Review: Over the last couple of years Sauco has prioritized collaborative work with fellow Spaniard Manuel Costela, so it's good to see him returning to solo action via a first EP on Rare Wiri. There's much to enjoy on "The Wiri Tapes", from the hybrid boogie/nu-disco bounce of "Catch My Eye" - all D-Train style synth-bass, chiming mid-80s melodies, fizzing synth solos and clipped guitar riffs - to the dreamy mid-tempo warmth of closing cut "Get Off", another tactile number whose sustained chords, bubbly electronics and morning-fresh sounds are as sun-kissed as they come. Sandwiched in between you'll find the appropriately named "Cosmic Coin", a slow motion throb-job built around Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, swirling chords and drifting vocal samples.
Review: Ruled by Passion, Destroyed by Lust marks the fine debut of The Asphodells, Andrew Weatherall's latest collaboration with close friend and creative foil Timothy J Fairplay. Their compatibility shines through, taking their shared interests and inspirations and playfully tosses them together to create a stylish, coherent whole. The album displays its dark underbelly proudly, but there are more than enough shards of light to inspire those salivating after the bold melodies of Two Lone Swordsmen or the naive, child-like bagginess of Weatherall's Screamadelica era work. At times reminiscent of New Order and others cripplingly paranoia inducing, this ten track set concludes in sublime fashion with the duo's dreamy, cosmic disco-era cover of A.R. Kane's "A Love From Out Of Space".
Review: Andrew Weatherall's Covenanza full-length, released earlier this year, was rightly praised as an atmospheric, largely impressive fusion of the veteran producer's many disparate influences. For Consolamentum, he's handed over the parts to those album tracks to some of his favourite producers, giving them instructions to stamp their own distinctive styles on his cherished material. The results are naturally impressive, with Timothy J Fairplay, Justin Robertson, Emperor Machine, Red Axes, Scott Fraser and Heretic - a rising star whose productions have been getting major rotations at Lord Sabre's A Love From Outer Space parties - each delivering fine interpretations.
Review: For nigh on 10 years now Otto Kraanen's Bordello A Parigi label (and record shop) out of Amsterdam has cultivated itself into a go-to locale for some of the best in Italo, disco, synth and cosmically industrial wares from yesteryear and the contemporary retro-activists of today - people like Fred Ventura, Skatebard, Manhooker and Credit 00. The first EP for the label in 2020, following a debut album from The Steaming Jeans, is a various artist EP taking up a disco-inspired noir approach to Italo, electro and instrumental pop. Headlined by The Hacker with "Passion", expect slo-mo beats and subtle phase-action alongside the pumping arpeggios and harmonics in Armonics' "Universal Oneness", to the post punk synth of "Voironia" and the nostalgic tropes in Discobeton's "Leave Me Superficial".
Review: London based French producer Mondowski follows a spate of recent releases on Relish and Ombra with a new club-orientated vision for London label and clubnight SC&P. Following his remix services on label's debut and 4th releases, Mondowski makes his full label debut with an electro inspired turn. Dancefloor orientated lead track Sholay finds a mesmerizing path somewhere between extroverted 80's electro and celebratory spiritual transcendence and gets the remix treatment from Pinkman's Kris Baha who subverts the original by turning the electro backbone up to 11. Negative Space voyages into darker electro territories with Kraftwerkesque synths, rolling pads and a motorik bassline, all of which provides the launchpad for Multiple Man to turn out a pitch black EBM banger.
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: There are reissues and then there are reissues like Different Voices. The tracks on this EP were recorded by Robert Rental back in 1980 and lay for years unplayed and untouched in the possession of Rental's family. This material is given loving treatment by Optimo and shows a strikingly personal side to the deceased artist who mainly collaborated with Daniel Miller and Thomas Leer. In places, like on "Big Day", Rental veers close to off-kilter psychedelic pop, while on other occasions, he experiments with electronics and reverb to deliver the syncopated, hypno-groove of "Double Heart" and drops the slurred vocals and lo-fi guitars of "Before Closing Doors". It's an essential release for anyone with an interest in 80s DIY electronic music.
Black Harmala Disco Club (Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai remix) - (6:33) 60 BPM
Kadikoy (Leonor remix) - (5:04) 112 BPM
Review: Sufi bangers and Turkish psychedelic delights from the Stockholm-based new power duo Acid Hamam & Nasiri on TOM TOM DISCO - earth bound label for spaced-out people. Features the moody dancefloor drama of "Blac Harmala Disco Club" drawing you deep into the exotic with its middle eastern aesthetic, not to mention Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai's fierce EBM styled rework. There's also the lo-slung punk-folk of "Kadikoy" which gets remixed by Leonor which is in true cosmo-psychedelic fashion. Frequencies from the heart. 100% party proof.
Review: Released by Belgian label La Musique Fait La Force, this extensive compilation designed to complement Jozef Deville's documentary The Sound Of Belgium includes nascent and trailblazing productions from the likes of Klaus Schulze, Front 242, Neon Judgement, Lords of Acid and CJ Bolland, while other notable classics include Joey Beltram's "Energy Flash", Outlander's "The Vamp" and Emmanuel Top's "Acid Phase". In total, it features 60 tracks of new beat, industrial and rave music from '80s Belgium, rendering it a defining compilation for the curious and interested to the more hardcore EBM enthusiast.