Details of a new R&S single from UK producer Lone have emerged.
The enigmatic Paula Temple returns to techno with a vengeance, supplying R&S with a cataclysmic three-track EP.
You have to hand it to Jack Hamill; there aren’t many musicians nowadays who would be so bold as to include a 750 word plot summary with the press release for your debut album, which is itself a conceptual piece about a character called Mr 8040’s journey through time and space to his home planet of Mikrosector-50.
Pariah – R&S producer and one half of the analogue techno behemoth that is Karenn – has just offered a free solo track for download via Soundcloud.
Belgian/UK label R&S claim that the tracks on Your Orders could ‘only have been made in 2012’, but this writer begs to differ. Like Truss’s recent release as MPIA3 for Shifted’s Avian label, part of Your Orders sounds like it could only have been created during the early to mid-90s.
London based producer MPIA3 will debut on R&S Records with Your Orders, a six-track EP of stomping, acid-tinged techno.
It seems hard to believe that as little as two years ago the phrase “post-dubstep” was still a legitimate way of describing the melting pot of genres that went into cooking up music from the likes of Mount Kimbie and James Blake. The phrase seems to have fallen out of usage in favour of the even less descriptive term “bass”, but then part of that may simply be down to a move away from the mercurial nature of those early days towards weightier, more linear techno and house, the rampant experimentalism of Blake and his associates seemingly falling by the wayside.
UK producer Airhead will follow up his recent debut for R&S Records with a second EP, entitled Love Pyramid/Black Ink, set for release in September.
Our selection of the best artwork from June’s releases features more of those records you need two copies of: one for the turntable and one to hang on the wall.
As referenced in our recent trawl through the archives of Actress, Darren Cunningham seems to belong among those lucky few blessed with the innate talent to pick out an all new direction when approaching remixes – and this much is evident on his new remix of recent R&S signings Teengirl Fantasy.
US duo Teengirl Fantasy have announced details of Tracer, their forthcoming album for R&S Records, which will feature guest spots from Laurel Halo, Panda Bear and Romanthony.
One of the more prolific artists in these times, Matt Cutler is back with his fifth album, which is an impressive feat in just five years of releasing music. It’s also worth noting that at this stage, he’s only released one more EP than he has long-players. Lone isn’t a project that seems to demand a full-length release in which to spread itself; the tracks tend to be self-contained nuggets simply bound together by a stylistic consistency rather than some lofty thematic notion.
There are albums that work as a whole and there are albums that impress in fits and bursts, the highlights carrying the filler moments. The latest, and most ambitious release to date, from Belfast’s Space Dimension Controller steadfastly belongs in the former camp. Posited as a prequel to the producer’s debut full length album due next year, The Pathway To Tiraquon6 would be classed as a standalone album by anyone else, though it’s debatable whether anyone in contemporary music retains the vision and eccentricity to come up with an eleven track set that is essentially the imaginary soundtrack to the inner workings of their mind.
Apologies to PR people everywhere, but the standard of press releases these days leaves a lot to be desired. Hence, the fact The Pathway To Tiraquon6 arrived in tow with nearly 500 words detailing the concepts behind the music made this writer pay attention – as well as laugh vociferously. Of course, a concisely written press blurb detailing a 24th century alien invasion that precipitates the cosmic accident leading to our intrepid protagonist Mr 8040 being jettisoned through time to modern day earth is redundant if the music is not up to scratch.
Thankfully, this release is perhaps the finest example of Space Dimension Controller’s production prowess to date, veering effortlessly between moments of gentle calm and thrilling throbbing hi-tech futurism. Given the conceptual nature, close links are retained between the overarching story and the track titles. Furthermore, “Usurper” and “Flight Of The Escape Vessels” accurately portray the sensation of surprise alien attack and subsequent escape – as the dramatic, compressed metallic nature of the former is followed by the gliding, almost euphoric techno funk of the latter.
It’s down to personal preference whether you choose to invest fully in the concepts behind The Pathway To Tiraquon6. As mentioned above, the 47 minutes of music work as a whole and would be impressive enough without the additional eccentricities inherent with Space Dimension Controller. Personally, this odd nature just enhances his appeal: having producers who attend Fabric birthday marathons in a Dalek costume or parade around the Boiler Room wearing an R&S Records flag as a cape is more worthy of coverage than dissecting the exact nature of a kick drum.
