Review: Synth-bothering indie-popsters Friendly Fires are the latest contributors to the uniformly excellent Late Night Tales series, and they seem desperate to prove just how diverse their tastes are. Oh, and their underground credentials. So, we get fuzzy stoner disco (Renee), curious French electro-disco oddness (Space), shirts-off end of night goodness (the much-played but still ace "Like An Eagle" by Dennis Parker), krautrock-inspired indie pop (Stereolab, Cocteau Twins), classic US garage (Iron Galaxy), future anthems (SBTRKT), dream-pop (Junior Boys, Lauren Halo), folksy musings (Grouper), and even a dash of Olivia Newton-John (the decidedly Balearic "Love Song"). While a cynic may raise a surprised eyebrow at some of the selections, there's no denying their quality.
Review: Working solo or together with his sometime collaborator Hipp-E as H-Foundation, Halo Varga provided a new vision for house music at the start of this millennium. Fans of classic releases like Future will be glad to hear that not much has changed in Halo's world, even though the volume of records he puts out has slowed. This release on Nic Fanciulli's label sees the US producer explore the same territory, with all of his production trademarks - the rolling, hypnotic groove, the dubbed out drums and some half-heard, wispy vocal samples in the background. Hector provides a distinctive remix by adding some funk guitar licks and making the drums harder, but it can't beat Halo's stoned immaculate original.
Review: Over the course of numerous albums and Eps, Laurel Halo has made a name with her experimental, uncompromising take on electronic music - can she do the same with her DJing? Listening to this, the 68th instalment of DJ-Kicks, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. It moves from the abstract chimes of her own "Public Art" to the bruising rhythms of Stallone the Reducer and Red Axes' low-slung electro into the next-wave Detroit techno of Fit Siegel and the bleary European sound of Dario Zenker, representing here with "Koraimer Bro". However, Halo is also aware that to understand where electronic music is going to, you must first understand its past - and the inclusion of tracks from Jeff Mills' Final Cut band and Blake Baxter's catalogue showcases her deep knowledge and passion.
Review: It's time to dive deep into the realms of experimental tech on this one as we are introduced to this hard hitting four track compilation from the K7 imprint, showcasing 4x4 creativity at its very finest. We kick off with Laurel Halo's fabulous 'Sweetie', a moody rolling tech adventure, packed with percussive melodics. Next, Ikonika returns with her OG mix of 'Bodied' which plays off both grimey and techno themes, followed by the hypnotic synthesizer ramblings of 'Cricoid' from Rrose. Finally, it gets very tribal indeed as Nick Leon ventures forth with the Amazonian rhythms and rhythmic twists of 'Pelican Dub'.