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Older articles

Domenico Crisci – Ceremony

by on at 16:02pm

Domenico Crisci entered the scene seemingly out of nowhere last year with records for Russian Torrent Versions and L.I.E.S. How did that happen? He stated in an interview that a friend in New York City played Ron Morelli some tracks of his and the rest, as they say, is history. The Old Candelabra 12” led to the brilliant follow up on Russian Torrent Versions and now Crisci adds Marco Shuttle’s Eerie to his growing discography with more late night, peak time DJ tools.

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Steve Legget – Aquarius

by on at 09:34am

“This one is for The Tree, Baskerville Hall. RIP,” reads the B side run out groove of the newest installment in the Apartment Records story. It’s a nod to a Lebanese Cedar that suffered at the hands of a storm at the Welsh venue where the Freerotation festival is held every year, leaving attendees pining (no pun intended) for a much loved arboreal presence at the intimate event. Look no further than “Cedar Of Lebanon/Spongy Tree” by The High On Wye Quintet for more proof of how much people loved that gosh darned tree. The point is, this record seems positively birthed from that particular gathering, with Steven Legget (who makes his debut appearance here) a regular attendee alongside Apartment boss man Kenny Hanlon, while Mark Hand performed his remix of “Aquarius” during a live set on the Saturday afternoon.

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Mix Mup – Skip Intro

by on at 15:11pm

Mix Mup is often mentioned in the same breath as Kassem Mosse. This isn’t entirely without good reason, and for a pair of longtime friends and collaborators, perhaps it’s even to be expected. Their mini-album on The Trilogy Tapes is regarded as a modern-day classic by those in some circles, and its popularity has certainly encouraged the automatic mental association of MM and KM among listeners. As anyone familiar with Mix Mup’s solo productions will readily attest though, it’s a wonder the Leipzig artist has remained more or less under the radar for this long. For over a decade, Lorenz Lindner has crafted a delightfully diverse string of 12”s. It’s been in the last few years that he has really excelled, most notably with the woozy grooves and clattering intensity of After The Job for Hinge Finger in 2013, or in the potent, rippling dub textures throughout Drive-By on Mikrodisko the year prior.

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DJ Slugbug – Untitled

by on at 10:37am

Slugbug sounds like it could be a particularly effective garden pesticide, but the reality is that this new artist is the latest addition to L.I.E.S. roster. Whatever your opinion about the volume of music released on Ron Morelli’s label and the quality control procedures in place, it does provide a platform for such new talent. This Untitled 12”, along with a concurrent outing on Russian Torrent Versions, is DJ Slugbug’s first release. Like Tzusing, another recent addition to the L.I.E.S. cause, Slugbug looks back in time to mine ‘80s sources.

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D.K. – Love On Delivery

by on at 15:32pm

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Some of electronic music’s most consistent labels of recent years have traded on the interplay between dark and light, alternating between releases that chill the blood, dumb the senses and soothe the soul. Top of the list is arguably Quentin Vandewalle’s Antinote, whose releases are getting increasingly hard to predict. On one hand, you have the murky, industrial-influenced electronics of Nico Motte, the spaced-out synthesizer experiments of Stephane Laporte and the murky techno rhythms of Iueke; on the other, the humid, tribal-influenced tropical compositions of Albino and the shimmering, rave-era rush of Geena. It’s as if Vandewalle is a man of schizophrenic tastes; half of him wants to embrace misery, the other half run down Parisian streets naked, while feeling the love-for-all effects of particularly strong MDMA.

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E.R. – Qen Sew

by on at 09:32am

Addis Ababa via Washington DC. Displacement and nomadic migration is a pretty common contemporary existence at this point – particularly amongst a creative sector – but it’s surprising how much music still fails to deliver as a biographical narrative for changing places and cultures in a successful and involving way. What is so successful then about Qen Sew that makes it feel such a breath of fresh air? There’s vigour to E.R. (Ethiopian Records) that provides an immediate and refreshing clarity for one thing. Though the layout of a track might be addled, it is never uncomfortable in terms of positioning – introducing complex layering and polyrhythmic sequencing as delightful touches.

