Review: Fresh from dropping a pair of fine fusion EPs with Dele Sosimi on Wah Wah 45s, Medlar returns home to Wolf Music Recordings with his most expansive release since 2013 debut album Sleep. In keeping with his musical evolution since then, Aerial is a thrillingly eclectic, colourful and imaginative affair, with Medlar flitting between the Wally Badarou-on-acid vibes of the undeniably cosmic title track; the acid-fired, cowbell-rich strut of 'Iguanadon'; the percussion-rich Dinosaur L mutations of 'Elephant Bingo'; the downtempo jazz-funk of 'Elv'; the late-night, drum machine driven weirdness of 'Cr78-108'; the '89 NYC garage-meets-New Jack Swing flex of 'Phoenix Lights'; and the slow-motion, bass-heavy Balaearica of 'Sin Prisa'. In a word: ace!
Review: When we are discussing the modern greats of electronic music production, there's no way we can have that conversation without Calibre's name coming into the mix and blend. This brand new album via the team at Signature takes the title 'Feeling Normal' and is a straight up masterclass, from the stunning breakbeat-driven soundscapes of 'Barren' and 'Man Got Sandwich' to the colourful post-garage designs of 'Feeling Normal' and 'Time To Breathe' alongside Cimone. It has a touch of everything and the quality levels just don't seem to dip, regardless of whatever genre or style we are hearing. There are also some serious highlights, with 'Badman' alongside DRS being a somber, post-dubstep homage, 'Has To Happen' being a sumptuous, emotive roller and 'Predictable' being a futuristic steppers delight. Incredible work as expected!
Review: Following up the lead single "Under Your Skin" with Kevin Knapp, veteran duo Audiojack of Gruuv Recordings fame finally unveil their full length album on Crosstown Rebels. The Leeds natives James Rial and Richard Burkinshaw last served up an LP back in 2009, so it's another career high for the pair and features a diverse array of moods and grooves across 10 tracks. From the balearic downbeat chill vibe of "Binaural Dreaming", to the funky and bass-driven tech house of "Easy Rider" or similarly the acid laced "Psychoactive" (Part 1) which are more typical of the pair. Not to mention the utterly euphoric second single "Feels Good" featuring vocalist Jem Cooke, its a cohesive effort by these staples of the Ibiza party circuit.
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: Permanent Vacation bring us the debut long-player from Rhode & Brown, a Munich-based production duo consisting of Friedrich Trede and Stephan Braun. It's sitting in our Deep House section, but to label it simply as such would be a disservice to the wide range of influences on display, as acid, disco, Motor City techno, 80s coldwave and more are thrown into the Balearic melting pot, then served up with a distinct pop garnish - on 'Lost In Cat Content' there are even nods to jungle and breaks. The 303-sprinkled 'Note To Self' is probably the closest we come to straight-up deep house territory, though, while 'Wave 200' is another standout with its late 80s/early 90s Ibiza feel.
Review: Das Pop founding member Reinhard Vanbergen combines with Charlotte C to present an instrumental psychedelic rock trip in Souvenir Des Bon Gout that combines a sense of French pop ambient like Air or Charlotte Gainsbourg next to an original '70s sound you could associate with Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan". Inspired in part furthermore by Belgian master chef Kobe Desramaults and the much adored Chambre Separee restaurant - perhaps where the two frequented while making this album - Souvenir Des Bon Gout trips through a landscape of western psychedelic classical, dubbed out folk strings to touches of country disco. All coated in a generous dose of reverb, Souvenir Des Bon Gout will be a hit for anyone into Alain Goraguer's soundtrack to La Planete Sauvage.
Review: Emotional Rescue unearth yet another pearl of curiosity from the mists of the 80s here, kicking off a series looking at the work of guitarist Carl Weingarten. This album is a fine place to start, as Weingarten teams up with Walter Whitney for an engrossing exploration of ambient synth work merged with careful use of slide guitar and more besides. It's very much of its time, originally released on Multiphase in 1985, and it's as charming and naive as it is accomplished. There's a new age sweetness to the harmonic composition, but the sound palette is deceptively deep, not least thanks to Weingarten's multifaceted approaches to his instrument. Dreaming In Colours sets a promising tone for what the rest of the series holds.
Review: Rare Wiri founder Rayko serves up what is, if we're counting correctly, his fourth studio album. As such, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect by now; if not, perhaps the fact that two of those previous albums came out on Nang might give you a clue! Glossy, shimmering, synth-led nu-disco with a distinctly 80s feel is the order of the day, generally, with 'Fais Pas Amour' bringing the soulful vibes and 'Telegraph' having perhaps the most instant pop appeal, while closer 'Nightloving' stands out from the pack thanks to its slightly more down n' dirty funk edge.
Review: Ichisan is the alias of one Igor Skafar: an accomplished producer and DJ from Ljubljana, Slovenia who has appeared on labels such as Bordello A Parigi, Kanto and Violette Szabo Records. He's back on Nang for the first time since 2019 with his new full length titled Voda. From the hazy balearic chill of gorgeous offerings like "Gozd Reka" or "Cabernet Pa Na Taxi" which you could imagine enjoying at sunset on the Baleric Islands with a pina colada in hand, to bright like neon nu-disco grooves optimized for the late night dancefloor, best exemplified on "Gospa Jesen" or "Mornarska Kapa" - the latter getting properly low slung.
