Review: Given the sad loss of Andrew Weatherall earlier in the year, this posthumous release undoubtedly has added emotional weight. It was written and produced by the much-missed DJ/producer and regular studio partner Nina Walsh last year, and here emerges as the debut release on Pamela Records, an offshoot of Diesel, Dave Jarvis and company's long-running, edit-focused Moton imprint. It's a hugely impressive swansong, with Weatherall and Walsh drifting between ultra-emotive, strings-and-synths-laden electronic disco bliss ("The Moton 5"), slap-bass-propelled, glassy-eyed goodness (the hard to describe "Slap & Slide"), analogue-rich, late '80s style Balearic chug ("March Violets"), and fiendishly sparse, dubbed-out brilliance ("The Moton 5.2"). Rest in peace Lord Sabre.
Review: As Cole Odin emerges as a producer we've got to know from the San Francisco area who once appeared on Golf Channel compilation in 2015, he now brings some extra attention to the eclectics label with this new EP. Using looping, motorik momentum and endlessly inventive guitar motifs to create a sonic landscape that's satisfyingly familiar yet littered with signposts to new and exotic destinations, one can't help but hear flashes of The XX through to Stereolab's "Simple Headphone Mind". Take in Bristol remixer DJ Jack Priest for something spiralling and Italo alongside Adam Warped's folkier remix, and you have that perfect blend of the organi and traditional with the surreal. Happy days.
Review: New waves of ambi-motional techno and progressive trance once again make its way to Erased Tapes. Ryan Lee West's Rival Consoles project, a staple throughout the Erased Tapes discography, returns with the stargazing streaks of euphoria that is Articulation. With pinging synth lines and percussive rhythms helping to sequence the euphoria of '90s rave and trance motifs in "Forwardism" and "Sudden Awareness Of Now", harder kick drums and broken grooves are introduced to "Vibrations On A String" and "Articulation" itself. Find some classic uplifting synth-ambient in "Still Here" with an ear bath waiting to happen in "Melodica".
Review: Since launching in 2016, Kevin Griffiths' Isle of Jura label has become one of the most talked about imprints around, something we attribute to its inspired mix of dusty-fingered crate-digging reissues and the Australia-based Brit's own colourful productions as Jura Soundsystem. This label sampler tells the story so far, gathering together some of the most sought-after slabs from the imprint's growing catalogue. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the disco-reggae sunshine of Yvonne Archer's cover of Chaka Khan favourite "Ain't Nobody", and the deep ambient house trip that is the 'Sun & Moon Mix" of Holy Ghost Inc's "Walking On Air", to the flute-laden, unearthly new age exotica of Zann's "Tatopani" and the hazy, synth-laden Balearic bliss of Chayell's "Beach". In a word: essential.
Review: With Innamind Recordings being such a forward thinking label project, we were absolutely thrilled to see this one land in our store as Ago steps out for a full length LP project, showcasing his versatility within the expansive realms of 140. What a project it is as well, from the smooth celestial synthesis of 'Above' and 'Deer' to the more dubwise influenced rolling percussion of 'So I Smoke' and 'Dragon Love'. Our highlights for this project however have to be the unpredictable yet incredibly smooth sounds of 'Blur', along with the sumptuous dubby switch ups and tumultuous sub pressures of 'Deer Dub'.
Review: Hot on the heels of recent Isle Of Jura label compilation 'Tales Of Jura' comes a new six-track EP from label boss Jura Soundsystem AKA Kevin Griffiths himself. Griffiths cites "dub, ambient house, leftfield disco and Balearica" as influences - a contention that's readily borne out by the grooves contained herein, with the first two tracks getting things going in a dubby kinda vein before more electronic influences start to hold sway. 'Wonder Drops' is a particular stand-out, coming on like slowed-down Chi-town house heard through a sunshine haze, while 'With You' will please the leftfield/downtempo spinners and 'Movement' could find its way into progressive or minimal sets.
Review: Maurice Fulton has made plenty of awesome records over the years, including a string of superb full-length sets as Boof. Here he returns with his first album under the alias for five years, and as you'd expect it's a belter. In line with its predecessors, Fulton delivers a swathe of ear-pleasing numbers laden with colourful synthesizer sounds, jazzy electric piano stabs, opaque chords and rubbery bass guitar. There are of course interesting and oddball diversions amongst the more straightforward house jams that are tricky to accurately describe - see "Ana's F Is Chillin", the intoxicating and exotic "Japanese Indian Shrimp Curry" and the kaleidoscopic space jazz that is the brilliant title track - and a handful of ultra-percussive peak-time beasts (see "Luam Has Found Her Z").
