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Palms Trax

To Paradise

Over the past few years, Palms Trax has cemented his place on the Dekmantel roster and become one of the family. His upbeat attitude and knack for selection have made Jay Donaldson one of the scene’s most in-demand and warmly regarded selectors. Combining rare, globally-sourced finds with exuberant house anthems, his annual sets at Dekmantel Festival have showed a nearly unmatched capacity for filling floors and creating grooves. Now, the UK producer puts his talents to work on To Paradise, tapping classic Italo, wave and Balearic house for an EP that has summertime written all over it.

Title track "To Paradise" kicks things off with an infectious, melodic chorus that spirals into a pulsing rhythm. It’s full of those 'hand-in-the-air' type moments, and topped with blissful vibes. "Love In Space" follows with a throbbing bassline melded with rich atmospheres. It’s more Adriatic than Balearic, careening with an anthemic affection and destined for festival season. "Heron" veers away from the Italo vibes and standard structures that hold regular dance tracks together. A departure into more experimental electronics, the dynamics are controlled through rhythms and the synthesised melodies create forlorn narratives across machine-driven sequences. It's a dynamic finish to this considered and perfectly timed trio of offerings.

It's a Piccadilly debut for Dutch production Lamellen here, who join the ever swelling ranks of the Dekmantel family with a five tracker of atmospheric, emotive and groovy Balearic house. Keeping true to the original island ideal, the duo barely break a sweat over 100bpm, keeping it easy and breezy as they provide the perfect soundtrack for sundowners the globe over. 
A tranquil and trippy opener, "Horse Massage" calls to mind the cosmic explorations of Farbror Resande Mac, all space port idents, sparkling sequences and slow moving bass tones. "Spider" ups the tempo to a comparitive sprint (though still in reality glacial), injecting a little 80s Italo funk into the bassline, toughening the percussion up a bit and adding some glassy mallet tones for a nu disco-tinged heater. "Oyster" takes the intensity back down, savouring the same nebulous vibrations as the opener, but with a fresh Oceanic twist - think A Vision Of Panorama and you won't be too far away. 
So far so 4/4, and the duo throw us a curious curveball with the skipping rhythm, tropical bubble and chiming chords of proggy pearl "Railrunner". We're back in the deep to close as the duo deliver "Pippo Denemarken" a downbeat shuffler decorated with insistent organ tones and bright and glassy synths. Luscious stuff from the Dekmantal debutants.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: The eagle eared selectors at Dekmantel introduce us to more fresh talent, namely Dutch duo Lamellen, who drop the tempo and up the groove for a quintet of synth heavy Balearic jams. Cocktail killers folks.

Trans-Atlantic techno from one of the early firms! The first EVER retrospective from this ridiculous Dutch label. Responsible for releasing some very archetypal underground dance music throughout the 90s, Djax-Up-Beats had a very definitive sound - blending esoteric, ambient sounds, with staunchly fierce and energetic electronic rhythms. It defined the beginning of an era that never went away - with the label being prolific right through the golden years of house, techno and warehouse music.

An eight track tour through some early highlights here then; from Ismistik's rattley punisher "Flow Charts" to a very early appearance from Felix Da Housecat. There's dreamy and sublime moments too, provided via Hexagone's "Float Baby" and that patented Chi-town wiggle n bump on Glenn Underground's "101 Dolmation". A solid and imperative addition to any dance music collection and surely an essential for any of the younger lot looking to inject some bad-ass filth into their DJ sets. Massive!


Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP.

An immediate follow up to their debut LP "Center Parcs", the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. More replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro.

