• Mount Kimbie to release DJ Kicks mix featuring Beatrice Dillon, Severed Heads and Oliver Coates

    By | August 9, 2018

    Including unreleased material from the duo.

    Electronic duo Mount Kimbie have mixed the next entry in the DJ Kicks series. The compilation will be available via !K7 Records on 14th Sepetmber.

    The mix will include selections from club contemporaries Beatrice Dillon, object blue and Via App, as well as tracks from avant-cellist Oliver Coates, Taz & Meeks – the production moniker of Mica Levi and Tirzah, alongside unreleased Mount Kimbie track ‘Southgate’. Listen to a radio rip of that track, which was broadcast on the Hessle Audio show on Rinse FM on Monday (August 6).

    According to a press release, the mix was inspired by a mini-run of DJ gigs the pair played with Actress, and will be accompanied by a DJ Kicks tour, which will take the duo to DJ and live dates around the world.

    The mix follows the pair’s 2017 Warp-released album Love What Survives, as well as collaborations with James Blake and Micachu the same year.

    The Mount Kimbie-curated edition of DJ Kicks will be released digitally, on CD and 2XLP via !K7 Records, and is available to pre-order now. Check out the album artwork and tracklist below.

    Tracklist:

    01. Madalyn Merkey – ‘Meridian’
    02. Via App – ‘Baby K Interaction’
    03. Severed Heads – ‘Always Randy’
    04. De Leon – ‘B1’
    05. Efdemin – ‘America’ (Terrence Dixon Minimal Detroit Mix)
    06. System Olympia – ‘Night Rise’
    07. Oliver Coates – ‘Timelapse (Walrus)’
    08. N.Y. House’n Authority – ‘APT. 2B’
    09. Computer Says No – ‘Grab And Reform’
    10. D’Marc Cantu – ‘The Will and the End’
    11. object blue – ‘Even In You’
    12. Severed Heads – ‘Lamborghini (Petrol 1982)’
    13. The Abstract Eye – ‘Nobody Else Part 2’
    14. Marco Bernardi – ‘The Light Beside the Hall’
    15. Via App – ‘Chatter’
    16. ‘Southgate (DJ-Kicks Exclusive)’
    17. Stanislav Tolkachev – ‘Blue Mood’
    18. Watching Airplanes – ‘Saboter La Machine’
    19. Rupert Clervaux; Beatrice Dillon – ‘IX’
    20. Aleksi Perälä – ‘UK74R1512110’
    21. ‘Blue Train Lines’ (Nina Kraviz Remix)
    22. A Sagittariun – ‘Contortion’
    23. Taz & Meeks – ‘Obviously’
    24. DJ-Kicks Continous Mix

  • Our 20 favourite 12″s of 2017

    By | December 5, 2017

    From essential track IDs to crafted EPs.

    Having picked out our favourite 7″s and 10″s, we turn our attention to the 12″ in the second of our retrosepctive rundowns of the last twelve months.

    And just as 7″s no longer represent the year’s biggest chart hits, so has it been some time since 12″s were exclusively the domain of the dance floor.

    From the simple 2-track club banger to EPs that border on mini-albums, we’ve demanded that each 12″ offers something more than just an aggregation of the year’s best tracks.

    Some though, like Objekt, Denis Sulta and Bufiman do represent the year’s most urgent dance music, or in the case of Bicep, Four Tet and Nathan Fake distil new albums in more forms.

    This year, the 12″ has also been the friend of the UK’s burgeoning grassroots jazz movement, capturing the nascent scene as it grows and evolves, whether on Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin’s Idiom, Moses Boyd’s Absolute Zero or the improvised voyages of A.R.E. Project.

    And finally, the 12″ was also home to several beautifully crafted EPs, cementing concepts and musical ideas – from Fatima al Qadiri’s provocative sexual politics to LAPS’ DIY dancehall – that circumvent generic boundaries for something true to the musical diversity of 2017.

    You may have also noticed that we’ve changed the emphasis of our lists this year away from the tired, arbitrary and frankly over-used ‘best’, to the more openly subjective ‘favourite’. We believe this more accurately reflects the fact that these rundowns are essentially recommendations of what we’ve enjoyed most this year, as selected by our weekly contributors Patrick Ryder, James Hammond and Chris Summers, alongside VF’s editorial team, Gabriela Helfet and Anton Spice.

    What were your favourites this year? Let us know in the comments below.

