Review: Be With Records and Emotional Rescue team up to present a special release of US jazz vocal group Rare Silk and their cult song, Storm.
A diggers cut for many years, more recently it's become an algorithm "hit". Presented here as a stand-alone limited 10" release, the song is backed by a spellbinding echo-drenched remix by New York's exemplary electronic sonic explorer, Arp.
Originally formed when sisters MaryLynn and Gaile Gillaspie met Marquerite Juenemann in southern California in the late '70s, with the arrival of Todd Buffa the trio quickly expanded to a four-part harmony vocal group. Signed to Polydor, they rose to prominence over the ensuing decade with the release of three albums that gained them multiple Grammy nominations.
Taken from their 1985 album American Eyes, Storm is based on a Stanley Turrentine song of the same name, from his 1971 album Salt Song. With additional vocals written by MaryLynn, as with much of their music -underpinned as it is by an otherworldly exotica - the artisanal, crafted care of the instrumental and vocal arrangements, featuring lush, rich phrasing, is evident in their exquisite reading of the song.
When deciding how best of present the song it seemed right to ask a favourite of both labels. Having appeared on Emotional Response in 2017/18, Alexis Georgopoulos returned to his Arp project with last years' much-heralded Zebra album on Mexican Summer. Stripping out the vocals, the remaining instrumental is rearranged, rebuilt and then soaked in heavy tape echo. The result is a discerning dub to act as the perfect accompaniment.
Review: Hailing from the London rat race, MUX step forward with the first release on Teenage Father and lay their distinctive style out for all to witness. Their broad-reaching indie rock sound has undertones of electronica, grunge and a very British swagger that deserves to get them onto radio playlists and festival line ups aplenty. "MDMA" rumbles along somewhere between Soulwax, Kasabian and Queens Of The Stone Age, while "Teenage Father" ups the intensity with a punky thrum behind the raucous guitars and grinding synths, and then "Stray" finds the band mixing up the time signatures for the most adventurous cut on the record.
Review: Italian artist Paul Santangelo has been having fun messing with the sometimes po-faced traditions of the house music scene through a raft of home made productions on SoundCloud, but now with his Venetian Causeway label he's able to prove the clout to be found in his music. On this 10" the arch title "Generic House Traxx" actually does a disservice to the quality of the music contained within - Santangelo does a fine job of whipping up monosynth bass and ethereal pads astride an uptempo beat that, while familiar, has an atmosphere with considerable depth to it. "Please Him" on the B side goes further out on a mellow electro tip, plaintive leads and aqueous chords flirting with 808-style beats.
Review: Swedish travelling minstrel, Rickard Jäverling, returns to lavish upon us further moments of heartfelt, folk-inspired beauty. Spinning Scandinavian wordless folk-songs seems like second nature for Jäverling, and these tracks show quite perfectly his unique skills. Beginning with 'Three Sisters' (which also featured on his recent 'Two Times Five Lullaby' album) we're off to an explosive start; a 21st century hoedown with eyes fixed on frozen Northern European fields rather than rickety Pennsylvanian barns. With banjo, drums and guitar, Jäverling and his band manage to distil a Tortoise-inspired post-rock intelligence and blend it with the traditional folk sounds that seem to have made their way into the mainstream once more. Side A is rounded off with the shimmering and beautiful 'Västbacken', a hazy instrumental piece of folk poetry bringing to mind bubbling streams and the beauty of a childish midsummer adventure. The EP's defining moment however comes on the flipside with the 7 minute epic 'Sultan'. It's hard to imagine a track more life affirming than this, which takes the Chicago post-rock formula and re-contextualises it for 2006, giving us something both reflective and quietly jubilant. Finishing off the disc are fellow Yesternow artists, Shoreline, who have ushered Jäverling into their ever-growing family and contributed a 'remix' which takes the original track and injects it with a sense of fun and playful abandon. 'The Three Sisters EP' adds yet further weight to the growing Yesternow catalogue, and is more proof of the subtle and measured talents of Rickard Jäverling.
Review: DJ Sotofett's Wania imprint closes a wild and entertaining 2017 off with a pair of masterful EPs, both of them showcasing the Norwegian's genre-crossing tastes and outlook. First up is this steely 10", spear-headed by newcomer Salik, out of London Town. Up until now, the imprint has predominantly focussed on the US styles of dance music, a rough and ever-quirky blend of house and techno, but Salik's "Inna Brixton" verges on much more UK-centric territories with its near six minute spew of moody energy, clicking and bouncing steadily to the sound of deep, treacherous sub bass. The flipside features DJ SO-PHAT himself, coming through with a beatless away of acid-tinged melodies that blend into a tight little rhythm, before dissipating into a loose pool of drones and bass - Sotofett at his most outlandish. An essential buy.
