La Fleur/ John Monkman & James Monro – Speicher 108 – Kompakt Extra

Another great record to review and tell you about this week. The artist’s names you will of course be familiar with and this combination of hot talents translates itself perfectly into these brilliant productions. La Fleur’s informed nod to 90’s rave, Tears kicks things off with tough, punctuating drums underpinning an infectious series of melodically charged stabs until the vocal: washing my dreams away with tears, introduces another meaning to it all. Moody and compelling, yet funky as you like. The wonderfully titled, Pesto Punk follows by John Monkman & James Monro and the duo unleash powerful, loud synthesisers all over the stereo creating mayhem over the course of several self-defining minutes.

Release: April 19

Pre-order: https://kompaktrecords.lnk.to/Speicher108AR?

https://kompakt.fm/distribution/labels/kompakt_extra
https://www.facebook.com/LaFleurOfficial
http://www.johnmonkman.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/DJJamesMonro

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M. Vaughan – Portland Headlights – Freerange Records

A sense of mystery unfolds while the opening keys infect the airwaves with a sense of curious trepidation via the life-fuelling Nostrand Ave ft DJ Heure. Then the bassline hits. Feeling resolute and perfect. A brilliant production in anyone’s book this engages you in ways lacking in some electronic/ dance music because it illuminates the imagination, causing thought as well as monument. In ways it reminds me of something from Nu Groove years ago but then that is simply a compliment and a half. Next, and I love this fact, is Portland Headlights which refers to the historic lighthouse which has been signalling to ships in Casco Bay since 1791. Dreamy rushes of keys drift under a wealth of breathy, emotive voices and once again the word sublime applies to this concoction of spiritually rich music. The Garrett David Remix adds shuffling percussion and a more ‘danceable’ flair to his arrangement, but either way an outstanding piece of music and release from M. Vaughan and likewise Freerange.

Release: April 19

http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/mvaughanmusic

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Record Store Day UK – Prime Direct Distribution

If you’re hearing AWB’s ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ for the first time, then anyone who has already had the pleasure may feel that distinct spark of jealousy rising out of the sheer exhilaration, you are about to experience, with one of the finest slices of funk committed to vinyl. Or perhaps your ears are yet to engage with Teddy Pendergrass’ You Can’t Hide from Yourself, in which case you can absorb the soaring roller-coaster of emotion from one of Souls’ greatest voices for the very first time on twelve inch. Record Store Day happens this year on April 13 and as such Prime Direct Distribution are about to unleash this beautiful collection of tastefully crafted 45’s alongside a generous number of 12” singles in celebration. However, this being about the significance of music itself and how it sounds uniquely on vinyl you can also dig a little deeper to find sounds hidden by time. Try The Peddlers, ‘On A Clear Day You Can See Forever’ for a spine-tingling rush of harmony from the late sixties, or Lonnie Liston Smith’s headlong dive into Disco with ‘Space Princess’, or the much sought after Darrell Banks ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’. Thankfully music is not solely about the past these days, consequently the schedule includes more contemporary sounds from a glorious array of artists such as DJ Pierre, A Man Called Adam and many more. Of course this set of releases is only one part of a fevered, whole lot of love which happens across the country on April 13. Get out there and explore for yourself.

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John Acquaviva & Yoni Yarchi – Riah Alsahra EP – Mental Origami

If you are already acquainted with Yoni Yarchi’s fine, life-affirming productions then this latest affair co-produced alongside John Acquaviva (who also launches this fresh imprint) will satisfy all of those qualities all over again. In a sense tuning into this blissful yet thought-provoking escape into sound provides its own set of challenges by creating a sense of melancholy longing, which is in turn deftly contrasted by the warm glow of reassurance. Riah Alsahra begins this journey with a large splash of primary colour as strummed instrumentation spills out across a bed of emotive pads, snippets of ethereal voice and punchy, resolute percussion, it all feels beautifully all-consuming. Accompanied by the suitably titled Cool Breeze Dub this is released just in time for the unfolding summer of expectations ahead.

Release: April 15
https://www.beatport.com/label/mental-origami/76535

http://john-acquaviva.com
https://www.facebook.com/YoniYarchi

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Passarella Death Squad – Creatures – Passarella Records

I can’t tell you how exciting this is. It kind of reminds me about nights in the early nineties which were too far gone to forget. Although, defiantly plays like a breath of freshly charged air in context of today’s repeatedly boring repetition. It’s an actual song, albeit delivered with a blaze of Punk attitude by Emilie Albisser, set against an array of tempting, intense synthesizers delivering a riot of explosive energy. Remixes come from a keyboard expanding Nightwave who adds a cutting edge to the keys, and from D’Marc Cantu who carves a more brutal, contrasting atmosphere into the arrangement.

