Various – Blaq Satin Trax

January 10, 2016 in Singles

Blaq Satin Trax Blaq NumbersOnly the second release here from new German label Blaq Numbers, and it’s a six-track V/A ep that’s perfectly in keeping with tonight’s eclectic theme.

Ranko’s Like This, Like That is up first, which starts out as a smooth late-night deep houser with garage-y overtones, then drops in tempo to become a kind of wonky, jazzy, dubby thing that you really need to hear for yourself! There are more leftfield jazzy shenanigans on Peter Clamat’s Fonetische Bestätigung, with if I’m honest is a little too experimental for these ears in parts. Carlo’s Crashed is another quite experimental cut with nods to both post-dubstep and classic Chicago house, while Lootbeg’s Paradise is a more straightforward Balearic/slo-mo disco number that can safely be filed under ‘lazy euphoria’. Fede Lng then takes us into house territory with Fade To Black, which features tuff beats, lingering synth chords and the famous Peter Fonda “we wanna get loaded” speech, while finally Toefflinger play us out with the cut-up, jazzy uber-deep house of Waffeleier.

Generic club grooves these are not, but if you do like your beats on the more leftfield/experimental side, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here, with Toefflinger, Lootbeg and Carlo’s contributions the standouts to these ears.

Out: It just says “January” so, y’know, now-ish

About: You can find Blaq Numbers on Soundcloud, Facebook and Bandcamp.

Andy Compton – Smoking Soul

May 26, 2015 in Singles

Andy Compton Smoking Soul PengThis one actually came out a couple of weeks ago but I’d misfiled it and figured, as we’re playing catch-up anyway, I’d tell you about it now.

Compared to his uber-soulful recent output, Smoking Soul is definitely something of a curveball from the Rurals main man, being a heavily electronic affair based around ear-piercing synths and a jive-talkin’ male vocal sample (“you can have your cotton king, if that’s your mole, but I get my high from smokin’ soul”, or something like that anyway), with a chipmunk’d female chorus that only adds to the track’s leftfield/indie-dance vibe. The accompanying Dub utilises a different synth line and a, er, dubby bassline, while bonus cut Earth’s Mother has an almost acid jazz kinda feel… but the title cut’s the one here.

Out: Now

About: This comes of course on Andy’s own Peng Records, who you can find here, here and here.

Sarp Yilmaz – Since You’ve Been Gone Away

April 7, 2015 in Albums

Sarp Yilmaz Since You've Been Gone Away Apparel MusicTen facts about the new Sarp Yilmaz album (his third, if I’m not mistaken):

1. It came out last week, but I’m a bit behind cos of the Bank Holiday.

2. It’s available on vinyl or digitally, but only the title track appears on both versions… so the vinyl release has seven other tracks that aren’t available digitally while the digital version has nine tracks that aren’t on the vinyl.

3. This has confused the hell out of me, which is another reason the review’s a bit late.

4. If you want the vinyl you’d best be quick – there are only 150 copies in the whole wide world.

5. The two albums (cos that’s really what they are, surely?) are quite different… the vinyl mostly operates in jazzy/leftfield/triphop kinda territory, while the digital release is much more dancefloor-oriented and best described overall as ‘deep/tech house with a jazz twist’.

6. There’s a track on the (digital) album called Roll A Big Fag which is, in itself, reason to buy it.

7. Other tracks are called High As A Kite, Smoking Rooms and King Of Skunk. You can draw your own conclusions regarding appropriate states of mind in which to listen.

8. There’s a frankly superb jazzual take on Closer Than Close which also needs to be heard.

9. Don’t Leave Me This Way reinvented as a torch-y lounge number also warrants investigation.

10. Imagine a meeting point between dusty, jazzy hip-hop à la Cold Busted and wonky Leftroom/Freerange-style house and you’re about as close as I can get to describing what is a truly inventive and original long-player. Best check it for yourself then, eh?

