Review: [Emotional] Especial stalwart and all-round underground progenitor Richard Sen makes a welcome return launching new label Darkness Is Your Candle with some of his inimitable muscular wave-tinted machine wares for seedy dancefloors. "No Sameness" is a stellar lead track, all evil one-note bass, freaky synth wriggles and the odd touch of splashy mixing desk FX. "Darkness Is Your Candle" is a touch more anthemic with its big melodic leads, but no less seductive. "Into The Abyss" completes the package with another brooding workout that slips in the cracks between vintage techno and minimal wave - classic tropes delivered impeccably.
Review: Friends for many years, Richard Sen and Scott Fraser come together with a dose of mutual admiration and back slapping by remixing each other on this 2 track EP. However, what makes this collaboration different is there are no original versions appearing, just these remixes. By completing an unfinished track of each the other, the pair have taken the respective unarranged music and gone back to their East London studios to, in essence, finish the other's songs in the form a "remix". Known for a myriad of deep electronic dubs in the last few years, Scott provides plenty of surprises with his remix of Richard's Night Navigator. A driving 10+ minutes 'piano-house' opus, the late 80s Italian / Balearic vibrations run straight through his interpretation of that classic Mediterranean sound. Not for long though, as firmly dragging things straight back to the dark and wet streets of Hackney, Richard takes Scott's Ask For Control and creates a tough, percussive, deep dub remix that would propel any basement dance floor through the early hours.
Review: Former Padded Cell and Bronx Dogs man Richard Sen has made some great records in his time, and "Songs of Pressure" is up there with the best of them. Joining the dots between murky dub disco, horror soundtracks and EBM, it layers spooky, delay-laden synthesizer motifs and wonky vocal samples atop a heavy dub rhythm and punchy machine drums. Pals Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay deliver a bongo-laden, dubbed-out revision (part wayward exotica, part humid Balearic dub), while Acca strips the track down to its' nare bones for a ket-addled dub.
Review: One of the undoubted joys of Richard Sen and Cazbee's Mixed Blood Cuts re-edits series is the unusual and varied nature of the material on offer. This ninth instalment offers six more leftfield dancefloor gems cut-up and rearranged for maximium pleasure. There's a pair of Mascara-flaunting Italo-meets-New Wave jams (excellent opener "Second Hand Love" and the sweeter, groovier, Gaz Nevada-ish "If You Were"), some suitably heavy disco (the horn-toting, low slung delight that is "Dance Time"), an exotic trip into Middle Eastern disco territory (the swirling strings, Lebanese instrumentation and chugging rhythms of "Storm Chasers") and a triumphant rearrangement of Modern English's moody post-punk classic "Life in the Gladhouse". Oh, and a brilliantly bizarre fusion of twisted electronics and brass band funk ("B-Boys on Acid").
Review: After breathing new life into his Padded Cell project, Richard Sen is ready to bring his sneaky rework label, Mixed Blood Cuts, out of hibernation. This collaborative collection of cut-ups, put together with old pal Cazbee, is typical of the label's eccentric approach to the humble re-edit. Here, you'll see no quantized versions of obvious hits, but rather a delightfully messy sprawl of stoner funk-rock (the delightfully quirky "Powerslide"), Afro-voodoo (the brilliantly percussive "Yu No"), low-slung Moroder revivalism (a particularly crusty version of "The Chase",) and post-punk era proto-acid (the fantastically druggy "Too Much Nuthin"). For those of a leftfield disco persuasion, it should be an essential purchase.