Review: N.O.T.E is short for "Nelson of the East", a new alias of "an established producer who may be of Swiss or Italian origin, depending on who is asking". Whoever it is at the controls, there's much to set the pulse racing on this expansive debut EP. Highlights include the carnival-ready cowbells, spacey chords and jazz-funk-goes-deep-house flex of 2000 Black style title track "Night Frames", the humid new age melodies and bubbly, low-slung rhythm of "Obaleyako" and the alien synths, densely layered drums and life-affirming deep house warmth of "En Route". Also worth checking is Glenn Astro's superb remix of "Night Frames", which re-imagines the track as a sub-bass-heavy chunk of psychedelic dancefloor minimalism.
Burning Palm (Fantastic Man Awakening dub) - (5:21) 82 BPM
Review: Tartelet's latest must-check EP comes courtesy of N.O.T.E (short for Nelson of the East), a publicity-shy Italian producer who first featured on the Danish label last year. Those who like their house music loose, percussive and laden with spacey, Nu Guinea style synthesizer motifs should head straight for "Burning Palm (Voodoo Version)", whose subtle jazz-funk influences, melodic bounce and layered drums are as charming as they are sun-kissed and intoxicating. Guest remixer Fantastic Man provides his own take on that track, too, wisely tooling up the percussion further on a spaced-out "Awakening Dub" that also boasts alien synthesizer lines, weighty sub-bass and a little Afro-tech style shuffle. Arguably best of all is the 1985 style Italo-disco/freestyle mash-up "Phase Alternating Lines", a rubbery and bouncy, analogue-rich affair.
Review: When he made his debut on Tartelet two years ago, Nelson Of The East was described as an experienced Italian artist working under a new alias. As his debut album arrives, we're no nearer to discovering his true identity, though we do know he's a producer based in Milan. Regardless of identity, "Kybele" is an exotic, intoxicating and expansive affair, with the Milanese artist offering up melodic and otherworldly tracks shot through with a myriad of past and present influences from all four corners of the globe. Highlights include the new age-influenced Balearic deep house warmth of "Draw Me", the blissful, Afro-Cosmic-tinged broken beat bliss of "Burning Palm (Saudade Mix)", the loose-limbed electrofunk/NYC freestyle flex of "Phase Lines", and the slow and trippy drowsiness of "ZETA".
Review: Three years ago Tartelet offered up a tasty compilation of previously unheard cuts, with all sales revenue going to charity. "The Second Best Time Is Now" follows the same formula, with sales income going to the Natural Resource Defence Council. Musically there's much to admire throughout, from the hazy reggae/blues/trip-hop fusion flex of Wayne Snow and Digitaluc's "Worrying State", to the deep intergalactic electronica of Glenn Astro's "Taking Care of Business", via the dreamy, synth-heavy jazz-funk of Space Ghost's "Groovin" and the Orb circa 1991 goodness of Dirk 81 and N.O.T.E's brilliant "Cosmic Plastic". Great music for a good cause: what more excuse do you need to stick it in your cart?