Review: Akkan is the Barcelona based production partnership between prolific natives BeGun and Ocellot. They came together after a magic mushroom induced psychotropic journey in the Kalahari Desert - and that is reflected in their sounds which build on idiosyncratic and trippy melodies and ethnic rhythms. The Kai EP follows up last year's tremendous Bananat EP and features the blissed-out and exotic title track, which receives a slo-mo and very lo-slung rework by El Buho (Wonderwheel) followed by a truly trance-inducing remix by Mexico's Inigo Vontier (Calypso Records/Turbo Recordings) who utilises the original's sultry vocals to stunning effect.
Review: Debutant twosome Akkan apparently has a penchant for psychedelic disco flavours and African percussioon. That's certainly what they deliver on superb opener "Bananat", where fluttering flutes, exotic vocal samples, whistling synth motifs and foreboding electronics rise above a loose and layered rhythm track (think sturdy kick drums and off-kilter hand percussion). The warmer and thicker "Ayuca" wanders further towards deep Afro-house territory whilst retaining their darting electronics and woozy synthesizers, while "Papayah" is a storming take on cheery piano house fused with the electronic Marimba lines and pitched-up chants. To complete an intriguing package, Nadvue provides a decidedly psychedelic nu-disco remix of "Bananat".
Review: The mysterious Destino is here once again, bringing through his personal form of etherealism with this new EP for La Belle. Downtempo goes someway in describing this sound, but its quality rests in its hidden funk and dubwise mannerisms. "Louis", for instance, grooves along at a steady pace, guided by wonderful shades of low frequencies, whereas "Isla Grande" goes on a more 'digi' tip with its subtle bleep shapes and electro bass wound down to a mid-tempo haze. Alek Lee's remix of "Louis" adds yet more charm and mystique to an already deep and ethereal production that drives way out into the ether.
Review: London based DJ and producer Earl Grey has tried his hand at numerous styles over the years, most notably house, techno and electronica, without finding his true calling. Here, he may have found his sound. Not Everyone's Cup of Tea is built around the sort of sharp, alien synths most frequently found in synthwave and leftfield electro-pop productions. Throughout, there are used to good effect on tracks that veer from ice-cold, slo-mo synthwave (see the delightful, vocoder-clad "Through The City") and drifting atmospherics ("Jus Clap"), to stylish nu-disco ("Pong") and skewed synth-funk (the mascara-boasting "Regent's Park"). Impressive stuff, all told.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, it's been eight years since the debut album from French electro-disco misfits Golden Bug. All these years on, the project is now the sole preserve of Barcelona-based Frenchman Antoine Harispuru. He uses V.I.C.T.O.R as an opportunity to showcase the various sides of his musical personality, variously touching on new wave-tinged deep house ("Black Soul"), warped post-punk-meets-dub disco heaviness (the Mascara-clad strut of "Wild Boys"), bubbly acid-disco ("Krokodil"), stylish, alternative '80s electrofunk (the squidgy "The Face Of Another"), trippy electronica (the superb "Dos Pallilos"), and 1980s horror movie soundtracks (album closer "Danse Machine"). Yet despite the disparate - if complimentary - influences, V.I.C.T.O.R hangs together brilliantly.
Taste Of Love (Il Est Vilaine remix) - (8:16) 104 BPM
Un Paradis Artificiel (MR TC remix) - (6:39) 101 BPM
Accroche A Moi (Destino Remix) - (5:36) 110 BPM
Room 666 (Red Axes remix) - (6:32) 118 BPM
Danse Macabre (STA remix) - (5:05) 135 BPM
Progress (Danny Daze Euromix) - (8:32) 121 BPM
Amazonia (Moscoman remix) - (6:44) 118 BPM
Black Soul (2CV remix) - (8:02) 84 BPM
Wild Boys (Strapontin remix) - (5:36) 140 BPM
El Dorado (Thomass Jackson remix) - (6:28) 120 BPM
Krokodil (Get A Room! remix) - (4:38) 115 BPM
Review: A quick glance at the cast-list of remixers contributing to this reworked version of Golden Bug's V.I.C.T.O.R album should tell you it's a set worth checking. Certainly, there are some memorable reworks nestled amongst the 11 tracks on offer. Check, in particular, the fiendishly groovy and low-slung Red Axes version of "Room 666", a fantastic fusion of wild Hammond Funk, low-slung dub disco and wavy post-punk pop, and the wonderfully trippy and psychedelic revision of "Amazonia" by Disco Halal chief and ESP Institute regular Moscoman. The quality threshold remains high elsewhere, though, with Danny Daze's chugging "Euromix" of "Progress" (suitably fuzzy, bass-heavy and analogue-rich) and STA's deep and spaced out dub interpretation of "Dense Macabre" both catching the ear.