    See the rest of our 2017 review:

    Our 50 favourite albums of 2017
    Our 10 favourite 7″s of 2017
    Our 12 favourite reissue singles of 2017
    Our 30 favourite reissues of 2017
    Our 12 favourite soundtracks of 2017
    Our 12 favourite record sleeves of 2017


    20. Bicep

    Glue EP

    (Ninja Tune)

    Listen / Buy

    Bicep may have dropped their long-awaited debut album, taking first place as the most track ID-requested producers of the year by a country mile in the process, but the audio pinnacle from this Belfast duo actually came in the form of their final release of 2017. The Glue EP delivered one of the LP’s finest cuts on the A-Side, plus fresh tracks which included the delightfully acid-tinged ‘DLR’ on the reverse. – GH


    19. Dazion

    Don’t Get Me Wrong

    (Second Circle)

    Listen / Buy

    This curveball dropped right at the start of 2017 and hasn’t left the record bag since. Lead track ‘Be A Man’ sashays across the dance floor with jasmin-infused disco pizzazz, lush synths and a belly-dance bassline underpinned by sharp-as-brass percussive shuffle. Things take a step down to Room 2 on ‘Rigola’, the groove staying in the pocket, with vibraphones to the fore. A triumph for the Music From Memory off-shoot that was heard far and wide this year. – AS


    18. Carla Dal Forno

    The Garden

    (Blackest Ever Black)

    Listen / Buy

    A VF favourite coming off the strength of last year’s debut full length You Know What Its Like and its accompanying singles, this year gave us four new cuts from Carla Dal Forno which made for more essential listening. An artist who sets out an alluring sound world of mysterious and uneasy pop music, The Garden carried on where her debut left off in its sparingly affective structures and ability to craft distinctive vocal hooks that work their way in with repeated listens. – JH


    17. Denis Sulta

    Nein Forteate EP

    (Sulta Selects)

    Listen / Buy

    Glasgow homebro Denis Sulta launched his own label with two choice EPs this year, the highlight of which was its inaugural release, Nein Forteate, featuring ‘Dubelle Oh XX (JVIP)’. The kind of synthy club anthem that Sulta is rightly becoming known for, its greatness lies about 3 and a half minutes in, when the track, seemingly at its peak, suddenly cuts out… Is it a mistake, a DJ faux pas, a power problemo? Nah. It’s Sulta bringing in a silky smooth “ohhhh yeah” vocal, before dropping the ole hook in back again to maximum effect. – GH


    16. Beatrice Dillon & Call Super

    ‘Inkjet / Fluo’

    (Hessle Audio)

    Listen / Buy

    One of our favourite collaborations of the year also appears on one of our favourite labels in sweet symbiosis, as Beatrice Dillon unites with Call Super for this Hessle Audio affair. As with many of the 12”s gracing this year’s list, the A-Side ‘Inkjet’ is a legit slice of aqua electronics, but it’s the flip – ‘Fluo’ – that we’ve been rinsing since it dropped. A soundtrack for the robot takeover to come, with Blade Runner-esque dial tones making way for exquisite saxxy breakdowns midway through. Proof, if ever you needed it, that no B-side should be left unturned. – GH


    15. Avalon Emerson

    Whities 013

    (Whities)

    Listen / Buy

    Avalon Emerson returns to Whities for the follow-up to her Narcissus in Retrograde EP – one of our favourite 12”s of 2016 – on a different, but no less excellent, tip. With this catchy double-dose, she continues her well deserved ascent as one of the most exciting producers around: ‘One More Fluorescent Rush’ serves glitchy, spaced out feels, before ‘Finally Some Common Ground’ takes off on a Soichi Terada-esque, one-way trip to the intergalactic mothership. – GH


    14. Four Tet

    ‘SW9 9SL / Planet’

    (Text Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Aside from a couple of split 12”s last year, 2017 marked something of a return to the prolific output we’ve come to expect from Kieran Hebden, releasing a handful of 12”s, a load of material via multiple Spotify aliases, some brilliant remixes, the year’s most ID’d edit ‘Question’, and a new full-length infamously made using just a laptop and a view over some unspectacular woodland. Thankfully, the album’s two stand-out tracks were also collected on this limited 12”. Propulsive, melodic dance music for the headphones or the dance floor, ‘Planet’ is Four Tet’s finest since There Is Love In You. – AS


    13. Craven Faults

    Netherfield Works

    (Lowfold Works)

    Listen / Buy

    Elusive, evasive, but delivered with unerring authority, Craven Faults is one of this year’s wildcards. Arriving on a mysterious label with a soaring two-track EP of airborne krautrock, Netherfield Works pays its dues to ’70s Düsseldorf and the San Francisco Tape Music Centre and casts them to the English winds, forging two sprawling tracks from within a nest of patch cables in an old Yorkshire textile mill. A modular synth record that, like recent works by Kaityln Aurelia Smith seems to shed its machined origins to become something altogether more organic, Netherfield Works overflows across two sixteen minute tracks that will appeal to fans of Cluster, Steve Reich and the like. – AS


    12. Fatima Al Quadiri

    Shaneera

    (Hyperdub)

