reviews:77

GrammeGramme
Fascination
Tummy Touch Records

Gramme’s long overdue but most welcome debut album sounds more than exciting in 2013 than it could have done at any time in the past. Because just like everything else takes its cues from historical influences which in this case range from the genius of ESG to Liquid Liquid etc – i.e. Gramme live in inspired company! But moving beyond easy comparisons, and from their initial EP released way back in 1999, this collection of spiky Punk-Funk and interesting soundscapes is also an edgy blend of razor sharp vocals and hot danceable grooves. Try the heavy percussion of Rough News or indeed the punchy Acid of Laugh Out Loud for potential starters. However the Factory referencing rhythms exist far outside of Manchester’s winter grey and are broadcast via the colourful imagination of Tim “Love” Lee’s NYC record label Tummy Touch. Check the videos for the very excellent ‘Girls Talk’ & ‘Too High’ below and get animated.

release: February 18

FREE DOWNLOAD of Too High https://soundcloud.com/tummytouch/too-high

https://twitter.com/wearegramme

https://www.facebook.com/GRAMMEBAND?fref=ts

 

nailNail
BPMs Vol.1
Airdrop

Initially only released in 2011 through his website GFI Music this collection of smoky grooves now gets a full vinyl outing. Nail aka Neil “Nail” Tolliday is perhaps best known as one half of Bent, however this evocative blend of all and sundry feels just as delightfully imaginative as much as it does tough and raw-edged. Kicking off is the superb Bad Drainage with its stunning chords and liquid bassline proving that this is music to get lost in and/ or move too if you so desire. Never falling easily into any one category, which is certainly part of the enviable charm, this hints at funk on the closing Blueberry Pill while journeying through the gritty Dub of Fucked Off along the way. Beats Per Minute….

release: February 11

http://gfimusic.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GFImusic

 

SDR025Junior Gee
Don’t Do That EP
Something Different Records

Keeping up the pressure from Something Different is Junior Gee’s latest title. Put simply Don’t Do That is devastating heavy-duty House music that again sees the label move in a more exciting direction. Powered by a hypnotic drum loop and insistent hi-hats this comprises of a peculiar amalgamation of sounds that sit somewhere between clocks and piano, but which result in this notably original production. Stop and Spin delivers yet more of those pounding grooves, leaving the more topical This Society to play out with jazzy snares, dark messages and strange notation. Excellent.

release: March 11

https://www.facebook.com/juniorgeeuk

https://soundcloud.com/junior-gee

http://somethingdifferentrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/somethingdifferentrecords

 

GD30E.pdfTom Budden & Forrest
Lady Is Trouble EP
Gruuv

It’s always refreshing to hear melody adding colour to music and with the first release of the new year from Audiojack’s Gruuv imprint that’s exactly what happens. Emotive, breathy vocals adorn the original version of this in style as bass punctuated rhythms succeed in giving it all a frisky edge. Remixes come from Chris James aka Coat Of Arms who treats the voice to a sizzling variety of pulsating electro beats and deep keys. Plus from X-Press 2 whose version applies tribal flavour to the drums backed up by weird and wonderful synths creating a defining edge. Next, is Tom Budden’s own production Falling which sees chiming basslines offset by funky handclaps that you just know are going to sound absolutely huge on the right sound system. OOFT! supply the remix with classic Chicago/ Detroit influences sounding every bit as big as that suggests.

release: March 4

http://www.tombudden.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/forrestmusic

https://soundcloud.com/gruuv

 

Tony Barbato
1961
Favouritizm

Italian producer / DJ Tony Barbato sets the clock back to 1961 to relay his message about war and cash, which is no doubt a timely one from then to now. Although, perhaps the breezy combination of melody and music, albeit with a taught funky backing, lend themselves better to sunshine listening rather than such serious subject matter. Jazzanova/ Sonar Kollekitv stalwart Alex Barck then rearranges the sentiments to give the vocal more depth of feeling while adding a contemporary twist to the production via tense percussion and moody synths . Last but certainly not least is Patrick Podage’s excellent remix with its deliciously in-vogue bassline coupled with undulating electronics that award the edgy selection of treated words a heavy impact.

release: March 12

https://www.facebook.com/djtonybarbato

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.favouritizm/info

 

Share

reviews:71

ReKreation & Saytek
Dub Poetry EP
Deep Edition Recordings

It’s always reassuring to hear the voice from Bobby Konders ‘The Poem’ feature on a track and this excellent production from ReKreation & Saytek is no exception. Driven forwards by sizzling hi-hats and throbbing beats this has a timely quality that transcends the House Music timeline by taking its inspiration from such a classic, and then transforming the nostalgia into something completely contemporary. Love the demanding sequence of creative stabs and organ pulses that join themselves together here to make this such an exciting and thoughtful ride – this is first rate coming with such an apt title. The Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix continues the excellence with funkier, fuzzy bass as the Pretty Criminals Remix gets deeper again. Second track, Experiments in Kaya is tougher in ways with striking configurations of undulating chords and staccato bass, although Poetry is always best.
 
