legendary UK reggae label that launched the careers of artists such as Top Cat, Tenor Fly, General Levy and the late great Smiley Culture, as well as cuts from Jamaican legends such as Cutty Ranks, Daddy Freddy & Frankie Paul amongst many many others, NICE UP! have dug deep into the vaults to find some more lost classics to give them a new lease of life. As a long time fan of the label, NICE UP!s Shepdog hooked up with the owners and managed to secure access to the back catalogue - much of which is being made digitally available for the first time! First up, Serial Killaz pay respect to a scene that helped spawn them by giving Andrew Paul's classic 'Who's Gonna Make The Dance Ram' an updated junglist relick. Retaining the sleng teng vibe of the original, but giving it a 2012 bounce should see plenty of reloads for this track once again. Over on the flip, festival favourites the Dub Pistols rework Pato Banton's 'Nice Up The Session' from the 'Great British MCs' album, giving it a lively drum & bass feel with extra horns and a little help from Rodney P.
Rob returns with another pair of slick, bass-laden rollers, this guy is on fire right now, with his album riding high in the dubstep album charts 2010 is sure to be a big year for the leicester based producer.
Attention all funky breakbeat heads! The Danish independent label AuditoryDesigns is proud to present the full-length debut Break the Funk by BadboE. We have listened to his groovy tracks over and over at the office and cannot seem to get enough. This crispy breakbeat bomb is meant to kick some flavour to the floor and we are sure that a lot of DJs will find BadboE's touch on the genre refreshing. Break the Funk consists of 15 original tracks with plenty of sampling, scratches, good beats and a praised remix of Dynamite made by All Good Funk Alliance (AGFA). BadboE gets his inspiration from late 60's and 70's funky productions like other breakbeat artists, and has refined it all in his mix with 80's vocals and hooks. On "Funky Medley" MC Sens One is guest performing and Linn Lavinsky from Phat Old Mamas (has worked with Marc Collin from Nouvelle Vagues) is spicing "Spread the Words" up, with her highly addictive and sensual voice. BadboE has already released numerous EPs among them Loose your Funky Self and most recently Dynamite also on AuditoryDesigns, both received good responses from funk DJs all over the world, both title tracks are included on Break the Funk. BadboE proves that you do not need to be born American to make some heavy funk-influenced catchy tunes. With the approach of bringing UK-style breaks in combination with soulful vocal samples and elements from the Danish hip-hop heritage, he has his own distinctive sound. At AuditoryDesigns we are not afraid to say that BadboE is one of the most interesting musicians at the funky part of the Scandinavian scene. So tune the ears in at planet Break the Funk, it's partytime!
Who the f_ck is Blockboy? In his recording studio and atelier in an old building flat in Munich, Blockboy regularly descends into spheres of visual art and sound, while swinging between bliss and desperation because of his perfectionism. With attention to detail, the communication designer plays and records all instruments himself, strictly according to the motto: keep it real! To put a label on Blockboy's sound is not easy, since he moves between Ambient, Downbeat, HipHop, TripHop, Dubstep and Turntablism - always enhanced by an affection for detailed samples of vinyl treasures. The vinyl collector's edition of Heartbox is limited to 300 copies.
After a summer hiatus from releasing EPs, we are back in a big way. Next up on the Artist series is the first American to release on our label, the all round nice guy and king of all things AV the one, the only, Bobby C Sound TV. Already getting support from the likes of Krafty Kuts (who listed Papa Grande in his top 10 tunes of last year!) you know this EP is gonna be the business. Are you ready for the funk?
For their 10th release Manchester based label My First Moth present a collaboration between two visionary artists from opposite sides of the Atlantic. New York born rapper BluRum 13 should need no introduction after lacing countless records from the last decade with his distinctive gravel-voiced flow, most notably the classic Ninja Tune album "Children of Possibility" which he recorded as one-third of One Self alongside DJ Vadim and Yarah Bravo. Producer Frameworks is a relative newcomer although still fiercely prolific, having notched up collaborations with Long Island legends QnC and UK rapper Bang On amongst others. With releases on First Word Records, Hero Records and Organik Recordings, Frameworks is quickly forging a reputation for a solid production technique, fusing old-school sensibilities with a touch of live instrumentation and a keen ear for a killer sample. This 12" features two tracks from the forthcoming Brickbuilders LP along with heavy remix treatments from four distinctly individual producers. First up, MFM's own Neko Neko drops an afro-funk tinged dancefloor bomb not dissimilar to his recent "Trouble in the Streets" 12" which sold out in a matter of weeks. Mixkings' Bunty Beats follows this with some next-level slowmo reversed sampling on a tripped-out atmospheric tip. Flip for some darker leftfield leanings from Danny Drive Thru, fresh from recent outings on Project Mooncircle, Fat City and Mind On Fire Records. And lastly Wah Wah 45s finest Part-Time Heroes wind things up nicely with an epic uptempo cinematic workout reminiscent of some of Bonobo's instrumental productions.
