Review: Having already been responsible for one debut album this year in Astral Travelling, the Innerspace Halflife LP issued on Hakim Murphy's Synapsis label, Ike Release lives up to his reputation as one of Chicago's most prolific artists with a solo debut album. Issued by Aroy Dee's MOS Recordings, the ten track Noir will not sound like any sort of immediate departure from the weighty brand of hardware driven house and techno we've come to associate with Release. As usual the finer nuances and intricacies of this album will reveal themselves over repeat listens, and it's time you'll appreciate spending with Noir as Release really showcases a variety of emotions between the commencement of "Lost Cities" and the climax of closer "Sierra".
Review: Ike Release returns to Holland's MOS Deep under his own alias, and with it comes a gorgeous three-tracker filled with enough analogue grit to have you crunching away on those low-bit drum shots. "Cosmic Supreme" is so gritty in substance that it literally feels like house soundtrack to Blade Runner, bringing forth one monster of a bassline and some squelching, rave-fuelled synth jerks. "Spells" is similarly sublime, but this time uses acid as the main ingredient of the cocktail, while "Westview" takes care of the deepness, where its aqueous chords glide frantically across time and space only to leave one with a warm, longing feeling of more music from Ike. Recommended.
Review: Finally, it's the return of the Windy City's Ike Release to the tougher than solid Episodes label! Mr.Ike Velez makes his appearance heard quickly and loudly from the first bass drum of "Apollo3", an all-out dancefloor winner with a distinctive US edge, sci-fi sonics and gorgeous hardware tweaks. "Guzzle" is more soulful and chord-heavy, while "Socialite" takes a dusty drum programme and chucks it over a deep house vibe, and title track "Watercolours" wins the beauty show thanks to its pounding beat and majestic waves of synths. As always, you can rely on Ike to deliver the sound system magic. Spot on.
Review: Both Ike Release and John Barera have been buzzing in the underground community for some time now. Ike with releases on Mister Saturday Night, Finale Sessions, Skudge and MOS and John with releases on Argot, Just Jack and Zakim. Now they turn to Ike's Episodes imprint to supply more of their upfront and dancefloor ready cuts. Starting out with the new wave acid sensibilities of "Looking Ahead" and the ferocious retro jack of "Lights Out" which are sure to set the night on fire.Then, the neon lit aesthetic continues with "Cosmic Divide" and "Winding Up" respectively, which conjure the ghosts from those dusty analogue machines to stunning effect.
Review: As his previous releases have so thrillingly demonstrated, nu skool German revivalist Murphy Jax is more than adept at conjuring intoxicating blends of vintage Chicagoan jack and head-warping electronic disco. "Kevin Spacy", initially released on vinyl earlier this year, is a perfect example of this. Revolving around hard, sharp sequenced basslines, twisted arpeggios and lazy, star-gazing synth melodies, it offers the sort of balls-out, analogue-heavy take on space disco that was once the preserve of fellow Clone adventurer Legowelt. Orgue Electronique take the track back towards Chicago on two string-drenched, Larry Heard on valium reworks, whilst bonus cut "Smoodrama" offers a deeper take on early Chicago house.