With Palmbomen II aka Kai Hugo, based out and working in Los Angeles, collaborations with Dutch-based partner Betonkust happen less frequently than they should - especially when you acknowledge that they do not use, or record to computers. When they do happen though, their distinctive sonic palette of saturated distortion and warm melodic waves shine through. This time recorded in a bungle somewhere in the Dutch countryside, the two producers have created a concept record about Bart, a local hero and his imagined life in a parallel universe. In this reality, instead of making it in TV, Bart is a successful music producer, the track titles detailing his journey through this new and imagined life. "Bart Is Alone Again" kicks off the record with its wistful melodies, and harmonic leads, before "Underground Dance Floor" kicks in with its predominate bassline, and squelching deep-rooted, undercurrents of hardcore. Along Bart’s odyssey there are moments for "Bart's Jam", an early days Warp Records / Detroit belter; "Rejected Demo Tape" a downbeat moment of anguish; ending with "A Series of Bad Decisions," in which the EP plays out to somber, yet harmonious conclusion.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Lo-fi tape sizzlers from this creative pairing who impart a level of evocative narrative through the six track journey. A must for fans of Legowelt, Person Of Interest & Ed DMX, fans of the recent RAMZi are also gonna enjoy this.

Recorded in an ageing holiday park during off-season, "Center Parcs" is the debut LP by Dutch artists Betonkust & Palmbomen II; a conceptual, musical-tristesse full of lo-fi harmony and fanciful, psychedelic-coloured modulations. With an undercurrent of in-vogue saturation - beats, vintage synths and the omnipresent gnarl of the Roland 303 - all recorded to tape. the duo have crafted an LP of esoteric-electronic-pop, reflective of the time the two spent holed-up in isolation, in the out-of-time Center Parcs setting.

'It’s a weird environment, but we like it,' Palmbomen II says about "Center Parcs", where the album was recorded. Originally built in the 70s, Center Parcs De Eemhof in Zeewolde provides a pseudo-tropical environment for vacationing families, with an ageing, ersatz jungle; its faux decor gradually fading to grey. Recorded during the winter, the two Dutch men took-up home in one the park’s chalets with select hardware - predominately synths and drum machines - and recorded all of their progress to tape. Being the only occupants in the melancholic, somber settings, the duo made an LP that was reflective of the unpretentious surroundings. 'Some people think it’s ironic, but this is not a tongue-in-cheek joke,' Hugo says about the record. 'There’s sadness here that people try not to hide.'

Everything on "Center Parcs" was recorded on hardware, in the moment; 'real jams' as the guys describe them. No computers. It was through this in-the-present-process that led to the recondite, lo-fi shoegaze record, reflective of their shared influences - from the likes of I-F. through to Cocteau Twins.

Opener "24x33", has a reverberated VHS aesthetic; "De rust die je zocht"('The peace you were looking for') sounds like an angelic score to a forgotten family game show; "Nintendo Pantera" a solemn, upbeat Detroit-retroffited-vapourware melody. The album is a follow up to the "Center Parcs EP" - the producer’s debut cassette release on Canadian label 1080p in 2016. This will be the first time that these tracks have been made widely available, and on vinyl release, and is seen by both artists as a chance to expand on the moment that they captured together - to share the beautiful-tristesse with all.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Proper feelin' this concept me. If anyone wants to rent a chalet in Southport Pontins this winter and make some lo-fi gabber with me - you know where to find me... x

Various Artists

Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2

    The final part in Dekmantel's 10 year anniversary series. Tony Allen’s "Asiko (In A Silent Mix)" is subject to attention. Originally released in 1999, new house stalwart MCDE has been drafted into create the last remix for this iconic series who goes a little bit Joe Clausell as he takes it deep into afro-house spirituality. A deep rooted tribal groove encompasses the track as the vocal parts undergo dubbed out delays and percussion lines are introduced with a keen eye for dancefloor attenuation. Unfolding into quite the feel-good epic, as the beats reside and the true flavour from the original composition is given room and light to breath this is one of those truly universal tracks that'll unite a daytime festival crowd as the energy of the day gives way into the magic of night.

