Review: We were rather surprised to learn that "Eyes of My Mind" is Axel Boman's first solo single on Studio Barnhus, the label he co-founded, since 2013. It's also his first EP of any sort since 2017 (though 2019 did see the release of his fine "Le New Life" LP on Mule Musiq). The track is little less than a loved-up aural hug; a slow building, deliciously glassy-eyed affair in which dreamy chords, quirky vocal samples, droning bass tones and bubbly electronic motifs ride a bustling, loose-limbed drum track that sits somewhere between regular deep house, Max D's Dolo Percussion project and good old-fashioned breakbeat. Boman calms things down dramatically on "Echoes of My Mind", a swelling, wall-of-sound ambient revision of the A-side that's as comforting and meditative as they come.
Review: Hailing from Ecuador, Nicola Cruz is a mysterious producer whose fine work tends to appear on esteemed label Multi Culti. Here is back with more occultish offerings (to the gods), four in fact, all of which will have you feeling light headed and possibly even aroused. Spiritually of course. "Tzantza" opens as nocturnal shuffle in the jungle, kind of like an organic body music. Elsewhere "Bruzo" mixes off-kilter rhythms and cut ups tribal chants, "Danza De Vision" is a livelier affair that's adds pan pipes and electronic bleeps to the mix and "Rio Branco" is a linear fusion of minimal percussion.
Review: With releases on Turbo and Kill The DJ, Mago has already spread his wings far from his native Mexico. Now this release on Roam is sure to win him further acclaim. The title track is a bleep-heavy, tripped out techno groove, replete with Mago's own nasal vocals. On his version, Jamie Paton from UK act Cage & Aviary strips the tonal elements back to create a dubbed out take that resounds to trippy vocal samples and eerie sound effects. Meanwhile, Cabizbajo, who also hails from Mexico, delivers a throbbing, pulsating take. Led by a hypnotic bass, it puts the focus once again on Mago's hypnotic bleeps.
Review: Get to really know the Four Tet you know now with this Misnomer EP, originally released back in '99. Dating back to a time when Four Tet was more of a side project for Hebden than his prevailing alias - thanks to Trevor Jackson's Output label - these four tracks are thrown back into the spotlight and may come as a shock to some in the way they dive deep into noise music and experimental sound sourcing. Most overtly heard in the wild jazz of "Fume", there's something easier to handle in the title-track. With eastern themed motifs gracing "Charm" and "Aying" too - allow yourself to revel in the early days of Four Tet, when trip hop, big beat and post rock was a thing.
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.