Review: Given her current popularity, it's no surprise to see all-conquering house hero Maya Jane Coles mixing the latest instalment of !K7's long-running DJ Kicks series. The diminutive DJ/producer is in fine form, too, mixing up typically atmospheric house cuts and clandestine deepness with saucer-eyed late night faves and forgotten B-sides (see Bozzwell's surprisingly emotional "In My Cocoon"). As a mix it's as deep, melodic and groovy as you'd expect, with a strong vocal theme running throughout. As it progresses, it tiptoes further into bleary-eyed darkroom territory, via stand-out cuts from Marcel Dettmann, Caribou (his thrilling remix of Virgo Four), Gerry Read and T Williams. Available digitally as individual tracks or one continuous mix!
Review: As a label, we never quite know what to expect from the 20/20 LDN Recordings crew, who always manage to keep us on our toes with a constantly evolving release style. This latest four track project from DEFT is a great example of that, as we firstly dive into the glitchy hip-hop arrangements of 'James Woods'. This is then followed closely by the horror-style soundscaping and grizzly percussive layers of 'Zimma' alongside the liquidized sub structures half time drum slaps of 'Click The Snap'. Finally we round off with a look at the title track 'Pressure', which deploys super groovy hi-hat lines with bouncy percussive pops to add something very different at the close!
Review: We are always keen to sit down and explore the more unusual areas of electronic music, often finding ourselves loving more ambient, stripped back pieces of production. With that in mind we have found an absolute gem in this brand new album from Deft, who gets busy with 12 original pieces of stunning sound design. The title track 'Cracks' shows exactly what we are in for, as a wash of colourful synths and harmonies cascade upon our ears, followed by the more experimental drum work and unpredictability of tracks like 'Rollon' and 'Scope'. For us, we have to recommend this one being taken in during a long play sitting, but want to highlight both the incredible atmospheric designs of 'Coil' and squishy percussive expanses of 'Constant K' as favourites for this one.
Review: Emerging back in 2014 for pioneering German label Project Mooncircle, Yip Wong aka Deft, later hooked up with 20/20 London for a trilogy of releases that culminated in Deft's 2019 debut album Cracks. Exploding into 2020 furthermore, Deft arrives on the newly established Hooversound Recordings for its second release. A booming and bombastic four-track exploding from all sides, this is serious stuff; from the epic orchestral strings and wiley flexin vocals of "ESKILUSIVE" to the snapping, future Detroit electro of "BURNA". Frenetic rhythms with heavy hitting staccato beats conjure up a storm of roughneck percussion in "NEW YORKS FINEST VIP" with a funkier, more liquid dubstep number landing firm in "KOOVER IN '92". Relentless and uncompromising club music. TIP.
Review: A soundtrack to a bleak, imaginary environmental catastrophe movie: Dolenz isn't messing around here with his debut album. But then would you expect anything less from one of Exit's most esoteric beat-meddlers? As the bleak concept suggests, there's no cosy warm feel good flavours here, this is forefront fusion with a strong message. That's not to say it's not beautiful in its own barbed way (the delicate, soul-weighted "Seed Mantra" will stop you in your tracks, we guarantee it) but the main theme is subversion, wooziness and that ominous feeling everything is ruined and we're past the point of no return. Highlights include the establish banger "Pull" with Guilty Simpson, the rusty warped merry go round "Main Theme" and the broken-glass-in-space cuts and stabs of "Hydrofracker". Singular.
Review: Ivy Lab provides Critical Music with its first physical release of 2014 with a four-track EP. To begin with there's the piano-ambient introduction of "Missing Persons", which in a way sounds like a highly sped-up Burial track combined with Frank Carter III's vocals full of a similar sounding soul heard in Storm Queen's crossover hit "Look Right Through". The drums remain super-quick on "Live On Your Smile" alongside warbled computer bleeps and melancholic female vocals, while "Sunday Crunk" is a hip hop-inspired, MPC-styled slow jam that may well take its inspirations from southern rap. Lastly on this deluxe package, Project: Mooncircle and 2nd Drop artist Deft touches-up Ivy Lab & Emperor's "Pepper" for something verging on heavy dubstep mixed with some growling, Fis-like effects
Review: Browswood return with a fourth edition of their much loved Electr*c compilation series, effectively offering a compelling insight into the budding international production talent wedged in the various micro genres of the electronic music scene. Akkord pair Synkro and Indigo, Jack Dixon and Djrum are a few of the names that have gone on to wider success after featuring on the Electr*c series so there's always a certain cachet to being picked here. It's nice to see such a broad range of styles covered here too with the twelve tracks covering introspective arrangements, kaleidoscopic hip hop, hyperkinetic footwork-Drum & Bass hybrids, 808 heavy house jammers (Deft's "Breakdown" is a particular highlight) and other forward thinking bass-focused flavours.