Tobias – A Series Of Shocks [OSTGUTLP016]

Second solo album from accomplished Berlin based producer Tobias Freund. Continuing his exploration into ‘non-standard’ electronic music, and expanding on the rich sound palette charted in his first LP, ‘Leaning Over Backwards’, this new chapter presents 10 versatile tracks taking us ever further into the purist, evolving sonic world of Tobias. ‘A Series of Shocks is Tobias’ is an impressive return to longtime home Ostgut Ton. Beginning with the beatless melodic pulse of the Steve Reich-influenced “Entire”, Freund works his way through a range of clandestine techno compositions, touching on claustrophobic acid and intense late night thump (“Testcard”, “Ya Po”), scratchy Chicago jack (“Instant”), deeper moods (“The Scheme of Things”) and, most thrillingly, early ’90s influenced intelligent techno. It’s in these moments – “If” and tactile ambient breaks of “Cursor Item Only” – that A Series of Shocks really flies.

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Tobias – A Series Of Shocks [OSTGUTLP016]

R-Zone – R-Zone 09 [RZONE009]

Just a year after starting and the irrepressible R-Zone series is up to release number 9. Again this time there is no real word on who is behind the music, but again it is fierce, searing techno for darkened dancefloors. The barrelling, stomping ‘Down You Go’ opens this EP with blocky metal beats, spares synth lines which bleed in and out of focus and plenty of rattling percussion. ‘Give Me More’ goes a little slower and deeper, with rubbery kick drums forming the base of the track as molten and melted acid gurgles percolate up through the mix. On the flipside, ‘Too Much TV’ is a more elastic groove that undulates up and down with short little acid stabs buried deep within as the bass drops in and out. Supple and propulsive, it’s arresting stuff that gets completed with final track ‘VHC Beats’. Whichever producers are behind the R-Zone series always manages to come up with the goods, so if you like fizzing, textured techno that pulls no punches, this remains the series for you.

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R-Zone – R-Zone 09 [RZONE009]

Dubbyman – LA Ciudad Interior [DAS005]

La Ciudad Interior EP was produced by deep Explorer artist Dubbyman. He’s mixing electronic music with jazzy chords and some space spherical grooves, giving us a brilliant mixture of different styles and vocals. It took almost one year to complete this three track EP. Dubbyman has been drawing a lot on musician friends for adding a human touch. He has been blessed with amazing vocals by Bjak, Jenifa Mayanja, Gianluca TheHuge, Sinovuyo Tshomela and Debra Jones-Davis.

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Dubbyman – LA Ciudad Interior [DAS005]

VA – Movements 6 [TRLP9031]

The ‘Movements’ saga started to discover, study, and properly represent great black American music that is at risk of being lost or forgotten. Today, his illustrious label: Tramp Records, proudly releases the 6th volume of this essential series. Though the track listing still contains amazing music you may never hear elsewhere, the series has matured since its first volume. The track selection has become more open minded, compiling ballads and soul-jazz tunes, even proto-disco in addition to the rare funk Tramp fans expect. Tracks are selected in chronological order so that the listener may get an impression of the development of of the art form from jazz to rhythm and blues to rock & roll to soul and of course – funk. As the website states: ”we ain’t going for bootlegs,” so, whenever possible, Tramp sought out and was granted permission to release each track from the original musicians who are very often in their late seventies now. He took that opportunity to interview them about their careers, their groups, and the recording sessions from which these gems arose. The artists’ stories are meticulously published in extensive liner notes which are printed in the included full-color booklet. Their own words illuminate the colorful backstory behind each track.

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VA – Movements 6 [TRLP9031]

Seven Davis JR. – The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 [IZWID002]

The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 draws together material spanning some twelve years of unreleased four and eight track recordings from Houston-born Seven Davis Jnr. “once lost in storage via a lengthy hiatus due to drug addiction and depression”. Plucked by Kutmah to appear on the Worldwide Family Vol 2 issued on Brownswood last year, Davis Jnr. has subsequently self released material via bandcamp, dropped a killer house focused 12? on Jay Simon’s Must Have Records and has a record with Funkineven on the way . Brandishing a rough and rugged mastery of drums and a truly soulful vocal, Seven Davis Jnr has the capacity to cover a broad range of styles (a cover version of Prince’s “Controversy” that can be found online is a notable highlight). This much is more than evident on the newly issued collection of works for IZWID, with the bugged out mutant soul of “Sorry” being a stand out track.

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Seven Davis JR. – The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 [IZWID002]

Whilst – Everything That Was Was There [OM021]

Post-voodoo, intergalactic grooves, layered and psychedelic, hypnotic and infectious. Formed originally as a jam-based project in the ever-fertile analogue studio ‘Green Door’, Whilst jump seamlessly between free jazz, primitive electronics, dubby post-punk, North African and motorik stlyings, underpinning their sound with a strong punk ethos.

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Whilst – Everything That Was Was There [OM021]

VA – Kiss The Sun EP [BBR006]

Kiss The Sun EP is a collection of 4 outstanding tracks from artists that know a thing or two about genuine deepness. Featuring Ernie (Minuendo /Deep Art Sounds), Natan H (Ethereal Sound/Manmakemusic), Brian James (Unfocused) and Owen Jay & Melchior Sultana (Moods & Grooves/Underground Quality), BBR06 portrays the distinct Batti Batti sound taking the listener on a warm journey of different textures.

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VA – Kiss The Sun EP [BBR006]

Franc Spangler – Painted Lady [DOG036]

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With just one other record consigned to the project it’s not often we witness label boss Jimpster turning his hand to his discofied alias on Delusions Of Grandeur. Any keen followers of the label will be more than satisfied with the vibe on offer, as a slower kind of house groove takes hold for three tracks infused with spiritual sampling, starting with the wistful, soulful tones of “Painted Lady”. “Lumpsucker” has a stronger electronic vein running through its core, matching Chicago drums and snaking arpeggios with washes of chords to keep the mood mellow, before “Camberwell Beauty” scrubs out the edges and drifts deep down into a sumptuous pillow of laconic house.

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Franc Spangler – Painted Lady [DOG036]

Rude 66 – 12 Inch [ET032/GOOILAND014]

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Rude 66 does not need an introduction… This Dutch acid and electro veteran has been around for a long time. Being part of the old school acid scene from The Hague with releases on legendary label Acid Planet and he is one of the originals (again) when it comes to the new wave of electro in the late 1990’s. Two vocals tracks on the A-side with Beta Evers and Sololust appearing as partners in crime, and on the B-side two instrumental almost trance like tracks. This is were electro, acid and a touch of old school gothic come together!

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Rude 66 – 12 Inch [ET032/GOOILAND014]

DJ VLR – CPU Mixed [CPU00000111]

DJ VLR presents a compelling mixtape of the first year of releases from label Central Processing Unit. This limited edition cassette evidences a focused curation which prioritises a return to the tropes of end-of-the-century accelerationist dance music, with the electro staples of machine vocals, hammering bass patterns and blunted drums dominating proceedings. Though the sound palette is tried and tested, there is a precision to the employment of detuned synths and weighty bass squelches here that recommends it beyond mere nostalgia.

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DJ VLR – CPU Mixed [CPU00000111]