Hipodrome’s 2013 Review (Part 3 of 3)


Here is the third and final part of my 2013 review, featuring my favorite albums released last year. In the first part of the review, the preferences of hipodrome followers are shown, according to the number of click and stars. In the second part, I presented some of my favorite events and performances from last year.

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Now here it comes the serious business. Because there are so many good albums and different genders, I took the same approach as in the 2012’s review.

The list is covering all the genders that I like and post on The Hipodrome Of Music, so I came up with no more than 20 gender lists, going from house to techno, disco and funk to electro and new wave …

Here we go.

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Chicago House

Nevile Watson – Songs To Elevate Pure Hearts [Crème Organization] buy

English producer and DJ Neville Watson released his debut album on the Dutch label Crème Organization in May 2013. Entitled “Songs To Elevate Pure Hearts”, it sees Watson explore similar ground to that of the EPs he has released on labels like Teng and Clone Jack For Daze dating back a whole decade. Watson has become synonymous with re-interpreting classic Chicago house sounds in his own heavily analogue way.

 

Murphy Jax – Teleport: Echo City [Chiwax] buy

Murphy Jax delivers a fresh full length EP entitled “Teleport : Echo City”, via the Frankfurt based Chiwax imprint. The album embraces a variety of styles, ranging from Chicago House, Classic Deep House, Movie Theme style cuts and raw Acid workouts. The mood of the records goes from child like melodies to dark, hypnotic and brooding synth heavy tracks.

 

Simoncino – Open Your Eyes [Mathematics Recordings] buy

The founder of Hot Mix Records delivers a bangin full length to follow up his EP on Chicago Mathematics. Here he continues with more amazing sounding house tracks.

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Detroit House

Steven Tang – Disconnect To Connect [Smallville] buy

“Every producers dream is to one day complete and release a full length album. After a string of well received 12inch singles on my own label, Emphasis Recordings, and most recently, on labels like Aesthetic Audio, Machining Dreams, Syncrophone, and Dolly, I thought now is the time to start realizing that dream of the full length album.”

 

Omar-S – Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself [FXHE] buy

Alex Smith aka Omar-S with his new album on FXHE. The fourteen tracks on this disc demonstrate Smith’s studio prowess and his dynamic range as a producer – from uplifting house to raw techno beats and acid.

 

Moodyman – ABCD [KDJ Records] buy

Kenny Dixon Jr. returns with a new Moodymann 7 track album on KDJ Records – initially sold during Movement Detroit 2013 at the Mahogani Music stand.

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Deep House

Jonsson & Alter – 2 [Kntra Music] buy

The inspiration behind Henrik Jonsson and Joel Alter’s nonchalantly titled second album 2 apparently derives from the time Jonsson & Alter spent performing the previous album live and wanting to incorporate “heavier beats”. The result is a nine-track album that sees Jonsson & Alter produce a refined and matured follow up to their debut, while managing to maintain a raw and housey aesthetic.

 

Rio Padice – Tropical Interlune [Early Sounds Recordings] buy

With the ‘Tropical Interlune’ LP, a wonderful package full of high-level soulful analog house grooves, Rio Padice’s purpose is to bring us into a journey to celebrate 70′s atmospheres and sounds. Far away from the common precepts of modern EDM but not forgetting his dance roots, his efforts lead us to a concept of funky and organic cuts assembled in a wise perspective of his musical evolution.

 

Jimpster – Porchlight & Rocking Chairs [Freerange Records] buy

One of the UK’s most established and consistent deep house producers, Jimpster, drops his eagerly anticipated Porchlight And Rocking Chairs LP on Freerange Records. His first studio album in six years sees him continue where he left off on the 2006 masterpiece “Amour” by taking the blueprint of House music and infusing it with an attention to detail and musicality often lacking in much of today’s more disposable dance music. As Jimpster himself admits, much of the inspiration for Porchlight And Rocking Chairs came from the countless hours spent exhausted or hungover in airport lounges on the way back from gigs. It’s during this early morning never never land that he would seek solace in his ipod or start creating tracks on his laptop. Anything too challenging or abstract would be an irritation. Anything too ambient could sedate to the point of missing flights. So normally it would be the kind of lo-slung, emotive, deep shit with enough groove to get into but also just the right amount of warmth and soul to keep spirits lifted in those tiring, and often solitary hours.

