MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 29 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Volume 1 by Ambala.
After whetting our appetites with a superb taster 12” earlier in the year, Music For Dreams now bring us the full double vinyl release of ‘Volume 1’, the hotly-anticipated debut LP from Ambala aka Phil Mison, the original Cafe Del Mar DJ, collector extraordinaire and all-round Balearic don. Ambala continues Mison’s extremely fruitful 15-year plus relationship with Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams label which has seen him release material both as Cantoma and Frontera. This brand-new project was recorded in collaboration with Danish musician and engineer Volmer across a series of weekend sojourns in the scenic streets of Copenhagen and showcases yet another side of prolific producer Mison. He says: "Ever since I first met Kenneth Bager at Roskilde Festival in 1992, where I recognised his outlandish dress sense from photos I’d seen in i-D magazine, we have been friends. It was the start of a long musical relationship, where we eventually started working together. My first Cantoma album was recorded for Music For Dreams in the early 2006. The Frontera project with Pete Herbert was realized a couple of years later. Last year we decided it was time for something new, which led to recording Ambala over the past year in Copenhagen together with Thomas Volmer Schulz.” This 10-track album reflects Mison’s renowned eclectic tastes with a wide variety of sounds including the magical summery Caribbean house of ‘Calypso Beach’ (the first single); slow African chugger ‘Bambari’; 80s Italo-disco inspired ‘Alla Vita’; quirky old-school house in ‘Sergio’s Dance’; vintage sunset ambient ‘Last Swimmer’; eighties soul infused house groove ‘Union’; Cantoma-style chilled Balearic track ‘Zarago’; ‘High Line’, an Italo-house style funky organdriven groove wrought out of old school drum machines and soulful keys; ‘Sol Serra’ featuring classical Spanish flamenco guitaristJacob Gurevitsch; the cool deepness of ‘Distant Island; plus a wonderful vocal cameo from Danish legends Laid Back on ‘Walk With The Dreamers’. A perfect soundtrack to summer and beyond - don’t miss this limited vinyl edition.

Do you remember what you were doing fifteen years ago? I do. I was a fifteen year old kid from the burbs, spending my summer playing football and recreating WWF classics in the back yard while dressed like a nerdish Eminem (bleach blonde hair and everything). Then a wacky-ass radio track packed with film snippets and horse noises worked its way into my teenage brain and changed things for good. The Avalanches were insane, inspired and in full effect; following the 'horse song' ("Frontier Psychiatrist") with a soulful and swooning summer jam ("Since I Left You") which has played in my head ever since. Family Allowance firmly in hand I took my privilaged ass off to the Market Hall, picked up a CD copy of this album and spent the whole bus journey home feasting my eyes on the liner notes and sleeve artwork. As I hit the play button on my naff home stereo, I was whisked away Dorothy-style and taken on a head spinning journey through 50 years of popular music. Leaving the monochrome mundanity of Bolton behind, I soared through technicolour stage sets of paradise islands, Brooklyn block parties and countryside BBQs, Sci-Fi spectaculars and rewired romances as 3,500 samples were sticky taped together before my very ears. The plunderphonic sound of six men who spent their adolesence rummaging through the bargain bins of Melbourne's record shops, "Since I Left You" applies hip hop's cut'n'paste mentality to the full gamut of weird and wonderful pop, from exotica to erotica, disco and funk to lounge and psych. Unlike anything I'd ever heard before, and better than any imitators I've heard since, The Avalanches are truly in a class of their own.  

