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Older articles

Ekman – GMMDI

by on at 09:14am

While the grimy acid and electro of Ekman’s Panzerkreuz release was one of 2014’s best records, last year also saw the Dutch producer strengthen his ties with Berceuse Heroique, the UK label that he had provided the debut release for. It seems that after years of working and preparing, it has all paid off for Roel Dijks, and he now finds himself in the enviable situation of being able to pick and choose whom he releases for.

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Iueke – Tape 5

by on at 09:00am

There’s something a little maddening about the slow emergence of Iueke material from Gwen Jamois via his friend Quentin Vandewalle’s Antinote label. With all these tracks made back in the early ‘90s, one can’t help but feeling a little flustered as to why they sat unreleased for so long, with not so much as a whisper coming out of whichever Parisian attic they were crafted in. Between the three records already released and this latest trio of tracks there is a consistent level of sophistication that deserves to have been recognised back in the time when they were created. It hardly matters to the quality of the sounds, but one wonders what might have happened if the music had found its way to the surface back when it was made.

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Panoram – Background Story

by on at 16:08pm

By his own enigmatic standards, Panoram has been rather up front about the inspirations for this sophomore set, which follows his superb 2014 debut album for Lindsay Todd’s Firecracker Recordings, Everyone Is A Door. That album, a delicious collection of hard-to-define musical snapshots, ideas and interludes – seemingly created from a mixture of old analogue synthesizers, samples, and the confused cacophony in his head – arrived with little fanfare and seemingly no solid concept. It was no worse for it, and impressed partly through his inability to settle on one stylistic thread. It held together partly due to Todd’s impeccable A&R skills, one suspects, but also because there was an innate sense of hazy atmosphere running through it.

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Madteo – Raveyard Shifts

by on at 09:24am

Is it the fundamental nature of its complete brokenness, and disconnection from a navigable, scalable, trenchant grid of reference, that has kept Madteo’s music so hermetically sealed? The stoned mumble, curled papers, deft looseness of touch all seem so tangible and recognisable at this point that hearing a new record seems like slipping back into an old fever dream; the shapes different and the same. Often it’s the character of the weirdness rather than the weirdness itself that seems most familiar, and along with the consistency in terms of that ‘oddball’ approach there’s an out-of-time, out-of-progression quality to the music.

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Marc King – Ever Forward

by on at 12:19pm

Not much is known about Marc King, the latest artist to release on FXHE. It seems that King put out a few releases on 430 West, Underground Resistance and Soul City under his own name and as Bobby Ceal and Marc Pharaoh during the ‘90s, but not much has been heard from him since then. It’s fitting though that he makes his comeback on Omar-S label. FXHE has a long and proud tradition of nurturing Detroit talent, putting out music by producers like Kyle Hall, Marcellus Pittmann, Luke Hess, Big Strick and OB Ignitt during the early stages of their artistic development.

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Abul Mogard / Harmonious Thelonious – Schleißen 1

by on at 10:24am

It’s not easy to keep up with the ebb and flow of Stuart Leath’s Emotional Empire. It doesn’t feel like a stretch to call it an empire even if it has only been in operation for a few years, but between Emotional Rescue, Response, Relish and [Emotional] Especial, already a staggering mountain of releases and reissues sits awaiting the intrepid digger. The latest arm of Leath’s endeavours involves the Schleißen series, which is dedicated to abstract drone and ambient pieces from a diverse range of artists stretched across four installments.

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Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma – We Know Each Other Somehow

by on at 09:10am

Based around the brilliantly simple idea of inter-generational musical collaboration, the FRKWYS series has thus far thrown up some memorable albums from Arp and Anthony Moore, Blues Control and Laraaji, Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras with The Congos, and, most recently, Steve Gunn and Mike Cooper. The genius of the series lies not in the inter-generational aspect, but rather the often absorbing and beguiling results of these imaginative collaborations. RVNG Intl boss Matt Werth has proved something of an expert at bringing artists together, with results that often combine the best of each musician’s style and repertoire into something thrillingly fresh, atmospheric and – in the case of this 12th installment of the series – magical.

