Steve Summers – Counter-Factuals [CLEAR006]

It’s been a while since we last heard from Steve Summers, one of the many musical aliases of producer Jason Letkiewicz. When he last landed on proudly Chicagoan imprint CLEAR with the robust and unearthly “Artificial Light” EP, it was on the back of nine years spent building up Steve Summers as a purveyor of forthright club cuts that pushed at the limits of acceptability. Now Letkiewicz’s return with his Steve Summers pseudonym on CLEAR is defiantly intense and otherworldly in tone. “Counter-Factuals” is powered primarily by the kind of psychedelic acid lines and thrusting machine drums that have long been a hallmark of Chicago house. This is no nostalgia-fest though, with Letkiewicz’s take on “acid” being more abstract and unorthodox than the music of his predecessors.

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Steve Summers – Counter-Factuals [CLEAR006]

D’Marc Cantu – La Frontera [TKG013]

Tuskegee Music is back with more essential music, this time from venerated American producer D’Marc Cantu. He’s serving up raw-edged, uncompromising sounds as usual. Opener ‘Beat The Move’ is an urgent, high tech piece of slick and supple acid house with 303 undulations, dark vocal loops and the sort of hammering drums that get the club locked right in. The sublime ‘In The Forest’ is a tripped out bit of restless electro with skittish hits and rueful pads that gets right to your heart. Last of all is the militant, marching ‘A Narrow Connection’ which closes things out with crisp kicks and scintillating sheet metal drums that straighten your back and get you stomping.

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D’Marc Cantu – La Frontera [TKG013]

Hieroglyphic Being – A Synthetic Life Vol. 2 [MATHPLUS016]

Mathematics Plus presents the second volume of Hieroglyphic Being’s “A Synthetic Life” featuring uptempo electronics & simmering circuit boards stamped with Chicago rhythm patterns.

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Hieroglyphic Being – A Synthetic Life Vol. 2 [MATHPLUS016]

Hieroglyphic Being – A Synthetic Love Life Vol. 1 [MATHPLUS015]

Hieroglyphic Being has materialized with the limited & stamped “A Synthetic Love Life Vol. 1” created a decade ago to cassette & sonically presented to higher plane listeners. Volume 1 of 9 for Mathematics Plus.

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Hieroglyphic Being – A Synthetic Love Life Vol. 1 [MATHPLUS015]

Hieroglyphic Being & The Truth Theory Trio – Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light [HVNX-700]

When asked about the story behind the tracks of ‘Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light’, Jamal Moss answered with a laconic “No story. No dogma. No Hype”. After all, his despise of extra-musical paraphernalia is proportional to his productiveness in the studio. But there’s always a story. On April 9, 2016, Hieroglyphic Being played a live show in La Casa Encendida of Madrid within the festival Electronica en Abril. Some days later, the recording of the full set was uploaded to YouTube. When we watched it, we were totally captivated. Those eighty minutes of music had the raw power of all of Jamal’s body of work, but with a heightened sense of transcendence. Cosmic, spiritual and intensely beautiful, it sounded like a lysergic reinterpretation of Detroit techno transmitted from a galaxy yet to be discovered. As most of the material was unreleased, we reached Jamal in order to try to press it into vinyl. The result is ‘Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light’, a 12″ that reunites eight of the individual tracks that conformed that Madrid performance. When inquired about AUM, the sacred sound all the tracks are labeled after, Jamal referred us to a book by author and naturalist Joseph Bharat Cornell. A book that the author himself presents with these words: ‘The sound of the Cosmic Vibration is AUM, and listening to it brings the greatest bliss imaginable. AUM is the Omnipotent Force that propels each soul toward Spirit. It’s the sacred, inner fire. As you approach the cosmic blaze, you feel at first its radiant, soothing comfort; then, as you come closer – AUM’s liberating flames consume you – and bring you to God”. There might be “no story and no dogma”, but, suddenly, it all makes sense.

