Premiere: Christian Smith & 2pole - Snake (Jam El Mar Remix) [Tronic]

Tronic needs no introduction for those who have followed dance music for the last 20 or so years. Since its inception back in 1994, Christian Smith has founded a label that constantly delivers top techno tracks year after year. Not only does he run the label, but also has his long-standing Tronic radio show, which is syndicated in more than over 100 countries worldwide.

Known and loved for its albums, Tronic released the very first of its kind with a collaboration only project in 2017 with Synergy and we’re premiering our highlight from the remix pack.  

Acid and breakbeat are coming back, and that can be heard in Jam El Mar’s remix. Jam El Mar, the only artist on the release to have released on Tronic before, drops a snapping acid line, thick kick and has a massive pad engulfing the mix, this is a big room techno anthem with a hint of trance. 

 

Earliest musical influences?

Maybe the most important musical influence was when I first heard Jimi Hendrix’s 'Voodoo Child' and the b-side 'All Along The Watchtower’. It was a five inch single and ended up looking like a spiral, from the amount of plays it got on my turntable.

This release was the ignition to become a guitarist and a musician. When Henrix played his hi-gain sounds it has the same intensity and expression similar to that of todays techno music, I think anyway. HIs guitar didn’t sound like a guitar, and more like an electrical thunderstorm.

 Jam El Mar

Jam El Mar

Later when I discovered electronic music, it was mainly Tangerine Dream that has been a strong influence and Klaus Schulze. They had this intense atmosphere that you can maybe hear on some of my older productions that I did. When I heard the early R&S Records like 'Energy Flash', ‘Metasm' and 'Acid Phase' - I was set on fire with inspiration, and still am today.
 

Ideal setting to listen to this?

Most likely a main room techno party dance floor, with a top notch sound system, sweat dripping from the walls and a comet passing by. LOL. I simply love high energy moments in contrast to deep vibes in a perfect flow. ‘Snake’ has these changes from major to minor that give it a certain intensity together with that sizzling tone building up throughout.
 

File it next to?

‘Snake’ sits next to my collection amongst other atmospheric tracks like ‘Sooth’ also by 2Pole or ‘Premonitions’ by Saturn Storm, not forgetting Charlotte de Witte’s ‘The Healer’.

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

Record of the Week: Tunnelvisions - Ritual II [Atomnation]

Dutch duo Tunnelvisions have been quietly churning out beautiful, imaginative and genre-defying music for a couple of years now. Sitting somewhere between ambient techno and deep house, their music is distinctly psychedelic, with audible influences from South America, the Caribbean and Africa, but also clearly rooted in the incredibly strong electronic music scene Amsterdam is host to. Part two of Tunnelvision’s Ritual series on the fantastic label Atomnation, this EP comprises of three tracks- the full EP is released on the 15th June, but the pair put out a taster track, 'Rafaka’s Song', ahead of time, and it’s an absolute beauty. Muted, succinct, techno drums, with a slow building disco melody over the top, the track is simultaneously uplifting and strangely dark. An addictive siren call ebbs and flows around the ethereal vocal sample, and the whole thing is brought down by gravely, moody synths. It is layered, textured, undulating, at no point does it become predictable. A moreish and groovy track that is both euphoric and devilishly gritty,' Rafaka’s Song' is a promising omen for the rest of the EP, which is out today. Get listening.

Buy: Digital

 

Words: Dora

Premiere: Pablo Color - Parasol (7pm) [Ish Records]

Since the start of last year when we first heard his mesmerising debut release, we have been keeping tabs on Zurich based artist Pablo Color. Finally, we can announce the follow up release and it’s a beautiful 7-track album. Once again, he releases via local independent label, Ish Records. Layered with that gorgeous echo-laden guitar we’ve grown accustomed to hearing from Pablo, the album, La Calle Roja, is a triumph from start to finish. The LP, on a Japanese-style sleeve written in both English and Japanese, features guests such as Lexx, Gigi Masin, Fu, EU93NE and Chee Shimizu. Premiering on YoungOnes is our pick from the LP, ‘Parasol 7pm’. Head over to the Ish Bandcamp from 16th June to listen to the rest of the album. 
 

