Review: Earning a reputation through the singles and EPs he's released with Of Paradise White Label and Lost Palms, through to the albums he's put out on 96 And Forever Records, Baltra has arrived at large on Local Action with a mini-album if you take into account its two extended bonus tracks". With Baltra's vocals cast upfront in his trademark style, reverberated or vocoded, Balktra moves from the murky pop opener "Make It B.I.G", to the spoken words of "Will You Be?" and the blissfully distorted bassline trip, "Like A Butterfly". Converging on all manner of future music styles that trip across ambient house and R&B - "Work (It) Out" presents its most dancefloor orientated number - good enough for a Dubsided release back in the day - to the neo-future pop of "Baby". Baltra's got Ambition.
Review: The Local Action crew are back at it again, revisiting one of their most popular original releases in recent times as DJQ & Hans Glader join forces once again, this time to celebrate their 'Thief In The Night' original with two scorching remixes. First up, Salute arrives with a blissful recreation, unleashing his super-uplifting style of dance music production with a tasty rework indeed. The second remix comes to us from the ever-dependable Al Wootton, who mellows the whole vibe of the tune out with a down-tempo, chord-laiden rethink, taking it to a different dimension entirely. Awesome work!
Review: There is always something weird and wonderful to look forward to when the Local Action team is in town. This latest drop from Baltra continues that experimental energy as we are gifted two very original creations. We begin with the super-colourful percussive arrangements and constantly expanding rhythmic designs of the title track 'Baltra', which deploys some serious carnival energy with it's incredibly well stacked up drum sections. This is a showstopper to say the least, which always happens to complete with a fabulous extended mix, once again showing just how valuable the Local Action imprint is to the world of underground dance music.
Review: Evan Majunder-Swift's rise as 96 Back shows no signs of stopping. Having recently collaborated with Paul Woolford AKA Special Request, he has now signed to Local Action and will deliver a trio of releases over the course of 2021. The first of those, 9696 Dream, is predictably impressive, with the Sheffield-born artist delivering a non-stop, mixed mini-album rich in atmospheric analogue sounds, spacey electronics, intergalactic ambient soundscapes and grooves that variously doff a cap to classic IDM, late '80s Larry Heard style deep house, skittish electro and the more saucer-eyed end of ambient techno. It's a hugely attractive and enjoyable set all told, with exceptional sound thanks to a bang-up mastering job from Bleep techno pioneer (and Warp Records co-founder) Rob Gordon. In a word: essential.
Review: Now this is a link up that we hadn't imagined, but now we see it, boy does it make sense. The team over at Local Action are known for being some of the most creative when it comes to building releases, so to see them link together DJQ and Hans Glader for a super tidy new single makes perfect sense. The track itself takes the title 'Thief In The Night' and is a certified belter, focussing on some genius vocal sampling and placement alongside a smooth, well rounded combination of soothing chord and lively drums to give us a tasty dish indeed. It's an international collaboration that once again shows just how popular garage music has become around the world in 2021!
Review: Following on from the super well received release of 'All That I Could', Local Action are bringing back the DJQ flavour to unleash two extremely enjoyable remixes, kicking off with Octo Octo giving a wonderful relick to 'It's You'. This is exactly what we wanted to hear when remixing this type of tune, altering the rhythms and instrumentation slightly but never moving too far away from those super catchy vocal lines. On the flip, Lavonz arrives on the scene with a mind to get choppy as the title track of 'All That I Could' is given a complete overhaul, stipping the track back into a spacey dancefloor killer!
Review: The thing we have come to absolutely love about the Local Action movement is the fact they are never scared to enter in the unknown and explore the more experimental side of dance music. This latest drop is a perfect example of that as the wonderful Shanique Marie links up with the ever-ready Finn for two party starting originals, with the breaks-infused drumlines and shimmering electronic melodies of 'Lifey' catching our ears immediately with its unique makeup! On the flipside we are given 'Movers', another catchy yet extremely original sounding creation in 'Movers', with Finn's shuffling drum work and fluttering pad textures allowing Shanique's vocal to dance above, jumping between patois flows and singalong vocals with relative ease! A truly enjoyable two tracker!
Review: As always when we see a new DJ Q drop land into the store, we are filled with excitement, with this latest release back a fantastic nod to his garage roots across two summer-fueled firebombs. We kick off with 'All That I Could', a glistening singalong, perfect for warm evenings and a bubbling party atmosphere, assisted by some extremely well crafted vocal sampling and floating atmospheric textures throughout. On the flip, the party intensifies somewhat as 'It's You' deploys a combination of moogy bass textures with vibrant 4x4 rhythms to get the dance jumping. It's a fabulous look into the direction DJ Q is taking, and we simply can't get enough!
