MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 31 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Calm Reworks by Calm.
Whether you are still locked down, meeting close friends or gathering with small groups of party people in this new post-corona world, you will find plenty to love in this new package of vinyl-only remixes from Hell Yeah. Keeping mellow acid lovers happy are Calm's Still Dreaming mix of his brother Kenkou's 2004 cut 'Everlasting Dreams' and then his very own Extended Mix of Deadbundy's 'Lorenz'.

Of course, Calm is Japanese artist Fukagawa Kiyotaka, someone who has been making deep house, ambient and downtempo grooves since the late nighties. He is a legend of the game famous for his deeply dug out and immersive mixes and his current Oasis @ Home series is vital for lockdown listening. He is compiling a collection of contemporary Japanese meets balearic jams due for release next year, when he will come over to Europe to tour in support of it. But first, this…

The a-side is a psychedelic balearic guitar jam for the evolved and mature DJ and it is steeped in gently acid lushness. Over 11 minus it washes away all anxiety and douses you in rippling guitars and sun kissed rhythms that transport you to the Med in an instant. The b-side is a remix of a cult cut by Japanese band Deadbundy from Gifu. Calm flips it into an unbelievably groovy and chunky number with great pop hooks. The rubbery drums do their thing down low to make you move, while the warmth of the bass and the funk of the riffs oil the groove. It's open air, hands in the air, heart swelling music for good times.

Always on hand to supply something strange and beautiful, Stroom's latest release is a retrospective of under appreciated Belgian art-rock outsiders Adult Fantasies, comprised of the best moments of the three albums they released between '88 and '94. Exploring the experimental fringes of avant garde, art rock, EBM and stark synthwave, Dirk Seghers and Gerrit Valckenaers combine the electronic and acoustic perfectly, entering the Cocteau sphere, then veering away into darker, heavier territories over the twelve tracks found here.

Caribou

Never Come Back (Four Tet & Morgan Geist Remixes)

About the Remixes:
Four Tet Remix: This is what it sounds like when the universe spontaneously synchronises. We give you the new Four Tet remix of Caribou’s latest single "Never Come Back” Kieran took the track and warped and bent it into a playfully hypnotic late night wormhole that lures you in with it’s repetitive claps, snares and synths. It will never let you go.

Morgan Geist Remix: Morgan is one of the architects of modern electronic dance music and electronic pop as we know it today, whether it was as a part of influential duo Metro Area and the label Environ, as the mastermind behind chart-topping project Storm Queen or his numerous remixes, Morgan left an undeniable mark. His rework of Caribou's excellent single "Never Come Back" pays respect to the early 90ies transatlantic house phenomenon that stretched from New York to London US to Europe.


STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: We get a couple killer club edits of the Caribou originals here, first up is Morgan Geist glitching out the melodic floorfiller 'Never Come Back' into a burning, acidic rework before our own Mr. Tet reworks it into his ring-modulated take, more chaotic but keeping the euphoric vocal sample to ground things.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" Info: Black 140g vinyl in heavyweight grey carton sleeves. One time pressing, limited to 800 units for UK.

Caribou

Never Come Back / Sister (Floating Points Remixes)

Three is the magic number! Following recent remixes by Morgan Geist and Four Tet for Caribou’s single NEVER COME BACK, Sam Shepherd completes the holy trinity. Sam outdid himself adding a dash of motor city oil to NCB and throwing in an extra remix for Caribou’s ’Suddenly’ album opener ‘Sister'.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: For the second one this week, we get Floating Points reworking 'Never Come Back' first up, brimming with all of the analogue click we'd expect from Sam, almost moving into trancey territory before slipping into the cool clear waters of 'Sister', a deep grooving beach-filler.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" Info: Black 140g vinyl in heavyweight grey carton sleeves. One time pressing, limited to 800 units for UK.

