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HOBBES MUSIC

Following the Kota Motomura and Exterior debuts earlier this year, it’s another first from Hobbes Music. Maastricht Research is a brand new project from Scottish artist Jonathan Hunter producing ambient/drone style material. Jonathan was part of the quartet behind the much-loved Slabs Of The Tabernacle parties at Glasgow's now-legendary La Cheetah club back in the late 00s/early 10s. He's also one half of The Three Lives, whose debut EP, Mud & Flame and follow-up Across & Beyond were released recently by Glasgow's Full Dose label.

Written and recorded over a number of years, whilst living in Amsterdam, Glasgow and Dublin, the Maastricht Research vibe is about as horizontal as it gets and is the perfect soundtrack to long, lazy days and balmy eves in the park, by the pool, in the bath etc! There are zero beats. It's proper ambient / drone music and could well have been beamed in from another dimension, planet or century altogether, including field recordings, atmospheric fx, lush and eerie pads, with the occasional snatch of a weird vocal and generally other-worldly sounds.

The record owes a debt to the likes of Manuel Gottsching, Cluster, Susumu Yokota, Detroit Escalator Company, Astral Industries and Alessandro Cortini, among others…

Mastered by Keith 'Radioactive Man' Tenniswood, Idle Animation will now be out at the end of October on extremely limited edition 12" vinyl, with CMYK printed labels, contained in a plain white sleeve with 3mm spine (reverse board for natural finish) including full colour artwork plus titles* printed using a Risograph on 135gsm ‘Context Natural’ A3 paper and finally all packaged in a polyurethane bag. *[printed on the ‘Obi flap’ - excess paper folded around the spine].

"Loving it. Beautiful stuff here - all tracks doing it for me" ROLANDO (UR)

"This is great! Will use in on Ambient Flo" AUNTIE FLO

"Really diggin the MaastrichtResearch release" INTERGALACTIC GARY

"Love this, thanks for sending" DOMENIC (Sub Club)

"This sounds fantastic!" NICK CRADDOCK (Gateway To Zen)

"Really liking the sound of the record. Dublin air tugging on his emotive side by the sounds :)" JOHN HECKLE

"Mesmerizing music, something we all need to listen to because of so much chaos and stress in the world...with this, just sit back and zone out for a bit and regain balance...." DAN CURTIN

"This is nice music, thank you for sharing it with me. A3 is the one for me, really nice vibe" ARIO (Astral Industries)

"More emotive and soulful ambience and drone from this red hot label. Maastricht Research have been reviving the Poolside revellers at Pikes morning sessions this summer" DRIBBLER (Pikes, Café del Mar, Ibiza)

TRACK LISTING

A1 An Makar
A2 Kussner Effect
A3 Winter Lanterns
A4 Lumenwood Kin
B1 Aphelion
B2 Workshop Heretic
B3 Ben More From Martys Bay
B4 Balkon

Three years after he released the incredible "New Experience EP" (picking up plaudits from Bill Brewster, Tim Sweeney, Laurent Garnier, Horse Meat Disco, Leo Mas & 6Music’s Tom Ravenscroft, among many more), Tokyo’s Kota Motomura returns to Hobbes Music for his debut LP, "Pay It Forward". This is the first vinyl release on Hobbes Music since the much-loved "Aranath" EP by Leonidas & Hobbes last Spring. While the label maintains the level of quality control for which it has become recognized, the artist continues to subvert electronic and dance music norms in his iconoclastic way on this extraordinary record.

He’s a mysterious character with an ear for idiosyncratic music that runs the gamut from ambient, exotica and jazz to disco, house and techno via post punk, new wave and funk. It’s highly original and all adds up to a confection perhaps best described as Balearic, despite how tumultuous that word has become of late!

Album opener "Paradise" is a certified jazz-funk jam. Destined for dancefloors worldwide, this one’s been dropping well with DJs, Motomura demonstrating his piano chops alongside Mutsumi Takeuchi’s sax. "Tropical" pushes the boat in a more rhythmic direction, some pretty wild drum programming laced with more sounds of the, um, tropics, before mad vocal yelps suggest something yet more tribal. "To Be Free" initially resembles early 90s progressive house (pulsing bassline, synth-driven melodies), before the arrival of some new wave guitar licks a la classic Talking Heads / David Byrne and ooh ooh vocal chants take it to another dimension altogether.

B-side opener "Emotion" features Takeuchi again (on flute this time) and more vocal chants before things take a dramatic turn, threatening to open up into a full fanfare before calming and then bursting into wild life again. Rhythm flirts with an energy and pace more akin to a techno record: drums, drums, more drums plus a fair few yelps and chants - the kind of DJ tool that will send a simmering dance floor wild in the right hands. "Flower" closes things in a more melancholy style, familiar to fans of "Aboy" from the "New Experience" EP, with plaintive acoustic guitar (performed by Akichi), birdsong and big piano chords.