Review: Over the years, the Local Action team have gained quite the reputation for delivering unorthodox yet incredibly popular releases, which is why we were so keen to dive into this bubbling four tracker from 96 Back. We begin with 'Half A Reach', a glitchy expanse of colourful keyboard riffs and crunchy drum licks, all swimming beneath a computerized soundscape. Next, we go down an even more unusual road as the slow drum march of 'Waif' gives birth to a chorus of glitchy melodic hops, before 'Hot Tip' goes retro on us with a choppy rhythmic switch up. Finally, the blissful synth sweeps and charming melodic influxes of 'Inclination Fresh' gives this one a delicate final touch.
Review: Finn McCorry presents his longest and most complete release yet, a collection 'of six house jams for trying times.' Part of the team behind NTS Manchester, each of the tracks on Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough have been thoroughly tested on his monthly show and his B2B series - which has recently seen him play alongside UNiiQU3, Teki Latex and Eclair Fifi and at Manchester's Soup Kitchen club. Finn has crafted his own take on house music, taking aspects from speed garage, grime and hardcore in the UK, to regional club music from the USA. From the feel good, neon-lit, disco inflected house of "Who Is This (It's P)", the French Touch influenced "Give Us A Hand" and the melancholic bounce of "Trying Your Best", its a fabulous EP.
Review: DEEMZ is a new four-track EP by UK beat merchant Allen Wooton aka Deadboy, following up great releases on Aus Music, Ten Thousand Yen and New Atlantis. Incorporating techno, house and more, it is one one of his strongest records of late and sees him return to the dancefloor aesthetics of his previous releases. From the jagged, bass-heavy futurism of the title track, the street level tech house shuffle of "R Less" or the splintered industrial beats of "Come Back To The World" the now Montreal based artist further proves that he is a sonic force to be reckoned with.
An Early Morning Rush Of Euphoria - (1:28) 154 BPM
On Everything (feat Gemma Dunleavy) - (3:32) 110 BPM
Rocks, Shells & Some Fossils - (2:05) 60 BPM
Nasty (feat Mr Mitch) - (3:01) 136 BPM
From Memory - (2:12) 120 BPM
Position (feat Nemesis) - (2:26) 136 BPM
Explain With Your Hands - (2:52) 143 BPM
Cityscape Meditation (feat Octo Octa) - (4:29) 56 BPM
Friends Or Lovers? (feat Buscabulla) - (2:24) 110 BPM
Free 2 B Whoever - (2:54) 140 BPM
Review: Local Action make a shimmering return on this one alongside the emotive melodies and sound design of Orlando's debut self titled album. As a showcase of the artist it's fantastic, exploring deep into the producer's musical ideals and thought process. One of the standout tracks has the be the beautiful collaboration with Buscabulla named 'Friends Or Lovers' which is an embrace of breathy vocal melodies and glistening arpeggiators. Other highlights include the smoothly designed horizons of 'Cityscape' alongside Octa Octa and of course the high profile dancehall infused team up with Mr Mitch and Yayoyano entitled 'Nasty'. This one really has something for everyone.
Review: Yamaneko's debut album - 2014's Pixel Wave Embrace became a cult classic - quietly but notably influential on the artists around him and further afield. For his third full length effort on hometown imprint Local Action, the London based producer Joe Moynihan (who has released under the names Talbot Fade and Yaroze Dream Suite with Miles Mitchell) has been combining electronic music with ambient by way of grime, new age cassette music, video game soundtracks and techno. This album follows up last year's colder, less inviting Project Nautilus (Keygen Loops) but is a complete change of perspective. Story has it that earlier in 2017, he was commissioned to create music for a spa in Europe. These commissions eventually developed into a mass of material which formed the basis of this entire album. Here he has created his most blissful, beatless record to date.
Run.Away / There's No Face In The Strings - (4:06) 97 BPM
Lease Of Youth - (4:08) 59 BPM
Accord - (1:11)
Review: This year, there has been no one more fundamental to the development of Local Action than the prodigious, and extremely talented Erskine Lynas. Lynas is based in Aberdeen, and was only recently churning out future-grime frameworks across the scene; this new step into the vast, bottomless pit of Balearic electronica is both a refreshing surprise, and utterly impressive given just how damn good he is at crafting the stuff. This new LP, Lease Of Youth, is his third outing for the label, and it offers listeners a chance to cop some pure synth vibes of all shapes and sizes. "Feather Fall" and "Craiger Caught The Sleeper" open with sweet, poopy vibes backed by subtle house rhythms, but the album soon precipitates into much looser, abstract notions of electronic dance. Form the bouncy waves of "New Concrete" to the gentle ambience of "Forever Rain", the one consistent factor is Lynas' own voice, riding majestically along a river of endless euphoria.
