This sequence of four energised numbers from Colin Bailey feels very much like getting your life affirmed all in one listen. There’s something particularly joyous about the beginning He Can Ride which serves the title as a repeating, infectious vocal line against a tough backdrop of deeply pounding drums, bass plus the melodic flair of riffing synths. The inescapably summertime vibes of the electric piano fuelled Dah Dah Dah follows in uplifting procession, leaving the Detroit styled toughness of Maelstrom to compliment perfectly. The infusion of jazz and funk then sits comfortably together as familiar vocals criss-cross the territory of cool horn blasts and loops galore which inevitably seal the deal.
Let’s start at the eyes which as you can see infuses the cover art with a defiantly cheeky twist on a Surrealist, even Dada-esque sense of the absurd. And if I’m not mistaken that’s a wonderfully serious distortion of a movie star too. The music on the other hand delivers hard and fast immediate and urgent rhythms direct to your stereo. Moody, nagging, edgy synthesizers command the landscape as deliriously funky percussion occupies the mainframe on the opening, excellent Panem. The slightly gentler Apart then explores similar themes albeit with a deeper, more introspective perspective and again conjures up a storyline of possibilities created by a wonderful, igniting array of electronic sounds. Thank you Jonathan Kaspar.
Satisfying the quench for the season this new production from Melchior Sultana sees, Timeless reshape the ideals of Balearic over six relatively smooth minutes of hazy escapism. The beats and bass bump and lightly grind but it’s the jazzy flair of the guitar accompanied by the expanding horizon of synthesized pads which generate the real heat. The remix comes care of Dean Demanuele who injects an edgier feel into it all with tougher bass and smoky voices all weaving their own magic. While remaining numbers, the more House charged The Message and I’m Serious both serve up sunnier climbs and life-affirming instrumentation in abundance via Melchior Sultana’s very own label.
Jazz. There it is. Just that very word. If it inspires a lifetime of musical potential, a storyline of events and most powerfully the ability to shape your life in different directions, then you’re at the right place. It is always a great pleasure when a music as important as this, which contentedly exists outside the grasp of the mainstream, arrives perfectly formed. Notably recorded at Abbey Road in one straight eight hour session no less! Indeed, 22a Records’ Ed Cawthorne – aka Tenderlonious may be familiar to you beyond this particular world but either way this collection rigorous, richly atmospheric tracks speak for themselves. Whether that’s infused by 1970’s funk as on Togo, or the modern flair of the superb You Decide, alongside the free-flowing improvised suggestion of Yussefs Groove. It’s all up to you.
Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Carlos. Let’s start with the alias, Solarc. Can you tell us the meaning behind the name?
Hello, thanks for the invite and for the interview!
About my alias Solarc it comes from a crazy idea I think, actually its an anagram of my name (which is Carlos) besides a secret meaning that I can’t tell you haha.
Your new single for Crosstown Rebels sub-label Rebellion: Dark Wings sounds smoky and hot. Can you talk us through how you produced the track, from where the initial idea came from to any particular pieces of favourite software/ hardware you like to use?
Well actually I never know what will come out from my studio. I try to set up all my ideas but sometimes I get lost in the middle and finish in another way, but this time I can say that I have been focused to produce something deep, dark and modern. I used to work on Studio One but nowadays I am more on Ableton and use hardware like Moog Voyager or Supernova also the access Virus, which for me is an amazing synthesizer.
Tell us about your relationship with the label and how getting the track signed happened?
I think we have developed a great relationship, I have worked with many labels and I can say that Crosstown Rebels works in a different way and they support the artist in a very special way. I feel really honoured to be part of this family and to get my music signed with them.
How has your Central America / North America tour been going? Any standout moments you would care to share?
Well the tour was great, I went to Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico besides Panama where I am staying part time nowadays. I can say the parties were amazing in every single country, specially in Guatemala, the energy and the crowd there was so special. Unfortunately we’ve experienced a very sad moment in Guatemala Antigua City as I was there when the “Volcan de Fuego” erupted some days ago. It was crazy, I was DJing in the city at an after hour right in front the Volcano that morning and it was magical and beautiful, then a couple of hours later we had to evacuate the city. Unbelievable.
Outside of the world of electronic music who are your biggest influences? Have any artists, authors, poets etc inspired you in relation to creating music?
Of course, I like every single expression of art, I’m a big fan of DaVinci, Salvador Dali, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Michael Murphy to name a few.
