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Antinote and Dizonord present STUDIOLO - Belfiore, Veneto, 1447. Birth of the first "Studiolo" or cabinet of curiosities, these rooms where "rare, new, and singular things", often exotic, were stored and exhibited. A practice that would spread throughout Europe during the Renaissance.

Northeastern Italy, at the beginning of the 1980s, an entire local scene gathered around a handful of DJs who put their dancefloors in a trance to the sounds of "rare, new, and singular" music, under the strong influence of ethnic and world music. Mixes where German Kosmische clashes with space disco, along with the most experimental side of British new wave, industrial music, creepy funk, deviant rock and pop. All this mixed with Brazilian and Afro music, reggae, ragga, percussions and bhangra... A kind of mixing in total rupture with that of a dying disco for which it is intended as an alternative. A way of playing songs often at the wrong speeds, at 33RPM instead of 45RPM and vice versa, and always the obsession of a slow tempo, between 95 and 110 BPM, while the cruising speed of disco mixes goes up to 125/130 BPM... A haunting rhythm, accelerated or slowed down voices, with experimental and ethnic approaches... the sets by Moz-Art, Ebreo, Roberto Lodola, TBC, Meo, Fabrizio Fattori... are endowed with a baroque, quasi)mystical dimension. Without forgetting the enemy brothers, at the origin of this fusion of styles, Daniele Baldelli, resident of the Cosmic Club in Rimini, who called it Cosmic Style, and Beppe Loda, resident of the Typhoon in Gambara (a small town not far from Belfiore, unsurprisingly) and who referred to his mixing as "Afro Style". "Afro", the name that will be adopted by this scene and especially by its fans, recognizable by their post-hippy style, their Citroën DS or 2CV, with car radios fully powered by mixtape cassettes recorded in the clubs by these DJs, then sold in the parking lot of what was still called "the discotheque" at that time. This "Afro" wave mainly involved 3 regions in Italy (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, and Veneto) and the young Austrians and Germans who would go there on holiday. Among them, Stefan Egger, a young DJ from Innsbruck, received a monumental shock while listening to a set by Daniele Baldelli during his holidays in Rimini. Therefore, he decided to make his Austrian dancefloor resonate to the sound of the Cosmic Style.

While the official history of underground dance music has very quickly and rightly retained the contribution of DJs from Chicago and New York, it was not until the early 2000s that interest in the Afro/Cosmic scene was finally shown. Since then, a lot has been said on this scene, its DJs, their completely crazy and obscure tracklists, while Daniele Baldelli and Beppe Loda are playing Boiler Room sets as well as Europan and Japanese gigs one after the other. But few have shown interest in the moment in time when, at the end of the 80s, these DJs became producers and started creating songs that sounded like their sets, where all their influences would collide, often naively, sometimes with genius, always without filters. Nor to how this scene changed at the beginning of the 90s with a marginal approach to trance and progressive house, when the Italian, Austrian and German DJs of this second Afro period played these trance and progressive records at 33+8, as their elders did with synth wave or post-punk records, always staying within this 100/110 BPM tempo. It is in this last period that this compilation will immerse you, through 8 tracks from the Italian, German and Austrian scenes.

The final chapter in the D.K. trilogy has arrived adorned in a hooded cloak. Sword by his side, the warrior master is rising. This time taking a decidedly darker and determined approach, D.K. is here to fight the final battle - and make it out alive.

The EP opens with the aptly titled "Storm Of Steel". An industrious cold front brimming with metallic clangs and resonant tubes. You can hear lightning strikes in the snares and thunder in the bass. In "Frozen Sword", the tropes synonymous with this trilogy are neatly tied together again as D.K. opts for glass tubes, gated snares and deep rhythmic baselines. This second track is an epic battle song, conjuring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / quasi-Matrix fight scenes.

Racing the clock to crack the code in "Code Breaker", alarm sirens sound off in the background as if D.K.’s plans have been foiled. It’s not until a flute motif at 4:14 that you realise our protagonist, all along, had an ace up his sleeve. The EP’s closing and title track "Rising" is a melancholic/euphoric dance between D.K.’s warrior’s emotions of what was won, but also what was lost.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: In case you haven't noticed yet, D.K. only makes sick records, and this latest EP for Antinote is among his most infectious. Tribal rhythms, razor sharp breaks and voodoo drum machines intersect with metallic leads, synth flute and 16-bit symphonies, totally nailing that cyber-druid videogame vibe. Flawless victory!

