Review: We are honored to announce the debut album from Vin Sol, who's taken club-goers on a trip with his tracks and sets for the past two decades. Vin Sol is a third-generation San Franciscan of Salvadorean descent who has released on Unknown to the Unknown, Clone, Delft, Honey Soundsystem, and Ultramajic. His DJ sets expertly span the genres of house, electro, techno, italo, disco, soul, funk, and whatever other finds he digs up. He's also a musical partner of Matrixxman, AKA Charlie Duff, with whom he started the Soo Wavey label. His current focus is on the wild monthly party and label Club Lonely, which he runs with Primo Pitino and Jeremy Castillo. 'Planet Trash' consists of 10 tracks spread across 2 slabs of vinyl and a bonus flexi disc. Vin started working on the album in the winter of 2017 while taking a break from making club tracks. Simultaneously he also wanted to disconnect from the grip of the internet and 24 hour news cycle. Spending more time outside, he became entranced by the Bay Area fog. Sutro Tower wholly enveloped in mist is a view that inspired the ambient tracks on the album. You will also hear hints of the Latin freestyle and classic acid that informed Vin's youth. By spring of 2018 Vin headed to Berlin to finish the album and work on a collaboration with Matrixxman, an homage to SF musical institution Bottom of the Hill that kicks off side C. Vin's musical approach is honest, using the tools of the trade to both innovate upon and pay respect to classic forms. All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in a jacket using photos by Vin Sol, and designed by Kevin McCaughey of Boot Boyz Biz. It includes a 4-color giant newsprint fold-out poster and golden flexi disc.
Review: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Maxwell August Croy's Root Strata present this retro inspired imaginary soundtrack, by the Vision Heat project of California-based musician Jared Blum. Said to be "inspired by countless soundtrack compilations and blog mixes of rare, foreign library and VHS music" as well as John Carpenter (naturally!) and Tangerine Dream. There's twenty odd tracks on offer here but they're all quite short, clocking in or around the three minute mark and all appropriate for various scenes. There's the beatless instrumentals for the rolling of the credits ("Vision Heat Logotone #2, "Manhunter"), moments of suspense ("Tonight's The Night", "Final Flight Excerpts 1-4") and of course the love scenes ("A Delicate Love" or "In Cab Reflections"). But it's the scenes at the disco that some might enjoy the most, such as the cheesy and funky "Beatin' The Heat On The Street", the Giorgio Moroder style cosmic disco of "Patrick's Theme" or the rebellious synthpop of "Slogovia's Theme". An impressive and convincing homage to a decade of decadence.
Review: Coldwave excursionist Shari Vari aka Void Vision finally comes through with her highly awaited Sub Rosa LP on the gorgeously on-point Mannequin imprint. The taster EP "Sour" out earlier this year was a taster of what's to come from Vari in terms of diversity and quality. Sub Rosa contains a little of everything when it comes to the electronic dance edge, where "Everythin Is Fine", for example, takes a techno beat and slaps down some vocals all over its makeup, while "Hidden Hand" is a true Drexciyan electro number. Then there's more abstract moments such as "Slow Down", "Vulgar Displays" with its rolling stabs of percussion and "Queen Of Hearts" with that humungous swell of low-end and quirky, heady melodies. Yum.