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Saw You For The First Time
28 Jul 17
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Review: Having set his stall out via a string of quietly impressive singles over the last two years, deep house producer Laurence Guy is ready to unleash his debut album. Saw You For The First Time is a typically rich and hazy affair, with the Church regular making use of various dusty, jazz-flecked samples and analogue-sounding electronic instruments across a ten-track set that mixes rolling, club-ready fare with occasional bouts of downtempo introspection (see "Claudi", "Into" and the deliciously saucer-eyed "Orchard Road"). Guy makes great use of guest vocalist Steve Spacek on the sumptuous space jazz warmth of "Drum is a Woman", while Ishmael makes his presence felt on "Anchor", where twinkling pianos and dreamy chords ride a fluid, floor-friendly deep house groove.
Sunday Papers Vol 3
26 Jul 17
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Review: Summer is here and it's time for the Sunday Paper compilation, featuring some of the more horizontal and forgotten corners of their catalogue. There are two exclusives with Bergen's Keyboy making a return to the label and the wondrous GladLaks i Galaxen. Plus, Leftside Wobbles' unreleased space dub of Leon Sweet's "Sunny Bigler". Add in artists new and old like Jamie L, Crazy P, Maxx Mortimer, Steve Cobby, Flash Atkins, De Fantastiske To, Kahuun and many more. It's sunshine all the way! So crack a tinny, roll a fat one, stick the kettle on, crank the BBQ and dive in.
TITO 005
18 Aug 17
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Review: It would be fair to say that Poolside member Filip "Turbotito" Nikolic is spoiling us with this release, which gathers together a dizzying selection of remixes he's produced over the last few years. Musically, it's surprisingly diverse, albeit shot through with the kind of sun-kissed warmth and musical daydreaming that you'd expect from a Los Angeles-based producer famed for his love of hazy Balearica, dub disco and synthesizer-fuelled workouts. Highlights come thick and fast, from the reggae-driven dancefloor dubbiness of "Lose Your Soul" by Dead Man's Bones and the horizontal, Balearic synth-soul brilliance of Baby Alpaca's "Sea of Dreams", to the Idjut Boys style acid/dub disco fusion of Night Things' "Cost of the Summer" and the thrillingly wonky, tech-tinged house Dub of We Are The World's "Clay Stones".
505537 3531144
11 Aug 17
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Review: Daniele Baldelli is in a rich vein of form right now, with each successive release seemingly being stronger than its predecessor. The cosmic disco pioneer's latest project is an album that impressively blurs the boundaries between his original "Afro-cosmic" sound and the horizontal world of Balearica. Predictably, it's a formula that delivers a string of musical highlights, from the woozy easy listening flourishes and head nodding throb of "Quagga" and ambient-soaked late night fluidity of "Dodo", to the restless Afro percussion and jazzy guitars and of "Megaloceros (featuring Verdo)". Those looking for more Padilla-style horizontal thrills should check the "Extra Balearic" mix of "Pongo", while Baldelli's love of vintage analogue synths and lolloping rhythms is successfully explored on album highlight "Lipote".
Criola: Remixed
MFM 023
24 Jul 17
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Review: Having thrilled dusty-fingered crate diggers with a reissue of Denis Mpunga and Paul K's impossible-to-find mid-'80s cassette album Criola - an unusual but rather fine combination of post-punk and traditional Congolese music - Music from Memory has decided to give some of the tracks the remix treatment. As you'd expect, there's many more hits than misses. Dutch rising star Dazion delivers a wonderfully cosmic revision of "Intermezzo B" full of fluttering new age synth lines and drum machine polyrhythms, while Tolouse Low Trax turns "Veronika" into a woozy and dreamy chunk of dub-flecked, loved-up downtempo bliss. Late night dancefloor thrills are provided by Interstellar Funk's intergalactic tribal techno take on "Intermezzo 2" and Prins Emmanuel's tactile take on "KWEI!", which sits somewhere between dub disco, boogie and proto-house.
Lonely Planet
13 Jan 17
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Review: Aussie adventurer Tornado Wallace seems to be getting better with age. Over recent years, he's delivered a string of brilliantly evocative, sun-kissed releases for the likes of ESP Institute, Beats In Space and Second Circle. Lonely Planet is his debut album, and it could well be his strongest release to date. The seven tracks are dreamy, trippy and atmospheric - we'd expect nothing less - and draw on a far wider palette of Balearic influences than we've heard on previous experiences. Coupled with a new-found desire to include more live instrumentation (particularly glistening, Peter Green style guitar passages, drums and exotic flutes), the result is an album that's as evocative, dreamy and humid as anything he's produced to date. In other words, it's a great album and comes highly recommended.
