Saturday, January 30, 2010

Levon Vincent - The Medium Is The Message

A1 The Medium Is The Message
B1 A Melody For Everyone
B2 I Owe You Everything

Levon Vincent returns with another absolutely deadly blend of rugged House structures and classic dub washes for this latest twelve on his own Novel Sound imprint. There really is very little House music of this calibre around at the moment, the title track here somehow managing to evoke the spirit of Mike Huckaby, Kassem Mosse and Marcel Dettmann without really sounding like any of them, weaving tight percussive flourishes in and out of the mix alongside organic noises that imbue proceedings with a heady, narcotic character. Over on the flipside, "A Melody for Everyone" opens up the House templates for a more shimmering session along the lines of classic KDJ meets Omar S, with a colossal synth hook turning the heat up before closing track "I Owe You Everything" makes use of densely squashed toms and a vocoded vocal for a closer that takes in a vast array of classic House signatures without really sounding like anything you'll have heard before. Needless to say, massive twelve.

A Made Up Sound - Sun Touch

01 Sun Touch
02 Drain
03 Untitled (Shortcut)

Dave Huismans aka 2562 unloads the second release for his A Made Up Sound imprint. Compared to the outright Detroit ebullience of AMS 001, this plate acts as an outlet for his more esoteric leanings, constructing three tracks that don't feel like immediate 'floor hits, but burn with a more cosmic and atmospheric abstraction while still driven by incredibly efficient and well-tuned rhythmic engines. 'Sun Touch' scopes the scene's minimalistic radar bleeps and Radiophonic synth textures carried by an itchy Shake-styled rhythm, while 'Drain' enters a sombre zone of hazy grey drones and spring loaded steppers rhythms for the more adventurous DJs. Finally 'Shortcut' gives time for some ruff drum machine experimentation harking back to his 'Archive' release for Clone's Basement series. He's still way out on his own, which makes each and every one of his records worth

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nekes & Marquese – Apartment 4.4

A: Nekes - Apartment 4.4
B: Marquese - Filter Tool

This autum, labelowner nekes, will release his debut on llfo. so as marques the new oslo artist who stands with his music productions in the same level as as the rest of the gang. A side: Nekes - Apartment4.4. he delivers a top rolling master tool such as we have known from his Cristal EP on Oslo008. housey bass combined with an exiting groove, pulls you right into the slowly developing track. B side: Marquese shows us what you can do with filters. giving us a amazing first class track for the extraordanary moment. What should we say? waiting for wintry autum season to

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pangaea - Pangaea EP

A1 Why
B1 Sunset Yellow
B2 5-HTP
C1 Neurons
D1 Dead Living
D2 Because of You

Having piqued the ear of many with his debut "Coiled" and the awesome "Router"—an anthem partly responsible for the strong vocal renaissance within future thinking garage music—Pangaea has taken his sweet time with his release schedule, quietly putting out a 12-inch for Scuba's Hotflush imprint before rounding off 2009 with a bootleg white label of another superbly vocal-led roller, "Memories."

Starting the ball rolling in 2010 for his own Hessle Audio label—an imprint he runs with Ben UFO and Ramadanman—Pangaea's six track EP has a lot to live up to; or rather it has his lack of output to exceed. It proves its worth from the get-go, though, with the bumpy marching drums and ascending bass/organ combo of "Why," which positively bursts into life at the chorus with yet another strong female vocal hook and lolloping snares flamming on every other bar's second beat.

"Sunset Yellow" is an apt and sensitive display of Pangaea's minimal approach, as he rolls soft pads before hushed organs behind a progressing drum beat that skips with all those little percussion flickers and hurried flourishes that pepper most of the Hessle label's output. Keeping his mix simple, he lets his bubbling melody breathe but later smothers it with fighting layers of screeching female vocals. "5-htp" seems built from a more junglist sound palette with those classic boom resonating bass stabs ebbing away behind constant hi-hat flourishes, offbeat snares and a machine hum. It's at this stage that you really notice his talent for arrangement, as he uses the piano-riddled sample to completely switch the tone, while stuttering and underpinning his main snare hits to accentuate the rhythm as it accommodates the subtle melody. It's a constant running theme throughout his work; "Neurons" sees him letting his eerie vocal sample ring out before weaving in the warbling synth hook, adding the constant percussion to drive the impact and frame the progression.

