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Jose Gonzalez

In Our Nature

    When José González became a household name across the world with the help of 250,000 coloured bouncing balls and a Sony Bravia television commercial featuring his spare and moving version of The Knife's song, "Heartbeats", it was the second time fame came calling and caused a truly remarkable phenomenon. While studying biochemistry at the university of Gothenburg, José's debut album "Veneer" was released in his Swedish homeland in 2003. It made him a national star. Featuring "Heartbeats" and ten other resonant, acoustic songs, "Veneer" turned José, a Gothenburg (via Argentina) native, into a Top Ten recording artist. This, his second album continues where "Veneer" left off. Another stunning collection of captivating songs.

    Stasis

    Circuit Funk

      Growing up as a teenager in East London, break-dancing and writing graffiti with B12’s Mike Golding, Steve Pickton’s AKA Stais musical education moved along a familiar path, from hip-hop to Electro and onto Techno. Schooling himself in music theory and purchasing a sampler Pickton set about making his own music. Releasing on a whose who of seminal UK electronic labels including A.R.T., Likemind, Otherworld and B12 under various pseudonyms Pickton’s UK take on lush Detroit melodies fused techno, funk, hip-hop, dub, blues and jazz into a dense concoction all of his own making. Re-issued for the first time since its initial release in 1993 Circuit Funk Pickton’s debut release on Peacefrog is packed full of lush Detroit melodics and future funk that still sounds unique and fresh today.

      John Beltran first emerged in the techno scene 1991 with the Aquatic 12” on Carl Craig and Damon Bookers rare and seminal Retroactive label. The tones and shapes on Aquatic and his follow up for R&S Earth & Nightfall suggested an individual take on modern electronics as shades of jazz, classical and Latin whispered through Beltran’s productions. Ten Days Of Blue (1996) built on the successes of its predecessors with sharp rhythms and pure digital sounds flooding through dreamy sequences and subtle chord shapes. The title track and the plaintive Soft Summer sounded like Tangerine Dream injected with jazz bass or Kraftwerk mainlining on heartbreak. Beltran seemed to have perfected the art of painting tones and rhythms across canvasses that were almost unbearably delicate and pretty. Over 20 years on and Ten Days Of Blue is still considered a masterpiece of delicate textures and heart stopping romance for those in the know. Essential!

      As featured in Fact magazine’s 'The greatest techno albums you’ve never heard', and originally released way back in 1994, "The Silicon Dawn" was one of the first full lengths released on Peacefrog during a period which turned out to be remarkably fruitful for techno. Tracks such as "Parallel" and "Population 2" kissed the same patch of sky as Black Dog or “Icon” -era Derek May but Dan’s unique ability to mix melodies and harmonic layers around complex percussion proved to be a compelling innovation from the techno norm. Richly harmonic, expressionist techno in the grandest Detroit style from Dan Curtin. Repressed with love from Peacefrog and sounding as good as ever.... top stuff!

      Born and raised in the birthplace of House Music, Paul Johnson has released a vast amount of music for some of the most consistently underground dance labels before hooking up with Peacefrog. 12" releases on the likes of Cajual / Relief and Dance Mania led to his debut album release Bump Talkin in 1995. His remix work for Stacy Kidd, Joey Beltram, Green Velvet, Armando, CC Penniston, Ron Trent, K-Alexi, and Steve Poindexter amongst many others have made their way into all the big DJ’s boxes, many of which remain there to this day. Paul's breakthrough moment arrived in 1999 with his International hit Get Down which is still heard in clubs and on the radio to this day. Paul Johnsons second Peacefrog album originally released in 1996 is a 90’s house music masterpiece. Containing some of the classiest house to hail from the Windy City. Classics including A Little Suntin Suntin , Summer Heat and I Wonder Why will have you smiling while you’re jackin’.

      Fromtheoldtothenew was originally released in 1996 and is the second full length on Peacefrog from Steve ‘Stasis’ Pickton. Growing up as a teenager in East London, break-dancing and writing graffiti with B12’s Mike Golding, Steve Pickton’s musical education moved along a familiar path, from hip-hop to electro and onto techno. Schooling himself in music theory and purchasing a sampler, Pickton set about making his own music.

      Releasing on a whose who of seminal UK electronic labels including A.R.T., Likemind, Otherworld and B12 under various pseudinums Pickton’s UK take on lush Detroit melodies fused techno, funk, hip-hop, dub, blues and jazz into a dense concoction all of his own making.

      "Fromtheoldtothenew" saw Pickton slip off his earlier techno shackles and head for uncharted electrconic waters.

      The echo chamber dramatics of Gun and wayward lurch of "Ale House Blues" were a long way from Detroit, while few tracks have demonstrated the sheer breadth of electronica more dramatically than "Utopia Planetia". All in all it's more jazz, less tech without losing its hard hitting impact. 

