Detroit pioneer Robert Hood returns to Rekids with a four-track EP of his trailblazing minimal techno.
The first LP since 2008’s ‘Corresponding Echoes’ on his Sacred Rhythm Music, Joaquin Joe Claussell arrives on Radio Slave’s Rekids for ‘Raw Tones’, a nine-track excursion through the sound of his exquisitely soulful house music. Originally released on uber limited cassettes, the music within ‘Raw Tones’ caught the ear of Radio Slave, aka Matt Edwards, who messaged Claussell and convinced the legendary producer that the music needed a wider audience and, so, ‘Raw Tones’ the LP is here.
Detroit pioneer Robert Hood joins Rekids label with a new album entitled ‘Mirror Man’, showcasing his innate knack for crafting paired back but intricate rhythms that deliver punch and soul. Opening with the cinematic ‘Through A Looking Glass Darkly’, the album quickly flows into precise, powerful four four. There’s mesmerising cuts such as ‘Fear Not’ with its throbbing bass and spectral vocals, the twisted and off-key ‘Run Bobby, Run’, not to mention muscular tracks designed to light up dancefloors like the machine driven ‘A System of Mirrors’ or the mesmerising ‘Face In The Water’. Hood also breaks things up with downtempo and mind-bending interludes, including the tranquil yet spooky ‘Black Mirror’ and the beatless and murky ‘Freeze’. Each of these are aural feasts that demonstrate his vast musical pallet. From start to finish ‘Mirror Man’ is an education in finesse from one of techno’s most heroic artists, landing on one of electronic music’s most important labels.
Rekids label boss Radio Slave ventures further into unknown territory in a three-part sophomore album entitled ‘Radio Silence’. The UK artist delivers his latest body of work in the form of his ‘Radio Silence’ album, which will be dropping in three parts. The first chapter features perhaps the most leftfield tracks we’ve ever heard Radio Slave product. There’s a rawness to the album, which is in part due to the fact each track was recorded live and without edits, using hardware and Ableton as the main sequencer. Across the seven tracks, Radio Slave hone’s in on a sound that’s haunting and hypnotic.
Rekids boss Matt Edwards debuts on Rekids Special Projects under his prolific Radio Slave moniker with ‘Command Z’, marking the twentieth release on the offshoot series. ‘Command Z’ opens with roaming synth patterns, slick kicks, delicately placed plucks and a haunting soundfloor which gives a sense of allure alongside it’s thundering rhythm. On the flip, ‘Command X’ situates itself perfectly for cavernous warehouse spaces or intimate club environments with its rattling snares, arpeggiated keys, lively saturated claps, rawly reversed pads and rippling cymbals.
Rekids offshoot Stranger in The Night welcomes underground mainstay Fred P for a release complete with his signature depth. ‘Turn Up’ is built on immovable kick drums that roll and roll beneath a dark nebula of synths and pads. There is the atmospheric feel of factory floor automation in the groove and it never lets up. The lush ‘Alphabet City’ is less heavy, with more bright and cosmic pads lighting up a track that is airy and filled with a subtle sense of funk. ‘Construction’ takes things late into the night once more, with an edgy lead that is unsettling and paranoid as it pans about over a rooted kick drum that will lock the floor into a state of hypnosis. ‘For The Dome’ closes this fantastically compelling release with jittery, percussive drums that are softened by celestial synth work. In harmony, they make for perfectly escapist listening.
Shinedoe joins Rekids Special Projects with a synth-driven techno release entitled ‘Feelings EP’. ‘Feelings’ opens on a 90s rave tip with arpeggiated synths, delayed hats, rolling snares and distant voices before ‘Roots Are Calling’ dives in as Shinedoe brings her African grooves back to techno with rattling percussion, reverbed plucks, enticing tom hits and saturated claps. On the flip ‘Nature Save Us’ bounces with mid-range bass, 909 like beat programming, whistling lasers and subtle strings until the ‘Beats Mix’ finalises with a rhythmically charged edit, featuring vocals from Shinedoe herself, pulsing with classic cymbals and sublime layered vocals.
Matt Edwards’ R-Time Records reissue label drops four more Sir Lord Commix tracks in the third ‘Retroactive’ release. Real name Amoon Andrews, the British house producer’s early discography continues to fetch high prices on the vinyl market. Dropping earlier this year, the first two instalments featured some of Commix’s finest cuts and now the Rekids offshoot presents the third chapter, following re-releases of Mark The 909 King.
R-Time Records releases two tracks from Iceland’s Sanasol, aka Thor and Yagya, entitled ‘Long Lost Thoughts’ – originally appearing on ‘Deep Thoughts’ LP via Hey Babe! in ’97.
Legendary Los Hermanos member Santiago Salazar’s album ‘Aspirations For Young Xol’ is given a vinyl release courtesy of Rekids. A heartfelt dedication to his son Isaias, ‘Aspirations for Young Xol’ takes us through the life of a pillar in the electronic music community – Santiago Salazar. From his formative years spent in California to his connection with Detroit and the passing of a childhood friend, the long-player’s tracks signpost the musician’s significant experiences, both positive and negative. This meaningful body of work now gets a full release on wax.
