After a stream of releases on labels like Supplement Facts and Cocoon this stunning production for Visionquest now appears. It’s the sort of music that could played loud or quite and still leave an indelible impression. The title track, Underwater bubbles with energy yet combines an airy sense of ambience alongside a series of unrelenting beats all of which rewards your experience. Forward thinking and emotional music.
1996 seems like a long way away now but that’s when this series began and now we’re at number 40 with maestro Solomun. The mix opens with an emotive sequence of sounds cumulating in Avatism’s haunting Different Spaces and then develops the mood across the breadth of the first CD with a blend beautifully atmospheric music ending on SOHN’s notable The Wheel. The second CD continues the theme with music from Audiojack and Radio Slave elevating the temperature while providing more muscular productions that end with Ada’s acidic 2 BUM BUM.
Kostya Skober is a Ukrainian Techno DJ and producer and while this style of music doesn’t usually say that much to me the unrelenting drive of Step Outside definitely appeals. It’s not all down to the beat either as the rich atmospheric layers of sound and funkier touches all lend this something special. Listen below…
The Rule To Survive – 31st Anniversary
Originally emerging from Italy’s electronic music scene of the late seventies N.O.I.A. has been now re-releasing their back catalogue, accompanied by remixers updating it all into 2014 etc. Not that the original of The Rule to Survive needs evolving anyway having been mixed in 1983 by Tony Carrasco it still bears all the hall marks that went on to influence House and Nu Beat, besides sounding excellent in its own right. Prins Thomas Diskomiks is a good choice of remixer and he handles it with due care and affection, there’s also a great version from Baldelli & Dionigi which again expands the originals possibilities. Next is, Time is over, which was from later in the decade and doesn’t sound quite so edgy employing typically popish melodies, although is complimented by a remix from Gaudi & The Orb.
TJM- Expanded Edition
Big Break Records (Casablanca Records)
Tom Moulton has been pivotal to the development of Dance music in the 70’s as Christian John Wikane’s eloquent sleeve notes proudly testify. This self-titled solo album was released in 1979, recorded at the Legendary Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia it also featured former Temptation Ron Tyson on lead vocals and also one Arthur Baker who helped to co-write and arrange. Opening with the blistering Disco-tastic, ‘I Don’t Need No Music’ the music trips the light fantastic through the tail end of the Disco era but remains fresh to this day, percussion and melody fuelled. Try the epic ten minute plus version of ‘Storm Warning’ complete with sound effects plus soaring strings and horns for a touch of exuberant Tom Moulton magic….
Diynamic contains the letters D.I.Y. What is your personal/musical philosophy and who are the people that have inspired it?
Do it yourself is still the philosophy behind everything. Every decision you make is part of your personality and taste, from me or my crew.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the new compilation: Five years of Diynamic and about the charity set to benefit from it?
The idea behind the charity compilation is to give something back. We have been supported by people since the very start and now we think it was time to give something back by donating all the benefits to Kinderhospiz Sternenbrücke, who take care of children who are suffering due to incurable diseases.
What software/ hardware do you like to use when producing music. Are there any favourite instruments you use?
I still use logic 7.3 as a working tool. The most important thing is that you’re familiar with any tools you use. There is lots of good stuff, it doesn’t matter if it’s software or hardware.
For me, the last remix I finished is for Luca C & Brigante feat Roisin Murphy, which you will hear soon: I found a great baseline sound on my Nord Stage keyboard. It was elemental part of the track. Besides that I’m very happy about my barefoot speakers.
Can you tell us about how your club Ego is going, and is the scene in Hamburg healthy in 2012?
Ego is going pretty well. Summer season is always difficult for a nightclub, but here in Hamburg we don’t have a great summer, so it’s going pretty well.
What do you use to DJ with? What for you makes a good DJ?
A good DJ is not about the beat matching or adding FX. It’s all about the selection and order of tracks.
What would say are the positive/ negative aspects to Dance culture today?
First of all, we have a dance culture almost everywhere which I find is very positive. I think that our existing dance culture is very unforced. When visiting a club with good House music you can really let yourself go and nobody will blame you for that. Unfortunately it has become much harder to go for it and organize events, because everything has to pass these strict rules and laws.
Outside of dance music who do you listen to?
Currently nothing. But when I’m driving I like to listen to classic radio.
Solomun plays Diynamic Neon Nights @ Sankeys Ibiza every Tuesday from 10 July to 11 September. Solomun’s ‘Watergate 11’ is out now. ‘5 Years of Diynamic’ is out on July 16.
Brazil’s Henrique Oliveira aka HNQO gets it just right with this succession of seductive bass notes and sassy female vocals, which envelop you in funky syncopation and provocative dancefloor arrangements. Creatively evolving its theme Point Of View expands uncomplicated possibilities into something extremely rewarding while never losing its cool. Pain n Love follows featuring more hot voice, this time from a blissfully stereophonic sounding Effluence, feeling that bit tougher – though no less funky – with impressive vocal editing combing with sumptuous sounds to again highlight the labels’ prowess in any language.
And so the story continues with this excellent production care of new comer Francesca Lombardo whose sense of timing has delivered the perfectly pitched production for the summer. Comprising of four tracks with the opening The Change pitching twisted vocals against 80’s styled bass lines, classic House chords and beats, while Is It True explores more in the way of ambient textures and features Francesca’s own striking vocals. Old School Anna is the more Techno sounding of the four with more Detroit bass firing off against punchy beats, leaving the stunning Sofiel to complete the picture with its radical clash of influences and imaginative programming.