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House

Giorgio Luceri – Voices In My Head [Mathematics Recordings] buy

Giorgio Luceri returns on Mathematics with an amazing debut full length album. Combining classical keys with the old and new sounds of electronic music, he creates an atmosphere perfect for dark club floors, open air festivals, and afterhours. Ten track album with a nice versatile collection of tracks.

 

Usio – Kuwa Huru LP [Studio Barnhus] buy

Usio’s album “Kuwa Huru” on Studio Barnhus. This is emotional, intricate electronic blues for the modern dance floor, with 8 tracks ranging from afro-beat influenced house jams to starlight spangled techno compositions.

 

Trus’me – Treat Me Right [Prime Numbers] buy

“Treat Me Right”, a new album from Trus’me on his own Prime Numbers. Its his first album in 3 years and to a certain extent marks a change in direction from the predecessors. Here’s what the man himself has to say as way of an introduction to the new album

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Acid

Andreas Gehm aka Elec PT.1 – Black Pukee [Solar One Music] buy

Andreas Gehm aka Elec Pt.1, the man from Cologne, releases his longplayer “Black Pukee” on Solar One Music. 12 tracks on the edge of early Dark Jackin Acid, Chicago House and uncompromising Underground Techno and you can clearly hear his passion for the purest 303 Sound.

 

The Exaltics – Das Heise Experiment [Abstract Acid] buy

The Exaltics’ full-length acid project, entitled ‘Das Heise Experiment’ originates from The Exaltics’ desire to take things a notch deeper, while pushing the acid a step into more menacing and quite devilish territory. For those that appreciate such dastardly dark styles, well, you will not be disappointed with this album. Coarse acid coupled with sublime soundscapes and ubiquitously haunting melodies make for the perfect combination.

 

Audio Atlas – Window 2 The World [Mathematics Recordings] buy

Audio Atlas aka Dimitris Evagelopoulos with some deeper and trippy acid and techno tracks on Mathematics. Sometimes reminiscent of the early Fnac/Fcom days, sometimes going towards a early Chicago vibe. This is the third Mathematics album present in this review 🙂

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Disco / Funk

Daniele Baldelli – Let’s Get Lost Vol .21 [Let’s Get Lost] buy

Let’s Get Lost label’s 21st offering  welcomes Italo Disco innovator Daniele Baldelli into the fold with an eight track, double 12″ cosmic transmission. Naturally given the length, Baldelli canvasses an array of styles, like the post punk and jazz fusion of “Dark Sax”, the pulsating future disco of “Teens & Teens” or the Studio 54 referencing “Portorico”. Baldelli also dips into some more down-tempo, ambient and darker italo stylings with “Tunnel”, while taking a Latin approach with “Conflitto Mexicano”.

 

Gramme – Gramme LP [Physical Release Recordings] buy

Much needed vinyl issue of Gramme’s debut LP!! The shady London outfit first appeared on Trevor Jackson’s Output label in the late 90s, brandishing a wonderfully brash take on percussion heavy punk funk. Despite having created a big splash, they then disappeared for over ten years, but now finally their debut album has arrived. It’s been worth the wait with 12 tracks of sleazy and shambolic arty funk music. Highlights include the distorted weirdness of “Do You Really Want Some”, the off-kilter kazoo-core of “Rough News Reprise”, the Joy Division-isms of “Cabvolt 38” and the acidic electro-house of “Laugh Out Loud”.

 

Benedek – Unititled LP [Peoples Potential Unlimited] buy

Benedek unititled debut release on the Peoples Potential Unlimited promo series. Some stellar modern electro funk and forwardthinking dance grooves.

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Cosmic Disco / Italo Disco

Umberto – Confrontations [Not Not Fun Records] buy

Matt Hill’s Umberto project with a new album on Not Not Fun Records. . What instantly distinguishes this new album from the previous albums, slow-burn compositional model, building its evil temple brick by brick, basking in the tension of each new chiming, Carpenteresque synth line or monkish doom Om for multiple measures before stirring the next substance into the cauldron. This elegant sense of patience gives the tracks a more oozing, operatic aura; these confrontations aren’t hostile showdowns in the woods but the creeping dread of alien-nation body snatchers infiltrating the populace.

