MAGIC MIX

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

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Back in stock Cover of Lanzarote - Inc. Diskjokke Remix by Lindstrom & Todd Terje.
Following his “Inspector Norse” EP, Todd Terje, combining with fellow Nordic disco pal Lindstrom, drops the second EP on his Olsen imprint. "Lanzarote" had the working title of “Cowley”, but perhaps "O" would have been a useful moniker as well, as this track has as many pointers towards that other collosus of electrodisco, Bobby 'O' as it does to Patrick Cowley.

In keeping with both Lindstrom and Todd Terje's recent work, "Lanzarote" is a peak time dancefloor-aimed electrodisco / hi-NRG bomb with an upbeat rhythm and keyboard arpeggios adding little hooks to reel you in. There's even a bit of a Euro rap near the end for extra holiday-disco fun. Diskjokke give the track a touch of Cerrone or Moroder, layering up the synths and giving the rhythm more of a flat piston-driven sound. There's also an acapella and "Krokstapella", which has the rap mixed with an almost samba style percussive groove.

"Hello guys and gals, it's been exactly one year since the first release on Olsen Records, so I suppose it´s time for a new one, now together with studio buddy Lindstrøm. “Inspector Norse” took me to a lot of cheesy places with lots of cash, and I expect nothing less with this new one called... “Lanzarote”! (pronounthed with a lithp and a finger thnap) The working title for this was “Cowley”, let's see if any of you can figure out why :) B-side remix by DJ-turned-mathematician DiskJokke turns down the gayness, but keeps most of the elements for a version even the most serious of the deep house mafia can play." yørs trüly, Tødd Tërje (and silent partner Häanz-Peter)

Platform 23 presents the 2nd collection of songs selected from the "Alternative Funk" series released by Vox Man and VP 231 Records. Originally appearing in 1985 across 1 vinyl and 2 cassette albums these cult collections have long been in collectors' (and bootleggers') sights and finally see the first official reissue. As with Volume 1 the series covers the weird, wonderful, esoteric, exotic and quirky sound and puts them in a reset context that immediately gives clarity of the original's curation.

This volume opens with some DIY electro stealers, first with Dee Nasty's "Orientic Groove", where the early French hip-hop pioneer lays down a battle cry of beats, slapped bass and YMO keys, before the second offering from Scoop! and their rap attack, juxtapositions the past series and leads to label heads Vox Populi! & Man and their continued look at the rudiments of cut up manipulation and scratch techniques. The avant rappears with 3M's percussive marker and legendary Amus Tietchens' is ever challenging, before Melsjest's post-punk meets the Weirmar possibly steals the side as Vox Pop spoken outro joins those (micro)dots.
The cult of Randall Kennedy returns with another garage-fuzz gem. His stories for wackos'n'weirdos end all too soon and are followed by Liquid Liquid's Dennis Young, diving deep with Intuition, before Stanalis returns with another winner. Bene Gesserit is a killer and welcome addition, before Kosa return with more industrial clippings and volume 2 heads to the door with Capital Funk's electro-punk bomb - possibly the series champion - while the slap bass-scratch of California's Psyclones leads to a music hall end in the homage to mum's favourite, Chukk.
What these Volumes again highlight is how the DIY aesthetic of so many independent labels was supplemented and spread via collections of friends, contemporaries and often, literally pen pals, to mail in their offerings that are then picked for wider ears. While some of these artists have become known, just as many are who and whats, but they sit side-by-side as warranted and often killing the scene of what Axel and co sought to be...the Alternative Funk.


Mercury award winner James Blake releases his 4th studio album Assume Form. The album features collaborations with Travis Scott, André 3000, Metro Boomin, Moses Sumney and Rosalía (BBC sound poll 2019). In the past 2-3 years James has been very busy collaborating with Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Oneohtrix Point Never, Mount Kimbie and contributing to the Black Panther soundtrack. As unrestricted by genre as it is always underpinned by classic, emotionally-open songwriting, James Blake’s new album is arguably his most direct, eclectic and pure artistic statement to date. Assume Form also follows a rich period of creative and personal evolution for James, who has spoken candidly about his experiences of mental health, modern-day masculinity, and finding peace. Even the album artwork would appear to represent a fundamental shift for Blake, no longer distorted by illustration, landscape or design, but staring right at you – and into the future.

James Blake’s is an influence that can be felt throughout the modern musical landscape, often hiding in plain sight; allowing the man himself – as his fourth album suggests – to always evolve. To never settle. To Assume Form.

