Review: During the first stages of lockdown in Berlin, Luca Venezia AKA Curses decided to make some music inspired by years spent as a dedicated teenage raver. It's these tunes that feature on The Future is Waiting, his first release under the alternative Venice Arms alias. We're particularly fond of title track 'The Future is Waiting', a throbbing chunk of rolling electro wrapped in twinkling pianos, rave style stabs and pulsating, machine-gun bass, though the NYC freestyle inspired late night bounce of 'Fearless Love' and rushing, glassy-eyed 'Vortex (Feel The Love)' also impress. Venezia naturally dons his more familiar Curses alias to remix 'The Future is Waiting', re-imagining the track as a jangly, guitar-laden chunk of '80s synth-pop nostalgia.
Review: Founded in 2012, Madrid's Play Pal Music specialise in "new wave, post-punk, synths & guitars, fat bass, nu-disco, leftfield and anything in-between". That gives you an idea what to expect from this 15-track label compilation, as crossover styles like the punk-funk of late 70s New York, the new beat of late 80s Belgium and even the electro stylings of mid-00s Hoxton get thrown into the blender and mashed up into one gloriously sleazy, neon-lit, leather-clad dancefloor showdown that manages to be both a retro/nostalgic delight and forward-thinking at the same time. If 'Drop The Deal' or 'Walk The Night' are in your classics box, this is one to check for sure.
Review: Given the impressive number of labels he's released on over the last decade (Safer At Night, Throne of Blood, Let's Play House and OFF Recordings amongst them), we were rather surprised to find that this is Curses' first outing on Bordello a Parigi. There are two original cuts to choose from: "Pedal To The Metal & Don't Look Bad", a wonky Italo-disco jam full of fuzzy rock guitar riffs and spacey eight-bit synthesizer melodies, and the EBM-influenced throb of industrial strength workout "Knife In Teeth". Both cuts are given the remix treatment, with Tarr providing a more muscular, peak-time Italo revision of "Pedal To The Metal & Don't Look Back" before Birds of Paradise re-imagine "Knife In Teeth" as a drowsy and unusual chunk of industrial/IDM fusion.
Review: To celebrate five years of releasing new wave-inspired, left-of-centre goodness, Madrid's Play Pal Music has put together this celebratory compilation of previously unheard treats from the label's growing roster of artists. As you'd expect, the tone is dark, druggy and psychedelic from the word go, with Rambal Cochet's hallucinatory, slo-mo opener "Dark Caravan" neatly signposting what's to come. There are of course plenty less intense moments scattered throughout the compilation - see the tasty tracks by Did Virgo and Amevicious, Vereno and Club Bizarre, for starters - but a low-slung, heavyweight jam is never far away. To our ears, the best examples come from Curses (the wonky disco-punk of "More Cherry Pie"), Theus Mago (the Motorik throb of "Low Cost Interstellar Drive") and Nozz (grandiose soundtrack Italo throb-job "Clock").
Curses - "Her Violence Beauty" (Younger Than Me remix) - (6:16) 118 BPM
Justine Forever - "Happy House" - (4:27) 114 BPM
Review: For Relish's seventh compilation style EP, Headman has gathered together a particularly strong set of tracks for those who like their disco grooves to come with a big dash of post-punk attitude. Sample-obsessed studio bod Sutja Gutierrez leads the way with "I'm Wild, Oh I See", an undeniably hypnotic mid-tempo chugger rich in intoxicating musical elements and foreboding, end-of-days noises. Milanese newcomer Younger Than Me drags the dark Italo and twisted new wave vibes of Curses' "Her Violence Beauty" further towards thrusting peak-time dancefloor territory, while French vocalist and producer Justine lays down a fantastic, minimalist new wave synth-pop cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees' classic "Happy House".
Review: To celebrate hitting 20 releases, Wonder Stories has decided to put out the label's first compilation. Wonder Buds is largely made up of arguably overlooked back catalogue highlights, but also includes a handful of previously unreleased tracks to appease regular label-watchers. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the jostling Italo-disco/nu-disco fusion of Pop District's remix of Steve Cook's "Notice Me" and the boogie-influenced cosmic disco chug of DJ Rocca's Aimes rework (the brilliant "Notice Me"), to the foreboding psychedelic disco-chug of Curses' "Brains Bones Blood" and the acid-fired pulse of Los Fugazzi's "Paralel" [sic]. Oh, and the saucer-eyed, Balearic-inspired nu-disco dreaminess that is Mighty Mouse's wonderful remix of Air Zaire's "Love '94".
Review: London based club night and newly formed label Snap Crackle & Pop's third releases comes in the form of a dark take on new wave influenced techno from Berlin based New Yorker Curses. It kicks off with a hypnotic techno stomper Another View which playfully tips its hat to early electro albeit through a visor of coldwave inspired guitars. Together In The Dark delves into even darker territores with ice cold organs reaching for the light through the grinding ambient yet groovy undertones. Then Inga Mauer ramps up the dancefloor tension with her machine like acid rework pulsating and crashing urgently Together In The Dark, whilst The Golden Filter turn out a low slung trip of brooding synths and haunting vocals before cascading down the rabbit hole in a swell of industrial motorik beats and percussive explosions in their take on Another View.
