Junction White JCTW002 EP
TBR: 18th September
Three short years ago, Junction Records opened its gates for the first time. Now with an established party culture in the heart of Amsterdam and four releases, we have been itching to get our ears into something new. Merging the positive elements of house and techno to bring on a fully rounded sound dynamic, this fresh and relevant music label are ready for their next major issue. This time it's the label head, Cool Tiger, who gets to be the main artist. Offering two originals, the EP is complimented with two extra remixes from other movers in the dance-field. Those of you who have been to Radion or OT301 in the Dutch capital will no-doubt be already acquainted with the psychedelic and cutting edge feels from Cool Tiger and crew.
Track one is called Right Now. It starts with a high energy squelchy rhythm that builds with multi-layered oddness. A persistent tempo crafts its way forward as hats chant alongside the rhythmic sounds. Reverb sheds the skin of the intro which gives way for a heavy kick ingrained with dirt and sonic fuzz. Seasick cymbals surge from port to starboard and this unveils a sleek dancing pulse. Then, heavy drumming full of static distortion uncurls into the mix. The music breaks down to give a space for a new dimension to the pulsing dance beat. Vocal samples loop introspectively before another barrage of top-notch filthy drumming pushes through. Bass-heavy rhythm surges in, two-tone pulses on the deep-side spill into spacious sounds. Again, another burst of heavy drumming penetrates the mechanical dreamscape, inviting yet more energy into the pot.
Next up, a siren inspired bass-line surges across the ceiling while a quick tapping bass kick thrusts the bottom layer. Garbled sonics which could be vocal or electric guitar begin to chant in a rhythmic slurry of tones. Metallic scratching and hard-nosed drumming in a 1-2 beat just insists we dance. That siren-esque bass crunches on with a wobbly disposition. Drum rolls crash in like insistent knocks on the door, do we let them in? It seems that we have no choice. Come To Me is another frantic dancing track, it's quick and progressive. Strange and unique elements of percussion revolve around familiar drum sounds to bring about a clear and novel sonic universe.
On the flip side, we are treated to two expert remixes of Right Now. The first port of call is with Subjected. A great penetrating rhythm begins alongside a tuneful melody that bobs along on waves of motivational energy. Undergrowth sounds grow and twist behind the forward facing drumbeat and blipping synthesiser. Soon, adjustments in the tone give a new edge to the composition. Shifting synth dials left and right to bring out new dimensions to the sonic output, however subtle, allow for a generous dose of psychedelia. Daniel Ruane is next, with his take on the same skeleton. New flesh fits the bones with abstract and chunky drums that crumble like old wood into neatly measured sections. Vocalised elements give an airy quality while odd dub sounding bass motifs rumble and rage within manic drumming. Lost in a forest of beats and rhythms, this finale track delivers the punch. There's a definitive rhythm behind the chaos, it's one of those tracks that send people crazy in-between the classic floor-fillers.
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Disintegration State Records
TBR: 6th September
What began in an undisclosed electronic music forum between a handful of like-minded makers is now a thriving record label. With a reputation for collectable hard copies and digital for everyone else, it didn't take long before people were climbing up the walls to get their hands on one of the limited issues. It's been a whole year since the Disintegration State family began putting music into the world. They've created 36 titles spanning 25 major releases in this short time! Deciding to mark the annual anniversary with a stunning rework of some of the headlining acts the label has to offer, Disintegrated Deviations brings a host of re-mixes that show us exactly how versatile and accessibly experimental these guys can be.
It opens with aerated synths, radiating a sonic glow in shards of key. A quick paced drum-beat, minimal and non-intrusive, surges forward and it carries with it a rambling bass. The plucked electro blips gander along well-lit windows, reflections of sound bouncing back at various natural angles. Squidgy tones rise above the viscous flow to establish a sludgy and organic facet to the motion. Swirling pattens on pad synthesiser drift in sporadic flurries of tented flight. The Arran Trax remix of Negating Time In Tlon by Veins Full Of Static carries a sense of the eerie while simultaneously bringing out a digital spectrum of party atmospheres.
The Sceadu remix of Sunbane's Cog begins on a swirling hypnotic synthesiser sound that unravels into drum and bass style grooves. Smooth metal work chimes alongside wooden and bass driven drum sounds. Soon a space-age worming synthesiser melody breaks free along with a backbone of drooping bass that shimmers as its droplets swing from leafy edges. The amplitudes mingle and coalesce, and this brings on a moving symphony of unusual sounds propped up and held together by a truly funky tempo. The energy keeps going at full throttle, even when the drums break down for a brief interlude, a humming fizz in the music ensures that the potential doesn't leave the building.
