Field Maneuvers proves that bigger is not always better...

Photo credit: Jake Davis

It’s our first time at Field Maneuvers- a festival which has been described as the last remaining bastion of ad hoc 90’s rave culture in an increasingly over-commercial electronic music festival scene. It’s fair to say we are excited. With a crowd of a mere 800 people- an increase on the 700 of previous years- it is the smallest festival I have ever been to and feels more like a private party than a ticketed event. I emerged on Monday morning with a desire never to go to a big festival again. Here’s how it went down and why FM proves to me that smaller is better.

1) Practicality

a. Maybe it’s because I am advancing into the responsible mid-point of my twenties, but practicality is key to a positive festival experience for me. Field Maneuvers was unparalleled in this respect. We were through the queue, searched and putting up our tent within 15 minutes of arriving at the site. Security were incredibly friendly and unintimidating, and we were greeted with smiles and welcomes from all members of staff we encountered. There was loads of space to sprawl out in the campsite. Forget the competitive tent Tetris that is an inevitability at any other festival- we had a vast grassy patch to ourselves, and no one asking if they could shift us over.

b. The festival has 4 stages, and the whole site is walkable in 5 minutes- THIS IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION. This creates an added element of relaxation and immersion into the carefree hedonism that is the aim of festival-going. No longer do you have to stress about leaving your portable charger in the tent and maybe running out of phone battery and then losing your friends and also not knowing what time it is and how long it is until Bicep is playing on the main stage a 15 minute walk away and do you have time to go to the loo first. You can dash back to your tent and be back on the dance floor before the peak of ‘Blue Monday’ has had time to play out (real life example), without the fear of being separated from the group.

Photo credit: Mike Massaro & Jake Davis

2) People

Perhaps because of the seriously relaxed atmosphere, the crowd was the best I’ve ever experienced. People were genuinely friendly because it was impossible not to run into the same people time and time again, so it was actually possible to make and retain festival friends throughout the weekend. There was also a majority of returning F.M punters- in the queue I witnessed several reunions between people who had met at the festival last year- and this meant that I felt buoyed along by a crowd of willing hosts eager to ensure we shared the magic that they had experienced in previous years. There was even a full-festival group photo on the Saturday afternoon, where some geezer up a ladder shouted for everyone to gather and took some snaps from on high with a drone.

3) Music

a. When I booked tickets for Field Maneuvers, it wasn’t on the merits of the line-up alone but on trust of the reputation of the festival. I was reassured by the fraction of the artists advertised that I knew and loved, such as Jane Fitz, Andy Blake, Shanti Celeste and Shed, that the music would be up my street. However, most of the programme rang no bells with me and my relative ignorance to the artists was in fact a godsend. Without the pressure of ticking off a list of sets which can sometimes seem copied and pasted across festivals all summer and which reads like an index of RA’s top picked nights for the whole of the last two years, I actually discovered a load of new artists that I wouldn’t have known to check out if I’d been distracted by trying to catch all the big hitters. Furthermore, with Field Maneuvers having a 50/50 female/male line-up- something which in 2018 is still shockingly rare- I got to see so many awesome women tear up the decks throughout the weekend, which is always a treat. Artists also had a lot of freedom to play around- there were a number of crossover sets- Ben Simms did a reggae and dub set, Auntie Flo played an italodisco set and Grooverider played a jungle set (too packed to get into the tent, but I heard it was great). These experimental forays seemed to come out of a lack of pressure to play just what the people wanted to hear, and an expectation of openness from the crowd that was unhesitatingly given.

Here are sets that were especially notable for me:

Jane Fitz, Jade Seatle & Powder | Photo credit: Jake Davis

Powder

This Japanese DJ and producer played a stonkingly mischievous set on Friday night in the main tent. Thick with acid lines, weighty low ends and fantastically unfamiliar sounds, she took us on a heady journey that took no prisoners and kept everyone marching. She’s popping up loads in the coming months so make sure to check her out.

Listen to a recent recording of Powder.

Iona

Once you know Iona, you’ll start to notice her on line-ups everywhere. An old hand on the London club scene, she used to work the door at Dance Tunnel, and worked her way up the ranks to playing their closing party. She ripped up the daytime stage on Saturday with some breakbeatty techno goodness, effortlessly coaxing the tentative mid-afternoon sitters onto the dancefloor which was packed by the end of her set.

Listen to a recent recording of iona.

Ivan Smagghe & House Of Slopluence | Visuals: Avva Studio. Photo credit: Sassiru

Jade Seatle

Often seen on line-ups with Jane Fitz, I’ve never given Jane’s sound an individual listen. Jade’s time in the Field Moves tent left me rattling. Her set was deep and surprising, and one of those ones you remember for seamlessly carrying you through an ebbing, flowing sticky soundscape which seems as if it is being sculpted for you in the moment. In less abstract terms, she plays techno and it’s dark and it’s really really good. I can’t wait to see her again.

