Review: It's always exciting to see a new Exit release drop into this store, especially when they are as beautiful as this latest collection from Lewis James, under the EP name 'The Death Of Habit'. From start to finish, this one is a glittering display of soundscaping genius, combining the gentle harmonic bliss of 'The Sorrow In Ronan' with the outstanding vocal displays of Alia Fresco on 'Worth The Pain' and gnarly tech flavours of 'Acidize' alongside DBridge to kick us off in style. Next, 'Triangle' provides more experimental drum work and epic spacey pads, before Lorn's exceptional input on 'No Team' ties us up nicely.
Review: For the last five years, Mikhail Khvasko has been offering up warm, woozy and sun-kissed music as A Vision of Panorama. The producer's latest missive - his fourth release for Mellophonia - is every bit as melodious, life affirming and listenable as its predecessors. He first joins the dots between bubbly synth-funk and sun-kissed Balearica on "Delicious Saw", before layering more vintage-sounding synthesizer lead lines, jazz-funk bass and an ultra-warm groove on the equally attractive "Lum". "Euphoria" is, if anything, even more positive in its dreamy, synth-sporting approach to musical pleasure, while "Fourth" is jazz and squelchy in the best possible way. Attractive, grown up synthesizer music for lazy afternoons and sweltering evenings.
Review: The veteran London duo Giles Smith and James Priestley aka Secretsundaze debut on Live At Robert Johnson with pure deep house vibes. Here they serve up something with a bit more old school flair on "Gigantic Impossibly Large", which sees them channel a classic sound, particularly on the NYC dub which calls to mind that timeless aesthetic of early Statside house. The brooding tension and drama of OG's version sounds more reminiscent of today's dancefloor dynamics, while downbeat reductions exist in the form of the exotic and arcane 10 AM version and the slow burning boogie down antics of the B2 jam make a worthy addition also.
Review: Label-hopping producer and re-editor Massimo Vanoni has enjoyed a relatively quiet year thus far, with a low-key outing on Atop his only release of note. This EP on Editorial should thrust him back into the spotlight though, as it really is rather good. Its' most headline-grabbing feature is the sedate, slo-mo tempos he's decided to operate at. Sure, there is one 120 BPM workout - the acid-speckled, jazz guitar-laden disco/deep house fusion of sun-kissed stunner "House Revenge" - but everything else hovers around the 100 BPM mark. On standout "Feel It", Vanoni works wonders with a chugging groove, dub delays and snippets from a seriously sweet cut, while "On Your Loving" is a superb sunset-ready groover rich in elastic slap bass, vintage electronics and dreamy chords.
Review: Trance ala mode in one of its nicest dresses we seen yet. Presented here in twinkling apreggious and sequenced strings, Prins Thomas remix to "The M Song" illustriously lights up a profoundly subtle yet euphoric treat from Darling's Tuplia Moves LP. Released on Young Marco's Safe Trip, Prins Thomas' M Song remix coates the original in a huge swathe of haze and dubby atmosphere, accentuating its high notes enmass with tubular bells, starry delays and big hugs from the kick drum. Somewhere between kitsch and kosmische, quality control lends itself to success in "Kiss The Glass", with PT dropping the original's percussion and broken beat influence for a sense of star sailing pop cosmic.
Review: Earlier in the year, Algy Strutt's "Future Flashback" made an appearance on Paper Disco's sixth "Trash The Wax" compilation. Due to popular demand, the cut is now appearing as a single alongside a slew of previously unheard remixes. Strutt's original version remains a gnarled, fuzzy and forthright treat, with TB-303 style acid lines and hairy rock guitar riffs riding a throbbing, Italo-influenced nu-disco grooves. The next track is a debut remix by the Gouranga clan with an 80s style synth bass pumping throughout. Spanish producer James Rod emphasizes the groove's trippy feel on his pulsating, mind-altering revision, while Norwegian legend Rune Lindbaek offers up an analogue-rich take that smartly re-imagines the track as a thrusting Italo-disco throb-job. Those hankering after a heavier dose of acid flavour are also catered for via the EP-closing "Badass Version".
Review: Hamburg's Stefan Kozalla aka DJ Koze returns in 2018 with his new opus entitled Knock Knock on his Pampa imprint - which exists outside of trend and influence. An unholy mixture of techno with disco, soul, hip hop and psychedelia - there are even wafts of easy listening and indie rock. Special guests include Bon Iver, Speech from Arrested Development, Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, Pampa's very own Sophia Kennedy and the fine vocal talents of Jose Gonzalez. The first single taken from the album is "Illumination" which features the inimitable Roisin Murphy from Moloko. A lo-slung, deep and soulful journey featuring subtle filtered disco house elements and it's very stylish indeed.
Review: Since ditching a plethora of recording aliases back in 2014, Malaysia-based Frenchman Karim Sahraoui has released music on some of techno's most renowned imprints, including Transmat, Compost Black Label and OFF Recordings. Plentitude sees him add another iconic label to his CV via a first outing on R&S Records.Our highlight is probably the ear-catching, house-tempo Detroit futurism of "Born Again", where positive-sounding pianos and saucer-eyed electronics rise above a shuffling rhythm track. That said, many people will enjoy the hypnotic, dub techno inspired tech-house hypnotism of opener "Spy of the Desert", while closer "Before The Second Coming" is as rich, fragrant and melodious as they come.
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: Escape From New York's 1984 cut "Fire In My Heart" has long been considered something of a Balearic classic. Original copies of the Rollerball Records release 12" are hard to come by, though, so this digital version is more than welcome. The original version - all slo-mo electro drums, rubbery dub bass, exotic melodies and intoxicating vocals - is joined by the now infamous Instrumental Dub version, which has been a staple in Balearic DJs' sets for more than 30 years. If that wasn't enough, there's also a chance to savour to woozy, dub-influenced synth-pop of original bonus cut "Won't Be Your Fool".
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: Sprechen may be based in the North West of England, but their latest missive is all about showcasing rising musical talents from Indonesia, and specifically some of the artists involved in Jakarta's "Coming Together" studio project. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the wide-eyed, morning fresh Balearic chug of Kimo's blissful and melodic "Daydream", to the spaced-out, late night deep house hypnotism of Harvy Abdurcharman's "Gargantuan" and the drowsy shoegaze disco shuffle of Gizpel's "Eyes On The Street". Best of all though is Logic Lost's 12-minute epic "Heliconia", an inspired journey through orchestrated ambient house and The Field style pastoral techno.
Review: More midtempo yet still eminently danceable grooves here from DJ Supermarket's Too Slow To Disco camp, this time coming courtesy of Italian-Australian producer Dave Mathmos. He turns his hand to re-editing two dancefloor classics from the 70s, with the lazy, laidback and Balearic 'Your Love (Contemporary Soul Mix)' biting the vocal from Ben E King's 1975 disco hit 'Supernatural Thing', while Rose Royce's 'Love Don't Live Here Any More' forms the basis of 'You Abandoned Me (Dave Mathmos Interpretation)', with a single line of the vocal looped up over house-y pianos and a slo-mo electro bassline.