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INTERNATIONAL FEEL

Manchester’s Balearic synth provocateur Ruf Dug teams up with Private Joy for a sizzling slice of laidback street soul - if the streets were lined with palm trees, that is. Ruffy admits to not having any recollection of making the beat, which adds to the sundrenched, day-dream quality. Modulated pads evaporate in the heat haze, while a synth saxophone riff dances on the breeze, all setting the scene for a tropically-tinged marimba and a piano solo that respectfully nods to Vladimir Cosma’s Sentimental Walk. When Gerd enquired about a possible vocal, Ruffy reached out to Private Joy, who sings like the fate of the track was entwined with her own, and it elevates the track to a whole other soulful level. In true ‘90s tradition, Ruffy delivers an alternate reggae mix for the flip, putting an off-beat bump to the track, while the instrumental versions shine a light on Ruffy’s pitch-perfect production, and provide plenty of ammunition for acapellas of all sorts. Highly recommended! 

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Firmly in a newly established purple patch, local superstar Ruffy continues his sterling run of 12"s with a doozy of a street soul hit, introducing us to the joyous vox of Private Joy and even nudging in a slinky digi-reggae version to boot. Massive!

TRACK LISTING

1 Ruf Dug X Private Joy - Don’t Give In (Street Soul Vocal Version)
2 Ruf Dug X Private Joy - Don’t Give In (Street Soul Instrumental Version)
3 Ruf Dug X Private Joy - Don’t Give In (Reggae Vocal Version)
4 Ruf Dug X Private Joy - Don’t Give In (Reggae Instrumental Version)

Manchester producer, DJ and dancefloor spirit guide Ruf Dug gets fruity on his Korg DW8000, for this homage to Manctalo pioneers Red Laser Disco who have revitalized the Italo sound over the last decade. Given that Ruffy lives on the same street as Red Laser head honcho Il Bosco it’s unsurprising that his latest release is heavily influenced by his noisy neighbour’s antics.

Manctalo Beach has gone through several versions over the years to arrive, like a chilled Bianco, at the crisp beauty you hear today. Packed with chunky bass arpeggios, pixelated pitch-bent melodies and freeze-frame drum fills, the A-side conjures images of coastline sunsets and waterski waves. Meanwhile on the flip, the bonus beats proceed in a more dubbed disco direction, with acres more space, cascading delays and tripped-out breakdowns. One for your speedboat!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Local cyberpunk and superstar, Ruffy pays tribute to Red Laser via an inspired single complete with killer dub version. The clue's in the title! ;)

TRACK LISTING

Manctalo Beach - Original
Manctalo Beach - Version 

Perugia producer, synth collector and rising star of the current Adriatic / Med scene, Feel Fly pokes his head above the sand dunes to deliver a consummate four track EP for tastemaking holiday house label International Feel.

"Onironauta" rolls up all the best bits of spaced-out disco and Italo house into an expansive dancefloor soundtrack that would sound equally at home in a Den Haag squat as by an Ibizan hillside pool. Sounding in turns both futuristic and nostalgic, it sets the tone for the dream-like timezone in which this EP resides.

Meanwhile slowed-down 303 chugger "Grace In Space" sounds perfect for Room 2 - that is, if the room is on an orbiting space station and someone adjusted the gravity settings. The track concludes the side with timeless Balearic drift and a dash of kosmiche Afro percussion sprinkled on top.

Flip the 12” over and the title track "Mediterranean Dreams" seeps through, with more than a slight nod to the Summer of ‘88, like a faded photograph. The revolving chord progression and melodic synth phrases that weave through the groove fit together sweeter than the cogs in a Swiss watch.

