Odd, intriguing house forms from The Citizen's Band. The title track maintains an optimistic nu disco meets afrobeat pulse, but the highlights here are the original and MM/KM (Mix Mup and Kassem Mosse) take on Unchained. The original track uses only sharp modular arpeggiation for percussion but manages to be funky as hell, integrating a soaring horn motif and wordless vocal samples. KM/MM bring their trademark low-slung percussion and wooziness. Recommended.
Delroy Edwards x Funkineven
Heat from the unholy LDN/LA alliance of rising producers Funkineven and Delroy Edwards. The functionally titled tracks are rough dj tools with manic percussion. There is always talk of perfect tracks with just a few elements, but there are exactly two on this record - bassline and percussion. That percussion just happens to be some of the most unique you'll hear this year, all distant cannon snare, steamvent ambience and skittershot breaks.
A gathering of Chicago's finest lay down some sublime versions. Glenn Underground has an ethereal, cosmic take on the Boogie Nite track. Rising producer/dj Rahaan comes with a stunning version built on a stepping disco bassline and descending Rhodes. The track expands to include guitar, string synth and various breakdowns underlining Rahaan's preternatural understanding of space.
Essential comp of cosmic French music. The collection features the most zonked output of household names like Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Michelle Jarre alongside cult curios like Space's Magic Fly and other delights heretofore reserved for avid diggers. Droid's Shanti Dance Part 1 builds from an accomplished Rhodes progression to an insane string synth solo. Frederic Mercier's Triumph looses none of its majesty despite having been used as sample fodder by Jay-Z. Stick around for the campy balearica that is DVWB's Aqua.
Cool, uncompromising techno on Lucy's Stroboscopic Artefacts label. Leading track Harbour makes ingenious use of decayed foghorns to service a banging, ominous beat. On the closer, Valentina Lane , a catchy synth melody is propelled onwards by creaking percussion.
LA-based chess and pick-up basketball obsessive Jeff Witscher burrows deep into his own world on Vanilla Call Option. In this landscape, there is no melody or traditional rhythm, only infinite machine texture and a natural knack for musique concrete. The record is both confined and expansive, traversing fidelities and moods. On Var_Len a female voice is cut-up and assailed by serrated noise. Merci Cheri cooks up a ghostly chorale of atonal strings. The high frequency wheeze of Buf.Catch shows no regard for the casual listener. It's all alien and engrossing.
Hippos in Tanks
The inscrutable James Ferraro returns with one of the strangest of his 70+ releases to date, a Britten meets rnb pastiche dedicated to the underbelly of America's toughest city. It's uneasy listening. On Fake Pain, he deploys a male diva sample as a drum and bass producer would, but throws things off with his own autotuned improvisations. Stuck 1, 2 and 3 are interludes presenting the city as quicksand. Cheekbones focuses on unhealthy young love while Nushawn is inspired by the grimmest of half-remembered news stories. In Ferraro's NYC, somber figures amble under an elevated train platform in a stasis of permanent midnight.
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