MAGIC MIX

synth-pop . alt-R&B . cold wave . industrial

WEEK STARTING 21 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of A Bath Full Of Ecstasy by Hot Chip.
Everyone's favourite electro-pop imps, the stadium shaking, body moving, high-note hitting Hot Chip are back with a BRAND NEW ALBUM. Dripping in lyrical references to the halcyon days of rave and the sleek synth-funk they've perfected over the past fifteen years, "A Bath Full Of Ecstasy" is primed to make you dance, dream and catch more than a few feels.

Switching up their workflow to collaborate with outside producers from the outset, Hot Chip enlisted the dancefloor clout of Philippe Zdar (the French touch legend who's added club dynamics to Cat Power, Beastie Boys and Phoenix, and makes up one half of Cassius) and indie expert Rodaidh McDonald (famed for his work with The XX, Sampha and David Byrne). The result is the perfect combination of classic Hot Chip, the bold flavours of Zdar's ouvre and the emotional impact of McDonald's productions. 

The record is a celebration of joy but recognises the struggle it can take to get to that point of happiness. You can hear the pleasure Hot Chip had in creating this album and they want to pass on that feeling to the listener. It is time to get lost in "A Bath Full of Ecstasy".

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Double LP pressed on crystal clear vinyl in limited edition black and white sleeve, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio.

2xLP Info: Double LP pressed on heavyweight black vinyl in full colour sleeve, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio.

CD Info: Mini-gatefold CD pack with 8-page booklet, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio.

A Sagittariun’s third album chronicles the journey back to Telepathic Heights; an expedition that encounters many obstacles along the way. The feuding parties of the two planets make for a journey of determination and self-discovery for our techno lone ranger that will ultimately deliver him to the sacred site on which Telepathic Heights stands.
Conceived as a space western soundtrack to the cinematic interpretation of this tale, "Return To Telepathic Heights" delivers ten chapters that journal the ultimate mission to reach the imposing tower of Telepathic Heights, where dream telepathy has become the primary communicative tool amongst its peaceful and harmonious community who have opted out of the planetary war that continues to rage, seemingly with no armistice anytime soon.
The score fittingly winds its way through the trials and tribulations of this journey, blending minimal and harmonic rhythms, industrial funk, dreamy synthwave and transcendental techno into the rich tapestry of music that documents the Return To Telepathic Heights.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: If you're one of the few lucky customers who bagged a Space Dimension Controller LP a couple of weeks back, or one of the many customers bearing a grudge, you should check this beauty from A Sagittariun out. Not only do you get plenty of bass synth squiggle, percussive snap and icy leadlines from this floor filling set, you also get the bona fide E-funk smash "Lazer Battle At The OK Coral".

Bamboo

Daughters Of The Sky

    BAMBOO (Nick Carlisle - keyboards, production, also of Peepholes / Katy & Nick) & Rachel Horwood (vocals, electric banjo, also of Trash Kit / Bas Jan) announce their third studio album "Daughters Of The Sky", on Upset The Rhythm.

    The album was written and recorded over a two year period where ideas and arrangements were allowed to slow-cook and develop over time, in contrast with the last album "The Dragon Flies Away" which came together relatively quickly for the duo. The music comprises the usual (for Bamboo) mix of Horwood's flawlessly resonant folk cadence and Carlisle's pristine synth production, whilst TR808 drum machines and samples lock together with acoustic drums, themselves often given the "Tony Visconti" Eventide Harmoniser treatment of Berlin-era Bowie albums. Ancient ARP synthesisers and Mellotron flutes and horns sit next to contemporary digital sounds and samples in a hauntological tapestry over which Horwood can intone her sometimes mournful, often uplifting vocals.

    The first single taken from the album, "Weeping Idols", reflects upon a recurring theme of religious dogma and spiritual entrapment, and is accompanied by a stunning video shot by Jack Barraclough around the North Coast of Northern Ireland, taking in the Giant's Causeway and the Kinbane Castle ruin. Carlisle's infectiously colourful synth riffs and pop production, featuring sun-burst harp playing from Brighton-based singer/multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill, contrasts sharply with the darker tone of Horwood's lyric, jarring in a way reminiscent of "You Have Placed A Chill On My Heart" by The Eurythmics.