EP closer “Becalmed" rounds proceedings out in fine cosmic disco style, firing more 16th note lasers through the dry ice than KITT, as melancholic pads float over the rhythm section like a negligee. It’s a stylish way to sign off a collection of tracks that are equal parts fond memory, hopeful optimism, and hazy dance-fueled hedonism. Big tip on this one folks! 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Instantly causing Pasta Paul to check his holiday allowance, there's few labels that can transport you into the throws of Summer vacation excess as quickly as International Feel. "Mediterranean Dreams" should have you checking skyscanner by the end its rotation.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Onironauta (6:52)
2. Grace In Space (5:44)
Side 2
1. Mediterranean Dreams (6:41)
2. Becalmed (5:59)

Hypernatural, comprises of Dan Whitford, better known as one of the pillars of Melbourne heavyweights Cut Copy, Mirko Vogel, the engineer extraordinaire who has recorded for Modular and Room40, and Mike Gamwell, also known as Knightlife, who’s racked up several releases on Cut Copy’s own Cutters Records. You could say their roots are in Melbourne, Australia, but it seems unfair to pinpoint the trio to any specific location.

That’s because their sound lies somewhere deep in misty forests, or half-remembered dreams and subconscious wells of ancestral emotion. The transformative power of these 7 tracks was no accident however. The music was pieced together during two trips - one to the remote Swedish coast and another to the Scottish highlands. The three producers used a set of guidelines that allowed each of them to compose and arrange tracks separately yet collectively, like a connected Oblique Strategy. They took inspiration from the stark beauty of their natural surroundings, which had a huge effect on the music they were making.

The resulting tracks inhabit a world of their own, full of shimmering arpeggios and drifting pads, taut drums and sound effects. The opening track Longboat cruises into view with white noise washes and galley master rhythms, conjuring Old Norse battleships and a sense of sailing the open sea, destination unknown. The single Stormfront is a depth-charged deep house burner, bristling with atmospheric energy and rolling like thunder. With its cascading synth arpeggios and weighty drops, it swells like moody clouds on the horizon and releases tension like the first rain of a summer storm.

Hypernatural particularly succeeds in its world-building, and there’s a cohesion to the tracks despite their many differences in tempo and style. Spirit Walk joins marimbas with modular pulses, as well as slide guitar and snappy shakers, to bring out some Ry Cooder swagger. Unknown Caller taps into the phone line at the speed of 5G, sending breakbeats down the wire on a cold calling mission to recruit ravers for the next after hours. But there are also tracks nodding to blissed-out comedowns and daydreams. Both Changing Tides and New Dawn slow down time to an introspective moment, a catch of the breath, the witness to a beautiful moment. Album closer Valley harks back to classic rave-era ambient, an avalanche of optimism down a majestic mountainside.

Hypernatural evokes panoramic vistas and serene countryside, and you could certainly imagine it soundtracking a hike along coastal hills, or a field at a festival. But it also resides beyond the pastoral, finding a home in airport departure lounges and autobahn service stations, until it eventually settles down inside us - even without the headphones on.

TRACK LISTING

1. Longboat
2. Stormfront
3. Changing Tides
4. Spirit Walk
5. Unknown Caller
6. New Dawn
7. Valley

International Feel welcomes Jolly Mare. Hailing from Italy and being a well-versed producer. Multi-instrumentalist and passionate DJ, his first release on the rekindled label sees him delving deep into the mystical and magical realms of vintage synthesizers, drum machines and effect units (please see back sleeve or below for a full instrument list). Sounding like a one-man band from the late Seventies conferring with a studio wizard from the 2020s, it has all the components of a cosmic or balearic master thesis: traces of Krautrock, Italian pop sensibilities, dance rhythms, cosmic curveballs and capturing chants. The single Vivo melds those ingredients and is just the first bite in an extraordinary Omakase.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I'm mad for a bit of Jolly Mare and delighted to see him join the esteemed ranks of International Feel. Fusing electronic and organic instruments with ease, he turns out a trippy cosmic classic which flirts with Balearic and disco before becoming its own hypnotic, hippy dance music.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Sabbia Bianca
A2. Anatema
A3. L’Età Dell’Oro
A4. Gaul Tanz
B1. Vivo
B2. Il Capriccio
B3. Epsilon 

The International Feel label is back from an extended meditation. Well-rested and with a cornucopia of new ideas and records, IFeel is happy to announce the debut album from Charlie Charlie as the starting shot. „Little Things“ is the brainchild of Gabriella Borbély alias Bella Boo and Jens Resch better known as Chords. Born on a beach in Southern California instead of their hometown Stockholm, it is exactly what you would hope for such a record to be: pop music that is informed by hippie or counter culture and by a Balearic ethos (hence the International Feel address) that is free of blinkered definitions. In equal parts, the duo’s ten songs take the listener through honey dripping r&b, while respelling that certain Californian recording studio sound aesthetic, revisit vintage yacht rock and pop tropes as well as they are reflecting dance music influences in a broken, yet gold framed mirror. Most of all, it’s like a day dream that you don’t want to end. To quote our Italian friends from Edizioni Mondo: good listening experience!

