MAGIC MIX

house . techno . electronica . ambient . neo-classical

WEEK STARTING 15 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of Monday Night Underground by Rick Wilhite / Ron Allen / Terrence Parker.
The Collective Rhythm Network (Hamilton, Canada), is a weekly radio show that focuses on underground dance music past and present. This EP was produced in celebration of the radio show’s 20th Anniversary, featuring tracks by Detroit's Rick Wilhite, Ron Allen and Terrence Parker!

Rick 'The Godson' Wilhite is a Detroit born producer / label owner / record store owner /DJ / all-round-gee; and founding member of Detroit’s 3 Chairs. Rick also releases music under his Vibes New & Rare Music label. For this release Rick drops a brand-new track entitled “Mind Control” - a thumping late night dancefloor stomper reminiscent of early 3 Chairs, that is sure to keep the crowd jumping.

Ron Allen is a Toronto based JUNO-nominated music producer / songwriter / DJ and founder of legendary dance music label Strobe Records that was instrumental in developing the house and techno genres in Canada in the early 90’s. “Whispers” by The R.A.S.E. (Ron Allen Sound Experience), features melodic keys, dreamy vocals and a groovy, head-nod inducing bassline that sounds just as fresh now as it did when it was originally released in 1994.

Terrence Parker was born and raised in Detroit and has become legendary for his skillful, turntablism-indebted style of playing house music. Terrence has released more than 100 recordings on his Intangible Records & Soundworks label and various other international record labels. With lush keys, and soaring vocals, “Embrace (The Original Melody Vibe)” is one of the deeper cuts in the Intangible Records & Soundworks catalogue.



STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: US / Canadian house royality on one 12" here with all three producers legendary in their own way. Personal favourite? The emotive, end-of-session brilliance of "Embrace" by Lenni Gait's got me all dewy-eyed

Ambienti Coassiali

Vol. 1 - Room 1-6

Ambienti Coassiali began in the '80s as a parallel project of Capricorni Pneumatici, in Milan and surrounding areas. Ambienti Coassiali's debut release, simply titled Vol. 1, was self-released as an incredibly limited cassette in 1988. The compositions were recorded solely with a Yamaha DX7 and two track Revox A77 tape machine, creating straight-to-tape minimalist ethereal FM synthesis compositions. Both the name of the project and the title of the pieces, numbered 1 to 6 corresponding to as many rooms (stanze), recall the concept of ambient music that underlies Vol. 1 - it is music that gradually reveals itself in its surreal development, and aims especially at the subconscious of those who do not listen carefully.
Parallel to the musical project Ambienti Coassiali, a video project has developed - not by chance called "Empty Heads" - which is based upon the same concepts. Originally prepared as ambient "video wallpaper", the video project incorporates synthetic images generated with analog electronic television equipment. Empty Heads participated in video festivals around the world in the late 1980s and the project has evolved over the last 30 years, realizing the finished Ambienti Coassiali Vol. 1 visual project in 2017. Remastered and issued on DVD, the Vol. 1 video project will be released for the first time in its entirety through Incidental Music.
With the release of 2017's Spare Rooms on Italy's legendary Artisti Del 900 (ADN) label, Incidental Music's 2018 vinyl re-issue of Vol. 1, and the forthcoming Vol. 2, Ambienti Coassiali continues to surprise with new compositions nearly 30 years later.

Hardware peddlers First Cut return with their forth installment. Gotta love this label's ethos - shining a light on the lesser discovered knob twiddlers and the shadowy DIY electronix scene; offering a platform for producers that would otherwise be buried too deep into their gear to ever get round to actually releasing anything.

Giles Armstrong has spent years in the so-called 'SCENE' but never actually made a record, until now. Whilst admitting it's not the most polished or technically accomplished; Giles says he's managed to get his personality across through a select but impressive array of synthesizers, noise boxes and rhythm machines.

With hefty kicks and a steady, deliberate tempo, the tracks unfurl at their own pace, but pack enough punch for the most demanding of club crowds. Non-linear arrangements hint at a producer not bogged down with tradition and in turn, offer up moments of ingenuity and expression. Strong stuff carrying this maverick label forward.





FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" Info: Hand numbered & limited to 150 copies. No repress.

Clubbing is a source of euphoria: a weekly, often daily escape, a respite from the grind. That culture and its landmarks – some of London’s best venues and many countless pubs - are slowly disappearing for good. Benin City address this most relevant issue across their new album, entitled: "Last Night". With a sound and mood that locates itself in a small sweet spot between Faithless, Metronomy and early Stromae, the album’s narrators draw on the last decade of their collective experiences as ravers, bar workers and observers. These reflections are primed for the dancefloor: a hook-laden blend of Afro-dance pop, hip-hop, spoken word and electronica that is both infectious and poignant.

Speaking of the record, Joshua said:

'London nightlife has been our way out, our release, our daily escape. We’ve been clubbers, barmen, part / full-time drinkers. We’ve served cocktails and downed shots. We’ve found ourselves on dancefloors and lost our dinners on nightbusses. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve engaged in dumb drunken squabbles and we’ve found ourselves in strangers’ houses. We’ve danced to songs we didn’t know the name of. We made landmarks out of hidden corners of London: Passing Clouds, Ghetto, Trash Palace, Plastic People, Vibe Bar, Cable, Crucifix Lane. Those places, and the stories they held are gone for good as London becomes pricier and ever more grey. On this album are some of those stories: this is an ode to London’s nightlife.'


Black Deer

Baseball Shorts / Lasso

I've been all over each one of these little 7" treats from R=A, and their latest release is just as crunchy, corrosive and strangely funky as the others. Taking a suitably psychedelic approach, Black Deer dives deep into the machine world for "Baseball Shorts", layering buzzing synth drones over a wavey beat while stuttering guitars put a pagan spin of proceedings. Over on the flip, 'Lasso' sees the producer chucking a CR-78 bossa through milky tape hiss, glooming around with a square bass and topping it all off with a little spicy guitar noodle.

Broken Arrows are Sudeep Menon & Bill Ambrose, both long time affiliates of Magic Waves radio and Cyber Dance records. Here they don 4 new tracks for the Vivod imprint which makes up their second EP. A slight departure in style from their first outing on Giallo Disco a couple of years ago, these tracks still have that unique mechanic box jam sound they are becoming known for. "Female Predator" kicks things off in a techno fashion. Charging drums lead the way with a cool throbbing bassline. "Fear Eats the Soul" is more of an instrumental 80s wave track with its laid back pads and structure looping away with ease. Title track "Edge of Darkness" is the stand out track on this EP and won't fail to hypnotize. Meandering pads in a kosmische style with rock solid drums, simply awesome! "Basic Structures" finishes the EP off and this is more towards their jamming style from their previous EP, more aggressive, blistering hats, slamming kicks etc.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Sterling stuff as ever from Ali Renault's cult techno / hardware imprint. Broken Arrows bring the hardware crunch and technoid hum brilliantly across four head-turning tracks.

For the last decade, Argentina has become the epicenter of a musical explosion that characteristically blends folk music from the surrounding Andes and electronic beats. The artist arguably responsible for its emergence on a global platform is one named Chancha Via Circuito- a Buenos Aires native named Pedro Canale whose first album Rodante (2008) opened the floodgates by pushing the borders of Cumbia listeners weren't even aware existed. He's gone on to release other highly acclaimed albums such as Rio Arriba (2010), which Resident Advisor described as 'aural magical realism', and Amansara (2014), which catapulted him onto acclaimed international stages and received praises from Pitchfork to the New York Times.

