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BLACK FOCUS

Ratgrave

Rock

    Max Graef and Julius Conrad are Ratgrave. ‘Rock’ is their second album - ongoing transmissions of Electronic P- Fusion from Earth. It follows a stellar debut on Funkineven’s imprint Apron. The duo’s sound palette draws inspiration from 80s funk, soul, rock and electronic but through a contemporary lens from two versatile multiinstrumentalists.

    In their own words: “Rock is the essence of energy and vibration we felt in different styles of music, almost like a parallel component connecting all things we like. In the process of recording the new album we kept coming back to this essence no matter what style the original idea was. There was the raw and brutal energy of Jazz-Rock, a lot of video game influences that somehow adhered this essence just as well as quieter Pop and Psychedelic passages that we recorded. Among other things we absorbed a lot of heavy music during the time of the recording like Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa or Jimi Hendrix and realized while writing our own music how much impact they had even on quieter songs. This is why ‘Rock’ felt like the perfect title although the music ranges from P-Funk and Spiritual Jazz to various styles of Pop and beyond.” 

    Max Graef has previously collaborated with Glenn Astro on records for Ninja Tune and both artists have previously released on Tartelet.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: The perfect combo of funk/jazz/pop/electronic/balearic to transport you back to the 80s. These tracks would make legendary TV intros/title sequences, an ace mixture of all those genres and it works so well. Get your funk on!!

    TRACK LISTING

    Escobar
    Theme From Metronome
    World Aid
    Instant Toothpaste
    Eternal Breeze
    Yurok
    4 Benz
    Dibidai
    Rock
    Bleeding To Death
    Sturf
    Alright
    Mutti Hat Gekocht

    The third album on Black Focus continues the South London tradition but this time in the form of one of the originators: a triple OG, Steve Spacek. Spacek recently released a solo record through Alexander Nut’s imprint Eglo, dBridge’s Exit Records as Blackpocket, following on from his work with Ninja Tune under the Beat Spacek moniker and collaboration with Mark Pritchard as Africa HiTech on Warp. He’s also made formative work with legendary artists J Dilla, Raphael Saddiq, Q Tip and Common and made early drum & bass tunes with his brother dBridge. It’s an incredible career resume and an honour to be releasing this new work.

    ‘Houses’ sees Spacek return to his Detroit influences, with house music at the heart of this record as its foundation but as with all Spacek’s releases, it transcends genre and focuses more on swing, melody and feeling. There are elements of soul, jazz and R&B interlaced within the DNA of his electronic music, alongside his signature falsetto vocals. The entire project was produced using iPhone and iPad apps, an approach Steve champions and feels liberated by using technology to join the past with the present.

    Describing the project his own words: “It’s been well overdue for me to be releasing some 4/4 House vibes! This music has been a big part of my musical journey from dot. Mainly from two angles. The first is, of course, the early rave scene in London and the UK in general, with all its early iterations. Techno from the D, acid, (happy) hardcore, what we use to call dub house (pre jungle), coming into Garage and Balearic to name a few. The other angle is the music production angle: I’ve always used the basic 4/4 template as a means of being able to learn a new piece of recording equipment. Whenever I get any new beat making hardware or software, I’d always make a house beat. I find it the easiest music to make and have always joked about how I can knock up a house beat in 10 minutes! Well now I have an LP’s worth to share! Taken a tad longer than 10min but hey ;) Enjoy.”

    TRACK LISTING

    Rawl Aredo
    Waiting 4 You
    Where We Go
    Tell Me
    African Dream
    Songlife
    Higher Place
    Single Stream
    Love 4 Nano
    Bright Eyes Rev *
    Yu Used To Love *
    Me *
    Who Cares *
    Child Insperation *

    * = CD Bonus Track


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