    Listen / Buy

    Few EPs set out to challenge norms and hegemonies like Fatima Al Qadiri’s Shaneera, which riffs on the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word for “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul.” Reconstructing snippets of Grindr chats, online drag and femme comedy skits, and Iraqi proverbs into a hybrid vernacular built from Kuwaiti and Egyptian Arabic, Shaneera is an intoxicating listen – all menacing dubbed-out electronic arrangements – and a self-confessed “love letter to evil and benevolent queens around the world.” – AS


    11. Bufiman

    ‘Peace Moves’

    (Dekmantel)

    Listen / Buy

    Dekmantel celebrated a decade as a champion of left-field, dance floor meditations by delivering its strongest year yet, hosting an annual sell-out festival in Holland, a smaller soiree in Croatia, and releasing some of the label’s finest music along the way, including Dekmantel 10 Years 04 EP and Juju & Jordash’s Sis-Boom-Bah LP. However, it was Bufiman aka Wolf Muhler’s Peace Moves EP that best represented the weird af and wonderfully off-kilter sonics which have come to define the Dutch imprint. A seemingly bizarre combination of growling vocals and cranky, bent out of shape jack-in-the-box effects that sounds so wrong it’s right. – GH


    10. Moses Boyd

    Absolute Zero

    (The Vinyl Factory / Exodus)

    Listen / Buy

    Drummer and producer Moses Boyd exploded into the wider musical consciousness with ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ in 2016, and this EP, co-released between VF and his own Exodus imprint, was his much-anticipated follow up. Ditching the horn stabs for shimmering krauty synths, Absolute Zero was born out of Boyd’s solo live shows but has since been reintegrated into the Exodus band with which he has sold out the likes of Corsica Studios and Jazz Café this year. Underpinned by his live-wire drum sound, this EP swells with a restless ease, referencing influences as broad as grime, ambient and hip-hop, rooting this new jazz mode in an urban context. One of the year’s breakthrough artists, expect to hear much more of Moses in the coming months. As objective as we can possibly be, the soft-touch laminate artwork by Optigram may also make this one of our favourite sleeves of the year. – AS


    9. Agnes Obel

    ‘Stretch Your Eyes (Quiet Village Remix)’

    (Phonica Special Editions)

    Listen / Buy

    You don’t need us to tell you how great it is to share a building with a record shop, let alone one as consistently on point as Phonica. So when manager Simon Rigg called us into his office one afternoon last summer with news of an extra special 12” on one of the shop’s in-house imprints we knew it was going to be good. Here Quiet Village pull apart Danish singer Agnes Obel’s ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ into a dark and dubby chorale, backed by an eerie a cappella imbued with the same haunting longevity of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrops’. – AS


    8. SW. / SVN

    ‘Sued 18’

    (SUED)

    Listen / Buy

    Who needs things like track names when the music can do the talking? Not SW. that’s who. The producer follows up a close-to-perfect 2016 LP (appropriately called The Album) to team up with SUED co-founder SVN. SUED 18 kicks off with Pepe Bradock-esque house heaviness on the A-Side, plus a knockout, subdued techno ride on the reverse. – GH


    7. Floating Points

    ‘Ratio (Deconstructed Mixes)’

    (Pluto Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Though Floating Points debuted versions of the slow-rolling, emotional synth-filled ‘Ratio’ via live shows and DJ sets last year, it finally saw a long-awaited official release this October. Well worth the wait, ‘Ratio’ is a shimmering number that harkens back to Floating Points’ supreme ‘Myrtle Avenue’ and ‘ARP3’ fare. And though it may seem like a mere sales gimmick to release the track in ‘deconstructed’ parts, as he did on the B-side, it’s not. If you caught his live set this year, this seemingly fractured 12″ actually makes perfect sense because no live version of ‘Ratio’ was identical. An exciting hint that the best of his new material is yet come. – GH


    6. Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin

    Idiom

    (YAM Records)

    Listen / Buy

    A record that captures the jazz routes and roots coursing through London at the moment, tying together the convergent legacies of broken beat, house, 2-step and fusion that having been coalescing south of the river for some time. Aside from being assembled from a quintet of fiercely accomplished musicians (Armon-Jones & Owin are joined here by Nubya Garcia, Oscar Jerome and Jake Long), Idiom is a refreshingly playful record that never takes itself too seriously. With discrete improvisations woven into the fabric of each track, Idiom is greater than the sum of its parts, and a testament to the community that has helped elevate it. – AS


    5. Nathan Fake

    Providence Reworks – Part I

    (Ninja Tune)

    Listen / Buy

    A primer on how a track, in this case Nathan Fake’s ‘DEGREELESSNESSS’ from his Providence LP, can be turned into (two times the) greatness, thanks to formidable edits. A-Side sees Overmono assuming the rework duties to craft one of the anthems of 2017’s festival season, teasing out the most euphoric moments of ‘DEGREELESSNESS’ across seven and half minutes. Meanwhile, a no less worthy of rotation revamp from Huerco S brings a psychedelic, Middle Eastern-hued séance to send you into a zen-filled trance. – GH


    4. LAPS

    Who Me?

