As we enter festival season release schedules have picked up a gear, with quality EP’s, LP’s and 12″s landing thick and fast. The Hyponik writing team are once again on hand to help you make sense of it all, with a selection from the month of May that includes red hot Garage reissues, spellbinding loop based Techno, mesmeric Microhouse, gritty Funky hybrids and more. Check it out…
Mark Nicholas O – ‘Sex 4 Daze’ (Ringrose Records)
Not so much a new track, but rather something that’s resurfaced only recently owing to a very limited repress, ‘Sex 4 Daze’ is a sleazy Garage banger from the 90s on Ringrose Records. The drums and hi-hats feel raw, and the background noises are atmospheric, but it’s mainly the alluring sexy vocals that characterise this track.
Anyone who’s been to see Ricardo recently will have heard this one at a jaded hour of the morning, though it’s Zip who got hold of it before him over a year ago. If you’re looking for your own copy, Discogs is your friend – just expect to have to pay a pretty penny by now.
Binh – ‘Downtown’ (Cabaret Recordings)
Coming fourth on the Japanese Cabaret series, ‘Downtown’ is a deep slice of Microhouse from the enigmatic Berlin favourite Binh. Using sparsely-placed hi-hats and drugged-out vocals centred around a dubby bass line, here Binh perfectly typifies the sound of those extended morning sessions under the willow tree at Club der Visionaere.
Beneath – ‘One Blings’ (PAN)
Huge release on PAN. This one really rattles with its immense low end and flexy, detuned synth stabs. ‘One Blings’ showcases a menacing, jarringly inventive production style, reminiscent of Objekt’s work. Another PAN curveball and nice follow up to the killer Bass Clef record from April.
Leon Vynehall – ‘Time’ (AUS Music)
Few producers can touch Vynehall at the moment, and he seems to be exuding more confidence with each release. ‘Time’ is a pretty startling track, deeply melodic and very complimentary to his acclaimed ‘Music for the Uninvited’ LP. Its direct nature seems to set it apart from the more evolving album tracks. Its available on June 6, exclusively as part of AUS Music boss Will Saul’s DJ Kicks album.
Samename – ‘Nuriko’ (Pelican Fly)
It was hard to single out one track from Samename’s ‘Yume’ EP for Pelican Fly but ‘Nuriko’ is just about the stand out for me. The hazy, strung-out intro only fleetingly lets on to the nature of what’s to come; a powerful, Grime-focused assault of a track that’s awash with diligently sourced Japanese influences, an intriguing central theme to the EP as a whole. Ticks every box as a grime fan.
Last Japan – ‘Harca’ (Mixmag Download)
Last Japan is seemingly capable of whatever he puts his mind to, with ‘Harca’ being a prime example. Although adept at churning out greazy, purpose built instrumentals for MCs like Trim and Rapid, he’s at his best here, stringing together melody-rich, re-contextualized Grime that genuinely pulls at the heart strings a little bit – definitely one to get lost in.
Various – ‘Habits Versions’ (Osiris Music)
Osiris returned this month with another various artists release, maintaining the concept of four producers’ individual take on one anonymous track. Already an appealing concept for an EP, the line-up entices even further, with contributions coming from Osiris regulars Killawat and Mønic, plus label debutants Amorce and Techno heavyweight Oscar Mulero.
‘Habits Versions’ opens with a brooding skippy textural piece from Mønic featuring developmental drones and propulsive sidechaining. That snakey shaker and the double time percussion are definite highlights. Oscar Mulero delivers a true to form no-nonsense dance-floor pertinent cut, full of detail and wavering delays, while Killawat keeps it minimal with an arpeggiated principal feature. The broken rhythm Amorce employ compliments the use of throbbing sound design and bring the EP to a fine close.
Furfriend – ‘Endless September’ (Perc Trax)
Following their unmistakable ‘Prayers For Perversion’ EP on Killekill, the duo debut on Perc Trax with Endless September, featuring four remixes, two each from Vapauteen and Perc. The distinctive, piercing and authoritative vocals throughout the orignal are undeniably luring. Clearly Furfriend are out to make a statement and they do it to great effect. Perc’s remix is in keeping with the high quality of his recent output. He loops the most memorable vocal line from the original and super-imposes it amongst heavy broken rhythms and overdriven snare rolls. Shawn O’Sullivan aka 400ppm aka Vapauteen’s two remixes shift the attention to sound design and textural evolution. The ‘Interlocking Mix’ is the preferred of the two Vapauteen versions, with its halftime drums reminiscent of Grime and it’s noisy corrosive analogue breakdown.
