Sunday, June 30, 2019

Make Your Transition

One of my biggest regrets is not having learnt to play a musical instrument. I’m not dead yet, so I suppose there’s still time. However, I am very lazy and lacking motivation. What I can do though, is put records together in a coherent, imaginative sequence. I have been doing this for as long as I have been buying music, irrespective of genre; from the many random bedroom get togethers of my often misspent youth: starting with punk, but very quickly evolving into jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and everything in between, (these are but the planets around which many moons revolved), to my continuing fascination with the 4/4 beat, I like playing music. I have been the proud owner of a pair of 1210s since 1995. I have a huge amount of records, a collection that I am beginning to purposefully slim down; a situation triggered three years ago by a flood which wiped out up to 700 of them, as well as damaging untold sleeves and thus relieving a large quantity of their market value. 

This catastrophic event made me more vigilant and concise so, even though I still buy stuff, it’s not as often and in smaller quantities. I have about 300 releases that I want to get rid of, but have been procrastinating about putting them on Discogs for some time now, but it will get done. The biggest change to my sonic outlook though, is my so far theoretical purchase of a pair of CDJs. I still get sent a reasonable amount of music, all as files, and I don’t mix it. I stopped playing CDs a while back, even though I still have two players, because they’re a pain to burn, and they’re obsolete. Do any DJs still use them? In any case, USB CDJs are the way forward. I’ve been really interested in the creative aspect of DJing, not merely mixing tracks but looping, editing and affecting them. Turntables work up to an extent, and I’ll always use them, but CDJs are next level, and you don’t need to splash out on new units to house your collection; it’s all in the ether.

And it’s obvious that a lot of DJs who seem to squeeze impossible numbers of tracks into their sets are using this type of hardware. It’s nothing new as it’s been the same since laptops and Ableton, but their use seems to have declined while that of CDJs has increased. Listening to a lot of mixes nowadays, it’s impossible to understand how certain tunes a=make it into the mix. I’m a track list scholar, and even though would often like more information regarding content, I enjoy the challenge of hunting down music which lives in the shadows. However, I doubt the credibility of a lot of sets from the standpoint of doubting sonic participation. There are often too many different pieces of music present in a track list compared to what can be clearly discerned. It really must be the case that all too often mere fragments of tracks are grafted onto others, and then given equal billing by the DJ in question. It’s possible to do the same on a pair of turntables, but the dexterity involved to maintain a smooth flow is something else. I’m not talking about turntablism here, but beat matching and sequencing, and it’s undeniable that a lot of what passes for the putting every track and the kitchen sink in approach in order to sculpt a smooth, flawless set is nothing of the sort. Some of these tunes air kiss each other before fading away again. 

There’s a fine line between being considered a selector, and picking tracks merely to contribute a note or two to the overall sonic composition. I honestly couldn't care less regarding either approach. Each way is a means to an end with one having a more technical emphasis over the other. When it all comes together in the best possible way is when the two methods coalesce and blend, irrespective of the tools at the DJs’ disposal. I recently followed a Twitter thread in which, rightly or wrongly, the person who started the thread said this:

The more I hear mixes from ppl like Batu, Aurora Halal etc. it makes me feel like the future of mixing techno and related genres is very much with CDJs. The scope for creativity and intriguing blends is something that you just can't achieve in the same way with a pair of 1210s.”

This was quickly followed by 

There is an art to being able to make magic happen with just a pair of 1210s and provide coherent genre defying sets, but that can only come with decades of experience and collecting and even then you still need a brain like Eris Drew's to pull it off”

The names have been hidden to protect the innocent:

“Different flavors of the same hearty salad”

“Yeah I guess if we're looking at the turntablism of someone like Titonton there's things he does you genuinely couldn't do on CDJs. My post was more to do with the speed and ease at which you can create loops, tempo switch ups etc”

“Totally, also Titonton is one of the only people who makes CDJs look super fun and invigorating besides Omar and other people. I just think there’s levels of creativity that both still help birth within people that are important”

“Yep was just thinking the same today”

I think about this stuff ALL THE TIME!

