Reviewed this week
Nicola Cruz returns with another spellbinding fusion of Afro Brazilian charm in the form of "Folha De Jurema". With the dusky dulcets of Arteria FM, the dusty strums of Spaniol and sultry plucks of Salvador Arguaya, Cruz commands a decorated cast as they explore a mystical new vision of a traditional Brazilian folk standard. The remixes are just as warm and alluring as Xique Xique adds a little steel string tension, Crussen maps out a chugging Scandinavian odyssey and Rio's Carrot Green brings us back home to the motherland with a poignant, hazy flutter of house soul. Stunning.
International Feel's mini album series seems to explore the space between world beat, balearic and library music. Here, L.A's Pharaohs 'have imagined a place far from the city' on their first release for Mark Barrott's esteemed imprint. Co-founder Sam Cooper has stated that we were influenced by a surfing book by photographer Michael Kew and that a lot of the music was inspired by his travels in the South Pacific and its imagery: an idea of what it would sound like if they were actually there themselves. Cooper met co-founder Ale Cohen in Amoeba Music and the pair started jamming in the late noughties. Diego Herrera (aka Suzanne Kraft) was an original member but now resides in Europe, preventing him from collaborating, moving forward. But still, some of his playing can be heard on the album. Casey Butler aka Stellar Rahim, is the fourth member, who studied composition at CalArts.
Polski-in-Rotterdam Richu M lays down his biggest, broadest and most vibrant collection since Most Blunted collection in 2015. A sweet selection of rough warm grooves that all sport ace sample craft and refreshingly ludicrous titles, highlights include the turbo b-boy soul of "Melting Dolphins", the dreamy Jean Jacques Perry textures of "Aquarian Mummies" and the Hammond-slapping fusion and lolloping jacks of "Donor Goes To Hawaii". Get packing.
Originally released back in 1990, on their own, self-titled label, Holy Ghost Inc's second record has long been a collector's item. Faced with spiraling prices on the second hand market, Australian label Isle of Jura has done the sensible thing and reissued it. They deserve props for including the Sun & Moon Mix: with its ponderous bass and dubbed out effects, it has long been a crossover for house, ambient and even trance fans. At the other end of the spectrum, the Amphibious Carbine version is a classic 90s trance-y house groove. The label also deserves extra praise for including two previously unreleased dub mixes that alternate between ebbing and flowing effortlessly or tripping the light fantastic - on both occasions against a backdrop of subtle break beats.
While Kenneth Bager's Music For Dreams imprint hails from the chilly Danish borders, its roots are most definitely planted in something a lot more Balearic. Since the late 00s, the label has been a stronghold for all things loose and housey, not to mention sun-kissed; new deutant Copenema makes his debut here with a delightfully peaceful hybrid tune, bridging the gap between house, electronica and lounge, ending up in some brilliant corners of the wider dance spectrum. A quirky, utterly meditative groove made of organic instruments and chilled-out waves drives a delightful blend of spacey vocals and new age vibes to the stars. This is one hell of a headspace session, right here...
Monkeytown stalwart Siriusmo is back with a bang and a pencil. He now presents Comic: a record that sounds like its title. This feels like a dilettante kid's drawings, roughly sketched with a big marker. Abstract layouts and finely carved romantic paintings. The legendary Mr. Oizo joins him on the bleepy "Doppelklick" while scene veteran Jan Driver is back on the scene for a collaboration entitled "Patina" which is a rhythm heavy and brooding piece of dancefloor drama. Elsewhere, there are plenty other highlights such as the booming "Dagoberta", the chill Balearic vibes of "Geilomant" or the jagged and angular groove of "Isegrim". 14 songs ripped from the pages of a colouring book to vividly be coloured by you!

K7's new sub-label 7K! presents two remixes of Luca D'Alberto from his recent album entitled Endless. Richard Dorfmeister & Stefan Obermaier's remix of "Her Dreams" is a stunning deep nu-disco rendition carried by a glistening arpeggio, cloudy rhythms and hypnotic pads. The legendary Howie B's rendition will take you deep down into the rabbit hole on this eerie (and somewhat haunting) ambient revision. D'Alberto's first recording for newly-formed, Berlin-based, neo-classical imprint, at its heart, is a blood and guts re-imagining of what neoclassical can be: passionate and daring. Music that jumps out from the shadows at you.
Germany's magnificent K7 label presents debutant Reto A Ichi in the one-track single "A Sword In The Rain". Little is known about the artist apart from their Japanese origin, and the fact they can clearly make a compellingly deep array of electronic sounds. In fact, it's near impossible to boil this one tune down to a genre or style. Instead, we are faced with a melancholic range of harmonies that find their right groove in amidst a sea of blurry, downtempo atmospherics and seductive vocal snippets. We hope there's more of this in the pipework from Reto A Ichi!
Burnt Friedman and Oke Goettlich's Nonplace is back with some tribal percussion workouts courtesy of Cologne based Drums Off Chaos that's comprised of Friedman's touring bassist Maf Retter, Manos Tsangaris, Olek Gelba and Reiner Linke. Jaki Liebezeit of the legendary Can was a member also, until his death in early 2017. The group collaborated with local musician Jes Uwe Beyer for an album on Barnt's Magazine imprint in 2011. There's been a strong scene for polyrhythmic music in the city of Cologne and fans of Stefan Schwander, The Durian Brothers or Harmonious Thelonious will certainly find the entrancing rhythms on offer here quite interesting.
Top Labels
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music US
New State
Music For Dreams US
Wax N Soul Germany
K7 Germany