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01 Oct 12
Review: Having come to the end of its run of ten 10" releases, West Norwood Cassette Library's self-titled imprint starts a new chapter, with the first EP featuring tracks from some of the label's principal artists. Don Froth's particularly rowdy "Lifting Weights" combines crafty breakbeats, UKF percussion and filtered synths, while Milyoo's "Pancake" provides a washed out combination of tinpot percussion, deep bass and breathy vocal samples. WNCL himself also represents with his "What It Is (MAH VIP), a relatively minimal piece of breakbeat house, and Knowing Looks rounds things off with "Cytal Fink", a stripped back percussive workout recalling the work of Hessle Audio's Joe. As an EP it sums up perfectly why the output of WNCL Recordings is peerless, and as such comes highly recommended.
03 Jan 11
04 Jun 12
Played by: Rocut
Review: If the accompanying release sheet is anything to go by then this tenth WNCL Recordings is supposedly the final in the series of 10" and digital releases. Whether this is an end to the label or not is unclear, but for the time being we can be content with another piece of razor sharp classic house homage from the South London producer. "Coming On Strong" is not, as its name may suggest, a homage to Hot Chip's debut album of the same name, but a piece of raw, bumping basement house which is heavy on the toms, and accented by some particularly jazzy samples. Pangaea's remix meanwhile transforms it beyond recognition, warping its saxophone tones into an abstract soundscape driven by complex rhythms.
22 Aug 11
Played by: Shadow Dancer, Dirt Crew, Dairmount (Room With A View Recs), Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Riley Reinhold, West Norwood Cassette Library, Junoplus
Review: What has been markedly noticeable about all the WNCL output so far is that it doesn't make any daring leaps to re-invent the wheel, tackle trendy tempos or get all post-modern. Instead of using an old template of sounds as so many do today, it's actually a fearless old-skool give-a-fuck spirit that makes the WNCL output so addictive, so refreshing and so damn fun. On this release, a cheeky mid-nineties vibe is undeniably present, but somehow fuses Strictly Rhythm-style funk with a rolling break, hip-hop stabs and positively modern acid squelches. It's quite simply a party rocker, with a tongue-in-cheek lyrical spit of spiritual fulfilment. Karenn, the new production endeavour of Blawan and Pariah, took the call for remix duties and deliver a rough and chunky house reworking. Employing almost industrial hits which keep the melodics muffled and muted, their revision makes for tracky, functional house music as it should be made, as if the Berghain boys weren't taking everything so seriously all the time.
23 Jan 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Leftfield
Review: Operating at the fringes of the current generation of producers working in the dubstep/house crossover zone, West Norwood Cassette Library has been consistently outstripping his more visible peers in terms of innovation for some time now; here he finds himself in the unlikely company of the New Kanada imprint, but he's given them some of his most vital material to date. "Say What?" takes a rolling breakbeat and looming bass and creates one of his sparsest, tightest productions to date, filled with all the rough textures and atmosphere you'd expect. "Flashlight" meanwhile is similarly brilliant; deriving its energy from a restless synth line fluctuating over a palette of delicate drums, it's has the same appeal of his early track "What It Is". Finally, New Kanada boss Adam Marshall offers a staggering 10 minute remix of "Flashlight", transforming it into a downtempo number that is almost what Cluster's take on grime might sound like. Highly recommended.