Thomas Gray & Liam Ebbs

Recollection Of Everything Beautiful

Sydney duo, Thomas Gray & Liam Ebbs bring us six gracefully composed pieces that wind through synthesis, acoustic instrumentation, and vocal harmony in a beautifully pensive and emotional narrative.
'Recollection of Everything Beautiful' was written over the space of 18 months between 2019 and 2020. The protracted time frame for the creation of the record corresponded with a period of vast personal change for both Thomas and Liam.
Contrary to their debut record, '3 Days, 2 Nights', this work is less bound to place, rather being a reflection on the joy of transformation.



King Sporty

Safari - Inc. Lexx Mix

After the trilogy of King Sporty & The Ex-tra's EPs in 2018, Emotional Rescue returns to the music of Noel Williams with this first ever single release of his 1976 reggae disco bomb, Safari, backed with a special discomix by Lexx.

Taken from William's debut album, Deep Reggae Roots, it can be considered a culmination of his career to date, from growing up on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, to his first singles for Studio One and Trojan, his relocation to Miami and the birth of his Konduko label and moves to incorporate the local clubs growing affiliation with funk and disco.

Prescient to the coming wave, Williams enlisted some of Miami's finest in George Perry and Clay Cropper (Chocolate Clay), Ron Smith (KC & The Sunshine Band) and legendary producer Alex Sadkin (Compass Point, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Talking Heads).

The stand out from the album, Safari, with it's hazy, low slung groove of razor sharp rimshot, guitar licks and funk bass is topped with an incessant chant 'Disco, Safari'. Criminally brief, the choice of Lexx to step in the mix was a simple one. His dubbed rework is perfect, laidback, letting the groove roll and King Sporty's mantra shine.

Disco deliverance of the highest order once again from Moton Records INC. Diesel and Dave Jarvis work their wonders on these three cuts with the A side taken in full by ‘US Lover’, a sleazed up, foot stomper of a boogie workout that’s straight sweltering from start to finish – just listen to that bass!

Flip it over to find two jazz funk gems made up of the beaming pinball concoction that is ‘Hysteric Glamour’, and the raw grooves, jaunty jazz keys and synth touches of ‘Marabou’. Essential, as always.

With their first LP in over three years, Californian psych-dub duo Peaking Lights offer an outlet from the mundane with a kaleidoscopic collection of lo-fi, escapist-electronic pop. Over their illustrious twelve-year-plus career, the husband and wife duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have set themselves apart with their characteristic dreamy, and melancholic sound that blends together elements of dub, and delicate-but-quirky electronics. E S C A P E, Peaking Light’s sixth album, and first for Dekmantel, finds them at their finest, replete with atmospheric landscapes crafted out of homemade-percussive loops, that sit alongside wondrous electronic pop and krautrock-like hooks, all tied together by Indra Dunis’ composed and hypnotic vocal charm.

Now based out in Amsterdam, and having firmly established themselves on Dekmantel with their 2018 EP Sea of Sand, Coyes and Dunis’ unique brand of indie-synthwave yet further explores their ongoing delve into transcendental, psychedelic music. With E S C A P E, the production duo illustrate their pragmatic use of instrumentation and dubbing to create more heady and celestial avant-pop. From the very outset on opening track ‘Dharma’, the band’s iconic retro-dub aesthetic kicks in, before being accompanied by a litany of drum machines, sweeping compressed effects, and Dunis’ hypnotic serene vocals. Coyes, somewhat of a connoisseur and collector of varying studio gear adopts his steadfast dynamic approach to production, playing with new mixing techniques, tape loops, compression and effects throughout. It’s this freedom to indulge, and create new instruments, processes and sounds that have made Peaking Lights unique; an ever-present industriousness that characterises E S C A P E, whether it be on the deep textures of ‘Change Always Comes’, to the cathartic 80s pre-rave-wave of ‘The Damned’.

E S C A P E is a vibrant moment full of multi-spectral melodies crafted in an aesthetic the group have excelled in and made their own; a style exemplified by their breakout 2011 LP 936. And throughout E S C A P E, whether it’s on the esoteric ‘Eyes Alive’ to the mesmerising beach rhythms of ‘Dreams’, Peaking Lights’ rich and reverberated sonic palette shines through. For both dreamers and dancers alike, the latest offering to Peaking Lights’ illustrious catalogue is a true mind-expanding and fantastical listen full of passion and catharsis.

