Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 16 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Traditional Heart by Gianni Brezzo.
"Traditional Heart“ is the second album by Gianni Brezzo - the band or the studio project – of the Cologne-based musician Marvin Horsch.

The title is by no means to be understood in the sense of an authenticity pathos à la love in times of Tinder, but addresses the process of musical production itself.

Says Brezzo: “This time the process of making music was more important than the product. Not to allow even a thought regarding the effectiveness of the music; pick up the instrument on impulse and put it away again; record again. Finding a rhythm during the process. At home.”

The result is an ephemeral and emotional listen, a blend of dreampop, treated guitar and ambient in the lineage of Cocteau Twins, Durutti Column and July Skies. This is hazy and heavenly downbeat for horizontal afternoons and it gets the biggest Balearic thumbs up from me!

STAFF COMMENTS

says: This perfectly immersive collection of tenderly plucked guitar and ambient electronics is beautifully accentuated with moments of driving rhythm and jazzy brass, offsetting the lysergic horizontal drift with pointed and momentous groove. Thoroughly gorgeous and wholly essential.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Adult Ship
A2. Excited
A3. Mental Shower
A4. River
A5. Henry
A6. Hickup
B1. Moof
B2. I Told You
B3. Gwing
B4. Brem Bo
B5. More Hours
B6. The End Of

Straight Outta Belpaese, MORE disco – exotica – balearic – Italo - funk for the demanding digger! When do Belpaese ever disappoint. A double header of hidden edit treasures, cut loud on either side of 12" for some much needed good vibrations. On the A-side you get a fiesty discoid version of "Long Train Running", in Italian with a mega female vocal. Flip it for "Strumento Di Una Notte", a sumptuous slice of classic disco in an Italian style - perfect for beautiful people and la dolce vita. Brava!

TRACK LISTING

A1. False Ipocrisie
B1. Strumento Di Una Notte

Exclusive 12" mixes available only on vinyl format, 45rpm HQ audio. Italian house music masters Micky More & Andy Tee are back with two stunning mixes of "I’m Gonna Love You" and "Special Love" by Jestofunk. "I'm Gonna Love You" features a sax intro and then starts off with a fat bass line…a super classic tune that never goes out of style! Perfect for the dance floor but at the same time beautiful to listen to at home in jazz / dance mode.

"Special Love" sung by the one and only Jocelyn Brown needs no introduction. Quality timeless music. A must have.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Jestofunk - I’m Gonna Love You (Micky More & Andy Tee 12 Inch Mix)
B1. Jestofunk Feat. Jocelyn Brown - Special Love (Micky More & Andy

For their fifth release, P&F Recordings welcomes Berlin-based musician, producer, and DJ, Alex Kassian.

Over the past few years, Kassian has made a name for himself in Berlin and beyond as a solo act, as well as with his project Opal Sunn, via a clutch of well received, dancefloor-focused 12s. But on their first release of 2021, Kassian swaps the techy pulse of the German capital for a sound that’s altogether more melodic and atmospheric.

Side A kicks off with 'Leave Your Life (Lonely Hearts Mix)' which began as a way for the producer to realize some of his early—and so far unrequited—dreams of playing in a rock band. Next up he delivers 'Leave Your Life (Dance Mix)', which ups the energy and echoes some of the production that made the musician’s 'Oolong Trance' (Love on the Rocks) one of 2020’s best club tunes.
On the flip, the gorgeous 'Spirit of Eden' unfurls like a lost Lyle Mays classic, but with a mesmerizing loop that keeps the song’s feet placed firmly on the dancefloor. Concluding the EP is a bass-heavy remix from none other than U.S. dub legend Bill Laswell. 'Eden’s' melodic focus is underpinned by a propulsive groove and filtered through Laswell's trademark sonic dynamics.
The EP, comes packaged in a full-color jacket from Parisian artist Alexis Jamet with OBI strip.

STAFF COMMENTS

says: When Ruffy hits you up weeks in advance of a release date, you know the record's gonna be hot, and this is a scorcher. The A1 is a wonderful bit of wavey 80s style pop, totally giving me Talk Talk energy, then on the flip you get another goody reshaped with maximum bassweight by personal hero Bill Laswell.

TRACK LISTING

A1.  Leave Your Life (Lonely Hearts Mix)
A2.  Leave Your Life (Dance Mix)
B1.  Spirit Of Eden
B2.  Spirit Of Eden (Bill Laswell Dub)

Imagine Prometheus, the thief of fire, the father of civilisation, had been spellbound by the sirens chanting and never felt pain, when the eagle bit his liver. Total enchantment, created by sound to overcome the pain of existence. A sound, styled by the ideal harmony of body and soul. And yet, the pain is still there, hidden between the notes, driving a romantic vision of salvation.

