Review: No matter how hard they try, some bands struggle to make people dislike them. Take Los Angeles trio, Automatic. Sure, militant guitar fans might find a little to complain about, what with the distinct focus on synthdom here, but realistically that's like saying you hate pies because sandwiches also exist. There's more than a touch of Neu! and Suicide in this indie-post punk mix up, but we wouldn't want anyone to think they'd heard this before. Unless, of course, you actually have heard this lot before. Working within sounds that often feel explored to the nth degree, we're dealing with a band disinterested in convention but obsessed with making you feel immediately at home with them. From the rolling bass, distorted electro refrains and send-return vocals of "Too Much Money" through "Highway'"'s darkroom neo-dance bounce, to the slo-mo, anthemic closer "Strange Conversations", this debut album stands out for miles.
Review: Renowned studio wizard Prince Fatty finally follows 2015's "The Clone Theory" album with a second studio long player jam packed with heavy dubs and top notch guests. "In The Viper's Shadow" is a real hotlist of dub kingpins with the likes of Tippa Irie, George Dekker, Earl 16 and Horseman all contributing to a melting pot of sounds that spans multiple eras and influences. Many of these tracks have been popular during Prince Fatty's live shows over the last couple of years, from the soul infused cover of the Temptations' "Get Ready" to the sun kissed and lumpy drums and endless reverb of "Everything Crash". Timeless stuff.
Praying For You (Louie Vega NYC Fender Rhodes Solo) (4:55)
Praying For You (Louie Vega Vonita dub) (5:43)
Praying For You (KDA remix) (6:10)
Praying For You (album version) (6:11)
Praying For You (Louie Vega Expansions NYC dub) (5:41)
Smile (David Morales remix) (7:01)
Review: Earlier this year, DJ Spen and Teddy Douglas's long-serving gospel-house group Jasper Street Co returned to action with their first album in 16 years. It's from that album that "Praying For You" is taken, though the selling point here is not the LP mix but rather a suite of reworks from Louie Vega. Our picks of the bunch are his jazzy and breezy "Main Mix", the brilliantly bass-heavy "Vonita Dub" (think righteous call-and-response gospel vocals and a killer groove) and the sleazy "KDA Remix". The latter is a basement-bothering stomper rich in fuzzy organ stabs and spacey electronics. The smooth, slick and pleasingly colourful David Morales remix is also rather good (it reminded us a little of vintage Frankie Knuckles rubs, which is no bad thing).
Review: When you call your band Moon Duo nobody is expecting clean lines or indeed rough edges. Meeting every one of our expectations, "Stars Are The Light" is a cosmic trip into some psychedelic hinterland where the melodies are as warm as the guitars are crooning. It's a place that's audibly inviting and, while anything but homely in the suburban 2.4 kids kind of way, more welcoming than the warm embrace of a lover. Which makes sense, when you consider it's the product of Wooden Shjips Ripley Johnson and his wife, Sanae Yamada. The title track pretty much sounds like falling in love, "Eternal Shore" dances to the otherworldly rhythms of 1960s opiate seduction, and 'The World And The Sun" grows and grooves to the very centre of your soul. Put simply, it's a pretty compelling argument for the fact that psychedelic rock still has plenty to bring to the table.