Sphesihle Mshana Ndlovu delivers three equally tasteful tracks for his debut release on the heavenly Black Vinyl. But, I’m going to skip straight to the third number: You Show Me Love which appears in two versions. First is the glorious Raw Mix which sequences a blissful array of shinning stabs together with brisk, insistent hats and bold bass, producing one of those truly sunrise moments. Next, the Vocal Mix teases out yet more soulfully rich vibes care off additional vocals and a selection of heart-warming string lines. Now, back to the beginning as both Light Years Ago and then Sabela Africa each create intriguing, playful music completing this excellent release.
If you like basslines. And let’s face it who doesn’t. Then the one delivered on Spence-Chicago’s dangerously hot remix of I Came To Jack is to be savoured. It’s a cross between infectious Acid and the inappropriately Heavy-Duty cumulating in an excellent remix that stretches out the safety valves of funk to extremity. Big, brash, loud and full of attitude this packs more sonic punch than most with its fusion of stabbing keys and dangerously, tempting percussion. Next is Project 268 who ease down the intensity to reveal deeper shades provoked by cool bass and stereo resonating vocal treatments.
Set your speakers to stun as this latest release from Visionquest will surpass your expectations by moving forward into 2013 with a bang. Clarian is one half of Footprintz who alongside Guy Gerber has produced the opener Claire which fuses eerie atmospheres together with haunting voices and crisp drums to sound somewhat epic and emotional. Destroy, She Says follows with timeless Beach Boys harmonies feeling golden, as always, against melodic electronic riffs that bizarrely sound just like they were made for each other – you can but dream. Renaissance continues the same mood inducing reaction, as Remove Control turns it upside down with further dancefloor energy with likewise Through Your Mind feat. Spaceman adding Acid tweaks into the mix. U (Unfinished) then returns to moodier electronic wizardry to complete this very aptly titled Chemical Gardens EP.
This has been playing my head for a time now. There is in fact something about Underneath the Pines that I can’t quite pin down. Although, needless to say that Justin Robertson’s latest single (under his Deadstock 33s guise) plays beyond irresistible, indeed it’s the sheer distinctive quality that he lends to his vocal, alongside the tastefully funky electronics, that defines its very own space and time. Put it like this. The House Mix is on repeat. Excellent remixes come from a breakbeat fuelled Ewan Pearson, and a Chicago referencing Disco Bloodbath both of whom only add to the sensory pleasure. If this sounds appealing then listen out for his forthcoming album: The Pilgrim’s Ghost in March.
Pool’s follow up to their debut for the label is in ways perfect Pop music: its got melody, lashings of cool instrumentation, which along with a razor sharp edge sounds little short of magnificent. Flex leans on Indie for sure with awkward guitars and grinding bass feeling breezy while its playful vocals embrace you in a happy sort of melancholy way that’s particularly appealing. Aeroplane provide the remix, and they don’t disappoint either, transforming the rhythm into something altogether European with bright keys and buzzing chords competing with bouncy Disco bass. Botox is the second original composition and has gentler, more endearing melodies despite its title, which Stimming then re-imagine as intoxicating Deeper house with twisted bass and shuffling drums.
release: February 18
Electric Avenue Records
Memoir’s low-slung chugging groove is situated somewhere in Acid drenched bliss. And things only get better when the deep bassline hits. Backed up by an array of classic sounding drums and deadpan Organ this is all about building mood and your anticipation, which it does expertly via its undulating Acid. Label head J Cub’s Deep Dub does just that with tougher drums and punchy keys eventually giving way to warm pads and hints of enticing vocal on his fist-rate remix. But back to the title Pulling Strings which ups the tempo alongside a Yello styled euro bassline that sizzles with energy to round off this notable release.
released – Feb
ruary 18 (Vinyl only)
Let It Go
Black Vinyl Records
Entering their seventeenth year Black Vinyl’s latest release delves once again into guitar inspired, soulful rhythms which this time feature the unmistakable vocal of Old Bastard. Part One of the package sees the smooth melodies blend into neatly shuffling percussion on Mauritzio’s Original version. However, try N’Dinga Gaba’s remix which highlights the voice lifting it over bouncier tribal infused grooves, that are then accompanied by an instrumental for good measure. Mauritzio also explores further Jazzy aspects on his two remaining versions to focus your attention on the versatility/ quality of the music.
El Maravilloso Mundo De Xilitla
Luca Bacchetti’s stunning journey into sound totals some eleven minutes yet feels less than half that time – which precisely says something about the way this captivating piece of music performs. Indeed, you could argue that the duration was a brave move, but in many ways its beauty in simplicity approach underscores the building layers of atmosphere which also suggest an influence of German 70’s instigators like Neu, resulting in it never feeling rushed, or ever boring. Have to say this is outstanding. It must be, I’ve just listened to it for over 32 minutes on repeat. Music to lose yourself in.
DJ Aguy presents Black Silk
Floating – 2012 Remixes (Part One)
Black Vinyl Records
I first reviewed this almost ten years ago for DMC Update and as they say time flies. You couldn’t have picked a better, and now, even more relevant name than Black Vinyl for a record label – they did a great T-Shirt too! But, times and styles do of course change/ evolve and have to say that the Black Silk aka DJ Aguy Dub version by far exceeds the full vocal in this case. Retaining the haunting, Balearic infused guitar and now with extra shuffling rhythms this once again adds rewarding colour to the day. The remix available on Part One comes from Mauritzio Baiocchi, whose Under The Moonlight mix casts fresh light onto the vocal with pulsating tribal rhythms lending the song a greater sense of urgency, while of course replaying the guitar. More mixes to follow…
Great release from Spain’s Espai Music whose combination of tough, funky bass and deeply emotional, synthetic sound flows seamlessly throughout the Original version. You could call this relaxed intensity, and I love the way Black Cat thinks outside the box with its wide-ranging, almost ambient sounds – notably the chiming keys – imaginatively playing off a taught beat. Three equally engaging remixes come from Niko Schwind who strips it down to the bare essentials, and Sivesgaard who gives it a deeper flavour with expansive bass, while the remaining Spieltape version picks up the energy with fiery percussion and funky attitude.
Mexican producer Christian Orlo, who also runs the Dialtone and Southshore imprints, delivers this evocative production for the already noted Riff Raff (despite its 2010 infancy). The first thing that strikes you about Feeling Dry are the crisp production values attached to what reveals itself to be deeply intense, even haunting at times, combining strange electronics with European sensibilities and fashionably disturbed vocals. Riff Raff’s Chic Remix gets moodier, changing the feel of the drums and introducing a heavier sense of occasion. Next, the Jimmy Maheras Remix of the same relieves some of tension with a brighter, though no less atmospheric mood, with handclaps and all. Second tack, Another Night, employs classic eighties vocal snippets and sumptuous bass to underpin another first rate production, which is perhaps more about shade than light, but which sizzles with electric energy and contemporary idealism. Its remix is from 23rd Dimension and their ‘in Hyperspace Dub’ is the unexpected joker in the pack with broken-down beats and shuffling tempo reminiscent of classic 90’s Balearic.