There were only 28 days in February, but that didn’t stop labels from around the world supply a steady stream of quality music. As always our writers are on hand to put you on to their favourites from last month, with an array of Grime, Techno, House, Acid and more all featuring below for your listening and reading pleasure…
JT The Goon – ‘Twin Warriors’ (Oil Gang)
JT has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the last six months, and, backed to the hilt by Oil Gang, has been given his chance to shine on debut 12” ‘Twin Warriors’. The title-track is the winner, although it’s all pretty brilliant – if, like me, you find yourself humming the ‘Twin Warriors’ melody line walking to work, then just embrace it.
G.S One – ‘Pillow Talk’ (BPM)
Intriguing new talent G.S One provides the inaugural release on party-cum-label BPM and it’s a belter. Taken from the ‘Lucid Dreams’ EP, ‘Pillow Talk’ ticks all the right boxes; a minute of beat-less, atmospheric calm is followed by lush, synth-rich melodies and a stellar dose of sub-bass. Gully romance at it’s finest.
Dona – ‘Points’ EP (Points)
Recommended by Phonica. Don’t know much about Dona but this EP, primarily the Juju & Jordash remix if I’m honest, is awesome.
Untold – ‘Black Light Spiral’ LP (Hemlock)
This album seemed to get mixed reviews, which was probably to be expected given its departure from Untold’s recent material. But I loved it, proper ear-burners for headphone listening on sweaty tube journeys.
Paul Birken – Acid Youth of Malibu Remixes (Earwiggle)
Midwest Techno hero Paul Birken made a lot of noise with ‘Acid Youth of Malibu’ back in 2012, and Earwiggle has paid its respects with a legitimate wet dream of a remix package. Blawan ups the tempo, Bas Mooy brings the muscle, and man-of-the-moment Perc turns in a piece of pounding, chord-driven drama. Not to be outdone, Birken delivers the final blows by flipping the original into a crime scene of 303s and sledgehammer kick drums.
Various Artists – Vectors (Power Vacuum)
Power Vacuum continues to cement its status as a go-to source for hard, maverick techno, rounding up the talents of Objekt, JoeFarr & J.Tijn, An-i and Positive Merge on its eighth, and finest, release to date. Objekt takes first prize with the spastic electro jam ‘Balloons’, but ignore the rest of the EP at your peril.
Brock Van Wey – ‘Home’ LP (Echospace Recordings)
The very long awaited return by Bvdub under his own name. Lush, considered and utterly beautiful ambient music.
Hound Scales – ‘Odile’ (White Asega Records)
Really tense Techno. The whole EP packs an emotional punch that you don’t usually hear in more industrial sounding records.
Rick Wade – ‘Sweet Life’ (FINA)
A delectable slice of unseasonably upbeat Latin-tinged House music from one of the Motor City’s most consistently underrated producers. The piano assisted groove laps away gently as Wade draws another gorgeous string sample from his bulging arsenal on a cut that is as beautiful as it is simple. Mr.Beatnick’s analogue synth assisted interpretation on the flip is also well worth a spin.
Pender Street Steppers – ‘Openin’ Up’ (People’s Potential Unlimited)
The hype train continues to gather pace for this Canadian duo, who find themselves effortlessly jamming for 8 minutes on the title track of their latest EP. Washes of dust caked chords ebb and flow over lightly impactful flurries of snares and a cute vocal cut up, but its not until the mid track breakdown/freakout that this one comes into its own. Lush home listening and crafty dancefloor fodder all at once.
Illum Sphere – ‘Sleeprunner’ (Ninja Tune))
Taken from his debut album for Ninja Tune, Illum Sphere’s Sleeprunner just does it for me, although I could have chosen any number of cuts from this album. The John Carpenter-esq bass arpeggio when partnered with Illum’s crusty beats really sings to me. The fact that he can flip from rigid, simple tones to slippery jazzy stylings and then back again in the blink of an eye is testament to his vast scope of vision.
Perc – ‘Speek’ (Perc Trax))
I’m picking one of the more sombre numbers from Perc’s excellent new ‘The Power and The Glory’ album, but it could have been any to be honest. It might not be the nose-bleed industrial sound that he has come to be known for, but it still manages to harness the aggressive attitude he peddles without ever over egging the cake as it were. Haunting, undecipherable vocal snippets, dark pads, and a scratchy repetitive riddim, what more could you want? Simple yes, but un-unnervingly brilliant at the same time.