Bambro Koyo Ganda
06 Jun 17
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Review: Earlier this year Si 'Bonobo' Green delivered his sixth album, Migration, which was his first full-length since 2013. It features 12 tracks that ruminate on the nature of personal identity and ideas of nationality, The LP includes songs inspired by international styles, one of which, "Bambro Koyo Ganda", has now been elected for release a single in it's own right. A seamless mix between fragile, touchy-feely house beats and traditional vocals courtesy of Innov Gnawa, the track will take you on an exotic emotional Journey. Also included is a new Analog version and an extra treat in the form of the clubbier non-album track, "Samurai".
Afro Damba
MC 033
19 Jun 17
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Review: Irishman Peter Power has become quite a well known figure in Berlin since moving there several years ago and has been one of the figures behind some of the city's now legendary haunts like Kleine Reise (RIP) and the successful Loftus Hall/Bertrams: which has had a great run thus far too. Now the man behind the Ufordia imprint returns with his second outing on Thomas Von Party's Multi Culti, which itself has also made the move to the German capital. Power delves deep into the exotic here, borrowing heavily from African music and getting very atmospheric and esoteric in the process. The life affirming raindance of "Adama Waro" (original mix) is certainly geared for some moments of truth on the dancefloor. Equally spiritual is the traditional percussion based journey of "Mori Baka" (original mix). There's some great remixes by label manager Dreems and Bucharest duo Khidja: the latter's contributions which shine the most, particularly on their balearica infused/Second Summer of Love sounding remix of "Dansakoni".
Everytime I Think Of U
09 Jun 17
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Review: It's been relatively quiet from Trujillo recently, but now the Venezuelan producer casts out a transmission from his Berlin base to let everyone know that all is well and we can get back to the business of smooth grooving. "Everytime I Think Of U" speaks to the Balearic tendencies embedded in the producer's aesthetic, with a reflective vocal swirling amidst dreamy guitar chops and swooping synth warbles of a strictly blissed out nature. Telephones does a sterling job of remixing the original version into a warm and funky deep house jam peppered with organic delights. Kiss Me Again comes back to Apersonal Music, with an Afro-house-disco remix of "Everytime I Think Of U".
The Golden Ravedays 7
TGR 007D
28 Jul 17
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Review: The seventh piece of The Golden Ravedays puzzle introduces two further tracks of the sound adventure that Superpitcher is taking us on this year. Featuring "Andy", made in memory and admiration of a pioneer and his works. David Bowie's lyrics about Andy Warhol mirror the groovy yet deeply moving emotion of this track. The music Aksel imagined here is a pleasant cruise in itself and once you wake up from it, you will for sure think of Warhol. Also worthy of mention is "Yves". The track starts with a long introduction of harp music and then gently evolves into one of the more fragile and poetic pieces he has created thus far for the album. What is clear in this music is that there is an intense understanding of the suffering Yves Saint Laurent lived throughout his life as an artist and fashion designer. As only Superpitcher can, he translated that emotion into this beautiful and touching piece of music.
Listen To Your Heart
02 Jun 17
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Review: Although they've delivered plenty of fine singles over the years, it's invariably Session Victim's albums that get us hot under the collar. This is primarily because it gives them a chance to showcase a wider range of grooves, tempos and instrumentations amongst the ear-pleasing dancefloor workouts. Their sunny disposition, noted sample-spotting ability and varied inspirations are all in evidence on the German duo's third full-length excursion. It's a deliciously evocative, enjoyable and mood enhancing affair that smilingly meanders between dreamy jazz-house bliss, Bossa-Balearic fusion, disco-sampling cheeriness, glistening slow jams, Afro-tinged deep house warmth and humid dub riddims (the impeccable "Castle For Sale"). In other words, it's another hugely enjoyable romp packed full of winning moments.
Ali Kuru (Remixes)
LENG 036
07 Jul 17
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Review: Turkey's Ali Kuru specialises in slow, textured and deep beats with sultry, exotic overtones. His forthcoming LP "Egzotik" has elements of the type of noirish Mediterranean vibes peddled by Guy Gerber or David August. Here we have a selection of remixes of mainly album tracks. First up Italian cosmic legend Daniele Baldelli and Dario Piana team up for a killer electronic body music remix of "Ashoka". Next, Craig Bratley delivers a moody, minimal rework of "Zurna", "Return To Paradise" is turned into a traditional clippety-clop clap-along by Nicola Cruz and lastly "Lost Bedouin", reworked by Peter Power, recalls a million 90s chillout rooms.
