Review: Ambien Baby is an emergent project from the increasingly prolific D. Tiffany and Dan Rincon, both luminaries of the Vancouver scene. After a first official appearance on Normals Welcome last year, the pair are back with some deft and delightful adventures through rugged breaks, playful synth touches and a healthy dose of 90s attitude. Somehow these ingredients are deployed with that distinctive laid back West Coast vibe that makes for such compelling listening as well as potent dancefloor weapons - take "Nada (Live at Sweep Up)" as a case in point. Rolling breaks and nasty acid lines there may be, but the mood still has a heads down quality to it that just gets under your skin.
Review: **All proceed of this record will go to AFRORACK, a Chicago audio arts organization dedicated to providing modular synthesis education for African American youth.** The enclosure of night promises freedom of another kind. Subterranean fantasies are consecrated in flesh. The voice calls and is answered by a beating pulse. They swell and break in rapturous cycles. On Sombras, Dosis operates from this intimate space, conjuring electroid visions rooted in techno, zynth-pop and nuova-beat.
Review: After the expansive run of eXquisite CORpsE EPs on Platform 23 last year, Robbert Heijnen and Debbie Jones' project gets another fresh airing under the XqST guise. The seductive rhythmic incantations gathered on this release were largely recorded in 2003 in Vancouver, once the couple's children were in bed. Quite what the junior XqSTers would have made of the transcendental drum loops emanating from their parents' studio is anyone's guess, but the quality is remarkable. Dense and foggy in atmosphere, but with a sharply defined percussive angle at every cycle of every loop, this is another wonderful document of the often overlooked work of this singular pair of drum obsessives.
Review: Following sterling releases from NAP, Same Same and SMP, Isla are back with this smoking joint from I Believe. This is 90s flavoured techno with plenty of sass and sexiness rubbed into its joints - from the throbbing bassline to the steamy samples and subtle dubbiness, this is a late night cut geared towards beautiful, blurry hours of the dance. "Harumi's Groove" and "Outside Time" take things deep and spaced out, while "Red Planet" returns to a more driving, old-skool approach without losing that heady atmosphere. A strongly recommended tip for all those who like to incite passion at peak time.
Review: The Isla stable heads far out every time, but they're getting especially adventurous on this new missive from La Fe - a duo made up of Michael Red and Daniel Rincon (also known as Sounds and Ambien Baby respectively). There's a dense, ethnological tone to the percussion sources, with humid atmospherics sticking close to the drums throughout. Quite where the music is headed is unclear - somewhere out on the plains of the Fourth World no doubt - and the ambiguity is part of the charm.
Review: Original music from Vancouver based producer NAP has been intermittent on the electronic music scene, but now the Isla boss has finally dropped a 12" of deadly, textured and fresh-sounding electro for our bodies and minds. "Transhumano" features ZDBT and has all the hallmarks of Stingray-friendly future shock machine funk, but the particular approach to pads and melodies has a distinctive, moody slant that chimes with the hazy sound of Canada's West Coast. "Anestesia General" is another needlepoint, uptempo workout that packs layer up on layer of darting rhythms and blippy synth lines into the mix. "Sin Sistema" completes the set with a more subdued but no less detailed box jam workout.