 

Alessandro Parisi – Hic Sunt Leones [MinimalRome] buy

Hic Sunt Leones is a story about secret ancient technologies coming from pre-human civilization. Sacred steam-cyber punk electronix to describe mystic visions about laser marble, positron iron and extra-dimensional explorers too far from our technology-teenage era. Hindi’s Vimana, Israel’s Ark of the covenant, are just footsteps of what we inherit from our creators. The unknown camouflaged into the holy, the inexplicable into the dangerous: this is the aim of the keepers of our evolution It’s time to explore scary lands and finally tame the lions. MinimalRome is back with this great 8 tracks CD album.

 

Gerhard Heinz – Gerhard Heinz [Private Records] buy

An album completely filled with unreleased music productions by Gerhard Heinz. Cosmic Disco, Minimal Synth, Electro,,, music from old porn and horror movies from the mid 70′s to early 80′s.

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Electro

NRSB-11+ – Commodified+ [WeMe Records] buy

In keeping with the spirit of Detroit electro, this long-awaited debut album from the largely mysterious NRSB11 comes with little fanfare, or indeed information of any kind. Given that Drexciya’s Gerald Donald is involved (alongside fellow Detroiter DJ Stingray and Spanish techno producer Penelope Martin), this is perhaps unsurprising. As with anything Donald does, Commodified is openly faceless, yet musically emotion-rich. Cold and alien as it is, much of the material here comes laden with emotive melodies, atmospheric chords, or percussive touches that wring the last drops of soul from the machines. Even the bleakest tracks – see “Industrial Espionage” or the decidedly Drexciyan “623-748-3” – have an atmospheric richness often lacking from similar electro exercises.

 

Versalife – Vantage Point [Clone West Coast Series] buy

Versalife aka Boris Bunnik album on the Clone West Coast Series. After his debut 12inch series Night Time Activities, here a full length album inspired by the horizons and emptyness of his home lands in Friesland. Accompanied by beautiful artwork of fellow Frisian, and one of Hollands most talented painters, Robert Zandvliet (who happens to have his atelier around the corner of the Clone Hq). His amazing painting ”Winter by Jouswier” (spread among the front and backside of the digipack) symbolizes perfectly the rhythm of the open spaces in Friesland. Especialy in the whitened more abstract and cold winter landscape thats almost synonym for Versalife’s abstract ice cold electro techno.

 

DJ Overdose – Bizarro World [Creme Eclipse] buy

Bizarro World marks the long overdue debut album of veteran Dutch producer DJ Overdose aka Jeroen Warmenhoven and finds a natural home on Creme Organization through their Creme Eclipse sub-label.

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Techno

Fishermen – Patterns And Paths [Skudge White] buy

Fishermen are ready to take you on a diving trip with their very first album, an accomplishment in itself With “Patterns and Paths”, Thomas Jaldemark (YTA) and Martin Skoggehall (MRSK, Smell The Flesh) have crafted a rather mesmerizing story of abstract and figurative tropes altogether, and eerie is probably the best word to describe the general mood of this, but hard and raw eeriness.

 

Marcel Fengler – Fokus [Ostgut Ton] buy

Berghain resident Marcel Fengler’s debut album on Ostgut Ton “Fokus”. It is, in many ways, like an extended love letter to electronic music, and techno in particular. Across the album’s 11 tracks, Fengler turns his hand to atmospheric ambience (“Distant Episode”, “High Falls”, the dreamy “Break Through” and Pete Namlook-ish “Liquid Torso”), eyes-wide-shut Detroitisms (the pleasingly melodic “Jaz”), basement-bothering early morning fare (the paranoid “Sky Pushing”) and, of course, balls-out techno wonkiness (“Dejavu” and the impressively robust “The Stampede”).

