Review: The first release from the Axis Audiophile Series. Jeff Mills has formed an electronic jazz fusion band and this 12? is a recording of their recent performance in Kobe during the TodaysArt.JP Festival. Mills manages the decks, drums and percussion and is joined Detroit legend and Underground Resistance stalwart Gerald Mitchell (Los Hermanos/Galaxy 2 Galaxy), keyboardist Yumiko Ohno and bassist Kenji Jino. "Eventide" has the same kind of urban, uplifting soul as anything Kaidi Thatham or Mark de Clive-Lowe have made and isn't bad at all! On the flip "Happy Gamma Ray" features uplifting keys and emotive chords backed by funk bass and one of Mills' unmistakeable 909 drum machine workouts. It really seems that there's no limit to this Motor City legend's creativity which has spanned nearly 30 years and we're excited about this new chapter in the Wizard's sonic universe.
Review: (180g Axis Audiophile Series / color label/ black generic jacket) Including audio commentary by Jeff Mills himself. "Looking back in hindsight to the activity and accomplishments of Axis is with much pride - to witness the relationship between the music and listener evolving to this point. The Director's Cut reissue project is about manicuring detail. It's about a rare opportunity to enhance what we've done so that the relationship strengthens for the long term" - Jeff Mills
Review: Eleven years ago Jeff Mills' Exhibitionist DVD undertook a rather ambitious project. An audio visual presentation where from varying camera angles, viewers got to witness the sheer dexterity of Mills' DJing style across three decks and a 909, warts and all. The second volume promises more of the same across two DVDs and a CD. So expect some epic mixes and the opportunity to witness The Wizard in true form in collaboration with a live drummer and even an interpretive dancer! But best of all; hear some brand new tracks, all exclusive to the mix. They're captured right here on this 12", the second volume. Hearing him do 303 acid over his typical 909 jam sounds as brilliant as you'd expect on "Studio Take 1" and "Studio Extra". On "Studio Take 3 & 4" he goes for the classic Axis sound complete with Millsian bleeps and dreamy pads and all with the trademark metallic hiss and crack of the 909, lurking in the background. Don't miss this.
Review: For those who dig Jeff Mills but don't have the time or money to hoard records from his extensive back catalogue, the ongoing "Director's Cut" series showcasing hard-to-find gems from his discography is a godsend. Volume five begins with a trip back to 2015 and "Solar Cycles" - an alien-sounding, otherworldly mid-tempo techno loop jam - from the limited edition, USB-only "Proxima Centauri" album. Side B begins with the bleeping tribal techno hustle of "L8" from 1998's "Skin Deep EP", before Mills offers us a chance to drift through space via 2006 track "Above Waiting Worlds", which is one of his most intergalactic and cinematic dancefloor cuts to date (and that's saying something).
Review: "Looking back in hindsight to the activity and accomplishments of Axis is with much pride - to witness the relationship between the music and listener evolving to this point. The Director's Cut reissue project is about manicuring detail. It's about a rare opportunity to enhance what we've done so that the relationship strengthens for the long term" - Jeff Mills
Review: Jeff Mills, the legendary Detroit techno pioneer who has been praised and worshipped by everyone club kid over the age of 18 since the late 80s, has focussed his efforts more on the classical side of music in more recent years. His gigs at the Barbican over the last few years, for example, are the shows to which he's dedicated most of his attention to, and it somehow all makes perfect sense. Although legendary tunes like "The Bells" or "Amazon" are straight-up dance floor bombs, there has always been a feeling that Mills' tunes were composed of something more than mere kick drums and monophonic instruments. This new album, Planets, sees the artist showcase the role of science fiction and of an imagined order prominently, something he's always been fascinated with. The likes of "Mercury", "Venus", "Earth" and the rest of the cosmos make more sense here than they do in the academic books; much like the great Sun Ra, it's almost as if these artists have found a simpler, more instinctive way to transmit the power of the universe. And that's through sound. The price might seem hefty, but this will be regarded as a very important release in the future. A fantastic journey through space and time.
Review: Given his stargazing, intergalactic ethos, it's perhaps unsurprising that sci-fi techno overlord Jeff Mills has decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing by releasing an album containing his musical "interpretations of Earth's moon". As you'd expect from an artist of Mills' standing, it's a very good album. Evocative, atmospheric and hugely spacey - this is Jeff Mills after all - the seven-track set moves from scene-setting, string-laden ambient ("Control, Satva and Rama") to sparse, acid-flecked dub techno ("Electromagnetic") via a string of fine cuts that variously touch on electro-fired broken techno ("Stabilizing The Spin"), Steve Reich style minimalism (the brilliant "Lunar Power"), and semi-orchestral electronic positivity ("The Tides").
Review: Given his length of service and the sheer volume of music he's put out, it would be fair to say that a Jeff Mills career retrospective is well overdue. Happily, as "best of" compilations go, "Sight, Sound & Space" is up there with the best. The three discs boast no less than 42 tracks plucked from Mills archives - and those of his Axis Records imprint - with the accompanying 50-page booklet containing detailed commentary on each by the man himself. It's a superb package for both fans and newcomers alike, with the decidedly intergalactic and alien-sounding tracks perfectly summarizing the breadth and depth of his far-sighted work (think Motor City techno anthems, heavy loop jams, sci-fi fuelled electronic soundscapes, neo-classical soundtrack comp, heady ambient works and early morning minimalist club jams).
Review: Spiral Deluxe is an improvised electronic jazz quartet consisting of the legendary Jeff Mills on machines, with Underground Resistance alumnus Gerald Mitchell on keyboards, Yumiko Ohno on Moog synthesizer, and Kenji "Jino" Hino on bass guitar and vocals. On the A side we have the fantastic voyage that is "Cosmos" which over its nearly 18 minute duration takes in The Wizard's trademark drum rolls, a bit of acid, a nice serving of funk and even some gospel style pianos towards the end. It's a brilliant live recording we must say. On the flip are the deep and emotive soul jams "Four Ways Of Knowing" and "Without A Doubt". The Tathata EP is pressed on vinyl from high resolution 32bit digital files and will launch a new range of vinyl releases named the Axis Audiophile Series.