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APRON RECORDS

Six new tracks from acclaimed artist Steven Julian aka Funkineven and released via his cult label Apron. Over a short period of time this bold producer has formulated his own brand of experimental electronics: jagged club cuts, futuristic (slightly dystopian) soundscapes that resonate with urban dwelled, and a frazzled and saturated aesthetic that breaks convention and has opened up our ears to a tougher style of dancefloor based music.

Recorded in Apron Studios based in east London, each track on "Bloodline" also features a TR808 as a dedication to the iconic Japanese engineer Ikutaro Kakehashi, who passed away April 2017. At once cerebral and rhythmic, the tracks work independently on the body and mind, with ferocious drum workouts juxtaposed by introverted and abstract synth work; locking the body into a primal trance whilst allowing the mind to wander through the stars. There's no-one out there in that quite sounds like this producer, and his unwavering, none conformist sound has won him fans from all over the underground. I'm sure we'll continue to keep hearing advanced music from this cat well into the next decade. 


Producer, DJ and visual artist, Dreams, has become a standout voice in the Los Angeles electronic landscape. The following he’s amassed locally is due, in part, to his own imprint, Private Selection, who’s focus so far has been split between releasing music and throwing events. An ethos that runs through both the his music and parties is indebted in part to house and techno, but also industrial, resulting in a mutated take on dance life forms that is becoming increasingly recognizable in his own records and DJ sets. Dreams’ first 12’, 'Twisted Karma’, came out in 2015 via Private Selection. Most recently, he released a record which saw light through Greek Imprint Nous Disques, and now, Apron Records. Dusted, shadow-cast vibrations from deep within the rave cave. Acid-flecked and snarling with attitude. It's another essential and completely unique entry in to the Apron records catalogue and comes fully endorsed by us here at Picc HQ. 

Simbad (aka SMBD) is a stalwart of the underground music scene in the UK; this multifaceted producer can turn his hand to a number of sounds and styles. Since his 2007 album "Supersonic Revelation" and his acclaimed dancefloor hit "Soul Fever", the London based Frenchy has been constantly travelling the five continents entertaining delighted clubbers with his super energetic DJ skills or producing and recording various artists from many different genres including deeper dubstep don Mala (DMZ), UK Hip Hop star Roots Manuva, Cuban songstress Dayme Arocena, Detroit House producer Kai Alce, Berlin based deep Techno artist Fred P, Seun Kuti from Afrobeat's most famous family, Brazilian superstar artist/actor Seu Jorge and being production mentor for the king of cool, radio DJ Gilles Peterson (who made him one of the resident at his Worldwide Festivals). With the "Moon Theory" EP Simbad demonstrates his talent on some deep analog frequencies for the very solid & ever growing label that is Apron Records. As the music wizard puts it himself : ‘I'm just trying to make some timeless shhhhh man, soul in all forms really, trying anyway! And I guess that the best is yet to come.' Recommended.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Apron continues to remain completely crucial through 2017. Funkinevin's uncompromising label constantly offering up gritty, real life alternatives to the gloss'n'polish fakery of this world.

The fallen angel. The rebellious soul expelled from the pearly gates and forced to live in hell among mere mortals for eternity. Here they endeavour to condition and corrupt everything around them; a bold middle finger aimed in the direction of its former home in the promised land. Now imagine a soundtrack to this tragic tale. FunkinEven. also known as Steven Julien, has made just that with his debut album "Fallen". Split into two contrasting chapters, "Fallen" follows the trail of our main character. The first six songs introduce us to utopia; a collection which is matched by the light and airy tones of this initial set. The twist comes right down the middle, where we descend into the project's darker, hellish bogs. Both episodes intertwine seamlessly, and all composed, written and produced by Steven himself. Julien wrote everything you hear on the record, sometimes using session musicians to play parts, including three appearances from Hercules on bass. Within the dozen tracks, he jumps between everything from jazz fusion to techno. It's easily his best work to date.

Steven Julien first surfaced in 2009 with a refreshing sound unlike many of his contemporaries. While his peers flirted with R&B, abstract grime and whatever else, Julien forged his own path; one which partnered an organic, analogue sensibility with the sounds of electro, '80s funk, and acid. Initially affiliated with the Eglo camp, he eventually formed his own label, Apron Records, which has become a reliable outlet in its own right; not only for his own workings, but also as a home base for talents like Seven Davis Jr and Greg Beato. He's also proven to be an avid collaborator over the years, having worked with Fatima, Delroy Edwards, and, most notably, Kyle Hall, with whom he creates the unapologetically raw sounds of FunkinEvil. 


Shamos was born in Dublin and raised in Leyton, East London. Funkineven came across his music via his regular show on NTS radio and promptly ushered him into the hallowed ranks of Apron. "Training Day" kicks things off in sufficiently dark form, abrasive snare hits rattling through a menacing soundbed of icy synths and warbling sub tones. It's Apron through and through - evil, gritty music for clubs with low ceilings and over active smoke machines. "Westdown Road" heads further into the Apron prototype, it's 'dry' treated drum machines working well past their saturation point as squelchy bass farts as other obtrusive sonic artifacts converge on the track. Mad, frenzied hardware abuse for the freaks. "Ode To Lynch" opens the B-side with phazed pads pushed well into the red and mechanical drums chugging on unceremoniously. What began as phazed pads actually transpires to be chopped and mangled jazz hooks, which as the track evolves, allow their loop points to be dropped and more of the hook to filter through the fug and haze. Mind-altering stuff that should send dancefloors careering into uncontrollable hedonistic revelry. Finally, "Cranbourne Road" concludes with a nasty ass acid banger, rawkus drums clattering away as a straight up badass 303-line provides all the bass and melody one could hope for. Wonderful stuff from this now iconic label. Move quick! 

Greg Beato

Apron EP

    Proper banger from Greg Beato on Apron. "Respect The 78" deploys those bit-crushed, saturated drums that the new school of techno seem to willing to embrace. A consistent sonar bleep rattles through the track as well while hi-hat fizz right off the tape and the odd cowbell makes an appearance too! Jump further into the track and we're treated to corrosive synth riffs cascading through the mix, dissolving quickly onto the fried tape or being mangles into oblivion through Beato's scorching outboard. Moving through a strange series of fried percussion passages, you'll need some cooling agent for your stylus after this jam burns out. "Let Em Know" takes the momentum and swing from New Jersey house and hypes it up even further, adding an attack of off-beat kicks and snares that gets the whole thing almost taking off with energy. You'll really have to tear them off the ceiling after this thing drops. Finally "3" is a crazed LFO assault, a wobbling sine tone careering through its course while saturated hats and a fat kick provide a steady groove. Proper acidic chaos, great stuff. Apron records seem to sell out super quick so get your orders in ASAP.


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