Review: Bahnsteig 23's Record Store Day 2017 offering is, rather predictably, something of a lavish treat. It features a quartet of cuts from extended family members stretched over a lovingly produced EP. First up you'll find a fine chunk of skewed, lo-fi drum machine and synth groovery from Sneaker, the slipped Kraftwerk warmth of Cosmic Xpress, and then the tipsy, synth-driven krautrock revivalism of Bullion's Michy Maus. Up next is the slack-tuned drums, acid-fried stoner rock guitars and alien noises of Yama Yama by Il Est Vilaine, and closing proceedings is the low-slung, industrial-era outsider funk of Jamie Paton's Dept Life.
Review: Since Leonid Lipelis's last Beard in Dust outing on Bahnsteig 23 was one of the best things the label has released to date, we're expecting big things from this belated return. This time round, there's a far more Balearic feel to proceedings, though the Moscow-based source material remains deliciously obscure and virtually unknown. He hits the ground running via the brilliant dub/electro/jazz-funk fusion of TB-303-sporting roller More Acid, before making high with attractive synthesizer solos and bubbly arpeggio bass on the Holiday 85 style quirkiness of Pulsation. Next up is the high-octane lo-fi drum machine hits, cheap synthesizer riffs and dreamy backing vocals of Back Again and finally the pages from Ceefax go Balearic flex of Flowers.
Review: There's very little information to go on regarding this Power XIII release, but let the music be your guide. There's a distinctly gothic 1980s flavour to the music - it pumps hard but it's more concerned with texture and atmosphere than modern techno dynamics. The sleaze of the synth coursing through the A side should be enough to get any dark room heaving, while the wound up rhythmic tension of the flip will dig its claws into supple grey matter and inspire a macabre kind of dancefloor transcendence. Perfect for those who like a sinister edge to their night out.
Review: It may seem weird that deviant disco champs par excellence Bahnsteig 23 are already toasting to their 50th release, but in truth their catalogue started at 23 so don't be fooled. Instead, just feast on another salvo of seedy body music from Ziggy, which leads in with the synth-soaked pump and thrust of Trance Gigolo before switching to the sassy 80s funk of Yo Let Her. Things are just as cool and deadly as the slap bass electro meanderings of Amfobia brew up a post-punk disco delight with a schlocky horror twist, and Freaky Leaches leaves things on an ominous note via a swampy trip through the mangroves with only a steady ticking rhythm section for company.
Review: Thomas Smorek, aka Dunkeltier, was last seen lurking on Bahnsteig 23 back in 2015, and now he's back under a fog of VHS fuzz with madcap sampling and off-kilter disco freakiness in abundance for all the freaky dancers. Arcade has a motorik pulse to it, and one of the best warbling bell chime sounds we've heard in a long time. It's a creepy, but deceptively funky beast. Arabian Town is a more post punk flavoured cut with raw live instrumentation and vocals that seem to channel Joy Division, Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cramps in the same breath. Ce Soir is a synth heavy affair purpose built to disorientate and disturb, while The Blade brings a stomping industrial death march mixed with twanging psych guitar ramblings. Yet more distinctive heat from the Bahnsteig crew then.
Review: Swedish producer Albion Venables has been building up a formidable bank of oddball disco, boogie, wave and other groove-oriented delights on labels like Ambassador's Reception, Macadam Mambo and People Must Jam. After first appearing on the ever-excellent Bahnsteig 23 in 2016, he's back on the label with some more head-spinning obscurities from the outside tracks of synth music. Poupee Mecanique is a jovial French bopper, while Balearo cuts a more organic, reclining figure with its chugging bass plucks, laconic guitar and dreamy keys. In Coherence channels some funky AOR sass, and O.V.N.I heads into heavy prog funk territory, rounding out a veritable wild card of an EP.
Review: Franz Scala was last spotted on Boredllo A Parigi back in 2016. He makes the move to Bahnsteig 23 for this bold EP of synth pop, early electro and much more besides. Anacondas has a cheery tone, all sunny synth lines and a laid back boogie rhythm section, while Thai City is more like a scratchy beat track for DJs to get clever with. Shadow Dancer is one of the EP's stand out moments, a muscular pop burner for all 80s romancers to get emotional and funky to. Rascals finishes the EP off with some seriously tough drums and some body-popping electro styles that should go down a storm on the floor.