    (MIC)

    Listen / Buy

    LAPS are Ladies As Pimps, the Glasgow duo and Golden Teacher affiliates forging an industrial dancehall sound that’s unlike anything else we heard this year. If there’s one big hit here it would be title track ‘Who Me?’, which finds a sweet spot between the sensual, the confrontational and the surreal we had no idea existed. It’s a trick ‘Edges’ manages too, before rounding off the EP with the fragmented “pyjama house” of ‘Lady Bug’. A charismatic record that pulls no punches, and a fine first foray into new music for 2017 label newcomer MIC. – AS


    3. Objekt

    Objekt #4

    (Objekt)

    Listen / Buy

    If in January someone had told us one of the biggest tracks of the year would be a slowed-down two-step garage beat-meets-techno superjam, we would have been rather confused about what the year held in store. But so it was. TJ Hertz’s first release since 2014, a 12” on the club-focused white label series under his Objekt alias, stormed dance floors far and wide thanks to its unexpected B-Side. ‘Theme From Q’ is the kind of track that works in sets of all shapes, speeds and sizes, because it’s just that great. – GH


    2. Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar & Shabaka Hutchings

    A.R.E. Project EP

    (Technicolour)

    Listen / Buy

    Arguably one of the UK’s most prolific and inspiringly creative musicians, Shabaka Hutchings leant his saxophone touch to a number of contenders for our favourite releases of the year, including the Comet Is Coming’s psychedelic jazz 12” Death To The Planet 12”. That said, A.R.E. Project, a unique and forward-thinking, improvised collaboration between Hutchings, Hieroglyphic Being and Sarathy Korwar was the obvious choice. Captured during a completely live, two hour performance aboard a studio moored inside a ship along the Thames, the EP sees cosmic sax merging with Indonesian folk music and space-age electronics for a truly one-of-a-kind result. – GH


    1. Sudan Archives

    Sudan Archives

    (Stones Throw)

    Listen / Buy

    One of this year’s most enchanting debuts came from violinist, producer and vocalist Sudan Archives, whose self-titled EP on Stones Throw takes the award for our favourite 12” of 2017. Channelling the bedroom RnB production that sustained her early forays into music into an outward-looking hybrid sound, Archives draws as much on North African melodies and instrumentation as Stones Throw’s storied left-field hip-hop tradition.

    A self-taught violinist, she weaves finger picking rhythms into the fabric of her productions, and uses its sawing melancholy to lend a gorgeous nostalgia to each song. And while ‘Come Meh Way’ might be the track you’ll have heard most, ‘Oatmeal’ and ‘Goldencity’ exude the same singular clarity, marking out a route between the percussive, earthy RnB of opening track ‘Paid’ and the syncopated folk musings of final track ‘Wake up’. A modest record, both utterly new yet uncannily familiar, we revisited this EP time and again this year, and can’t wait to hear what comes next. – AS


    Illustration by Patch D Keyes.

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (25th September)

    By | September 25, 2017

    Mangled disco, sinewy post-punk and the ghost of Billie Holiday.

    Another massive week for new releases sees Beatrice Dillon & Call Super lead the way in the singles section, closely followed by a brace of inquisitive propositions – Four Tet’s summer edit anthem ‘Question’ and VF album-of-the-year winner Panoram’s analogue collages ‘The Question’.

    On the albums rack, there’s no space for Jordan Rakei’s Wallflower – although the hugely talented multi-instrumentalist gets a shout out here nonetheless. Instead it’s Moses Sumney, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and DFA homeboy Eric Copeland that pack the biggest punch, although the Steve Albini-produced Metz might have a thing or two to to say about that.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    Beatrice Dillon and Call Super

    Inkjet

    (Hessle Audio)

    Listen / Buy

    Beatrice Dillon is no stranger to this list and a choice collaboration on the 12” format. Past efforts with Karen Gwyer, Rupert Clervaux, and Kassem Mosse are all most worthy investigations and this latest one with Call Super is no exception. Imaginative techno that’s made for the floor, certainly a formula befitting to Hessle Audio and their 10th birthday celebrations.


    Panoram

    The Question

    (Wandering Eye)

    Listen / Buy

    A return to 12″ for the Italian producer behind VF’s top album of 2014. ‘The Question’ posits some of Panoram’s most cogent aesthetics, from filtered analogue funk to distant cut and paste soundscapes and lush dream-like instrumentals, with the kind of raw fallibility lacking from many of his contemporaries. Stand-out tracks include Zawinul free-jazz wig-out ‘Orange Road’, and a well-worn homage to PPU-esque garage funk on ‘Ana Lyze’. A deep, gratifying listen.


    A-Eno-Acid

    Who’s This Guy?

