MAGIC MIX

disco . italo . cosmic . disco-not-disco . boogie

JUST IN

The Working Elite follow up some well received tracks with this winner for Sweeny's lauded Beats In Space imprint. While "Rockman" conveys an understatedly cinematic mood with repeated imitation string cycles over crisp electro foundations, "Born Again" presents a new wave / rave endurance test, summoning perspiration from dedicated day-dancers with its metronomic hammer of a beat overlaid with motivating synth-lines like marching toys. On the flip, Saap and Lauer (Tuff City Kids) provide inventive interpretations of these tunes, reshaping "Rockman" into a stomping, flashing-lights electro jam while "Born Again" gets a delightfully multi-dimensional digi-dub treatment complete with acid-reggae breakdown over a 4/4 house beat. Top stuff!

It was 2010 when Massimiliano Pagliara and Discodromo got together and started working on "Costellazione K78" - Now, a full 8 years later it's finally time to reveal this piece of italo-cosmic beauty landing on Cocktail d'Amore Music. The spaceship starts off and a vocoder announces the destination. In the middle of the track there is an interference...Is that a hole? Oh right they are out of it! Going higher, higher...higher through space-time. The B-side houses a dub version in which drums play the main role. Everything is condensing together, it feels like connection is lost, but the bass line comes in and takes control. Destination reached, time to celebrate. Thank you guys for the efxapella, we'll all do good use of it. Greetings from planet Earth!

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Berlin's best party continue to offer only the hottest sounds on their label as founders Discodromo join forces with Massimiliano Pagliara for the other wordly Italo excellence of "Costellazione K78". Chugging synth bass, smacky Robotnik-style vocoder and exactly the right amount of melon-twisting strangeness make this a must have I reckon.

Into The Light take another trip into the annals of Greek electronica, stopping by Akis' Athenian home for a special 12" treat. Though last year's "Space, Time And Beyond" anthology was a fairly exhaustive (and frankly brilliant set), it all but ignored the composer's contributions to the Greek house scene, most notably Aegean anthem "Giant Step", released under the D.E. moniker. This slice of early nineties action sweeps through baroque string arrangements, slow rolling breakbeats and acid-tinged undulations, coming on like an extra ethnic relation of Tranquility Bass. Beaty yet breezy, this coastal killer is a classic in Greece, and more than deserves wider attention. If that wasn't enough to have you snatching a copy, the flip hits us with an earlier 80's demo version, recorded round Vangelis Katsoulis' gaff. To be honest, though they share the same name, the two tracks couldn't be further apart, the "Demo" mix ditching the breakbeat and colling flute trills in favour of Laswell style bass, unconventional percussion and outrageous sampler abuse. Explosions, machine gun fire, concerned chickens and arcade game idents all rebound around the soundstage, decorating the consistently off-kilter rhythm section until the woodwinds, mallets and arps take us skywards.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Yet another killer on the Into The Light imprint, as they follow their Akis anthology with a 12" of his club leaning compositions. The A-side plays host to the Balearic breakbeat of Aegean classic "Giant Step", while the B-side brings us the sampler-driven proto house strangeness of an 80's demo version - leftfield gold if ever I heard it.

Some truly wigged out, highly electrified galactic buzz on this new EP from Bodgan. Leading in with the ethereal thrumm of "Parovoznikov," riding a stuttering arpeggio and leaving plenty of room for the punchy drums and fluttering synth touches. Justin Van Der Volgen does a sensitive job of the remix, embellishing the core of the track with delicate chime refrains that add a tenderness to this muscular club jam. "Listopad" is a more mellow affair, but there's no shortage of fuzzy, vintage lead lines to bathe your ears in. Kito Jempere does a more drastic reinterpretation with his version of "Listopad," injecting a little acid and proto house bite into the track. Sounding super fresh this Not An Animal comes eager to please... get involved!

‘Garage bands suddenly obtain cult status and become the antithesis of their initial appeal’

Garage Class were a group of reluctant outliers who produced one of the finest contributions to the wave of UK DIY music that emerged during the late 70s and early to mid-80s.

Hailing from Alsager in North West England and comprised of Tim Shutt (vocals) Phil Murphy (lead guitar) Clive Williams (guitar) Lynne Sanders (bass) and Phil Bourne (drums / bass on studio recordings) Garage Class originally went by the name of The Pits before their then manager Steve Hurt imposed an alias which, though unpopular within their ranks, would nevertheless reflect the shambolic art they would eventually capture on their first and only single.