Rekids introduces a new vinyl only series titled Rekids Special Projects, a more techno orientated division of the label. First up is Ohio-based producer FBK, real name Kevin M. Kennedy. Intricate drums and jagged synths initiate ‘You Are Not Fixed’ whilst a looped sample recurs throughout the mix. ‘Dynamonium’ then enters deeper territories as echoing stabs join a low slung meandering groove before ‘Set It Free’ ups the energy with rumbling kicks, distorted vocal murmurs and tantalizing melodies. ‘The Final Escape’ then closes the release with a syncopated drum arrangement, mesmerising chords and ethereal atmospherics.
Berlin-based producer Lapien serves up an atmospheric three tracker on Rekids. Also known as Metropolis or one half of Artefakt, Nick Lapien’s last three releases have landed on Finale Sessions, Fred P’s Soul People Music and DVS1’s Mistress Recordings. Releasing on Rekids, the multifaceted Dutch artist’s next outing features three mesmerising cuts with the dusky ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ initiating the package using infectious hats, subtle sub-bass and an indistinguishable vocal that ebbs subtly in and out of the mix. ‘As It Is’ is the most robust number on the package with its undulating percussion and moody chords taking centre stage, until ‘Vexed’ concludes everything with gloomy pads, shuffling hats and echoing effects.
This post is about the followers of my blog and the most successful posts, the releases that gathered the most likes and clicks in 2013 from my visitors.
Illuminating compilation of trax from stalwart London producer Colin McBean, spanning a decade and half. The man himself talks of his “soulful, twisted low-end funk sound” and he’s right on the money: his productions have found fans in disparate factions of the underground, from the afterparty tech-house set to the UK bass upstarts, via the deeper house heads. Long before he began his association with Rekids, the label behind this compilation, G was rolling out gold on his own Phoenix G and labels like Defected, Duty Free, Shuffled, End, Tag and Careless, under such aliases as The Reaver, Mango Boy and Halcyon Daze. For this 21-track comp he’s selected his own highlights from this vast body of work, and it’s effectively the most potent cache of secret weapons that a DJ could hope to stumble upon this year. Of the Mr G-assigned cuts pay special heed to the bass-licked warehouse thump of ‘Hear Me Out’, the jazzwise tribalism of ‘Jet Black’, the priapic boogie-tech of ‘Shelter (Unreleased Version)’ and the headier Detroit stylings of ‘G’s Strings’, while the lockstep discoid bounce of The Reaver’s ‘Mmmm’ and Mango Boy’s sickly minimal, psychedelic ‘Potion’ also impress.
Next up in the line of Nina Kraviz tracks to get a facelift is the sparse and eerie ‘Best Friend’. Enlisting the vocal services of his fellow Minneapolis-dwelling musician Naughty Wood, DVS1 has produced two excellent remixes.
Rekids have teamed up with Detroit’s Fit Distribution and enlisted the services of motor city locals Marcellus Pittman and Urban Tribe to put the 313 sound on ‘Working’ and ‘Taxi Talk’. On the former, Marcellus Pittman lays down his trademark blend of mechanical yet jerky old-skool drum machine rhythms and disorientingly dissonant, tripped-out synth chords – creating a somewhat eerie atmosphere that evokes images of Detroit’s manufacturing plants of yesteryear. On the flipside, Urban Tribe transform ‘Taxi Talk’ into a big room monster, using rumbling synth bass, electronic bleeps and laser gun snares to transport us back in time to a dark and hazy 90s warehouse rave.
Back and cooking up more funk and flavor with his second album for Rekids, Mr G proves he’s still the king of rhythm with ‘State Of Flux’. Packing more history than most of the top current producers put together, Mr G has been fine-tuning his breed of music for two decades. Described by the man himself as “it’s all about a bassline”, his music takes the formula of a ballad and the movement of reggae.
Dean Meredith, a veteran of dance music bestows the ‘Celestial Vibrations EP’, a flawless package of original material under project alias The Rhythm Odyssey that’s all acidic analog rawness and fuzzy vintage synths. Kicking off with ‘Ride On This’, a distant cowbell is soon engulfed by a marauding acid bassline. Tough and sexy, rich in rhythm and analogue drums, it’s no doubt got that air of warehouse nostalgia. Next up, Detroit-inspired ‘I Need It’ journeys into a deeper realm of hiss and noise, ‘get on and party’ vocals and the melodic synth line, soon melting into lush chords. On the flip, more raw percussion collides with a cosmically funky edge. B1 ‘Corner Of My Mind’ combines synth stabs and soaring string chords, with a hint of bassline funk creeping in alongside shimmering shakers. Further on the trippy, cosmic tip, the stripped down grooves of ‘Raw Nerve (Dub)’ are immersed in warm, spacey FX and quirky pitch bending synths.