Sunday, 27 February 2011

Joy O - 'Jels' (HF027)

Joy Joy Joy. It is only 2 weeks until the release of 'Wade In/Jels', and I'm struggling to contain my excitement. 'Wade In' is the most anticipated of the two, receiving wide play on the DJ circuit as well as radio time on Rinse FM and Benji B's radio show. 'Jels' on the other hand is little known, only being gaining radio play last week, whilst a one minute clip has been uploaded to soundcloud. First indications are that O'Grady once again keeps the quality control very high. Notably 'Jels' is quite a contrast in tone and atmosphere from 'Wade In, whilst retaining a similar classic house format and style.

'Jels' begins tentatively, with the shuffling rhythm creatd from Roland drums steadily setting the tempo, whilst acid basslines gradually surge in the background, gaining prominence as the introduction wears on. After 1 minute 40 the vocal sample, which seems to wail “turn”, indicates the introduction of a first piano chord melody, one which is uplifting in sharp contrast to the to the rolling acid basslines and structured house rhythms which take hold after this short interval. The beat swells, forcing you to move. As the track progresses further layers are built, most notably the final melodies on which the track climaxes. Whilst the track’s well formed rhythm continues to flourish, a wonderful repetitive chord melody slowly arises and takes dominance from the bleak basslines. This melody is beautifully arranged, bringing a sense of bliss and delight to the track, contrasting the former basslines. Unashamed excellence.

'Wade In/Jels' will be released on 12" on the 14th March, with a digital release coming on the 21st. Both are once again necessities, with Joy O providing arguably his strongest work to date, although that is an argument which could be put forth for any of his 4 releases to date. You can listen to 'Jels' by following the link below.

Joy O - 'Jels'

Boddika - 'Electron/Underground' (SWAMP008)

Instra:mental’s Alex Green provides his second 12" release under his solo project Boddika here for the label of the moment Swamp81. Green builds on the success of his debut ‘Boddika’s House/Syn Chron’ with two steppers in the form of ‘Electron/Underground’. The A-side, ‘Electron’, is a raw effort, created at 136bpm to give full effect to the driving 808 hits, vox’d vocal sample, polyrhythmic synths and the swelling sub-bass. ‘Underground’ brings the tempo down, still vibing off 808’s, with sparse cowbells and dark synth chords accompanying the well formed beat alongside vocal samples not to dissimilar to those used on ‘Electron’. Brilliant 808 action, with the track’s featured evidently as strong as the brilliant artwork of the sleeve and label (artwork by Ashes57). If not for the music, I'd buy the record because of the work by the guys at Ashes57 alone. There's more to come from Boddika on Swamp81 in the next couple of months or so, don't miss it.

Boddika - 'Electron'

Kassem Mosse - 'Workshop 12' (WORKSHOP12)

Kassem Mosse unveiled his third 12” release on the established Workshop label this month, and duly delivered his best work to date. Over the past year or so he has built a strong reputation as one of leading producers of modern house/techno, creating deep styles which nod to past trends whilst pushing the present forward. The A-side of the EP is simply astonishing, a devastating 8 minute track that hypnotises. The looped vocal sample that establishes the track anchors its progression, with raw percussive arrangements, deep underlying sub-bass and tentative strings that alarm, forming hauntingly beautiful house music. The tracks on the B-side are more typical and standard house tracks, with a steady 4x4 rhythm, rough and ready percussive layers and a bassline which shudders throughout. The EP is a killer. The A-side is really something special.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Koreless - '4D/MTI' (PICT005)

"Remember when you first heard James Blake and Ramadanman? Well, remember this is where you first heard Koreless". (Gilles Peterson, Radio 1)

That is quite a statement from Gilles Peterson, and one that should not go unnoticed by fans of UK bass music. 19 year old Lewis Roberts is a Glaswegian producer who has been quietly building himself a solid reputation over the past few months, with radio exposure in particular raising his ever growing status in the underground scene. In particular, Jamie xx's selection of 'MTI' in a mix for Benji B's radio one show confirmed this air of excitement surrounding the young producer.

