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Blog entries categorized under Reviews

Reviews

9 posts in this category
Subcategories from this category: Bass | Soul / Funk | Compilations | Breaks | DVD | R&B / Soul | Hard Dance | Twisted | Christmas Compilations | Urban | Christmas | Dubstep | Tech / Electro | Tech / House | Albums | Mainstream | Hip-Hop | Drum & Bass | Leftfield | Electro | Techno | Prog / Tribal / Trance | House

Nacho Marco - Outside / Tunnels - (Madhouse Records)

Thursday, 26 November 2015 House
Such a great double header from Valencia’s Nacho Marco kicking off with the timeless House strains of ‘Outside’ which features intense breaks and bass alongside uplifting piano plus a relentless arrangement of good times for the dancefloor. Next up is the deeper, though no less pounding, ‘Tunnels’ and is a personal favourite with its early 90’s hints of cool, emotive keys alongside big splashing hi-hats spelling out all that needs to be said. 4 out of 5 Reviewed by Greg Fenton     ...
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12 Stories feat. Digitaria - Bright Lights – (VIVa MUSIC)

Thursday, 26 November 2015 House
The beats hit you, the bassline injects you, and then Digitaria’s ice-cool vocal delivery transports you into somewhere else – what’s not to love! VIVa do it all over again with this release from the relatively freshly formed 12 Stories as ‘Bright Lights’ captures the sights and sounds of all that’s hot in House Music right now, blending crisp drum machines along with classic synthesizers pitched fast-forward. Next comes Walker & Royce who give their remix a darker sheen producing another st...
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Dense & Pika – Colt / Airless (Remixes) – (Hotflush Recordings)

Thursday, 26 November 2015 House
Now sounding suitably refreshed both originals from a couple of years back (respectively) get reworked by George FitzGerald & Grain. The former retaining the distinctive piano while injecting even more energy into the rhythms with fiery percussion and a deft arrangement only fuelling the fire. Next, Grain sends the stunning ‘Airless’ skywards with furious beats, more hot percussion and addictive synth loops across a breathless seven plus minutes. Excellent work. 5 out of 5 Reviewed by Greg...
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Various Artists - Balance 028: Stacey Pullen - (Balance)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Compilations
A mix album from Stacey Pullen is an event worth covering for sure, especially when it’s a contribution to one of the most enduring mix collections. It does take a little while for this pairing to reveal their treasures, but they are definitely worth sticking with as Pullen blends and paces his mixing to perfection. The first mix reaches a peak with the superb Cid Inc track ‘Response’, one of those minimal pieces of work that pans left and right to hypnotic effect. It works so well because Pulle...
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Irmler / Einheit - Bestandteil - (Klangbad)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
‘Easy to assemble, hard to take apart’. That’s the verdict of the press release on ‘Bestandteil’, a collaboration between FM Einheit and Hans-Joachim Irmler that deals in some powerful and often unsettling sonics. The duo tend to use their textures like musical clouds, wrapping the sharper sounds in great swathes of backing noise so that the listener feels surrounded. While this can be unnerving it can also be pretty exhilarating, as a track like ‘The Taking’ demonstrates with its warped orchest...
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Luke Haines - British Nuclear Bunkers - (Cherry Red)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
Boasting ‘maximum electronic rock ‘n’ roll, Luke Haines returns to synth pop with a very dark message. “Information of a possible nuclear strike against this country has been received”, begins the album’s fictional broadcast from the BBC. Yet it all sounds rather foreboding, and the mood is not helped by some dark, metallic electro from the analogue synths the multi-talented Haines has at his disposal. As you might have guessed, it is a hark back to the 1980s when the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, ...
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Toby Tobias - Rising Son - (Delusions Of Grandeur)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
It’s been out quite a while now but Toby Tobias’ most recent album deserves to be highlighted as one of the finest electro long players you will hear this year. There are some quite obvious but very pleasing 80s influences on ‘Rising Son – ‘Love Affair’ recalls early human league, while the vocals of Attwell on ‘The Wonder’ are also rooted in the decade. Yet Tobias is capable of a whole range of styles, and when he shows off his qualities in the shimmering ‘Whisper It’, the swirly ‘Vague Vogue’ ...
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Jóhann Jóhannsson - Sicario - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - (Varѐse Sarabande)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
Jóhann Jóhannsson is one of those musical figures able to sit right on the borderline between classical music and electronic without compromising himself at all. He is a prolific movie scorer, as it were, and as the music to ‘Sicario’ unfolds it is clear he can portray the sensation of menace with real flair. Not only that, he writes music affecting the other emotions, such as the powerful cello lament that takes ‘Desert Music’ to a higher level. The threat remains throughout though, and ‘The Ba...
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Mauro Picotto - From Heart To Techno - (Alchemy)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
Mauro Picotto remains one of the biggest names in techno, and has stayed at the top of his game for a good two decades now. Since his commercial peak at the business end of the 1990s, when the likes of ‘Iguana’ and ‘Lizard’ were blasting the eardrums of trance clubbers, he has definitely softened a bit – but as ‘From Heart To Techno’ shows he still has the capacity to make an impact. The first track ‘Proximus (Medley With Adiemus)’ is not entirely successful – the sample comes in with a jolt – b...
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Neon Indian - Vega Intl. Night School - (Transgressive)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
A welcome return for Neon Indian, whose last album ‘Era Extraña’ showed how imagination and a slightly quirky approach to electronic music can pay dividends. Here, on his first record for four years, he presents confident and occasionally chunky beats that are packed with off-kilter 1980s influences and a lot of endearing weirdness, which keeps the pot bubbling early on. ‘Dear Skorpio Magazine’ is a particularly joyous mix of full bodied rhythms and heady vocals, and it leads straight into the o...
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Gilles Peterson Presents Sun Ra And HIs Arkestra - To Those Of Earth... And Other Worlds - (Sun Ra)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
With such a vast output of albums (well over 100!) it is almost impossible to tell someone where to start with Sun Ra. Thankfully Gilles Peterson is on hand to help out with a thoughtfully compiled double album of someone quite rightly described as ‘a one-off in the history of jazz’. He claimed to be a citizen of Saturn, and his clothes, music and all-round approach certainly had the feel of a man brought to us from another planet. Yet this collection, while maybe concentrating on his much more ...
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President Bongo - Serengeti - (Album Label)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
If you’re familiar with the punchy electro sounds of Gus Gus, you might be surprised by this, a breakout album from one of the group’s more permanent members. President Bongo deals in studied ambience, though the music paints some vivid pictures that go hand in hand with the album title, such as the harmonica-based ‘Scirocco’. The album plays a few tricks, though, because the tracks tend to be either relatively short or stretched out in the best traditions of his band. Each of the instrumentals ...
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Blond:ish - Welcome To The Present - (Kompakt)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
You would be hard pushed to find a better front cover this year than the peacock-based Blond:ish album. The duo, divided between Montreal and London, are similarly elusive when it comes to finding a musical category for what they do. So it’s best just to say that their music is easy to listen to, but that is also incorporates what feels like some far eastern musical language, as well as references to dub and a more ambient form of house music. This makes a good cocktail more than fit for late ni...
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Grimes - Art Angels - (4AD)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 Albums
For her fourth album, Claire ‘Grimes’ Boucher has gone all pop. Don’t let that worry you in the slightest though, because ‘Art Angels’ expands on its acclaimed predecessor ‘Visions’ in a really satisfying way. The songs here are pure pop but they are still leftfield too, using some quite unusual melodies and harmonies to often thrilling effect. The Grimes vocal is still instantly recognisable, quite cutesy but also with a frozen edge running through it. Songs like ‘Easily’ and ‘Realiti’ show tha...
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Luciano featuring JAW - 7direction(s) – (Cadenza Music)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 House
The stunning new single from Luciano begs the question: why can’t more new music be as forward-thinking, and not so afraid of shades of melody and musicality. At almost fourteen minutes in duration its combination of pulsating electronic beats, probing notation and even the occasional sprinkle of reassuring keys contrasting all the intensity is every bit as blissful. That, and dOP vocalist JAW who delivers a first-rate breathy and dangerously potent vocal to augment the unrelenting arrangement. ...
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Miles Bonny - I Bring You Love – (Yoruba Soul)

