Synth-O-Ven – A New Day EP – Just Move Records

While A New Day may remind you of hazy nights lost sometime in the mid-nineties its impact is purely 2022 (plus). First off the kick is a thing of smouldering beauty, which in itself transports you to other places, add to that soulfully charged keys, propulsive bass, vocals hinting at meaningful melody and you will find yourself at a emotionally satisfying location. Thorne Miller supplies the remix giving it all a cool, deeper slant. Next, Lotus compliments care off smooth Rhodes reflections, while The Rhodes Again does as the title says washing over you in a sea dancing chords. Leaving the irresistible rhythms of Untitled with Zulu^Yasabeka to end on a disco flavoured high, albeit a tastefully subtle one.

Release: September 30
Buy https://www.traxsource.com/title/1864892/a-new-day
https://justmoverecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-new-day-ep
https://www.facebook.com/synthoven

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Husa & Zeyada – Hit The Ground – IAMHER Records

Beauty in simplicity. Could almost be the beginning and end of the review but that would miss out talking about the haunting, yearning vocals and how they combine effortlessly with the pulsating bassline, alongside captivating guitar motifs and a gentle swirl of intense pads escaping from side to side. It all combines to produce this richly intense production that reaches the word excellent. Then comes the Madmotormiquel remix which adds a grainy sense of analogue into the rhythm section with additional percussion only fuelling the fire while aiming towards an energetic, melodically charged eight minutes.

Release: September 23
Buy https://www.beatport.com/release/hit-the-ground/3858062
https://www.facebook.com/husazeyada
https://www.iamherkollektiv.com

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Samuel Rohrer – Hungry Ghosts – Arjunamusic Records

Hungry Ghosts immerses you in the language of the past being disconnected. That the future has been plugged into. Yet listening to the albums opening Oxygen Beat feeds the imagination with images of explorations in Jazz and radical electronics, both incidentally from the 1950’s and 60’s, so you can’t help but feel that the music is as much about the ever evolving organic nature of sound itself just as it is about the otherworldly reach of dynamic, synthesized tones.

Proceeded by the wildly calming Body Language whose free-form approach to improvisation perhaps says much more about the creative mind-flow of an artist rather than formal analysis could ever put into words. Much like the following Serotonin does – clues appear to come in the form of names. As you continue along the path you rapidly realise that the impact of the sounds and the way then have been loosely arranged around themes has produced something quite extraordinary. Cosmic in the way it is mind-expanding, vigorous in the way it stretches out time to realise resilient atmospheric consequences, there is a robust elegance to be discovered at every turn.

Sometimes edges are torn such as on the explosive Human Regression, at others they are glued back together again as Ceremonism sequences pulses of exaltation via a series of repeating arpeggios. Perhaps, Hungry Ghosts is about snapshots of independent thoughts alongside the rhythms of life’s conflicting motions revealing themselves. You only have to witness Samuel Rohrer playing drums to see it written large across his face. Either way this is resolutely strange, remarkable and utterly compelling series of musical pieces for equal parts: mind, body, soul.

Release: September 23
Buy https://arjunamusic-records.bandcamp.com/album/hungry-ghosts
http://www.samuelrohrer.com
http://www.arjunamusic.com

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f5point6 – A Matter of Light and Depth – See Blue Audio

People come. People go. In the same direction, in opposite directions with different intentions. Those moments occupying the spaces in-between time and are the ones seeking out something fantastical as evidenced here. R.Cleveland Aaron’s journey into the expanse relies on copious investigations into the now and an escape to further beyond. His music can be fractured or provide a blurring of vision, much like life does, but can also be soulful and beautiful as particular occurrences are cherished. Try hearing the title track for a start which features all of those things alongside a wondrous use of stereo prompting smile forming inquiry.

One of the many reflective points that intrigue me about music is its innate ability to evolve into something quite different. Something unexpected surprising you with new-born ideas. This series of albums does that. The evidence lies within the sonic evocations hardwired to the human consciousness craving more radical experience. Listen to the quietly exhilarating Twelve.Three.Three.Three containing a rush of voice plus repeating minimal motifs that refreshes memory and word. A seemingly increased use of drums also appears with unsuspecting mannerisms on numbers like In Order to Funktion. Then providing contrast Shifting Perspectives challenges orthodoxy as waves of pads breach the soul while, Outro – Memoirs from My Inner Voice departs with a sense of good grace and the thought that heaven may just be possible.

