Greg Sawyer – Whenever EP

October 31, 2015 in Singles

Greg Sawyer Whenever EP Falk RecsMoving into housier pastures, here we have an EP from a man whose name is probably better known in industry circles than to the general public. For by day, Greg Sawyer is Mr Press & Publicity for Defected Records; by night, however, when he’s not DJing at Glitterbox or running his Tenth Circle imprint he turns into a producer of uber-deep house goodness… in this instance, for Bristol-based Falk Recordings.

“Gorgeous blissed-out vibes” is how the hype sheet describes the three tracks here, and I’d say that’s about right! A Fading Glance is a gentle, almost amient piece with tinking pianos, Mayflies comes on like a cross between the very deepest of prog and Jah Wobble’s experiments with Oriental music, and finally Whenever I Try To Leave is an atmospheric, cinematic affair with a haunting, drawn-out “you…” vocal.

All three are aimed fair and square at headphones rather than dancefloors, but if it’s late-night, sofa-surfing vibes you’re after then all all three are well worth checking.

Out: This week

About: You can find Falk on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Polar Lights – Declaration

August 30, 2015 in Singles

Polar Lights Declaration What's In The BoxSeeing as it’s Sunday night, let’s start with some very deep and chilled vibes courtesy of Moscow-based label What’s In The Box.

Declaration (feat Llarion Dyakov) itself, in its original form, is a drifty, dreamy, Balearic kinda jam with fluttering Spanish guitar, mournful violins and lazy, muted beats, while the accompanying Kisk Slowly Remix adds a trippier edge – think early Orb gone a bit jazzy and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. You also get two mixes of Don’t Tell Me (feat Keely Timlin). I have to be honest and say the original veers a little too close to smooth jazz-lite territory for me, but no matter cos Darko Kustura is on hand with a sultry deep house remix to see you through those blissed-out post-club hours nicely…

Out: This week

About: What’s In The Box is a subsidiary of Highway Records and can be found here, here and here.

Helly Larson – Ganja FX EP

May 21, 2015 in Singles

Helly Larson Ganja FX EP Sofa SessionsThree very different releases for you tonight, kicking off with this superlative slice of deepness from Helly Larson and, excitingly, brand new Lucidflow sub-label Sofa Sessions.

Four tracks to choose from: the dubwise Ganja FX itself with its sampled reggae vox and layers of white noise, the more minimal-leaning Horizon, the ambient-with-beats vibes of Lexicon and the similarly styled Sphere. The title cut nudges it for me but all four tracks are every bit as good as we’ve come to expect from both producer and label, so if late-night smokin’ vibes are what you’re after, I’d suggest you check for this immediately…

Out: This week

About: It’s pretty obvious from the name, really, but Lucidflow say Sofa Sessions is “our new sub-label focused on downtempo, chill-out, ambient, relaxing jazzy lounge music and dub”. Find out more at the main Lucidflow website.

Various – Future Ambience

March 1, 2015 in Singles

Future Ambience Soiree Records InternationalMachine soul straight outta Detroit here… or as the hype sheet has it, “an impending soundscape absolute in rhythmic and melodic synthesis”.

Label boss Derrick Thompson AKA Drivetrain is up first with This Love, which pairs a stuttery, near-bruk rhythm with a live-sounding jazz bassline, downpitched soulful male vox, luxuriant pads and lounge-y keys. Santonio Echols gives us Magicgrooves, a jazzy/soulful deep houser with a high-pitched, almost feline female “I was going underwater” (?) vocal and tribal-leaning drums. Rennie Foster’s Just Begun takes us into deep techno territory with its tuff-but-muted drums, bell sounds, looped “just begun” vocal and overall moody, cinematic feel, while finally Alpha Decay from Hideyoshi marries actual ambience to fierce metallic techno kicks.

If you like your house and techno on the more cerebral/abstract side, there’s plenty to get your head around here.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by the long-running Soiree Records International, who you can find here, here and here.

Various – ChiQago

February 15, 2015 in Albums

Various Chiqago Faint Frequency RecordsWith MOTSA having dragged us into experimental, beats-y territory, that’s where we’ll finish tonight with a look at this truly out-there collection from Ayush Sharma’s Faint Frequency label.

Opener Intro is an atmospheric, ambient piece with train/train station sounds, the very gentlest of piano chords, and lilting jazz sax sounding like it’s coming from somewhere down the street. It sets the scene for the laidback, jazzy trip-hop of Chiqago itself (credited to Micah/Alex/Yush) nicely. But Don’t Need Me Much which follows (credited to Yush/MizStefani/Micah/Leon) then throws us a curveball, as super-high-octane jazz drums Buddy Rich himself could be proud of (or DJ Krust, for that matter) meet Orb-like ambient synths and sampled funk diva vox. It’s Offseason by Big In Malta takes us into proper liquid funk territory, while Yush’s 12 Minute Journey starts out sounding like what happens when two-step and ambient collide, then gets proper crazy, with more fierce jazz drums and proggy synths. Pheel’s Is Someone There is another near-ambient piece with fractured, stuttery beats, Big In Malta’s Memories Are Sacred is another jazzual liquid workout, while finally Wahawka’s She Is wouldn’t have sounded out of place on CD1 of any of the Northern Exposure albums.

