Napoli has long been one of Italy’s most musically vibrant cities – a metropolis famed for colourful, atmospheric and vivid dance music, with a rich and diverse sonic history stretching back to the disco era. For the last 36 years, it has been home to Gigi Testa, a bona fide local hero whose work not only draws inspiration from Neapolitan music of the last four decades but also high-quality deep house and African music in all its forms. Testa has become the latest artist to contribute to the Rush Hour Store Jams series, delivering a four-track EP that takes his self-proclaimed world music-meets-club music approach in kaleidoscopic new directions. Inspired by a mixture of 1980s, post-boogie African music, the sounds of the Caribbean, Testa’s love for dance music from New York and his own Neapolitan musical roots, the Esoteric Paradise EP is an entertaining, each-catching collection of cuts the effortlessly blurs existing musical boundaries. Rich in synthesizer and drum machine sounds, it should delight all those who love melodic, tropical-tinged electronic music.
First vinyl edition of these homemade electronic tracks, recorded in a primitive bedroom studio between 1993 and 1994 by Mark Crumby, a British born fan of synths and drum machines. A surprising crossover, as it alternates between the soft balearic sound heat and the urban indu-electro rigour. Now living in Vienna, Mark is currently a member of experimental/industrial project Konstruktivists, minimal synth pop acts mitra mitra and Oppenheimer MkII. He releases experimental techno under the names Codex Empire and antechamber.
Krokakai is an emergent Glaswegian producer with a penchant for hardware – largely using an MPC2000XL, SH09, MS20 Mini, TT-303, Roland Alpha Juno and other trusted tools. He’s already turned heads on labels such as Invisible Inc and PowerStation Records. Right here he lays down the label’s parameters with four unique, far-reaching escapades.
An infrequent but invigorating contributor to Phantasy, U returns with a beguiling new single entitled ‘Ecstasy’. The first side of the artefact portrays ‘Ecstasy’, a wide-eyed and spectral incantation rich in intimacy, whispering voices and earthy psychedelia. Somewhere between machine funk and folk canticle, a sonic gift perhaps for a field in England bathed in moonlight, else a dire basement dripping in energy, ‘Ecstasy’ leaves the system almost spiritually. On the contrary, ‘Morpheus’ presents a tougher meditation, a creeping jam with an analogue consciousness, ghostly rave echoes and a conundrum at its heart. The dream seems so real, but what if you can’t wake from it after all?
PT005 sees NYC based Gee Dee deliver the fifth physical disc on Planet Trip, following his recent EP on Superior Elevation Greg D presents the ”Key of Sea EP”. A freaky four tracker of cosmic influenced melters, effortlessly moving through hazy and dub influenced housey cuts, balearic tinged earworms and oddball downtempo trips. Suitable for sunsets with friends or late nights with strangers, a record with a tune for all hours of the dance.
Tassilo Vanhöfen with his first ever solo EP on Neubau. Three subtle but dancefloor-aimed tracks that many have been waiting for will be included on the much-anticipated ”War Manual Of Gear EP”
First Word Records present you with ‘The Offering’ – the debut album by Darkhouse Family, a Cardiff-based duo consisting of Earl Jeffers & Don Leisure. Previously releasing music under their respective monikers, Metabeats and Jamal, they’ve produced an assortment of sounds over the years, from Hip Hop to House to D’n’B. Connecting as a duo almost a decade ago, this merger logically saw the birth of their own unique style, comprised of a bonafide fusion of genres. Recruiting friends Daf Davies on drums, Jonathan Williams on strings and cameos from Henry Wu; a keen eye on the soulful jazzy details is maintained throughout as swooning, sunny side keys, dusty samples and gorgeous vocals from the likes of Vanity Jay, Jessy Allen and Esther wrap themselves around their hybrid of chopped beats and Daf’s lavish, highly swung drums. Highlights include the Soul II Soul style “Journey To Love”, the twinkling slo-mo bruk of “GAEA”, the slinky slap bass and Rhodes tickle of “Modaji Suite” and the spiritual climax of the finale “The Accession”.
One of Larry Heard’s most under-rated albums finally remastered and available as full vinyl release for the first time! Known for his classic early house releases Larry Heard’s productions always hinted at deepest outer space, but his 1996 Alien album was his first actual science-fiction record. It’s almost as polished as the most mainstream dance production, but just as sublime as any Detroit producer. Heard’s house roots often show themselves, while the chords and shimmering production make this an album almost on par with Heard’s mid-’80s peak. The project was a recording & sound-development experiment that was mostly constructed around a Korg O1/W workstation keyboard that was left at Larry’s studio to check out by Victor melodious myles Houston along with some of the staples of his studio, including the Roland d550 and Oberheim Matrix 1000. Mr Fingers magic touch can be heard all over the album, and this showcases the incredible musical talents of the man, who’s name by now cant be left out from any hall of fame when you’re talking music innovators from the last century.
Vinyl Boxset includes 4 x 180g vinyl, including free download code with bonus tracks. Album sampler BWOOD089 also fits in to complete the boxset. The results of a true culture clash, ‘Mala in Cuba’ marries the intricate rhythms and deep, spiritual roots of Cuba with Mala’s own roots in South London and his dedication to bass culture.
This project features extracts from the audio portion of a documentary film shot of a discussion led by James Baldwin and Dick Gregory at the West Indian Student Centre in London in 1968.
Jose Rico and Urtzi bring us the 7th Downbeat release, paying homage to Science fiction and exploring the relation between human beings and machines. The result is a solid exercise of researching with hardware, which brings all the label influences. Jose Rico is the responsible of ”Flight to Andrómeda” and ”Hiperspace”, two obsessive, mechanical but full-of-feeling tracks. Moreover, Urtzi introduces himself with ”Ouroboros” and ”Terra Luminae”, two synthetic tracks with influences from Chicago sound. Four dance music tracks which go straight to the heart and brain.