Cristalli Ionici EP
Just This Records
TBR: 28th June
Back to the front of the queue, Milan's Just This return with yet another killer EP. This time it's created by the Italian twosome, Luca Bambelli and Filippo Scorucchi. Their work under the Abstrakt name has taken them both through the realms of psychedelic and cavernous electronica in a short time and is culminating in this debut for the label. With imaginative mixings and subtle ambient throughout, the disorientating and danceable meet in the middle on this latest output.
The music begins on a heady bass, it reverberates in the sub section and then builds into a unison kick drum. This penetrates the soundsphere with more clarity while the bass wobbles in and out of audibility. It mutates into a twanging synth like a slapped bass guitar while swirling synths spark creative imagery in the periphery. Effects and intonations on the consistent bass bring out shimmering and glistening on the reflective levels. Then, a cymbal is added which once more pegs down the track with a tempo we can enjoy. The minimal content of the title track, Cristalli Ionici, brings about a space-age and sci-fi feel that relies on our minds to fill in the gaps. The rhythm builds as the echo on the percussion pushes into feedback, piercing cymbal strikes and snares tear through the backdrop.
It's followed with a snappy intro. This remix of the same track by none other than Marcel Fengler doesn't pull its punches. Frantic snare and hats thump in time to pounding kick while that slow bassline is replaced by funky slaps and inverted beats. Heavy synth tones slam down from the top corners into the centre to bring sludgy and reverberating energy to the entire mix while wispy lines of treble fly across the stodgy sky. Everything quietens down to let the undertones carry the momentum by themselves. Drums rage in the background while the synthesiser runs the course. As the tone is pushed from one side to the other, amplitude gradually finds a way to increase itself and the percussion side of the track finds itself in its rightful place again.
Next is X Ray. It starts on a house style handclap and drum combo which builds with layers until a sample of the outside soars across it. New drums are added, more beats find a repeating groove that compliments the entire track. Tones call out in simple melodics, summertime grooves and computerised sunshine glint on the icy surfaces. Where are we? Somewhere near the X Ray machine perhaps. Skeletal sounding in a sense, individual parts with unique and identifiable sections work together in a dynamic and interconnected amalgam of sound. Bells and bass cast shapes that resemble archaic glyphs as buzzing and windy notes swish in curtains of other-worldly thereness.
Ending with a thick bass drum that kicks alongside a warbling fur of carpeting tone, this is joined by a tribal melody on tubular drums and hand struck skins. Cymbal hat strikes bring yet another flavour of dancing energy to the collaboration of directions. Drone sounds continue to crisp and burn in portioned amplitudes within the pouncing beats. Massive walls of rhythm keep pushing forwards in repeating bars which become almost hypnotic as they persistently push forwards. A new tone builds underneath, adjusting the headspace with every revolution of the vinyl. Now we're building up something almost sinister, that is before it fades again into a realm of obscurity.
This intellectual and sense provoking release by Abstrakt fulfils the image their name portrays and provides yet more excellent material to listen to, mix with, and be inspired by.
Get in touch with Just This Records on Soundcloud
TBR: 5th July
Nerang have been off the radar for a little while, fusing talents from Berlin and The Gold Coast is not an easy stretch. The plus side means that fans of the label, and there a lot of them, are all too happy to snap up the next release. Low Tape has been working on other labels until now, with major appearances on the likes of Further Electronix and X-Kalay. This debut pressing for Nerang brings home that subtly Detroit flavoured melodic electro. Capable of fulfilling the requirements of a late night build-up or the full on swing at prime o'clock, Reality Zone punches through and hands us something we can't refuse.
Opening with Funky Detune, spaced out chimes ring out across a field of reverb. Their struck notes provide a distinctive melody which rolls across itself, building with the drums. New percussion layers are spliced and layered over like foundations of a gourmet cake. Pulsating bass curdles across the top-soil in neat patterns of groove. A dancing energy penetrates the thick, dense selections of melody, drum, and sample swoosh together in a perpetually coiling sonic cream. Mellow yet deeply coloured with variations and adventure, the tune reveals new lights and rhythms with every chapter.