 

Benjamin Damage ‎– Heliosphere [50 Weapons] buy

Sonic sci-fi techno album reminiscent not just of early Plaid, Black Dog Productions, Boards of Canada or Luke Slater´s 7th Plain project, but also classic dancefloor classics by the likes of Surgeon, Regis, Dave Clarke or Jeff Mills that knew how to keep a crowd entertained. Bringing to mind the flavor of 1994 without losing the sense that we’re into 2013 as of now. This is dance music with conviction and an album straight and beautiful.

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Detroit

Terrence Dixon – Badge Of Honor [Surface Records] buy

Badge of Honor pushing the envelope of techno with quirky, Detroit-infused abstractions that only the masterful Dixon could conjure up. Far removed from his Population One moniker, this is Terrence Dixon’s fourth LP in an illustrious 20-year career. The album hits us with raw, all-encompassing techno cuts alongside some choice left-field experiments (View From A Lighthouse, Radio Room and Light Years), cementing Terrence’s reputation as the free-form producer of choice, not unlike a modern day Sun Ra. From the P-Funk basslines and melodies of Operation Acoustic and Incoming, to the dark, undulating Mills-esque sound of The Atlantic, this is a release that seemingly covers all the bases. Over a year in the making and already doing the rounds with those in the know, Badge of Honor represents techno from a future age, conceptualised to go well beyond the surface…

 

Floorplan aka Robert Hood – Paradise [M-Plant] buy

Paradise sees minimal Detroit techno icon Robert Hood exploring the Floorplan concept in more expansive style. The Floorplan project was founded in the mid 90s, as Hood looked to merge his minimalist approach with elements of house, disco, funk and gospel. Explored intermittently over a six year period, Hood put it to one side and it was a reissue of the Floorplan debut by Rush Hour that inspired him to revisit the project in 2011, scoring a bonafide gem in “We Magnify His Name”. Explored in album format here, Paradise is a mixture of all new material and tracks culled from these recent M Plant 12″ releases, lending the album a sense of continuity. It’s all the more impressive when you consider the fact Hood’s been releasing one highly conceptual album a year since 2009.

 

Mr. G – Retrospective [Rekids] buy

Illuminating compilation of trax from stalwart London producer Colin McBean, spanning a decade and half. The man himself talks of his “soulful, twisted low-end funk sound” and he’s right on the money: his productions have found fans in disparate factions of the underground, from the afterparty tech-house set to the UK bass upstarts, via the deeper house heads. For this 21-track comp he’s selected his own highlights from this vast body of work, and it’s effectively the most potent cache of secret weapons that a DJ could hope to stumble upon this year.

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Deep / Dub Techno

Prince Of Denmark – The Body [Forum] buy

Prince of Demarks debut album on Giegling’s new techno imprint “FORUM”. Most of the material recorded in 2010 shows the path of the warrior, his needs and desires that left traces along his way.

 

Steve O’Sullivan – Bluetrain Retrospective [Sushitech] buy

For those that don’t know, Bluetrain was a sub label of the legendary Mosaic and was a true classic label from the 90′s where Steve released quality dub techno and house along with some fantastic collaborations with the likes of Ben Sims and Lee Grainge. The pack includes 10 Tracks in total. 2 Remastered versions, 4 exclusive mixes/edits and 4 new and unreleased tracks from Steve.

 

L.B. Dub Corp – Unknown Origin [Ostgut Ton] buy

‘Unknown Origin’ the debut album from Luke Slater’s L.B. Dub Corp moniker on Ostgut Ton. The ten tracks recorded at Spacestation Ø form a hymnal intent on transporting you back to the roots. Digging deep into the history of dance music, ‘Unknown Origin’ dares to ask the big questions and offers noeasy answers. Instead, deep spiritual dubs are side- by-side with slices of piano house, and handsome slabs of techno contrast with the words of the silver-tongued poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

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Drone / Minimal Techno

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Function – Incubation [Ostgut Ton] buy

Function aka Dave Sumner his first solo album on Ostgut Ton “Incubation”.  Over nine tracks we are guided through the varying moods and scenes of Function’s musical temperament. Be it through writhing layered club tracks, soaring string-led atmospheres, or melodic pieces founded on classic electronic traditions, ‘Incubation’ marks a new level of maturity for the Berlin-based producer.

