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Latest reviews

The clue's in the name - Only Music Matters are putting the sound up front and ignoring the loaded meanings and attachments that come with artist names and artwork. It's an approach that suits the sound on this first 12", which reveals the label's focus on heads-down minimal for the club. Such utilitarian music is about the greater whole - how these particular tracks fit into the wider narrative of an extended wormhole DJ set or indeed the scene at large. Don't write them off as tools though - there are some serious ideas tucked away in here. Just listen to the cosmic swirl and submerged acid rub of the B-line on 'Track 2' and you'll realise the music really is doing the talking here.
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Adrian Younge's new album is undoubtedly his most powerful yet. He says it "dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people." It is an unapologetic critique of the current systems that suppress people of colour and the malevolent psychology that taps into that. Musically, this is a deeply soulful record with elaborate orchestration and some top level guests. Next to the album, Younge has also made a short film (TAN) and 4-part podcast (invisible Blackness) on the same subject that make for vital listening.
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Delano Smith - Cascade
Here's an intriguing prospect: a doublepack of "interpretations" of tracks from Delano Smith's two albums for Sushitech, with the likes of Marcel Dettmann and Convextion at the controls. It's a simple idea, executed impressively, with plenty to enjoy. Oracy's dub techno take on "Free To Explore" is particularly delicious, while Dettmann's rework of "Inspiration" is an energetic romp through warm and inviting techno pastures. There's more of a minimal influence behind the remixes from Makam and Steve O'Sullivan, leaving Convextion to steal the show with a stunning - not to mention slightly trippy - ambient re-invention of "Inspiration". Impressive stuff, all told.
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Freshfrom offering up brand-new cover versions of 'Toxic' and 'Waterfalls', Inokasira Rangers delve into their back catalogue and offer up another essential reissue. Both tracks were originally released back in 2015 and, like much of their catalogue, put a rocksteady-influenced vintage reggae spin on tracks by other artists. Lead cut 'Hikoukigumo' was the title track from singer-songwriter Yumi Arai's 1973 debut album; in the hands of the Rangers, it becomes a lolloping, Hammond-heavy shuffler full of toasty bass, clipped guitar riffs, rock-solid drums and melodic organ solos. Over on the flip they deliver their interpretation of 'Tetsu no Heya', the Taku Izumi-penned theme tune for a record-breaking Japanese chat show of the same name. We're not familiar with the original, but the trio's cheery and melodic reggae interpretation is certainly entertaining.
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Irresistible & essential soulful reggae funk versions from US based The Lions once again gets the revival for the first time on a dinked 45.James Brown penned and originally made famous by Lyn Collins this version has Noelle gracing the vocals for the A side and a killer vocal free version with more than enough killer instrumentation to carry it on it's own accord on the flip. As championed by DJ Koco & DJ Muro from Japan and J Rocc....Juno copies come in exclusive branded card sleeve. Only 500 one off pressing. Strictly no repress. Don't sleep !
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Dubkasim mark a noteworthy thirtieth release on their own label with what they do best - another big helping of pounding digital dub. These four sound system ready cuts are firmly set in the future, with majestic FM pads shrieking through the cavernous bass. Phaser pedals, digi-subs and steel plated percussion help power these bassy megaliths forwards and ensure maximum destruction on the right dance floors. 'King's Music' (cut 2) is a personal favourite here thanks to its darker, more menacing tones, but in reality of these three are ready and waiting to do some serious damage.
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Being - Broxburn Funk
During the 1990s, techno talent Being put out some essential records on the late great andrew Weatherall's Special Emissions label. He also produced for Lord Sabre on works as Two Lone Swordsmen with Keith 'Radioactive Man' Tenniswood and collaborated with Claude Young, so his credentials are unquestionable. Here he distils all that into a moody techno record with machines that brim with soul, rhythm that are full of invention and warm, cavernous grooves as good for home listening sessions as they are club workouts. 'Space Again' is an epic Detroit cut, 'The Akward' is ace new age business and frankly the whole thing needs your attention.
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Jkriv / Dicky Trisco / Bernardo Pinheiro - Barefoot Beats 11
The 11th Barefoot beats is another hugely effective disco 12" with two well purposed cuts. JKriv & Dicky Trisco link up first for 'Mae Do Mar,' a tune that has you dreaming of warmer climes, sandy beaches and sunny skies. It's an airy cut with a tropical percussive line, hints of Latin flair and breezy vocals. Flip it over and the temperature goes up a notch - Bernardo Pinheiro's 'Xango' is a superbly soulful and heartwarming groover. The chords are draped elegantly over the busy funky bass and the vocals are chants that draw your attention and get you in a trance.
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