Support from Bill Brewster, Leo Mas, Al Kent, Red Rack’em, Nick The Record, Phil Mison, Phat Phil Cooper, KZA, Sean Johnston (ALFOS), S/A/M, Dribbler, Joe Muggs, Monolith Cocktail and more… 


TRACK LISTING

A1. Paradise
A2. Tropical
A3. To Be Free
B1. Emotion
B2. Rhythm
B3. Flower

Leonidas & Hobbes

Pockets Of Light

"Pockets Of Light" is the first full release from the London / Edinburgh duo since 2021's acclaimed "Aranath EP" and Bill Brewsters 2017 ROTY the "Rags Of Time EP". 

"Pockets Of Light" finds the duo deploying wavy, spellbinding neons for the suitably titled "Magik". Twangy leads and dipped red lights further the mellow enchantment as the tracks gentle propelled by classic electronic drum boxes. 

"Reboot" begins with a more Detroitian flavour, with synth patches that'd make Martin Bonds blush hightened with an inviting spoken word snippet before dropping into a very Model 500 esque groove. A formular expanded on through next track, "Reality 2.0" which adds swirling dub delays to the mix and plays with drama and dynamics through stop-start arrangement with cinematic qualities and great textures throughout - a real winner that'll find favour in a variety of environments.

"RSVP" deploys perfectly aligned bleep-n-squelch; in a nod to both Sheffield and Detroit but with its own unique squiggly flair. Again, there's some underfloor neons lighting the way; with some staccato leads and constantly morphing bass underpinning it all. A real tour de force of production prowess that's remained the Leonidas & Hobbes trademark throughout their discography. 

"Keep Livin'" concludes with a nicely low-slung, syncopated beat and bass pattern accompanied by toybox piano melodies, blue sky synth licks and general sense of rising optimism to get us through these troubled times. It makes for a childlike, fairytale quality; sumptious and redolent of running across daisy-laden fields in the late afternoon sunshine as a carefree younger... or maybe that's just me! 

Anyway you look at it - it's a delightful return from the treasured duo.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Pairing intricate programming and synthesis with captivating arrangements and a decidedly humane touch is no easy feet. But our sonic shamans Leonidas & Hobbes have done just that on their phenomenal new EP which plays like an enchanted garden of rhythm, texture and sentiment.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Magik
A2. Reboot
A3. Reality 2.0
B1. RSVP
B2. Keep Livin'

"It’s True What They Say" is the debut EP from Edinburgh-based, husband-and-wife duo Sarah / Shaun aka Sarah and Shaun McLachlan

'Sarah and I both have a love for nostalgia,' explains Shaun. 'We watched that amazing old 80’s Sci-Fi, (John) Carpenter movie, Starman, a few months back. Myself and my brother David used to watch it all the time. We must have been, roughly, 5-7 at the time. I remember loving the movie but the end, you know, with the beautiful, atmospheric, synth ending, I love that particular moment the most - best part of the movie, you know, when he goes home… It’s heartbreaking but stunning, all the same. It’s the music that moves you most… It did when I was 5 and it still does to this day. It must have had some form of a (much deeper) impact on me.'

The duo narrates stories across themes of love, hope, family, friends, dreams and sadness - the good that comes with the bad in everyday life, not just on a personal scale but within a community as well.

'Starbed is the first song I have ever written and just came out of the blue really, with Shaun playing a melody and me singing along,' says Sarah. 'It’s simple and just about two people in love. Love songs are always the best songs, after all… Music has been a big part of my life from a young age. I was unwillingly dragged to piano and violin lessons, which I’m thankful for now! I’d say the first band I really became obsessed with growing up were the Beatles, and on the back of that a lot of 60s music and fashion. From then on, I had a love for music. Shaun definitely opened my ears to a lot of sounds and got me thinking about soundtracks and all the noises that can be made. We love just spending time experimenting in the house with instruments, pedals etc and Ali is a real magician to work with, too…'

The recordings took place over the summers of 2022 and 2023, with fellow Delta Mainline member Ali Chisholm (aka Jaguar Eyes) plus long-term friend and collaborator Gavin King. Further collaboration then came via the ‘net from the (international) likes of Chris Dixie Darley (Father John Misty), Darren Coghill (Neon Waltz) and Daniel Land (The Modern Painters), among others (see a full list of credits below).

Both Sarah and Shaun have a love for uber-soundtrack producers such as Hanz Zimmer, Max Richter, Cliff Martinez plus live acts such as Beach House, Spiritualized, M83, Suicide, Moby and OMD (to name a few). Shaun also credits the work of Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (from Survive) on the Stranger Things score…

The result is a cinematic, synth-wavey, dream poppy and downright beguilingly beautiful body of work. And they’re just getting started…

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Beautifully formed dream-pop here from this husband-and-wife duo. There's an astral projection at play which, combined with the detailed instrumentation and skilled song writing; makes for a highly evocative listen which has already got plenty of tastemakers, DJs and producers clawing after copies. Don't sleep!

TRACK LISTING

A1. Dust Tears
A2. It's True What They Say?
B1. Keep Your Eyes Closed
B2. Starbed
B3. Dust Tears (Instrumental) 


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