Yard One – Time Capsule – Stólar

Listening to Yard One capture the sounds surrounding their existence flies in the face of being typecast and that is the thing I like most about their creative work. It feels like musicians at play with a serious, inquiring intention dancing between various reference points while defining their own. I was never huge on labels for music but the title track is more akin to a journey (trains rather than planes) accompanied by a soundtrack of punctuating notes, drums and vibrant synthesis. Costal Breeze contrasts with big, buzzy stabs alongside sizzling hi-hats and super rugged bass with a remix from Philipp Priebe deconstructing the fiery rush of the original with a deeper pulse driving a refreshing vibrancy across its unhurried arrangement. Finally the uplifting Shifting Sands completes the analogy with rapid drum machines employed to illicit a sense of danger as repeating keys preach their magic.

Release: June 17
Buy https://stolar.bandcamp.com/album/st-lar-014-shifting-sands


Things You Say – Thank You Baby / Play The Drums – Palm Recs

These days disco samples tend to leave me cold. I’ve just heard it repeated once too often, especially when there are so many new sounds to be experienced, but as is always the case the beauty of music is its ability to surprise you. Things You Say loops a slice of history into an inescapably elevated experience teasing out the words funk and groove equally on the heaven sent, Thank You Baby. It’s that good. Complimented by the more explosive Play The Drums which sequences a much tougher combination of hotwired bass and drums plus a heady rush of voices and contemporary synthesized stabs. Functions in any decade.

Release: June 24
Buy / listen https://palmrecs.ffm.to/thankyoubaby



Music For Sleep – L’ansia che cura – Slow Tone Collages

Please god don’t let anyone begin their review with a reference to music for sleep. This isn’t. It is, if you care to listen and I hope you do, Andrea Porcu‘s mid-expanding trip into the subconscious unfolding across some forty two minutes of rather gorgeous stimulating pleasure, created with the aim of seeking to relieve the anxiety that comes with simply act of being alive. Not an easy task as most will tell you but this goes some way in joining the human chain together alongside the notion that unity doesn’t divide us. This is a wonderful celebration of the power of sound teasing transcendent light out from the corners. Intensely musical. Intently emotional.

Release: June 22
Buy https://slowtonecollages.bandcamp.com/album/lansia-che-cura


Ron Trent presents WARM – What do the stars say to you – Night Time Stories

There is music. Then there is music created by Ron Trent. The review could end there but I have loved his output for too long to keep quiet about it in so few words. There is a kind of surreal feeling attached to listening to this album, his first in eleven years, because this sounds like everything you have ever heard intertwined with the imagination of how perfect music feels free from all the online noise. That personal aspect courses throughout the vein of What do the stars say to you as if you are engaged in an exchange of conversation.

Upon reflection some of the styles of music which once drew me close now drive me away in a different direction. I guess along the way as you encounter more radical propositions, even if they were created decades ago, that search for the new to you alongside ever exciting ideas feeds a hunger that never quite leaves. Maybe that’s as much to do with life as it is about music itself, all the wild cards dealt from Punk to Acid House – fill in your own blanks. Then again perhaps the already known is where you are most comfortable. It is all a matter of personal taste, not unforgiving opinion. In the difficult process of trying summon up a question it would be to ask if the musicality almost seems a little dated, more suited to the lost decades of jazz-funk. Maybe on occasion such as on Admira Feat. Gigi Masin a sense of that might prevail amid the instrumental solos and familiar array of synthesised sound. Perhaps not so on the engaging balearic chug fuelling WARM. Does it reflect timeless musical escapades, or simply reflect our seemingly never-ending desire for the reassurance of soft nostalgia?

The album obviously is built around a set of circumstances, one part of the artists being, which as we already know has produced some of the most wonderful music alive. Therefore if the cornerstones touched upon here work for you then you are going to love listening to this.

I began the album with the embrace of Cool Water feat. Ivan Conti (Azymuth) and Lars Bartkuhn, then the sublime Cycle Of Many but by the time I reached the end I wasn’t quite so sure….

Release: June 17


Black Light Smoke – Work feat. Léah Lazonick – Death Decay Magic

“I don’t have time to listen to your DJ mix. I don’t have time for DJ’s.”

