Review: It's been some seven years since the last transmission from German duo Boozoo Bajou; a project known for its ambient take on electronic music throughout the 2000s thanks to a stream of releases via the likes of Apollo and !K7. They return to the former with this five-track Lambique EP that goes deep space and beats as much as it does ambient and exotica; take "Day Tripper" to the western themes in "Jadiz" for example or the stretched piano minimalism of "Shimmer" - just glorious. For something a little more uptempo check out check out the soft pulsations to be found in "Nacht Platscher" to the hip hop instrumentals of "Auxerre". Chill out space all the way.
Review: Matthew Adams' Sieren project delivers a full length studio album to Apollo following a string of EPs between 2016-18. It follows the Transients Of Light album Christian Loffler's Ki Records released some four years ago which expands on his bittersweet, emotive, and atmospheric production style; adding yet more nuance to his inner city UK approach to club music, abstract rhythms, epic sub bass and uplifting melodies of trance and ambient synth. Find ghetto tech tempos, techno drums and haunted wasteland atmospheres in "Night Bus" alongside the dubby, broken beat heaviness of numbers like "Oblivious". Beatless and melodic fields of bliss shine through in "Pacific High" softened by the cushions of white noise and crackle, sometimes punctuated by vanguard drum patterns as heard in the title track "Timelapse". Expect a roller coaster of synth dips and ascending synths next to pools of dubby drums and new school instrumental hip hop.
Review: Originally released on Mikhaylo Vityk's own imprint Leleka in 2014 on physical, "A Voyage to Arcturus" is now for the first time available digitally via Apollo Records. Ukranian house mystic Mikhaylo Vityk offers here a suitably epic Vakula LP, A Voyage To Arcturus, trabelling between ambient, dub, tropical jazz and more. Those with a more considered grasp of literary matters will no doubt recognise that Vityk has taken titular inspiration from A Voyage To Arcturus, the 1920 novel penned by Scottish writer David Lindsay with each of the sixteen tracks also named after chapters from the book too. By his own admission, this is more of an imaginary soundtrack than outright album, and as a result there is little here one could call deep house. Spending some time with it does however confirm what a singular talent the Ukrainian is!
Review: Chamber music composer turned electronic music producer Paul Frick has been rather quiet of late, with his last solo release of note coming way back in 2011 via Kalk Pets. Happily, this belated return to action - a fine full-length excursion on R&S's downtempo offshoot Apollo - is one of his strongest releases to date. It's largely humid and tropical in tone, with the producer fusing field recordings of nature and manipulated tropical drums with all manner of lilting, ear-pleasing musical touches. It's rather hard to pigeonhole, all told, but there's little to fault. The producer's ability to balance feverish soundscapes and blissful home listening fare with more floor-friendly compositions is arguably the album's defining feature, with his knack of crafting entertaining and melodious experimental music coming a close second.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a first collaborative EP from underground electronica veterans Arovane (AKA German producer Uwe Zahn) and Synkro (Brit studio don Joe McBride). Fittingly, showcased tracks sound like they could have been featured on an Apollo release from the mid-1990s, rather than late 2018. Check, for example, opener "New Dawn", where Manna-ish ambient chords and twinkling melodies rise above a hybrid IDM/experimental D&B groove, or the classic, Selected Ambient Works-era Aphex Twin loveliness of "Facing North". Some may hear echoes of Boards of Canada is the blissfully melodious and rhythmically jaunty "Rhizome", while "AspenA" would not have felt out of place on an early Biosphere album. In other words, this is a superb EP of retro-futurist electronica.
Review: Conceived loosely by Berlin based Glenn Astro and Cologne's Hodini, Turquoise Tortoise was not your typical collaboration. As Astro explained, they had the idea of working together for a a long time, but with them living on opposite sides of the country - it was rather difficult to get into the studio. They exchanged their respective takes of each track via the internet. The album's title is quite the metaphor, describing the slow pace of a tortoise to explain how the processes moved forward during the process of recording. The album features Astro's fellow Money $ex comrade Max Graef on the blunted urban flavour of "Malaysian Moped" and Hodini's experience with working with vocalists was said to pay off - you can hear it on the collaborations with Ajnascent on the hazy and susted down soul jam "Found!" or the evocative nu-jazz number "Beautiful Music" featuring MC Pinty.