Release: December 3 Beatport exclusive. All other stores December 17

https://soundcloud.com/deep-edition-recordings/rekreation-saytek-dub-poetry

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/reKreation/133637977148?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/#!/SAYTEKMUSIC?fref=ts

https://soundcloud.com/deep-edition-recordings

 

DhARMA
The Hatch Series
DhARMA

Music can be beautiful just like it can get ugly and cynical. This latest collection from Irish imprint DhARMA begins by reclining gently into the former with moods pitched somewhere between relaxed ambience and cinematic cool. So if you like music to project itself imaginatively across your line of vision then both Kyson’s beautifully bluesy ‘Drifting On By’ and Akito Misaki’s exquisite ‘Do You Remember Me’ are pretty much essential listening. Tibalt’s ‘Midnight Travellers’ sparks the ignition with fast beats and European synthesisers galore, leaving Silly Rabit ’Subsonic Sunset’ with fizzy electronic atmospheres and Skai Nine’s energised ‘Beta’ to complete the picture.

http://soundcloud.com/dharma-the-label/sets/dharma006/

http://dharmalabel.com/Label/Home.html

 

Victor Ibarrola
106 Miles to the Matrix EP
hi-life!

If you’re a sucker for break beats then this is most definitely for you. As with the other current release from hi-life! this percussion fuelled gem is all about energy packed rhythm that simply feels irresistible. In this instance 106 Miles has been produced by Mexico City’s Victor Ibarrola and if this is anything to go by you’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the very near future. Second track, The Matrix also features a sampled voice over, although this time the music feels less frantic exploring deeper bass and imaginative soundscapes  leading eventually to deliciously dark pads and a breathtaking breakdown.

http://www.beatport.com/release/106-miles-to-the-matrix/987840

http://hi-liferecords.com/?p=1101

 

Midicult
Who Am I?
22 Digit Records

Returning to 22 Digit Records for his second release Newcastle based producer Midicult has produced a distinctive and unique piece of music in ‘Who Am I’. Spanning the breadth of almost ten minutes of low-slung bass action this may deceptively come across as minimal programming, but listen closer and it reveals itself to be intricate funk of the highest degree. It’s all contained within the frisky drum editing, which alongside the rumbling bassline and jolting stabs, provide the basis for the disconcerting voice to weave its coda. Tom Ellis then highlights that vocal and funks up the bass, while Jerico adds a more progressive feel, leaving Steve Legget’s shuffling Techno to finish off.

http://www.beatport.com/#release/who-am-i/992046

http://22digit.com

 

Damian Lazarus
Day Zero Sound Of The Mayan Spirit
Crosstown Rebels

Damian Lazarus is ambitiously staging the Day Zero festival (as decreed by the ancient Mayan civilisation) on December 20/ 21 of this year at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. For further details check the link www.dayzerofestival.com

And so to the music which comprises of thirteen new compositions, and as you would imagine is all about serious intent. Ranging from artists such as Jay Haze, Acid Pauli, to Mathew Jonson the resulting album plays out across the full spectrum of sound and light, and is undoubtably a reverential experience. What I really like about the way the album flows is the fact that each contribution is excellent in its own right, this isn’t really about standouts taking priority, although I am slightly tempted to point out Francesca Lombardo’s sublime ‘Cosmic Dancer ‘ as well as Fur Coat’s  ‘Greed, Insanity’ which in essence spells it all out to you loud and clear. I also suspect that you could listen to this almost anywhere, and I do mean that literally, while still receiving the same level of satisfaction in doing so. The message is in the music.

release:  December 3

http://soundcloud.com/crosstownrebels/day-zero-sound-of-the-mayan-1

http://www.crosstownrebels.com

Share

reviews:67

Mic Newman & Garry Todd
The Shelter EP
Illusion Recordings

Inspired by the legendary New York club the ep’s title track will transport you right back to the early nineties days of heady organ riffs and swinging drums rhythms. If you fancy the sound of that then The Shelter pushes all those buttons with chopped-up vocals and high pitched strings holding the tension, along with Acid twists and abrasive beats. Sex, Drugs & Sausage Rolls, meanwhile dispenses with the past with a more in tune reading of the present exploring hot, tribal rhythms and fizzy electronics to perfection, with an impressive deeper remix coming from Tom Craven & James Cotterill. Next, Swing Down featuring Garry Todd solo reinvigorates the tempo with an impassioned Soul vocal blazing across more shuffling hi-hats and brash snares. Burnski provides a killer remix with funkier bass and building loops driving headlong into oblivion à la DJ Pierre. The Penny Farthing Dairies is the final track from the pair this time utilising Acid notes and spaced-aged electronics to complete what is a first rate EP.