In 1985 Ken Man showed up in the studio with this IBM AT computer. It had a 1/2 MB of RAM and some Voyetra software that could sequence music, becoming the duo’s backing band. Fist Of Facts contributors included Mark Cunningham from Mars, Felice Rosser, Genevieve De Monvel Boutet, Carlos Vivanco, Scott Hartley from the Liquids and a whole host of others.  Fist of Facts expand the natural groove that Liquid Liquid established over their quick career, with a strong political message combined with abstract dub soundscapes. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Originally released on Helvete Underground in 1988, 'Fugitive Vesco" was (until a few years ago) the only release for this No Wave side project from Liquid Liquid men Sal P and Ken Caldeira. While there are similarities with the disco-not-disco outfit, Fist Of Facts took a more diverse sonic approach, resulting in the accidental Balearic of "First Strike", Industrial dub of "Wa Wa" and snapping warehouse funk of the title track.

While he's not out on the road, ripping up basements and warehouse spaces with his rugged blend of new beat, industrial and EBM, Vladimir Ivkovic can be found in Dusseldorf, soaking up the cosmic vibrations of his locale and battling Detlef, Wolf Muller and Lena Willikens in a digging death match. He's not just after the lost Belgian bangers from the back room of a pawn shop mind, and this latest LP on his excellent Offen label comes from Roman techno veteran Marco Passarani. 
Over an unstoppable 25 year career, the prolific Passarani has eleased fine twelves on Gerd Jansons Running Back label, crafted covers of Alexander O’Neal and The Jungle Brothers for Peacefrog, re-invigorated boogie and talo as Tiger & Woods and could possibly be the only producer to have been remixed by both Ricardo Villalobos and Autechre. Though famed as a man of many monikers, the Roman has returned to his legal title of late, landing at Numbers in 2017 for the thrilling electro-disco of "Wonky, Wonky, Wonky". 
"W.O.W." sees Marco continue in the same cosmic vein, overlaying undulating waveforms with spiraling arps, glittering melodies and snapping drum machines. Whether intergalactic and atmospheric like opener "Coldrain", optimistic ("Cydonia Rocks") or club-centric like the acid laced e-funk assault "Dummy Dream", Passarani's music is precise, measured and concise.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Roman techno hero Marco Passarani takes a break from recent club business as Tiger & Woods to deliver a flawless synth-driven LP for Vladimir Ivkovic's Offen. Switching between electronica, synthpop, house and electro, Passarani shifts the emphasis and intensity throughout, while retaining a signature clarity of tone and technique. This is sonic feng shui from a true machine master.

Golden Bug & In Fields

Bones - Inc. Fantastic Twins Remix

3rd EP on LDDLM by Antoine Harispuru aka Golden Bug this time joined in company of In Fields. They push the boundaries of GB’s trademark ghost funk across the whole EP. Opener, "Bones" features Diego Hdez for a smacked out, desert fried electro-shoegaze number with hints of Sun Araw's early primal psyche. "Cracks" dissolves its ethnic funk into pure psychedelia, pulsating synthlines encompassing haunting perc for a truly out-there trip into the Savanna.

Side B sees "Shakes" merge Lune (..or owl? says our resident twitcher KP..) bird calls, eastern guitar lines and a relaxed, Indian-flavoured percussive thrust for a hypnotic, midnight ritual into the black arts and nature's sonics. Finally Fantastic Twins builds her own wall of steady, tectonic sound; expanding "Bones" into a slow moving but epically powerful juggernaut, creeping ever closer to some earth shattering climax.

Evocative, mesmerizing and with a sincere palette of out-there sounds, this is one of the most interesting records to land this week. Check!



Exterior is the artist moniker of Edinburgh producer Doug MacDonald. Exterior represents his transition to electronic music and an embrace of the dancefloor. Doug played hardcore and noise-rock for a long time before eventually abandoning collaboration, nostalgia and formulaic rebellion in favour of synthesis. What he gained on the way was an understanding of the power of live drumming and years of finely honed performance-skills, something of an aberration in dance music.

Exterior thus represents a convergence of disparate personal and musical pleasures. Accordingly Exterior draws on rhythmic mavericks as divergent as Fugazi, Battles & Swans as well as DJ Spoko, Clark & Hieroglyphic Being. In addition, there is a deep undercurrent of melody and texture, drawing on the likes of Burial, Miles Davis & Bjork. Eschewing the modern home computer in favour of an exclusively hardware based approach, Exterior espouses a physical relationship to what is at heart an abstract practice, composing electronic dance music. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that one of the things which really sets Exterior apart is his intoxicating live show. He gets the crowd going every single time he performs, so infectious is his energy, as he throws shapes and struts his stuff behind the gear, clearly 100% in the moment and his element.