      Growing up in Atlanta, Chris Brann discovered house and electronic music by the somewhat longwinded way of getting sent tapes from Europe. He began assembling a home studio but it wasn't until 1994 that he began his music career in earnest and formed Wamdue Kids with DJs Deep C, and Udoh.

      In 1995 they released the classic "Higher" on the Acacia label, which led to the Wamdue Kids signing to Peacefrog and the release of their seminal debut album "These Branching Moments". Following the success of this the next year Chris released his first solo album "Deep Fall", reflecting a different direction to that of his productions with Wamdue.

      "Deep Fall", originally released in 1997, is a delicious collection of deep tech-house. Stand outs are the aptly named title track with beautiful synth washes and a single mournful modulated violin at its centre; and the emotional "Journey To The Centre" which is nothing short of epic.


      Gemini

      On The North Star With Gemini

      As one of Chicago’s most mysterious and revered characters, the story of Gemini, aka Spencer Kincy has become something of a myth in recent years – blazing a trail throughout the 90’s, prolifically releasing over 200 tracks from 1994 to 1999, Spencer’s music had shades innovation and soul few of his peers could match. Then, suddenly, at the peak of his career, he disappeared from view. Gemini’s unique combination of Chicago groove, Detroit strings and spacey effects have rightly ensured ‘On The North Star’ as a sought after classic of the era. The EP was the second of Gemini’s two 12” for Peacefrog which was closely followed by his Peacefrog long-player ‘In And Out Of Fog And Lights’ (re-press coming soon). Lush transcending deep house for the conersiour.

      Recorded in 1998 and becoming one of the most monumental and inspiring moments in deep house. It's often cited that only 30 people attended the Sex Pistols infamous Free Trade Hall gig but everyone who did started a band. Well, I reckon only 100 people bought “First Floor” first time round but everyone of them got an MPC and started making music! Incredibly, almost 20 years old it's still my favourite Theo Parrish record and was surely the catalyst to hoards of millennials digging deep into the crates of 2nd hand disco, soul and jazz records, turning their back on the beige and mass produced funky house that dominated the era. Part 1 opens with the blunted downbeat house roll of "First Floor Metaphor". Those pitched down kicks, gruff bass rumble and smoky jazz licks an early indication of TP's fearless experimentation. "Only The Beginning" sees discord and rhythm make serendipitous bedfellows as stuttered synth samples are met with rampant percussion lines and chopped vocal snips. "Sweet Sticky" is indeed the inspirational track Garth Be named his label after, such is the reverence this record carries amongst the 28 - 40 years olds of this country. Finally, "Paradise Architechts" and "Love Is War For Miles" display Theo's deft craft at building subtly intense epics, sprawling effortlessly over extended duration and delving deep and personally into every sample source used. The record plays like a full tutorial on how to get the most out of a few dusty old records and an MPC and threw two fingers up at the super expensive, highly polished studio music that was also produced at the time. Detroit always took creativity back to the bedrooms and run-down rehearsal spaces of the world, showing us how to make good with what we have and that the real musical power lies within. Essential.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Much needed repress of one of Theo's finest moments. I must confess, out of my price range for some time (I was only 13 years old when it first came out), it became somewhat of a holy grail amongst me and one Ste Spandex. Good things come to those who wait! :)

      Recorded in 1998 and becoming one of the most monumental and inspiring moments in deep house. It's often cited that only 30 people attended the Sex Pistols infamous Free Trade Hall gig but everyone who did started a band. Well, I reckon only 100 people bought “First Floor” first time round but everyone of them got an MPC and started making music! Incredibly, almost 20 years old it's still my favourite Theo Parrish record and was surely the catalyst to hoards of millennials digging deep into the crates of 2nd hand disco, soul and jazz records, turning their back on the beige and mass produced funky house that dominated the era. Part 2 includes the creeping, downbeat funk of "Electric Alleycat", one of the most synonymous sounds I associate with Theo (much the same way "I Can't Kick This Feeling" typifies the KDJ style). The James Brown sampling, leftfield anthem - "JB's Edit", sounding fresher than ever as we witness one of Theo's infamous DJ tools in all its unadulterated glory. The flanging squelch of "Dark Patterns" is up next, displaying Theo's early love of playful yet re-wired drum patterns, flipping much of what's expected of conventional dance music on its head. "Heal Yourself And Move" shows a producer totally confident in his approach as he deploys a nothing short of epic bleep-melody, completely unhurried as it builds in emotion and vigor, met with the spiritual vocal that slowly rises from the mix. Finally "Sky Walking" concludes with a basement house anthem, it's soft kicks and rounded bass sounds providing the inspiration for a thousand backrooms up and down the land; the soulful vox, clever Rhodes licks and jazz-inspired grooves pretty much epitomizing the sound of deep house for the next five years. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Much needed repress of one of Theo's finest moments. A holy grail for me and my crew; part 2's got that killer JB DJ tool ("JB's Edit") and the creeping downbeat funk of "Electric Alleycat".

