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PHANTASY SOUND

Joshua James continues a run of infectious singles on Phantasy with a brooding, dreamlike turn into the night on ‘Marlene’, accompanied by two contrasting remixes from Swiss master, Deetron.

Beginning with the timeless texture of joyous, eighties NYC house, ‘Marlene’ soon introduces an inquisitive vocal sample, as an elegant conversation explores love and tolerance. Nonetheless, leaving little time for chin stroking, the track instead cautiously circles the pleasure at the epicentre of the dancefloor, venturing into more introspective, late-night territory, culminating in an unexpected and cathartic release of psychedelic electro. Reflecting the energy and imagination of his weekly residency at XOYO, James delivers a sophisticated, queer take on contemporary house that pays off in sheer bliss.

With a cemented reputation as one of the world’s most intuitive and imaginative remixers, Deetron carefully rebuilds 'Marlene' twice over. On his initial remix, he adopts a shuffling 4/4 bass weight, zoning in on an unintelligible snippet of the track’s sample, creating slowly escalating, sweat-inducing club pressure. Suddenly, fluttering keys and deep chords send us into a deeper direction, from the rave to the lounge and back again. Meanwhile, the Filter Dub is tailor-made and tested for after-hours selectors with a thirst for the esoteric.

Paul Woolford’s hardcore and rave-indebted Special Request project continues its industrious hot streak, delivering two sublime, peak-time reworks of Erol Alkan’s unstoppable "Spectrum". Since its release in late 2017, Alkan’s hit has been as ubiquitous as Woolford himself, gaining momentum as a staple in the sets of DJs such as Andrew Weatherall, Sven Vath and Mano Le Tough.

Beginning with the "Kaleidoscopic Mix", SR strips back the high-energy reverie of Alkan’s original into something truly vast, building to an unmistakable and flawless acid bassline, from which emerges a brooding and dystopian network of melodies. Balancing tension and melancholy without ever losing grip of its enormous bass weight, the "Kaleidoscopic Mix" delivers ten-minutes of compelling euphoria with more than subtle nods to the heady times of trance and prog. Infact, you can almost envisage the great Sven Vath turning this track into one of 'Those' moments at his continuing DC-10 residency in Ibiza....

On the flip, the "Double Vision" mix takes much of the same structure but places the original, glorious riff front-and-centre once more, as if stretching its fizzy, inherent energy out of a warehouse and towards the fields at sunrise. A momentus breakdown culminates in some rather disorientating flurries as the track spins out of control for a moment of unrivelled techno greatness.

Supreme stuff from one of the masters of innovations. Gonna be huge!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: High octane electronic tweakers for the bigger dance arenas courtesy of Paul Woolford and his wonderful Special Request alias; here remixing the already grandiose presence of Erol Alkin.

Late Of The Pier

Fantasy Black Channel (10 Year Anniversary Edition)

    LOTP (Sam Eastgate, Andrew Faley, Ross Dawson and Sam Potter) were a band of inter-dimensional musicians who landed in the late noughts, whose wild journey took them from the quiet North West Leicestershire countryside to the stages of Coachella, Tokyo and beyond, touring with the likes of Soulwax and Justice. Their music was a mutant take on pop that described the chaos of being a teenager by looking forwards and back-wards over and over again until the present moment started to make sense. Following the release of Fantasy Black Channel they put out singles ‘Blueberry’ and ‘Best In The Class’ in 2010, picking up fans from Mike Skinner to Dave Grohl along the way. Talking in a 2014 interview, Grohl exclaimed, “They blew my fucking mind. They’re called Late of the Pier. They made one record and disappeared. […] They use crazy computers and then they rock and it sounds like dubstep for one minute, then it’s a crazy prog thing, and it’s like, ‘Wow’.”


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Repress. Contains a digital bonus of rare demos and oddities

    Late Of The Pier

    Fantasy Black Channel - 10 Year Anniversary Edition

      Late Of The Pier announce a special 10th anniversary edition of their cult debut album ‘Fantasy Black Channel’, produced by Erol Alkan and released in 2008 to great acclaim. Fittingly, the reissue will be released on a limited lenticular edition of 500, alongside a standard edition both with heavyweight vinyl. Both reissues are accompanied by a digital companion album of unreleased demos and outtakes from the album recording sessions – set for release through Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label, landing in stores on 18th January 2019.

      LOTP (Sam Eastgate, Andrew Faley, Ross Dawson and Sam Potter) were a band of inter-dimensional musicians who landed in the late noughts, whose wild journey took them from the quiet North West Leicestershire countryside to the stages of Coachella, Tokyo and beyond, touring with the likes of Soulwax and Justice. Their music was a mutant take on pop that described the chaos of being a teenager by looking forwards and back-wards over and over again until the present moment started to make sense. Following the release of Fantasy Black Channel they put out singles ‘Blueberry’ and ‘Best In The Class’ in 2010, picking up fans from Mike Skinner to Dave Grohl along the way. Talking in a 2014 interview, Grohl exclaimed, “They blew my fucking mind. They’re called Late of the Pier. They made one record and disappeared. […] They use crazy computers and then they rock and it sounds like dubstep for one minute, then it’s a crazy prog thing, and it’s like, ‘Wow’.”

      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.

      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.


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