Earliest Musical Influences:

Tortoise - TNT, The Sea and Cake - Oui, Milton Nascimento - Club da Esquina, Kings of Convenience, John Martyn - Solid Air / One Word, Nick Drake, Pat Metheny - Beyond the Missouri Sky and John Abercrombie - Timeless / Characters.

The Ideal Setting to listen to this:

Sunset and/or Blue Hour.

File it next to:

Woo, Paqua and Ishinohana...

Pre-order: Vinyl / Digital

 

Words: Ben

Record of the Week: Skee Mask ‎– Compro [Ilian Tape]

Munich artist Brian Müller (a.k.a Skee Mask) features once again on his city’s notorious genre shaping label, Ilian Tape. This time he returns with his second full-length album, after being given the much-due credit for last year’s EP on Ilain Tape’s Skee series. His track ‘Routine’ appeared on just about every ‘top-tracks-of-2017’ list. The reception on his first LP, Shred was also immense, and returning with a second is always made out to be a daunting feat. But not for Müller, who keeps on delivering with his music. The album has already received much acclaim and is no doubt set to be a top album this year. How does he do it?

Ultimately, I think it comes down to his hybridity of ambient textures and rhythmic mastery, his detail in composition and that all-too-delicate skill of toeing the line of nostalgia and innovation. Müller cracks the latter with his earnest ode to ‘90s drum’n’bass rhythmic melody, ever-focused on breakbeats, and his emotive ambient techno builds in the style of Autechre and Aphex Twin.

‘Soundboy Ext.’ is possibly some of the most inspiring drum programming of all Müller’s rhythmic melody. ‘50 Euro to Break Boost’ is a sublime conjuring of atmospheric chords and elevating breaks, yet jaggered enough to retain Skee Mask’s signature stamp. There’s still plenty of subtle umph on the LP, with underlying pounding kicks that reveal its place in the encampment of Ilian Tape. ‘Dial 274’ is a captivating jungle experiment, that’s got hard hitting snares overlaying some really contrasting ambience, which you won’t hear on anything far outside of Autechre. This use of dramatic snapping kicks feature again on ‘Muk FM’, whilst ‘Via Subs Mids’ has a more atmospheric leaning with hyper foggy saturation.

Every track on this album deserves a mention of significance. Hugely versatile, Müller shows off his talent for churning up the new from a medley of experimentation. This album covers all moods with delicacy and subtleness. The introspective episodes are captured through emotive melody entwined within futuristic soundscapes, and yet the assortment of sound designs leaves a nice continuity of interplay between the hard deconstructed and peaceful euphoria.

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

 

Words: Fred

Label heat: Berceuse Heroique

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It feels strange to be saying that we’re almost halfway through 2018. January, it seems, rolled into march and leap frogged April to bring us to the middle of May. And so, what started as a focus on a label that produced two stand out EP’s at the beginning of this year becomes a look at two of my favourite tracks of 2018 so far. Conveniently they both come from two great EP’s out of the same record label.

The difficult to pronounce, not always easy to listen to, but consistently intriguing Berceuse Heroique are a pretty prolific genre spanning label. Over the last five years they’ve put out everything from a highly sought-after dubstep Loefah rarity, to a globe-trotting disco edit series, late night EP’s and experimental, abstract long play records. Across the 50 or so releases they’ve put out there is an expanse of material to delve into.

Berceuse Heroique has been silent since January, but four months ago they put out two records in quick succession- Hodge’s ‘Beneath Two Moons’ and Black Merlin’s ‘Archives’.

Prolific Bristol-based producer Hodge, like most of us, seemed to be taking a breath in January and following the emerging trend of the UK’s top crop of young techno producers releasing something a bit less club-ready and a bit more abstract. On the EP the best example of this is the B1 ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’. Loosely labelled as techno, the track pairs light but incessant percussion with slightly unmelodic string work. And it’s the strings that characterise the song and make it so striking. ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ is very reminiscent of Arthur Russell and the way he used his off-kilter cello, fast rhythms and euphoric melodies to infectious effect. Russell has been championed by many DJ’s in recent years and it’s nice to see this now reflected in Hodge’s production.