 

Peter Van Hoesen – Life Performance [Tresor] buy

One year on from ‘Perceiver’, Peter Van Hoesen presents his first live album, documenting his performance during the Time To Express label night at Tresor on July 19th 2013. Armed with three synths, a drum machine, two iPads and some outboard effects, he covers a brace of new material woven with recent releases in typically disciplined and unrelenting PvH style, capturing his highly efficient energy transfer and breathless momentum in full effect and perhaps providing better context for his music than any studio album could.

 

Mike Parker – Lustrations [Prologue] buy

Prologue is very excited to host the second album from Mike and this time it’s all about techno performed as a kind of ritual. Let us open the secrets of Mike Parker’s “Lustrations”. The title has multiple meanings and stands also for clarity. Clarity is in general the attitude of Mike’s tracks. He has the massive aptitude to bring techno back to the essentials. Mike’s music has clarity in sound structures, bass lines, drums and arrangements. Everything is lead by puristic sound engineering and exactly this kind of unique and authentic Techno can be discovered on “Lustrations”. 12 hypnotic driven tracks designed to be timeless, produced to be played in techno temples in order to set the audience in hypnotism and to clear the mind.

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Ambient

Jeff Mills – The Jungle Planet [Axis Records] buy

“When I first seen the magic of Julien’s work, it was like watching keyboard sounds invert and morph into obscure frequencies of a song about another space in time. He is a master storyteller of the “Other World”. Its such a pleasure to be able to collaborate on this project, The Jungle Planet”. With his perspective, the concept comes to life in a way I could never do with sound alone”. – Jeff Mills.

 

Conforce – Kinetic Image [Delsin Records] buy

Boris Bunnik’s second album in this 2013 review. Entitled ‘Kinetic Image’, the ten-track album is the sound of Conforce producing without the dancefloor in mind. It’s the sound of him moving away from the past and into the present. The album has very much been designed to be heard in one sitting, as a complete experience that moves away from regimented 4/4 beats and into slower, more surreptitious tempos. The result is an all consuming sonic journey of intriguing and inspiring sounds that range from full on cerebral excursions into vast open spaces that throb invitingly (Scientific Trajectory) to underwater daydreams that suspend you deep in an ocean as various mycobacterial details float by. There’s also more industrial sounding fair that depicts a desolate warehouse in perennial decay (Semantic Field) and mysterious echo chambers that spread out all around you as celestial light beams and haunting melodic ripples gently float by as per the excellent Temporary Reversals.

 

Donato Dozzy – Plays Bee Mask [Spectrum Spools] buy

The prospect of Donato Dozzy reworking Bee Mask for the Spectrum Spool label is a mouth watering one and this double LP collection, entitled straightforwardly enough Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask more than lives up to it’s billing. Originally commissioned to turn in a remix of Bee Mask’s “Vaporware” track from last year’s LP for Room 40, Dozzy apparently felt the track’s inherent beauty merited more than just the one and sent over seven! This decision has resulted in a superb collection of reimaginations from the Voices Of The Lake producer, ranging from calming moments of serenity to bleepish, deep techno explorations.

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Industrial

Shifted – Under A Single Banner [Bed Of Nails] buy

Shifted follow-up album for Bed of Nails is flitting between droning soundscapes, unsettling grooves and intense, murky compositions. While there are tougher, dancefloor-centric workouts (see title track “Under A Single Banner”, “Pulse Incomplete” and “Burning Tyres”), these come cloaked in a murky fog of clandestine atmospherics. It feels like the unheard soundtrack to a black and white documentary on urban decay, fronted by a paranoid insomniac. It is, then, both unsettling and quietly impressive.

 

Shadowlust – Trust In Pain [long Island Electrical Systems] buy

A collaborative effort between Marquis Cooper (Svengalisghost) and Lili Schulder (51717), this project was born in the winter of 2013. What can best be described as non-stop electronic erotic cabaret, the duo played a series of improvised performances which served as a structural backbone prior to the recording of this album. Finished in merely two weeks, this 8 song double LP acts as a complete listening experience, engrossed in the down beat primitive electronics of the past whilst pushing further into the self-created anti-beat world of today. Pulsing tones, off beat drums, melancholic vocals, and overall dark vibes characterize, but do not solely define what it is to truly trust in pain.

