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Reviewed this week
Having sold out on vinyl at the tail end of 2016, it's heartening to see Pyschemagik's epic Ritual Chants compilation series finally appear on digital download. As the title suggests, Beach is the most laidback, loved-up and Balearic of the three collections, and contains all manner of weird, wonderful and evocative fare - most of which is suitably obscure and hard-to-find. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the reggae-goes-cosmic trip of Tony Wilson's "Hangin' Out In Space", and fuzzy, calypso-rock bounce of Adrian Gurvitz's "New World", to the eccentric Balearic disco shuffle of Amini's "Habibi" and quirky electro-boogie silliness of Danny Boy's "Discomix", a 1983 Dutch release that's guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of even the grumpiest dancers.
After much ado, it is finally time for the second offering by Vermont aka Danilo Plessow aka Motor City Drum Ensemble and Marcus Worgull of Innvervisions who delve into all things exotic and balearic on this sublime 12 track journey where they take a break from their more club oriented music respectively. Mostly a beatless affair, these tracks are full of shimmering vintage synths, gentle arpeggios and even more traditional instruments like bass and slide guitar that make a perfect accompaniment for drifting or road trips alike. Features the recent, gorgeous single "Nordeney" alongside a brilliant collection of many other sublime cosmic/psychedelic/ambient cuts.
2017 marks two decades since the release of Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber's first album under the Tosca alias, the undeniably baked Opera. Given their length of service, it's heartening to see that their desire to create evocative, dubbed-out music remains undimmed. There's plenty to enjoy on Going Going Going, their first studio set for three years. Check, for example, the swirling, late night stroll through Istanbul that is "Amber November", the dub-meets-jazz warmth of "Friday", the flowery piano lines and jangling acoustic guitars of "Supersunday", and the thrillingly trippy, krautrock-influenced ambient dub of "Olympia". It would be churlish to say that it's a return to form - they've always been reliable, after all - but it's certainly one of their more impressive full-length outings.
Italy's Hell Yeah have been rocking it since the end of the noughties, and they have truly become one of the most reliable sources of anything dance-related, specializing their craft across hosue, techno, minimal, and even electro. Nu-disco dons Somerville & Wilson have already appeared for Hell Yeah's sub-label, Danny Was A Drag King, but this new eight-tracker sees the pair branch out into much deeper corners of the electronic game. Aqueous synths and dreamy pads make up the majority of this EP's atmosphere, and we highly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely into the field of balearica. Tunes like "Melt", with its glitch tribal percussion, or even the acid-laden "Cero Gravity" do manage to branch out into more kinetic territories, but this is without a doubt a release that focusses on the meditative side of social music. We love it, and we think you will too.
More and more, the Laut & Luise label are positioning themselves as one of the most trusted sources of contemporary deep house and meditative techno around. We love that they have a real consistency to their sound palette, and that they always seem to snap up the finest NEW talents rather than imitating what other imprints are doing. Newcomer Kerala Dust debuts with a thrilling four-tracker, starting with the slow, lounged-out Balearic drift of "Untitled", which is followed by the similar yet more beat-driven charge of "Nevada". "Spiegel" is a sublime minimal techno driver, powered by a deep, wholesome wave of low frequencies, and Another Shade Of DWIG ties the EP off with a vocal excursion to Kerala Dust's original mix of "Untitled". Don't underestimate the power of Laut & Luise!
Kraak & Smaak, despite what you'd think going by their name; are in fact a trio and hail from the town of Leiden, Netherlands: consisting of Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug. They've been at it since 2003 and their careers have gone from strength to strength; the bulk of their material devoted to this very imprint: Jalapeno out of Brighton UK that is also home to The Allergies, Skeewiff and Ian Britt. New single "Stumble" is a gorgeous serving of indie-dance-electronica featuring some bittersweet vocals atop and elevating chord progressions: an all round deep groove. Hit prediction right here!
Top Labels
New State
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music US
Music For Dreams US
Wax N Soul Germany