This week marks the entry of Lone – real name Matt Cutler – into the R&S hall of fame. He’s the latest in a growing line of young British producers to release on the venerable Belgian imprint in its second incarnation, and the six-track Ehoclocations EP continues where the producer left off on 2010′s excellent mini-album Emerald Fantasy Tracks, and before that, “Pineapple Crush”.
The EP sees Lone’s gaze drift towards 90s Detroit and Chicago, though the distinctive melodic stabs that characterised EFT remain – something that’s apparent as soon as the huge drop in “Coreshine Voodoo” arrives. Elsewhere “Dolphin” delights via the vast swathes of melodies that wash over the intricate layers of percussion that build and drop with expertise whilst “Approaching Rainbow” is perhaps Lone at his most rhythmically rigid, with mellow bursts of colour and texture arising from the rasping Strafe-esque drums. It’s all quite enchanting.
To celebrate the release we contacted Lone – who was proudly sporting an Aphex Twin t-shirt during his performance at last month’s Bloc festival – and asked him to list his five favourite R&S releases of all time. Unsurprisingly the work of Richard D James features, as does the Golden Girls classic “Kinetic”, which Cutler recently remixed, alongside some old school techno and IDM.
The two opposing ends of the R&S historical spectrum collide brilliantly on this ten inch as the track that marked Model 500’s return to the imprint after a fourteen year absence gets taken apart and put back together in gloriously diverse fashion by two rising talents. It’s a near exercise in futility to try and separate these two remixes of Model 500’s “OFI” and proclaim one the winner, as both the submissions from Bullion and Space Dimension Controller are teeming at the brink with ideas that radicalise the template of the original.
Anyone who indulged in the recent non album from Bullion will be fully aware of this producer’s capacity to twist through tempos and rhythms at will and make it all work. That approach is more than replicated on his “Rivertrance Remix”, which on first inspection sounds like three tracks in one. Galloping along via a bottomed out kraut groove, Bullion swerves through a collage of dizzying psychedelic sounds and effects in the space of four and a bit minutes which laugh generously in the face of categorisation.
The flipside “Evasive Funk” remix from Celtic astronaut Space Dimension Controller retains the austere electro funk pulse of the original from Atkins, Banks and Taylor but sharpens the pace markedly, embellishing the bass with a schizophrenic menace that is matched by the sheer depth of percussive layers and synthesized touches.
R&S Records, the #2 label of 2010 here at Juno Plus, have brought us sublime offerings from the likes of James Blake, Space Dimension Controller and Pariah this year, and lo, they come up with the goods once more with this fantastic EP from elusive, little known act, Vondelpark. Named after the famous urban park in Amsterdam – the so-called “Mecca for the Bohemian” – the new R&S signing blend sun drenched lyrics, hazy atmospherics and soft, hissing beats in their aptly named Sauna EP.
“California Analog Dream” provides a delicious entrée, combining blissed out beats, sweeping wave-crashing SFX and evocative strumming guitars in the enticing intro to the EP. Faded out, bleached cooing vocals lull us in to the main tune like a summer ballad from yesteryear. Sepia tones prevail for the main part with gorgeous melodies, delicate percussion and an increasing sense of yearning. “Hippodrome”, up next, introduces a 2-step vibe and more impressive, masterfully executed guitar play with similar watercolour blended vocals washing in and out like distant memories.
Dreamy, relaxing and truly delightful, it’s just a taste of what’s to come. “Jetblag Blue Version” has a more driving, piston-driven garage rhythm, full of Mount Kimbie-esque echoes, blissed out atmospherics and a reverberating soundscape in which The xx-style snippets dance around some more soulful indie moments. “Backflip (In The Sauna)” completes the EP with a beautiful, sonorous passage, full of instrumental flourishes and understated wonder. Spaced out sounds and haunting SFX are punctuated by reverbed lyrics which loop around beats seductively for the duration. An impressive debut here, which undoubtedly rounds off 2010 nicely for R&S. Safe to say, Vondelpark will be one of the acts we’re watching for 2011. Expect a lot more to come.
What makes a good record label in 2010? There are, of course, multiple answers to that question: some of our favourite imprints this year excelled because they lovingly dug up unappreciated gems from the past, restored them and made them available to a new generation, while others were totally focused on exploring hitherto unexplored terrain with new and exciting music. What unites them is passion; a group of hard working individuals who put a focus on quality over quantity (although some manage to do both), with painstaking attention to detail put into every lovingly packaged release. Without further ado, we present the Juno Plus top 5 labels of 2010.