Pangaea's vision can sometimes start to sound a bit bleak, thanks in no small part to his talent for fusing sprawling chords with layers of atmospherics. But with a quick smattering of winding synth on "Dead Living," he immediately manages to lift the track and take it somewhere drastically different, playing up the awkward riff and amplifying its impact. And on closer "Because of You" he does things that completely contrast the preceding bars, as if he's feeding himself deeper into the recesses of his late night recording sessions.

Even though there is dance floor fodder on tracks like "Why," "Sunset Yellow" and "Dead Living," the buzzwords for this EP should be depth and subtlety. Much like the way Pangaea chooses to irk out his music slowly, his productions take that extra bit of time to creep up on you, gradually becoming more and more

Martyn - Hear Me / Seventy Four Remixes

01 Hear Me (Zomby Mix)
02 Seventy Four (Redshape Mix)

Following his tremendous Fabric mix last week, Martyn offers some of his best beats to Zomby and Redshape for the first part of a killer remix package. Quite unusually, Zomby's mix spills beyond the five minute mark, giving us extra time to enjoy cruising alongside his Lazer-etched R'n'B synths and swaggering Kwaito/Funky percussion before we hit the rewind button another ten times. If you're of a dancing persuasion, this sh*t's totally vital! Meanwhile, Redshape does himself proud with the raw kink of his 'Seventy Four' remix, embellishing the warmest Detroit aspects with his arsenal of vintage FXs while keeping a rooted afro-rhythmic swing reminiscent of Theo Parrish with shuffling hi-hats, deeply padded bass thumps and strokes of barely-tamed percussion. Essential tunes, DO NOT sleep on

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My My & Emika - Price Tag EP

A1 Price Tag
A2 Lights Go Down
B Price Tag (Appleblim & Komonazmuk Remix)
Sideshow remix (Digital only)

On listening to the latest My My EP Price Tag alongside its accompanying rework from UK producers Appleblim and Komanazmuk, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the '00s prevalent musical strands had just completed a cyclical ten-year voyage. That is to say, we appear to be dealing here with progressive house and UK garage.

OK, so the rhythmic bop of the latter has been creeping into all corners of UK bass music recently, but couple Emika's saccharine vocals with Appleblim and Komanazmuk's sleek 2-step sensibilities, and it's difficult not to draw upon memories of the millennium bug and the work of MJ Cole. In its original form, "Price Tag" is perhaps a little too loose in the lower frequencies to slip straight into a classic Digweed set, but there's something tied up in the way in which the primary vocal refrain is unpacked with the break that conjures images of prog dance floors past. B-side "Lights Go Down" serves to further reinforce the feeling thanks to its wave machine synthesis and measure-triggered chord progressions—but, much like its predecessor, the vocal and execution of the production feels a little too clean-cut to truly move. Those consuming digitally will have the option of a stomping Sideshow version of "Price Tag" to chew on, but the accolades here must go to Appleblim and Komanazmuk for successfully connecting the dots between

James Fox - Put It Back

01 Put It Back
02 Put It Back (Ramadanman Refix)
03 Rebuildings

Tidy tech-house/Funky rollers from London's James Fox backed with a brilliant remix from Ramadanman. Fox's original mix of 'Put It Back' could easily slot in next to the kind of deeper tribal tech-house favoured by Julio Bashmore and Cooly G, but it's heavily overshadowed by Ramadanman's version, finding a tasty jukeXGarage crux point with layered dub chords and and a sumptuous second half synthline roll-out. Fox's own 'Rebuilding' finishes the set with a more electro glitching track, coming across like older Posthuman or Si

Friday, January 22, 2010

Shout Out Louds - Work

01. 1999
02. Fall Hard
03. Play The Game
04. Walls
05. Candle Burned Out
06. Throwing Stones
07. Four By Four
08. Moon
09. Show Me Something New
10. Too Late, Too Slow