Next, a stuttering bass-line introduces a throbbing kick-drum. As they grow and merge to form a juicy layer of rhythm, a section of atmospheric synths ride in on a cloudy surf. Robotic bleeps and satellite sounds chatter across vast sonic spaces. Then, a roll of thunder in the form of scratchy drums at a healthy volume cuts through to illuminate the piece. More racing drive pushes in as undercurrents of sound rev into higher pitches of drone. Electronic glitch and atmosphere dive in an ocean of excellent composition to arrive at secluded rocky venues of expression. Throwing Hexes by Veins Full Of Static gets a spacious and exploratory remix from Lo – Jacker. It concludes with fairy-tale like chimes whistling out across windy plains of forgotten childhoods.
Worriedaboutsatan takes on Perpetual Storm from Lowering. It opens with a slow burning array of heat and tone which crests the fiery wave. As we listen intently, wobbling under-surges build into rays of sub-sonic light formations. Ripples in the footholds give us reason to hold onto something solid, we wait for the music to grow and we find it in the neatly manicured ambience beneath. Distant motifs of melody break from rank in snippets of digested fray while summer currents gust the dusty remnants into sunlit clouds of deeply coloured particles. Ghostly banks of forgotten sidings bray with invisible life as on some level, it's as if nothing ever changed.
Reverse notes and oddly sounding sonics swish in treetop style projections of desert island sound. Notched and adjusted, the stand-alone compositions gradually fill out with rumbles of aeroplane which begin to throb and distort in their ever present flight over-head. Static taps break the motion with individual bites of rhythmic underlay that becomes a mattress for far reaching cymbals, clattering in time to the propellers. More cymbals and heavy snare quake trough the cracks in the stave to bring yet another dimension to the dynamic of this Steve Hadfield Rainbow Remix of Pink Waves by The Gibraltarians. It progresses into deep orchestral voices that murmur and chorale within bursts of summery Spanish guitar.
Zoner II now, a track by Mute Branches, and Steve Hadfield offers another remix. It has a looped melody that grows in fractal branches of emotive flurry and joyous frolic. Drums canter alongside hedges of thickly twined shrubs and bushes which reach out beyond the horizon. Under-tones of notes drift in melancholy styles while evocative and introspective meanderings froth and curdle in time. It's followed by a staggered and juttery loop combo that brings in swirling sonics and swishing mechanicals. Strange organ sounds drift on warm breezes to give a sunshine and abstract glow to the production. Dreamland feels with onward marching footsteps in time to the sound of nature gives the number a tranquil activity sensation. Some Neon Winter by Sunbane gets a fresh look courtesy of Devras Plexi.
This is replaced by an Everything But The Kitchen Sink remix of Jacob Nico's Gemini by Steve Hadfield. It opens with a strange vocal sample, unintelligible phonics garble onward to reveal a chanting atmosphere full of reverb. A female voice adds its colour to the mix while a stable beat grabs from the middle. Interesting frills on the cymbals and drum structure make the interesting elements reach beyond the top layer of melody. It's a slow and ambient style mix yet it carries a profound energy that steadily grows from established root-holds. Track nine opens with a slowly approaching beat that grumbles with a bass led drone. This evolves to become swirling winds that crest around our ears as abstract nature spills in from the outside. A slow moving beat cusps on the edge of the sonic foray before more rippling sounds distort and disorientate the flow. This Fuzzy Plates of Dub remix of Steve Hadfield's Leg Bop from Whettman Chelmets makes a collage from pieces snipped and crafted from the initial distinctive original.
The album finishes with Adventsong as Fragile X offers a remix of Into The Mist. Futuristic tones with euphoric edges chortle into twisting ribbons of sound while bassoon like under-tones growl and groan in their evenly spaced places. As synthesiser sounds evolve and clap with clever composition, a drum penetrates the wall of sound. Quick drums barge through the undergrowth of twisting vines and subtle melody. All becomes one as distinct flavours mingle in neat lines around a central core of energy. It's a great place to finish the album, leaving us excited and intellectually satisfied.
Buy/Pre-order your copy of Disintegrated Deviations from Bandcamp. Proceeds go to the Mermaids and Bloody Good Period charities.
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Who I Am (Single)
Audiophile Deep Records
TBR: August 15th
Silent Revolt, well-known in Detroit and beyond for his home brand of beats and melody, takes to the Audiophile Deep workshop for the first time. This label debut cuts no corners, a massive track original plus two remixes from established luminaries makes sure music fans from all over will want to hear it. Aimed at being suitable to fill a void at any well-respected music party, Who I Am wants to be heard in three different ways to get full effect.
