Delivering not so much crash, bang, wallop as this is much more nuanced than that this multi-textured production from Atapy effortlessly moves on more than one creative level. Not to say that this still doesn’t pack a tidy punch as it does via a pounding kick drum and deep throbbing bassline but its chiming, undulating atmosphere’s enhance an altogether more thoughtful perspective. Daniel Wilde supplies an excellent remix with darker tones working up a much more tense arrangement of the track, although that sense of ambience is still wisely included on route.
Dave Martins, Mimanos
Only Love / Carillon des Marionnettes
The fifth release from Marionnettes is a rather lush, deep affair in the shape of Only Love by Dave Martins and throws up all sorts of surprises along the way. While the beats and bass groove along most effectively it’s the effected repeating vocals and twanged guitar sounds that really enhance the rich atmospheres. This is late-night listening which contains a real bite. Next is Carillon des Marionnettes and is a joint production from Dave Martins & Mimanos that opens with a cinematic, almost Spaghetti Western like theme – or have I completely lost the plot – which drops in an unsuspecting beat around the four minute mark but none the less always feels imaginative, probing and quietly edgy.
Every once and a while a bassline arrives that is so dark it runs tingles up and down your spine. Welcome to Luv Thang. The new ep from Alden Tyrell and label boss, Gerd is a relatively uncomplicated affair but one which will have you pushing the volume (up). Not sure if I prefer the Instrumental or the vocal version featuring Jessie Allen’s sassy voice intoning the title. But perhaps that’s simply down to the Instrumental option and the chance to hear that epic, rumbling bassline plus rapid-fire snares all on their own! Meanwhile, Girls Can’t Swim dispenses with any form of melody to deliver what can best be described as twisted Tech. The choice is all yours.
Damien and Clement aka dOP aka, the strangely apt, Aquarius Heaven return to the fold with the exquisitely produced Slow Love for Circus Company. Which not only sees shimmering keys chiming beautifully across punctuating beats, but also has Brian Brewster’s commanding vocals play alongside Miss Kitten’s evocative delivery. And you’ve got to love the opening line, ‘I’ve been in and out of love since 1988’! Undoubtedly first rate this inspired production pushes boundaries while feeling just that bit timeless. Three remaining tracks explore different avenues of Brian’s voice with the tense electro rhythms of Caloni working notably.
Soul Button feat. Stee Downes
In My Stride
Next in line from Underground Audio is this instantly pleasing production from Soul Button. Maybe it’s something to do with the new season but this puts you in mind of warmer climes, stiff drinks and electric dancefloors. Its high on atmosphere with warm pads and relaxed drums combing with Stee Downes enticing vocal on the Original version. Atapy then picks it up with energised bass giving the vocals more edge, leaving Habischmann to give the song a more melancholy backing which particularly suits the tone. Sasch BBC & Caspar finialise matters with the most urgent version that sets moody bass against perky beats to give the unhurried song yet another approach.
Sid Le Rock
Busted with a Bag of Bliss
My Favorite Robot Records
The fourth artist album from Sid Le Rock invites into his world of brooding electronics and breathy voices, or should that read tempts you? It’s one to lose yourself in and one whose textures prove to be richly rewarding, although we are talking introspection – less light, more shade. Much like Depeche Mode’s new album sounds appear out of nowhere to excite and envelop you as the soundtrack constantly evolves over the course of the event. It’s tempting to say that there are no real standouts on Busted with a Bag of Bliss because this journey deserves to be relished in full. However, just for the hell of it the haunting decadence of Foreign Love and the pulsating syncopation of the opening Here We Are win for me.
Love this. The capitals’ Alexis Raphael captures the invigorating sounds and feel of contemporary House music perfectly with this inspired production. Tempered by strident beats and deliciously dark sounding synths the arrangement sets you up for its fall into bassline nirvana, with a timely nod to early nineties vocal samples’ and a twist of infectious Disco toms into the bargain. Hot Natured then proceed to deepen the bass and add edgy attitude to their sublimely powerful remix, as second track I Know feels almost church-like in comparison: with heavenly Organ cumulating in a succession of hypnotic handclaps and cheeky selection of yet more classic vocal lines… 9
Cesar Coronado’s debut for the relocated Flumo label sees splashing 909 hats play off against nagging vocal snippets and cool fuzzy chords. Meanwhile, the impressive Atapy Remix gets funky with its Bass while playing pounding synthetic drums as it evolves into a creative collection of electronic notes and pads. However, it’s down to Ed Maddams Soul Dub to transform the mood of it all by breaking up the beats and adding excellent Jazzy tones to a particularly stinking sequence of events. Hats off, this is good. The Way I Feel About You replays another classic vocal from the 90’s over a suitably fashionable b-line to compliment it all stylishly. 8
Have to say I made the mistake of underestimating this when I first heard it. But, much to my delight it’s all you could hope for and more from Parisian Joss Moog, whose distinctive selection of influences hits all the right buttons. Slinky bass and infectiously funky percussion effortlessly work their way into your consciousness as Motown inspired voices and moody chords do all the rest. That Old Feeling: simple and yet totally effective. As indeed is, Xtra Bass which again plays a collection of beats and breaks as smooth dancefloor filler. The much perkier, That’s What UR follows by adding Disco flavour and the 70’s party-time inflections of Blue Paradise complete. 8
You will be well familiar with Manuel Tur reading Magazine Sixty so it’s a definite pleasure to be introducing you to his new, and second, album for Freerange. Both label and artist espouse certain qualities when it comes to the music they release and thought-provoking tracks such as new single, High Needs Low are a perfect case in point. From heavy-duty deepness to more spacious atmospheres the curiously titled album (via Salvador Dali) never fails but to thrill you with its exploration of ideas about sound and their possibilities. That may sound a touch pretentious but on songs like, Maybe Next Lifetime featuring BlakKat you can get the general idea. The cinematic collages continue through the uncertain repetition of, Mirrors and on the eerily perfect, Just Love with Elina Monova – whose probing use of vocals lifts the music above and beyond. 8
Various Artists Baker Street 5th Anniversary Baker Street Recordings
Superlative Leeds based label Baker Street celebrates its five years in existence with this collection of choice moments from its past, complimented by a selection of new remixes pointing towards the future. Split over two CD’s, with the initial featuring the new versions, let’s start with the second as it opens with Matthias Vogt’s killer remix Paul Hardy’s Swirl – which just so happens to be a favourite from last year. All the labels stalwarts are present here from Moodymanc to Jay Shepheard and Baker Street’s distinctive twist on American House music plays out fluently flitting between moods and instrumentation. The remix CD then comes care off the likes of Murray Richardson, Martijn and also includes the spectacular Lo Tech Remix of Lie To Me, so you know what quality to expect. 8
Opening with the breezy, Jazz Cafe the album develops its theme with titles like the succinctly funky standout cut, Disco On The Dancefloor and cruises through everything from deeper to techy territory with ease. Although, it’s not always as straight forward as that may sound due to the colourful use of styles which are playfully incorporated into the mix: a hint of Jazz here, a touch of Ska there. But that’s precisely what makes Basement Story quite so enjoyable. The album also includes a couple of bonus remixes and ends on the down-tempo orchestration of, The Black Cat Gismo for the sheer hell of it. 7