Review: Albinos' Ritual House Vol 1 was one of this year's most interesting house records, combining the rough analogue aesthetic that's currently so prevalent with the melodic idiosyncrasies of the producer's Antinote label family. Ritual House Vol 2 sees the producer return to the label for another round, and its as good as the first, if not better; "Black Orchid" kicks things off with a jaunty slice of Afrobeat-infused house, where rough marimbas flutter over a gritty yet melodic bassline, while "Trip To Balawim" take things down a stranger corner, where clattering woodblocks and stray synth keys drift out of time. "Rain" meanwhile offers a strange take on club music, as primal synth stabs are driven by threadbare 4/4, a firm contrast to the more downbeat "Photosynthesis", which glistens with its own translucence. Highly recommended stuff from Antinote once again.
Review: Distant Images is Dang Khoa Chau's fourth release on Antinote. The LP is further proof that this Paris based musician has been progressing in the same direction, yet digging deeper. The label describes his process best themselves by stating that his music 'is constantly trying to reach a higher level of evanescence from one record to another'. A process which was further refined after a visit from Suzanne Kraft - who he recorded an album with and released only a mere few weeks ago via Jonny Nash's Melody As Truth imprint. Reaching similar heights on the splendid opener "Keyboard Study" with its shimmering digital synthesis textures before "Days Of Steam" dives deep into authentic exoticism - where oriental aesthetics and '80s synth presets collide wonderfully. Ending the release's journey is the lush title track, bridging the gap between new age and balearic with such grace.
Review: Since launching in 2012, Parisian imprint Antinote has released some notable records, from the tropical pagan darkness of Albinos' Ritual House series, to the sumptuous soft rock and leftfield disco blends of Syracuse. Here, they delve into deeper, dreamier pastures with a wonderfully fluid and melodious collection of new age house and glassy-eyed Balearica from the previously little-known DK. While there are more obviously dancefloor-influenced moments - check, in particular, the fizzing drum machine electro of "Losing Ground" for the most part Drop is a wonderfully endorphin-rich stumble through brightly coloured pastures. DK clearly isn't in any particular hurry to get anywhere, which is just as well really; Drop is fine just as it is.
Review: First introduced to the wider world via the DJ Muscle series from WT Records, Parisian producer Geena has since found a welcome outlet for his music much closer to home in the shape of the excellent Antinote label. Last year's fairly unpronounceable Surowych Utworow EP was described as the label's "first DJ friendly record" by founder Quentin Vandewalle and subsequent Antinote releases have suggested they are comfortable with leaving Geena alone to occupy this space. Some six tracks deep, Mental DJ's Land equally suggests Geena is up to the task too with a brisk collection of floor ready productions that once again feature a playful reverence for straight up Chicago house classicism. The aptly titled acid laden monster "Watch Em Go Mental" is a particular highlight.
Review: Geena is Frenchman Nicolas Molina, who appears for Parisian purveyors of obscure and exotic oddball grooves Antinote for his fifth album. The album will appeal to fans of retro flavoured balearic house made popular at the moment by the likes of Black Spuma, Tuff City Kids or stuff on Paramida's Love On The Rocks imprint. The '80s pan-pipe preset on the groovy "KG Voice" is a great example, or the funk, Amazonian acid house vibes of "Blue Transfer" more particularly; think 808 State. "Keep" goes for some thumping early' 90s UK techno vibes but lush ambient passages like "Natural High" and "La Isla" balance out the EP nicely.
Review: Nicholas 'Geena' Molina is becoming something of a go-to man for Quentin Vandewalle's Antinote label. The curiously titled On The Top of Deep Heated Fern is his third EP for the label in less than 12 months. As usual, it features tracks that blend raw, Chicago style jackin' beats with fluid, Balearic-minded electronics and a heightened sense of new age electronics. There's naturally much to admire, from the thumping, techno-style rhythms and woozy chords of "I Gotta Wear Shades", to the deep Detroit electronics and spine-tingling breakdowns of "Lunar Substance" and the curiously wide-eyed "Gamma Sector", whose dreamy, new age melodies mask an uncompromising groove.
Review: Japanese producer Inoue Shirabe's January 2015 debut, You Don't Know My Lifecycle/Ysyeyxy, marked him out as a man to watch - a producer with a ken grasp of mood and melody, and a deep-rooted love of classic Far Eastern electronica, vintage deep house and Detroit futurism. This follow-up for Antinote is every bit as impressive. He begins with the yearning 92 BPM chug of "Down Into The Black Church", where celestial synthesizer melodies wrap themselves around spacey electronics, shuffling drum machine beats and an undulating, Soichi Terada style bassline. "Camping In Your Soul" is a darker, more upbeat affair, where bittersweet melodies and industrial hits rub shoulders with melancholic chords and thrusting drums. It's impressive, but lacks some of the hazy blissfulness of "Down Into The Black Church".
Review: The Antinote label seem to excel at shining a light on some lesser known talents of French music irrespective of style or tone, as their second album project of the year demonstrates. You'd be forgiven for not knowing who Stephane Laporte was, with the French musician largely working under the Domotic guise, but fans of Antinote and inquisitive newcomers will be rewarded by a sublime long player in the shape of Fourrure Sounds. Some 11 tracks deep, Fourrure Sounds is the result of Laporte's night time recordings with an array of vintage synth gear, a 4 track Akai tape recorder and a "cosy fur carpet". Given this environment, it is little surprise that the album turns out to be a luxuriant journey through imaginary synth soundscapes which gets more inviting with each listen.
