Review: Bob Blank is one of New York?s most revered producers of all time. This compilation from Strut, is the very first retrospective on him and his work at his independent studio, Blank Tapes. This was one of NYC's most influential spots during the city's thriving art scene of the mid 70s and 80s. This exclusive compilation even includes the very first track ever recorded at the studio in addition to some hidden gems that have come straight from the studio's vaults.
Review: Some DJs use the opportunity of a DJ Kicks mix to showcase the eclectic nature of their record collections, while others see it as a chance to give an airing to the dancefloor records that have inspired them over the years. Seth Troxler's selection sits somewhere in between. On the one hand, there are impeccable jazz and downtempo moments from the likes of Sun Ra, Herbert (as remixed by Phil Parnell) and DJ Koze, whose "Bodenweich" is an undeniably atmospheric, off-kilter delight. On the other hand, Troxler has picked out some genuinely brilliant, mostly US-centric house selections; deep, soulful and bumpin' fare from the likes of Butch, Kerri Chandler, Jasper Street Company, Mood II Swing and Derrick Carter.
Review: Strut and Art Yard's access to the very best music seems to be a bottomless pit of wonder, and there is no much better way to assert your dominance as a label than releasing killer material from the legendary Sun Ra. Like the last previously unreleased record, Of Abstract Dreams is a session most likely recorded at WXPN FM studios in Philadelphia, back in 1975. The opening "Island In The Sun" carries a majestic paino over triumphant percussion bumps, and "New Dawn" offers a steady, constant groove with that inimitable piano style stretching and twisting wildly around the hi-hats. "Unmask The Batman" is more of a classic bop piece, complete with a tough bottom end, and "I'll Wait For You" is the most experimental of the three, where Ra's singing comes out for the Sun Gods above. Highly recommended!