Review: Gop Tun are a Brazilian label and party crew operating out of Sao Paulo, and they stride into their third release with a pair of tracks that are likely to establish them on the map even more than they are already. This is the second outing for Hatchets on the label, and "Hey Benji" makes for a perfect encapsulation of the Gop Tun sound with its warm, organic sound palette, slinky disco structure and traditional Latin elements. Prins Thomas meanwhile pushes the track into a whole other realm for his remix, creating a hard-edged, heavy-grooving remix that promises all kinds of psychedelic abandon on the dancefloor.
Review: Swedish house producer HNNY gave up DJing in 2016 but has still been working on music in the background, and we're glad he has, because the two cuts here for new label born out of a Stockholm audiophile bar, Hosoi, are lovely. A side "By" conjures a gorgeous mood with soft snares and what sounds like Spanish guitar strumming away beneath aching vocal coos. Flip over for "Hosoi", a dreamy downtempo groove with live sousing drum work and incidental chords that drift by on a warm breeze. This EP is a perfect tonic for those needing a break from busy modern life.
Review: Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire are two the UK's most interesting minds when it comes to contemporary jazz experimentation, and their recent partnership for Athens Of The North feels like exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. With both artists capable of producing many alternate forms of jazz and additive rhythm, Nightshade: Library Music Vol.1, feels like one of their more introspective pieces of work to date, and allows both of them to stretch their aesthetic to its very limits, focusing more on the subconscious atmosphere created by the instruments rather than cheap thrills based on beats and 'dance'. This is a connoisseur's album, and we're glad that this kind of gear is still landing on our shelves. Bless.
Review: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmospherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
Review: Although you're probably into the current wave of ambient that is being released today, one must pay homage to the original innovators of the genre. Jon Hopkins is one such producer; an integral part of the British downtempo wave of the late 90s and early 2000s which has featured other ground-breaking artists like Squarepusher, The Orbital and many more. Opalescent is his debut album from 2001, and this reissue is pressed up by the original Just Music imprint from back in the day. Hopkins' music on here is the sort of stuff to be enjoyed by a any sort of listener; bittersweet electronic soul that touches many different aspects of electronica and IDM. From the placid waves of "Elegaic", to the break-driven balearica of "Private Universe", through to the spectral "Opalescent" itself, and the more industrial tones of "Fading Glow", Jon Hopkins takes the listener through the full cycle, and gives us many different reasons to find this album still as compelling as it was back fifteen years ago.
Jon Hopkins - "I Remember" (exclusive Yeasayer cover version) (4:16)
David Holmes - "Hey Maggy" (4:54)
Alela Diane - "Lady Divine" (5:09)
Last Days - "Missing Photos" (1:55)
School Of Seven Bells - "Connjur" (4:36)
Peter Broderick - "And It's Alright" (Nils Frahm remix) (4:32)
Four Tet - "Gillie Amma I Love You" (5:45)
Bibio - "Down To The Sound" (2:30)
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - "Requiem For The Static King" (part One) (2:40)
Helios - "Emancipation" (2:31)
Rick Holland - "I Remember" (exclusive spoken word piece) (3:17)
Review: The Late Night Tales mix series - going strong since way back in 2003 - never ceases to both amaze and please our eardrums when they're in need of a sonic massage. With legendary artists such as Fatboy Slim, Jamiroquai, Groove Armada, MGMT and many others on their roster, you just know it's going to be quality throughout. This time it's up to Domino man Jon Hopkins to give us an outlook onto his own tastes and musical influences. The selection is vast and varied, with everyone from Four Tet to Darkstar and even Peter Broderick featuring within. An incandescent blend of sci-fi electronica, tropical bass nuggets and lighter shades of drone-fuelled house. Quality.