Solomun’s five year milestone is celebrated thoughtfully via this charity based album that sees both the labels back catalogue getting remixed plus the additional bonus of new music. To state the obvious first is the impressively diverse nature of the imprint that flits between styles of House and Techno, and a whole lot more in between, with calculated yet consummate ease. The second being just how soulfully satisfying the music is and the way it always feels fresh and invigorating, while acknowledging its past respectively. Neatly spread across two cd’s the compilation starts with UNER pres. Fools ‘Positive’ and then DJ Phono ‘New Year Eve’ which is sublime listening for sure, but not to rest easy the sounds also progress through the likes of Hunter/ Game, David August, Stimming and Solomun, whose Cloud Dancer reaches for the stars and ends up in a dancefloor frenzy occupying its own space and time.
Love Cannot, immediately captures you with its melancholic vocal sample and warm selection of deep atmospherics, which are deceptively quick and tough when played louder. The Mr Beatnik Dub of the same blends sometime Chicago bass with contemporary production values for a refreshing change on this completely enticing version. Second track, Let Them Know moves towards Detroit with moody combinations of electronics over motor-city rhythms, with the Original mix available ‘digital only’ which, just like the title track, blends light and shade together notably.
Rodion & Mammarella
Slow Motion Records
Excellent spaced-out Disco action from Italy’s Slow Motion imprint sees sizzling syncopation still very much in fashion with a nod to the early eighties cosmic sound. Crazy electronics combine with hissing hi-hats and robotic voices to evoke not only the past but good times ahead on the superb sounding: Escape From Kyoto. The Alien Alien Dub proceeds by re-tweaking the elements into yet more intensity. Leaving, Majella to authenticate it all with its shimmering kaleidoscope of Euro-Disco sounds, which sound simply heavenly.
Versatile continue to surpass themselves with this latest release from Zombie Zombie who perhaps not unsurprisingly have chosen this Sun Ra track to cover. Things kick off with the monstrous Gesaffelstein remix which paces itself with edgy electro beats and then hits you vocally along with a somewhat huge array of stabs . A suitably off-world sounding A Capella follows, as does Joakim’s Extended 808 mix which pushes the dimensions still further with sci-fi synths and twisted Saxophone – at least I think that’s what they are. The Original version finishes a typically distinctive release, which may not hit the dizzying Jazz heights of Sun Ra but does none-the-less sound mind-altering in 2012.
Jona’s excellent three track combination begins by deconstructing Acid and rebuilding it as the Masteplan. Albeit in a funky yet suspenseful way, which isn’t so much about one dimensional tones as multi-layered invigorating slices of instrumentation that tease your expectations. Out Of Sight, begins traditionally with a Latin cowbell but soon cleverly detunes itself into something much more spectacular, couple that with what is ultimately a killer bassline plus ultra-sharp drum programming, and this is in a class all of its own. Superstition ends with yet more in the way of dramatic electronic-funkiness expanding the theme even further…
Saint Etienne Present Songs For The Lyons Cornerhouse
Cherry Red Records
On what could possibly turn out to be one of the wettest days this summer Bob Stanley’s compilation of post-war, pre-rock nuggets seems all the more appealing. After all, who said romance was dead. While the melodies swoon and the rhythms sway this pays homage to a bygone era of ‘Lyons Corner House’ cafes, at least as they may have sounded in the mind of Mr Stanley. If you like melodrama then look no further no Frankie Laine whose Blowing Wind says it all, though plenty more of that comes from the likes of people you probably never heard of – but when did that ever matter. Great version of Theme From The Threepenny Opera from Billy Vaughan and with Peggy Lee’s irresistible Johnny Guitar this all makes for strangely exciting listening in that old fashioned way…accompanied by historical sleeve notes by the man himself.
T.E.E. aka Turzi Electronique Experience follows up his 2006 album Made Under Authority with this machine made masterstroke which joins the dots through the European experience from Eno to Kraftwerk and beyond. There’s something particularly emotive about this sequence of mood enhancing music whether that be the guitar highs of Croyance, or the echoes of Floyd on Enfance, or even on the space disco of Deviance this long player makes each journey a notable one. You could almost say this is an exceptional album, perhaps because it’s not trying to play anybodies game but its own, and while it’s always easy to guess at reference points, the bottom line here is the emotional response this music generates. 9
Kraak & Smaak feat. Romanthony
‘Let’s Go Back’
‘Let’s go back, the future is the past’ clever lyric and one that says it all about this single which has been lifted from their recent third album, Electric Hustle. The breezy melodies of the album version are certainly accessible but in this case it’s the remixes which work best. It is of course great to hear Romanthony again after his handful of Azuli Records gems from the early nineties and both Chocolate Puma and Solomun do his voice poetic justice. The former by powerfully updating those sounds (reminiscent of Morales) with heavy beats and moody chords, and boy do the vocals sound good here. While the latter get dirty with rumbling basslines and epic electronics. A f**king good single then. 9
Ruben F’s latest for Deep Edition makes you feel like being in a club with the lights down low with the speakers playing this loud and deep. The drums are irresistibly crunchy, the chords simple yet telling and the vocal tops it all off perfectly on the apt, Feel Good. Oh Yeah, follows in a similar vein until the unfeasibly funky bassline arrives mid-point and quite frankly has to be heard to be understood. Don’t Worry, gets tougher featuring some more neat vocal and a nagging organ coupled with fabulous percussion while, Making Love finishes off this excellent EP. One talented producer…9