These are just words written by me, suggested from elsewhere, as a Consequence of listening to A Matter of Light and Depth. If music is more than the sum of purely nostalgic parts for you, when the allure of melody has lost some of its sting, then I’d sincerely suggest you try this as an alternative.

Release: September 23
Buy https://f5point6.bandcamp.com
https://www.seeblueaudio.com/f5point6

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Cook Strummer – Berlin Gets Physical – Get Physical Music

Let’s start with the Art as the cover is the very first thing to grab your attention. Designed by Lyon-based street artist, Brusk the incendiary nature of the image matches the driven rhythms occupying Cook Strummer’s excellent selection inside. What sets this compilation aside is the exciting diversity of the music along with the different moods and atmospheres realised. Vocals are touched upon, heavy drums explored and futuristic synthesizers expanded all in the course of this explosive journey that never loses sight of the dancefloor, or for that matter the emotional thought process underlying it.

Release: September 23
Buy https://cookstrummer.bandcamp.com/album/cook-strummer-berlin-gets-physical
http://www.cookstrummer.com

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Cook Strummer Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Cook Strummer. What struck me about the music you have released to date is just how varied it has been starting with Memories back in 2014 and more recently this year’s club fuelled, Atmosphere. How important is being musically diverse for you as an artist?

Thanks for having me, Sixty ! About the variety of styles I released so far, my music journey has been quite a ride. I started more than 20 years ago, playing rock’n roll with bands and touring. I moved to Berlin 10 years ago, that’s when my music changed, and slowly switched from live recorded productions/sets (with a band), to analog live sets, and finally to a hybrid setup. 

Musical diversity in my case is a synonym of adaptation. Adapting to a momentum, a time frame, in order to reinvent myself. I have respect for everyone out there who has the guts to express its individuality, no matter what type of music. That’s my current mindset. Respect, assimilate, adapt.

Do you feel that modern electronic music can lack the power of voice and words to convey meaning, given that they are so often not used in favour of instrumentals? Tell us about the process of how you write words for music – do you have a particular microphone you use to record vocals? 

Modern electronic music is so vast ! Business techno tracks often include just a couple of words, while house music is sometimes built around meaningful vocals. I personally come from Rock music, singing and writing songs represent the core of my musical journey. When I start a new track, very early in the process, I spontaneously drop words / sentences and most of the time these are final, defining the main story line. Each song I write is inter-connected with the others, like a big puzzle. But I have been writing songs since I’m 14 years old, and the topics I approach (spirituality, self-development, clubbing, etc.) are part of an ongoing lifetime’s work. I record most of my vocals at home with a Rode NT2-A.

Your forthcoming selection for Get Physical’s, Berlin Gets Physical series begins with For Berlin. Can you talk us through how this track was created (or another one from the album) including any favourite hardware / software you like to use?

‘For Berlin’ is a track I’ve made to pay my respect to the city I’ve been living in for 10 years. It’s about partying, being in a club with friends and not being able to leave. ‘Last round’ refers to the ‘last drink’ before leaving, leading automatically to another dance, then another drink. And in Berlin, the clubs usually stay open for days, so it can be an endless circle if the party is good 🙂

I produce mainly with VSTs and Ableton these days, except for the basslines (I record my Fender Rascal bass), guitars (Fender Stratocaster) and vocals (Rode NT2-A) 

What is the story behind the stunning cover artwork?

Glad you like the cover ! This collection will come digitally but also as two different vinyl versions – one will be available publicly, the other is a special edition. The artwork has been produced in collaboration with the Belgian gallery, Mazel Galerie. The cover art for it was designed by Lyon-based street artist Brusk and the original will be auctioned by the same gallery in Brussels. 

Do you think Dance/ electronic music is in a healthy place creatively? What effect do you think nostalgia has on the creative process? 

I think there’s never been SO MUCH music out there. I find it amazing. The way we can find music instantly, look back, trace the evolution of micro genres… So many references, it became like a huge melting pot. My recent releases are representative of this momentum, digging in many references, creating something new, with a hint of nostalgia for cold wave / post punk. Nostalgia to my point of view is analogic reasoning, being self conscious about references that shaped personal musical backgrounds, and embracing these. 

