Focusing on four artists and their work, Stranger In The Night is the brand new escapade from Radio Slave’s Matt Edwards and this forms its first release. Ground Control sets the controls via a blistering, earthy workout in brute electrical force, rhythmic signatures and an abundance of soul. Punctuating keys drive home eighties influenced Detroit melodies amid heady hand-claps, plus a pulsating array of tough kicks on the opening number. Then comes the contrasting sensuality of Last Communication channelling more organic feeling instrumentation through emotionally heightened sounds, which simply chime with perfection.
Matt Edwards has of course been busy delivering some of the most thrilling, stimulating music on the planet as Radio Slave, however the purpose of his debut artist album sees those horizons pulled apart beyond expectations. The unnerving ambience generated by the opening, rather beautiful 2nd Home proves it’s not all boom and bust as deeper sensibilities and tempos are explored and also revealed on Forana as well as the delicious 101. Others such as the irresistible Jazzy inflections of Rize again expand the theme, while tougher more robust numbers such as the killer cut Trans take care of any outstanding business. Feel The Same, ends on the introspective, warmly rewarding Gaikokujin as the album proudly transgresses requirements to provide music that exists beyond the dancefloor probing at the highs and lows of life’s emotion.
And this is precisely why I love this label. It can release music of such tranquil, melancholy perfectly realised for the moment like this, then by the next breath pulverising, brutal structures. Zeb Wayne returns to the fold with this emotionally drenched blend of dramatically enriched vocals care of Ziwi plus an amalgamation of finely tuned musical (as in musical) expression that encompasses everything from piano to pulsating machines and real drums. Originally from 2016 none-the-less as songs go this is still a joy. The new remixes then translate other aspects into being beginning with co-writer for the score of The Revenant, Alva Noto who injects more tense atmospheres into the equation. Leaving Calibre to sequence dancefloor sensibilities alongside irrepressible rhythms into his version, while Radio Slave re-imagines it all via syncopated beats and percussion plus bass amid splashes of vocal across some ten minutes of persuasive anticipation.
Words like naked and brutal may trip off the tongue when describing this 100th landmark release from Matt Edwards’ always stunning Rekids. Which while true doesn’t deny the intrinsic brilliance of these productions. Living life on a knife-edge may also generate the same emotions but then aren’t these the times we are forced to live with. Reflecting that nature Another Club ignites dangerous electronics over a series of booming beats plus sizzling hi-hats and a spoken diatribe that very much gets under your restless skin. Feel The Same, almost comes as a light relief though is no less epic in scale with reassuringly familiar vocals looped across urgent, jarring synth notes plus quick-fire stabs delivering the promise of yet more.
I just happened across this today, by possible accident, and so glad I did. For this is an outstanding production of ideas, sounds and sheer bravado. It’s uncompromising, includes some beautifully random classically-tuned piano along with not so delightfully twisted vocals, and simmers with ecstatic Acid tension painting a climatic, cinematic portrait that sits in a class all of its very own. Matt Jonson & Jesse Heartthrob provide the remix, with bouncy rhythms added to the equation, but for me its just relish in the Original version for now.
Release: March 30 on Vinyl, April 6 on Beatport Exclusive, April 20 Worldwide all stores
Joeski’s fabulous Acid infused XXX Part 1 kicks off this release with a deceptively uncomplicated arrangement, which in actual fact is brimming with creative tension amid a crisp clash of percussion accompanied by understated, brooding effects. Part 2, not surprisingly, continues to build the theme pushing the Acid lines, breathy vocals and caustic fx to the fore while in the process producing tantalising, hypnosis inducing Dance music. The excellent, Come On, finishes with more superb sound effects stretching out the stereo alongside more in the way of unrelenting drums.
If this is anything to go by then watch out for Deep House Amsterdam’s brand new DHA Records. The Original version comprises of melancholy, smoky vocals accompanied by fine bluesy guitar and captivating drums sounding both intriguing and compelling. Andre Lodemann’s remix then adds more energy and gritty Techno textures while stripping back the song, as Poupon takes it a step deeper with the more of the Originals’ ambience played out across tougher Dance beats and bass.