On the other hand, Black Merlin’s ‘Archives’, as an EP, covers a lot of ground. The release could probably be best characterised by its long, late-night-centric tracks and a polarising mixture of the darkest and lightest, most euphoric ends of the spectrum. It’s an easy choice but ‘The Alpaca Pet Boys’, apart from being sensationally named, is the EP (/mini LP’s) crescendoing climax before the credits roll with the final, ambient track ‘Laz’. It’s a stunning, escapist, peak time, builder that was recently done complete justice by Hunee in his Seoul Boiler Room, pitched up and sandwiched between some italo disco and latter heavier endeavours.

Despite singling out individual tracks on both EP’s they work brilliantly as complete releases and although both are sold out in most record shops have largely been overlooked by anyone looking to make a quick buck on Discogs. January was a great month for Berceuse Heroique and let’s hope the elusive, slightly enigmatic label doesn’t leave us waiting too much longer for their next release.
 

Buy: Archives [Vinyl / Digital]
Buy: Beneath Two Moons [Vinyl / Digital]

 

Words: Hugo

Record of the Week: Marcin Krupa - Sour Edits Vol. 2 [Sour Edits]

Berlin-based XXXY launched the label Sour Edits a couple of months ago with volume 1 and it was fittingly smooth. Back with a vengeance, volume 2 of Sour Edits, by Warsaw-based Astropical Tapes boss Marcin Krupa was released just yesterday landing us with an EP of three unique tracks.  Track 1 however definitely stands out  - 'Jazz with Some House Elements'. This fruity, jazz-infused house track does exactly what it says on the tin. Tropically mixing genres with its vibrant melody and steady beat, the background flute and overlay of lopping percussive drums will have you grooving into May, with a spring in your two-step. Not due out to purchase before the 18th, we are already looking forward to hearing it float out in any given sun-soaked scenario this summer. 

Listen to the rest of the EP.

Buy: Vinyl

Words: Daisy

Premiere: Jive Talk - Wycleff [Not For You]

Jonny and Sam aka Jive Talk are a London based duo who’ve been making waves. Having only formed in 2016 the pair quickly picked up residencies at Gottwood Festival (part of Gottwood Allstars), 12inch LNDN, and House of Disco, they’ve already played some of the UK's best festivals and parties, supporting the likes of Horse Meat Disco, Crazy P, Bill Brewster, Tristan Da Cunha, Pete Herbert, Greg Wilson and many more. Their first EP is due for release this Friday on their own recently launched label, Not For You.

Earliest musical influence?

Jonny: David Bowie and Right Said Fred.
Sam: Michael Jackson and Prince.

The ideal setting to listen to this?  

Off your knockers at a hot festy.

File it next to? 

House Monkeys.

Buy: Vinyl

Record of the Week: Begin - Love International 001 [Love International Recordings]

The much-loved Love International festival announced back in the March they would be launching a record label that will “encapsulate the range of music the festival’s secluded party paradise has become renowned for”. This week finally see’s the release of Love International Recordings 001 and James Holroyd aka Begin is behind the stunning, sun-kissed record. Holroyd has a long history with Love International dating back to the early noughties having been one of the first guest DJ’s at the old Garden festival on the former festival site in Petrčane. Long serving Chemical Brothers tour DJ, Back to Basics resident since the 90's and Bugged Out co-founder, Begin has long paid his dues to the scene. In the words of Dave Harvey: “he’s been an absolute workhorse in dance music for time”. 

Famous for their boat parties, sunset sessions and widely regarded as a utopia, the third edition of Love Intonational is on the horizon and we will see you out there! If you haven’t already got a ticket keep an eye out for the resale via RA. 

