Review: We've come to expect serious bass bounce from James Greenwood since he first offered up his Ghost Culture project via Erol Alkan's phenomenally consistent Phantasy imprint. Not everything the producer has done fits that description, of course, but when hammer hits said nailhead the results are always spectacular. 'Barke' is the latest case in point. Forsaking pace for a loose, floating, slo-mo vibe, the staunchly Summer of Love downtempo air is made all the more intoxicating by Falle Nioke's exceptional voice. And, as you'd expect, West Africa's famed singer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist also adds plenty of non-lyrical flavours to the EP. Up against the opener things are tougher and ravier on the propellant 'Fufafou', while 'Loneliness' taking things down a more pared-back, minimal but detailed warbling tech route before 'Mounemouma' reverts to that laidback liquid approach to cap things off.
Review: So far we've yet to hear a duff track or release from Flamingo Pier, a hybrid Anglo-Kiwi crew whose vibrant and colourful music combines a plethora of musical influences in pursuit of disco-fired dancefloor gold. There's tons of goodness to be found throughout their latest collection of cuts, from the drowsy, Holy Ghost style deep disco warmth of opener "Tripping Up", to the sprightly '80s electrofunk brilliance of "Boogie Meltdown". Sandwiched in between you'll find two more heaters: the kaleidoscopic, synth-heavy nu-disco cheeriness of "Indigo" and "Jungle Groove", a tight and throbbing proto-house number that sounds like the missing link between Paul Simpson and Escort.
House Music All Night Long (Jason JACK IS mix) (6:07)
Review: It's up for debate whether house music managed to create for itself the best tagline of any genre, ever, but either way Jarv Is clearly wants to appeal to our sense of nostalgia and community with this two-track EP that is pretty much quintessential fare when it comes to the canon's emotive sound. Opening with the original mix, expect the kind of euphoric party vibes combined with a slight sense of reflective melancholia that can really make one track stand apart from so many of its four-to-the-floor peers. Warm vibes, soaring vocals and an epic, almost-gospel charged chorus. Flip it to find something a little closer to acid, jaggedly rave synth lines and staccato strings abound. Altogether exactly what you want to really set the house party off.
Review: Beguiling, intriguing, immersive and about as far from obsolete as you could ask for in an age when so much music seems happy to exist in a kind of pointless no man's land lacking anything like innovation, if not defined by total uselessness. Prepare to commend Lorelle, your new favourite psychedelic aural adventure, not to mention the much-loved London label Sonic Cathedral, if you're not already obsessed with it. There's more depth and substance to the four tracks offered here than many artists can manage in an album. '"Fosas Limitadas" has shades of Powell's earthier scuzz, "Lux, Lumina" is straight up hallucinatory fare, or at least CC Crain's remix - included here - fits that description. "El Olivo" is a tripped out odyssey that's at once beautiful and unnerving, while the closer, a Pye Corner Audio version of "Unificado" grows into a subtle but highly emotive wall of atmosphere over eight stunning minutes.
Review: Marking the start of an exciting new collaborative project, Wolf + Lamb proudly share the debut release of The Waves & Us. Formed out of
a creative meeting of minds between Maayan Nidam, Markus Nikolaus and Louis McGuire, theirs is a sound that strengthens the storied
approach of a live band with the experimental thrust of analogue electronics. Pop and rock fundamentals lend an earthly hook to the
tracks, but these are anything but straight-forward songs.
Maayan has already forged a formidable career in electronic music, both under her own name and as part of Mara Trax, scoring releases
on such celebrated labels as Perlon. Markus performs his own solo project Cunt Cunt Chanel, while Louis is part of Ballet School, a band
releasing on noted indie label Bella Union. The whirlwind of creativity that has whipped up around the trio has yielded an album which will
follow this single, made up of one-take recordings that capture the energy and adventure that powers The Waves & Us.
Maayan's electronics provide the atmospheric backdrop to the songs, running modular synthesisers and drum machines through detailed
chains of processing and effects with an emphasis on a warm, charmingly rough finish. Markus' guitar undergoes a similar fuzzy treatment
while his voice calls out introspective, abstract lyrics to set the mind racing. Louis' bass underpins the music with a dubby sensibility,
bringing a necessary balance to the frequency range.
Making the most of their in-the-room recording approach, the singles will feature alternative takes of the songs that will appear on the
album, providing a little insight into the flutters and fluctuations that shape the development of this project. With their eyes fixed on live
performances and an arresting sound already formed, this is a vital time for all three artists and the people that listen to them.
Review: Ah, a real gem of the NYC No Wave era is the focus of Dark Entries attentions here as the stunning Holland Tunnel Dive by ImpLOG is given a more than timely reissue. For the uninitiated out there, ImpLOG were formed by The Contortions band members Don Christensen and Jody Harris under the name ImpLOG, after the former left the iconic No Wave act in 1979, and released just the two records together. The story goes that Christensen's recorded experiments with found sounds, and an array of instruments such as a Univox drum machine and Casio keyboards impressed Lust/Unlust Records founder Charles Ball sufficiently enough to issue two tracks from the submitted demo tape as the Holland Tunnel Dive 12? in 1980. It's remained a highly prized record ever since and this lovingly recreated edition from Dark Entries is a must!
