Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind Remixes (Text)
Four Tet’s album “Beautiful Rewind” was one of the musical highlights of last year for me and now Text are ready with a remix EP that sees Jay Daniel, Seven Davis JR and Photomachine getting in on the action. Remix EPs are, in my opinion, often disappointing and unnecessary. This one is neither of those things but is actually a very good record in its own right but that’s not surprising from these guys.
Jay Daniel kicks off the proceedings with his rework of “Aerial” and it’s a laid back, low slung house affair. Lazy beat cutting through warm pads and what sounds like some bird song in the background. Au naturel. After that we have the SDJR rework of “Bulcha” and it’s an interesting interpretation of the pounding techno of the original. There’s a lot more freaky organ going on here, and everything has his trademark mix of funk and weird. Finally we’ve got the Photomachine mix of “Crush” which is less my personal cup of tea than the other two but many will love the slightly schizophrenic rhythms and wonderfully rounded bassline.
Henrik Bergqvist – About Computers (Aniara Recordings)
Aniara has been in the game since 2010 and since then they’ve built themselves an impressive back catalogue. Their focus has always been on deep and interesting house music with a broad sound pallet and they’ve been pretty damn consistent so far. Later this month they’ll be dropping a new EP from fellow Swede Henrik Bergqvist and it’s an excellent addition to their legacy.
We kick off with “About Computers” which is the most floor-pleaser-ish of the lot. Chunky house beat, tight little base line, repeating synth hook and a vocal of someone saying “I don’t know much about computers”. Tidy. Next up “Nyla” sticks with a similar chunky 909 rhythm section but this time it’s a more atmospheric affair. The track has a lovely impetus about it. It’s deep but it’s really moving somewhere. On the flip we kick off with “Serendipity” which is the pick of the bunch for me. It’s all built around one hypnotic arpeggio with the energy building around it very subtly. Finally “Chill” rounds off the EP which is a bit of an odd one. Imagine a recording of being flushed round the toilet after taking a bunch of dodgy drugs but with a handy beat to give the experience some coherence. I hope that didn’t sound negative – the track is fantastic.
Out in the last week of August – wax only
Various Artists – Trackworx 2 (Philpot)
Philpot is a label who never fail to deliver the goods and this latest two tracker featuring Arttu and Hakim Murphy is a standout even for them. Both of them are massive talents in my book and they each have quite a distinctive and contrasting sound but the pairing works very well together.
On the A side we’ve got Arttu’s “Can’t Get Down” featuring Kaye and it’s recognisable as one of his productions a mile off which is a good thing in this day and age when everyone sounds the same. It’s chunky, upfront and goes off on tangents every now and again. In contrast, Hakim Murphy’s “ES1” (named after the synth in Logic?) is dark and churning with an almighty deep kick drum. Sporadic snares ping off throughout and there’s a subtle little repeating melody ticking along underneath. A very strong record indeed.
Pacific State - Coming Home (London Records)
The clue is in the title… this is Balearic as fuck. But there is very little clue that this is in fact made by The Shapeshifters (as part of a new Balearic side project that will see The Shapeshifters' Simon Marlin tour as part of a live band). Vocals come courtesy of the excellent Berri Farley, although I would also quite like to know what the vocals of Terry Farley would have sounded like over the top of it. Perhaps that could be the B-side.
William Welt - Instinctive Behaviour (22Digit Records)
Unashamedly old school, slightly dark and techy. If you heard this in the main room at Berghain you wouldn't be disappointed.
Snad - Cosmic Rest Stop (No Sound Records)
This is a bit different - a bit industrial - a bit wonky - a bit out of tune - a bit dreamy. "Danny Tenaglia in a K-Hole" just about covers it I think.