Review: Two regular Athens Of The North artists join forces in the studio for the first time, with impressive results. Separately, Scotland's Linkwood (AKA Nick Moore) and Other Lands have explored a range of styles so far in their careers, from post-punk to house and techno, but together they've come up with an album that, though definitely having something of a Balearic feel to modern ears, actually sounds like nothing quite so much as late 70s/early 80s jazz-funk and jazz fusion - particularly that of the "one Californian and his Moog collection" variety. Some may find it all a bit muzak-ish, but if you're a fan of squelchy analogue synth sounds and jazz guitar licks you'll find much to enjoy here.
Review: This an altogether epic offering from Deetron; a vast collection of un-mixed tracks from his brilliant DJ Kicks mix (naturally included as a bonus cut) that is little less than a lesson in the evolution of techno over the last three decades. Amongst the 38 tracks you'll find fine representatives of a myriad of sub-genres (intelligent techno, dub techno, IDM, ambient techno, gospel techno, and so on), as well as past, present and future classics (Damier and Trent's "Morning Factory", Spacetime Continuum's "Swing Factory", Mark Ernestus's recent Equinoxx remix, the Motor City bliss of Rhythim is Rhythim AKA Derrick May's "Ka-o-tic Harmony", a brilliant old Black Dog Productions workout). In other words, it's a breathlessly brilliant collection of both well-known and obscure gems. It comes heartily recommended.
Review: For the first in a series of reinterpretations of material from Linkwood's superb Expressions album, Firecracker Recordings has turned to deep house veterans Ghosts of the Sky (AKA Chicagodeep and Taelue), and fast-rising machine abusers Nummer. The latter trot off on an aquatic techno tip, turning the becalmed and melancholic "Love Lost" into a techno-tempo stroll through vintage Carl Craig chords, sweaty machine percussion, and yearning melodies. There's a warmer and heavier, if surprisingly stripped back, feel to Ghosts of the Sky's version of "Object", with spluttering electronics and sumptuous chords stretching out over a rich synth bassline and hissing, cymbal-heavy groove.
Ignorance Is Bliss (Healing Force Project remix) - (8:07) 100 BPM
Love Lost - (13:04) 120 BPM
Review: When commissioning remixes, the best labels think outside the box. That's exactly what Firecracker's Lindsay Todd did when seeking out producers to rework tracks from Linkwood's excellent Expressions album. On this second EP in an ongoing series, that faith has paid dividends. Whereas the original version of "Ignorance Is Bliss" was a warm, woozy, sun-kissed deep house affair, Healing Force Project has reinvented it as a stargazing chunk of 21st century space jazz, complete with twinkling chords, low-slung double bass and reverb-laden drum solos. The Musephased interpretation of "Love Lost" by Area sticks closer to the ultra-deep, melancholic vibe of Linkwood's original, but adds a frisson of excitement via bubbling, Detroit-influenced electronics and hypnotic rhythms.
Review: A welcome return for both Prime Numbers and Linkwood - with the latter presenting three variations on the house theme in the first of two EPs due out this year on Trus'me's excellent label. "Dirty Love" calls shotgun with the sort of rough around the edges house flex that demands movement of your feet. Filled with alien noises that flutter around the searing burn, it's the multiplicity of rhythmic shifts that elevate this track into the realms of special. From these euphoric heights the two accompanying tracks transpose you to the murky depths of house music potential with untitled jams channelling Larry Heard. "Untitled 2" in particular unfurls into something quite bewitching!