In pandemic times of telepresences and social distancing, Live At Robert Johnson and Leipzig’s own Riotvan team up for a magical musical mission. Encompassed by the graphic design of Michael Satter & Panthera Krause, each of the five tracks has been created by teams representing both label crews and their environs, rendering a truly synergetic effort. A1 is Roman Flügel & Rebolledo producing deep and wide Star Stuff with arpeggiated bass riffs, haunting vocals and melody. A2 sees Jennifer Touch & Chinaski setting off on an electroid Synth-Pop trip, with crafty 1980s synths, drums and vocals. A3 is New Hook and Perel teaming up for a Cosmic Disco tinged track, featuring unique spanish-english vocals. The flipside kicks off with Fort Romeau & Panthera Krause on B1, heavily into a stereophonic and proper Italo soundscape. Horkheimer & Peter Invasion & Gregor Habicht conclude the EP on B2 with a wicked technoid Breakbeat along a modulating bass line and, yeah, a looney laugh befitting these crazy times.
‘Star’ is Perel’s Running Back debut. Picturing Perel’s development as a recording artist on the one hand and the hardships everyone had to experience since the world has been changed by a pandemic on the other, making it – in her word words – „an EP about crossing the „physical distance between the people I miss and love“. Opening with the riveting vocals of Star („This song is literally a love song for my people“), the three pieces also show Perel’s growing versatility as a producer. The tried and tested neon disco lights interchange with darker tones, uplifting and affirmative moments (Tour De Perel) rotate with contemplative and pondering intervals (Internal Monologue). Yet, by no means Perel is whistling a sad tune. Her melodies are as always deep, distinguishable and delightful to dance to.
2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before.
In the midst of these events were several people / organizations who tried to ease the pain, offering out some comfort by releasing music to people for free or by pay as you want download. This was always done, but this year I noticed that more and more artists are doing this.
Here is a selection of albums and compilations I came across this year and that I think is worth mentioning again.
Arnaud Rebotini started to give away free tracks on his soundcloud page a month ago in his “Quarantine” series. Since then he release 8 EP with tracks by himself and remixes from producers from all around the world. “To (Wo)Men On The Assembly Line”, the last EP of the series, is including an original and 6 remixes from David Carretta, Djedjotronic, Jensen Interceptor & Kris Baha, Max Durante and Perel.
“We are now in our last week of strict confinement. So I’m going to interrupt this weekly EP series but with the eight title, I want to pay tribute to the women and men who have allowed the country to continue to operate during this period. But also to all those who will resume their work in factories, in the construction, food processing and services that will boost the economy, often in jobs that are poorly regarded and low paid but so essential to the functioning of our society.’