Review: The term 'Balearic' too often just means "light and fluffy" these days, but here's a five-track various artists EP that really captures the original eclectic, genre-defying Balearic spirit. Absentune's 'Sea Fog' is a midpaced electronic headnodder, Antaares's 'Osadi' takes us into downtempo pastures with birdsong, langorous synths and Spanish-language spoken vocal samples, while Tlazohtla's 'Lluvia Lunar' operates in similar territory but with a dubbier feel. The Valtierra & Die Jungle's slo-mo chugger 'Mon Frere' then urges us back onto the dancefloor with its off-kilter bleeps and ominous, rumbling bass, before Xaman's 'Ambar' plays us out on a dreamy, hypnotic note.
Review: Following up some great releases by Dan Fabrice and Cole Ordin recently, the Bournemouth-based Balearic label eclectics present this new EP from Canebrake Sam Bruce (AKA Mallorquin) which as the label best described themselves will 'leave you rocking and reeling between the dark and the dawn'. From the low-slung boogie down psychedelia of "Borne River" which receives an acid washed and completely euphoric makeover by James Bright, to the energetic and neon-lit nu-disco journey of "Contento de Saber" that receives a classic Chicago house rework by Joe Morris (Lux) - there's all you need right here!
Review: Last year Tsuba Records and Isle of Jura founder Kevin Griffiths returned to the studio, eschewing his house and techno past to create deliciously warm, Balearic-minded grooves under the Jura Soundsystem alias. It was, it seems, a smart move, because the music contained on "Monster Skies", his first ever full-length, is undoubtedly the best he's made to date. Warm, humid and wonderfully horizontal, the album sees him fuse a variety of influences - most notably dub, turn-of-the-'90s ambient house, Italian dream house, new age, synth-boogie and those hard-to-define mid 1980s cuts that turn up on Music From Memory compilations - in a myriad of colourful, saucer-eyed ways. The results are uniformly superb, making "Monster Skies" a superb, must-check set.
Review: The first in a series of compilations by Jura Soundsystem which blends dub, ambient, downtempo, boogie and proto house with a focus on previously unreleased music, out of print titles and some special versions edited specifically for the album. According to label boss Kevin Griffiths, the intention of this project was to delve deeper into the reissue pond and unearth some lesser known tracks and artists. Light one up and swagger to the sunkissed groove of Astral Engineering's "Seashore Dub", submit to the sweet steel drums and cosmo-dub vibes of Ken Dang's "Born In Borneo" (Jura Soundsystem Edit) or get down to the boogie-down vibe of Tabou Combo Superstars' "Ooh La La" (Jura Soundsystem Edit). The end of the album includes some soothing ambient tools.
Review: Ichisan's 2017 debut album on Bordello A Parigi was arguably a little overlooked, which is something of a surprise considering the quality of the assembled Balearic, synth-wave, nu-disco and Italo-disco tracks on show. Hopefully the same fate won't befall his sophomore set, "Polykarp", because it's every bit as alluring and ear pleasing. It offers up a similarly colourful and vibrant collection of synth-heavy tracks, with highlights including the acid-flecked Italo/nu-disco fusion of "Polykarp", the Lindstrom style space disco positivity of "Kino-Sloga", the Todd Terje-esque Scandolearic dancefloor warmth of "Gonzo-Bossa Nova" and the Italian dream house revivalism of "Halo House".
Review: Raaja Bones in step with Boardwalks and Sleepwalks for Snorkel Records, a fresh new label supporting all manner of synth pop, wave, disco, downtempo and ambient inspired music. Raaja Bones chalks up a second ever release following the aforementioned Sleepwalks cassette, with Boardwalks delivering a sound that could come from the disco fevered streets of Chicago and Motown to the more contemporary beat scene of LA. A wholly instrumental affair, Raaja Bones lets fly on tracks like "Silver Bird", funk tracks "Stay For Life" to other roller rink curios in "Dates On Skates" The best thing since Breakbot!
Review: At the time this review was written it's 12 hours until the official release of Cantoma's second studio album! Released on Highwood Recordings, Into Daylight presents the fourth studio LP for Phil Mason's project and second for the label following others on Leng and Horizon before that. With warm touches of Spanish guitar gracing tracks like "Solando", "Road Home" and "Verbana", you'll find cool pop, folk and jazz in numbers like "Another Place" to disco strings, smooth brass sections and African percussion throughout "Kasoto" and "The Mountain". Best enjoyed at Sunset!
Review: Based out of Guadalajara, Mexico, Calypso Records as a label has slowly bubbled to the surface since appearing on the scene in 2017. Founded by Thomass Jackson and Inigo Vontier, the label gives a full debut and EP to French producer Kubebe out of Lille, gifting a high profiled remix from Thomas Von Party. Filled with rain, watery percussion and dripping field recordings in tracks like "Yonaguni" and "Surin", Kubebe indulges in a world of ambient and exotica that meets house music and new age styles. With more direct future funk and suggestive French electronic elements in "Angiyu", find some tougher disco industrialisms and new wave influences in the title-track given an tribal and rhythm centric 'Collapsing Lifestyle' remix by TVP.
