Walking the talk of times reflection this Joanna Law number from almost twenty years ago feels every bit as life-assuring in 2021. As you soak up all of those good time Latin rhythms it’s hard not to picture the melody of sunshine warming your psyche, igniting the breath of harmony perfectly. Produced by Simon Law and released as part of the singers forthcoming retrospective Rhythm Of Years. I love this.
Located in-between the gentle wash of spine-tingling Rhodes and Angelala’s sensuous vocal is the soul of this latest release on Jesse Saunders, Broken Records. Accompanied by an unfussy arrangement of punchy drums and smouldering bass this feels just right for the arrival of breezy late nights/ early mornings. Col Lawton then adds a tougher rhythm section to his remix while retaining the emotive flavour of the original, leaving the BB Hayes Tech House version to syncopate the bassline adding even more weight to the production.
Thabo launches the exciting prospect of his new label project into 2021 with this diverse selection of sounds, mood and attitude. The familiar sample coursing throughout Rude Child sets the standard firing off jazzy, emotional charges in all directions over 1990’s inspired drums and bass. Then expertly remixed by Subjoi by adding different percussion patterns alongside a deeper feel. The fiery intensity of the breakbeat fuelled Friday 14th follows, with the pounding heavy flavours of Dull finishing in notable contrast.
The further I drift away from the more conventional melodies formulating I love You (yeah, yeah, yeah) the allure of structures of sound, dissipating or otherwise, becomes all the more exciting in and of themselves. Which has more to do with the evolution of ideas and music as a self-defining exploration of mind, body and soul rather than replaying the same old song into infinity year after year, decade after decade. More John Peel, less Tony Blackburn. This collection of brilliant pieces of music from Scotland’s Bulletdodge compile what the label seeks to say and in doing so ticks all of the above in quick succession. The tracks come from Suna Path, Mash, The Revenge, Stewart Cunningham & Tom Saw Ya and more exploring breadth and depth in confounding ways. From the eerie prophecy conjured by The Prophet to the sensuous melodic chimes of Seisdum – Parklife, to the incendiary punk fuzz of Renwartherger – Yas Yas this scratches below the surface opening up an electrifying new world of maybe, could be, who knows.
This reflective production from Alex Cicada sets the future standard high as his debut release brushes the senses with the air of emotional resonance. The yearning vocal is at the heart of Syèl from which the splash of tastefully crafted instruments all breathe soul into the arrangement that is more about the depth of quality than simple dancefloor repetition. Two excellent remixes pay compliment with Ebrahimi reworking the elements notably heightening expectation via haunting keys, and from Hannes Wiehager who gets tougher with smouldering synths and drums all enhancing the atmosphere.
Music of this exception only occurs on occasion. Jozef K’s sublimely spacious production Ichika opens out all possibilities via the shimmer of spine-tingling electronics that chime in unison with melody and the introspection of soul. It’s not that often a piece of music stands out on its own but this combination of cascading keys alongside tight beats and punctuating percussion does so perfectly. Play, also contrasts notably via tougher drums, plus a heady whir of bass, amid suggestive voices all rolled into one.
I listened to this in headphones because I thought it required it. Although I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. Not that the free flow of sounds emanating from the minds of Paul Stapleton and Ricki O’Rawe are incomprehensible or that they don’t add up to a fraction of something else in any way. Maybe this experience of rattling, rolling suspension of time is precisely the detail we need in moments like these, given the light of challenging circumstances the cast of shadows are found etched across the resolution of being plugged-in…who knows? Delightfully abstracted and as far removed from melody as is uncomfortable, yet this soundtracks the space in-between the speakers in an unearthly, feverishly organic fashion. Matters alter (slightly) around the 8.30 minute mark (on A) as a pulse of drums introduce themselves, even though they almost aren’t there. A voice struggles for recognition amid the excitable electronic warp with the percussion forming a suggestively slinky rhythm in turn. But whatever happened I have to say both: A + B surpassed the thrill. Second to that are the remixes with Son Zept sequencing Drum & Bass into the chiming soundscapes, and from This Ship Argo who condense and compact everything via a heavier bass tone guiding the direction of travel.
An excellent production positively brimming with the idea that music should provoke the listener into reacting. The wonderfully titled Digital Lobster does so with such compelling force as the temptation of heavy-duty bass pounds the walls alongside the swirling stimulation of magnetic musicality serving to only increase that anticipation. Surprisingly at seven minutes you still desire even more, which is undoubtedly also a sign. The wildly impressive remix from Sei A whose dirty, grainy kick drum feeds the fever of an alternative interpretation most powerfully again compounds the experience in a blaze of feverish thoughts as sounds shoot off in all directions, leaving The Dub of the original to excite you all over again.
The connection to and from the imagination of liquid is clear while the sounds come fully charged with soulful depth. The results are consequently deep, organically connected and emotionally satisfying in abundance. As good music should also be interesting, stimulating five senses this succeeds at all while pointing to forward directions in contemporary fashion. Djup Trolling is very much about layers of sound and rhythm gathering intensity doing so eloquently across the arrangement, warm bass and shuffling percussion included. Rowlanz adds extra grit and a faster feeling tempo, Per Hammar then drops the flair of Acid drenched fire into its core resulting in the challenge of equally vigorous movement. (50% of all digital sales go to various water wildlife foundations and projects.)
If only all discotheques were like this one. The fiery, breathless energy which courses throughout the veins of Crystalline are precisely that as this bomb of fierce rhythm combines with a fizzy attention to detail. Arpeggios race, vocals captivate and emotions fly. In Flagranti then ease the tempo down a touch revealing a slinkier groove that retains both the sassy syncopation of the original plus the heady vocal refrain.