Review: Surely the freakiest house party in town, Bahnsteig 23 is the gift that keeps on giving. The relentless release schedule keeps up right here with this unmissable missive from Cherrystones, a learned selector and all round sonic oracle who regularly rubs shoulders with Andy Votel and that ilk of muso's muso. As you'd expect there's a rich spread of vibes on offer here, from the Afro-disco rub down Simba Dub to the Eastern psych lilt of Belly King. ExOhSkeletons brings out some gutter punk styles and loops them into a strangely hypnotic form, and Topical Meat Wave imparts some pan-seared drama onto a French disco-funk. KonGkinG is a shouty new wave funker, and then the record wobbles out on a suitably deep cut for the weirdos, all Oizo-esque synth blurts and sloppy live drum grooves.
Review: After coming to light with his crucial edits on Les Edits Du Golem, Alexis Le-Tan has gone on to become one of the shining lights on Bahnsteig 23's roster of deviant discoid dissenters, and he's burning up as he comes careering onto the label's 45th release. Agre is a steroid-injected blast of 80s firepower, all stomping drums and a dazzling assortment of dancefloor-engineered synth parts. Pune is a slower, groovier jam but it's no less striking in its make up. Hubli takes a more unusual path away from the party, into a hard to define zone somewhere between soundtrack, home listening jam and un nerving warm up-not warm up. Kulem finishes the EP off on a more steady tone, but still the rich, glossy production details come spilling out of this bombastic jam just like the other tracks on this loud and proud collection.
Review: Jonny 5 can rightly be considered a mainstay of Bahnsteig 23 now, as he returns to the label for the third time. It seems that the main source of inspiration for this latest opus from the intermittent producer has been the Indian sub continent, and he's channeled those vibes into three wild and wicked tracks for the weird dance party. Bengali Dub channels the proto electro vibes of 80s synth pop and shoots it through with some illustrious sample drops, while Simha works more like a particularly bold edit loping in a polyrhythmic fashion that will have the floor hopping like mad to keep up. Tum Tum turns up the heat with a deadly electronic revision of an Indian classic.
Review: Horton Jupiter has been skirting around various cosmically-inclined outfits for many years now, but this release marks his first outright solo venture, and where better for it to blast off from than the celestial circus sideshow of Bahnsteig 23..? The EP launches in a fit of kosmische bravado, all nagging arpeggios, warbling leads, sustained guitars and a healthy dose of drama. Eclectic Day is certainly a fitting title. Smokin' The Roach is an equally bombastic affair, although with a chirpier disposition and some Italian-sounding vocals, and then The Box finishes things off with a grungy trip through bongo beatdowns and fuzz guitar for those who like their psych music with a vintage twist.
Review: Sneaker; not just a cool sounding name... Edits as strong, rigorous and mind blowing as his require comfortable footwear. Lavish synth funk leads with a eastern allure on the infectious "Goddess", "Watumba" is tom tom tamping funk beast that you could imagine every DJ from Harvey to Hell spinning while "Magic Fly" takes us on a slightly less obscure but thrilling orchestral cosmic sojourn. "Do It" rings the final bell with kitsch staccato synth effect and playground vocal calls to action. Tighten up your laces and do the robot.
Review: There's plenty of great stuff going on in the loose fit world of alternative grooves in Melbourne at present, and Hysteric has a lot to do with that. Having appeared on Public Possession, Edits Du Plaisir and Bordello A Parigi over time, you know his jams are serious, and that comes through even clearer on this awesome release for Bahnsteig 23. Satellite is loaded with Germanic robo-boogie panache, while Fate has Moroder-esque thrust melting into VHS B-movie bombast aplenty. Etrange gets a French disco strut on the burn that would suit any lover of Cerrone's distinctive style, and then Pulse trips out into a cosmic groove that might well find a home with Bernard Fevre or some other such astral enchanter.
Review: Kris Baha is a Melbournian and resident of local label and club night Power Station. On BAH 036 he presents some more EBM edit action - turning his hand at a certain Skinny Puppy underground classic from 1984 on "Lockdown". We're not exactly sure where he sourced the groove on "Relapse '83" from, but it comes off sounding like one of those obscure proto-techno tracks that Lovefingers would play. Ending with the savage junkyard beats of "Energy Theme". Baha had a fairly impressive year in 2017 with this release right here (finally getting a digital format) as well as one for top Berlin label Cocktail D'Amore.