    Also included is the undeniably impressive original version - a deep meditation on Allen's skilled drum work coupled with a hypnotic vocal part and languid, sweltered aesthetic as if you're baking in the African sunshine waiting for the air to cool before commencing more strenuous activity.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    12" Info: One copy in stock

    Space Dimension Controller

    Gaining Time

    Belfast-producer Space Dimension Controller, aka Jack Hamill drops his debut on Dekmental. "Gaining Time" clocks in at over 35-minutes, phasing between cosmic house and interstellar ambient strata with easy and confidence. Kicking off with "Everything is Better Now" and a countdown that blasts off into a trans-dimensional 14-minute journey of warped kicks, pads that phase in-and-out of our conventional timezone, a bassline that doesn’t pop-up until the four-minute mark like a gravity fluctuation abruptly peering through a temporary wormhole, melody, character, and a free flowing story arc worthy of the Space Dimension Controller himself. "NRG Intersect" is a beautiful 15-minute ambient transmission from outer space, played out with synth chords, across strummed melodies and a tape deck hitch here and there, like an uncoded language from a far off land - as if Brian Eno himself has forgotten to include the track on his lunar, legacy record "Apollo". ‘Still Returning’ takes the ambient coding and minimizes it yet further, like Solaris itself beckoning from its cloudy, deep, mystic blue oceans.

    Gal (Juju) and Jordan (Jordash) return to their home on Dekmanter with their fourth LP for the label. A series of purpose-written compositions, that highlight their maturity as musicians, adept dexterity in the studio and ability to conjure up exciting new electronic music. An integral part of Dekmantel, the duo released the labels first record back in 2009, beginning what would be an illustrious career, touring festivals, clubs, Boiler Rooms and radio stations behind a tabletop of buttons, knobs, synths and drum machines, not forgetting their monumental pairing with Move D for the Magic Mountain High project.

    "Sis-boom-bah"’s diverse, spiritual nature is built around Juju & Jordash's use of polyrhythms. The percussive sequenced grooves, and rhythmic backbone was generated using the Yamaha DX7, along with the Roland TR606 drum machine. This approach to rhythm can be heard from the outset within the very first track "Herkie", an ephemeral, yet tribal approach to minimalist funk. The spirituality flows throughout the record, where it sounds like the duo have brought along the nature with them from the foresty raves. In actually fact, the background noise comes courtesy of noise generators from two separate synthesizers, each with its own filter slowly opening and closing so it kinda sounds like waves or wind. There are also nods towards their acid influences, with some surefire slices of house music too. "Sis-boom-bah" is still very much a Juju & Jordash record, yet it's one with a greater depth, musically and stylistically. As electronic music albums go, it's one of the greatest triumphs of the year.


    Following celebrated compilations from Motor City Drum Ensemble and Young Marco and with the second edition of its limited-capacity festival in Croatia right around the corner, Dekmantel’s Selectors series now continues with an edition curated by Marcel Dettmann. Although he’s now known as one of the world’s most celebrated techno artists, even Marcel Dettmann had to start somewhere. Long before he ever held court at Berghain (or its predecessor, Ostgut), he was just another young boy in Eastern Germany, one whose earliest encounters with capitalism involved spending every penny he could scrape together down at the local record shop. In those days, it wasn’t techno that got him excited, but new wave, post-punk, industrial and EBM acts like Front 242 and Depeche Mode. That inspiration can be heard across this edition of the Selectors series, as Dettmann has put together what he describes as a 'pre-techno compilation'. Much like the previous Selectors editions, the compilation is not a mix CD, but a collection of tracks hand picked by Dettmann from his own vinyl archives. Freshly remastered and occasionally reworked or re-edited by Dettmann himself, the songs here are undoubtedly vintage gems, but they also represent a very personal journey into Dettmann’s past. Perfectly timed to coincide with Jamal Moss' reissues of his seminal 'Medusa Edits' series - inspired by his 'pre-house' days spent in Chicago's all ages rock club (where a lot of similar influences and sounds to this comp would be heard); it seems like we're on the brink of a proto-techno / industrial revolution folks! (and not a cotton mill in sight!). Don some black eye-liner, crack out that trench coat and get down to the sounds of the underground.
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