South Sudan’s undisputed ‘King of Music’, the Juba-via-Melbourne eccentric outsider Gordon Koang, returns with his second full-length of original material since emigrating to Australia, the masterly titled follow-up, Community. Eight tracks recorded in Melbourne with a cast of the city’s finest musical minds, including Zak Olsen, Jesse Williams, David “Daff” Gravolin and Jack Kong, the record draws upon Gordon’s pitch-perfect pop sensibility and compulsion for composing irresistibly catchy melodies. Add to this brew the extensive creditienals of his collaborators, who are known for their work with Trafik Island, ORB, Leah Senior and more, and you have yourself a perfect blend of East African pop and vintage psychedelia that is surely one of the most interesting records of the year, outstripping it’s Australian counterparts both in songwriting, production value and downright good energy.
Three more iconic Parallel 9 dub-techno classics from the Steve Rachmad archives re-issued on the Delsin Sterac series. Originally released in 1996 on Prime, now re-mastered. Track order is shuffled a bit, as it turned out the full 10 minutes version of Quanah was shortened in 1996. It was through the preparation of this re-issue Steve found out now 25 years later they had shortened the track by four minutes back then for some reason. Steve Rachmad’s richly melodic strain of techno has resulted in a huge body of work he has been growing since the early 90s. His sound is the perfect distillation of machine soul – dubby atmospherics and crisp, danceable dynamics balanced in perfect unison.
Raw & gritty peak-time analogue techno cuts by ROD’s new hardware project Rod20.
From Seattle we present NYCO on the 16th Self Reflektion release with a selection of previously digitally released music from this talented versatile producer. Essential dancefloor driven cuts.
Zeta Reticula (Umek) makes his Censor debut with Star’s Wobble EP. A sizzly, mega-compressed five-track compendium of electro with ultra-scratchy highs and phase-freaked lows, it consists of three originals and two remixes. Of the former, ‘Unaided Eye’ boldly goes where few electro artists go, opting for a lower tempo, sparser soundscapes, and a more melodic underpinning. Of the latter, Sync 24 and Alex Jann serve up a tune that sounds like the bioindustrial workings of the Engineers’ spaceship from the Alien franchise. An overall extraterrestrial affair, transcending the limits of mere humanity.
Client_03 comes to Cultivated Electronics with more of that razor sharp electro-bugging business, hyper-detailed soundscapes to inspire vivid sci-fi reveries in the midst of the dance. From the tuned up cybernetic pressure of ‘Sense Combiner’ to the slow and tense Sync 24 collab ‘Counterfactual Interaction History’, the quality is as unrelenting as the intricate fusions of drum machines and squelchy synths.
Italian The Villains Inc. moves up a gear with its fourth release to date and already the second in less than a year. ‘Conscious ‘Time To Go Back EP’ introduces the exclusive collaboration between label owner Gab.Gato (Dominance Electricity, Drivecom, SolarOne) and his partner in crime Jack Bags (La Sabbia) from Milan. Together, they drop an untouchable dancefloor oriented five tracker based upon a terrific concept. Coming from the year 2106 with a preventive message to save Earth from manhandled destruction, scientist Dr Boomer understands how much it’s too late to prevent the planet from Armageddon.
Through Twelve is an electronic-dyed combo powered by 80’s synthpop and shiny post-production by Italoconnection. Their Mini LP “Inner bridges” is full of layered basslines, pulsating rhythms, catchy vocals and retro synth warmth. Tracks such as the richly melodic “Silent Radio’ and the New Order-ish sweeps of “New Town” are irresistible invitations to stand-up and move your hips. T12 have a tendency for emotive analogue leads, expressive pads and inimitable synth sequences, in duet with electric bass phrases. T12 signature sound becomes immediately recognizable in the dancefloor-ready song “This Love”, starring Italo disco icon Fred Ventura. “Silent Radio” receives an exuberant electro-remix treatment from Italoconnection and “This Love” goes hand-in-hand with Mono Han version.
Dark Entries has a surprise delivery! Malebox brings us six previously unreleased funk-fueled jams from the archives of the cybernetic disco titan himself, Patrick Cowley. Best known for his chart-topping disco anthems, Cowley left us with an incredible body of work before his tragic death in 1982 due to AIDS-related illness. Since 2009, Dark Entries has been working with Cowley’s friends and family to uncover the singular artist’s lesser-known sides, including his soundtracks for gay pornographic films on compilation albums School Daze, Muscle Up, and Afternooners. But Malebox gives us more of the Cowley we know and love: churning disco-funk and hi-NRG tracks that are spacey and sleazy, gritty and sublime. Recorded from 1979-1981, these six tracks illuminate what was one of Patrick’s most creatively exciting periods. “If You Feel It” and “Love Me Hot” were both early Paul Parker demos; the former is a peak hour hi-NRG bomb, while the latter dips into Cowley’s zoned-out space disco sound. Jeanie Tracy’s soulful vocals feature on the demo version of “Low Down Dirty Rhythm”, which was later re-recorded by Sarah Dash. The slower, less-varnished rendition here hits with a wild psychedelic edge. Meanwhile, Patrick’s gifts for careful orchestration and infectious melodies shine on “Floating” and “Love and Passion”, which were likely demo tracks for Loverde. The songs on Malebox display the vitality and inventiveness of a brilliant composer taken from us too soon.
Mark Grusane shares four Disco Edits from his personal collection on Hot Biscuit Recordings.