In an era of increased nationalism and xenophobic bullshit, Antinote reach out to make their first French-Russian connection. Olga is from Moscow. She introduced herself to the label after Dominique Dumont's show in Paris, winter 2018. Zaltan et al immediately fell in love with the song 'Mojno' and step by step built up a nice collection of tracks which became the "1905" LP! Very active in the electronic music scene, she’s spent the last ten years releasing music, performing, recording & DJing as well as being busy with her tech-project Playtronica (with them she's created 3 controllers with which you can play scales on people, objects and colors). Across the "1905" LP she utilises some DIY devices such as Yamaha sampler vss-33, voice glitcher from the Russian company “Naked Boards” and organelle synth that creates this synesthetic tone in “ready when you are”. Besides dreamy pads and dancy beats Olga is ironically singing on Russian about her daily routine, in a positive way. There's no sadness and melancholy in the dark snowy days, where even the full moon or retrograde-mercury don’t even bother you ...if you are in harmony with mother nature's 5 elements.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Contemporary cold wave, icy electro-pop and melodic minimal wave from Russia's Omma here, who works her magic in the same vein as Carla Del Forno, Epsilove and fellow Antinote fam Domenique Dumont.

D.K.

Distant Images

    Fresh off the back of an exceptional collaboration with Suzanne Kraft for Melody As Truth, the mighty D.K. returns to his usual Antinote haunt for a sublime LP of serialist textures, esoteric electronics and exotic ambience. His fourth release on the label, "Distant Images" sees Dang Khoa Chau heading deeper into his own sonic world, refining his palate, defining his palette as a unique blend of new age pads, fourth world influences and minimalist arrangements. Despite these heady influences and fractal obsessions, "Distant Images" is also D.K.'s most organic album to date - the most attentive ears will hear seagulls on the title track while rain falls softly on "Leaving" - and slightly departed from the digital universes that his
    previous records seemed to set in motion. From the most abstract songs, like the Reich-ian "Shaker Loops", to the most evocative ones, the five compositions on Distant Images are like stained glass, gently filtering natural light. It is therefore no coincidence if, of all the senses, the titles of the songs mostly refer to sight: close your eyes while listening to the cinematographic "Days Of Steam" and visions of an industrious city might appear before you. Put this on your player and let your mind be free, there's beauty in the world after all.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Simply put, this is breathtaking. Not only is it D.K.'s finest release, but also an arguable highlight of the whole Antinote catalogue. 'Distant Images' sees the Paris based producer combine minimalism, new age and 80s jazz into a kaleidoscopic slow listening masterpiece.

    Various Artists

    Five Years Of Loving Notes

      Over five years of vinyl endeavours, Antinote have gone from strength to strength, rising from the underground to become the first port of call for the forward thinking DJ. Menthol fresh, ever-interesting and way ahead of the curve, Antinote releases come and go quickly on the good ship Piccadilly, swiftly finding their ways into the most discerning record bags before soaring in price on Discogs. Comprised of 14 sketches - each reflecting one of the many shades of the label’s catalogue - "Five years of Loving Notes" places new names alongside those who've been involved with the label since it’s very beginning, like Geena or Iueke - responsible for the first 12” released on Antinote. Musically, the collection covers the broadest spectrum of mood and atmosphere, skulking from the dark and raw excursions of Tolouse Low Trax or Iueke to the lush instrumentals crafted by Nico Motte and Syracuse’s Antoine Kogut; Though disparate and diverse, the set seems to breathe as one; contrasting cuts all pointing in the same direction, seeking out the emotional response in all of us without relying on the trite cliches you might find elsewhere. Prepare to take a sensory trip, hurtling from the opening Latvian arabesques from Domenique Dumont to the Pink-Floyd-ian ending from Alek Lee, via Leonardo Martelli’s smoggy electro and Raphael Top Secret’s ominous talk-over. Long live Antinote.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

      One of the many musical entities the French collective Simple Music Experience sent to earth to vociferate electronic incantations, Radiante Pourpre is the name of a duo comprised of Alex and Leopold as well as the name of their 2017 debut album on Antinote. Last year, they have released an acclaimed LP on Kneklehuis under another moniker, Violent Quand On Aime, but the place from which they keep on transmitting musical signals has not changed: a post-exotic world ("No Zone") where the only remains of the societies we live in are barbwires, battered radio transmitters ("Takato") and deserted oil rigs the duo uses as fictional shelters.

      From their precarious haven, they send us field recordings of waves mixed with analog glitters ("Interlude"). From their lost at sea run down tower, they record the cries of ominous seagulls ("Small Talk") and a bewitching Spanish voice ("Mala 800"), incorporating these to primitive drum machine patterns… And then…

      A miracle happens when the record is flipped: a Balearic hit for post-apocalyptic times ("Lemanja")! Begining exactly like the opening track ("The Cops, The Jazz, The Birds"), in an unexpected twist of fate, it summons the angelic voice of Galadriel Andrade for a delicate Brazilian conjuration. There might even be a sunny spell lurking in the spirited closing tune ("Ms Butterfly"): “No Borders, No Cops, No Problems”.