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A Thunder Orchestra – Shall I Do It? (Mick Wills Reconstructions)

by on at 09:34am

A mixture of serendipity and surprise defines this release. Bio Rhythm, usually a label associated with owner Paul Du Lac’s Chicago-inspired sound, has commissioned new school edit king Mick Wills to provide new versions of A Thunder Orchestra’s “Shall I Do It?”. The project is one of New Beat artist Dirk De Saever’s and this release comes around the same time another notable practitioner of that ’80s form, Ro Maron, has unleashed a retrospective of his work.

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Gonno – Obscurant

by on at 09:14am

It’s been some four years since Gonno last appeared on International Feel, though the Japanese producer has hardly been idling. Following that EP – a typically enjoyable EP that touched on both melancholic, analogue-heavy acid house and drifting, guitar-laden ambience – he’s plied his wares on Niteless, Endless Flight, and most notably, Beats In Space. His 2013 The Noughties EP for Tim Sweeney’s label offered a neat summary of his career to date, layering rough, often melodious analogue synthesizer lines on top of raw deep house grooves, throbbing dub techno textures and sensual ambient chords. This return to International Feel features some of his regular tropes – analogue-sounding electronics, picturesque tunefulness and a fearless commitment to mood-enhancement through music – even if they are packaged in a far more glassy-eyed, Balearic way.

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T. Esselle – Garibaldi EP

by on at 09:36am

Emerging from the buoyant scene of labels and events orbiting around Peckham at this particular moment in time, Wholemeal Music has been an active force in London for the past few years putting on parties featuring the likes of Simbad, Floating Points, West Norwood Cassette Library and Leif amongst many others. Now the team responsible make the leap to vinyl with one of their own at the helm, and it comes on like a refreshing breeze in the deluge of grubby house and decrepit techno. T. Esselle has no previous discography to draw on, but one could easily wager that a strong diet of UK-centric broken beat has informed the style he employs here.

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FIT Siegel – Carmine

by on at 09:16am

When this writer looked at the state of Detroit house music last year on Juno Plus, there was no mention of Aaron ‘ FIT’ Siegel and his FIT Sound operation. In retrospect, it was a glaring omission; not content with releasing and distributing the city’s finest house and techno, Aaron is also becoming a respected producer in his own right. Having debuted on Omar-S’ FXHE label and his own FIT Sound back in 2012, Siegel then released the excellent Cocomo last year. A thing of wonderful beauty, it married wispy, new age melodies with raw house beats and rattling drums – and sounded like Kyle Hall getting cosy with Vangelis.

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Boof – The Hydrangeas Whisper

by on at 09:55am


There are many reasons to love Maurice Fulton, not least the majestic, off-kilter nature of his finest musical moments, but his pig-headed desire to stick two fingers up at the music industry machine is arguably not one of them. While his no-nonsense, DIY approach is admirable, and no doubt a product of mistreatment or loss of revenues due to various labels he’s been signed to going under, it does make keeping track of his output somewhat difficult. Since launching his digital-only Bubbletease Communications label some years back, Fulton has steadfastly refused to play the media game and does nothing in the way of promotion. He simply releases stuff when he feels like it, leaving the public to discover the music – or not – in their own time. You’re either in the club, or you’re not. Fulton’s not going to work hard for your dollars or pounds.

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Broken English Club – Scars

by on at 09:21am

Oliver Ho has followed a curious musical trajectory, from tough tribal techno through the experimental and house sounds of Raudive and now the post-punk and industrial-influenced Broken English Club. Unlike many of the UK techno producers who came up during the ‘90s however, Ho has always been interested in experimenting and looking beyond the dance floor – witness the Light & Dark series also released during the late 90s to mid-00s at the same time as his dense techno was gaining traction.

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Various Artists – The Dying Lights

by on at 11:57am

It’s rare for a label to be as open about their backwards gaze as Lux Rec, who define their focus “on elements from the early electronic scene, with the intent of redefining and shedding a new light on it.” When you look at the range of artists involved with the label, the declaration makes total sense. From Jared Wilson and R-A-G to Helena Hauff, all the artists releasing on Lux are bound by their use of archaic equipment to yield new routes through house, techno, electro and beyond. It’s not an easy job to find innovation within the limitations of hardware that has been used constantly for more than thirty years, yet these are all artists that manage to sound original every time, and it’s a credit to Lux Rec that they recognise such talent and can curate their releases so consistently.

