Profondo Nero narrates a storyline that goes beyond the borders of Italy’s musical legacy. Cutting across the face of Italo disco’s leftfield musicians between the early and late ‘80s, Profondo Nero champions a multi-faceted sound that nods to the blueprint of Italo disco but tries to dig deeper. The music is unmistakably Italo disco but moves away from the familiar classic sound. Amsterdam based collector Cinema Royale stitches together eleven tracks from 1983 – 1989, celebrating a sound he fittingly describes as ‘leftfield Italo’. The compilation connects the dots between soulful disco (Louise Freeman – Mirage), synth-pop (Mark – Dreamland), electro-rap (Loukas Thanos – Jazzburger), breaks (Santoro – Lover Message), 80s dub disco (Jet Set – Love Break), Balearic (Isamar & Compañia - No Estas), boogie (Tom Hooker – Talk With Your Body) and proto-house (International Music System – An English ’93).
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.
The long-awaited debut album from Jan Schulte’s more dancefloor-focused Bufiman project. He’s absolutely nailed it, offering up a vibrant 12-track selection that giddily joins the dots between freestyle, electro, dub disco, vintage deep house, skewed Balearic synth-pop, breakbeat, hip-house, kosmiche and the heavily percussive drum workouts that have long been Schulte’s stock-in-trade. The fact that each track offers multiple musical reference points whilst delivering something undeniably fresh – despite the undeniably retro-futurist feel present throughout – is undoubtedly the album’s strongest suit. To put it simply, “Albumsi” is a gloriously kaleidoscopic, thrill-a-minute concoction that counts as Schulte’s single greatest body of work to date.
Stump Valley now pop up on Dekmantel. The committed Berlin based studio outfit head into new areas after their previous work on Uzuri, Off Minor, Dopeness Galore and No ‘Label ( that already had them jumping around styles and influences). The label say ”Stylistic, enigmatic, and effortless. Stump Valley’s Dekmantel debut EP is a smooth melange of glossy soul, jazz, and serene house. Produced by the mysterious, and ultimately under-the-radar duo, the extended EP breezes through tropes of balearic analogue, warm Chicago sounds, yet remaining ultimately Italian. The duo, originally from Turin, prove their skills as true alchemists, as their forge hypnotic house and tropical flare through their array of drum machines, synths, and informed artistry derived from their deep stockpile of assorted records. Debuting they may be, but the Italian duo are no strangers to Dekmantel, having played at Dekmantel Festival, Selectors, and Lente Kabinet. Having released groove tracks across a whole spectrum of labels, Stump Valley’s reputation even precedes them. Throughout the EP, their sound echoes that of Prins Thomas, Larry Heard, and other select funk-driven Italian live producers that are making waves in the current scene. It’s a sound that’s permanently upbeat, radiant, and filled with joy. Berlin based vocalist and Max Graef collaborator Wayne Snow collaborates on vocal opener ‘Natural Race’, creating a slow groove, and funk-driven tempo. The music then veers into equatorial territory, as the duos’ uses of classic 707 and LinnDrum sounds evoke a sense of sunset grooves; the sound of Theo Parrish slowly winding through an Adriatic cocktail party. Further on and ‘Proletarians In Space’ reflects the producers’ more Detroit-like influences, with oscillating machine music. ‘Zoo Planet X’ takes the sound further, with dubby pads, and old-school kicks and hats, that transport the Turin-based artists across the Atlantic with their out-of-time sonic aesthetic.”
The second edition of Dekmantel’s foray into the era-defining, trans-Atlantic, cult techno label that is Djax-Up-Beats, comes another re-issue of classic 90s cuts. Founded in Eindhoven at the turn of the 90s, Djax-Up-Beats quickly earned an international reputation for being a key source of Chicago house, acid techno, and floor-filling, heavy-hitting, straight up underground 12”s. It’s a sound that spawned the sonic aesthetics of today, and can be heard in the left field techno productions of the likes of Bjarki, Salon des Amateurs and other erstwhile analog junkies.” The second re-issue EPs, offer a more introspective look at the label’s earlier releases.
Dekmantel Selectors is an intimate festival, limited to a capacity of 2000, to keep the vibe pure throughout the whole week and this can be seen once you get to the bay from The Garden, next to the small fishing village of Tisno.
If heavy industry is a thing of the past, no-one told Identified Patient. For the past few years, he has been a one-man factory: by day, assembling component parts of acid, techno and all varieties of wave (dark, cold, minimal) on the production line; by night, a DJ dynamo pulsing with so much energy he could power a small city. His style is the kind of churning, lithe, fractured machine funk that could make Trent Reznor weep with envy – mean but clean, sinister and stomping but crucially, never overconfident or overblown. After two show-stopping performances at the parent festival last year, Signals In Snakes marks Identified Patient’s first Dekmantel release, for the technoid UFO sub-label.
Dekmantel welcomes the good time vibes of Canadian selector, and retrotastic, vibe-poppin’ producer Jex Opolis. Cult figure, obsessive Discog-er and Good Timin’ boss, the Brooklyn-based, Canadian has etched out a global reputation with his exotic taste of lo-fi, party productions, with this – his Dekmantel debut – not straying far from the formula Electro, disco-chic, doused in gooey pop, sultry silk, and retro synth-boogie.
Dekmantel announce the re-issue of some of the most era-defining trans-Atlantic, techno cuts from the early nineties, thanks to cult label Djax-Up-Beats. The Dutch label was responsible for releasing some of underground’s most archetypal underground dance music, mixing together Chicago and European artists alike, and acting as the launch pad for some of today’s biggest producers. This timeless music is being re-issued on vinyl for the very first time. Founded in Eindhoven at the turn of the 90s, Djax-Up-Beats quickly earned an international reputation for being a reputable source of Chicago house, acid techno, and floor-filling, heavy hitting straight up, underground 12”s. This first re-issue volume sublimely blends esoteric, ambient sounds, with staunchly fierce, and energetic electronic rhythms. Throughout the eight-tracks you can hear the sounds of sequencers, drum machines, and motor-city basslines. It defined the beginning of an era that never went away. Whether you’re a collector, or DJ looking to add to the your left field techno collection, the re-issue of Djax-Up-Beats best records is not one to pass up.
Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP. An immediate follow up to their debut LP Center Parcs, the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. Once more replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro.
Californian electronic pop duo Peaking Lights make a splash on Dekmantel with ‘Sea of Sand’, the band’s first release in 2018. It’s a kaleidoscopic melting-pot of dainty dub, experimental and leftfield beats, with wondrous sunny soundscapes that blend together the unconventional home-fashioned electronics, and windswept vocals that have defined Peaking Lights to date. ‘Sea of Sand’ is the band’s first record in three years not released on their own imprint. With six tracks, exceeding 30 minutes in total, the extended EP is a prelude to a forthcoming LP. With a DIY aesthetic and approach to analogue instrumentalism, Peaking Lights retro-digital sound is one that sits perfectly with Dekmantel.