“Mixing on CDJs is genuinely so boring”

“So is hearing tech house played seamlessly for 24 hours on a pair of technics”

“These aren't the only 2 options”

 “Was all doable for well over a decade on laptops and we all know what happened there. Ps, that Aurora Halal mix sounds very dope, no argument there”

“Doable but plugging in superfluous boxes + laptops made it phase out not what could be achieved with the software”

“I agree with u partially, in my opinion, the problem right now is that a pair of cdj 2000NX2 is not affordable for most of non-profesional djs. Back in the days, almost all had a pair of 1210s at home. So this fact makes u cannot train with cdjs regularly without public.”

“The concept is to buy one of theese Pioneer DJ controllers for home use.. it‘s a dilemma with the CDJs.. buying more vinyl again made me feel more comfortable with that”

To finish: I can’t help thinking back to a meeting I had with a certain Cambridge-based DJ back in the relatively early days of my ‘Machines Are Funky’ radio show on 209 Radio. I went to his house to collect a mix he’d prepared, and he was absolutely made up to give it to me because he’d managed to seamlessly blend more than twenty tracks together in exactly an hour. I constantly strive to do such things, not because I regard them as the pinnacle of perfection, but because I know I’ll feel great after having done so.

Reality Broadcast Off - James Ruskin (Blueprint)

Title: Reality Broadcast Off
Artist: James Ruskin
Label: Blueprint
Cat Number: BP054
Genre: Techno

1: Reality Broadcast Off
2: We Are Everywhere
3: Disaffection

The title track and, unsurprisingly given its name ‘We Are Everywhere’ are object lessons in insect menace. There are many ways to “do techno”, some of which can alienate those who are devoted to the others. I do like the stalking method though, as exemplified on the title track, and the chaotic invertebrate overload of the second: it’s the plague of locusts updated for the twenty first century. ‘Disaffection’ is all funky, squelchy percussion and bass intertwined. Layered loops of fury everywhere here. Which is nice. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Shigeto EP - Shigeto (Vanity Press)

Title: Shigeto EP
Artist: Shigeto 
Label: Vanity Press
Cat Number: VPR 16
Genre: Breakbeats/Drama/Cosmic Be Bop

A1: Jetsettin
A2: Pusher
B1: Alley Oop
B2: New Course

Overall vibe, laid back . . . however, that would be too simplistic. There’s just so much going on here under a big jazzy bivouac. ‘Jetsettin’ is what Johm Barry would have sounded like had he been born thirty or forty years later. ‘Pusher’ contains lashings of Herbie Hancock . . . ‘Alley Oop’ is a raw percussive jam again with those soaring, James Bond strings, while ‘New Course’ is a relatively subdued handclap enveloped tropical stroll. An evocative, clever quartet indeed.

Obsidian - Weith (Brainwaves)

Title: Obsidian
Artist: Weith
Label: Brainwaves
Cat Number: BWS005
Genre: Breakbeat/Braindance/IDM/Acid/Electronica/Jungle

1: Coleric
2: Whatcha Lookin’ For
3: Proficiency Certified Branlee
4: How The Turntables
5: Douille de Verveine
6: Obsidian

A six pack of dexterous level chaos, and I mean in an organized way, otherwise how can it be accomplished? Breakbeats are the dominant motif here, but there’s all sorts going on around them. Sometimes they melt into drum and bass, sometimes not, but the hardcore continuum is pervasive here. I don't always go for this sort of stuff, but some of the noises here hit home. ‘Whatcha Lookin’ For’ has a lovely bottom heavy concave depth; ‘Proficiency Level Btanlee’ with its basic snares hits home because of its energy and the OTT dark rave backdrop; ‘Douille de Verveine’ is chilled but still fronts up, ‘Coleric’ has a great phased spoken word interlude, and ‘How the Turntables’ sounds like an interplanetary abattoir. All good then.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Autechre Warp Tapes 89-93

This is old news now, but if you didn't already know and you're here by accident, this might interest you.

