Monday, February 14, 2011

Ricardo Villalobos - Peculiar / 3 Zuge

01. R. Villalobos, A. Brito, O. Weidenthaler, M. Messelis - Peculiar
02. Villalobos & 3 Phase - 3 Zuge

Killer new Ricardo Villalobos 12" on his own Sei Es Drum imprint... A-side "Peculiar" is typical Ricardo Villalobos fare - but that's until the vocal kicks in (Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" for the spotters). Featuring Argenis Brito and couple of other chaps we've never clocked before, it's an emotive fancefloor workout of messianic proportions. The flipside "3 Züge" - another collaborative effort with 3 Phase is again typical RV, stripped down, motorik and very

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pixelord - Fish Touch

01 Fish Touch
02 Kiss Your TV
03 Cybernator
04 Flower Cannon
05 Fish Touch (Busted By Herobust)
06 Cybernator (Om Unit Remix)
07 Fish Touch (Kidkanevil Remix)

Err, when did Gultskra Artikler start making electronic HipHop?! Well, last year by the looks of it, but it totally flew under my radar. Anyway, 'Fish Touch' is really good, flowing from dubbed-out wonk on the title track to the nastier bass growls and forced neck-snap of 'Kiss Your TV', through to Dubstep/Skweee like jest on 'Cybernator' and 'Flower Cannon'. On the remixes, heRobust ives 'Fish Touch' a holographic remake while Om Unit gives 'Cybernator' a Juan Atkins-alike overhaul and KidKanevil reviews 'Fish Touch' from a more staggered crunk

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Steffi - Yours & Mine

01. Lilo
02. Piem
03. Yours feat. Virginia
04. Arms
05. Manic Moods
06. Mine
07. Nightspacer
08. You Own My Mind feat. Virginia
09. Moving Lips

Given that Steffi has a paltry six tracks to her name since she began producing—or at least releasing, with "24 Hours" on 2009's Panorama Bar 02 her official debut—to hear news of the Panorama Bar resident's album was bewildering. But that's the thing about Steffi that may surprise you. The tracks she has released (particularly the entrancing disco hypnosis of "Reasons" on Underground Quality) have been sterling exemplars of smooth and stylish deep house.

As a DJ, Steffi is known for her often ecstatic sets, and she's also known for occasionally throwing a bit of techno (and everything else) into the mix. You won't find much of that here—for all intents and purposes, Yours and Mine is through-and-through a deep house album, and one that often sounds like her deep house contemporaries. Steffi knows what she does well, and that's the kind of thrill Yours and Mine offers: the restrained, mature appeal of pure refinement. So while it's not about to blow anyone's mind—not anyone who has been paying attention to house music in the past five years or so, anyway—the effect of near-perfect groove after groove has a wonderful cumulative momentum.

"Piem" has lush chords bubbling between the cracks left behind by the uncharacteristically slamming kick drum. "Yours" does "Reasons" one better, electrifying its deadened thud and throwing on a more impassioned vocal from Virginia—classic house sounds as carefully refracted through the lens of the modern deep house revival. Elsewhere Steffi can be too refined: the chunky groove of "Nightspacer" never quite takes flight and the faux-acid lines of "Manic Moods" feel ornamental and even gaudy when neutered so badly. The album's best moments come when she lets her hair down, with the synth histrionics and wrenching bassline of "Mine" ringing out like Silent Shout on opiates.

Yours & Mine winds down with a contemplative blacklight strobe, Virginia providing a sensual and bass-driven sultry vocal on "You Own My Mind" that nicely underlines the album's strengths: subtlety and a solid foundation. Every track is built from a basic, tough-as-nails structure, which is often sparsely decorated with incandescent chords and thinned-out and pale strings. Your experience with Yours and Mine depends on your tolerance of analogue obscurity, of artificial antiquity and feigned weathering. With her debut album, Steffi never breaks any ground—she's about building, not destroying—but there's something so appealing about the simple way she builds her structures that it doesn't matter if they sometimes look a bit too much like the ones over on the other side of the

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CONtakT - Not Forgotten / Rhodophyta

01. Not Forgotten
02. Not Forgotten (Rolando remix)
03. Rhodophyta

Local Action come correct with two debut productions by Contakt strapped with a killer Rolando remix! Keeping the label's versatile yet focussed agenda in line, 'Not Forgetten' tips the balance towards boldly melodic and tranced-out motifs powered by a cool and clipped Funky roll, whereas 'Rhodophyta' is all about rugged, highly rinsable dub chord flares and staggered Funky rhythm construction for the movers. Detroit's son, Rolando revises 'Not Forgetten' with a deft Latin tuck, savouring the build with a skilled restraint and teasing the rhythm like he's loving it. Healthy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kassem Mosse - EP5

