Lifted from his the current album Paradise Sold this joint collaboration alongside Langenberg seeks out an urgency that becomes all too apparent depending on the numbers. From one aspect the undulating stabs feel like haunting, atmospheric ruminations. Yet viewed from another the reoccurring, sizzling Acid lines are purely fierce, cutting determinedly through the airwaves backed-up by a single strident kick drum. Never one to underplay the power of music in all its forms NGC 6240 supplies and then satisfies the demand for invigorating moments. Remixes come from Tim Engelhardt who lifts the rhythms skyward adding hints of melody amid the rush of synthesized keys. Plus, from Vince Watson who inevitably stokes the fire igniting the array of stabs punctuating and building the tension in expert fashion.
The label continues with their series of excellent, hard-hitting releases and this from label boss Steve Bug alongside Langenberg is also sure-fire brilliance. The aptly titled Cloud Cluster hits you in a hurry as layers of keys unfold with atmospheric, bassy strings resonating all over the bottom-end while punchy Acid lines fuel the energy towards completion. Resulting in a complex lesson in mood and richly rewarding emotive states. Next is the turn of, The Teaze which combines a wealth of fizzy synth riffs and notation over gritty, feverish stabs and repeating, insistent drums building its intensity carefully, intently.
Let’s not be lazy and mention the similarity with the goddess that was Sylvester simply because the vocal is likewise falsetto, after all so was Jimmy Somerville. But then perhaps the music encourages the comparison all by itself: Hi-NRG eighties syncopation and uplifting middle eight that combines with devastating chorus etc etc. But then you either like this sound, or you don’t. Moving on with Joe Goddard’s deliciously moody rework which only adds to the impact of the vocals, you then have Legowelt’s electro stunner rekindling the retro-contemporary image flawlessly. Solo give it a more House feel with pulsating bass and familiar drum sounds providing yet another exotic angle to the vocalist. 8
Number six in the series opens with the stunning Langenberg Mood Remix of Triad’s Vice which could be quite easily be described as melancholy but just as equally euphoric – albeit deeply. Like the sound of that dichotomy? Then read on as the arrangement gently adds layers of echoed drum hits, cinematic pads and Techno overtones neatly complimented by a yearning, synthetic voice. Mousse T follows that with Inaya Day’s inescapably smoky vocals on By Myself which has been pitched down by Paskal & Urban Absolutes whose fashionably slo-mo remix injects some seriously funky bass into the equation. Last but not least is the Nico remix of B.M.R’s version of Level 42’s perennial Starchild that surprisingly doesn’t begin to give the game away until a third of the way through, although its two thirds before those familiar chords hit on this impressive interpretation. 9
Nigel Hayes ‘Tales from The Shed’ (Part 3 & 4) Intelligent Audio
For your information it has taken just over a year for parts three and four to emerge from this Intelligent Audio sequence. And sounding as it does, you know it’s worth the time passing. Part Three features journeys into House/ Techno and doesn’t come much better than the opening salvo, Solar Flare. Fuzzy basslines, shuffling percussion with an intensely funky tilt, and shimmering keys see this shine brightly. Catch The Train rushes full steam ahead with squelching bass tones and undulating chords, aided again by sparkling percussion, as Something For The weekend eases down into something more comfortable though no less striking, leaving Deep Cover to explore yet more cinematic territory. It would be a crime not to be tempted by Part Four which plays the flipside with a funky intensity typically as on Bunny Chow, while Fandango feels like a contemporary Lalo Schifrin i.e. Steve McQueen cool. Lisa’s Flat gets classically soulful with Rhodes and clipped beats, and the finishing Breakin’ Doors joins the dots in-between with thoughtfully crafted notes and scat vocals concealing the Mojo Rising reference cleverly. 9
This handsomely titled production from Mobilee co-founder Anja Schneider and Lee Jones sets sassy syncopated bass rhythms against unsettling synths, and to say this proves infectious may well be a slight understatement. Next is Rio Bravo which provides some melodic relief with its sensitive eighties styled keys while the funkier edged drums/ percussion feel perfect for the dancefloor. The self explanatory Let Me Out follows with yet more gorgeous bass lines although watch out for the sinister sounding voices, they’re enticing. 8