What are the origins of OBSOLET? How was it set-up and what is the philosophy behind it?

OBSOLET is a crew and record label from Berlin, composed of Max Joni, SoKool, Mukkimiau, Dan Buri, Marvin Jam, Modshape and myself. Nothing is OSBOLET, everything is. 

When did you first start playing guitar and who influenced you? Which guitar is your favourite to play?

I started playing guitar when I was 13 years old. Before that, I played piano from 6 years old till 12, classical and Jazz. My parents told me that if I keep up till I become 12 years old, I can choose my instrument. I used to be obsessed with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, the songwriting and the atmosphere they managed to create. I also was influenced quite early by The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Joy Division, Black Sabbath, Motor Head… 

The Telecaster was my first fancy guitar, I played it for 10 years, then I switched to the Stratocaster due to its sound versatility. 

Cook Strummer – Berlin Gets Physical – Get Physical Music is released September 23
buy https://cookstrummer.bandcamp.com/album/cook-strummer-berlin-gets-physical
www.cookstrummer.com
https://getphysicalmusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/getphysicalpage

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Dark Exotica: As Dug By Lux & Ivy – Psalm

Like walking backwards in time this compilation follows the path explored by Lux and Ivy pointing you in the direction of the unknown in all its late-night wonder. Sounding like every piece of cinema you’ve ever fallen in love with these ode’s to lost love and off the beaten track suggestion provide a journey every bit as wondrous as the others in their quest to unearth or to reacquaint the listener with the joy of jazz, celluloid and perhaps the occasional illicit encounter. If that suggestion turns you off you are missing out on some equistite sounds from the Buddy Collette Septet’s classic Taboo to the John McFarland Sextet’s grainy yet beautiful strains of Tangerine, to Stan Kenton’s explosive Latin flairs to Bill Russo’s travels through the Seven Deadly Sins which prove to be conceptual and robustly realised. Put simply, more joy to behold.

Also important to note the music has been remastered from the original sound sources, with wonderfully expressive sleeve notes provided by MOJO’s Dave Henderson.

Release: September 16
buy https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/dark-exotica-as-dug-by-lux-ivy-4-albums-on-2-cds/

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Freeez – Mariposa/ Alone – Far Out Recordings

Steeped in a history that’s currently sparking renewed interest in the UK’s take on the integration of Jazz and Funk these two gems from bands furtive early-eighties period set pulses racing. The trademark intensity still rings true as quick-fire drums and sparkling basslines underpin sultry vocals alongside cool, energised keys which all sound so resolutely refreshing in so many ways. For me it’s Mariposa which stands out head and shoulders espousing beautiful, dancing melodies breezing so elegantly across the grooves.

Release: September 16
Buy https://www.faroutrecordings.com/products/freeez-mariposa-alone-2022

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Willie Rodriguez – Love Triangle – Nervous Records

Sometimes records remind me of the 1990’s in good ways that illicit scores of hot, tribal rhythms and thoughts of wide-eyed revolution. Love Triangle does that plus a little bit more with its creative use of contrasts setting blazing drums against deeper, evocative voices alongside curious musical tones that breath in enticing, haunting ways. Yet despite all of this the track is more simply about explosive occasions primed with an infinite twist which also come accompanied by an irrepressible, notably fierce Beats Dub Mix. Excellent.

Release: September 16
Buy https://www.traxsource.com/title/1878384/love-triangle
https://www.facebook.com/djwillierodriguez
https://nervousnyc.com

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DJ Quentin – Mythical Groove – Sondela

Three sizzling tracks from this relatively new artist ignites the airwaves with a combination of hot-wired cool and emotional soulfulness. Bayethe, teases you with staccato synth lines that soon evolve into something altogether more musical as atmospheric piano chords alongside mournful strings are heightened by the addition of cool percussion, plus a biting kick drum, resulting in the arrangement quietly propelling itself skyward. In ways many Gumbawelele continues that same theme although is perhaps more traditionally uplifting in the process, leaving Mythical Groove to supply a tougher more intense rendition which again touches upon heart and soul.

Release: September 16
Buy listen https://sondela.lnk.to/SONDE017D
https://www.facebook.com/djquentinsa
https://www.facebook.com/Sondela-Recordings-108220767348954/

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