    (Chicago Bee Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Despite a seventeen year break from the release sheets, Mark Churcher shows no signs of ring rust on his return to vinyl, furnishing the frontline DJs with a powerhouse 12″ of raw 303 heat. The first release on his freshly minted Chicago Bee Records, ‘Who’s This Guy?’ sees Churcher adopt his new A-Eno-Acid moniker and rip through the rasping acid jack of the title track, the hypnotic gurgle of ‘Acid Sodastream’ and the soaring, searing bleepfest of ‘Mika Vainio RIP’. Chuck in a deeper, dopamine-rinsing remix from Planet Mu affiliate Gasman, and you’ve got everything you need to get the rave gremlins rocking!


    KH

    Question

    (Text)

    Listen / Buy

    The white labels of this came and went in a shot, and chances are the full release on Text could well do the same. If you haven’t heard this yet you are in for a treat. Built on a funk loop that stops, starts, drops and loops, ‘Question’ is simple, but devastatingly effective. KH aka Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet really is a very talented young man.


    Shy Boys

    Shy Boys

    (Box Bedroom Rebels)

    Listen / Buy

    The latest on Box Bedroom Rebels throws the usual bunch of goodies into the package (posters, confetti, temporary tattoos) but, as always, the music is worth investigating. They make drifty atmospheric indie with nods towards the Clientele and the Cure. Lovingly vague.


    LPs


    Moses Sumney

    Aromanticism

    (Jagjaguwar)

    Listen / Buy

    Few artists have commanded as much expectation as Moses Sumney, and his debut LP doesn’t disappoint. As the title suggests there’s a classicism to much of the record, which shines through most vividly on the orchestrated movements of ‘Don’t Bother Calling’, where shades of Thom Yorke and Billie Holiday vibrate like ghosts among Sumney’s fragile falsetto. It’s in these moments that Aromanticism really resonates, and the textbook crescendoes of tracks like ‘Lonely World’ feel forced in comparison. For a major pop album though, Aromanticism has enough textured understatment to be well worth exploring further.


    Godspeed You! Black Emperor

    Luciferian Towers

    (Constellation)

    Listen / Buy

    The 6th album proper from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and one of their best in recent years sounds all the better for its avoidance of post-rock bombast, and favouring of a more subtle and cohesive approach. Still managing to channel political and cultural malaise into visceral instrumental works 20 years down the line, this one’s a recommended listen for newcomers and hardened fans alike.


    Eric Copeland

    Goofballs

    (DFA)

    Listen / Buy

    While his better known label-mates are hitting the stadiums in support of their all-conquering comeback album, unflinching audio weirdo Eric Copeland continues his mangled, spangled journey into the fringes of industrial disco and hallucinatory club tackle with his latest LP Goofballs. Across the course of eight entirely skew-whiff missives, the New York musician plays fast, slow and extremely loose with tripped out sequences, detuned bleeps and distorted percussion, creating a coherent though utterly insane sonic vision on the way.


    Metz

    Strange Peace

    (Sub Pop)

    Listen / Buy

    Guess it was only a matter of time until Canada’s finest three piece hooked up with the legend himself, Steve Albini. Strange Peace, their third album, is a full on rumbling juggernaut of fuck-you riffs, titanic drums and angry man vocals. No dragging and no messing around, this album runs at 11 the whole way through.


    Omni

    Multi-task

    (Trouble In Mind)

    Listen / Buy

    Omni’s not so secret weapon is guitarist Frankie Broyles. His lithe, twisted playing electrifies their records of sinewy post punk. Multi-task is a brilliant, inventive tour de force that will appeal to fans of Pylon and Talking Heads.

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (23rd May)

    By | May 23, 2016

    The-Vinyl-Factory-Best-Vinyl-Releases-23rd-May

    We select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.

    Our LP collection expands this week with Marissa Nadler’s latest gothic folk offering, an adventurous split Beatrice Dillon and Karen Gwyer album, and a reissue of underrated post-punk group The Lines’ “lost” third album – whose opener wouldn’t sound out of place on the new Radiohead record.

    In the singles club, Big Moon’s hit track ‘Cupid’ comes to 7″ vinyl, plus there’s a clutch of covetable 12″s to snag including new Christopher Rau material and a live recording from London’s experimental hub Café Oto.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    The Big Moon

    Cupid

    (Cupid)

    Listen / Buy

    This much hyped London band walk the walk with this slab of tuneful avant noise pop which is pleasantly skewed but also indie disco friendly, Basically it’s the kind of thing we used to have to rely on the Deal sisters for. Strange but addictive and once it’s in your head it will never leave.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Christopher Rau

    M$006 (Pay Attention Inwards Now)

    (Money Sex Records)

    Listen / Buy

    If you’ve listened to Max Graef and Glenn Astro’s VF mix, you’ll be familiar with Christopher Rau’s ‘I Hear $$$’, a slice of ghetto house that wouldn’t sound out of place on Dance Mania. Throw into the equation: the tropical, hissing hip-hop of ‘Pay Attention Inwards Now’, the stuttering music box melodies on “K4100 Jam’, the horizontally-arranged downtempo deepness of closer “Flowermate” and it should be clear that this is an EP bristling with width, depth and breadth.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Orson Wells