Four years later, in the midst of some very notable global turbulence, Chancha Via Circuito brings us his highly anticipated new album Bienaventuranza- a word that essentially means bliss. Replete with his signature touches of Andean instruments (think lots of flute and charango), the folkloric elements on this album blend fluidly with danceable and digestible electronic beats. He's been cooking this record slowly, with unprecedented amounts of care and in a much more collaborative manner than his past albums.

Appearing on the album are heavy hitters in the digital cumbia scene, including Mateo Kingman, Kaleema, and Lido Pimienta, all of whom contribute their highly distinguishable sounds to the natural flow of the album. Most of these collaborations came about almost effortlessly. La Victoria is a track that blends cumbia, dancehall, and a bit of mysticism- carried by Lido Pimienta's luminous voice, Colombian Dancehall wizard Manu Ranks happened to be in town and slipped into the song naturally. Kawa Kawa came from an improv jam during rehearsal one day with Kaleema (Heidi Lewandowski) and Federico Estevez (percussionist in Chancha Via Circuito). Niño Hermoso, which is lyrically a fable, sounds the way it does because Pedro saw a video of Gianluz (Gianluca Zonzini), who he knows from dance classes, singing a Pocahontas song on Youtube.

As dancefloor-friendly as it is mystical, Bienaventuranza is as Chancha as it gets- with elements from Cumbia to Dancehall to Andean Folk to Global house, crystal clear production, and collaborations that are evidently natural and genuine, the record holds true to the sound that Canale has played such a huge part in creating. Since the release of his last album, the digital folk scene has also grown exponentially. From a new generation of producers to more listeners in unassuming parts of the globe, Pedro has been humbled to see the sound develop- and proves with this album that he's grown swiftly alongside it.

Cleveland

Tusk / Aku

Cleveland is forever in search of the brown note. This is his second offering for the ESP Institute. Side A’s "Tusk" is a beautiful paradox—rhythm programs that churn like the inner workings of a grandfather clock, unmistakably mechanical, yet fashioned through muted analogue instrumentation that paints a deceptively organic picture. The crystallized jangle of FM synth voices toy with the softened drum patterns and vibrant animal-like chord gestures over nearly seven minutes of splendor. On side B, "Aku" digs further into mysticism, manifesting digital jungle themes, cleverly abstracted through erratic bleeps, distant tribal drums, atonal flutters and synthetic bird calls. The cinematic quality of Clevelands production shines through both tracks, but its "Aku" that sweeps us from reality to embark on a moonlit expedition in search long lost treasures, proving Cleveland a virtuoso skilled in building complex narratives with sound. These two songs will modulate your frequencies.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Cleveland's back on ESP with more ritualistic business for the club, skirting round the fringes of minimal techno and micro house to offer something hypnotic, exotic and esoteric that we like to call rainforest house.

Not much info on this one. Two serious cuts on a hand stamped red record with a D2B logo. Think fast, these won't hang around for long and both tracks are sounding super!

"My Love" pairs proper techy stabs with a gritty, slightly lo-fi technoid beat which should appeal to everyone from MCDE & Red Axis to Jackmaster and Dennis Sulta.

"Never Ending" has a similarly grating beat to which it marries elastic synthlines and a barrage of mid shelved snare hits. Proper club tackle on both tracks and more than worthy of your attention. Check!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Mystery secret weapon business finding us fully in the thralls of festival season. More suited to the indoor environment, I can see this going down a storm at Barbarellas or in one of Berlin's heady nightclub spots.

Will DiMaggio returns to Future Times with debut LP, "At Ease." Recorded 2016-17 at the now-illustrious Fairview Ave spot alongside roommates DJ Python, Anthony Naples, and the Exotic Dance crew, "At Ease" is equal parts dizzy street beats and live keyboard action. DiMaggio has a keen sense of dance music and how it gets to dancers, as evidenced in his stellar DJ mixes. “At Ease” is no different, navigating listeners through a lush array of sounds that hints at DiMaggio’s love of 90s hybrid techno, jazz(tronica) and deep house, all inna very now, very psychedelic fashion.

Drums juggle around the beat constantly during opener "Fairview Jam," before DiMaggio's synth work takes the tune to space. "Steppin W Friends" is pure mellow heat. "All Good (Jazz Mix)" and "UH UH OH" are two opulent, soulful cuts, funky in a way most can't do. On the second disc, "O God Dam (Sus Mix)" and "Ooze Mix" go in and out of fidelity, tape hiss giving way to clarity and back again, gritty drums and crystal pads, biting synths and soft keys. "Could Be The Look," in that mysterious D1 spot, turns inside-out with cascading synth work and impossible-to-grab kicks that slam in and out, while "For T" closes with hi speed but horizontal lovers techno. A proper record, detailed, thorough and concise - but most of all - enjoyable! Most recommended.

Matt Says: Reflecting the sweaty, claustrophobic heat of New York in the summer, yet still managing to hammer out a tune or two in the process. This new LP from Dimaggio epitomizes the street-beat sound with Future Times' level 5 psychedelia. Breakthrough guaranteed.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Reflecting the sweaty, claustophobic heat of New York in the summer, yet still managing to hammer out a tune or two in the process. This new LP from Dimaggio epitomizes the street-beat sound with Future Times' level 5 psychedlia.

From deep inside of Berlin’s 24/7 darkrooms, here comes DJ City’s debut maxi single. Two house trax made out of body fluids, pain and laughter after, to accompanize the teenage sex drive that want never ever fade away. 

Some funky-ass DnB for you good folks here, fresh for festival season and sounding super crisp. Double A-side release with DLR joined by Break and Randall on one side while on t'other he's joined by Ulterior Motive.

"Song And Dance" pairs system-tickling wub-wub bass with a frenetic, militant DnB pattern and the odd sound system ident. Half way through we half the tempo and uncover the trickski little sample that underpins it all, allowing the dancers a moment of respite before we double-up the BPMs and kick back for the final furlong. On the flip, "Modules" sees Ulterior Motive join DLR for a technologically focused outing; airtight, vacuum packed DnB that really packs a punch. Gangsta shit. 


A thoroughly UK offering here from Dream Cycle who stylishly constructs a three track EP that traverses breakbeat, garage, bass and techno with a cocky swagger and artistic flair that leaves everyone else scratching their heads wondering where they went wrong....

Offering up 3 distinct moods across the EP - “Influence" is a stripped back, technoid stepper, "Afters (3am mix)" explores the dubbier side of UKG while "DCYX 5" takes things into more uplifting territory - a skippy piano roller arriving just in time for Summer. Classy stuff indeed - you need.


