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Vito Ricci – I Was Crossing A Bridge

by on at 12:35pm

Vito Ricci is not a name many people will recognize, yet highlighting the work of forgotten or overlooked artists is rapidly becoming Music From Memory’s raison d’etre. While Abel Nagengast, Jamie Tiller and Tako Reyenga’s label has not shied away from releasing fresh material – see last year’s superb Gaussian Curve album for proof – it’s their constantly on-point retrospectives for which the Amsterdam-based imprint is rightly renowned. Bar a smattering of heads and crate diggers, few had heard of Gigi Masin, Leon Lowman or Joan Biblioni until they got the Music From Memory treatment. All were musicians with a knack for making beautiful, emotive music, whose undeniably obscure records were criminally overlooked on their initial release.

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Various Artists – Pas De Deux

by on at 10:19am

After various efforts dedicated to unearthing the weird and the wonderful of the Iberian decade of anxiety, Barcelona-based Domestica Records play a strange and quite seductive mirror game for their latest release. A reissue of a compilation made in Spain, grouping artists not from Spain, and throw it right back out to the world outside. A famous compilation, it has to be said, one that has been circulating undercover for the past thirty years surrounded by a cloud of angular, avant garde allure. 500 copies then, 500 copies now. Once more, with feeling.

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Nochexxx – Plot Defender

by on at 09:28am

Cambridge dweller Dave Henson has led an interesting life in music, having contributed to the murky world of 90s post rock as part of Bella Union-released outfit Gwei-lo as well as amassing a respectable discography in his electronica guise Ascoltare. In recent years though his productivity has mostly been felt under the name Nochexxx, notably coming to light with the excellent and decidedly unhinged Ritalin Love 12” on Ramp Recordings back in 2010. He swiftly followed that up with a single for Werk Discs, which should give some indication of where his abstractions on the house and techno formula lie. Last year he cemented his relationship with Ramp via the Thrusters LP, which came staggering out of the speakers in a drunken melee of grungy electro synth tones and erratic beat management.

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Golden Teacher – Meets Dennis ‘Dubmaster’ Bovell At The Green Door

by on at 09:20am

Here’s a poser for you. Who would you get to remix Golden Teacher? The Glasgow six-piece are notoriously difficult to pin down musically; their wild, often spaced-out singles incorporate post-punk disco, strobe-lit techno, weird ambient, off-kilter electronica, dub and tribal African rhythms. You get the impression that they’re not the sort of act that would not respond well to the idea of straight-up club revisions, or even quirky versions from producers whose reputation stems from servicing the needs of lazy, uninspired DJs.

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Patrice Scott – Euphonium

by on at 09:16am

It’s no surprise or coincidence that there is a large, unidentified planet on the cover of Patrice Scott’s debut album. While the euphonium is a brass instrument -  albeit one that comes from ‘sweet-voiced’ in Greek -  the veteran producer is following the well-documented Detroit obsession with exploring outer space and the cosmos. Scott’s small but flawless catalogue of work on his Sistrum label certainly sits at house music’s most esoteric end, in sharp contrast to the gritty, steely swing of Omar S. As an interviewee, he exudes the same kind of distracted aura as Juan Atkins, like all he wants to do is stare out the window in anticipation of the first encounter.

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Pender Street Steppers – The Glass City

by on at 16:24pm

Mood Hut ended 2014 with critical praise ringing in their proverbial ears and the simple delights of their last release, Jack Jutson’s breezy “Something (On My Mind)”, finding the label new fans with each day. Mood Hut’s eighth release feels like an attempt to temper this growing attention, as Jutson teams up with fellow Pender Street Stepper Liam Butler for two quietly unassuming tracks. Both “The Glass City” and “Golden Garden” are described quite aptly as Lo-NRG by Mood Hut, and you should ignore the 12” centre label’s suggestion you play this record at 45rpm.

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Marcos Cabral – Buried Alive Twice

by on at 09:11am

In some ways, it’s hard to marry the glassy-eyed exuberance of Marcos Cabral’s prior work, both with Jacques Renault as Runaway and the raft of solo strobe lit basement edits he has been responsible for, with his current creative direction. Cabral’s sporadic output for L.I.E.S. over the past few years has been characterised by a fuzzy dustiness and curious loneliness. His 2011 debut for the label, the now highly sought-after 24 Hour Flight EP, was a study in dancefloor melancholy; a bittersweet fusion of subdued but hypnotic rhythms, dub techno influences and sighing melodies. There was a poignant sadness, too, at the heart of the 2013 Capri Social EP – even if the distorted beats were a little more forthright – while the Long Mixes EP that followed had a grim intensity totally in keeping with Ron Morelli’s often unsettling narrative.

