Review: Italian duo Concret are the latest signings to Wonder Stories, following up previous releases for Toy Tonics and others to make their debut appearance on vinyl. The crisply produced, modern originals sit somewhere in between disco-infused house music and bombastic electronica in the Moderat vein, while the remixes throw a few more stylistic twists into the mix. Rodion brings a bold, bleepy analogue vibe to his version of "Ritorno", while Timothy Heretic Clerkin gets a little acidic in his revision of "Andata", rounding out a strong EP of maximal dance music for the modern age.
Review: US label Wonder Stories follow up strong turns from Macaulay, Joe Morris and Jac The Disco with this hemisphere-spanning collaboration between Aussie producer Dawn Again and UK stalwart Rothmans. The mood on the record is squarely aimed at psychedelic strains of house music for adventurous, smooth grooving souls, whether it's the originals or the remixes you came for. "Timeless Odyssey" matches fuzzy bass with swirling pads and peppy rhythms, which Timothy J Fairplay dutifully jacks up with a wavey sensibility and plenty of dancefloor heft. "Rainbow Perch" is a synth-rich party ballad loaded with heart to match its infectious grooves. Emile Strunz delivers a remix that builds on the original's yearning qualities with a journeying spirit that would make for some great outdoors listening / partying.
Review: Following his recent strong turn on Cocktail D'Amore, Jules Etienne makes a trip back to Apersonal Music with more of that island groove for the smoothest slack-wearers in town. "Free As A Man" is a beautifully laid back but funky offering that speaks to all kinds of good times. Jex Opolis turns in a remix of the track that has a little more bite to suit the later demands of the dancefloor. "Don't Wanna Talk About It" sees Etienne linking up with Disco D and winding all kinds of slick strutting business into his sound, and then "Rhythm For The Garden" heads off into wonderful tribal percussion that serves as a handy tool for DJs who want to get some rich drum sounds into their set.
Review: Following initial appearances on Bahnsteig 23, Jonny 5 returns on the Pleasure Wave label with more of that well-travelled, groovesome voodoo for all manner of sonic wayfarers. "Apocalypse" in particular is a stunning piece of tom-powered menace, but it's quickly offset by the bubbling cosmic delights of "Electronix". "Firedance" on the B-side channels some righteous 80s industrial and synth pop tropes to create it's own kind of drama, and then "Stardriver" finishes the EP off with some pulsing, noirish wave synths and gaseous atmospherics. With the styles shifting from track to track, Jonny 5 has once again done a sterling job of keeping his options open and keeping us locked expectantly into his delirious sound.
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
Review: Ali Renault's Vivod label continues to bring the goods, as recent missives from Skatebard and Monkeyshop (their first release of any sort for 11 years) emphatically prove. The imprint's latest release comes from newcomer Paul Withey, who follows up a fine contribution to a recent split E.O on Ruby Hills & Diamond Mountain, with a debut solo E.P of his own. The five tracks featured are nicely varied stylistically, but all boast the distinctive shimmer of analogue synthesizers and dusty drum machines. Highlights include the surging Italo-disco revivalism of "Pallas", cheerily positive synth-pop flex of "Yes Master", and the curious, Radiophonic Workshop style weirdness of "Beneath the Surface".