The three originals contains here are a perfectly modern amalgamation of choice dance music tropes. There's the full frequency spectrum assault of UK bass, the highly frenetic rhythms of Chicago house, the hoover synths of Belgium techno and the glitch, wobbly and wierdness of the Cornish acid crew (AFX, Ceefax, Sqaurepusher); all ushered through at an ADHD-satisfying urgency and intensity. In short, it's the technicoloured endorphin rush your stadium rave up never knew it wanted; with myriad moods sweeping through the three tracks effortlessly.

On remix duties, the elusive but prolific DALI's "Collapsing Star" remix clocks in at just over 9 minutes, another marathon-length effort and perfectly encapsulating its namesake. Setting the beats to classic electro, everything's pushed hard until it all seems ready to fall rapidly apart (and it very nearly does), before dissolving in a fiery sizzle: a more visceral, dancefloor accompaniment to Exterior's heady affair.

Stratis is an electronic duo from Cologne, Germany, formed by Antonios Stratis and Albert Klein in 1981. They took inspiration from the progressive electronic synthscapes of Tangerine Dream & Vangelis and the proto-techno of Chris & Cosey and Yello, as well as jazz and funk. The duo recorded 5 cassette-only albums between 1982 and 1986 - "Exotic", "New Face", "Musica da Ballo", "Film Musik", and "Raging Beauty" - which were released on their own label Creative Tapes (later called Temporary Music), and which were also licensed to Colin Potter's Integrated Circuit Records (ICR) label. Dark Entries now deliver the first ever standalone vinyl reissue of their sophomore album "New Face', which was recorded and released in 1983. It consists of eight future-fixated tracks that could have been composed for movies like Blade Runner or Tron. A wide range of minimal electronics are presented, from robotic synth pop to melancholic cold wave to Neue Deutsche Welle electro. The masters for this reissue came from a new transfer made by Colin Potter at ICR in May 2018, and each song has been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in jacket designed by Eloise Leigh using motifs of the cassette artwork on a neon red background, and includes an insert with lyrics and photos.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Originally a mid 80s cassette release from Cologne, "New Face" surprisingly isn't a set of snarling NDW, but rather a lost cosmic gem perfectly situated between Klaus Schulze and Chris & Cosey. If you dig on those obscure synth jams on the Loda / Baldelli tapes you'll love this.

Victrola is the duo of Antonio "Eze" Cuscina and Carlo Smeriglio from Messina, Italy. The band formed in 1979 but shortly thereafter relocated to Florence take part in a rich musical scene alongside Neon, Pankow, Alexander Robotnick, and Diaframma. Beginning as a 4-piece (two guitarists, bassist, drummer) they slimmed down to a synthesizer and guitar-based duo by 1982. Their sole release was the now classic "Maritime Tatami"/"A Game Of Despair" EP from 1983, which we reissued in 2012.
'Born From The Water' is a 12 song collection of unreleased demos recorded between 1983 and 1985. The band sent the label over 100 cassettes, through which they dug to compile the first volume of their archival darkwave ballads. They used an array of Roland synthesizers (TR-606, TB-303, TR-909, Juno 6) plus a Korg Polysix, Yamaha DX7, Casio VL-Tone VL-1, DR-55 Dr. Rhythm, and Fender Stratocaster and Jazz Bass. Some of the songs would later appear on various compilations, but the versions presented here are unique. “Victrola” engulfs the listener with trance-inducing synth lines, oblique minor-key bass lines, angular guitar riffs, and melancholic vocals. The songs tell tales of youth, love, karma, and the decline of civilization in modern times. Each song has been carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The records come housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh, which uses motifs from the band's sole release and includes an insert with liner notes and photos.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Dark Entries look past algorithm classic "Maritime Tatami" to give us a gnarly collection of unreleased material from Italian synth-goths Victrola. If you're in search of the sublime I'd suggest hitting the clips for "Tenderface"...


Just taken delivery of some @ArcticMonkeys single reissues. Grab them while you can. https://t.co/6f3fZjqA1ihttps://t.co/TA6jLxhtXh
Wed 23rd - 9:46
MASSIVE @PyeCornerAudio NEWS : Pye Corner Audio 'Hollow Earth' https://t.co/1BaruBQRoI Preorder LIVE! https://t.co/WBDjSu953s
Tue 22nd - 3:09
Back in stock and in the ‘just in’ section on the website. 12” vinyl from @77_78_ and @TheOrielles via… https://t.co/IbSJhbPdh2
Tue 22nd - 11:10
The @sharonvanetten banner looking really good today. Her new album ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ out now via @jagjaguwarhttps://t.co/Jw6ndNfnzP
Tue 22nd - 10:57
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