Review: Leeds lad Chekov was one of the first artists Shanti Celeste turned to when she launched Peach Discs with Housework pal Gramrcy back in 2017. Here he returns to action with his first solo EP since and it's a bit of a beauty. He beginnings with the immersive, sunrise-ready ambient swell of "Blanked Out", where layered synthesizer motifs flutter atop the sound of what sounds like a heavily processed recording of a babbling brook, before skipping towards the dancefloor via the beefy broken techno drums, 16-bit melodies and spacey electronic sounds of "Flote". "Swerl" is a near perfect fusion of immersive chords, bittersweet motifs, chiming melodies and crunchy house drums, while "SMP" is a deliciously wonky, low-slunk chunk of lo-fi electronica that defies easy categorization.
Review: It's impossible to deny how tight the production on this experimental but highly workable and coherent double-A side actually is. Both tunes belong on the Everything In Its Right Place shelf, and each of those things seems to have been crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Opening on the original version of 'Kodokushi', there are more than a few clear references to the glory days of progressive breakbeat dance music, with the track a sparse, space-age set opener if ever there was one, gradually unfolding into a subtle and loose rhythm crying out for heavier beats to mix in. The Toulouse Low Trax remix goes someway to answering that call, bringing a gradually growing groove into the equation and heightening the percussive elements, leaving us somewhere between an instrumental of Massive Attack's 'Karma Coma' and Sasha's 'Airdrawndagger' LP.
Blood Moon (Dawl & Sween Tone DropOut remix) (7:17)
Blood Moon (Violet remix) (5:56)
Review: Kim Ann Foxman takes a break from her own Self:Timer label to pop up on [Emotional] Especial. Her track "Blood Moon" hinges around rolling breaks and a globular monosynth bassline, but it's Foxman's vocals that give the track an electric, mystical energy that will cast a spell over the dance. Roza Terenzi takes the original and jacks it up, sharpening the focus of the rhythm section without losing the crunchy breaks. Dawl and Sween channel some bleeps n' breaks vibes of their own with a version that keeps things darkside and wiggy for the old-skool crew. Rounding things off, Violet's remix emphasises the acid as it plunges into the depths of the dungeon in a hooky, hard-edged style.
Flotation (Paul Woolford Special Request remix - Full Length version) (12:55)
Flotation (Paul Woolford Special Request remix - Richard Norris edit) (6:47)
Review: The Grid's 1990 track 'Floatation' is a stone cold post-rave comedown classic that epitomises the sound of chill out tents of the day. If anyone deserves to chill out a little right now, it's Paul Woolford, the hugely prolific beat maker, jungle mash up artist and bass face maestro who has put out multiple albums as Special Request in the last 12 months. Here he goes slow, deep and lush on his superb 12 minute version, with piano chords and breaking waves all soothing the soul. On the flip, Richard Norris, who was actually a part of The Grid, edits that remix into something even more smooth and sweet.
Review: There's a sense of dark mystery throughout this latest from Onont Kombar, which some will recall from his contributions to the 2016 mini-album, 'Split', featuring celebrated tracks such as 'The Doors'. Not quite a case of more of the same here - all three pieces feel very original - but nevertheless that steely and unnerving cold wave vibe is very much present and correct. This outing veers from suggestion to full intoxication. 'The Last Days Last Forever' sounds like a recording of a track from distance; you struggle to make out the details but together they create a powerful overall mood. Meanwhile, 'Epitaph of Ego' brings acid warbles and snares to the fore, resulting in a tune that owes much to the more Romantic side of electro and electro pop, with 'Moondust In My Eye' employing a chugging groove to give its whirring, industrial details a dash of obscure funk.
Review: Los Angeles has firmly established itself as one of America's electronic music capitals over the last ten years, with the city particularly fertile in more experimental ends, where rave, urban and downtempo collide in a haze of found sounds, samples and original loops. Kutmah pretty much encapsulates this point. Melding elements of hip hop, post-punk and industrial, 'New Appliance' is basically the producer's new calling card - a mini masterpiece that's so tight and well-executed it leaves no questions as to the creator's ability. 'Ramallah''s intoxicating Arabic references, crackling recordings of bells, haunting chants and exotic flutes. 'Stoned In Brixton' cries out for a sunset to soundtrack, nodding to the productions of DJ Krush or Bibio, with the latter similarly invoked on 'Tres Flores'. Smoked-out innovations by the kilo.
Review: Malin Genie welcomes an extensive EP treat from Lava Lap, an emergent producer with an affinity for the kind of braindance that will have fans of Jodey Kendrick beating their drum machines with approval. The acid is slippery, the structures ever-shifting and a wealth of expression spills out of every bar. There are faster drum & bass paced bits, melancholy detuned electro and much more besides. Far from just being clever music though, it's also amazingly emotional and so impeccably produced. Any electronica head should be all over this.
Review: Talk about the power of pure rhythms. 'Yek 166-3', to reference just one of four iterations here, is as propellant as anything you're likely to hear in a club, but if heard mid-party would be one of the most challenging curveballs you could ask for. Comprised entirely of tribal-like top end percussive structures set at breakneck pace, it's a great place to start with this release overall - a package that's as much about artistically accomplished complete tracks as it is providing workable elements for use in something larger. A DJ's delight, this isn't to say all four arrangements don't deserve to be heard individually. '134-17' growls and shimmers in a way that's subtly complex, ideal for headphone or big rig play. '128-10' is more about poised dark tech atmosphere, while '127-17' exists within looser frameworks, leading to more serene and relaxed results.