Release: April 19

http://www.passarella.co.uk

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Tom Demac – Serenade – Kompakt

It feels appropriate to listen to Tom Demac’s newly founded creation as blue skies drift by outside in the morning light of cool. Serenade pulses with a breezy energy that lifts the senses skyward as pointed piano smoulders, producing hints of yearning in amongst the probing drums and questioning voiceover. Is the word ethereal correct here? Next distracting from all that light relief is the much tougher Seventh Sign which as the name suggests gets darker with fizzy Acid lines erupting over a wealth of electronically charged drums, while also incorporating a strange blend of sounds to excite in other directions. Second Skin, then gets darker still with broken rhythms simmering across moody pads to end.

Release: April 5

https://www.facebook.com/tomdemac
https://kompakt.fm

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Roland Leesker – Believe – Get Physical Music

Introducing itself via a beautifully dangerous, richly addictive intensity this record hits all the right notes joining soaring techno notation together with a relentless arrangement of ideas and energy. The original version feels that touch deeper, though no less impactful, as space is given to the drums and smouldering vocals to weave their magic on this startlingly, brilliant highlight of the year so far. The brutal stabs alone combine to produce one of the heaviest, most celebratory moments you are likely to witness, while Man Power’s remix hits you with deft percussion plus a bold rush of bass alongside those infectious chords, amidst the whirlwind of excitement leaving all breathless.

Release: April 8

https://www.facebook.com/RolandLeeskerMusic
https://getphysicalmusic.bandcamp.com

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Moon Rocket and Re-Tide – People Everywhere – Soulfuric Deep

Never underestimate the power of music to transport and elevate your mind into places and spaces as only it can. Soulfuric has provided the accompaniment to many DJ’s soundtracks over the years and this release touches upon many of those moments with grace and favour. Typically featuring warm, soulful and of course jazzy sounds this practically instrumental number has the word groove blazing all over it. And that’s mainly down to the punchy, perfectly played bassline which makes you reminisce about the days of real instrumentation (almost) alongside the hazy horn blasts and breezy synthesized melodies of People Everywhere. The Jazz-N-Groove Prime Time Extended Mix follows altering the feel of the bass and extended the piano lines into a grasp for sunshine.

Release: April 5

https://defected.com/music/releases/moon-rocket-re-tide-people-everywhere

http://www.moonrocketmusic.com
http:// https://www.facebook.com/re.tide.music

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Field Of Dreams – No 303 EP – Field Of Dreams Recordings

Recognising the resilient essence of the perfect bassline: hard-hitting and resolutely funky, Field Of Dreams aka Chris Kentish and Alan Mackenzie celebrate Dance Music’s, specifically Chicago’s on the opener, heady days with these three hot and newly primed cuts. The excellent Losing My Soul sequences addictive kick drums together with shuffling snares, plus the aforementioned bassline and a sublime sense of its own intensity. The expression, what’s not to love, feels particularly apt at a guess. Track 2, follows charged with funkier, eighties channelled bass, leaving the compelling chimes alongside crisp drum-breaks and tough production values of Track 3 to finish off hinting at the next decade.

buy https://fieldofdreamsmusic.bandcamp.com

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Taz Modi – Reclaimed Goods – Reclaimed Records

Sidestepping both his work with the Submotion Orchestra and Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Orchestra the pianist breaks out on his own to release this immersive collection of thought-provoking pieces, which may well radically engage your mind. Accompanied by Cello and occasional drums alongside violin and viola this is music seeking to find itself in amongst a world of diverse influences. Citing one of the main protagonists as Alan Clarke’s film ‘Penda’s Fen’ the sounds may probe at introspection, yearning for answers, yet all the while feel resilient resolving into a sometimes uplifting sequence of events. The rush of notes that hit you on the ironic, Time To Practise touch joyous parts, referencing the classical traditions of Steve Reich, and are then contrasted by the more experimental playfulness of the proceeding Ethical Tourist. Returning to the title track, Reclaimed Goods provides a more immersive experience as melancholy keys dive into depths resolving via the addition of moving strings amid the blissful echo of a booming background beat. The album is a curious combination of robust, fully formed music such as Every Saint Has A Past, along with the warmly nostalgic melodies boasted by Black Flowers, which are in turn contrasted by the majority of stripped down works that perhaps challenge deeper emotions most readily – teasing out particular nuances on first observation that are sometimes rare in these days of the blindingly obvious.

Release: March 29

https://tazmodi.bandcamp.com/album/reclaimed-goods
https://www.tazmodi.com

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