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Entro Senestre – Surface

by on at 09:49am

US producer Jon Beall has established his reputation with releases for WT Records, L.I.E.S and Echovolt. However, this latest release under his Entro Senestre name offers a different perspective to his production work and suggests that his musical roots go deeper than one might have expected. Inspired mainly by Detroit electro and techno, it starts with “The Screen”, a wonderfully paranoid piece of music. Acid-soaked bass and hardcore-referencing ghostly ‘ah ahs’ provide the backdrop against which Beall plays out Drexciyan synth riffs and a narrative that claims consumers are being controlled by corporations via the use of mobile devices. It’s electro conspiracy theory material of the highest calibre.

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Mono Junk – FP008

by on at 09:44am

Is Forbidden Planet doing for techno what Mannequin and Dark Entries has done for wave and Italo, pushing ‘90s producers back into the spotlight? Having reissued The Mover’s hardcore classic “Nightflight (Nonstop To Kaos)” last year, the Canadian label refocuses efforts on contributing to the re-emergence of Mono Junk, aka Finnish techno artist Kimmo Rapatti.

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Fockewulf 190 ‎– The First & Second Side Of The Mystic Synth

by on at 09:15am

A step in the darkest heart of Italo disco. The persistent handsomeness of Fockewulf 190 gave us the gorgeous hits “Gitano” and “Body Heat”, but we have a plethora of other treasures to thank them for. The martial epic disco anthem “Eagles in the Night” released as a solo by Dario Dell’Aere, the hard-edged wave of Ice Eyes’ “No Sex” or, for the connoisseurs, the tropical melancholia of Frank Tavaglione’s “Tumidanda”. Recently the more private side of Fockewulf has emerged; versions of the glacial “We Are Colder” appeared on Spittle compilations, and a full reissue of remixes and demos was delivered by the band and Vinyl on Demand in 2011, under the name Microcosmos 82-86. And it is Vinyl on Demand which – as it so often does – now teaches us how little we knew of the group’s rather massive output, and sets the record straight through this release, out on its sublabel Pripuzzi.

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Various Artists – Test Pilot Volume 1

by on at 15:56pm

For some people out there, one of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2015 will the second instalment of the Test Pilot series from Viewlexx. Apart from boasting exemplary new material from Roberto Auser and Gesloten Cirkel, it also contains the unforgettable “Everybody” by Tandy Ogmo, a fist-pumping disco track that was the highpoint of label boss I-f’s Boiler Room set some time ago. What marks Viewlexx and its sister label Murder Capital apart from other imprints is the fact that while they are not prolific, each release feels like an unmissable event.

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Local Artist – Feelings

by on at 09:44am

The appeal of Vancouver’s Mood Hut umbrella crew to a post-Plastic People London landscape is a fairly understandable one. The running together of influences from jazz, ambient, broken-beat, and dub to create a kind of house-focused groove is close to an ideal for esoteric DJs, so no surprise that guys like Floating Points, Brian Not Brian or Ben UFO have been quick to rally their support for the cluster of musicians. The past couple of years has seen Peckham-based Boiler-Room man Bradley Zero similarly falling for their company and the charm too, with more than a handful of the Rhythm Section parties he runs featuring one artist or another from the orbit. Generally focusing on the performative ability of head Mood Hut man Jack Jutson or his group the Pender Street Steppers, but giving coverage to others too.

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Dasha Rush – Sleepstep

by on at 10:31am

dasha rush 590

Dasha Rush’s career over the last 10 years has built up steadily and she’s showing no signs of slowing down by delivering a full length album on one of the most discerning experimental music labels in the world. Sleepstep: Sonar Poems or my Sleepless Friends for Raster-Noton is a gargantuan effort spanning 16 tracks that are full of paranoid and claustrophobic, yet undeniably seductive compositions. It’s the first album the Fullpanda boss has put out since I Run Iron I Run Ironic six years ago, and it showcases new dimensions to her continually expanding aesthetic. There is a moodiness and experimental edge that goes far beyond the dancefloor oriented brand of industrial techno Rush has become synonymous with, both under own name and as LADA with partner Lars Hemmerling, and as the album’s title suggest, poetry plays an important role.