MC 031
06 Mar 17
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Played by: Domshe, Lisa Laud
Review: More indie world music vibes courtesy of Thomas Von Party's esteemed Multi Culti imprint. The folklorica of Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz's Cantos de Vision EP gets a bunch of wicked remixes on this EP. Starting out with Simple Symmetry's dark, bumpy and grinding rendition of "Tzantza", Earthly Delight's Yor Kultura from the Netherlands deliver a lo-slung deep funk makeover of the track too. "Bruxo" gets a couple of remixes as well, but it was all about the aforementioned Von Party's deep tribal voodoo acid groove: which will take you deep into the spiritual home of the the rainforest.
Sandbar Caviar
C 56060
11 Aug 17
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Review: Blair French has dropped his second single this year and there were initially only 300 copies on vinyl! Following "Standing Still Is An Illusion" on Rocksteady Disco come two more sublime Balearic affairs that fit Claremont 56 like a snug pair of speedos; "Sandbar Caviar" wafts and sways with island waves as gentle arpeggios ebb and flow creating harmonies and cosmic textures while "Inland Island" adjusts our seats to a horizontal position with its snaking bassline and spacious percussion gradually opening into a heavenly vocal and guitar lead that's tantamount to transcendental.
CKEG 002
07 Aug 17
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Review: Maricopa makes the smoothest summer tunes in the world, as heard on labels like Back To The Balearics and Berlin's La Luna: who released his debut album last year. On his Explorer EP, the second in their Cosmic Pint Keg series, Maricopa makes no exceptions. A journey through Mediterranean landscapes, across mountain tops in the midday heat to the refreshing sea breeze on a midnight beach. It's a thing of beauty; some are directed at the dance floor some almost chilled: horizontally. There's a bit of deep disco on the balearic tip like on "Cavernosa", the deeply soulful and emotive "Volcanic Glass" (having that almost Kompakt vibe about it) while the album's most chilled moment is also its most sublime: the dreamy and captivating "Yucca" (Islander Version).
Abstract Nature
AACD 002
07 Aug 17
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Review: Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Japanese house legend Satoshi Tomiie has worked with Frankie Knuckles (who can forget their timeless anthem "Tears"), in addition to being a touring keyboardist for Yellow Magic Orchestra and remixing everyone from U2 to David Bowie. He released his 'New Day' LP in 2015 and here (courtesy of his new Abstract Nature imprint) Tomiie rounds up a number of respected names for remixes from said album. There's Maayan Nidam, Dj Sneak, Pablo Mateo and more featured across this dozen or so collection. Our favourite remixes (however many there are!) were NYC deepness purveyor Fred P's lush and emotive reshape of "Landscape", Chicago don Ron Trent with the most dubby we have ever heard him on his energetic and soulful take of "Thursday 2 AM" plus Berlin's favourite sons Cab Drivers with their unmistakeable sound brought to the absolutely bumpin' version of "814".
Listen To Your Heart Part Three
21 Jul 17
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Review: Apologies for banging on about this, But Session Victim's recent Listen To Your Heart album is one of the best Balearic-minded house sets we've heard this year. It goes without saying, then, that this third sampler EP is packed full of playable goodness. While they've naturally included an obligatory slow jam (wonderfully dreamy Balearic beats cut "Castle For Sale") and a rush inducing, gradually building Balearic soundscape (EP highlight "Thermal Explorer"), the other two tracks jostle for position in the "best for peak-time plays" stakes. Choose between the tactile nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Head Over Heels" - all sweeping strings, bubbly synth bass and twinkling piano flourishes - and "Almost Midnight", a wonderful trip into disco deep house territory that's as rich and musically expansive as they come.
NEIN 1719
24 Jul 17
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Review: When not repeatedly appearing on the Roam label, San Francisco's JP Soul (aka Jason Peters) has been found on disco edit labels like Whiskey Disco. Here though he gives us "A.L.E." on the mighty Nein Records, and as one might expect with this imprint, the tone is typically slower and darker. The title track track is nearly seven minutes long and features 303 squelches, light, cascading synth bleeps and beguiling melodies not unlike Guy Gerber. Two Mamarrachos also strip it down into a sparse and trancey odyssey. "Take Me To Your Leader" meanwhile is a spacey electro-house ditty that gets worked into a more pulsating disco/new beat hybrid by Montcosmik. Ace!
