“Over one hundred artists from all over the world and various disciplines joined forces to raise funds for Red Cross Ukraine and help the innocent. After three days of no sleep, we are proud to present you WhyPeopleWar Vol. 1 and 2. fundraisers with more than 100 tracks! We want to thank all artists who participated and the studios that helped us master the tracks in record time! Let this symbol be the message we send out there with this fundraising compilation. Let this music uplift the human condition and do its part in dragging us out of this situation. From Lithuania with love! Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava!
Sunday morning we were eager to come back as early as possible to the Utopia 126 for the last day of the festival, so we managed to arrive by midday again. At the Ombra Stage, Vinilette was about to finish her vinyl set for the Frigio showcase.
Ombra is a project born from the hand of agency Ombra Agency and label Oraculo Records with the aim of creating a meeting place for lovers of analogue and avant-garde sounds that do not fit in the current cultural offer. The first edition was held in May 2018 in a club format, bringing together musical styles such as EBM, darkwave and industrial/experimental sounds.
In 2019 the festival took place in different areas of the city with industrial aesthetics. The idea is to combine heritage with music by creating a circuit in different spaces that can accommodate different offers. We’ve been at the festival in 2019 and definitely it was one of the best experiences for us.
Sons of Traders 002 is an 8 tracks compilation Ep of loosely knit artists that surround the duo Sons of Traders (Mike Tansella Jr. and TANS). Leading the EP, the title track “Rotten to the Core” is a slow stomper with a forceful vocal sample and some various squelches. LA’s Kosmik picks up the tempo with “Murmurs” which features a hypnotic synth loop over a 4/4 beat. On “Chomping at the Bit” C.L.A.W.S. and Tyrell trade off between claps, hi hats and short delays underneath a sinister synth tone. To close the A side of the record is Future Blondes out of Texas with “2020 ultra visions”, a cut that can only be described as a sinister barrage of slamming drums and tones. The B side launches with “The Other Side of Town” by The White Lines, a dark electro workout with vocal samples, dark synths and growling bassline. Frigio label boss Juan Pablo brings us an intricate drum pattern with layers of synths on “Night Drive in Beijing”. “Self Feral” by Chris Mitchell is something with a hip hop swing, heavy drums, various feedback and vocals. Closing the EP is Dragée, a new artist from Haifa, Israel. “Them” features a hard snare that holds together the demented vocals, claps and bassline that develop throughout the track.
Italo Moderni brings Modernation Vol.1 it’s the first compilation on cassette and digital from 4. Another dimension of obscurities and eighties weird sounds, all focused on a new club era of madness and sad situations. Best moment to get some inspiration with the best wizards from our modern music life.
Ecdisis Vol 3 is fresh and ready to wreak some havoc. Up first is Vinilette’s rework of Flux of Pink Indians’ “Nothing Is Not Done.” A brood of beats, this rhythmic romp is inspired by the 1986 piece on Uncarved Block. Layers of kick drums, bongos and toms echo and judder as a cold line circles and closes ever tighter. Following we have the head honcho, Juanpablo with his extended edit of Mac Blackout’s “Do The Dance In Your Head”. The intro is given room, adopting a doom disco march, before the fearsome crash of strings. The lyrics, a lurid tale brimming with menace, are sweetened with twirling notes in this grisly stomper. The final attack sequence comes care of Mick Wills with his amazing cut of an unreleased track by Argentina’s great producer NGLY. Dark and looming this distortion streaked encounter will leave bodies and speaker cones raw.
Almost forty years later, Frigio is bringing some of their music to a fresh audience, the pioneer proto-techno Spanish band TodoTodo and featuring original music plus killer edits by Juanpablo & Luis Costa. Juanpablo with his extended edit of “Digital Dancer.” A steady kick tethers a tripping mechanical melody, a melody that bubbles and simmers as toms, horns and daring funk collide for this seven minute odyssey into the world of Iberian underground synth. The original version from 81 closes the A, a brief and brilliant piece of proto-techno. The flip is introduced by Catalan Dj, journalist and author of ‘Bacalao’ Historia Oral de la Musica de Baile en Valencia, Luis Costa. Costa re-imagines “Autogas” with his Tool Edit, reshaping the off-kilter keys and future highways and byways of the original. The finale is a true treasure from the annals of time. A live version of “Autogas” from the legendary Rock’Ola club in Madrid, an unreleased work that is as audacious and bold as it was when it was first performed in 1981.