Review: Two Past Inside the Present artists that have previously released works on the PITP label come together for this anonymous split ep. 19 minutes of lush, slow-moving ambient trails. With this record we want listeners to go in blind, without ego or expectation, with the sole focus on what truly matters: the music. The artists and titles will remain anonymous until the vinyl sells out and then we will reveal all.
You Can't Even Walk In The Park (Opening Theme) (2:35)
Truck Stop (2:19)
Shaft In Africa (3:03)
El Jardia (3:05)
Review: Johnny Pate's musical work on "Shaft In Africa", the 1973 sequel to the better-known "Shaft", has long been regarded as one of the strongest soundtracks of the Blaxploitation era. To prove the point, double seven-inch specialists Dynamite Cuts have gathered together some of the most potent tracks on two "45s". Check first the gloriously over-the-top Afro-beat/Blaxploitation funk fusion that is spiralling opener "You Can't Even Walk In The Park", before diving into the jaunty Afro-funk blast that is "Shaft In Africa" (and yes, it does include some serious wah-wah guitar action). On record two, "Truck Stop" is a more laidback affair where fuzzy horns sharply rise above dense African percussion, while "El Jardia" is a more laidback affair influenced by North and East African jazz and soul.
Review: Despite suffering some significant losses in terms of infrastructure, specifically venues, the electronic music output of Glasgow hasn't faltered since rave first hit, and the city's current crop aren't letting the side down. Not that newcomers should really see 12th Isle as fresh faced; the ambient-downtempo-deep tech hypnosis crew have been doing all that and more for time already, with this 12" a fitting return to the release schedule. In the most part it's a tripped out, spatial and exotic EP. For proof, just check the solitary low ends of 'Mais Qu'est Ce Que', shuffling and breathy percussive roll on 'Spade Birthday', and the lush tropical vibes of 'La Plage Sous Les Arbres'. But there's also evidence of the more direct side this imprint and associated events are known for when you hear the progressive house heaven of 'Deep In Blue', a track that belies genre stereotypes by sounding fresh enough to drop into anything.
Review: Blind Allies are an unstoppable force in the slimy underbelly of electro right now, and they're back with another shell shocker on the bounce from Zeta Reticula's "Sonic Assault". This time around Void Cells (Bristol-based Latvian producer Aleksejs Apolskis) makes a pointed return following the digital release Perception Model back in 2018. The drums rain down hard on this record, not least on punchy electro bruiser "SHE". NX1 offers up a rabble rousing techno twist on the original, before "Saturated Faces" opens up the B side with another fist-shaking slab of 4/4. Behind the grubby demeanour of the music lies some serious craft, making this a must-check for those looking in the more interesting corners of the electro boom.
Review: Sometimes we all need to escape from the realities and mundanities of everyday life. Here's your perfect opportunity. On this beautiful, playful and sincere collection of 'niceness' , the legendary Alessandro Alessandroni allows us to take a step back in time by painting stunningly detailed pictures with broad, jazz-inflected brush strokes.
Putting elements of Bossa Nova, freeform, classical and Big Band to innovative use, the result is a hugely enjoyable and - in today's world - incredibly unique insight into the type of output this Italian musical titan left behind when he finally bowed out in 2017, at the grand age of 92. This is just a flavour of the more than 40 movie soundtracks and scores of library recordings that now make up his legacy, making for a delightful way to get familiar with one of the 20th Century's greats.
Review: When he launched the "Xerrox" series way back in 2007, Alva Noto intended it to run to five volumes. Here he presents the fourth volume, which largely eschews "external samples" of everyday sounds - the series was inspired by the idea of creating new musical motifs from "copies of copies" - in favour of greater warmth, emotion and musical dexterity. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the appealing, slow-burn haziness of deep ambient opener "Xerrox Kirlian" and the distinctly cinematic, Angelo Badalamenti-in-"Twin Peaks"-mode beauty of "Xerrox Voyage", to the Radiophonic Workshop style creepiness of "Xerrox Cosmos" and the melancholic, string-laden swell of "Xerrox Canaux".
Review: Parisian label Lowless follow up the stellar Svarog 12" with this intriguing paddlesteam through deepest techno waters via apparent newcomer Ameeva. The mood is resolutely ambient at the front end of this album, even as the soft-hitting, blown out beats creep in on "Hidden Inertia". There's a grubby, lo-fi quality to the sounds on offer, but they're offset by the depth of composition to create an engaging sonic environment that wraps itself around you. Plenty of dub processing and a preference for languid, subtly wielded pads adds to the gauzy finish of the record,
Review: Turin techno stalwart Andrea has been serving up slabs of goodness on Ilian Tape since way back in 2012, though "Ritorno" is remarkably his very first full-length excursion. The 12 track set is far more varied than his fine club-focused singles, with the Italian variously turning his hand to swelling, Global Communication style ambient techno ("Attimo"), ultra-deep breakbeat dreaminess ("SKLYN"), melodious, jungle-influenced IDM ("LS September"), bassbin rattlers ("TrackQY", the skittish brilliance of moody roller "Reinf"), dreamy soundscape techno ("LG_Amb"), angular fusions of bass music and dark Italo-techno ("Drumzzy") and picturesque ambient dub slow jams ("Twin Forests").