    Although "Daughters Of The Sky" breaks away from the storybook concept format of The Dragon Flies Away, in that sense being more similar to Bamboo's debut album "Prince Pansori Priestess" (2015, ★★★★★ - Record Collector Magazine), there are still recurrent themes that run through the album such as motherhood, the cyclical nature of life, emancipation and liberation. "Branches dancing, bud stems growing, fibres swaying, arms unfurling" Horwood sings in The Deku Tree, a song which roots motherhood in nature's eternal cycle of birth and death. In the title track we see two perspectives of women spanning time and geography, Horwood drawing inspiration from the personal and also political. In 1917 a Russian match stick worker looks out of her window dreaming for a better life; in 2019 a Filipino maid in Hong Kong yearns to return to the children she has left behind. Both share a revolutionary spirit, protesting and fighting for a new world.

    What might be the centrepiece of the album, "East Of The Sun / West Of The Moon", an 11 minute epic, begins with a serene, desolate ambient intro which eventually transports us over the waves to some unknown land. Here we track the journey of a displaced people who are rejected from pillar to post, prevented from crossing over political lines, judged by fellow humans by their few differences over their myriad similarities. "And we all walk a different pace, though we end up in the same place" sings Horwood, as the song's new-found rhythm seems to break apart again and slowly splinter away in different directions, the fragments hanging in the air as a new section emerges featuring a rare lead vocal from Carlisle.

    Bar the brief instrumental coda "Tenebrae", the album ends on an optimistic note with "A World Is Born", an upbeat song of renewal. Horwood sings of the creation of a new world for a new generation, out of the ashes of a society stagnating under the collapsing weight of late capitalism. Saxophones provided by Emma Gatrill (her second guest appearance on the album) answer each vocal line in call and response style over more harmonised drums reminiscent of Bowie's "Low". Carlisle originally wrote the music following the death of Bowie, and Horwood added some Prince-like backing vocals (Prince having been name-checked in the title of the first Bamboo album). Although her lyric makes no reference to the loss of these giants, their influence hang over the song in a way which can only add to the sense of hope and rebirth, a sense which is indeed felt throughout the album.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: 180 gram gold vinyl – 500 only for the world.

    Scott Fraser

    Together More - Andrew Weatherall Remix

    Been a while for cult imprint Birdscarer, and with Scott Fraser and Andrew Weatherall fronting up number seven on the buy-on-sight series this is certain to cause a twitch in the circuit boards of all the robo-dancers and cybalearic lovers out there...

    It's another love to outerspace, as vocalist Louise Quinn mutters sweet utterances over a rotary, acid-flecked nu-cosmic chug. That familiar arpeggiated twinkle and gentle low end throb perfectly compliment the angelic phrasings of Quinn's ethereal vocal style.

    Wevvers is on hand offering up a remixed version; utilizing the vocal to its full potential but adding a darker and more nocturnal instrumental behind it. Top drawer stuff as always; get them orders in quick 'cos they always sell out! 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Weatherall signature all over the place on the B Side. You know the drill with this genre pioneer on this mega sought-after label. Balearic with a twist I say.

    The Gardener

    Views From My Shed EP

      After a run of club-ready 12”s, the fifth No Bad Days release slows the pace right down. On the "Views From My Shed EP", long-standing friend of NBD James Booth breaks in new alias The Gardener with an easy-going record inspired by nature and sure to inspire relaxed, repeat listens. A suite of biotic ambience and wonderfully bucolic atmospheres opens the EP, with "Lilac Moor"'s four parts fluttering on a garden breeze, gentle strings undulating against synthesized wind instruments and tranquil, serene musical scales. It's an absolute delight on the ear and totally transportative - you get instantly get the 'view from my shed' from where the title (and inspiration) for the EP comes from. On the flip, The Gardener gets a little more spring in his step, dishing out some fully synthetic soundbeds rich in meditative, calming frequencies and gentle, lapping grooves. There's even some elevating kraut arpeggio business to unravel the mind... Top stuff here, a fully realized EP beautifully executed. Recommended! 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Chilled out hazy garden vibes, full of pastoral charm and pseudo-balearic melodies. Percussive interludes break up the swooning synthplay before segueing into found-sounds and blissful scenic 'tron. Ace.

