16B | PSCO

black diamonds

Quick tip on this hyper-atmospheric techno hybrid from the criminally underrated 16B aka Omid Nourizadeh. In the past I was quick to write off most of his work after the turn of the millennium and while his best stuff was still released in the 90’s there are a few gems to be found post the year 2000.

This one has a stripped down, repetitive groove that carries the spaced out synths all the way to the dreamy breakdown in the middle. With it’s rolling, almost menacing pace it’s the kind of track that could easily be deployed to mix up the rhythm of a straight house set, finish your warm up in a way that re-sets the tone for the next selector or you can just drop it to take everyone deeeper. Top tackle stuff.

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Bantam Lions | Recollections

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The new Scenery ep, which follows a string of records that have featured local Liverpool talent and label associates, is easily one of the strongest things to come out on the label so far. The focus is on two original tunes from Bantam Lions who, with his Detroit inspired but very original sound, is for us the jewel in the crown of the imprints current roster. While Many Years Later is a nice bit of techno the slower, dreamier and more nuanced Recollections is the real money shot. Its ambling groove operates at the slower pace of his previous material for the imprint and he nails the dubby synths and drum patterns to create a perfectly formed piece of house music, laden with atmosphere which is also tastefully restrained in it’s execution.

On the other side are two remixes of the original tracks on the A-side. You should definitely be paying attention to the Cyclist’s mix of Recollections which is really, really tight. It totally flips the vibe of the original into loopy, no bullshit party material. I could provide a lengthy description but I’m not going to. Just listen to it below and rest assured that it’s hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck techno and easily one of my top tracks of the year. Vinyl is coming next Monday.

Recollections

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Recollections (Cyclist Remix)

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Innershades | Circuit

buckfast sock head

No one treads the line between ghetto house, Legowelt calibre electro and no holds barred techno like Innershades does. While each of the six tunes on his Toxic Trax Ep from earlier in the year lean slightly towards one more than the other all of them are cut from the same cloth and Circuit, with it’s jacked out drum patterns and classic booty vocal samples, is the sleaziest of the bunch. I’d say that the whole record has been pretty criminally overlooked and as such you can still get a copy for your shelves. Uh-da-duh da-duh BITCH!

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Mind Fair | Hiding From My Shadow / Let The Music Take Your Mind

In accordance with Golf Channel’s periodically pacey release schedule they’ve just dropped two tight EP’s from Mind Fair at the same time. Ben Shenton and Dean Meredith (from Rhythm Odyssey) make up the British duo and both their records work an organic sound that’s hard to pigeon hole but takes in elements of house, disco, funk and pop. To avoid Six Axle looking too much like a Golf Channel fan club page I’ve picked a couple of favourites from each release rather than writing about both of them individually. The Ceremony Ep leans towards club orientated instrumentals and while the title track is top stuff it’s the rolling, basement jam groove of Hiding From My Shadow that really kills it for me. It builds and builds with every element that is introduced lifting the energy of the track. A simple drum pattern and looped guitar lick morph into a medley of bass, brass and what might be an xylophone over the course of almost 8 minutes.

The second record, the Take Me To The Bridge Ep, is a lot more vocal heavy on two of the tracks and also has a chunky remix of Ceremony from the other record. While all three tunes are on the money it’s Let The Music Take Your Mind that I’ve had on repeat. It’s a washed out ballad with the faded vocals set over a slow, warm groove interspersed with spanish guitar that sounds like it was played live. It would be a crime not to put up the title track for this Ep such is it’s balance of happy-sad emotion and soul so check it out below. For vinyl go here and here.

