Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Shaman! [STRUT214LP]

IDRIS ACKAMOOR/THE PYRAMIDS - Shaman!

Influential jazz collective Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids return with an epic new opus, ‘Shaman!’, featuring a fresh line-up including original 1970s Pyramids member Dr. Margaux Simmons on flute, Bobby Cobb on guitar, long-term associate Sandra Poindexter on violin, Ruben Ramos on bass, Gioele Pagliaccia on drums and Jack Yglesias on percussion. The band transitions from the political and social commentaries of 2018’s acclaimed ‘An Angel Fell’ into more introspective themes. “I wanted to use this album to touch on some of the issues that we all f ace as individuals in the inner space of our souls and our conscience,” explains Ackamoor. “The album unfolds over four Acts with personal musical statements about love and loss, mort ality, the afterlife, family and salvation.” Evolving around Ackamoor’s intricate compositions, the album takes us effortlessly across moods and emotions through a series of expansive, extended pieces. Starting with ritual, soul-searching, and masculine vulnerability on the title track, the band explores timeless existence on ‘Eternity’ and mourns the sudden loss of loved ones in the prescient ‘When Will I See You Again?’, a track which gains new relevance amidst the current COVID-19 crisis. Ackamoor pays tribute to his mentor Cecil Taylor on the angular ‘Theme For Cecil’ and renders homage to the ancestors on ‘Salvation’ and ‘The Last Slave Ship’, recalling the last ship to bring slaves to the US from Africa, the Clotilda. The superb ‘Virgin’ is an anthem of forgiveness, new beginnings and self-healing.

vinyl / CD

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Shaman! [STRUT214LP]

VA – Onderwereld EP [CELTD003]

COSMOX/543FF/STAR KID/GAMMA INTEL - Onderwereld EP

Coming next on Cultivated Electronics Ltd (CE’s limited vinyl offshoot) is a V/A EP entitled ‘Onderwereld’ which takes its name from a former atomic bunker based in The Hague (Netherlands) that housed music studios, offices and the Intergalactic FM station, Onderwereld Radio. The building had to be vacated last year, but the amalgamation of some of those artists and their creative resources lives on. Together, they encapsulate the new underground sound of The Hague. Opening the A-side is a track by Crave Festival organiser, Cosmox who delivers tough staccato Electro-funk on ‘Electrostress’, before 543ff (a regular player on the Dutch Electro scene who’s released on ?X and has a forthcoming album on Diffuse Reality) brings stripped-back beats and layers of melody on ‘Easy’. Keeping the Onderwereld collaborative ethos alive, 543ff joins forces with Star-kid (Bunker Records) and Gamma Intel (Brokntoys / Pinkman) on the B-side, for ‘Three City Firm’. Their original version is dark and bristling, while 543ff’s remix takes the track on a galactic ride.

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VA – Onderwereld EP [CELTD003]

Detroit’s Filthiest – Please Play Again [PHLTRXXL003]

DETROIT'S FILTHIEST - Please Play Again

The don of Detroit ghettotech, Detroit’s Filthiest (a.k.a. Julian Shamou / DJ Nasty / 313 Bass Mechanics / Digitech) returns to Philthtrax and transports us to the secret levels of dance music, revealing the hidden keys that were there all along, across this 4-track EP.

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Detroit’s Filthiest – Please Play Again [PHLTRXXL003]

Steve Allman – Brainwave [EON003]

ALLMAN, Steve - Brainwave

Scand resident Steve Allman brings together the fast-paced sounds of Detroit and London
electro in his debut EP on EON Records. Sonically the EP is an expression of Allman’s ear for fast-paced 90s era Detroit electro and the UK’s rave edged take on the sound calling upon freaky synth work, heavy bass patterns and eerie rave stabs to colour the release. What we hear on Brainwaves across the three original tracks is pacey, buoyant and sub-weighted – a record ready to be played loud when the systems are turned back on. Closest influence and mentor Sync 24 drops a bomb of a remix for the title track Brainwave, weaponising it a step further adding a deadly acid scrawl.