    Blend

    (Bokhari)

    Listen / Buy

    Bokhari excel themselves with their fourteenth release, kindly presenting us with a true treat for the senses courtesy of Orson Wells and Spencer Fenton. The Frankfurt producer plays a blinder on the musical front, utilising wonky keys, swollen bass and the occasional loon bird to bypass the club completely and head directly to the car park for a bit of liquid DnB badness. With a pair of peak time house reworks from Dorylus and Capracara and a stunning hand stickered sleeve from Spencer Fenton, this release looks and sounds like a million bucks.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Boxed In feat. Formation

    Running Out

    (Speedy Wunderground)

    Listen / Buy

    Recorded in just one day under the watchful eye of Dan Carey (as all Speedy Wunderground releases are) here’s what it sounds like when Boxed In and Formation pull it together and get busy. ‘Running Out’ is a Moroderesque baggy mover perfectly suited to both parties and due to light up floors across the world over the summer.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Okkyung Lee & Bill Orcutt

    Live at Café Oto

    (Otoroku)

    Listen / Buy

    The Otoroku series is a fine way to compliment the programming and artists involved with Café Oto, and this extraordinary meeting of Okkyung Lee’s cello and Bill Orcutt’s guitar was a highlight of last years shows at the venue and certainly deserving of this LP release. Casting the familiar timbres of these familiar instruments anew, indeed it’s hard to believe this is a first time meeting as they seem to effortlessly find a common language of abstraction in these stream of consciousness pieces. One for lovers of strange strings.


    LPs


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Marissa Nadler

    Strangers

    (Sacred Bones)

    Listen / Buy

    As with 2014’s July, Nadler worked on this one with Randall Dunn, who’s produced Sunn O))), Earth and the Cave Singers, but the sound aesthetic found here is heavier, denser, more metallic; and there’s a sense of grace to the foreboding, as if Nadler is drawing poetry from a looming apocalypse.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    The Lines

    Hull Down

    (Acute)
    Listen / Buy

    The Lines were a mysterious below the radar post punk group who made stunningly futuristic music that no-one ever heard. A cursory listen to this, their never completed third album suggests a band that has that Factory aesthetic couple with a kind of more electronic take on New York experimenters such as Liquid Liquid. Chillingly the opening ‘Flat Feet’ sounds like it could fit perfectly on Radiohead’s latest record. A fascinating artefact.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Beatrice Dillon & Karen Gwyer

    S/T

    (Alien Jams)

    Listen / Buy

    As would be expected from two of the most inventive operators in electronic music, and a label that keeps its content of the highest caliber, this one is all killer no filler. With one take from Dillon and one from Gwyer, there’s a separate direction to follow on the A and B side, and with a focus throughout on articulating the pulse, it’ certainly set for an adventurous dancefloor. Due to arrive in stores on Friday these won’t stick around.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Bernardino Femminielli

    Plaisirs Américains

    (Mind Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Zut Alors! Québécois provocateur Bernardino Femminielli returns to Mind Records with a flawless album of disco noir, chanson sleaze and crackling post punk. The wow and flutter have barely had chance to make an impact on March’s cassette only ‘L’Enfer Et Ses Fils’, and already Bernardino’s back in business, treating the Franco-Japanese imprint to the heady magic of ‘Plaisirs Américains’. Channelling the perv-pop of Gainsbourg, angular groove of James Chance, dystopian disco of Ruth and the orchestral majesty of Air, Femminielli has succeeded in creating a conceptually complete LP born out of a dream rather than a particular time or space.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Gravy Murphy

    The World Is Your Moisture

    (Metal Postcard)

    Listen / Buy

    Brand spanking new on the excellent but often over looked Metal Postcard label comes this amazing full length from Jon Murphy aka Gravy Murphy. ‘The World Is Your Moisture’ is ten tracks deep, full of beats that swing and grooves that rumble in all the right directions. There’s elements of early Portishead, Pye Corner Audio and even Depth Charge in there but Gravy makes it all his own.

  • Andrew Weatherall, Beatrice Dillon and Tapes: Listen to the 5 best mixes this month

    By | February 5, 2016

    zouk_special_hugo_mendez

    Zouk on this.

    Uncovering records through mixes might just be the next best thing to rummaging around in a record shop. So, each month we’ll be trawling through the wild world of online mixes to save you the trouble.

    To be eligible for our top five, the mixes, radio shows and live sets must be vinyl-only or vinyl-centric in format. And failing that we’ll only consider it, if it slakes our crate digging urges.

    It may be the middle of winter, but this month’s selection is all about stimulating the topical islands of your mind. We’ve got an invaluable introduction to the Caribbean’s synthetic dancefloor sound of zouk, an international join-the-dots from Invisible City Sound System and a deep reggae mix straight out of Amsterdam from Tapes.

