The days are getting shorter but thankfully the quality of music on offer hasn’t started to let up one bit. In fact there’s so much of the good stuff on offer that it can often seem a bit of an intimidating task getting to grips with it all. Thankfully for you, our hardworking staff writers are out their in the trenches everyday, casting their ears over the endless run of releases so that they can show you the cream of the crop. Read below to find out why this October has been no exception, as the team runs through a smattering of Footwork, House, Techno, Grime and everything else in between…
Komon and Appleblim – Silencio (Prins Thomas remix)
The debut outing on new Apple Pips offshoot Pipped sees label boss Appleblim and fellow Bristolian Komon hand ‘Silencio’ to Norse disco don Prins Thomas. Energising the slow burnt tech-soul of the original, Thomas has created an addictive slice of astro-boogie – deep, driving and double-dipped in funk. Watch out for the one-sided, hand-stamped white labels.
Neil Landstrumm – The Trial EP
Landstrumm originally dropped these tracks on Tresor back in 1997, and they’ve been fittingly re-homed on Jerome Hill’s excellent Don’t imprint, with the addition of a previously unreleased version of ‘Tension in New York’. Showing no sign of age, the four cuts invoke techno’s golden era whilst demonstrating an undeniable influence on the sound of now. Tough, timeless beats from a master of his trade.
DJ Rashad (featuring DJ Phil) – Everyday Of My Life (Hyperdub)
First appearing briefly in the footwork barrage at the end of Kode 9’s Rinse CD from earlier in the year, this one finally gets a full release on Rashad’s excellent new LP. Here him and his Chi-Town cohort DJ Phil take some diva samples and squeeze every bit of drama and sensuality out of them via some expert cutting and the use of perfectly placed chords. The drum work is every bit as frantic and complex as we’ve come to expect from something bearing Rashad’s name, but what really impresses is the level of polish and the command of dynamics here. Taking it up a notch for this project, Rashad shows why he’s got the skills to transcend the scene that he came up through.
Jovonn – Project X (Clone Classic Cuts)
A blast from the past coming in the form of this re-release from criminally underrated Brooklynite Jovonn. Hopefully due to find the audience he deserves via Clone’s perenially excellent Classic Cuts series, ‘Project X’ finds this master doing what he does best. Although recent years have seen a regretable deluge of pastiches of the sounds employed here, ‘Project X’ is an important reminder of the timeless appeal of House music done the right way. Parping horns, ascending pianos and an insatiably groovy bassline all converge to make a cut that is just as impossible not to dance to now as it undoubtedly was back on release in ’91.
White Material – Problems (White Material)
White Material are a label that I’ve been keeping my eye on since they started releasing tunes last year and they’ve certainly managed to garner a cult following. This latest 12″ sold at a ridiculous rate, and with its nicely varied smattering of quality techno from Morgan Lewis, Young Male, DJ Richard and Galcher Lustwerk, it’s easy to see why. The prime cut for me is label co-owner DJ Richard’s ‘Lost In Thaw’. Relentless vocals compelling you to “check it out bitch” (as least that’s what I hear) combine with mad acid noodlings for some cheeky jacking techno with a distinctly unsettling edge.
Joe – Slope (Hessle Audio)
On the other end of the spectrum for my pairing this month is the rather peculiar Joe. With a deceptively minimal approach to house and techno, defined by a focus on richly textured organic elements, with a very human take on a genre that is unavoidably associated with computers and other such contraptions. Slope is a masterclass in suspense, with a sense of impending doom that’s never fully manifested. It’s a bit of a chin-stroker, but in the best possible way.
L.B Dub Corp – Turner’s House (Ostgut Ton)
The first single from Luke Slater’s new album as L.B Dub Corp. The whole album is ridiculous, in a good way, and these three tracks tee it up nicely. Watch out for the Martin Luther King spoof.
A Made Up Sound – After Hours / What Preset (A Made Up Sound)
A Made Up Sound isn’t alone making these dark blends of Dubstep and Techno, but is easily one of the best. His music shares a lot in common with what I’ve been liking from Bristol’s scene recently, always rhythmically unpredictable and slightly oddball.
Major Grave – Loving You (Sulk)
Taken from his debut EP for Slackk’s new label ‘Sulk’, Loving You captures grime at it’s most intense, conveying swathes of conflicting emotion with huge, gothic strings and haunting, drawn out vocal cries that hit you straight in your gut – you could almost imagine it playing during the end credits of The Omen. Powerful stuff.
Mr Mitch – Eskimo (Peace Dub)
Mr Mitch reworked six grime classics in the name of peace as a tongue-in-cheek response to last month’s war dub fortnight and his take on Eskimo is the best of the lot. Slowed down and set against a backdrop of ice-cold atmospherics and off kilter vocal snippets, you’d be forgiven for temporarily forgetting the original. Oneman is a fan too and footage of him mixing it into Drake at his Solitaire Vol. 2 launch party in New York this week gives it some heavyweight kudos.
Livity Sound – Livity Sound (Livity Sound)
The Bristol bandits maintain one of the most exciting labels out there at the moment. Pev, Kowton and Asusu have curated a real deviance from the norm of late, pushing the confines of 4/4 to their limit and only releasing between the three of them. The album (or culmination) sees a number of second outings for certain tracks but no biggie…It’s nice to have them all in one place.
Dense & Pika – Colt (Hotflush)
Third time out for Dense & Pika on Hotflush and a top release to mark the milestone. I could listen to the piano refrain of title track ‘Colt’ for hours, some seriously nice vibes there and less visceral than their usual output. More of what we’re used to on ‘Black Deep’ and ‘Vomee’, but then another slider that’s been called their ‘most refined work to date’ – ‘Airless (Live)’ – recorded in one take with percussionists, woodwind and modular synthesisers…a very good sign of what’s to come.
Om Unit – Threads (Civil Music)
Jim Coles brings together 3 years worth of work as Om Unit, presented over the course of 15-tracks, his debut LP ‘Threads’ is a rich tapestry of texture and melody that meanders from the brooding and thoughtful, through to more immediate ‘slow/fast’ experiments – a world class DJ and sound sculptor who is seemingly just getting started on his sonic journey.
Hodge – Resolve / Prototype Fear (Punch Drunk)
In a month where I could have quite easily have chosen House and Techno releases by Laurel Halo, Palms Trax, Daniel Avery, White Material, Mr Beatnik, Emptyset or Livity Sound, I’ve decided to go with Hodge’s latest 12″ for Punch Drunk. This record is lethal; words like rugged, gully and murderous spring to mind. The man from Bristol has laid down one hell of a marker here, we really can’t wait to see where he takes things next.