Like I said, a truly out-there collection… but one that makes for very fine late-night listening all the same, with the Big In Malta tracks the highlights for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find Faint Frequency – who are indeed based in Chicago – here, here and here.

Izzet – Talks

November 9, 2014 in Singles

Izzet Talks Liquid GroovesA nice simple two-tracker to kick off with tonight from Liquid Grooves.

Deep techno/minimal grooves are the order of the day, with the emphasis on the ‘deep’ part of the equation. Maybe marries some lovely mellifluous piano doodling to sparse, twitchy beats and, as the track progresses, some vaguely disturbing/menacing FX, but the standout for yours truly is Strange Talk, a more downtempo and dubwise affair with a full 1.5-minute ambient breakdown in the middle.

As well as being post-club/comedown tackle of the highest order, this is also Liquid Grooves’ 150th release, so happy anniversary to them.

Out: This week

About: You can find Liquid Grooves online here.

Goran Tech – Light At The End

October 27, 2014 in Albums

Goran Tech Light At The End Artefact RecordsWe stay on a deep n’ techy tip now as we turn our attention to this full-length offering from Macedonian producer Goran Naumovski Bitola, better known as Goran Tech.

This is his first album in a production career that dates back to 2008, and the predominant musical mood is the very deepest of tech house grooves – as with the RBS comp below, long on melody and atmospherics, and eschewing obvious hooks or ‘build ’em up, knock ’em down’ big room dynamics. But there’s enough variety here to keep things interesting – see for instance the contrast between the acidic 10am, the lighter, more soulfully inclined Hubble and the driving Land Of Hope. And that’s not to mention the handful of downtempo/ambient tracks that are also included.

It all adds up to an album, while it might not make too many end-of-year ‘best of’ lists, certainly makes for a very pleasant 70 minutes of listening.

Out: Today

About: This is brought to you by leading Macedonian label Artefact Records – find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Helly Larson – Drift EP

September 7, 2014 in Singles

Helly Larson Drift LucidflowSeeing as it’s Sunday night, I’ll leave you on a chilled-out tip with this three-track slice of deep dub techno goodness from Lucidflow.

Circle is up first, a very deep piece with gently tinkling piano, layers of white noise and haunting FX, the overall effect being a bit Harold Budd-y. Drift itself rides slightly more uptempo beats, while closer Velocity has a slightly housier feel to the rhythm, but beyond that both maintain a very similar feel to Circle.

Drift by name, drift by nature. Spark up, sit back and relax…

Out: This week

About: You can find Lucidflow on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Derek Carr – Galactic Interface EP

July 27, 2014 in Singles

Derek Carr Galactic Interface EP Stripped RecordingsA six-track EP (or really mini-album) on Stripped Recordings here that defies easy categorisation… but that I’d heartily recommend you check out.

Opener Dan And DNA starts out sitting somewhere between the very deepest of dubstep and techno with its heavy kicks, fractured rhythms and growling synths… then as the track progresses, more melodic, almost ambient elements come into play. Galactic Interference operates in blissed-out but still energetic deep/progressive house territory, as does Mars MissionM3 Cruising V2 is like lounge music from outer space, Tron Dreams is a drifty, near-beatless excursion and then finally Womb takes us down roads first explored by the likes of The Orb and System 7 two decades ago.

It all adds up to a very fine 45 minutes of enveloping, engaging, hypnotic electronic music that’s definitely best appreciated whole…and more than likely while getting both horizontal, and herbal. Ahem.

Out: This week

About: Find Stripped Recordings and the rest of the Stripped/Hype label family on Soundcloud, at main man Norman H’s Facebook page or at their own blog.

Helmut Erbritsch – Soul Transmitting

June 8, 2014 in Albums

Helmut Erbritsch Souls Transmitting LucidflowHelmut Erbritsch, one half of Klartraum and co-owner of Lucidflow, steps into the spotlight with his first solo full-length here.

The album opens with Melodies Of Power, a dark, atmospheric ambient piece, before Ecstatic Truth takes us into melodic tech-house territory with its gently tinkling ivories, rolling beats and waves of synthesizer atmospherics. Truth be told, though, Ecstatic Truth is something of a false start, because the next half-dozen tracks drop back down into downtempo mode, with a mixture of very, VERY deep techno and beats-free ambience. Revelations, a shiny, almost disco-tinged midtempo affair, then kicks off a tech-house triptych that also includes Empowerment and Emerging, before the slow-quick-slow combo of Deep Invitation, Alive and Souls Transmuting play us out.

Overall, Soul Transmitting is a little more on the abstract/arty side than the dub/minimal techno fare we’ve come to expect from Klartraum and Lucidflow, but it’s definitely an absorbing listen – one that’s best served late at night and given your full concentration.

Out: This week

About: This does come, of course, on Lucidflow, who you can find here, here and here.