So excited to get to review Derrick Boyd and Zoe Presnick’s Tone of Arc debut album. The Time Was Right captures everything I love about music that sits just outside that very loose term of soulful dance music, although of course this packs more emotion than a lot of that very same cliché. With song titles like Surrender, Lost In The Machine, and Hardly Standing setting the scene this plays out like life’s alternative with a smouldering, funky drive that would make Bowie blush with envy on the irresistible Love Kissed! Sure, you can hear the influences loud and proud but it makes for sparkling refreshment not to hear the early 90’s replayed over and over again, with the intriguing vocals referencing the lost era of new-wave. All that and their superlative cover of ‘Goodbye Horses’ go to vary the light and shade of the album while tempos live at varied speeds giving you that rush of excitement Tone of Arc do so very well.
release: May 13
Tapesh & Maximiljan
Slightly late in reviewing this but none the less a first rate release from the Dusseldorf duo sees the excellent All The Time at the top of the list with its infectious, brooding atmospheres and darkly sophisticated arrangement sizzling with infectious energy. Given the human touch via yearning spoken vocals this has to be one of my favourite releases from the label so far. Feelings, follows with more of a sense of urgency coupled with sleazier bass. Leaving, Get It On to deliver more of that Acid attitude as yet another excellent production sparks your imagination with fiery electronic sounds and rhythms.
InnerCity Records is the brand new Manchester based label from Mark Horsfall and Danny Stott and their first volume points the way forward to good times ahead. Music from the likes of Giom’s impressive bass-bizzy Exhausted and from Dale Howard’s typically pulsating Go Deeper indicates what lies in store in terms of fresh thinking House Music that isn’t afraid to look forward. The remaining artists included are: Leigh D Oliver, Roland Nights, Gutto Serta and finally Casey Lee Jones whose invigorating Feel It ends this most promising package. Listen below…
release: May 6
The Black 80s aka Hollis P Monroe & Overnite deliver a strikingly original piece of music with their latest for Air London. Not least of all because Give Me Something features a soul infused vocal that sits somewhere between light and shade, although with a haunting edge that will you find yourself mesmerised by. The music does a similar thing with drum machine beats and atmospheric electronics feeling distinctive and other worldly. Meanwhile, the Hollis P Monroe Mix replays the elements with a pacier tempo and further spaced out sounds to compliment the original.
Release: June 5