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Steve Allman – Brainwave [EON003]

Marshall Jefferson / Jungle Wonz – Vibe Three / Human Condition [CCR002]

JEFFERSON, Marshall/JUNGLE WONZ - Vibe Three

Club Chi’ll have found a holy grail of house right here. Chicago house legends Marshall Jefferson and Jungle Wonz having unearthed, unreleased tracks played by Ron Hardy, direct from the tapes in 1985, then lost for decades with no one but the Music Box crowd hearing them until now… 35 years later. Those lost tapes have now been recreated through Marshall’s unparalleled and unquestionable production skills, and who better to give you their story than the man himself:

“I would take tapes to the Music Box and Ron Hardy would play my music. VIBE was one of those tracks. I recorded VIBE in 1985, but it became one of my tracks that I just forgot about until some guy on Facebook sent me a recording of it, that was taken from a club. The only person who I ever gave a recording of VIBE to was Ron Hardy. The only other people I know who had copies of the track was Gene Hunt and DJ Emanuel Pippin.
The original version of VIBE was made using a Roland 707, Roland JX8 P keyboard and a Roland 727 drum machine. I was still working at the Post Office at the time, and this was pre-Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem). VIBE was the building blocks for Move Your Body because it was using the instruments on the track that I discovered what I could do with the bass sound, to make a track like Move Your Body.” – Marshall Jefferson
Likewise, ‘Human Condition’ by Jungle Wonz, sees Marshall reuniting with Harry Dennis, using the same base as Vibe Three but with Harry providing the vocals with his brilliant poignant lyrics over the top, that are evidently relevant for us all today. Speaking on ‘Human Condition’ Harry expressed, “The track we have is on terms of suffering in the Hoods of Chicago or any place with poverty, and it’s deep.”

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Marshall Jefferson / Jungle Wonz – Vibe Three / Human Condition [CCR002]

Space Ghost – Time To Dance [TART049]

SPACE GHOST - Time To Dance

Space Ghost returns with hedonistic house anthems for your living room dance floor on his latest EP, Time To Dance. On this new EP, Space Ghost gets on the mic and takes us back to the early days of house music, effortlessly mixing the deep bass rhythms of Chicago with the Nu Groove-era of the East Coast.

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Space Ghost – Time To Dance [TART049]

Fredfades & Jawn Rice – Remixes [MI022]

FREDFADES/JAWN RICE - Remixes

The Norwegian House duo gets the remix treatment from Chmmr, Deep88, and Hugo LX while Fredfades & Jawn Rice goes OG on a demo version from their highly anticipated LP. Basking in the warmth of the duo’s analogue sounds, Chmmr transports Show me How to the farthest recesses of the galaxy with some spacy synths and cool reverbs blowing through Dreamcast’s sensual vocal before Fredfades & Jawn Rice tempers Travels through Air with an OG lean on the A side. Meanwhile on the B-side; Deep 88 carve a yawning a trench for Stimulator Jones’ airy vocal before Hugo LX puts a bounce in the step of Mutual Love to close out the exciting remix package. The sound of Fred and Jawn peek through consistently, with each artist putting their own distinctive stamp on the originals. Elements of Jazz, Soul and Hip Hop create a heady fusion of sounds breaking loose from the House foundations for this series of heavy steppers.

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Fredfades & Jawn Rice – Remixes [MI022]

Peaking Lights – E S C A P E [DKMNTL081]

PEAKING LIGHTS - Escape

With their first LP in over three years, Californian psych-dub duo Peaking Lights offer an outlet from the mundane with a kaleidoscopic collection of lo-fi, escapist-electronic pop. Over their illustrious twelve-year-plus career, the husband and wife duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have set themselves apart with their characteristic dreamy, and melancholic sound that blends together elements of dub, and delicate-but-quirky electronics. E S C A P E, Peaking Light’s sixth album, and first for Dekmantel, finds them at their finest, replete with atmospheric landscapes crafted out of homemade-percussive loops, that sit alongside wondrous electronic pop and krautrock-like hooks, all tied together by Indra Dunis’ composed and hypnotic vocal charm.

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Peaking Lights – E S C A P E [DKMNTL081]

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

Popnihil returns with an album of intricate postpunk from Daniel Holt’s new project Human Figures. Besides running Ardetha Records, Holt has impressed with dungeon synth and ambient projects, his dark synth duo Vault, and a mind-melting techno 12″ for L.I.E.S. Records. But Human Figures is a completely new and personal avenue of expression. “Footsteps” features hymnal, meditative post-punk from musical polymath Daniel Holt.