Review: Ombra International is inviting artists from different cities from around the globe to contribute their rock and roll or post-punk influenced grooves via slo-mo disco and cold wave sonics. OMBRA INTL 002 is four tracks bringing together Cannibal Ink (Madrid) with the sleazy psych rock of "La Haine", Dawn Again from Sydney, K-effect (Toledo) and Curses in Berlin. Curses is the dark and romantic moniker from New York City native Luca Venezia aka Trouble & Bass main man Drop The Lime who serves up the awesome "Neu Dimension".
Review: Currently celebrating their second birthday, Madrid's Rotten City Files are marking the occasion by presenting this collection of back catalogue remixes. It's a tasty set it must be said, with seven tracks specially reworked for 2017. Highlights include Wolfstream's brooding electroclashy remix of Iron Blu's "Sweet Redemption", Days Of Being Wild's raw, Bobby O-style version of Curses' "Vengence" and the menacing arpeggiated techno-disco of Holographic Planes' reboot of "Masa Madre" by Dos Attack. Top-notch electro, good to hear this sound coming back strong.
Review: This fine EP marks Luca "Curses" Venezia's return to Throne of Blood after a near three-year absence. Title track "Tutto Nudo" is something of a stylish, late night treat, with Venezia wrapping exotic, post-punk electric guitar melodies around a dark and sweaty nu-disco groove. The warped, late night haziness continues on the raw, sharp and throbbing "Canini", before Venezia drags us further into a rabbit warren of his own creation on the weird and wonderful thrust of "This is All a Dream". Those wanting something a little more bouncy and up-tempo should check Timothy 'Heretic' Clerkin's indie-disco style rub of "Tutto Nudo", while Dreems' deliciously low-slung, analogue-rich version of "Canini" is probably the EP's standout moment.
Review: Ten months on from the release of the first Rotten Citizens collection, Rotten City Files delivers the follow-up. This time round, they've chosen to mix things up, accompanying their usual chugging, mid-tempo fare with a smattering of up-beat floor-fillers. In the former category, you'll find a pair of baggy, indie-tinged Balearic shufflers from DYOR and Sutja Gutierrez, and a mid-tempo acid chugger from Iron Blu and Rock Sterling. If you're looking for a little more energy, head for the eyeliner-clad, Nein-ish disco-chug of "Vengeance" by Curses, the throbbing weirdness of Dos Attack's "Masa Madre", or the blissful, floor-friendly positivity of Elvis LA.
Review: Under the Curses alias, Luca "Drop The Lime" Venezia has served up some impressive slices of house and techno on Throne of Blood, Let's Play House and, most recently, OFF Recordings. Here he pops up on Nein Recordings with two brand new cuts. Choose between the industrial-influenced, late night pulse of "Practice Makes Perfekt" - all drifting female vocal samples, undulating electronics and horror-influenced synth stabs - and "Spanish Dollar", where growling guitar lines and foreboding, Cabaret Voltaire style electronics ride a hypnotic, metronomic drum track. Each track gets the remix treatment, with Nite-Rate turning "Pracitice Makes Perfekt" into a dark, rave-influenced techno thumper, and I Love Acid man Posthuman turning in an epic, nine-minute reinterpretation of "Spanish Dollar" that slowly builds in intensity as it progresses.
Review: Tronik Youth's London based tech house and nu-disco force Nein is back with a weighty 17-trackcompilation celebrating his current label roster and a love for more retro-inspired sounds. From the grinding electro-punk of Justine's "Infernale Cavale", to Freudenthal's dark synthpop epic "Bilderblast", there's plenty of stylistic range here. Highlights come thick and fast on Yes Means Nein, with the gutsy EBM groove of Tunnel Signs "Hellfire" and a remix of Emperor Machine's "Sisco Seeker" from label mainstay Rodion and Fabrizio Mammarella particularly standing out!
Review: The legacy of Throne In Blood is certainly not insignificant in the annals of recent dance music history, but they're reaching into new ground with this series of compilations. The first two volumes of Moon Rock were already highly worthy of attention, and so it continues on this new installment, where further investigations of ambient, new age and downright mellow techno are brought together by a host of top shelf characters. Steve Moore opens up proceedings in suitably epic fashion, while elsewhere Tempelhof, Pittsburgh Track Authority and Tim Love Lee all excel in various shades of chill-out with guts.
Bark In The Dark (Naum Gabo remix) - (6:08) 122 BPM
Eyes On You (original mix) - (6:17) 119 BPM
Need You (original mix) - (5:34) 123 BPM
Review: Drop The Lime's housier project is enjoying some renewed attention from a producer more commonly enamoured with delivering tear-out hype-up electro business, although in this EP for Let's Play House you can still hear plenty of full-fat production tendencies working their way into the Curses sound. "Back in the Dark" may shuffle with a New York urgency, but there's a big-room European feel to the nagging synth stabs at the core of the track. Still it's a far more measured affair compared to the lairy bass sludge and manic bleep action of Naum Gabo's remix of the track. "Eyes On You" however shows a more sensitive side with its brushed drums and spooky keys, bringing some balance to the EP without diluting the wild ideas.