Tevo Howard’s Black Electro Orchestra – Holiday EP

February 9, 2016 in Singles

Tevo Howard's Black Electro Orchestra Help EP Beautiful Granville Y’know that fine line between ‘geniusly camp’ and ‘cheese’? Well, can you guess what line Mr Howard’s walking today?

For what we have here, you see, are instrumental covers of Madonna’s Holiday and not one but TWO Pet Shop Boys tracks, What Have I Done To Deserve This and My October Symphony, reworked inna a Balearic nu-disco style. And yes, it sounds like a terrible idea on paper but it actually works pretty well. Never having been a fan of the Pet Shop Boys I can’t really comment on the latter two tracks except to say they make for pleasant enough listening, but in Howard’s hands Holiday becomes a spangly, cruisin’-round-the-marina-in-your-Porsche-coupé kinda cut that’s sure to raise a few smiles once listeners cotton on, slowly but surely, as to what it actually is. And that may or may not make you walk around singing Holiday Rap all day, depending how old you are!

For fans of Balearic Gabba Sound System, yacht rock, Scandi disco, Tummy Touch Records and other such kitschy midtempo delights.

Out: Now

About: This comes on Howard’s own Illinois-based Beautiful Granville Records. They don’t really seem to have much of a web presence of their own but you can find Mr Howard on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – In Dub 4

January 10, 2016 in Singles

In Dub 4 Cold BustedTIWWD’s favourite purveyors of chilled-out grooves and lo-fi funk bring us another of their (very) occasional dub compilations here.

There’s minimal info supplied, which means that while I can tell you some of the artists featured here are names Cold Busted fans will recognise for their usual downtempo work (Es-K and Vitamin D, for instance), it’s not entirely clear whether these are experiments in dub by the artists themselves, or remixes commissioned for this project. Not that it really matters, I suppose! More important is that generally speaking it works, where so many excursions into dub territory by non-reggae artists often don’t. Tracks range from lighter cuts like Illusion Of The Revolution by My Neighbour Is, which isn’t far from straight-up reggae, via ambient-dub-downtempo fusions from Ashkha (Lyrical Satirical) and SkySpitterInk (Self Lord) and skankin’ Zion Train/Dreadzone-esque digidub from Zac Love (The Rising Tide) to the weirded-out, polyrhythmic Sundaze by Es-K. But the album’s at its best when serving up some proper heavy manners with cuts like DJ Buzzword’s Dub Fi Mi Gyal, and Emapea’s Wicked Sound.

All told, In Dub 4 is unlikely to replace that favourite King Tubby or Scientist album as your go-to dub fix. But it certainly wouldn’t sound out of place played alongside, and that in itself is no mean feat.

Out: This week

About: Find Cold Busted herehere and here.

Some MORE albums, quickly…

November 11, 2015 in Albums

I’m on a roll with this ‘potted album reviews’ malarkey so here’s some that are dropping THIS week…

Microscapes Vol II Buena Onda RecordsVarious – Microscapes Vol II
A VA comp here from a label who’ve never featured on TIWWD before – France’s Buena Onda Records. Don’t know much about them, but based on this evidence I’d like to find out more! Across Microscapes Vol II‘s 12 tracks you’ll find various flavas of house music, starting out seriously deep (Ekstendia’s Luana is a killer) then progressing into more uptempo (but still pretty deep, in the overall scheme of things) tech/prog territory as the album progresses, all coming from eight artists in total of whom only a couple of names (Knip, Gurwan) are even vaguely familiar. File under ‘unexpected pleasures’.

Golden Lounge 3 Clubstar RecordsVarious – Golden Lounge Vol 3
Here, long-running German label Clubstar present 29 tracks of nosebleed techno and 240bpm nu-gabba… nah, not really. Well, the 29 tracks bit is right… beyond that, expect neo-soul, bruk beat, ultra-chilled house, drifty Balearica, lo-fi hip-hop and other assorted horizontal grooves, coming from a mixture of big names (Jose Padilla, Andy Caldwell, The Rurals, DJ Pippi) and, er, some not quite so big names. The whole thing’s compiled and mixed by label boss Henri Kohn, with CD1 a bit more beat-oriented and CD2 taking us deeper into the sofa-surfin’ zone.

Nu Breeds 10 Spring TubeVarious – Nu Breeds 10
It seems like a little while since Spring Tube had any TIWWD love so let’s rectify that now with a quick peek at the latest in their long-running series of VA compilations. As is par for the Nu Breeds course, you won’t find any big names here… what you WILL find is plenty of smooth, classy electronic tuneage. Spring Tube’s natural musical stomping ground is that area where deep and progressive house collide, and that’s amply reflected in this set, with Moonwatch3r’s Dreams and Nio March’s Delight Me particularly worthy of your attention.

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.

Sherr – Attack Warning EP

October 29, 2015 in Singles

Sherr Attack Warning EP Innocent Music LimitedLet’s kick off tonight in deep/minimal territory with this three-track offering from a label who seldom put a foot wrong in their travels through said pastures, Innocent Music.

