Although for many in the ‘real world’ January was a month of self imposed solitude and sobriety, for the world of electronic music it was pretty much business as usual. Looking for respite from the gloom, our writers dove headfirst into the release schedule – and came up with more than a few treasures. Read on for an artifact of clubbing history, an assured album debut, bonkers Finnish Rave bombs and homespun South London Soul…
Tenderlonious – ‘Thoughts Of You’ (22a)
22a is label headed up by Tenderlonious, a vinyl only operation releasing music by himself and friends Al Dobson Jr, Mo Kolours, Reginald Omas Mamoode, Jeen Bassa. Following on from a split EP with Al Dobson Jr, ‘Thoughts Of You’ is his first full EP for his label – an absolute gem! Over four tracks Tender plays flute, piano, sax, percussion, hardware and synths, all recorded in one-take live sessions. The rawness of his approach perfectly encapsulating the broken Soul aesthetic the crew have made their own; all gliding bass, scattered Akai grooves, brooding synths and syrup thick keys. Local produce with international foundations.
Available to buy now HERE.
Demdike Stare – ‘Patchwork’ (Testpressing #007)
In January Manc duo Demdike Stare released the seventh and final instalment of their ground shaking Test Pressing series, landing nearly two years since it’s inception. Of the two cuts on #007 we’re flagging up ‘Patchwork’, a true dancefloor bruiser – yardy basslines, surging vocals and 2-step bounce combine with devastating effects, best enjoyed in a dark basement space with a good soundsystem. However, don’t overlook ‘Rathe’, a whole different beast entirely. The limited edition pressing includes an insert with artwork by Alex Solman and hand-stamped sleeves, with the first 300 copies pressed onto smokey grey wax.
Available to buy HERE now as part of ‘Testpressing#007’ on Modern Love.
Itinerant Dub – ‘Itinerant Club (DJ Stingray/Mr G remixes)’ (Itinerant Dub)
Two veterans of the game deliver killer remixes for Itinerant Dub, a quality little label that does its own thing with minimum fuss. A limited promo version of this record came out in January, and is followed by the real thing in Feb.
Available to buy HERE now as part of ‘Itinerant Club: The Remixes’ on Itinerant Dub.
Alland Byallo Feat Aquarius Heaven – ‘Dead Ringer (Mosca remix)’ (Bad Animal)
Mosca way outdoes the original of ‘Dead Ringer’ with this remix, stripping it down to the bare groove and rolling through ups and downs with Aquarius Heaven’s vocal keeping things interesting.
Available to buy HERE now as part of the ‘Dead Ringer’ EP on Bad Animal Germany.
Floating Points and Four Tet @ Final Plastic People 2/1/15
I don’t have a specific story about Plastic People, a special moment or formative experience. My experience of the club was a purely functional one: there are a lot of places to go and listen to music in London, but this was always the best one. It was uncompromising but unpretentious.
On this, Plastic People’s final night open to the public, the adoring crowd undoubtedly let former residents Floating Points and Four Tet get away with too much – there are only so many piano solos one needs to hear, after all – but for the most part it was a perfect send-off. There were hints at the legacy of FWD>> (a Mala track shaking the almighty system here, ‘Ellipsis’ blowing the roof off there) but the main focus of the set was the two DJs’ bread-and-butter: predominantly acoustic dance music pushed to the brink. And so we had Gil Scott Heron’s timeless ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ whipped into a frenzy and Roy Davis Jr’s unimpeachable ‘Gabriel’ raised to anthem status. Their cohort Daphni’s ‘Yes I Know’ and ‘Ye Ye’ were obvious highlights, but as always with bona fide crate diggers like these two, the less familiar tracks often stole the show.
Herbert – ‘The Wrong Place’ (Accidental)
The fact that it could easily be considered inconsequential is also this track’s strength relative to Matthew Herbert’s work of the past few years. It’s a brilliantly oddball construction which undoubtedly few producers could have put together, but its glitchy trundle is also a bit silly and potentially very fun.
‘The Wrong Place’ exemplifies the delight of the latest instalment of Herbert’s reactivated ‘Parts’ series: for all the talent on show, there is no self-conscious intellectualism, just a great, thoroughly odd little tune doing work.
Available to buy HERE now as part of the ‘Part 8’ EP on Accidental.
