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RUNNING BACK

Krystal Klear

Euphoric Dreams / Miyoki

How do you go on after a feast like „The Division“ - especially if it included a main course like Neutron Dance? You don’t! And you don’t even have to try. But like with any great meal, one can do magic with the leftovers (see chop suey, stew or goulash for further reference). In any case, Krystal Klear doesn’t need to worry about that. Having cracked the DNA code of „dance music“ on his first EP for Running Back, this double-A-side-follow-up-single feels alive, floats upstream and fires on all cylinders. While Euphoric Dreams is the musical incarnation of an Alexander Shulgin formula (your spine gets tingled all the way including a wonderfully prolonged break down) or the scoring of the proverb that „at the bottom of patience one finds heaven“ and „happiness is just around the bend“. Speaking of which, Miyoki does exactly that to every pair of knees around. A relentless bass line and a deadly snare („yes, you thrill me, when you fill me“*) are enough to force almost any kind of dance floor into submission. 

High grade new music here from team Running Back as they deposit a various artists EP off in our awaiting crimbo sacks. Younger Rebinds kick things off with "Tim's Symphony" which, whilst bringing absolutely nothing new to the party, authentically replicates that good old fashion Italo thrust. Gated arps, gated drums, gated strings! hahah, it's all a very enjoyable experience that'll have you grasping for the poppers in no time. ROD's "Moog" I'm guessing, is composed on Bob's iconic synthesizer. It's concentric, head-fuck of a lead line penetrating right into our cerebrum whilst a steady kick acts as an anchor.

Side B kicks off with a nice deep house number "Sad Piano", the track's main motif pulling at the heart strings as a tasty rhythm section works overtime. Obob Akim and "Hausbreak" closes off the record, a skeletal beat combining wonderful with M1 organ to create a shadowy, stripped back slice of nocturnal maneuvers. I gotta say, apart from ROD all producers are relatively new to me - but the quality here is HIGH.. Do check it out you won't be sorry. 

Third album by Frankfurt's Phillip Lauer - one half of Tuff City Kids (with Gerd) and one of Germany's prime exports regarding all things melodic and dance related. "Power" is a topical take on classic dance and 80ies pop figures, disco music in a closet (Lauer is still in denial), singing arpeggios, android choirs, beautiful bass lines and sometimes the apparitional architecture of house music.

Neatly placed on one piece of vinyl, “Power” collects nine songs that follow these roads. Expertly produced, recorded on high-end tape and complemented with intricate songwriting, many are regarding this as Lauer's magnum opus.

“Power” is vintage Lauer. Like his attic - Pyramide Studio 2 for those who know - where a vast synthesizer collection from the days of yore and tomorrow meets other digital dinosaurs and analog axes, it showcases a sanguine, punky and vivid DIY-aesthetic that isn't too far from a garage band turned into a one-man-orchestra. Glazed with two songs featuring the vocal talents of Jasnau ("Mirrors" and the eponymous "Power"), that sentiment is consolidated through a complete and dizzying LP which takes the listener over rainbow roads and electronic super highways. 


Running Back long standing legacy on modern dance music continues with an absolute dozzy of an EP by Helium Robots. If you like that twangy, hi-gloss, slightly exotic blend of house music oft permeated by artists on the label (think Telephones, Tensnake and Marco Passarani to name three), then this my friends is for you!

Four tracks that instantly transport you into a carefree 72 hour weekend. The kids are at home, you've got money to spend and friends / lovers by your side. All that's left is to find your spot on the dancefloor (front left, obvs...), get loaded and dance the night away. Holiday house never sounded so good!

Recommended. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Bedazzling EP from this go-to and long running label. There's not many duff ones in their vast catalogue and this new one certainly hits the 'Yes' pile.

History revealing compilation project centering around the legendary Front Club in Hamburg Germany that existed from the 80´s - late 90´s - a leading club in terms of music selection, mixing technique, rave culture - in a very important period of time.

Eponymous resident DJ´s Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch take a close look back at that time, guide you through the history, the early beginnings and absolute key moments of house music club culture in Germany.

37 legendary tracks make up the CD release - many of which have not been on sale forever and a day while the vinyl, set across two volumes, selected 16 of the hardest hitting numbers for an unmixed selection for the DJs and collectors alike.

Hamburg’s Front club was already the stuff of legend, and the story is important now, 21 years later as not many peoiple know how house music infiltrated Germany to give techno some competition on the dancefloor. With Front you wouldn't have Robert Johnson or, to some extent, Parorama - house and disco simply were not celebrated in large numbers until Front, Stockhausen and Dlugosch opens minds and record boxes to the soulful sound. 


FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP 1 Info: LP Part One.

2xLP 2 Info: LP Part Two.

Written and produced by Maurice Fulton. 'An Original Dr. Scratch Mix'. Published by Buttrubb Music.

Maurice Fulton re-instates his much lauded Syclops project for album number three. Joined by Hanna Sarkari on guitars, who was part of the original lineup, and with Zanzibar cum Sheffield songstress Mim Suleiman on drums and Karo Brandi doing... some other stuff? Maurice has always kept us been aloof with exact details of his (makebelive?) band.

Anyway, as we've come to expect - a mix of Fulton's idiosyncratic, sativa-blend hyper-electronix, big bolshie drum breaks and a heady, cerebrum tickling musical style that covers new jazz, space funk and synth wig-outs in equal measure. There's no-one in the world that sounds like this 'band' and it's great to hear them sounding as assured and as creative as ever on their third outing!

