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Older articles

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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Chris Moss Acid – Phantacy

by on at 09:52am

Nijmegen label Shipwrec does on occassion put out some fine, reflective work – see last year’s Scars Of Intransigence album from Plant 43 – but the recent record from The Exaltics and now Phantacy demonstrates their strong dancefloor focus. Chris Moss Acid is a UK producer who has released on the Mathematics label overseen by namesake Jamal – he also runs his own digital label – and specialises in making music inspired by classic tropes.

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Jeremiah R – Melancholy Fish

by on at 10:12am

Hailing from Rotterdam, Jeremiah R follows in a proud tradition of Dutch electro music makers and labels. Fellow travelers include Conforce’s sublime Versalife project and the Frustrated Funk/Harbour City Sorrow axis. However, in contrast to some of his peers’ output, Jeremiah R’s version of this classic US style is introspective and melodic, closer in sound and spirit to Gerard Hanson’s E.R.P project than the grungy electronics that appears on Panzerkreuz, Murder Capital and Viewlexx.

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Asusu – Serra

by on at 09:27am

It always felt like there was a need to hear more from Asusu once the Livity Sound machine really got rolling. Peverelist obviously already had a sizable legacy behind him, while Kowton was equally hitting his stride and has since gone on to a multitude of achievements independently of the record label the three artists call home. Now though Craig Stennet is branching out with his own Impasse imprint, which will hopefully provide a more direct conduit into his output and build upon the humble but rock solid foundations of his early Livity singles and previous outings on Immerse and Project Squared.

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Pukemaster Gehm – 303 Degrees

by on at 15:31pm

How do you stay relevant when the sound you are most associated with has been endlessly used, rehashed and watered down? That’s the dilemma facing German producer Andreas Gehm and pretty much every other contemporary artist working with the 303. Unlike many of his peers, however, Gehm has an advantage: his influences are not the early period Chicago house records that every second bedroom producer has sought to emulate, but the heavier techno-centric sound of artists like DJ Skull.

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Felix K – Tragedy of the Commons

by on at 15:34pm

Blackest Ever Black are still pursuing new iterations of that Holy Grail, Christoph De Babalon’s 1997 LP If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It. ’Bleak, bombed-out soundboy electronics’ could just as easily be the context for Raime, Killing Sound, Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards and December; but here, vividly, it’s applied to a label debut from Felix K that feels as much a visual score as any kind of dance-inspired musical exercise.

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Various Artists – Drum Attack EP

by on at 11:23am

Given Keith ‘JD Twitch’ McIvor’s status as a walking musical encyclopedia – seriously, the depth of his knowledge is staggering – it’s unsurprising that he is developing a soft spot for archival releases. While he first dipped his toe into the reissue market with a couple of excellent Chris Carter releases back in 2011, McIvor seems to have been getting increasingly nostalgic over the last 18 months. The second Optimo Trax 12” – released back in October 2013 – featured a swathe of unreleased tracks from Dutch techno legend Maarten Van Der Vleuten, all apparently recorded back in 1992. More recently the label has reissued a pair of stunning 1990s dub disco gems from DJ D and Rob Mello’s long dormant Reel Houze project. Both have been highlights of the Optimo Trax catalogue thus far.

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Aardvarck – Thanxxx Joch

by on at 15:06pm

Sander Van Doorn’s label recently got into hot water for trying to release a record with some very strong similarities to Mr Oizo’s iconic track “Flat Beat”. Surely something similar would never happen in underground circles, where artistic integrity always trumps the temptation to use another producer’s work? A series of tweets recently from Jochem Peteri would seem to suggest that this may not always be the case.

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Gary Gritness – The Adventures of Gary Gritness Chapter 1

by on at 09:10am

Gary Gritness is probably an unfamiliar name to most, even if its creator, French instrumentalist Tim Becharand, is something of an unsung hero of dance music. Under the more familiar – though still little-known – Slikk Tim alias, he’s worked as a bass player, arranger and composer for an impressive list of producers, including Louie Vega, Orlando Voorn, Dam-Funk, and British house/garage veteran Grant Nelson. For the most part, though, those productions were a little different to the sound he wishes to pursue under the Gary Gritness moniker, if this surprise 12″ for Clone’s occasional Crown Ltd series – the first of two in quick succession – is anything to go by.

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Nu Sound II Crew / Magnus II – Split EP

by on at 09:39am

It appears that Dark Entries is on a mission. Having re-released a stack of obscure wave records, the San Fran label shifted its attention and spent much of last year reissuing Italo classics by Charlie, Big Ben Tribe and International Dancing System. Now it appears to have moved from European dance music of the late ’70s and early ’80s over to mid-’80s Detroit with the re-release of these electro tracks by Nu Sound II and Crew and Magnus II, aliases of DJ Maestro.

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Snorre Magnar Solberg with DJ Sotofett & SVN – No No 2

by on at 09:13am

It won’t be long until Club No-No is a name familiar to the unique and esoteric bend of house music being released by labels like Acido, SUED and Sex Tags. Snorre Magnar Solberg, aka Club No-No, is the newest personality to appear in this peculiar universe of stray house and techno strung together by artists like Dynamo Dreesen, SVN and DJ Sotofett – swap Fettburger for Sotofett and all played Solberg’s project launch last year – and it seems as though the Norwegian’s developing, yet already distinct style is helping introduce a unique nuance to an already newfangled sphere of electronic music.

