Review: One of the deepest reaching projects from the multifaceted Vibraphone stable resurfaces for an extended trip through ambient sonics that marks possibly the most daring departure on the esteemed Italian label to date. The harmonious tones undulating throughout Sketches From Space are instant soothers, taking the odd cue from techno but defiantly beatless and meditative. It's a surprising addition to the long and winding Vibraphone story, but also feels like one of the strongest steps forward the resurgent label has taken since returning to the fray. Just try sinking into "Lagrangian Point L4" and you'll see exactly what we mean.
Review: Ensuring they keep things pushing forwards while also celebrating their past, Vibraphone call upon rising talent Gemil to deliver an EP that is purely fresh material. "Forces & Gravity" is perfectly honed to get the maximum response from the dance with its muscular production and catchy vocal sample, but if you want an even more focused affair the remix strips things down to the bare necessities and works just as effectively. On the B side "Horizon" gets a touch more playful in its synth work with interplaying riffs creating a dazzling whole, and then "Solar Storm" brings the heads-down, hard-swinging heaviness into the mix in a devastating finishing blow.
Review: The journey back into the vaults of seminal Italian house music label Vibraphone Records continues apace with this gem from 1993. K2 was a one-off project for central label figures The True Underground Sound of Rome, and this Loss Of Gravity 12" represents one of the most sought after rarities from the Vibraphone catalogue. The on-point breakbeats of "The Journey", the wistful tones of "In My Garden", the plush ambient refrains of "Lirica" - every inch of this record is steeped in class that belies the age of the music. Need we say more - this is a buy on sight reissue that won't stick around for long.
Review: Having recently appeared on Bosconi Records and Altzmusica, Daisuke Kondo is a producer on the rise at present. This outing on Vibraphone adds fuel to that particular fire with four distinctive cuts that push to the outer edges of house music without losing sight of the groove. "Hold On To Love" is, on the surface, an upbeat, disco-infused house jam, but there's a certain trippy approach Kondo takes in the processing department that edges the music into a different head space. "Life" meanwhile gets gritty and bass heavy at one end of the frequency range, and airy and melodic at the other. "Feelin Blue" gets even dustier and scratchier with its sample treatment, and then "Fallen Star" lays down some unflinching machine beats with wonky, distant piano licks.
Review: Second time around for "High Flyer", the sole single from The Underground Sound of Rome side project Ricardo. It first appeared on Vibraphone Records way back in 1992 and has since become an in-demand chunk of original Italian deep house. This re-mastered reissue includes the same versions as the original pressing. The A-side boasts the original mix, which while Italian in origin sounds like a sublime mixture of dreamy, Nu Groove style NYC deep house and New Jeresey garage. Arguably even better is the "Angel Mix", whose ethereal, elongated chords, epic ambient build-up, undulating bass and humid electronics are much closer in tone to the kind of "dream house" tracks that were all the rage in Italy following the success of Sueno Latino's 1989 single of the same name.
Review: The seemingly bottomless vaults of Vibraphone Records come up with the goods once again as The True Underground Sound Of Rome present a second instalment of their seminal Minimal Vision. The mood is instantly dreamy on "Cyclops", while "Vertigo" gets more than a little psychedelic, dare we say New Age-y. This tone rings true throughout the record, pulling together more sought after gems and previously unreleased delights from the catalogue of this vitally influential Italian house music force. Just try listening to "Once Upon A Time In Labaro" without being transported to another time and place, all proto-trance synth pulses and Blade Runner samples.