Cos/Mes - "Naruto" (Ronny & Renzo Takotsubo Take Ten remix)
Ronny & Renzo - "Taboo"
Review: Warning! There are no general instructions, guidelines or warranties. Every Sandwich Record is individually hand-assembled, unique and therefore irreplaceable. Nobody can be held responsible for damage caused to your copy of The Sandwich Record when trying to free the 7".
Review: Very limited double 10" from Berlin based producer Sven Weisemann, who pops up with his first original release of 2010. The self taught pianist, acoustic guitarist and percussionist is just as happy dabbling in jazz and soundtracks as he is piecing together deep house and techno, and across two sumptuous 10"s we are treated to the full breadth of his talents. The ethereal beauty of "Lateral Flection" offers nary a kick drum, with Weisemann instead focusing on layering intricate sonic atmospherics. "Tidal Wave", meanwhile, conjures images of a gentle ocean rather than tsunamis, and the sparse, barely-there percussion and ghostly whispers on "Placid Love" mark it as perhaps the most beautiful moment on the LP. A well worn phrase it may be, but these tracks need to heard through a nice set of speakers or headphones for the listener to fully appreciate the subtle textures and electronic nuances. Simply stunning.
Review: Longstanding US vibe maestro Medina continues to join the dots with his new highly limited 10". "The king's Instinct" pays respect to MLK with one of the most complementary backdrops his speech has ever enjoyed. Flip for an equally historic and resonant edit as Mr Fingers gets a First Choice makeover with similar glove-fit soulful snugness. Very cleverly orchestrated and presented - results are guaranteed.
Review: Jus Ed gets another slew of like-minded deep house heads together for the latest double-pack venture from Underground Quality. Samuel Andre Madison dominates the first disc with his Rev S moniker serving up a thoroughly bumpy jam anchored by an almighty kick on "This Thing", while he appears on 2400 Operator's more shuffling but equally mellow "NWS PT 1". Ed himself takes care of disc two with the smacking "beats" cut of "Let's Groove", which features some walloping drums off-set by tasty filtered synths in that plain and simple Jus Ed style. The "Medley" mix on the other hand features a bizarre reprisal of "I'm Coming" amongst other elements over the same "Let's Groove" track. Highly recommended.
Review: Gadi Mizrahi's Double Standard imprint graces our ears with yet more beautiful music from the prodigious Nicolas Jaar. Lead track "Wouh" is so slow it's almost going backwards, but Jaar layers the music perfectly, creating enough space between the downbeat hip-hop instrumentation to create a warm, soulful atmosphere. "Love You Gotta Lose Again" and "Don't Believe The Hype" share the B Side, the former featuring a pleasing vocal bouncing of twangy guitar licks, while the latter offers another insight into Jaar's love for downbeat, moody electronica. Presented in 10" all white vinyl, making for a killer all round package.
Review: New York's Mister Saturday Night is one of a handful of labels that are genuinely capable of surprising us with each successive release (as their thrillingly eclectic forthcoming Brothers & Sisters compilation brilliantly proved). For example, who would have predicted that this first MSN 10" single (the first from sometime L.I.E.S man Gunnar Haslam) would open with two and a half minutes of dark, intense ambience and distant Middle Eastern singing? Elsewhere, Haslam inches further towards the dancefloor, retaining the dark and exotic feel on "Discouraged", before pummeLling us with discordant, delay-laden DJ tool "Denomiazione Version". Brilliantly left-of-centre stuff all round.
Review: Firecracker boss and screen-printing don Lindsay Todd keeps looking far and wide for inspiration. Here, he's scratched beneath the surface to deliver a fine EP of skewed tropical synth-funk from Naples-raised, Mystic Tribe affiliate Fillipo Colonna Romano ALA Modula. Coming on like Prince jamming with Paul Simpson, Daniel Baldelli and fellow Italian synthesizer lovers Nu Guinea, the five tracks ripple with ricocheting, delay-laden drum hits, squeezable synth bass lines, humid electric guitars and the kind of kaleidoscopic synth solos that are capable of making grown men (and women, for that matter) go weak at the knees. It's a hugely vibrant, colourful and attractive affair that's undoubtedly amongst the best things Firecracker have released this year - and that's saying something.
Review: Last seen on the Tru Thoughts label back in 2011 with his debut LP Chapters, London based Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong resurfaces on the like-minded BBE with the Mawa EP. The time out of the spotlight has evidently seen Yoshida expand on his production palette as the downtempo stylings of his Tru Thoughts output has been traded for something a lot more upbeat on the four tracks here. The lead track is a dizzying melange of sampled African chants and tape saturated percussion that's blessed with some abstract textural detail, whilst "Flamingos" features some excellent marimba manipulation and gives Jamie xx a run for his money in the emotive bass music stakes. The tempo gets thrusted upwards with "Ivory" though there is still a delicate feel to the overall production, whilst closing track "Mantra" sounds like Shangaan Electro gone UK house.