Johannes Auvinen (Tin Man) and Max Ravitz (Patricia), two devotees in the cult of the TB-303, return to Acid Test with the Celestial Body Music series, a follow up to their 2020 LP Powers Of Ten. Recorded in Ravitz’s studio in Asheville, NC, Celestial Body Music once again showcases the pair’s penchant for raw yet emotive dance music. With Auvinen’s signature TB-303 programming and Ravitz’s typical melancholic flair, the duo’s styles merge seamlessly over the course of 8 tracks that harken back to the heyday of American techno and house. Following on from Powers of Ten, the pair continue to fix their eyes firmly on the stars, as Celestial Body Music’s song titles conjure visions of listening to Dance Mania 12”s on the ISS. With a tonal palette that features the well-trodden sounds of classic analog hardware like the TR-808, TR-909, TB-303, and SH-101, Ociya demonstrate their ability to breathe new life into these old instruments through thoughtful programming, arrangement, and mixing. This is made all the more significant when considering every song was recorded live to 2-track with no editing over the course of a few days. Sweet and savory both, the new material strikes a perfect balance between emotive sensibility and dance floor appeal.
Simoncino is back again on Skylax with the volume 2 of the Resurrection series. The made in Perugia prodigy delivers once again 3 titles paying homage to the sound of Chicago, the fabulous triplet lost tape 1, 2 & 3. On A1, the aptly named Lost tape 1 us leads into the meanders of the jungle house in direct tribute to the great marshall Jefferson all sprinkled with some ”detroit” sauce, this peaktime track will delight the most humid and demanding dancefloors. Lost tape 2 is more airy with these sparkling bells and its bass that lifts your guts, mental we tell you ! A bit as if paris gray was remixed in a hovering dub version. On lost tape 3, it is clearly the quintessence of the spirit of simoncino, his genius. This way of creating a universe that is both a tribute to the original chicago house and the italian dream house straight from the 90s. Completely trippy. And cherry on the cake on B2, we have a remix of the now classic ”on the dancefloor”, a title created in collaboration with Merwyn Sanders from Virgo Four (Chicago), from Detroit legend : Marcellus Pittmann ! 9 mn of pure madness. The Detroit – Chicago axis has never been so obvious. A must. Comes out on clear vinyl. Note that on the label’s bandcamp, with the purchase of the vinyl, you can get 1 exclusive bonus track (& what a track !) : Simoncino & Merwyn Sanders of Virgo Four ”On The Dance Floor” (Marcellus Pittman smooth remix).
Back in 2020, hip-hop, breaks and electro stalwart Freddy Fresh decided to turn his hand to vintage-sounding house and techno, self-releasing a set of tracks called The Harvest online. Rawax were impressed, with the popular label deciding to put the pick of the cuts out on vinyl. Title track ‘The Harvest’ sets the tone, with the veteran producer wrapping a house-tempo, post-electro groove in sustained organ chords, spacey synths and bubbly electronic melodies. ‘House-Spanner’ sees him doff a cap to The Middle of Nowhere-era Orbital (seriously, it’s very reminiscent of the Hartnoll brothers’ late ’90s output), while ‘Misunderstood’ is a woozy, delay-laden chunk of early morning U.S deep house. Elsewhere, the deep house dreaminess continues on the interestingly swung ‘Twain’, and clonking, TB-303 speckled ‘Horlywagon’.
De Ambassade have dropped the ‘De’ and are now known as Ambassade. Optimo Music will be releasing their second album in 2023. Ahead of that is this glorious 2 track 12” featuring music that took our breath away when we first heard it. Both tracks are exclusive to this release.
Soft Crash is the collaborative project of two Italo Body Music trailblazers: BITE founder – Phase Fatale, and one of the label’s protagonists – Pablo Bozzi. United by a mutual passion for a particular melancholic yet sensual approach, and a sound that combines influences of synthwave, EBM, Italo and techno, the two have proved themselves to be a perfect match with ‘Spritzkrieg’ (2020) – their first EP on BITE. This time, Soft Crash present their first long player ‘Your Last Everything’. The album further expands the Italo Body Music palette into electro, acid house, bleep, hi-nrg, and IDM. Each of the eight tracks on the LP sounds layered and intricate, with a variety of interactions between different technical elements and intertwining melodies that reference high production methods from the 80s and 90s turned contemporary. The album centers itself around themes of dystopian cyberpunk and surreal cinematics. It looks to invoke emotion in cold and mechanical elements, making it feel like an organic new chapter in the duo’s ongoing exploration of the relationship between technology and the body.
Over the past decade, Vienna-based Florian Stöffelbauer – also known as Heap, has built a consistent reputation as a skilled DJ, producer and Neubau’s label head. Isla presents his latest effort “False Hope” which explores the intersections between industrial, electro and dark wave – all with a leftfield twist. As diverse as it is powerful, the 7 tracks featured here almost feel like nocturnal tales, chalking out Heap’s observations wandering through the streets of a silent city, with cigarette smoke permeating the air and sirens ringing in the distance.
German DJ Helena Hauff and ‘Return to Disorder’ label owner was the first female to be named BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix of the year in 2017. Helena’s focus has always been on productions and DJing making her characteristic gnashing electro, acidic techno and chugging EBM tunes and sets her focus ahead of the limelight and fame that so many court. Hauff’s background comes from fine art, maths, physics and acoustics meaning her creative flair is perfectly expressed through the coaxing of weighty club sounds from her machines. With ‘Living With Ladybirds’ Hauff lays down four EBM-infused tracks recorded in her method of using strictly analogue equipment. There’s the eccentric electro of ‘Jonas’, the travelling melody behind ‘Your Turn To Fly’, the stripped down pulsing techno of ‘Touching Plastic’ and the rich rolling acid techno of ‘Pinch’.