Review: The three previous volumes in Klassified's "The Feather's Eyes" compilation series have provided a superior selection of "organic and earthly music" with an emphasis on aural beauty and embracing different sounds and styles from around the world. Volume four naturally explores similar sonic territory, pleasantly shuffling between chugging and picturesque downtempo grooves (Mathfoud & Joep Mencke's "Shuro"), shuffling Balearic beats (Harry Charles "An Explosion of of Sunrise/Sunset"), jazzy deep house soul (Parrallels & Fulltone's "How Can I Resist"), extra-percussive, tech-tinged, Middle Eastern house hypnotism (Nhii's "The Journey of Liberation"), enveloping, slowly building deep-tech beauty (Maga's "Dolce Aqua"), and Clavinet-sporting dub disco hedonism (Pandhora & VANDER's "Disco Bebek").
Review: Following last year's compilation of archival recordings by Suso Saiz, Jamie Tiller and Tako's Music From Memory present their twentieth release with an album of new works by this Spanish electronic music pioneer. Recorded in Madrid between January and February 2016, these are Saiz's first presentations of new music in nearly 10 years. Suso, his son Emil and pianist Raph Killhertz set out to explore a rather conceptual album where according to MFM it "became something of a mystical journey, drawing on aspects of minimalism and modernism." The music is embedded in textured natural soundscapes and spoken word passages, which were recorded and processed by Suso himself. Whilst it sounds very much like an electronic album, there were also many acoustic elements played in Suso's inimitable hypnotic way, slowly drawing the listener into a transportive state or lucid dream.
Review: London's Max Cooper has stated that when he plays a live show, he likes to deconstruct the performance into fragments of sound on a granular level, paying meticulous attention to detail. For his Emergence live A/V (that he's been touring for the last two years), he applies these same principles to the visuals; using a variety of MIDI methods that are synced and allow him to manipulate both in realtime. It's the story of how "everything comes from (almost) nothing," using knowledge, theories and insights gained from his previous role as a geneticist. Cooper weaves a together a fascinating auditory experience here, his second album since 2014's Human, covering a variety of sonic moods in his now signature way. Take for instance "Trust" featuring the lovely vocals of Kathrin deBoer and a bit of help from good studio mate Tom Hodge; here jazzy drum and bass arrives via field recordings and classical aesthetics in wonderful harmony. Also, the deep, multi layered and ethereal journey track "Waves" sees Cooper on point, as usual, until "Cyclic" goes for something a bit more ferocious on this broken beat techno exercise where inventive use of sampling and sound design collide with perfect tension and suspense.
Review: It's not so often we see from the enigmatic James Bright, a new agey, new-waving, disco producer outta the UK whose music in an intermittent way has, over the years, made it to obscure Russian labels further afield to others like Nang and the now defunct Tundra label via his Lux project with Seve Miller. Now with The Bournemouth-based Eclectics label (think 20/20 Vision) whom he contributed the track "Love" in a compilation they released last year, Bright delivers a fully accomplished piece World So High EP. The record brings together Avalon-era Roxy Music nous to the outer reaches of Balearic genre experimentation, shiny pop and exotica, with some new age that has us thinking Deep Forest. Our picks: "Sula" and "Transmission Station".
Review: Amazingly, it's 25 years since George 'E.A.S.E' Evelyn and then production partner Kevin 'Boy Wonder' Harper sat down and recorded "Dextrous", their monstrous, bleep-era classic on Warp. A quarter of a century later, Evelyn is still going strong, though the grooves have mellowed a lot in that time. Here, Warp celebrate the producer's epic career with a much-deserved retrospective. All the familiar favourites are present, from the rush-inducing thrill of early dancefloor smashers "I'm For Real" and "Aftermath", to the sinewy downtempo goodness of the decidedly Balearic "Les Nuits", the blazed hip-hop dub of "195 Llbs" and stoner soul of "70s 80s". This version also includes a number of exclusive remixes, with names like JD Twitch, Special Request, LFO, Morgan Geist and Loco Dice putting their own spin on this classic material.
Review: Midnight Riot bring us a 20-track compilation that certainly can't be faulted on the eclecticism front, with tracks ranging from the boogie nouveau of Ilija Rudman's 'Let This Dream Be Real' to Sirs' fairly self-explanatory 'Turkish Folk', and from the sumptuous soul of Jack Tyson Charles' 'Glory' to BJ Smith's acoustic psych-pop cover of Soul II Soul's 'Keep On Movin''. The southern bar room funk of HP Edits's 'Why Don't You Slide', the smokey soundtrack jazz vibes of Peter Simmons' 'Downtown' and Phoenix's 'Sueno Latino'-ish 'Nature Dance' are three more highlights of a varied and enjoyable collection.