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Bourbonese Qualk – Lies

by on at 09:53am


You have to wonder about the inherent logic underpinning reissue culture, especially the part that appears to dictate ‘if it’s obscure and was released during the ‘80s, then it’s fair game’. In support of this way of thinking, let’s look at this reissue of “Lies” by Bourbonese Qualk to complement an upcoming retrospective of the band from Berlin label Mannequin. The song originates from the Preparing For Power album the band released on their own Recloose Organisation label back in 1986, and perhaps the strongest case for a reissue here is that original copies of Preparing For Power are hard to find and expensive to purchase.

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Deadboy – White Magick EP

by on at 10:02am

The ‘healing qualities’ of New Age Music were central to the movement when it first emerged in the late ‘60s; gentle sound surfaces and heavenly melodies were, and still are, supposed to enable a journey into the inner self. This new Deadboy EP, White Magick, sounds a lot like this celestial music, bringing together New Age and ambient influences with grime to further advance current developments in the contemporary evolution of the genre.

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Lifted – 1

by on at 09:46am

Is 2015 PAN’s marmite year? First the reissue of a rare trip hop/illbient tape, now a contemporary acid jazz record. The label has a gift for disobeying rules and expectations, and for celebrating the avant-garde in distinctive ways, but illbient and acid jazz are much maligned genres. Both were more or less abandoned to their specific moments in time. Lifted has grown out of a productive conversation with Max D and Co La, but this album also feels a modern take on the idea of an ensemble. The two spearheading a campaign of collaboration and improvisatory meshing that often found a musician recording their part individually and forwarding it to be mixed in or written around. Performers credited include Jordan GCZ of Juju and Jordash, Dawit Eklund from burgeoning Washington DC label 1432 R, Jeremy Hyman of the band Ponytails, Motion Graphics (I don’t know), and the current apple of everybody’s eye, Gigi Masin.

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The Cyclist – Hot House EP

by on at 12:15pm

The Cyclist, aka Andrew Morrison, was responsible for two excellent releases in 2014 -  the psychedelic house of his Buz Ludzha EP and Flourish, a mini-album as The Cyclist – both on All City. The support of indie music outlets has undoubtedly helped to raise the Irish producer’s profile stateside and probably played a role in his latest release being picked up by 100% Silk for an issue on cassette in the US. However, in places Hot House represents a far more upfront iteration of his style and if you are looking for the subtle nuances of last year’s releases, some of these tracks may surprise at the very least.

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James Pants – Savage

by on at 16:01pm

In hindsight, James Pants has always been hugely influenced by The Residents, a mysterious collective whose pioneering work before, during and after the post-punk era mixed high-minded artistic concepts and biting social commentary with a wide-ranging musical palette and desire to mix things up. Listening back through Pants albums for Stones Throw, it’s easy to identify similar traits; the hard-to-define desire to flit between and fuse genres (most obvious on his breakthrough set, 2008’s Welcome), the dark-ish analogue synths and CBDB attitude of 2009’s Seven Seals, and the low-slung, psychedelic posturing of 2011’s James Pants.

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PMM – Serpent’s Promise

by on at 09:14am

Berceuse Heroique is one of the few contemporary electronic music labels that fully understands what it means to be an underground operation. From the abrasive sound that it propagates to its guerilla tactics – unexpectedly and with little notice putting out rare Loefah material, using controversial, situationist artwork – Berceuse cuts an individualistic shape in a world of blokey sameness. The fact that the music they release is flawed and imperfect, gives off the sense the producers involved are just getting to grips with their machines, makes it all the more attractive.

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Steevio – Animistas

by on at 09:11am

With three volumes of his Modular Techno series under his belt, it might just be that Wales-based artist Steevio has settled into a comfortable groove with his chosen path into modular synthesis. A notable ramp up in live sets would lend credence to this idea, with gigs in Paris, Berlin and London among the shows filling out the space between his annual appearances at Freerotation. As a working method that hinges on live improvisation whether in a club or a studio, a more active schedule feeds back into releasable material, a reciprocal cycle that has eventually arrived at the long player Animistas.

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