The perfect sentiment to accompany this killer piece of incendiary music, which doesn’t pull punches musically or otherwise. Sometimes sounds are so compelling it really doesn’t matter exactly when they were made, they inherently carry that timeless gene with its emotional charge burning directly into your subconscious. The versions and remixes are all ridiculously good too. Try the Street Mix for syncopated, sleazy heaven or the Happy707 Remix for blistering relief. Then, Girls Dance With Computer quickly senses the early 1980’s world of electronic disco with a passion while feeding it hungrily to you, complimented by the Dina Summer Remix (Local Suicide & Kalipo) all bases are touched upon adding the flair of melody to the affair. Excellent.

Release: June 10
Buy https://deathdecaymagic.bandcamp.com/album/work


Parallells – Ashes of Snow (The Rebirth Of The Phoenix) – Crosstown Rebels

The message is in the music. Music being the key word here. Playful, jazzy, certainly sassy this hot combination of rhythm and words does so divinely as they celebrate their favourite Portuguese beach club, Yamba. Next is the remix of Ashes of Snow from Clive Henry who explodes the tempo while lending the production a much deeper, moodier feel that works beautifully with stinging hi-hats alongside driving bass and keys. Second track, On The Banks of The River then returns to more Balearic climes to end via its breezy, shuffling grooves and echoes of primetime Talking Heads.

Release: June 10
Buy https://www.beatport.com/release/ashes-of-snow-the-rebirth-of-the-phoenix/3752834


United Dreadlocks Volumes 1 And 2 – Joe Gibbs Roots Reggae 1976–1977 – Doctor Bird

Something for the weekend? Originally complied and released back in the late seventies this fresh collection now adds additional tracks to the celebratory playlist doubling the output. Numbers like Rockers Nu Crackers by Glen Washington really garb attention while the production values of Price Far I’s heavy-duty Deck Of Cards now seem otherworldly, especially if reggae isn’t something you always choose to listen to. The music produced in this era has a uniquely distinctive feel setting itself apart from the structures of rock n roll while the songs define the realities of the era covering sweetness and light and contrasting conflicts. The second disc continues the lyrical themes proposed as the music resounds with the power of Dub echoing throughout its system, this time bonus standouts include the warm melodies of Stop Picking On Me by Max Romeo and of course Uptown Top Ranking from Althea and Donna still making a defining statement, as does Culture’s prophetic Two Sevens Clash.

Release: June 17
Buy https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/united-dreadlocks-volumes-1-and-2-joe-gibbs-roots-reggae-1976-1977-2cd/


Melchior & Pronsato – Nijinski Picnic Part One – Foom

In ways Of The Crowd doesn’t seem to quite fit together comfortably. In other senses it glows brilliantly tempting your consciousness to expand in ever provocative ways that are without restraint, dazzling and compelling. Based around an insistent shuffle of drums it’s the clever combination of soulfulness, as the interplay between different musical elements gathers pace that chimes so wonderfully here. Listen below and you will hear/ see what I mean. Cumulus Ruckus (Front Version) then follows a similar trajectory employing strange keys and sample like effects to do all the heavy lifting, while the title track Nijinski Picnic (Organ Version) fidgets with treated voices alongside defiant, rugged percussion and the fulfilment of low-end theory.

Release: June 10
Buy https://foommusic.bandcamp.com/album/nijinski-picnic-part-one


Tim Engelhardt – Follow – Poker Flat Recordings

The sense of anticipation building throughout the introduction of Follow feels reassuringly familiar, chiming with energy and the rhythm of life while touching upon the word anthem. That sensation is only enhanced as the synthesizers continue to build into quiet crescendo quivering with so much melodic potential you do begin to wonder how a vocal might enhance, or otherwise, this already superlative production. Next is the more playful Burning which again sequences a rush of fiery electronics together remaining resolutely musical and yet potentially mind-altering. Brilliant.

Release: June 3


Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch – Ravage – 130701 Records

It says something quite powerful upon listening to the opening seconds of Unsaid just how profound the experience has already become. That taste remains potent throughout the album reflecting the artist’s personal experiences almost like a past tense resonating into the future self. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s fusion of quietly intense moment’s plays like a personal conversation you may shy away at first but taking the time to listen is about the emotions we all share at one location or another. The piano sits at the centre and is played beautifully teasing out the highs and subsequent lows of nature while hinting a hushed words, screaming to be heard. The contrast and it’s a loud one is the haunting Fata Morgana which plunges the listener into scary depths via blistering blasts of dark analogue soothed, partially, by the longing sensation produced by strung-out synthesisers. There is a brutality to all of this, sometimes hidden, testifying to the raw emotion offered. This theme reoccurs adding difference and subtlety to the tracklist as it evolves over the course repeated appreciation.

Release: May 27
buy https://130701.biglink.to/Ravage