Que sonzeira! This is Gilles Peterson's most ambitious project to date... Last year he shipped himself and various key creative producers to Rio to build a document that celebrates every quarter of Brazil's broad sound by way of 18 original productions. Working the likes of Floating Points, members of 2 Banks Of 4 and local maestro Kassin, they sourced some the country's most authentic, exciting imaginative performers to create unique compositions that transcend any idea of homage to become their own entities that speak a universal groove language. The other-worldly rain forest flute-wheezing mists of "The Plum Blossom", the star-gazing lullaby harmonies of "Estrelar", the weeping chord phrases and soft whispers "City Saints", the scruffy dubby loops and percussive insistency of "Where Nana Hides"... While most Brazilian collections rehash or reboot the original source, this has created its very own. The fact it's the first release on Talkin Loud in over 10 years makes it even more special.
Earlier this year, Red Light Radio founder Orpheu de Jong stumbled across a cassette, originally self-released in 1984, from an unknown San Francisco musician called Joel Graham. On the strength of the two tracks showcased here, it would be fair to say that Graham was ahead of his time. Hypnotic and minimalist in the extreme, the drum machine and synthesizer workout "Geomancy" - apparently recorded in 1982 on pre-midi analogue equipment - sounds like a template for techno. B-side "Night" is similarly inspired, and bears an uncanny resemblance to pitched-down versions of some of the dreamy new age house and nu-Balearica currently doing the rounds. It's superb, and almost as good as the brilliant A-side. Another superb release from the guys at Music From Memory.
You can count on Honest Jon's to provide the more provocative electronic release around, but we weren't expecting this new EP at all. A collaboration between Shackleton and Ernesto Tomasini was simply too much to envisage: the former is one of the few true pioneers of UK dance music and the latter is an ex-Cabaret dancer who delves in post-industrialism. There are four segments and, thanks to Tomasini's voice, Shackleton's music is transformed and teleported onto new territories, sounding something like a space dance from a long, long time ago. HJ themselves describe this as Shackleton's 'most hallucinatory music to date' and that may well be, but what is certain is that it's very much different from all the other gear he's put out. Recommended.
The career of Cleveland's John Roberts has certainly gone from strength to strength since his incredible debut album Glass Eights on Dial back in 2010. Since then, 2013's Fences LP delved deeper into the exotic and abstract as did the Orah and Six EPs on his newly inaugurated Brunette Editions imprint. His first full length offering for the new label, the Plum LP continues on with Roberts' fascination with stunning percussion styles, oriental aesthetics and inventive use of sampling. All the tracks are quite short, lasting on average about three minutes, but have just the right amount of impact. There's a diverse range of moods on offer; from the 80's Japanese action film vibe of "Glue", the woozy steel drums workout on "Dye Tones" to the dusty Balearica of "Gum". It's all quite brilliant really.
Belgian minimal deep house imprint Vlek are back with an offering from their new supergroup Baleine 3000 featuring label stalwart Lawrence Le Doux, French DJ Afrojaws and Japanese MC Illreme (Mister Saturday Night). Story has it that Le Doux met Osaka's Illreme in the late noughties while looking for a Japanese MC. They collaborated over the years sporadically but the interest fizzled out and the results laid dormant on a hard drive for several years. Thankfully Le Doux revisited the results and they will now see the light of day as an official release, compiled by the aforementioned DJ Afrojaws. Vlek themselves describe The Nap LP as "a slice of international oddball rap, full of dreamy beats and vinyl fuzz."
Oddgrad only made his debut last year and already the enigmatic producer is sounding as if he could easily take on the big boys of noise and power electronics. This new EP for Gang Of Ducks is helmed by "Non Ho Niente Da Nascondere", translated to "I Have Nothing To Hide", and it's a fitting name due to its total neglect for any sort of concrete sound or melody - distorted flutes meander across cinematic sonics like a liquid gel that expands and contracts. "Non Sono Un Criminale" ("I Am Not A Criminal") is equally cacophonous but the flutes are dissolved into a looser sort of ballad that intertwines with plenty of other raucous noises and hissing tape loops. Weirdo gear, and the best kind there is...
Another splendid collection of nocturnal dub abstractions courtesy of Portland based Kevin Palmer on his own suitably titled Working Nights imprint. The Twisted Ladder EP features four tracks of truly sombre, dust coated, emotive deepness. Take for instance the jagged off kilter groove of the title track: it's first half tripping all over itself like an early Theo Parrish style beat until evolving into pure hypnotic bliss. Next up "Robert Damiens" is raw warehouse techno if we've ever heard such a perfect example. Its lo-fi, tape saturated aesthetic is dragged through abrasive, rough delay and reminiscent of Marcel Dettmann's early experiments until those uplifting vocoder harmonies come in. Finally the deconstructed deep house of "The Astrarium" is further testament to his dusk 'til dawn aesthetic. Final track "Post Pressure" is a digital exclusive for those of you who couldn't snap up the vinyl version limited to 300 copies!