Review: As always when looking at a new one from Locus Sound, we are expecting a combination of innovation and nostalgia, a theme they have running deep through their catalogue. They welcome Roy Bar for a wonderful six track journey, kicking off with the wavy synthesizer intricacies and choppy drumlines of title track 'Icarus', before we dive into the spacey breakbeat action of 'Hemlock Riddim' and slower-paced halftime rhythms of 'Pineapple Kush', featuring a memorable vocal from Axel Holy'. Next, 'IFYB' provides us with some moogy garage flavour, with the pleasing percussive layers and moody vibe of 'Growler' coming closely after. Finally, the techy D&B manoeuvres of 'You Touched My Mind' combine choppy vocal inputs with sharpened drum licks for a very interesting finale indeed.
Review: Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream bring us a three-tracker by Tel Aviv's Roy Rosenfeld, coming from that place where the boundaries between deep and melodic/progressive house get decidedly blurry. 'Lift Of Love' itself tops a light, rolling tropical groove with constantly evolving synths that are one-part muzak (hence, presumably, the title) to one-part 'Star Trek', while elsewhere 'Veetoo' has the dreamy, floaty feel of Balearic prog and 'Honey' treads similar ground but in a more sunrise-friendly, "the morning after the night before" kinda way. It all makes for very pleasant listening - just add sunshine, sand and a certain Mediterranean island for maximum impact.
Review: After the success of the 2 Late 4 Love EP, Roy Of The Ravers returns to Emotional Response with a double LP with a deeper perspective, experimenting in ambient and drone textures, lucid techno travails and acid interludes. Recorded between 1997 and 2017, the album was pieced together over the last six months after Roy's archives were first feared lost and then found. Approached by the label to release a follow up with something more introspective and personal, it was discovered that a recent move to a new studio had led to over 20 years of music being misplaced after it was believed they were mistakenly dropped at a local charity store. However, deep in a box of what were thought to be patch cables were in fact the decades worth of hard drives and here presented, is a sample of those lost recordings. The nature of the music is introspection, eschewing the acid beats and white noise for a personal encounter between man and machine. The orchestral opening of the title track gives way to the submarine beats, pulsing TB303 and gliding hats of Robinson College 10 to set the outlook to come. Even with the scattering A Dim And Distant Past waking lulled senses, the melodies and feel all lead to a pause and reflect rather than jump and shout.
This is continued with the haunting drives of Bounce Erec and Oriental X0X-Press; the twisted, warped jams of The Weber Traum Boat Pt.3, Ichi and Roland Corp Labs 05; and the beautiful, heartfelt odes in Sade Lost Theme, The Clock House Pt.2 and closer, Nemesis '01. The album's melodic nature hums and shines as CS (6x8) appears as much a centre piece as a alternative consideration to the acid tinged, club bangs of Roy's releases to date.
A surprise package maybe, but in the rolling, word of mouth phenomena that was Emotinium II, all this and more was sensed and so White Sunrise Music II, spreading across 12 songs of contrasting moods, is a further affirmation that there is something good and worthy of exploration.