Review: Hello Wisconsin! Say Dekmantel who at the moment pour their interests into the electric folk, pop and synthwave of American husband and wife duo Peaking Lights. With their indie sound familiar to labels like Mexican Summer, City Slang and Not Not Fun, this E S C A P E album follows up the Sea of Sand maxi-EP released by Dekmantel in 2018. A stand out studio work, this 2020 release sees the duo go dubby in "Dreams", industrial and synthwave in "Innerterrestrial" to beatdown, psychedelic NY breaks in "Silver Clouds". Indra Dunis' sultry, breathy and playful vocals are a force in Peaking Lights' music, spare the odd instrumental tracks like "The Caves" and "Enchanted Sea", with a world of psychedelic inspirations, experimental dub, ambient and dance grooves caught up in eastern-themed motifs of E S C A P E. Be Free!
Review: Wishy-washy surfer lo-fi italo-punk surfaces on Dekmantel via Peaking Lights, a Californian duo pushing sounds whose influences here range as wide as Ladytron and Black Sabbath ("Planet Caravan") to cosmic disco and DIY electronic indie. The pairing are probably more known to fans of the Mexican Summer label than those who enjoy Kangding Ray and Sigha's music - the two who produced Dekmantel's previous release - which goes some distance to express the musical range Dekmantel are covering these days. For their label debut expect two floating, breathy, chilled out sub pop numbers to bliss out your next mix.
Review: Dekmantel scores a coup by signing US psychedelic pair Peaking Lights. Sea of Sand is a taster for an imminent album on the Dutch label, and it provides an intoxicating taste of what's to come. "Blind Corner" resounds to a throbbing groove, with Indra Dunis' vocals unravelling over the blissed out, textures, while on "Shift Your Mind", they trip the light fantastic with a percussive, bongo-heavy backing. "Hypnotized" sees the pair delver a slower, dubbed out arrangement. Keeping the listener guessing, "I Can Read Your Mind" is a wonderfully hypnotic, spaced out Italo Disco affair and "Noise of Life" sees Peaking Lights delve into dreamy electronic pop.
Review: Any new release from husband-and-wife duo Peaking Lights is worth checking, and this surprise single on their Two Flowers imprint - their first for two years - is no exception. While their psychedelically inclined leftfield pop is always colourful, it's rarely quite as bouncy and confident as "Little Flower", where Chloe Sevigny talks seductively over undulating synthesizer melodies, kaleidoscopic electronics and an almost military style rhythm track. Arguably even better is B-side "Conga Blue" (available in both vocal and instrumental interpretations), which moulds their usual hallucinatory pop with dub disco and synth-wave flourishes. It's one of those tracks that just gets better with each successive listen.
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: Chillout hero, Kenneth Bager (aka Dr. Baker & The Kenneth Bager Experience) is a man on a mission - running his Music For Dreams label and forever searching for, and releasing, the finest downtempo beats on the international Balearic scene. His Sunset Sessions series is hugely popular, and here we have the fifth instalment. Highlights of the 28 tracks(!) featured include the quirky synth pop of "Thank You Wally" by Ruf Dog, the deep acoustic tech of "Night Wind" by Islandman and the sunkissed 80s disco vibes of "So Elvissa (RunSQ mix)" by Blank & Jones feat Mike Francis.