Review: Concrete has been integral in the rebirth of Parisian clubbing culture, offering a unique 19 hour long party that begins early on Sunday and goes on and on in the picturesque setting of the Port De La Rapee on the River Seine. Looking to expand, this new Concrete Music label should operate as an extension of the party commencing with a series of three planned Textures releases inviting local talent and previous guests to contribute. Volume 1 inaugurates the label in style, brandishing original productions from the excellent Jared Wilson, Awanto 3 and Nsyde artist Samuel Andre Madsen as well as Parisian producer S3A (Sampling As An Art). "Sit On This" is a typically dusty slice of house from Awanto 3 which contrasts nicely with the percussion heavy classicist house of "The Ravist" by S3A and the deep acid of Jared Wilson. Madsen takes it deep and moody on "Waterwalking Paris" to end a superb and diverse debut release.
Review: The Concrete parties that run for 19 hours on a Sunday have been integral in the rebirth of Parisian clubbing culture, and its own label endeavour which it began earlier this month with a 12" featuring the likes of Awanto 3 and Jared Wilson looks to be the perfect extension of their brand. While the first 12" was made up of relatively lighter house fare, this second seems to go for peak time selections and kicks off with "We Are Made For", a typically deep slice of throbbing analogue loop techno from Swedish producer Bleak, joined on the A-side by Time To Express artist Dario Zenker's "Port De La Dimanche", which combines heaving 909 kicks with sharp dub chords and deep square wave bass in a similarly contemporary fashion. On the flip, Prologue's Abdulla Rashim contributes "Awash River", an intricately texture piece of simmering acid techno which weaves around feathered kick drums; it's a stark contrast to the most impressive track on the release, "Batiment 21" from Behzad & Amarou, a slamming joint that combines loud, jacking drums with severe industrial textures, with a brief moment of house-inspired respite at the mid point which provides an inspired meeting of old and new school.
Review: As label statements go, the Textures series from Concrete has been superbly successful in transferring the ethos of their increasingly legendary Sunday boat parties to a label format; the diverse approach to DJ bookings matched by a wonderfully far reaching spread of artists across the three Textures 12"s. Previous instalments have seen contributions from Abdulla Rashim, Jared Wilson, Bleak, Sampling As An Art and Awanto 3 and this final record of the showcase series demonstrates Concrete's willingness to embrace the techier fare. Telegraph's Jean-Guillaume Cabanne hogs the A Side and represents Concrete's desire to embrace local talent, whilst Club der Visionare resident Binh offers a stripped down but smudgy highlight in the form of "Hufer". Priku ends the series in requisite style with "Mare Mirare" and his presence demonstrates Concrete is aware of Romania's current status within minimal circles. It remains intriguing to see what Concrete have planned next after such an impressive start.
Review: Their "T'es Plus Le Meme Depuis Que T'as Change" EP still rattling minds, cages and dancefloors, D.Ko's soul men step over to Paris's Concrete and proceed to lay down more blissed, blessy and oft broken jams. "C Monday" flexes on a classic electro beat with windy synths and spoken word breezing across the landscape, "Cordon Bleu" grits up for a warehouse shuffle sesh, "Taupe Wings" applies a little acid to a balmy collection of string samples a la deep house mode while "12h45" closes the electroid loop with another 707 beat pattern and sinewy acid scribbles. Bon nuit!
Review: Amir Alexander slopes over to a sneaky new alias for this release for Concrete Music, featuring two different versions of the same aquatic roller painted in subtly different shades. The "Cold Blood Dub" resides on the A side, representing the more poised of the two versions with its haunting organ swells that linger heavy amongst the densely packed soundscape, cinematic and engrossing in its demeanour. The original mix however takes different aspects of the melodic content to contort and twist, in this instance focusing on a growling synth line that snakes through the techy mists of the track.
Review: French minimal house maestro Le Loup has taken time out from working with close collaborator Seuil as Hold Youth to get into some solo action for Parisian institution Concrete's in-house label. "Champagne Magnum" is more on the deep house tip than usual, it's tres chic! But it's the remixes by Berlin tech house hero DeWalta that really shine on here. The "Michigan rework" injects the track with more shuffle and bounce than the original, but still keeps those dreamy Rhodes and funky bassline intact. Likewise, his "Windy dub" on the flip is rolling and percussive deep house reminiscent of The Mountain People; properly dark after-hours stuff on offer here and highly recommended. Finally second original track "Chateau d'Eau" is dusty, hip-hop inspired house that calls to mind even more tres chic sounds, just of the Berlin kind ie: Gleen Astro or Max Graef.