The material for Ecdisis Vol.1? Lost tracks from the past, patted down, spruced up and given a couple of shots of whiskey by Juanpablo, Dunkeltier and, a new member of the family, Vinilette. From Barcelona, Vinilette is a Dj and producer who isn’t afraid to pull a musical punch or two and she is in fighting form with her two offerings. First up, the 1986 EBM stomper “God Save The King” by Son of Sam is revamped and reconstructed into a psychedelic rollercoaster of crashing cymbals, spiralling samples and bruising bars. The clock is being turned further back, this time Belgium’s new wave punk outfit Arbeid Adelt! are the source material with their 1987 track “Help (Me Ik Stik)” muscling up on a diet of raging rhythms and splintering guitar strings. The head honcho, Juanpablo, meets up with an old member of the family Dunkeltier (aka Dj Sneaker) to finish our journey. The pair travelling back to 1983 to Catalonia and the prog-jazz musings of Pegasus. “Perseguido por el Rayo” is tuned up and transformed into an electronic bomb. Addictive grooves and hooks are polished with beats getting a shot in the arm for a hauntingly sinister piece of disco deviance.
Frigio is hooking up with Russian electronic explorer Volta Cab for a four tracker of shadowy disco darkness. Thick drum patterns are shot through with strobe as “Johnny 320” enters the room. Swaggering onto the floor, this greased thug means business. Samples mutter intent as grooves grind and twist their way into the late hours. Juanpablo lowers the lights for his remake. Rhythms richochet and basslines loom in this lewd and dramatic track, a piece born in the grit and sweat of the floor under a haze smoke. The lights are kept low for the flip. “Immortal Fix” spikes and spins, laser beam synthlines cut through rumbling chords with snares that do more than just bear teeth. Italy’s Hesperius Draco closes Johnny 320 with giallo horror grandeur. Beats and words are shrouded in lilting strings for this sinister curtain fall.
Frigio Records is going back in time for its latest release, some 38 years into the past. Back then a young Newcastle man was experimenting with early electronic instruments and synths. Mick Clarke is his name and nearly forty years later he is still at it. Two tracks have been borrowed from Clarke’s seminal Games LP, each given a bit of modern boot polish from MinimalRome’s Heinrich Dressel and Frigio father Juanpablo. “Walls of the Night” is a blissed out work of ambient prog rock abstraction. Think rumbling horror score and soaring guitar strings. Heinrich Dressel offers a giallo dipped remix. The building bars of the original are maintained, beats added for ballast and darkened organ keys for a remake etched with murderous intent. The flip is introduced by the dreamy “Time Is Now.” Slender synthlines intertwine with gentle strings in a cerebral work. Juanpablo tweaks the 1979 material. Syrupy acid lines swim in meandering currents, a thick beat keeping time in murky waters of modulations and undulations.
Gliptolito sees Frigio return to its beginnings whilst making a bold statement of future intent. This time in collaboration with Seti Recordings for a split release by the heads of both labels. Juanpablo shares the platter with ArD2, the team of Ekis and Penélope Martín (of NSRB-11 and Zwischenwelt.) Label boss Juanpablo opens with his ever evolving sound. Rasping beats and subtle key changes are warmed by basslines in the cerebral “Ica”. “There is a Silence” comes from a similarly esoteric place, gentle chords shimmering against glitchy undercurrents and clean drums. ArD2 follow up their 2010 appearance on Frigio with two tracks of complex machine funk. Sidelined is their trademark electro sound as the pair lean towards electronica and broken percussion for “Winter.” Colder tones arrive with “Utopia”, sublime string work warming them through to bring “Gliptolito” to a close.