Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

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The Sound Of Love International 004 is a particular poignant collection of rarities, collectables and unearthed gems, pulled together by the Italian DJ and crate digger Budino. For the last two years, the pretty coastal town of Tisno in Croatia has been devoid of the (now) legendary Love International week-long celebration of music, leaving thousands of revellers and regular devotes with only the sounds of Love International to keep the spirits strong until the next time friendships are rekindled and dance resumes under the sun and the stars. Luckily, the fiesta is scheduled for a return to Tisno from 13th – 19th July 2022.

Budino, AKA Valentina Bodini, has a lifelong passion for vinyl, amassing an enviable collection of multi-genre LPs and singles via her years spent in Italy and now in Berlin. As resident DJ for Discodromo’s CockTail d’Amore parties, her enthusiasm for music and digging knows no boundaries, and her instalment into the Sound Of Love International series gives us an aural insight into her musical realm.

Musically, The Sound Of Love International #004 is a smorgasbord of sound. Opening with the glacial tones of Peter Seiler’s 1986 new-age gem ‘Serengeti’, the twelve track selection glides through proto-house, tribal ambience, industrial EBM, balearic dance and so much more. It’s a testament to the ground- breaking nature of these tracks that most of the music here was originally released some 30-40 years ago. Inclusions from Oliver Leib’s The Ambush project, Vibes Of Rhythm and Scott Edward stem from the post house & techno explosion of the early 90s, whilst the early proto-electronic experiments from the likes of Kirlian Camera, Clock DVA, Bourbonese Qualk and Pyrolator are welcomely revived for a new audience. Interestingly, a flexi-disc only release of ‘Hark’ by William Orbit & Laurie Mayer’s early 80s Torch Song project is also included here, elongated by Budino herself in the edit suite. Two brand new productions from DJ Blasy and Budino & Berko ensure that business is brought bang up to date, offering a unique and modern spin on the sounds of Budino, and her tantalising selection on this compilation.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Peter Seiler - Serengeti
A2. The Ambush - Casablanca
A3. Bourbonese Qualk - Ton Ton Macoute
B1. Pyrolator - Ein Weihnachtsmann Kommt In Die Disc
B2. Torch Song - Hark (Long Version)
B3. Kirlian Camera - Communicate (Instrumental Version)
C1. DJ Blasy - Metacognition
C2. Budino & Berko - Transoceanic
C3. Fidelfatti - Ocean
D1. Vibes Of Rhythm - Thrill Me (Trance-Paradise Mix)
D2. Clock DVA - Cypher (Glyph)
D3. Scott Edward - The Ion Engine

Hypernatural, comprises of Dan Whitford, better known as one of the pillars of Melbourne heavyweights Cut Copy, Mirko Vogel, the engineer extraordinaire who has recorded for Modular and Room40, and Mike Gamwell, also known as Knightlife, who’s racked up several releases on Cut Copy’s own Cutters Records. You could say their roots are in Melbourne, Australia, but it seems unfair to pinpoint the trio to any specific location.

That’s because their sound lies somewhere deep in misty forests, or half-remembered dreams and subconscious wells of ancestral emotion. The transformative power of these 7 tracks was no accident however. The music was pieced together during two trips - one to the remote Swedish coast and another to the Scottish highlands. The three producers used a set of guidelines that allowed each of them to compose and arrange tracks separately yet collectively, like a connected Oblique Strategy. They took inspiration from the stark beauty of their natural surroundings, which had a huge effect on the music they were making.

The resulting tracks inhabit a world of their own, full of shimmering arpeggios and drifting pads, taut drums and sound effects. The opening track Longboat cruises into view with white noise washes and galley master rhythms, conjuring Old Norse battleships and a sense of sailing the open sea, destination unknown. The single Stormfront is a depth-charged deep house burner, bristling with atmospheric energy and rolling like thunder. With its cascading synth arpeggios and weighty drops, it swells like moody clouds on the horizon and releases tension like the first rain of a summer storm.

Hypernatural particularly succeeds in its world-building, and there’s a cohesion to the tracks despite their many differences in tempo and style. Spirit Walk joins marimbas with modular pulses, as well as slide guitar and snappy shakers, to bring out some Ry Cooder swagger. Unknown Caller taps into the phone line at the speed of 5G, sending breakbeats down the wire on a cold calling mission to recruit ravers for the next after hours. But there are also tracks nodding to blissed-out comedowns and daydreams. Both Changing Tides and New Dawn slow down time to an introspective moment, a catch of the breath, the witness to a beautiful moment. Album closer Valley harks back to classic rave-era ambient, an avalanche of optimism down a majestic mountainside.

Hypernatural evokes panoramic vistas and serene countryside, and you could certainly imagine it soundtracking a hike along coastal hills, or a field at a festival. But it also resides beyond the pastoral, finding a home in airport departure lounges and autobahn service stations, until it eventually settles down inside us - even without the headphones on.

