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LAY-FAR

Five years have now passed since Boogie Café Records was established as an outlet for soul-flecked dance floor jams. The Bristol-based label has grown exponentially in that time, with a succession of highly regarded releases attracting a swathe of higher profile artists to the roster.

The latest is Russian heavyweight Alexander Lay-Far, a producer whose blends of deep house, disco, boogie, soul, jazz and broken beat have appeared on labels including Local Talk, Atjazz, City Fly, Lazy Days, Leng and the In-Beat-Ween Music imprint he established in 2015.

The Moscow-based producer’s first outing on Boogie Café is entitled “Re-Imagine Yourself”; it seems a fitting name, because across the four sample-heavy tracks Lay-Far brilliantly joins the dots between disparate sounds and styles whilst retaining his trademark warmth and soul.

Check first “Embrace The Contradictions”, a deliciously sub-heavy broken beat number bristling with hazy Fender Rhodes chords, glassy-eyed female vocal snippets, funky samples, wobbly analogue bass motifs and cowbell patterns slyly sampled from a disco-boogie classic. Bustling breakbeat number “Spiral Movement” follows, with Lay-Far invoking the spirit of 1989 via dreamy chords, cut-up vocal blasts, short-sharp rave sirens and hip-house style beats.

The latter half of the EP is deliciously warm and woozy, with Lay-Far wrapping enveloping pads, ear-catching synthesizer flourishes and yearning melodies around off-kilter broken beats and sturdier sub-bass. Of the two tracks, it’s “Something Else” that’s arguably the most potent of the pair despite its’ inherent deepness – think Bugz In The Attic style beats and fireside-warm musicality – but closing cut “April” is not far behind. Lay-Far has successfully re-imagined himself for Boogie Café and the results are little less than stunning.


OK SPIRIT is a new label founded by N.I.B., Kilian Paterson and DJ Neewt. The Frankfurt trio get on message from the off, opening their account with a wild range of contemporary dancefloor adventures prompted by sonic shaman Bear Bones, Lay Low. On the A-side, title track 'Voces De Humo' is an epochal 17 minute journey from the Belgium based producer, twisting searing waveforms and vivid distortion around tribal rhythms in a typically lysergic fashion. The B-side belongs to the remixers, and DJ Plead kicks it off with a growling EBM / Industrial version complete with scattering, almost DnB rhythms, sacred frogs and scorched frequencies. The B2 sees the track taken on a different tack as TNC6 heads for the undergrowth with the humid and transcendental "Needles In The Heart Mix", a ceremonial stunner with a late break into wild rave breaks.

Lay Llamas (Feat Alfio Antico)

Malophoros / Mondi Di Pietra

    Backwards Records presents the new Lay Llamas release: the new 7" in gold-coloured vinyl by Lay Llamas, moniker behind which the Sicilian musician and composer Nicola Giunta is hidden. The single will contain two tracks: on Side A "Malophòros" composed together with the shaman singer Alfio Antico - former collaborator of Fabrizio De Andrè, Tullio de Piscopo and Vinicio Capossela - at frame drum and voice. The piece sounds like an improbable mixture between the Nuova Compagnia Di Canto Popolare and the Master Musicians Of Bukkake! The text, written by Antico, is recited in Sicilian dialect and is inspired by the Sanctuary of the 5th century B.C. dedicated to the goddess Demeter whose ruins are located in the Archaeological Park of Selinunte (Sicily). The Sanctuary was a sacred place for the ancient Greek colonists in Sicily and there rituals and sacrifices were held there in order to ingratiate themselves with the divinity. On the B side the track "Mondi Di Pietra" reminds to the Franco Battiato of the "Pollution / Sulle Corde Di Aries" period. The text, in Italian, provides a mythological and esoteric vision of the Mediterranean world understood as a passage zone and cradle of ancient cultures.