Reimaging two of last year’s tracks from the Freak EP comes this latest release from the artists own Bpitch Control imprint. First up are AUX 88 who riff dark techno notation together with animalistic sound effects plus pulsating drum machines to sound heavy-duty yet infectious on Butterfly. Ejeca’s Acid version of Freak The Night does just that with trippy Acid sounds amid suitably electronic drums for your pleasure, as the Radio Slave remix transforms it all into something altogether more moody and atmospheric. The excellent LA Williams proceeds to turn it upside down again with pumping Chicago rhythms feeling energised and dangerous, with Radio Slave’s Acapella finishing off for good measure.
Our House is Your House
Ministry Of Sound
Launching another Mix series for Ministry comes this rough retrospective of Todd Terry’s musical output. I can’t remember who coined the Todd Is God phrase but thankfully that was back in the sad old days of 90’s dance journalism. To put it basically though, Todd falls loosely into the pre and post Missing phase: the former representing those glorious Acid years from 1988 through to the tough Hard-House of the early 90’s and for me it’s that number of classics that are hard to beat – period. Try any of the Todd Terry Project productions and listen for yourself (including a couple of disappointing omissions from the T.T canon on this compilation below). The second CD has a selection of some of his current tracks and remixes, including three new tracks from Terry two of which are exclusive to the compilation: ‘Give Me A Reason’ feat. Robin S, and ‘Go Away’ featuring Martyna Baker. The shuffling rhythms espoused on his infamous Everything But The Girl remix is perhaps what he’s currently most celebrated for, and it’s maybe curious to note that those sounds are still contemporary in today’s climate? For a producer who helped define the landscape of House through the late 80’s and early 90’s (and for some beyond) is a big accolade for anyone to achieve. This compilation gives you the chance to sample that justification for yourself.
Conceived as an aural tribute to the ‘Hansa recording studios’ on Köthener Straße No. 38 in Berlin, this long player courtesy of Matt Edwards (aka Radio Slave) and Thomas Gandey (aka Cagedbaby) not only boasts purely live instrumentation but also the transcendent atmosphere of the music produced. Hansa was made famous by the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Tangerine Dream and Depeche Mode, amongst many significant others and is obviously a hard act to follow with the album taking its main inspiration from Bowie’s 1977 masterpiece Low. The result is a suitably stunning experience which blends a rich mixture of beats and percussion augmented by an intense musicality that is as far away from the mindless repetition of Tech House as you could imagine. Indeed, you could for example say that the piano played on Piano 2 Variation 4 has been spiritually guided. Or, try soaking up the haunting, ambience triggered by Hansa itself complete with taught electro drums, while the concluding title track ends on a wash of Fender Rhodes echoing your imagination to hear the excellence all over again…
HEAR DIS SOUND (Remixes)
Hipp-e and Halo’s distinctive release from just under ten years ago now gets revitalised via an excellent set of remixes transforming this gem directly into 2014. Beginning with Yousef’s great version that sets addictive organ notes against a fiery backdrop of hypnotic percussion and pulsating beats this is built for the repeat button. The Space Coast take is next combining sparkling synths and tough bass, followed by Sneak’s relentless attack on the senses. Franck Roger’s outstanding funky bassline driven remix then scores high, while DJ Buck adds a cool Disco flavour with a twist. Craig Richards then defies expectations by dropping the tempo into darker territory with a heavy dose of sound effects, leaving Adam Shelton to pick up the pace once again with another suitably punchy rendition that rocks the floor. All good.
Surpassing the computer functionality of the title this strips it back to basics via a pumping House beat and accompanying bassline. Not quite so sure about the vocal line despite its obvious catchiness but then there is always a great Dub version to contend with. Or, the excellent PBR Streetgang Remix which transforms the vocal into filtered nirvana via an array of swirling synths and an ecstatic arrangement. Second track, The Project delves deeper again with a detuned vocal loop, as does the addictive The Pattern which is complimented by a first rate rhythm section.
Everything (We Are)
Wolf + Lamb Records
What’s not to like about this. After all if breathy vocal deliveries and syncopated basslines backed up by punchy drumming are your thing then this is just right on the opening, ‘Miss White’. While the title track has a restrained yet slightly epic feel to it care off a rousing chorus line backed-up by Dave Robertson’s vocals and atmospheric instrumentation. Who then re-appears as Cameo Culture for the remix by adding a funkier attitude to the proceedings. Finally, Second Fiddle again weaves the delicate vocals through a musical fabric that sounds playful and enjoyable.