1. 2d
2. Demo Drums Ripping
3. Thalassocalyce

The ever-reliable Kassem Mosse impresses with three tracks for Italy's Kinda Soul Recordings - home to releases from Jus-Ed, Scott Ferguson and Rick Wade. It's hard to pick a highlight from these sublime efforts. A-side '2D' would be the obvious choice with its plaintively captivating lead synth and engrossing arrangements imbued with the same addictive qualities as his Workshop 08 12" or 'Aqueous Haze' 12", but then you encounter the snapping Deep House/Electro groove of 'Thalassocalyce' embroidered with the most gorgeous Detroit motifs, and the killer slo-mo echoic throb of 'Demo Drums Ripping Demos'. Fuck it. They're all killer and worth the immediate attention of any self-respecting techno

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx - We're New Here

1. I’m New Here
2. Home
3. I’ve Been Me (Interlude)
4. Running
5. My Cloud
6. Certain Things (Interlude)
7. The Crutch
8. Ur Soul and Mine
9. Parents (Interlude)
10. Piano Player
11. NY Is Killing Me
12. Jazz (Interlude)
13. I’ll Take Care Of U

The album is titled We’re New Here, and finds Smith remixing thirteen tracks from the original sessions for Scott-Heron’s most recent album, I’m New Here, originally produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell. There’s a CD edition, and a vinyl box set edition, which features the album on pink heavyweight vinyl, a green instrumental version on green heavyweight vinyl, CDs of both, and limited edition

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Old Apparatus - Old Apparatus


Strictly Limited edition, screen-printed sleeve - amazing new debut on Deep Medi** Dreader-than-dread dubstep abstractions from the much murmured-about Old Apparatus. Deep Medi have seriously opened the field with this 12", exploring a darkside realm of post-dubstep noise-sculpting/sound design posited somewhere in the midst of Chasing Voices, Burial and old-style Vex'd. Nobody bar the label knows who's behind it, but that only amplifies its enigmatic aura. The A-side builds from a squall of distortion into cataclysmic bassline worship sounding like Stephen O'Malley jamming with Mala while insectoid percussion etches skeletal surface patterns and the rhythm unfolds like something from the Anstam archives. The B-side is weirder still, a multi-sided geometric construction unstably morphing from ecstatic dubstep noise to Raime-like halfstep industrial dystopia, with an added welt of blackened distortion. This is f**king brilliant. Highly recommended!

Foamo & Randomer – Back In The Game/Pull Up

A Back In The Game
B Pull Up

Back in the Game is a collaboration between two of the labels leading lights Foamo and Randomer. Both proven masters of bass manipulation, the promise of the two working together on a single had us cranking the volume in expectation.

Having progressed from the distinctive fidget sound that saw him leap onto the scene a few years ago, Foamo’s productions have become bouncey percussion and bass affairs with a carnival atmosphere. Here we find an obvious crossover with Randomer, whose ever-varying releases have recently included the summer vibes of Alize and the low-end funk of Zabu.

As you might expect from the pair, both Back In The Game and B-side Pull Up are aimed squarely at the dance floor. Starting with a melody played out on wooden keys, the title track layers in a clapping rhythm under sharp synth bursts, before the reverberating bass drops and sets the whole thing off. Vocal shouts of ‘Back again’ join the clapping rhythm to ensure the party vibe, while the undulating bass rumbles through your body and keeps
your feet on the move.

Pull Up dismantles Back In The Game and reassembles it with a darker twist. Long, dramatic synths and a simple thudding beat create an ominous air, added to by snatching vocals and unsettling percussion. This time round the synth bursts distort and fade into each other, allowing the subtle introduction of some low end enhancement. The bass and dramatic pads combine in a deep, sinister bed that’s punctuated by clicks, claps and a deliciously warped horn. Driven by a propulsive beat and atmospheric from start to finish, Pull Up is sure to be smashing up clubs over the coming months.

With the amount of innovation currently streaming through UK bass music it would be easy to get left behind, Foamo & Randomer however have managed to knock up a fresh sounding record that retains their signature qualities. Although we’re not sure they ever left, Back In The Game has once again shown the duo’s talents for destroying a dance floor and confirmed they’ll continue to be names to watch in