Nathaniel X Project
Reliable deepness from Nathaniel X, whose "prequel" First Supplement moved 2,000 copies. More of the same in the best way possible, with two vocal tracks and two instrumentals. "Just A Dance" contains a narrative that will resonate with clubgoers who won't move to just anything. When the track's narrator moves towards the floor the music picks up with an inspired set of chords. Beautiful track. "Station X" and "You F O (Self)" are terrific NYC-style rollers, the former tastefully using a DX7 sax sounds and the latter cutting up a diva vocal to pleasing effect. "Pathematics" is the record's highlight and has Nathaniel X addressing epic themes of economic disparity, dropping the snare in on the 3 and 4 while strings, harp and percussive bass set the tone.
Another bizarre piece of the Kevin Harrison puzzle, lovingly reissued by Soft Rocks' Emotional Response imprint. Global Network was made by Harrison and Peter Every in 1985, and though the My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and YMO comparisons hold water, this thing is deranged in its own way. Corroded dub horns and eastern melodies feature throughout. "Bete Noire" is creeping dub raga over an infernal stopwatch. "Subt(erranean) Culture" sounds like a midi take on the Suspiria soundtrack. Some of the record's most inviting tracks come later, with "Under the Sun" laying gregorian chant over chilled synth arppegiations. Essential listening for the Mutant Sounds set.
Awesome US-inspired classic house EP. "Whatever" kicks things off with a cool, optimistic chord sequence. The jacking, varied percussion provides perfect balance to the dreamy synth work. "Shattered" begins with a riff channeling the unstudied soulfulness of Theo Parrish, eventually introducing a wobbly lead reminiscent of Lone. "3 Cents" combines the producer's obvious melodic chops with a loose, boogie-inspired bassline. The ep's title could refer to the record's refreshing lack of perfection.
Sex Tags Mania
Fast paced, cosmic house from 2001. These tracks are remarkably current - the swinging drums and hyper-melodic chord sequences of "1979 Pace Int." are well represented in the current '90s house revival. The B, Emotional Bits, is a winning take on the classic Detroit electro sound.
Solar love letter from consummate diggers Psychemagik. Plenty of private-press heaters and too rare for discogs gems, every track perfectly suited for a mimosa on a tidal morning (should you be so lucky). Singular California new-ager Iasos opens things up, after which the boys travel far and wide in search of slack acoustic guitars (Steve & Teresa's Catching A Wave), funky wilderness-odes (Walter Hawkins' Metropolis) and smooth fusion reggae (George Oban's Basshoven). Stunning.
Considered reissue of Acid Test 001, the record which arguably cemented Johannes Auvinen's standing as emotional acid iconoclast. Neither the original nor the expansive Donato Dozzy remix have lost a step. Tin Man's instinct to mold the classic acid box into a sustained, mournful instrument will move floors and minds for years to come.
Great new material from the Dutch producer, the first follow-up to his massive Traces album. Opener "Sun Storm" takes a simple acid-influenced line, adds jacking chicago style percussion and drenches the whole thing in ominous atmospher. Karenn takes a considerably more martial approach for their remix. The highlight here is the closing track Challenger, a sinister piece of brooding electro that would fit nicely alongside the E.R.P. records on Frustrated Funk.
Rush Hour's man in Amsterdam unleashes choice cuts from his upcoming Light Fantastic LP. Opener "Two Together," featuring Berlin first lady Steffi, is top discohouse, with a textured guitars and catchy piano riffs worthy of a KDJ production. "True Friends" works an elegant, minimal house arrangement into a chorus of robotic voices. Closer "Avenido" is pure heat, floating a simple melody over a percussive workout which recalls the taut energy of the Relief catalog.
Excellent meandering electro/acid from the rising LA producer, last heard under his Reflektor alias on the Las Ruinas Mayas EP (Wild Oats). "The Beginner" starts with a busy Roland bassline over a boogie beat and takes things out with arpeggios and delayed rimshots. "The Sustainer" is a spacious bit of Drexciyan-funk, while the fittingly titled "The Seeker" is the record's most psychedelic track. A vital emanation from the current SoCal underground.
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