If Prometheus could have translated his fictitious epiphany into singing, it might sound like Ghédalia Tazartès’s chanting in “White Layers Over Black Paper”, one of the eight snake dance tracks-not-tracks by German producer Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax and French singer, hurdy-gurdy, spinet and harp player Emmanuelle Parrenin. During some days of intimate plays in Paris they created “Jours de Grève”, a bouquet of music full of mirrors, eyes, statues, secret doors, rooms, and blood. With the offhanded help by friends and like-minded souls like Versatile aura mystic Gilbert Cohen, French avant-garde saxophone player Quentin Rollet and his fellow countryman, experimental voice artist Ghédalia Tazartès, they transformed in Cohen’s studio impulsive emotions into a kind of medieval cult sound that dances with tribal dub layers in search for a higher ground.

The session took place during an intensive time of public strikes in the French capital, that tied up the public life of Paris and gave birth to the album’s title Jours de Grève. After the jam, Weinrich drove back to his old hometown Düsseldorf, sat down with his friend Jan Schulte aka Wolf Müller and mixed the captured notes, sounds, rhythms and singings into pristine tripping music, that avoids stylistic categorisations. As rather architecture, sculpture, painting, performing or film could express what Parrenin’s hypnotic hurdy-gurdy performances, Tazartès’s ancient deeply emotive ululations, Rollet’s almost religious saxophone notes and Weinrich’s toting grooves evoke in the psyche, it might be better to go back to Prometheus and the fire, that brought us light and warmth. Jours de Grève does too.

And it is a stolen one. A borrowed one. Affected by art and life outside of sound. Lent from a forgotten monument in a random city around the world. Swayed by an afternoon glass of wine in a Parisian street café. Affected by music of all ages. Unconsciously developed in the spirit of Philippe Doray and Les Asociaux Associés, Théâtre du Chêne Noir d'Avignon or Areski Belkacem’s collaborations with Brigitte Fontaine. Above all Emmanuelle Parrenin extramundane voice swings, mutating between speech and chant, while Ghédalia Tazartès mourns like a wise illusionist. In tunes like “Caltec’s Dance” you even feel the airiness of early Fun Boy Three recordings. All that is rooted on Weinrich’s Tolouse Low Trax magnetic signature grooves, this time floating between dark tribal upbeat sexiness and dubbed-down bass sculpturalism.

If it is true that illuminating music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it, then “Jours de Grève” is an in impulse composed primitive state of rhizomatic paranormal psychic phenomenon, that incorporates all the worlds, that the naked eye cannot see.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Le Couple Coupable
A2. Caltec's Dance
A3. White Layers Over Black Papers
A4. Hephaistos Breeze
B1. Gelbe Schlange
B2. A Zombie's Passport
B3. Le Souffle D'Hephaistos Attisant Le Fourneau Qui Crepite D'Impatience
B4. L'Incantation Du Heros Aux Yeux Bandes

In 1981, Piper grooved onto the City Pop scene with their album debut "I’m Not In Love", cementing their smooth blend of soft rock and soulful funk that became a staple of the albums that followed and instantly acquiring a devoted fanbase that still exists today.

The blueprint for what was to come is evident here in the aural form: cocktails by the pool & cool ’80s shades, mixed with a disco dancefloor sensibility that is just so infectious it can only be Piper.

Now in 2021, Ship to Shore is proud to announce that I’m Not In Love will now be available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years in this limited edition pressing!


TRACK LISTING

I’m Not In Love
Lavender Trips
Far Away
Funny Face
Love Song
Dance
Zenny
I Love You
Lovely Night
Kugatsu No Sora
Tobenai Tori
Fuyu No Okurinomo

Soft Rocks

Talking Jungle / Obo - Justin Vandervolgen / Tiago Remixes

ESP Institute come up with the goods once again here, furnishing all working DJs and disco dancers with a much needed, long awaited repress of this killer Soft Rocks remix wax. Originally released FIVE whole years ago as part of the "Revenge Of The Soft Rocks Remixes" project, this dreamy drop saw New York disco viking Justin Vandervolgen and Lisbon's Tiago bring some of their finest work to the ESP table, dominating setlists and festivals for many months. As ever, Justin has no idea what a 'quickie' might entail, and treats us to another EPIC extension. There are no track times listed, but I reckon his rework goes on 'til Monday morning...Picking up a half finished spliff from the U-Star studios and necking a couple of early nineties garys, JVV leads us off on a percussion odyssey to kick off his killer remix. Brain fizzing fx and space lasers rebound all over the showing, cascading off a prismic discoball and making a little space for the fluid beauty of those jazzy keys. One epic piano breakdown later and we're lost in the lush undergrowth of the "Talking Jungle", freaking out to the walking bassline, squealing synth line and wild space echo abuse. Extra-planetary disco with all the right references to classic house, this was massive at El Diablos, Naive Melody, Disco Futura and anywhere DJ Harvey's played in the last five years! Mega! If you need to chillax after all that dancing, why not try the flipside's insanely serene take on "Obo" by ESP favorite Tiago (Sea Power & Change, Gala Drop, DFA). Swaying, Mediterranean rhythms, snaking bass and the otherworldly sound of the oboe overlap and unfurl within the richly psychedelic soundscape the Portuguese producer creates. It's the musical equivalent of a stroll past the face and fruit dish on Dali's beach. Good lord this is quite a piece of wax!