      Nathan Melja

      Karibuni Music

      Antinote's assault on clubland continues this week as the Parisian label follow D.K.'s dreamy retro-inspired 12" with a rugged and rocking EP of contemporary club sounds from Nathan Melja. "Karibuni Music" is the Parisian producer's debut for his local boutique label, and on the strength of these three system smashers, it's going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
      Clattering percussion, restless sub bass and expansive pads rule the roost on opener "Deadrums", a UK-influenced hybrid of house, techno and bass music that could easily slot into a Hessle set. Warp-style bleeps, R&S ecstacy and a Bristolian bottom end, all twisted into an ever changing arrangement? Sounds mega. "Angels" offers a breather for any tiring warehouse crowd, soothing soles with warm bass and a subtle electro rhythm while the predictably celestial synth washes cleanse your synapses from above. Finally "Candy" powers along in ruffneck mode, all electro snap, boisterous bass and gangsta samples duking it out until the radio friendly synth motif prompts clubwide gun fingers. NTS vibes right here.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Antinote continue bringing the dancefloor voodoo, following up that hot DK release with this three tracker from Nathan Melja. Fractured electro, extreme bass weight and warehouse clatter on a UK influenced club 12".

      4 tracks, 2 bangers: D.K. starts a new season in the Antinote league with a 12” 100% dedicated to the dancefloor. There’s a perfume of jungle (not the genre, the one from Donkey Kong Country, in case someone has still not made the connection between Nintendo’s #1 gorilla and the French producer) emanating from the whole record. The Parisian producer has also been taking a peep on some early 1990’s rave records (but who isn’t at the moment?), as demonstrated by the two first songs, "Mystic Warrior" and perhaps even more flagrantly "Elements" – with its emotional pads and sad mock Jon Hassel-like trumpets.

      "Worries In The Dance", and "Earth People" are more of a warm up business – so to speak, in the language of the club. D.K. takes a step back, BPM-wise, only to allow a deeper exploration of the surroundings – namely shamans with bamboo flutes circling around you, monks meditating under a cascade, others ringing a prayer bell – that have more to do with Age Of Empire or any 1990’s adventure game set in a fantasized Asia than anything that actually exists IRL (probably a distinctive signature of the French producer). Anyway, there’s a Bruce Lee sticker on the sleeve that says it all, in a much more concise way.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Parisian hero D.K. makes his first appearance of 2k19 with a DJ friendly 12" for the mighty Antinote. Inspired equally by shimmering 80s synthtones and '92 rave idents, "Mystic Warrior" and "Elements" are tie-dyed club killers feat major faux-pan pipe, while B-side offerings "Warriors In The Dance" and "Earth People" twist the same ingredients for the warm up. Highly recommended!

      In 1978, Brian Eno started what would become his seminal Ambient series with Music for Airports. If he was to add a fifth volume to the series in 2018, he would probably call it “Music for Social Medias”, wouldn’t he? Not 100% sure that this is about to happen, Antinote take the lead and invite Oz’s River Yarra to give his own take on Music for Social Medias (and the result doesn’t sound at all like ambient music).
      At least, we might accurately call it “music from social medias”, as it sometimes feel it’s been generated by a possessed creative algorithm. Starting with the opening track, Aorsom Wislhs (whose name must have been given by a deficient Messenger chat bot), one might feel disoriented by the extremely weird and wonky lead melody. The melody of Sli Ggogg (sic) – the slow jam opening the flip side – is equally uneven; add to this the unsettling (slightly) human-sounding voice and you’re in for a trip to the Uncanny Valley.
      But there’s a sense of non-human randomness infusing all of these four songs. Take the intensely mesmerizing "Respiration Alternée" with Elen Huynh, for example: there’s a high probability that its lyrics come from some random meditation tutorial found on YouTube, translated into French by an anxious Google Translate bot, eager to bring some (cheap?) spirituality to IRL dancefloors.
      With this debut EP, the Ozzie producer succeeds in rounding up disparate & dubious elements together in a serious way without departing from a non-serious attitude - the record even rounds off with a very “put your hands in the air” moment with Space Gekko’s ravey sirens. “Music to party on the River Yarra to” (just Google it).

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: High concept, mid-fi and well current, the latest Antinote EP sees Australian house misfit River Yarra take a bendy and blurred journey into unconventional house music, naive drum machines and jacking new age which should sit nicely next to your Andras Fox and Len Leise tackle.

