Review: LA cosmic soul merchant Benedek returns with his first fresh material since 2017's exemplary sophomore set Bene's World. Fitting the season with balmy charm, "Earlyman Dance" is every bit as slinky and blue light as the title (or indeed Benedek's reputation) suggest. Balearic, jazzy and just pinch of yacht; both the original and the Canyon Version are pure sunset jams. "Maca" continues the slinky theme with a hip-wriggling, liquid rhythm while the much more mystic, spacious "Tengu's Mystery" takes us much deeper into the unknown folds of the night and the heavily reverbed slo-mo "Sixtern" chugs us all the way to sunup. It's not early. It's not late. Benedek, as ever, is bang on time.
Review: Second Circle's latest mini-album comes from the previously unheard Giuseppe Leonardi, a "young Viennese musician" whose heady, synthesizer-heavy style is reminiscent of some of the curious obscurities reissued on parent label Music From Memory. While experimental in nature - think skewed combinations of lo-fi analogue keyboards, sparse and dusty drum machine hits and all manner of manipulated voices - each of the five tracks is pleasingly melodious. Combined with a range of left-of-centre influences from the early-to-mid '80s (think new wave ambient, new wave and British post-punk dub), it makes for a heady and arresting collection of tracks that actually gets better with each successive listen.