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PHANTASY SOUND

A memorably bracing, momentarily pummeling highlight of ‘Song For Alpha’, Daniel Avery perfectly bridges the light and dark contrast of his influences on standout cut, ‘Diminuendo’. Uncompromising technoid drums establish genuine frenzy, matched by a pulsating industrial drone, ultimately collapsing into ethereal feedback, before one final round of frenetic rhythm.
On ‘Hyper Detail’, the intense acid lurking beneath the surface of ‘Song For Alpha’ is dramatically unleashed, easily matching the frantic energy of the previous track, and upping the potential for wide-eyed, rave-friendly electronic hypnosis. ‘Light Of Falling Rain’ is more severe and equally intricate, creating immediate enormous tension and re-lease with a barrage of snarling electro and expertly intertwined microrhythms.

Finally, on ‘Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes’, the disembodied elements of Avery’s studio communicate something cryptic and unnerving as a farewell. The most uncompromising and purely physical batch of material to emerge in the wake of ‘Song For Alpha’, the ‘Diminuendo’ EP finds Avery on urgent and ruthless form.


STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Wow... what a surprise. For me it is all about the behemoth 'Diminuendo', a hard techno tribal with acid flairs. A highlight on his album and now in its full glory on a 12". If you dig prolific Avery, this is a must have.

Gabe Gurnsey

You Can Feat. The Hacker Remix

"You Can" stares directly into the haze and the strobes of the transformative night-out documented throughout Gabe Gurnsey’s debut LP, "Physical". Undoubtedly one of the record’s most outright hedonistic moments, "You Can" finds Gabe cheekily intoning an invitation to dance, get high, or both, assisted by a deeply trippy sonic atmosphere and a seductive, twilight bassline.

In the spirit of classic extended edits, the "Extended Dub" version unpicks and expands on each of these elements, retaining the solid groove of the original while transforming it into a heady dancefloor tool. A staple of electro for the past two decades, The Hacker meanwhile continues his recent hot streak with his remix of "You Can". Firmly executed with his usual cyber-militancy, his simple but effective reimagining is littered with elasticated synth stabs, urgent oscillations and an audible desire to transform Gurnsey himself into a man-machine.


James Welsh

Zurich / A65

Having recently been remixed by Radio Slave, Ozel AB and FC Kahuna on Phantasy, James Welsh returns to the label with ‘Zurich/A65’. Anoth-er expertly executed two-track primed for the club but infused with detail and sheer personality, it further cements his idiosyncratic and forward-thinking interpretation of techno, industrial and experimental electronic styles.

Opening the EP, ‘Zurich’ takes an infectious, urgent bassline and gradu-ally expands into a weightless landscape. Slowly revealing it’s rhythmic intent, it seamlessly blends a distinct melancholy with intensity, which, like the best of Welsh’s work so far, is both wistful and physical.

Appropriate to its namesake, ‘A65’ sets the scene by sampling the un-mistakable sound of speeding Yorkshire traffic, opening up a breathless musical autobahn, driven by luminescent synths that pulse with euphoria and energy.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Here is proof that Phantasy Sound is not just Daniel Avery. Fantastic double sandwich of big room tech house with glimpses of trance here and there. There is a healthy dose of friendly acid on 'A65' too. Always a good thing on my books. Not a trance boy myself but a little sweet spot for those keys and those climaxes. Mr Welsh nails it and if you are searching for couple of stormers and solid builders, look no further.

Ghost Culture

Axon - Inc. Legowelt Remix

Following on from 2017's experimentally-focused EP, "Nucleus", "Axon" finds Phantasy regular Ghost Culture return with an urgent, pristine slice of club euphoria, backed by an inspired remix by synth extraordinaire Legowelt. The original version of "Axon" powers ahead with a supremely physical bassline and a ghostly atmosphere that's slathered with atmospheric choral touches, contrasted by punching, powerful drums. Each perfectly tuned element weaves a seriously impressive spell of charismatic, contemporary electro.

The track is then driven underground and transformed into something truly psychedelic at the hands of the Dutch maestro. We've always had a soft spot for Leggers here at Picc HQ, and his remix of "Axon" demonstrates whyt. Coaxing out one of his distinctive acid lines, the Hague resident unravels a heady, hazy atmosphere of creeping euphoria amid a spectral, twilight groove. Get the smoke n strobe machine operator a couple of Soundclouds before this one drops folks... 


Following the release of his Projector EP earlier this month, Daniel Avery has enlisted revered London producer Four Tet aka Kieran Hebden for a remix of "Quick Eternity", taken from the former’s long-awaited second album "Song For Alpha".

Hebden flips the warm, undulating synths and crystalline percussion of Avery’s original in his own inimitable style, building shimmering, skittering flourishes before a pneumatic final half.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Like climbing a mountain and descending it by flying on a paraglide. That is Four Tet's vision of this monster track by man of the moment Daniel Avery. Killer build up, breathless climax, gorgeous finale.