As The Pits the group offered a loutish inflection on glam-punk flamboyance, evoking Johnny Thunder hitting the north and remaining disowned yet undeterred in a dreary old boozer. But as Garage Class the group distilled a roughcast and homespun primitivism that felt quintessentially their own. In this they proved too unruly to be assimilated into any wider scene. Early gigs descended into acrimony and recognition proved elusive. Yet what they managed to make back then now sounds like an extraordinary article of underdog ambition.

Released in 1984, four years after it was originally recorded, the Terminal Tokyo single is an unlikely triumph of exceptional messthetic punk. Though raw and unpolished the songs here are precariously pop-minded and indisputably anthemic. The titular A-side reveals the dry and detached drawl of Shutt aka The Subliminal Kid, a sharp, jaded and poetic voice that has some of the most iconic lines never heard in punk. Accompanied by second-hand guitars, on-the-fly handclaps and a chorus like a terrace chant this is the cult hit that never was, a heroically artless masterpiece that has all the ragged character and misfit euphoria of Swell Maps and The Buzzcocks if they were more impulsive and boisterous, and left to their own devices in the remote margins of a Cheshire town. The original B-side is here substituted for I Got Standards, a track that, until now, has somehow remained unreleased. An ideal twin to Terminal Tokyo there’s the same brusque and dog-eared quality to the band’s delivery, as well as the same upfront emphasis on strong hooks and insistent momentum. Yet again, Shutt is on impeccable form, perfecting an inflated, adolescent antagonism that has all the sardonic, malcontented charm of similarly ‘shirty’ buggers like Dan Treacy (Television Personalities), Patrik Fitzgerald and Mark Perry (Alternative TV).

Although never accepted in their own time both tracks represent a brief but inspired moment of fervent imperfection, one that epitomized the best of a diffuse and autonomous underground movement spearheaded by The Desperate Bicycles and built upon by the likes of Amos & Sara, The Homosexuals, The Cleaners From Venus and Family Fodder. Like them Garage Class were situated at a point where punk, art, humour and a sense of stubborn independence all intersected.

In the years since Terminal Tokyo has accumulated a retrospective appeal among certain trusted circles, with Jon Dale celebrating the single in his exhaustive and essential Story of UK DIY for Fact Magazine, and original copies regularly changing hands for a foolish forty quid or so. With this inaugural release on the Outer Reaches label Terminal Tokyo is not only restored for the very first time but given a worthy expansion courtesy of JD Twitch (Optimo).

Continuing his own fascination with the fringe history of UK DIY – documented on his own outstanding compilation Cease & Desist: DIY! (Cult Classics From The Post Punk Era 1978-1982) and in his re-edits of Crass Records classics for an early release on RVNG INTL – Twitch reinterprets I Got Standards as an incisive, dubwise outing that pictures Jaki Liebezeit and Muslimgauze on a bender in England’s provinces, tasked with remixing the raw product of local punks. A new slant on Garage Class’ crude magnificence, built to play loud on contemporary soundsystems.

Although the latter part of 1980 spelled the end for Garage Class with members moving on to other projects (Bourne fell in with The Colours Out of Time, Murphy went on to front The Regular Guys and Shutt eventually left to form Happy Refugees) this reissue attempts to give their fleeting time together and the unique single statement they made the treatment it deserves. If this means Garage Class have obtained cult status, their initial appeal remains. Just listen for yourself.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: MEGA release here from new Ransom Note sublabel and brought to attention via Scottish demigod JD Twitch who's remix / extention will find its way onto many a floor - oh my!

Chapter 15 on this disco journey guided by the maestros behind Unlimited Love. Their love keeps giving and here we are treated with another four disco soul funk diamonds. Poncho Saint Fingers 'When I Come Knocking' is a soul funk beast that many will be pleased to see it on this 12". Long out of press, here it is in its full glory. Sandi Havens is another feel good soul funk underground hit long sought after from 1980. Beautiful positive yrics and great instrumentation. Lypso Disco by Smile Street People is a slow funk, rare beauty with a great bass and wind arrangements. Again, a highly sought after record that is just here for you. Best for the end (according to me) is 'When Your Jones Come Down' by Sugar Bear Johnson. A funky soul beauty from 1980 full of rainbow vibes. Again, a superb selection of hard to find disco soul funky tracks for the sophisticated fella out there. 




STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: As good and solid as always. Instalment 15 is all about funky soul with a heavy dose of disco. Absolute rarities now at the right price. Get it quick! No represses.

Boogie Café return for installment seven, enlisting the expertise of Goshawk & Erik Rico who roll out four versions on one theme - "Home".

"Piano Vibe" is a jaunty, sunny cut that brings to mind some of the GAMM output. A flute line guides the track while organic drums and instrumentation conjure up a humane deep house foundation. Perfectly suited to the time of year, you can picture crepuscular rays darting between our newly erected tall towers across the city, with the low-lying, evening sun darting between the buildings as this track burns across the airwaves. A dub version pushes the beats n bass to foreground, and for me heads down a more London-centric, broken beat flavoured path.

Flip it over and the percussion vibe channels a different energy through myriad perc lines; retaining the soulful vocal part but switching up much of the original instrumentation. The fourth and final dub mix sees Goshawk use Erik's vocals in short but sweet snippets, adding extra atmosphere to the track but allowing the piano and percussion to lead the way. Mega!


Over the years Moton has become synonymous with releasing great quality edits from a range of amazing producers. Their 43rd to date and the firm - made up of Dave Jarvis and Diesel and featuring many of their friends and acquaintances - continue to be a one stop shop for party starting fun, obscure but enjoyable edits / excavations and general left-of-centre weirdness for dancefloors and living room discos alike. I reckon they've occupied at least 33.3% of Manchester (more specially the Northern Quarter's) evening-to-late bar soundtrack between the years of 2004-2011 (when good music got replaced with 'party hip-hop' - urg, auto-tuned urban shite and Kings of Leon requests...).

“Cuffari (Make The World Larger Than Me)" on the A side is four and a half minutes of luscious, soulful, string laden goodness, entrancing you with those dreamy vocals. Trust us, she's right when she says '…the melody echoes in my mind' - this one will be stuck in your head for days!

Flip it over and Marcel Vogel, under his Em Vee alias channels the happy-go-lucky NYC discotheque days through "Dancing (Jumbo)". With an all too infectious guitar and bass riff, coupled with cosmic synth pops and perfectly layered vocal chants - it's sure fire, peak time disco gold.


Craig Bratley opts for some Italo-coloured canvasses on the newest Futureboogie release - the label's smashed 2018 with a plethora of top drawer releases right across the style spectrum.

"99.9%" is the kinda showpiece track you reach for when you've got the crowd eating off your turntables, when you're locked into that purple patch and you need to elevate the mix / session to a higher point. A thrusting, push-pull arpeggio section combine with tuff gated drums and a taut lead creating untold pressure that's just waiting for a tiny crack to appear before bursting out of the cauldron with a buzzing hook and swirling fx.

"Italo Love" will be making Red Laser boss Il Bosco sweat, pondering just how he slept upon one of this year's top Italo signings. Never mind mate, just let team Futureboogie stick this one right between your speaker stacks.

Anarco-dance-dandy Andrew Weatherall adds the extra 0.1% to the stems, building the title track into one of his now infamous robo-chug classics straight from the ALFOS dancefloors.

"Take Me To Bedford Or Lose Me Forever" finishes the EP on a slow and sombre note. The kind of slow moving electronic exotica that brings to mind vintage Art Of Noise, the cinematic side of Vangelis or more recent excursions of label Invisible Inc.



STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: What a blast this one is. Bratley goes italo and he nails it. Full of energy, radiant and totally dancefloor friendly whilst Weatherall goes darker with serious acid hints. 'Take Me to Bedford or Lose Me Forever' is the closing tune with beautiful oriental samples and a more mellow beat... ready for bed. Essential!

Duane Thamm Jr.

Jump Trax

'Jump Trax' is another essential piece of early Chicago house music crafted by the legendary Duane Thamm JR back in 1984. Fusing together a myriad of influences including early 80's Euro pop, Italo Disco and HI NRG, Thamm JR was responsible for helping create and influence the burgeoning House sound that would emanate from the city all throughout the second half of the 1980's. Not only were these sounds new and fresh, they were experimental too, 'Jump Trax' sees the BPM's gradually shift throughout the duration of the tracks seamlessly giving the more adventurous DJ's out there more ammunition and room to experiment with styles and BPM's. A truly visionary approach to production and all recorded and mixed within Chicago's city limits by Thamm JR at his Reel To Reel Studio located in Villa Park, Illinois. 'Jump Trax' continues to be as influential today as it was back in '84, with many top DJ's still citing the record as a 'go to', powerful indeed.

