiralling drums and teardrop-like chords, a gentle guitar refrain dropping in at the end like a comforting hand on the shoulder. Following an instrumental version, the Teklife mix doubles the tempo, switching the gentleness to deliver an interpretation that touches on tense anger, with the sweeping chords the track is built on snapping into shivering shapes, as strings simmer in the background, building the tension. Also included is Bambounou's remix of 'Fuck Diamond', a track on Jessy's ‘Pull My Hair Back’ debut album, which appears here on vinyl for the first time after an initial CD-only release last year on the ‘Hyperdub 10.4’ compilation). Bambounou transforms it into a rough drum machine workout, leaving sparse elements of the original in place - a splash of vocal and a held chord - building a dynamic trance that slips and slides in and out of different patterns.

Co-founder of the iconic How To Kill Detroit and one of the first pioneers of sludge, Shady P gets enlisted into the esteemed ranks of Clan Destine Trax. "Pavlov's Bitch" draws us in with its hooky repetition, the granular, saturated artifacts fast becoming the genre's key ident firing in full effect as a jacking lo-fo 4/4 powers militantly onwards. Subtle variations in rhythm and percussion content keeping us locked in right till the end of this eyes-down roller. "EDM Is A Poor Attempt At Appropriation" displays the darker, thicker, squashed (more sludgy if you will) side of this aesthetic; incomprehensible vocal murmurings spiraling with squelchy bass sweeps and distorted-to-oblivion kick drums. Narcotic as hell and pure fiya for the clurrb. "A Man In Reverse" has a bit of a Millisian vibe to it (if I may be so bold). All swirling sine tones and alien bleeps, held together by a powerful 909 chug. Yes, I could definitely see Mill using this in his forthcoming "Exhibitionist 2" DVD, but who am I to speculate. Great stuff anyway. Finally, "All Night Long" concludes one of the strongest 'sludgers' to date. Those grating, fluttering perc artifacts and squashed-to-tape drums ricocheting perfectly round the mix, sure to cause chaos in any pitch black rave dungeon you care to spin it. Absolutely amazing stuff, another early high bench mark of this emerging new scene. Essential.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: The sludge onslaught continues! This time with one of the founding forefathers of the scene, and How To Kill label head, Shady P.

Following releases from label heads Dusky and Christian Piers, 17 Steps returns with a label debut from Velvit (Darren White) which offers both forward-thinking club sounds and leftfield sonics. Co-opting the dark, technical style that Darren has long practised as drum & bass legend dBridge, lead track "Be So Cruel" adds a fresh perspective on house and techno forms that instantly stood out from the pack. Blending dark grooves and sinister mechanics with Darren's own soulful vocals, "Be So Cruel" has been heavily anticipated ever since it featured in Dusky's Resident Advisor mix last year. Featuring the vocals of his brother Steve Spacek, "No Excuses" is a stripped soul roller with dense rhythms and mad jazz moments that works as both meditative headphone trip and experimental dancefloor moment. Completing a diverse triple header, "South Of Your Soul" takes things down a futuristic electro vibe with dark sci-fi cinematics battling it out with body-popping beats and Darren's distinctive cyborg soul vocals.

J. Wiltshire

False Awakening - Inc. Tuff City Kids Remixes

J. Wiltshire follows up 2013’s Hypercolour single, “How It Is” with an offering that’s quite a leap from his seductive deep house sound, gracing us with a hugely mature sounding slice of brooding electro body popping bizzness! In its Original Mix, “False Awakening” opens with delicate pizzicato synth plucks over a deadly electro-­‐tinged beat that gets warped and crushed as dense sweeping strings and digital glitches come tumbling down on the unfolding arrangement. Like a neo-classical Underground Resistance, a funky as you like bass-line heralds in a discordant and haunting vocal line, which really ramps up the melancholic mood. All the while, the futuristic beat really propels this track along at an urgent pace. On his “Clubby Tool Mix”, Wiltshire digs into the mechanics of the track, slapping resonators on the drums and further manipulating the sound with some clever studio trickery.

Tuff City Kids, AKA Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer, come fresh from singles on Permanent Vacation and remixes for Numbers, Crème Organisation and Visionquest with their take on “False Awakening”. TCK come out guns a blazing with a heavy kick and abrasive hats, looping a fragment on the vocal whilst the stabby bass and 909 hats set the heady vibe here. A growling synth line unfurls and the remix pounds hard and heavy, a little melodic organ line its only respite from the pummeling groove. The duo throw in a beats mix, the “Dub Copy”, just like the old days, as a little tool to keep us all happy, job done!


Various Artists

Kruder & Dorfmeister - The K&D Sessions (Vinyl Edition)

Originally released on Studio !K7 Records in 1998, Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister's groundbreaking release, 'The K&D Sessions' reset the bar for what could be achieved in a compilation. Across an array of original tracks, dubs and infamous ‘K&D Session’ remixes, the DJ and producer duo took the listener on a smoke-filled blunted journey that flowed flawlessly. Often compared to DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' for its similarly deft craft of rhythm and quoted by Allmusic as "the most blissfully blunted music the world has ever heard", the album has sold over 1,000,000 copies to date and was included in Spin’s ‘Top 20 albums of 1999’. The album has long since been deleted on Vinyl with original 4LP sets changing hands for €300+ on the collectors market and even a bootleg vinyl copy will set a buyer back over €100. Sixteen years later, this legendary album will be available as a long overdue 5LP reissue remastered by Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood.



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