Review: Swaggering out of the cassette-based hinterland, Angel 1 has already issued forth a selection of choice tapes over the past couple of years, fusing together many a disparate electronic style into a surprisingly cohesive whole. So it is as the mysterious artist possibly known as Colin Fields steps up to 1080p with this wild seven-track ride through scattershot ideas and reference points. There are moments of synth-rich calm with a vintage twist, while elsewhere you may get suckerpunched by splats of jungle breaks wrenched into heavy thudding half-step. The ideas dart around the mix, produced with a charming starkness that seems at odds with the murk of most cassette output, and it makes for a standout release.
Review: Kansas City's Brandon Knocke aka Body-san, follows up the great Corporate Interiors release on 100% Silk last year. As 1080p best describe themselves "Shining The Money Ball has a polished, synthetic naturalism.. and gets its sound inspiration from jazz-funk, 1970s & onward library music, and also creates a vague, unspecific but 'perfect crime' cinematic narrative". Particular highlights include the dusty, offbeat soul of the title track, the emotive Larry Heard influenced deepness of "One Million Brazilian Dollars", the '80s pop inflected vibe of "Wet Bar" and the lush ambinet house of the gorgeous closing track "Koko Chats Online".
Review: Those who checked out Allergy Season's recent Allergy Edits release may have stumbled on a track from the previously unheard Complete Walkthru. It turns out to be a new pseudonym from 1080p regular Max McFerren, and this is the Brooklyn producer's first full-length under the alias. While many familiar McFerren traits are present - think vintage breakbeats, wiggly acid lines, intelligent techno sounds, and hardcore-era sub-bass - much of the music on Complete Walkthru is far deeper, melodious and - in the label's words - "contemplative" than his fizzing, floor-friendly singles. The result is an album that refuses to stand still stylistically, contains all manner of colourful, vibrant highlights, and pushes McFerren further towards home listening territory (despite the presence of some particularly bold drum rhythms).
Review: Damon Eliza Palermo has previously appeared on Ital's Lover's Rock label, bringing forth an admirable bundle of loose ambient and forward-thinking new age music. All of his sounds are bound in a mytical sort of coating, something that is loudly heard on Clouds Of David. The beats that trickle out of the lonesome pads five these tracks the right sort of movement, and although they are in no making them into bog room dance hits, they could easily be mixed and mashed up with more beat-heavy tunes. It's magical, it's fresh, and it's kind of perfect for this time of the year. Top draw.
Review: Out of the many Dialects that are out there in the music world, this one will be of interest to those who enjoy the swell of abstract ambient electronics coming out of labels such as 1080p. Previously found on Tasty Morsels delivering the Advanced Myth album, the Liverpool-based artist has crafted a wonderful continuous journey that at times marries strumming guitar niceties with delicate, cascading synth notes in a faithful approximation of what 21st century folk music should sound like. The mood can shift in subtle ways, using field recordings to bridge gaps into more moody territory, turning back to serenity at a moments notice with a rich spread of instrumentation to point the way.
Review: 1080p's latest full-length comes from Elan Benaroch, who used the opportunity to debut a new alias, Elka. Chants is, in many ways, typical of the Vancouver label's output of late. Melodious, tactile, dreamy and spaced-out, it sees Benaroch paying tribute to a variety of vintage styles, from classic Chicago deep house ("Pass Groove"), and early '90s intelligent techno ("Expander"), to loved-up, Sueno Latino-era Italian dream-house ("BBX1999"), deep acid ("Silver Beach", "Couch Trax"), and boogie-flavoured synthesizer house ("Heard & Seen"). Predictably, it's a hugely enjoyable set, with Benaroch getting just the right balance between analogue-rich fuzziness and head-in-the-clouds melodiousness.
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.
Review: Yet more goodness swells out of the 1080p camp as I Am Just A Pupil progresses from a raft of low-key tapes and CDrs over the last couple of years to deliver this album of surreal music reflections layered with speech from all over the place. The 'Siri' sampling opener may well spin you out a touch, but it gets more pleasant and weird as the tracks unfold, matching socially-aimed lifts from documentaries and news reports with gentle piano reflections, drifting by in a collage-like fashion that both informs and makes a point even as it rests easy on the ears.
Review: Image Man's discography may not yet be bulging, but it already includes a couple of killer singles built around dusty deep house loop jams, and melodious, Motor City-influenced explorations. On Glance, the New York native's debut for Vancouver institution 1080p, he continues on this theme. There's much to admire, from the snappy drum machine rhythms and jazz-funk loops of "More", and spacey, Detroit inspired dancefloor dreaminess of "Else", to the glassy-eyed new age house positivity of "Glance". Closer "Goobye" [sic], with its' thick, sludgy, delay-laden drums, swirling sound effects and distant vocoder vocals, is reminiscent of the halcyon days of ambient house.
Review: Since debuting last year, J. Albert has showcased his brand of hard-to-pigeonhole dance music on an impressive array of imprints (Lovers Rock, Black Opal and Cult Trip included). Here, the Exotic Dance co-founder pops up on 1080p, treating fans of the Vancouver institution to a quartet of ear-catching compositions. While there are a few fairly typical 1080p type cuts present (see the dreamy, breakbeat-driven deepness of "All In", and head-in-the-clouds broken house of "Strictly J"), it's arguably the most eccentric cuts that hit home hardest. Chief among these is opener "Pangs", which feels like pitched down jungle-jazz fused with horizontal deep house, though the bumpin'-but-ocean deep "For Soho" isn't far behind.