Chicago's Still Music are proud to present this fully legit, remastered and repressed piece of Chicago house history. A truly pivotal record now made available again for 2018. Essential sound for those who love the real deal - snoozing not advised, OG copies of this monster are hard to come by!

Reserve Not Met

No. 2

The mysterious, anonymous and altogether irresistible Reserve Not Met returns to the shelves this week with three more WMDs for frontline record bags the world over. Taking a breather after the rambunctious tech house tonk of the first edition, the shadowy crew come to cut up a rug with the A-side here, handing us funky bass, wah guitar and jazzy keys, teased into a feel good house hit through an inventive arrangement. Diva vocals, plenty o' soul and a smattering of sax - what's not to love? Now you're warmed up nicely, things start to speed up, the B1 bringing us a Fingers-esque B-line, whacked out vocoder and Strictly Rhythm sampling, all set to a snapping 4/4 shuffle complete with a percussion fiesta. The journey to the deep concludes on the B2 as our unknown artist(s) smash out a pneumatic techno slammer worthy of a vintage UR release. Restless sequences, clattering noise and a relentless 4/4 do the damage here. Bid your heart out!

Back in stock Cover of Lala Belu by Hailu Mergia.
Fresh off the label Awesome Tapes From Africa, Hailu Mergia brings us his first new LP in over 15 years. Modern Ethiopian jazz built on ancient scales and standards. Capping several successful years traveling the world performing to audiences big and small, Hailu Mergia’s ‘Lala Belu’ has been a long time coming and fifteen years overdue. His old recordings are cherished revelations for Ethiopian music fans; however, Mergia’s return to the stage has been just as inspiring and electrifying. Mergia’s vintage recordings are known for an inherently mysterious and worn-in quality, while his new recordings echo his band’s 21st century live show with modern instrumental interpretations of crucial Ethiopian standards and Mergia’s own original compositions. Tony Buck (drums) and Mike Majkowski (bass), who have backed Mergia on tour throughout Europe and Australia, form the bass-drums trio on the recording. Having played venues from Radio City Music Hall and the Kennedy Center to jazz festivals, rock clubs and DIY spaces all over North America, Europe and Australia, Mergia and Awesome Tapes From Africa document this moment in his landmark career with a snapshot of Mergia’s current sound. Since he emigrated from Ethiopia and built a life in Washington, D.C. around 1981—where he remains working as an airport taxi driver when he is not on tour—Mergia’s career has followed a humble trajectory. He made a few recordings in America but they didn’t easily reach fans back home. He kept making music on his own and with friends but after the early 80’s his gigs in the U.S. mostly dried up. It wasn’t until he began working with Awesome Tapes From Africa and putting together bands with the help of booking agents and musicians in Europe and the U.S., that he was able to chart a new path. With a broad audience of young listeners in diverse venues and distant locales, at age 71, Mergia is enjoying his comeback and is not slowing down.

After recent reflections on kosmische sonics and soft focus synthesis, Origin Peoples' latest release is an in-depth exploration of our universal dance floor grammar from Italian producer Whodamanny. A key member of Naples' cosmic funk contemporaries, Rafaele has put his psychedelic stamp on Periodica, both in solo mode and as a member of the notorious Mystic Jungle Tribe.
His debut solo LP, (and first outing on Origin Peoples) 'T.C.P.' travels a retro-futurist timeline between the esoteric electronics of Italy's rich library heritage and a chrome-clad brand of robotic body music perfect for the off-planetary resorts of the near future. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.
In its fleeting half-life, the fragmentary 'Eurasia Aborigine' serves as both introduction and adjustment period, exposing us to a swell of electromagnetic pulses and establishing the synthetic flavours to follow. Launch protocol complete, 'Centum-Satem' employs maximum thrust, hurtling through proto techno sequences, breathless snares and a bubbling bassline while solar flares provide flashes of extreme ASMR stimulus. 'Hypothesis And Contradictions' brings things back down to cruising pace, the metallic chime of a hypnogogic percussion grid underpinning the freeform bleeps of Manny's radiophonic workout. Growing in amplitude, these electronic abstractions bleed into the opening bars of 'Electronic Sheets', building anticipation before the track flickers into the maximal sound of high grade synth funk. As the snapping electro rhythm and Laswellian bass lick take possession of our primary motor cortex, the Neapolitan producer explores hi-tech jazz tones and wild solos, translating Zawinul's "Dialects" into a fresh lingua franca for the future club kids. Body language predates speech and Manny’s keen to remind us that movement matters.
Opening the other side with whooshing white noise, tender jazz tones and glistening glitches, 'Kurgan Cot' could easily be Capri by the Sea of Tranquilli, while the techno-tribalism of 'Kunda Nemunas' fuses shoulder rolling polyrhythms, thick slabs of square bass and exotic mallets into the greatest groove the Cosmic club never heard. From there we take a moment of reflection via the mystical bells and hazy interference of 'Blitzkreig Mith' before 'The Light Of TCP' lifts us into an extended out-of-body experience. With Whodamanny as our guide we spend ten blissful minutes gliding through crystalline melodies, intricate solos and entheogenic tonalities with only the subtle percussion and precise bass sequence keeping us tethered to our space-time continuum.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Mystic Jungle Tribesman Whodamanny joins those disco mystics at Origin Peoples for his first debut LP, the mighty T.C.P. Part library electronics, part cosmic groover, the set samples proto-techno, electro-funk, Afro-chug and entheogenic trance dance across 8 excellent tracks. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.

