Review: Cardiff's Hidden Persuader is a self-confessed electronics junkie who has been known to nab all sorts of old equipment and reconstitute it for his 'circuit bending purposes'. This new EP is his first for Germany's Bass4bot and features six cuts of traditional electro, which luckily boast an extra coat of modern fizz to keep the sound from veering into pure pastiche territory. Big props to the sinister, arpeggiated weirdness of "Bio-Wave", the EP's stand out track.
Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends? - (7:14) 85 BPM
Grey Day Drift - (5:41) 80 BPM
Ill Fares The Land - (3:03) 53 BPM
About To Enter A Strange New Period - (5:23) 69 BPM
Review: Man of many pseudonyms (15 and counting) James Leyland Kirby returns to one of his lesser known projects, The Stranger, for a typically unsettling trip into drone territory on Modern Love. Built around strange samples, field recordings and curious use of clattering live percussion (see the blacksmith ambient jazz of "We Scarcely See Sunlight"), Watching Dead Empires in Decay is like the unofficial soundtrack to Britain's continued decline. Certainly, its woozy electronics and unsettling melodies evoke mental images of late night walks through desolate urban wasterlands. Though bleak in outlook, there are some particularly emotion-rich moments, not least the superb, mournful "Providence or Fate".
Review: Six years on from launching the It's A Summer Groove series, Joey Negro returns with a fifth selection of sunshine-friendly tracks from the Z Records vaults. While much of the label's output - soulful, accessible, funky and heavily influenced by disco, funk and boogie - could be described as "summery", there's something particularly bright and breezy about the 21 tracks gathered together here. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the smooth disco-soul goodness of the Reflex's recent remix of the Sunburst Band's "The Secret Life of Us", and the terrace-friendly piano house of Shur-I-Kan's rework of Zo & Erro & Phonte, to the vibraphone-laden boogie-house goodness of Rainbow Connection and Taka Boom's "Surrender".