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Luca Lozano – Gun Fingers

by on at 09:29am

It’s a commonly held belief that it’s the music discovered during your teenage years that leaves the longest lasting impression. To a certain extent, it’s true; however much your tastes change over time, and however keenly you keep abreast with new musical developments, the music of your youth never really leaves you. This is certainly something that can be said of Lucas Hunter, under the now familiar Luca Lozano moniker at least. Over the past 18 months, he’s cannily harnessed these inevitable thirty-something feelings of nostalgia and used them to shape his musical output.

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October – Black Body Radiation

by on at 09:19am

It feels like an album has been a long time coming from Julian Smith. After his early forays into production, his emergence as a techno subversive with his own Caravan label brought with it a sense of adventure and playfulness that yearned to be roaming outside the confines of the club 12”. It speaks volumes that his wayward sound has shored up at labels as diverse as Perspectiv, Misericord, Apple Pips, Aus Music and latterly Skudge, Soul People and Voodoo Down without sounding like anything you would typically find on one of those labels. In a sense his music has emerged in parallel to the growing pains of the post-dubstep diaspora, often reflecting the spirit of the time without kowtowing to it. Certainly by the time the L.I.E.S.-inspired hardware house revival was kicking off, Smith had already been losing himself in tape loops and delay chains for quite some time.

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Sunil Sharpe – Hoof 001

by on at 09:46am

It’s not hard to see why Sunil Sharpe is enjoying a growing following. Rather than trying to blindly ape trends or quickly hitch a ride on a bandwagon, the Irish DJ has developed his own approach behind the decks over the past 15 years. As a DJ, his high-octane sets are a wonderful kaleidoscope of old hardcore tunes, stomping Chicago trax and contemporary, heavy techno. In more recent times, he has also developed a distinctive production sound and as the debut release on his new On The Hoof label shows, there is a wonderfully unpredictable, DiY aesthetic underpinning his own productions.

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Patrick Cowley – Muscle Up

by on at 18:30pm

Back in the autumn of 2013, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem joined forces to shed new life onto the largely unknown early work of one of disco’s ost unique producers.  Before the release of School Daze, a compendium of early, largely experimental 1970s synthesizer recordings that ended up forming the soundtrack to the long-forgotten gay porn flick of the same name, most listeners knew Patrick Cowley for his work with Sylvester, or the throbbing, high-energy electronic disco of “Menergy”, “Megatron Man” and his infamous 15-minute extension of the Moroder-produced Donna Summer hit “I Feel Love”. His take on disco – rugged, surging, highly sexually charged and seemingly crafted with the bath houses, saunas and gay clubs of San Francisco in mind – was unique and ground breaking, but occasionally too masculine for straight audiences elsewhere.

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SW. – Reminder Part Three

by on at 06:00am

After the mulchy beatdown of PG Sound’s six-track Untitled 12”, the wonderful SUED label returns with the third annual Reminder from co-founder SW. and with it another round of refreshing house and techno. In the rare public showing that was Will Lynch’s SUED feature on RA earlier this year, SW. was described as “the techno side” of the label by his co-founder SVN, and the Reminder series has so far qualified that statement. Arguably, if you wanted to introduce a newcomer to SUED, you’d pull out one of the Reminder 12”s by SW. which marry the unconventional nature entrenched in the label’s DNA with a strong 4/4 pulse.

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Tropic Of Cancer – Stop Suffering

by on at 09:59am

Stop Suffering, the first release from Carmella Lobo since Tropic of Cancer’s 2013 debut album, Restless Idylls, completes the transformation from grungy, primitive techno to ethereal intimacy. It’s all the more easy to trace that progress thanks to Blackest Ever Black re-issuing some of the band’s first tracks to appear on Karl O’Connor’s Downwards label at the same time as this new material. The music on The Dull Age 12″ covers the period when Lobo’s former partner, Juan ‘Silent Servant’ Mendez, was still involved in the project and his involvement was clearly audible. Restless Idylls saw Lobo stripping the Tropic of Cancer sound of most of its techno vestiges, while Stop Suffering goes a few steps farther to remove the last remaining elements.