Excursion Africanism (Remixes)
07 Apr 17
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Review: Jose Manuel's recent album for Music For Dreams, the mighty Excursion Africanism, brought plenty of new and refreshing outernationalism to the electronic scene, and we are pretty convinced about the fact that this is some of the best material to surface out of the label in a long while. Much to our pleasure, this is a full-service remix package, all planned out with the care and attention to detail that it deserves. First up, Islandman reworks "Babylon" into the most seductive of Balearic cuts to have graced our charts as of late, Mehmet Aslan's version of "Voices Of Africa" is a moody yet effective little house roller, the Perca dub cut of "Excursion Africanism" ticks all the tribal boxes in fine style, while Leo Mas and Fabrice's own dub version of "Hungry" is the perfect bit of outsider dance experimentation to complement this magnificently subtle EP. Recommended!
14 Jul 17
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Played by: In Flagranti
Review: Ali Kuru took a decision some years ago not to seek publicity, preferring instead to let his music speak for itself. Egzotik, his long awaited debut album, seems to have a fair few stories to tell. Smothered in evocative field recordings made around his home city of Istanbul, the album is notable for fusing exotic Persian instrumentation with grooves and sounds more readily associated with cosmic disco, krautrock, dub, Balearica and Detroit beatdown. On paper, it's an unusual combination that should sound forced or contrived. In reality, it's a brilliant example of an artist with a singular artistic vision achieving his goals. Put it this way: it's amongst the most inspired and enjoyable debut albums we've heard this year.
Walk With The Dreamers (Remixes)
14 Jul 17
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Played by: Kenneth bager
Review: Ambala is comprised of the legendary Phil Mison with Thomas Schulz. With a bit of help from disco dons Laid Back they served up some deep and bluesy lounge business on "Walk With The Dreamers" for Copenhagen based Music For Dreams. It now gets a series of great remixes by fellow disco/balearic royalty in the form of the The White Isle's finest: Leo Mas who is joined by fellow Italians Fabrice and Giorgio Li Calzi. We personally preferred the lo-slung balearic goodness of the "Dreamers Dub" which is perfecting for drifting at Cafe Del Mar or Cafe Mambo this Summer on the island.
The Pathways Of Our Lives
14 Jul 17
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Review: International Feel boss Mark Barrott steps away from the the Balearic sounds he has been exploring of late to take a journey back to territory first explored with Bepu N'Gali back in 2012. "The Pathways Of Our Lives" is slo-mo (and very lo-slung!) Afro soul that continues Barrott's fixation with African polyrhythms and 70's style Philly strings. He has worked with a full band: The Grunewald Quartet return to string duties after collaborating on Barrott's Sketches from an Island 2 album last year. Second offering recorded live during one of his spring meditation sessions in Northern Ibiza, with India's Vishnu Quartet performing a 2 hour piece: be prepared for Jon Hassell style Fourth World aesthetics: very nice.
Talamanca System
19 May 17
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Review: Three years on from his first Talamanca System collaboration with Tuff City Kids duo Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer, Mark Barrott gets the gang back together for an album of typically loved-up excursions. International Feel's eccentric press release describes it as "a sunburned imagination of a day and night spent on Ibiza during a moment in time that probably never was". Given the album's repeated nods to baggy, piano-laden Italian house, the saucer-eyed, sunrise-friendly brilliance of 808 State's "Pacific State", sun-kissed post Italo-disco chuggers, percussion-laden tropical workouts and head-in-the-clouds ambience, it's actually rather an apt description. It's shamelessly Balearic from start to finish, but pulls it off with an authenticity that others could only dream of.
Square One
07 Jul 17
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Played by: Lurid Music
Review: Bjorn Torske and Prins Thomas finally get back together to make music. Torske is a figurehead and elder of the electronic music scene in Norway, inspiring and laying the foundation for producers like Lindstrom and Todd Terje. Torske and Thomas' relationship goes back to the mid 90's, where they supposedly bonded over a shared passion for oddball disco, dub and Detroit techno. This album is in many ways comes full circle, where they make music together for the first time. Square One is a collection of loose, abstract and freeform avant-disco jams, a parallel world disco perhaps? Either way it is a labour of love and a sound they both have travelled towards for many years. The album was recorded live in Oslo, in the spring of 2015 with both artists manning an instrument each in each overdub, piling the layers of sounds on top of each other. And here they finally are: at Square One.