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/468467-01.htm

www.soundcloud.com/illusionrecordings

www.soundcloud.com/mic-newman

www.soundcloud.com/garry-todd

www.soundcloud.com/burnskipower

www.soundcloud.com/tomcraven-illusion

 

Hey, Rube!
Can You Hear Me Mutha?
Steel Tiger

The mere fact of a collaboration between Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder and Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby should speak volumes in itself. The music certainly does, especially when played Loud.  And it should also come as little surprise that the two names involved infuse their music with a hugely diverse set of influences, from industrial noise to Dub, to Afro-funk and Jazzy beyond. After all, Cabaret Voltaire where one of the UK’s chief instigators of electronic music from the late seventies, while Filla Brazillia carried the flag on into the 90’s and the 00’s. The album opens with the abrasive dancefloor orientated Rob A Bank Rob but also quickly plays with tempo, mood and warmth on proceeding tracks such as Scissormouth. In fact the albums diversity is its strength, plus of course the ingenious use of sound and production that clearly set Can You Hear Me Mutha?…apart.

http://www.kudosrecords.co.uk/release/ST013/Hey_Rube_Can_You_Hear_Me_Mutha_.html

http://soundcloud.com/heyrube

http://www.kamikazeepeloton.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HeyRubys

https://twitter.com/stephenmal

https://twitter.com/sjcobby

http://www.steeltiger.co.uk/artists/heyrube.php

 

David Shaw and The Beat
So It Goes
Her Majestys Ship

David Shaw’s ‘So It Goes’ blends together varying moments and joy and pain through the medium of his own infectious brand of electro-pop/ funk. Which, is by no means a negative term as the music balances upon a delicate edge, laced with dramatic tension and underlying moodiness. It’s as much about the vocals icy cool as it is about the hooky synthesiser riffs, which on the excellent No More White Horses and the acoustic strumming Single Serving Friend are irresistible. Released on his own imprint the album also boasts a cover The The  ‘Infected’ and ends on a ten minute exploration of the title that clashes ideas together from Giorgio Moroder to Depeche Mode, and is worth every second.
 
release: October 29

http://soundcloud.com/davidshawmusic/david-shaw-album-preview/s-CirLH

http://www.hmsrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DavidShawAndTheBeat

https://twitter.com/davidshawmusic

 

Bluford Duck
Eye See
Savoir Faire Musique

One of the most captivating productions this week comes from Bluford Duck, who follows up ‘Wait’ (released on Noir Music) with this hypnotic journey into repetition. Built around a juicy bassline, fleeting vocals and crisp drums this has a certain melancholy quality which is hard to pin down, but which defies the logic by sounding heavenly. Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski’s remix replays the elements adding extra punch, leaving Jesus Pablo’s tinkling piano and his remix with Adam Brass to give the track yet another texture via the choice of classic chords.

release: October 29

http://soundcloud.com/blufordduck/eyesee

http://blufordduck.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/blufordduck

www.twitter.com/blufordduck

 

First Choice
Delusions
Salsoul Records/ bbr

You could say that they don’t make them like this anymore. You would right too. But, if they did then surely it would merely be nostalgic, indulging in retrospection and so on and on…
The point is of course that it was made in the first place and without music like this the world would be all the duller for it. Delusions, was released in 1977 and the sheer strength of the vocals and music has stood the test of durability from the then to now. It’s worth saying that these timely re-releases from bbr should be essential editions to add to your CD collection, either to inform you, or to relish. It’s all in the way that the vocals weave their sensual spell across the often sublime playing, often reaching exhilaration on moments such as Dr. Love and Let No Man Put Asunder – both replayed and sampled over the course of the nineties, and will no doubt provide yet more inspiration for this new generation. Also of note is their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Love Having You Around, plus that the various 12” remixes from the likes of Tom Moulton and Frankie Knuckles are included too to give you perspective. Produced by Baker-Harris-Young this couldn’t sound any better, or indeed any more vibrant. The sleeve notes will tell you the full story behind the headline, but for now try the links below and surprise yourself…

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak.asp

Share