Thursday, 19 November 2015 House
Launching a brand new label is Osunlade’s fresh offshoot Yoruba Soul Originals which neatly appears in tastefully decorated 7” gate-fold vinyl. The title track sets the scene with an expansive, reverberating production that opens up the soulful pathway with Miles Bonny’s emotionally drenched vocal leading the way. ‘Afraid To Be Who You Are’ follows with a further introspective groove that uses percussion not as a danceable element but as punctuation to the vocal. The stream of consciousness cont...
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Unders - Surroundings EP - (Play Label Records)

Thursday, 12 November 2015 House
Dutch producer Unders has seen and done it all. Having spent the last few years travelling the world playing on numerous continents as well as hosting his own label nights, he seems to be settling down with a single aim - producing timeless, high quality tracks. Surroundings is a brief, tantalising taste of the broad talents of Duncan Meulema. There are little hints of his travels when trickles of water and exotic birdsongs are sampled on ‘Garden Rain’. It's weird and wonderful and the producers...
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Cristian Varela - Max & Max - (Intec)

Thursday, 12 November 2015 Albums
When an album comes along from one of the old guard many tend to view in with weariness, what is it that keeps this guy coming back to the studio when they are no longer reliant on releasing music for bookings? In the case of Cristian Varela it is an unwavering commitment to music first and foremost and this is reflected in his carefully considered 3rd full-length studio album. Many would criticize the format as not relevant to a DJ, because ultimately a DJs purpose is to keep the dance floor ju...
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Jeanne - Mantrakt - (Carton Pate)

Thursday, 12 November 2015 House
French label Carton-Pate is always on the ball and now they offer up a new EP from Jeanne, who steps out of the shadows and really impresses with five tracks that bring together many different influences. Acid, house, electro, pop nuggets and more all get bottled up and infused into this new style. Crystal is a deep, colourful house cut with mid tempo drums and lots of freewheeling melodies that fall down the face of the track like rain. Roma is then a little more club focussed with driving beat...
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Aki Bergen & Richter - Nights & Days EP - (Neurotraxx)

Thursday, 12 November 2015 House
The long running Neurotraxx label now looks to its boss men for its next EP. The boss men are the accomplished talents of Aki Bergen and Richter and here they cook up three brand new tracks that all offer something slightly different but that all excel at making you want to dance. A dub mix of one of the cuts is also included and overall this is a fine EP as a result. The opener is Nights & Days, which is a bubbly, feel good, emotive house track with nice loose lines, colourful synths and a ...
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