Attack Warning itself is up first, a midtempo affair with a pulsating bassline, intricate but unfussy percussion and a light smattering of trippy FX, all topped with an ominous spoken vocal towards the end (“this is an attack warning”). Monocromatic [sic], which follows, opens with what sounds to these ears like the squawking of distant seagulls, then slowly evolves into an unhurried, dubby and just slightly glitchy instrumental, before the somewhat more uptempo 1306 plays us out on a more obviously floor-friendly note – though I still wouldn’t recommend dropping it down your local Ritzys – with lashings of phat-but-muted bass and snatches of spoken dialogue.

Fine stuff as ever from the Slovenian stable.

Out: This week

About: Find Innocent Music herehere and here. This, I should mention, comes on sub-label Innocent Music Limited.

Marlena Shaw – Woman Of The Ghetto [Akshin Alizadeh Remix]

October 27, 2015 in Singles

Marlena Shaw Woman Of The Ghetto Remixes Cold BustedNo, I didn’t think it needed doing, either – some classic tracks just oughta be left alone! So I’m somewhat surprised – but very happy – to report that Azerbaijani producer Alizadeh has absolutely knocked this one out of the park.

In his hands, Woman Of The Ghetto becomes a lazy, laidback jazzual affair, all dusty beats, squalling sax, fluttering Moog, wukka-wukking geetar and of course that vocal, or at least the “I want you to get together” bit of it. And as I said, it’s a stone cold bomb, the combination of Marlena’s voice, headnoddin’ trip-hop beats and just a touch of jazz-funk noodle proving irresistible.

If you want to be a bit more subtle with it, there’s also an accompanying instrumental.

Out: This week, I think… they didn’t say, but that’s when the promo expired

About: This is brought to you by LA label Cold Busted, who’ve long been TIWWD’s favourite purveyors of lo-fi/trip-hop/stoner jazz-type shenanigans. Find ’em here, here and here.

Arara – Strike Three

September 22, 2015 in Singles

Arara Strike Three EP Submarine VibesMore leftfield/experimental deep grooves now courtesy of Bosnia’s Submarine Vibes label.

Three mixes of Strike Three to choose from. The original’s a sort of wonky, future lounge thang that’s one-part Roy Ayers, one-part Yellow Magic Orchestra and one-part The Man With The Red Face. Actually, that’s a pretty rubbish description so you’ll just have to hear it for yourself, which  – in a rare instance of me being arsed – you can do below.

The man like Yigit Atilla serves up a much smoother deep house remix, while German producer Wanderlust’s mix sits somewhere between the two and brings the tinkling pianos to the fore. Atilla’s rub would be the obvious choice for dancefloor play, but the original deserves props too, simply for not sounding like much anything else that’s around right now.

Out: This week

About: You can find Submarine Vibes here, here and here.

A0 – Celloism EP

September 20, 2015 in Singles

A0 Celloism Bass9 RecordsThe clue’s in the title with this truly distinctive offering from Bass9 Records, which sees producer A0 teaming up with cellist Illay for some deep-prog-classical fusion bizniss.

The Journey is up first, a midpaced affair with muted beats and an understated bassline topped with fluttering keys and, obviously, cello – both in the form of a single chord/scrape that loops thoughout, and as a melodic, vaguely wistful-sounding topline. The accompanying Late Night Hour Mix isn’t hugely different, but eschews the original’s fairly long beatless section in favour of keeping the groove going throughout. Elsewhere on the EP, The Tall is a downtempo number, Strange Day is a cinematic piece but underpinned by floor-friendly beats and The Path sees us back in chill-out territory. And yes, the eponymous big violin is front and centre on all three.

I’ve just worked out… with an average of 120-150 promo emails a week, I must have been sent somewhere around 5,000 ‘records’ this year. And not one of them sounded like this…

Out: This week

About: Bass9 Records haven’t featured on TIWWD up till now, but they’re French and can be found on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Tom Tam Club Vol 3

September 14, 2015 in Albums

Tom Tam Club Vol 3 Holic TraxPlaying catch-up on a Monday evening yet again, with a couple of compilations from last week still to tell you about. We’ll start with this one, in which Holic Trax label boss Tomoki Tamura gathers together a third selection of upfront nuggets for your listening/spinning/dancing pleasure.

Eight tracks from as many artists, and it’s a pretty wide-ranging collection. We start with Rough Principles’s Pool Back, a melodic instrumental that nods to classic Chicago-style deepness. Habitual Nastiness from Mr Statik is a strange one, an off-kilter affair with what appear to be Theremin sounds and one of the oddest bits of sampled film dialogue* that you’ll hear this year. Point from Marco Faraone and Copenhagen from Ashworth take us into tech/minimal territory, Brunbjrn gives us wonky garage reminiscent of early Madhouse on M’About Ta, and Dubinsky’s Viol Groove is a chugging Balearic house thang. The EP then plays out on a deeper note with the dubby minimalism of Dudley Strangeways’ Brown Leaves and the languid, jazzy trip-hop/bruk beat of Baslow’s Closer.

Given the variety on offer you might not dig every single track equally here, but as a collection of forward-thinking underground music from across a wide genre spectrum, this is hard to fault.

Out: Now

About: You can find Holic Trax on Soundcloud, Facebook and Bandcamp.

* From 2012 Denzel Washington movie Flight, Google informs me.

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.