 

Vatican Shadow – It Stands To Conceal [Hospital Records] buy

In it’s third year of operations Vatican Shadow became an unavoidable issue on the international noise and techno agenda. Disc one features both sides of his extended ‘Jordanian Descent’ meditations, some of his longest in this guise and given to incredible, unfurling loop repetitions; Disc two holds ‘Ghosts Of Chechnya’, one of his most concise and varied issues, eight tracks wide and tending towards gloomy, urgent, cinematic arabesques including the outstanding ‘Voices Came Crackling Across A Motorola Hand-Held Radio’; Disc three comprises the four parts of his amazing ‘Atta’s Apartment Slated For Destruction’ including the impeccable darkness of ‘Once This Fire Gathers Strength’.

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Noise

Emptyset – Demiurge [Subtext Recordings] buy

James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas are getting crustier and more experimental with every passing year. Recur, their fourth full-length excursion, is decidedly fuzzy and discordant. Seemingly intent on pushing experimental electronics to its limits, the formerly Bristol-based duo serve up a challenging but rewarding set based almost entirely around half-rhythms, white noises, drones, feedback and hissing atmospherics. It’s spooky, intense stuff, all told, occasionally enlivened by sparse, pared-down concoctions that sound like a smacked out take on Autechre. But for all the bleak, out-there sounds, Recur is strangely involving, due in no small part to its immersive nature.

 

Mika Vainio – Kilo [Blast First Petite] buy

Finnish experimentalist Mika Vainio always continues to surprise and amaze with each new release, managing to always re-invent hi sound and go beyond his peers. Kilo comes courtesy of Blast First Petite and goes through ten tracks of Vainio’s finest drone manipulations via way of complex beat-driven machinics. Everything from the opener “Cargo” to tracks like “Cranes” or “Sub-Atlantic” and even “Wreck” display a a more aggressive side of Vainio that harks back to his classic work with Pan Sonic, albeit with a more explicit industrial techno fury.

 

Metasplice – Infratracts [Morphine Records] buy

Rabih Beaini’s Morphine imprint has undergone something of a renaissance in the past year to become one of contemporary techno’s most vital labels thanks to the recent material from Hieroglyphic Being, Container, Upperground Orchestra and Philadelphia duo Metasplice, whose two EPs for the label have provided some of the most alien sounding techno to emerge in recent years. Their debut album “Infratracts” appeared this week with no prior fanfare; it’s as exciting a journey into the duo’s uniquely desolate sound world as you could imagine; combining skull-shattering rhythms with brain-warping textures, the whole things recalls a seasick version of Container’s noise techno being transmitted via SETI’s long-range radio telescope.

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Minimal Synth / Synth Pop

Leæther Strip – Teenage Demos LP [Dark Entries Records] buy

Leæther Strip album “Teenage Demos” represents Dark Entries’ 50th release. Leæther Strip is the solo-project of Danish electronic industrial artist Claus Larsen. “Teenage Demos” is a collection of Claus Larsen’s earliest recordings. Nine demo songs recorded between 1982 and 1986 never before released on vinyl. Though the melodies were catchy and upbeat they had a hidden melancholy because Claus knew that he was different than others. “Dreaming” was his first attempt to “come out” to himself as a queer kid. Lyrically the songs reflected what was going on in his head: youth, hope and dreams. Claus used a simple set up: Moog Prodigy, Yamaha drum machine, delay pedal and spring reverb. He would record the bass and drums on a double cassette recorder, without midi, sequencers or preset sounds. By 1985, Claus composed instrumental songs as the final three tracks on this album illustrate.

