Friday, May 21, 2010

May 24th 2010 Releases

Guiding Spirit
Gondwana CD
(GONCD 004)

"One of the best musicians in the UK, no question about that" - Gilles Peterson

Saxophonist Nat Birchall has always been something of an enigma, a sublimely soulful saxophonist hidden from view in the Northern hills. His debut album Sixth Sense (1998) first announced him to the jazz world as an urgent tenor saxophonist with a feel for pulsing modal hard-bop. But it was his cult hit and now highly sought after soulful slice of spiritual jazz Akhenaten (released on trumpeter Matthew Halsall's label, Gondwana Records, in 2009) that suggested that the spirit of Coltrane was alive and well in Northern England. Acclaimed by the critics (MOJO for one hailing its 'spacial sunship beauty' and 'lyrical heat haze hypnotism') Akhenaten together with Halsall's own releases 'Sending My Love' and 'Colour Yes' helped create the unique sound that the Independent On Sunday described as 'rain soaked spiritual jazz from Manchester".

Growing up in a Northern Village, Birchall was hardly exposed to jazz but through some friends fell in love with roots reggae and dub in the early '70s and it was the legendary Jamaican jazz-influenced saxophonists, Cedric Brooks, Tommy McCook, that inspired him take up the saxophone and through them that he discovered the music of John Coltrane. Lessons with an enigmatic local player, Harold Salisbury, followed as well as playing with various bands including Akay Temiz's Zaman. Birchall led a hip-hop influenced jazz band Corner Crew in the early '90s and started to make a name for himself on the local scene but felt unsatisfied with the music and despite some encouragement from the legendary record producer Tony Hall (Dizzy Reece, Tubby Hayes etc) Birchall resisted the call of the London scene and continued to search for the music he felt inside. Meeting trumpeter Matthew Halsall and a group of like minded players (including pianist Adam Fairhall, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes) gathered around Matt & Phreds in Manchester proved an inspiration 'Suddenly I felt something special in the music. My music is very simple, harmonically and melodically, so you have to play with as much conviction and soul as possible because there's nothing to hide behind, just the truth of how you feel the music." And it is this soulful elegance that illuminates both Akhenaten and Birchall's more expansive follow-up Guiding Spirit.

Guiding Spirit opens with Open Up The Gates invoking the idea of huge ancient gates being opened to allow the procession through but with a subtext of acceptance and recognition. Keep the Light Shining is a sunny tune, infused with the optimism of a new day, while Higher Regions has something of a McCoy Tyner vibe and features harpist Rachel Gladwin on kora. Going To The Mountain is inspired by a simple phrase that Birchall heard Pharoah Sanders play and has an eastern feel "I've always been in awe of how some musicians can play the simplest things yet invest them with so much meaning, I try to achieve the same quality when I play, and in working with this phrase I ended up with this melody". The uptempo Becoming is named for something Duke Ellington once said, that he liked to have his music always "in a state of becoming" (which Birchall feels as something like a flower opening as you look at it rather than just seeing the flower already opened) and is enhanced by Fairhall's luminous solo. Finally the rubato Guiding Spirit hints at the hidden forces or unconscious decisions (those gut feelings) that for Birchall drive both life and his own deeply felt music.

A. The Ghost
AA. The Ghost (Headhunter Remix)
Orca 12"
(ORCA 001)

Orca Recordings was created to deliver music built for the dance-floor that retains its integrity by pushing its creative and production standards to a new level. Operating out of North London, Orca is set to represent forward-thinking artists who are influenced by, but not restricted to, the many strands of UK bass music. Created by one of the promoters of the seminal ‘Seasonfive’ event in Bristol, Orca has also been formed to document the style and variety of music made at such an exciting and innovative time for electronic music where so many genres are being blended together.

The first release comes from X.I, one of the most exciting producers in bass music today. The track, named ‘The Ghost’ captures the exact sentiment and ethos of Orca. Right from the start XI creates an instant vibe with a short and energetic intro before the simple yet highly effective drum pattern and tough sub work out release this track's potential. Frequent changes in synth lines and detailed edits are brought together by a captivating vocal sample, sure to be remembered by the heads once they’ve left the club. On the flip, Headhunter still searing hot from his Addison's Groove outing on Swamp81, demonstrates exactly why he is one of the most sought after producers, as he puts his unique touch onto his remix of ‘The Ghost’. Headhunter’s trademark razor sharp drums and production expertise help draw attention to the amount of space he has created in this track, creating an unequalled sense of paranoia, making it perfect for both the club and headphone listening. The delayed synth chords, snarling mid range and the volatile movement of the pad combine with the power of the sub to give a meditational, eyes down vibe, now an uncommon commodity in UK bass music.