      Mort Garson

      Mother Earth's Plantasia - Reissue

      In the mid-1970s, a force of nature swept across the continental United States, cutting across all strata of race and class, rooting in our minds, our homes, our culture. It wasn’t The Exorcist, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, or even bell-bottoms, but instead a book called The Secret Life of Plants. The work of occultist/former OSS agent Peter Tompkins and former CIA agent/dowsing enthusiast Christopher Bird, the books shot up the bestseller charts and spread like kudzu across the landscape, becoming a phenomenon. Seemingly overnight, the indoor plant business was in full bloom and photosynthetic eukaryotes of every genus were hanging off walls, lording over bookshelves, and basking on sunny window ledges. The science behind Secret Life was specious: plants can hear our prayers, they’re lie detectors, they’re telepathic, able to predict natural disasters and receive signals from distant galaxies. But that didn’t stop millions from buying and nurturing their new plants.

      Perhaps the craziest claim of the book was that plants also dug music. And whether you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears), you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for them. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants…and the people that love them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog. Plants date back from the dawn of time, but apparently they loved the Moog, never mind that the synthesizer had been on the market for just a few years. Most of all, the plants loved the ditties made by composer Mort Garson.

      Few characters in early electronic music can be both fearless pioneers and cheesy trend-chasers, but Garson embraced both extremes, and has been unheralded as a result. When one writer rhetorically asked: “How was Garson’s music so ubiquitous while the man remained so under the radar?” the answer was simple. Well before Brian Eno did it, Garson was making discreet music, both the man and his music as inconspicuous as a Chlorophytum comosum. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge hits, scored plush arrangements for Doris Day, and garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” He could render the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel alike into easy listening and also dreamed up his own ditties. “An idear” as Garson himself would drawl it out. “I live with it, I walk it, I sing it.”

      But as his daughter Day Darmet recalls: “When my dad found the synthesizer, he realized he didn’t want to do pop music anymore.” Garson encountered Robert Moog and his new device at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast convention in 1967 and immediately began tinkering with the device. With the Moog, those idears could be transformed. “He constantly had a song he was humming,” Darmet says. “At the table he was constantly tapping.” Which is to say that Mort pulled his melodies out of thin air, just like any household plant would.

      The Plantae kingdom grew to its height by 1976, from DC Comics’ mossy superhero Swamp Thing to Stevie Wonder’s own herbal meditation, Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. Nefarious manifestations of human-plant interaction also abounded, be it the grotesque pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the pothead paranoia of the US Government spraying Mexican marijuana fields with the herbicide paraquat (which led to the rise in homegrown pot by the 1980s). And then there’s the warm, leafy embrace of Plantasia itself.

      “My mom had a lot of plants,” Darmet says. “She didn’t believe in organized religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world. Whatever created us was incredible.” And she also knew when her husband had a good song, shouting from another room when she heard him humming a good idear. Novel as it might seem, Plantasia is simply full of good tunes.

      Garson may have given the album away to new plant and bed owners, but a decade later a new generation could hear his music in another surreptitious way. Millions of kids bought The Legend of Zelda for their Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986 and one distinct 8-bit tune bears more than a passing resemblance to album highlight “Concerto for Philodendron and Pothos.” Garson was never properly credited for it, but he nevertheless subliminally slipped into a new generations’ head, helping kids and plants alike grow.

      Hearing Plantasia in the 21st century, it seems less an ode to our photosynthesizing friends by Garson and more an homage to his wife, the one with the green thumb that made everything flower around him. “My dad would be totally pleased to know that people are really interested in this music that had no popularity at the time,” Darmet says of Plantasia’s new renaissance. “He would be fascinated by the fact that people are finally understanding and appreciating this part of his musical career that he got no admiration for back then.” Garson seems to be everywhere again, even if he’s not really noticed, just like a houseplant.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Green vinyl.

      Grupo Pilon

      Leite Quente Funaná De Cabo Verde

      At home, in the islands of Cabo Verde, there was grog, or grogu, a strong sugarcane moonshine copiously consumed at Funaná parties. In the diaspora, in Europe, there was leite quente (hot milk). “I can still remember the taste of the first leite quente I drank in Lisbon,” says Antonino Furtado Gomes, Pilon’s drummer and current band leader.

      Following "Synthesize the Soul", Ostinato Records’ second compilation, Grupo Pilon represents the second chapter of the Krioulu diaspora story. In smaller pockets, second generation musicians were independently contributing to one of the most lush periods of cultural innovation by immigrants in Europe.

      In Luxembourg, in 1986, a group of teenagers formed the largely unknown (outside of Cape Verdean circles) but consistently brilliant band named after the blunt instrument used in the islands to pound corn for the country’s national dish, cachupa.