You have had music released on a number of major labels including: Toolroom and VIVA Music. How would you describe your journey to that status? And do you think that music is in a good place at the moment regarding how artists can support themselves in today’s climate?
Well it’s difficult, I think the industry goes so fast nowadays and it’s not easy to be on top of the wave full time. It’s not only about music I’m afraid, now you need to take care on your social media and profile, and need to get exposure in different ways. There are lots of tools but for me at the end is your music that matters, you know, that’s why is good to earn attention from big labels that’s the most important thing for me.
You have said that Club Vertigo is one of your favourite clubs in the world. Why?
Well I’ve got a nice connection with the club, starting with the sound system design which is Gary Stewart Audio, and where it’s located. I always enjoy when I play there.
And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans?
Well I’ve got some important releases coming out after this one on Rebellion, as you said VIVA Music, Toolroom and I am working on some new stuff for Crosstown Rebels and Hot Creations too. Also I am working on my Sample Tools Album and VA mixed Album that will be released before 2019, and hopefully ill keep touring taking my music worldwide.
Not so much a case of you can now breathe easy. Just Breathe. It all in. ARP aka Alexis Georgopoulos’ fifth full-length outing expands his palate of sounds and atmospheres in truly exhilarating directions. Take the opening Halflight Visions for a starting point as chiming percussion underpins the soaring rush of strings and notes which colour the rich landscape of imagination excitedly. And so the sights and sounds continue to enrapture as a world of rhythms open up to you from Africa through to Europe, and beyond the edges to American Jazz. Including even the shortest aspects held within the 19 seconds electronically generated by A Clearing. And then finally care of the beautiful, synthesized pulses of Fiji. Wonderfully defying a label or indeed a genre this is music that exists purely and simply as it is. You listen, feel, and respond.
Part of me wants to denounce Disco as worn out with every possible sample rinsed to death. Every conceivable note ripped apart and re-edited to satisfy safe nostalgic obsession. But then you hear a record like Request Monster and you simply want to get lost in it all over again. In its favour the sting in the tale here, besides the smoky low pitched voice questioning requesting DJ’s, is the piano which neatly offsets what came before via an edgy injection of jazzy fuel care of Joel Holmes. Next, A Lot Of Jazz As A Child (Sun Ra’s Children) reworks a kick drums brutal potential accompanied by trippy voices plus robust bass and brass. If EYE Was From The D (Vinyl Edit) and Crossing Dimensions (In The 5th Edit) then proceed to get lost in space with probing beats and notation all chiming at future possibilities, while nodding out to the past. The percussion punctuated Jami Jam Dubb’d completes with taught drums, swinging piano riffs and a heavy dose of space echo for good measure resounding in bold fashion. You can see and hear exactly why the release has been called Crossing Dimensions.
An exhilarating and creative piece of music form the mind of Doubting Thomas sees the opening Tandem produce an unsettling sense of self. Coupled with haunting instrumental blows amid fidgety sounds effects and an almost eerie, tense probing arrangement it’s a startling, rewarding listen. Good Words continues the introspection albeit this time with more prominent, probing drums accompaying the warmer ambience, leaving an excellent, tougher interpretation of Tandem by Alexkid to hang in the air.
Can’t quite remember if I first heard this on The Old Grey Whistle Test or via the Electro 2 compilation from 1983. Either way Beat Bop is a masterclass. Its very uniqueness stands tall from the usual cliqued, lyrical wrath which often (in retrospect) informed similar music from the time. A strange otherworldly sense of sound colours its arrangement, drenched in reverb, punching above the parapet with cutting rhythms talking up surreal New York street life, more than simplistic fantasied girls and materialism. A supremely funky record with an assortment of ‘live’ instruments creating a distinctive escapade, rich in soul, it clocks in at over ten minutes as it glides across the stereo generated by the city in that year. Plus, with the cover Art created by Jean-Michel Basquiat it now gets a timely vinyl re-release from Get On Down. So wired and brilliantly wonderful that you will need to instantly hit Replay.
Another excellent release from connected this time sees the tantalising, breathy delight of Valentine Romanski’s voice ignite the darkly, seductive, smouldering grooves on Prologue (Don’t Panic) which begins. Moon continues the thought as punctuating drum machines underpin a fuller vocal against an array of atmospheric electronics. Energy levels then rise on Point Of No Return which boasts more robust rhythms plus a rugged bassline, all the while offset by more wonderfully emotive vocal lines.