Review: From Robsoul and Tsuba to Is It Balearic? and Futureboogie, Craig Bratley can be many things depending on who's releasing his music. He launches the Automatism label in a flurry of cosmic disco finery with "Ursa Minor", a synth-rich escapade that could make Cerrone feel a little giddy on its course to the stars. "Exotic Matter" slows things right down and ramps up the rock drums to create a noirish soundtrack vibe. "Exquisite Corpse (Zero Gravity Mix)" changes tact once more with some plaintive piano tinkering over subtle arpeggios, and "Running To Paradise" slides down into a smooth Balearic groove that rounds out this wonderfully diverse EP.
Review: Magic Feet boss Craig Bratley is not the most prolific producer in the world, but his sporadic EPs are usually excellent. Certainly, this outing on Futureboogie Recordings contains some superb music. Pulsating opener "99.9" - a body-jacking, Italo-influenced throb-job high on horror-influenced synthesizer melodies and foreboding riffs - is particularly potent, though wholehearted Italo-disco tribute "Italo Love" and the slo-mo chug-fest "Take Me To Bedford or Lose Me Forever" are almost as good. The EP also includes a sublime interpretation of "99.9%" by Andrew Weatherall, whose stretched-out take places exotic, snaking synth lines and yelping vocal samples over a Love From Outer Space-ready pitched-down groove.
Review: Esteemed British house/disco imprint Tsuba has since moved to the sunny shores of Adelaide in Australia, but it has not diminished founder Kevin Griffiths ear for quality. He recently presented the whopper compilation entitled The Deep House Drop. Now, it's quite fitting that at the peak of Summer they should serve up The Balearic Disco Drop, right? London nu-disco hero Pete Herbert works his magic as always on the slo-mo boogie of Elaborate Hoax's "Happy Valley" (Reverso 68 mix), the acclaimed British producer Fort Romeau delivers a stunning rework of William's "Pinball" that's deeply evocative as ever. Gruuv head honchos Audiojack remixed by the one and only Lauer, you say? You betcha, from back in 2014, actually, and it's pretty darn magical. Magic Feet's Craig Bratley appears here several times, but it's all about Ewan Pearson's darkside/smack electro rework of "Mannequin" that almost reaches the same depths of Carl Finlow.
Review: James 'Fucking' Friedman reckons that in the three years since Moon Rock Volume 1 came out on his New York City based Throne Of Blood imprint, interest and attention in ambient and cosmic music has broadened and deepened. Well, hey that's a fair call and with Moon Rock Volume 4, the label is once again rounding up a shitload of weird-ass kosmische sounds. According to the label, the compilation was conceived in sides; six distinct sets of music that move through a range of styles and sounds, from chill ambient excursions to darker droning noise. Danny Passarella's imaginary soundtrack "Carousel Rising"is guided by a clever use of arpeggio, Tel Aviv indie dance hero Moscoman impresses as always with more cosmic weirdness on The Edge Of The Earth" while Versatile Records legend Gilb'r presents "Arpeggio Island"which doesn't need much explanation. London duo Vactrol Park impress as always with another deep vintage synth exploration on "Islands Of The Delta".
Review: The latest E.P on Craig Bratley's impressive Magic Feet imprint comes from the man himself, ably assisted by Crazy P chanteuse Danielle Moore. Even by her high standards, Moore's vocals here are particularly husky and atmospheric, and perfectly compliment Bratley's dark, woozy, throbbing backing track (think sharp Italo-disco fused with pitched-down acid house). The accompanying remixes are predictably fine, too. Andrew Weatherall naturally steals the show by turning "Play The Game" into an epic chunk of sparse and druggy synth-pop-goes-clubbing weirdness, though Hsyertic's muscular, shirts-off Italo-disco interpretation is pretty darn tasty, too. In other words, it's a very strong E.P, all told.
Review: You wouldn't think it, but it's almost 10 years that Tsuba has been in the game, and their first release dates back from 2006. The Australian label has put out some of the finest material in recent years, thanks in part to the present remix series that they have started offering more recently. Number 7 in the catalogue contains all the usual quality from the leading house and techno makers of today; our picks are Delano Smith's remix of Hector's "Hide", Soulphiction's raw version of "That Freak Stuff" by Detroit Swindle, Legowelt's gorgeous reinterpretation of Fernando's "Sometimes", and legend Mr Fingers' remix of "Aquamarine" by the always on-point Sebo K. A heavy compilation and up there in this week's staff picks!
Review: It's a busy week for British nu-Balearica DJ Craig Bratley, what with releasing one of his most popular edits (The Go Go) as well as turning in a new long player, Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride" We get 10 tracks here on what is an immaculately produced laid-back ride that channels some cool 70s/80s prog disco vibes. The inclusion of some hip-hop MCs will probably jar with purists of this style but on moments like the proto body music grinder "Birdshell", the sugary Italo-disco of "Hyper Velocity" and the electroclash sleaze of "Obsession", the quality shines through.