Boards of Canada

Electro Music Union/Sinoesin/Xonox Works 1993-1994 - Electro Music Union/Sinoesin/Xonox (Cold Blow)

Title: Electro Music Union/Sinoesin/Xonox Works 1993-1994 
Artist: Electro Music Union/Sinoesin/Xonox 
Label: Cold Blow
Cat Number: BLOW 02/AVALP007
Genre: Electro, IDM, Ambient

Angels of Attitude (Part 1) – Sinoesin
Structures 1 – Electro Music Union
Transmission – Xonox
Structures 2 – Electro Music Union
Structures 3 – Electro Music Union
Descent – Electro Music Union
Structures 4 – Electro Music Union
Electroshock Mountain – Electro Music Union
Static Bodies – Sinoesin
Angels of Attitude (Part 2) – Sinoesin
Immortal Cities – Electro Music Union
Liquid Lover - Electro Music Union
Alternating Current – Xonox
Demiconductor – Sinoesin
S.E.I. – Sinoesin

Relics of a star which burned brightly during its short existence, and possibly this year’s electro holy grail reissue, after 2017’s ‘Scopex 98/00’; ‘Electro Music Union/Sinoesin/Xonox Works 1993-1994’ collects together a lot of what was released on UK label Metatone during the first half of the 1990s, as well as two tracks never available on vinyl before, and judging by this hefty collection, not before time. Of course it’s wrong to pigeonhole this release as solely electro, it covers a wide range of sonic structures, from ambient and trance to techno and electro. Overriding everything though, is a strong aura of IDM, (not a term I have much time for, but it’s short and snappy), which draws disparate strands of aural pleasure together and daubs a veneer of completely warranted sophistication over everything here. The use of analogue hardware cannot go unmentioned, manipulated as it is by Simon Adkins, the evil genius behind the lion’s share of this smorgasbord of elcronica. Personla faves include ‘Structures 4’, ‘Electroshock Mountain’ and ‘S.E.I.’ but there isn’t a bum note to gossip about here. Essential shizzle.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Chart: June 2019

UNTHANK012 – DJ Guy (Unthank)

Beautifully presented clear vinyl 12” with yet more tracks from Guy’s inexhaustible deadstock. Electronic vignettes which span various, random moments of electronic evolution that cater to everything in general, and nothing in particular.

The Lonely Machine – John Shima (Firescope)

Again, another wonderfully realised package, this time from John Shima, on the conceptually on point Firescope. Emotive analogue soundscapes which ooze a dawn of time ambience that is currently finding its niche once again amongst the heads. It’s also a sound which is distinctly British, with a long, sideways glance towards Detroit. Mixing reflective, beat-driven ambience with slow burning, stellar sonics is a winning combo.

Never Owned A 303 – Binary Digit (Seven Hills)

I first heard this on one of Jane Fitz’s Rinse FM shows; this six tracker has variety, depth and energy. I’ll play the faster stuff pitched down a little I think. The title track is a DJ Stingray mainstay in waiting.

Union EP – Bitstream (Vinyl Underground)

Worth it if only for the repress of the sought after ‘Monolith’, a low key anthem currently going for silly money on Discogs. ‘Double Destiny’ from the same release is also included, as well as two new tracks, ‘Union’ and ‘Apollo Blunt’, which give a harder, more gritty edge to the release. Lovely stuff.

Ghostride The Drift - Ghostride The Drift (XPQ?)

Abstract electronics, described as “smudge-ambient” by Boomkat, and “outer rim junkyard electro” by Rubadub (maybe not, but that’s where I first saw this couple of cut-up genre descriptions). This is a release which intrigues and puzzles in equal measure without getting out of second gear.

Fog FM – Anthony Naples (Ans)

Described by Naples “as a house music transmission . . .  from a station out of space and time”, this double pack is a mood setter and is aptly named, sounding as it does like a collection which is both sonically vague, but with embellishments of enough clever detail to allay any slide full on into the ether.

Uchusen EP – Janeret (YoY)

Janeret is a producer whose path I’ve been following for a while now, and it’s the two tracks on side 1 which show him in peak, lush, dreamy form. Those on side 2 are great as well, embellishing breaks on double levels of intensity.

Far Away From Everything – Jeremiah R (Voodoo Gold)

Voodoo Gold is a great label from The Netherlands which seems to specialize in putting out single disc mini albums. This is Jeremiah R’s second on the label, and precedes a third, which will come out in a month or two. As always this is top draw electronica with a kick. This has an electro foundation but not necessarily a superstructure.

Levant EP – Vern (Joule Imprint)

A label going from strength to strength with each passing release, this four tracker is made up of some deep, liquid, tranced out minimal techno and resembles Pure Science slowed down and aquatically inclined.

