Damon Bell – Stand By Me (Burek)
For many, the name Damon Bell will by synonymous with Aybee’s Deepblak label and, with 7 releases on the imprint going back to 2009 you’d be forgiven for thinking so. But, with excellent releases on Soundofspeed, Don’t Be Afraid, Meda Fury and now this lovely cut on Burek it shows he can spread his wings further afield when he wants to. Croatian label Burek have long been a favourite of mine, always delivering high quality, forward thinking music but with their sound not getting stuck in one narrow niche.
The EP kicks off with the title track and it’s a sublime cut of purposeful yet subtle house music. The steady rhythm has a forcefulness to it that I love and over the top we have nicely woven plucked synth lines interspersed with acerbic pads from time to time. Up next, “Life Awaits You” is definitely the chirpiest and most optimistic of the three. The energy levels are high as the bright pads wash over the buoyant rhythms making this definitely a contender for some “dancefloor moments”. Finally, we have “Transatlantic Journey? We Been Here!” which keeps the bright pads that are the signature of this release and this time blends with an unrelenting house-chug bassline for maximum effect.
ITPDWIP – Post Love (Brokntoys)
The excellent Brokntoys dropped their 12th release a week or so ago with this absolute gem of a record from ITDWIP. I have no idea what the Dutch artist Heinz Kammler means by this long and confusing acronym but, based on the outstanding quality of his first three releases so far, I actually couldn’t give a monkeys. His last release on Frustrated Funk was an effortless foray into the world of electro and the follow up on Brokntoys is every bit as accomplished if not more so.
The opening track “Taking An Already Taken Decision” is a truly beautiful slice of melancholic machine funk. The title, for me, suggests he’s been thinking about free will, consciousness and neuroscience but who gives a shit? Call it “I’m Covered in Baked Beans” for all I care, this is a sublime track. Lovely, stuttering pads and clipped rhythms rule the day. Next up “Dolphin’s Cry” has much more energy to it, with a nice, skippy 4/4 rhythm and deep bassline. Bringing up the rear is “Haguenesse Wind” which is a slow and sparse affair, with an all pervading atmosphere of eeriness.
Willow – Workshop 23 (Workshop)
Workshop have been one of the most consistently on point imprints of the last 10 years, pushing their brand of damn playable and downright weird house and techno with artists like Move D, Even Tuell, Kaseem Moss etc. Their latest signing Willow hails from Manchester and she’s brought something completely new to the fold. Her second release for the label keeps the downtrodden and sparse house ethos but brings a lovely openness with lush vocals to offset the darkness. The harps on B1 are just beautiful.
Soundstream – Sound Sampler 2 (Sound Stream)
Ok so the Deutche Disco Don is at it again. No one can match this guy, and his output just gets better and better. No need for spurious words here. Just buy it.