Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Master - Kris Baha (Pinkman)

Title: My Master
Artist: Kris Baha
Label: Pinkman
Cat Number: PNKMN33
Genre: Dramatic Electronic Melancholia

A1: Fuels The Fire
A2: Two Sides
A3: Chase Your Shadow
B1: Serve, Obey
B2: My Master
B3: Fuel

Listening to this release by Kris Baha, it’s impossible not to be struck by the attention to detail. The vocals nod heavily in the direction of body music bards, those on ‘Two Sides’ sound like estuary cockney . . . the arrangements are frictional, hopped up industrial, chugging along and mowing everything down in their path. There’s a monotonous, pervasive menace emphasized by the vocals when they’re deployed, and the stark, angular cold weather beats. This won’t be the sound of the summer.

Return To Telepathic Heights - A Sagittariun (Running Back Incantations)

Title: Return To Telepathic Heights
Artist: A Sagittariun
Label: Running Back Incantations
Cat Number: RUBINC004LP
Genre: Techno

1: Once Upon A Time
2: Watch The Skies!
3: Last Of The Crazy Baldheads
4: Zeus l, Prepare For launch
5: Life Is The Illusion, Love Is The Dream
6: Lazer Battle At The OK Corral
7: Version Excursion
8: Dream Stealers
9: The Mild Mild West
10: The Final Scene (Fades To Black)

A cursory look at the track list will immediately inform the potential listener of the equilibrium they are about to bear witness to. That’s a rather long-winded way of saying that this collection has balance and, as befits its soundtrack status, depth and ambience. Without going into the exhaustive detail provided by the press release, suffice to say that there’s a concept at work here, whatever the case this is a sumptuous peace of work, the sonic range of which operates on multiple sensory levels. Not everything is as might be expected: ‘Lazer Battle At The OK Corral’ with its John Wayne samples feels out of place, sandwiched as it is between the pounding ‘Life Is The Illusion . . .’ and the more reflective ‘Version Excursion’, but it works, thanks in no small part to its low end, which is just a variant vertebra on the albums spine. ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘The Final Scene (Fades To Black)’ serve as atmospheric frictional fade in and out bookends, and within their confines there are all sorts of stellar goodies with ne’er a bum note throughout. 

BTW, here's an interview I did with A Sagittariun many moons ago.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Interactive Entropy

Popjes – The Conservatives (Viewlexx)
Seed – Joy O (Hinge Finger)
Speaker Worshipping – Keith Tucker (Puzzlebox)
Trade Craft – Silicon (Vmax)
Tidally Locked – Ekbox (Cabaret)
Mount Ararat – Rhadoo (Nervmusic)
Substance 01 –Bobby O’Donnell (E Numbers)
Poet – Housey Doingz (Grass Green)
Waescgerei – Binh (Time Passages)
Hexaline (Hiroshi Watanabe Remix) – Beroshima (Muller Records)
Breezin’ – Callisto (Guidance)
Stardust – J (YYK No Label)
Wingspan – Camelia (Joule Imprint)
Pulsations – Haokah (Fake Society)
Elysium – Miles Atmospheric (Finale Sessions Select)
No Boundary’s – Outa The Blue (Outa The Blue)
Seduction – Sun Children (Bomb)
77:77  (Luke Hess Remix) – KAS.ST (Flyance)
Equanimity – RV800 (Formula)
Taking Flight – Voiski (Dolly)
Burn The Elastic – Violet (Radio Rhythm)
The Lonesome Dub – Jesper Dahlback (Svek)
Aqua Nymph – Bush Funk (Soma)
I’ll Be Back, I Promise – Gary Martin (Teknotika)
Home Calling – Moreon & Baffa (Berg Audio)
DSK-8 – Stephen Lopkin (Distant Worlds)
Feel U – D Tiffany (Planet Euphorique)
Vaxma – VC-118A (Delsin)
Crypto Stock – LNS & GZR (Wania)
Technology Fascination – Cygnus (Breakin’)
The Way To Go - Russ Gabriel (Firescope)
PLY Alpha Base – Derek Carr (Ferox)
Harry Runs Out – Jaime Read (For Those That Knoe)
Movement – DMO (Infrastructure New York)
Pacific Soul – Papeete Sun (Voodoo Gold)

Pulse State - The Future Sound of London (Jumping' & Pumpin')

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Root Bulb - Cromie (Clave House)

