Review: Apparently the work of a big-name producer who wants to keep his real identity a secret, "Circle" does a fine job of merging classic sounds with contemporary flavours. The title track is populated by spine-tingling acidic licks and powerful bass surges, but the underlying rhythm is stripped back as stuttering minimal beats take hold. "Telepathic Heights" offers a similar approach, with stripped back beats underpinning a soaring bass and Chicago-style doubled up claps. The release is also notable because it sees Berlin techno producer Mike Dehnert in more reflective mood than usual; his 'mellow remix' of circle as MD2 is all swirling rhodes keys and plinky-plonk bass, but he returns to typical form with the Basic Channel-style chords and distorted beats of the MD2 "hard" version.
Takuya Kuroda - "Change" (Reginald Omas Mamode IV remix) - (3:21) 91 BPM
Don Leisure - "Egg Yolk Bun" - (2:44) 92 BPM
Essa - "Justice" - (4:10) 97 BPM
Tall Black Guy - "I Will Never Know" (feat Moonchild - 14KT IAMABEENIE remix) - (4:23) 93 BPM
Children Of Zeus - "Get What's Yours" - (3:52) 65 BPM
Review: Contemporary jazz label outta the UK, First Word, brings us a compilation highlighting a select group of artists, groups and collaborations the label has works with and supports, taking in broken beat, hip hop, jazz and R&B to spoken word and soul. Highlights from its UK roster include tracks by Darkhouse Family, Kaidi Tatham and Sarah Williams White to a streak of US artists in 14KT (and that Tall Black Guy remix) to Muhsinah, Stro Elliot & James Poyser. Special mentions go to Melbourne songstress Allysha Joy, New Zealand jazz drummer Myele Manzanza and Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda! French act Souleance turn out some playful latin breaks in "Mont Maudit" with some classy disco coming outta Don Leisure's "Egg Yolk Bun". Full flavoured First Word selections.
Review: Issued on Running Back's Incantations offshoot, A Sagittariun's latest album is a diverse affair. While it features the kind of tripped out techno that this producer has become synonymous with over the years - check "Watch The Skies!" and "Life Is The Illusion, Love Is The Dream" - it also boasts off-centre tracks such as scuffled industrial funk of "Once Upon A Time" and "Last Of The Crazy Baldheads". Heights is also notable in that it features tripped out jams like the cosmic-disco of "Lazer Battle At The OK Coral" and "Dream Stealers" as well as the broken beats of "Version Excursion". It shows that A Sagittariun is a more rounded artists that some of his club releases may have suggested.