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

 

Words: Ben

Record of the Week: Capablanca - Dance Dance Dance Dance [Discos Capablanca]

Discos Capablanca is pretty underrated. Over the last ten years they’ve released a selection of music that bounces between house, techno, krautrock, disco, new wave, electro, industrial and any other genre related adjective you might want to throw at them. Importantly though, they always prioritise being both abstract and experimental. It’s refreshing when you don’t know what to expect from a label- whether it’s one sided acid house slammers like Sharif Laffrey’s recently re-released ‘Turn It Up’, Odopt’s slightly terrifying ‘Belgrade’ or our record of the week Capablanca ‘Dance Dance Dance Dance’ there is always something weird and wonderful happening at the seemingly country hopping label HQ.

The second edition of the Capablanca’s Lap Top Less Dance Trilogy pairs industrial oddities and spaced out sounds with a range of tribal percussion. The EP features some enjoyable leftfield abstract sounds on the A2 and B2 but seems to prioritise remixes from Lipelis and Alessandro Adriani.

It is Lipelis in particular who seems to have found another ideal home on the label. The A1 ‘Lap Dance (Lipelis Paper Sound Dub)’ is difficulty named but easy to listen to- rolling percussion and chugging bass lines are combined with over blown vocals and cosmic glitches. In some ways it seems a slightly freer companion to his recently released and much hyped ‘Children’s Song’. Indeed, the Russian producers’ releases are few and far between, a set of striking edits on L.I.E.S. in 2015 has only just been followed up with the Capablanca collaboration and the  EP ‘I Only Did These For Myself, But Now It’s For Everyone’.

Despite only featuring in the A1 Lipelis’ presence sets the tone for the EP. While, Alessandro Adriani’s remix should not be ignored it is Lipelis and Capablanca who make a great pair- as the brilliant top comment on SoundCloud reads this one’s “freaks only”, words to live by for Discos Capablanca it seems.

Buy: Vinyl

Words: Hugo

Premiere: Ambala - Sol Serra (feat. Jacob Gurevitsch) [Music For Dreams]

Copenhagen based Music for Dreams are releasing the seventh compilation in their Best Of series. The compilation is curated by DJ and radio host Chris Coco. Volume 7 is a collection of tracks released from the MFD catalogue, new unreleased material and Chris Coco original. As always with MFD ideal for the sunset sessions.

Earliest musical influence?

CC: Brian Eno, his Discreet Music and Music For Airports albums changed the way I thought about music and how it can be used.

The ideal setting to listen to this?

CC: Listen anywhere, the music will transport you to where you want to be.

File it next to?

CC: My Favourite Place (Before Sunset), music to soundtrack your summer.

Buy: Digital

Premiere: Luana E (JKriv Rework) [Razor-N-Tape]

For Record Store Day 2018 Brooklyn based Razor-N-Tape ushers in the springtime sunshine with Férias ’77 Reworks, a collection of Brazilian revisions from label co-head JKriv. A longtime lover of Brazilian sounds, this 8 song double 12” compiles reworks he created over nearly a decade, drawing from some of his most revered and respected sources. From the upfront boogie of 'Relaxa', to the stomping 'Babaluae', the tropical funk of 'Rainha do Mar', the downtempo sway of 'Era Um Era', to the almost balearic-leaning 'Dotô' and more, this mini-album contains a wide swath of Brasilian styles and flavours. With suitably vibrant artwork on the sleeve, a free download card, and a cheeky sticker pack included, this one is an absolute RSD essential!

Earliest musical influence:
JK: Listening to Hall & Oates “Maneater” in the back seat of my mom’s car.

Ideal setting to listen to this?
JK: Rooftop. Poolside. Deserted beach.

File it next to?
JK: Right between a disco ball and a coconut.

Pre-order: Vinyl

Album review: Young Galaxy - Down Time

After releasing the single ‘Under My Wing' in January, this duo from Montreal have dropped their newest album, Down Time. Taking a stand against what they deem a growing culture of “exploitation and conservatism” within the industry, Young Galaxy have boldly cut their troop in half, ditched their old record label and gone fully independent to produce a new wave of brooding sounds from the comfort of their own close to home one-room studio. 