Review: An Aeroplane classic gets the Deetron treatment on the second limited edition 10" release from the Eskimo label. Originally released as part of Aeroplane's ambitious debut LP We Can't Fly, the Merry Clayton featuring "I Don't Feel" had never been remixed before the Swiss producer was invited to rework it as part of the exhaustive, multi disc ten year anniversary Eskimonde compilation from the seminal Belgian imprint. No doubt the track had previously remained untouched due to Clayton's powerful vocal turn which melded perfectly with Vito De Luca's rubbery Hi NRG production, but you can't fault the way that Deetron has reworked it, laying down an extended intro that burns with intensity before dropping a thumping, precision tooled beat. A previously unreleased Instrumental version adds some heat on the flip.
Review: Having launched in fine style with the crazed Moodymann meets Dance Mania genius of Bakey USTL, Firecracker's Unthank offshoot keeps the focus squarely on Eastern Europe with some equally fine productions from a more celebrated entity. If this year is going to be dedicated to anyone, Ukraine's favourite son must surely be on the list - treating our ears and your hips to a veritable bounty of expert releases on numerous labels of high repute - Dekmantel, 3rd Strike and Ethereal Sounds to name but three. Anyone who has indulged in just one of the aforementioned releases should need no prompting to check this ten inch - with Vakula drawing on a surfeit of influences such as AFX, Claro Intelecto and DBX across the three untitled tracks. The A Side is where the deepness lies whilst the flip contains an expansive deviation into subaqueous, stripped down, hypnotic minimalism. Don't be expecting "A Tender Place" Mk2 but do expect to be seriously impressed.
Review: Kinfolk head to Philly for Kinfolk004, welcoming committed vinyl rummager and top notch DJ Billy Werner into the fold. This two track 12" is the apparent end product of that rare occurrence where budding producer sends label unsigned tracks that are actually decent. "Kick & Flutter" is a blinky blue sunrise of a tune, innocent, euphoric and, dare we say, totally Balearic... not retro but timeless. "Where the sea meets the Stones" treads a similar line but with a more incessant acidic undertone. Both perfect for chasing sunrises and sunsets... As is traditional you get a Soft Rocks remix to boot... murmured voices, gentle pulses and psychedelic repetition. Did any of the original make it in there? Just relax and enjoy it...
Review: Released back on 12" in September on Planet E, the Terrence Parker and Reno Ka collaboration "Finally", displayed a heady combination of brisk instrumentation and soulful vocals from Ka which demonstrate why Parker is one of Detroit's most enduring producers. This 10" picture disc, sees another two equally as impressive versions of the same track; the "Backroom Mix" which substitutes the buzzing synths of the original for some hands in the air piano chords joining Ka's soulful vocals, and a DJ tool version of Masters At Work man Louie Vega's mix, which comes custom made for peak time transitions
Review: Firecracker sub label Unthank is back with Whodamammy aka Raffaele Arcella, an Italian DJ and producer based in Naples. He's related to the collective Early Sounds Recordings (with local hero Massimo Di Lena) and is one of the founders of Periodica Records. The music on offer on the Prima Industria EP is is a fusion between cosmic sounds, proto house, jazz funk and electronica. After the sublime intro that is "Iris Primum" get gets straight down to business on the oddball acid of "Indigo Auctoritas" and a couple of short experimental pieces which make for curious listening. But it's all about the B side in our opinion, where the intergalactic space funk of "Wise Glaciem" made a nice impression, as did the rather Hieroglyphic Being sounding analogue soul of "Neuter Gyrum".
Review: Firecracker's impeccable UNTHANK series continues, with boss man Lindsay Todd securing a first collaborative EP from Lemme Kno, a surprise hook-up between Maxmillion Dunbar and Rush Hour 'No Label' alumnus Morgan 'DJ Isle O'Man' Buckley. "The Tie With The Most Stripes" provides an excellent opening, with the duo exploring their shared love of instrumental hip-hop, Luke Vibert and sparkling dancefloor electronics. "Way (188 Krew Mix)" continues in a similar vein (think vintage Kenny Dope-style Jeep beats and samples meets lo-fi synths), before they reach for the jugular on standout cut "1234567". Built around early hardcore style breakbeats, loved-up chord sweeps, new age synthesizers and bleep melodies, the track harnesses both the musical zeitgeist, and each producer's distinctive talents.
Review: Dubbyman's Deep Explorer imprint comes correct with a limited edition white label 10" from Kai Alce. With roots that stretch across America, from Atlanta to New York and Detroit, Alce is tied closest, musically, to the Motor City (he was hired to do lights at the city's legendary Music Institute at the age of 16). The Willow EP positively drips with Detroit machine soul; the title track features floating synths and a subtle bassline working beneath Azulu Phantom's vocals. This leads into the excellent "Track 3", which features some raw, brittle drums, soulful moans and an unforgettably deep bass line. Flip over for the acid-tinged Deep Explorer remix of the title track, which takes the original and spans it out over an entire side of wax with subtly hypnotic results.