Skip Navigation

 
Reviewed this week
Greek based George Kelly aka DJ Butcher runs Chopshop and now introduces Senior Citizens aka DJ ''S'' and DJ Chairman who claim to have 40 plus years of combined DJ experience; certainly nothing to scoff at! Starting out with "My Name Is" which is a kind of sexy samba inspired jam and is well sassy. Next up "What A Body" is more of a soul funk jam with some killer horns and DJ style scratching. "Sookie" follows in suit but this is more sixties style along the lines of Shocking Blue. Finally "Elisa" delves into the exotic on this tabla and sitar realised jam which we really enjoyed.
As sure as night follows day, every year Kompakt releases an installment of the Total series. Now at its sixteenth volume, the compilation still manages to bring together the best bits from the Cologne label's catalogue. From the dreamy textures and spiky off rhythms of Kaytlin Aurelia Smith's take on The Field's "Reflecting Lights" to the woozy vocals and pitter pattering break beats on Weval's "I Donat Need It" to the stripped back but evocative house of Patrice Baumel's take on Blond:ish's "Endless Games" and the throbbing techno reshape of Coma's "Lora", the full range of the Kompakt emotional spectrum is audible here.
Much praise was heaped on the 2015 debut EP from Black Spuma, a "retro Balearic" collaboration between prolific Frankfurt producer Phil Lauer and Slow Motion man Fabrizio Mammarella. Unsurprisingly, Onda is similarly inclined; check, for example, the synthesized marimba melodies, dreamy pads and Sueno Latino-era Italian deep house groove of "Metallo Nero", or the gentle Adriatic breeze that is "Hundred Fingers Man". The superb title track sees them upping the tempo and intensity a little whilst retaining their core values (melody, groove, and eyes-closed vibes), while closer "Gabula" sees them change tack, lacing rubbery TB-303 acid lines over a swinging breakbeat and whizzing electronic effects.
DBridge continues his consistently innovative vision with a whole stack of newness. We launch into his cosmos with the truly unique "Too Late", a deliciously slo-mo soul record that almost sounds like it's made to appear like it's on half speed. Pensive, gradual and measured with strings, lilting pianos and his own falsetto, it's total future soul complete with two equally forward-thinking remixes from staple label peers Stray and Spacek. Deeper again we hit "Gone Before Dawn" which steps, cautiously, with much more of a barbed tech aesthetic. We hit "Better Than The Pain", a languid sci-fi Heart Drive special and close with the woozy feels of "Coz My Love Is" a record that sounds like jazz, recorded underwater, somewhere near Detroit with Amp Fiddler. Beautiful.
Optimo Music founder JD Twitch has a hotline to Glasgow's Green Door Studio, and tends to get first refusal for much of the wild and wonderful material recorded there. His latest Green Door-raised recruits are Pussy Mother, a "cross continental" duo made up of a native Scot, and an Australian. There's plenty to get excited about on this no-nonsense debut EP, from the metallic, spaced-out percussion hits, trippy vocals and moody electronics of "Skirt", and Golden Teacher-go-Latin jazz flex of "Echo Party", to the loved-up, Quando Quango-sampling curio that is "When I Get It Right". Closer "Wrap Machine", a mutant electro-meets-new wave shuffler, is also pretty hot.
Since making his debut back in 2007, Marco Shuttle has released material on an impressive selection of labels, including Clone, The Bunker New York, and his own Eerie. Here he pops up on Donato Dozzy and Neel's freshly minted Spazio Disponible imprint, serving up three tracks of creepy, feverish techno. With its bellowing, metallic hits, rainforest textures and chiming melodies, opener "Flusso Dinamico" feels like the soundtrack to a paranoid chase through a South American jungle. "Danza Cinetica" is similarly sticky in feel, but altogether more clandestine in execution, while the title track sees him charge off into experimental tropical techno territory, via high-octane rhythms, intoxicating synthesizer lines, and intoxicating melodies.
Adjowa's house training began with an early release on Bristol's Happy Skull label and took further flight with a fine outing on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid Dubs division (remember that nutty Max D remix?). Adjowa now returns with some fresh flexes for Happy Skull and his sound seems to have shifted somewhat, going instead for a deep and intricate form of house with a psychedelic edge. "Heartstrung" is a lovely piece of trippy tribal house, while "Sylvie Always Goes In" has more in common with '80s boogie, and "Penny Black" strips everything down to some warm, summertime funk that could appeal to a whole variety of dance DJ's. Lively, positive and incandescent music for the soul.
Tronik Youth's Nein imprint never fails to impress and he's called up Bird Of Paradise (Multi Culti/Correspondant) again to deliver the goods on the Oathbreaker EP. The title track is a Balearic-tinged dark journey track that nails that sense of atmosphere like no other. "Burmatofts" utilises classic Chicago house 808 rhythms beneath a dark EBM arpeggio to great effect (Heretic's remix up later is wicked too) while "Witch Intellect" is reminiscent of an instrumental version of Q Lazzarus' classic "Goodbye Horses" now if that's not a good enough pitch then we don't know what is!
The mysterious DJ Python is said to be arguably NYC's first deep-reggaeton artist. He appears next on Anthony Naples' Proibito. On the A side, the trippy and looped up minimalism of "Tranquila" is a perfect groove for trancing out in the sunlight, while by contrast "Cuidado" is more suited to the night in a Brooklyn basement; this deep and dirty tribal groove is perfect for dancefloor trance induction. Finally "Sunset Groove" kinda does exactly what it says on the tin really; and those uplifting and hypnotic synth strings just rise and rise, getting some real euphoric feelings happening. Python himself is said to claim this will be a huge open-air record: he's not wrong!
Songs Of Remembrance was originally released on Drew Piraino's Psychic Troubles Tapes out of Port Ewen, New York in 2014, but gets an essential vinyl edition thanks to the newly-formed Pre-Echo platform. These 21 short but delightful shoegaze passages unashamedly keep clipping, full of tape hiss, saturation and degradation that just add to the dreamy and sometimes violently textured aesthetics. There's some classic sounds reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins, through to Pygmalion era Slowdive where they were at their most avant garde. Some moments even have some quite gloomy and cinematic mood lighting, eighties style: at times similar to Blackest Ever Black alumni Dalhous.
Top Labels
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music US
New State
Music For Dreams US
K7 Germany
Wax N Soul Germany