    Back at home Beatrice Dillon and Dale Cornish give us a taste of the urban sprawl, before national treasure Andrew Weatherall rounds things off with a cracker from his private collection.


    zouk_special_hugo_mendez

    Hugo Mendez & Emile Omar
    The Golden Era Of Zouk

    We’ve been after an introduction to zouk ever since Ruf Dug blew our socks off with Jacob F. Desvarieux’s ‘Sweet Florence’ from his adventures digging in Guadeloupe. The Creole answer to funk, zouk is a low slung, drum machine heavy island dance music that sent sweat dripping down the walls from the Caribbean to Paris. Sofrito’s Hugo Mendez and Emile Omar of Radio Nova take you there.


    Invisible City Sound System
    Dekmantel Podcast 05

    As their recently launched Selectors series shows, Dekmantel mixes are about more than just dance music. More than just a top-notch reissue label, Invisible City’s Brandon Hocura and Gary Abugan are also great selectors in their own right. Here they connect the dots between traditional percussion, oddball boogie and astral techno to create one grand cosmic picture that makes Ursa Major look like Paddington Bear. Stellar.


    Tapes
    Red Light Radio

    Jackson Bailey aka Tapes makes Jamaica-drenched lo-fi bass music, filtering dancehall and electro roots through old-school rhythm machines. From Mighty Diamonds and Prince Far I to Eddie Warner and Aphex Twin, his influences are all over this brilliant mix for Red Light Radio, which also features a 30-minute selection by Lorenzo from Radical Hi-Fi.


    Beatrice Dillon w/ Dale Cornish
    NTS

    London-based producer-to-watch Beatrice Dillon was back on NTS this month, armed with Dale Cornish. The pair pulled some gems out the bag, kicking off with dreamy birdsong ‘L’altitude 10 000’, moving through Herva, Hyman and Imaginary Forces and finishing up with an absurdly punchy electro wave track by 3rd Face.


    Andrew Weatherall
    Phonica Mix Series 21

    As Frank Underwood will tell you, it’s not nepotism if they deserve it. The latest instalment of their mix series sees our mates at Phonica reel in Andrew Weatherall for 70 minutes of eclectic bliss from one of UK music’s most respected gents. They’ve even shed the house & techno mantel in favour of spacey cold wave, afro-psych, dubby folk and everything in between. A reminder that few, in anyone, does this better than AW.

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (14th December)

    By | December 14, 2015

    14th December

    We select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.

    You wait all year for some ice-cold, forward-thinking R&B on vinyl and then two records land at once, just before Christmas. Both FKA Twigs and Kelela are finally here with their excellent EPs from earlier this year, now available on 12″. Better late than never, hey?

    It’s quite the soundtrack event too, as maestro Ennio Morricone returns after forty years for The Hateful 8 OST – Quentin Tarantino’s first ever commissioned original score. Meanwhile Finders Keepers dig extra deep to unearth the psych, free jazz soundtrack to Eiichi Yamamoto’s 1973 occult animation Belladonna Of Sadness.

    Albums to flag up this week include Jeen Bassa’s second player of the year, the first album from Boston hardcore act No Tolerance in fours, and the over-due collab between Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond. 5 singles and 5 LP’s every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    fka twigs copy

    FKA Twigs

    M3LL155X

    (Young Turks)

    Listen / Buy

    FKA Twigs returned in a flash of white light earlier this year with new 12″ ‘M3LL155X’. Released with a jaw-dropping suite of videos that translates all the theatre and melodrama of her live shows, ‘M3LL155X’ feels like LP1 on steroids, a warped vision of future RnB given a slack leash and scope to explore the limits of the form. At times shocking, and straddling that line between power and vulnerability, the vinyl edition has taken a little longer, but one listen should remind you of why you need this in your collection.


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    Kelela

    Hallucinogen

    (Warp Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Out on digital formats back in October, we’ve been patiently waiting for the vinyl issue of ‘Hallucinogen’. Finally it’s here, and just in time to shine in our 20 best 12”s of the year. Jam City and Girl Unit might have appeared on her game-changing Cut 4 Me debut, but Arca and Kingdom unite on this one. Exploring cycles of love and carnal proclivities across six tracks, the EP refines the electronic sound of R&B with zero compromise on storytelling.


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    Genesis Breyer P-Orrridge/ Black Rain/ Cold Cave

    Rebellion is Over

    (Dais Records)

    Listen / Buy

    A great meeting of forces here for this 7” which was initially a live show commemorating limited cassette edition, but now out there again courtesy of Dais records. With all involved having made their own distinct contributions to industrial and electronic music, this three generational merger and its trio of tracks makes for a most worthy listen.