Review: The Dark Entries label continue their impressive run of form with another killer reissue LP, this time by The Prefects member Joe Crow. Compulsion was Crow's first solo work from the early '80s and has been a digger's favourite for a long time, its itchy drum machine beats and disjointed guitar riffs being utterly singular at the time of the album's initial release. "Compulsion" itself is a mid-tempo beat jam containing Crow's own dreary vocals and beautiful synthesized keys. "Absent Friends" is slower, full of languish and life at the same time, while on the B-side, "Each To His Own" is the winner thanks to its punky aesthetic surrounded by that early 80's electronic oddity. A masterclass piece of music and an essential collector's item.
Review: We love Talking Drums. At the core, they are simply our type of band. An album, a few EPs, and then disappear before the scene kicks off and becomes commercialized. Boxes all well and truly ticked. The early 80s were a period of change what with punk music evolving into post-punk, and while the nu-romantic fashion that came to prominence in the mid 80s was a national movement, it was bands like Talking Drums which initiated it. Thanks to the ever-reliable Dark Entries, we now get to enjoy their best single, Courage, in all its glory - and it sounds like it's been pressed up properly, too! All you need to know at this point, if you haven't come across this already, is that it's one of the best disco-not-disco singles you'll ever cop...and we don't have a favourite tune...they're all equally raw, drum-heavy, house-envisioning, and utterly addictive. Hotly tipped!
Review: London-based eight piece band, Caroline, have been gradually garnering a reputation for quietly confident, and deceptively commanding work since then. Now having racked up plenty of hours on stage, on the road and in the studio, the trio are ready to deliver their highly-anticipated debut single, and it hasn't disappointed anybody in this office. 'Dark Blue' is certainly one for the more patient out there. Taking almost two-and-a-half minutes to introduce its gliding, woozy harmony before any lyrics are heard, it's a masterclass in gradual build and switching up the intensity of instrumental arrangements. Folky, meditative fare, it nods to the jazzier end of bands like His Name Is Alive. Flip the script to find 'BRJ', which explores the hypnotic potential of simple refrains, taking listeners close to experimental drone work, here with live strings and bass doing the lulling.
Review: Slingin' slangin guitars, skittering drums and synths from BRIT School graduates Black Midi deliver a sound that's semi-ironic with all matter of punk leanings. With references abound to New York's heyday of experimental new wave and art rock, this two-track 12" for Rough Trade sees the four-piece edge that bit closer to their anticipated debut album called Schlagenheim. Due for a release this June, most of Schlagenheim was said to have been laid down in five days with producer Dan Carey (Bat for Lashes, Bloc Party) and these two tracks go to some length in introducing the band's raw talent, their meteoric rise and vision of a gone but not forgotten CBGBs.
Review: ***B-STOCK: Creasing to corner of outer sleeve but otherwise in excellent condition***
Slingin' slangin guitars, skittering drums and synths from BRIT School graduates Black Midi deliver a sound that's semi-ironic with all matter of punk leanings. With references abound to New York's heyday of experimental new wave and art rock, this two-track 12" for Rough Trade sees the four-piece edge that bit closer to their anticipated debut album called Schlagenheim. Due for a release this June, most of Schlagenheim was said to have been laid down in five days with producer Dan Carey (Bat for Lashes, Bloc Party) and these two tracks go to some length in introducing the band's raw talent, their meteoric rise and vision of a gone but not forgotten CBGBs.
Review: It's always a pleasure to find another release from those well-dressed men: Interpol. That great New York band that defined an era and a sound of their own with a stretch of LPs across the 2000s; from Turn On The Bright Lights all the way to 2010's self-titled triumph. With the release of "A Fine Mess" there's seems to be a new influx of energy dedicated to their 2019 world tour, laced with the group's unique tonic of melancholia, of course. This is undeniably heard on opener "Fine Mess", and at five tracks long it's something of a mini album. Recorded during their time spent in upstate New York with acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann (think Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Mogwai), the resulting collection of tracks delivers something of a fiery compliment to the deep and visceral energy heard on their sixth studio album "Marauder". Long live Interpol.
Review: Those who have encountered Lucy Dacus before should know what to expect with this long-awaited EP. A collection of tracks, some familiar, others less so, each with the rapidly rising songstress' brooding, emotionally charged approach to music confidently stamped on every note. There are few better examples than "In The Air Tonight", a stark but powerful take on Phil Collins' haunting ode to the frustrations of divorce. When tackling any cover the pressure to do justice while doing something individual is immense. This is compounded when the song is widely regarded as a classic. Here she more than steps up to the mantel, creating something very much in her own vision- chilling and beautiful. These skills are clearly on display again for "Christmas" and "Fools Gold", two more reworked favourites that she takes on with ease, marking Dacus out as a tour de force, despite the relative infancy of her career.