With long-term life partners Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless being left to valiantly sail forward, the band has changed tack. Exhibiting the natural state of flux that many artists go through as they adapt to the ever-evolving musical climate, the moody euphoric tone making up the bulk of this newest album is a far cry from the catchy carefree synthpop that characterised their older work. Like the creations of many young artists, Down Time is an impassioned attempt at dealing with the emotional turmoil of living among the current unstable socio-economic climate of nationalism and neoliberalism, exploring themes of transgression, intimacy and desire. 

Album-opener 'Under My Wing', with its swirly synth and steady beat behind McCandless’ obscured vocals seductively lures the listener in, leaving them dry-mouthed and hungry for more. Track 2 ‘Seeing Eye Dog’ indulges this hunger, playfully towing the listener along to the exotic - feeling track 3 - ‘Catch Your Breath’. Whilst track 4 ‘Show You the Valley’ somewhat less-seductively boarders on etherial wailing, track 5 reintroduces a constant undulating electronic rift that pauses for breath with a series of drawn out, undecipherable vocals. The crescendoing flow developed in the first half of the album is fittingly cut short with album highlight- 'Frontier', a track which tentatively builds up an empty, yet tense ambience until punctured by McCandless’ dark and sensual vocals. The final four tracks are interspersed with bubbly electronics and soft vocals and up the tempo once again.  Whilst ‘Devotion’ feels somewhat out of place and more reminiscent of the chirpier sounds of Young Galaxy in times gone by, ‘Elusive Dream’ finishes us off with more emotionally-charged lyrics against a backdrop of the now-familiar dark bass and atmospheric synth. 

This album marks a reinvention not to be missed. As insinuated by the album title, Down Time makes the perfect soundtrack for your wind-down on a tiresome Monday evening, unapologetically leaving you lost in a cloudy state of reflection. 

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

Words: Daisy

Record of the Week: DJ Koze - Pick Up [Pampa Records]

It’s as if DJ Koze’s new track, 'Pick Up', has heralded the spring. This sunny, simple, disco track is honey-like and grin inducing, and has all the makings of a huge summer classic. The track is the final one to be revealed from DJ Koze’s upcoming Knock Knock, a 16-track LP which includes collaborations with Jose Gonzalez, Bon Iver, Mano Le Tough and more, and is being released on the 4th May.

Released on Pampa Records, Koze’s label that he co-owns with Marcus Fink, the record is his first studio album in over five years, and is shot through with typical Koze eccentricity. The bold choice to use the same vocal sample as Midland’s 'Final Credits', arguably one of the most popular dance tracks of the last two years, plays very much to his favour. He keeps the track, ‘Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)', significantly more intact, sprinkling it with a simple string-led instrumental. The song is a straightforward slapping together of several samples, and sounds almost like something from a mixtape in its cyclical, uncomplicated structure, which is smoothed out with glisteningly smooth production. The accompanying video is refreshingly humorous; a blank screen, with simple subtitles along the bottom describing the song in words such as ‘disco sample slowly gets hypnotic/ brain realizes song consists of these few elements/ deep feeling of happiness/ because brain already has too much information’.

Congratulations, Koze, on a completely magical anthem, which is carefree, nostalgic and unbearably groovy.

Buy: 12" / Digital
Pre-order Knock Knock: Vinyl / Digital

Words: Dora

Premiere: De Gama - Son Of Slave [Samosa Records]

Ever since his ‘Afrika’ release back in 2010, De Gama has been turning heads. A throwback to the heyday’s of funk, ‘Son Of Slave’ is the opening track of the Italian’s latest release, a four-track EP released on his own Samosa Records.

Earliest musical influence?

DG: Bohannon, T Connection, Jimmy Castor, Beginning Of The End...

The ideal setting to listen to this?

DG: A dance floor packed pumping sex and sweat!

File it next to?

DG: Something by Motor City Drum Ensemble...

RECORD OF THE WEEK: Studio Mule feat. Miyako Kouda - Carnaval [Studio Mule]

Before Christmas Tokyo label Mule Musiq launched Studio Mule an experimental sub-label, providing a festive gift which we all had to wait a while to play with.  