Second up is a neat chord progression that teeters on the edge of a beat. Oriental bells and strings clammour in a happy melody while the kick drum stabilises the piece with consistent thuds. Voice elements are added, they choral chant in harmonies with the chirrupy tune as cymbals clash in secluded corners. It breaks down and a bass tone is let out of its box. Frantic plucks give a fast paced surge into corridors of sound. Objects flash by at speed as the track carries us on its kineses through passages of wavelength and their relationships to each other. Paradise is truly uplifting and envelopes wonderful things.
Dangerous Groove starts with a simple drum-beat. Odd sounds snake around the individual beats before a torrent of cymbals adds a new funky dimension to the rhythm. Bass squelches in neat puddles while a wispy melody zig-zags in the ceiling. Sinister synthesiser tones form droplets of intention in atmospheric bursts while bass and melody combine to push forwards in their drive. Grabby interludes fill the spaces while repeating motifs swirl and swell around a persistent and prominent beat.
Next is a vocal sample running over the top of a low-fi beat sequence. Electro Foreva makes it easy to agree. Beginning with the choppy introduction, pads and drum build a dense section which opens out into stabs and slush. Sleek and deep repeating phrases of melody intertwine with vocals while chatty treble bass clambers around on craggy tops.
Next is East Dancer. This one begins on a thumping techno bassline that brings home images of brightly coloured lights and industrial surroundings. A swinging melody breaks free and brings with it all kinds of colourful harmonies and directions. This one is for putting your hands in the air while it continually pumps energy into the centre of the room. Fast drumming in simple beats mix with turn-taking melodies which mirror each other across the stereoscope.
It finishes on a simpler tone, a neatly packaged drum and cymbal strike with prominent snare. This revolves and reveals breathy synth pads which cloud in misty clumps of tone. Zaps and bendy melody build from quiet places and with gradual evolution, they reach higher peaks of amplitude. Ghostly scenes and eager, wide-eyed willingness to explore fuse when a vocal sample cuts through. It's sensual and evocative, with an element of Enigma in the tone. Autumnesia is a sensual and more minimal finale to this wide reaching and accessible EP, available here.
Low Tape is on Soundcloud
Nerang Records are on Soundcloud
Nelson Of The East
Phase Alternating Lines (P.A.L) EP
TBR: 21st June
Since his inaugural EP only last year, Nelson Of The East returns with another ear blaster. This time the Milan based producer turns to 80s boogie to bring on the noise for the A-side and abstract house for the B. There's another treat, with a Fantastic Man remix of the second track making this a prime three mixes. Not only working on his own material, N.O.T.E. Has been working with other artists. Many names are still behind closed doors while the paperwork is done, and fans have already tasted the collaboration with Wayne Snow. The P.A.L. vinyl is limited to 300 pressings, making it a rare duplicate indeed. It's also going digital of course, and that's where you'll find the exclusive Fantastic Man version.
Phase Alternating Lines begins with a rhythmic saw sound, it buzzes in percussive tempo along a definite key-line. A snare and kick roll up and begin to play a sleek beat within the drip drone. As we progress into a moving relaxation the music takes us further in as a bassline forms around the frame. Chewy lines of slapped thickened steel give us a delicious run into a nostalgic arena. Synth-wave style melody rides in a Countach along with us for the ride, Italo melody rings out and touches euphoria as tom-tom drums crash through, the track builds on its parts to allow a gear-change again. Upbeat and uplifting, funky rhythm and soaring melody make P.A.L. A true party tune.
Next up is Burning Palm. The Nelson Of The East original is named the Voodoo Mix. It opens on bouncing tribal house drums that wobble and lap like subtle waves on a lake. As they revolve and push the energy up with each bar, new melody finds a home in the corners and crevices. Juicy tones and ethnic percussion merge with classic dub sounds and samples. Synthesiser washes through like a dye of musical intention. It gives a dreamy edge to the upbeat and almost frantic delivery. Rhythmic melody continues to play out in the drums while various instruments and synths make their voices heard with flurries and runs along their emotive vocabulary.
