Review: 1990s sitcom loving beat maker Felix Weatherall returns to Brainfeeder for the first time since the release of his widely acclaimed debut album as Ross From Friends, 2018's "Family Portrait". Predictably he's in fine form from the off, with title track "Epiphany" offering a wonderfully intoxicated, off-kilter blend of bustling drum machine breakbeats, hallucinatory electronics, Middle Eastern style instrumentation and razor-sharp bass. He continues on an inventive fusion tip of "Revolution", where cut-up vocal samples and bluesy guitar lines rise and fall above a densely percussive deep house groove. Also impressive is "Phantom Ratio", a slightly more driving dancefloor cut rich in skittish drums and undulating electronic melodies.
Review: Some three months on from the release of his acclaimed - and highly personal - debut album "Family Portrait", Felix Weatherall AKA Ross From Friends serves up his first new material since. "Squaz" is fairly typical of Weatherall's output - think dreamy chords, rubbery, all-action machine drums, squally and squealing vocal samples and faintly foreboding riffs - but that's no bad thing. Much of the track's power derives from the sitcom-loving producer's ability to subtly ratchet up the percussive tension throughout, with an extended, ear-pleasing breakdown half way through only serving to enhance these feelings of restraint followed by joyous, life-affirming release.
Review: Lo-fi house hero Ross From Friends presents his debut album for Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint - this follows up the terrific Aphelion EP he presented on the label earlier this year. Like the title suggests, Family Portrait refers to a very specific personal aspect of Felix Weatherall's life: the influence of his parents. Dance music was always around during his childhood, where he grew up learning about music from his dad - who apparently had a penchant for banging out hi-NRG tracks on the decks. It's a riveting listen from start to finish: from the the intensely vivid groove of "Pale Blue Dot" to the moody "Project Cybersyn" with its tunnelling aesthetic - perfectly geared for those heads-down moments later in the night.
Review: With his 2015 debut EP for Breaker Breaker, London-based deep house misfit Ross From Friends made a seriously big impression. Much was made of his dusty, fidgety, lo-fi sound, and his penchant for jamming out tunes using outboard hardware. This belated follow-up for Lobster Theremin offshoot Distant Hawaii takes a similar approach, kicking off with the loved-up chord progressions, clattering drum machine percussion, redlined tape hiss and heart-aching vocal samples of "Talk To Me You'll Understand". "Gettin' It Done" is an altogether more positive and Balearic-minded trip into dusty deep house territory, while "Bootman" makes merry with mutilated '80s soul samples, hazy chords and fuzzy drums.
Review: For the seventh edition of Ostgut Ton?s acclaimed Panorama Bar mix, they have reeled in one of their finest and hard working sectors in the from of ND Baumecker - and it's about time! The Frankfurt native's compilation features a varied selection of moods and grooves, including exclusive tracks from FaltyDL, Gen Ludd and Jinje - as heard on volume one. The second one featured here is where you are treated to British deep house sensation Ross From Friends' trippy yet absolutely evocative "High Energy", Bay Area human beatbox Dave Aju getting into some deeply exotic microhouse on "Wayahed" and Rotterdam based electro heads Duplex delivering the ultra smooth "Isolator".
Review: Brainfeeder as a project have been known to bring together the weird and wonderful, more often than not supplying the world with stunning original music. This latest compilation from them celebrates 10 years of the label, putting Flying Lotus's visions into reality. We explore previously undiscovered realms of futuristic hip hop production, with immediate stand outs being the the unpredictable neurotic drum crunches of 'Delusions' from Little Snake, along with the pulsating drum work and 4x4 flavours of 'Squaz' courtesy of Ross From Friends. Another shout out has to go to FlyLo himself as he teams up with Busdriver for a super skat heavy run out on 'Ain't No Coming Back'. This one is a fantastic listen from start to finish.
Martin Books - "Flitzepulver" (original mix) - (6:35) 128 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 1) - (1:18:53) 124 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 2) - (1:19:01) 125 BPM
Review: With the same certainty that the leaves will turn brown and fall from the trees, autumn sees the release of Toolroom's closing party album. It's the label's annual state of the (house) nation address and 2018 is no exception. While this year's edition contains a healthy smattering of feel good house - the most impressive exempts being the vocal grooves of Weiss' "Feel My Needs" and Illyus & Barrientos' "MEA" - there are also more adventurous variants on offer. These include Peggy Gou's tweaked acid take on Shakedown's "At Night", the chord heavy Dusky take on KiNK's "Perth" and the cut-up, abstract "Pale Blue Dot" by rising lo-fi house artist Ross From Friends, which demonstrate that this year, Toolroom is thinking outside the box.
Review: If Mark Knight and Co. aren't busy enough celebrating Toolroom's big 15 year birthday at present (and its global parties in celebration of it), they've also found enough time for another mandatory volume in their esteemed Ibiza Underground series. With another collection of surefire hits and soon to be anthems that are sure to rock The White Isle this summer - this is all you need right here. A wide range of cuts (50 to be exact) that venture into darker territories come from the likes of New York duo Blondes on the fierce and broken "Quality Of Life" (Struction remix), the surprising addition of Scottish IDM wunderkind Lanark Artefax's "Touch Absence" (Intimidating Stillness mix), Dutch techno-bass merchant Martyn on the futuristic "Feel The Magnetism" and American retrovert Matrixxman on the tunnelling acid trip "Horizon". Rest assured that there's faire more typical of the label like Josh Butler, Franky Rizardo, Rick Wakley and birthday guests Booka Shade. For your convenience, the collection comes as two continuous mixes as well.