Listen to a recent recording of Jade Seatle.

Ivan Smagghe

Hosting a show on NTS, this Frenchman has been stomping around the UK for about 20 years and seems to have got fingers in lots of pies genre-wise. He is unafraid of weirdness- I listened to one of his shows pre Field Maneuvers to try and understand his vibe, and was delighted and also confused. He played a phenomenal set at Field Maneuvers. His eclectic influences and desire to push boundaries was evident throughout. It was decidedly moody and dance-driven, and he really blew it out of the water for me.

Listen to a recent recording of Ivan Smagghe.

 

12/09/18
Words: Dora

Record of the Week: Lawrence Hart & Casually Here - Wanderlust / Chimes [Hotflush Recordings]

Hotflush Recordings present 'Wanderlust / Chimes', a collaborative EP from Lawrence Hart and Casually Here released this week. Both multi-instrumentalists based in London, the duo unite for a two-track package of glistening, melodic house. The title track was a highlight of George Fitzgerald's acclaimed Essential Mix earlier this year.

Lawrence Hart (aka Duncan Tootill) is a classically trained musician working with a broad spectrum of styles, who, under his solo moniker produces ambient-leaning house and electronica. He is one third of Little Cub and a long-term collaborator of George Fitzgerald. Casually Here (aka Nic Nell) is an experimental composer and the label boss of Algebra Records, whose debut album Kept was released in 2015.

‘Wanderlust’ is an atmospheric trip through glitching melodies and immersive harmonics replete with minute details. ‘Chimes’ opens with a serene soundscape, evolving into a chugging dose of sun-drenched house led by trippy vocals and an animated bassline.

Buy: Digital
Stream

Premiere: Thomas Hessler - Senses [IMF]

Thomas Hessler Press Pics 2018 1.jpeg

Marcel Fengler’s IMF label is putting out a three-part compilation this month to celebrate their tenth release. A project that has taken almost two years to complete, it will feature artists new and old to the label including Shed, Luke Slater, Scuba, Arthur Robert and AVION.  Across 18 tracks, Fengler has said the project hopes to showcase the eclectic nature of the label and the full range of music its artists have produced.

Long-time label collaborator Thomas Hessler features heavily across the compilation producing an original track, providing Luke Slater with the means for a remix and putting together a mix using the entire compilation which will be released with the final product. However, Hessler’s involvement with IMF goes far deeper than that and his relationship with Fengler is a crucial part of the label.

As well as being kind enough to send us over his track, the melancholic, euphoric and funky ‘Senses’, to premiere, Hessler was kind enough to answer some of our questions and give us a greater insight into the compilation as a whole.

 

What is it that has drawn you and Marcel together into such a close working relationship?

First of all the appreciation for music and not having any fear to enter new territories when it comes down to sound. We can talk about more than just records or production techniques and became good friends that value each other’s opinions.
 

How is this reflected in IMF and more specifically IMF10?

IMF is a very diverse label and you can hear that especially on IMF10. Dark, funky, melodic but also more experimental stuff can be found on the label’s back catalogue. It all makes sense together and in my eyes the output always has this special spiciness a track needs to be timeless.
 

The project took almost two years and features a significant amount of material, why do you think it was so important to Marcel and the label?

I think if you run a small label with a clear vision you wanna do it right. For the label to be at the point to release its 10th release is special. The label is like a baby for him and when you do most of the work on your own it takes time, especially if you wanna showcase such a great amount of talented artists. In the end its all about patience, passion and love for the music.
 

Where do you think your track 'Senses' fits into the compilation?

I wanted to make a ‘closing’ track. Normally I don’t follow concepts when I write music but this time I knew where I wanted go with this. In my eyes the track perfectly showcases some of the most important aspects the label stands for. It’s melancholic yet energetic and funky yet experimental - especially towards the end of the track.
 

What was your wider involvement in IMF10?

We often exchange ideas, talk about fresh artists and what could be next. In the case of the compilation I suggested to get some remixers on board for some of the IMF ‘classics’. I was especially honoured and proud that Luke Slater touched one of my tracks.
 

Curating a mix for the compilation must have been a special responsibility, how did you approach the task?

Yes it was humbling but I also had a lot of fun because I love those tracks. Like I always do I tried to keep the energy level as high as possible with those cuts and tell my story. I enjoyed the ride and I hope people can feel that.
 

Pre-order Digital

 

Interview: Hugo

Record of the Week: Frank Beat - Gloom EP [Phunk Traxx]

Frank Beat’s 'Gloom' EP, three mesmeric house tracks released this week in a flurry of excitement, are typical of the Phunk Traxx label sign-on; moody, club-ready and addictive.