Farbror Resande Mac

Atalanta / Vi över Manhattan

Since beaming down to earth a couple of years back with gloriously spacey efforts on Mystic & Quantum, Is It Balearic? and Aficionado, Farbror Resande Mac have swiftly put Sweden’s space agency on the interplanetary map. Specialising in slow paced Pacific drift, zero gravity grooves and nebulous textures, Fabror Resande Mac make music for the horizontal dancers and doped up dreamers. “Atalanta” rolls into our lives on a Coastal breeze, floating freely as steady bass pulses, mechanical percussion, and heart lifting melodies make waves from underwater to hyperspace - seductively deep yet almost translucent. If Jean Michel Jarre wasn’t busy assaulting our ears with Guetta-esque EDM, he might sound a bit like this. Over on the flip “Vi över Manhattan” transports us to the chill of the desert night, dodging rattlesnakes and ancestral ghosts to summon our spirit animal with its deep voodoo groove. Straight out of the American Southwest, this should have been the soundtrack to the Navajo section of Natural Born Killers. All of which should whet the appetites nicely ahead of Farbror’s debut full length, due in the Autumn on Horistontal Mambo.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Sweden's space rangers touch down on Horisontal Mambo with another snapshot of their alternate electronic dimension. "Atalanta" buzzes, pulses and chugs like a lost JMJ classic, while “Vi över Manhattan” is deep desert music for the fullest of moons.

Peter Michael Hamel

Colours Of Time - Re-interpreted By Wolfgang Voigt & Deepchord

Peter Michael Hamel emerged from the 70s Krautrock scene dreaming of 'the blue flower growing between the milestones on the road to a future world music'. A truly visionary artist who worked and studied with John Cage, Morton Feldman and Terry Riley, his 1980 "Colours of Time" LP - an epic, sprawling, 22-minute saga - was hailed by The Guardian’s Rob Fitzpatrick as 'an absolute masterpiece of skull-bursting, synth-led ambient minimalism'. Thirty six years on, Astral Industries reinterpret Hamel's original vision with remixes from two contemporary heavyweights - Wolfgang Voigt and Rod Modell (aka Deepchord). Each expansive interpretation invites you to step outside of reality and into an alternative imagination of Hamel's future world, spiralling into the colours and slowly out of time itself. Original artwork by Theo Ellsworth and a massive thanks to Peter Michael Hamel & Eckart Rahn. Anyone with a penchant for non-linear mind exploration should find plenty to get stuck into here with both producers offering a very different take on the experience. Recommended.

Modern Artifacts

Running Up That Hill - Heavy Disco Edit

Ashley Beedle (for it is he) is back with more of his Modern Artifacts / Heavy Disco edits. Freshly remastered, his Heavy Disco edit of Kate Bush classic 'Running Up That Hill' gets an airing again. This edit has been a mainstay of many a DJs playlist over the years. It's a deep, throbbing, psychedelic monster with added keyboards and efx. Essential and now repressed on this limited single sided DJ disc.

Selvagem & Kiko Costato / Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco

Barefoot Beats 02

Those Bahia inspired boogie lovers Barefoot Beats return with 2 more Brasilian gems to light up your dancefloor, this time enlisting the talents of Selvagem, Kiko Costato, Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco to bring the carnival to your turntable. Selvagem, who graced the first release on the imprint alongside Eric Duncan, return once again this time with Kiko Costato and drops a chunky, funky, samba laced bomb of a track, which goes by the name of "Afoxe". A shuffling percussion groove gets up close and personal with deep and resonant bass tones before cheery tropicalia vocals open the track out into a chant-along stepper perfect for pool parties, summer slams and terrace sets. Meanwhile over on the flip, Disco Deviants Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco work a catchy Brasilian number to the bone with truly discotastic results. Looped up guitar licks and a steady bassline keep the rhythm on lockdown, while free and easy flute and sweet vocals twirl away on top. Pure vibes on both sides and cut onto limited edition 10" vinyl. VAMOS!!!

