Label head Danny Daze begins the Omnidisc Swim Series with this release from amazing French producer, Sebastien Bouchet. And happy to say it’s rather excellent. Take ‘Sailor’ which begins the EP in earnest with the sort of unfussy groove that proves to be hyper funky as uncomplicated, sassy percussion and bass notes produce magic in succession. Next, Jeff Goes Riot again hits you with heavy-duty basslines this time over nagging synth lines as ice-cool vocals feed off occasional warm chords. Etna, then feels fused with electricity as soaring synthesizers prove bright and seductively breezy over commanding electro beats. The atmospherically charged Pacific Seb ends on moodier notes which are by no means any less rewarding on what has to be said again is an excellent EP. Next please.
By way of an explanation: ‘Slow Futur features two jugglers (Elsa Guérin and Martin Palisse) on a treadmill (8 x 2m) which carries them along a neon light installation which delimits the choreographic space as a kind of space-time tunnel: the hyperspace.’ Lifted from the performance of the same name are these four tracks from Zombie Zombie aka Cosmic Neman, Etienne Jaumet, Dr Schonberg which not only highlights the labels inquisitive nature but also the musician’s creative impulses. Hyperespace, starts the exploration with organic feeling machines producing an enthralling blur of sounds accompanied by the demanding beat of drums. The excellent, futuristic strains of Extra Life proceed via pumped-up rhythms next, while the title track then eases down into a different trance. Finally, the brilliant Blue Screen ventures into ambient territory albeit a darker one with haunting sights and sounds completing a great release.
Richard Burkinshaw and Jamies Rial aka Audiojack deliver this creatively intense set of three productions for their long standing residence at 2020. Which thankfully for us sees the duo in a more playful mood with the mind expanding Fluent opening proceedings via a pulsating, uber-cool funkiness which is not only thinking forward but very definitely hypnotic in the process. Stutter, then tears at the envelope with more energy injected into its insistent hi-hats, accompanying syncopated bassline plus off the wall vocal edits. Leaving the aptly titled Vowels to continue the theme by twisted the French language around darker flavoured drums and their sparse arrangement to produce yet another intriguing sequence of ideas.
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.