His “LEL” EP on Incienso is a diverse affair containing many moods and styles - All recorded live in single takes. From the Devo meets deep disco shuffle of “Plasticine”, to “Left”, a song from an alternate universe where John Carpenter movies were scored by Bunker Records - and the sweeping ambient passages that bookend them, “Lumipoly” and “12 AM Monday” - the real question is where does the EP start and end? You decide. Raw emotion for raw people, everywhere!
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Really, REALLY feeling this one folks. That "Plasticine" track is fire, no matter what musical fodder you like to pack your box with. While "Left" provides the new generation of electro-goths with a micro-anthem to paint on the black eyeliner come Saturday night...
Prolific as a percussionist and producer, Curt Cress came to fame during the 70s, lending his rhythms to a who's who of German prog groups, jazz rockers, fusionists and popstars, before finally stepping out on his own with the "Avanti" LP in 1983. Inspired by his time with the fusion groups, the burgeoning NDW scene and cutting edge synths, Cress swept through backbeats, breakbeats, syncopation and solos, providing melodic intricacy via tumbling mallets and otherworldly electronics. The three tracks which make up the B-side on this retrospective 12" all appear on the second side of "Avanti", and give an instant impression of the impact, accomplishment and ambiance of the LP. "Sundance" sprints through syncopated hits, tumbling talking drums, ace electronic passages and a hypnotic mallet refrain made for dancing feet. Taking a tougher approach, "Power Vein" thumps out the toms, rock snares and white noise hats in true mechanical funk fashion before "Flying HIgh" offers us dreamy Asiatic melodies, bouncing Linn idents and an intricate, ever changing web of pure percussive joy - a true dancers' delight.
From a DJ's point of view, all this was just foreplay ahead of Curt's '92 12" "Dschung Tek", pulled from a point in his career when the veteran drummer was experimenting with techno and tribal house, with the confidence to have a little fun. Played with passion by Ruf Dug, Talking Drums, Basso and Bufiman over the past half decade, "Dschung Tek" takes us on a trip through the undergrowth, pairing warped synthetic metal hits, a pounding beat and all sorts of tropical tropes (birdsong, cicadas, crickets) with a gurgling sequence a bit like an army of ants chomping their way through a DX7. Add in an elephant trumpet, ace pads and a break with a fly swatter and you're having the time of your life.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: My favourite and most played dance record ever, and the essential Talking Drums track! Play "Dschung Tek" loud enough and you'll actual land in Jumanji! If that weren't enough to have you buzzing harder than an irate mosquito, the flip pulls three of the best tracks off Curt's excellent "Avanti EP" and gives them a fresh pressing for club use. Top!
Words Can't Explain (feat. Oscar Jerome)
The collection begins with the original mix, lowering you into slick jazz guitar licks and echoing vocals, before Hidden Spheres provides a tight groove to lock around the melodies in fine form. The hybrid creation of jazz meets house binds perfectly as warm keys hang effortlessly in the air and popping guitar lines carry you onwards, supporting the sublime vocal from Oscar.
The dub version opens up room for the guitar licks and synth top lines to take centre stage, a real opportunity to marvel at the arrangement here.
On the flip is Yu Su's rework who ups the tempo and dims the lights for a punchier rework.. The half way point welcomes a percussive led break before the hats return and pick up the groove once again, closing the 'Words Can't Explain' EP in style.
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Our man's on a roll; ahead of a forthcoming US tour the Rhythm Section and Distant Hawaii prodigy drops a killer single for tastemaking label Church.
On ice for two decade these classic electro tracks reference the early UK breakbeat of the 90’s as well as the obvious sci-fi connection. To that effect we kick off with "Teflon" and "Plasma", followed by the funky "In The Galaxy" which adds a touch of Herbie Hancock. On the flip side "Ultra Light" evolves to an all-encompassing, atmospheric trip, before the deep "Barwork" and finally "Open".
What a package, fellas. Buy now or regret later - no repress!
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: This is a breakbeat and electro feast. A nostalgia ridden journey that will keep you on your toes. Not too hardcore. Highly palatable and dancefloor friendly.
Lungile Masitha was the short-lived studio name for renowned SA artist Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala, who played with such iconic bands as Harari and Umoja. However, in the mid 80’s his name was under license to one of the major labels and in an effort for self-expression recorded under the name ‘Lungile Masitha’, here he linked up with long term friend Jimmy Mngwandi to co-write and arrange the two tracks ‘Vuyani’ & ‘Makoti’, both sung in his native Tsongan tongue. "Vuyani" is an upbeat tune that matches Chicco’s unique vocal style with percolating drums and distorted choruses to incredible effect, while "Makoti" is a mellower blend of floating keys and choruses sung by local kids in an effort to expose “emerging talent”.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: After seriously smashing it with the New Age dance of Jean Pierre Boistel's esoteric percussion music, Left Ear turn their attention to SA, and the bubblegum magic of Sello Twala. Adopting the Lungile Masitha alias for this 1985 release, Sello served up the kind of rugged drum machine bump, keyboard funk and boogie bass he mastered alongside Harari and Umoja. South African proto-house with the mouthwatering sweetness of the impending bubble gum era - ace!