      Pilon combined searing estilo Krioulu drumming and the hybrid ColaZouk style with blissful synth work and rugged guitar licks, creating a stripped-down, addictive sound that masterfully straddled two worlds, a seductive electro-Funaná carnival born from the first few sips of hot milk. Today, Antonino and what remain of the original quintet are slowly piecing back together the puzzle of their once mighty outfit from an unlikely pocket of Europe.

      In its heyday in the 90s, Pilon serenaded audiences in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Frankfurt, securing their reputation as a respected and unifying cultural force. This LP, drawing from the six most powerful songs from Pilon’s three-album catalog, is the serving of still fresh leite quente to spice the summer.

      Jimi Bazzouka

      Volume 5

        Jimi Bazzouka AKA Joakim Bouaziz is back, packing nothing but heat on this weapons-grade platter. The savior of the international dancefloor community, Jimi laughs in the face of North Korean nuclear tests, shrugs at ferocious weather patterns and briskly unfollows even the most vicious internet troll. Volume 5 of his inimitable edit series sees the big man barrel through the soundtrack section, to serve up the sweetest synthwave hits, mechanical movers and future primitive freakouts. "Poursuite" starts the party with snapping synth drums, whooshing filter sweeps and a roving keyboard riff, eventually building into a little new-wave/jazz-funk glitz. Next up, "Brainwashing" bleeps and bangs its way through slow-and-low "I Can't Believe It's Not Detlef" territories, locking us into the Fairlights and mallets of an Asian-industrial winner. Flip it for "Countryman Pt.1" a tapey, mechanical funk cut which sounds a bit like a YMO B-side played backwards from the spirit world and "Countryman Pt.2" a percussive powerhouse tailor made for midnight in the mangroves. If you dug on Ruffy's "Midnight Sativa Dance", this one will be right up your strasse. Bag it!

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Joakim launches another dancefloor missile here, raiding the soundtrack section to blur the lines between synth-pop, industrial, new wave and proto-house. #moonlightmusic

        Le Superhomard Feat. Xavier Boyer

        Domino

          "Meadow Lane Park" made it clear that there is more to Le Superhomard than inspiration. What versatility. The ease with which they play with styles, the way the move from the most psychedelic, martial kraut-rock to synth-pop and the most addictive euro-disco, makes them one of the juiciest options to appear on the European scene recently. That is why their joining forces with Xavier Boyer, the singer from Tahiti 80, to release this Single called "Domino" is such wonderful news. 

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition of 500 copies on white vinyl, plus download.

          Møzaika returns to Public Possession with another four track EP of varied dancefloor styles and musical moods. For the titular “Drive”, he collaborates with Australian Sui Zhen, who you may recognize from her previous work with Tornado Wallace, Andras Fox and No Zu. Together they produce a beautiful, mystic synth pop track, which sounds a little bit like The B52's soundtracking a John Hughes movie which only exists in Gwen Stefani's grade school daydreams. A dub version of that track completes the A-Side, splintering fragments of vocal over a beefier, DJ friendly variant of the title track. Over on the B-Side we find the mellow cowbell boogie / new age dance of “Crépuscule”, and the utterly ethereal “Never see You again”, which should be of particular interest to the Balearic DJs out there.

          Andy Rantzen

          1/66

            Efficient Space can do no wrong right now, and the Australian label continue to give us the good stuff with a solo 12" from Psychologist-turned-producer Andy Rantzen. After peaking mass muso interest with Oz Waves' resurrection of "Will I Dream", the producer is back on the label with "1/66" - a collection of four dubs from his 1999/2000 archives. Home recorded above a lawyer’s office and next door to a brothel, the retrospective is lead by the earth shattering digi stepper "Rock Steady". Wasting no time fucking about, this rough as fuck rudeboy cut hits us with seismic kicks, sparkling stabs and plenty of dub fx, eventually adding a garbled vocal refrain and seriously subby bassline for full frequency impact. As one batshit breakdown rolls into the next, 'did I spill the bong on the mixing desk?' mayhem ensues, calling to mind the craziest corners of the On-U archive. Next up "Green Man" may satisfy all your breakbeat cravings, coming live and direct with irresistible rhythm patterns, screwy samples and the kind of drugged up downbeat vibe AFX and BOC delivered around the turn of the millennium. Things cool down a little on the flip as Rantzen rocks us with horizontal heaters "Fantasy Dub" and "Green River". The former glides from glacial digi-dub to naive FM synth melodies while the latter lollops from brookside babble to bleep-led bongripper in a few simple steps.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Equally adept in house, techno, lo-fi experiments and digi-dub - we've got ourselves a proto Ruf Dug right here. Rantzen's demented digital skank is currently topping our Piccadilly pops. Grab a copy while you can!

