Review: Speak to anyone who lived through them about the glory days of IDM and German producer Arovane (aka Uwe Zahn) is probably one of the first names they will happily reel off. Between the late '90s and his apparent retirement in 2004, Zahn was responsible for birthing a clutch of classic IDM longplayers like Tides and Lillies, the 2004 LP for City Centre Offices that seemed to signal his withdrawl from music. However, the production bug bit him again in 2013 and there has been a steady stream of Arovane output leading up to this Aarlenpeers EP. Issued on the Touchin' Bass label operated by self professed Arovan fan Andrea Parker, these two cuts bristle and pulse with abstracted electronic life in a manner one expects from Zahn. "Il_Eth" is quite epic.
Review: We're not sure who's behind the mysterious AC-EXP project, but the shadowy figure returns with more of that strange, submerged house music he's been tickling discerning DJs with over the past few years. After taking last year off, "1A" is a fine place to start things up again with a strutting jack track carrying acidic synth pulses that flirt with measured delay processing. It's a jam that sounds steamy and sinister all at once. "1B" maintains this restrained but seductive vibe with the slightly trancey throb of the lead synths pivoting around the snappy drums to great effect.
Review: A faceless producer, rumoured to be from Scotland and getting his 'revenge', appears here for the seventh release on Razor-N-Tape Reserve after great sessions by Caserta, Dirtytwo and Pools. On "Backchat" it's a looped up, boogie down affair complete with synth sax and pan pipes which support an obscure Steve Winwood sample. Absolutely electric and you're sure to get some hands in the air moments with this one. On the flip is a dub version that forgoes all the bells and whistles and works a razor sharp (mind the pun) arpeggio instead, for a more serious and late night version.
Review: Barefoot Beats is a series of EPs released on Mareh Music, a record label based in Sao Paulo whose people are also the curators of the Mareh music festival in Boipeba - a remote island in Bahia. For their label's ninth edition, Rio de Janeiro's Joutro Mundo (Midnight Riot/Outra) delivers an edit of a lovely neon-lit boogie down number on "Revele", while on the flip the man from New York City Jkriv (Razor-N-Tape) gets a deep, soulful and life-affirming number into the mix with "Povo De Zambi".
Review: Brooklyn label Razor-N-Tape get in on the Record Store Day action with this 10" edition of Beatin Tha Breaks from Nashville-based Magic In Threes. It's the remixes that come first, with Dutch artist Fouk going into similar house territory to Kenny Dope with plenty of live instrumental touches blessing the bristling percussion. It's a totally different vibe on the Freddie Joachem remix, with the Californian opting for some midtempo funk breaks that stay closer to the sound of Magic In Threes' original version . This closes out the RSD release on the B-side and is an easy-breezy affair dripping with soulful guitars and harmonies.
Review: Bruno E has plenty of history in the field of future jazz and downtempo, and now he's been snapped up by D3 to deliver some of that cold-chilling lounge business with some interesting remixers on board. Pat Van Dyke is up first, creating a blissful version of "Ventos De Outono" that feels as cosy as a warm fire and a glass of whisky on an autumn evening. The original version of the track is actually a peppier affair with a broken beat lilt that wouldn't sound out of place alongside the Dego and Kaidi Tatham crew. Kirk Degiorgio is a natural fit for another remix given his jazzy roots, and his swirling techno treatment is the perfection lotion to pour over Bruno E's excellent original ingredients.
Review: Destination mid 70s Nairobi where Madagascan guitarist Jimmy Mawi was laying down some serious vibes... Signed to EMI's Pathe imprint, he released three singles during his career which have all since faded to obscurity. Until now. Dusty, garagey and steaming with raw blues fusion, it's hard to deny any parallels to Hendrix as Mawi expresses himself with a rough heartfelt frenzy. Highlights include the Zep-level smoked out soul of "Blue Star Blues" and the insistent drive and reverbed out faraway vocals on "Black Dialogue". Another exemplary Afro-funk find from Soundway.
Review: Sheesh! And the award for the swampiest, most mutated and wooziest 140 jam of recent times goes to Sibla & Teffa's "Bobby". Presented here on the a; proper sleazy, rolling, oily cosmic dub funk - with some fantastic vocal stamps from the master - it's quite remarkable for the pair's first ever collaboration. As is 'I Wonder Why' on the B. Taking a slightly more traditional dub route, here they dig deep into the roots and really get involved in the sounds and elements, gradually easing us deeper and deeper into the blend before we realise we're cap-deep in a pretty heady psychedelic stew... And we have no plans to swim to shore. Limited to 300, this won't hang around.