A. Jungle Republic (Ricky Force Relick)
Jungle Republic (Ramamdanman Refix)
Ruff Revival 12"
(RR 003)

The double-barrelled intensity continues with two very different remixes of Naphta's deep stepper, 'Jungle Republic'. Hotly-tipped Dublin-based producer RickyForce twists the original into an artfully hyperactive remix brimming with vibes, touching down somewhere between vintage Foul Play and Krome & Time.

Meanwhile Hessle Audio don and all round man of the moment Ramadanman destroys the flip side with a radically different interpretation, referencing bleep and bass artists like Unique 3 and Ital Rockers to create an idiosyncratic dubstep version that looks to the past, while forging ahead into the future...

Black Strobe EP:
A. Black Stroke (Original Mix)
Black Stroke (Kink & Neville Watson Remix)
B2. Pretty (Far From Here)
Modelisme 12"

After his glorious 'Machine Conspiracy' set for Meanwhile and his splendid prior "CCCP EP" on Modelisme, which was charted & supported by names such as Steve Bug, Djulz, Ewan Pearson, Fran├žois K, Brendon Moeller, Kirk Degiorgio, Mike Dehnert, Giorgio Gigli... Conforce strikes back on Modelisme with another great release titled "Black Stroke ep". The original is an hymnic detroitish tune, the swinging groove and the right strings, highly sensitive materials. Guests on this ep, the excellent Kink & Neville Watson worked out an old school acid house remix within a typical chicago vein - they know what to do. To round things off "Pretty far from here" is a superb old school house track, subtle deep funky sounds on raw beats with a sensual mood. A must have. Modelisme again, Conforce - well nigh essential.

Social Background:
A. Can't Tell You
Social Background
Ethereal Sound 10"
(ES 002)

Deep Explorer, Underground Quality, Uzuri, Quintessentials, Kontra Musik, Millions of Moments, the list of this Russian producer's releases reads like a who's who of some of today's finest, most forwards thinking house imprints. Here he returns to Ethereal Sound in fine style by way of a follow up to his take on 'I Get No Kick From Champagne' - dopest quality house jams united with poise and that certain feeling.

A1. (DJ Aly Meghji Vocal Mix)
A2. (DJ Aly Meghji Instrumental Mix)
B. (Oracy's Phantom Sound Mix)

Balance Alliance Special Edition clear vinyl 12"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Immerse Join Baked Goods

Baked Goods are proud to announce the addition of the Immerse Records catalogue to our distributed labels - titles currently available:

Time Is Now / They Know
(IME 007)

Refix EP
(IME 010PT1)

They Know / Plumes (Relocate Remix)
(IME 010PT2)

Convex Curved Mirror / Hometown Swamp
(IME 011)

Hades / Tomb VIP
(IME 012)

Elephants / Medium
(IME 013)

Separation / Lesser People
(IME 014)

000 / Slippin
(IME 015)

(IME 016)

A. Togetherness
AA. Horizons (Asusu Remix)

(IME 017)

May 17th 2010 Releases

Transform I - Remixed
Sufferah's Choice CD

1. From the Foundation (feat. Dub Judah) (Pinch remix)
2. City Walls (feat. Ras Addis) (Gemmy remix)
3. More Jah Songs (feat. Tena Stelin) (RSD remix)
4. Moses (feat. Ras B) (Forsaken remix)
5. Strictly Ital (feat. Ras Addis) (Peverelist remix)
6. Respek I-spek / Touch I Heart (feat.Levi Roots & Afrikan Simba) (Appleblim & Gatekeeper remix)
7. Nyah Keith (Guido remix)
8. Transformai (feat. Ras Bernardo & Jeru Banta) (Hyetal remix)
9. Hail Jah (feat. Ras Addis) (Jakes remix)
10. Foundational Dub (feat. Dub Judah) (Headhunter remix)
11. 'Transform I' Trailer (Video)

Bristolian roots reggae outfit Dubkasm have rounded together ten of the city's A-list dubstep producers to contribute to their Transform I - Remixed album. Quite aside from being a compulsively listenable and frequently brilliant reconstruction of Dubkasm’s Transform I album, this upcoming remix project acts as a tidy summary of – and an excellent introduction to – some of the Bristol dubstep community’s best-known practitioners. The rootsy feel of the source material is faithfully adhered to throughout, lending coherence despite the oft-idiosyncratic nature of each version. So Peverelist’s take on ‘Strictly Ital’ is equally indebted to jungle and techno, both Gemmy and Guido’s tracks drown samples of the original instrumentation in synthetic melody and Forsaken turns ‘Moses’ into a characteristically bizarre Latinised stomp. Best of all has to be Gatekeeper & Appleblim’s bewitching turn on ‘Respect I-Spek’, splicing the original into a mini-epic that’s equal parts devotional ritualism and club propulsion.