"Dust of Stars" is the latest album from ambient extraordinaire, Roger Eno. This album was very much a collaborative piece of work between Roger Eno and legendary producer, Youth. "Dust Of Stars" serves as the first release from Youth’s new label Painted Word, focusing on an eclectic mix of artists exploring ambient, jazz, and electronic music. The pairing of Roger’s melancholic piano lines and Youth’s cinematic production gives the album a deeply moving quality. Wistful piano melodies twist and turn through vast, yet sparse, soundscapes, dipping through a myriad of influences. Orchestral swells rise throughout the mysterious track, Velvet Minute, whilst Salty Tears brings out a soft and sombre side to jazz, and closer Forgotten Song showcases an inspired take on merging Roger’s minimalist piano with Youth’s organic and synthetic sound design.
Roger Eno is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound artist who cannot be easily categorised. He is hard to pin down and slippery as a fish, yet creates lush, emotive soundscapes which quite easily swallow you whole.
Dust of Stars is the latest addition to a powerful and versatile body of work with a cinematic quality, and is frequently used in, TV, theatre and film. (Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' and 'Mr Wroe's Virgins' - for which Roger was BAFTA nominated, Dario Argento's 'Opera' and Trevor Nunn's NT production of Betrayal.)

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Limited pressing of 500 of Crystal Clear LP

Taken from Gabe Gurnsey’s upcoming debut solo LP, "Physical" (also out on Phantasy), "Eyes Over" zones in on techy, intricately constructed electronic groove; comprised of interwoven synth stabs, a growling analogue snarl and darting elasatic lines. Gurnsey's vocal reminds me of Green Velvet - all drugged out and warbling; and sounding super paired next to these narco-beats.

The stripped back, jugular hitting, "Extended Dub" takes more precise aim at the dancefloor, allowing each disparate, analogue element more room to attack across that bassline throbb. Specialist tackle from Gurnsey here...


Kazufumi Kodama & Undefined

New Culture Daus

Tasty AF new addition to the dub-tech cannon here on scrumptious 10" vinyl - just the way we like it!

Hailing from Japan, trumpet player Kazufumi Kodama has been active since 1984 (!!!), releasing a number tracks, often with Lloyd 'Wackies' Barnes and his Wackies Rhythm Force.

For newdubhall Kodama is joined by Undefined (formed by Sahara (keyboards and programming / ex The Heavymanners ) & Ohkuma (Drums Soul Dimension). Together they present "New Culture Days", a fathoms deep dub-tech hybrid which tips its hat heavily to the Rhythm & Sound duo. Stripped back and heady, Kodama's eerie trumpet decorates the track whilst monstrous spring and plate reverb snap and echo all over the sparse, airy mix. The dub, on the flip, does away with the trumpet to revel in the rootsical echo chamber that holds the whole track together. For lovers of Rhythm & Sound, Deepchord and Echochord, this is essential.

Limited copies! 


After a string of stunning archival releases (Pablo's Eye anyone?) Belgium's tastemaking Stroom turn to the contemporary with their thirteenth release, inviting Jason Kolar to take us into his unique sonic world. Gently oscillating between the glassy synths of Satoshi & Makoto, the coastal cool of CFCF and the ephemeral ambient landscapes you get from Johnny Nash and Suzanne Kraft on Melody As Truth, Kolar creates an immersive ambient experience tinged with the emotional resonance of the New Age movement. Close your eyes and take off that tie, it's time to slip your mooring...

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Stroom step into the here and now with a killer set of contemporary ambient recordings from Jason Kolar. Optimism meets melancholy as we explore the spaces between Melody As Truth and the ambient arm of Growing Bin.

Edinburgh's Theo Kottis trails his new album "Beautiful Strangers" with this classy four track sampler on his own label. ‘Reasons' kicks off the record with a slice of disco tinged house music - overlaying infectious guitar and string loops, with slick piano flurries to make for a sure-fire summer winner. The A2 houses 'The Get Down' - a more heavy hitting workout packaged for the dancefloor, with a percussive bassline over the top of a choice breakbeat, tied together by a thumping kick. Flip it over and you unearth the lovechild creation of a 303 coupled with a Brazilian classic in the form of 'Acid Disco'. A driving kick / hat combo, squelchy acid and pitched down Brazilian vocals offer up a raw but energetic stomper. Finally, 'U Need To Keep It Simple' takes you on a more emotive and powerful acid trip. The sweeping synths building throughout the track coupled with soaring strings, alongside an alluring acid line….proper!

Stockholm rascal Kornél Kovács is at it again, making some racket on DJ Haus' taste making label, Unknown To The Known. Famed for injecting fun back into house music, Kovács is an obvious choice for UTTU; the go-to label for pissing off the parents and causing a rukus.

Title track "Metropolis" wraps a sexy female vox around clipped synth lines and pumping side chained beats before introducing a rounded bass and tight hats. "Babasonic" is a more experimental offering, layering niave melodies over a glitchy, technoid soundbed but still including those tight, shuffled hats that keep it flowing on the dancefloor. Final track, "Panda" sees late night stabs paired with a brilliant mid-range hook and study B-line. Like the tracks that preceded it, it should turn heads and move bodies whilst keeping its tongue gentle protruding into cheek throughout. We heart Kornél Kovács! Recommended. 


'Second up on Sour Edits is the Polish sample wizard Marcin Krupa with three breezy summery house jams for sweaty basements and sun drenched terraces worldwide..'

Succinct and direct sales notes from the Sour Edits camp as they introduce another fun loving and totally essential record just in time for party season. Much like Xxxy's opening EP, the three tracks contained within epitomize that feel-good house spirit, unimposing, highly infectious and full of optimism. If you've ever caught yourself smiling unapologetically as crepuscular rays beam down on your drug-addled face whilst the DJ of your dreams pumps it outta some high powered stacks as hordes of techno pixies dazzle your eyes, you're gonna be feelin' this one... Limited copies as per the last one - move quick!


It’s safe to say that Steven Legget has been somewhat measured in his approach to releasing music. The Newcastle native was behind the Four Hands moniker, with releases alongside iconic industrial figures Zoviet France on Signals From The North and the classic "Hizou" on Claremont 56 back at the turn of the decade.

Now, this Firecracker Recordings release highlights a fully realized body of work, only hinted at by the aforementioned projects. Starting life as a performance in Turkish Baths located in Newcastle upon Tyne’s City Pool, one of the last remaining civil saunas in the country, Legget has created a textured, melodic and immersive eulogy to the woozy, slow motion, drug free endorphin rush of the bath house. Pieces from this performance, alongside field recordings collected on the islands of Paxos and Loutro, South Crete are reimagined as a luscious ambient music. Accompanied by cello and electronics with real attention paid to musicality, vast and gaseous cinematic compositions are submerged beneath waves and drenched in steam and condensation.

All profits from the sales of this LP will be donated to the charity Waves for Water:
http://www.wavesforwater.org/


Futureboogie reach another milestone - their 60th release; and they've enlisted super talent Elliot Lion, producer, keyboardist and chief electronix whizz for Editors, to drop three tracks that ditch the guitars for synthesizers and drop the indie swagger for reckless house hedonism.

In its original form, "Ectsasy" combines looped congas, house beats and soaring strings for an epic and driving piece that's somewhere between The Field, Fuck Buttons and James Holden. Roman Flügel delivers a remix of equally epic proportions, stretching and dubbing out the original over the course of eight tantalizing and telepathically charged minutes. A future Barbarellas classic in the making for sure!

Otherworldly atmospherics, grating rhythms and a forward looking perspective are at play in "I Can’t Forget You", as Lion packs in a fizzing, phosphorescent synth section into this monumental techno snarler. The darker vibes and dubwise sirens are as intoxicating as they are disorientating and this is gonna sound just mega firing out the speaker stacks of your tropical outdoor rave-a-thon come 4am in the morning.

Highly recommended!