Review: Following cassette and vinyl EPs on New York Haunted, Mixed-Up and Antinote, Leonardo Martinelli returns to the latter with his first full-length offering. Decidedly fuzzy and crusty sounding - presumably a by-product of his 'straight to tape' approach - Previsto casually ambles between deep, languid techno, shuffling IDM, gentle, late night melodiousness (the excellent "Legrande Metropolitane"), ghostly ambience (the mesmerizing "La Luna"), and the kind of angular machine music that was once the hallmark of Autechre's finest productions ("Lo Schema"). He finishes with a wonky flourish, too, in the shape of the hugely evocative title track.
Review: One last call of business before a well-earned summer break sees Antinote introduce Leonardo Martelli who's Menti Singole single again proves what a vital and interesting label the Paris concern has become under the tutelage of Quentin Vandewalle. Leonardo Martelli is a relative newcomer from Foligno in Italy, with just one prior cassette behind him, which appeared on Drvg Cvltvre's New York Haunted label. There is a distinct electro flavour hovering over Martelli's Antinote debut, placing it in stark contrast to the breezy pop of the Domenique Dumont release or Paki & Visnadi's poised ambience. Of course there is still plenty of room for the kind of leftfield meandering that Antinote has made its name on, but with a more forthright club purpose beating at its heart.
Review: There's a crazy story behind this new release from the killer Antinote crew out of Paris. Paki-Visnadi is two Venetian musicians, Paki Zennaro and Gianni Visnadi, a guitarist and electronic composer respectively who got together one night in 1984 to compose a set of music intended for local dance schools. The results were recorded to tape but never fully released with just ten copies handed out to friends. If it wasn't for a chance flea market discovery by the partner of Antinote artist and famed tape hoarder Iueke, it's likely the world would never have heard Imaginary Choreography. And what a shame that would have been as the five tracks are delightful, minimal compositions filled with interesting rhythmic kinks.
Review: Born in a cave in Bordeaux, Radiante Pourpre is one of the many children of Simple Music Experience, a collective and label floating somewhere between Marseille, Paris and their hometown with affiliations to 'outsider experimentalists from the French electronic scene' over the past few years. Antinote is now reissuing a tape that the duo recorded in 2014 in Brussels art space Komplot. The duo learned in how to give life to their own desolated mental landscapes; influenced by the likes of Muslimgauze and Genesis P-Orridge where they merrily lose themselves during long sessions surrounded by Korg synths and cassette players. A series of haunting lo-fi soundscapes perfect to induce trance states, that sit somewhere between underground noise merchants Through Broadcast and the knackered house of label mate Iueke.
Review: Following up her 2016 debut album for Michigan based Sounds Of The Dawn, Latvian artist and composer Agata Melnikova returns under the Sign Libra moniker. Closer to the Equator was composed for a contemporary ballet for the National Opera in Riga and explores Melnikova's appreciation of BBC-produced nature documentaries. According to the label, each song is a musical tableau which plays its part in a ballet - all carefully choreographed by the Latvian artist. Themes and concepts aside, these celestial, new-age ambient excursions merge with tropical and oriental aesthetics, plus hypnotic polyrhythms and utilising a lot of FM synthesis on these '80s styled soundtracks. Undoubtedly in the vein of John Hughes films as heard on "Mantodea vs Furcifer Pardalis" and even some romantic retro-futurism inspired by the original Blade Runner soundtrack like on the sultry "Victoria Amazonica". For fans of Vangelis Katsoulis, Visible Cloaks or John Roberts.
Review: More captivating oddities from Paris' ever surprising Antinote camp, following up Sign Libra and D.K's shimmering new-age soundscapes. We have the Reims based producer Slowglide following up a first release on his own imprint Vapeur. As even the label themselves have suggested, these evocative tracks bear the hallmarks of classic Sheffield bleep techno and IDM from the early '90's - as heard on the dynamic "Reigi". Then there's more moody and experimental flavour on "Haipa" with its dense broken beats facing off with analogue blips and blurps, calling to mind the seminal work of early Autechre.
Review: After IUEKE's stormy techno we wanted to head for something more laid back and luminous, something more summerish. Antoine Kogut brings us this perfect three tracker largely inspired by his wide culture of Euro-Jazz, Afro and Proto-Electronics curiosities. Antinote is really glad to add this sentimental UFO to its catalog and to welcome this brilliant and talented artist in the crew. As the first release of the label, it's a matter of groove mixed up with sensitivity, and fragility. Both unclassifiable and really respectful of the good'ol french traditions (from Bernard Estardy to Air), Syracuse is just giving their most sincere joyful vibrations and their love for non-stigmatized music.
Review: Zaltan's eclectic Antinote label never fails to impress us here at Juno. This time the label is offering us a full length from delightful oddball duo Syracuse, which arrives after a 12" and a 7" on the label. Like those previous releases, Liquid Silver Dream is nothing short of delightful as Syracuse dip into deep house not deep house on "L'Eau Des Songes" (complete with an awesome farfisa organ), dreamy broken beat ( "On Desert Oceans") and slow burning pop nuggets. "Love" and "Le Coeur En Naufrage" both stand out, being as sultry as they are melancholic in a way only the French can do. The ten minute long epic that is the title track is an amazing slice of high tech soul that'd make even Space Dimension Controller stand up and notice.
Review: Hot on the heels of Tolouse Low Trax's first outing on celebrated Parisian label Antinote comes the follow-up Deacdes 2/3. The producer's distinctive musical voice - wayward, dystopian, and fearlessly experimental - seems particularly fitting given recent political events. Opener "Calirough", all sustained horror chords, distorted percussion and ghostly samples, is particularly potent, though the warped, metallic chug of "Hiroglyph" is not far behind. He returns to 4/4 pastures with the post-truth throb of "Wooden Words", before imagining a bleak future on the intense hum of "Monia", a typically dark and crunchy workout that's as chilling as a Donald Trump presidency.