Title: Root Bulb
Artist: Cromie
Label: Clave House
Cat Number: clave005
Genre: Lush

1: Root Bulb
2: Lilac
3: Aristocrat Motel
4: Root Bulb (Grove Mix)

Both ‘Root Bulb’ and ‘Lilac’ are separate exercises in atmospheric breaks and all that entails. The title track is the more complete of the two, delivering a lesson in analogue warmth, which soars higher as each different element is added to the stew. ‘Lilac’ lacks this panoramic feel but is more energetic and the vocals, which swing in and out of the mix, combine with the percussion to imply a buoyant spontaneity. ‘Aristocrat Motel’ is probably the deepest cut here, and is driving, but understated, while the Grove Mix of the title track is a downtempo departure from the original. Very nice.

Index Hole - SDEM (CPU)

Title: Index Hole
Artist: SDEM
Label: CPU
Cat Number: 01001010
Genre: Exploratory Electronics

1: Arc Rail
2: BX16
3: Mitherer
4: 6448

To call this release from SDEM experimental wouldn’t be missing the point at all. In view of this, we have four very different tracks which each leave their mark in slightly different ways. ‘Arc Rail’ feels manic, but is a very cohesive cacopohony which far from being a racket, knows exactly when to reign in its excesses and expose its fragility. ‘Index Hole’ has a similar musical mission; frequencies coalesce around an elastic lateral line and dissipate in different directions. Both ‘BX16’ and especially ‘Mitherer’ (botherer?), have less shape to them and are consequently more abstracted, but also rely on a strong central spine of sound to hold things together. If I knew better, I’d say this quartet have thrown conventional hip hop beats into the blender and coughed up space riddims, but I don’t and I have.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Davis Galvin EP - Davis Galvin (Vanity Press Records)

Title: Davis Galvin EP
Artist: Davis Galvin 
Label: Vanity Press
Cat Number: VPR 14
Genre: Breakbeat an’ Ting

A1: All Night Long
A2; Return From The Sky
A3: Bass-Biology Interface
B1: Loudspeaker Situation
B2: Waterbody

This release is the type which is few and far between, and I mean that in the most positive sense. Each if the tunes have their own collection of idiosyncrasies of which they are proud and possessive. The percussion is urgent on each track, except for ‘Waterbody’, which evokes the crystalline depths of wherever very well and is deceptive in its simplicity. As for the rest, there’s real variety and, dare I say it, value for money. From the vocal stabs and computer game flourishes of ‘All Night Long’, to the synthetic strains of a digital Shaghai in ‘Bass-Biology Interface’, not to mention the eastern promise of ‘Return From The Sky’ (brilliant) and ‘Loudspeaker Situation(’s)’ cerebral drum and bass, this EP is globally pan national.

Siempre en Domingo EP - Skatebard & Lauer presents Crabsticks (Unknown To The Unknown)

Title:  Siempre en Domingo EP
Artist: Skatebard & Lauer presents Crabsticks
Label: Unknown To The Unknown 
Cat Number: UTTU 095
Genre: House

1: Sundays In The Sky
2: Cat Trapped In A Crab Trap
3: Cat Trapped in A Crab Trap (Igor Tipura Remix)

There’s more than a sniff of the new York underground here, especially on ‘Sundays In The Sky’ which is unashamedly evocative of many a Big Apple throbber, with its insistent keys and bottom heavy groove. The original version of ‘Cat Trapped . . .’ follows a similar path, but is more stripped back. Even so, we have two well-produced warehouse workouts right here. The Igor Tirupa remix of ‘Cat Trapped . . .’  goes off in the direction of interplanetary electro, and is not to be sniffed at, unlike crabsticks.

Jazz Perceptions EP - John Swing (Phoenix G)

Title: Jazz Perceptions EP
Artist: John Swiing
Label: Phoenix G
Cat Number: PG 060
Genre: House

1: African Dub
2: G Jazz
3: Get It
4: Solarplex

Colin McBean doesn’t let many other than himself release on Phoenix G. However, John Swing has done in his Vinalog guise along with Emanuele Gianini for some Record Store Day projects, but not under his own nom de plume. There’s always a feeling that with jazz in the title, things might be a little safe and predictable, but the tracks here are wonderfully low key and as notional while still retaining a semblance of shape. ‘Dusty’ is an adjective casually attributed to John Swing’s productions, and he brings a lot of fugginess to the table on this package, which is always interesting and abstract.