Top Five Releases || May
Shinichi Atobe - From The Heart, It's A Start, A Work Of Art [Distort Decay Sustain]
Described as an “enduring mystery” by Boomkat, Schinichi Atobe is undoubtedly one of the most allusive figures situated in techno’s global history. Having surfaced mysteriously from Japan in 2001 with his classic Ship Scope 12”, (the penultimate release on legendary and pioneering Berlin dub-techno, Chain Reaction) Atobe almost instantly submerged again as an enigma – a mysterious loss felt not only by those at the helm of Basic Channel, but the wider community as well. It wasn’t until 2014 when Demdike Stare’s Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker managed to hunt down the ghost in Saitama, a small outer district of Tokyo supposedly on a tip from the Basic Channel office. Having tracked him down, Demike Stare’s label Distort Decay Sustain released Atobe’s first output since the Chain Reaction release, the ethereal Butterfly Effect album. 2015 saw them reissue Ship Scope, and in 2016 they released a follow-up album, World. DDS has become the current home of Atobe’s music, releasing some of the most profound ambient techno out there that once had a brief dwelling on one of techno’s most revered rosters. Following their persistent mission of uncovering the magic, last month DDS has brought to light some of the artist’s most astonishing masterpieces.
This release is apparently some of Atobe’s earliest music encompassing three lost tracks (First Plate 1-3), unearthed from one of only five clandestine acetate pressings cut by Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering in 2000 – a sacred acetate that’s laid dormant far away in Japan under the shroud of the mystery producers for too long. The other four tracks are cuts made from the original recordings, with 'Republic' being a standout break-beauty lull that has a dusty composition that manages to induce utter calm.
The whole album is sublime. Comprising of heart-melting ambience, warm pulses of energizing dance-floor grooves and timelessly evocative dub-chords, it captures the immense sentimentality and poignancy that is collectively felt by all Atobe’s listeners. The warm reception of this music has already been described so well: “It basically sounds like a lost transmission making its way from Paul-Lincke-Ufer at the turn of the millennium to a new, completely changed world all these years later. The patina of crackle lends a mist-on-bare skin feeling akin to summer garden parties at Berghain in the stepping First Plate 1, and gives a foggier sort of depth perception to the hydraulic, Maurizian heft of First Plate 2, but it’s the submerged euphoria of First Plate 3 that hits the hardest; a heady, bittersweet reminder of days gone by.” Pitchfork
Listen to the full release
Frankie Wilmott - Paula And Sandra (Legowelt Acidhall Remix)
This selection is one that combines many beautiful audible aesthetics. Consiting of: Dancehall, Dub, and Acidic elements, Legowelt melts Frankie Wilmott’s ‘Oneness’ into a superb summer groover. Stripped down primarily to its beat and chords, the first sign of a Legowelt intervention lies in the acidic melody that squelches into view. Wilmott’s joyous vocals then make an appearance, cementing the mood of this re-work. The combination that follows, of the upbeat vocal tone with the delicious acid notes, proves to be a certified replay-able number and one that notes Legowelt’s vast range capabilities. Self released, and available for free download from his Soundcloud page, this track is a wonderful example of how genre fusion can result in pure sonic delight, while still paying homage to the great Frankie Wilmott.
Ponty Mython - Black Magic EP [Burnin Music Recordings]
If you haven’t heard this EP’s sorcery, allow me to give you an introduction…
‘Black Magic’ is the first release on Burnin Music Recordings and was crafted by the exceedingly talented Russian producer Alexander Pietnev aka Ponty Mython. The Russian had his very first release in 2012 on Beats Delivery and has worked with some renowned labels such as Tusk Wax, Better Listen Records and Dirt Crew Recordings. However, what separates this release from his previous records is that it’s somewhat against the grain of his normal production. This EP is incredibly weird and wonderful. It seeks out to unlock the dark corners of your auditory cortex and seduce you into a kaleidoscopic tantra that the soul cannot defy. Pietnev’s EP is definitely one for the ‘headz’ due to his incorporation of a range of sounds and emotive synth work that harmonize sublimely. This is a talent that is hard to overlook. The record has a similar feel to Disco Halal releases (Moscoman’s label). More specifically records such as Naduve – ‘The Race For The Handshake’ (worth checking out), which carries a similar taste with its trippy cultured sound.
Kick-starting the EP, ‘Black Magic’ embeds a hypnotic feel with echoing synth work and manipulated steel drums. Almost like your stuck in a scene from ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ whilst riding a carousel with Hunter S. Thompson himself. Following on from the mind-bending opener, Mython grounds us with ‘God Bless Atheism’. This one is a beautiful ambient track, which transports you to an exotic land with its water like rippling sounds and mesmerizing wind chime sensations. On the flip side Mython treats us to ‘Street Sunbath’. This ones probably the more “club ready” track of the EP with its pumping bass and techy manner, however it still stays true to the EP’s uplifting and spiritual style. Closing this enthralling release is ‘Hidden Object’, probably one the most captivating tracks of the record. This is your after party camp fire tune. The track is a mysterious Afro house rhythm that has you nodding your head and rolling your shoulders until the sunrise.
In short, if you want to delve into a fourth dimensional journey then ‘Black Magic’ is your one! A huge first release from Burnin Music and a must have!
Merchant - Tumble Down [Ostra Discos]
'Tumble Down' is the something else it literally is the definition of a party starter. Ostra Discos smashes the three-part EP from the famous Merchant album, Ha Coming Too, originally released in 1987. The basslines are chunky, the trumpets are punchy and the vocals are just too saucy. This weapon is bound to get people grooving from the off so snap it up because its only been out for a few days and its already flying.
Moonchild – Voyager [Tru Thoughts]
Since their previous release ‘Please Rewind’, the three-piece soul trio Moonchild have returned with their new full length album Voyager. The Californian based group has maintained their signature sound, whilst incorporating live string and harp recordings to their original lineup enhancing that harmonic space that grabs you from the start.
The whole album is held tight together by a steady laid back rhythm section holding direct influences from that classic R&B sound. The infectious keys and horns add richness to the groove and create the ideal platform for the dreamy vocals to interlace, the perfect example being heard in the ‘The List’, an obvious stand out track.
Voyager is a timeless selection of carefully crafted jams, forging the best bits of Soul, Jazz and R&B into a mature sound, taking you on a blissful journey that could captivate any audience.
Chosen by Fred D, Giles O, Max J, Henry M & Brook P