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Michael Cutting

Stills

North UK-based tape musician Michael Cutting makes his album debut with STILLS on Salford’s beloved imprint Ono. Relish- ing in the lo-fi, analogue textures offered by the pairing of fender rhodes piano and reel to reel tape machines, the album’s seven tracks act as vignettes; tempting with loop-induced isorhythms of warping, disintegrating harmonies. An extended re- working of Cutting’s live set for the same instruments, STILLS heavily retains the sense of live process, evoking precariously balanced loops between tape machines and thermoflasks, with the distinctive clicks and clunks of the reel to reels’ buttons and levers an intrinsic element to the sonic discourse.

Cutting’s use of melody — plaintive, jaunty, occasionally drifting off-key — perfectly suits the nature of his tape-based ‘instruments’, with their inherent flaws, uncertainties, and means of making sound [...] STILLS is full of such attractive contrasts of melody, harmony, and rhythm, made all the more compelling by the ways in which they incorporate the material nature of the machines and processes that produce them

Big Peace (formerly known as Big War) is a Manchester based producer, DJ, member of the Generic Greeting Collective and co-promoter of No White Tee's (alongside Swing Ting's Joey B). Working in a variety of musical disciplines, you're as likely to hear his music as part of an installation in a gallery as you are to hear it on a rap mixtape. His unique and underivative productions have received praise both locally and further afield and have been featured on websites such as Vice, Dummy, Southern Hospitality and Cocaine Blunts. Big War's DJ sets run the gamut from funk and soul to rap and leftfield beats. Peace & War was created between 2010-2016 and is a two part collection of instrumentals made from samples and original
material with an awareness of DIY music and a clear influence from early 90's Warp / electronica. The music is bright eyed and positive but keeps it's foot firmly in the present as it marries its hip hop influences with a very post-everything, 2016 aesthetic. References could be made with 1080p, 100% Silk and the more recent Hyperdub output; but this definitely stands out as something sincere and considered, not simply an attempt to latch onto a fashionable trent of also-rans. Although highly produced, this is honest music that should resonante with the heart as much as it stimulates the mind and body. There's elements of yearning, lust, wide-eyed optimism and serene melancholy. Wonderfully sequenced and presented, this is a brilliantly realized piece. Highly recommended! 

FORMAT INFORMATION

Cassette Info: Another beautifully presented release from Ono with fully printed inlay and two colour schemes available.

Various Artists

Dr. Mystery - Summer Mixtape

    Sometimes you just need to chill out, whack on a mixtape and pour yourself a nice cocktail. Perfect for those hazy summer days sat in the back garden under a marquee with a barbeque failing before your eyes. Smooth grooves and walking bass-licks, glitched harmonic vocals stutter, filtering out before slamming into full-on poolside euphoria. Elsewhere afrobeat percussion really ups the heat-factor, seguing from hazy into blazy.  

    Seductive and nostalgic feel good anthems from every corner of electronic, funk and soul. 

    Big Peace

    Originally A Dancer

      Fractured Electronic whirring and neo-classical excerpts clash with skittering drums and pitched samples. Elsewhere, soulful reverberating vocals atop trap-themed glitches and eastern sitar samples. Refreshing and rejuvinating modern electronic mixes. 

      Fresh from dropping the world conquering "Posh People Make Me Ill", Ono are at it again, throwing another sonic curveball right around your melon. This time round, label favourite Stuart Chalmers (DJ Crackle) sets to work looping, layering and collaging a broad selection of sampled delights, loving cut up (in this case literally) from DJ Skip's (label head Michael Holland) extensive record collection. Taking an anything goes approach to source material the set switches between RnB, exotica, avant garde experiments, oddbal funk and disconcerting ambience, all chopped, screwed, slurred and spun out with maximum respect to Burroughs, Mike Cooper and Severed Heads. Whether you dig the frenetic and disorienting "Palm Treehouse Street Band", the headnodding bump of "Brandy Song For Supercat" or the borderline Balearic chill of "Beach Clouds" there's more than enough here to keep you coming back for more. Bravo.

      Watch Repair

      Sea Shanty Township

        The cultishly adored and highly acclaimed Watch Repair return with one of their biggest hits to date. "Sea Shanty Town Ship" sees the act expand on their now trademark work method of tuned grandfather clocks and other found sounds and now includes flurries of guitar, pocket cello, dulcimer, reed organ, accordion and bowl (!!!). Those familiar with the sound know what to expect - the warmest, almost cerebral enveloping ambience, drones and tones, collaged together in sophisticated, sleight-of-hand excellence. Suspense and tension are given new meaning alongside reconceptualizing the natural ambience of the traditional grandfather clock. Now garnering support from the cyberworld, Factmag are counted amongst their fans; and rightfully so. This is gloriously sedate but instantly resonating musique which can instantly transport any listener from the current location to an altered mindstate. Most recommended. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd CD Info: Limited edition 3"CDR with postcard style artwork plus detailed insert. All sealed within a PVC sleeve.

        Ronnie C Hoyte

        Gimme Gimme Gimme Your Love

          After tackling the experimental fringes of neo-classical and musique concrète on recent releases, Michael Holland's ever-eclectic Ono imprint leaves the cassette deck to one side to concentrate on the rough, raw and resplendent sounds of Manchester's Ronnie C Hoyte. Now, while you might not know the name, there's every chance you've heard Ronnie sing. Also known as Marc Bolan (legally), Ronnie's been plying his outsider rock 'n' roll on Manchester's street corners for as long as anyone can remember and this latest recording is the best work in a colourful career. In the homely surrounds of Seed Studios in Trafford, Ronnie laid down the ten tracks here in record time, ably assisted on the desk by Raul for the full bodied band tracks and Andrew Hodson for the psyched out acoustic numbers. The result is an energetic fusion of DIY glam, ramshackle rock 'n' roll and classic songwriting which could charm even the dourest of misanthropes (even Mailorder Dave quite likes it!) and stands up against the more esoteric street music lauded in recent years. Brill! 


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