Phil France - Circle [Gondwana Records]
Hailing from Manchester, Phil France is best known as a composer, bassist and producer. He is also recognisable as a key founding member of The Cinematic Orchestra. When he was working on the Cinematic Orchestra, Phil was responsible for some of the most beautiful music produced in recent times for both soundtrack and live performances. France released his debut solo album The Swimmer in 2013 and five years later he gives us the follow up, the fittingly titled, Circle. For France the album is an extension of work he began on The Swimmer, he describes this as: “blocks of sound containing intricate minimal arpeggiated patterns and electronic textures that develop and shift in subtle, original and melodic ways.” He looks on Circles as a symbol of unity, strength and inclusiveness. Although there is a recognisable theme to the album, no two songs are the same. Definitely worth a listen.
Susumu Yokota - Acid Mt. Fuji Remastered [Midgar Records]
Masterly re-release from one of the all-round good guys, and most fantastically under the radar producers of recent times. Sadly, no longer with us, Susumu Yokota, certainly best known for his hall-of-fame Japanese ambient techno work (1999 LP Sakura – a must have in anyone’s collection), sheds new light on his early, rough and uncut techno days with the remastering of his 1994 LP Acid Mt. Fuji on Berlin’s Midgar Records.
Yokota, a former economist turned 30yr career musician left behind a vast body of work that has slowly been memorialised over the years. Spanning dusty electronic on Sven Väth’s former Harthouse label, through jazzy house come breakbeat, Acid Mt. Fuji is a moody acid techno record laced with depth and a feeling harking back to the sacred mountain it owes its very name to. Ghostly notes and darker tones pervade, ‘Kinoko,’ an especially eerie teaser alongside ‘Meijijingu,’ yet never overwhelm. Yakota’s u-turn to full rolling acid wonk displayed emphatically in the absolute beauty ‘Akafuji’ and glitched out ‘Ao-oni.’
There is just so much to work with in Acid Mt. Fuji – opening track ‘Zenmai’ is quite possibly the best kick-off to an album we have found, and, is evidence of the care and attention Yokota applied to his craft through meticulous sequencing. We are even treated to a slice of his ambient best in ‘Saboten.’ Yokota is a name for the ages and the re-mastering of Acid Mt.Fuji pays full homage to Midgar’s label mantra of bringing “meaningful sound loaded with positive energy.” Well done indeed, and, thank you!
Jaubi – Lahore State of Mind [Astigmatic Records]
As you can probably guess by the track’s title, this experimental instrumental pays homage to ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’, from Nas’s iconic Illmatic album from 1994. Hailing from Pakistan, Jaubi have gathered fame for their unique fusion of traditional Hindi music and hip-hop and this absorbing adaptation does exactly that. The unmistakable bassline remains as the thread of the track (although this time played on the Sarangi), with various cajon and tabla percussion swinging in and out of the picture.
However, the more we listen, the more you feel yourself yearning for that hip hop rhythm to come in in the next bar. And it is on the flip side where Mr Dobson duly delivers. Whilst maintaining that deconstructed feel perfectly captured by Jaubi and without losing the badass boom bap of Nas’s original track, he manages to reduce the tune to a simple skeleton and at the same time intensifies it, preserving the authenticity of both. This seven inch presents a nice colourful one for the collection and a mighty fine remix from the man from Peckham.
Ichisan – Megla [Kanto Records]
Our Slovenian friend Igor has lain dormant for a short while in order to get back in the lab to concoct a juicy EP – ‘Megla’. Better known as Ichisan, the photographer come producer first made a name for himself with his releases on Nang Records in 2012. As well as Nang, Igor has released on Solardisco, Bordello A Parigi, Eskimo, Airtight Recordings.
‘Megla’ follows the release of Ichisan’s brilliant ‘Selected Reworks’ EP which is select cuts reworked from his debut album, Aperitiv. This particular EP is released on Kanto Records, a label run by Oceanvs Orientalis, that prides itself on being a genre neutral label which believes in enjoying music without restraining it in pre-existing moulds.
Okinawa Delays - Lotta Love (feat. Satoko Ishimine) [Music For Dreams]
The fantastic new single from Okinawa Delays featuring the delightful vocals of Satoko Ishimine. Limited first edition twelve inch on light blue transparent vinyl & comes with fine selection of remixes from Phil Mison, Psychmagik & Willie Graf & Darren Eboli.
Okinawa Delays consisists of the talented producer Takeo Toyama , aka DJ Mizuki, and the singer Satoko Ishimine. When speaking about Okinawa and this release Music For Dreams founder, Kenneth Bager said, “Takeo met Satoko almost five years ago when he hosted a party on Irabu Island, a distant island off Okinawa, Japan. She sang ‘Hana’ and filled the room with a magical mood; every guest cried with listening to her voice. I was moved with the scene and asked her to make music with me. Takeo visited Ibiza over 10 years ago & has been coming each year ever since, so there is a noticeable Balearic vibe running through the original track. We are friends with Phil, and the Psychemagik boys from their time in Japan & I met Willie & Darren in Ibiza, so it was natural to get them to do some remixes.”