TOP FIVE RELEASES || SEPTEMBER
Willow - workshop 23 [Workshop]
I've been waiting a long time for this record. Willow's debut solo EP on Workshop Records is as stunning as her single on the same label in spring last year. She pushes her sound even further in these four tracks, proving that she's not just another 4/4 producer. Sonically it's still dubby and lo-fi but Willow switches up the beats.
There are only two house tracks on the release, and the A1 is one of them. It's minimal and dusty, with a nod to the gothic. The sample sounds similar to that of 'Feel Me' from last year. The next track shakes it up a bit. It sounds like dubstep at a house tempo, a thick sub-bass contrasts against the percussion. On the flip you have the romantically charged B1, her fluttering work on the keys layers up beautifully. The last track on the release reminds me of her first release, and is probably the most basic of all. Don't get me wrong, it's still brilliant but maybe it's there to add a hint of nostalgia.
It's so exciting to see another Willow release on what will, I'm sure, become her home label. Her arrangement is stunning and this record can either be played mid-set to cue up a darker section of a set or it can simply be enjoyed at home. If you want to grab it, don't sleep, it's already sold out at most places.
The only question is when she'll start playing her material live.
Mark Pritchard - Beautiful People ft. Thom Yorke [Warp Records]
Warp Records signee, Mark Pritchard teams up with Thom Yorke for ‘Beautiful People’ from his ‘Under The Sun' album.
Beautiful is certainly correct, from the get go the track is flooded with atmospheric flue sounds, then deep chords and then the iconic vocal tones of Thom Yorke. Mark Pritchard recently wrote in a press release: “Beautiful People is a personal song about loss, helplessness and chaos, but the message is of love and hope.” By just over the halfway point Mark Pritchard throws up those feeling of hope with incredible prowess. With the help of Thom Yorke’s unique and haunting vocals Mark Pritchard has created a true spectacle. Check the amazing video...
Beesmunt Soundsystem - Sensual Works [Honey Soundsystem]
Honey Soundsystem Records new release ‘Sensual Works’ is a hearty EP from Beesmunt Soundsystem. The Amsterdam duo have produced a real range of music over the past few months, from collaborating with San Proper to the acid infused track ‘Playin Myself’ on this EP. ‘Sensual Works’ is awash with heavy synths, contrasting to the tropical melodies of ‘Blissed Out’. ‘Playin Myself’ means business with a rumbling acid bass line that takes the roof off. Your then treated with an appetising remix by Jason Kendig at the end. All in all a fantastic variety of sounds that have been squeezed into this EP, definitely worth £8.
Bjorn Torske - Fuglekongen [Smalltown Supersound]
Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje – old hats from the Norwegian house and disco scene putting smiles on our faces. Enter underground reveller Bjørn Torske, with previous remixes from Terje himself along with DJ Harvey, he returns, fresh from a brief hiatus to assault our eardrums with his single ‘Fuglekongen.’
Coming from the small independent Oslo label ‘Smalltown Supersound’ and unearthed by the oracle that is Bill Brewster, this piece of pulsating percussion is paired with a rolling bassline and filled with as many samples as you can shake a stick at, all effervescing in turn. The drums are the lifeblood of the track and cranked up fully, this is a ready meal for sending any crowd into rapture. Keeping it in the Norwegian family, the B Side’s ‘Gammal Mungolian Mix’ is a welcome addition, altogether combining to produce a record as meaty as your mother’s shopping basket.
Eagles & Butterflies - X [Innervisions]
One of the most awaited releases of the year came out last week, Part 8 of the Innervisions Secret Weapons compilation. The tracks are hand picked by Ame and Dixon, and consist of the most potent tracks that they've been treating dance floors to over the past year.
There is one record that stood out to me. After a video of Dixon dropping this at Dekmantel went viral, this had to be the most eagerly anticipated of the lot. 'X' has a truly unique sound with Rowdy drum rolls and a menacing synth that leaves you on the tip of your toes.
Eagles & Butterflies have produced a weapon of mass destruction with 'X'.
Words by Matt B, Tobias, Jack, Marcus & Nick C