Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - "You Laugh At My Face" (Tobias version) (7:15)
Half Hawaii - "Watch The Flash" (6:07)
Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Foom label, Ben Freeney has secured the rights to release two killer cuts, both of which are significant in their own way. On the A you'll find a previously unreleased Tobias Freund remix of "You Laugh at My Face", an obscure late '70s proto-new wave collaboration between legendary disco producer Patrick Cowley and art-punk vocalist Jorge Socarras (best known for being part of San Fran band Indoor Life). Freund's version is undulating and evocative, with spacey analogue synth motifs and drowsy vocals rising above a pitched-down breakbeat groove. On the flip, German duo Half Hawaii return to action after a six-year break, offering up a slow-burn delight rich in drowsy, melancholic motifs, shuffling drums and dewy-eyed vocals.
Review: Brighton-based beatmaker and self-confessed vinyl addict Tom Caruana presents a reissue of his 2011 collection of mash-ups. Black Gold has been remastered for your enjoyment and sees Caruana bring hip-hop legends Wu Tang Clan - the masters of the Shaolin - together with the master of psychedelic guitar riffs: Jimi Hendrix. The final product sounds terrific and features not only the original WTC members but also the extended clique Royal Fam, American Cream Team, Gab Gota and Cappadonna. From the block rockin' beats of "House Of Flying Daggers" w/ Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Method Man, to the endearing Hendrix tribute that is "Wind Cries" w/ GZA & U-God, through to the smooth blues and rapid-fire lyricism of "Vibrations" w/ Inspectah Deck, GZA, Masta Killa, RZA, Method Man, Raekwon & Ghostface - as you can see: all the usual suspects appear.
Review: The late Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson's second studio album from 2004 is one ambient-influenced classical piece that makes use of the same phrase throughout but, for technical reasons, is divided into four parts. It features a host of musical instruments, from tubas, horns, organs and trumpets to glockenspiel and bass. It's a masterpiece in minimalism and repetition, of non-linear music that traps you in the here and now, and it is a beautiful place to be when you listen to the whole album in one immersive sitting.
Review: Jon Thor Birgisson (Sigur Ros) and his partner Alex Somers make brain cleansing and heavenly ambient as Jonsi & Alex. 10 years ago they put out cult classic "Riceboy Sleeps" and to mark the anniversary the whole album has been lovingly remastered across six slabs of wax. Taking the time to do nothing but sit back and sink deep into this album is a pleasure you will thank yourself for: its pastoral synths slowly wash over you while muted pads gently unfold, evolve and evaporate as barely-there voices from the Kopavogsdaetur Choir come in and out of focus next to smeared strings from Icelandic quartet Amiina. Perfection.
Review: "Sulla Pelle" marks the first collaborative release between London based Italian Valentina Magaletti and Swiss artist Julian Sartorius. Made using The Heliocentrics' 1970s BBC mixing desk, it is a meditation on rhythm, off grid grooves and stuttering percussive lines that will loosen every bone in your body. There is a delicacy and minimalism to the hypnotic ten minute opus "Micro Tormento", but "Tre Port" is a darker, more sparse affair with loose hits and tumbling drums. Opener "Sobaka" is the prickliest of the lot and the title track is the busiest and most restless, making for a fantastic trip over all.
Review: Originally produced in 1973 as a split LP by guitarist Alan Parker on the first side, and composer John Cameron on the second, this album is one of the KPM 1000 Series twelve inch long playing transcription discs - produced especially for the film, television and radio industries to the highest standards. Eloquently described as "hard afro pop featuring a large percussive rhythm section and front line", it was recorded at Morgan Studios by the pair as a collection of stripped-down African rhythms, virtuoso jazz instrumentation, fuzzed up wah wah guitars and spaced out library breaks. As Cameron himself described it in Unusual Sounds, this is "heavy duty drum-and-bass salsa music".