Differ-Ent - M.O.M. (Don’t be Afraid)
This is DJ Bone’s second outing with his new Differ-Ent moniker and both have come courtesy of the excellent Don’t be Afraid. The first release last year quickly became a go to record for me and I caned it throughout the year. With an artist as consistent as Bone you don’t need to worry if the follow up is going to be any good but I did wonder if it would resonate as much with me as the first one.
The result though, which Bone describes as “THE most personal track I’ve ever done” is a blend of tough, moody techno that opens up with splashes of warmth and color, distilling a plethora of emotions into two tracks. Quite a lot of dance music across the board these days tends to be vapid, self-referential tripe and this is the antithesis of that. It’s a tribute to his late mother who passed away recently and you can tell there’s a lot of emotion, both positive and negative being channeled here. DJ Bone is a dancefloor technician and you know he’s going to always make a track that bangs but, what he also does is put a piece of himself in there too. There are a lot of people who do this, whether they explicitly put it out there or just keep things to themselves, but you can always tell one way or another. And, more importantly, you can tell when it’s not there.
Jonna – Through the Night (Shadeleaf)
Jonna is one of the Lestah cats behind the City Fly imprint that, if you’ve checked this column before you’ll know I’m a big fan of their output. He’s just branched out and dropped his first release on another label, Shadleaf, run by the Sheffield house guru Thatmanmonkz. And, if this first record is anything to go by, we can hopefully expect a lot more quality music from him in the future.
The EP kicks off with the title track, which is a lovely, soul drenched vocal number that’s full of energy and groove in collaboration with Erik Rico. Next up is “Without Drugs” which almost lost me at the title (what?? no drugs????) but it’s a moody, raw house pumper. Rounding off the A Side is “Music for People” which continues in the heads down, on the floor vibe. Over on the flip we have two awesome remixes of “Through the Night” from Kai Alce and KZR. This is a fantastic first solo record and I hope to be hearing a lot more from him soon. Huge big ups!!
Bill Converse – Meditations/Industry (Dark Entries)
Bill Converse is a new name to me but, after hearing his wicked new album on Dark Entries, I’m going to make sure I stay up to date with his output. In fact I may even move to Texas and hang outside his house/regularly go though his bins just to make sure I don’t miss ANYTHING.
Coming out of the Midwest rave scene he moved to Texas in the late 90s and started to focus on his studio work. This current album has that lovely warm tape hiss we’re all so familiar with at the moment but he manages to avoid sounding the same as the rest of the dull-as-dishwater crew who are currently caning this aesthetic. There’s warmth, texture and personality in droves. Squiggly acid, wigged out pads, wonky synth lines and mangled electro. This is fucking great and no mistake.
Tala AM – African Funk Experimentals (Africa Seven)
Ok I can’t let this one go by unmentioned. Africa Seven have been doing an excellent job of digging up long lost African gems and bringing them to a modern audience and this current release sees them dust off some classic tracks from Cameroonian funk pioneer Tala AM. It was an education and an inspiration to me, so I’m just going to let you listen and make up your own minds.