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

Wladyslaw Trejo – Es Una Bestia [PY90]

Polytechnic Youth return with the whacked out synth-punk mini LP “Es Una Bestia” by Wladyslaw Trejo. Trejo is a Spanish musician, and a key figure in the European underground electronic scene; and despite this being his first solo album since 2015’s self titled debut, he is eternally busy, especially as part of ‘avant-wave’ dueo Slovenska Televiza. Trejo says of the record: “Es Una Bestia is a settling of personal accounts with the ghosts and fears of youth. Digging through the wounds, exploring the cursed soul, inviting his monsters to come to the surface and they do so in the form of vitriolic and hallucinated synth-punk. For this bloody task he has aquired the best possible help, the complicity of the prestigious (and Nick Cave favourite) Polish painter Aleksandra Waliszewska, who provides vocals, as well as the director and musician Wiktor Stribog, the brain behind the ‘Kraina Grzybów’ phenomenon, who collaborates on the lyrics. In his solo project Wladyslaw reveals himself as a crooked line, a faustic anomaly that invites to a dark and psychotropic journey in the form of feverish electronics, industrial rhythms, and almost paranoid sound walls through certain life risks”.

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Wladyslaw Trejo – Es Una Bestia [PY90]

Mike Storm – Absorbing Other Stars [ASD002]

Axis Records introduce a new element in their online shop. The Axis Online shop will now offer music in a curated form to feature exclusive works of various artists that are considered masters of their craft and style of Techno Music. This one is coming from Mike Storm master from the underground scene of Alkmaar in the Netherlands. Until this day, he still produces his tracks without any edits or total recall, just straight forward recordings directly from machines only. Mike Storm is mainly inspired by the Sci-Fi sound. The thinking process of his sound are created effecting emotions and leading to action. Sometimes there are actions we can’t control and therefore each creation is a unique process. Thoughts are created and disappearing like stars and planets. Mike Storm translate these thoughts and emotions into music sequences and it influences the mental state. Building sequences and sound development become a natural process.
Mike Storm – Absorbing Other Stars [ASD002]

Takaaki Itoh – Mutual Recognition [KR3002]

KR3 first EP is an intricate labyrinth of sounds, curated by Japanese techno pioneer Takaaki Itoh with an additional remix by Claudio PRC. “Mutual Recognition” is a work of insistent raw elements that interweave with hypnotic segments, creating a sense of bewilderment. The A side keeps listeners on the edge with its insistent wobbling and repetitive sounds. Similarly, the B side builds a sense of high intensity; Stinging synths and mental hi-hats interact consistently, resulting in a mesmerizing conversation.

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Takaaki Itoh – Mutual Recognition [KR3002]

CiM – Series Two [DSR/CIM1]

Essential CiM (aka Simon Walley) classic, originally released on Headspace Recordings in 1999. Now re-mastered and re-cut on Delsin Records. Crispy and soulful idm-techno in line with CiM’s Delsin debut Service Pack released later that year.

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CiM – Series Two [DSR/CIM1]

Cyan85 – Lucid Intervals [VOILP03]

A year has passed since Cyan85 first graced the VOITAX catalogue with his successful summer debut EP – “Bay Of Sampieri”. His dreamy pads, avant-garde take on retro arpeggios and slamming 808 beats have been continuously conquering our ears ever since, making him a young talent to watch within the electro circuit. He now returns to the imprint with his very first album – “Lucid Intervals”, demonstrating his knack for crafting ambitious pieces to establish himself as a respected producer. The LP aims to explore a variety of dystopian atmospheres and energies throughout nine infectious and carefully crafted tracks that build on electro’s rich heritage without failing to infuse it with Cyan85’s very own remarkable, dreamy electronic signature.