            Martin Rev

            Cheyenne

              Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

              Cheyenne
              Although it was not released until 1991, Martin Rev’s third solo album features a wealth of material from the year 1980. For “Cheyenne”, Rev created instrumental versions of many of the tracks which had formed the basis of the second Suicide LP entitled “Alan Vega / Martin Rev”. The sphere of Martin Rev’s influence and the relevance of his music may well be related to the fact that he was one of the first artists who succeeded in grasping the abstraction of electronic music, infusing it with a sense of immediacy built on raw energy. Whilst the likes of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Kraftwerk were busy digging in the electronic music garden, Martin Rev found inspiration in the streets of New York. Rev’s music is informed by characteristic influences of the city, a place where doo-wop harmonies intermingle with the hiss and hum of the metropolis, dissolving into a collage of noise. So it is that dreamy, chiming melodies blur into ominous whirrs and drones emanating from rhythm machines and layers of distorted synthesizer. This polarity between convergence and alienation describes something deeply American, as reflected in the track names and the cover image of a rodeo rider: “The idea came from the way the tracks sounded as instrumentals. They took on a different visually descriptive dimension, even more so in combination. The visualization was an immediate sound- scape of the American landscape. That’s where the titles and cover came from.” Many of the pieces found on Cheyenne can be traced back to the sessions for the second Suicide album Alan Vega / Martin Rev (1980) which was produced by Ric Ocasek, singer for The Cars. Almost a decade passed before Martin Rev got around to editing and developing the material. “Most of the album was recorded in 1980, but the remaining few tracks from 1988 into the early 90’s. The 80’s tracks all went under a concerted editing process, to make them work for me even better as instrumentals. I didn’t get around to that until there was an offer to release them, which was in the early 90’s as well.” Indeed, Cheyenne plays out like a rural, yet intense road movie, crossing a landscape rich in beauty and contradictions.

              Martin Rev

              Clouds Of Glory

                Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

                Clouds of Glory
                His second solo effort, was released on the French label New Rose in 1985, although the recordings on Clouds Of Glory actually dated back to the earlier part of the decade, following on from the Suicide sessions for the duo’s second album. Martin Rev remembers: “Clouds of Glory was produced from visual and musical sketches I had in mind which then coincidedwith an invitation by Marty Thau, previously Suicide’s manager, to take advantage of studio time he had accumulated from other projects. The essence of my ideas was then realized in the studio. Clouds was started in 1981 and completed in 1984 when additionalstudio time was made possible to complete it, based on the offer by New Rose Records.” In spite of Clouds Of Glory having been recorded with the sameequipment as the Alan Vega / Martin Rev Suicide album, it occupies a completely different space, evoking the solemnity of religious music through its underlying meditative tone. “I look now upon the album as part of a personal journey into the frontier of music; a process which is never ending in its revealing of possibilities to satisfy my musical aspirations.”

                Eagerly anticipated (fifth) new album on Columbia Records, from Grammy & Golden Globe winning artist, DJ & producer Mark Ronson.

                Features the massive hit singles "Late Night Feelings" & "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart", plus the next single "Find You Again". Guest vocalists include:- Myley Cyrus, Camila Cabello, Lykke Li, King Princess, Alicia Keys & The Last Artful & Dodgr, Angel Olson, Ilsey, Yebba. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xColoured LP Info: Limited grey coloured vinyl.