It begins on an easy-going house beat, reverberating with bass and snare. A hat sprinkles its metallic sheen across the top like a layer of icing. Then, a female vocal sample seductively speaks across the music, inviting a new layer of percussive melody in the form of a throbbing bass-line. On it goes, a grabbing rhythm pushes in and out with abstract clarity while various elements give rise to even more complimentary beats. Warbling notes bubble in bursting capsules of intent while the layers of rhythm swell and revolve across the spinning record. More bass now, a vibrant surge of notes in monotone match the pulsating drums.
The SIS Remix begins with chiming arpeggios. A sequence of notes across a chord structure repeat at a smooth tempo. Fast bass adds a new flavour, more upbeat and with a punchy glove in the composition, we're given a new dancing instinct. This time, the vocal is in reverse at first and it's deeper. The words are different, too. A variation in emotive direction brings out a new colour to the music, the repeating chimes matching talkative hand-drum beats while swerving synths administer their tones. Snare and bass wriggle in under the covers to give the backbone a new sense of strength. Vertebrae of percussion snake along the impactful groove. The track holds a greater sense of progressiveness with the flow and tide of mixing.
Finally, we're given a spacious and airy melody. Stretched out tones over-lap each other while segments of drum fill the spaces. Extra bounce is given to some of the percussion and bass, fizzing into astrid escapism, the minimal yet intense offering sparks like a bare wire. We're drawn back to the sultry vocal again, this time a new element is added to its expression. Up and down notes on tapping electronic drums swell in a bass led froth. Then muffled tones begin to twinkle like stars in a planetarium, too close to be real yet magical in their own right. A more mysterious and abstract quality is stitched into this HearThug 5am Mix, something for the dark room perhaps?
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TBR: 30th August
Ricardo Bruce, better known as Ivy's Hands, gets the number one spot on Berlin's brand new experimental record label. The work is iconic in many ways, including the story behind it. Named after a suicide victim the artist met moments before she died, the feeling of sorrow and loss is placed appropriately on a techno record. While partying one Thursday night, Ricardo noticed a young woman dancing in the spotlight beside him. He then saw she had tears in her eyes. Asking if she was okay, and what her name was, all he got in reply was “Nothing...Leonor”. At the end of the night, he saw the same girl being carried out by an ambulance crew. She was dead. Seeing as she chose to spend her last moments dancing to Berlin techno, Ivy's Hands has made something almost especially for her.
It begins with a full-on synth of many voices merged into one current of luminous sound. Act I (Thursday Night) opens with a euphoric boundary smashing escapism that plunges us into a world of techno. A steady and distorted beat penetrates the mass of harmony to portion the bars into danceable sections. Inflections on key and melody give a subtle edge before a smooth and clean bass-line pokes through the misty noises. Synth and drum curdle together into a whirlpool of intent as the volumes adjust to allow the bass to become more dominant. Making space for all the colours of the dance-floor is part of the techno culture. Next, a dripping melody drums out a glittering tune while echo drums tip and tap across vast open spaces. Gusty bass sonics sweep in bales of moving sound through the various landmarks on the amplified scene. Higher notes, like footprints made by children delicately place themselves in musical bouts of emotional projection. Act II (Dancing With Tears In Her Eyes) has a unique and deep sense of unknowing, a veil lays across the meaning behind the sadness. It builds with a sinister pressure as scratching tones drawl in long and expressive strokes.
Act III (Intention Dormant Own Death) starts on a chunky and metallic sounding bass-line. Quick and snappy notes pound the string while a fuzzy and musty sonic buzz begins to fill the spaces underneath. A real sense of urgent panic and overwhelming disarray lunges us into a cloud of mixed feelings and crooked self-perception. Complicated emotions swell to the surface waters as deep squids of gut feeling dart from one end to the other. A silken melody with ambient nodes flows across energetic and manic flushes of pure rhythm. It's followed by a powerful snare led drum-beat. A heavy thudding bass backs up the snappy punch. Then, a drifting and oceanic synthesiser swells in and begins to carve out a melody. It's joined by trumpets of stodgy sound which fill the insides with a thick and viscous cream. More delicate notes sparkle on-top with boundary-less clarity while surges of bass and matching mid-range froth in churns of motivation. Act IV (Goodbye Leonor) perhaps points at the chaotic scene we would expect when someone is found dead in the toilet. Although wanting to spend her last moments at a party, she preferred to lock herself away for the final moments. Hey, Elvis is said to have died on the toilet too.
This epic EP ends on Final Act & Denouncement. Yes, so this one lucky girl got to become an icon in her own right by being at the right place at the right time, but she doesn't get to enjoy her glory. She doesn't even know, because she's dead. Nothing in the universe can bring her out of her pain and make things happy for her, because if she is still a thing in the universe, she's not connected to her human body. She's not Leonor, now. Background noises of pleasant life as children play out alongside sad and melancholy lines of orchestration. It's enough to make a grown man cry and perhaps that's for the best. Death doesn't just affect the person who's dead, it touches their family, their friends, the people they went to school with, the people they just met. The hollow emptiness left behind by death is something we must do our best to avoid at all costs. Even if it means giving up a bit of our time or resources to help someone out.