Romare

Home

    Romare—real name Archie Fairhurst—returns with his new album “Home”, marking his 3rd on Ninja Tune and first full length album since 2016’s critically acclaimed “Love Songs: Part Two”. It follows the recently released ‘Gone / Danger’ 12”, his most direct dancefloor record to date, which Resident Advisor described as “An engrossing eight minutes of cinematic house music”.

    Romare’s music has always sat comfortably in both the dancefloor world and a more relaxed environment, “Home” being no exception. With euphoric, uplifting moments on ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Heaven’ through to more meditative and melancholy moments on ‘Deliverance’. “For me, the sweet point in music is when happy and sad come together” comments Fairhurst, “when they meet in the middle, that’s what I try to create”.

    The release of “Home” comes after a lifetime of being on the move for Fairhurst, he spent his childhood travelling constantly with his family as his parents moved around the world for work, before finally settling in the UK. This nomadic lifestyle would continue with his burgeoning career as a musician taking him off touring the world (playing over 150 shows in the last 2 years alone). Which brings us to “Home”, The new album marks a new chapter in Fairhust’s life with a move out of London to the countryside and starting a family, a move which has “given me peace and quiet” he comments. The new addition of his own home-built studio adds to this feeling of being content and settled, having worked from various bedroom studios in the past.

    Shifting from themes of love and romance on “Love Songs: Part Two”, “Home” explores spirituality, identity and belonging. “Identity and a sense of belonging is something I've been searching for more since becoming a father,” he explains, “growing up I was always around lots of people from different backgrounds, my own identity sometimes felt lost”. It see’s Fairhurst pull from the more unusual records in his collection for inspiration, delving into american gospel and traditional irish folk through to country, religious hymns and classical (with a special nod to composers Thomas Tallis and Vaugn Williams). “I always want to explore different sounds and genres from different countries and backgrounds” comments Fairhurst. During the past few years Fairhurst has moved away from purely sample based music, developing his use of instruments in his music and experimenting with different tools, both old and new. These tools include a vintage organ he found in a local charity shop, his dad's old 12-string guitar, re-assembling his childhood drum kit from the 90’s and a tape player which allowed him to start sampling from cassette tape.

    The album artwork, created by Fairhurst himself, uses a collage technique consisting of black and white cut-out images. “In this artwork each cut-out resembles an artist or group sampled in the album”, comments Fairhurst.

    Statues

    Visions - Inc. Flamingo Flame / Max Manetti Remix

    Eclectics serves up a soothing elixir for troubled times. Essex-based trio Statues make their label debut with a four-track EP showcasing two original compositions, each with its own remix.

    “Lele” begins with a marimba ringing out – a Balearic clarion call if ever there was one. What follows is live and direct. Keyboard lines that glisten and atmospheres that bed in and circle around you, leaving you dazed but never fazed. 

    Birmingham’s Flamingo Flame step up to the plate for remix duties and use some weighty acid lines and a beautiful vocal to anchor the spirit of the original to something altogether more terrestrial, but no less magical.

    “Visions” on the other hand is a tantric delight – all build and the promise of potential. Proving once and for all that soul isn’t a four-letter word, saxophone, keys, strings and delayed guitar build a suitably jazz-infused backdrop for the subtle vocal to move around, while the listener gets lost in the detail. And let’s face it – we could all do with losing ourselves in something these days.

    “Papa” Max Manetti, fresh from his vinyl debut with Eclectics, takes the baton for remix duties on this one, translating it into a track that retains the spirit of the original, giving it a new bassline and a gentle percussive sense of purpose without once losing the laidback lustre.

    When circumstance pushes people apart, music remains a unifying force. With this release, Statues have perfected that irresistible pull.

    Sven Wunder

    Eastern Flowers

      US issue of 2019’s "Doğu Çiçekleri” – This record is produced with financial support from the Swedish Arts Council .