As the London & Berlin based somethinksounds imprint approaches a tenth release since its inception in 2010 we've learnt that although you can never be too sure of what they are going to serve up next, you can be sure its going to be of the highest quality. Whether it be unearthing exquisitely produced IDM by Lucky Paul, future house sounds from rising stars such as Eliphino and Ossie (Black Orange Juice) or straight up club bangers by some of the biggest hitters in the game (Gadi Mizrahi of Wolf + Lamb); this time they deliver what could be one of the most infectious vocal drops of 2012 on Artifact's sensational double A-side The Way It Do/We Trapped. For the tenth release somethinksounds step back into a ring where they certainly feel very comfortable and present an artist tipped by many a tastemaker including Clash and also Resident Advisor (in a 'Breaking Through' article earlier this year) to be making big waves soon. With releases on Local Action and Rebirth, Bristol boy Artifact has certainly been making a big noise with his futuristic fusion of house, techno and garage. Put simply The Way It Do is a bold statement of intent. Aimed directly at the centre of the dance floor this one oozes with production finesse far beyond the young producer's years. Skipping tams and snapping snares ride alongside haunting synth melodies whilst the percussion section layers intricately amidst a world of abstract sounds. The tension continues to build until it culminates in a monster vocal drop sure to have people going nuts on the dance floor. Clubbers, you have been warned. It's a double A-side for a reason and therefore the intensity does not let up on the flip with We Trapped providing yet another peak time monster filled with yet more expertly layered, extra terrestrial percussive elements. A tuned rim shot drives the track along throughout but its another very well selected vocal sample which provides the main hook. Hotly tipped Manchester native Damu steps up for remix duties with an interpretation of The Way It Do, delivering an indefinable cut filled with pure analog intensity. Skittering percussion melded flawlessly with bubbling bass lines and otherworldly synth melodies equates to a captivating listen.
Following on from the success of BNZ001, Slugabed's new label Activia Benz are releasing their second record, Recolor from Moscow's 813. He is a Russian fireman, and his music is very synth heavy and melodic, as well as very dancefloor.
Vienna's Disko404 organisation are launching their very own label with a split EP by Sun People and Franjazzco. While the latter is one of the most passionate players in Vienna's underground music scene, Sun People aka Simon/Off has already stirred international attention with releases on renowned labels such as Immerse Records or Phuture Shock Musik. For this release Franjazzco combined his enthusiasm for jazz, soul and disco with a weighty footwork / juke kit, resulting in three deadly 160BPM anthems. On the flipside Sun People deployed a more UK-influenced style with references to '90s jungle and UK garage ... imagine Tek9 meets Duncan Powell meets DJ Spinn. The EP is already receiving support from DJ Rashad, Distal, DJ Clent, RP Boo, Soulphiction and others, and is just the first of many floor-dominator releases lined up by Disko404. Super-lomited run of 250 copies only.
Having recorded a number of excellent deep, soulful but hard hitting dubstep releases under his DJG monkier, San Francisco's Dean J. Grenier decided to move into fresher pastures this year, announcing his new alias as Grenier. Kicking off with a killer release on Photek Productions early on in 2012 - and not many artists aside from Photek himself can claim a plate on his highly respected imprint - Grenier takes a dark-jungle and classic dubstep inspired perspective on the currently favoured 128bpm / house tempo, and he now delivers a stunning 12" for Tectonic in the process. 'Uncertain' featured on Tectonic label boss Pinch's acclaimed 'Fabriclive' mix earlier this year and has been highly requested ever since. Tough bass stabs punch in the intro before wheeling backwards and slamming into a hard, almost 4/4 rhythm, fully charged with a weighted sub. The track devleops with jazzy references and sonic flashes of musicality, almost reminicent of early Peshay and Metalheadz. It is, by any measure, a killer tune. On the flip, 'Vendetta' sticks again with the 128bpm tempo but takes a heavy dark wobble sound, a-la Skream circa 2006, and moulds it around a stepping 4/4 rhythm. This makes for a simple and effective rhythmical weapon of choice that encapsulates much of what made early dubstep so interesting, reincarnated here at the slower housey tempo.