The Fantastic Man remix finalises the EP. It takes the initial rhythm and shows it some love with an effect. This brings out a different groove with its own flavour. Pulsing and revolving, the music is given a new edge when a sinister buzz synthesiser screams in like a wasp to the earhole. Like in nature, it's short lived and it's gone as soon as it appeared. They appear in bursts, searing our audioscope while they surge by to the rhythm of tribal fusion. Strange wobbling sounds underpin the spaces in between while stretchy strings craft gentle journeys through more subtle sonic topography.
Phase Alternating Lines EP was arranged with collaboration from Tartelet Records frontman Dirk 81 and was made in Geneva at Panalama Studios.
Visit Tartelet Records online
Nelson of The East is on Bandcamp
Under The Peace Flag
TBR: 19th June
Since working along many lines, all of which involving the missions of many other talents, Kamran Sadeghi really wanted to make something just for himself. Of course, when we work alongside luminaries in our field, we all have to make compromises, adhere to standards set, and do our best to gel with the opposing forces. A work to compliment the bits that Sadeghi felt were left out allows him to appease his own spirit animal. In his own words, he was “letting it off the leash”. Giving free run to all the unique and individualistic elements while getting excitedly enthusiastic about the unusual and experimental, we're left with a five track release involving three Kamran Sadeghi original works and two remixes. These have been given to a couple of quality dance acts and received reworking apt for those deep dance-floors.
It begins with a complex minimal beat, made of moving parts and independent drums. Each on its own shelf on a level in the wall of sound, from the background comes a liquid surge of passion. Synthesiser wind effects and sunny tones glisten while a recording of Hanne Lippard plays out with subtle echo. This sound capture from a Berlin art exhibit named Flesh at the fashionable KW not only takes the vocal sample but the atmosphere and ambience of the exhibition room itself. Poetic musing lines ruminate across droplet beats and shimmering pads. We can't help but be drawn in by the words and sounds as they bump into each other just before they meet our ears. Spiral is a dreamy and thoughtful entry that encourages relaxation and patience in the progression.
Melting Pot follows. It's a slow breathing exploration of a live recording with kit and tech on the table. No computer wizardry in this production then, playing the instruments as they were meant to be played for everyone's pleasure seems like a 20th century way of doing things for some. Not Sadeghi, he knows that a true craft can take many forms. Clattering tones and staggered drum tap and click along a neatly infused line of rhythm. Minimal beats with a simmering tempo allow this number to really take its time. Sounds in the underscore shift and evolve, turning over in their sheets to give new textures and cartography to the waveforms and flow.
Next, we get a funky bass-line matched with static and digital drumming. Elements of sonic feedback warble on the end of the tones as they push in line for the entry to the club. Beats, grooves and melody form a gently moving progression through high energy shuffling. Sloshy bass with steady loose fitting drums dig a line through the floor we can all fit into and dance. Differing energies carried with each sound add their own flavour of involvement for the biscuity rhythm. Distant synthesiser can be heard singing behind a thick fabric curtain, lullaby key and wistful pattering make the whole one of escapist attraction. With the title, Return To Tender, maybe we're reminded to think about the feelings of others rather than our own.
For the first remix edition, Spiral is handed over to Sateq. This takes its time to open, as a sonic wave dissipates in reverse to form a substantial audible quality, a drum slowly builds up with slow beats. A kick is added to add a new layer and this is joined by thumping drums that hang at the back, giving us all a nudge when left behind. New percussion finds their way in, each piece adapted for its position in the collage. There's an energy about this mix that gives it a more forward facing and motivational feel. Melody whistles through distant rooftops as yet more percussion works its way into the layerings of rhythm. If the vocal sample from Hanne Lippard is in there, it's been changed into something else. There are lots of unusual sounds in this composition, each one invoking pages of mental imagery.