Shout Out Louds just finished recording their third album, Work. The album was recorded at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle and was produced by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, The Shins, Built To Spill, Modest Mouse).
Singer Adam Olenius explains their choice of the album title, Work:
I am fascinated by the process of creating something and almost working yourself to death, the relief that comes when it is over and the ability to just shut off a part of one’s life. Work also means that something “does work,” to reach a goal. A song from John Cale and Lou Reed’s “Songs For Drella” also inspired our album title choice.
Merge will release Work on February 23rd and will have tour dates to announce soon! Visit for photos and a short video from the recording

Sully - The loot (remix) / In some pattern

1. J-Treole - The Loot (Sully remix)
2. Sully - In Some Pattern

Nu-skool garage prefect Sully drops his hugely anticipated winner for Blackdown's Keysound crew. Sully's been rolling with the best of them in the last few years, building a rep with neo-classics like Fact mag's fave 'Phonebox' and the choice 'Jackman's Rec' both for the Frijsfo Beats label. He's blatantly produced some of his best work yet for Keysound, stepping up a remix of J Treole's 'The Loot' with the kind of tool-sharpened percussive swing that makes limbs twitch uncontrollably while stuttering garage vox and coolin' rhodes chords give that signature London feel (despite hailing from Norwich). In our opinion, though, 'In Some Pattern' is the one, beating metallic steppers drums with juicy purple synths before sending the dance spinning with twisup hardcore breaks and back again, teetering on the edge of the bruk but keeping the energy taut and lithe so you don't look like a nob-end on the floor. Tipped for days!!

Joy Orbison - The Shrew EP

01.The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow
02.So Derobe
03.The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow (Actress Neu Hause So-Glo Mix)

Joy Orbison has a huge year ahead of him; with the hype that surrounded him in 2009 via his debut smash “Hyph Mngo”, people are clamoring to new bits of Joy for their audible pleasure. While there has been a steady trickle of MySpace tracks that he’s been posting (that are NOT DUE for release anytime soon), he did give Gilles Peterson a track to debut on his program not too long ago. (which we covered HERE) Now, with the official news that Will Saul’s imprint AUS Music will be releasing new Joy material, fans may rejoice and dance collectively. The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow will include three tracks, one of which will be the title track, another will be a remix of “The Shrew…” provided by gray-matter techno producer Actress. The other track, “So Derobe” is the full version of “She Dressed In Her Best“, which sounds unbelievably better than the already great radio rip.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sub:stance Mixed by Scuba

01 Sigha - Light Swells (In A Distant Space)
02 Airhead - Paper Street
03 Sigha - Early Morning Lights
04 Pangaea - Sunset Yellow
05 Joy Orbison - The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow ..
06 Shortstuff - See Ya
07 Untold - No-one Likes A Smar tArse
08 Scuba - You Got Me
09 Surgeon - Klonk Pt.4
10 DFRNT - Headspace (Scuba's Secret Mix)
11 AQF - Born And Raised (Version)
12 Badawi - Anlan 7
13 Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo
14 Mount Kimbie - Maybes (James Blake Remix)
15 Sigha - Seeing God
16 Ramadanman - Tempest
17 Instra:mental - Voyeur
18 Sigha - Shapes
19 George Fitzgerald - Don't You
20 Scuba - Minerals
21 Shackleton - It's Time For Love
22 Digital Mystikz (Mala) - Stand Against War
23 Scuba - Last Stand
24 Joker - Psychedelic Runway

Ostgut Ton have announced plans to release a mix album in conjunction with Berlin-based dubstep night Sub:stance. Since making its Berghain debut back in July 2008, Scuba, AKA Paul Rose, and Paul Fowler's Sub:stance parties have pretty much become the byword for forward-thinking Berlin bass music. Mala, Martyn, The Bug and Joker have been among the many names brought to the German capital over the last 18 months. The night's first birthday celebrations even saw the bash expand throughout the Berghain complex, with Stacey Pullen and Dan Curtin playing Panorama Bar. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that OsgutTon will be the home for the Sub:stance mix CD. Compiled and mixed by Rose himself, the disc represents a snapshot of the Scuba sound, with four of his own unreleased cuts making the grade alongside a healthy slab of material from his Hotflush imprint. While nicely varied in its scope and sound, the mix has an undoubted air of the dark side throughout, typified by appearances from Surgeon, Ramadanman and Shackleton.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fabric Presents: Elevator Music Vol. 1