For their third release, Akoya Circles label boss and modular synth whizz-kid Look Like serves up 3 tantalizing tracks with which to tease and test dancers.
The South America via Zurich producer’s minimalist style lets him forge simple elements together into highly effective arrangements that allow lose beats and wonky synth squelches to punch in next to pristine melodies. With not a beat wasted, the tracks have a versatility rarely found across one EP.
"Dreamwaterz" is as apt a title as you could wish for. It is comprised of three fluid and nebular tracks, each with an initial dreaminess that belie deeper and irresistible currents of funk, perfect for 5am witching hour moments. Nowhere is this more apparent on the title track.
On first inspection A2 "Amnesia" is a fat bottomed production with a loose, jazzy feel but there is a crafty rhythm just below the surface that cycles effortlessly from breakbeats to surging 4/4. The track is adventurous without losing sight of the dancers, guiding and teasing them between a pair of club standards.Given the B side all to itself, "World Below" is a highly musical track with only the softest hint of drums. While lending itself to club spins as a tool for layering it stands as an introspective and ethereal piece of music in its own right.
The ideas present in The Dreamwaterz EP and ice cool efficiency of their realisation makes this a must have EP for the working DJ, and with Look Like still an unknown quantity to most, potential secret weapon status.

Suave, sophisticated and immaculately dressed in pastel and cream, 'Sul Tempo' is far and away the most Italian record of the year. Supremely stylised and conceptually complete, 'Sul Tempo' was the first and only album composed by the Lorad Group, originally released on CD in the heady days of 1988. Working with the classic DX7 + DR-606 combo, as well as a healthy dose of found sounds and tape manipulation, the ensemble presented a musical rendering of the contemporary work-day. The resulting set cycles through the meditative ("L’Aldila", "Sogni D’ufficio"), the Mediterranean ("Autobus", "Flirti Di Notte" and the minimalist ("Risveglio All’alba") while incorporating jazzy flourishes, brief snatches of fusion and a new age approach. Is it esoteric?


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Wonderfully turned out in cream and pastel, this immersive 1988 LP from the Lorad Group walks right off an Armani catwalk and onto your turntable, filling your life with meditative sounds from the Med. Composed at the crossroads between Balearic, New Age and Ambient, this is currently top of my pops.

Magic In Threes

Work Tapes EP - Inc. Fouk / Patchworks / Lay-Far Remixes

Nashville's dusty funkateers Magic In Threes return to RNT Reserve with a triptych of low-strung grooves, each complimented by a superlative remix. "Chupa Cabra", a sweet soulful joint, is reimagined as a devilishly pulsating and funky burner by RNT mainstays FOUK on their remix. Parisian Patchworks takes the 70s-cop-show funk of "Work Tapes" straight to Nigeria with a beautifully crafted highlife remix. Finally there's "Come On Down", reminiscent of classic Donald Byrd in the Larry Mizell days, which is beefed up and readied for the dance floor by analog wizard Lay-Far. A lovely package for listening, or bumping!

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Blue vinyl.

Miss Kittin & The Hacker

Lost Tracks Vol. 2

Miss Kittin & The Hacker are the electro duo of Caroline Hervé and Michel Amato from Grenoble, France. The pair met during the early 90s at a rave and soon after bought turntables and began DJing. In 1996, they started writing music heavily influenced by 1980s synthpop and post-punk bands like Fad Gadget, DAF, Liaisons Dangeuresues, and Yazoo, as well as Italo disco. Bored by the techno scene at the time, they set out out to lighten the serious tone and bring a campy sexiness to the dour musical landscape. Upon hearing their demos DJ Hell signed them to his Munich-based International DJ Gigolo label and released their first 2 EPs in 1998 and 1999. Their debut album ”First Album" was released in 2001.

“Lost Tracks Vol. 2” contains 4 previously unreleased demos recorded between 1997 and 1999. The duo fused 80’s European new wave / Italo disco with 90’s Detroit electro acts like Le Car and Dopplereffekt. By utilizing verse-chorus structures, they playfully shook up the loop based hard techno and electro that was popular at the time. Their studio set up at the time was a Korg MS-20, Roland SH-101, TR-606, TR-808, Siel DK80, and Boss DR-660 drum machine. The songs are direct, spontaneous, seemingly improvised in places. Miss Kittin sings about falling in love in the new millennium, snuff movies and controlling the unknown trip to death, all in her cheekily derisive French accent. All songs have been transferred from the original DAT tapes by the band and remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The vinyl comes housed in a glossy jacket featuring a black and white photo of the duo taken in 1996. Each LP includes a postcard with liner notes from Miss Kittin and The Hacker designed by Eloise Leigh. As Miss Kittin says of these demos, 'We were naive, innocent, adventurous and we didn’t expect anything in return'


Idris Muhammad

Could Heaven Ever Be Like This - Inc. Late Nite Tuff Guy Remix

They don't get much more anthemic than Idris Muhammad's 'Could Heaven Ever Be Like This' and who better to rework it than edit royalty, Late Nite Tuff Guy. Though subtle in his touches, the Australian producer incorporates a more DJ friendly, dancefloor orientated beat and tension building intro which teases elements of this classic, before that instantly recognisable bass riff and staccato guitar chords come into play. That subtlety is key when it comes to handling a record as epic as this, elements are accentuated and looped, delicate effects are woven in, but the soul and feeling of Idris' music is lovingly maintained by LNTG.
And for the purists out there, the flip houses the original mix so you've got two paths to heaven to choose from.

The Moscow duo is back with another dose of haunted industrial techno punches. 
We start proceedings with 'Incident', a relentless, menacing and not so dystopian end of world scene plagued with metallic, industrial and machine ridden sounds that create a soporiphic and dense atmosphere. Is it techno, or is it breakbeat? I think it sits at the crossroads rather comfortably. 
Flip this monster and it becomes clear that at the end of the day this is a techno record. 'Haunted Tales' prolongs the narrative from above and makes it darker and that slight breakbeat aura is left behind. Menacing, hard and unforgiving tonalities swim in and fade out in this 'metal' techno track. 
Things do not change much on 'Navy Fit Republic', This is perhaps the most dancefloor oriented track, with a blatantly dark bassline being the engine. Aggressive, dark and futuristic. It can cause serious damage on the dancefloor but you need the right crowd to make it effective. 
Another super 12" by the always solid Born Free.


STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Every Born Free 12" deserves attentive listening as they are almost always bangers. This one is no exception.

The conjectural wedding band OTTO is expanding its organ soundtrack madness. With its third record, it delivers sonic solutions for all sorts of moods, ranging from dark and stormy to smooth and suave. “Rhythmus” stands out with abstract, repetitive vocals in German, ready to land in a club somewhere near you. This project is supported by Orgaton, the society for the promotion of organ music.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Insanely limited tackle from cult cosmic heroes OTTO. Don't sleep!

