Why release Jersey-inspired house when you can reissue the real thing? The “Meat Mixx” and “NYC Dub” of this Whitehead/Murk collaboration are compiled here, along with present-day remixes. The original NYC Dub is a transcendent example of American garage house - all vocal cutups, pristine piano, swung drums and organ steps.The Meat Mixx makes full-use of Whitehead’s powerhouse ( vocals. A1, the remix by Willie Graff and Tucillo provides an airier interpretation of the NYC Dub’s organ stabs and Whitehead’s soaring vocals, and adds a subtle acidic squelch. The Florian Kruse mix has a classic Strictly Rhythm vibe while Max Jacobson takes a deeper approach - looping a wordless sample of Whitehead’s vocal, but buoying the track with live-sounding bongos. Great release!
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Their status as LA’s premier live dance/balaeric/kraut/? band cemented, the group of talented producers and music nerds (Pharoahs’ core consists of former Amoeba employee Sam Cooper, Dublab dude Ale Cooper and rising producer Suzanne Kraft) make the move to fellow diviner Lovefingers’ label for their most realized effort yet. “Ahumba” is named after surfer Cooper’s dream beach in Zanzibar - and the song reworks windswept digital beauty of the Innovative Communications label for the dancefloor. Sublime guitar arpeggiations color the tropical tracks. “If It Ever Feels Right” is a live staple that never comes out quite the same - a testament to the massive amount of improv that makes Pharaohs such an exciting group. The basis of the track is a descending Juno 60 arpeggio - delayed uptown sax, a far-off pad and varied percussion fill this out into perhaps the most floor-friendly track on the record. The insistent bassline eventually ends up scoring some light jacking and zonked sax-work worthy of Roland P. Young. Island Time successfully focuses on rhythm rather than the synth acrobats of the other tracks, bringing the tide back out for this great EP.
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Sick, modern electro sounds, equally influenced by Drexciya and Miami-bass. The long-running project on Seattle’s Chris Roman, 214 eases the listener into the four-track journey with half-time creeper “First Descent”. Things get faster, darker and more filmic on subdued banger “Bluetooth Cone”. Closer “Frostbite” is fit for Los Angeles circa 2019.
Rate of Change
Great mixture of experimental textures and dystopian electro courtesy of Boris Bunnik, the mind behind Conforce and a plethora of other projects. For fans of AFX, Drexciya (and attendant projects).
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In the latest transmission for Dan Snaith’s (Daphni, Caribou) anything goes dance label Jialong, Jeremy Greenspan (of Junior Boys) received Laurie Spiegel’s blessing to rework her iconic “Drums”. True to the source, Greenspan used the polyrhythms to trigger drum machines and synths, an interpretation in the truest sense - the results are tasteful and surprising - with the synths spinning jagged towards techno structure (like a slowed-down Jeff Mills) towards the end of the piece. B-side Sirius Shake compliments the A’s martial funk nicely.
Dadub fires a warning shot prior to their forthcoming album in the form of a remix ep gathering a number of the heaviest names in dark, experimental techno - Lucy, Lakker, Rrose and Raster-Noton boss Kangding Ray all take a swing and succeed in their own ways on this heavy EP. With names like this, the listener can predict the varying levels of techno abstraction present here. Lucy presents the most inviting track on this ep, varying his dark techno throb with vocals and dubby stabs worthy of Rhythm and Sound. Irish duo Lakker comes with a blocky, scattershot reading of Dadub’s “Path”, at times yanking the foreboding beat away entirely leaving only sheet metal samples. Rrose continues on that path that has brought him so much notoriety - fans of his epic Waterfall will not be disappointed. Kangding Ray, perhaps the most academically minded of the bunch, buttresses his unmatched sound design with a relentless delayed kick.