1. Hot City – If That’s How I Feel
2. xxxy – Sing With Us
3. Doc Daneeka – Drums In The Deep
4. Hackman – Pistol In Your Pocket
5. Julio Bashmore – The Moth
6. Untold – Bad Girls
7. Octa Push – Doctor Bayard
8. Shortstuff – Behave
9. Skinnz – Ukraine
10. Mosca – Gold Bricks, I See You
11. Martyn – Friedrichstrasse
12. Vista – Elixir
13. Caspa & Rusko – One Of The Same
14. Om Unit – Encoded
15. Starkey – Black Monolith
16. Shortstuff & Brackles – Melvin Blue (Digital Bonus Track)
17. Hackman – Pistol In Your Pocket (Hypno Remix) (Limited Digital Bonus track)

Gaining both critical acclaim for its catchiness as much for its atmosphere, the mutant strain of 140 bpm (or thereabouts) bass music currently infiltrating the global airwaves has morphed consistently over its recent life span; cross pollinating its acres of influences into the bundles of sub genres it now houses. It's become a strain of club music that revels in biting back against the perceptions of those outside of the core scene, those who consider dubstep to simply be a swelteringly tough warbling bassline that's complimented by a half step drum pattern and some airy atmospherics.

The warm fluid basslines of dark garage, the spacious precision of techno, the unabashed bolshiness of grime; the percussion led rhythm of funky house, the wanton bump of 2-step and the erratic fluorescent synthesized harmony of skweee are all constantly being harvested, peeled and juiced by a new wave of producers who are revelling in their mission to further the cocktail of sound that dubstep is currently thriving off.

Positioned as it is, in the midst of the UK capital, fabric has seen a torrent of vivacious ingenuity pass through its brickwork over its 10 year life, but of late, there has been an invasion (as much in the offices as on the club's dancefloors) of impeccably sculpted dubstep. The 'Elevator Music' project stands as an album in its own right, becoming more than just a collection of tracks. It's a collation of all the variant strains of dubstep; a completely original and exclusive collection of future bumps that reflects the embracive nature of fabric's dance floor music policy.

Pooling tracks from established producers like Martyn, Starkey, Untold and Caspa & Rusko with a smattering of producers destined for great things come 2010, Elevator Music ticks boxes in categories and niches that don't even fully exist yet; unifying the vision of 16 producers with one simple passion.

Ray Okpara - Ebele EP

1. A Belover For
2. The You Of Cool
3. Deep Driving
4. So Reniar
5. Deep Driving (Long Version)

The new jewel from Mannheim, Ray Okpara finally celebrates after his great records on Oslo, Drumpoet and Area Remote his debut on Cécille Records. Ray Okpara belongs, together with Nick Curly and Johnny D., to the Rajo Crew. He’s an inherent part of the mannheim house scene. What you get is a strong three tracker with soul, heart and energy, a great constellation for showing up Ray’s skills and style. Dear friends and music lovers, check your case for the new talent! Hope you

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

01 Thieves in the Night
02 Hand Me Down Your Love
03 I Feel Better
04 One Life Stand
05 Brothers
06 Slush
07 Alley Cats
08 We Have Love
09 Keep Quiet
10 Take It In

Hot Chip have revealed that their fourth album will be released on February 8 and will be named 'One Life Stand'.

Recorded in London's Lanark Studios, the album is the five-piece's follow-up to 2007's 'Made In The Dark'.

As well as the title track and free download 'Take It In' (available with album pre-order from, the band revealed exclusively to NME.COM that the album features the drumming of The Invisible's Leo Taylor, plus Charles Hayward of 1970s prog-rockers This Heat.

Frontman Alexis Taylor explained that the first single from the album is likely to be one of the two aforementioned songs or another, which will be titled 'The Longest Night' or 'I Feel Better'. "That's the most anthemic-sounding one," he said. "A big, massive Euro club sounding track."