Dan Piu & Venus News Network - "Once A While Transforming Into Unity"
Freddy Fresh - "Take Your Time"
QWERTY - "26xm" (Canal Time Shift mix)
Brad P - "Theory Test Level 3"
Darren Nye - "Alienated"
Reedale Rise - "Capricious"
Cygnus - "Vega"
Ewan Jansen - "Space Bar"
Review: While the Childhood Intelligence label has previous form when it comes to offering up multi-artist EPs, little they've released to date is quite as epic, expansive and eclectic as this compilation style double-pack. There's sadly not room to list all of the highlights and subtle variations on offer - it's pretty much fire from start to finish - but our current favourites include the acid-flecked sci-fi techno of Brad P's "Theory Test Level 3", the sparse, bass-heavy shuffle of Dei Sub's "Through Flow", the dreamy but out there ambient dub flex of QWERTY's "26xm (Canal Time Shift Mix)", the 21st century clonk revivalism of Reedale Rise's ace "Capricious" and the glistening analogue electro-meets-Chicago jack pulse of Cygnus' "Vega".
Review: Owen Jay & Melchior Sultana's track Contrasts featuring singer Mykle Anthony which was originally released on BBR07 on Kiss The Sun EP receives the remix treatment from the Spanish Brothers, Dubbyman & Above Smoke. Both tracks have the distinct Deep Explorer Sound of real depth and warm grooves. This is the first vinyl from a forthcoming series of 10".
Review: With two releases already under their belt, the quintessential anonymous producer Crue is back with another exercise in dynamic analogue house and techno. "Track 1" is a steady 90s house workout, rich with warm chord stabs and a punchy beat, primed for slotting in amongst other garage shuffle revivalists. "Track 2" is where things get spicy with the primal, Detroit-weighted clatter of the drums falling in an almost-breakbeat, and the melodic stabs zipping in overhead. It's a staggeringly fresh sounding track, even whilst using methods of the past. Whoever they might be, Crue is clearly in command of some serious kit and a keen ear for what works,
Review: 2013's Das Heise Experiment album was one of Robert Witschakwoski's wilder efforts under the storied Exaltics alias. This belated second volume is perhaps not quite as intense - there are less acid-fired workouts, for starters - but it is just as impressively mind-altering in tone. Although rooted in machine electro, the 12 obliquely-titled tracks draw on a myriad of influences, resulting in a largely dark, moody and clandestine mixture of dark and paranoid ambience, panicked IDM, punchy, Drexciya-style missives, end-of-days mid-tempo techno and fuzzy, L.I.E.S/Vatican Shadow style lo-fi murk. As you'd expect, the whole thing hangs together brilliantly, sounding not unlike the soundtrack to an imaginary sci-fi horror set on a haunted spaceship.
Review: Don't fear this Reaper... Reaper Recordings is a mysterious brand new label with little information besides their dedication to the jungle craft. If this launch release from Ghosty (AKA Hungry Ghost) is anything to go by, they're not mucking around. "Dead Already" is a powerful subby slammer with eerie top lines and drums that could pierce concrete while "Forward" takes more of a sassy soul approach on the musicality but still drops deep into gully science when it needs to.
Review: Throughout his career, L.I.E.S. regular Beau Wanzer has proved adept at delivering decidedly fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that variously draw influence from industrial, EBM, techno and electro. He's at it again on "Do The Spider Shimmy", a tidy ten-inch containing six wonderfully wayward cuts. It's a noticeably stripped-back affair, with most of the cuts existing of little more than sparse but heavy basslines, occasional electronics, minimalist electro beats and the odd droning, stylized vocal. Highlights come thick and fast, from the gently spacey synth-scape "Never Look Back" and the buzzing simplicity of "You Can't Stand On Broken Shoes", to the lo-fi no wave pop of "Choice Curve" and the raw, laid back electro sleaze of the title track.
Review: Moscow's Arsenii is up next on New York City edits imprint Razor N Tape. Following up the great Allegria on Basic Fingers last year, he's back with some more obscure oddities spliced to perfection once again. He takes the razor to "Son of the Sun," which the label themselves describe as "the Shaft-in-outer-space drama" (and we agree completely) to the 'proto-balearic lilt' of "Jungle Melody" by Pierre Dalmon and of course the big band funk of "Fool Like A Child"; more commonly known to some as Christian Gaubert's "Sweet And Fool Like A Child" from 1979.
Review: You could say that Kodiak Bachine is Brazil's greatest ever Brazilian electronic producer. That would not be an overstatement, it's just a simple fact. It was 1982 when he first released this EP, and it's been a classic, and a favourite of ours, ever since. In fact, "Electricidade" is so powerful because it sounds like it could have been made today; its tenebrous synths filling the airwaves from every angle, giving the track a strange sensation of lust and wonder. The flip, "Espirito Das Maquinas", is another enchanting ride through broken electric cables and abandoned power plants, a place where Bachine clearly thrives and surpasses all expectations. Highly recommend reissue!