Review: As Mano Le Tough's reputation continues to head skywards, the Irishman-in-Berlin makes a welcome return to Prins Thomas' Internasjonal label with another sterling three-tracker. Unlike his recent Stories EP on Buzzin Fly, In My Arms largely eschews intricately layered soundscape deep house in favour of prog disco sounds. Of course, the attention to detail and emotion-rich melodies remain, particularly on the slow building 10-minute epic "Those Lights Are Lives". "Dropping Bombs" is deliciously Norwegian in its feel (think early Magnus International), while the shuffling title track impresses with its woozy krautrock synths, scratchy vocal and mournful pianos. Great stuff... as usual.
Review: Prins Thomas adds another name to the ever-growing Internasjonal roster: Mathew Leutwyler. It's supposedly a pseudonym for Mexico-based Mathew Senick rather than something by German techno producer Mat Leutwyler - either way, the material on offer is worth checking. Flipside "Katya" is rather delightful. It features a winning combination of a long, shuffling percussion build, sparkling piano chords and some quality Balearic synth twiddles. "M55 Cluster" offers a bassier take on the Balearic nu-disco sound, while the more dancefloor centric "Ahuevo" pushes dreamy chord sequences and blissful synths to the fore to mesmerising effect. Excellent early morning material.
Review: Word on the street is Prins Thomas whispered sweet nothings into the collective ears of Compost regulars Phreek Plus One during a hot summers Ibizan night last year in order to ensure that "La Spirale", the Italian trio's rasping strut through el clasico disco, was destined for his Internasjonal label. It finally sees release in time for the summer season, chugging along in a manner a legion of Soundcloud producers can only dream of and is complemented by a belter of a remix from Justin Vandervolgen. Allegedly the inspiration for Midnight Star's "Midas Touch", Vandervolgen has been on a constant ascent through quality production for far too long now, and his Love Boat remix sits comfortably alongside a recent storming Soft Rocks revision in contemporary classics, roughing up the groove without losing the vintage feel.
Review: Here's an interesting proposition: a debut album from a hitherto unknown American producer on Prins Thomas' globally-focussed Internasjonal imprint. To say that Oregon-based musician Tridact has little previous pedigree, it's an impressive debut. Fusing fuzzy old analogue synths (think Stereolab or vintage kraut rock) with Balearic guitar flourishes, lazy disco grooves and sprightly electronic melodies, it's a jolly and at times utterly joyful set (see "J24 at Sunset", "Cold Star" and "Over The Clouds"). While comparisons can be made with, say, fellow American nu-Balearic twiddlers Windsurf or Hatchback, there's a freshness and rhythmic urgency that was lacking on those largely super laidback affairs. Well worth a listen.