Review: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series rarely misses a beat, with each successive seven-inch showcasing two more hard-to-find treats from the dim and distant past. The latest instalment opens with "Vou Morar No Teu Sorriso", a sought-after cut from Trio Tenura's eponymous 1971 MPB/soul fusion album. It's a genuinely summery treat, with ear-catching, reverb-heavy vocals and rising horn lines rising above a life-affirming backing track. On the flip you'll find "Quem Vai Querer", the title track from a superb 1977 album by Eliana Pittman. A breezy chunk of sizzling samba-soul, the cut features an impeccable lead vocal from Pittman and some sing-along group chorus vocals
Review: The newly-formed Icelandic record label LAHAR brings you a long-awaited 12" by Den Nard Husher, a collaboration of two stalwarts within the Icelandic techno scene - Octal Industries & Vector. After a commemorative EP on Stobelight Network in 2016, Den Nard Husher strikes back with their first release since a 20-year production hiatus. It is enthralling to see how their fast-paced bustling techno renditions morph with time yet still encapsulate our body and imagination in that same meteoric signature. Den Nard Husher sounds fresh, blistering in a seemingly never-ending post-Y2K aesthetics.
Review: Or:la's newly founded Cead imprint is back for its second outing with an EP from the enigmatic Blu Terra, due out in October.
Coming out of Warsaw and with a couple of aliases already under his belt, Blu Terra delivers three tracks spanning aquatic soundscapes and unexpected rave elements.
The A1, Person Sans, mobilises moving pads and punchy synths. 20,000 is a detailed acid exercise with animalistic overtones. Lastly, Western/Eastern is a hard hitting incendiary track which patiently builds to a raving crescendo.
Review: New label alert! Magic Bird coaxes Golden Fleece into giving up some quality original material, plus a road-tested eclectic bomb with this three track EP.
Golden Fleece has been making left of centre dance music for some years now, releasing on labels such as Eskimo, Redux and Mixed Blood Cuts.
The EP leads with the truly epic piano houser Keep Doin'It, with it's house piano-heavy riff complimented perfectly with it's rolling bassline and killer synth line, a real gem. On the flip we settle into the hypnotic chuggy dance floor groover that is Shappelle's Boogie, a super-chunky hypnotic trip that keeps on giving! I Love U2 gifts us with the cheekiest of edits that serves as a reminder that dance music doesn't have to be one dimensional. Top drawer.
Sasha Makin & Suntetic - "Funtom" (Don Carlos & Steven Perri mix)
Monday Michiru - "Higher" (Joe Claussell dub)
Vincent Inc & LA - "Red Room"
M&M Vs Andrei Swipe - "Analog Express" (Don Carlos remix)
Review: Legendary Italian house/deep house DJ and producer Don Carlos based in Varese, North Italy. Active since the late 70s. His productions have mixing house rhythms with afro-american jazz sounds, verging sometime towards disco, sometime towards deep house or electronic soul. There's a similarly warm and hazy feel to second cut "Analog Express", where a nagging bassline and chillin' beats come wrapped in sunrise-ready electronics, toasty chords and more cut-up old school jazzy house. Throw in some refreshingly positive synthesizer flourishes of the kind once found in Italo-house records and you've got another tried-and-tested winner. Elegant, well produced classic deep house with sensual jazzy and smooth synth elements that sound really good on any equipment. All of the tracks on this EP are quality for anyone into deep house and quality club music in general.
Review: Emotional Rescue completes its trilogy exploring the music of Vox Populi with Alternatif Realisme. Highlighting the music that followed 1989's Aither (ERC030) as they transitioned from ethno-industrial roots towards a more expressive "world" sound, until the band's dislocation in 1994.
The band's development saw original members Axel Kyrou (electronics), Mitra (vocals) and Arash Khalatbari (percussion) augmented by a number of guest musicians, bringing an energy to their spontaneous recordings sessions at their studio.
The additional vocals of Dierdre Dubous is indicative of this change. Her onomatopoeia singing features heavily, invoking songs Letsam La, Chaque Jour Est Un Bon Jour and the ethereal She Walks So Easily Across The Sky.
With this, Mitra's vocals lift Chaque Jour Est Un Bon Jour, Razaye Axel Jube Hast and closing paean Chirine, showing their best. Surrounding instrumentals - often built out of long improvisational jamming - underpin. Soleymani Dub, with its Laswell dub groove is a clear stand out, while the melodics of Vapanda's Electric Garden come like a wonderful Woo outtake.
Largely unreleased, the recordings were a step outside of the changing shift towards a more digital sound. The album captures Vox Populi!, mixing their atmospheric mastery with heartfelt arias, that have familiarity but are completely unique.
