Emotional welcomes Kris Baha with ‘Barely Alive’, his first 12″ for Especial. Remixes start with Timothy J Fairplay who laces his trademark echoplexxed wash for a cold wave mover. Next, prodigy Job Sifre builds on his acclaimed debuts with a remodel that goes straight to ‘that’ basement, mixing his love of electro, new wave and industrial. To close, the legend of Das Ding creates a re-alternate remix, fusing his unique fuzz with Baha’s ode for a brittle finale.
Emotional Response presents a special project, a collection of music from Bartosz Kruczynski, recorded for “Selected Media” and presented here as a time-piece of his continuing works. Kruczynski returns to the ambient and ethereal – plus a touch of dub techno – to showcase his expansive collaborative work with Polish studio, TVP Culture. Given free artistic license, the 15 ‘short form’ recordings included here were for programming, in the main, on modern Polish Art including the likes of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Miroslaw Balka and Tadeusz Kantor, as well as some international aspects for Enrico Prampolini, Ai Weiwei and Monica Bonvicini.
Emotional Response presents Elsewhere LVI. the 4th of soFa’s compilation series. This double LP takes us to the darker side of the elsewhere ouvre, via another 12 artist / 12 track travelogue. With certain future-retro feelings, this is club music for the open minded. An album that roams from dreamy ambient territories to rhythmic patterns – internationalism for the adventurous DJ. Rusty slow-mo bangers and post-industrial synth-wave kidnap the listener to a dystopic and shady wasteland. Elements of ethnic folk, vintage vocoders and Gamelan samples all united on one homogeneous selection. With artists now known to welcoming new brethren, this is an audio trip to leave reality behind. Exotic, hypnotic, tactile, trance-inducing meditations, washed down with a spoonful of magic.
It’s been a hot minute since Timothy J. Fairplay slipped on his Junior Fairplay guise, but he’s done just that for this bleep-tastic new 12″ on (Emotional) Especial. “End Of Love” is unabashed in its embrace of early Yorkshire techno tones, making a fine job of resurrecting the bleep spectre and letting it shake up the dance once more. Roy Of The Ravers is a smart choice of remixer, and he brings an off-kilter acid rub to the table in his idiosyncratic, braindance-inflected style. The B-side is equal laden with purposefully dusty dance grooves transplanted from the late 80s / early 90s, with “Faxes From The Future” hitting a particularly sharp point in its lazy breakbeat roll and the clanging harmonies of the stabs.
Jeremy Campbell and R. Zanzibar return as Out 2 with their debut full length, Showcase. Following their recent Moving EP, the duo expand their mix of New York off-kilter pop lyrical poetics riding over percussive desk-dub funk grooves.
The return of Timothy J Fairplay sees tracks from his 2 EPs on Emotional Response remixed on one special release. Four favourite producers chosen to bring new dimensions to his brooding, shuffling electronics, featuring Scientific Dreamz Of U, Alessandro Parisi, Perseus Trax and Antenna.
Emotional Response starts 2017 with a mini-album of ambient-equatorial enlightenment by Australia’s mysterious Tropical Hi-Fi. The final record from an artist appearing on the label’s first SchleiBen series, this also points to the future. Based somewhere in the far flung Northern Territories, the music of Hi-Fi’s pre-incarnation Electric Egypt was first discovered via the note-worthy airwaves of L.A’s outstanding Dublab radio station. As the wonderfully diverse internet shows and project’s dense, hip-hop inspired collages came to fruition with 2012’s Exotica release, a dual awareness and sporadic contact was maintained whenever a signal could be established with Hi-Fi base camp. As the SchleiBen series was formed, the studio-DJ-cut-up-mix of Oceanic Mythology was warmly received as an inspired counterpoint to the dense offering from Don’t DJ. These first real solo recordings from the Hi-Fi crew – whoever he/she/they maybe – moves on from the cut’n’paste of Electric Egypt to seek a meditative vision. Ambient, drone and field recordings are all part of a drifting tropical flavour that encompasses the listener. Music truly inspired by it’s surroundings, this is not some music journal, flying in to sample a life and it’s sounds, but the real, living entity and it can be heard deep across the 8 short pieces. None is more typified than Tahiti Blue, where fellow traveler Mike Cooper layers his ubiquitous steel blues over simple, lilting drums. Mixed by Leaving Record’s Matthewdavid (with whom more to come on the label in 2017), photography by Native Finger and the ever-present encouragement of friend and neighbour, Ariel Kalma, this is conceptual album to lay back, drift off on undulating swells and simply, let go to.