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Broshuda – Outlines

by on at 14:08pm

Creativity is not always about inventing something totally new. In contemporary arts and music it might be more about rearranging things, pulling together already existing pieces to form something new. Broshuda refers to that question with a wink when he labels his music ‘Eno-Grime’, ‘Glambient’, ‘Mindgaze’, ‘Synthkrust’ or ‘Post-Wonk’. On his latest release, the Outlines cassette for Sonic Router, the German producer gives an extensive insight into what this may sound like.

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Marvis Dee – Sailing Over the Alpha Moon

by on at 16:07pm

Marvis Dee sounds like a cleaning lady from the perennial misery soap opera that is Coronation Street, but in reality, it’s a new project from the artist who also releases under the name Jeremiah R. Expect to hear a lot more about Dee over the coming months thanks to the release of Sailing Over the Alpha Moon, followed by a 12” for new Irish label Lime Street. The Jeremiah R sound focuses primarily on angular, introspective electro and there are a lot of similarities between the two projects.

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Bossa Luce – Nel Salotto Degli Appestati

by on at 15:00pm

For the nth time this year, we’re back in Turin, and we can now declare ourselves almost totally caught up with the Bossa Luce productions of the elusive Mr. Vincent E.F.c., unless he shocks us with a further raft of unreleased material (which wouldnt surprise me). Shrouded in a thick veil of home-taped fog, Bossa Luce’s magnificent work has been released in limited cassete since the early 2000s and was brought to wider attention last year on Direct Cut’s stunning Cicli Siderali verso l’Annientamento (which was at no. 2 of my staff list of 2014 here on Juno Plus).

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Aardvarck – Co In Ci

by on at 09:16am

The last we heard of Mike ‘Aardvarck’ Kivits was earlier this year, when the Bali-based producer had rather cheekily sampled a track from Jochem Peteri’s Ross 154 project for his Thankxx Joch release on Voyage Direct. It seems that he is up to his old tricks again for this release on Skudge – more of which later – but his somewhat liberal approach to intellectual property does not detract from a fine, assured collection.

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Alvin Aronson – City EP

by on at 09:48am

Until he popped his head above the parapet last year with a couple of well received remixes, Alvin Aronson was arguably best known for designing a brilliantly simple clock that cleverly fused analogue and digital time-keeping technology. While he was merely a product design student at the time, the clock made quite a stir. More significant, musically speaking, was his conversion to the techno cause during his student days; not just because it offered a chance to continue his fascination with the point where analogue and digital technology meet, but also because it put him in contact with Rhode Island native and White Material co-founder DJ Richard. Aronson, now based in Brooklyn alongside another long-standing friend, Galcher Lustwerk, has been a member of the extended White Material family ever since. It’s no surprise, then, that White Material is releasing his debut single, the quietly confident and occasionally impressive City.

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Nomine – Inside Nomine

by on at 17:05pm

The slow, steady output of Nomine has tread the path of his tunes. A creeping succession of singles on Tempa since 2013 that suddenly solidifies, his presence in the prime of new-wave dubstep now assured through this debut LP that neatly combines everything accomplished to this point. Inside Nomine is clearly and unsurprisingly indebted to dubstep’s larger, longer-lasting behaviour, the producer merging contemporary technicality and a deeper, darker strain of production with the golden age and Tempa-sympathetic elements of the genre.

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Leif – Taraxacum

by on at 09:03am

The creative arc of an artist becomes much clearer once they start exploring the space afforded by an LP. Singles often capture quite a brief moment in time, with styles shifting from release to release depending on the label, presenting a selection that doesn’t necessarily have to hold together as a consistent thematic body of work. On a full-length it is unavoidable that the process leading up to the day of release is a more protracted, considered affair, from the production to the curation and so on to the listeners’ experience. As Leif reaches his second LP after Dinas Oleu landed in late 2013, his considerable progression as an artist is far more tangible from the svelte house productions of old through to his more recent, experimental fare.