The franchise goes one cut deeper as Parasols AKA Ali Renault and Antoni Maiovvi team up on this dark as hell during an eclipse set of grime soaked grease sleazers. Parasols throws forth two sharp as blades numbers with a guest appearance by the one and only Unit Black Flight with his first ever remix. Antoni Maiovvi closes things with something from the vaults, the 808 and sub bass sleekness of Shivers, remixed by Black Metal EBM overlord Equitant. Guaranteed nightclub nightmares as we put on the gloves one more time…

Pharaohs is a live band from Los Angeles including blossoming producers Suzanne Kraft, Ale Cohen (from the legendary Dublab) and surfer / synth-geek, Sam Cooper. One might assume these lot are in search of their sound, dabbling in various sub-genres, loosely citing a mixed bag of references… but any listener with a refined palette will acknowledge these three as Renaissance Men of the highest order. They simply know what sounds nice and strive to execute their vision with taste, regardless of what inspiration fuels them at any given moment. Side A leads with "Ahumbo" (named after Sam's dream beach in Zanzibar), blending a dry and simplistic rhythm section with swelling synth chords, a cheeky vocal and a vibrant surf guitar. Following "Ahumbo" is the title track "Island Time," a bouncy jungle vibe with chant about tropical fruits, a reminder that its always Summer somewhere! Last, but not least, Side B doles out "If It Ever Feels Right," a percussive House jam that is literally a JAM… Its on this track, with its live percussion, saxophone and drum programming, that the band capacaity of Pharoahs shines.

Piccadilly Records

Slipmat - Cityscape

    Piccadilly Records logo and white 'Cityscape' print on black felt slipmat. Designed by Mark Brown (markbrownstudio.co.uk), the design is a features a graphic representation of the Manchester cityscape, which also looks like an electronic waveform created by music.

    Dark wave techno / goth / electro-punk business here from Poison Arrow on the seductively named Pleasure District. A-side tracks, "If You Don't Love Me" and "Casa Show" both pair skeletal drum machines with gothy, pitch black female vocals and eerie metallic washes. A little Chris & Cosey, a little Massive Attack and a little Tropic of Cancer all thrown into one heady, black eye-linered muse.

    Side B sees two remixers, Konrad Black and Razor take turns on the lead track. KB keeps "If You Don't Love Me" deeply in the sex dungeon, soaked in amyl nitrate and scarily carnal. Meanwhile, the Razor dub of said track sees it strung out into a highly taut bubbler, smothering the vocal in tape delay and allowing the various elements plenty of room to make their impact.

    Causing an immediate stir around Piccadilly HQ this afternoon this is a beautifully dark and arresting record and one that should more than stand the test of time. Highly recommended! 


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd 12" Info: 12" with full picture sleeve.

    As everyone obsesses about all things related to the decade following 1990, there was one pioneering video game character from the 80s which rave culture held onto and made its posterboy. The manic, pill-munching lead protagonist in cult game 'Pacman' became one of the lasting emblems of smiley culture with early Cornish free party pioneer Aphex Twin, amongst others, remixing tracks from the game and aligning themselves with the ident.

    We've come a long way since then, but it seems that the clubbers of 2k18 are resorting back to our old tricks, as traces of rave culture and 90s fashion once again rear their head across the dance music omniverse.

    Mystery release that seems to tick all the above boxes, "Powerpill 1" contains four untitled tracks that hark back to a golden age of dance culture. Before GPS and I-phones, when illegal raves and free parties were free from corporate sponsorship and difficult to find; yet life changing in their execution.

    'Acid-tekno-ket-bangers' a famous Mancunian raver once said, and its yet to be beaten. If your idea of fun is consuming too many empathegens as loud repetitive music shakes the ground beneath you, against a backdrop of humans that look like they've just missed the casting for Mad Max and Total Recall, then this is the record for you folks! Very big in Pomona! 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Big ups all party line posse, HS2-Cru, Smarties Factory massive, Trafford mental asylum (and all the crack heads that showed up to jack us...), Snake's Pass free parties and the Stoke / Hebden Bridge OGs..

    Propellerheads

    Decksanddrums Androckandroll - 20th Anniversary Edition

    20 years ago Propellerheads released "Decksandrumsandrockandroll" - the only ever album from the band! Stuffed with hit singles "Spybreak!" "Bang On!", "Take California" and the extraordinary "History Repeating" timeless featuring the only true James Bond songstress - Shirley Bassey. 

    As said at the time, "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll" is something very special. Funky music and a little crazy, it’s music for good and bad times, for those dirty moments when drugs are no longer effective but the party refuses to stop. An effective groove filled with hints of humour and a little kitsch. It sat beautifully next to fellow breakbeaters Fatboy Slim, Midfield General, Jacques Lu Cont and Mint Royal.  20 years later Propellerheads are now back with this reissue. The charm has remained intact and it stands the rest of time. A living room classic, brought to life once again!

    Rob

    Campfire Creepers: Original Music From The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Game

    From master of horror Alexandre Aja, the director of films such as The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha, and Horns, comes an original anthology series that brings classic campfire stories to life in stunning Virtual Reality. Produced by Oculus and Future Lighthouse, "Campfire Creepers" invites viewers to join the fire circle at a summer camp called Camp Coyote as a group of kids take turns telling spooky stories in the vein of cult classics like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt.
    The score by ROB carries on the incredible work he started on Maniac, loading the soundtrack with super heavy synths, techno influenced beats and tons of melodies it really does feel like a sister piece to Maniac. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: As is thoroughly my bag, Rob brings us machinated beats and beautifully saturated synth throbs, simmering Carpenterian progressions and snappy, syncopated drum machines. It's no secret i'm a massive fan of all things Ghost Box, PCA, Death Waltz etc, and this fits the bill perfectly. Straight in my 'To Buy' pile.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    10" LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

    Rob

    Revenge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Debut director Coralie Fargeat announces her stunning arrival, painting a crimson canvas of hypnotic beauty and bloody retribution in this razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller.
    The score by ROB (Maniac, Horns, Campfire Creepers) is an equally intense tour de force mixing traditional horror synth tropes alongside techno, brooding ambience and an almost industrial style assaults on your senses. He manages to deliver something that is brutal yet beautiful, unsettling yet melodic and ultimately masterful that proves he is working on a different level to almost every composer using synthesis today.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Another killer outing from Rob, but this time on a BEAUTIFUL double LP from the DW massive. Saturated saw waves and twinkling arps atop snappy, flickering drum machines and chorused synth strings. Absolutely superb soundtrackery from the mysterious Rob.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: One sand and one blood red coloured vinyl.
    Artwork by Sara Deck.
    Includes a download of the entire score.

    Forest Flame is the debut solo effort of the Texas-based Shea McGilvray. His previous works have been featured in compilation and remix releases on labels such as Echovolt, Shimmering Moods, and Bokhari’s Swamp Tapes.

    Second release from the KP-approved Online Conversation and a different vibe this time round. Polyrhythmic, neo-tribal vibrations are delivered on EP opener "Redsky Porch" which sees a meandering, echo-drenched lead wind its way through a series of interesting perc hits and tuned metallics. "Terra" sees a swirling, hazy soundbed converge on shuffled lo-fi hats and a half-time kick. The very epitome of shadow-sculling, outsider house; blunted AF and groovy as hell. Yes mate. Title track "Forest Flame" sees deep atmospheres peppered with reverb heavy drum hits, hinting at some evocative and cinematic moods. Final track "Manzanita" sees another heady whirlpool of influences, somewhere between Deepchord's "Hash Bar Remnants", Anthony Naples Proibito output and the delicate poise of Ricardo Villalobos.

    Already getting support from Best Available Technology and Will Lister.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Big label currently on my radar drop record number two. Ditching the lo-fi jungle and uptempo house bangers for a more sedative, hypnotic and shamanic affair. One for the smokers as much as the dancers this one...