 

XEX – Change [Dark Entries Recirds] buy

Dark Entries one more. XEX were an all-synthesizer band from South River, New Jersey in the late 1970s. The band formed when a trio of high school misfits with funny names (Waw Pierogi, Thumbalina Gugielmo and Alex Zander) teamed up with some friends from Rutgers College. The seven songs here are more complex and hypnotic than the synthpunk outbursts of “group:xex.” Their new synthesizers, a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and a Minimoog, evoke the high-tech utopia of Patrick Cowley and proto-techno of Afrika Bambaataa. Thumbalina’s vocals have a detached, icy quality. Lyrics revolve around xex’ melange of oeuvres – pop, kitsch and New Jersey mall culture – offering commentary on species-specific adaptations for copulation, technophilia/phobia and the Jersey shore. “xex:change”, a multiple entendre that refers to the evolution of the group since its first album, group interaction in the creative process, and underlying sexual ambiguity.

 

Hard Corps – Rarities [Minimal Wave] buy

Minimal Wave release of rare tracks by UK legends Hard Corps. Hard Corps were true innovators of the 1980s UK synthpop scene. Hard Corps gained some notoriety for their unique and uncompromising live shows throughout the 1980s. It was the juxtaposition between their hard edged industrial sound and the fragile and enigmatic vocals of French front woman Regine Fetet that created an unusual dichotomy, lending to their strength of character as a band and thus allowing them to stand out from the rest. By 1985 Hard Corps had signed with major label giants Polydor. This enabled the band to work with a couple of their favoured and respected producers, Martin Rushent (known mostly for his exceptional work with the Human League) and Depeche Mode producer and Mute Records supremo, Daniel Miller. These sessions provided the public with just one single due to the labels non-promotion, Je Suis Passée, a sweeping arrangement of breathtaking beauty, combining pumping sequences and sheer power of emotion of Regine’s voice. The band went on a major tour with The Cure in 1985 and Depeche Mode in 1988, before finally disintegrating. As a follow up to Clean Tables Have To Be Burnt (2012), Rarities compiles the outtakes and demos that were left behind. Tracks that truly never saw the light of day.

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New Wave / Psychedelic Rock

Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes [Strut Records] buy

Strut, in conjunction with Ambassadors Reception and Future Nuggets, presents the first ever retrospective of fabled band Rodion G.A., one of Romania’s best kept musical secrets of the last 30 years. As a band, Rodion G.A. were a unique phenomenon in their homeland at the time, operating in their own universe during a prolific period of recording from 1978 to 1984 at a time of significant political repression under the Ceausescu regime. Bandleader, Rodion Ladislau Rosca, was an enigma. As half-Hungarian, half-Romanian, he lived near the border in Cluj, a city with a healthy music culture which had spawned important prog rock bands incuding Cromatic, Experimental Quintet and Semnal M. Despite the political conditions, a music scene existed in Romania, mainly within a network of festivals around the country and in seaside towns at restaurants and clubs.

 

The KVB – Immaterial Visions [Cititrax] buy

Cititrax present a new release by the UK duo known as The KVB via our sublabel Cititrax. Combining shoegaze guitars, minimal synth melodies, hypnotic drum machine rhythms and reverb drenched vocals, The KVB was first formed in 2010 as the solo project of Klaus Von Barrel. He was later joined by his girlfriend Kat Day, who added synthesizers and abstract visual elements. Their sound can be described as dark, layered, complex and moody – an icy atmosphere juxtaposed by the warmth of distorted guitars.

 

The Cult Of Dom Keller – The Cult Of Dom Keller [Mannequin Records] buy

Mannequin has released the long awaited debut LP by Nottingham’s finest purveyors of psychedelic noise, The Cult Of Dom Keller. Partially compiled from re-mastered and reworked versions of tracks previously included in the band’s self-released series of EPs, this new incarnation of The Cult Of Dom Keller’s sounds also features three unreleased recordings. This is the absolute first time that these recordings become available on vinyl, a format that perfectly complements the band’s meticulously textured and carnal sound. A collection of fuzzily enrapturing and lysergically tinged compositions with an electronically infused backbone, the band’s debut might appear as a slight deviation from Mannequin’s traditional aesthetics. We have no doubt though that our connoisseur audience will appreciate the novelty and will instantly fall for these stupefying songs.

