Shifty Science – Versions for Modern Dancefloors (Argot)
Chicago imprint Argot has been one of my go-to labels for some time now as they’ve dropped release after release of on point, forward thinking house music from the likes of The Black Madonna, Amir Alexander and TB Arthur. Each release they’ve done has had its own character and vibe, and it’s more of a sense of ethos and outlook that gels all of the records together rather than a narrow sense of style or genre. “Gutterflex” by Amir Alexander remains one of my favourite releases of the past few years.
For their latest offering they’ve dug up a gold mine of unreleased early 90s house excursions from the Shifty Science duo. Blending the sounds of classic Chicago with overt bleep influences, label owners Steve Mizek and Saville have taken the original material and painstakingly reedited and remastered it so that it sounds full, fresh and timeless. There’s a four track 12” release that takes some of the most club ready cuts and also a 14 track digital release that is a more multifaceted and nuanced affair. From the raw funk of “Ola” to the tripped out groove of “Feel Adendrum” there’s a broad pallet of sounds on offer and you should definitely check it out.
Skudge – Balancing Point (Skudge Records)
The Swedish duo Skudge have just dropped their 2nd long player on their own imprint and if you’re looking for a long format dose of pristine techno then you’d be well advised to check it out. When I see a Skudge record in the racks, whether it’s their productions or anything on their label I always have a listen and whatever it is usually ends up in a plastic bag and my wallet ends up a little lighter.
While it might lack a slight element of rawness like their 2011 LP “Phantom” the sound here is much more refined and the textures far more developed. It’s not an album of moments, more a collection of hypnotic excursions that would sound amazing while driving at speed down a motorway at night. I don’t have a car so I can’t try it out so if anyone fancies picking me up and taking me for a spin up the M6 after dark then please hit me up.
Terrence Dixon Presents Population One – Temporary Insanity Remixes (Out Er)
To be honest I usually balk at the sight of a remix EP. They often have an air of pointless tokenism about them, as a label tries to eek a little bit more from an artist’s material with little genuine artistic merit. Every now and then a remix or remix package shines through and this is one of them. The original release of Temporary Insanity dropped back in February on Out Er and was a catachrestically raw outing for TD. Now the label have enlisted Simone Gatto, Voiski, Cosmin TRG and Pangea for a set of rather impressive reinterpretations that are anything but tokenistic. Across the 12” Gatto takes matters deep and eerie, Voiski goes for the spiralling chug, Mr TRG delivers sparse atmospheres and Pangea delivers the pick of the bunch with a rhythmic snare-fest.
Jayda G – Sixth Spirit of the Bay (1080p)
One of my favourite artists of the moment teams up with one of my favourite labels to drop a very classy package indeed. Both Jayda and 1080p both hail from Vancouver so it seems like this pairing makes sense on every level imaginable. The four tracker exudes crisp vibes in abundance, with crystal pads and distant female vocals drenched in reverb. There’s a nice playful vibe here and you should definitely check it out.