                Smersh

                M Appeal - Inc. Parrish Smith Remix

                  Back in 1981, bedroom autuers and rhythmic anarchists Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard founded Smersh as an experimental offshoot of their Pop Tarts day job. Operating with a strict dogma in place, the duo would rehearse every monday night, record their improvisations and never play live. Following their strict guidelines the duo went on to record more than thirty LPs and cassettes during the 80s and 90s. Now Amsterdam's Knekelhuis imprint cherry pick a couple of their favourite moments from that extensive discography, chuck in a remix from family friend Parrish Smith and whack the whole lot on a weighty 12" pressing.
                  "M Appeal" opens proceedings with a little percusso-weirdo a la drumbox, pinging and phasing away like a right ketmess. Solemn bass and mournful keys add a welcome level of musicality to this strange wave wonder, flirting with the funk but maintaining a miserablist distance. "Kiss Me Stupid" steps up the intensity thanks to a machine gun snare, squalls of guitar feedback and floaty sequences, attaining the same level of industrial pop brilliance as Propaganda or Cabaret Voltaire. Over on the flip our attention turns to Nieuwegein's most warped mind, Parrish Smith, who transforms "M Appeal" into a biting, buzzing, basement belter. The freaky beat is amplified and rewired, topped with bitcrushed bass swells and disembodied, mechanical vocals. Lurching hits of metallic percussion break up the dark and brooding tone, hinting at an afro-futurist dream which never quite materialises. It's not all about the k-hole though, keep listening and you'll feel the warm embrace of poppers-laced melody. One for the fReAkZzZzZ.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  12" Info: 1 COPY FOUND!

                  Two Door Cinema Club

                  False Alarm

                    The band’s first album to be released in full collaboration with Prolifica Inc, ‘False Alarm’ finds three piece Two Door Cinema Club gloriously unshackled and creatively at the peak of their game.

                    Across its ten tracks, ‘False Alarm’ wryly scans and satirizes the social and environmental woes of 2019 through the prism of wonderfully off-kilter pop, simultaneously borrowing from and warping elements of future pop, disco, rock, funk and soul.

                    “I love the pop thing,” frontman Alex Trimble explains. “I love experimenting and going to different places, I love doing things that are a little bit wonky and I love the idea of doing something we haven’t done before, why can’t we do all of those things at once? That’s what it was, doing whatever felt right… It sounds like Two Door Cinema Club - not a Two Door Cinema Club there’d ever been before but that’s what I love. We can always do something new but it always feels like something we’ve done.”

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: Channelling the spirit of 80's synthpop, mixed with rawkous party rock, Two Door Cinema Club have crafted a catchy and meticulously produced slab of pop perfection.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on blue coloured vinyl with digital download code.

                    Peter Westheimer

                    Cool Change

                      Not content with ruling the dancefloor via the oddball electro of Shahara Ja, those Antipodean reissue fiends at Left Ear are back in the house this week with a chilly retrospective of Oz Wave weirdo Peter Westheimer. An irreverent outsider right from the off, Westheimer spiced his unique brand of synth pop with Dadaist lyricism and Japanese tonalities, arriving at a future primitive sound which casually slipped between electronic, ambient, experimental and new age. When he dropped his debut LP, "Move" in 1985, Westheimer took the underground by surprise, blending his unique brand of synth work outs with a distinctly Australian aesthetic which coloured subsequent LPs "Sooner Than Laughter" (1986) and "Transition" (1992). This retrospective collects the finest moments of those LPs alongside 6 unreleased tracks, offering the casual listener a glimpse into the diverse genius of the NSW musician. Leftfield dancefloor cuts "Walking On The Edge" and "Elastic Smiles" groove their way into mutant disco territories, stumbling out the speakers like an ironic antipodean cousin of early 80s Peter Gabriel or Bill Nelson. "Rainforest" and "Circular Walkways" lay down some early markers for the casio tribal madness of Andras Fox or Young Marco while "Personality Change" is an afro-synth oddity worthy of a vintage Beppe Loda tape. Elsewhere Brenda Ray styled Balearic shufflers rub shoulders with Japanesque new age numbers, the whole set forming into a diverse selection all boasting a timbre which whispers Westheimer. 


                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      LP Info: 1 COPY FOUND!

                      In 2006, the musical landscape was very different; there was no streaming, “shazam" was a word used by magicians, and "all-access” was not granted to the general public. Social media, as we know it, was in its infancy and today’s constant digital feed of interruptions, notifications, refreshes and “likes” didn't yet exist. Those with a thirst for the overlooked regions of the record store had to quench themselves in the climes of the online world's music blogs, and while that digital community was surely expanding, NYC’s www.lovefingers.org was something different. Not a blog but a daily unfolding mix — no opinions, reviews, or backstories were coupled with the music, no full albums or submissions from the outside — it was a mysterious watering hole in the burgeoning digital desert where rogue tracks from Wally Badarou rubbed shoulders with those of Holger Czukay, the drama of Sylvester juxtaposed with the quirkiness of Hosono, and countless other coveted artists’ unearthed gems melted in one pot, a digital space where $1 thrift store scores could easily breathe the same dusty air as cosmic holy grails, oddball psychedelics and proto-electronica b-sides comfortably cohabited with $300 private-press folk rarities. With 1 track per day, Andrew “Lovefingers” Hogge created a truly democratic and educated selection of music for our aural pleasure, and labelled them ‘Fingertracks' (numbered 001-999).