Review: Having previously paid tribute to afternoon shuffling and late night raving, Concrete Music here pays tribute to the joys of daybreak dancing. They've assembled an impressive cast-list of producers to join them in early morning sun worship, with Matthew Herbert's eccentric, melodious "Earthenware" the house equivalent of a 21st century pagan ritual fuelled by happy pills. There's a similarly overpowering blissfulness about the tactile deep house goodness of Chris Mitchell's tech-tinged "Parallel Symbiotic". Not to be outdone, Lazare Hoche weighs in with "Spank", a woozy, dreamy deep house cut so fuzzy and life affirming that it should come with a health warning.
Review: Fresh from the success of two top notch EPs on iile, Leo Pol unveils his most ambitious release to date. All I Got In Me is something of a beast, with seven tracks stretched across two slabs of wax. It's a rather pleasingly varied affair, all told, with the experienced producer flitting between Detroit style techno futurism ("BH2"), warm, chunky and occasionally tough deep house ("All I Got In Me", "Live Concrete"), spacey beatbox electro ("Live Love") and the kind of tech-house cuts that look to both the Motor City and Chicago for inspiration. As a bonus, he's also included a collaborative cut under the St Ouen Connection moniker, the deep and hazy, techno-tempo positivity of "Masile".
Review: It would be fair to say that the French minimal house scene is rather vibrant right now. That must be heartening for Parisian producer Seuil, because he's been delivering material in this style - with a few more techno leaning productions thrown in, for just over a decade. He begins with a "live Weather 15 edit" of "D-Force", where spacey chords and intergalactic electronics wrap themselves around a snappy, electro-influenced house groove. The clattering drum machine percussion once again comes to the fore on the warehouse-friendly strut of "Horror Show (live Weather 15 edit)", before he goes down a more psychedelic route on the ghetto-house/tech-house/acid house hybrid "Acid 101".
Review: Earlier in the year, Lobster Theremin and Bokhari regular Sweely made his Concrete Music debut via the first part of a series of 12" singles titled Les Chroniques De Monsieur Montana. Barely six weeks on, he returns to the imprint with volume two. It's a pleasingly varied affair, too, with Sweely flitting between luscious electro/deep house fusion (the tactile and far-sighted futurism of "A Bit Too Much"), rolling early morning tech-house (bass-heavy workout "More Love"), rubbery noughties electrofunk ("No More Salad") and ultra deep, jazz-flecked dub house dreaminess ("Ambassadors of the Jungle"). Solid stuff, all told.
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Acid Midnight Fox Bay" (6:29)
Corcos - "Change Tomorow" (6:32)
Society Of Silence - "Corners" (5:31)
Antigone & Abdulla Rashim - "Mackandal" (6:34)
Review: Paris boat party turned label Concrete Music has clearly been giving some thought to its' textures series. This month, they're set to release a swathe of new split EPs, each themed around a time of day. There's 3pm, 7am and, here, 4am. As a result, much of the material here is dark, trippy and unrelenting, capturing the natural shift from peak time pump to more clandestine aural pastures. Each of the artists predictably catches the mood, which is perhaps best exemplified by the broken techno rhythms, melancholic pads and yearning mood of Antigone and Abdulla Rashim's "Mackandal". That said, Stanislav Tolkachev excels with the deliciously dark and intense "Acid Midnight For Bay", while Society of Silence's "Corners" is a metallic, percussive beast.
Review: Unlike the late night and early morning vibes of the accompanying Textures 4am and Textures 7am EPs, this installment in Concrete Music's ongoing series seems fixated with the idea of alfresco afternoon dancing. That's no bad thing, of course, and there's a sumptuous, sun-kissed breeziness to the cyclical riffs, shuffling drums and rising string stabs of San Proper's "Sweet Swing 3rd Thing". There's a similarly Balearic goodness to the cheery pianos, woozy soulful vocal samples and breezy beats of S3A's "Orme". Elsewhere, the beats, basslines, melodies and samples are somewhat bolder, suggesting Concrete's daytime parties are suitably raucous affairs
Review: The label arm of the celebrated Parisian night club continues to showcase some high-end techno wares of many different shades, this time reaching out to rising talent Voiron with his eclectic, electro-flecked sound. "Radome" glimmers with a plush, sci-fi finish and an uplifting lilt without any whiff of saccharine, letting a rounded bass synth fill out the track in graceful style. "Channel No. 5" is a feistier number with its peak time throb and roughneck breaks thrown into the mix, while maintaining a melodic, searching edge. The Fred P "reshape" of "Radome" finds the New York producer flying through his light and airy approach to techno, and then "Zenzone" provides a diversion into a more esoteric kind of acidic electro for all Braindance lovers out there.