Review: It's been a while since the last fresh outing of James Blake material, and he surfaces on his plenty active 1-800 Dinosaur imprint with some typically esoteric material that confirms he still exists in his own unique sound world. "200 Press" is a track that evolves with elegance, with an electro thread powering the track while around drift wild bass notes, displaced vocals and occasional chimes, and still it grows into a spellbinding crescendo infected with ghetto swagger. "200 Pressure" takes a more obscure and yet bombastic approach with strange punk inflections, lurid synth intervals and a lot of found sound disturbance. "Building It Still" by way of comparison lets a little of the more classical musicianship sneak in, leaving odd poem "Words That We Both Know" to round off the EP on an ambiguous but personal note.
Review: Much like the Fabric mix series, Late Night Tales has been a staple of the British compilation dynasty, and the label has somehow managed to consistently call upon some of the world's biggest and most interesting talents to demonstrate their skills behind the DJ decks, and to give us a tiny view into their tastes and influences. Iceland's Olafur Arnalds, a lo-fi artist who has steadily released nothing but quality on the Erased Tapes label, is asked to do the honours for the catalogu's 44th instelment, and we are seriously digging what this dude is into. Electronica is a bit of a cop-out term to describe this gear, but there is just so much diversity in here that it's simply impossible to categorise it under one roof. Maybe sci-fi electro soul would be a good term, as it manages to capture the mood and feel of these beautiful songs by the likes of Koreless, Jamie XX via Four Tet, Samaris, Arnois, and Arnalds' own music. Spot on once again, Late Night Tales!
Review: To celebrate four years of releases, Hemlock, the label run by Untold and Jack Dunning presents Chapter One, a collection of label highlights and unreleased exclusives. Moving through the glittery funk-leaning post-dubstep of Fantastic Mr Fox, Mount Kimbie and James Blake, through techno contributions from Sei A, Randomer and Guy Andrews, and bass hybrids from Pangaea and Joe, the selections on offer demonstrate why Hemlock has been ahead of the game since its inception. As well as the individual tracks, a continuous mix is also on offer, joining the dots between their diverse releases with style.
Review: A much anticipated release from Ramp Recordings subsidiary, Brain Math, which brings together the best in limited edition vinyl releases from 2008-10 from a star-studded cast, including stunners from James Blake, Roska (under his Bakongo alias), Brackles and SBTRKT. "Paper Street" gets the ball rolling with a Burial-like air, and is juxtaposed against Brackles' infectious "6am El Gordos". "Pembroke" has that discernable Blakean style, complete with synth haze, distorted vox and clip-clop beats. "Laika" (SBTRKT's first release, don't you know?) adds a dose of mischief, before Spiders take things dark and murky, with eerie SFX a-plenty, and the compilation is rounded off with Zomby's "Rumours & Revelations".