Ninja Tune's relentless release schedule continues apace here with the much anticipated debut album from Romare. Under the name, London producer Archie Fairhurst first made waves with a couple of excellent 12" releases for the Black Acre label which revealed a quite distinct approach to production. Inspired by the collages of noted US artist Romare Bearden, Fairhurst's fascination with African-American culture is explored through his productions which deftly weaved in untold amounts of samples in an illuminating fashion. How Romare applies this approach to the album format is one of the most compelling thoughts you will have when listening to Projections. The resultant 11 tracks suggest Fairhurst has achieved it with aplomb.
Channeling the spirit of electro swing into a lively party concoction, The Gentlemen Callers of LA come from the sterling lineage of Los Angeles production team Atom Smith and Buck Down. On this particularly fiery cut the pair turn to a track made famous through Moby's canny sampling, and whip up a sure fire hit in the process. In terms of remixes, the Skeleton Bay remix gets into a straight up electro house shaker without losing the key vocal elements, while Sound Nomaden remix works in a slight reggae skank. The Dutty Moonshine remix meanwhile is the trippiest version of the bunch without losing that all important hooky groove.
Ready for a strange soul sensation? Say hello to Henry Wu. After a smattering of outings on 22a and XVI, the Londoner jumps aboard Ho Tep with his first extensive extended document. "Don't Want The Regular" is a hazy twist on slo-mo broken beat, all dreamy and just the right amount of abstract. "Expensive Ghetto" takes the abstract even further with a jazz trumpet that wanders so free it's nearly off the page. "Black Rigsby" is more floor-focused as it looks towards the likes of Detroit with strange filtered synth wriggles and spacy overtones, "Just Negotiate" sits somewhere between Andrew Ashong and Amp Fiddler with its yearning lyrics and hugely enveloping synths and finally "Joint September" closes the show on a reflective jazzy note. Dreamy.
Unfortunately Night Scat is not a concept record about Spud from Trainspotting's unfortunate bedsheet malfunction, but it is a sizzling new three track EP from prolific Italian producer Digitalunderbit. The title track is a pure late night hypnotic choppy-jazz-funk, "Broken Night" fuses vintage jazz piano, meandering bass and breaky percussion for maximum impact and finally "C-Fire" is hazy slo-mo bass heaven.
Swiss slicker Banderas returns to Timewarp with two smouldering breakbeat funk originals. "Handbrake" is a horn-heavy exercise in contrasts as we're hyped into a sweaty mess on the Budos Band-style builds before dropping into smooth Skweewif-style main groove. "Faro", meanwhile, takes us into a more dramatic, car-chase experience as we're pursued across the musical metropolis by firing flutes and tightly plucked guitars. Remix-wise, "Handbrake" gets the treatment from Timewarp Inc (samba-style rocksteadiness) and Trotter (Brownswood jazz style) while "Faro" gets the rub from Quincy Jointz (Afrobeat stomp hypnosis) and Fata & Morgana (Italo-angled cosmic heaven). Take two? We'll take all six please.
Veteran Hungarian producer and former DMC DJ champion, DJ Bootsie brings us his latest solo studio album offering "In Solem Verti". Bootsie's particular brand of instrumental Hip Hop and Bass remains as innovative as ever. Drawing Influence from global music culture and sounds, while remaining free thinking and experimental makes this record more of a journey for the dance floor and the home listener, than something for MC's to ride along, though crisp beats and squelching bass remain constant throughout. "Rokka" and "Forgiven" are the highlight tracks for us; with subtle Trap and Dubstep flavours they really typify an album that perfectly straddles the realms of thought provoking and dance floor shaking effortlessly. This one is not to be slept on.
Nick Pride and The Pimptones delivered their classy album, Rejuiced Phat Shake, on Valentine's day and now they keep the heat going by extracting a new single from its 14-song tracklisting. "Why Does My Man Got To Be So Tough" is raucous slice of raw, Stax-like vintage soul, enhanced by the larger than life vocals of Beth Macari. Also included are two remixes - a fizzy drum and bass number from Pretty Disgusting and a more polished cut courtesy of Sam Redmore.