Review: The team at Naive have unearthed a real gemstone with this latest offering from Hassan Abou Alam, who explores futuristic electronic beats with techy influxes across five heart-warming originals. We begin with the steadily progressing electronic masterclass of the title track 'It Spills', which uses colourful acidic synth textures and a constantly evolving rhythmic base to give us something very refreshing indeed. Next, the distorted drum pressures and gnarly subs of 'Unkindled' give us a much different feel, followed by the clean breakbeat processing of 'Breathe' and harmonic bliss of 'Khamaseen'. Finally, 'All Used Up' sees us dive back into some acidic flavour as stuttering synth lines sit atop bright breaksy slices to see a wicked close to the project. Great work!
Review: Portuguese artist Violet and her Naive label presents this 17-track No Justice No Peace compilation in support of Black Live Matter while expression recognition of "the immeasurable debt we owe to the consistently brilliant black artists, black music, black arts and traditions." With 100% of proceeds from this compilation donated to anti-racist funds, No Justice No Peace presents a vast array of genres and styles that embrace house, techno, and breakbeats to more leftfield and ambient productions from Odete, Millia Rage & Purelink, and Luar Domatrix. Further highlights include Overland's "Nova Scotia", Russell E. L. Butler's "The Streets Aren't Empty, Their Hearts Full Of Heat" and Violet's own "Never L8". Full support.
Review: Violet is back with a bang: after a hiatus, she has delivered an album for Naivety and now this killer EP on its parent imprint. The title track gets Espirito off to an impressive start, with steely kicks and razor sharp percussion providing a backdrop for recycled house stabs. On "After Forever", she ventures down a techno-focused route, with a dense, rolling groove fused with a busy sample soundscape and frazzled electronic riffs. "Psyche" sees the Portuguese producer go deeper as a busy, funk-led arrangement calls to mind Claude Young's production for the DJ Kicks series. Eris Drew has been tapped to rework "Psyche", with the reshape diving deeper into break beat techno.
Review: Madison, Wisconsin's Ilana Bryne returns to Naive, the Portuguese label on which she made her debut early last year. Deep house from the leftfield side is the order of the day, generally - but purists and traditionalists needn't be alarmed, because none of the cuts feel experimental for the sake of it, and the emphasis is firmly on making booties shake on dancefloors throughout. Think early Chi-town house meets DiY, as heard through a 21st Century filter and with hints of bruk beat and juke thrown in for good measure, and you're somewhere in the ballpark. Forward-thinking house bizniss for sure.
Review: Up next from the Naive team we have a very creative body of work from Elles, showcasing some serious cool futuristic UKG, breakbeat and techy flavours from start to finish. We kick off the project with 'Gotchu', a buzzy metallic roller, stacked in colourful bass energy and twisted grooves. This is then followed by the rolling breaks and industrial arpeggios of 'WRTRGRER4A, alongside more syncopated percussive experimentation on 'Put On Our Classics'. Finally, 'End Of The Nite', sees Elles deploy some seriously groovy chord progressions over scattered, lofi drum expressions to create a really tasty treat.
Review: With the best play-on-a-name since Com Truise and Eltron John we are now met with Gayphextwin, the alias of Brooke Keller out of San Francisco. Teaming up with Jose Bernat aka Pepe from Spain, the pair share a split EP on Portuguese label Naive that since its inception in late 2017 has released music from Photonz, Octa Octa and newcomer Ilana Bryne. The pair meet in Gayphextwin's remix to the euphoric, bass heavy and sweet trancey number "Palinka Hammer" by Pepe, who also delivers two originals that find subtle touches of jungle and amen breaks spliced between the tropical beats of "It's The Lights That Make You Pretty" and percussions of "Bridging Mechanics". Housier atmospheres make their way into Pepe's 'Hyperoxygenation' remix of "Spz1" too, with "This Is How I Feel" delivering a beatdown deconstruction of industrial beats and bleep-ridden tones.
Review: Photonz, who provided remixes of Almaty's Gennaro, is the latest artist to feature on Naive. Like previous Eps for Violet's label, Angel Heart spans a range of styles, which is also reflective of Photonz' own deep roots in electronic music. This approach results in the rolling break beats and chilling hardcore strings on the title track as well as the slower but much moodier "In A Dream". These sit alongside the relentless, banging "Emerald City" and the wide-eyed, early 90s UK techno-inspired jams like "Baggy Kru". It's quite a trip, and by the time the release ends with Almaty's take on "Emerald City", it feels like the listener has been brought on a whistle-stop tour of underground electronic music.
Review: Almaty debuted on Naive last year with Gennaro and now revisits Violet's label for some more mind-bending tracks. "Sonic Signature" is an immense, acid-led affair that dips in and out of system-leveling bass drops. Underpinned by breakbeats and subtle cowbells, it's a fine retro-influenced track. At the outset, "Gen4" seems more understated, with an ominous bass simmering below the surface, but a bubbling 303 conspires with eerie synths to provide some added impetus. Similarly, "Tulips" starts off in understated mode, but through a series of drops and builds, brings the listener on an atmospheric journey. In stark contrast is the downtempo closer, "Do You Actually".
Review: Coming at us with all of the energy and controlled mayhem of mid-90s Midwest techno is Jodie Overland. A regular fixture at raves and dance events in Canada and the US, Forever In Transit sees this DJ veteran draw on the heritage of labels like Comminique for inspiration. "Anxiety" is a barnstorming, gnarled acid workout, with 303s squelching and spiralling their way over a relentless industrial rhythm. On "Virtuous", the tempo is somewhat slower, but the acid line builds and builds against the backdrop of tough kicks. In contrast, "Trance Dream" is dreamier and slower, with Jodie delivering what could be a mellow version of Thomas Heckmann's trance, while "Transit" is a spaced out come down.
Mmm Mmm Mmm (Ciel's Sigh O' The Times rework) - (7:48) 131 BPM
Review: Having recently been named by a UK dance music magazine as one of the "labels to watch" in 2019, Violet's Naive imprint has a lot to live up to. Happily, their latest missive - a deliciously retro-futurist affair from debutant Ilana Bryne - is another certifiable winner. We're particularly enjoying the scattergun breakbeats, thumping four-to-the-floor kick-drums and dub techno chords of "Dub Box Medicine", though the UK Garage-influenced hustle of bouncy deep house cut "Feelin' Myself" is similarly impressive. Breezier and dreamier flavours are provided by the swinging breakbeats and sun-kissed electronics of "Mmm Mmm Mmm", which is also given a deep breakbeat house makeover by rising star Ciel.
Review: Violet, who stepped onto our radars thanks to the Naive label's first record, is back with another newcomer, Bleid, for more mash-up house beats and dance experiments to prolong the hardcore continuum. The new duo collaborate beautifully on the first two tunes: "Badness" is a beat-heavy dance trax with Creole influences in its percussive flex, while "Toxic" opts for the broken beat approach in what is one of the finest nu-jungle riddims that we've heard this year...the 303 acid breaks out, too, so you know what to do! Bleid's solo tune "Wall" offers another impressive amalgamation of tough beats and twisted bass infusions, guided and charged by a wild and lingering vocal sample, whereas Violet's "Abyss" is a deep and wondrous 90s deep house anthem with enough bass to satisfy the likes of Bukem. TIP!!!