These three new tracks by DJ/ Producer Keira highlight her subtle side with music that is all at once more cinematic and soulfully enigmatic. Beginning with the title track, After The Storm and its dark, sweeping atmosphere’s offset by sprinkles of heart-wrenching piano. I’ve Lost You follows in a similar vein complete with more of those poignant keys, plus this time with more robust drumming to punctuate. Finally, Signs From Space is the toughest of three numbers with grainy, cosmically charged synthesizers communicating with uncomplicated beats and a highly tuned sense of occasion.
youANDme & The Analog Roland Orchestra feat. Black Soda
Poker Flat Recordings
This stunning release from the label engages you on many different levels flying the flag somewhere in-between haunting and spiritual. Black Soda’s unnerving voice only serves to heighten the tension created by youANDme’s dark fusion of terse electronics and while this may not always be a comfortable ride it most certainly is a captivating one. A Dub and Acid mix accompany the original again sitting you at the edge of imaginative forward-thinking atmospheres. The Hyenah remix then explores warmer elements of rhythm on a welcome relaxation of all that simmering tension, while the equally engaging ambience of the Morning Light version provides similar pleasure.
You could use the adage: method in the madness here but that doesn’t quite get to where it needs to be. Sascha Dive’s forceful repetition drives into the heart of the night with an unsettling combination of whirring, synthesized sounds and undulating bass hits along with spoken echoes plus brisk drums. All of which induces a kind of hypnotic wonder that you will either plug into gaining the sonic rewards, or not. Ion Ludwig supplies the remix with a succession of deep, pulsating low-end notes and a warm rush of keys defining extra possibilities that surprisingly make you forget about which genre to attach to the music you’re listening to.
Excellent production from the main-man Ralph Lawson who sets the controls to stun on this fiercely underground arrangement of sounds. Setting aside the five remixes which accompany the original this smouldering combination of dubbed chords and sizzling drums breathe fresh impetus into the electronic soundtrack, bravely defying your expectations with this percussion fueled gem while satisfying your thirst care of its brooding ‘Storm’ ignited sound effects. The remixes then all play on, and around, the theme with the enviable list beginning with Hector Couto, Barem, Shaun Reeves, Fernandos and ending up with Rui-Z. Leaving you with the suitably abrupt Storm FX to finish.
Gari Romalis begins his own label Future 1701, alongside Subwax Distribution, with the this typically pounding yet soulfully rewarding set of numbers. The Quarentine Mix of People Under The Stairs begins this set of four care off its warm, oversized kick-drum amid a gentle wash of atmospheric keys. Itz Krazy (Word) follows with a perkier tempo which again engages emotive keys alongside the thumping rhythm section. Next, God of Dawn supplies suitably expansive, filtered ambience across this captivating production, leaving the undulating electronics of Hard Limiter (Trading Spaces Mix) to end this notable debut from the imprint.
I guess it’s fair to say that this mix by Noir for Defected’s In The House series is pretty much on the money. And in ways it captures the essence of what’s going on in House music today. Now that we have the obvious benefit of hindsight with regards to roots and influences (real and distorted) it’s telling how much this selection touches upon sounds from the past as well as hitting tomorrows tone. Also worth noting just how contemporary Sandy Rivera ‘Changes’ from 2003 still sounds today and by the time it blends neatly into Noir’s own aptly titled ‘I’m Satisfied’ somewhere around the 30 minute mark the temperature has seriously intensified. The deeper moments are well represented and the dancefloor movements reach their peaks at various points throughout the journey, but what is always truly consistent is the sheer quality of music and vocals, plus the excellence of the mix itself. If further proof is needed then simply check the playlist which opens with dOP ‘Kisses’ and ends on Shlomi Aber ‘We Dont Fit’.
Just Be aka the new solo project of Matthew Bushwacka is a delicious way to start 2013. And after all the trimmings care of 2012 this production clearly points to the direction we want to be going. After The Storm, begins by building your expectations via deep, bass-heavy beats alongside edgy percussion and then adds in vocal touches and punchy piano chords to reach the next level on the ‘Up Mix’. The ‘Deep’ version follows with a more Cosmic feel to the synthesizers along with what sound like Flutes to accompany them. Next and finally, Out Of The System adds Techno notation together with staccato drums and more spine-tingling atmosphere for your heightened pleasure.
Watch: to accompany the release Frogspawn Creative have produced a video for ‘After The Storm’
Theo Parrish The Twin Cities EP Robsoul Recordings
As you can expect from Theo Parish this music is set to challenge you while making dance. Licensed to Robsoul from Rick Wade’s Harmonie Park the title track cleverly blends old-time Jazzy vibes with abrasive percussion to sound both exploratory and feel-good. Backed by a succession of mellow piano notes and punctuated by atmospheric stabs this strange blend binds together disparate elements while retaining an evocative mood that sits somewhere between melancholy reflection and a bizarre hint of Disco, or am I imagining that? But either way this is tempting, exceptional music. Second track, Dance Sing continues further down the path of your imagination with picturesque ideas played out over equally rough beats, which this time run to over fifteen minutes, yet never once feel uninspired.
Returning with their third release sister label Fixia compliment Jamie Anderson’s original Artform with these latest productions from London based artists Roberto and Nick Dubz. Comprised of two equally striking pieces of music, however, it’s The Blind Leading The Blind that hits a particularly resonate chord. Driven by deep pulsating, tribal drums and accompanied by hypnotic ambient repetition this moves beyond the dancefloor into somewhere else creating a unique mood with its own sense of sound and voice – a great composition. Visions, on the other hand feels that bit tougher, mainly because of the Techno bass, which along with brighter synths is a perkier, more energetic affair.