Koreless's remix of Jacques Greene's 'The Look' is the track which first caught my attention, outclassing the track's original mix with his characteristic soft, atmospheric sounds. His first release is much anticipated, with each tracks receiving great support from DJ's on the circuit. '4D/MTI' will be released on Pictures Music on the 21st March, both on limited hand-printed 12" as well as digital download. This is a really strong debut effort from Koreless, featuring lovely soft melodies, strong rhythms and emotions that are the young producer's forte.

The A-side '4D' sets things off here. The track begins with a beautiful chord melody, which is soon neatly matched by the wailing cut-up Kelis vocal sample that backs the former sound rather than diverting attention from it. A smooth 2-step rhythm is soon incorporated, built upon with soft pads and persistent hi-hats. 'MTI' provides the brilliant B-side of this release, and is arguably the slightly stronger of the two. The track begins with a jarring static sound,
with an effortlessly exquisite pad melody and precisely manipulated diva wails soon balancing the harsher static sounds. The drop is wonderful, with the static sounds omitted and replaced by a driving 4x4 rhythm that is equal in prominence to the the pad arrangement, whilst vocal clips fill atmospheric gaps. A brilliant debut, one that points to a bright future for young Lewis Roberts.

Emotional dance music perfect for late night listening. Fans of Joy O, Jamie xx, Burial, George FitzGerald and Sepalcure, you have been notified.

Koreless - '4D'
Koreless - 'MTI'

Friday, 25 February 2011

Unknown - 'Knock Knock'

Unknown - 'Knock Knock'

Swamp81's 14th release is without doubt the most anticipated of 2011, and rightly so. 'Sicko Cell' has caused a massive storm over the past few months, with it's beautiful production, addictive sample, and the anonymity of the producer being discussed by anyone who takes a passing interest in the scene. The b-side to ‘Sicko Cell’ is titled ‘Knock Knock’, and my word does it provide strong support.

The track adopts a similar format to that of 'Sicko Cell', although it is slightly more reserved in it's style. The track is comprised of a syncopated beat, one which really drives once the succession of 808's hits. The percussion built around this is understated, and sits well in the background behind the throbbing rhythm. Cut up vox'd vocals are incorporated once again, with a tone similar to that of 'Sicko Cell's enduring vocal sample. This is effective, especially when the wonderful wailing synthlines rise, gaining prominence from the beat in multiple intervals during the track, an element which provides a dark emotion to the track. 'Knock Knock' is brilliantly produced, building the quality and reputation which 'Sicko Cell' had originally established.

'Sicko Cell/Knock Knock' will definitely be seeing a release on Swamp81, all that remains now is a question of when? I have a feeling we'll see Swamp014 surfacing on 12" in April/May, not too long to wait now. And as to the identity of the producer, 'Knock Knock' confirms my previous thoughts. He continues to raise the quality of his releases, and 'Sicko Cell/Knock Knock' sits very near the top of an almost flawless discography.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Fold - 'Deployming'

This one has been on repeat for the previous 72 hours. Fold produces a simply brilliant track here in the form of 'Deployming', which you can stream below. The man behind the Fold alias is Rob Glassett, also one half of the London-based deep house duo HomePark. This project sees him explore a quicker tempo, experimenting with both house and garage sounds whilst retaining select elements of deep house. You can stream Fold's tracks by clicking here.

'Deployming' has really impressed, a garage-house hybrid which Glassett produces with a great deal of composure. The track slowly builds, with intricate syncopated percussion backed with reasonable sub-bass establishing a swinging rhythm, which is soon accompanied suitably by a garage-infused beat. Ascending synthlines and a soulful diva vocal sample progressively rise throughout the duration of this introduction, gaining dominance once all percussion is paused. The drop is effective, with the well formed percussive arrangements kicking into action alongside a grumbling bassline. The break, in which a delightful synth chord melody is developed, recalls Glassett's HomePark duties, especially once the underlying bassline shadows the chord melody. It is after this that the track enters it's full fruition, with each of these elements combining to create a soulful killer.

The quality of 'Deployming' displays the talent Fold's has to offer, and I have no doubts we will soon be hearing a lot more from the London producer. Keep an eye out for the release of 'Deployming', I have a feeling we'll be seeing it on 12" in the next couple of months, it's an essential purchase. High quality control.

