Review: Peculiarly, Fasaan offshoot Chalice has lain dormant since the label's first release appeared in stores back in 2014. Happily its Swedish parent label has decided to pull out all the stops for this comeback 12", gathering together six tracks from artists based across Europe and beyond. At six tracks deep there's not enough space to go into detail about every track, but suffice to say they're all loose, warm, quirky and generally lo-fi in feel. Highlights include the dreamy analogue synth-funk of Ruf Dug's "Cassette Boogie", the poignant, emotion-rich synth-wave warmth of Fahcrur Riaz Hazbullah's "Muriam", the clicking beats and intergalactic synth flourishes of "Heina" by Ruutu Pois and the frankly foreboding loose-house creepiness of "II Y A" by Dublin's Compassion Crew.
Review: The legendary Jose Padilla of Ibiza institution Cafe Del Mar is back on Mark Barrott's International Feel. The track "Blitz Magic" from his last album, So Many Colours, is the latest to be given the high profile remix treatment. Deetron's version is first and transforms the Balearic beauty of the original into a soulful house epic like you'd expect from the Swiss genius. Mesmerising Rhodes keys, hypnotic bleeps and heavenly church organs all collide over a steady beat. On the flip is Munich's Tambien; they of Public Possession, who deliver the "Jill Thunder Light Mix" returning the track to the Balearic vibe but on a darker, '80s flavoured tip with angelic vocals, rich pads and syncopated rhythm and it's totally awesome!
Review: Claremont 56 boss Paul Murphy fell in love with Pan Electric's 2004 cut "Sweet as Rain" after hearing it in Japan a few years ago. Since it has never previously been released on vinyl, he decided to license it from its creator, veteran producer Matt Coldrick. As sublime piece of next-level downtempo bliss rich in Marimba style melodies, calming acoustic guitars and traditional Ethiopian vocals, "Sweet as Rain" is near perfect in every way. Brilliantly, Coldrick has also provided a recently reworked "Album version" which stretches out enticingly for 10 minutes across all of side B. Slower to build and laden with mesmerizing musical elements, it's even better than the magical original mix.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Uzuri can always be trusted as an on-point barometer of the strongest currents in contemporary deep house, and here they welcome a new talent into their midst in the form of Panama Keys. "Panamarama" is a gorgeous suite of organic instrumentation, all Spanish guitar licks and pattering bongos, which then get handed over to the mighty Joe Clausell for the soaring, energised "Harvest Remix". "Vyrgin Island" may well be the stand-out track on the record with its infectious flute lines, chiming vibes and sensual, punchy bassline, but don't overlook the blissful ambience of final vignette "Flying Whiles".
Review: Any new release from husband-and-wife duo Peaking Lights is worth checking, and this surprise single on their Two Flowers imprint - their first for two years - is no exception. While their psychedelically inclined leftfield pop is always colourful, it's rarely quite as bouncy and confident as "Little Flower", where Chloe Sevigny talks seductively over undulating synthesizer melodies, kaleidoscopic electronics and an almost military style rhythm track. Arguably even better is B-side "Conga Blue" (available in both vocal and instrumental interpretations), which moulds their usual hallucinatory pop with dub disco and synth-wave flourishes. It's one of those tracks that just gets better with each successive listen.
Phantom Band/Linear Johnson & The Protons - "Rush Rush"
Drums Off Chaos - "Drums Off Chaos"
Review: The sadly departed Jaki Liebezeit was the kind of drummer whose influence will be continually recognised over the decades to come. Best known for his work in Can, there are also many more sides to this singular sticksman, and Emotional Rescue has chosen to shine a light on his post-Can period living in Stollwerck. On the A side of this 7" curio is the sound of Phantom Band with Linear Johnson & The Protons. "Rush Rush" has a spiky new wave bent to it, but still Liebezeit's drumming stands out. The B side "Drums Off Chaos" need little explanation - it's the sound of one of the all-time drumming greats letting rip in a ferocious blast of percussive abandon.
Review: It's rare to see Detroit stalwart Marcellus Pittman releasing a seven-inch single, but then he has stated that his latest excursion is "genre free". While that's not strictly true, it's certainly a pleasing diversion from his usual beatdown influenced deep house fare. A-side "Fruits And Vegetable Groove" is a chunk of hip-hop style MPC beat science, with Pittman expertly cutting-up drowsy samples, skewed beats and tipsy, mind-altering chords to create a suitably blunted, left-of-centre soundscape. "Love 4 My Kinfolk" is similarly laidback and groovy, with gentle instrumentation and fuzzy jazz-funk samples rising above a dusty, head-nodding groove.