Scuba - Aesaunic EP

01 Aesaunic
02 Flesh Is Weak
03 Reverse
04 Golden
05 Symbiosis

Hot Flush head and dubstep-techno crossover scientist Scuba, delivers one of his most diverse packages to date with the 'Aesaunic EP'. 2009 has seen impressive releases from the man with his killer 'Klinik' 12" and that awesome 10" for Naked Lunch not long ago, but this is the one you've been waiting for, featuring five tracks crossing tempo borders and stylistic bridges with a unified sense of sparse technoid futurism. 'Symbiosis' is the biggest jump, splicing halfstep D'n'B with the extra-slow pulse of Workshop style house, already getting DJ's like D-Bridge and Instra:mental quite rightly giddy with excitement. Title track 'Aesaunic' further hones his garage techno sound with a streamlined finesse, and the brilliant 'Flesh Is Weak' shows his capabilities as a deep techno producer, fashioning a rolling 124bpm Berghain shifter to slot next to your Horizontal Ground or Dettmann warehouse blocks. The 'Aesaunic EP' is simply essential for anyone tracking the lines of techno's splintered rhythm routes deep into forward bass culture. A

Beach House - Teen Dream

01. Zebra
02. Silver Soul
03. Norway
04. Walk In The Park
05. Used To Be
06. Lover Of Mine
07. Better Times
08. 10 Mile Stereo
09. Real Love
10. Take Care

Beach House's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully isolated themselves during the creation of Teen Dream, holing themselves up in a converted church in upstate New York with producer Chris Coady. But despite that isolation, the sound of the record (according to the band) is anything but insular. Their first album for Sub Pop, and third overall, expands on the band's warm fuzz, resting their haunting sound on more rhythmic foundations. According to Legrand, "There's a different kind of intimacy, a physicality on Teen Dream." That physicality may ground you a little more in the hazy world of Beach House, but that might be a good thing. If this new world is as large as they claim it to be, it's best to keep your bearings.

Tensnake - In The End (I Want You To Cry)

A In The End (I Want You To Cry)
B1 Holding Back (My Love)
B2 The Then Unknown

There's a little shaker on "In the End (I Want You To Cry)" that's really high in the mix at about five minutes into the track. It sits there, holding firm as a mash of samples—a guitar line, a synth pattern, handclaps—get lowered in anticipation of the triumphant climax of the tune. It's a simple, silly thing to get hung up on, but every time I listen, it reminds just how much of a jalopy this thing—and the rest of Tensnake's Running Back debut—is: These are tracks held together by triangle parts, the pop! that occurs at the end of each guitar riff and malfunctioning sonar pings.

This isn't to say that Tensnake's a sloppy producer. Far from it. Marco Niemerski, the man behind the moniker, is instead a master craftsman, taking in chunky beats and rubbing them up against wire strings until they work. I imagine him in his studio listening to loops over and over until these dirty samples make sense to him playing alongside one another. It mirrors how it's taken me a few run-throughs to really warm up to the four tracks on offer as well.

Once they do hit, though, they'll likely be in your brain for a while: "TheThenUnknown" mines the calming sensations of Kosmiche pioneers, only rising to offer some hand drums in its latter half after twirling synths around its finger for much of its length, while "Holding Back My Love" earns its keep by transforming yearning Balearic into that aforementioned sonar ping

Dplay - Huub Sand

A Huub Sand
B1 Tschaka
B2 Schroulé

It's hard to understand—even for a football fan—what "Huub Sand" has to do with Huub Stevens, former coach of 1997 UEFA Cup winners Schalke 04, but we'll go with it anyway. It's not worth questioning what inspired such sublime deep house. Instead, it's best just to sit back in wonderment at the dubby chords that underline the forward chugging momentum of the tune, slowly but surely unfolding ever so gracefully over eight minutes. We've come to expect as much from Dplay—sans his partner-in-crime Manuel Tur here in the title, but not in the production credits, whatever that means.