Taken from Gabe Gurnsey’s upcoming debut solo LP, "Physical" (also out on Phantasy), "Eyes Over" zones in on techy, intricately constructed electronic groove; comprised of interwoven synth stabs, a growling analogue snarl and darting elasatic lines. Gurnsey's vocal reminds me of Green Velvet - all drugged out and warbling; and sounding super paired next to these narco-beats.

The stripped back, jugular hitting, "Extended Dub" takes more precise aim at the dancefloor, allowing each disparate, analogue element more room to attack across that bassline throbb. Specialist tackle from Gurnsey here...


Five years after his critically acclaimed debut Drone Logic, London-based producer Daniel Avery announces his highly anticipated second album Song For Alpha, set for release on March 9th 2018 through Phantasy. The album is preceded on January 19th by a 4-track limited edition 12” vinyl EP titled Slow Fade.

The new long player, on which the track ‘Slow Fade’ will appear, follows 2013’s incendiary debut Drone Logic. Upon its release the latter was called “A mesmerising debut" by Mixmag, “Exceptional” by the Times and "A benchmark for so many other dance albums to aspire to" by Dummy, while Pitchfork proclaimed “Avery owns this space.” “Underground dance music with this sort of ambition hasn’t been heard in quite a while", noted Resident Advisor, and Q hailed  "The arrival of a new left­field dance superstar."

In the years since, Avery has helmed a DJ-Kicks mix CD, resided over a monthly radio show for NTS Live, curated an extensive remix compilation and collaborated on a series of side-projects including a recent collaboration with Nine Inch Nails synth specialist Alessandro Cortini; he has toured relentlessly, cementing a reputation as one of the defining techno DJs of the decade. He has also worked studiously on what he wanted to say next as a producer. 

With newfound energy and time to develop, Avery’s sonic vocabulary has expanded. Here, the booming sound of the big room is brilliantly countered by the music of the small hours. Where celestial ambient lullabies ‘First Light’ and ‘Days From Now’ sit perfectly next to the mesmeric techno assault of ‘Diminuendo’ and ‘Sensation’; where both ‘Projector’ and ‘Clear’ evoke early rave records, only ones engulfed by waves of beautiful cyclonic distortion. William Basinski, Warp’s Artificial Intelligence, Brian Eno plus his own excursions with Alessandro Cortini all serve as touchstones for a record that sees Avery take his signature psychedelic-electronic sound to new dimensions, a sound that plays to the head as much as the body.


STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Delicately presented electroacoustic compositions, supported with a finely honed backbone of melodic suggestion and hypnotic rhythmic pulse, Avery once again proves he is one of the masters of his craft.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Double 180 gram vinyl.

2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

Cowboy Rhythmbox

Tanz Exotique Remixes - Inc. Red Axes / Marvin & Guy Remixes

Initially described as 'superlative 25th century electronic exotica' by Cowboy Rhythmbox themselves, the fourth EP from Phantasy’s in-house trouble and hitmakers received support from top jocks including Dixon, Jackmaster and Marcel Dettmann. Now, it’s dynamic lead track is rejigged, expanded upon and shot through with analogue energy by two equally inventive producer pairings.

Israel’s finest, Red Axes take the first turn, coaxing the cosmos out of the original and allowing the bewildering vocal samples to lead the way through waves of more than pleasurable cosmic tension. Soon, with the timing just right, feet to pedals and strobe to hand, the pair unleash a series of distorted guitar licks that blow dust off the stacks, even throwing in a sharp blast of their trademark surrealist vocals for extra freaky FX. On the flip, Marvin and Guy zone out and hone in on the original’s EBM-indebted elements to contribute a trippy, wave-riding electro rework that oscillates irresistibly. Teasing listeners with a playful, almost naive synth line, the mood shimmers instead with uncompromising acid, as the pair ultimately push the modulars into strange and hypnotic territories to get lost in.


Various Artists

Erol Alkan Reworks Vol. 1

    Phantasy release ‘Reworks Volume 1’, a comprehensive collection of remixes from prodigious DJ and producer Erol Alkan.

    ‘Reworks Volume 1’ is a musical overview of what makes Erol Alkan one of his generation’s most iconic remixers. Framing a corner of his career in perspective - a success in taking on any source material and melding it into something of his own. Alkan’s philosophy towards a remix is to ‘re-produce’ work as if the original never existed. Avoiding methods like the transplanting of a vocal on a contemporary dance beat, or adding a four-to-the-floor 808 kick drum underneath a rock band, Alkan instead takes a considered approach to build something new that offers a fresh and divergent take on the music in front of him.