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Ziro – Lionheart

by on at 09:25am

“Wot Do U Call It?” asked Wiley in 2004. The MC posing a question about our necessity to give names to musical structures. What then was in the making, is today called grime. The genre’s shape has nevertheless been changing since it came up in the early 2000s. It has been carrying the four-to-the-floor feeling of 2-step and garage, held the spacey bass weight of its relative dubstep or heavy rolling basslines of trap while keeping its rough form and DIY character. With the instrumental side growing and moving in different directions, the experimental factor of grime can be heard on Ziro’s new EP for Crazylegs.

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Japan Blues – Stoned Bird

by on at 09:47am

Given the intensity and robust nature of much of Berceuse Heroique’s output – think post-apocalyptic techno, drenched in analogue hiss, seemingly aimed at confirmed misanthropes  – their occasional forays into re-edit territory seem deliciously out of place. This was particular apparent on the first two Brasserie Heroique Edits 12” singles, which dropped simultaneously last September. The first featured gritty, chopped-up reworks of a Caribbean disco classic from Duster Valentine and Jamal Moss (the latter under the Members Only guise). While the grainy, off kilter aesthetic showcased on both reworks was in keeping with the Berceuse Heroique ethos, they still seemed a little out of place.

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I.B.M. – From The Land Of Rape & Honey (The Suppressed Tapes) 1995-2005

by on at 09:40am

As anyone who was brave enough to listen to last year’s Eat My Fuck album will surely attest, Jamal Moss’ I.B.M. project is not for those who like streamlined electronic music. Short for Insane Black Man, that 2014 album saw the Chicago artist push the raw, jarring take on house music he releases under the Hieroglyphic Being guise into a place where distorted chaos rules. Collecting tracks from the Moss archive spread over a ten-year period, From The Land Of Rape & Honey is for the most part very much in keeping with the disturbed thought process that guided Eat My Fuck.

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Various Artists – Vibe 3

by on at 06:00am

Here’s a question for you to mull over: how did Future Times become one of the coolest record labels currently operating? It’s not through being prolific with fewer than 30 releases over the eight years the DC label has been active – though the Future Times quality control has remained constant throughout. For me it’s the unfettered enthusiasm for their craft displayed by Future Time founders Andrew Field-Pickering and Mike Petillo that’s proved integral to this rise. That and their endeavours to ensure things will be better in future times.

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Luke Vibert – Bizarster

by on at 11:18am

In case the return of his Kerrier District alias this spring wasn’t quite enough, Luke Vibert has bookended another particular active year with Bizarster. You could argue that every year is particularly active for Vibert: this is his seventh solo album under his given name (10th if you include his collaborative albums with Jean Jacques Perry, B.J Cole and Simmonds) and 24th album in total. That’s an album every eleven months, on average, since he emerged professionally in 1993. You could also argue that Vibert favours, and consequently suffers from, quantity over quality: for every seminal track such as “Mr Mukatsuku” or “I Love Acid” there are at least 10 less memorable, possibly even throw-away, cuts. But that’s always struck me as the producer’s vibe; he doesn’t over-think, over-labour or over-conceptualise his tracks.

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Shine Grooves – Tumannost EP

by on at 08:57am

There has been much talk over the last couple of years of an “ambient revival”. It’s true that the volume of ambient releases has increased exponentially in recent times, with producers spotting an increased audience for worthy, academic experimentalism and dreamy, space-obsessed gear that pays tribute to the style’s early ‘90s boom. Arguably of more interest, though, are those that mine the fringes of the early ‘90s sound, which joined the dots between the spacier end of Detroit techno, new age synth music, Larry Heard deepness, Pete Namlook’s horizontal explorations and the so-called “intelligent tecno” of B12, Jonah Sharp, and The Black Dog. Throw in the ambient house/techno hybrids pushed by Japanese producers such as Yuji Takenouchi, and you have a rich melting pot of rich, evocative, otherworldly influences to explore.

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Moufang & Czamanski – Live in Seattle

by on at 15:41pm

West Coast label Further Records has had a great year, releasing Rrose’s conceptual Having Never Written a Note for Percussion as well as strong albums from Strategy, Innercity, Donato Dozzy and label owner Raica, and some sub-aquatic techno from Nautil. As the end of 2015 approaches, Further usher in a special release that truly captures the label’s charmingly ramshackle approach.

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