      Leonardo Martelli

      Menti Singole Vol.2

      Two years after Leonardo Martelli made his debut with the retro-futurist four tracker 'Menti Signole', he returns to Antinote with Volume 2, an update of that initial electronic vision. Sparse, clear-cut and slightly nerve-racking, "Micaella" opens the record with the precision of a neurosurgeon. The song can be seen in many ways as a good introduction to the music of the Italian musician – past and probably future. Ethereal string machines balance the nagging acid leitmotiv, dancing cheek to cheek above a restless drum pattern. "Alice" is another triumph of opposition, pairing joyous melodies and exuberant electo rhythms over a melancholic vocal sample and bittersweet pads. On "Laura" - just like with "Alice" - Martelli keeps on playing with the potential of abstraction of rap samples, lending the glassy melodies and snapping beat a freestyle feel. "Sofia" gives a particularly striking example of this weird game he likes to play with language as Biggie Smalls’ words get progressively eviscerated from their meaning. Backed by bare percussive samples (a numerical metronome, copyright-free digital ersatz of percussions, strange string pluck) "Sofia" depicts despair in a post-industrial world, where everything has lost any sense of materiality. Disarmingly simple, Menti Singole Vol.2 offers electronic mourning music at its most elegant.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Antinote continue to push the boundaries of the current electronic scene with another genre blurring release from Leonardo Martelli. Avant garde instrumentation, abstract composition and a decidedly melancholic tone twist the electro, techno and freestyle in strange new directions.

      To begin the new year, Antinote summoned Panoptique and JC Satan’s Paula to release a badass two-tracker, paying a pared-down tribute to the most overlooked period in recent musical history; the accursed electroclash-era. Now, while I'm known around Piccadilly for my rarified tastes, Balearic leanings and mild allergy to beats, I was in a past life a true club kid. Daubed in eyeliner, skinny jeans and gaffer taped converse I hit the dingier nightspots Manchester had to offer, dropping all out bangers and ironic rave cuts from the Gigolo stable and Tok Tok vs Soffy O. So, secretly, while no one's looking, I'm quietly buzzing about Antinote's detour into the much maligned world of electroclash, coming as it is from a record and a band called Succhiamo (first person plural of “to suck” in Italian). The title-track straightforwardly announces what the main elements of Succhiamo’s music are: over-saturated, over-simplified drum patterns and EBM-infused synth-lines backing overtly sexual vocals in Italian. What's not to love? On the flip side, Succhiamo deals with the same formula in more depth, engaging this time in detailing a meaningless list of products available in the “supermercato”. The song conveys a nihilist - but fun - attitude, and it just sounds as if the band got lit and crashed a car in Deansgat.  As a kind of inheritor to "Ich Bin", Succhiamo bring some stupidity to the club, flipping the beardier producers the bird like some irreverent Franco-Italian Beavis & Butthead.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Antinote make a bold play to resurrect electroclash with their latest release, inviting everyone to dress in monochrome, break out the skinny ties and safety pin their clothes all over again. Raw, raucous and vital stuff, this is the dadaist shot in the arm the over serious dancefloor needs. It couldn't really make a come back, could it?

      Geena's Peace Love Earth

      Mental DJ's Land Vol. 2

        The world has changed since Geena last took a weedy excursion on Antinote, but now the Parisian producer is back, inviting one and all to break down the walls and dive into an Olympic size swimming pool full of MDMA. When you're deep in the backlash of all those pills you light-heartedly ate during the previous night, "Peace, Love & Earth: Mental DJ’s Land Vol. 2" might be your best ally to deal smoothly with those never ending morning afterparties of yours: a perfect mix of tribal anthems for happy ravers and a bunch of reassuring, Balearically-named, New Age tunes. Even Geena’s most banging compositions seem to be lurking on the quilted side of house music on "Peace, Love & Earth". "Keep", the most “Metroplexian” moment of the 12”, draws away from the dryness of some of its illustrious Detroit-born predecessors by integrating some liquid elements to its raw structure, while the synthetic choirs of "KG Voice" and tribal rhythms of "Blue Transfer" dip a straw into a big glass of Sizzurp. Behind the overtly suggestive names “La Isla” and “Natural High” lay some quality ambient interludes, taking us back to those halcyon days when ambient records had the word “Ambient” in their titles (both tracks are heavily reminiscent of Aphex’s Ambient Works or the Worms Armagedon’s OST). "Peace, Love & Earth: Mental DJ’s Vol. 2" is as good as the amazing artwork by checkmorris suggests: healing music for quirky party people.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Buy-on-sight Parisian boutique Antinote end 2016 on a Rick James level high here with a superb sensory boost from Geena. Soft focus house music meets come down ambience in that typically atypical Antinote style.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        12" Info: One copy available


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