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: It was Memorial Day Weekend 2016, and the sun shined bright over the Detroit River. Pontchartrain stepped up to the decks at the Red Bull stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival donning his infamous "Detroit vs. Itself" t-shirt. His first song through the Rane rotary mixer was a dubplate made specifically for his set: "Afterlife". It's a brilliantly executed balearic daytime disco rework that warrants the praise of summer anthem that it's earning. On the flip is "Pool", an equally sunny slomo beatdown rework from Blair French. It's a delightful blend of cerebral and soulful, and is finally getting a release after being originally championed by Peter Croce on his Le Mellotron Paris set back in early 2018.
Review: For the latest release on the weird and wonderful Udacha label, Moscow based artist and producer Vasiliy Stepanov aka P SH steps up to the plate. With a selection of abstract and warped electronics, the Russian artists presents a wide variations of cuts, including pop, dub, soul, fourth world, tribal, comedic and all other distinctive and magical vibes. With highlight tracks such as Naam Drops, Indigo Swamp and pretty much every composition, the LP should appeal to all the lovers of the other dimensions
Review: Bobby Van Putten's The Planty Herbs project has been reveling in the edit world since 2010, although his output is frustratingly scattered for those who appreciate his tender touch. Now though you can revel in the splendour of a full 12-track, double vinyl album that truly shows what Putten is made of. From the mellow soul food of "Nothing Lasts" to the laidback hip hop funk of "Downgrade", the dusty house experiments of "Akustika" to the poppy overtones of "Follow Me Now," this is the sound of an artist with a rich musical gift and a soulful instinct.
Review: The Magic Forest dwelling record collectors better known as Psychemagik return to Claremont56 offshoot Leng with a new compilation Magik Sunrise which is essentially a vinyl shaped sequel to last year's well received Magik Cyrkles. Though equally well presented as that compilation, Psychemagik refreshingly adopt a different sonic direction here, trading in the obscure Balearica and funk in favour of a wonderfully enlightening blend of African reggae, jazz-funk, prog rock, folk and New Age curios. Think David Holmes classic Essential Mix then crank up the weird factor to eleven and you'll have a good idea of what to expect from this fifteen track selection. The sensual twilight boogie of "The Juggler" by Fox is a particular highlight.
Instrumental Group Cabas - "Cry In The Night" (2:46)
Frederic Castel - "Open Up" (3:31)
The Electric Connection - "Cry Of The Lone Wolf" (4:40)
Fabio Fabor - "Idolo Moresco" (3:56)
The Primates - "King Kong" (5:03)
Tony Sinclair Orchestra - "Walkin' Through The Night" (3:42)
Trepidants - "Far Away" (3:50)
Review: There are few record collectors and DJs with crates quite as deep as Psychemagik. They've already proved this beyond doubt via a trio of brilliant Magik compilations for Paul Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label. Magik Sunset Part 2 continues this run, gathering together another double-album's worth of fantastic obscurities from the worlds of stoner disco, left-of-centre rock, psychedelia and Balearica. As usual, there are some genuine "how did I not know about this record" moments, from the star-kissed Balearic jazz of Fabio Fabor and saucer-eyed white boy reggae-rock of the Trepidants, to the Flamenco-tinged AOR disco shuffle of Jack Adkins' "Sunset Beach".
GRC Five - "Saga Of A Secluded Swamp Monster" (2:52)
Free Fantasy - "Caroline" (3:27)
Jeanette - "L'Amour Joue Au Violon" (4:24)
Wavemaker - "Tunnel Of Love" (3:40)
Bobby Lyle - "Making Love" (4:00)
Babla & Kanchan - "Aay Mere Dil" (6:17)
FG's Romance - "What Is Love Today?" (3:39)
Etienne Vermoessen & Guido Delo - "Easy Morning" (2:50)
Musyl & Joseppa - "Follow Me" (1:19)
Karat - "Auf Den Meeren" (5:59)
Review: Whatever you think of their original productions, there's no denying the continued quality of Psychemagik's compilations. Their latest epic exploration of member Danny McLewin's epic record collection, Ritual Music, is split into three parts. This volume, Love, predictably includes some genuine thrillers, from the new age electronica of Man Parrish's "Water Sports", and the global mysticism of "Amram" by The Rias Orchestra, to the breathy sleaze of Jeanette's "L'Amour Jove Au Viol", and seductive guitar solos of Bobby Lyle's jazz-funk classic "Makin' Love". We could go on. Suffice to say, there's barely a duffer in sight, and more intriguing twists and turns than your average sci-fi murder mystery.
Review: The epic adventures of Captain Starlight continue as Cali soul men Woolfy Vs Projections deliver their third album. Following from where "The Return Of Love" left us in 2012, it's a bounty of Balearica rich in tempo fusions, shimmering instrumentation and cosmic textures. From the Foalsy gallops of "My Room" to the Thievery Corp style dub funk of "Set It Up" via the heavier, leaner, 2020 Soundsystem style late night bell ringing of "Tanglers", each cut works as a whole new chapter while creating a much larger picture as it develops. Like all the best albums should. Perfect for homes and dancefloors alike.