Review: Earlier in his career, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding O'Flynn's hard-to-pigeonhole club cuts, with the producer's outings on Blip Discs and Ninja Tune getting particular attention. Here he delivers his debut album, a wonderfully fluid, evocative and enjoyable set that attractively sashays between languid ambience, Afro and Latin-influenced cut-up club cuts that cannily fuse disco, nu-disco and deep house, drum dubs and percussion jams, and off-kilter affairs that defy simplistic categorization. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the dreamy dub disco flex of "Tru Dancing" and jazzy deep house warmth of "Painted Wolf", to the huggable dreaminess of two-step shuffler "Celestial" and the loved-up haziness of enveloping closing cut "Neptune".
Review: Having impressed with the first part of their 'oddities and rarities' collection, Love Forgotten, A Man Called Adam return with a second and final round-up of new, rare and unreleased tracks, remixes and collaborations. It's naturally a mighty fine set all told, with highlights coming thick and fast throughout. There's not enough space to list all of the high points, but our current favourites include the gentle samba-broken beat fusion of 'Estelle (Mystic Beats Instrumental)', bass-heavy breakbeat jam 'This is London' (a collaboration with Chris Coco), the deep analogue house hypnotism of 'Someone Else', the 'One Latin Rascal' dub of 'AMFP' -a bustling, percussive dancefloor treat - and the sensationally warm, live and languid 'Jisco Dazz Mix' of 'Que Tal America', where fusion band Bah Samba plays a leading role.
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: At 14 tracks large trance master Chicane's eighth studio album has arrived in the shape of Everything We Had To Leave Behind. Maintaining an uplifting & melancholic approach to his production, Chicane's classic trance chords are as always undeniable throughout this latest work while still touching on that late-90s-to-mid-2000s pioneering sound. The LP brings with it the Ibiza sunset croons of vocalist Joseph Aquilina (Goldfish) who's voice more often than not challenges the timbres of one Chris Martin. Exploring various drum patterns across numbers like the breakbeat "Make You Stay" or the skipping UK funky of "Sailing", get your housier, pop and balearic trance from "One Foot In The Past, One Foot In The Future" and "Hello, Goodbye". For more classically inclined fans, those trusted bouncy chords, breaths and beats can be found all the more in "Juno", "Don't Look Down", the album's beatless title-track, and exclusive Chicane cover version of Bon Iver's "8 (Circle)".
Review: A few years back, Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauskovic joined forces to release a handful of rather good EPs inspired by -in their words - "a psychedelic journey into the tropics". Muscle Memory, the pair's first full-length as Bruxas, continues this approach, combining Mauscovic's love of infectious global rhythms and spaced-out dub disco effects with Gardner's alternately warming and out-there synth sounds. It's undoubtedly a winning formula, with highlights including the cheery synth-tropicala of 'Bodywarmer', the Italo-goes-tropical happiness of 'Cogelo, Rapido', the slow-motion eccentricity of 'Minitrip' and the accurately titled Afro-syth/space disco fusion of 'Crazy Spacey'.
Review: Panorama Bar resident and Ostgut Ton mainstay Virginia is back with a full length. Whether she's lending her fine vocal talents to homegirl Steffi (who co-produced the album with fellow Dutch legends Dexter and Martyn) like she did on her Power of Anonymity album a couple of years ago on the fabulous "Yours", or getting behind the console herself to pump some sweet grooves; she sure is versatile. Fierce For The Night is a fitting title, the dozen or so tracks on here are the perfect soundtrack to a long night and morning experiencing her acclaimed residency and all inspired by the classic and timeless sounds of Chicago and NYC. Highlights include the sultry dancefloor drama of the mighty opener "Bally Linny", the Chaka Chan inspired boogie playground that is "Obstacle", the emotional and bittersweet slow-mo pop of "Believe In Time" or the high octane dancefloor bomb that is "Raverd"
Review: Rigning originally appeared back in 2009 on Sending Orbs, but now gets a full re-release on Dutch institution Delsin. The work of the Icelandic producer Yagya, it's a serene, chilled out affair that sits somewhere between ambient and dub techno. "Rigning Einn" is a breathy sound scape, while "Fjorir resounds to the hiss and hum of static noise. The second piece ("Tvo") and "Sex" both move into a laid back, dubbed out groove, and while " Brju" sees Yagya pick up the pace, the same cinematic sensibilities remain. It's an evocative, dreamy release that puts most of the ambient / dub techno scene to shame with its understated beauty.
Review: Lisa Milberg and Jon Bergstrom are Miljon! The Swedish duo made a ripples in 2018 when their link up with Axel Bowman and their "Forgot About You" single was picked up for the odd compilation (and BoyBoy release it first appeared on). Given some time to subside back into the studio, the pair now fully emerge with the release of their debut album, Don't They Know. Keeping in line with a lineage of great Swedish indie music, Miljon opt for a lo-fi and disco-tinged sound, described by some as flaskpost-disko or message-in-a-bottle-disco which the band acknowledge but redefine themselves as "something faded, worn, sun-bleached and ocean-sprayed but all the same carefully written, perhaps romantic or a touch dramatic".
Review: Friendship is the fourth artist album by Pets Recordings owners Catz'n'Dogz. Written and produced in the Spanish countryside, it sees the duo push the boundaries of modern electronic music. "There" combines robust, steely drums and spiky rhythms with James Yuill's dreamy vocals, making for a refreshing take on deep vocal house, while on "Mind", Rosalie's high-pitched tones are set to a mesmerising harpsichord and shuffling drums. The duo explore their own unique take on r&b-inflected pop with the playful "Yi Fang" -which features Taco Hemingway on vocals - while they showcase their underground credentials with the deep, pulsating techno on "One Plus You". All of these elements make for the most well-rounded Catz'N' Dogz album to date.