Music Reviews



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Artist: HHY & The Macumbas (@)
Title: Throat Permission Cut
Format: 12"
Label: Silo (@)
Rated: *****
The first ring of Silo, the brand new label by Raz Mesinai aka Badawi and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha aka HHY, one of the founding member of Soopa collective and one leg of Fujako, the abstract-hop project I spoke about on the occasion of "Soul buzz EP" a couple of months ago that he leads with Nyko Esterle, comes from the collaboration of Saldanha and The Macumbas, a Porto-based underground collective whose number of people varies even if some musicians such as self-taught drummer and percussionist Joao Pais Filipe and trumpet player and vocalist Alvaro Almeida are almost permanent. The mesmerizing intro of the opening track "Isaac, The Throat" as well as the distant horns and the dub-like obsessive delays whose sound seems to be enveloped by clouds of desert sand could let you imagine that the following sonorities comes from a broadcasted nightmare where they wisely spinned dub, tribal drumming - closer to bedouin trance dances -, screaming jazz/funk, electronic fibres and occasional diffractive sonic elements that could sound like a possible crossbreed between Muslimgauze, The Master Musicians Of Joujouka and Le Sony'r Ra's mystical tangents as well as amazing hooks to 7'ies blaxploitation sonorities on tracks like "Barbaron" and "Lewopa De Kristal". A very interesting debut, even if I can surmise that one of their live exhibitions - I think some people who heard them at Sonar and Primavera Sound can confirm my assumption - could be much more engaging.

Tokyo Prose: Presence

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 12 2014
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Artist: Tokyo Prose (@)
Title: Presence
Format: CD
Label: Samurai Red Seal (@)
Rated: *****
After the first introduction of his music by means of a couple of EPs ("Introducing Tokyo Prose" parts 1 and 2) in 2011 by Geoff Presha's Samurai Red Seal, Sam Reed turned his trickles in the field of liquid drum'n'bass into a proper flood on this nice album, which will undoubtedly delight the followers of this branch of dnb. Since the opening track "16 Bar Cycles", which features young New Zealand producer Cristoph El Truento, some similarities to progressive chill out and soothing downbeat are quite clear, but the following tracks shows a certain stylistical diversification. If I have to look for some small flies in the ointment, I could say that Sam seems to have focused so scrupulously on melodies that some rhythmical patterns sound too steady even if they are essential propellants which optimally enhance the charming melodic fluttering. Some tracks such as the intensely emotional "Won't Let Me Go", where the presence of Dutch producer Teije van Vliet aka Lenzman and the smooth MCing by Phil "Fox" Box are clearly distinguishable, the piano-driven "Small Gains", the metronomic soulful romance of "Ventura" or the lovely "Sunsets" that Sam built with Luke LSB Beavon and Delroy DRS Pottinger which sounds like the bubbles in a Kir Royal, get closer to some recent pearls by Dramatic and Seba., Other highlights of this album are "Common Ground", the collaboration with Mancunian producer Synkro as well as my favorite track of the whole album, the sparkling glassiness of "Covet" and "All Things", the light and dark contrasts on "See Through Love" and "Fragmented You". That's a very good collection of smart strategies for dnb lubrication, whose title got explained by means of some words by German influential writer Eckhart Tolle: "Presence is when you're no longer waiting for the next moment, believing that the next moment will be more fulfilling than this one".

VV.AA.: I Care Because You Don't

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Dec 05 2014
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: I Care Because You Don't
Format: CD
Label: Turbo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Following the appetizer I spoke about some weeks ago, the definitive compilation by Clouds, the bicephalous 4-handed project by Calum MacLeod and Liam Robertson, which blended a number of amazing tracks from hardcore Scottish hooligan techno, promptly came out. As I've already said when I introduced that first drop, it's quite clear that the stylistical hooks to the harsh sonorities of glorious British rave scene got wisely sharpened by Dutch house, Australian electro break and Jack Dangers-like harsh sonorities and my first impression got confirmed while listening to the 16 tracks that have been included in this selection. I'd rather say that some tracks which have been added to the already tasted four ones of that tidbit (Clouds' "Blood Skating", Dance Company's "Berzerkerz (Hardcore Young Team)", DJ Hesburger's "Roll Up Your Sleeves, Welcome to the Dance", Jane's "Fuck Your Alliance") widened the spectrum of stylistical croosbreed: some of you could get surprised by the fact they could include tracks like "Let's Bone 2 Drone" by Boa Dona An Taus, which jumps over the sketched stylistical fences by interesting explorations of electronic industrial territories, "Gubbed" by Pleasure Quest, a well-balanced crossbreed between a Pressure Drop-like flapped break and AFX-like sonic dents, the laptop-driven acid ambient-techno on tracks like "Msn Hype" by Dj Bandit or "Nissan Diesel" by Space Runner JP. Even if I've never really been a football lover due to the fact I can't really stand the money-propelled idolatry of football players, this funny compilation could persuade me to take part to a party by nice Scottish hooligans and even wear a jersey of the legendary Celtic Rangers!

Noon: Noonshine EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 24 2014
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Artist: Noon (@)
Title: Noonshine EP
Format: 12"
Label: BPM (Breaks Per Minute) (@)
Rated: *****
Noon is the brand new brainchild by quite known Croatian dj and dnb and hip hop producer Filip Motovunski, former member of the Zagreb-base Kingston Soundsystem (there should have been some Jamaican roots even in Croatia!) and regular guest of almost all Croatian summer festivals as well as many clubs in many places in the world where he usually shared the stage with Serbian dj Rahmanee. The first match clarifies the interesting sound that Filip is going to spread under this guise and decided to call "happy neuro" in order to highlight the fact he tried to combine both dark and brighter moods in each track that someone could have described as the effect feet-on-the-ground/heads-in-the-space in olden times. Besides any possible way to label Noon, he seems to have mirrored such an equitable allocation from the stylistical viewpoint as he drag-and-dropped a couple of very good dnb rollers like "Done" - a good assay of miniml neurofunk - and "Noonshine" - a catchy uplifter which sounds like an elegant crossbreed between jump up and drumfunk - and a couple of more experimental mid-tempo footworks like "Rolling Joints", where an acidulous synth-brass and dry knocks clash against the explicit vocal sample so that it seems to render the situation when a teenager get caught in the act by some teacher in the bathroom stall, and "Badness", the first official collaborative track by Noon which features Mancunian vocalist Bongo Chilly aka Peppery on the mic over a nice set of breaks which seems to come from a doped mechanical wristwatch. Very good sound design indeed.

Seba & Paradox: Delusions / Future Now

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 24 2014
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Artist: Seba & Paradox
Title: Delusions / Future Now
Format: 12"
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Secret Operations, the excellent label by brilliant Swedish producer Sebastian Ahrenberg aka Seba, finally added a new drop into its pool by the already tested and approved connection of the mesmerizing style of his owner to the one by the breakbeat juggler Dev Pandya aka Paradox. This forthcoming release includes a couple of good tracks where it seems that they let burble emotions on the liminal zone between lucid perception of reality and emphatical hallucinations: such a process progresses over an obscure voice which sounds like mirroring the resurfacing of awareness from amnesiac depths by means of pulling reverberations of claps, ground strokes, menacing bleeps and worming basslines on "Delusions" and over a carded amen break, masterfully edited breaks and sonorities which seems to blow from godforsaken crannies of the demanding (for future) soul on "Future Now".


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