    The mastering was curated by the English musician and producer Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, Spectrum, Panda Bear, MGMT) at the New Atlantis Studio. The artwork is made by the Catalan artist Daniel Puiggros. Starting from March 30th, 2018, pre-order will be active on www.backwards.it and on Backwards bandcamp page. "On the A side of this 7" the meeting between the master Alfio Antico and the Lay Llamas takes place: materially occurred at the Bunker Studio of Arquà Petrarca (PD), but ideally officiated at the sanctuary of Demetra Malophòros, at Selinunte in Sicily (dating back to V century BC). Nicola Giunta of Lay Llamas has lived for years in that magical area and has asked Alfio Antico to become a sort of shaman, leading towards an indefinite temporal journey. So Antico begins his narration towards the temple of Demetra, telling us that "quannu un tempu nunera tempu and no stissu tempu was tempu now ca semu of a great tempu forsi, nun c'tempu, forsi". Here then the antique frame drum and its voice tell us, in the Sicilian archaic dialect the mythological deeds of the Goddess of fertility and agriculture and the vicissitudes of its worshipers: the peasants ("you ca facisti masters and criasti armiggi ppi the earth ") and women (" Demetra our matri natura jè! "). On the B side the song "Mondi di Pietra", sung in Italian, combines suggestions of worlds (apparently) very distant: the Mediterranean and the Italian 70s, the kosmische folk, the pseudo archeology and the vetero-astronomy of the books of Peter Kolosimo, the minimalism of Terry Riley 


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    7" Info: Limited edition gold vinyl.

    Lay-Far & Phil Gerus

    Solitary High Social Club

    Two of Russian electronic music’s rising stars, Phil Gerus and Alexander Lay-Far, invite you to join them at the Solitary High Social Club. While table service is provided, they’d much rather you throw caution to the wind and head to the dancefloor.

    Before joining forces in the studio, both Moscow-based musicians have delivered a string of memorable solo productions. Lay-Far has previously released a wealth of material on such labels as Local Talk, City Fly, Lazy Days and 4Lux Black, while synthesizer fetishist Gerus has showcased his electrofunk and disco-fired cuts on Futureboogie Recordings, Sonar Kollektiv, Public Release and Superior Elevation Records.

    The five tracks that make up Solitary High Social Club deliver a perfect marriage of the two producers’ distinctive solo styles, combining the rich musicality of Lay-Far’s house productions with the spacey, intergalactic electronics of Gerus’s discoid adventures. In many ways, it’s a marriage made in heaven – or in Lay-Far’s celebrated In-Beat-Ween Studio, at least.

    The duo’s spacey and melodious musical fusion is arguably best exemplified by lead cut “City 2 City, Star 2 Star”, a widescreen, mid-tempo disco epic rich in tactile Rhodes riffs, supernova synth solos, delay-laden drum beats, tumbling melody lines and heavy analogue bass. Fittingly, the track returns in “Reprise” form – think sweeping, weightless ambient bliss – to round off the EP.

    Elsewhere, the duo provides further proof of their combined musical talents. Check, for example, the gentle drum machine electro beats, cascading new age melodies and sparkling, stretched-out synthesizer chords of the impeccably beautiful “Am I Tripping”, or the devilishly percussive, mind-altering brilliance of “Love Life”, where mutant electro bass, wide-eyed chords and alien melodies rise above a heavy, Afro-influenced groove.

    As for “Snowflakes On Her Lips”, you’ll struggle to find a more confident and positive dancefloor workout all year. Blessed with killer piano parts, darting analogue synth-bass and a range of disco-tinged musical flourishes, it’s by far and away the most celebratory moment on an already happy-go-lucky EP. It confirms, too, our initial hunch: at the Solitary High Social Club, life is always good. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: On the eve of the World Cup, Leng line up two of Russia's hottest producers for a 5 tracker of smooth grooving dance music flavoured by funk, boogie and disco.

    The Lay Llamas, who consist of the Sicilian-born and raised but now Rome-based duo of Gioele Valenti and Nicola Giunta, release their debut album 'Ostro' on Rocket. Recorded in an old-house in the Segesta countryside of Sicily, Valenti and Giunta soaked up the history-imbued environment. The makeshift studio was located alongside the great Temple of Hera that dates all the way back to 6th century BC “We’ve been so influenced by the place’s mood, with that ancient presence in the air” says Valenti. These recording sessions have resulted in a heavily layered album, filled (but not clogged) with various instrumentation from the expected guitars, bass, synth and drums to the more unexpected sounds of Tibetan Bells and Ukulele.

