Review: Ichisan's 2017 debut album on Bordello A Parigi was arguably a little overlooked, which is something of a surprise considering the quality of the assembled Balearic, synth-wave, nu-disco and Italo-disco tracks on show. Hopefully the same fate won't befall his sophomore set, "Polykarp", because it's every bit as alluring and ear pleasing. It offers up a similarly colourful and vibrant collection of synth-heavy tracks, with highlights including the acid-flecked Italo/nu-disco fusion of "Polykarp", the Lindstrom style space disco positivity of "Kino-Sloga", the Todd Terje-esque Scandolearic dancefloor warmth of "Gonzo-Bossa Nova" and the Italian dream house revivalism of "Halo House".
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Review: It would be fair to say that this EP from Bigz and Soire, featuring guests Kiano and Below Bankok, is something of an expansive beast. It features two original cuts - the ultra-deep, pitched-down tropical-tech chug of "La Yeil" and the marginally more up-tempo haziness of "Zoned Out" - plus a plethora of alternative remixes. Arguably the most memorable rework of "La Yeil" comes from Jean Vayat, who gets busy with deep chants, psychedelic guitar flourishes, trippy melodies and a suitably druggy, arpeggio style bassline, while Haris Kate's slo-mo revision of "Zoned Out", in which the producer utilizes Middle Eastern instrumentation and hushed chords, is also superb.
Review: Swiss DJ Sassy J now curates the second compilation in the Patchwork series, for Dutch imprint Rush Hour. For the past 14 years, she has run a night of the same name in her hometown Bern, and another in London. Showcasing music by many of the artists that have joined her throughout the years in clubs, on the radio and at home, this release is made up of new and unreleased tracks, capturing a sound that has continued to evolve in its restless search for new musical directions. From the deep, soulful and emotive tones of Warm's "Blue Sunrise" or 2000Black's "Plastic Jam", to Afro influenced spiritual life music as heard by the lady herself (with Alex Attias) on "Jelly Bubble Rise", through to RH label staple Aardvark's hi-tech soul deconstruction "Aap Noot" and Mr Fingers stone cold classic "Survivor" - Sassy J takes you on an evocative sonic journey from start to finish.
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the music ensemble Man Jumping, with a reissue of their experimental, post-minimalist meets pop debut album Jumpcut, to be followed by 2 special remix EPs featuring Khidja, Bullion, Reckonrong and more. Formed in 1983 out of the disbanded The Lost Jockey (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), Man Jumping's aim was to move on from the unwieldy nature of that collective to combine the 'systems music' of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young etc with rock, funk, dance and world music and create a new cross over. Consisting of studied musicians and created from theory as well as technique, the liberation from formal restrictions took shape over four years that spawned 2 albums and one 12". Released on Bill Nelson's 'Cocteau' label in 1985, Jumpcut's was critically praised but destined for more discerning ears. The 8 songs - including here a 12" mix of Aerotropics - developed from 16 stave manuscript into live recordings straight to tape, with no sequencing to keep their live feel intact. Carefully planned but made in the moment, members Charlie Seaward, Glyn Perrin, John Lunn, Orlando Gough and Shaung Tozer's legacy is demonstrably durable, a testament to their originality of thought to an idea of what might be rather than an imitation of what has been.
Review: From Robsoul and Tsuba to Is It Balearic? and Futureboogie, Craig Bratley can be many things depending on who's releasing his music. He launches the Automatism label in a flurry of cosmic disco finery with "Ursa Minor", a synth-rich escapade that could make Cerrone feel a little giddy on its course to the stars. "Exotic Matter" slows things right down and ramps up the rock drums to create a noirish soundtrack vibe. "Exquisite Corpse (Zero Gravity Mix)" changes tact once more with some plaintive piano tinkering over subtle arpeggios, and "Running To Paradise" slides down into a smooth Balearic groove that rounds out this wonderfully diverse EP.
Review: Next up from the Deep Heads team, we welcome this tasty new selection from the one and only Audialist, a Swedish producer who is starting to bring his incredibly unique sound to the centre of the dubstep sphere. Through the sunshine chords of 'Serpent', clicking percussion of 'Keep Turning' and incredibly clean bass manoeuvres of 'Dead', he kicks this project off with a real touch of finesse. We then lean into the stunning harmonics of 'Urban Surfer', the dubwise drum and sub combos of 'Sleep It, Eat It, Drink It' and shimmering pad textures of 'Gone' to round off the original creations. He then gets busy of remix duty, giving a spacy UKG rethink to 'Same Kind' from Congi, Occult & Segilola, as well an unbelievable techy overhaul of Congi's 'Mesopotamia' and a highly rhythmic redesign of 'Memento' from Rat. Audialist is most certainly a name to watch in the coming months.