TRACK LISTING

1. Longboat
2. Stormfront
3. Changing Tides
4. Spirit Walk
5. Unknown Caller
6. New Dawn
7. Valley

Inimate British pop for fans of Spike, The Cleaners From Venus, Felt, Durutti Column, Black Ark Studios and Aladdin. Charming lost tapes from the early ‘80s, treasured only by family members until now.

"Jim and I met at university in Liverpool in nineteen seventy-five and immediately began making music together. We both had rooms in the same big Victorian house in the centre of town and our evenings were spent hanging out in the nightclubs of Toxteth, like Dutch Eddie's where the DJ played Trinidadian music all night long.

Liverpool has always been somewhere with its own distinctive culture, poetry, and music. In the nineteen seventies it was absolutely magical. The city was still bathed in the afterglow of the Beatles and there was a kind of creative anarchy about the place. There was this band called Death Kit who used to put on multi-media events with people in fancy dress and random bits of theatre. We'd turn up completely out of our heads and it felt like we were deconstructing ourselves as individuals.

After we left college, Jim began living in Cambridge and I returned to London where I'd grown up, but our musical relationship continued. We knew people who were making commercial sounds and having success with them but that wasn't what we wanted to do. We performed occasionally, albeit very erratically, mostly as a duo but sometimes with other musicians.

What we were really interested in was musical exploration. Jim built a studio in his back garden, bought some multi-track recording equipment, and began experimenting. We wanted to produce something that was just for ourselves. We were undoubtedly very naïve but naivety and innocence were hallmarks of that time.

In my childhood, I'd been fascinated with the story of Aladdin. Now that fascination began to be reflected in the music we were making. Here was a story about a boy who transforms his world and enters the magical realm. That seemed to be exactly what was happening to me. For all sorts of reasons, I hadn't particularly enjoyed my childhood but now I had managed to step out of the everyday reality, to find a place where I belonged and where I had a kind of power.

The name we used for the band came from a song recorded in 1949 by a singer called Mel Torme. There's a line in that song that goes, "Careless Hands don't care when dreams slip through." That seemed appropriate since dreams were part of the territory we were exploring.

I had got married immediately after leaving college and by now I had a daughter who was afraid to go to sleep at night. She wanted me to be present in her dreams with her. That became the inspiration for a period during which Jim and I tried to recreate the shifting landscape of the night-time imagination.

Unfortunately, the choice of name turned out to be horribly prophetic when in a freak accident Jim fell into a lake and was drowned. It seemed to me that for some time, he had not been paying enough attention to his own life. So I wasn't exactly surprised when I heard the news but I was completely devastated. After Jim's death, I put away his guitar and never played again. I went on to make a career as a novelist.

Most of the recordings we produced were lost over the years. A bunch of master tapes was accidentally thrown into a dumpster and others were left in the attic of a house I lived in at some time during the nineteen nineties. This album has been pieced together from fragments that somehow survived the cull."

- Brian Keaney November 2020

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Following on from the AMAZING The Bernhardts EP, Smiling C uncover more heartfelt, earnest, DIY wave and indie from the North of England.

TRACK LISTING

Lawrence
Seeing Double
Turning
New Lamps For Old
Just Like Strangers
Diana
On The Bridge
Face In The Mirror
Dream My Dream
Looking For A Secret

Back in stock Cover of Hold On To Your Dreams : Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 by Tim Lawrence.

Tim Lawrence

Hold On To Your Dreams : Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992

    Hold On to Your Dreams is the first biography of the musician and composer Arthur Russell, one of the most important but least known contributors to New York's downtown music scene during the 1970s and 1980s. With the exception of a few dance recordings, including "Is It All Over My Face?" and "Go Bang! #5", Russell's pioneering music was largely forgotten until 2004, when the posthumous release of two albums brought new attention to the artist. This revival of interest gained momentum with the issue of additional albums and the documentary film Wild Combination.

    Based on interviews with more than seventy of his collaborators, family members, and friends, Hold On to Your Dreams provides vital new information about this singular, eccentric musician and his role in the boundary-breaking downtown music scene. Tim Lawrence traces Russell's odyssey from his hometown of Oskaloosa, Iowa, to countercultural San Francisco, and eventually to New York, where he lived from 1973 until his death from AIDS-related complications in 1992. Resisting definition while dreaming of commercial success, Russell wrote and performed new wave and disco as well as quirky rock, twisted folk, voice-cello dub, and hip-hop-inflected pop.

    "He was way ahead of other people in understanding that the walls between concert music and popular music and avant-garde music were illusory," comments the composer Philip Glass. "He lived in a world in which those walls weren't there." Lawrence follows Russell across musical genres and through such vital downtown music spaces as the Kitchen, the Loft, the Gallery, the Paradise Garage, and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. Along the way, he captures Russell's openness to sound, his commitment to collaboration, and his uncompromising idealism.


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