Charlie is Gabriella Borbély – also known as Stockholm's deep house virtuoso Bella Boo. Charlie is Jens Resch – also known as prodigious producer/musician Chords. The two Charlies met on a beach in Southern California and immediately decided to write a song together.
That first track was built on the sampled sounds of a rusty drainpipe. Charlie fired up a dusty ARP Odyssey and played a woozy solo over the drainpipe beats, then the other Charlie did the same, using that same legendary 70's analogue synth. When they realized the two separately recorded solos played together in perfect harmony, they knew they had to keep heading down their newly found, shared musical path.
Charlie & Charlie have since continued making music together, describing their common process as liberating, free-flowing, genre-less. "Little Things", their debut album, is made up of tracks recorded in Los Angeles and Stockholm, using that very same ARP as well as pianos, electric guitars and machines like the Prophet 6, the Juno-106 and the Syncussion SY-1. Vocal contributions come from the Charlies themselves as well as friends like Mapei and Julimar Santos. 

TRACK LISTING

A1. Charly
A2. Nothing Here But You & Me
A3. Say It's Gold
A4. Save Us (feat Mapei)
A5. Venice Chocolate
B1. Hill St
B2. Frosty (feat Julimar Santos)
B3. New Hall
B4. Lorena (feat Mapei)
B5. Run

On the white island, between Ibiza Town and the infamous fish shack high up on a rock next to a bird sanctuary, you will find the beach of Talamanca. Plagued by too much seaweed, anchored middle-class yachts and joggers, it is also surprisingly the spiritual home of a correspondent post-Balearic group. As luck would have it, a remix request by Mark Barrott bedded the International Feel boss in a trio with Philipp Lauer and Gerd Janson, alias Tuff City Kids.

A highly sought-after 12-inch later (“Balanzat”), as well as fantasies of getting together to work on more material, led to a fruitful and effortless studio session on the non-Balearic outskirts of Frankfurt am Main. The outcome of that meeting forms the homonymous debut album of Talamanca System. A documented vision, or a sunburned imagination of a day and night spent on said island, during a moment in time that probably never was or will be. Still summed up best by dungarees, long hair, yellow sunglasses, espadrilles or that famous picture of people grouped around roofless Amnesia's pyramid well, it is the food of the Balearic gods. But, dear nostalgia, stop right here!

Even though Talamanca's debut flies the Balearic flag, it is not about turning back the clock, but rather about a past that could be the future. Dusted, danceable, driving, dreamy and dapper at the same time, this is an album for the club, the car, the beach, the (coke)float and the fountain. Coined by the colourful and respective talents of the three individuals behind Talamanca, you will hear nine tracks ranging from up to downtempo, piano house smashers that would have deserved the prefix Italo-, percussion rituals captured by a group of Zoo animals on the loose, soundtracks for dusk and dawn, hushed vocals, rites of ambient passages, powerful synth ballads and vamp choirs. If this album were a car, it would be a Citroen 2CV remade by Tesla.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Balearic rhythms meet headfirst with sweaty dancefloor neon numbers, beautifully effervescent but inexplicably laid-back, close your eyes and get lost in the vibes.

TRACK LISTING

1. Talamanca System - Transatlantique
2. Talamanca System - 104
3. Talamanca System - Ancona Ancona
4. Talamanca System - Ocean Grill
5. Talamanca System - Tres Secadas
6. Talamanca System - Conga Cage
7. Talamanca System - Distant Shore
8. Talamanca System - Experc
9. Talamanca System – Aurorca


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