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HELL YEAH

After putting out Kito Jempere's well received Sea Monsters album last year, Hell Yeah now serve up another selection of remixes of it. Accomplished musician Jimi Tenor, plus Miskotom and Max Essa all contribute before a 7", also taken from the album, lands later in summer.

First up is Jimi Tenor, the legndary Finnish musician who has released on Warp, collaborated with Tony Allen and has his own band as well as occasionally playing sax with Kito Jempere Band at live gigs. He flips Puzzled into five minutes of stripped back and moody electronics with plenty of his own flute playing in the track. Busted drum sounds, spooky sci-fi synths and scattered hits make it woozy and late night and utterly absorbing.

Miskotom—a newly emerging pair made up of Mik and his wife Andra, both based in Vilnius, Lithuania with credits on Pleasure Unit and Balearic —then reimagine 'Ampa' as a beatdown but of deep house with trudging drums staying low and shimmering synths drift out in all directions. Crunchy hits bring a subtle sense of funk and reverb drenched vocals bring a heavenly feel to the soul drenched grooves and summery keys.

Then comes Max Essa, the Japan based Brit who is a regular on this label as well as the likes of Is It Balearic?. His first remix is a huge one that is sure to soundtrack many a boat party this summer. It's a gorgeous rework of 'Ampa' that puts achingly blissful vocals front and centre as low slung bass and slowly turning drums sink you into a pan-pipe laced reverie. Secondly, Essa offers a Dub Reprise that removes the vocals and places all the focus on his churning drums and new age grooves. 

Hell Yeah's next project is to revisit a collection of jazz covers of dance classics. Back To New Roots (Serotonin Fuelled Jazz Covers) was first released in 2011 by 3iO, a band lead by double bassist Manuel Moretti and including Richard Maggioni on piano and Matteo Giordani on drums. They were veterans on the Italian jazz circuit and put out a couple albums, but they are no more.

This album, however, which originally stated as a joke to challenge the musicians to do something different and flip dance, alternative and chill out hits from Fat Boy Slim, Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Royskopp, Underworld, Spiller and DJ Shadow into new forms, proves what playing skills the group had.

Now presented on special 180g vinyl and with magical art from Andrea Amaducci for the first time, Back To New Roots (Serotonin Fuelled Jazz Covers) has already got support from the likes of Giles Peterson, Chris Coco and Jon Sa Trinxa. 'Eple' has also already proved a big download hit, so this release pays dues to some talented musicians who embraced a crazy idea.


Opener 'Eple' is all fat bass and wandering keys and oozes an inimitable jazz-funk. 'Les Nuits' is a more tender, late night track of sombre chords, and J-Walk's 'Soul Vibration' becomes a romantic downtempo classic. 'Organ Donor' retains the darkness of the classic original but with a new found jazz energy, and 'Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) is a nimble, on your toes gem. 'Right Here, Right Now' is flipped into a slowed down and plaintive piece, 'Born Slippy' lifts the energy levels with splashes of cymbals and superb live drums and Bent's 'Always' closes on a tender note with dusty snares and tangs of bass.

A new side project from Manuel Moretti may well follow on Hell yeah in the near future, but for now this collection provides plenty of magical moments for a different kind of dance floor. 

Hell Yeah's next vinyl EP is a first solo release since 2012 from The Vendetta Suite aka Belfast's Gary Irwin. It features six tracks all handpicked by label boss Marco from vast unreleased vaults that have already been played by David Holmes and Andrew Weatherall, and it comes with a great backstory. Marco's first ever E was at a UK club in Wandsworth in 1995. Joey Beltram was supposed to be on but missed his flight, so instead David Holmes played an extended set. It won Marco over instantly and since then he has been an avid fan, in awe of Holme's game changing Essential Mix and snapping up all the releases on his 13amp label, including one by The Vendetta Suite, who was in house engineer at David Holmes' Exploding Plastic Inevitable studio. Other tracks from the artist including cult b-side 'Hula Bop' became classic staples in Marco's sets as Balearic Gabba Soundsystem and so he recently reached out to the Newtownards man and told him all this via Soundcloud. After chatting, Irwin invited Marco to pick some tracks from his vaults and they are now presented here for the first time with the amazing artwork by Andrea Amaducci that combines the producer's sense of humour and the esoteric.
Opener 'Sirius' sets a lush tone with its wash of rippling chords and soft rock grooves carry you off into a sunset. From there the charming spring time sounds of 'Tacos For Zowie' mix bumpy drums with guitar riffs, whistles and cosmic synths, and Just Like Joe is a flower power spy movie theme tune that races along with orchestral elegance.
‘Shut Up Ya Dub' slows things down with wobbly bass, tons of reverb and acid twitches and 'Eye In The Triangle' is an exquisite dub cut full of studio trickery and sci-fi feelings that Scientist would be proud of. Closer 'Colin Wilson Said' is a widescreen ambient cut with spread synths, distant arpeggios and an intergalactic feel that leaves you drifting in outer space.
This is a cinematic EP that draws on myriad musical styles and showcases Irwin's peerless studio skills. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Dope and diverse set from the consistently mega Hell Yeah stable. Label head Marco 'peeDoo' enlisted longtime favourite Vendetta Suite to hit us with 6 of his best Balearic movers. #dreamy

