Wednesday, October 30, 2019

No Fear,We Go Back - Delano Smith (My Baby Records)

Title: No Fear/We Go Back 
Artist: Delano Smith
Label: My Baby Records
Cat Number: MB004
Genre: Deep House

1: No Fear
2: We Go Back
3: No Fear (Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts Remix)
4: We Go Back (Chuck Flash & Keith Kemp Remix)

Delano Smith is a groove merchant whose product is elegant in its simplicity. The original version of ‘No Fear’ is a kick, snare, synth and vocal sample. Nothing else is needed; it’s like good sushi. ‘We Go Back’ relies on similar elements pepped up by filter disco, remember that? Both good, versatile tunes which will enhance any mix as well as being focal points. The remix of ‘No Fear’ livens up the original by diversifying the percussion, but doesn’t take too many liberties and, ergo, comes correct. That of ‘No Way Back’ treads a similar bath, nut adds a more muscular battery of bins which eventually takes precedence. Good stuff all round.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

African Power EP - Dasco (Local Talk)

Title: African Power EP
Artist: DASCO
Label: Local Talk 
Cat Number: LT102
Genre: Deep House

1: African Power
2: African Power (Trinidadiandeep Remix)
3: Keep Movin’ (Anthony Nicholson Mediterranean Disco Mix)
4: Keep Movin’

African Power’ does like its horns, and they sound so African that they remind me of Hugh Masekela, which is maybe the intention. Not normally my thing, but it works well here so all good. Once we move from the original, then things get deeper. Trinidadiandeep’s interpretation is a dead ringer for Ron Trent and any of the collabs he did with Anthony Nicholson vibe wise. I’m thinking ‘Soul Samba Express’ right about now, which obviously links not at all tenuously to the aforementioned producer’s ‘Mediterranean Disco Mix’ of ‘Keep Movin’’, a razor-sharp samba that doesn’t differ that much from the original mix, but is longer and places more emphasis on the keys. Lovely stuff!

East of Eden LP - East of Eden (Distant Hawaii)

Title: East of Eden LP
Artist: East of Eden
Label: Distant Hawaii
Cat Number: HAWAII018
Genre: House

A1: Revolutionary Worlds
A2: Adventures In The Dream Tribe
B1: Days To Go By Ft. Javontte
B2: Adventures In The Dream Tribe Pt. 2
C1: Yume Name Koro
C2: Lost Horizon
D1: Dreams
D2: Bermuda
D3: Dub House

From the moment the first track starts, the listener is transported on a magic carpet of variable percussive frequencies, along which are draped layer upon layer of sun-drenched, tropical, bliss. It’s more than apt that three tracks directly reference dreams, as well as Javontte, whose laid back delivery evokes a carefree fall into a soft void of insensibility. There are occasional departures from the linear trajectory of comparative sonic indolence, such as the slightly harder edged ‘Adventures In The Dream Pt. 2’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Lost Horizon’ and ‘Bermuda’, but this is relative. The whole collection resonates as one within the church of deep house as preached by Larry Heard and Marshall Jefferson. It’s a complete piece of work into which an otherworldly MDMA-influenced (consciously or not) sensibility has been decanted. It’s absolutely brilliant and you need to listen to it from start to finish under optimum conditions. The dance floor would be a good start; failing that, skin up, sip from a large glass of Armagnac and let your worries evaporate. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Issue In Surreal - 96 Back (CPU)

Title: Issue In Surreal 
Artist: 96 Back
Label: CPU
Cat Number: 01010001
Genre: Electro

01: Knock Out
02: My Time Here
03: It’s Bright Out
04: Typeface 333
05: Knock Out (Jensen Interceptor Remix)
06: My Time Here (Happa Jabes Remix)
07: It’s Bright Out (Sync 24 Remix)
08: Typeface 333 (Volruptus Remix)

Listening to the original productions on this forthcoming double pack is to be listening to music that feels constrained by the petty boundaries it’s been corralled within. However, were it not to be under such surveillance there would just be one gigantic freak out and then where would we be? We have here a singular take on electro, one built on exuberance and unorthodoxy from the cross-pollinating mind of a character at one with his machines. The remixes offer individual enough interpretations, the originals being in a class of their own; and it’s striking that ‘My Time’, while not necessarily my favourite here, makes a lasting impression, both in it’s manic, breaks-fuelled original version and the nursery rhyme on crack ambience of the Happa Jabes remix. Seriously though, this is brilliant. Every second.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Sanya - SJ Tequilla (Craigie Knowes)