Out: Last week

About: This comes on Apparel Music, who are based in that London and can be found here, here and here.

Danced Til Midnight – Sun Bleach

March 19, 2015 in Singles

Danced Til Midnight Sun Bleach EP Thylacine RecordsSomething of a change of pace now, as TIWWD’s attention turns to this four-track EP from brand new UK label Thylacine Sounds.

The EP opens with Sun Bleach itself, which is like car chase funk given a hefty dose of Latin swing, embracing as it does batucada drums, mariachi brass and flamenco guitars, as well as some seriously wigged-out psychedelic flourishes. Step It Up, which follows, is a phat n’ squelchy, brass-laden bruk beat affair, while Tall Black Guy collab Wheat Bread And Eggs is a slice of leftfield/downtempo electronica, again with lashings of rude bass. Finally, to close out the EP comes Flour And Eggs, which operates in similar territory to the title track only with added rawk guitar squalls.

There are a LOT of musical ideas here, and to be honest some pan out better than others. But as a statement of intent from a new label, it’s certainly one to prick up the ears. File under ‘eclectic funk’.

Out: This week

About: Can’t seem to find a website for Thylacine Sounds but you can find Danced Til Midnight on Facebook.

Dee C’Rell – Kompilation 1

January 4, 2015 in Albums

Dee C'Rell Kompilation 1 Holm Records

A complete change of pace to end the week on now…

Interesting chap, Dee C’Rell. Back in the 90s, he built a name as a soulful house artist/producer, working with the likes of Gerideau, Timmi Magic and Keith Thompson, and releasing on such respected labels as 4 Liberty and Cultural Vibe. After going off to first study, then teach music in the academic arena, he re-emerged in the latter part of the 00s as a purveyor of downtempo, lounge and nu-jazz beats, releasing on his own Holm Records as well as labels like Lemongrass Music and M-Sol, and hosting a popular show on Samurai.fm.

Unsurprisingly, then, downtempo, lounge and nu-jazz beats are pretty much what you’ll find on this collection, though Dee’s house background does make itself felt on tracks like Whodoo, which reprises that “deep house topped with poetry” vibe that was so popular back at the start of the millennium. At times veering towards the ambient/chill-out side of things (see: Hologram), at others more uptempo (you could imagine Those Bavarians finding favour with the likes of Gilles P or Mr Scruff), the album overall’s a bit of a departure for TIWWD, admittedly… but very pleasant listening on a Sunday evening all the same.

Oh, and it comes with a continuous mixed version as well, so you can just sit back and let it all wash over you…

Out: This week

About: You can find out more about Holm Records at Dee’s own website.

Juan Michavila – Pina Colada

December 31, 2014 in Singles

Juan Michavila Pina Colada Soundpersecond RecordsSo the floor’s packed and the dancers are bouncing along nicely… but you don’t want ’em to peak too soon. Now’s the time to drop down to a skankin’ reggae pace, letting people keep moving but get their breath back for a minute before the next onslaught of furiously slammin’ beats. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the DJ book, right up there with ‘turning off the wrong deck by accident’.*

If you happen to find yourself in need of such a slab at any time in the near future, you could do a lot worse than reach for this dubby, Latin-vocalled oddity from Soundpersecond Records. A little slice of tropical summer sunshine to warm those winter cockles, the hype sheet calls it a “Balearic-Italo-reggae-clash”, and it comes in simple Gamma Afterhours Mix (read: vocal) and Gamma Afterhours Dub (read: dub) mixes. And I think that’s about all you need to know!

Out: This week

About: You can find Soundpersecond Records, who make their TIWWD debut with this release, on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

*Yes you have. Stop telling fibs.

H Foundation – Hear Dis Sound

November 9, 2014 in Singles

H-Foundation Hear Dis Sound SiestaAnd speaking of things dubwise (see below), here come scene legends H Foundation with a prime slice of dubby, tribal (tech) house goodness.

