Review: In September 2020, Crosstown Rebels main man Damian Lazarus will release his first solo album in almost a decade. To get us in the mood, he's decided to offer up this teaser single. In its original form, "Mountain" is a drowsy, bass-heavy breakbeat affair in which his own atmospheric spoken word vocals combine with gently pulsing, sunrise-ready chords and short vocal snippets from a much-loved Joanna Law classic ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a Balearic-era classic whose acapella is much-loved by chill-out DJs). Tornado Wallace delivers a superb remix in which sparkling synth sounds and decidedly Balearic flourishes ride a dark analogue bassline and bongo-boosted breakbeats, while Tbi Dabo re-imagines "Mountain" as a bumpin', peak-time ready tech-house treat.
Review: A less is more approach from the post-mixdown mind of the venerable Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Muller, operating here under his Bufiman alias! Schulte first debuted the project via Versatile Records back in 2015 and with this three-track maxi he delivers a stripped back, bonus mixdown of the Albumsi LP Dekmantel released earlier this year. Described as a release for world peace and dance music for frogs, this follow up is largely inspired by a sleeping Dutch classic called Jive Rhythm Trax, with Bufiman turning in some downbeat, slo-mo rave vibes in "Under Control Now' - serious warehouse heat - to the solidly warped tropical tones and percussive drum machine mainframes of "Apo-Calypso". Find the EP's ultimate rhythm number in "Hoolock Rock". Bufiman goes Drumsi.
Review: Still in the game outta Montreal Canada is TVP's Multi Culti label with a second collaborative release from Berlin duo Sascha Funke & Niklas Wandt! It follows up the project's Wismut EP from last year with three new and supersonic, primed cuts pumped up with new wave, cosmic and psychedelica-deutsche power! Take the "Blue Monday" atmospheres and Klaus Schultz-like instrumentation in "Kreidekreis" with its over the top crescendos and high voltage synths that balance out next to the stripped-back, future disco and spacey tribal effects of "Kometenschweif". With a heavier, grungy bassline given prominence in "Weg Vom Leder" allowing Niklas Wandt's sly vocals to take up center-stage, a similar recipe is followed in Whodammy's remix to "Kometenschweif". Adding some extra lo-fi effects and instrumental dub flavours to the record is Alexander Arpeggio and his post punk-y take of "Kreidekreis". New German New Wave, yeah!
Review: A few years ago, Tito Velcro, Elena Hikari and Rare Wiri founder Rayko joined forces in the studio and produced a handful of decidedly Balearic tracks. Now, having sat on Rayko's hard drive for "a few years", they're finally getting a deserved release courtesy of Citizens of Vice. "You're Not Alone" is suitably special, with swirling and evocative vocals from Hikari rising above lazy, laidback guitar riffs, dreamy chords, bubbly beats and soft-touch synth sounds, while 'Unforgettable' is a chugging, slow-motion treat that wraps sparkling synth lines and echoing guitars around echoing beats and low-slung bass. Rayko provides a slightly more club-friendly nu-disco take on 'You're Not Alone', while Ilya Santana re-imagines the same track as a sparse, sunrise-ready chunk of Balearic electrofunk.
Review: Italy's Hell Yeah label call upon a select cast of remixers to take on the Neapolitan sounds of Walter Del Vecchio, aka Quiroga, that gives a second look at the artist's original 2019 Passages album. A Vision Of Panorama brings some cooler, breathy and tropical house vibes to "The Zoist" with some slower, subaqueous and dubbed out instrumental disco coming from My Friend Dario ("Chiaia Sunset"). Whodamanny introduces some hightailing disco funk in his reinterpretation of "Martinica Feelings" with jazz, percussion, finger lickin' guitars and drum solos pushed to full tilt in the Jazz n Palms remix.
Review: Having already delivered a handful of excellent EPs for the label, Eclectics has wisely decided it's time for nu-Balearic explorer James Bright to have his work remixed. Vanity Project steps up first, adding mazy Moog style synth sounds and sunrise-ready electronics to a slow-motion dancefloor groove on an inspired rework of 'Black Roads', before pushing up the tempo on a sublime digi-dub-goes-Balearic tweak of 'The Level'. Label regulars (and occasional Claremont 56 artists) Statues tackle the same two tracks. Their revision of 'Black Roads' is super-slow and insanely immersive, sounding not unlike Seahawks after a few too many tokes on David Gilmour's bong, while their take on 'The Level' is a folksy, wide-eyed Balearic delight.
Review: Oakland, California's Space Ghost, AKA Sudi Wachspress, returns to his semi-regular home of Tartelet. 'Time To Dance' itself, in its Original form, channels Chi-town deepness in the Heard/Trent/Damier tradition with perhaps a hint, too, of deep Jersey garage, while the Together Mix adds panpipes to give it a more tribal feel. 'New World Energy' is an early 90s-sounding house instrumental accompanied by a smoother, bassier Sunset Mix, while the ambient 'Forest Dub' and 'Mood Research' (the latter more of an interlude at just 2:08) complete an EP which will suit those who like their deep house on the cerebral side.
Review: Pedro Zopelar, a DJ/producer from Sao Paulo with three albums under his belt, comes to Brazilian label Selva Discos with a very eclectic six-tracker. Opener 'Livre' is one-part space disco to two-parts laidback, lounge-y jazz-funk; 'Be Together' is a more straight-up disco number underpinned by a fat, squelchy bassline, before mellow funk interlude 'Modo Avaio' cleanses the palate for the unusual NJ-garage-meets-electro vibes of 'NOX'. None of that prepares you for the arrhythmic, experimental drum n' synth concoction that is 'Dias Tensos', but we end up back in more familiar territory with 'Boogie Da Paz', an instrumental cut that blends 80s soul, boogie and jazz-funk influences.