Mo Kolours – ‘Mike Black’ (John Wizards Remix)
Two of my personal favorites from the last 18 months pair up for this one with the results every bit as gorgeous as expected. The longest track of a particularly short bunch on Mo Kolours’ excellent debut album from earlier this year, the original ‘Mike Black’ was a high point of the record with loose but insistent percussion and a wounded, bittersweet late night vocal. Handed the reins on the remix, Afro-Psychpop outfit John Wizards take the track’s rootsy charms and propel them skyward with a sweepingly grandiose arrangement that shimmers without losing any of its intimacy. Treating Mo’s vocal and cushioning it with soft guitar licks, the South African band create a version that beguiles and soothes in equal measure but different manner.
LV – ‘Imminent’ (featuring Joshua Idehen) (Keysound Recordings)
Returning from the African influenced stylings of 2012’s acclaimed ‘Sebenza’, LV have reunited with beat-poet cum emcee Joshua Idehen, with whom they last collaborated with on their brilliant LP ‘Routes’. Using this cut on Keysound as a taster for their forthcoming follow up disc, it would appear its business as usual for this partnership-with another highly danceable LV production leant personality from Idehen’s witty, distinctyl urban delivery. Inspired by a real life murder in Hackney, the vocal is intended towards wayward youths who might get caught ‘slippin’ in the wrong area, with Idehen’s tale of city life veering between paranoid warning and full throated threat. LV for their part bang out a riddim that’s all Funky percussion, frazzled synths and Grime bass drops, which paired with the vocal creates a unique dancefloor weapon.
Anthony Naples – ‘More Problem’ (The Trilogy Tapes)
Anthony Naples has shaken off newcomer status to become the bonafide maverick of outsider House. Following up on ‘Perro’ a more dance-floor centric interpretation of last year’s ‘Busy Signal’ which dropped on the TTT soundcloud last month, a second track off his soon to be released EP has surfaced. It’s a jacking slab of off-kilter piano House. Can’t wait for the record to drop and discover what other treats Naples has up his sleeve.
Theo Parrish – ‘Footwork’ (Sound Signature)
This is the most rhythmic cut unleashed by Parrish in recent times. Dead-simple and insatiably infectious, it’s an interesting one because like most of his mid-tempo productions, it’s not necessarily geared for the club, but works there all the same. It’s also an interesting indicator for the direction of his forthcoming LP. Hearing the story of how the track was conceived during a late night session in his own kitchen first hand at LEME a few months back was quite the treat & the video is simply cool.
Abdulla Rashim – ‘Unanimity’ (Northern Electronics)
If ‘repetitive’ is an adjective you use to criticise music, I’d stay well clear of this album. But for those who happily listen to 8-minute tracks that plough simple ideas over-and-over, ‘Unanimity’ is a masterclass.
Alex Smoke – ‘RS1403’ (R&S)
Four strange tracks with lots of unpredicatable turns and noises, pretty far removed from the standard dancefloor fodder of 2014. Excellent titles too, especially ‘Tommy Knockers’.
Al Dobson Jr – ‘Rye Lane Vol.1’ (Rhythm Section)
Having caught bits and pieces of this guy’s music over the past few months it was great to hear news of his first full length for Bradley Zero’s party-cum-label Rhythm Section. The record features 11 space-age percussive jams carefully selected from around 200 unreleased Dobson Jr cuts. Although crafted in Peckham, this record is very much globally informed, with references to Peru, Grenada, Cameroon, Columbia all appearing throughout. Bumpy and beaming grooves to soundtrack a hazy summer afternoon. Be sure to keep tabs on ADJr and the rest of the 22a crew.
Bok Bok – ‘Howard’ (Night Slugs)
One things is clear when first hearing ‘Your Charizmatic Self’, Bok Bok has been spending a lot of time in the studio of late. His modern take on Funk music throughout is as innovative and as it is compelling, sounding like a late night studio jam between Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Swindle and Mumdance.
‘Howard’ is a beast. A beast made even more potent by deft use of silence throughout the track. Frenzied Grime meets broken, experimental Boogie – absolutely killer!