Sunday, June 24, 2007

Post-Sonar Jetsam

Post-Barcelona feelings? Motivated to get my act even more together and keep on top of things. Not easy with a four-month old baby to look after and, hopefully, about to move house. Anyway, I've been sent quite a few things recently, so now is the time to try and feedback a bit about them.

While over in Barcelona I bumped into the brains behind the up-and-coming net label Stratospherik and was given a showcase promo cd. The force is strong with this one and I intend to play a track on this Saturday's "Machines Are Funky." I was also given a "Fear of Flying 2007 Sonar Edition" 35 minute mix. I played the new Fear of Flying, the "Spookhaus" EP by Tim Gregor a couple of shows ago, well not the whole EP, I played "Lounge Art" and a fine piece it is. It also features on this mix, along with another Tim track and tracks by BLM, Leif and Dadableep too. Fear of Flying are a label to keep under close scrutiny.

Soma have been reasonably prolific of late. I've been getting a lot of stuff from them. Silicon Soul's Darkroom Dubs label has a few things lying around to test your restraint. Releases from Freska and the Jet Project are, I think, both already out. Again I played "To The Speaker" by the Jet Project on my last show, and a good piece of atmospheric break-laden Detroit-inflected dubby funk it was to. Forthcoming is a side project from everybody's favourite Argentinians (discounting footballers and ex-Nazis) Silver City. They have an album out in a couple of months as The Spirals, and it's sort of like what you'd expect. Full, throbbing basslines that will keep hips swinging into the wee small hours. I've only listened to this once and know it will sound better with successive scrutinising.

Vector Lovers also have a new collection out. Entitled "Afterglow," it's Martin Wheeler's third LP for Soma. Again, only listened to it once so far, but first impressions are good. It's a sophisticated piece of electronic serenity from a producer who's up there with the best in his respective field. Some of the tracks are old and unreleased, reassembled with Ableton Live. More on this in the future. Finally "Soma Coma" a compilation of ambient down tempo nuggets that have been put together by scouring b-sides and obscure album tracks. This should have been out by now but it's release has been put back until the 16th July. I'm definitely a fan of this kind of re-contextualisation and Soma's back catalogue is much better than most. The Henrik Schwarz remix of Alex Smoke's "Don't See The Point" is included, which should be a good enough recommendation.

Aril Brikha
has "Ex Machina" out on Peacefrog at the end of July, and it's quite what one would expect. Full of soaring lush melody which is able to find it's niche at home, in the front room accompanied by a fine single malt a bong and a dog, or on the sweaty dancefloor, half paralysed by by weapons grade MDMA, Aril Brikha hits the nail squarely on the head with a dramatic piece of work that doesn't disappoint. Full marks to Peacefrog for returning to their techno roots with this work of simmering atmospheric briliance.

Other stuff has passed through my hands, so a big thank-you to everyone who's sent me the fruits of their labours. If I've forgotten anything the sight of it on one of my show playlists is a sure seal of approval. This Saturday's show promises to be a goodie as I've got a guest mix from Dave Congreve (Stealth, Dig Your Own Rave, Repeat Repeat) to feature. It'll be up for download on this site from the 2/7. It's deep techy goodness from one of the UK's best. I'm also playing an hour-long session this Wednesday, 27/6, on Rapture FM between 8:30-9:30. Keep your ears peeled.

Oh, I almost forgot. One story of utter pointless point-making involved Rolando in Barcelona. Aparently after asking for his fee up front he was given it, and then told to fuck off by the promoter because "they didn't like his attitude . . ." I'm completely behind Rolando on this one. When I first heard the story I was waiting for the punchline, ie: he took the money and returned an hour later cracked out of his noggin. Having met Rolando last year in Barcelona though I would have been more than a little surprised if this had been the case. As it is, what a load of shite! Who benefits in a situation like this. Apparently once the deed had been done the promoter announced it over the mic to the packed club and everybody roared their support. Bollocks! Sometimes for reasons best left unsaid money is needed up front, even me with the most un-business brain of anyone knows this.

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