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DIFFER-ENT – DIFFER-ENT

by on at 10:22am

In a city full of talented DJs and producers, DJ Bone manages to stand out. The Detroit native is a hugely talented spinner and his three-deck, vinyl sets are on the same level for technical prowess as Mills and May. This writer originally became aware of his skills via the Subject Detroit Volume 2 mix CD issued on the now dormant Eukatech label back in 2000, where he rampaged his way through nearly 30 Detroit (or Detroit-influenced) tracks in one take. Bone had started DJing long before that, but in a pre-podcast era, the mix was one of the first opportunities that a European audience had to hear his skills.

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Jonny Nash – Phantom Actors

by on at 12:01pm

As the recent Gaussian Curve album proved, Jonny Nash seems to look at music making as a communal experience. He’s perhaps most famous as one half of ESP Institute regulars Land of Light, whose eponymous 2012 debut album took densely layered, tape loop heavy ambience to new levels of rush-inducing beauty. Aside from this, he’s also had spells in a variety of short-lived bands and one-off projects, from ESP eccentrics Sombrero Galaxy and Crue-L nu-disco combo Disco Session, to Thomas Bullock’s alcohol themed Spirit Bear Mezcal Ensemble.

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Ontario Hospital – Future Ready

by on at 09:17am

Readers of Juno Plus may have recently seen an extensive feature on the story behind The Wipe by Teste on the site. One of the most influential techno records of the past two decades; it’s hard to trace a musical connection to this release on Stephen Bishop’s label. However, there is a link and Dave Foster from Teste and Rich Oddie from Orphx are behind Ontario Hospital. Like Adam X, whose Sonic Groove label he has put out key records on, Oddie and his production partner Christine Sealey in the Orphx project inhabit the shadowlands between club techno and industrial noise, sometimes referred to as ‘power noise’.

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Dolo Percussion – Dolo 2

by on at 09:05am

Andrew Field-Pickering has history when it comes to drums, famously drumming in a DC punk band early in his musical journey. This freestyle, in-your-face approach can regularly be heard in the off-kilter rhythms, hissing cymbals and fearlessly dense beats that characterize much of his output as Maxmillion Dunbar and Max D. With the first Dolo Percussion EP issued by LIES – simply titled Dolo Percussion, and boasting numbered tracks with no other information – he indulged this part of his musical persona, breathing new life into the humble DJ tool. In the process, he came on like Ginger Baker with an MPC, or Buddy Miles hammering away at a TR-909. This was drum machine jazz, pure and simple, with a raw and heavy undercurrent of classic Chicago house. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste, of course, it takes an adventurous DJ to drop six minutes of freestyle, body-popping drum machine abuse.

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Various Artists – Chapter 2: Cohorts

by on at 09:39am

Musically speaking, Huntleys & Palmers has always been very good at keeping its options open; the label may have been founded to release the humid rhythms and sweaty melodies of Auntie Flo, but their outlook has always been a little more forthright. It’s true that they tend to look further afield for artists than most – think Argentina, Chile, South Wales and Frankfurt, as well as their well-known links to London and Glasgow – but the music they release often has more in common with robust house and techno than the rave-friendly music hybrids coming out of certain parts of Africa, South and Central America.

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Psychic TV – Alien Be-In Remixes

by on at 09:31am

On its latest release, Dark Entries maps out the murky intersection between the tail end of ‘80s industrial and the (b)rave new world of ‘90s dance music. Psychic TV was Genesis P. Orridge and Peter Christopherson’s post-Throbbing Gristle project, one which was rooted in experimental, psychedelic sounds to begin with. However, it seems that the act wasn’t impervious to what was happening around it and by 1990 Psychic TV, which by then had shed Christopherson as a member, released Towards Thee Infinite Beat.

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Achterbahn D’Amour – Odd Movements The Remixes

by on at 09:35am

A year on from their debut album, Achterbahn D’Amour are seeing their work being handed over to a strong cast of characters who bring four distinct approaches to bear on the original material. While the original release on Acid Test was devoted to acidic jams of varying intensity, on this jam-packed 12” all manner of leftfield house and techno concerns are embraced as a means of looking beyond the dominant 303 throb and lifting the hood on the other moods and textures the trio embedded into their crowning work.

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Low Jack – Imaginary Boogie

by on at 09:46am

Philippe Hallais could have gone either way. Formerly part of production duo Darabi, the Parisian re-emerged under the name Low Jack in late 2012 on local label Get The Curse with some accomplished, if not especially distinctive, house cuts that were rough round the edges. Working from this formula, Hallais could have mined out a relatively successful few years of DJ bookings off the back of similarly executed twelves. Instead it seems like Hallais has been creatively spurred on by those around him in Paris, like Quentin Vandewalle of Antinote and L.I.E.S. boss Ron Morelli. The resultant Low Jack material for In Paradisum, Delsin, L.I.E.S. and his own Editions Gravats label has been challenging, wilfully experimental and largely excellent.

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