Review: The latest release on Colin Volvert's Kalahari Oyster Cult imprint is something of an epic: a triple-vinyl retrospective of the early '90s deep house productions of X-Ray Records founder Raymond Castoldi. The 11 tracks featured originally appeared on a series of 12" singles released by Castoldi between 1992 and '94. What's most remarkable about the compilation is how well those tracks have aged. While Castoldi variously pays tribute to numerous then contemporary producers, labels and sub-genres - think Dream 2 Science, Nu Groove, Pal Joey, Jovonn, the Italian dream house movement and the deeper end of New Jersey garage - none of the tracks feel dated. In fact, thanks to Castoldi's expansive musicality and on-point production, most of the tracks sound timeless. Recommended.
Review: Reissue of this rave classic - Indians & Aliens and Great Spirit - 2 tracks packed with tribal rhythms, breaks and acid lines by West Coast pioneers DJ Trance & Darwin Chamber. Straight from the DATS, remastered by Alden Tyrell and cut at The Exchange London, what else could you ask for? 2 fire remixes by D. Tiffany & Roza Terenzi, you say?
Let There Be Drums (Max Abysmal Spooky remix) (6:52)
Let There Be Drums (Benedikt Frey remix) (6:49)
Review: Join The Kalahari Oyster Tribe...
First opus of the new series is La Batterie, by the UK's Richard Podolor and Sandy Nelson in 1983 in the hypnotic shimmering disco of "Let There Be Drums." The music of Polodor and Nelson is being given new life by Kalahari Oyster Cult. Alongside the entrancing original are two remixes. First up is Australia via Amsterdam's very own Max Abysmal with his "Spooky Remix." Adopting and adapting the raw energy of the '83 version, Abysmal layers ghostly notes and spectral snares into his mechanical remake. The flip takes on a different slant with "Shotgun" taken from the EP of twenty fives years ago. A super slick work of understated funk shot through with bold keys and powerful chants to show another side of the UK pair. The fiercely talented Benedikt Frey closes, turning his daringly able hand to "Let There Be Drums." He keeps the vocal line, the rest of his rework is dipped in a thick heart of darkness threat. Pulsing thumps, menacing notes and danger lurk in this jungle of Frey's own making.
Review: After starting the year with a fine EP of fresh Italian deep house dreaminess from rising star Rhythm of Paradise, Colin Volvert's Kalahari Oyster Cult label dips its toe into the reissue scene via a new edition of a legendary Kwaito full-length. Mpumi's Singapore album has long been considered one of the most important releases from the early years of South Africa's indigenous, pitched-down house movement - a joyous expression of the "freedom dance" vibe full of saucer-eyed synthesizers, tweaked New Jersey garage influences, luscious vocals and more colourful dreaminess than your average Sueno Latino 12". Wisely, Volvert's label has not only given the album a deserved re-master, but also stretched the tracks across two slabs of wax to allow for louder, DJ-friendly cuts.
Review: Kalahari Oyster Cult have been thumbing through their back catalogue and return to a past gem for some renewed attention. 2017 saw the release of Erell Ranson's Hand in Hand, a quintet of beautifully crafted machine music. Two tracks have been chosen from the EP and remixed with stunning results.
First up is Dj Normal 4's "Sealife Safari MixX" of "If We Never Try." The sweet, shimmering melody of the original, the bubbling bass and subtle notes, are transformed in this remake. Silvery chords morph into bold and daring new forms under the tutelage of Tim Schumacher, neon streaked patterns coalescing with broken and cracked percussion for a superbly uplifting piece.
Pariah follows with his rework of "Hand in Hand." A deep dreamscape intricately woven with heady notes, birdsong and endless possibilities.
The final odyssey comes care of SW (Stefan Wust) of SUED fame. The Berlin based musician delivers his reimagined idea of "If We Never Try" with Ranson's version being washed over by lapping lines and gentle currents to create a smooth rounded finale. A trio of unique perspectives from three true talents of electronic music.
Review: It would be fair to say that Roza Terenzi (real name Katie Campbell) is a producer on the rise. She hit all the right notes on her 2017 debut EP for Good Company Records and this follow-up for Colin Volvert's Kalahari Oyster Cult label is, if anything better. She starts by effortlessly joining the dots between creamy Italian dream house and bustling, bleep-era UK breakbeat house on "Mwah", before allowing those bass-heavy UK influences to bubble up to the surface on the spacey goodness of "Gigi". Head to "Rare High" for heavy sub-bass, head-in-the-clouds deep house flourishes and leisurely breakbeats - a wavy, sunrise-friendly treat - before admiring the electro-breaks hustle and sleepy, saucer-eyed shimmer of closer "Soft".
Review: Dreamy deep house's Mr Reliable, Taylor Freels, pops up on Kalahari Oyster Cult with a four-track missive packed full of evocative, otherworldly productions. In keeping with the label's dreamy, retro-futurist approach, opener "Transworld" fixes the hip-house era breakbeats of early UK house with the tactile melodiousness of vintage Italian dream house. The track that follows, the even more luscious "Precinct 9", wraps a crunchy, broken house rhythm in 6am ambient chords and bubbling electronics, while B-side opener "Groove Therapy" proudly wears its UK garage influences while continuing to soothe and comfort. As a bonus, like-minded Canadian Ex-Terrestrial remixes "Precinct 9", serving up a sublime version bristling with audible nods to vintage Detroit techno and bass-heavy UK bleep business.