'Gloom', the opening track on the EP, sets the scene. A synth-laden sunset warm up, which if you close your eyes, brings you into a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. 'Nightfall' showcases Beat’s Spanish tech-house influences from his time in Ibiza and in Zaragoza. Inspired in his early days by Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola and Stacey Pullen, all white isle veterans, 'Nightfall' brings the best of late night Ibiza to a swelling subset roller. Only for huge sound systems, 'Intraction' boasts a wavering treble line, didgeridoo-like in its cadence. All three tracks link together perfectly in any order for a different mood, played as they appear on the EP you’re ready for the strobes to start on the dance floor and for the levels to hit the red.

Usually a pick for the mainstream, Beat’s latest productions have delved into minimal and underground zones. While playing at Pacha or DC10 sees him in his element, in the studio is where he’s pushing his art.

Buy: Digital

 

Words: Bill

Premiere: Honeyfeet - Meet Me On The Corner (Crazy P Dub Mix) [Wah Wah 45s]

'Meet Me On The Corner' is taken from the album Orange Whip which was BBC 6 Music’s Album of The Day on its release.  It follows previous singles ‘Whatever You Do’ and ‘Sinner’, supported by Craig Charles, Tom Ravenscroft and Huey Morgan. The song showcases Honeyfeet at their funkiest. A pounding beat beefed up by bass, guitar and brass, propels forward while Ríoghnach Connolly (pronounced Rainer) sings lyrics that could be straight out of the playground, but suggest something a little deeper.

Remixes on this more foot friendly single come courtesy of homegrown legends of funky house music, Crazy P with both vocal and dub versions. Turning Honeyfeet’s latest opus into a straight up soulful disco monster by Hot Toddy and Ron Basejam, with Rioghnach’s rasping vocals playfully meandering over crisp beats and trademark live bass.  Much hyped Russian production don I Gemin delivers his take still aimed at the dance floor, but a deeper house affair based around jazzy keys and chopped up vocals that take the song into more sonorous territories.

For the last couple of years Honeyfeet (whose name comes from a line in the Blues Brothers film) have been a conduit for the ideas and expressions of an exotic mixture of Manchester based musicians. This genre-defying band incorporate styles including jazz, folk and hip hop into their music.
 

EARLIEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES:

RB: Back To The Future & Point Of Ayr Colliery brass band.
 

THE IDEAL SETTING TO LISTEN TO THIS:

RB: Sitting in a bath full of cold beans with the lights off whilst necking a pint of espresso martini.
 

FILE IT NEXT TO:

RB: Mid-tempo stompers.

Buy: Vinyl

Record of the Week: Nicola Cruz - Inversions [Multi Culti]

Nicola Cruz returns to Canada’s Multi Culti with 'Inversions', a 5 track EP featuring one original and remixes from his album Cantos De Vision. The French-born, Ecuadorian based producer clearly takes inspiration from his surroundings- manipulating Latin American sounds and afro percussion, re-working them for the dancefloor. This remix series takes that theme and expands on it going deeper, more leftfield and transforming Cruz’s original percussions into deep, chugging late-night hits.

Cruz and Uji’s title track 'Inversions' opens the EP and sets the tone for the following four tracks as it bounces along flirting with the industrial and playing with the melodic- it’s hypnotic. The following two tracks are both reworks of 'Espiritu de Proteccion' which is a clever move, both the Bawrut and Breaks remix take the track to different points of logical conclusion. Indeed, Bawrut takes the trippier elements of the original and elongates them over 8 minutes combining them with clattering percussion and a driving bassline. While the Breaks remix is more percussive, teasing the woodwind of the original and diving headfirst into the acidic.

The final two tracks 'Tzantza' (Matanza Remix) and 'Mantis' (Cain Remix) are equally strong and close the EP on a lighter, more ambient note and a nod to Cruz. So often remix EP's end up being made up of tracks that end up being a slightly reminiscent, poor imitation of the original, but 'Inversions' is an exception with the originals expanded on and made completely new.

Buy: Vinyl / Digital

 

Words: Hugo

Premiere: Aydio - Sonrisa

Adam Harper, aka Aydio, is a UK-based musician, producer, DJ and visual artist. He uses instrumentation, samples and synthesizers to create music best described as a pastiche of trippy melodies and laid back spaced urban sounds. A keen fan of a variety of different genres of music, his own is mostly influenced by trip-hop, dub, jazz, rock as well as all kinds of electronica. Since his the release of his debut album, Nonentityin 2010, he has released two further albums and in 2013, his most popular track, 'Deltitnu', was featured on the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme, Desert Island Discs, selected by mountaineer Conrad Anker.

Since we came across Aydio last year we have been loving his work and we're delighted to be premiering our pick from his latest album, Inversion, released later this month. The album continues his style of trippy instrumental music and adds yet another mesmerising release to his discography.

