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11 Mar 13
01 Oct 12
Review: Having come to the end of its run of ten 10" releases, West Norwood Cassette Library's self-titled imprint starts a new chapter, with the first EP featuring tracks from some of the label's principal artists. Don Froth's particularly rowdy "Lifting Weights" combines crafty breakbeats, UKF percussion and filtered synths, while Milyoo's "Pancake" provides a washed out combination of tinpot percussion, deep bass and breathy vocal samples. WNCL himself also represents with his "What It Is (MAH VIP), a relatively minimal piece of breakbeat house, and Knowing Looks rounds things off with "Cytal Fink", a stripped back percussive workout recalling the work of Hessle Audio's Joe. As an EP it sums up perfectly why the output of WNCL Recordings is peerless, and as such comes highly recommended.
26 Nov 12
Review: Having kept quiet on the releases this year, Kevin McPhee makes a welcome return on the mighty WNCL imprint with four rough and ready cuts that suit the bawdy atmosphere of the label perfectly. "In Circles" lets the beats fly about with heady abandon while the core stab keeps the groove locked in tight in a most ravey of fashions. "Do" kicks the blueprint out of the window entirely as it slinks in on a false pretext of spaced out synths which give way to a nasty broken riddim that's heavy on the bass and diverse percussion. "Pumpkin" comes on like a mentally scarred cousin of techno with its merciless propulsion and frayed sound sources, and "The Blind Whirring Of Machinery" takes the metallic drums of industrial and arranges them into musical patterns that cycle over each other with grace and ugliness in equal measure.
21 Nov 11
Played by: Shadow Dancer
Review: Ultramarine may not be one of the most familiar names on people's lips, but it's promising to see the UK house veterans return on WNCL. "Acid" bubbles into action with aqueous flecks of synth and a lean broken beat provide the crust to a molten 303 filling. Rarely has that well-worn sound come on so expressive and fluid as it oozes in amidst the laid back funk of the track. "Butch" meanwhile goes further out into the otherworldly realms that Ultramarine inhabit. The 303 is back again, in a more perfunctory role alongside all manner of sci-fi bleeps and squeaks. Highly recommended.
04 Jun 12
Played by: Rocut
Review: If the accompanying release sheet is anything to go by then this tenth WNCL Recordings is supposedly the final in the series of 10" and digital releases. Whether this is an end to the label or not is unclear, but for the time being we can be content with another piece of razor sharp classic house homage from the South London producer. "Coming On Strong" is not, as its name may suggest, a homage to Hot Chip's debut album of the same name, but a piece of raw, bumping basement house which is heavy on the toms, and accented by some particularly jazzy samples. Pangaea's remix meanwhile transforms it beyond recognition, warping its saxophone tones into an abstract soundscape driven by complex rhythms.
22 Aug 11
Played by: Shadow Dancer, Dirt Crew, Dairmount (Room With A View Recs), Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Riley Reinhold, West Norwood Cassette Library, Junoplus
Review: What has been markedly noticeable about all the WNCL output so far is that it doesn't make any daring leaps to re-invent the wheel, tackle trendy tempos or get all post-modern. Instead of using an old template of sounds as so many do today, it's actually a fearless old-skool give-a-fuck spirit that makes the WNCL output so addictive, so refreshing and so damn fun. On this release, a cheeky mid-nineties vibe is undeniably present, but somehow fuses Strictly Rhythm-style funk with a rolling break, hip-hop stabs and positively modern acid squelches. It's quite simply a party rocker, with a tongue-in-cheek lyrical spit of spiritual fulfilment. Karenn, the new production endeavour of Blawan and Pariah, took the call for remix duties and deliver a rough and chunky house reworking. Employing almost industrial hits which keep the melodics muffled and muted, their revision makes for tracky, functional house music as it should be made, as if the Berghain boys weren't taking everything so seriously all the time.