Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - "You Laugh At My Face" (Tobias version) (7:15)
Half Hawaii - "Watch The Flash" (6:07)
Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Foom label, Ben Freeney has secured the rights to release two killer cuts, both of which are significant in their own way. On the A you'll find a previously unreleased Tobias Freund remix of "You Laugh at My Face", an obscure late '70s proto-new wave collaboration between legendary disco producer Patrick Cowley and art-punk vocalist Jorge Socarras (best known for being part of San Fran band Indoor Life). Freund's version is undulating and evocative, with spacey analogue synth motifs and drowsy vocals rising above a pitched-down breakbeat groove. On the flip, German duo Half Hawaii return to action after a six-year break, offering up a slow-burn delight rich in drowsy, melancholic motifs, shuffling drums and dewy-eyed vocals.
Review: Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Fragments Of A Season was one of the highlights of Emotional Response's output in 2017, centred around blissful, Balearic instrumentation that shone a spotlight on the considerable talents of these accomplished artists. Now the label is revisiting the material with a couple of finely selected versions, the first coming from Emotional regulars Woo, who dutifully inject "Marine" with their effervescent, otherworldly expressions and create a glistening masterpiece in the process. Felicia Atkinson then tackles "AA Cleo" and sends it out onto the horizon in a haze of reverb romanticism, muffled percussive rumbles and murmuring vocals.
Review: Brighton-based beatmaker and self-confessed vinyl addict Tom Caruana presents a reissue of his 2011 collection of mash-ups. Black Gold has been remastered for your enjoyment and sees Caruana bring hip-hop legends Wu Tang Clan - the masters of the Shaolin - together with the master of psychedelic guitar riffs: Jimi Hendrix. The final product sounds terrific and features not only the original WTC members but also the extended clique Royal Fam, American Cream Team, Gab Gota and Cappadonna. From the block rockin' beats of "House Of Flying Daggers" w/ Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Method Man, to the endearing Hendrix tribute that is "Wind Cries" w/ GZA & U-God, through to the smooth blues and rapid-fire lyricism of "Vibrations" w/ Inspectah Deck, GZA, Masta Killa, RZA, Method Man, Raekwon & Ghostface - as you can see: all the usual suspects appear.
Review: Masked electronic maverick J-Zbel has a thing for ridiculous release titles - see his early EPs for proof - but even by his standards "Dog's Fart Is So Bad The Cat Throws Up" is an absolute peach. The music contained on the release, which marks his debut album, is a little more serious, though the fast-rising producer does sound like he's having bags of fun throughout. His style is fluid and hard-to-define, with the album's 12 tracks flitting between wobble-bass propelled, mind-altering dancefloor stompers ("Hardcore Jusqu'Au PeF"), weird and wayward dancehall riddims ("Le Riddim Du Bardouin"), psychedelic acid techno ("Tunnel Vision"), spaced-put experimental beat-scapes ("Rustie Le Clown"), pitch-black eccentricity ("Bertrand Au Mont D'or"), bleep-heavy post jungle ("Excremangue") and opaque ambient ("Check In").
Review: Over the last decade, Zombie Zombie man Etienne Jaumet has been one of Versatile Records' most consistent artists, delivering a string of albums in an inimitable style that sits somewhere between synthesizer-heavy 1970s horror soundtracks, experimental electro-jazz, paranoid ambient, punchy Afro-funk-fusion and quirky, kosmiche-era synth-pop. He's at it again on "8 Regards Obliques", variously opining on the threat of nuclear war over a chugging beat ("Nuclear War"), layering jaunty Afro horns over deep space electronics ("Unity"), showcasing his deep and electronic take on jazz-house ("Theme De Yo Yo"), laying down mind-altering jazz ragas ("Spiritual"), and escorting us to some far-off galaxy (the astonishingly good "Ma Revelation Mystique").
Review: Baby Buddha is the experimental new wave duo of Charles Hornaday (vocals, guitar, electronics, drums) and David Javelosa (vocals, electronics, clarinet). Born from late night improvisations of San Francisco synth-punks Los Microwaves with a rotating cast of musicians. Live shows would include music, projections, dance and performance art in both clubs and gallery spaces. In 1980, Howie Klein's 415 Records released their first single of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man". In 1981, 'Music For Teenage Sex' was their first full length album released via Poshboy Records. It featured Los Microwaves' Meg Brazill, Poshboy boss Robbie Fields, and Kathy Peck as "Tammy Why-not", who later went on to found H.E.A.R (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers). In January 1983 Kathy, Charles and David went into the studio with a couple of Kathy's original "country" songs and began working on a sophomore album. They also incorporated songs from a live multi-track recording of a concert at the Graffiti Club on June 6th 1984. The album titled 'Everyone Is My Age' sat unreleased until 1987 due to relocation to Los Angeles and eventually found a home on David's Hyperspace Communications, the original label for the first Los Microwaves singles. For this first time reissue we've added a previously unreleased bonus song "What's Going On," a Kathy Peck original. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in the original jacket featuring a collage by David Javelosa and includes an insert with lyrics, photos and liner notes.