    This collection of reworks illustrates that his distinct style of remixing is just another layer in what makes Erol Alkan unique to dance music. Unpredictable but equipped with a Midas touch - you never quite know what’s coming but you can count on it to be special, a quality shared between both his DJ sets and his production work. Erol Alkan is a dance music artist with an alternative sensibility, a psychedelic approach and a punk outlook - what makes him stand apart in dance music is what makes him one of the genre’s most enduring and influential artists.

    ‘Reworks Volume 1’ looks back on over a decade of realigning other artists, including his classic versions of Justice’s ‘Waters Of Nazareth’, Connan Mockasin’s ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ and Death From Above 1979’s ‘Romantic Rights’, remixes that have added new perspective and dimensions to the originals, at times performing alchemy, turning rock into dance music on reworks for Franz Ferdinand, Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and he’s just as comfortable taking on fellow dance music producers like Lindstrøm, Daft Punk and Hot Chip - a connection which lead to the classic rework of ‘Boy From School’.

    The double CD edition brings together 20 reworks across two CDs and comes with a booklet which includes an exclusive interview with Erol Alkan.

    Various Artists

    Erol Alkan Reworks Vol. 1 - Limited Edition Box Set

      Phantasy release ‘Reworks Volume 1’, a comprehensive collection of remixes from prodigious DJ and producer Erol Alkan.

      ‘Reworks Volume 1’ is a musical overview of what makes Erol Alkan one of his generation’s most iconic remixers. Framing a corner of his career in perspective - a success in taking on any source material and melding it into something of his own. Alkan’s philosophy towards a remix is to ‘re-produce’ work as if the original never existed. Avoiding methods like the transplanting of a vocal on a contemporary dance beat, or adding a four-to-the-floor 808 kick drum underneath a rock band, Alkan instead takes a considered approach to build something new that offers a fresh and divergent take on the music in front of him.

      This collection of reworks illustrates that his distinct style of remixing is just another layer in what makes Erol Alkan unique to dance music. Unpredictable but equipped with a Midas touch - you never quite know what’s coming but you can count on it to be special, a quality shared between both his DJ sets and his production work. Erol Alkan is a dance music artist with an alternative sensibility, a psychedelic approach and a punk outlook - what makes him stand apart in dance music is what makes him one of the genre’s most enduring and influential artists.

      The vinyl box set includes ten classic reworks remastered and spread across five pieces of vinyl, an exclusive interview and download code to the full digital album containing a further 10 reworks. The box is covered in linen with a red foil print.

      Trip. A simple arrangement of four letters that has many associations: a trip to the seaside, a drug trip (and so a journey into the unknown), a trip is to suddenly fall.

      "The Soft Bounce" is a trip album in the widest sense: containing nearly 45 minutes of carefully programmed music, it sets off into to the unknown, it contains pleasure and pain, doubt and transcendence, and it ends somewhere that is different from where you started.

      Beginning with expansive synth washes and "Love To Love You Baby"-style oohs, "Delicious Light" is immediately uplifting: we’re off on a switchback journey that will pass from light through darkness and confusion and pain to transcendence and acceptance. Darkness of a sort is forged in explosive motion ("Iron Age") before passing through sunshine pop ("Creation"), first wave UK psych ("Door To Tomorrow" with its invocation of "Emily", beloved of both the Pink Floyd and the Piccadilly Line), and the blissful Balearic emotion of "Diagram Girl". This passes into the American Gothic of "Black Crow" - that traditional avian harbinger of doom - and then we’re down the rabbit hole.

      “Tomorrow, Forever" begins in the sound of nothingness and slowly unfolds into beatless cloud reveries that are at once solemn and hopeful. Weightless, blown with the wind, you come down to earth with the skipping afro beat of "The Soft Bounce": a soft female voice pleads for connection, but she is almost swamped by the stinging, shocking guitar reverb. The positive moods of "Finally First" and "Triumph" put everything back together before the all-out acid assault of "Third Mynd": from life to death to rebirth, ‘you throw the sticks up in the air, and they come down in a different pattern.’

      “Is it the history of human kind or a personal, individual odyssey? With guest appearances from Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci), Jane Weaver, Holly Miranda and Hannah Peel, Erol Alkan and Richard Norris have constructed an album that is both highly enjoyable and on a deeper level, perceptual and psychological. Growth is necessary, as is adaptation to change: neither are achieved easily or without some kind of sacrifice. Operating on a level that can be verbal but is more often non-verbal, music can ease that passage.” - John Savage.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: This is indeed a trip. Melodic but psychedelic rock music to get up and dance to. Anthemic choruses and stoner guitars hide behind swirling synths and softly delivered vocal harmonies before smashing into the foreground with a riotous burst of distortion and glam. Exciting and groovy, gleefully nostalgic ('Emily' he sings, I was fully expecting Barrett to walk in and tell me about how she plays), but resolutely modern. A trip through all the best bits of all the things you should like. Ace.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Standard vinyl format is pressed on transparent vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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