DEPLOYMiNG (clip) by FOLD!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Joy O - 'Wade In/Jells' (Forthcoming Hotflush)

Joy O
'Wade In/Jels'
Hotflush Recordings

Peter O'Grady is back with his first release of 2011, under the shorter alias of Joy O. His new two track 12" is to be released on Hotflush (the excellent label which released 'Hyph Mngo/Wet Look') on March 21st, and the tracks are titled 'Wade In/Jels'. This will be O'Grady's first release since 'BB/Ladywell', which was released though his own Doldrums imprint back in November. That release was credited to J.O. rather than his well known Joy Orbison moniker, and with this release credited to Joy O the indication is that the Joy Orbison name may be becoming less prominent. What this means anyone can guess, but most notably different styles can be attributed to each of the individual names, suggesting he will be operating under a slightly altered alias according to which style he is producing (contrasts can be seen in his work under each of the Joy Orbison, J.O. and now Joy O monikers).

'Jels' is still to my knowledge unknown to most, and hasn't been floating around in the sets of Oneman, Ben UFO, Loefah, Ramadanman et al. However, 'Wade In' has been building a quiet interest over the past couple of months, previously titled as 'Kissmequik' before information of this release had surfaced. As soon as I first heard 'Wade In' in Ben UFO's 'Gimme5' mix back in December I had fallen in love. The track fits closer to his previous single 'BB/Ladywell', adopting similar house characteristics. The introduction establishes the track's surging rhythm, with a pounding 4x4 beat, raw Detroit inspired percussive arrangements and the steady integration of handclaps. This leads up to an eerie air of silence at the 1:30 mark, with a lovely drop following the deep sample which exclaims 'ummm'. The original beat and intricate percussive arrangement is reintroduced, accompanied by a simply sublime melody of piano stabs, one which seems to continue to rise in stature as the track progresses. It is a beautiful arrangement, one which contrasts the raw sound of the percussion brilliantly.

I obviously can't give any details on 'Jells' as of yet. This is most likely a track unheard by most, as was evident with 'Ladwell' on his last 12" release. However, 'Wade In' was known to most as 'Kissmequik' being signed to Hotflush, so could 'Jels' in fact be Joy O's recent production 'Ellipsis', which was notably credited to Joy O on Benji B's radio one show when Boddika contributed his guest mix. I guess we're just going to have wait patiently to see what Joy O provides with 'Jels'. The single is essential for 'Wade In' alone. Do not miss it. 2011 may well be O'Grady's finest.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

'Sicko Cell' Forthcoming on Swamp81

After months of speculation we are still no closer to confidently knowing the identity of the producer of the simply excellent 'Sicko Cell'. However, confirmation of it's release on Swamp81 in the very near future is assured, and thankfully so. 'Sicko Cell' has caused quite a stir over the past few months, dominating the sets of Oneman, Ben UFO, J.O, Loefah, Ramadanman and Jackmaster. It is a wonderful track. It's a heavy 808 driven track, with deep bass kicks, a retro synth chord melody which is brilliantly arranged, as well as a vocal sample that is outrageously addictive ("I'm the information. Cocaine powder."). The words 'I'm the information. Cocaine powder" will stay with you indefinitely upon listening, trust me. The break is also stunning, with beautiful synthlines combining wonderfully with the infectious vocal sample. The status of the record has been no doubt heightened considerably due to the producer's anonymity, a factor which has led to endless blogging/discussion of the identity of the track's creator. We can continue to speculate, we all have our ideas, but I doubt we will be learning of the producer's identity anytime soon in all honesty.

The picture above was posted on Swamp's tumblr yesterday, and confirms four future releases. In the foreground is 'Sicko Cell', which will be release #014 on Swamp81. It will also be backed with a track which is titled 'Knock Knock'. Swamp #010 is a single from Falty DL, which will be followed by Boddika double pack that will make up release #011, definitely including the killer '2727'. Swamp81's 12th release is still unknown, and just too far in the distance in this photo to make out any details of the release. Before these quality releases, Swamp81 will also be unveiling Boddika's 'Electron/Underground' and Addison Groove's 'Sexual/Work It' in the next few weeks. This makes for an incredible catalogue of 12" releases. Swamp81 is most certainly building itself an impeccable reputation with releases of such quality.