Hot on the heels of the co-release between Especial and Cocktails d’Amore Music of the Sfire Remixes EP (EES023/CDA013) comes an accompanying release with a pair of deeper, stripped back remixes from the inimitable Timothy J Fairplay and Willie Burns.
Especial returns to its concept of taking music it loves – in this case Sfire’s debut EP – and remixing them for a stand-alone release. Teaming up with Berlin’s Cocktail d’Amore Music, mixing desk duties are taken by newcomer Kris Baha, as well as label mainstays Jamie Paton and INHALT and the esteemed Lauer.
Joining the dots after last years reissue of Plus Instruments early 80s post-punk music on the Bodies EP on Emotional Rescue, Especial now looks at their return to recent music production, taking the song “Love Is Enough” from the recent Trancesonics album and giving it the all encompassing label remix treatment. We get four reinterpretations by Richard Sen, Khidja, Luke Solomon and Jamie Paton.
Especial celebrates the upcoming release of it’s 2nd compilation mix CD to highlight the recent music of the label , with another Sampler 12” of unreleased tracks, remixes and versions for the heads, collectors and discerning.
Coming hot on the heels of Khidja’s return to the label with their Never Seen The Dunes EP, is a set of remixes by friends and family of the label and band, featuring no less than Discodromo, Inflagranti, Red Axes and Selvy on mixing desk duties. A proper Remix EP with all 4 tracks from the original EP getting a proper European flavored rework.
Food Pyramid align with Especial for a remix EP based around “Oh Mercy”, a track from their 2012 album Mango Sunrise. The warped breakbeat jam-fusion of the original is ripe for reinvention and gets the remix treatment from Especial in-house team Apophenia (aka Piers Harrison, Stuart Leath, Tim Fairplay), Inhalt and Jamie Paton.
A love of new wave, new beat, UK Bleep and Detroit techno all feature in B-Ultras and the aptly titled, Neu Beat. Both cuts are heavily soaked in the pitch black, smoke machine funk and strob-laden fug of Andy’s (and co-hort Joe Hart) infamous World Unknown dancefloor. Running at around 10 minutes the tracks are essentially an examination of acid house’s ideals. Clattering hats, throbbing basslines, stabbing keys and doses of 303. Keeping it pretty simple but all about a pure groove on and on. Backing these up is a remix of B-Ultras from Jamie Paton that accentuates the groove and drags the acid deeper down to some B-boy Dub throwdown – with more to follow from all protagonists in 2014.
New mysterious release on Emotional Especial. First track ‘Ghost Train’ is a shouty dischordant dance floor number that hits all the right spots. It cleverly builds tension through it’s shifting synth line, avoiding all the usual dance floor clichés whilst still managing to retain the right energy. It comes with a dub version on B side. B1’s ‘Meteor Shower’ continues in the same vein though is the more subdued of the pair, with trance leaning synths underpinning more spooky synth work. It doesn’t kick as much as the A side but will find favour with DJs unafraid to mix things up stylistically.
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The second release from [Emotional] Especial sees the welcome return of Baris K. Known for his edit series of obscure Turkish Psychedelic, Rock and Disco, here he takes the producer’s chair to present “200”. Working with musicians and singers to create a completely original production. The song’s message for equality (of the sexes) highlights the bigotry and backward political and religious boundaries his country faces and acts as a siren to the current troubles. Handed to Emotional Recordings over 5 years ago but with no label to release it at that time, now we are delighted to be able to release 200’s message. The original is backed with remixed from new Romanian production duo Khidja, as well as East London’s finest, The Asphodells. Teaming up with guitarist Balabas, Romania’s Khidja turn in a deep and introspective interpretation mixing their own heavy eastern influences, while the B-side sees Weatherall and Fairplay don their Asphodells mantle for two renditions that firmly lay it before the ALFOS alter. With artwork (by Jamie Paton) highlighting the struggle for fairness and freedom in his homeland, we hope the release can be seen as a support for their tribulations and highlight the talent that lays East.
Finally we are at the last part of the 2012 review. In the first part of our review, the preferences of our followers are shown, according to the number of click and stars. Top 3 albums of the years, top 3 EPs, compilations and mixes loved by our followers can be seen here.
In the second part, I presented some of my favorite events and performances from last year. For more details go here.