    Like any successful duo, harmony and contradiction are equally important artistic traits in their working relationship. Between the two they take in a continent-leaping, platform-splitting array of personal influences that then seeps into their lysergic output. Purely on a musical level there is a joint love of artists such as Ennio Morricone they then split off into the structured and the song heavy (Angels of Light, Nick Drake, Mike Scott) to the rhythmic, both the hypnotic and groove-laden sort (Fela Kuti, Broadcast, Sun Araw, Kraftwerk). Italian tradition plays a pivotal role too with the creeping tones and floating atmospheres of 60’s and 70’s Italian library and soundtrack music playing a subtle supporting-role.

    This breadth of personal influences can be found in the emphasis of ‘Ostro’, it’s a constantly shifting record, never remaining stuck or fixated on anything for too long. Crossing continents, be it musically, stylistically or physically, seems to be something the pair return to over and over again, the subtle radiations of Africa that can be heard on the record are no accident, “I think that Sicilians are more like Africans than Europeans in some way. We have almost the same weather and architecture. We feel in our soul the same feeling of all Mediterranean people – a fatalistic instinct of drama. But in our music, Africa is such a metaphysical place, not so geographical, such a map on the sheet of the soul, connecting with ancient rites of Sun, different levels of enlightenment; a sense of a mystical path to follow.” Valenti offers. “A mystical path to follow” is perhaps the most apt description of 'Ostro'.

    Whilst the duo work from a shared vision that places keen focus on stream-of-consciousness approaches or, as Valenti puts it “A prismatic panorama, or well, a BRAINMATIC PANORAMA!” there really is an ambiguity, an uncertainness and a sense of the unknown, the otherworldly and the mystical when traversing through the vast spheres of the record. The pair’s own descriptions of some of the album’s tracks are testament to the sprawling, shifting, mass of it all “Suicide and Oneida dancing together around a big campfire” – “Pagan post-punk!” – “a slow march for psychedelic warriors on the unknown planet” – “gospel-dub” – “A bad trip”. And a “trip” it certainly is, some records aim to exist by not coming from a particular place but to exist in the transitions and journeys in-between them. Be them real, mystical or imaginary, present or past, the focus is on the movement rather than the end destination and the Lay Llamas’ debut album 'Ostro' is most certainly one such record.

    Ox Eagle Lion Man

    The Lay Of The Land The Turn Of The Tide

    Following from their sold out limited 7" debut on Transgressive and their buzz laden trip to SXSW, Ox... present their first widely available release. Formed by "Fred Les" of Les Incompetents fame, the band have already amassed a die-hard fan base.

    Vincent Black Lightning

    Lay Your Rug EP

    Vincent Black Lightning are a three piece band who dance to a different tune and don't sound quite like anyone else. Old valve amps, guitars and drum kit and classic English offbeat songwriting.

    Switches

    Lay Down The Law

    Switches continue their ascent with this forthcoming Southend stomper of a single, "Lay Down The Law". The band have spent the last three months building their collective armoury and sharpening their shows with gigs here, there and everywhere. They now exit the starting blocks faster than a steroid influenced sprinter with this, a brand new Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith) produced version of the demo track that was originally released on 7" only in Autumn last year.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    CDS Info: The CD single also includes the track "Eye Need 2 No".

    As I Lay Dying

    A Long March: The First Recordings

    In the United States As I Lay Dying are already one of the biggest exponents of the metalcore / new wave of American heavy metal genre next to Killswitch Engage. In order to bridge the gap to their next studio album and as a gift to their loyal fans, the band have re-released their early recordings on an album titled "A Long March - The First Recordings". Included are all the tracks from their debut "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes", as well as the songs from their split CD with American Tragedy, both originally released in 2001.

    As I Lay Dying

    Shadows Are Security

      Polished yet savage metalcore, relentlessly aggressive, powered by thudding, machine piston drumming a coloured by intricate, driving guitars and raw throat screaming. AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!


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