Polish wunderkind Selvy inaugurates No Bad Days with the "Pops EP", four tracks of tropical & grandiose house music perfect for shaking a leg to on a summer's eve. Making a bold statement from the start, the Transatlantyk acolyte hits us with "Wishing Well", a peaktime epic with a sort of Disney-via-John Carpenter vibe. Precise drum programming and neat bongos invite a collective shuffle while brooding Snake Plissken bass forms a delicious contrast to the swooning synth strings, digital panpipes and DX7 chimes which could easily soundtrack a night on the peace pipe with Pocahontas' older, wilder sister. Following that is the most playful of the tracks within, the pinging future funk of "Basics". This syrupy cocktail of bouncy synth melody, groovy bassline and dreamy pads should have your hips wiggling and your bits jiggling faster than you can say 'Choon!' On the flip, "Bump Pump" is arguably the most energetic helping on the EP, a percussive workout with gongs and all. If Crash Bandicoot was to make house music, this is close to how he’d sound. Bubbling sequences and "Moskow Diskow" style vox-vamps sit on top of a dubby bassline, throwing serious shapes before slipping into the background so the mystical mallets can work their magic. Totally off its box and utterly brilliant, this track also packs a punch Badarou style if you drop it at 33rpm - #DJtips. Sticking with the weirdo vibe and rounding the release off in style is title track "Pops", the most original and subtle track in the set, an oddball house number complete with colourful VHS synths, percolating bongos, house pianos and all sorts of strange sounds pinging across the mix.

Shackleton's most expansive, ecstatic and hallucinatory music to date. Four longform pieces developing the free-flowing compositional aesthetic of his recent 'Deliverance' series and Powerplant performances: fiery rhythmic-melodic turbulence channeling Congotronics way to the east - with an aura of restrained mania reminiscent of the feral pomp and gallows humour of Coil's moon-musick phase - all earthed by dubwise bass.

The pairing with Tomasini - whose history spans experimental theatre, cabaret and collaborations with Julia Kent and David Tibet, among many others - is a match made in heaven. With his four-octave voice swooping from deep growl to piercing falsetto, Tomasini's presence both heightens the taste for the theatrical that’s always been integral to Shackleton’s music, and makes explicit the latter’s kinship to the occult energies of the UK’s post-industrial underground.

As the title suggests, these are shadowy songs rich with allusions to bodily ritual and psychic exploration, with Tomasini’s lyrics framed by luminous whirls of hand-struck drums and synthetic gamelan, bells and tumbling organ melodies. 'You Are The One' escalates from delicate choral chant to full-bore psychedelic organ freakout; 'Rinse Out All Contaminants' is a slow incantation, to purge all negative thoughts; the melodies of 'Father You Have Left Me' are smudged like early Steve Reich, then burned out by snarling subs; and the magnificent 'Twelve Shared Addictions' balances elliptical melodies like spinning plates, gradually unfurling into a breakneck storm of voice and hammered keys.

A remarkable collaboration that also, crucially, hints towards new emerging futures in the work of one of this decade’s pioneers in electronic sound and rhythm.

Irish electronic duo Solar Bears - fresh from releasing their critically acclaimed third album ‘Advancement’ earlier this year - receive the remix treatment from seminal DJ, producer and IDM techno forefather Andrew Weatherall. 

Reimagining ‘Separate From The Arc’, ‘Advancement’s’ climactic, swirling and masterfully cathartic closer, Weatherall delivers a leftfield, darker-toned re-shift that preserves the track’s central energy whilst propagating and expanding its percussive elements via glitched-out rhythms and syncopated nuances.

Piero Umiliani

Genti E Paesi Del Mondo

The mid 70s provided a fertile grounding for Piero Uimiliani’s Sound Workshop Studio, prompting the maestro's sideways explorations in to gravitational soundscapes and beyond. Released in 1975 via his prolific Omicron imprint, "Genti e Paesi Del Mondo" (‘Peoples and Countries of the World’) is a return to the ethnic flavours so beloved of Umiliani’s early career. Turning anti-clockwise, Umiliani launches a left field audio probe to uncharted mental territories. Sparse, eerie electronic concoctions spar in unison alongside moody transgressional vibes. Umiliani’s mysterious pathways unlock a trinket box echoing the Germanic stylings of Wolperath’s Plank Studio and Herzog era Popol Vuh. This loving reissue recreates the original artwork, master tape Laquer cutting and Umiliani’s autograph notes on the project.