Review: Based outta Washington DC, Better Listen Records are giving everyone in the American capital something to sing and dance about on this Mintology EP. Keeping it instrumental big time the five tracks on offer tracks here cruise through a high street of neon-lit disco, funk, electro and Baeleric blues like bright lights peeling off a car's windscreen on Las Vegas boulevard. Find deeper, cool jazz in "Sade Not Sade" alongside the spacier funk of "Pristine Clean" - soo fresh. Old school rhodes and yacht rock guitars creep into the arrangements of "2 Slow" with the undeniable jam here the sultry and seductive "Club Members Only".
Review: More and more, the Laut & Luise label are positioning themselves as one of the most trusted sources of contemporary deep house and meditative techno around. We love that they have a real consistency to their sound palette, and that they always seem to snap up the finest NEW talents rather than imitating what other imprints are doing. Newcomer Kerala Dust debuts with a thrilling four-tracker, starting with the slow, lounged-out Balearic drift of "Untitled", which is followed by the similar yet more beat-driven charge of "Nevada". "Spiegel" is a sublime minimal techno driver, powered by a deep, wholesome wave of low frequencies, and Another Shade Of DWIG ties the EP off with a vocal excursion to Kerala Dust's original mix of "Untitled". Don't underestimate the power of Laut & Luise!
Review: For the second Riddims EP, collating the music of The New Morning, the label highlights further how a group based around the southern Germany Afro-Cosmic scene created a melange of music, a sound, that stepped wide of the house and techno movement then sweeping Europe.
In Global Rhythm Records, friends and producers, DJ Otti and Jay Pee, alongside DJ Thilo and DJ Fred, represented Munich "Westside", running parties and across just 11 self distributed releases, carved their own eclectic niche that were being played by the likes of scene DJs Stefan Egger and Enne.
Slowed afro-percussion, Brazilian flavours, elements of ethno folk, flighty wood instruments, trance overtures, shamanic voices and more are pieced together via heavy sample use in an early hip hop mastermix style.
Again with no track lasting much over 4 minutes, these musical vignettes are perfect tools for the eclectic DJ. Covering uplifting - almost Balearic grooves - to deeper mind-inducing spellbinds and to darker corners of trippy psychedelic invocation, this is The New Morning experience.
Review: FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection. Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.
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: A straight 12 months since Italian producer Whitesquare debuted on Life And Death with the Visual Distortion Of Reality EP, Maurice Uzzan returns with Seventy Days Of Deja Vu. An '80s synth inspired mini-LP at large - made during a 70 day lockdown period - Whitesquare introduces a new kind of renegade funk to his sound, with tracks like "Roma Deserta" good enough for any action movie montage. Deeper tones, uplifting melodies and trance influences steal the show in "I've Been Here Before", with electronic basslines and touches of jazz instrumentation and percussion supporting the new age vibe of "Memories Of Tomorrow". Find ever-cascading chords, electro pan-pipes, pianos and some heavy Phil Collins-esque drum fills plotted between the slow motion Italo groove of "Same Day, Different Day" with a surprise section of jungle and breakbeat madness is "Fase Due".
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: Circumventing a sound that sits somewhere between techno, disco and epic, the Nightnoise label founded out of Amsterdam and Geneva have their finger on the pulse when it comes to delivering new shades of experimental electronic music. Mass Density Human is a new project on the scene that debuted earlier this year with the Dancing In Space EP which now makes way for the equally massive Out & Back. Sporting a sound that's vast and wide, MDH goes the distance in merging trance and techno with contemporary approaches to subsonic sound design and synthesis. A record that should appeal to Stranger Things fans as much it does labels like Houndstooth or Wolfgang Voigt's GAS project, Out & Back is the equivalent of being strapped into the front loader of a hyperspeed-cruiser: face-melting.
Review: Sao Paulo deep house producer Xique-Xique's Xaxoeira EP was originally released in 2014 but now sees a deserved vinyl release. Starting out with the very All Day I Dream-ish "1542" which is complete with lush xylophone melodies, woozy synths and smooth beats, he's then into the slow burning title track, which comes complete with cosmic atmosphere and sultry French vocals; just perfect for drifting. Ecuador's Nicola Cruz delivers a fine remix, staying on the same Lee Burridge style vibe of the first track and is perfect for an open air rooftop party near you next Summer.
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: Vancouver's 1080p has brought up plenty of Canadian house talent over the last few years, first by releasing LNRDCROY's debut LP, and then offering a sublime selection of cassettes by artists like Moon B, SETH, or Feingold. This time they're back with a 12" by newcomer Ex-Terrestrial, who proceeds to drop four absolutely soul-warming house track that contain a distinctively British vibe to them - but not int he current sense of the word, we mean what British house and techno used to sound like back in the 90's, that is, exploratory and cinematic. "Paraworld" is a jittery slice of absolute brain dynamite thanks to its luscious pads, while "Aletheia" chucks in a load of slithering breakbeats among the stomping bass drums and deep-throated baselines. Then you also have the sparse and aqueous drones of "Dreams Of Jupiter", followed by the slo-mo jungle rhythm called "Blue Smoke". a great little EP, coming very highly recommended.