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Devras Plexi and Justin Case
Out: 2nd August
Justin Case and Devras Plexi contain a dynamic between them that manifests in a stunning double artist album. Although these two producers come from different places geographically and musically, the combination of their energies on one release replies with something rather splendid. All the way from Texas, Devras Plexi is well known for creating thick and viscous experimentica while Glasgow's Justin Case produces a unique take on disturbed house and techno. Rolling out this release with back to back mirrors of origin gives us not only a stereo sound experience but one of creative intent portioned through the medium of time.
The album starts with a burst of sunny bells. Distortion and static crisp the edges while a sturdy beat plunges in to form the backbone. Abstract harmonies spatter the walls as glistening tones reverberate and chime with rhythmic motion. Reverse drums and looped melodic frills clump together in uniform yet loose and malleable bars. Coral Rose by Devras Plexi opens up the book with an exciting edge of colourful musicality and beats. Next, punchy synth tones waft out from the space between tracks. Smash sounds crunch in the distance like rolling freight trains before a funky rhythm bursts through. Synthesiser chords match the jumping mid-range and bring out a steady bass groove. Vocals make an appearance, reviving a humanistic and emotional sense. Passaic Formation by Justin Case throbs with a fun and kinetic atmosphere.
It's followed by plucky tones and jaggedy beats which bounce on spongy surfaces. A higher tone pushes on through and lights up the room. Distorted rhythms and frantic expressions on percussive sounds muddle with slow moving and dreaming notes, soaring on currents of irregular air. D.P.'s Orange Forest feels like wandering down a sunny lane on a sweltering hot day. J.C's Eat The Rich begins on a spacious beat. It crawls across the wide area with revolving tom-toms and clappy hats. A springy beat snakes in underneath, giving a mattress to the atmospheric melodies. A warbling bubble synth tone swells like loosely fitting clothes around the waist of the piece, tingling drums and jerky percussion play keepy-uppy with the direction of the mix. This epic transition of flow has real progression, gradual and at the speed of evolution, new areas of intent find themselves slowly becoming a focus for more energy.
Blippy sonics create a helium balloon of silvery shine that swoops across the top of our vision. Steady and intuitive drumming crafts a niche within crunchy and slightly broken waveforms. As more sounds add their flavour, the mix becomes ever more present and wanting to be peeled. A twisting melody on worming synths enters, moving the undergrowth in rhythmic lifts of reverse entropy. This is Blu Phi, it swims like an ocean and twists like a galaxy. Colubriform follows from this. Justin Case returns with yet more manic beats and sonic architecture. Swirling undercurrents of rhythmic tone bring a river of rapids and splashing expressions of this amplified reality. Drilling electronic notes pick up the pieces and throw them skyward before space-age wallowing dapples of sound merge with the flow.
It's replaced by Relational, another delve into the crucible of digital. Electronic tones and blipping chimes ring out like a clock striking the hour. The tune grows and branches out like fractal explorations. Fluffy rhythms layer on top giving a bouncy soft feeling about the composition. The bells and wood drums clamber together for spaces on the picnic blanket while sweet scented clouds of perfume well in the sunny valley. Next, a deep and resonant bass swoops in with far reaching depth. Wobbly decay on the strike makes the pitch waver like air working its way down a plastic drainpipe. More strange swirling and metallic future sounds fly in like spacecraft in neat formations. Lost in a realm of digitality, the track forms abstract and surging intentions of music as it breaks free and revs up into another gear. Foot moving bass lines with strobe lighting hand movements on the top side allow for a hedonistic foray into high energy electronica.
Westrive is after #Ulysses, it starts with abstract bells and a walking pace. It's as if we're back on that sunny path once more, this time the scenery is a bit different. Happy faces and interesting sculptures mark various locations in the composition while slowly moving clouds give and take a solar glare. A simple rhythm is garnished with extra elements in slight meanderings of the dial while the repeating motif makes a hypnotic dose of shoegazing. It finishes with Justin Case's Byzantine. Airy melody creeps from the shadows like candlelit parades of spectral entities. A rhythm forms, like dew on the morning bracken it gathers then dissipates once more into the sky. A new zone is found, a deep, punchy bass with heavy drums to match penetrates the fairytale with realism and basement feels. The two sides of the coin merge with the ensuing bars, bringing out a duality of inside and outside into being.
Ten tracks with alternating duel artists works a special kind of magic that we don't get to hear very often. The semblance of sounds gives a sudden and interesting two sided street to explore, taken at our own pace as many times as we want to.
Justin Case is on Bandcamp
Devras Plexi is on Soundcloud
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