Review: Female house sensation Dawn Richard started off as a vocalist for the likes of Supplemental Facts back in the day, bust she's since developed into a sublime beat producer with an unmistakably singular style and mentality. She's back with a bunch of remixers to help re shape some top tunes from her recent album, Redemption, out through Local Action. Alla shades of house and bass are on offer here, starting off with the funky stride of Florentino's version of "Lilies", followed magnificently by Mr Mitch's seductive R&B take on "Vines". Sega Bodega launches an instant pop hit with his version of "Voices", while Orlando transforms "Lazarus" into a bittersweet ballad made of beautiful ambient soul, and Hi Tom follows suit with a more beat-driven pop remangle. This is chart material.
Review: Parisian in London Big Dope P has been releasing influential artists from Jersey, Chicago and more for over a decade on his Moveltraxx imprint. He and cohort maggyDMP have linked with Feadz, who has been a part of French club music since his work with Mr. Oizo in the late 1990s. Altogether they create some 'MPC jubilance' on "Freak"' via London's Local Action. If you are a fan of '90s R&B then you'll be delighted by the samples of Adina Howard's classic "Freak Like Me" This jittery and bass heavy party starter is sure to bang the party. The Jersey club queen UNiiQU3 is up next with a remix that adds some wicked breakbeats and adds just a little bit more of the "Freak Like Me" hook.
Review: Deadboy will release his debut album Earth Body. Eight years into a varied career, the UK born, Montreal-based producer has made everything from R&B-sampling club tracks to ambient music since his debut in 2009. According to Local Action his first LP is a pop record inspired by Scott Walker, Sade, Drake and the Beach Boys, "filled with bold choruses and multi-tracked harmonies." The album was written and recorded during a Montreal winter, using his own vocals for a change, rather than using sampled ones on this brazenly pop inflected outing that is a noticeable departure from his previous work.
Review: DJ Jayhood is one of the most important producers from the second generation of Jersey Club. A regional form of dance music that evolved from Baltimore Club after artists like DJ Tameil started putting their own twists on 'B-more' drum breaks and kick patterns, it is is one of the most influential and imitated dance styles in the world today. Although he's not received the same international DJ bookings as some of his peers, DJ Jayhood is one of the most respected and popular artists in and outside of the state. He's also built a successful sideline as a rapper and hip-hop/r&b producer through his production work for Sharaya J and Missy Elliott, and coined his own sub-genre of Jersey Club called Booty Bounce Music.
Review: Yamaneko's fierce and cavernous bass experimentations for Local Action are given a new, much broader meaning thanks to this new album, the magnificent voyage called Project Nautilus. There's little that the producer doesn't touch upon with this new piece of work, from the quirky bleeps and funky tribalism of "Gala Helipop", to the distorted bass shots of "Accela Crash", and the hollow, spectral grime of "Pink 3", among many others on here, Yamaneko truly stands out from the rest of his contemporary bass peers. Tip!
Review: Brooklyn darksmith Lil Jabba returns with his second full-lengther and the title says it all... Grotto. Not the type where Santa sits around and orders elves to do his dirty work, but the type where the walls drip with sonic slime and it's so dark there are no shadows. Some say you can hear the crunch of bones underfoot on the title track, some say you can hear the echoes of your unfulfilled dreams in the breakbeat ricochets on "Cave Painting", some say the chimes on "Hazy Ox" are made rattling chains, some say the deep background gurgling textures on "Solem" are made from Jabba's empty stomach as he continuously lurks in his grotto penning incredibly soundscapes and never stops to eat. Some say the whole album is haunted. We say the whole album is incredible.
Review: Tom Lea's Local Action label deserves maximum respect and credit. The collective has been an integral part of the post-dubstep era and, since 2010, releases from the likes of T.Williams, DJ Q, and Slackk, among others, have contributed to solidifying what has become an arguably disparate genre of electronic music. Yaroze Dream Suite debuts on the label with this self-titled EP, and the opener "Pixel Dreams" is a raw and compelling digi rhythm with a distinctive element of serenity about its docile chimes, while "In The Moonlight" goes down a refreshingly lo-fi r&b mood. "Awakening", on the other hand, is all cavernous and foreboding, a husky beats of a tune with plenty of distorted tricks, which leaves "Spirit Temple" suspended in mid-air with its sinister yet inarguably enjoyable mist of harmonics. Tip, here!