Review: Having appeared on Logan D's other imprint Subway Soundz earlier this year Skore returns to the Low Down Deep mothership with two twisted murderation missiles. "Formants" is all turbines and heavy machinery on full-pelt, blazing and burning with more drama on every 32 while "Blown Fuse" whips us off track with a wonky robotic funk vibe that nods back to the early 2010s. You know the Skore.
Review: Germany representing! Mannheim mandem Bassface and Phlex dig deep into the riffiest of roots for this absurdly catchy couplet for Low Down Deep. "Hyperion" swings the axe like Serum in lumberjack mode; heavily, addictively, brazenly. "Dorn" takes us deeper down the bassline rabbit hole with big metallic scrapes and groans while a looser bass rattles in the fills with a 40-a-day rattle to its chest. Absolute stinkage.
Review: The newest offering on the renowned Serial Killaz imprint is courtesy of Ozma, whose sound is perfectly suited for a label which has been built on the reputations of its founders, which is substantial after years of bringing their jungle-jump up crossover to UK clubs. The title track kicks off with a powerful introduction to build suspense before flipping into a pitched-up monstrosity of jump-up proportions - certified club banger. The rest of the release is moodier and darker, with techy yet raw tones abounding on every cut. 'Iron Hammer VIP' is the perfect example, with a rough, diving back end that's akin to the lovechild of DLR and Serum except over a halftime beat. Big release.
Review: As the year comes to a close, labels are naturally offering up celebratory compilations showcasing their strongest releases of 2019. The latest comes from Midnight Riot, a prolific imprint that rarely fails to serve up the fieriest contemporary disco heat. As you'd expect, the 26-track selection includes a blend of superb original productions (the nu-disco soul warmth of Jack Tyson Charles' "Glory", Alton Edwards sweaty, synth-bass propelled boogie-house gem "I Just Wanna Spend Time With You", the swirling disco headiness of Arthur Baker's "Reachin' Out") and re-edits/reworks (Dr Packer's gospel boogie revision "The Power", C Da Afro's disco-funk slammer "Party Purpose" and the suitably celebratory "Boogie On Time" by Ladies On Mars). As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
Review: Prestige is definitely one of the more talented producers out there, with previous releases on a host of other labels and his aggressive sound is back with a vengeance here. Packed with harsh, barking tones and a stripped-back, industrial aesthetic, Prestige doesn't waste any time in laying out the rules: there are none. 'A Ghost' is one of the heavier cuts, with a punching back end and an obstinate feel of solidness that reflects down all the way onto the rest of the tune. 'Magnificent' is the title tune and you can see why, with a KoTR-esque approach to drawn out basslines and tough sonics, all of which come together to round out a sick release from the Sub-liminal crew.
Review: The long-running 'Katakana Edits' series reaches #94, with Parisian funk and disco producer Morlack at the controls and bringing us four tracks. Opener 'Wipe Mo' (source unknown) has a soca-ish feel, while 'Dance Dance Dance' feels like it's been reworked from an old African disco record. 'Wonderful', on the other hand, revisits Kid Creole & The Coconuts' 1982 hit 'I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby', while 'Whip' is a slowed-down, Temazepam disco reversioning of the Dazz Band's 'Let It Whip' from the same year. The EP as a whole will suit those who like their disco on the more leftfield side.
Review: According to our records, "Back2ThaBeatdown" marks Hot Digits boss Fingerman's first solo single for almost three years. As the title suggests, the music on the EP was inspired in part by Detroit Beatdown, a mid-tempo style more associated with deep house than the disco cuts the British producer has used as his source material. Our pick of a strong quartet of cuts is "High Priorities", a rolling disco instrumental re-imagined as a toe-tapping slice of mid set dancefloor dreaminess. That said, other listeners will rightly gravitate towards the excitable, string-laden disco-funk of "Brass Monkeys", the even heavier and hazier "Don't Leave Me, Yeah?" and the rubbery disco-house grooves of "The Feel Good Factor".
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Langsam Aber Slowly/I Think I Got It Under Control Now/Well, Traumhaft - (11:55) 138 BPM
Coolness - (6:24) 50 BPM
Apo-Calypso - (8:52) 116 BPM
Rave The Forest - (5:53) 122 BPM
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: It is certainly a big week for Jamie Jones' powerhouse Hot Creations, with a right banger by Mancunian Joseph Edmund, and now this riveting new EP by Italian native Fabio Neural - who teams up with growing Columbian talent DJ Fronter on the Brr Baby Brr EP. Some of you may remember their last track "Remeniss" on Toolroom a little while back. More surefire party starters on this one we can assure you: from the deep down and dirty rolling drama of the title track (which is perfect tackle for the afterhours), to the ravey peak time banger that is "Silver Star" (sure to cause some madness in the main room) and the pummelling dancefloor fury of "Downtown" which could have equally been at home on a label like Drumcode or Suara.
Review: Joseph Edmund is an underground house and techno DJ/Producer from the musical city of Manchester. After starting to DJ at the age of 19, he began playing at his hometown's best venues including Gorilla and Sankeys. First spotted by Hot Creations label boss Jamie Jones last year, when he debuted on sister label Hottrax, he's back with a couple more killer tunes here on the Dreams To Reality EP - which are aimed squarely at the main room at peak time. From the druggy, bass-driven minimal tech house of "Norrr" with its addictive pop vocals atop, followed up by the tough rolling banger "Fuego" which follows in the proper traditions of UK tech house.
Review: Philip Lauer's long-running relationship with Permanent Vacation continues with a release that deftly mines 80s influences. The title track sees the storied producer marry cascading Chicago drums and a pulsating bassline with synth pop melodies that come together to create an infectious dance floor track. On "You Know", a similar approach is audible, this time with epic melodies accompanying soaring vocals. In contrast, "Body Chck" is a low-slung electro roller, featuring high pitched vocal samples. But it's only a temporary divergence and on "Ctron E", he moves back towards the dance floor with uplifting melodies and a high-tempo electronic disco groove.
Review: Hailing from Coventry, DJ Hybrid has firmly established himself over the last couple of years as someone at the forefront of D&B's re-discovered love for jungle-influences and bouncy but hard-hitting basslines. Drawing upon those influences, he's back on Audio Addict for a full-throated six-tracker that kicks off with 'On A Riddim', a gently weighted sine-based wobbler that pushes on every corner of the range. 'Madman' and 'Funk Pulse' have clear Kings of the Rollers vibes, with juddering bass pulses and that recognizable sense of hardware-based rawness. This release has overtones of Manchester and undertones of the South - proper UK underground stuff.