    Carnal tek-booty here from an allstar cast of house music royalty. This outstanding release was produced by L.A. Williams, Roy Davis Jr. and Phuture founder Earl Smith Jr. who died too young in 2016. Four trax that tip their hat to Chicago jack and Detroit booty; matching unrelenting thrust to lascivious vox and endlessly-peaking synthlines. A bit more substance and style than the hundreds of also-rans that populate this genre; this is up there with Poindextor, Drew Sky and DJ Funk and should keep those with a penchant to get down more than happy. Recommended!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Don't ignore these trax!! A cut above the rest of the pack in terms of mixing, mastering and pressing - these sound PHENOMINAL off the wax. Essential trax!

    Baba Stiltz

    Showtime

    'This EP is a collection of songs that were recorded during the past couple of years,' says Baba. 'They all represent things I’ve been going through, just day to day stuff; travelling, DJing, meeting people, being alone a lot, falling in love, parties, hang-overs etc. 'Showtime’ as a title just means it’s showtime. Before every gig, every day of travel. Always somewhere. Pressure, stress, excitement. Gig-economy self-loathing and megalomani.'

    Swedish-born 24-year-old Baba Stiltz (real name) has been steadily releasing his idiosyncratic take on dance music to growing fanfare. His is a playful brand of electronic music, injected with a personal touch that crosses boundaries and genres unlike anyone else. Opening the EP with jazz inflected slow-jam "Showtime", with a direct address of his current life situation; the EP peaks with "Maze" - the kind of Summer floor-filler Baba is such a natural at crafting. Alongside a duo of other unique, soul-flecked jams, Baba finds his full range on show for this XL released, "Showtime EP". Fun, musical and most enjoyable - a future BBQ favourite surely and an EP you don't wanna be without during this, one of the best Summer's for years.... Tip top.



    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Unique vocal stylings meet an advanced but crowd pleasing sound design resulting in a fresh sounding EP with loads of commercial, radio and cross over potential to the clubs and outdoor parties.

    For a long time, electronic music has been understood in terms of sounds rooted in particular places: the styles of house and techno inextricably wedded to Detroit, or the early ‘90s jungle sound which carries echoes of London. But that’s something which is changing – in Latin America more than anywhere else. A new project, led by Gilles Peterson and rum maker Havana Club (that created the Havana Cultura platform in 2007 to promote the island’s contemporary culture), shines a light on Cuba’s fast-mutating, rhythmically-adventurous underground. It’s a scene where old ideas are transplanted into new contexts, and like-minded scenes are brought together in new dialogues.

    Havana Cultura: ¡Súbelo, Cuba! showcases an extended network of like-minded, forward-thinking musicians driving Cuba’s music forward. Following repeated trips to connect with venues, collectives and DJs, Peterson and Will LV – one half of LV, who’ve released on Hyperdub and Keysound amongst others – linked up with DJ Jigüe, a much-respected producer and DJ, whose Guampara label has charted new directions for Cuban music. He’s been profiled by The Fader and Vice, and the album features his extended network of collaborators, connecting Afro-Cuban traditions with contemporary movements and ideas.

    The album provides a snapshot of a unique club culture that’s fast evolving. On the one hand, it’s indebted to Cuba’s unique characteristics, where regularly-practised traditions are coloured by intermittently-experienced cultures from outside. On the other, it’s part of a global shift toward de-centred club music, with homegrown, influence-grabbing dance cultures tilting attention from club culture’s traditional epicentres. It offers a new side to Havana that’s firmly rooted in its past.

    Lionoil return with Edinburgh’s Telfort who's previously self-released three superb EPs to much acclaim here at Piccadilly (Move D, Axel Boman, Smallpeople, Moxie, Tim Sweeney, Jane Fitz & Jacques Renault are also fans...)

    With “Rooms For Speculation”, he delivers four versatile deep house cuts for his fellow city-dwellers. The title track opens with rapturous piano chords and stirring sample-work, before deploying burly bass stabs under wholesome Rhodes deepness. “Some Other Time” accelerates on, sweeping through layers like a dreamy dystopian car chase. On the flip, “Barberweed” turns the temperature up to ‘peak summer scorcher’ as dulcet samples float above another of Telfort’s boundless basslines tempered with those spiky 909s. Lastly, “Exploding Car” mellows off the EP, despatching a warming orchestra of dusty strings, a driving weapon for the warmup.

    This essential Summer record is undoubtedly Telfort’s most accomplished to date, cementing his deep, idiosyncratic yet highly playful style. Totally recommended!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: There's no shortage of good house music this week, and Telfort's 'Rooms For Speculation' is particularly tasty. Nuanced percussion, warm keys and squidgy acid lines take the title track to the next level.

    Carlos Maria Trindade / Nuno Canavarro

    Mr Wollogallu

    Barcelona's Urpa I Musell follow up their fine reissue of 'El Sueno De Hyparco' with another masterpiece of Iberian ambience, "Mr. Wollogallu" by Carlos Maria Trindade and Nuno Canavarro. Originally released on União Lisboa, Produções Audiovisuais Lda. in 1991, and reissued for the first time here, the collaboration began when the manager António Cunha, a mutual friend of both musicians, brought the two together for a performance. Afterwards they decided to embark on Mr. Wollogallu. They had never worked together before, although their careers had parallels between them. Both were part of the 80s Portuguese pop-rock scene: Carlos Maria Trindade had played with Corpo Diplomático and Heróis do Mar, while Nuno Canavarro played in Street Kids and Delfins. Moreover, individually, Carlos Maria had released the single "Princesa / Em Campo Aberto" (Vimúsica, 1982), and Nuno had done the LP "Plux Quba" (Ama Romanta, 1988), which is now recognized worldwide for its unique sound.

    Both luminaries would convene in a home studio during the first half of 1990, brainstorming together with calm, care, and love. The sessions resulted in this collaborative record. Although the A side is credited to Carlos Maria and the B side to Nuno, everything was done hand in hand, each artist taking active part in the other’s side. Carlos Maria and Nuno created everlasting music that contains an undeniable, enchanting mystery. "Mr. Wollogallu" features sophisticated, adventurous soundscapes that depict, in a manner both blurry and clear at the same time, ancient maps, distant travels and evocative landscapes, an alchemy of the acoustic and the electronic, created using techniques that were unusual at the time.

    The reissue includes the remastered album, with the original artwork and a new insert, in which Mia B. gives an insightful view of Mr. Wollogallu’s conception.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Barcelona's Urpa I Musell go 2 for 2 with a first vinyl reissue of this esoteric masterpiece from Portugal's early electronic movement. Combining the electronic and acoustic into a sonic journey through ambient, folk, new age and Balearic, Carlos Maria Trindade and Nuno Canavarro delivered a thing of lasting beauty. Buy it for "Blu Terra", then dive way deeper into this stunning LP.

    British musician and producer Leon Vynehall is part of a vanguard of artists expanding the ambition of electronic music. Highly respected for his musical output, he has established himself as a genuine artist, releasing bodies of work that are layered with musicality and craftsmanship. Previous releases have consistently received critical acclaim. "Music For The Uninvited’ was widely praised and featured heavily on many of 2014’s Best Of Year polls including XLR8R (#3 album), DJ Mag (#3 album) and Mixmag (#6 album). Follow up "Rojus" (2016) received another long list of accolades including DJ Mag’s Album Of The Year. It also featured in Pitchfork’s Top 20 Best Electronic Albums Of 2016.