 

EARLIEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES:

An LP my parents had of a compilation of TV theme tunes including the Match of the Day theme. A bit later on I'd say Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Bonobo and Four Tet.
 

THE IDEAL SETTING TO LISTEN TO THIS:

Atop a sacred mountain at sunset. If no such mountain is available, a sacred molehill will have to do
 

FILE IT NEXT TO:

The Avalanches and Azealia Banks - it's not just me that sorts things alphabetically is it? ;)

Pre-order Inversion

Premiere: Wehbba - Mind Awake [Drumcode]

In many ways, it’s difficult to believe Wehbba only dropped his first full-length EP on Drumcode this year. Released in February, the four-tracker ‘Eclipse’ was a monster statement piece of the Brazilian’s talents and followed on superbly from ‘Fake’, his contribution to last year’s A-Sides Vol.6 – inarguably one of the biggest tracks on the compilation. Last month Wehbba took part in Drumcode’s Off Week party in Barcelona, followed by the brand’s takeover of Resistance in Ibiza which is further proof that his crisp, chord-driven take on techno has become a vital component to the expansive palette of sound Adam Beyer has drawn for the label in 2018 and beyond.

‘Catarse’ marks the rapid-fire follow-up from the prolific producer. Opening with the eerie ‘She Lost Control’, Wehbba says he took inspiration from the Joy Division track of almost the same name (‘She’s Lost Control’), but instead of crafting the dense sonic atmosphere with vocals, he employs an analogue kick drum and stealth-like moog bass with dramatic results. ‘Process’ follows, a cut which begun as a cover jam of Laurent Garnier’s ‘Crispy Bacon’ and ends up incorporating the cut-up vocals of legendary minimal composer Steve Reich, who is one of Wehbba’s chief inspirations. The resulting track is an ice-cool percussive work that’s rich in dancefloor functionalism. The title track will be familiar to many who follow Drumcode Radio, a goose-bump inducing highlight of Beyer’s DCR392 at Awakenings in Eindhoven, ‘Catarse’ is driven by a memorable melodic riff resplendent in 90’s techno euphoria. The EP concludes with the terrific ‘Mind Awake’, a powerful concoction of reverb-heavy basslines and glitchy effects, that’s been thoroughly road tested by both Beyer and Wehbba.

 Wehbba

Wehbba

Earliest Musical Influences?

I have very vivid memories of the road trips my family used to have when I was a little kid, either going to the beach or to the countryside, or even abroad, on which my father was always blasting stuff like The Beatles, Iron Butterfly, or Phil Collins, he used to bang his fingers on the dashboard of the car doing the infamous drum fill on “In The Air Tonight”. His passion for music really struck me, this intensity of listening to amazing music loud and finger drumming on the wheel and dashboard was so contagious, it simply shaped my whole life. Crazy…it’s the simple things...
 

The ideal setting to listen to this?

Find a way to be completely within yourself, completely present, completely in the moment, no past memories, no future projections, just you, here and now. Mind Awake, body too. Find speakers with lots of bass. Rinse, repeat.
 

File it next to…

"Techno Bombs” or any of my previous releases on Drumcode.

Pre-order: Digital

Record of the Week: Soulwax - Essential [DeeWee]

Radio 1’s beloved Essential Mix stands resolutely as an institution in its own right. Midland described late nights as a junior tapping into this intergalactic odyssey, defying parental authority and ripping mixtapes from the 4-6am Saturday slot. It’s a British radio announcing that you really are pretty good at what you do – they’re giving you the closing slot at DC10, the keys to your local town (always baffles me that is a real thing)... the cap handed to you on your test-match debut. 

So what do you do when your plane’s on the runway, and you can quite literally play any track that has ever entered the sonic hemisphere in the history of human-kind....well, of course, you do exactly what Belgium’s greatest export did. Soulwax (or perhaps the more familiar 2manydjs), when given the tickets to the royal ball in May last year, binned their record collection and created an hours worth of brand-new material themed around the word "essential". Here lies this week’s release of that very hour, split across an LP.

In a career spanning over 20 years, Soulwax have been in just about everyone’s ears at some point... from their soundtracking of Grand Theft Auto V to domination of a Leeds Festival quagmire (perhaps this is just me). The sequencing of this record very much resembles the hard-copy of a live set, crackling into life with 'Essential 1', before being chopped into tracks and laid out individually across 60mins. Genre-hopping from the Adonis-esqe rippling workout of 'Essential Three', to the stand out computertronic warped 'Essential Six', before surging into a gurgling acid workout in 'Essential 9' and rolling through to techno in 'Essential 10'There’s plenty in there for everyone, but you have to pick and choose... it’s worth it.

Listen to the full release
Buy: Vinyl / CD

 

Words: Marcus

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