San Francisco sleaze connoisseurs Anthony Mansfield and Tal M Klein are back with their sixth joint EP under the AM/TM moniker; entitled, appropriately enough, Sleaze Please. If you file this track under nu-disco (or nu-anything for that matter), we will find you and punch you in the perineum. This is Sleaze music, it's dirty and unapologetic and will melt people's faces off. The title track, Sleaze Please, is not a modest number. She will destroy your bassbins and kick you in the nuts. At last count this track features no less than 10 analog synthesizers you've never heard of and drum machines that were invented before you were born. This track is so heavy that when we put it on a scale our phone number showed up. A mystery man who called himself Heisse Scheisse clandestinely delivered a monster remix on reel to reel tape inside a bullet proof suitcase which also contained a latex banana hammock. After billions of dollars of research and vaccines, our detective team found out the man behind the Heisse Scheisse remix was none other than Nick Chacona. When we confronted him with our findings he said, "What the hell were you thinking with that bassline, I fixed your stupid mess and made a better track than the original." He then shot us in the knees with a Desert Eagle .50 and took off in a solar powered jetpack. The other original track on this EP is "U WANT 2" which basically repeats "you want to" until everyone gets naked and crazy. It's delicate like an elephant with rabies on PCP. We recommend this track to people who are tired of playing records that sound like broken records. It's big, it's bad, it'll make you glad.
Haling from Glasgow's East End, Christopher McFarlane has been producing under his Mirrors stagename since the summer of 2011, whilst holding down ongoing involvements with the city's popular 'Offbeat' clubnight. Coincidently set to hit the racks on the eve of his 21stbirthday, Loungin' Recordings present the Glaswegian newcomer's first official EP. Comprised of the original version and 3 vastly different remixes, the West London-based imprint's 30thsingle release brings together 3 principal members of the new roster with a special, and rather unlikely, guest appearance. Signed by Loungin' within hours of label head Chris Belsey hearing it, Mirrors infectious original represents a truly unique production that could loosely be described as waltzer-disco. Backing up the A-side, Paraguayan trio LPZ return with their 3rdproduction for Loungin' by stripping out the original's keys and lifting the stems into 7-minutes of acid-driven house. Over on the flipside, Rotterdam's bruk-step lynchpin C.O.N.E makes his second appearance for the label via a typically dexterous rework that acts as a teaser for his forthcoming EP for Loungin'. Meanwhile, completing the package with something a little different, Tru Thought's dancehall duo Wrong Tom and Deemas J completely overhaul the original, with Deemas laying live vocals over Tom's skanking production.
After Gerry Read's opening effort for the new house music aligned Delsin series, Soul 223 aka Steve Pickton steps up. Productions under this alias are few and far between for Pickton, but the man himself has been producing melodic, Detroit inspired sounds since the mid '90s, most often as Stasis on labels like Peacefrog and Mo Wax. A keen sense of melodic colour also characterises the four cuts that make up this EP, with the first, 'Almost Like It Used To Be' pairing radiant pads with a lolloping house beat and plenty of melted synth sounds. Next up, 'Arties Mood' slows to a Moodymann styled pace, layering percussive samples, keys and jazzy motifs onto of a lazy house beat to conjure a perfect sunny afternoon vibe. 'Heartstrings' is alive with the sound of the cosmos as it rolls on through organic sounding bongos, sharper claps and plenty of neon lines. Closing track 'Essex' has a gummy, gritty bottom end sweetened by more glistening melodies and key work, all the while chugging along at a most inviting deep house pace. This is mature, jazz flecked house music for the more considered moments of the day.
Fur, born Bryce Isbell in Texas, extracts minutiae with precision. His compositions, while airily sparse, are saturated with details plucked from broad landscapes, whether they resemble the Texan prairie or the expanses of industrial Germany. Isbell's composite micro-samples are infinitesimal, soaked in breathless allusion and divorced from their context. The crisp, insistently percussive arrangements oscillate like metal shavings manipulated by an unseen magnet. Fur has untraditionally tapped into a European techno mind-meld, a Berlin thought-stream. After his early work with Neon Indian's Alan Palomo as Ghost Hustler, Isbell dove deep into the minimal sounds that transported listeners closer to inner city Detroit than the mid-west. Uno's first Fur EP 'Cocoon' follows several years of Isbell silence. After a notable debut with Lefse, Fur submerged below a sea of techno and came up with a deep analog style that's acquired fans in Fred P and Firecracker Records with twisting house like 'Knots'. With a second part in the Fur saga on the way, Uno has faith this young westerner will be putting a big Texan stamp on the house scene to come. The Fred P reshape of 'Cocoon' will be Download Of The Week on Little White Earbuds prior to release, and the video will premier on Pitchfork soon after.