Fr-Dpx – E.R.P./Duplex (Frustrated Funk)

Essential double header which pairs label owner Ovatow’s “Reclock” of Duplex’s ‘Molecular’ with ‘Zrx’ by E.R.P. . There’s a nice contrast between the slowed down electro ambience of the former, and the more incisive, edgy sound of E.R.P. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

DJ Mixes Revisited: Architecture - Terry Francis (Pagan)

Where to start with this? Well, a good place would be that this set pretty much nails what tech house really is. I remember reading an old interview, probably from Muzic, in which Terry, or Eddie Richards, or Nathan Coles defined tech house more or less as good music which we play, irrespective of genre. Those were not their precise words, but more or less what was said. Going to Wiggle around that time meant bathing in the best of house and techno, but with a majestic groove ruling all. 

This was a great time to be alive. In 1997 I moved back to The UK from France, having been living in Paris for the previous three years. While over there I had been a Rex Club regular, attended the Soma parties put on by British ex-pats in and around the French capital, went to The Queen on les Champs Elysees A lot, both midweek and at the weekend sometimes, ‘Respect is Burning’ anyone? And loads of other stuff. I digress; I’d only been living in London for a month when I bumped into Terry in a bar in Clapham, one Friday evening, had a chat with him, (he’s just been named Muzic’s “Best New DJ” a few months earlier), and was given a spot on the guest list at the 414 in Brixton for later the same night. (The close  at the end of last month I believe).

Sorry to waffle, but context is very important. This little appetizer was an important step on the road to Wiggle, somewhere I didn’t go until a couple of months later I think, maybe early December? It was after going to watch Crystal Palace 1 3 Liverpool on the same day. (I had come over to London the Christmas before to go, but while staying at Hursty's flat in Camberwell, came down with as bad a case of the flu as I've ever had, and had to watch while everyone else went). Myself, John (Hassay), maybe Jim (Irving), maybe others, I don’t know, went to the London Bridge arches that night and got infected by the vibe. A rave in any other world, a temporary autonomous zone, somewhere to get battered, make friends and listen to great music as it should be played.  Sure, the bpms were often maxed out, but this helped to bridge the gap between house and techno. I can still remember tunes from around that time, although not necessarily from that night: ‘Web of Deceit’ by Primary Colours used to get a caning, as did almost anything with the stamp of Charles Webster on it.  The 20/20 Vision remix of ‘Lovelee Day’ by Blaze was omnipresent, as well as ‘When The Funk Hits The Fan (Mood ll Swing When The Dub Hits the Fan’. Heads down banging techno didn’t really feature, but that at the funkier end of the spectrum did. It was really all about making the music being played as syncopated and zippy as possible, while keeping control of the funk. Vocals came mainly in the form of snippets and samples, but often broke through in their own right, as shown in the mix by the peerless Francois K  remix of ‘Tout est Bleu’, and the great thing about ‘Architecture’ is that it perfectly encapsulates this. Easier said than done, which is why it’s never been managed as well since.

The mix in question is a roster of everything that caught fire back then. As well as those already mentioned, the quintessential tech house sound of the time is represented in the shape of Gideon Jackson, Pure Science, Two Right Wrongans, Skymaster aka Mark Ambrose and Aubrey. This was such a purple patch for British house music that it’s difficult to put into words how burgeoning the scene was. Moreover, Its influence cannot be understated; so many of the records released back then, and in subsequent years, either by specific artists or on record labels associated with them and the scene generally, regularly pop up in the sets of DJs trying to reproduce that vibe. These releases are also an investment too, regularly fetching top dollar on Discogs: Wiggle, Eye 4 Sound (recently revived), Plank, Surreal, Swag, End Recordings, London Housing Benefit, etc; This is a sound that has stood the test of time well, mainly because it fed the primal urges which were helped to flourish by the best MDMA. And that’s another thing: mind-bending psychedelics were always part of the equation. I have some incredibly vivid memories of so many of those nights, and remember so many of the people that populated the darkest recesses of the party, and I wouldn’t be able to, were it not for copious imbibition. But who was that girl with the scorpion tattoo from Ipswich?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Oscillate Tracks 003 - Johanna Knutsson, Karen Gwyer (Oscillate Tracks)

Title: Oscillate Tracks 003 
Artist: Johanna Knutsson/Karen Gwyer
Label: Oscillate Tracks
Cat Number: OSCT003
Genre: Techno

1: Hassel – Johanna Knutsson
2: Lysmossa – Johanna Knutsson
3: The Way You Drive – Karen Gwyer
4: Caught You – Karen Gwyer