Cantos De Vision
MC 030
23 Jan 17
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Review: Hailing from Ecuador, Nicola Cruz is a mysterious producer whose fine work tends to appear on esteemed label Multi Culti. Here is back with more occultish offerings (to the gods), four in fact, all of which will have you feeling light headed and possibly even aroused. Spiritually of course. "Tzantza" opens as nocturnal shuffle in the jungle, kind of like an organic body music. Elsewhere "Bruzo" mixes off-kilter rhythms and cut ups tribal chants, "Danza De Vision" is a livelier affair that's adds pan pipes and electronic bleeps to the mix and "Rio Branco" is a linear fusion of minimal percussion.
Malice Of Absence
RCR 001
27 Jul 17
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Review: Finally on digitsal. Rotten City based in Madrid, is overseen by partners in crime Alvaro Cabana Juliana Leyva, and born to maximize synergies between different music scenes, breaking barriers to get to a common factor: quality music without pigeonholing. Nein Records man Tronik Youth handles the debut release from Rotten City, backed with remixes from the esteemed Red Axes and Richard Sen. Guided by the force of synths, "Malice Of Absence" is an intense voyage to the depth of strobes and flash... For their remix, Red Axes steers the listener towards a Balearic sunset governed by the melodies of Art of Noise, the horizontal flights of Vangelis and the spiritual calmness of Mr. Fingers. Richard Sen rises the speed gently and resolves the equation that the German cosmic exposition has deposited under a mirror ball of The Loft in a space with a life of its own.
26 Aug 16
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Review: 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.
Is Everything
BARN 048
30 Jan 17
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Review: The genius of Baba Stiltz productions - aside from their consistent high quality, of course - has always been their eccentric unpredictability. His latest EP for Studio Barnhus - his first for the Swedish label since the tail end of 2015 - sticks to this script. Across the five tracks, you'll hear tactile and dreamy deep house bliss ("Snowwhite"), future R&B-informed vocal synth-pop ("Baby"), bubbly, sun-kissed synthesizer Balearica ("Freeeze"), and hypnotic, loved-up tech-house brilliance (the superb "Are You Mad? Cause I'm Not Mad"). Arguably most impressive of all, though, is the humid "XXX200003", which gently rises on waves of marimba melodies, African-influenced percussion, and fireside-hot chords.
Running Mate
MC 032
27 Mar 17
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Review: Aussie balearic house larrikin Dreems returns on Montreal's Multi Culti: a label that he's actually co-owner of. The Running Mate EP like its name may suggest does indeed feature a bunch of great collaborations that result in some fantastic jams. First up he teams up with label boss Thomas Von Party on the title track where acid house meets the native sound of Down Under via its droney didgeridoo solos. He also teams up with Lithuanian-Israeli nomad DJ OI on a couple of tracks; our favourite was the latin infused slo-mo house epic "Kamp Krusty". Jagma is rumoured to be another Aussie who collaborates on home turf on "Bilbio Bush Baby" a dusty deep house track with esoteric elements.
09 Jun 17
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Review: Under the Populous pseudonym, Andria Mangia has forged a career out of confounding expectations. To date, he's flitted between IDM, ambient, glitch-hop, synth-pop and leftfield electronica, with each successive set offering a new musical perspective. With Azulejos, he's shifted the goalposts further. Inspired in part by a move to Lisbon, it draws on both South American music and the contemporary, bass-heavy "progressive Kuduro" popularized by Bureka Som Sistema. The result is a humid, sweaty and deliciously melodious set full of hybrid musical fusions that bristle with live Latin percussion, lilting synthesizer melodies, heavy analogue basslines and wonderfully evocative Portuguese instrumentation.
18 Aug 17
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Review: New York City based Wonderwheel are excited to release the brand new Chinampa EP from El Buho, leading into his debut album in early November. UK born Robin Perkins is now based in Paris but spent the last two years living in Mexico City, working, playing and producing music. The EP is inspired by the urban sprawl of Buho's previous home and digs deeper to find the city's ties to water and it's present and past ways of living. "Salto de Agua" with its plinky plonky tones is drifting and ethereal experience. The subdued and slo-mo tribal groove of "Pasale" will put you into a right trance state, supported by some trippy synths and soothing melodic tones.
Two Thousand & Seventeen
05 Jul 17
Two Thousand & Seventeen - (4:12) 76 BPM
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