Reviews: 149

Adrian Sherwood
Sherwood At The Controls/ Volume 1/ 1979 – 1984
On-U Sound

Perhaps not always a name that trips off the tongue so much these days but none-the-less one the of the UK’s key producers as this first in line re-issue of his work proudly testifies. You only need look at the track list to qualify that statement and to see the calibre of the people he worked with too – all of which, perhaps, makes you feel just that little bit nostalgic. His trademark ‘Dub’ sound is of course very much in evidence but what also astounds you here is the breadth of styles employed across the selection i.e. that not everything sounds identikit. Artists include Mark Stewart, The Fall, The Slits, Prince Far I, and Annie Anxiety’s gloriously difficult Third Gear Kills, and by far sounds like anything as radical as you are likely to hear this side of Ibiza!?!

Single of the Week

Josh Wink
Ovum Recordings

With its ‘Live in the future’ refrain strolling around the arrangement this excellent production from Josh Wink is light years beyond Higher State Of Consciousness (released some 20 years ago!) but which feels just as explosive, albeit in a different way. If its Acid you require then the appropriately named Prise D’acid is inevitably the version you’re after, and won’t disappoint. However, the atmospheric qualities of the original are just as rewarding with emotive pads joining the pulsating rhythm section later on. Meanwhile the Tweak Dub strips it all down to basics via a pulsating drum machine and bubbling synth lines to complete this first rate release.

Release: April 20

Textures 7AM
Concrete Music Paris

Released as three parts of an intriguing whole this individual edition of the sequence finds itself with the 7AM time-stamp. An ambitious project via the Paris club sees Concrete further establish its diverse identity with four equally striking productions. Chris Mitchell’s intense yet blissful ‘Parallel Symbiotic’ opens with a blur of electricity feeling distinctly emotive and is followed by Lowris ‘C_Crete’ which delivers syncopated edginess accompanied by inviting hints of deepness. Matthew Herbert’s African flavoured ‘Earthenware’ is next composing another captivating listen, while Lazare Hoche’s suitably energetic ‘Spank’ finishes with a creative combination of swirling atmospheric sounds and banging beats.

Solsidan/Alby EP
Let’s Play House

The idea of revelling in the summer ambience to the intro of Solsidan on loop is very appealing indeed, especially with the sun shining outside. HNNY’s cool combination of jazzy inspired Disco vocals and chords captures the mood perfectly easing you down into recline mode. The Avalon Emerson version pumps up the rhythm with punctuating beats but quite naturally loses the warmer emotion in the process. Second original, Alby replays more classic tones with meandering breezy organ lines playing over crunchy breaks and again feels super sunny, with the Ana Helder Remix re-tweaking the sample for an edgier rendition, though likewise you may still yearn for the more soulful aspects of both originals.

Release: April 20

Purity Ball

Despite the suspect reference of the title this proves to be a cut above the usual House cliques as its undulating funkiness produced by Gunman is all about sparking your imagination. It doesn’t stop there either as engaging vocal cut-ups combine with warm contrasting keyboard surges and a playful arrangement. The Snuff Crew version follows with harder beats and snappy percussion fuelling a 90’s styled organ punctuated instrumental take on the above, and if anything feeling just that bit more urgent.

Release: April 15 Vinyl / 30 Digital



LNTG_TCPressEx_01Late Nite Tuff Guy
Tuff Cut 01
Tuff Cut

Where would we be without bootlegs? After all they make for such fun, especially when the sample at hand turns out to play much better than on the original version. Toto’s ‘Africa’ is either eighties hell or Balearic heaven, depending on your point of view, but here it is re-imagined as Bless The Rains over a sea of low-slung beats, and while the music unfolds it does feel that bit special none-the-less. The vocals hits around the 4.30 mark so you can make up your mind by then. My Body’s on Fire is a much friskier affair with Janet Jackson sounding typically Jackson-esque over sassy filtered House grooves. The excellent Not In Love Anymore finishes with Michael McDonald’s warm tones and an easier tempo reflecting all the breezy soulfulness note perfectly.

release: April 8


cosmicCosmic Kids & Fingerpaint
Reality on the Horizon EP
Let’s Play House

Let’s Play House was always going to be a winning name for a record label and the four tracks that go make up this EP certainly do the implication justice. Manteiga continues the vogue for ‘big in the 90’s’ vocal samples which plays over, dare I say it, happy vibes and pumping filtered action that feels very summer time indeed. Fingerpaint’s ‘Change Yr Mind’ is next up with moodier bass and loops that feel hypnotic until the rousing piano hits you hard. Cosmic Kids supply the next two tracks firstly the acid tinged, Higgs Boson. And secondly, the excellent Whisper Softly which features a sample that’s so achingly familiar that I can’t remember it. Running at a low slung tempo this sounds like a Balearic dream, hinting at the eighties while channeling today very nicely thank you.

release: March 25


krypticKryptic Minds
Namaste EP
Osiris Music UK

There’s just something about this that a) scares the hell out of me (especially when played loud in a dark room) and b) I can’t get enough of. The sheer intensity of this minimalist exercise in bass and beats is nothing short of breathtaking. I also love the fact that this transcends being conveniently slotted into any one genre. Try Nebula. Then try, To Feel whose unfeasibly huge bassline sounds epic and nasty, yet sublimely funky all at the same time running alongside a dark cinematic landscape that almost defies words. Breathless.

Release: March 25


Around7_BackToBasics_ArtworkAround 7
Back To Basics
Robsoul Jazz

Phil Weeks excellent Robsoul Recordings now takes a sideways step into Jazzier flavours with Around 7’s debut album, and indeed release, for his new imprint: Robsoul Jazz. Around 7 is the Parisian based Sébastien Guertau who neatly fuses together a diverse selection of inspired sights and sounds from Modern Jazz to off-beat funk. And, although there is something timeless about the way the music plays it also transcends the listening space it finds itself in i.e. it will sound great anywhere. By combining more ambient textures, such as on the opening Welcome To Basics, then by raising the tempo on Bro, the album passes through dreamy grooves straight through to hard hitting beats, and is never less than thought provoking/ exhilarating. Back To Basics is essential listening morning, noon or night.

Release: March 29