Review: Parisian in Barcelona, Golden Bug has made quite a name for himself with his sleazy disco-electro releases on Gomma. Here's he's back, accompanied by Mau, with a newie on the La Belle label. "One Way" is what you expect: heavy punk-funky bassline, looped female singers, whistles, bells and a sleazy boy/girl drawl. In other words, hot stuff! Of the five(!) remixes supplied, the highlights are Freeform Five's acid-funk workout and Kapser Bjorke's hauntingly sublime, doom-disco re-rub.
Review: In Fields have returned to early champions La Belle for the follow-up to their acclaimed Blonde Ambition EP for the mighty I'm A Cliche. Throughout the EP the music balances a taught line between pulsation and depth, with the latter usually winning: "On Time" sounds like Yazoo played at half speed on a knackered cassette, "Teeth" is deep, undulating and slightly fragile house, and "The View" recalls the late night spirit of Metro Area. Fkclub turn the title track into early Duran Duran while Brioski strips it back to icy arpeggiated '80s disco.
Review: Swiss disco outfit In Flagranti have had more releases than we've had hot dinners. They deliver singles at an alarming rate, alternating between re-edits and more original work. Here "Different From The Rest", is less electro than some of their earlier work and appears to be based on an obscure but infectiously slinky disco-boogie sample. The remixes though are the real winners here with Moscoman's "Disco Voodoo Habit Mix" going all slo-mo, phased-out hi-NRG and Sebastian Tex delivering a lean and mean tech-infused disco-house version.
Review: New York-based prducer Lou Teti seems to be gaining confidence with every release. This new single for La Belle is arguably his strongest yet. The genius of "Talk About It" lies in its combination of fuzzy, low-slung disco grooves, alien synth melodies and weary vocals. The whole thing sounds tailor-made for DFA - think Holy Ghost! on downers and you're close. Bonus cut "Dream Out" busts some squidgy electrofunk shapes, whilst Pete Herbert offers up two remixes of the title track. Both boast heavy synth bass and sprightly nu-disco synths - well worth checking out!
Review: This time last year, Parisian imprint La Belle - run, at least in part, by Golden Bug and Herr Styler - slipped out their first release. 12 months on, they present an impressive resume of their output to date. Focusing on a stylish, knowing, basement-friendly take on nu-disco, with nods to house, acid, punk-funk and electro - La Belle Season One is a riotous collection of floor-friendly jams. From the acid-infused 4/4 funk of Freeform Five's remix of Golden Bug's "One Way" and the inspired Italo of Moon Runner's "Tlatohua", to the Balearic disco-goes-rave stylings of Pete Herbert's rework of Lou Teti's "Talk About It", there's much to admire. In fact, you'll struggle to find a stronger collection of contemporary disco-inspired business.
Review: La Belle is a multinational label owned and managed by three friends in Paris: Antoine Harispuru (Golden Bug), Herr Styler and the La Tebwa Records' head honcho who goes unnamed in this instance (enigmatic!). Eight years, 20 artists and 43 releases, it has quickly established itself with its unique style. Now, they present the One Night Stands series: a unique collection of unreleased tracks, sought-out and selected with all the experience and the appetite of the founders. From London to Tel Aviv via Madrid and Paris, One Night Stands mixes well-established projects such as Golden Bug, In Fields, In Flagranti, Akkan and DESTIINO (Yuksek's side project), as well as newer artists like Sebastopol, Youkounkoun, Ozzy and many others