Finishing with a new version of Return To Tender mixed by Steve O'Sullivan, the EP wants to return to the percussive side of the record. That bass-line returns however its been squashed into a little box. The compression keeps the timing yet removes some of the energy allowing for all manner of background elements to creep in. Ceramic drums and plastic springs build until a new bass drum reveals itself. A heady quality to the kick arrives to give the track a boost. Now the elements take their time to bring about new and fascinating angles of sound. Evolutionary progressive and dynamic, the central one two rhythm becomes a pole that the track twists and swings on like a seductive dancer.
Visit Kamran Sadeghi online
and listen on Soundcloud
TBR: 18th June
We are back in Berlin to find out more about this debut EP from the illusive Crore. Heading up Vision Conflict Records leaves the talented producer in little doubt of what the music should sound like, finding the time to make it was perhaps another mountain to climb. Getting it done and getting it just right means we've all had to wait until now. The EP comes with 3 originals, which work to illuminate various assets in the arsenal of this fresh entry name.
With resounding fast beating kick drums and rim taps, the intro of Ultraviolence pushes everyone aside for the centre light. A scrunchy phase swooshes up and down and left to right under the pounding percussion before a sudden insert of digital bass lifts the tune up into the next dimension. Bouncy beats with wavering tonality build a pressurising array of melodics. The dancing energy is really high, then an airy synth cuts through and allows a euphoric break in the atmosphere. It reveals lights and smoke, silhouettes of the DJ flashing in the strobe. It all adds in, layer after layer is crafted in place to make a jaw clenching ride through searing hats and thumping bass.
Next up is Thinking In Code. It begins with a magic repeating bass-line, throbbing in a steady engineered array. Drums crumble in from padded walls, their beats bouncing in the soft areas and delivering a muted cut to the moving and abstract bass melody. Swirling undercurrents of sonic formulation sweep and sway through a needlepoint tapestry made of beats and synthesiser. Progressive and thoughtful, the build-ups and flairs of musical colour glisten in curtained rooms, where if we look through the cracks in the fabric we see the inner workings of the craftsman.
It finishes with an open and spacious ambience which twists and winds through cryptic cosmic structures. Energy sprays from positive to negative as electrodes move within range of the source of music. A creaking synth bubbles and shifts on its own weightlessness as distant and nearing cyber entities snake in worming trajectories. Subtle glistening on greasy lamps behind paper-work towers drift as we pace through the delirium. Final Sequence is a smooth breather, full of presence and casual tension. The shorter time on this final track means we appreciate the individual bars a whole lot more.
Visit Crore on Soundcloud
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You Want Her Too / Peeling Oranges
Paradise Palms Records
TBR: 7th June
Alex Warren aka Kiwi has shown his face on many of the happening labels of the moment. Electronic music is far better off for his input and it shows with the number of names who feature his work on their catalogue. We've seen him on Moda Black, Disco Halal, Optimo, and now Edinburgh's very own Paradise Palms. This is their 11th entry on the roll-call of musicians for this label, and adds one more collector's item to the highly sought after 7” series. Maybe it's the fact that the digital and the vinyl press have different versions of the music that gets people interested? We don't like to miss out, that's for sure!
It begins with a moochy house-beat, tapping drum and slow kick bring on a solid wall of percussive happening. Kiwi himself adds a vocal chant to the mix, unusual for this type of music but not unheard of. The human soul has its place in digital music. From out of the shaded areas, a sonic blip melody strikes a delicate tone. It echoes and reverberates through misty rooms while the persistent percussion stomps onward. New synth pads creep in on the other side of the loop, allowing a dualistic adventure to hum through the heavy drums. Swirling effects on the tom drums bring about a vortex of up and down melody which fades into disparity while the vocal chant evolves. This brings about a steady chord progression, lifting the down side dance energy up a level.
Peeling oranges begins with a staggered beat and electro blip tone. They work together to form a spiral stair that crafts a neatly portioned journey into the sky. Space-age sound effects swirl and swoosh while the drums gather momentum and energy. Bass arrives without a second to lose and it insantly hits the floor with wild and inspiration fuelling moves. Then, what could be a train whistle shines out in sonic beams across the top of the sound-press like a lantern on a lighthouse. It swoops across the sonic scenery and delves into the corners to pick out all the people dancing. This more upbeat and melodically enchanting number is bound to prick the ears of prime-time dance club goers.