                      This was before most things we now take for granted were common on our dancefloors, radio shows or live streams. Those ubiquitous Euro Pop dubs, unclassics that aficionados play at the wrong speed, or private gems that have since been reissued to the moon and back? They very probably popped up on our collective radars via the medium of www.lovefingers.org first. Rightfully so, what started as a well-kept secret, became a go-to resource and mark of quality among enthusiasts, diggers, DJs, musicians and producers around the globe — the genre-bending mentality in turn re-coined the term “selector” — and inspired a generation the world over to delve further into record shelves, undoubtably contributing hugely to the wondrous, multi-faceted and open-minded musical language we now all speak fluently. While it remained niche, at its peak, www.lovefingers.org had upwards of 100K music freaks turning up daily, and ignited a global musical dialogue between people that were yet to be connected by today’s social technology. The site received countless letters of appreciation from rural kids with no access to record stores, acclaimed DJs, film directors, fashion houses, forgotten artists who were thrilled to feature among unexpected peers, soldiers who diligently tuned-in direct from their call of duty, even heroes of sample-scavenging culture like Coldcut who applauded, “…it just goes to show, when you think you’ve heard it all, you can always dig deeper.” The community around Lovefingers’ site was a call-to-action, gathering analogous minds and inviting them all to the same party, and on New Years Day 2010, after 999 Fingertracks and a plethora of (now classic) mixes, the site made a final post stating, “That's all folks!” The collective energy pivoted into the ESP Institute, a record label and art platform to champion new artists who emerged from this foundational community and as a catalyst to push the musical dialogue forward. Now, as the ESP Institute approaches its 10-year anniversary, we revisit the significant role www.lovefingers.org played in shaping where we are today.

                      'Fingertracks Vol : 1' is a snapshot of aural delights that were on offer to those of the leftfield persuasion, all who discovered the site and tuned-in for their daily shot of sonics proper — a lovingly selected handful of records that re-introduce the story of Andrew’s most influential and essential music resource. The track list is classic Lovefingers, an insight into the free-flowing nature of the daily Fingertracks, context-free but connected through creative threads and energies — lo-fi loner jams brush up alongside sleazed-out Italo powerhouses, Greek new age obscurities tussle against overlooked Hawkwind-related cuts — nuggets that may be more known to the heads now, but whose initial excavation can be accredited to Lovefingers’ site, and are essential to its story nonetheless. Rumor has it that this is merely the first volume in a series, so as it turns out, and gladly so, “That’s not all folks!”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Patrick says: As far as I'm concerned, Fingertracks was the most influential blog..and it didn't have a single bit of journalistic content - just an endless supply of outrageous tunes from all times and genres. Total rarities, DJ favourites and daily discoveries for every head on the planet. In the years since, each of the tracks on this FIRST VOLUME (YES!) has become an algorithm classic, but you've never had them all in one place, from the man who first helped us discover them. This isn't a collector's item or exercise in nostalgia, this is one of the best sonic selections you'll have the pleasure to own.

                      Various Artists

                      Five Years Of Loving Notes

                        Over five years of vinyl endeavours, Antinote have gone from strength to strength, rising from the underground to become the first port of call for the forward thinking DJ. Menthol fresh, ever-interesting and way ahead of the curve, Antinote releases come and go quickly on the good ship Piccadilly, swiftly finding their ways into the most discerning record bags before soaring in price on Discogs. Comprised of 14 sketches - each reflecting one of the many shades of the label’s catalogue - "Five years of Loving Notes" places new names alongside those who've been involved with the label since it’s very beginning, like Geena or Iueke - responsible for the first 12” released on Antinote. Musically, the collection covers the broadest spectrum of mood and atmosphere, skulking from the dark and raw excursions of Tolouse Low Trax or Iueke to the lush instrumentals crafted by Nico Motte and Syracuse’s Antoine Kogut; Though disparate and diverse, the set seems to breathe as one; contrasting cuts all pointing in the same direction, seeking out the emotional response in all of us without relying on the trite cliches you might find elsewhere. Prepare to take a sensory trip, hurtling from the opening Latvian arabesques from Domenique Dumont to the Pink-Floyd-ian ending from Alek Lee, via Leonardo Martelli’s smoggy electro and Raphael Top Secret’s ominous talk-over. Long live Antinote.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xLP Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