Alain Maclean - "Talking Judgement Day Blues" (2:55)
David Crosby - "Orleans" (1:35)
Buddy Holly - "Love Is Strange" (3:12)
After Dinner - "Paradise Of Replica " (Gods Waiting Room part 2) (2:47)
Lullaby Movement - "Ru-Ru (Sleep Little Baby)" (3:49)
Jeff Bridges & Keefus Ciancia - "It's In Every One Of Us" (exclusive track) (6:26)
Song Sung - "I'm Not In Love" (6:22)
Neo Maya - "I Won't Hurt You" (Gods Waiting Room part 3) (2:20)
BP Fallon & David Holmes - "Henry McCullough" (exclusive track) (4:55)
Documenta - "Love As A Ghost " (5:25)
Keith Fullerton Whitman - "Stereo Music For Acoustic Guitar, Buchla Music Box 100, Hewlett Packard Model 236 Oscillator, Electric Guitar & Computer" (part 1) (2:41)
Eat Lights Become Lights - "Into Forever" (Gods Waiting Room part 4) (5:25)
Geese - "Andrew Parsnip" (exclusive track) (3:54)
Die Hexen - "Gloomy Sunday" (exclusive track) (3:11)
David Holmes & Jon Hopkins - "Elsewhere Anchises " (feat Stephen Rea - exclusive track) (4:53)
Review: Treading an eclectic path through a twenty year career that's taken in everything from Detroit techno to vintage French ye-ye, from breakbeat-driven floor-fillers to krautrock epiphanies, David Holmes has made his name predominantly as an exemplary crate-digger and aesthete, whether soundtracking Steven Soderbergh movies or dishing our albums of his own. Thus, it comes as no surprise that this compilation - marking something of a personal journey for Holmes - is reflective of his status as an exemplary man of taste. Whether dispensing classics by the likes of David Crosby or Buddy Holly, unreleased original solo material or killer obscurities from everyone from modular synthesis cultist Keith Fullerton Whitman to Hollywood legend Jeff Bridges, this stylish nocturnal travelogue puts the listener resolutely in safe hands.
Review: "Year of the Dragon" marks Windsurf member Samuel Milton Grawe's first album for some seven years under the Hatchback guise and it is nothing short of spellbinding. It sees Grawe mix and match a variety of complimentary influences - think space disco, cosmic rock, horizontal electronic jazz, slo-mo synth-pop, Balearica, 1980s library music and synth-wave - to create evocative, musically rich tracks that not only defy simple categorization, but also linger in the memory. Highlights include the dreamy, loved-up ambient cut "Onarimon" and "Year Of The Dragon", a 12-minute Balearic epic that reminded us of his early classics "Hatchback" and "White Diamond".
Review: Strangelove Music's latest vinyl-only outing dips into the infrequently explored archives of American multi-instrumentalist Frank Harris and collaborator Maria Marquez, a pairing that previously released a couple of sought after "ethno-wave" singles in the late 1980s. "Echoes" gathers together unreleased music made in 1985, presenting it as an unheard album that oozes off-kilter quality from start to finish. Most of the tracks were made using Harris' custom Synclavier synthesizer station, with his humid and breezy new age melodies and dreamy chords working brilliantly with Marquez's folksy, multi-lingual vocals, a variety of world music inspired rhythms and some seriously atmospheric field recordings. It's a formula that guarantees unusual but inspired results from start to finish.
Review: Since debuting with the sublime With U last summer, Holy Other has become one of the Tri Angle roster's most compelling figures, and that rarest of things - an anonymous producer that is more than the sum of the hype surrounding them who is able to imbue their music with genuine personality. Though his sound is initially typical of the Aaliyah sampling Burial wannabes that are currently plaguing the internet, Holy Other manages to add extra layer of gothic drama to proceedings. Though the beats are there, they limp rather than skip (such as on opener "(W)here"), R&B tropes are inverted to create a ghostly frame draped over a skeletal structure ("Inpouring"). R&B isn't the only influence however; "Past Tension" is chopped and screwed 80s pop, while the heart wrenching chords and rumbling strings of "In Difference" could easily have come from Mogwai's Rock Action.
Review: In 1979, a year after he co-founded Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono joined forces with acoustic guitarist Takahiko Ishikawa and keyboardist Masataka Matsutoya to record "The Aegean Sea", a gloriously sunny set of jazz-fusion, disco and jazz-funk cuts shot through with Mediterranean musical influences. It's the kind of thing that would now be considered "Balearic", so it's little surprise to see the set getting a European reissue for the very first time. There's much to admire throughout, from the funk-fuelled dancefloor cheeriness of "Reggae Aegean Woman" and Bob James/Jimmy Smith-influenced bliss of "Image", to the sun-baked gorgeousness of "Day Break" and thrillingly jaunty "Atlantis".