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SCISSOR & THREAD

New Jersey-born Ali Berger is a drum machine specialist and low-key US electronic music producer, now based in Pittsburgh after spending the 2010s in Boston and Detroit. His catalog of original music runs deep, with over 60 releases on his Trackland label and EPs on imprints like Spectral Sound and Sequencias, all resulting from a lovingly-cultivated studio approach which respects improvisation as a spiritual practice.

Here with this sublime release on Scissors and Thread, Ali shares a multitude of sounds and atmospheres across the five tracks. As Ali himself puts it 'This record collects tracks from the last three years, plus 0221 (Serious Mix) which is from 2018. There's a full cross-section of production techniques represented here, from one-take jams to multi-tracked compositions, but through it all there's a deep melancholy which (I hope) is tempered by enough groove to be uplifting. Maintaining emotional balance takes constant, caring attention; music is a part of that process for me and these tracks reflect that.'

This balancing of melancholic atmospheres and groove is evident throughout. "Rhythm & Simplicity" is a low key thoughtful banger for the more discerning dancefloors, while "A New World To Forget" also exhibits a deep love of cultured house music and analog drum machines. "Tape Jam Pt 2" is the perfect mix of improvisation and pure groove, put down in a rough and gritty fashion. "0221 (Serious Mix)" merges a breakbeat with pads and synths that give off a Balearic sunrise vibe, while "Motion Anthem" wraps up the EP with a tougher groove coupled with wistful melodies and oceans of feeling.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Seriously lush and dreamy EP from Ali Berger who merges coastal house, Balearic bliss, baggy breaks and sun lit radiance into one five track package of paradise music.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Rhythm & Simplicity
A2. A New World To Forget
A3. Tape Jam Pt. 2
B1. 0221 (Serious Mix)
B2. Motion Anthem

Where previously, Frank & Tony have been celebrated for their contemplative, studious approach to the genre, with "Ethos", the Brooklyn /  Biarritz-based duo return amidst metastatic cultural upheaval to prove out those scholarly credentials - with an album that serves to remind listeners why dancefloors and liberatory politics consistently share the language of movements and revolutions.

Undoubtedly, "Ethos" is tremendously influenced by the multitude of projects originating from, and supported by, the duo and their label in the decade since "You Go Girl" - releasing records from a vast diversity of artists (including Nadia Khan, Gry, Villete, Darand Land, Alex Albrecht, DJ Sprinkles and CCL), and Harris becoming curatorial voice of Brooklyn’s premiere venue for audiophiles, Public Records, where he continues to amplify work across a global diaspora (and where the duo maintain a residency of wide praise).

It is this bright energy and focus on the necessity of community and relationships that animates the aptly-titled "Ethos". If past Frank & Tony releases have been lauded as ‘a coloring book in which someone has exclusively drawn inside the lines… with extreme precision,’ "Ethos" deviates by inviting friends in for a game of exquisite corpse. From singer and pianist Eliana Glass, whose androgynous, double-reeded voice freestyles across album opener "Olympia", to distinct track features from fellow house masterminds DaRand Land, DJ Aakmael and Lawrence over half of the album’s nine tracks highlight artists in the larger Scissor & Thread circle.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Olympia (with Eliana Glass)
A2. Ethos (with DaRand Land)
B1. Too Poor For Movies, Too Tired For Love (with Lawrence)
B2. Nobody Present Ever Stood So Still
C1. By The End They Will
C2. Cecile (with Eliana Glass)
D1. Drift (with DJ Aakmael)
D2. From Life Ahead
D3. Continuity

Berlin based Anglo-Argentine producer Rosas Nievas gives those who missed out first time round another opportunity to grab a copy of his sublime and soulful emotional house gem "Every Inch Of You". The title track draws us close slowly, utilising intimate sound design, delicate piano and rumbling bass to create an atmoshpere of moonlit beauty and wintery chill. A system friendly kick builds in confidence throughout, waiting to get to know us a little better before settling into a familiar 4/4 - I never knew music could learn you like a lover. Frank & Tony offer their own interpretation on the A2, transforming the track into a deeply textured techno journey at house pace. By the time we roll around to the B1 Rosas Nievas is in full club mode, nudging subby bass and crunchy drums into the kind of crepuscular groove we expect from Pepe B or DJ Sprinkles. Sustained piano chords and wriggling synths form a melodic counterpoint, while a spoken vocal breaks down all four walls to create a lofty, widescreen vibe. Closing cut "Hear Me Rain" takes another bold step towards the dancefloor with a pinging kick and swinging hats sure to set your hips in motion. An almost-oriental, almost 8-bit synth motif channels Sakamoto in his YMO period, while introspective pads harness his later ambient work - you can't argue with class.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Delicate, lush and sublime emotional house music from Rosas Nievas here, pairing truly exceptional sound design with rich musicality and so many feels. Rosas Nievas FTW

TRACK LISTING

A1. Every Inch Of You
A2. Every Inch Of You (Frank & Tony's Breakaway Remix)
B1. My Opinion
B2. Hear Me Rain


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