Review: The second collectible EP out of three, arriving on double white 10" vinyl, and containing tracks from Jon Convex's debut album, Idoru sees another four hard hitting fusions of techno and contemporary bass music. Unlike the first EP, which was surprisingly melodic, these tracks aim squarely at the floor, with "What I Need" a heavy tom-led piece of Detroit influenced techno, and "Aversion" providing some tracky functionalism. "Desolation" and "Four Faces" meanwhile provide some bleak electro dystopianism, much indebted to his Autonomic heritage.
Review: Plevna (an alias of Horatiu Serbanescu, long-time contriver at Future Nuggets and co-founder of Steaua de Mare) presents its first full EP.
After incubating for almost 2 years while extracting and forging gems in the south-east space-time anomalies, the untraceable sound of Plevna has reached the optimum balance between eighties delicate nostalgia and contemporary local oriental melody. Bouncing on the delightfully twisted 9/8 groove, this is a unique contact with a multiverse under meticulous construction, an excursion abundant in haunting tunes and unfamiliar melancholy.
Review: Detroit/Houston based Kolour have had some pretty credible names feature on their new 10 inch series this year, such as Eddic C, Napoleon, Frank Booker and Lady Blacktronika. Now it is over to the Belarus based disco DJ Funkyjaws who serves up two irresistible jams on Vol 8 of the series. On the A side, we have the soulful and life affirming African boogie of "Them & Us". We have not heard the original but it sounds pretty seamless to us: a respectful edit indeed. On the flip, we have one seriously mad boogie-down jam in the form of "Peasant Dance" which is a truly exotic affair from god knows where! Accordions, wah-wah guitar and some super string arrangements clash wonderfully. This may sound like an unholy mixture but this is exactly the kind of disco deviance that truly floats our boat! The Grodno based producer last appeared for the label on Kolour LTD 22 a couple of years back, and in the meantime has also appeared for the likes of Shadeleaf Music and Austrian imprint Pusic.
Review: Sect's third and final sampler for the It's All For You compilation ends on a bittersweet note, seeing the last release from Sect favourite Grovskopa, who has decided to retire following the closest of near death experiences. The A-Side features Lag's remix of his Sect classic "Atopic", reworking the lurching bass and broken-beat rhythms of the original into a hypnotic number with a fractured synth melody. The B-Side sees "2:69", a brittle yet powerful track with churning bass which recalls Drexciya's classically hard edged approach, combined with hazy orchestral sweeps - a fitting swansong for a great producer.
Review: Minuendo calls upon Vincent Inc and Danijel Kevic to kick off their latest single, and they do so in fine style with the luxurious sweeping chords of "Space". Twinkling pianos, speech samples and a carefully measured set of deep house drums make this the consummate slice of pool-side dance music for those who can still find some sun at this time of year. Lola Allen steps up to the B side with something a little more sassy in the shape of "Afrofusion Jazz". As the title might suggest, there's a mixture of influences tumbling into this track, most notably with some wildly filtered jazz organ and funk licks stewing in the pot, and just when you think it's going to break it swerves off into submerged Moodymann territory. This is unpredictable house music at its finest.
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: Ali Wells's Perc Trax has done incredibly well over the years, and in fact, this latest EP (the third in the series) marks the label's ten year anniversary! Patrick Sottrop aka Kareem drops "Just When You Thought It Was Over" on the A-side, unleashing a militant and subtly dubbed-out warhead for the peak time hours, while Wells himself touches down as Perc with the stormy, wide-eyed sound sculpture that is "Volley". Surprisingly, the kick drum - a menacing pound to the head - only pops up well into the track, leaving space for all other sorts of atmospherics and distortion to surface. Excellent, as per usual.
Review: Dropping a searing double pack of 10" badness ahead of the forthcoming Angels & Devils album, The Bug is back in business with some apocalyptic gutter bass of the highest order. "Freakshow" matches the leering delivery of Danny Brown with the sinister croon of King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi over a horn-laden trap swagger to devastating effect. "Louder" pits Flowdan in the depths of a nauseating half-step march, while "Dirty" takes the London MC into a barrage of equally nerve-jangling drum rattles and alarm-clanging stabs. Long-time Bug collaborator Daddy Freddy rolls up his sleeves for "Kill Them", anchoring the dread stomp with a fearsome growl as anthemic as it is nihilistic.
Review: Bristol's finest Jules Smith aka October is back with more reduced EBM mutations following up the dusty and rusted experiments ts as heard on his great Death Drums cassette on No Corner just last year, not to mention 2015's wicked Black Body Radiation. It's the second edition of his new eponymous imprint here. On the A side we have "Repentant (version)" a grotty acid slow burner that squeals away menacingly above the seething dirt of vintage drum computers. On the flip "Judgement Dub" goes for an early Chicago vibe somewhere between Jamie Principle and K. Alexi with its haunting pads and funk bass supported by spitfire rhythm patterns and morose atmosphere that's geared for the early morning hours of a sweaty Berlin basement party.
Review: "Is the Cornuta Sound's return after a long resting time. This new 10" contains one of the most saved songs by Above Smoke (Deep Explorer) that runs into the jazz world and an outro take for djs. The flipside brings a great rework by the label boss (W&P Hgg)."