      Little Dragon

      Little Dragon - Vinyl Edition

        Gothenburg, Sweden is a hotbed of diverse and escalating musical talent. From the mighty Soundtrack Of Our Lives to idiosyncratic songsmiths Jose Gonzalez and Jens Lekman, through to the unpredictable pop styles from the likes of Love Is All and Audrey, Gothenburg now boasts the dynamic, organically soulful pop sounds of Little Dragon. Featuring radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano (Koop) and her close high school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrick Kallgren (bass) and Hakan Wirenstrand (keyboards), Little Dragon first stepped into the spotlight with the release of their cute "Test" 45 on Off The Wall in 2006.

        Limited vinyl reissue. The first pressing of the LP now fetches upwards of $500 on Discogs.

        They say moving house can be one of life's most stressful tasks. If one person knows about that its Manchester-based musical craftsman Marc Rigelsford, or as he’s become better known, Magic Arm. More used to wiring up microphones and keyboards than picking out wallpaper patterns, no one, least of all him, would have expected some innocent house-hunting to give life to a brand new album.

        “I didn't think about recording at home until the new house began to empty as people moved out,” he reveals. “But I was slowly introduced to the perfect studio... houses have windows, studios don't. There’s something inspiring about being able to see a car or a bird.”

        Following 2009’s debut album Make Lists Do Something, Images Rolling is a further exploration of the musical playground that is Magic Arm’s world. Somewhere between ‘This Way Up’ cardboard boxes and the stairwell in which the new record’s violin and trumpet sounds were recorded, a studio gradually took shape. Boasting an array of cables, switches, and instruments donated by friends and family such as a piano, guitar, bass, synths, keyboards, glockenspiel, various types of organ, and drums, Rigelsford’s new sound workshop offered the perfect balance between vocational artistic freedom and a chaotic living space; “Tripping over your instruments on your way to the kitchen is a constant reminder that there is something else that you should be doing,” he confesses.

        Always one to find new avenues of exploring what’s readily presented in front of him simply by ‘giving it a whirl’ rather than exercising any form of technical training, Rigelsford is a true DIY pop maverick. From the colourful television theme music of Ski Sunday to that of the detective shows he grew up with, plus a penchant for big soundtracks like those of The Godfather, A fistful of Dollars, and Michael Galasso’s In the Mood for Love, his naturally inquisitive sense of sonic adventure has always been provoked by all that surrounds him.

        Musing on a bout of melancholic nostalgia ('Images Rolling' refers to reflecting the past and the way that you can scroll through memories “like a television on the blink”, he says), this record is the sound of one man exploring not only where he’s been but also commenting upon the present; editing, re-editing, then editing again, an album itself. “. “It's an album inspired by the process of writing an album”

        Moving away from the more electronic sound of his debut LP, Images Rolling has taken on the natural reverbs of the vast part-derelict three-storey house, coming over as an altogether warmer and more comforting entity. Take infectious opener Put Your Collar Up; classical sounds are thrown off centre by detuned pianos and woozy synths that move with hip hop bounce. Elsewhere Warning Sign recalls the ambience of Mercury Rev’s weirdly magical off-kilter daydreams whilst Lanes’ sweeping strings and the merry-go-round waltz of Great Life give light to Rigelsford’s new method of exploration in writing songs on a piano rather than a guitar for the very first time.

        “After finishing the first album I bought a piano with the intention of learning it and it being a key part of the new album. I spent a few months learning Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as an entry point.”

        From entry point to its end Images Rolling is a restless, fearlessly ambitious, yet understated and articulate piece of work. No-one could ever accuse Rigelsford of making music that fits into any pigeon-shaped holes, but with this record he’s certainly found a musical home.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Was £15.99.

        Proving that Peacefrog are so ahead of the game, this was originally out in 1998 limited to 1500 copies! Theo's "First Floor" LP now gets reissued due to popular demand. Deep and murky Detroit sample house featuring the genre-defining tracks "Love Is War For Miles", "Heal Yourself And Move" and "Sweet Sticky", plus the awesome funky simplicity of "JB's Edit". Essential listening.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        CD Info: CD-only reissue!

        Planetary Assault Systems

        Archives Two

        "Archives Two" is the fifth Planetary Assault Systems LP on Peacefrog, bringing together more of Luke Slater's rarities on a club aimed techno tip. Includes early singles that haven't been available for years (many on CD for the first time too). Detroit influenced minimal house and techno grooves.

        Jello

        Voile

        Bola man Darryl Fitton defects from Skam to Peacefrog for his third LP. This brilliant LP takes him to a totally new level, incorporating exquisite piano pieces, melodic electronica (with vocals) and more complex rhythm tracks. If you got the debut Jello single recently, then I think you'll be blown away by this album. A shop fave!


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