Max Essa

Gold Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely EP

Keeping their catalogue fresh, fierce and free from any stylistic ties, Hell Yeah follow the star-crossed house of Verdo and acid-laced cosmic of Quiroga with a Mediterranean masterpiece from expert ex-pat Max Essa. Label head Sun Marco (you heard it here first) describes this peaceful platter as the most Balearic record he's ever released, though it could well be the most Balearic record anyone's ever released. For starters, the A-side features a White Isle odyssey in four parts, while the flip buys us a drink at a rundown beach bar before inviting us for a walk down the coast.
After bonding over a shared love of literature and sake, Marco made his play for Essa, encouraging the international man of mastery to create his finest work for the Italian label. Stretching across the A-side with a sunkissed contentment, the ambitious and expressive "Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely" conjures images of lapping waves and swaying trees, a coastal coda to the bliss and breeze of a lazy summer day. Stately and serene, the track glides through eleven minutes of symphonic synthwork, fragile piano and eastern melodies - a dreamy vignette viewed through the blur of heat haze. It feels like falling in love every time you hear it.
On the B1, "Saguaro" crystallizes everything excellent about a Max Essa production into one perfect serving of circular sequences, languid bass and East Asian tonality. Genki but not quite kawai, this comforting combination rolls along at a relaxed pace, bathing in the reflected beauty of the sun on the sea. Finally we drift into a dreamstate to the horizontal majesty of "Buran Chime", a song for siestas and the 'Subtle Body'. Phasing waveforms murmur like distant air traffic, naive percussion keeps a languorous rhythm and expansive pads summon the poolside peace of a permanent vacation. As that immersive soundscape eases us out of our everyday worries, cool cor anglais and FM brass bring a smile to our sunblushed faces. It's a treasure.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Max Essa lands on the mighty Hell Yeah with his finest work to date. The perfect marriage of ambition and execution, the EP offers all the comforts of the coast without the price of the air fare. As Balearic as it gets and a thing of true beauty, this is music to be cherished.

After a lengthy winter break enjoying the icy parks of Berlin, the urbane streets of Bologna and the recently refurbed Ealing Heights (Manchester's most desirable residence and my crib) Marco Gallerani revs up the Hell Yeah press with this primo EP of starry-eyed house magic. The man behind the music is none other than Verdo, the talented Senigallia native whose Gratis Club has played host to the likes of Bjorn Torske, DJ Fettburger, Prins Thomas and Kenji Takimi over a decade of debauched nightlife. Speak to any Senigallia local though, and you'll hear the real reason for heading to the club is Verdo's unpredictible and irresistible DJ sets, often packed with his own exclusive and unreleased productions. So slip this one on the player and sample the deep and dreamy delights of Verdo's sultry sounds. Opener "Little Blue" is a bright slice of sunshine with hip swinging claps, bobbling bass and boat party vibes that soothe your soul. Rich with shoulder rolling rhythm and golden synthplay, its segues perfectly into the retro disco pump of "Sazerac", another tropical cut with loose drums and rubbery bass to get you up on your toes. Flip the disc for the terrace tribalism of "Big Fish", a bass heavy house heater packed with tin pot percussion and the kind of wild synth work that leads to wide-eyes, flailing limbs and free-swinging jaws. Jumbled jungle vibes and big chords all swell your heart as your feet skip about down low. Tuff City Kid Phillip Lauer drops by on the B2, bringing his sophisticated style to the track with a direct house version decorated with percolating synths and slapping hats, all demanding you ditch your cocktail and get up and groove.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Big summertime house vibes coming courtesy of Verdo on this latest Hell Yeah loveboat - Enquire within for shoulder rolling rhythms, bum-wiggling bass and heart swelling musicality. Bravo!

Underground System

Bella Ciao - Gigi Masin / Leo Mas & Fabrice Remixes

After hitting us with those killer club versions of "Bella Ciao" last month, Leo Mas & Fabrice hit the studio with Italian ambient master Gigi Masin to deliver the sumptuous beauty of the Laguna Mix. Now Gigi's no stranger to Hell Yeah, gracing the label with his sublime collaborative LP with Tempelhof in 2014, and this latest appearance should pique your interest nicely ahead of their sophomore LP "Tsuki" later in the year. Keeping shaded eyes firmly on the horizon, Gigi soundtracks the sunset with a slow and drifting transformation of Underground System's uptempo original. Tranquilized beats rattle along at a snail's pace, cutting through the haze of choral vocals and sustained strings while emotive piano chords and tripped out sequences trip us out perfectly. On the flipside, Leo and Fabrice combine once more for an invitingly sparse "On Air Remix" which sways to and fro with gorgeous trumpets, twinkling keys and a slowly, blissfully building sense of Balearic tension. Already a favourite for Test Pressing and Aficionado's Jason Boardman, this is a must have for any discerning record bag. 


Ahead of the release of a fantastic compilation of music under the title Music For Balearic Gabba Dreams comes this, a four-track vinyl sampler showcasing some of the out-there sounds on offer from Hell Yeah next project.

First up is The Kenneth Bager Experience with 'Follow The Beat' (Enzo Elia Afro-Neukolln remix), which is radiant with its vibrato synths, funky little guitar licks and well-defined, woody percussion.

It features a truly captivating intro and serves as a fine opening for this Sampler EP.

Next is a long time Balearic Gabba Sound System's own classic, 2005's E-The-Hot & Fede B -'Reason and Logic' gets finally released: a truly intergalactic bit of, psyched out disco rock complete with chirping crickets, skyward guitar licks and lazy drums.

Proper magic! That track embodies the spirit of the compilation and its trippy weirdness perfectly before one of Rekids boss Matt Edwards' Top 5 all time tunes 'Entity' by italian house unsung hero Mr Marvin: this one is a slow building bit of funk with a deep-set groove, stunning chords that take you right to the beach and an infectious little bassline that all scream Balearic bliss. Remastered by LUPO for modern abuse.

Closing out this bite sized bit of musical beauty is 'Melt' by super nice duo Somerville & Wilson, a delightfully loose and organic bit of percussive deep disco that makes plenty
of space for its lush chords and emotive synths as tiny waves seem to break at its feet.


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