This latest offering from Oscillate Tracks splits four compositions equally between Johanna Knutsson and Karen Gwyer, with each artist representing an individual take on one of techno’s many facets. Johanna Knutsson makes, on this evidence, warm, cold weather music designed to embrace the senses and tango with the emotions. Both of her tunes have a momentous melancholia about them which would be best appreciated in an open top sleigh riding full pelt across a frozen Swedish lake. Karen Gwyer’s tracks is more impressionistic, and a little bit chaotic, reigning themselves in by the skin of their teeth. The titles betray as much, but there isn’t much between them, each feeling like two sides of the same coin.

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Advances In Lizard Tech - Reptant (Craigie Knowes)

Title: New Advances In Lizard Tech
Artist: Reptant 
Label: Craigie Knowes
Cat Number: CKNOWEP17
Genre: Techno

A1: Lizard Theme
A2: The Raid
B1: Transcendants From The Outer Sphere

A name to watch after a slew of hat trick of ear snagging releases, Reptant slithers his way into the spotlight with this three tracker, courtesy of Craigie Knowes, which shows a versatility hitherto unknown in the reptile kingdom. ‘The Raid’ is an electro morsel, adorned with sonic non sequiturs that work wonderfully. ‘Transcendants From The Outer Sphere’ is a sparse little number which relies on gossamer taut breaks to drive it through the firmament, and ‘Lizard Theme’ feels like the soundtrack to some mudskippers having a rave back in the Devonian Period. A strong sense of uncertainty throbs beneath A2 and A3 in the shape of a welcome trance inducting bass. Reptant plays his hand well on this release, modulating the minutia between each tune.

Tropical Storm - Startegy (Idle Hands)

Title: Tropical Storm 
Artist: Strategy 
Label: Idle Hands
Cat Number: IDLE059
Genre: House

1: Tropical Storm
2: Evolu

‘Tropical Storm’ is like ‘Pacific State’, which doesn’t make it a rip off, or any less of a good tune, but it’s definitely like it, with the added input of pace and dub. Having said that, the percussion which underpins it comes across as a one man band on cake. ‘Evolu’ reminds me of a French tune from the mid nineties, like something off the ‘Super Discount’ series. It’s a much stronger track than ‘Tropical Storm’, layering on the sound slabs until a nice level of intensity is reached. A sunrise moment for the discerning raver.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Sissel Bass 4 Ever - Peder Mannerfelt (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)

Title: Sissel Bass 4 Ever 
Artist: Peder Mannerfelt
Label: Peder Mannerfelt Produktion
Cat Number: PM008
Genre: Experimental, Techno, Synthetic

1: Sissel & Bass (Sissel Wincent Remix)
2: Sissel & Bass (OnScreenActor Remix)
3: Sissel & Bass (Cera Khin Mind Destruction Remix)
4: Sissel & Bass (Perc Remix)
5: Sissel & Bass (Perko Dub)

Another week, another remix package. This time it’s five versions of Peder Mannerfelt’s ‘Sissel And Bass’, a track that first appeared on the ‘Daily Routine’ album and is, compared to the remixes here, something deconstructed and post-impressionist. The versions on this release are much more cohesive, making use of the original’s motifs to lesser or greater extents. The deadpan vocal by Sissel Vincent is the dominant trope, with the pounding beat, high-pitched whoops and occasional deep “bass” vocal snippet orbiting, ready to pounce when needed. It’s an interesting package, but apart from the Perko Dub, relatively one dimensional. Still, the OnScreenActor Remix more than does the business, as does everything else, depending on your level of confrontational techno tolerance.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Dubonnet - Delroy Edwards (Apron)

Title: Dubonnet
Artist: Delroy Edwards
Label: Apron
Cat Number: APRON037
Genre: House

1: Live And Let Live
2: Fat Dynamics
3: Funny Styles
4: Dubonnet
5: In Orbit
6: How High Is The Moon

Marketed as “six tracks of real honest raw house music”, one is led to wonder what that, like “British values”, actually is? Delroy Edwards who comes from Los Angeles defines it thus: warm, analogue grooves steeped in melancholic dust and primitivism. Of course there’s more to it than that, but it’s a reasonable starting point. Truth be told, these are original, counter intuitively sophisticated soundtracks to quintessentially parallel urban dimensions, drawing on far more than their press release suggests. ‘Live And Let Live’ is a lovely, bittersweet loop composed of artfully conducted keys along which a kick keeps time. ‘Funny Styles’ sounds jazzy and abstracts within an offbeat pervasiveness. I could go on, but I wouldn’t do justice to the wonderful eccentricity of this release.