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DJ Overdose – Master Control

by on at 15:18pm

Murder Capital was in the spotlight last year thanks to the release of Gesloten Cirkel’s debut album, but it looks like 2015 is the turn of I-F’s other, more prolific label to get the attention. Apart from reissues of Cliff Lothar’s White Savage debut and I-F’s own evergreen Space Invaders, the label is also due to release a second installation of the Test Pilot series and also has this EP from seasoned producer DJ Overdose aka Jeroen Warmenhoven.
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Scientific Dreamz Of U/Junior Loves – The Dreamcode

by on at 15:59pm

Those with a penchant for pagan psychedelia, musical mysticism and kaleidoscopic electronics may already have come across Scientific Dreamz of U and Junior Loves, a mysterious twosome whose Kestrel Explorations show on NTS Radio delivers this kind of intoxicating sound on a regular basis. The London-based duo’s music seems to come from a bygone age, when acid-fried rave casualties wildly debated the higher significance of the number 23, at all-night Megadog parties and skuzzy basements, lit only by the purple fuzz of ultraviolet lights.

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Rhythmic Theory – Lucid State / Shores of Caladan

by on at 14:00pm

It’s been an impressive beginning for Rhythmic Theory, having carved out a strong identity among the Bristol-based labels the anonymous producer calls home. Noticeable jungle influences have been picked up on in previous reviews, but by and large these exist underneath a predominantly technoid exterior. Now the producer has been picked up outside of the immediate West Country family of Idle Hands, Happy Skull and BRSTL, with this single kicking off the Berceuse Heroique sublabel Ancient Monarchy and perhaps pointing to wider recognition for the shadowy figure.

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Nightdrivers – Nightlights

by on at 17:45pm

With their fingers in a multitude of different pies, the Nightdrivers pairing of Rufus and Mass_Prod return to their self-titled imprint to fire up another round of insistent, floor-focused wares that further shape out the image of urban, nocturnal dance music that sits in a cinematic time-slip somewhere between classic and contemporary. From the name to the imagery on the sleeves, there is a feeling that a concept lingers behind Nightdrivers, guiding their hands when they take to the studio and radiating out of the finished product. Previous releases on Bosconi and Claap may have hinted towards this, but previous self-released 12” Nightvisions and this new trio of tracks seem even more tailored to the situation.

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Strategy – Seeds Of Paradise

by on at 13:39pm

For all his championing of local talent – from Bristol stalwarts Bass Clef, Peverelist, Kowton, Kahn, Outboxx and Rhythmic Theory, to rising stars Shanti Celeste, Andy Mac and Facta – Idle Hands bossman Chris Farrell has always looked further afield for inspiration. Not just in terms of the artists showcased on the Stokes Croft-based imprint but also musically. While Idle Hands has long been held in high regard for its regular forays into techno, and deep house and post-dubstep fusion, Farrell has occasionally dipped his toes into more obviously dancehall, garage and carnival-friendly waters. Farrell himself has a wide musical knowledge, as anyone who’s witnessed one of his real ale-fuelled sets at infamous Stokes Croft boozer The Bell will attest; you’re just as likely to hear fuzzy post-punk, industrial strength jungle and rousing disco as baked techno, sleepy deep house and hypnotic minimal gear.

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Various Artists – Lifesaver Compilation 2

by on at 09:16am

As a club with a record label, it could be argued that Offenbach-based Robert Johnson is treading a path taken by other so-called “super clubs”. Yet Ata and Sebastian Kahr’s club, located just across the river from Frankfurt, makes an unlikely super club. While its reputation is equal to the likes of Berghain, Fabric, and Amsterdam’s now sadly departed Trouw, Robert Johnson has a capacity a little over 250. Of course, it’s this intimacy, coupled with a superb Martin Audio soundsystem, on which the venue’s reputation was built. The label itself, established a decade after the club’s unveiling in 1999, has a similar intimacy. It was initially established, like Fabric’s offshoot imprint, to release branded mix CDs from residents, friends and regular guests.

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