Review: Nigel Hayes is probably best known for his collaboration with Funk D'Void as Chaser, but as Stop demonstrates, his solo work is just as impressive. It sees the UK producer move from the cinematic ambience into sleek, pulsating deep grooves. UK's Jack Bowditch has been moving through the dance music circuit over the years now and has found himself with a new alter ego in Collate. He teams up with established Romanian producers Balaur for the riveting deep classic Spinnin Voices on Astrolife. B-side opener DJ Rocca presents a nudisco odyssey into misty lands of shuffly beats, incessant basslines. Studio don Vincent Inc always bring unforgettable impressions & inspiration for mind, body & soul. 4 tracks came together to tell music stories about hypnotic deepest stuff, depression, happiness, loneliness, love, miracles and magical experiences. And now we're asking other's to join the sound conversation.
Review: EYA Records is back with their first double 12.Music provided by Belgian producer Innershades,Uruguayans finest Two Phase U,Berlin based Otis and Arma resident Zots.An eclectic selections of tracks that reflect the label vision.Limited copies.
Review: Adeen Records 004 installment comes from Alexander Robotnik. This all new material ep starts with the techy "I Love My House." A catchy retro feel groove record that's electro as only Mr. Robotnick can do. The next song is called "You Have Time" with a sure-fire crowd pleasing remix from NDATL's own head honcho Kai Alce. The next is "Made In China," and our staffs favorite. While Camille's version of "You Have time" is a dark deep jazzy version in comparison to Kai's more clubby feel, The last track is the original version of the song by Alexander himself. Three original songs and 3 innovative producers, What's there not to love?
Review: Adeen Records with another spectacular release. This time, they're offering up a double lp re-release of remixed classics of the imperial Lee "Scratch" Perry 1997dub techno infused album "TECHNOMAJIKAL. With stellar remixes from Camille and DJ Boring giving it an updated futuristic sound while keeping it still techno at heart.
Review: After the way Dorian Blue Part 1 permeated through dance floors across the globe and shook listeners at their core, The Advent is back on Thema Recordings with an unrivaled return. His calescent energy has only grown with time, culminating in three interminable tracks of jacked body mechanics. Whether it's the hammering slapback of the A side or the signature electro-infused B side, there's nothing here for a tame dance floor. Seeing as these heaters begged to be thrown around as doubles, a series of locked grooves have been included for those with the skillset to match their collection. With everything resting easily around the 130 mark, the searing pressure of these productions is undeniable. The Advent cements his legacy once again with a record that is not for the faint of heart.
Review: Here's some good news: the second salvo from nascent label Nuances de Nuit is every bit as alluring as its predecessor. It follows a similar blueprint, too, offering up a quartet of cuts from emerging artists. Politics of Dancing get the ball rolling via "When The Morning Comes", a picturesque peak-time throb-job that layers twinkling piano motifs and starry synth stabs atop non-stop beats and thrusting synth-bass. Akyra offers up a dreamy, ear-pleasing fusion of rolling tech-house and spacey deep house (the excellent "Rizla"), while Karaba's "Floating Mind" is a tough but drowsy deep house bumper built around sturdy beats and squelchy electronic bass. Last -but by no means least - is Cosmic JD and Jenta's pleasingly wonky "Spencer Landoff", where off-kilter electronics, jaunty bass and inter-dimensional melodies ricochet off hip-swinging deep-tech drums.
Review: Electro master par excellence Carl Finlow makes a swift return to Orson after gracing the label with his expert sounds just earlier this year. Orson have been busy, releasing Mesak and Point B in the meantime, but Finlow has that midas touch that never dulls with time. Lead track "Elastic Collisions" is a great slice of freaky electro that struts at an easy tempo, while "Octodecillion" wriggles and writhes a little faster for those that want a proper workout. "Probabilities" sees Finlow really exercising his gift for sound design and atmospheric composition in widescreen fashion. "Mechanomics" completes the set with a punchy growler that should sit comfortably in the bag of any dedicated electro jockey worth their salt.
Review: Spanish deep house ambassador Jose Rico lands on Chubby with a sultry collection of high pedigree jams that will sink under your skin, like the best machine soul should. There's definitely a whiff of Detroit about opening cut "Can't Be To Paradise," but it's offset by a Mediterranean mellow tint to the dynamic hardware interplay. "Four Eyes" has a spacier feel thanks to a particularly fizzy pad tone and some artful reverb, while "Ind Soul" is a melancholic jam shot through with lingering keys and a bubbling acid line dedicated to Fon. On the B side, "Gem Vmu" lightens the mood with some sprightly piano, and then "Juno Space" takes us out of orbit once more with some gorgeous lead lines that fall like pearl drops around Rico's tasteful grooves.
Review: Following on from his beautiful release on Claremont 56 in 2018, Alter Leo aka Denis Leonovich, takes a different approach for this new e.p on the Kinfolk imprint and produces a storming world infused 4-tracker.
'Cabriodelic' is a mid-tempo march that utilises sublime keys, sci-fi ethics and military style drums to incredible effect. 'On The Way' keeps the drums heavy but ventures into a deeper sub tropical technoid-esque landscape.
'Tour De L'Afrique' is exactly that, a jaunty vibe that buzzes and rolls through an unknown afro-centric land.'In Sands' finishes off the package nicely with an acidic heavy Moroccan spiced percussive roller.
Essential music for the truly tropical dance floors of the world.