Raw Cuts Vol. 2 - DJ Deep (Deeply Rooted)

Title: Raw Cuts Vol. 2
Artist: DJ Deep
Label: Deeply Rooted House
Cat Number: DRH061
Genre: Techno

A1: Head Up
A2: Swingin’ With The P
B1: Porte
B2: Corridor Rodeo

Linear, taut and efficient, but not too clean, which I like; these weapons from DJ Deep’s sonic stud farm do the business with all the understated menace of an itinerant gun for hire. Whether the idea is to span all approaches and create as much mayhem as possible in the process, or to provide an object lesson in how to make a varied and effective techno EP which will at muscle to the mix and provide some stand out moments of its own to boot, I don’t really know. However, Mr. Deep has succeeded on both fronts and has also given a lesson in concise beat chemistry while doing so. Vive la France!

Plastic Attack - Ara-U & Radioactive Man (Asking For Trouble)

Title: Plastic Attack 
Artist: Ara-U & Radioactive Man 
Label: Asking For Trouble
Cat Number: AFT005
Genre: Electro

A1: Datatheft
A2: Failure To Communicate
B1: Daytime Robbery
B2: The Last Waltz

This is electro which surfs the electronic nether regions; occasionally dense and damp, at other times more expansive and unconfined. What joins the machine funk dots though, is a syncopated, grinding momentum that strafes the senses with methodical finesse. ‘Failure To Communicate’ recalls balmy evenings spent listening to Aux 88 through the medium of ‘Voice of America’ era Cabs. ‘Daytime Robbery’ is a slow, seedy cruise which evokes sundry imaginings of potential felonies. ‘Datatheft’ is a grinding, friction-filled fusion while ‘The Last Waltz’ takes the listener on a more energetic excursion beyond the rhythm.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Khonner Remixes - Deena Abdelwahed (Infine)

Title: Khonner Remixes (Digital Version)
Artist: Deena Abdelwahed
Label: Infine
Cat Number: IF2076
Genre: Experimental Panorama

1: Rabbouni (Enyang Ha Remix)
2: 5/5 (Lord Of The Isles Remix)
3: Ababab (Ital Tek Remix)
4: Fdhiha (Dawan Remix)

A remix package demands to be judged on its own terms inasmuch as what’s the point unless the track is going, to an extent, be turned inside out. So looking at this quartet somewhat through the looking glass, I have to say that I’m impressed. The broad scope of Abdelwahed’s artistry is reflected in the choice of versions on show here. There is a panoramic feel to each tune, none more so than the remix of ‘5/5’ by Lord of the Isles, for sheer depth it’s difficult to beat the drama of Enyang Ha’s take on ‘Rabbouni’, while both ‘Ababab’ and ‘Fdhiha’ provide more uptempo fare; the former being a bleak, industrial stomp, and the latter an acidic, breaks-infused big room banger.

Deep Analysis - Cygnus (CPU)

Title: Deep Analysis
Artist: Cygnus
Label: CPU
Cat Number: CPU 01001001
Genre: Electro

1: Her Majesty (The Universe)
2: Sheffield Bleep
3: Deep Analysis
4: Ultraterrestrial
5: Decent Of Man
6: Hallucinate Data

A label that has come to define contemporary electro and an artist whose retro futurism is an effortless evocation of a dark, humid, subtropical, funk-filled universe is an unbeatable combination in my humble opinion. And this is what we have here; Cygnus, whose singular vision is currently riding the zeitgeist of the digital nether regions isn’t putting a foot wrong at the moment and is in the middle of a purple patch that just gets deeper and more iridescent. Coming at you like the bastard son of Roger Troutman and James Stinson, this collection peaks on tracks like ‘Sheffield Bleep’, ‘Ultraterrestrial’ and ‘Hallucinate Data’  where vocodered, effects-laden vocals lay out electronic machine funk laylines. The other tracks are similarly characterized by an eerie minimal funk that implores the listener to read between the lines in order to find a portal to the stars by way of a parallel science fiction world mindset.