    "Nothing Is Still", released on Ninja Tune, sees the producer turn his hand to languid jazz meanderings, futuristic tropicalia and sun-baked downbeat. It's a slower and more deliberate operation than his frenetic, neon-tinged house music that's previously been his calling card. Here we find Leon in calm and sedate mood, rich in musicality and emotion and turning his back somewhat on the clubs and dancefloors occupied by the under 25s. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Nice to see ol' Leon Vynehall spreading his musical wings here and offering up summat completely fresh. Ambient, jazz-tinged and most tropical, this is the producer taking a well deserved, horizontally-aligned rest; and we should all revel in its glory.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Heavyweight vinyl.

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    X-Coast debuts on Hot Haus Recs with 3 Euro-house slammers full of his trademark joy & character - backed with a super nice Kornél Kovács Remix.

    "XTC IV" kicks us off with big M1 riffs paired with a celebratory vocal chant, demanding we get 'on the floor'. Catchy club beats propel this bad boy forward with intent whilst big swirling synths introducing some serotonin-releasing breaks n drops. Magic.

    Swedish rude boy Kornél Kovács gets in on remix duties, coating the stems in a luminous patina and adding some ear-catching electronic edits before letting THAT M1 permeate through the sweat and fog.

    "Soft Touch" ditches the M1 for chiming keys as tribal pan pipes and vocal chants take us deep into the rainforest before a big bolshy synth-sax line gives us that raw 90s flava.

    Final track "XTC II" sees X-Coast fire up the M1 for one last blast, another ode to everyone's favourite party drug and a solid way to end this clubtastic EP. 


    "It Rains Here" is the debut album from Manchester's Yadava - the So Flute co-founder and darling of the local scene. Anyone that's been to the esteemed clubnight, or caught this cat in action behind the 1s-n-2s should be more than satisfied with the smorgasbord of sounds and influences contained with.

    A melting pot of global styles, the self-confessed Mr. Scruff obsessee has taken the baton of eclecticism and held onto it tightly, as he expresses his own personality over Latin, Tropicalia, house, downbeat and lounge blueprints. Live percussion features heavily throughout the course of the LP, a facet that can also be applied to his outlandish, meandering DJ sets.

    There is however, a natural warmth, rich musicality and organic glow that holds the album together in cohesive form; a natural reaction to growing up in the industrialized, often grey, rainy city and our unrelenting pursuit of colour and hedonism through music. It's a languid and laid back affair, but one that should soak the listener in a balmy, sedative patina; perfect for late afternoon beach sessions, back garden BBQ-raves and early evening meadow parties. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: So Flute's most attractive member (sorry Dan!) and general all star human being Yad finally drops a full artist statement. Released on taste making label Church, it's been a long time coming, but hammers home the gifted DJ / producer's message of warmth, soul and unity - through house music, broken beat and updates to the funk and soul blueprint. Full marks dude.

    Sub-heavy, dreamlike AI techno from the mysterious Yugen Disciple. "IBEX 2" is hypnotic techno that would kill in a big-room, "Luxury Flat" is a pulsating, monotone banger. On the B side "Pattern Recognition" is a timeless slice of electro finished with the late night trip on the Japanese bullet train with "Shinkansen Blur".

    For fans of Shinichi Atobe, Donato Dozzy, DJ Sprinkles, Lee Gamble, Other People Place.

    Played by Pearson Sound on Rinse FM, Kowton / Livity Sound on NTS and Tony Poland on Netil Radio.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Best release on this label thus far for me easily. Beautifully realized deeeeep techno with that cushion soft, playful touch.

    Yuri Shulgin is a multi-instrumentalist music producer from Tajikistan. His discography includes a small number of releases from the Greek label Modernista and the French Escapade Recordings. "Animal Planet" is his contribution on Cocktail d'Amore Music.

    Pretty much cementing our self coined 'shamanic house' section into history - it doesn't get more entheogenic than this folks! Proper ritualistic, spellbinding tackle that flirts with house music's framework but exists as a totally unique, breaththrough experience. 




    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: It's apt that Yuri shares his surname with the inventor of many a psychotropic substance; as this is some of the most psychoactive musica to reach the shop this week.... trRrRipy sHiT from start to finish! Yes!

    Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange

    Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange

    In a few short years, Ziggy Zeitgeist has become a cornerstone of the Australian music scene. Touring and recording with Melbourne nu-soul / future-jazz collective 30/70 has enabled Zeitgeist to forge new frontiers in improvisation and drum-set application. In this debut self-titled album Zeitgeist steps up to the role of bandleader for ten tracks of forward thinking dance music. Nimble on its feet, the LP skips between humid funk, textured house, heady broken beat and free spirited jazz dance, all the while enjoying the same exotic sound design as fellow Aussie's Tornado Wallace and Andras. Created with a who's who of Melbourne's new jazz players and featuring the vocal talents of Elf Tranzporter and Tiaryn Griggs, this debut LP sees the Australian scene show Peckham how they do!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: Zeitgeist has mastered a hybrid of jazz and house with an electronic twist, full of variety and unique twists makes it an album that you need to hear.

    It's the end of a busy and stressful year for Sheffield / Liverpool electronic pioneers, Black Beacon Sound. Having released a 7" every month for the whole of 2017 (or thereabouts), with each one being released digitally, with extra content (and each one featuring a remix by an undeniably talented producer), they have decided to make all of these superb remixes available on a drool-inducingly beautiful double 12" emblazoned with their eye-catching and iconic logo and sleeve design. 

    It's a beautiful package in itself, but focusing on that is obviously doing an injustice to the superb work put in by all the producers to create this mindblowing excercise in cohabitational production and community-minded collaboration. 

    We kick things off with the glitched hip-hop aestetics and stoner haze of the Mad Wash rework of Zen The Sharpshooters' 'Every Lil' Bit', bringing the hot-boxed haze and relaxing the muscles before The Fire Beneath The Sea's 'Error Correction' sees a pitch-bent funked-out remix, grounded with insistent shuffled hi-hats and wah'd out guitars, before the legendary Galactic Funk Milita's festival vibe is chopped into a syncopated latin stomp for a rubberlips rework. 

    On the flipside, David J Boswell's haunting electro-folk goes full dubstep in the more than capable hands of the forward-facing electronic euphorics of Liverpool electronic virtuoso, Afternaut before Denham Audio bring forth a clattering industrial fractalisation of Hang Syem's 'Frontier J'. 

    The following track is possibly my favourite on the compilation (but with enough material on here to keep even the most diverse of tastes more than happy, I expect yours will be different), and comes from Sheffield wunderkind, Yak. Snappy percussion and perfectly measured electronic stabs bring a disphoric syncopation to the already excellent 'Wicked Sound' by Grievous Angel. 

    Onto the final side now, (the last being blank for you to admire the gorgous sky-blue marbling) and R. Lyle takes Apta's 'Tides' and breaks it down into a simmering futuristic haze of reversed reverbs and hazy throbs, before the arshaw remix of my personal favourite release of the lot, in Bemp's 'Minotaur', culminating in a psychedelic propulsive stomper, courtesy of the aforementioned Yak and YAKONA. A match made in heaven. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Black Beacon have culminated their journey in a fittingly epic and ridiculously efficacious summary of their dedication to the independent music industry with this stunning double LP. A journey in every sense of the word, and a superb flipside to their already mindblowing releases.