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Hieroglyphic Being & The Truth Theory Trio – Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light [HVNX-700]

Knight Action – R-Trax [LDR077]

Two absolutely legendary pieces of early Chicago house music finally reissued for 2018. Mike Macharello and Duane Thamm JR’s Knight Action project was responsible for this colossal 1985 landmark release that saw a heady fusion of Euro influenced and Italo Disco sounds meet in the windy city and in turn create history.

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Knight Action – R-Trax [LDR077]

Mutant Beat Dance – Mutant Beat Dance [RHM027]

Mutant Beat Dance has returned to Rush Hour. The debut album from renegade trio Mutant Beat Dance  (Traxx, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers) takes the wild and free sound of Chicago’s Music Box era into the 21st Century. Over 25 tracks the album mines an oft cited but rarely understood ground at the intersection of Post-Punk, Minimal Wave, Industrial, Disco Dub, EBM and proto-House / early-House. “Mutant Beat Dance.” is an epic journey into a classic American ideology that had its apex in Chicago. Traxx has been working on this concept in various forms throughout the last decade on release for Discos Capablanca, Rong Music, Hour House Is Your Rush Records, L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems), Light Sounds Dark, Rush Hour and his own Nation label finally refining his concept into its most thoroughly developed explored on this the debut M.B.D album that was started in 2015. Mutant Beat Dance was originally a duo made up of Traxx, and self-described weirdo, Chicagoan Beau Wanzer. Given the scope of the new project it became logical and necessary to expand the unit to include its newest member Brooklyn based Steve Summers. Together this hard-working trio has completed an album with an enormous diversity of song styles unlike anything they have ever done before. Unique in its musical range and content from obscure electronics with subliminal messages to funk laden machine grooves, industrial soundscapes, Detroit dirge, cryptic ankle bitter anthems and beyond this is a genre-bending challenging epic of an album.

vinyl / CD

Mutant Beat Dance – Mutant Beat Dance [RHM027]

Knight Action – Single Girl / D-rail [LDR071]

Ultra-rare proto-house vibes from Chicago courtesy of Still Music. This one’s long been coveted by followers of the jacking beat, the apostles of WBMX. Produced by Mike Macharello & Duane Thamm Jr this is a truly unique record and one that is very hard to obtain. If you dig the earliest grooves from the Windy City, or you have a passing interest in Italo or Freestyle then this is for you. A fully legit 12″ reissue, taken from Still Music’s recent, comprehensive overview of the ‘Let’s Dance’ label this is unmissable.

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Knight Action – Single Girl / D-rail [LDR071]

VA – The Barbershop [PERP012]

Welcome to the Barbershop. This LP arrives with tunes from some of your favorite artists representing Chicago’s underground dance music sphere on the city’s bred label, Perpetual Rhythms. A wide variety of fresh cuts and genres are showcased, ranging from Deep House and Techno to Experimental and Ambient, providing an eclectic listening experience. The central theme of the LP is “things that relate to a barbershop”, topics such as hairstyles, hair products and humor. We invite you to stay a while and experience this sonic journey with an open mind.

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VA – The Barbershop [PERP012]

Hieroglyphic Being – The Language of Strings [MATH105]

The 105th record on Mathematics, freeform electronic artist Hieroglyphic Being aka Jamal Moss offers a selection of audio memoirs (Cosmic Bebop & Experimental House). ”The Language of Strings” features sonic madness, frequency enlightenment, & Hedonistic modulation.

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Hieroglyphic Being – The Language of Strings [MATH105]

Traxx – Demented – Fluids of Acid Adrenaline, Uncontrolled with Endless Effects

For the next episode we present an acidic journey through the familiar, yet unfamiliar realms of the uncanny. A special 2 hour and 42 minute presentation of psychedelia that recalls the dark corners of warehouse parties of a forgotten era, while at the same time, striking to the current core of modern jakbeat aesthetics. Further mind altering experiences are provoked and amplified by a delay pedal that runs its course from beginning to end, while making no apologies for its audible presence. And without further adieu, we present “Demented – Fluids of Acid Adrenaline, Uncontrolled with Endless Effects”, a sound painting by, Traxx.

Traxx – Demented – Fluids of Acid Adrenaline, Uncontrolled with Endless Effects