      Appeals to both psych and prog listeners, folk or jazz aficionados and as well the gourmet hip hop connoisseurs.

      A vivid bouquet where Wunder fuses colours and pigments by using traditional and modern instruments merged with arrangements and melodies that stretches from popular to folk music.

      This is the first stop on Sven Wunder’s musical journey. Wunder takes the listener somewhere around the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea, around the Levantine Sea, where he paints a colourful portrait and illustrates the regions flora through sound. The fruitage is a vivid bouquet where Wunder fuses colours and pigments by using traditional and modern instruments merged with arrangements and melodies that stretches from popular to folk music by portraying tulips, red roses, hibiscus, hyacinths, chamomile, magnolia, daisies etcetera. With both fine and thick brushes are these flowers being pictured in a both modern and classic idiom. The outcome is prismatic. It stands between Anatolian rock and European jazz-funk with ponderous drum patterns, groovy organs, far-out synthesizers, enchanting Saz and impetuous bass lines. Eastern Flowers sweeps through time and space and points towards the future. 


      Sven Wunder

      Wabi Sabi

        Second release on Piano Piano from Sven Wunder.
        Appeals to both psych and prog listeners, folk or jazz aficionados and as well the gourmet hip hop connoisseurs.

        By welcoming the beauty of imperfection and simplicity, Sven Wunder applies the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi on this musical journey. What you can hear is filtered through Ukiyo-e (which translates as “pictures of the floating world”), which illustrates everyday life, as well as through Japonism, the study of Japanese art, and more specifically its influence on European works. The result is a surface that creates an illusion by sound. The infusion of Min’yō with jazz rock, this hazy scene evokes the landscape of Monet’s ”The Water Lily Pond”, which depicts the painter’s Giverny garden, with a Japanese bridge, bamboo, ginkgo trees and the reflection of the sky in the pond. This illusion constructs both time and space.

        The surface of the music, like the canvas of the painting, invents a journey between now and then by interpreting the idiom of folkloric and western art instruments. In this composition, the sound of the Western concert flute, which stretches back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, evokes the sound of the bamboo-flute (”shakuchachi”), which reached its peak during the Edo period. The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, with a more than 2,500 year history, joins traditional Japanese folk melodies with modern pop percussion and 20th century electronic instruments such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano and electric bass.

        This is the illusion that celebrates the fleeting nature of all things. A journey. A deep inhale and a slow exhale. It has a mix of jazz (both funky and progressive), East Asian and South Asian sounds. The idea of fusing these styles and reframing them with the aesthetic of wabi sabi is to reconnect with nature and concentrate on asymmetries and emphasize ornamentation to generate new ways of looking at the world, here and now.

        This record is produced with financial support from the Swedish Arts Council.


        Back in stock Cover of Green by Hiroshi Yoshimura.

        Hiroshi Yoshimura

        Green

          * First ever reissue of this groundbreaking ambient work.
          * Produced in full cooperation with Yoshimura’s estate.
          * Unseen original handwritten track notes by Yoshimura.

          Barely known outside of his home country during his lifetime, the late Japanese ambient music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura has seen his global stature rise steadily in the past few years. The 2017 reissue of his lauded debut, Music For Nine Post Cards, along with a slow building cult internet following has helped ignite a renaissance in his acclaimed body of work, much of which has never been released outside of Japan. Known for his sound design and environmental music, Yoshimura worked on a number of commissions following the 1982 release of Music For Nine Post Cards, including works for museums, galleries, public spaces, TV shows, video art, fashion shows, and even a cosmetics company.

          Originally released in 1986, GREEN is one of Hiroshi Yoshimura’s most well-loved recordings and a favorite of the artist himself. Recorded over the winter of 1985-86 at Yoshimura’s home studio, the compositions unfold at an unhurried pace, a stark contrast to the busy city life of Tokyo. As Yoshimura explained in the original liner notes, the album title in the context of this body of work is not meant to be seen as a color, but is rather used to convey “the comfortable scenery of the natural cycle known as GREEN”—which perfectly encapsulates the soothing and warm sounds contained on the album, although it was created utilizing Yamaha FM synthesizers, known for their crisp digital tones.