Luna / Luv_Dup
Soul Motive 12"
(SMR 006)

"...already big with Mary Anne, MistaJam and Skream, Headhunter, Geiom and co on a highly addictive funky flex"

38 EP
A1. Lost A2. Early Mob A3. Your Coat
B1. Walk It B2. Face of God

Keysound 12"EP
(LDN 017)

Keysound Recordings are proud to present the "38 EP" from the bass-heavy production trio, LV. All five tracks from the Hyperdub recording artists feature the ramblings and reflections of grime-inspired spoken wordsmith, Josh Idehen. It finds him sitting in the seat of five different passengers on east London's 38 bus as it winds from Clapton, imagining different people's worlds, as they journey via Hackney Central into the dark heart of the city. "It's obvious you don't get on with this metropolis, The big smoke's a big joke and you're the butt of it. Not like before when you were sure you'd fall in love with it eventually? Pity cos the city don't like optimists…"

The EP comprises exclusive tracks "Lost," "Early Mob," "Your Coat," and "Walk It" before ending in "Face of Go," where we find LV's sound stripped back to its dark exoskeleton, as far as Kode9's beatless dread-bass "Sine of the Dub." The 38 is both a celebrated and maligned London bus route and was name-checked by Wiley in freestyles ("38 bus/you don't want to see my .38 buss"). The route was one of the last to be served by the classic hop-on-the-back Routemasters. It was then served using the "bendy" busses, which were infamous for their ability to let fair dodgers nip on in the middle. They were finally phased out the weekend before the photos for this 12" were taken in Clapton, east London.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 10th 2010 Release

The Thorns of Love
Caravan 2LP (CVAN012)

A. This Is The Beast
B. The Sigh From The Sky Was A Lie Without Doubt
C. Class Dagger
D. Horsehead Blue

Antoni Maiovvi's "The Thorns Of Love" is a Liebes-Arie to a broken heart. An embrace of Italian drama and euphoric fear. His music exists somewhere between Patrick Cowley's Hi-NRG epics, Arthur Russell's melancholic beauty and John Carpenter's traumatizing soundtracks. Antoni Maiovvi is the name by which Anton Maiof unleashes his bastard offspring of disco and psychotronic horror and here with "The Thorns of Love" he has produced a deeply personal symphony to a lover lost and the sanctifying power of the dancefloor. Following the release of the highly acclaimed eponymously titled album from emptyset, Caravan Recordings steps into the ravine of heartache to shine a light on Bristol's underground disco hero Antoni Maiovvi.

Antoni Maiovvi is a nefarious creature of the night, a figure of twilight opulence and the love child of Evelyn Thomas and Lucio Fulci conceived in the lurid backrooms of the Boccaccio Club. The sweatbox is in his DNA, throbbing analogue circuitry courses through his flesh like rivers of blood and where his heart once lived there is now only yearning for the alchemical marriage of sex, death and technology. From Naples to Frankfurt he has stalked the dancefloors of Europe planning this moment and at last in this compendium of unbridled fist-clenchers his time has come. Now he will stop at nothing to bring his arpeggiated talisman down onto the souls of men, squeezing out that last breath of humanity in a pulsing Dantean dance-macabre.

"The Thorns of Love" (Antoni's 3rd album) takes a unique muscular and cerebral approach to electronic dance music bringing together the Italo love explosion, spine-tingling Euro-horror and the melancholic proto-techno musings of early Model 500 and ShareVari. Maiovvi takes the helm of this noir-tinged Trojan horse carving out a dancefloor machine with commanding synth-work, operatic drums and mind-bending atmospherics. As the album climaxes and the smoke pours across a crowded room he steps out from the shadows and delivers his final eulogy to 20th Century hedonism, preaching with the unhinged vocals of a coked up Bryan Ferry. Love may be the drug but for Maiovvi death can be the only future.