If anything Maurice has ramped up the intensity, with shuddering, monolithic drum crashes opening the record. "The Skipper" soon introduces us to a shimmering, dancefloor friendly cut with gurgling bass and suspended arps. Jason finds his K but Sarah loses her E, resulting in a pitch black, technoid thud that'll disorientate even the most ardent dancer. Elsewhere, there's moments of skeletal drum machine techno ("Kelly Is With Her"), bouncy house discord ("Five Left") and mind melting, cranium busting future jazz rampages such as "Karo B Is Not On Love & Hip Hop" and the eponymous album closer "Pink Eye", that'll leave you nothing short of breathless after its six minute onslaught of intensity.

It's like Maurice and the Syclops have channeled all the aggression and energy of a thousand dinosaurs and let it loose across the myriad studio outboard resulting in a very busy, adventurous and dynamic album - easily set to be regarded as the best out of the three from this project. Why's it named after conjunctivitis though...?!?!?




STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Stone cold L E G Maurice returns with the Sycops in toe for perhaps their loudest, most crazed expedition to date. Your head'll be left in a spin by the end of the LP.

Running Back's Mastermix series is a timely reminder of what has made Running Back endure and remain at the top of many house music fans' favourite label lists for over a decade. Gerd Janson's widely adored imprint has invited one of house music's original & greatest proponents of the Mastermix, NYC's Tony Humphries, to curate and mix the CD edition of the compilation, accompanied by an unmixed double-LP which features a handful of the compilations rare & exclusive cuts. Beginning with Todd Terje's blockbuster "Ragysh" and traversing tracks from across the label's history, it includes contributions from long time label regulars alongside more recent additions and reminders of some of RB's best reissues. Label mainstays Tiger & Woods, Matthew Styles, Redshape and Leon Vynehall all appear, alongside Mr G, Paul Woolford and recent breakthrough artists Shan, Jex and Roy Camanchero. Tiger & Woods's "Don't Hesitate" appears on vinyl for the first time, while the Dixon edit of Precious System's anthem "The Voice From Planet Love" will be available on wax again after only appearing on a super limited 12" run the first time around. The choice of Tony Humphries to mix the compilation is a significant one. Having received his break in the early 80s as an understudy for the legendary Shep Pettibone's Kiss FM show, Humphries went on to become one of the defining DJs of house music's formative years with his residency at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar and London's Ministry of Sound. His previous mixes illustrate his continuing ability to bridge dance music's past & present, with prior contributions to Resident Advisor and Fabric's respective series in addition to label compilations for King Street Sounds and West End Records.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: New Jersey don, Zanzibar luminary and Kiss FM's most celebrated dance jock, Tony Humphries takes time to explore the vast Running Back catalogue and delivers a highly enjoyable master-mix that perfectly encapsulates both the impressive depth of the label alongside Tony's unique and coveted DJ style.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: 2LP With Poster & Download.

The eye of the storm: welcome to Tornado Wallace's debut album! How about some references? New Age sounds meet new wave melodies, Grace Jones runs into the Dire Straits at Compass Point, while a Korg Mini Pops and a Roland CR78 make amends for Sly & Robbie's absence, Michael Mann pictures Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', Robert Rauschenberg tries his luck at naturalism and an imagined Wally Badarou echoes through all of it. The accumulation of about four years of work, with tracks written in Berlin and Melbourne, "Lonely Planet" is nothing like you may have expected from the Australian expat. Merging functionality with a musical playfulness on releases for ESP Institute, Beats in Space and Music From Memory's sister Label Second Circle, Tornado Wallace's found himself as one of the producers behind José Padilla's International Feel album. Here, he leaves the needs of the dance floor behind in order to create a magical mystery tour de trance into his and our inner jungle. Sandwiched between the title track and the yearning beauty of the album's final point "Healing Feeling", you get all of that as well as collaborations with and contributions of NO ZU, David Hischfelder and the voice of Sui Zhen on "Today", who would easily make Anna Domino take her proverbial hat off.
Tornado Wallace created an album that supersedes the requirements and expectations of a debut. Like a lost Island Records or a never released Made to Measure album, "Lonely Planet" soundtracks notions and ideas that recall the nostalgic future in the past as much as it looks ahead.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Comprising of seven expansive compositions, ‘Lonely Planet’ transports the listener to a dreamlike landscape alive with excellent birds, dense foliage and breathtaking vistas. As he glides effortlessly between future primitive visions and otherworldly ambient suites, Wallace marries lush FM synthesis with Knopfleric guitar and organic percussion, grounding us in reality while our eyes dart over the intangible. And there, nestled in the midst of all this utopian beauty is ‘Today’, the greatest 80s pop record that never was. Boasting a blithely shrugged vocal from No Zu’s Sui Zhen, the track sounds like a springtime meeting between Talk Talk and Gina X at a far flung resort. Yet despite its abundance of detached cool, this cinematic gem lends the LP a human touch, allowing the listener to find their place in the natural rhapsody. Clear your schedule, close your eyes and take the trip of a lifetime.

Unlike some of his Norwegian pals Todd Terje isn't the most prolific of producers, so when he delivers any new material - original or remix - you know it's time to sit up and take notice. And you should definitely be taking notice of "Ragysh", because it's one of the best club tracks we've had in recent times. You know Todd, he doesn't like anything fussy in his work, just nice simple ideas that rock the floor: here we get some nice kick drum driven house music with a percolating percussion loop lifted from Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" intro (I reckon). A weighty keyboard line slowly filters its way to the front of the track before leading the way to the uplifting synthy breakdown. Remember those hands-in-the-air moments from Italy's Kamasutra? This will bring the bliss back! "Bonysh" strips "Ragysh" back to basics then adds extra cowbell and all sorts of retro sci-fi synth noises. Lastly "Snooze 4 Love" transports us to the land of Balearic house with dreamy synth washes competing for ear-time. DO NOT MISS THIS!


FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Please note: no longer in picture sleeve.


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