Review: Trym aka Martin Lermurier kick-starts Involve's new digital series with a four-tracker that's inspired by 90s trance. The title track sees him drop an epic synth melody and ghoulish vocal samples before a pounding, pummelling kick drum takes hold. On "Polar Aura", the sound veers towards the 303-madness of Emmanuel Top - who is also a big influence for label owner Regal - as an insistent acid line and a vocal sample that claims 'it has always been about house music' bring the listener to trance nirvana. "Transition" is even more intense, with bleak synth lines and 303s spiralling out of control, while "Melodic Flirt" closes out the release with a gnarly acid workout.
Review: After six years spent teasing and titillating with a steady stream of high value singles, David Kennedy is finally ready to release his debut full-length under the now familiar Pearson Sound alias. The first artist album to appear on the Hessle Audio imprint he co-founded with Pangaea and Ben UFO, Pearson Sound is a surprisingly sparse and otherworldly affair. Intriguingly, Kennedy's usual twisted, dubbed-out analogue rhythms largely take a back seat, with moments of tough dancefloor abandon (see "Rubber Tree" and the tipsy "Headless") playing second fiddle to stripped-back synth-scapes and otherworldly ambience. It's striking on first listen, and only gets more impressive with repeat listens
Review: Strut's archival remit remains as international as ever, with their latest compilation squaring the focus on late '70s Hawaii on the delightful Aloha Got Soul: Soul AOR & Disco In Hawai'i 1979-1985. Across the backdrop of societal change on the island (statehood into America in '59 and the Vietnam War) Hawaiian youth found inspiration in the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and later Earth Wind & Fire leading to a truly vibrant scene by the mid-'70s. It's after this where Strut pick up the story, bringing together a glorious 16 track collection that spans the genres and suggests Hawaii to be a most fertile location for music during this era. Do take some time to check the detailed sleeve notes from Aloha Got Soul's Roger Bong which offer further context for the music!
Review: The third instalment of Hotflush's compilation series drops and it's a seven year flashback to the label's most fractured, far-minded roots as Scuba's label explores their foundations on the fringes of bass and left sided echelons of dubstep. Cuts like Jamie Vex'd's almost p-funk level of bullishness on "Twitch", the loose jazz drums of Elemental's "Sparkle", even looser jazz horns of Jazzsteppa's still-filthy "Two" and Si Begg's baggy, bulbous rhythm on "Angel" represent Hotflush's consistent surges past the very forefront of the once-burgeoning genre, joining the dots and helping make sense of the stern techno cityscapes the label constructs today.
Review: Former Evangelista member Dominic Cramp first made waves as Lord Tang with 2012's Hello, an eccentric but inspired debut album of quirky electronica on Gigante Sound. Butterflies is his first album since, following a couple of dub influenced 12" singles, and contains 12 more hard-to-pigeonhole explorations. Occasionally dreamy, sometimes sparse, and often odd, Cramp's tracks draw influence from many styles and artists - experimental electronica, drone, dub, Autechre, the Radiophonic Workshop, grime, Chris Watson style field recordings and deep space ambient - but always sound distinctive. This spacey, weird and trippy sound soup more often than not results in thrilling music, making Butterflies an exciting proposition.