A short but worthwhile entry to the electronic music dream, Kiwi's You Want Her Too and Peeling Oranges has something for both rooms of the club.
You can find Kiwi on Facebook
Michailo and Irakli
Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound
TBR: 15th June
Crafted behind bars and from an electronic music laboratory in Germany, this double artist EP is making a political statement as much as it's delivering the goods. Being locked up for enjoying a party a little too much seems like a form of tough love gone wrong, especially when it's for nine long years. No-one was hurt, only the immediate future of a talented and hard-working musician. Luckily for Michailo, his spirit refused to be tampered and after a couple of years incarceration, the authorities granted him access to a studio. He built it in prison himself from an unused cell with equipment donated through his network of music fans. He's released a few albums, and this EP is making the journey into the wider world.
Irakli has been making music for years too, but on the greener side of the fence. Since moving to Germany from Georgia, Irakli's become a proficient and well known sonic entity. Combining this national talent pool with the mission of asking the big questions about narcotic prohibition, Release perhaps begs us to think about who we all should be releasing. Its press release is an actual open letter to the Georgian government, you can read it in full here. With a humble plea to reconsider the draconian punishments for minor crime, it's hoped someone may actually listen. So let's listen.
It starts with a heavy synthesiser tone that dives into deep crevices while static charge builds up around it. Other tones sweep in on windy bars before a dank drumbeat brings on a catchy rhythm. Wet and juicy effects give a slosh and flow to the stable elements while a sinister atmosphere steadily creeps in the shadows they form. New rhythms penetrate the thick with a higher source, everything seems to be crumbling and shifting in ways we can't imagine. The snaking tones and undercurrents drone in helices of sonic flow, building and progressing until a subtle melody moves in the stillness. Alerted to a crystalline sensation, captured by a dreamy wave, an escapism in the darkness takes a-hold. Merme is a delightful ambient journey that spans out like an epic story as we travel through at reading pace.
Shrag Sibylline begins with a gothic chorus in a cellar full of dripping substances and low light illusions. Pipework rattles and shakes as an undercurrent of building pressure adds viscosity to the ambience. Horn like tones with human voice facsimiles swirl and cake together as a dreary and intriguing swell gathers underneath. Digital sounds and natural feeling effects give an eerie sensation of unsure waiting. Melodics shine out of the knotted formation of wavelengths and they bring a new sense of percussive dimension. Drums shatter the rhythmic silence as forlorn encounters with synthesiser keys knit broken and sombre chords.
A thumping drum brings on a wavering tone which dances in slow progressions around a delicate formation. Melody again is prominent, and then uplifting cymbals add a sprinkling feel to the mix. More drums are played in, they jostle and gleam in expressive patterns as even more hand-drums roll and wrap with consistent clarity. An ocean of rhythm with waves pulled by tidal lunar forces of the mind is represented by sonic effects and instrumental additions that enchant and mesmerise. Kult is a hypnotic and mind warping number, it illuminates parts of ourselves most music neglects and leaves us feeling satisfied that we've listened to some great music.
Finally, a steady and creepy build of electronic sounds and mechanical hums brings on a slow and progressive drum-score. Snappy hats and snare roll in evocative sections of sound while cooing deep bass tones dig us deeper into our hole. Ladders present in neat arrangements of major key and lights from the top give us a clue as to what lays ahead. Just keep climbing and do what your body knows it has to do. Slurring engineering and grease-hungry mechanisms curl the inner ear while persistent and striking drums repeat and cling to each other with jagged teeth. Final track Merion is dark and unnerving, the atmosphere has changed from sunny and enchanting to sinister and oppressive. A nice little reminder of where we are when listening to this from the creator's point of view.
This 12” record and digital release is truly making waves and points on every level.
You can discover more from the Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound on Bandcamp
Michailo is on Soundcloud
and Irakli is on Soundcloud
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