Review: Bobby Draino already appeared on 1080p alongside Xophie Xweetland with the Chrome Split tape back in 2013, as well as dropping some choice 12"s for 100% Silk and Adelaide Soundworks in his time. Now he fires up a new alias for the illustrious Smoke Tape, which journeys through plush and pleasant house-scapes pitched at balmy evenings on dappled balconies. There is a healthy thread of the kind of boogie infection that makes Andras Fox, Ruf Dug or Moon B such a pleasant proposition, but there is also space for some more rambunctious material in amongst the pleasantries. "Inside" should certainly get some pulses racing, but not at the expense of satisfying melodic content.
Review: Commonly found hanging around on Sewer Tapes, Karmelloz is now on 1080p with his lush and varied electronica styles, largely existing in a downtempo headspace but not afraid to embrace a beat in the right situation. "Indian Architecture" is a wondrous ambient piece with its flute stabs and swirling pads, while "Nasa Boyz" comes on like the kind of disheveled house you might find on Workshop. "Squiggles" may boast a sturdy kick but it's a decidedly mellow affair, but it's still far more structured than the floatation tank bliss out of "Stranded From Pod". With a confident embrace of textures and a keen ear for adventurous melodies, you could do far worse than submit yourself to the headphone-ready delights of Source Localization.
Review: Having first made an impression via a couple of chugging disco reworks on Common Edit, Khotin has spent the last couple of years delving deeper into the world of analogue-rich deep house, ambient and electronica. Here he continues this trend, returning to 1080p for the first time in two years. Naturally, it's a woozy, dreamy and occasionally intergalactic affair, with the Canadian producer doffing a cap to early '90s IDM ("Recycle (Drift Mix)"), acid-flecked dreaminess ("Human Voice"), and undulating, Mood Hut-ish deepness ("Recycle (5AM Reflection Mix)"). Best of all, though, is "Baikal Acid", which somehow manages to draw all these strands together on one picturesque, clattering gem.
Review: Nine months on from the release of his debut album Club Amniotics, NYC-based dancefloor experimentalist Max McFerren returns to 1080p with a similarly minded sophomore set. Like its predecessor, Lawd Forgive Me is playful, colourful and eccentric, with McFerren serving up a thrill-a-minute blend of dayglo rave stabs, UK garage steppiness, classic house riffs, mangled vocals and energetic, off-kilter rhythms. The result is a fast-paced brimming with ideas, curious samples and, most potently, the relentlessly upbeat attitude of contemporary British bass music. It's difficult to pin down, but that only adds to the album's gleeful, kaleidoscopic charm.
Review: Having impressed with a fine debut single on First Second Label earlier this year, Ashlee Luk and Lida P bring their minimal violence project to 1080p. Their sound - a combination of dreamy pads, fluttering melodies and punishing, occasionally distorted drums - is a perfect fit for the Vancouver label. There's little to fault throughout the five tracks, with highlights coming thick and fast. Check, in particular, the tactile synth-bass, drowsy chords and cymbal-heavy rhythm of "Crete Is Calling", the acid-flecked late night trip that is "Authority", and the sweaty, ghetto-house influenced thump of title track "Night Gym".
Review: Sean Sanders' primary project has enjoyed a productive 2014, not least thanks to multiple releases on Peoples Potential Unlimited, but he rounds the year off by sidling over to the celebrated climes of 1080p to drop this mixtape-style mini-album, and it's a format that really suits his musical approach. Moving through woozy edits of all kinds of material, the Moon B vision widens out to encompass a strong thread of exotic Indian funk that sits surprisingly comfortable alongside the more familiar boogie tropes. As with any mixtape the ideas fly thick and fast, keeping things charmingly rough and light-hearted, but still the tangible romance of the Moon B sound hangs over all, making Lifeworld a particularly pleasurable environment to dive into.
Review: NAP is the latest artist to appear on Vancouver cassette/digital label 1080p. To begin with, it sounds like he is going to follow in the footsteps of Moon B and Scientific Dreamz of U: "Urban Fare" is a deep, glitchy techno track with echoes of both early 90s Warp and early 00s Mille Plateaux. "Donat Forget the Records" meanwhile, emulates the work of modern house labels like Mood Hut and its crisp drums and warm synths could even be a modern take on Prescription or Balance. From there on in, the release shifts sound radically; "U19" is a tough, bruising percussive techno affair while "Contra III" is a dark, tunneling affair in the finest Dozzy / Mulero vein.
Review: The rise of Vancouver as a hotbed of off-kilter deep house and electronica, variously inspired by new age, early '90s ambient, tropical rhythms and psychedelia, was one of the stories of 2014. Much of the credit should go to tape and digital outlet 1080p, which - like Vancouver contemporaries Mood Hut - has done much to showcase the City's previously unknown producers. They're at it again here, delivering a typically immersive, tactile and dreamy debut from Neu Balance, AKA producers Sam Beatch and Sebastian Davidson. Rubber Soles is a wondrous concoction; a kind of gently drifting fusion of ultra-deep house, breezy electronics, glitchy rhythms, whispered ambience and experimental interludes. We have a sneaking suspicion we'll be hearing plenty more from them in 2015.