After gaining light from the likes of Ben UFO and Max D, Dublab regulars Fizzy Veins’ latest 7″ is now available available for pre-order from all good record shops. Kool Down is a brilliant dancehall-style club-ready cut with prominent breaks, sweet poignant clangs. In the breakdowns, the blissfully atmospheric pads compliment the rolling breaks to create a real sense of euphoria for the listener, confirming this record as a valuable ploy for any club DJ.
Massive tip this one, get it whilst its hot.
Marsman’s Pinkman Broken Dreams label has been killing the game recently with a slew of industrial, EBM flavoured chuggers. LVRIN’s Jumper is one of my favourites, its euphoric and dense synth line provides intensity, with saturated drums and a healthy dose of lasers that make it perfect for ripping up the dance floor.
A stalwart figure of the modern electro scene, Chris Roman (aka 214) delves into Detroit-rooted themes and soundscapes with a spacey track reminiscent of James Stinson’s work. The alien synths and ever-morphing baseline mesh perfectly with the melancholic chords playing in the background to create a modern homage to the raw, unpolished sounds of the motor city. The snare stabs at the end of the breakdown before the bass drums kick in provide another nostalgic nod towards the pioneers of electronic music.
This is a wonderful, reflective record that spans new age to mellow acid by Montreal’s Richard Wenger on his very own Temple Records. The release marked his first solo outing and was carried out to quite some effect. All four tracks stand equally on their own and are definitely best listened to in the comforts of your home setup. For those who haven’t already heard it, ‘Seven Years’, a beautiful 10-minute wave of swirling ambience, is well worth checking out!
On Lunar Passport, Miami based Alpha-606 and Londoner Sync 24 come together like Voltron for a killer 2-track EP. In the titular track, broken snippets of vocals flit in and out of the squelchy bassline to add a hallucinogenic quality, while the sub-heavy drums sit under the track. A fluid break-beat driven by incessant synthesizers and heavy basslines. “Forest Communication” is an obviously Drexciyan homage, fusing their sometimes aquatic, sometimes extra-terrestrial themes in a tight yet atmospheric track reminiscent of “Bang Bang.” An expectedly ethereal release, but the emphasis on out-of-this-world sounds and fluid rhythms come together to make this an outstanding electro record.
Bas Amro’s sound varies from the first to the next release. Amro’s Imposter Persona, released through Wolfskuil Records, ticks all the boxes. The Dutch producer returned early in 2016 to release this selection of nostalgic and emotive 4/4 club tracks. The title track Imposter Persona comes into its full element when the stabbing synth appears around the 3 minute mark. This grainy synth glides from chord to chord creating one of those track you wanna hear early in the morning to delicately move you on a dance floor. One for the deeper moments in the night.
Last month saw another glimmering EP from the Honest Jon’s imprint, this time a collaboration from Basic Channel’s Mark Ernestus and Nigerian brass band Obadikah. Its release comes ten years on since Ernestus’ last trip to Nigeria (a rework of Tony Allen’s Moyege), this time is seemingly a much deeper, darker project than the feel-good disco dub. April is beautifully textured and wonderfully spacious shuffling Lagos funk, featuring a dazzling chorus of horns and a booming, almost awkward-sounding kick drum in the forefront, adding that extra level of character. This record is quite simply as interesting and as memorable as one would assume, one of my favourite releases of the year.
Behold! The second Whities Dub is here, this time courtesy of Scottish producer Lanark Artefax and now available for all to download via Bandcamp. Only 20 copies were originally pressed, each hand stamped and numbered for the South London Record Fair hosted by Corsica Studios early last month, but unlike the MxMS Dub, the Intimidating Stillness Mix of Touch Absence has seen a digital release with all profits going to the Oakland Fire Relief Fund – a worthy cause set out to satisfy the needs of the victims of those affected by the tragedy that broke out at the Ghost Ship on December 2nd. This record is the perfect round off to what has been a great year for the Whities clan, a thrashing breed of breakbeat techno with an beautiful underlying mystical air to it, creating a really special track that packs the capability to set any dance-floor alight. Although, despite its status as a high-rolling dance record there is a blissful ambient end to this cut, a soothing beatless landscape of soft pads combined with the distant sound of children’s voices, creating a unique ethereal coda. The full EP from Lanark is expected to see its release in 2017, exciting stuff on the Whities horizon!
Ability II’s bass heavy milestone originally released in the early 90’s classic is getting a long-awaited reissue and hitting the shelves in late January! This spaced-out bleep techno anthem is a beautifully satisfying concoction of floating synth pads and unsettling cut-and-paste vocal samples, hung out over endlessly unfolding delays, all poignantly layered under the howling moans of a possessed machine. Until now, this record has been as rare as is it is elegant with few copies out there on the web, and those that are, being posted for highs of up to £100. Not to worry though, as the Reissue God’s have struck once again to answer our prayers. The 2017 issues the much-loved original track and dub alongside a brand new high rolling remix from longtime fan Luca Lozano who also supplies the full cover art (as pictured). Restored and mastered by Thomas P Heckmann at Trope this record is looking as fresh-faced and timeless as ever.
Don’t sleep on this one!
Solid Space are made up of Maf Vosburgh and Dan Goldstein who combine acoustic guitar with an 80’s wave sound. This tune comes from a cassette they released in 1982 that comprises all the music they made up to that point. It has that bootleg quality – shared by many of the minimal wave gems unearthed by the tireless Veronica Vasicka (who put me onto this one) – that lends it a simple charm. The bright guitar contrasts nicely with the melancholy vocals and the fuzzy drums, the only other element is a squelchy shimmering synth lead and it really doesn’t need anything else.
“we didn’t know they’d be hostile, we didn’t really care.”