Review: Cosmo Vitelli and Julien Briffaz's Bot'ox alias returns with Foremost Poets on mic duties for this commanding slice of indie-disco brilliance. With the French pair showing their love of softly building and romantic house, the pair let the satisfyingly camp vocals drive the tune, with a 128 bpm beat and simple bass and strings backing it up. Getting truly epic though, their 12 minute dub version is simply mind-blowing - using every arrangement trick in the book to keep it thrilling the entire way.
Review: Parisian electro-disco outfit Botox have dabbled in many a sound along the way, but this new single is something else entirely. "Grand Boulevards" is a searing, fast-paced rockabilly stormer; like Dick Dale being chased by Dick Tracy in high speed pursuit. Definitely different. Remix-wise Margot provides a cool minimal arpegiated electro version that evolves into some lovely piano work. Jared Wilson invents a kind of flowery acid house on his mix, while RoundHouse Kicks goes for properly epic electro-house.
Review: Big release on I'm A Cliche for the ever excellent and supposedly mysterious Crackboy, who follows up some music par excellence for Tigersushi with this triplet of incendiary dancefloor tackle. Lead track "Something For" makes maximum usage of the vocal from 1990 NY house bomb "The Realm" from C'hantal - it's been sampled countless times since then but Crackboy's canny placing amidst a rough and ready clomping beat dipped in lysergia is illuminating. "More Order" is a rugged acid jam that is on a constant upwards ascendency, gradually teasing out the jagged acid arpeggio over thrusting insistent drums. The pace seemingly drops on the final track "Hilinner (HiNRG mix)" though the calmness of the opening moments soon mutates into a bristling, cacophony of gleeful, swinging percussion and textures seemingly propelled by steam engine.
Review: Featuring artwork that mocks the Hollywood logo, and presumably the superficial, air-kissing culture that goes with it, Crackboy is striving to create something out of the ordinary on Crackwood. "Apes" featuring Claude Violante starts off with a relatively standard, jacking house groove, but then he adds a filtered bassline and a sexy vocal that claims "I don't know what I'm doing". "User" sees the producer opt for a darker approach, with its hissing percussion, fuzzy bass and rolling drums underscoring a narrative about a man describing his experiences smoking 'purple haze'. High times indeed. Finally, "Kiddo" sees Crackboy return with a more standard house sound, its rolling kettle drums and evil bass providing the basis for a robotic vocal to intone the single word 'jack' throughout.
Tour De Chile (Soft Rocks Dark & Stormy remix) - (6:56) 113 BPM
On & On (Bobmo remix) - (4:36) 128 BPM
Review: Red Axes cover a wide range of ground on Chile. The title track teems with robust tribal drums and is driven by a searing bassline, but it's the shimmering synths that set it apart. The Soft Rocks take also features the evocative synths, but on that occasion they are wrapped around heavy claps and a pulsing bass, while the Bobmo version of "On and On" is a jacking, squelchy groove with screeching riffs dive-bombing in and out. However, the release takes a really interesting turn on "Sun Goes Down". There, Red Axes do a fine approximation of Detroit electro as robotic vocals merge with shuffling 808s. "On And On" is also built on the drum shuffle, but its howling riffs call to mind the 1994 classic "Bells" by Hazed on Plus 8.
Review: Tel Aviv-based duo Red Axes is something of a curiosity. While their history lies in the new wave/post-punk scene, since signing to Cosmo Vitelli's I'm a Cliche label they've delivered a series of heavily-electronic tracks that sit somewhere between stylized dark disco, claustrophobic house and Balearic nu-disco. This latest three-tracker continues this trend, delivering tracks that don't neatly fit into any one style. The title track is warm and melodic, featuring sweet synths and strings over a decidedly Balearic groove. "Walk Alone" is darker and chuggier, sounding not unlike a contemporary take on Nitzer Ebb after a few calming spliffs. "Josef Cookies", meanwhile, sits somewhere between ESG and A Certain Ratio - a pleasing sound indeed.
Review: Now established as one of Juno's favourite production duos, New Yorkers Jacques Renault and Marcos Cabral - aka Runaway - unearth a couple of lost jams from 2007. "She Did It For The Money" first appeared on vinyl via Cosmo Vitelli's excellent I'm A Cliche imprint, and is given a digital dust off here. And what a gem it is - a slo mo Italo/EBM chugger that would go down at a treat at one of Andy Blake's World Unknown parties! Accompanying track "The Lorimer Stomp" is every bit as good, coming correct with a burning guitar riff and arpeggiated synths.
Review: With this new compilation, 10 Track That Would Help You For Cooking But Would Clear The Dancefloor, French label I'm A Cliche break away from their more usual electro house flair, and step into the realm of the unknown, the surreal, and the deeply experimental. Ranging from post-rock to coldwave and post-punk, this compilation is all about texture and subtlety, something that can be heard in tunes like "Fathers & Sons" by Bot'Ox, or the sublimely percussive "Dead Dog Farm" by Runaway. Other stand-out moments include the fast-paced polyrhythms of "Sticky" by Dixlexsix, the slow and balearic remix of Cosmo Vitelli's "Delayer" by Quiet Village, the distorted pseudo noise journey that is "Dreams Like A Tale" by Red Axes. Excellent and fully tipped!