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Cyan85 – Lucid Intervals [VOILP03]

Animistic Beliefs – Thief of Sanity [BT45]

Thief of Sanity’ is shapeshifting duo Animistic Beliefs’ debut on Brokntoys. The 4 track EP is an ode to the past, drawing inspiration from political techno group Underground Resistance, as well as ancestral pan-tribalist music. Without compromising their signature Rotterdream sound, the dynamic duo deviates from their recklessly violent live-sets, tuning into more introspective and earthbound frequencies. By means of hypnotic synthesizer and bursting drum machine workouts, Xakalele and rbf.linh take you through their melancholy filled world, sharing with you their worries, hopes and fears in the form of a tongue-tied protest.

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Animistic Beliefs – Thief of Sanity [BT45]

Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Roy Ayers – Roy Ayers [JID002LP]

YOUNGE, Adrian/ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD/ROY AYERS - Jazz Is Dead 2

In February 2018, Roy Ayers performed four sold out shows in Los Angeles as part of the Jazz Is Dead Black History Month series. It wasn’t until 2020 that fans of Ayers discovered that in addition to those shows, the legendary vibraphone player had also recorded an entire album of new material with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Over the course of its eight original compositions, written collaboratively by Younge, Shaheed Muhammad & Ayers and recorded at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles, the resulting album sounds both like an unearthed an unreleased album from Ayers’ classic period in the 1970s (which produced the oft-sampled “Red, Black & Green,” “We Live In Brooklyn, Baby,” “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” and “Running Away), as well as something startling, new and unexpected. Joining Ayers, Younge & Shaheed Muhammad onthis musical journey are drummer Greg Paul, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark & Anitra Castleberry, as well as Phil Ranelin & Wendell Harrison of the legendary Spiritual Jazz label Tribe Records. The 8 tracks on this album testify to the love not only of a legendary musician’s legacy, but to the vitality & necessity of this music and these sounds in the present era, a thread that will likely run throughout all of the upcoming releases from Jazz Is Dead Records.

vinyl / CD

Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Roy Ayers – Roy Ayers [JID002LP]

Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

ONENESS OF JUJU/VARIOUS - African Rhythms 1970-1982

Strut kick off a brand new deal with the seminal independent black jazz and soul label Black Fire in May with ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’, a comprehensive 2CD / 3LP compilation of Oneness Of Juju, led by Plunky J. Branch. Tracing their career from the band’s earliest work in 1970 with South African exiled jazzman Ndikho Xaba in San Francisco, the compilation covers the band’s journey to New York’s loft jazz scene, forming Juju and releasing two landmark albums of hard-hitting percussive jazz on Strata-East. “I saw myself as a cultural warrior,” explains Plunky. “We studied about Africa and tried to infuse our music with an African spirit.” Moving back to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia during the mid-’70s, Plunky drew in a superb new group of musicians and vocalists and created the band’s new incarnation, Oneness Of Juju, retaining the African influence but fusing his sound with funk and R’n’B on the classic ‘African Rhythms’ album. “We realised that, if we put a backbeat to the Afro-Cuban rhythms, people in Richmond and Washington D.C. could be drawn into it; it didn’t change anything about our message.” The change would lead to a series of enduring soul-jazz classics on Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire label, including ‘River Luv Rite’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ and their biggest crossover international hit, ‘Every Way But Loose’ in 1982, later famously remixed by Larry Levan. The band received renewed interest in their music during the mid-’80s as Washington D.C.’s go-go innovators cited the band as a major influence and rare groove DJs revived their albums for London dancefloors.

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Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]

BELTRAN, John - The Season Series

Detroit composer John Beltran returns to Delsin with The Season Series. A collection of subtle and colorful compositions of beautiful synth melodies creating heavenly atmospheres. A blissful walk through breezy spring fields where the gentle sunrays thaw frosty winter scenes. Whether offering up club-focused Motor City techno, futuristic tech-jazz, bubbly electronica or sofa-bound ambient compositions, John Beltran always wrings the maximum amount of beauty and soul from the machines he uses to make music. He’s at it again on “The Season Series”. Variously fusing swelling, almost classical chord sequences, stirring melodic refrains, effects-laden shoegaze guitars, effected vocal snippets and beats (when used) that touch on many of Beltran’s main influences (think IDM and Detroit techno), Beltran has produced a simply stunning album that amply rewards those who give themselves in to its positive, emotion-rich charms.

vinyl / CD

John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]