Review: Following on from his 2017 Lonely Planet long player, Optimo has teased a mini-album from Tornado Wallace. Focusing on the earth and its place in the cosmos, Midnight Mania is an expansive affair that starts off with the psychedelic, swampy title track, before moving into the blurred chants and dense drums of "Atoms". "Mundane Brain" is by contrast a deeper piece, with melodic chimes and rickety back beats prevailing, while he ups the tempo on "Png (Praise No Ghosts)", which resounds to a pulsating electronic groove, hollowed out break beats and mesmerising electronic melodies. This highly conceptual piece concludes with the rolling breaks and techno bleeps of "Jungle Dream".
Review: Given Gerd Jansen's experience, connections and deep-rooted knowledge of underground dance music culture, it's perhaps unsurprising that he's recruited some top-draw talents to remix Tornado Wallace's fantastic Lonely Planet album. Versatile veteran I:Cube is arguably the star of the show. Not only does he deliver a deliciously saucer-eyed take on "Today" - think spacey, left-of-centre synth-pop fused with dream house aesthetics and lolloping electro beats - but also a slightly more tribal-sounding "Beats" version full of dub delays that's equally as inspired. Elsewhere, Move D provides a darker, thickset deep house version of "Today", while Scandolearic overlord Prins Thomas turns "Trance Encounters" into a bubbling, otherworldly epic rich in bustling acid lines, descending melodies and sun-kissed guitars.
Review: Music From Memory's Second Circle offshoot - an imprint designed to release fresh productions, rather than the reissues that the parent label is more famous for - reaches release number five, with Aussie audio explorer Tornado Wallace at the helm. He begins in typically atmospheric fashion with "Falling Sun", a lolloping, sunset-friendly cut that peppers a slack-tuned, tribal-influenced drum pattern with bubbly, eyes-closed melodies and spacey chords. His penchant for African-influenced drums is explored further on the dense but hazy "Singing Planet" and "Kakadu", where the bongo-heavy rhythms eventually come to the fore after a spellbinding, ambient introduction.
Review: Aussie adventurer Tornado Wallace seems to be getting better with age. Over recent years, he's delivered a string of brilliantly evocative, sun-kissed releases for the likes of ESP Institute, Beats In Space and Second Circle. Lonely Planet is his debut album, and it could well be his strongest release to date. The seven tracks are dreamy, trippy and atmospheric - we'd expect nothing less - and draw on a far wider palette of Balearic influences than we've heard on previous experiences. Coupled with a new-found desire to include more live instrumentation (particularly glistening, Peter Green style guitar passages, drums and exotic flutes), the result is an album that's as evocative, dreamy and humid as anything he's produced to date. In other words, it's a great album and comes highly recommended.
Review: The Late Night Tales crew are certified specialists when it comes to compilations and the label have quite the catalogue behind them, featuring mixes by the likes of Bonobo, Belle & Sebastian and even Fatboy Slim. This time the compiling credits are anonymous, meaning that the label have taken it up to themselves to compile this After Dark Nocturne release. The tracks are unmixed, as is usually the case, so you can pick and mix as many as you like, or simply go for the whole lot! There's plenty of gold in here and the compilation spans quite a diverse set of music from the shady house of Tornado Wallace to the Italian pop of Adriano Celentano on "L'unica Chance". There's also some more minimal numbers by the likes of Alex Metric, gnarly electro beats by Hotel Motel and plenty more. Dive in, it's a guaranteed party bomb.
Review: The development of Aussie Tornado Wallace from a promising deep house producer to a masterful maker of Balearic beats has been a joy to behold. Since first hooking up with Beats In Space and the similarly inclined ESP Institute last year, he's begun to develop a trademark sound that's warm, humid and musically rich. He's still capable of laying down chunky dancefloor rhythms, though, as the hypnotic new age house bumper "Soft Light" - the flipside of this second outing for Lovefingers' acclaimed imprint - so deftly proves. Really, though, it's when he gets more adventurous - such as on the wonderfully evocative Jonny Nash collaboration "Time of Nectar" and decidedly tropical lead cut "Circadia" - that he really comes into his own. Highly recommended.
Review: The Thinking Allowed EP that saw Tornado Wallace debut on ESP Institute earlier this year not only signaled the end of a production hiatus from the affable Melbournite, it hinted at a fuller, more vivid sound that went much further than the pitched down deep house upon which he first made his name. Having subsequently demonstrated this further on releases for Kinfolk and Beats In Space, Wallace returns to Lovefingers label - well sort of - as tracks from the aforementioned Thinking Allowed are reworked by Pharoahs and Nina Amnesia. It's the latter, somewhat mysterious compatriot of Wallace who leads the way with a wonderfully uptempo take on "Bit One", whilst LA trio Pharaohs discard with the Will Powers style vocals of the title track and add plenty of their own instrumentation and production gloss.
Review: In a 2010 interview, Tornado Wallace explained the inspiration behind his distinctive title as "something between a deep south blues artist or a logger from Nebraska". In subsequent years the Australian has seemingly swapped the south blues artist for something southern Italo, keeping the Nebraskan edge with his logger's beard. This is demonstrated in wondrous fashion on the water-coloured artwork to Thinking Aloud, his debut EP for Lovefingers' ESP Institute. Heavy bass plods switch to a walking bassline in "Bit One", as motorised and starry arpeggios weave between breathy vocals that are as much human as they are synthesised. This is complemented by "Cloud Country" which lowers in BPM with more Italo inspired arpeggios, pulsating toms and sprinklings of Latin sounding synths. The title track slowly reveals itself to be a Balearic burner of the highest calibre, opening with an analogous kick-snare combo and a "higher-self" spoken word spiel that's reminiscent of Will Powers legendary "Adventures In Success". Peaks come; troughs go as the track builds sublimely before dovetailing back to its original form. Welcome back sir!
Review: Underground Sugar Caves marks a triumphant third waddle through the deepest recesses of rhythmic programming on Delusions of Grandeur for Tornado Wallace. The Australian is a man whose grasp of The Simpson's trivia is more than matched by his rise in the public's estimations since he debuted with Paddlin'. Lead track "Underground Sugar Caves" sees the erstwhile Wallace leave the sanctity of chugging disco for something altogether more thrilling - warehouse ready raw house music. The ease with which Wallace flips the script from the kick drum heavy compressed sound of the opening moments to the stabs and energising strings that dominate the track in full flow will transcend excellently in a small basement space. "Insect Overlords" is a more familiar mid tempo saunter, though there are enough production nuances to separate it from the chaff, whilst the venerable Idjut Boys turn in an excellently dubby transition of "Underground Sugar Caves" which is indelibly stamped with moodiness. Highly recommended.
Review: More discerning discotheque cuts for the cowbell connoisseur from the Delusion of Grandeur imprint, this time calling on Australian playboy Tornado Wallace. The Melbourne resident has impressed with previous pitched down mutant discoid cuts for the Sleazy Beats and Murmur imprints, but the Paddlin' EP sees Tornado Wallace go deep. The title track has a main groove that throbs away underneath fizzling Detroit pads whilst funk grunts fight for your attention with soaring synth washes. "Swimmin" reworks proceedings, switching down the tempo slightly but bringing the groove topside for a splendid sun kissed chugger. Firecracker/Prime Numbers don Linkwood jumps on board to deliver a soaring seven minute remix that brings to mind the Pepe Bradock classic "Deep Burnt".