MAGIC MIX

Bass Music . Future Beats . Nu Garage

WEEK STARTING 28 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Transitions 001 by SBTRKT.
"This is music written over the last year, whilst recording for my second album. Much of the music I released before my debut album was instrumental and I want to continue to share this side of the music I make. This series of tracks is titled 'Transitions'" - SBTRKT

The 'Transitions' series is released on three individual 12” records. Each one will feature artwork and 2D Moiré animation by A Hidden Place. When removing the sleeve from its inner casing it creates a unique visual effect the ties in beautifully with the effect created by moving the mouse on the Transitions website.

Leading the way on 'Transitions 001' is 'Gamalena', which as the title suggests, uses polyrhythmic Gamalen style percussion and flowing chimes over a punchy upbeat steppers rhythm punctuated with 808 blips reminiscent of Benga & Coki's all conquering 'Night'. An absolute killer for the forward-looking bass / future beats dancefloor. Flip it for the deeper, darker 'Hold The Line' which blends a dull bass thump with crisp machine drum patterns and brittle, cascading top-end electro synths a la Zomby / Rustie etc.


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.


Dorian Concept

Draft Culture

Since Dorian Concept's enthralling 2011 release 'Her Tears Taste Like Pears' he took some time off to craft a new sound. He abandoned his signature use of the Mikrokorg and started working with a Wurlitzer electronic piano and a handful of analogue synthesizers. 'Draft Culture' is the first sneak preview of this new sound, and of the forthcoming album 'Joined Ends' on Ninja Tune.

'Draft Culture' combines a lightly stepping rhythm with taut electroid bassline, layered organ riffs and treated vocals that are more musical than lyrical.

This one sided white label test pressing is limited to a pressing of 500 copies only.

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!


SBTRKT

Transitions 002

"This is music written over the last year, whilst recording for my second album. Much of the music I released before my debut album was instrumental and I want to continue to share this side of the music I make. This series of tracks is titled 'Transitions'." – SBTRKT

The 'Transitions' series is released on three individual 12” records. Each one will feature artwork and 2D Moiré animation by A Hidden Place. When removing the sleeve from it’s inner casing it creates a unique visual effect the ties in beautifully with the effect created by moving the mouse on the Transitions website.

'Resolute' takes up side A on 'Transitions 002', opening with lush ambient, beat-less synths, before a sparse kick / snare drum track crashes the melancholia. SBTRKT then tops beats and synths with the kind of spiralling arpeggiated keyboard line usually found pre-bass drop on a gym music electro / hardstyle cut. Tethered to these slo-mo trap-esque beats and moody synths though, and the effect is less euphoric. 'Kyoto' heads to Japan's computer game industry for inspiration, firing off itchy chiptune sparkles over another head-nodding riddim.


SBTRKT

Transitions 003

"This is music written over the last year, whilst recording for my second album. Much of the music I released before my debut album was instrumental and I want to continue to share this side of the music I make. This series of tracks is titled 'Transitions'." - SBTRKT

The 'Transitions' series is released on three individual 12” records. Each one will feature artwork and 2D Moiré animation by A Hidden Place. When removing the sleeve from it’s inner casing it creates a unique visual effect the ties in beautifully with the effect created by moving the mouse on the Transitions website.

And onto the final 'Transitions' installment we have 'Highs + Lows', doing exactly what it says on the tin, knitting together a seismic bass rumble at the bottom end with crashing dubstep drums and trance-like synth arpeggios sprinkled on like top-end frosting. Closing this triple EP series 'Stifle' rides out on a half-step, head-nod, wet-clap 3/4 rhythm peppered with junglist machine percussion, Boards Of Canada style woozy keyboards and spirited chiptune mayhem.


Jim-E Stack

Tell Me I Belong

Jim-E Stack has come a long way. Born and raised in the culturally rich environs of San Francisco, the now Brooklyn-based artist born James Harmon Stack cut his musical teeth as a jazz drummer, but it wasn't until he entered the world of solo production at the age of 16 that he found the freedom necessary to write and record how he wanted.

Following time spent in New Orleans, James moved to New York in summer of 2012, and started the slow process of sketching, refining, and developing the diverse tracks that would make up his captivating LP. In every corner of Tell Me I Belong, you can hear an artist who equally reveres classic jazz musicians like John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, experimental pioneers like Steve Reich, Detroit techno greats Omar-S and Robert Hood, and contemporary boundary pushers Arca, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Actress. “More so than anything, it’s really on some personal shit,” says Stack. “The time period between leaving San Francisco and moving to New York was a tough time for me, and the music is kind of a reflection of that, the feeling like you don’t belong.” The music may speak about a kind of alienation, but it also abundantly offers the chance of collective experiences in the form of hard-hitting dancefloor jams. That fearless juxtaposition is the lifeforce of Tell Me I Belong..

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.



Back to top