Roisin Murphy

Jacuzzi Rollercoaster Ft. Ali Love / Can't Hang On (Produced By Maurice Fulton)

Following a summer which has encapsulated tour dates across Europe and a headline closing set at the iconic Somerset House as part of their Summer Series, alongside the scintillating release of a pair of 12” singles “All My Dreams / Innocence” and “Plaything / Like” which have sound-tracked the heat wave, Róisín Murphy today releases ‘Jacuzzi Rollercoaster ft. Ali Love / Can’t Hang On’. The warped and funky, groove-baiting tracks are the third pair of songs in a series of four 12”singles produced by Baltimore maverick musician/producer/DJ Maurice Fulton and released through The Vinyl Factory.

‘Jacuzzi Rollercoaster’ sees Murphy collaborate with Ali Love, one of London's most inventive and unpredictable voices in dance music over the last decade. Love's trademark smooth and infectious tones marry perfectly with Murphy’s. In her own words; ‘’I love Ali Love's voice, he's got the boogie in him, he's an exceptional hook writer also. I've been hoping to work with him for a long time and this Maurice Fulton music just seemed the perfect match. The baseline in this track is highly evocative and Ali already had the title when he came to the studio, he had just been reading about a 'Jacuzzi Rollercoaster' being built in Japan and it was a notion that fit the funk of the track perfectly, we wrote the song and put the vocals down in a few hours, we're a match made in heaven!’’

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: This is poppy and this is bizarro! It is great indeed. I see this as a return to form for Fulton. The bass is there, the intricate funky beats are there but he leaves the pop elements in place courtesy of Roisin Murphy and Ali Love, making this 12" one to keep. It comes with beautiful psychedelic cover too!

"...so there I was. Stood at the singles bar, drinking in the neon and checking the time on my Rolex. We were due to meet at midnight under the mirror ball. I held my nerves in check, wiped the condensation off the Tom Collins and turned into the crowd. Her fragrance met me before I saw her, that heady blend of YSL's Opium and youthful anticipation, a scent she knew I couldn't resist. Hands touching, lips in sync and bodies in motion - this was Midnight Passion.." 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Switzerland's Hot Jam hit us with the finest nuovo Italo ballad I've heard since the halcyon days of Heartbreak, combining all those irresistible retro features without slipping into pastiche. The classier cats will probably plump for the robotic emotion of the Instrumental mix, but I'm going full parmesan here with the wonderful vocal version.


Sonic Insomniac, Basement Beehive, @idlesband and @menace_beach soundtracking our Wednesday. Labels - @numerogrouphttps://t.co/XCzR3seL0k
Wed 19th - 10:39
New @SteveMasonKBT LP available to pre-order now, 'About The Light' is on CD, LP and very limited indies exclusive… https://t.co/9eoBZ6uzaW
Wed 19th - 8:14
We’ve got a pair of guest-list tickets for the sold-out @WHP_Mcr Nov10th Purchase any of the albums from the links… https://t.co/o3slgWLht0
Wed 19th - 8:11
Here's my NTS Radio show from saturday... had a coupla months off over summer so plenty to squeeze into the hour...… https://t.co/rWid1Rex27
Tue 18th - 8:13
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