Hashman Deejay – ‘Statues PF’ (Future Times)
Mood Hut point man Hashman Deejay returns to Future Times with the confident, expansive debut LP, ´Sandopolis´. Beautifully immersive yet focused on the dancefloor, the album is rife with detailed sonic movements. The elevated ´Statues PF´ is a definite highlight, pairing a slowed break with a rich and introspective lead synth line. Essential album.
Available to buy HERE now as part of ‘Sandopolis’ on Future Times.
Joey Anderson – ‘1974’ (Dekmantel)
Obtuse, cosmic Techno arrangements from one of the most talented artists in the game right now. Returning to Dekmantel following last year’s awe inspiring ´After Forever´ LP, the three tracks making up ´1974´ feel very focused, begging to be played at high volume. This one will definitely be a crucial 12”.
Available to buy HERE now on Dekmantel.
Patricia – ‘Spotting’ (Ghostly)
This track by the enigmatic Patricia was hands down our favourite from Ghostly International’s Swim 2 compilation last month. Patricia only came to our attention recently, after a friend ran all the way home from Romania’s Sunwaves Festival raving about ‘Drip Dawn’ by Patricia, the final track to round off the festival that they heard on the floor. This new cut, ‘Spotting’, is made up of beautiful swelling and cascading melodies, and despite its chilled attitude, its backbone is still made up of an uptempo groove that immediately sucks you in. It’s one of those tracks you rarely find, which has you rewinding it back to the beginning four consecutive times without even releasing.
Available HERE as a free download on the ‘Ghostly Swim 2’ complilation
BEA – ‘Filthy Believer’
Another enigma is Dutch newcomer BEA, who quite literally fell on our radar a couple of weeks ago when the video for ‘Filthy Believer’ dropped, revealing BEA dancing in a cutesy pastel pink video to her own track. This reverb-rich song is Dream Pop in its most agreeable form. BEA’s modest chorus over the synthesised trumpet chords bodes well, and make this song the perfect soundtrack to ease you into the day. BEA’s ‘Good Thinking’ EP (available to stream on her Soundcloud) has provided the artist with a firm first footing, and hopefully the sign of more fun musical things to come.
Available to buy HERE now as part of the ‘Good Thinking’ EP on BEA1991.
user48736353001 – ‘1 nocares’ (Warp)
AFX put out an incredibly hyped album last year and a more recently a strange, extended EP which didn’t resonate very much with me on first listen. I’m all for an artist pushing things forward, but from the fraction of the tracks I’ve listened out of the 110 odd Soundclouds uploads, I can safety say this is the Richard D. James we’ve come to love. Track titles are irrelevant, download the lot, stick on the kettle and hit shuffle…
Available to download HERE from Soundcloud
Levon Vincent – ‘Anti Corporate Music’ (Novel Sound)
If this is anything to go by Don Levon’s forthcoming LP debut is going to be sensational. Will be keeping this in my personal collection and most definitely not distributing via my blog…
Innershades – ‘What About Us (Willie Burns remix)’ (9300 Records)
Reunited on wax after both appearing on the excellent Creme Organization Vs. L.I.E.S EP in December, this cut finds the relentlessly prolific Willie Burns bringing out the best in Belgian up and comer Innershades. Dulling the sturdy sheen of the original, Burns paints in tones of fuzzy sepia – muffling the lead line and giving more prominence to the previously secondary flourishes of KORG synthesizer and distant vox. Built around decidedly low key elements, this is floor focused fodder that worked magic on my weary ears this January.
Available to buy HERE now as part of the ‘What About Us’ EP on 9300 Records.
Arttu – ‘Feed Da Bird’ (Clone Royal Oak)
A fixture on Clone’s Royal Oak sub label for nearly four years, Finnish producer Arttu’s latest outing for the Dutch imprint stands as one of his most unhinged yet. Things start off normally enough here, with a hefty jacking rhythm section commanding dancer’s fists modestly skywards. 64 bars in however, convention is cast aside as we’re mercilessly pummeled by a series of sub bass oscillations that implored this writer to vainly search for a better descriptor than’gelatinous’ (‘mucilaginous’ anyone?). Chuck in lashings of acid, a range of variously pitched vocal samples and moody shifting chords, and you can’t help but recall the controlled chaos of Hardcore at its finest.
Available to buy now HERE as part of the ‘Evvy Steps’ EP on Clone Royal Oak