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Hip-Hop

Nicholas aka Mick Speed – The Beat Down [Mahogami Music] buy

Mahogani institute break off a raw and soulful hip hop session from Nick Speed aka Nicholas. Proper MPC beats are in order; 20 short and efficient ideas ranging from bass-heavy blues bumps to Dilla-esque funk chop-ups, one wicked auto-tune R&B nugget and nuff crispy neck snappers.

 

J Dilla – Lost Tapes, Reels, and More [Mahogami Music] buy

Mahogani label releases another posthumous J Dilla release, titled ‘Lost Tapes, reels + more’. Despite his untimely passing in 2006, J Dilla’s legacy has remained strong thanks to the enduring qualities of his back catalogue, the endeavours of the J Dilla Foundation and the Yancey Media Group, not to mention the countless Dilla themed reissues and projects that have surfaced in the wake of his death. Moodymann’s Mahogani imprint have of course played their own part in ensuring J Dilla’s enduring legacy with the release of the Dillatroit EP last year, a 12-track release of previously unreleased J Dilla material done in collaboration with the aforementioned Yancey Media Group and J Dilla Foundation.

 

Orlando Voorn – La Cliqa [Vital Force] buy

The legendary Dutch producer Orlando Voorn presents a new album on Vital Force. A hip hop fan since the 80’s, Orlando used his unique scratching skills to win the Dutch DMC DJ championship in 1986. It was clear he always had a true love for all things Hip-Hop. Orlando has also traveled the globe as a Techno DJ during which time he regularly hooked up with many talented MC’s. Voorn began to compile the music created in these sessions which started way back in 2000. The various collaborations resulted in the album La Cliqa. The album represents the best in fluid, clever lyricism and a production style which sounds fresh and contemporary while giving an unashamed nod to the hip-hop golden age of the early noughties. In his career which began almost three decades ago, Voorn has used many different aliases and produced an abundant amount of styles of music but it’s his Detroit Techno/House productions that have gained him the admiration of the electronic music scene. With the release of ‘La Cliqa’ Orlando hopes to introduce his sound to a whole new audience.

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Re-Release

Gherkin Jerks – The Gherkin Jerks Compilation [Alleviated Records] buy

The original 12” vinyl releases of Stomp The Beat and 1990 were two “Holy Grail” releases of Chicago House as they were only available for a short time before Gherkin Records went into inactive status in around 1991. At the time Larry Heard chose to not disclose the fact that he was the producer behind the Gherkin Jerks EPs. The two releases were a concept of experiments where he dove deeper into the equipment and do some creatively different tracks from his Mr. Fingers sound. These two legendary EPs have been heavily influential on other artists to this day. Often sampled or referenced they are true house classics and still amaze 25 years after their creation. Also on this album three bonus tracks, which are from the same Gherkin Jerks sessions but never released as such. Psychotic Fantasy was on the Dance 2000 pt. 2 album and Ecstasy is the full original take which makes its first appearance here. Reznaytor is an exclusive track for this release, never available before.

 

Andre Szigethy – Andre Szigethy LP [Viper Records] buy

The official re-release of the most sought after and expansive German minimal synth, dark wave, electro album. Originally released in Germany, 1983 on Leo Music.

 

Tony Carey – Explorer And Yellow Power [Medical Records] buy

Medical Records presents the groundbreaking electronic classic “Explorer” and its sister LP “Yellow Power” by Tony Carey. (a keyboard whiz from California) In the mid-late 1970’s, he moved to Germany and began working in Peter Hauke’s studio. Here a reissue of the highly-sought after “Explorer” LP along with “Yellow Power” as a 2LP package. Rumor has it that “Explorer” was intended to be demos for the “Yellow Power”. Eventually both of these brilliant LPs were released on X Records in 1982. “Explorer” is the more stripped down almost proto-techno meets synthed out Italo disco while “Yellow Power” has a more polished, well-rounded and produced sound with a different array of instrumentation and alteration in mood. The tracks on “Yellow Power” seem to convey a futuristic sci-fi Japanese motif which possibly explains the beautiful airbrushed samurai warrior on the original cover. Some tracks have sparse vocal samples such as on the lovely “Peking Duck” and “Queen of Scots”.

Hipodrome’s 2013 Review (Part 3 of 3)

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