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IA Bericochea – Wake Up

by on at 09:05am

The name IA Bericochea won’t mean a great deal to anyone who wasn’t actively embracing minimal techno around the time that M_nus records was at its creative peak in the mid noughties. The Spanish producer certainly didn’t garner the attention of those in Hawtin’s inner circle, and after self-releasing an album on his own Rojo.IT imprint there has been very little to hear from the man. However those early releases, most notably the A single with its two ultra-reduced mournful reflections, struck a chord with some who could see the timeless qualities in the music far beyond the hype-baiting trends that were going on all around the minimal techno scene at the time.

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Various Artists – Workshop 21

by on at 09:25am

The Workshop Records release schedule moves in line with its content, unfurling with a slow and unpredictable quality, issued with the same minimum of fuss whether it’s a new album from Kassem Mosse or a live recording of Magic Mountain High. It’s a curious identity the German label has carved out for itself, maintaining a definite stylistic cohesion even as it seems to carry all sorts of different sounds.

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Entro Senestre – ES

by on at 09:23am

It may be in not be officially affiliated with the WT Records release itself, but this simple YouTube video for Entro Senestre’s “Rosegold” captures the essence of the track more perfectly than any review could; a looped Bart Simpson, eyes closed and dancing, lost in the moment as that dreamy piano plays out. There is nothing especially new to this track within the context of current trends in house music, but the way it is executed is truly memorable. Recent Terekke productions, but with some of haze wafted away, is a good way to describe “Rosegold” and the more I listen to it, the more it becomes clear it’s a track that will never tire.

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Herva – How To Mind Your Own

by on at 09:14am

Given their much publicized “no style” ethos – a neat way of avoiding the perils of preconceptions – it’s unsurprising the latest All City release comes from maverick Italian producer Herva. His 2014 debut album, Instant Broadcast, was something of an off-kilter classic, trawling through a myriad of contrasting influences with frankly weird results. That it not only hung together brilliantly, but also sounded terrific, is testament to both Herva’s growing confidence, and his ability to infuse tracks with a genuine sense of tipsy otherworldliness.

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Rezzett – Goodness

by on at 09:43am

One of the best things about the insurgence of low fidelity, punk-like house and techno from the last few years is that it’s reflected the ongoing leveling of status and skill through access to tools whilst simultaneously railing against linear, canned computer music with the nasty bits ironed out. The music is antagonistic – but often also gleeful, playful; indicative of a willingness to mess with the rules and pull cheap or arcane tricks to achieve. Sure, the online tutorials on how to fake tape-hiss in Ableton might yet stand as an enduring monument to the movement – but in a climate where we’re drinking out of mason jars and seemingly rolling towards a bourgeois engagement with faux ‘vintage’ and faux ‘artisanal’ maybe that has a fair currency as a mirror on contemporary cultural interest.

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Pev & Kowton – Signal 3/Low Strobe

by on at 09:39am

It feels like 2015 is the start of a new chapter for Livity Sound. Following that initial rip-roaring salvo of releases from Pev, Kowton and Asusu, last year was given over to the equally worthwhile remix series. Great though it was, not to mention stuffed to the brim with finely curated artists from outside of the Bristolian bubble, the Livity release schedule of 2014 felt like a pause while we waited for more of the original material to emerge. With an almost clinical level of organization the new year begins with the first of what promises to be a fresh salvo of material from the Livity camp, and it’s Pev and Kowton at the reins for two collaborative cuts that should satisfy anyone with a predilection for good electronic music. If that sounds like something of a critical cop out then so be it, but there is an interesting universality that lurks in these two new offerings.

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Cylinder – Disco Engine

by on at 09:42am

In the eight years since the last (and possibly final) Metro Area 12”, members Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani have enjoyed differing levels of success. While Geist took time out to record a solo album, the mixed bag that was Double Night Time, before scoring an international hit with Storm Queen’s inspired “Look Right Through”, Jesrani’s work has been altogether more low-key. A DJ career has flourished in the face of production outings that have been sporadic at best. Collaborations, remixes and occasional singles have come and gone which for a man of Jesrani’s talents is a relatively thin return.
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Gavin Russom – LIES-025.5

by on at 09:22am

It’s no exaggeration to say that Gavin Russom is on a roll. The US producer released two of 2014’s finest records on Entropy Trax and now he follows them with this white-label number for Ron Morelli’s label. Loosely based on house and techno conventions, L.I.E.S 025.5, like the two Entropy Trax releases, shows that the US producer’s work has the kind of depth and attention to detail that is sadly lacking in most modern electronic music productions.