Luckily, he also comes to play on the B-side as well with "Tschaka," a dubbed-up Motor City Drum Ensemble track that drones along in its latter half like a drunken elephant, and "Schroulé," which has some congas to go along with its bass lick. Both are the sort of tools that Running Back has come to be known for, and both are solid upbeat counterparts to the moodiness of "Huub Sand." Another solid release from Running

Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise

01. Lay In A Shimmer
02. Abglanz
03. The Splendour
04. Stick To My Side
05. A Nomad's Retreat
06. Satellite Snyper
07. Behind The Stars
08. Bohemian Forest
09. Welt Am Draht
10. Im Bann
11. Es Schneit

All of Hendrik Weber's previous solo releases have been issued by Hamburg's Dial imprint, but this time around his work will be housed on Geoff Travis' Rough Trade imprint, which is more generally associated with indie and rock artists. Fans of his previous output should be glad to know that his melodically rich house and techno sound hasn't changed too much for the hook up, although there are a couple of vocal-led tracks sprinkled throughout the record. Previous Dial single "Beyond The Stars" is one of these, while "Stick To My Side" sees Animal Collective's Noah Lennox (AKA Panda Bear) add his dulcet tones to Weber's orchestral throbs and shuffling beats. Tyler Pope of !!! and LCD Soundsystem also plays bass on "The Splendour."

The entire record is said to be based around field recordings collected in the Swiss Alps alongside Joachim Schütz (Arnold Dreyblatt Trio) and Stephan Abry (Workshop). The introductions to most of the tracks highlight the samples collected by the trio, before developing into fully fledged Pantha Du Prince workouts, complete with plenty of lush tones and restrained but funky percussion. We spoke to Hendrik by e-mail to ask him a few questions about the

If This Is House I Want My Money Back

01. Roots Unit - Mabonda
02. 6th Borough Project - McLovin
03. John Talabot - Naomi
04. Walter Jones - I Am Loved
05. Mugwump - T-Goy Jelly Drops
06. Neville Watson - Let Me Go
07. Precious System - The Voice from Planet Love (Dixon Edit)
08. Hunee - Standin' High
09. Zwicker feat. Olivera Stanimirov - Oddity (John Talabot Remix)
10. Jacob Korn - Grosskariert

As their recent placing in RA's top 20 labels of 2009 would suggest, Munich imprint Permanent Vacation have gained themselves a captivated audience. It would be difficult to dispute their credentials. Last year alone saw the release of Swedish starlet Sally Shapiro's My Guilty Pleasure, the impressively deep pocketed Selected Label Works #1 compilation and the anthemic "Reckless (With Your Love)" 12-inch from new Canadian talent Azari & III. And as if to further brandish their knack for ticking multiple boxes, we now have If This Is House I Want My Money Back to contend with—a ten-track unmixed selection of blossoming production names, with a couple of cuts licensed from elsewhere thrown in for good measure.

Although the word "house" appearing in its title would appear to give a conspicuous nod towards its stylistic course, If This... is more of a tip-toe across the peripheries of the genre. Take album opener "Mabonda" by UK duo Roots Unit for example: Its gradually uncurling filter and pitter-pattern percussion camps the track out in a lost city somewhere between early New York and Chicago, yet somehow smacks of contemporary European disco at the same time. Graeme Clark, AKA The Revenge, has been positioning himself as one of the flag bearers for this type of creeping four-four approach in recent months, and appears here along with Craig Smith under their edits-obsessed 6th Borough Project cloak. "McLovin'" rides its source sample all the way into the sunset by expertly coaxing an emotive glow from a single, gently repeated phrase.

The first 40% of If This...—which also takes in the duck and pump, "The-Field-gets-stoned" goodness of John Talabot's "Naomi," and the busy beaver bass of Walter Jones' "I Am Loved"—leaps from one stepping stone of quality to another, but a slightly uninspired mid-section allows things to stumble into the stream. Belgian pair Mugwump are able only to tentatively imprint a groove upon "T-Coy Jelly Drops"; Neville Watson wears his old school influences a little too overtly on his sleeve for "Let Me Go"; and "The Voice From Planet Love"? Obviously it did serious damage over the summer of '09, but inevitably feels a little worn down at this stage in the proceedings. Breakthrough Berlin-based force Hunee unfortunately can't match his efforts for W.T. and Retreat on "Standin' High" either, which leaves it up to John Talabot and Jacob Korn to do a spot of day saving. The former gets to work on Zwicker's hook-laden "Oddity," which originally saw the light of day on Compost last year, while the latter shows why talk of his latent talent is indeed justified, thanks to the wonderfully oddball "Grosskariert."

