The Vinyl Factory
Amiable Jonnie Wilkes, of the equally amiable Optimo duo, steps out alone on this EP of stuttering no-wave music and industrial ambience. The title track, ‘Jaxon’ takes an imaginary trip into the dystopian, sci-fi realm of Ballard obsessives Ike Yard, experimenting with primitive rhythm and crude melody — inviting the imaginative Barnt to work one of his more experimental productions. Wilkes teams up with James Savage as Naum Gabo to remix ‘Useful Tool’ into a tougher, electro-style render and, lest we forget, the beautifully poised ambience of ‘Bathing Beauty’. Lush.
Straight-to-the-point double-header from Hercules & Love Affair’s Andy Butler, plus his new project with Seattle’s DJ Nark for their debut as Hexxy. The propulsive ‘Edging’ licks acid touches over stinging hi-hats and a loaded, old school-style vocal; bridging cool proto-house rhythm with the raw end of disco. The intriguingly titled ‘Bewm Chawqk’ employs bouncier acid sequences over snappy Todd Terry-style vocal hooks, reminiscent of Mike Dunn’s classic ‘Magic Feet’. Pure class.
Honey Soundsystem/Dark Entries
San Franciscan DJ collective, Honey Soundsystem, have come into possession of this previously unreleased gem from Hi-NRG pioneer, Patrick Cowley. Recorded around 1978, ‘Kickin’ In’ explores twelve minutes of rousing strings, a “Feel it kicking in” mantra and bubbling arpeggios — oddly reminiscent of Moroder’s ‘Chase’. Notably, two earlier productions accompany, both produced between 1975-77, featuring Cowley narrating erotic gay sex fantasies inspired by San Francisco’s leather bars, ‘back rooms’ and bathhouses of the time. Layers of guitar and synthesizer reveal a much sleazier side to Cowley’s adroit production.
'Love Affair/Slo Flava (Remixes)'
Delusions Of Grandeur
First single lifted from his second LP finds Versatile’s I:Cube and Delusions Of Grandeur’s own Session Victim getting in amongst the Balearic disco. First up, I:Cube adjusts the tender ‘Love Affair’ to a pacy house tempo, keeping the panoramic '80s-style pads intact. Similarly, Session Victim ramps up the bpms, flipping Tobias’ crawling original into an Italo-house homage, evocative of those classic, early '90s Don Carlos releases.
Following up on his electro/freestyle collaboration with Jessy Lanza, ‘Calling Card’ (as The Galleria), the NYC production wiz wraps up another versatile release for his Environ label. Cramming in threads of old school house and electronic disco, ‘Megaprojects One’ recalls some classic Metro Area-style moments; working the elastic basslines, infectious melodies and dextrous Roland drum machine patterns.
Iko & Gibb
'Paradiscoball (inc. Rodion & Demian Remixes)'
Rex Club regular, Maxime Iko, meets with synth-head Markus Gibb on this robust Hi-NRG track for Tici Taci. Just as punchy and as sleazy as a Black Strobe tune, the galloping ‘Paradiscoball’ is paired with remixes from Rodion and Demian. The former stands out as the release highlight with a minimal version of the original, while the latter wields trance-like synths as a heady counterpoint.
'Sabor feat. Abrao'
With previous releases for Correspondant, Hivern Discs and I’m A Cliche, the Tel Aviv-based duo find themselves in a much more playful mood for Crosstown Rebels — a vocal from Brazilian singer Abrao and a variety of colourful percussive touches, their sound is no less idiosyncratic, however. Their style remains as unusual and compelling and ‘Sabor’ may have just landed them the attention that they deserve. As a bonus, there's an excellent, rubbery house music fix from the don, Isoleé.
La Mverte & Alejandro Paz
Her Majesty’s Ship
Interesting alliance from Comeme’s Alejandro Paz and label boss, La Mverte, who, between them, conjure up a magikal four track EP with strands of post-punk, EBM and disco-noir. ‘The Line’ is an energetic compound of tumbling toms and throbbing acid bass inspired by the likes of DAF or even John Carpenter. The pair also find themselves remixing each other - Alejandro Paz fashioning a mid 80’s new-wave / proto-house rhythm, as La Mverte shapes a modulating, minimal synth version. Ace.