Interior Groove traveler, and recent resident of Canada’s 'Left Coast', Unknown Mobile joins the illustrious ranks of the ASL Singles Club with his first 12-inch record. A self confessed agrarian idealist, Levi Bruce hails us with a trio of hearty cuts which hike through rolling levels of melodic foliage and avarian interaction, feeling the low-end rumble of resonant harmonies underfoot. "No Motion" strolls through the haze of textured pads into the heart of the rainforest, seeking out a sacred spot and begining a deep bongo meditation. Chiming synths vocalise the moments of enlightenment, soon becomming one with the animals of the forest. A2 cut "Rhododendron" swaps the tropics for the suburbs, sipping green tea and looking out onto a verdant garden. A masterpiece of Feng Shui ambience, this unusual beauty invites to step into the roji and join in the chanoyu. While "No Motion" and "Rhododendron" induce a state of calming limbo, “Mantra” offers a celebration of dance. Percussion is sparse yet carefully woven into the fluid patterns which perfectly augment the serene synth washes, simple bassline and abstract sonic architecture which decorates the track. The perfect accompaniment to last year's Slow Riffs on Mood Hut or the recent Valentino Mora on IDO, this is a truly stunning release from the Canadian producer.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Relative newcomer Unknown Mobile makes his first appearance on 12" with a three tracker of Feng Shui ambience and deeply dreamy house music. Perfect for tea ceremonies, landscape gardens and spirit dances.

Vakula has been a Dekmantel label member ever since the very early days. The Ukraine based producer now drops his album 'Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa' on the label.
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“This album is about cycles, repetition and interaction”, says Vakula, whose 'Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa' is the third of a series of albums and reflects a dashing experimental record that evokes the endless and captivating potential of electronic music. It creates a mesmerizing journey through various music genres, exhibiting a singular sonic experience, whilst he works through a process of improvisation and refinement.

Once again the mastermind proves to be capable of creating complex, yet diverse musical pieces beyond genres and trends. The result: an audio adaptation of his fascinating mind. “There are two parallel processes that come together in my work: me writing music and working on the sound I want to achieve, and the energy from outside that flows and transforms into thoughts, correlations, and actions.”

The track titles relate to the source of Vakula’s inspiration and connect the dots between his obsession for the vastness of our universe and electronic music. ‘‘To wonder about the universe and to dig into mythology and scientific research discovering at least some of its secrets is what keeps me endlessly motivated as a producer.’’

This is awesome. Think Moodymann producing Donald Byrd, in Stereolab's studio and you are somewhere close to the psychediscojazz bomb that is on the A Side of this EP, Linkwood Family's "Piece Of Mind" features an astral choir, Byrd-esque bassline, Love Unlimited strings and dubby Moodymann bassline, add in the ridiculously good edits (deck stops, backwards bits, skewed vocals), and you have THE underground hit of the summer. There will not be a club this won't work in, absolutely ACE. Over on Side-B Linkwood gives us "Hear The Sun", a beatdown house thing in a similar vein to Theo or KDJ. A deep sparse spiritual house workout that puts me in mind of Sun Ra's 'Angels & Demons'. Lastly there is Fudge Fingas & His Fidgety Friends "Aksman" a nifty little reggae tinged outro, that'll serve well at the end of your mix tape. Essential repress of this iconic Scottish dance music relic.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Back in stock for the first time since 2007! Game changing business from this now institutional Scottoish camp.

The idea for the Late Junction collaboration sessions is to pair people from different musical backgrounds, who have never previously worked together, and put them into the studio for a day to work jointly on new pieces of music.

Curated by Nick Luscombe and Darrel Sheinman, this album gathers a selection of unique recordings from this ongoing series of exciting collaborations, the majority of which were recorded all analogue at BBC Maida Vale Studios. They represent part of an incredible body of work by a wide variety of musicians from all around the world.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Double vinyl pressing in die-cut gatefold sleeve.

Includes MP3 Download Code.


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