Despite its occasionally flat passages, If This... continues to prop up Permanent Vacation's esteemed reputation as purveyors of high-grade house and disco. Hell, if you're tackling the thing digitally, simply pick and choose your favourites—no need for any refunds

Friday, January 8, 2010

Best of Hearts of Space, No.1: First Flight

01. Kitaro - Free Flight
02. Irene Papas & Vangelis - Neranzoula
03. Thomas de Hartmann - The Great Prayer
04. Michael Stearns - In The Beginning
05. Michael Stearns - Life In The Gravity Well
06. Michael Stearns - As The Earth Kissed The Moon
07. Deuter - Haleakala Mystery
08. Paul Lloyd Warner & Steve Kindler - Prisms
09. Charles Lloyd - Pathless Path
10. David Darling - Cycle Song

The nationally syndicated radio show, Hearts of Space celebrated it's 25th anniversary in 2008. After ten years as a local Bay Area program Hearts of Space emerged in January 1983 with syndication to 35 non-commercial radio stations. The program is now syndicated on over 200 NPR stations and XM Satellite Radio and boasts the second largest footprint of any current show on NPR.

From the beginning, the program's success has come from consistently high production quality and sensitive, knowledgeable music programming. The program has defined its own niche a mix of ambient, electronic, world, new age, classical and experimental music. Artists and record companies around the world recognize Hearts of Space as the original, most widely heard, premiere showcase for "contemplative music, broadly defined."

The Best of Hearts of Space: No. 1 First Flight is the first show aired from January 1, 1983. The show features what are now premier names in the format including Academy Award® winner Vangelis with Irene Papas, Grammy® Award winner Kitaro and Grammy® nominated David Darling. Other artists include Russian composer Thomas De Hartmann, instrumentalist Deuter, and pioneering ambient musician Michael

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Liars - Sisterworld

01 Scissor
02 No Barrier Fun
03 Here Comes All the People
04 Drip
05 Scarecrows on a Killer Slant
06 I Still Can See an Outside World
07 Proud Evolution
08 Drop Dead
09 The Overachievers
10 Goodnight Everything
11 Too Much, Too Much

The follow-up to Liars’ eponymous fourth album is entitled Sisterworld. The press release claims that the album delves into “alternate spaces people create in order to maintain identity in a city like LA ... where outcasts and loners celebrate a skewered relationship to society.” So, another concept album from Liars, it seems. The opening track, “Scissor”, is now available for free download on the album’s website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo

01. Hyph Mngo
02. Wet Look

Dance music trends tend to move in such quick arcs that we rarely think of the involved artists as "craftsmen"; there is merely time to define a genre and then advance it. It's a little bit surprising, then, that the most trenchant, relevant thing to say about Joy Orbison's* "Hyph Mngo" (first mentioned here by Martin Clark) is that it's a spectacularly well-crafted dubstep song in the same manner that, say, Spoon writes well crafted rock songs: shaping familiar, predictable ingredients into a unique, easily identifiable whole.

The product of 22-year-old South Londoner Peter O'Grady, "Hyph Mngo" finally sees release after months of streams and samples (that its lock-job successfully kept it out of the hands of chatty internet dance geeks for so long is itself a marvel). High-strung and tense, "Hyph Mngo" relies heavily on a distorted, two-chord organ progression that trails the beat by a half-step. The hook is supplied-- and supplied and supplied and supplied-- by a popping, looped soul vocal, a woman feverishly repeating, mushmouthed, "I do," her near-indecipherable syllables justifying the track's oddball title. O'Grady lets the track build naturally, foregoing any discernible crescendo for sturdy, quick repetitions spiced with increasingly space-y synth noise. The track is self-contained, simple, and weirdly uplifting. If you ever thought claustrophobia could feel triumphant, "Hyph Mngo" is your floor-filling

Anthea & Celler - Retroceso EP

1. Caedmon Loop
2. Congata
3. I Change
4. House Nation

After building a stellar reputation as probably the hottest female tech-house DJ in London, it only seemed natural that Anthea should move on to crafting groove and melodies to rival the many artists that she’s supported over the years, albeit with a bit of assistance and knob-twiddling from fellow Londoner Celler.

