Our favourite vinyl releases of the week (7th August)

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Nostalgic jungle, lo-fi r’n’b, bubbling house and more.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Gabriela Helfet, alongside Jesse Bernard, Lucie Stepankova, James Hammond and Emily Hill.


Singles


Hamilton Scalpel

Hamilton Scalpel 2: Airfoil

(Concrete Cabin)

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Coming from Glasgow, Hamilton Scalpel’s Hamilton Scalpel 2: Airfoil is a frantic array of breakbeats and chaotic energy, along with a jungle style that’s a nostalgic nod to the bygone rave era. The EP features four tracks of relentless energy across hardcore, jungle, dubstep and techno but with the vocals on tracks such as ‘Cadzow Skrak’, there is also an element of grime in there too. – JB


Asynscronous

Pangaea Nova

(Phonica Records Special Editions)

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Phonica unveils the latest release for its Phonica Records Limited Edition label – an EP by Ukrainian duo Asyncronous called Pangaea Nova. Featuring shimmering house builds and stripped back minimal techno hues, ‘Shinkansen’ is a particular highlight. The record also includes original cover illustrations by Mykyta Storozhkov. – GH


Ultramagnetic MCs

Give the Drummer Some

(Mr Bongo)

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Mr Bongo’s mission to reissue some classics of late ‘80s and early ‘90s hip-hop continues this week with three singles from the Ultramagnetic MCs. As the pick of the crop, ‘Give the Drummer Some’ re-ups the sought after original 7” single, and highlights the trailblazing ways of sampling extraordinaires Paul C and Ced Gee. Chop samples on both sides from the likes of James Brown and Jackie Robinson – firm footings for Kool Keith’s flow at its best. JH


Djoser

Secret Greeting

(3024)

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The Washington DC producer Djoser makes an anticipated return to Martyn’s 3024 label in solo four-tracker Secret Greeting. Rooted in its heavy bass, it blends corporeal impactfulness with disharmonic synth lines and a hint of ambiance. Wildest of the bunch is the opener ‘Alumen’ wits its brisk percussion and spacious synthesizer thrills, followed by the choppy zips of ‘Kidulum’. On the flip, the title track is an IDM-hued hybrid, rich with airy drum-work and ‘Goose’ wraps it up with a head-spinning disharmony rolling along pensive melodic sequences and hasty hats. – LS


The Pearls

On & On

(Isle of Jura)

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Australian label Isle of Jura present the first 12 inch of their 3 part series reissuing the sounds of Jamaican duo The Pearls. Originally released in 1980, the lifelong friends Stanley Shaw and Norman Watson created a synthesis of sound, fusing elements of disco, soul and rap with reggae. The three track EP presents the original 7″ version of ‘On & On’ followed by the infectious dub version, ‘We’ll Do It’ and backed on the B-side by a special edition remix from the Parisian selector Julien Minarro. It’s a much deserved reissue of an excellent production project, just in time for the summer sun. – EH


LPs


Duval Timothy

Help

(The Vinyl Factory / Carrying Colour)

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Multi-disciplinary artist Duval Timothy explores his “experience experience traversing the meshes of the music industry, mental health, YouTube self-help videos, and the healing he discovered through friendship and collaboration” in new LP Help. Lead largely by bewitching piano through lo-fi r’n’b, soul and stripped-back jazz, the album was written and performed by Timothy, with co-production by Rodaidh McDonald and cameos including Lil Silva, Melanie Faye, Vegyn, Desta Haile, Mr Mitch, Dave Okumo, and Twin Shadow. – GH


Masayuki Takayanagi (to be released Friday by Blank Forms)

Axis Another Revolvable Thing

(Blank Forms)

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Once again landing in 1975, but this time switching from studio to the live arena, Blank Forms’ second archival work from Masayuki Takayanagi and the New Direction Unit finds the group in blistering form at Tokyo’s Yasuda Semei Hall. A free-improv revolutionary who was hell-bent on tearing up musical rule books, Takayanagi’s approach to the guitar was a caustic one, and the frenzy the group works up in these pieces is all-consuming. Cello, reeds, percussion and guitar locked in a singular interplay that tightens its grip with each exchange. – JH


Little Ann

Deep Shadows

(Timmion)

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It’s hard to imagine that until 2009, Little Ann’s Deep Shadows largely went unheard by the general public, considering it was Ann Bridgeforth’s sole album. It’s a relics of Detroit’s soul scene, kept in the archive of record producer and musician Dave Hamilton. These songs, and by extension Little Ann’s voice, have been further immortalised through samples, all of which has been brought back to the fore again thanks to Timmion’s 2020 reissue. – JB


Exhausted Modern

Year Of The Rat

(Endless Illusion)

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Czech producer Ladislav Zensor aka Exhausted Modern turns out his debut album on experimental electro label Endless Illusion projecting his artistic statement on these strange modern times we find ourselves within. Guest appearances from the likes of NVST on ‘Something stronger’ connects the dots between the somewhat industrious otherworldly vocals with the despondent futuristic melody. Stylistically the album is vast, combining dance-orientated tracks with tunes that act more as interludes to some extent, such as ‘T-Maze’ and ‘Working Rats’. Elsewhere, ‘Pineal Gland’ projects a calmness standing at odds with the thrashing sounds of Zensor’s previous work but shows a mature depth in their production techniques. – EH


Double Geography

The Indoor Gardener

(Invisible Inc.)

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Duncan Thornley of the London-based duo Weird Weather offers his solo debut as Double Geography on the Glaswegian outlet Invisible Inc. The Indoor Gardener fuses the percussive mastery and organicity of Weird Weather yet pushes things closer to nature. Thornley’s intent to create music inspired by and perhaps even intended for plants is obvious from the botanical tracks’ names. The album oozes with balearic influences and is rich with musicianship and sonic clarity. Entrancing melodies, organic percussion and rounded dynamism seduce in each of the tracks. This is particularly felt in the tingly opening of ‘Golden Pothos’ blossoming into fuzzy acid, the synthetic bells and dreamy melodies of ‘Dracaena’, the dramatic Japonaise prog of ‘Lucky Bamboo’ or the spiritual narration washed over by the waves of the smooth ocean of ‘A Drop Of Water’. – LS