Obsolete Music Technology - "High Top Fade" (6:32)
Specter - "Butters Whipped" (6:02)
Isoke - "Soul Glo" (3:10)
Damon Lamar - "Bermuda Triangle" (7:02)
Chicago Skyway - "Edged Out" (6:04)
Review: Perpetual Rhythms is already well-regarded as a bastion of quality amongst contemporary Chicago house labels, and now they've downright sealed the deal with this mammoth compilation from a stellar cast of local cats. There's too many to all list in detail here, so focusing on the highlights, Dcee leads things in with the tumbling cosmic jazz leanings of "Suavecito," Hakim Murphy teases with a spacious and daring exploration in the liminal zone between ambient and house, and Obsolete Music Technology gets invigorating with the bouncy "High Top Fade." Those tracks alone are enough to deserve your hard earned, but there's reams of other excellent forward-facing Windy City jams to sink your teeth into.
Review: Donnie Tempo has a whole lot of projects to his name, and he's appeared on Alleviated Records, Moreaboutmusic and plenty of other releases in his time. He was last seen on Perpetual Rhythms back in 2017 with the Trak Register EP, and now he's back with another grip of infectious, bouncing and bumping jams. "Fly U (2010 Bangtraction Mix)" is a skipping, soaring jam that matches Ron Trent's musicality with a Detroit-flavoured urgency. Trinidadian Deep tackles the track on the A2 and makes it into a heady, transcendental delight. "Soul Baby" takes things on a more earthbound trajectory for steady cruising moments in the club, and then "Xpand (Swingtraction Mix)" casts off into deeper waters with a little more of that Motor City techno magic sprinkled on for good measure.
Review: Chicago's Perpetual Rhythms label scores a coup in welcoming the inimitable Warren Harris to present what appears to be three separate installments of his honey coated house abstractions. "Poom" wastes no time in confirming that Harris' work as Hanna is unrivalled for off-the-wall rhythmic constructions that truly channel the freedom of jazz into the house stratosphere. "Bucktown" is no slouch in this regard either, while the swirling smoothness of the synths makes the spiky drum science taste all the sweeter. "Wicker Park" seems to take some influence from the West London broken beat scene, and then "Nuance" swoops in with yet more bruk action and some truly space age melodic content that marks this out as one of Hanna's strongest efforts in recent times.
Review: Warren Harris did a sterling job on his first outing for Perpetual Rhythms as Hanna, and he's back for round two. Things are just as deep as you would hope and expect, with Harris' unique take on the Detroit house formula present and correct on the cleverly executed "Lake Shore Dr." "Parallel" finds him exploring his penchant for snagged, off-kilter rhythms matched with deep house delicacy, and "Gold Coast" takes things into lounge territory without ever sounding insipid. Therein lies the magic of Hanna, and beautiful experiment "Khords 1" is on hand to finish the EP off as a statement of just how special and unique Harris' music is.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: The debut release from US label Perpetual Rhythms comes in the shape of an EP of collaborations and single drops entitled Secret Elements. Firecracker boss Linkwood provides some extra Chi-Town edge to the sombre melodies and science fiction synths of Specter & Chicagodeep's "Sonic Pulse" on his opening edit, whilst Chicagodeep's "Restless Nights" generates a mix of spacey, laid back vibes. The bleepy pulses of Taelue's "Social Anxiety" sounds close to what an Aphex Twin and Jerome Sydenham & Kerri Chandler house collaboration would result in, while the single rimshots and wallowing pads of "Rough Access Point" give the track a distinctly lonesome ambience.