Greek duo Keep Shelly In Athens' first EP for Planet Mu is in keeping with a consistent level of odd synth-pop that the label has released from Tropics to Vezelay, and Heterotic to Solar Bears. They first came to the label's attention with their remix of Solar Bears 'Cub', an awesome re-imagining of the track from SB's 'She Was Coloured In' album. The remix is a monumental slice of cold but blissful synth pop, with stadium-sized reverbs and punched-in repetitive vocals over rumbling guitars and punchy drums. 'The Chains' has all the off-key atmosphere of an Italian horror film soundtrack with the band's female singer intoning a melody that could come from a 'Violator'-era Depeche Mode song. The whole song breaks down towards the end into an intense finale. The EP's title track 'Campus Martius' has a giant humming bassline, with electronic drums scratching away like insects flying at windows, as a gentle piano line ripples over the top painting a feeling of airy pleasure while vocal samples drop a melody at altered pitches in a scene of tentative bliss. Finally, 'Struggle With Yourself' pits Sarah's raw singing over a weird acidic bassline that could easily sound at home on a Coil record along with loose guitar strums, before the track breaks into light spoken word and angelic vocals, finishing off as it started, but with a stark warning.
Venetian Snares, aka Winnipeg's Aaron Funk, follows up last year's acclaimed 'Cubist Reggae' with another four track EP. In the words of the man himself : "One of these tracks is about my 2 friends. I really love them, they are good people and really great friends. After I recorded the track, I had a vision that they became the same entity, like some kind of human spider hybrid, which I really didn't like as I don't think of them like that at all. The tune is not about that whatsoever but I kept thinking about that for a good 2 or 3 days. It was chilling. See if you can guess which song it is! Another, I wrote using only tweeters so it was hard to make out anything other than hi-hats. Still, it sounds much better than most music that has been recorded. See if you can guess which one it is! There is a track that mainly uses analog devices to control digital devices. It seems laughable that most people want to control their analog synths with midi, imposing their ridiculous choice of notes on the music. They are pretty much rapists. I have enabled these devices to communicate in a mutually respectful, consensual embrace. See if you can guess which track is 100% free of blatant narcissism! The final tune is a ramp, an inclined plane, or a crescendo of sorts in music, stretched out over a number of minutes. It's like a pyramid wall made from every thought you've ever thought of becoming immeasurably more discernible, yet built upon a river of everything you've tried to forget. The river is grey and all thoughts you've ever had are all other colors but mainly maroon and silver. See if you recognize your thoughts in this one!"
Skuge is Hugues Croibien, a 30 year old Belgian electronic music producer who brings a whole new level of detail, sounds and expression to the current underground bass music movement. Seen live alongside some of the scene's most respected producers including Kanji Kinetic, Mustard Gunn, Ebola and Subjex, SkŁge certainly has a unique and powerful sound you will struggle to find elsewhere. Imagine this... inspiration from the micro-edit, mash-up ways of breakcore, combine it with ragga and reggae vibes and then play it out through a towering sound system in an '80s video game arcade. An awesome concoction of well produced beats, blips and melodies enabling you to take control of any dance floor, get the most concerted beat diggers head-nodding as well as defeat that end of level boss! The opening track 'Runn On A Band' will take any current beatstrumental and permanently overwrite it with addictive head-nodding vibes. 'Mesecina' brings on the broken but flowing beats with an 8-bit, snake-charming lead. 'Katerish' lifts the pounding rhythm to the next level with it's dancehall beat, evolving and rumbling bassline and retuned rave hoovers. 'Robotator Kinely Abstract' brings a collapsing bit-crunched beat and chipped-out bass and lead, sure to make people pull all the shapes on the dance floor. 'Billy Hillys' takes over the club with its 4/4 percussion, driving yet stuttered kick drum and micro-edit bass. 'Gambula' drops the amens in to the mix to great effect with an amazing and complex combined bass and lead. 'Grieg' uses a clever bassline reworked from the Inspector Gadget theme tune and finally 'Mario' is the well-known Nintendo game theme tune with an awesome AFX-esque bouncing ball drum pattern. This release will be a strictly limited 100-copy CD with screen printed fold out poster-sleeve and digital download code.
Sometimes friends and lovers might move out of state or their priorities change in life.With this kind of change it might cause you not to be able to see and spend time with that special person as much or even at all. It has been said to truly love someone you must learn to let them go, let them fly, and if the love was real then it will return back.
As time passes without them around you learn a lot about yourself and let new people in your life. Then there are those moments you tend to miss old loves and friends and you want to reach out. So reconnecting is important to not only gain perspective but to keep yourself and friendships healthy.
This album was made to hopefully reestablish a bond with friends I have made a connection within the music biz. These musician's sounds have inspired and shape me into the person I am today and for that I am grateful. 'Reconnecting' is for my friends who shared this time with me.