          This edition marks the first reissue of the highly sought-after and impossible to find album. It features the original mix preferred by Yoshimura himself, previously available only on the initial Japanese vinyl release (a limited edition remixed version of the album, with added sound effects, was released on CD in the US). Additionally, this release is the first in our ongoing series, WATER COPY, focusing on the works of Hiroshi Yoshimura.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: "Clear/Green Swirl" Coloured Vinyl.

          Various Artists

          A Love That Never Dies 3

          Third chapter in this secret archive of undercover club jams from across the ages. A New Beat holy Grail, a Balearic electro masterpiece, a Chicago favourite from a Deutsche legend, and some uncomplicated, slammin' 90's NY club tackle.
          As ever, super limited...

          Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series continues with Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990, an unprecedented overview of the country’s vital minimal, ambient, avant-garde, and New Age music – what can collectively be described as kankyō ongaku, or environmental music. The collection features internationally acclaimed artists such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaishi, as well as other pioneers like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa, who deserve a place alongside the indisputable giants of these genres.

          In the 1970s, the concepts of Brian Eno’s “ambient” and Erik Satie’s “furniture music” began to take hold in the minds of artists and musicians around Tokyo. Emerging fields like soundscape design and architectural acoustics opened up new ways in which sound and music could be consumed. For artists like Yoshimura, Ojima and Ashikawa, these ideas became the foundation for their musical works, which were heard not only on records and in live performances, but also within public and private spaces where they intermingled with the sounds and environments of everyday life. The bubble economy of 1980s Japan also had a hand in the advancement of kankyō ongaku. In an attempt to cultivate an image of sophisticated lifestyle, corporations with expendable income bankrolled various art and music initiatives, which opened up new and unorthodox ways in which artists could integrate their avant-garde musical forms into everyday life: in-store music for Muji, promo LP for a Sanyo AC unit, a Seiko watch advert, among others that can be heard in this collection.

          Kankyō Ongaku is expertly compiled by Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks) who, with a series of revelatory mixtapes as well as his label Empire of Signs (Music For Nine Postcards), has been instrumental in shepherding interest in this music outside of Japan. Together with Light In The Attic’s celebrated anthologies I Am The Center and The Microcosm, Kankyō Ongaku helps to broaden our understanding of this quietly profound music, regardless of the environment in which it’s heard.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Now, while the Japanese ambient revival has been going on for some years (check out essential reissues on Palto Flats, WRWTFWW, 17853) Light In The Attic steal a march on their competitors with this sublime compilation of obscurities from the Land of the Rising Sun. Wonderfully packaged, presented and curated, "Kankyo Ongaku" is a fitting companion to "I Am The Center" and the "Microcosm", exploring the New Age and ambient sounds of 80s Japan. Minimal, relaxing and utterly beautiful, this music is almost heavenly.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDeluxe CD Info: Repress!
          2xCD housed in a custom 7”x 7” hardbound book.

          Various Artists

          Nu Leaf

            Ten incredible albums culled from the deepest, weirdest co-op of record enthusiasts ever gathered under one banner. We’ve spared no expense packaging these, pairing the idea of the Art of Compilation with living and breathing art, creating little fortune cookies baked in a factory of forgotten dreams. Video games, pyramids, trading cards, matchbooks, mazes, lottery tickets, film canisters, yearbooks, and various other exercises in design absurdity.

            As the rift between academic jazz, new age, and pop narrowed in the 1980s, D.I.Y. practitioners of metronome driven riffs found new growth in a burgeoning managerial middle class, a commercial audience held captive in dentist offices and waiting rooms across America. Session players took to midi-banks stocked with every instrument imaginable and delivered on a road rage-induced demand to stay cool, relaxed, and focused all at once. The extra-wide cuts packaged here will be mint for years to come. Go ahead, break the seal on a fresh pack of NuLeafs: There’s only one sensation this smooth



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