Review: Birmingham experimental dub terrorist Mick Harris inaugurates new Madrid imprint Trauma Collective here as Monrella, with four brand new executions of sheer naked aggression. It was under this moniker that Harris (aka Fret/Lull) released half a dozen EPs for Karl O'Connor's ZET label between 1996 - 2002 - a strong departure from his previous involvement in seminal grindcore outfit Naplalm Death, and the experimental Scorn project (with fellow band member Nik Bullen). Fierce, functional and direct impact grooves that lunge straight for the jugular, the cuts featured on the Build Time EP recapture the zeitgeist of legendary local club night House Of God - an institution responsible for unleashing fellow legends such as Regis and Surgeon back in the day. Although somewhat overlooked, Harris' sound under this alias has most definitely evolved, and follows through with enough dancefloor dynamics to blend with other modern techno sounds.
Review: Italian crew Unknown Collective come correct on this latest Purism joint as they drop some seriously bumping deep house heat to get bodies popping with approval. "Nodi" is the consummate A side jam, all exuberant energy and rock solid functionality, just like a DJs best friend should be. "Virgo" is, on the surface, a slinkier affair, but don't be fooled as there's some serious weight in that bassline which will absolutely rock on a proper soundsystem. "Arya" is the dreamier cut on the record - the groove is still solid, but there's a dreamy tone to the pad hovering in the background and the track is sprinkled with all kinds of extra sonic delights to toy with your mind at the hazy end of the dance.
Review: If you dig electro, you should be well aware of the work of Transparent Sound. The Bognor Regis-based label has been serving up killer cuts and must-have EPs since the mid 1990s, though it's been rather quiet in recent years. In fact, "Gently Evil" is founder Orson Brambley's first album length excursion for almost a decade, making it a real event release. Kicking off with the bubbly intergalactic ambient of "Pretend Like You Care", the nine track album sees the veteran production partnership alternate between snappy electro club cuts, deeper electronic excursions, heady sci-fi soundscapes, punchy Motor City techno workouts and the kind of dark, unearthly dancefloor fare once associated with Drexciya. It is, then, a well thought out and executed album where the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
Review: Jazzy Couscous founder Alixkun comes back with a 2nd volume of "Kumo No Muko", 12 Japanese music gems from the 80s exploring Ambient & Synth-Pop atmospheres. It opens with Miwako Saito's "12 No Garnet", a soft, slow paced and dreamy piece of synth-pop. Following are Yoshio Suzuki's "Touch Of Rain" and Ayuo Takahashi's "Mizu Iro No Kagami", both flirting with Jazz, Ambient & New Age influences. Traces of YMO members can be found with Hosono produced Tomoko Yasuno's "Sur La Terra" & Flat Face's "Hibi No Awa", released on Sakamoto's related label. While going through more exotic vibes with Shi-Shonen's "Harvest (Long Size)", Alixkun doesn't forget more chill out ambiances: Toru Hatano's "Kanki" is a singular mind trip led by a guitar solo a la Pink Floyd. The project closes with Mio Fou's "Picasso No Ao", a moody track illustrated by a combination of acoustic guitar and solo piano.
Review: We were really impressed by "Invisibility Theory", the Sushitech released debut album from Christi Cons and Vlad Caia's Sideways Invisibility Theory project. This speedy follow-up for Half Baked Records (under the truncated SIT pseudonym) is rather good, too. Check first A-side "Spectral", a typically epic excursion where warm ambient chords, deep space electronics and glistening electric guitar motifs bob and weave around a chunky analogue bassline and locked-in tech-house drums. B-side opener "Owl Farm" is notably wonkier and weirder, with druggy drums, mind-altering electronics and the trademark glitch-laden shuffle we've come to expect from Romanian electronic music. That vibe is explored further on twisted closing cut "Animation", a particularly alien example of skewed tech-house funk.
Review: 'Palais' is a 12 track multi-faceted exploration of Kris Baha's musical sensitivity. The one man band's namesake LP title, 'Palais' is based around the concepts of alienation, detachment, melancholia and lust. All songs written, performed, recorded and mixed by Kris between 2015 - 2018 in Berlin, laced in his signature industrial sound. 'Palais' encompasses a range of shades from dance-floor works ' Living Nothingness', 'Brink Reality (Part 2)' & 'Non For The Sane' to experimental cinematic undertones 'You Told Yourself This Would Get Worse'. Also embodied are modern classics like the machine funk metallics of 'Steel Sands' and 'Defied', a year 2042 cyber punk hit. There's even a dark room inspired theme for the black leather lovers. From his own batch of psychedelia to post-punk and electronic romanticism this album is full of surprises and we at Cocktail d'Amore Music are absolutely proud to present this outstanding work.
Review: The idea of this records came out of a book called The Metamorphosis of Plants, written by Goethe in the 18th century. I was also triggered by a greek friend, who explained me the etymology of the world ""metamorphosis"", that is such an interesting greek concept.
""I cannot tell you how readable the book of nature is becoming for me: my long efforts at deciphering, letter by letter, have helped me; now all of a sudden it is having effect, and my quiet joy is inexpressive."" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to Charlotte von Stein, 1786