With a solid bump and groove adorning every track on the EP, and an injection of the twisted ethnic-house vibe that saturated her recent Ibiza Voice podcast, Anthea and Cellar have crafted an impressive collection of future-house gems that should act as a lesson to some of the more seasoned house producers in how to sculpt a truly original release.

Opener "Caedmon Loop" is built upon a tropical melody of minute twinkling strings that are only unleashed after an extended percussion intro sets the foundations for the deep-as-you-like-it bass to hammer home the rhythms. Cut from a similar cloth is the island party hit "Congata," sure to get daytime boat parties bouncing from Ibiza to the South Pacific and well beyond this season.

Building on these ideas rather than imitating them is the equally deep "I Change," all chattering high-hats and a delayed soulful holler that nods back to the early days of Chicago house, that beautifully caps the vinyl release. Those still fixated with their 12-inches however, risk missing out on the delights of digital closer "House Nation." As filtered lasers collide with dubby Miami-esque beats and choppy pan-lid hits, the familiar distant vocals return adding a sensual tinge to proceedings, giving those wielding CDs and laptops an extra weapon from this armory of superb

Monday, January 4, 2010

Anthony Collins - Dream Of Running EP

01. Another Lonely Night
02. Another Lonely Tool
03. Things Fall Apart
04. Brusied Inside

After an exciting year full of memorable releases from Martyn, Thomas Brinkmann, Efdemin and Jonas Kopp amongst others, Curle says goodbye to 2009 with a bang! The third release from Anthony Collins already on Curle, and they keep getting better – more musical also. Another Lonely Night might sound a bit different compared to what you're used to on Curle, but what the heck, it's a brilliant track, female vocal or not. Modern House

Hunee - Barrio Payment EP

B1.Barrio Payment

After a split 12" and two eps from its founders, your favouritevinyl-only label welcomes an exciting new artist for its fourthrelease. Hailing from Berlin, Hunee is a true music lover, a passionate dj and an amazing producer (not to mention a top notchfriend). His recent productions on Feel Music, w.t. Records andDrumpoet Community have caught the ear of many key players and madehim one to watch in 2010. Needless to say, Hunee takes it to a whole other level with his Barrio Payment trilogy: from soulful House toslow-mo Disco via Afrobeat, the producer holds nothing back andthat's exactly how we like it at Retreat hq.

Starting off with swinging hi-hats and a wah-wah loop, Foundation builds excitement before a killer organ riff and bouncy basslinemanage to bring the last non-dancers on the floor. A whispered ouhbaby gives you a hint of what happens next: an emotional break wherea woman declares her love to her companion while majestic chords risefrom the background. Add a drunken-style hihat, some claps and you'llfeel goose bumps when the kick drum and bassline come back in! Thetrack just seems to grow and grow until it breaks down once more tolet the organ riff reappear and take you just that bit higher - whata rush!

The B-side begins with the polyrhythmic action of Barrio Payment:layers and layers of percussion, scattered drums and marimba licks.Is this really House Music? Does anyone care? Similar to the beatfreakings of Tony Allen or IG Culture, Barrio Payment rolls and rolls with a solid bassline anchoring the groove. But just when you think it's just a drum & bass workout, Detroit-style stabs warp the trackin another new dimension and turn it into the official soundtrack toNigeria's upcoming space program.

To finish off an already amazing ep, Hunee comes through with thesuper erotic Funk of Amiadar. With its slow groove and hot vocalsnippets, Amiadar begs to be played as the last track of the night,before couples continue their dance behind closed doors … Sexy butnever vulgar, the tune unfolds at it's own pace, thanks to moodychords and offbeat percussion. The break is truly ecstatic: with amajestic synth bassline rising from the background and intense moaning, you can only let yourself go as the break resolves in asweaty beat. Amiadar then reaches its conclusion in a gentle mannerwhile the sexual tension never drops ...