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Reviewed this week
It's been a long time that Miguel Campbell's label has been dishing out slick, modern disco house pearlers, and the mission continues apace as Matt Hughes makes an appearance with this confident long player. Across 13 tracks Hughes explores refined musicality, focusing on unfussy arrangements that lay down pure good vibes dance music to appeal across the board. There are some particular moments that stand out, such as the laid back funk licks of "Synthetic Love" with its restrained Metro Area-style groove, while "Night Call" makes a leap towards Balearic bliss with its smooth guitar lines and soothing pads.
Seven years since the last Smith & Mudd album kissed our ears... Gorthlek is a long-awaited treat that's landed (by no coincidence we suspect) right at the start of prime sandy season. Picking up where they left us (together and as part of the Bison collective), it's every bit as soul soothing, soft-focus and poised as you'd expect. It's the weight and richness that will grab most fans the hardest; amid the floral pastoral instrumentation on tracks such as "Alrick" and "Gorthlek Part 1", there's real swampy bluesy fusion such as "Mr Coats", there's fiddle-flipping cosmic folk on "Enos" and naked piano striking drama on the closure "Gorthlek Part 2". Instrumental Balearic bliss.
While some of the material reissued on Emotional Rescue will be familiar to Baelaric and kosmiche crate-diggers, it's likely that few will have heard of Carlos Cataia's Orquesta. Written, produced and released in Argentina way back in 1985, it sees noted keyboardist Cutaia - ably assisted by producer pals Alejandro Oucinde and Oscar Dominguez - joining the dots between quirky synth-pop, post-boogie space funk, Berlin-School ambience, and the kind of dreamy, chugging fare that would now be described as "Balearic". It's more than a little eccentric, but contains a slew of brilliant cuts, including the weirdo space-pop of "Operativo", and the tape delay heavy piano ambience of sublime closer "Aproximaciann Uno".
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