Title: Sanya 
Artist: SJ Tequilla
Label: Craigie Knowes
Cat Number: CKNOWEP21
Genre: Deep House

A1: Sanya
A2: Deolta
B1: Sweet Salts
B2: The Day After

Lush doesn’t do this release justice. SJ Tequilla, aka Naota Matsuda has come up with something rather special here. Embodying all that is great about deep house, ambient and rave, this release is a fragile, beautiful, chiasmic trip and goes beyond what mere words can portray. ‘Sanya’ and ‘Sweet Salts’ bring the beats, while ‘Deolta’ and ‘The Day After’ the atmos. That’s not to say that they don’t intersect, as across the quartet there is a sense that these tracks contain such multitudes that they could go on forever, which is why I’m glad that ‘Sweet Salts’ is eight minutes long. Play music like this at my funeral and I’ll be smiling in my coffin.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Superior Life Forms - Umwelt (Midnight Shift)

Title: Superior Life Forms
Artist: Umwelt
Label: Midnight Shift
Cat Number: MNXSLP001
Genre: Techno/Electro

01: Ritual Of Dust
02: Shadow Entity
03: Superior Life Forms
04: The Windfall
05: Computer Controlled
06: Fragment
07: Latent Existence

Bass-heavy, dark, uncompromising and the most important ingredient, insect menace. It’s this type of music like this which, although I don’t have it on in the background when I make my morning coffee, and my clubbing days are well behind me, fills me with hope for the human race. We’re all getting older by the second, but as long as I don’t compromise my taste, then I’ll always feel that anything is possible. If ‘Eraserhead’ were to be remade, then I would expect a lot of this package to soundtrack it. It’s industrial techno melted down to its essence, swirled around a little and then poured into moulds to produce sonic ingots whose sole aim is to twat you around the noggin. The attitude is strong in this one.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Toi et Moi - DynaRec (Zone)

Title: Toi et Moi 
Artist: DynaRec
Label: Zone
Cat Number: Zone 38
Genre: Electro

1: Toi et Moi
2: Archeologist Assassin
3: Target Be Down
4: Focused

This is a release which for me is characterised by some good bits which don’t always add up to something more. I like a lot of what is going on, but feel that ultimately I’ve been cast adrift on the second wave of electroclash. This is nowhere more apparent than on the title track, which feels mainstream compared to the other three. These, while not quite as commercial, are also very sharply produced and big room bangers; ‘Focused’ is the slight exception, being less confrontational, but still every bit as floor filling. This isn’t a bad thing, but there’s a lack of soul and rawness that when mixed in gives some edge and in doing so, depth. 

Thursday, October 03, 2019

AUX4419 - Bovaflux (Mindcolormusic)

Title: AUX4419
Artist: Bovaflux
Label: Mindcolormusic
Cat Number: AUX 4419
Genre: Electro

1: Simple Times
2: Sleep Cycle
3: Turain
4: Blacklight
5: Pwyll4
6: Cryptographic Hash
7: Wavefolder Funk
8: Twin Waves
9: 0xff5a00
10: Hollow

I’m listening to this selection of hi tensile space funk in the hope that it will answer my many questions about life, the universe and everything, and I feel the vibes loud and clear. There’s a point when listening to an album that everything coalesces and takes the listener into full on gossamer frequency mode. I reached that point at ‘Pwyll4’ and was then swept along by a powerful undercurrent, the nexus of what I can’t identify. It’s just to say that ‘Cryptographic Hash’ sums up most of what I imagine I’ve been writing about much more succinctly than mere words; building up to the peaks already mentioned involved a fusion of electro, idm and bleep. Highlights include the fragility of ‘Sleep Cycle’ and the sinister ‘Blacklight’, which evokes vintage first album LFO, while gently slipping down the slope brings us the oriental tinged beats of ‘Twin Waves’ and the restrained skittishness of ‘0xff5a00’. Bookended by a twilit ambience, this is a collection of enviable balance and maturity.