Or at least they do to start with, because with no fewer than eight mixes on offer, there’s plenty of stylistic variation to choose from here. “Tropical house with rude boy vocals,” is how the hype sheet touts the original, and yeah, that’ll do. Adam Shelton’s remix is a little chunkier and more funked-up, DJ Sneak’s is, well, Sneak-y, Franck Rogers supplies a techier refix, Space Coast get deep n’ dreamy, and Yousef starts out stripped n’ groovy then gets more mentalist as the track goes on. DJ Buck strips things back to their tribal core and adds a reggae soundsystem intro, while finally Craig Richards drops the tempo right down for his dubbed-out slo-mo/leftfield take.

Sneak and Space Coast do it best for me but this is a strong package with a heavyweight remix line-up that should find a place in many a DJ’s set.

Out: This week

About: This comes on long-running west coast label Siesta, who you can find here and here.

Slavaki – Change Your Mind EP

November 6, 2014 in Singles

Slavaki Change Your Mind Elusive RecordsWe keep things seriously deep but in just slightly housier fashion now with this three-tracker from London’s Elusive Records.

Change Your Mind itself is an atmospheric, late-night-but-not-sleeping-yet kinda cut, all twitchy minimal beats, sub-aquatic FX and whispered fem vox, the latter coming courtesy of Ivy Vandervorst. Jazzy Monday surprises by not being particularly jazzy, instead placing analogue synth noodlings atop more twitchy, minimal-leaning beats, while finally Escape For The Day is a little more leftfield-leaning, topping more of those water-y FX and sparse beats with some guy talking about teaching religion in schools, or some such.

“A playful mixture of warm enigmatic sounds for your mind, body and soul” is how the hype sheet touts this one, and yeah, I’d say that’s about right. But it’s the title track that’s the clear stand-out to these ears.

Out: This week, on Bandcamp; there are also 200 limited edition white vinyl pressings.

About: You can find Elusive Records on Soundcloud or at their own website.

**UPDATE 7/11: No sooner do I get a review of this posted, than I receive another promo of the same release saying it’s not out till 15 December. Not sure which is correct so if you look for this and can’t find it, try again in five weeks’ time!

Passarella Death Squad – Anthem

February 13, 2014 in Singles

Passarella Death Squad Anthem Days Of Being WildSome leftfield electronic vibes to kick us off tonight courtesy of “art, fashion and music collective” Passarella Death Squad, AKA vocalist Emilie Albisser and producer Danny Broddle.

On the A-side here, Anthem itself places spine-tingling synths that owe not a little to the Knuckles classic Your Love atop layers of drifting, synthy ambience, the result being a moody, slo-mo affair that’d play nicely alongside deep dark dubstep à la Burial/Youngsta/Distance or indeed the ambient/dub techno vibes that make up the Slow Living Vol 2 album reviewed on this blog just the other day. Over on the B, meanwhile, Just Like Sleep features Albisser’s torchy vocals over slo-mo house beats and densely layered piano chords.

A little more experimental than your standard TIWWD fare for sure, but well worth checking.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by London label Days Of Being Wild… find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Synapson – Gangbangers EP

September 15, 2013 in Singles

Synapson Gangbangers WOH LabAnother three-track EP here, this one coming from Parisian duo Synapson on French label WOH Lab.

The title track is a moody, midtempo deep/tech houser with some familiar spoken vocals on top (“in the 80s, grooves are rulin’ the world”… that one). Taurus is another midtempo affair, predicated around a striking combination of ominous warping, wobbling bass and Detroitian strings. But the standout by far is Drive Me Thru. The best way I can describe this jazz-tinged and truly distinctive cut is that it’s a bit like what might happen if John Barry had been listening to a lot of house music. While smoking opium.

And frankly that’s a rubbish description, so I heartily recommend you check this one for yourself…

Out: This week

About: Find WOH Lab here, here and, if you’ve a mind to, here (Soundcloud, Facebook, web). WOH stands for ‘Way Of House’ BTW which is the name of their parent/sister label.