Hiding From My Shadow

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Let The Music Take Your Mind

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Take Me To The Bridge

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Mary Boyoi | Zooz (Tama Sumo Remix)

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There’s little question that Tama Sumo is mostly known for being a solid selector and world class, internationally renowned party starter. That reputation has been hard won on Berlin dance-floors and for me is embodied by her Boiler Room performance that broadcast last year. The online streaming sessions, while giving important exposure to the music we all vibe off, are better known for having passive, barely dancing crowds than they are for being a place to see people cutting shapes and losing their shit (with a few exceptions of course). With that in mind, the electric atmosphere that Tama creates in her 60 minutes, as well as being lucid and tangible even via a grainy youtube video, is testimony to her ability to kick things off in almost any situation.

Despite this fearsome rep as a Dj she has also done some work in the studio as well. Although it’s pretty limited in output, what’s there is as classy as you might expect. She totally nailed it with this remix on Süd Electronic, taking the South Sudanese singer Mary Boyoi’s track Zooz and pumping it up into a bit of hybrid techno-afro-house with a seriously tight bassline, imbibing it with the same good times spirit that radiates from her boiler room set. Cop the vinyl here.

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Housey Doingz | Flying Saucer

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For whatever reason, I’ve found myself gravitating towards UK house and techno lately (from the mid-late 90s anyway). There’s so much great music to be found, most of it cheap. Part of why it pisses me off to see American Djs constantly bleating on about US House Heritage on social media, is that many of the sacred cows of their scene would benefit from a little of the subtlety and and strangeness of this golden age of British 4/4 sounds.

Wiggle put out a few belters; but their first 12″, or more specifically ‘Flying Saucer’, will always be my fave. Pure late nite freakery, it stinks of Lutz, Zip, Richards, Weatherall – or any discerning Dj who digs the late 90s UK shit.

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Larry Heard | The Dance of Planet X

hanging at the beach

We’ve made no secret of our love for the guy in the past [1] [2] [3] [4] but really, is there any stronger rebuttal to the accusation that house is only appropriate for clubs, bars and sweaty basements than Larry Heard? From Alien, one of his many killer long players, The Dance of Planet is a track I put on regularly in the morning. The typically detailed textures of the beatless intro strike that perfect balance of elevating and subdued that gently puts me into gear first thing. When the laid back drums kick in three minutes later, well, then it’s time to start moving. Good news is it got repressed this year. Check it here.

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Zero dB | Click

surf silhouette

Been sitting on this one for ages… it’s a lesson in how to sample, throwing down jazz hi-hats, piano and drum rhythms over a tightly programmed house beat. The filtered voice samples give it a live feeling but the way they’re chopped up reminds you that you’re still listening to something made in the studio. The flip is also top level shit and the wax is dirt cheap.

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YSE | Tomorrows Yesterday

black cat

With only four records out in two years Rhythm Plate’s new label project, Pressed For Time, won’t win any prizes for quantity of output but what has appeared on there has been particularly tasty. They started off in 2013 with a reissue of one of their most memorable tunes LeanFast forward to this summer and the Casual Relief EP dropped from which immediately jumps out a piece of timeless, expertly made house from one half of the duo, Anthony Harrison, working solo under his YSE guise. Its swinging momentum, inviting textures and empowering, delicately programmed synth lines are exactly what we look for in our dance music.

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Greeen Linez | Hibiscus Pacific

beach rocks scenery

Quite a lot of you may have picked this up the first time round when it appeared on this Cd in 2012 but now, thanks to the NY based Alliance Upholstery imprint, it’s back on vinyl as a reissue in all it’s balearic, sunkissed glory with some classy remixes from the Sorcerer, Jacques Renault and Moon B respectively. Of the three new mixes Moon B’s and the Sorcerer’s are the real killers for us. Moon B operates in his usual breezy house style upping the tempo a little while the Sorcerer presents a mellower take on the source material.

