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DJ Pippi & Willie Graff

Lunares EP

If you’ve visited Ibiza in the last few years, there’s a fair chance you’ll have encountered DJ Pippi and Willie Graff. The experienced duo has been DJing together on the White Isle for years, finding time between sundown sets to make music together in Italian veteran Pippi’s home studio. The pair’s first collaborative EP dropped on Drumpoet Community way back in 2007, with the belated follow-up appearing a decade later on Compost Disco. Here they make their bow on Leng with the “Lunares EP”, a typically warm and woozy collection of cuts named after the Spanish word for “polka dots” (a fashionable item in Spain and the Balearic islands throughout the 1980s).

They begin with the slow-burn sunrise bliss of “Lunares”, a shuffling and glassy-eyed affair in which evocative, emotion-rich strings, heady vocal samples, echoing sitars and lilting guitars slowly rise above a thickset backing track rich in dubby bass, swelling pads, starry electronics and snappy drums. Capable of tugging at the heartstrings, it’s a sublime slab of mood-enhancing bliss perfect for both weary dancing and sofa-bound relaxation. “Saxolicious” lives up to the premise of the title, with Pippi and Willie wrapping snaking, effects-laden saxophone solos around a languid, slow motion groove bristling with hazy intent. Expect chiming electric piano chords, dreamy pads, rolling grooves and another fine bassline that will worm its way into your subconscious, spark up a spliff and stay there for days.

The EP’s final musical moment is, if anything, even more spaced-out and intoxicating. Employing extra-slow beats and a prominent jazzy bass guitar part, the pair invites us to get locked in to a chuggy rhythm. Throw in druggy synth lines, tactile electric piano stabs and some suitably cosmic effects and you have a hallucinatory treat that would no doubt have gained the approval of the late, great Andrew Weatherall.

TRACK LISTING

A. Lunares
B1. Island Visitors 
B2. Saxolicious

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.

TRACK LISTING

A1. City To City, Star 2 Star
A2. Am I Tripping
B1. Love Life
B2. 4 Snowflakes On Her Lips
B3. City 2 City, Star 2 Star (reprise) 

There’s much to be said for chance meetings. Vitruvians – in their words, “a meeting of minds, cultures, styles and experiences, powered by music, and designed by faith” – owe their very existence to once such random encounter. In the summer of 2014, producers Frankie Valentine and Thomas “T-Ash” Sciurpa bumped into each other in a London shoe shop. Over a fine selection of brogues and loafers, the conversation drifted onto music. The duo quickly realized they had much in common, and a plan began to form: they would get together and make music as Vitruvians, using the alias as a vehicle for their collaborative work. Some 18 months and numerous recording sessions in England and Italy later, the first Vitruvians record is ready for release. Dropping on Paul Murphy and Simon Purnell’s Leng Records imprint, “Spaghetti Saloon” is a banjo-pickin’ hoedown at the last drinking hole in the Milky Way. Propelled forwards by a restless drum machine rhythm, the duo’s original version expertly combines winding synthesizer melodies, wild honky-tonk piano solos, clanging ‘closing time’ bells, and the most loved-up banjo player in the galaxy. Ennio Morricone, eat your heart out.
The flipside of the 12” features a pair of tasty, DJ-friendly revisions. There’s the chugging Banjo Dub, where delay-laden bells and undulating banjo lines rub shoulders with a throbbing, space disco groove, and the even more psychedelic and alluring Piano Dub. As the title suggests, this pushes the duo’s distinctive keys work to the fore, stretching out the life affirming solos in a bid to incite even greater dancefloor abandon. Down a glass of bourbon, grab a partner, and get dancin’.


TRACK LISTING

A. Spaghetti Saloon
B. Spaghetti Saloon (Banjo Dub)
B. Spaghetti Saloon (Piano Dub)


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