I'm the information. Cocaine Powder. Loefah's providing the goods.

Forthcoming on Swamp 81: 008 – Boddika ‘Electron/Underground’; 009 – Addison Groove ‘Sexual/Work It’; 010 – Falty DL ‘Unknown’; 011 – Boddika ‘Unknown’; 012 – Unknown; 014 – Unknown ‘Sicko Cell/Knock Knock’.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Addison Groove - 'Sexual/Work It' (Forthcoming Swamp81)

Back in August 2010 Ramadanman included a track titled 'Sexual' at the end of his one off mix for MAH which contributed to the final 6 weeks of her Radio 1 show. As soon as I heard Addison Groove's latest effort I knew I'd become obsessed, and obsession most certainly hold (endless repetition of Kennedy's mix and low quality youtube videos has ensued). Thankfully, 'Sexual' will be seeing a 12" release on Swamp81 on the 28th February, backed with a dancefloor killer in the making in the form of 'Work It'.

For those of you unfamiliar with Addison Groove, it is the juke influenced alias of Tony Williams (aka Headhunter) who puts his unique stamp on the cult Chicago sound. The Addison Groove sound first came to prominence a year ago with the release of 'Footcrab/Dumbshit' (Swamp81 005 - March 10) on Swamp81, 'Footcrab' becoming ubiquitous the sets of taste makers such as Oneman and Loefah. This is the only release from Addison Groove to date, although over the past 7-8 months numerous tracks have appeared in a number of mixes, suggesting Williams is sitting on a number of brilliant tracks at the minute, waiting for the right time to release them. Tracks such as '5 Minutes Of Funk' (Jackmaster's URB mix - 1:15:00), 'Fuck The 101' (listed in Ramadanman's forthcoming Fabriclive mix), 'It's Getting Harder' and 'This Girl' all point towards a strong supply of 808 magic material I hope we'll be seeing released on 12" sooner rather than later.

The release of 'Sexual/Work It' is fantastic news though, and could prove to be one of biggest releases of 2011, just as 'Footcrab' functioned in the 2010. 'Sexual' is the real killer track here, formed by pulsating 808 juke percussion, a warm synth melody that continues to rise, and a smooth vocal sample that wonderfully repeats 'we sexual' throughout, gaining further emphasis as the track progresses. This is the most soulful Addison Groove has produced as of yet, and it's a style very much uited to the juke format. 'Work It' is much closer to 'Footcrab' in it's sound. A track created unapologetically with the dancefloor in mind, 'Work It' surges with a pounding 808 beat, occasional cowbell's, polyrhythmic synths and a strong vocal sample irregularly repeating 'work it'. Whilst retaining similar styles, the tracks are relatively distant in their tones and feel, and the quality here confirms to us that the success of 'Footcrab' was no fluke. Two absolute wonders here, ghetto house beautifully adapted to a equally suitable 130-140 tempo. 'Sexual' may just be the track of 2011 to date.

Addison_Groove_Sexual_Out Feb2011 by Headhunter

Addison_Groove_Work It_Out Feb2011 by Headhunter

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

HomePark - Wolf Music Podcast 002

A simply outstanding mix from HomePark. The deep house duo are undoubtedly one of my favourite upcoming artists, and have shown a great progression over the past 12 months or so in their own productions. Their last effort, 'What A Day' EP released last month (available to purchase here), was brilliant, an example of the excellent works which Rob Glassett and Sam Fussell have been producing of late. The title track of the EP is brilliant, with a strong downtempo beat, smooth chord melodies and a lovely vocal sample. Essential listening.

The duo's mix for Wolf Music is just as excellent. A smooth 1 hour mix, with seamless transitions and a selection of late night underground house tracks that will make you cry. It's by far one of the most enjoyable mixes I've heard in the past few months, consistently providing deep cut after deep cut, the best in underground house. There's no tracklist available here, so a long and frustrating search is inevitable after the first few listens. But that's just part of the fun. Paris Underground Trax's 'Sexy Thing' wraps things up brilliantly, followed by an equally wonderful track, the identity of which I'm yet to discover. One hour of pure bliss. Listen below.