    Compiled by soFa, the second instalment in his recent series ties together eighteen artists, each venturing down their own musical path, to produce an audio atlas that transverses not only styles but also cultures and continents.
    Disparate musicians come from far and wide have been brought together across two slabs of beautifully mastered vinyl and, somehow, someway, found a jittering, skittering and juddering balance.
    Tracks from Puma & Dolphin and Khidja conjure up images of thick jungle scenes as tribal rhythm patterns hypnotise and mesmerise alongside shamanic samples. The heady exotic aromas and tactile textures of the East are on display with Zatua traipsing through baked dunes and deserts before arriving to the shamanic organized chaos that is Bear Bones, Lay Low.
    Darker moods loom and lurk, skulking in the alleys of Konsistent or in t-woc’s lurid tones. These duskier elements are countered by the brightness of Velvet C’s future disco sounds or the laser synthwork of Rony & Suzy. The buzzing Chicago inspired sounds of Weird Dust, the dawning pulses of Twoonky and the triumphal charges of Föhn blur the lines between mystical places and the cruel reality of the modern world. A double vinyl ticket to eleven engaging and evocative destinations.A trip into the fantastical. An Oyster from Elsewhere…


    Various Artists

    Escape To The Red Mountains / Who The Fuck Is Cup Of Tea? Inc. Lockwood

    After teasing our pleasure centres with that excellent sampler and the Studio58 album, Lemonade serve up their newest press of fruits: Lockwood's 'Escape to the Red Mountains' EP. Picking up right where they left off with "Blue Heron" on the sampler, Lockwood's debut EP on Lemonade is a perfect slice of musical escapism. With influences from jazz, house, garage & ambient, Lockwood tell their story about a boy's adventure of becoming a man. Packed with bleeps, bloops, cats in space and broken rhythms, these are  some astral travellin', speakers not handlin', dance floor tremblin' vibrations. Take the trip folks!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: This really does have it all, mainly jazz instrumentals but it incorporates different genres seamlessly such as house elements, spoken word, merging an electronic jazz-funk groove and broken beats thrown into the mix too for some good measure. The outcome is brilliant, you’ve got to hear this one.

    Various Artists

    Gatto Fritto - The Sound Of Love International 001

      Welcome to the Sound Of Love International 001 complied by Gatto Fritto. Love International is a festival held in Tisno, Croatia now moving into its third season. Held to a soundtrack of the very best of underground dance music and running 24 hours a day - from noon to night and back through again - full circle. This series, masterminded with London’s Balearic culture website, Test Pressing, is curated by some of our favourite artists and DJs. A place for them to choose 12 records close to their heart, and with ties to the festival, that they love and what to share with the world. So to the first compiler - Gatto Fritto a.k.a Ben Williams.

      A lifetime working in the better record shops of London and Berlin and DJing in Europe’s finest underground clubs, Ben is getting the props he deserves. Put into context, although not in a box, on line-ups curated by Call Super, Ben UFO and Palms Trax the word is spreading. It’s partially testament to the increased open mindedness of younger big room crowds but far more to Gatto’s ability as a DJ and a knack for finding an undiscovered mix of music that fits.

      Having previously made freaky Disco mutations for Dissident Records, then an album of Kosmiche inspired sounds for International Feel, it’s proving to be something of an advantage not being easily hamstrung by genre.

      So what about the music here? It’s a collection of tracks that Ben played across his last two sets at Love International’s open air club Barbarellas. There’s a dubby wildness in the stereo field that sounded good on the soundsystem. The clever part is how well suited these sounds are to the balmy outdoor vibe and where and when this music comes from. You can’t copyright these emotions, it would seem and no-one told them in Cologne, Sheffield, Jamaica that the music they were producing would soundtrack a blinky-eyed sunrise in Croatia.

      So we get Mad Professor’s son, Joe Ariwa’s, demented Gabber tempo stepper played on 33. Which is about as House as Reggae is ever going to be. A crash course in Skwee’s year long diversion into afrobeat turned out the cream of the crop in Anaalivaihe’s 10.11.2012 or Mi Ami’s outlier release on Pure Silk that sounds like, in Ben’s words, “Francois K being forced to make a record with a Juno 60”. Or crazy vari-speed tape dubbing from Sonny Okosun in the dub version of ‘Highlife’ – the kind of record that Ben loves, where the end result is a happy accident. The original intention of the maker some distance from the reasons for our enjoyment.

      Musically adventurous, disparate yet harmonious and dance floor friendly. Clever trick, clever bloke. Ladies and gentlemen this is the sound of Love International.

      Various Artists

      Interferencias Vol 2

        In the early 80s, futuristic music existed that triumphantly anticipated another musical era for a number of groups that worked on alternative circuits in Spain. Tradition, trajectory and future: these three words sum up a movement that was castrated at birth and sought to bring plurality and nuance to a monolithic cultural scene that was too predictable, commercial and stale.

        The musical texture of synth pop, experimental electronic music and the incipient primitivist industrial sound of groups like Esplendor Geométrico or Orfeón Gagarin came up against a lack of social participation that supports a popular and broad-based culture. The living soul of those pioneers was extinguished forever, and now it's time to recover unreservedly the compositions created by these largely misunderstood groups. Both volumes of "Interferencias" seek to do their bit in the odyssey to disseminate rarities from the Spanish musical heritage dating from the 80s, when the dictatorship was over.

        In this era, there was a conflict between those who wanted to break with the past and those who preferred designer camouflage. In this second volume of "Interferencias" we continue to explore the interest and attraction of the new sounds back then, which were a kind of pressing need for these embryonic gurus of techno pop, who held on tight to their next-generation instruments as if they were symbols of the post-Francoist advance party. These bands appeared in the middle of the transition to democracy, a strange small breakaway movement, but popular with the minorities on the margins of the dominant and official artistic system. This new movement was anointed by one key idea, namely, moving beyond the discrimination surrounding the use of synthesizers in order to recreate emotions. Adopting a modern attitude, they hung out outside major record label circles but keeping an eye on the media, which was already putting their music out there, exemplified by their sporadic appearances on television programmes such as Musical Express or La Edad de Oro. The dynamism of these groups who were dominated by foreign musical aesthetics was clear to see.

        "Interferencias" closes this analytical search for our synthetic and minimalist musical heritage; adopting a respectful, historically accurate, heterodox and undogmatic approach. These sounds embody the perplexity, paradox and confusion of those years, which disconcerted audiences through the use of innovative musical language and discourse and provoked a lack of understanding and enthusiasm in equal measure. Thanks to some of the groups included on this collection we can discover a universe brimming with stimuli and meaning, living matter capable of releasing the energy needed to breathe new life into us and supply us with substance in order to reinterpret and understand the world of popular music from the last few decades.

        There's a lot to reclaim, or better said, to explore, in this parallel history of underground mystery that has been hidden for the vast majority of people and which, for various reasons, was deprived of becoming the true electronic pop germ sown in Spain with talent and rebellion. Nevertheless, this music did reach completely uncharted territories for thousands of young people at that time.

        Sometimes the most beautiful song is sung in a language we're not familiar with, and this is also true of sounds. For this reason, I invite you to enjoy and engage by listening to this "feast" where the most succulent sonic delicacies are not necessarily laid out in front of us on the table. "Interferencias" is a wonderful soundtrack that guides us down the back streets of memory and oblivion, mindful that memories can sometimes be worth their weight in gold.

        Sergio Sánchez.


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