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Batu – Cardinal / Domino Theory

by on at 09:22am

Omar McCutcheon has taken his time in unleashing his sound. He was off to a very strong start in 2013 with releases on Livity Sound’s sister label and Pinch’s Cold Recordings in a matter of months, prised straight out of a music degree with a snappy sound that complemented the emergence of murky hybrid dance music as is now readily associated with those imprints. Since then things have been relatively quiet, bar the occasional dub floating about in mixes from particular selectors, but now Batu is stepping up with his own imprint and a sound that takes threads of his previous appearances and bolsters them with some new ideas.

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DKMD – Sacrificio

by on at 10:09am

There are a few reasons why Giallo Disco stands above most of its peers. Apart from the music, every release feels like an event. From Eric Lee’s ornate, movie poster-style artwork, to the great back story that Giallo write and the efforts that the label’s owners go to track down artists and make their projects become a reality, there is a yawning chasm between the average disco/techno/house label and this sprawling, unpredictable experiment. The latest chapter in the Giallo Disco story is DKMD, a collaboration between veteran producer David Kristian, who has worked in a variety of musical fields and has released on Crème Organization, and poet Marie Davidson.

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VC 118A – Propulse

by on at 14:58pm

There are many facets to Samuel Van Dijk’s creative endeavours; he’s a multimedia artist, with an eclectic CV that includes stints as a photographer, graphic designer and, most notably, as a filmmaker. His short films – some for commercial projects, others for fellow musicians – are undeniably eccentric. Often unsettling, visually bleak and curiously drowsy, they feel like visual interpretations of the creeping darkness and otherworldly murkiness that often manifests itself in his music. Not all of his music projects share this aesthetic, but for the most part his records are dusty and atmospheric, with deep electronic grooves or beatless passages that slowly unfurl, as if produced in slow motion.

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Micronism – Steps To Recovery

by on at 10:26am

It’s always a thrill to find yourself turned on to sounds from a storied individual with a diverse past, as one choice track opens up another myriad of investigative paths down which to head on the never-ending quest to hear all the good music there is to be heard. So it is with Denver McCarthy’s Micronism project, which is enjoying a reissue spot on Delsin for the 1999 EP Steps To Recovery. As a native New Zealander now living in Brisbane, McCarthy’s core spell of releases around the turn of the millennium clearly garnered a cult following, even if they failed to truly break across hemispheres into the more fruitful US and European scenes. That said, there are always a few switched on individuals who pick up on these treasures at the time, and so it is a torch held can light a fire and suddenly a record that could have been abandoned to obscurity can be sprung into countless record bags the world over, in no small part thanks to the considerable clout afforded by appearing on Delsin.

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Henry Wu – Negotiate EP

by on at 17:23pm

South London based producer Henry Wu has yet to break through in the same way as Mo Kolours and Al Dobson Jnr, but he seems to be making all the right moves. His vinyl debut, a split release with Jeen Bassa for 22a – the loose South London collective that also includes fellow Peckham royalty Reginald Omas Mamode IV and Thelonious – sold out in a matter of days, and has been nearly impossible to find since. Like his previous self-released EPs (still available on his personal Bandcamp store), it effortlessly blended J Dilla style dusty, soul-flecked instrumental hip-hop with elements of jazz, broken beat, synth boogie and Moodymann style deep house. To date, Wu’s productions have portrayed him as a slightly blazed, MPC-wielding beatmaker more concerned with wringing maximum warmth and soul from each beat, chord and melody, than fitting into any particular genre or dancefloor niche.

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Lily – Memory Jacket

by on at 09:33am

While aging is often portrayed through the rose-tinted lens of group trips to Cuba, cushy retirement funds and finally getting away from the anxiety-attack provoking stress of the workplace, there’s a lot of terror in growing old. Michael Haneke’s 2012 film Amour touched on the helplessness and powerlessness that accompanies the onset of dementia and Alzheimers, and new studies come out constantly linking depression, substance abuse and suicidal feelings to aging in isolation. It’s even on Drake’s mind, as he raps “My mother is 66 and her favorite line to hit me with is / “who the f**k wants to be 70 and alone?” on 2013’s Nothing Was The Same.

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