Review: BAH 040 is the first time out for Caissard DJ, not that you'd know on the basis of this plush, accomplished romp through 80s island boogie that chimes perfectly with the Bahnsteig 23 vibe. Bright Dance is a noirish smorgasbord of crystalline melodies and good, honest synth-pop thrust, while Market Anthem switches things up with a new wave twist. La x5 is a wonderful curio, all stuttering, borderline baroque tones and Eastern string histrionics. The Melange Dub of Arrakis is a wild soul trying to be tamed by the machines, and then Demo-cracy dips into an almost minimal wave pulse before The God Emperor finishes the eclectic ride with ethnic chimes and percussion filtered through a grainy medium.
Review: A first outing on Bahnsteig 23 from Alexander Pletnev, a producer best known for his exploits under the Ponty Mython alias. As with all of the label's previous releases, the EP blurs the boundaries between sneaky reworks of unusual, obscure, post-punk era material and original production. For example, on opener "Duga", Pletnev underpins what sounds like a skewed Turkish dub disco number with a bold new bassline and tidy house beats, before doing the same with the early New Order style trip that is "Wind On Skin". Elsewhere, "Manlakshee Fontah" is an exceedingly atmospheric drift through dub-wise bass and exotic Middle Eastern flute lines, while closer "Mamauntano" is frankly bonkers - a trippy chunk of experimental '80s electro/post-punk fusion full of chanted vocals and metallic percussion hits.
Review: Jonny Rock has been doing it for years, from landing on Music For Freaks and Playhouse in the 00s through to charming the likes of Futureboogie. His muscular synth sound is a perfect fit on Bahnsteig 23, dealing in an impeccable encapsulation of 80s production principles to make killer dancefloor tracks that transcend the ages. "Unidentified Robot" is a particularly fun and freaky jam, while the "Megaeditofanedit" turns up the schlock factor to a devastating degree. This is party music as slick as it is silly, making for an irresistible combination to get the party started.
Review: In the space of a year Bahnsteig 23 has positioned itself as a label of note with a strong run of EPs that draw on a rich spread of influences from cosmic disco to world music to provide a little more spice in your dancefloor selections. Portland's Elliot Thomas takes his Etbonz alias out for its first proper outing here after a split single with Dro Carey some years back. This single jam serves to raise the intrigue around the project further still with its dense, organically enhanced production and dreamy atmosphere, keeping the tempo slow and simmering for the early part of the party.
Review: Bahnsteig 23's productive run shows no signs of letting up as we round off 2016, with the label following up on Albion and Etbonz by turning to the considerable talents of Alexis Le-Tan under his Le-Fan guise. The Les Edits Du Golem regular turns up the heat on this wildly inventive record, touching on all kinds of styles in the process. "Swiss Cottage" is a slow swinging slice of new wave on a mission, while "Bruzzano" fires off samples in a mad cap Art Of Noise fashion. "Den Tempst" is a more bombastic kind of stomper, and then "Sondrio" veers off into moody soundtrack territory.
Review: The Bahnsteig 23 crew are flying towards the end of the year with a salvo of essential wares from their established crew and new faces alike. Sweden's Albion Venables has been doing the business on labels such as Ambassador's Reception and Macadam Mambo for the past seven years, and his first turn on Bahnsteig doesn't disappoint. In a flurry of eclecticism, the mood veers from the bubbling kosmische tones of "En Trance" through to the schlocky funk of "Schwarzen Mer", mixing live band dynamics with quirky electronics and keeping the groove delightfully authentic. The diversity maintains on the flip as "City People" taps up a moody New York flavour and "Die Marinette Der Zeit" strikes a more classic funk note.
Review: Hailing from Melbourne's party scene Kris Baha has been at the helm for many a serious party, the most recent of which being Power Station. Now he's expanded beyond DJing and is running his own label (Power Station) and producing his own tracks. This new EP, "Bah 028" sets the bar pretty high, delivering four cuts of supremely excellent weirdo-disco. Slow on the BPM's and heavy on the machine funk, it's clear that the recent New Beat revival has been an influence. Highlights include the pumping industrial arpeggios of "Powerform" and the stomping, steely EBM beats of "Crystal Ballroom".
Review: As well as being a resident at Moscow's Denis Simachev bar, Leonid Lipelis has been slowly making a name for himself as a producer for some time. There's a whole raft of Lipelis remixes for the nu-disco set dating back to 2006, but it feels like the Russian producer has stepped up his game of late. Inbetween some killer edits for LIES and an upcoming Public Possession 12" as TMO, Lipelis dons his Beard In Dust guise for the latest release from the mysterious Bahnsteig 23 label. If you were a fan of that aforementioned LIES release or any BAH 12 it's highly likely you will dig the four cuts here with Lipelis drawing for some obscure sources with eminently danceable results.