Their third offering is ‘Carnivale’, featuring Miyako Kouda. The saturated record is a revival of Japanese 80’s dance classic ‘Carnaval’, by Taeko Ohnuki, coming out all those years ago in 1980, on RCA records. The rehashing brings with it new rolling hats, which compliment the energy that only Studio Mule could bring with their in-depth knowledge of Japanese Nu-Wave and Nu-Disco.

The EP boasting dance and extended edits are the work of Kuniyuki Takahashi, the only regular fixture in the new Mule project, collaborators like Kouda come and go.

Distributed by Cologne label Kompakt, the dance edit plays homage to the original, with the dreamy extended edit on the flip providing a more club-friendly house version, according to Takahashi.

Buy: Vinyl

Words: Will

PREMIERE: Ichisan - Terminal E (Piano Version) [Bordello A Parigi]

Ichisan's Aperitiv, released last year, was so good that Amsterdam based Bordello A Parigi decided to return for a second helping from his sumptuous debut album. Four choice cuts have been selected and reworked with a specific instrument focus. The harpsicord version of 'Hotel Jama' keeps the intoxicating melody of the original but allows beats to relax as notes shine with an incandescent brilliance. Drums put their feet up for the Rhodes version of 'Modri Tunel'. Deep strings and lounging lines mingle in this work of smoke swirling seduction. 'Kozmetika (Trumpet Version)' dances to a different tune. Rich bass is again central but this time brash and bold brass intertwine with funk filled bars. The last waltz arrives with the piano version of 'Terminal E'. Alluring notes ascend, rising and falling against heartwrenching guitar strings for a finale to end this ballroom inspired beauty.

Earliest musical influence? 

I: Mostly funk and disco music from the 80’s. Giorgio Moroder, Sly and the Family Stone, Red Hot Chili Peppers early albums...

Ideal setting to listen to this?

I: Cozy living room, with a glass of wine after a good Italian dinner.

File it next to?

I: Billy Cobham - Spectrum

Buy: Vinyl

RECORD OF THE WEEK: Tessela / Lanark Artefax - Blue 01 [Whities]

'Blue 01' is a dazzling record, a split 12” featuring Tessela’s 'Glisten' and Lanark Artefax’s 'Touch Absence'. The release comes from Whiti.es, a London based label that since it’s birth in 2014 has been making waves in the scene with gritty and imaginative music that hovers somewhere around the experimental techno and house area. The mischievous younger sibling of the hugely successful label Young Turks, Whiti.es has been in the rare position of having clout from the moment of its inception. Perhaps for this reason, or maybe because of the renegade attitude and excellent taste of the label’s head Nic Tasker, Whiti.es has been releasing fantastically inventive music from the get go, including records from Avalon Emerson, Reckonwrong and Kowton.

'Blue 01' is no exception. Although the tracks were not written to be a pair, they complement one another incredibly well. The first, 'Glisten', was picked up by Whiti.es when Joy Orbison dropped it into his 2016 essential mix. It is a glitchy, bass-heavy track that is begging to be played out in a big, sweaty room. The trippy, thundering low end storms in within the first few bars, and roots the track throughout, as it is embroidered with a bleepy high end, distorted vocal samples and rattling high-hats. Although the track follows a traditional structure, with a breakdown in the middle leading into a climactic rebuilding of the different layers, the track’s sound is thrillingly unfamiliar. Melody changes come at unexpected times, and different sounds rise and fall into and out of dominance almost imperceptibly.

'Touch Absence' was released as a dubplate a year or so back by Whiti.es, but, like 'Glisten', has been remastered for this release. Also characterised by deep, sturdy drums, the track has a drum and bass-like percussion pattern. The track is fast paced and changes constantly, never allowing you to settle into one rhythm for too long before something is altered. Unearthly vocals creep in at points, and a gorgeously disruptive, gritty drum hammers out a fluctuating rhythm whilst plucky synths fade in and out in the background. Overall the track is truly unique, and builds slowly in intensity throughout, constantly keeping you on your toes as it chops and changes, somehow never losing its momentum.

Coupled up, these two tunes form a true tyrant of a record. It’s no wonder the vinyl sold out soon after its release-keep your fingers crossed for a reissue and get this into your collection.

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

Words: Dora