Really though, it’s still the original that holds the most pull; at a leisurely 100 bpm the two Uk producers who are Greeen Linez made a totally inimitable piece of music when they cooked up Hibiscus Pacific. It’s got a breathtaking mixture of sounds and textures that all melt into one another, a melody that stays in your mind long after the track has finished and a low slung rhythm with tightly programmed drums, all of which is smothered in dubby delay and blissed out reverb. Aside from the expert production it’s their ability to capture the feeling of summertime that is most impressive; sparkling blue swimming pools and mojitos, hawaiian shirts and tanned skin… that is what makes this so special. Cop it here.

Original Mix

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Moon B Remix

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Concrete Click | Lyrical Terrorism EP

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90s Boston hip hop outfit Concrete Click only released two records – that I’m wise to anyway – but both are truly special, highly sought after near-paragons of the genre form.

Across four tracks their Lyrical Terrorism EP borrows from, then transcends elements of jazzy early East Coast rap, gritty West Coast gangsta, and creamy G-funk. Timeless shit.

Criminal

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Can’t Get Enough

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Gone With The Wind

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Where You At?

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Herbert | Fishcoteque

shoe in the pool

In light of the great producers slightly disappointing addition to his infamous Parts series that came out recently it seems appropriate to share a favourite that still does the business. A little less techno orientated than a lot of his 90’s production it’s got hyper jazzy percussion and soul warming synth work. Not sure if this ever came out on vinyl but you can find it on this Cd. Pretty sure this is an internet exclusive for the full track as well!

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VA | A Throng of Orbs Vol 1 [Ears Have Eyes]

strange eye person on phoneWe were excited to receive a copy of this ep recently from the tight new Peckham based label Ears Have Eyes. It’s made up of four techno cuts that lean towards the weirder, druggier side of the genre… and all four are contributed by pretty much unknown artists. The spacey ambience and rich sonic textures that characterise the record are notably accomplished for producers who haven’t released much (but who presumably have been cooking up tight jams at home for a while). Whilst the whole package is slick there are two tracks that I’ve gone back to again and again.

The first is Muran B’s A Kiss On The Tweeter. Over the seemingly infinitely deep soundscape is built a dark, stripped back groove which periodically gives way to bars of ambient keys before dropping back into the tightly programmed drums and perfect 10 bassline. If you’d played this to me and told me it was a new Move D track I would have believed you, such is it’s complexity and depth of emotion. The other one that I really dig is World of Batter’s The Horse I Rode in On is Dead. It’s not so dance floor ready as A Kiss… but aside from having a top name it’s got a dreamy melody that’s easy to get lost in with sparse percussion that provides definition and keeps things moving forward. This right here is a top record, especially considering that it’s only number 2 for what is still a young label. Get your hands on the wax and lossless digital tracks right here. Tip!

Muran B – A Kiss On The Tweeter

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World of Batter – The Horse I Rode in On is Dead

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2Pac | Pour Out A Little Liquor

skaters

Recently, after realising that the cd changer in my car is mostly loaded with smooth gangsta hip hop, someone asked me if I just cruise around listening to G-funk all the time. Aside from the odd dance promo loaded onto my phone the answer is yes. Along with Dr. Dre’s landmark album The Chronic it’s been 2Pac’s Thug Life Volume 1 that I’ve had on more than anything else so far this summer.

There are a load of timeless tunes on there like Shit Don’t Stop and Bury Me A G but for me it’s always Pour Out A Little Liquor that kills it the most. The poignant subject matter and lucid verses make it one of the best (and probably un-coincidentally one of the most well known tracks) on what is arguably Pac’s creamiest record.

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Traffic | Dream Gerrard

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‘Scuse the lack of post action lately. We, probably like you, have been too busy eating ice creams / swatting wasps / getting tap aff inappropriately. Enjoying the summer, is what I’m trying to say.

Although top notch house and techno records have come to dominate the time I spend listening to or mixing tunes, these months are also ideal for dusting off music of a gentler, more languid persuasion. Traffic’s beautiful 11 minute opus ‘Dream Gerrard’, a track which used to be my alarm clock, still holds a special place in my cold, bitter heart.

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