                        Various Artists

                        Quare Groove Vol. 1

                          A long time in the making – Quare Groove Vol. 1 – Sounds of the Irish musical underground from the 70s & 80s..Spread across 2 12s with extensive liner notes on printed inner sleeves. Re-mastered with care by Shawn @ Optimum.
                          .
                          Stating it softly..... Irish music of the 1970's was simply not synonymous with groove music in any way. Avid music aficionado's were totally 'rockist' then (to use an old tag from the same time!) That thread tends to follow with record collecting of vintage Irish music of that time, down to this day. We'll throw a little change into that narrative here - the groove is very rare, and not a little quare! We've looked at the entire recorded music picture of what happened here on this little island into the 1980's, and we're bringing back this -----

                          We can't tell you that this music comes from a strange place - it comes from a steadily steep and VERY strange place! A small place that was not a little conflicted societally and politically back then - and in every way too, public and private. However it was also a time of great change. Living through it seemed like a rite of passage that moved off from some manner of dark age, and then over forward into a brighter light. Modernity beckoned, and not just with the technology!

                          So what can you hear here? It's no coincidence that this music also makes a similar coming of age. Recording techniques were wholly embraced here, in this era. Late 1970's Irish music saw sound engineering and music production artistry advance from previous, and in a very big way. As studio's moved away from simple and straight audio captures, the music really benefitted. So what can you hear here? We're bringing you two sides of this story on two big black twelve inch slates. The first slate has an abundantly sweet clubbier sound of past-funk groove music. The second slate gives you an edgier angle of what the post-punkers got up to, after they too got their hands on the same danceflooring. This is really but only the beginning: There's so much more to come!

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

                          Any historians keen on the subject of "French youth in the 1980s" are holding a treasure in their hands. As a true archaeologist of this decade dedicated to disposable culture, digger-in-chief Vidal Benjamin with his newest compilation, 'Pop Sympathie', offers them a unique journey in the heart of the cyclone of emotions that struck all teenagers during the first seven years of François Mitterrand's mandate. Fifteen musical nuggets, exhumed from the dungeons of history, each and every one of them teaching us about what really obsessed the youngsters at that exact moment, i.e. what happens when the city lights come on at dusk, when irrepressible urges that stir them to get lost even more appear until the end of the night.

                          The artists gathered here did not have the honour of breaking into the local charts, but they all individually reached for the sky. Each song of 'Pop Sympathie' tells more or less the same story: that of a girl who throws herself into the night like one immerses one's self into the void, who rushes into a one-night adventure to become a star. And too bad if in the early morning she finds herself back at square one. In all these miniature odysseys there is neon lights, lasers, smoke machines, broken glass on checkered tiles, strangers on leather benches, celebrities in the bathrooms, stolen kisses, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, Polaroids, venetian blinds and radioactive tubes.

                          If the first opus of Vidal Benjamin, 'Disco Sympathie', focused on the funky mood of songs that could have been played at Le Palace, then 'Pop Sympathie' develops itself as the imaginary soundtrack of another nightclub, Les Bains-Douches, the capital’s epicenter of nocturnal drifts. So what do we listen to, blasé, at Bains-Douches? Mainly synthesizers. The child of punk and post punk, French New Wave celebrates the matrimony of machines and lolitas under the auspices of a retro trend that revisits the atomic age. Trying to surf on that wave and hit the charts, a bunch of producers (Stéphane Berlow, Laurent Stopnicki, Bernard "Black Devil" Fèvre, Johny Rech, Jean-Yves Joanny ...) will spot their talents amongst friends, in a travel agency or at the local bar. These virtual stars are called Cecilia, Laurent, Sonia, Janou, Fabienne, Anne, Arielle or Ronan, not even 20 years old, and often leaving just an overexposed photo and their first name on a single as the only memories of their swift passage in this particular musical story. It took all the love and sweet madness of Vidal Benjamin to bring them back in the light of day.

                          Clovis Goux 


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