STAFF COMMENTS

says: This Soft Rocks remix disc is nothing short of a modern disco classic! JVV goes wild on his psychedelic disco extension, delivering a dope rework that's been hammered by every decent DJ I can think of over the last few years. On the flip, Tiago takes a serene stroll down the beach, dipping his toe in lysergic waters on the way. Mega!

TRACK LISTING

A. Talking Jungle (Justin Vandervolgen Remix)
B. Obo (Tiago Remix)

Following the success of Special Touch - Garden of Life, Heels & Souls Recordings kick off their 12” reissue series with an EP of digger delights from Frankfurt’s under-the-radar production trio of Manfred Holz, Michael Buchner and Jürgen Blömke, complete with a tropical rework from London duo, Good Block.

One side contains the instantly absorbing, late '80s electro nugget, 'Steal It An' Deal It', from the aptly named The Soundstealers. Cruisin the slow lane at 100BPM, an idiosyncratic blend of samples, sound effects and percussive flourishes, underpinned by chest rumbling bassweight, guarantees dancefloor bedlam whether drawing for the dance or dub mix.

On the flip, you’re treated to obscure acid chugger ‘Amazonia’. Originally created for the opening credits of a ‘90s German nature documentary ‘Wunder Wildnis’ (seriously), the breakbeat-driven dance mix stomps through the undergrowth, acidic arps and pan flutes fizzing across the forest canopy. Heels & Souls pass the baton to London’s Good Block for the home stretch, the tropical twosome reworking the bassline and sprinkling some synth wizardry for a remix that grooves off over the horizon.

These hard-to-find, pricey gems have been fully licensed from the trio, with weighty remasters courtesy of Cicely Balston. 20% of profits from Heels & Souls Recordings and Prime Direct Distribution will be donated to Papyrus, a UK charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.

STAFF COMMENTS

says: I love it when a label do everything right. Not content with putting on a belting party with a charitable heart, Heels & Souls migrated into the release sheets with first, the Special Touch LP (!) and now freshen up a pair of deep diggers' nuggets from the Frankfurt underground. I've been playing 'Steal It An' Deal It' most sets for the past 5 years (thanks Basso), and seen its price steadily climb - so big ups to the guys for the safety copy. The flipside, "Amazonia" is new to me, but absolutely class. Rainforest house at its finest, this future primitive weapon kills it in its OG form as well as via a mega edit from the Good Block family. Killer!

TRACK LISTING

A1. The Soundstealers - Steal It An' Deal It (The Sahara Dance Mix)
A2. The Soundstealers - Steal It An' Deal It (The Sahara Dub Mix)
B1. Amazonia – Amazonia (Dance Version)
B2. Amazonia – Amazonia (Good Block Remix)

Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

Interim Report, March 1979

    “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

    Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

    At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

    TRACK LISTING

    A1: Gateway To The North
    A2: Aeriel Views By Helicopter
    A3: Castlefields
    A4: The Town Of Tomorrow
    B1: Intercity
    B2: Shopping City
    B3: Windmill Hill
    B4: Gateway To The Future

    Returning with another debut album for 2021, Music From Memory introduce a new band, The Zenmenn, with their first ever release ‘Enter The Zenmenn’. Whilst little about the band is made known, their work is described by writer Winton Rousseauas an “experiment in harmonic convergence emerging from a deep respect for cosmic symmetry and a resistance to the prevailing Zeitgeist.”

    ‘Enter The Zenmenn’ sounds as old as it sounds new, as organic as it is electric, as harmonic as it is rhythmic, and the album’s fusion of different palettes, colours, tempos, instruments and sources offer a harmonious balance and unity that already feels like the perfect soundtrack to a better world. In a time of what they see as spiritual neglect, it offers a “human kind of stillness” through the “dualistic fusions of complexity and simplicity, mystery and clarity and East and West”.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: As far as cryptic salesnotes go, this is up there. I don't have the musicological / anthropological knowledge to decipher the words of Winton Rousseauas (is that even a real person?) but can tell you that it's a gorgeous combination of Japanese flavours, indie jangle and jazzy moments which sounds simultaneously like Arthur Russell, Fieldwork era Sakamoto and our own Horsebeach. Music to swoon to!

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. The Magic Eye
    A2. Homage To A Friendship (feat John Moods)
    A3. Flags Of The World
    A4. Bamboo Garden
    B1. Stairway To Heaven
    B2. Salad Bar
    B3. Topaz (The Days Of Our Lives)


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