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: Variety is the spice of life! From bangers to chillers, these four tracks will take you from bath to bar, club to car, car to sofa or maybe even bed!
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Not only do we get two lo-fi acid jackers from Aquarius TX on the A-side (sound design by walkman @ chewed tape studios), we also get an EPIC rework from Normal 4 on the flip, brimming in breakbeats, acid basslines and trance pads. This is the sound of 2019 folks!
"Error Does Not Compute" is a rough but clever electro-techno hybrid; with skeletal but well programmed drums ricocheting against trickski LFO / quantize patterns that'll tighten the trouser of the more avid tech-heads. "Strike (On A String)" has elements of grime, funky and kwaito - big synth-brass stabs, rampant digital hand claps and a "Township Funk"-era synthline all displaying its three disparate ingredients. Finally "Modern Action" sees funky meet Detroit as rippling synth patterns ride a bouncy UKF riddim. Top stuff here, well fresh!
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Urgent and cutting edge but still purpose built for the dance. Fierce stuff here from DJ Kotote & TSC.
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: Brutally good and original house music from the golden era. DJ Nature selection is hot, original and with plenty of soul. A future classic that brings you a blast from the past.
The first release encaptures a moment when all three label founders started to utilise dub techniques in their club sound. Private Press explore an ethereal side of techno, which is in contrast to the duoís previous releases. A1 and A3 are essentially beatless and meditative, while B2 plunges into reggae sounds with a pulsating kick drum, strong bassline and plucking synthesizers emerging from an echo chamber. Earth Trax expresses a darker sound, all with biting stabs, deep sub and frenzied pads on A2. As we flip to B1 (when heís teaming up with Newborn Jr. again) the release develops an ambient house feel (as featured on a couple of previous records) with a slightly more experimental approach.
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: Clean and spacey sounds emerging from the new breed of Polish techno producers - the Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, Maurizio and Moritz Von Oswald inspiration is difficult to hide but that's never a bad thing when done this well!
Steven Horne's back catalog of unsigned demos runs deep and ranges wide in style and tempos and after remixing his 'Villager' track Luca Lozano quickly signed up to sign on a collection of tracks. The "Counter Counter Offer" EP collates music produced in-between the years 1994 and 2018 and offers them up as an introduction into the world of the The Horn and his music making process. Melodic and simplistic in style, Horne's music ranges from trippy and playful to deep and ethereal, employing his orchestra of various studio hardware pieces, all working in perfect unison.
Opener "Hermit House" swings with an irrepressible NJ NRG, though the synth brass and steamy pads hark back to the mid-80s magic of Pet Shop Boys - infectious and accessible house music with a fine retro twist. "Trinity" takes crunchy drum samples, tracky Detroit bass then buries them under the minimalist sparkle of concentric keys. The sci-fi stylings continue via the atmospheric and uplifting electronics of "Jagg", a synthetic serenade so sweet those Showroom Dummies would be proud. Steven brings the beat back round for "Schmaltz" turning out a trippy technoid snarler which sounds a little like your tape deck has gone rabid. "M1LF" closes the set in emotive fashion, a sad acid lament for heartbroken robots all you online daters.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Klasse Wrecks give us a great introduction to The Horn here, bringing together unreleased material from the last 25 years. All styles and flavours get a warm welcome, from swinging house, through trippy techno to abstract electronica - highly recommended!
If what you are after is a 90s house throwback, here you have it with a stunning beat on the Luke Live mix on the A Side - memories of Masters at Work do come to mind. It must be the 'almost' live drumming what give this release a great 'organic' sound. Bugz in the Attic are involved so you know the origins.
On B Side, much of the original live mix is present, but the vocal sample is employed less. Instead, esoteric melodies and an emphasis on the 'live' drumming is applied.
A trip down memory lane for me, but for others probably a very refreshing deep house sound ready to be discovered and enjoyed!
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: The quality is present on everything Bugz in the Attic has touched on. This one is no exception. Loving the slightly more chilled 'Next Day Arrangement' with its organic drumming.
If you like your house deep, emotional and with a certain tribal edge, then you'll be in for a treat here: think NDATL, Robert Owens, Kai Alce and half Jamal's past signing that he's knowingly groomed and nutured, creating a roster of artists he can truly call his own.
"All That We See Or Seem" grabs us by the hands and takes us on a star-lit tour of Chicago house history, from the jacking, mechanized drum beats, to the string-soaked emotive epics and back through late night, speaker friendly almost-techno, it's an inventive and captivated listen from the off.
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Ridiculously strong Mathematics' release that turns up at the club way past midnight. Emotional, fractured and with deep rooted tribalism; this is the edgy shit to keep you hooked till morning.
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: Gentle and smooth melodic techno / house on A side and a more punchy with tribal flairs on the flipside. Dancefloor ammunition for those who know.
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