    R-7703588-1447076544-1163.png

    Digital Octopus

    S/T

    (Self-Released)

    Buy

    There are only 164 hand stamped copies of this fantastic record around so maybe by the time you read this it could involve quite a bit of money to land one. Basically, Digital Octopus aka Maxime Smadja turns punk into euro disco and the punks absolutely love it. Here you get his interpretations of Skrewdriver, Blitz, Negative Approach and Sheer Mag in all their totally infectious euro disco energy. You need this.


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    Bianca Chandon Presents & Co.

    Best Of Friends

    (BC&CO)

    Listen / Buy

    While conventional wisdom and Tony Hawk’s 2 dictate that skaters spend their days popping ollies to a soundtrack of Papa Roach and backpacker hip hop, this acid laced debut from & Co. suggests they spend their nights popping molly in West Coast warehouses. The brainchild of skating dynast Alex Olson, the Venice Beach outfit swapped boards for beats and distilled the lysergic gurgle of acid house into the expansive and overarching San Fran sound, happening upon a killer cut that’s so Rong it’s right. Not content with cooking up a bona fide rave burner, the crew get sweetly syncopated on the flip, dropping a modern jazz-funk groover topped with loose and limber Rhodes.


    LPs


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    Ennio Morricone

    The Hateful 8 OST

    (Decca)

    Buy

    This one’s quite the soundtrack event – the first time Quentin Tarantino has ever commissioned an original score, and with his choice being none other than the maestro Ennio Morricone, the man who revolutionized the Western soundtrack is back working on the genre after a 40+ year break. However don’t expect this one to sit quite so comfortably next to your LP of The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, as it has more in common with Morricone’s work on horror movies, and there is indeed a few unused themes from John Carpenter’s The Thing amongst the freshly penned pieces. Morricone and Tarantino fans aren’t going to want to miss this, and there’s a special edition on the way as well from Jack White’s Third Man Records.


    a1288329042_10

    Jeen Bassa

    Time Waves

    (22a)

    Listen / Buy

    After bringing the drama on the masterful ‘All My People’ earlier in the year, Jeen Bassa returns to the release sheets with a groove-laden LP of jazzy beatdown, exotic downbeat and laid back hip hop. Taking inspirations from the sketch-book workflow of Dilla and Madlib, Bassa paints an aural picture of post-carnival chill with a golden haze distinct to the capital. Informed by the colour and texture of a broad musical spectrum, the ten track LP flows through funk, jazz, soul and hip hop at ease, all the while retaining the same percussive style and warm production. In the face of falling temperatures and bitter storms, this disc should keep your disposition sunny right through to spring.


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    Masahiko Sato

    Belladonna

    (Finders Keepers)

    Listen / Buy

    When you get a record pressed into your hands at the Utrecht record fair from Finders Keepers themselves, you know you’re in for a treat. A psychedelic free jazz soundtrack for screenwriter Eiichi Yamamoto’s 1973 sexualised, occult animation Belladonna Of Sadness, this one’s straight out of the Finders Keepers handbook and breathes life into a record that would otherwise have been beyond any mere mortal’s grasp (the original is currently listed at £1,5000 on Discogs). Dark, dream-like, sensual and way out there, it’s a notorious soundtrack to a notorious and ground-breaking film.


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    No Tolerance

    You Walk Alone

    (Quality Control HQ)

    Listen / Buy

    It’s been four years since their last record and without doubt worth the wait. This perfect slice of straight edge hardcore is incredible from start to finish. If you take the ‘Hard Stance’ eps along with ‘Break Down The Walls’ you’ll get a pretty good idea of how huge this Boston hardcore is. Released on the excellent Quality Control HQ it comes in a 350gsm laminated sleeve with a poster and download code too. You need this too.


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    Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux

    Studies I-XVII For Samplers And Percussion

    (Snow Dog Records)

    Listen / Buy

    The title doesn’t exactly sell it but Studies I-XVII For Samplers And Percussion would have entered our top albums of the year had it come out on time. Beset by mysterious delays, the “techno goes Folkways” long-play finally lands, just in time for Christmas. 27 short sketches, which you can sample over at Boomkat, that draw on the duo’s shared backgrounds in in jazz, ethnomusicology, electronic music and field recordings.

    Also don’t sleep on Dillon’s excellent ‘Face A/B’ record – one of our 20 best 12”s of the year.

  • The 20 best 12″s of 2015

    By | December 9, 2015

    Following the modest 7-inch, it’s time to see what big little brother 12” has to offer.

    Being the all-devouring record fiends that we are, our end of year review covers vinyl from every angle: reissues, collectables, artwork and new releases. In the past we’ve evaluated all types of new music within one grand list, but with vinyl sales continually peaking, it makes increasing sense to judge and celebrate new material by format – because ultimately, 7”s, 12”s and LPs are different beasts.

    The dawn of 12” back in the ’70s heralded a new era for DJs, previously constrained by short run times on 7-inch. With its wider groove space, engineers could cut louder levels on the disc, in turning offering wider dynamic range especially in the lethal bass regions. It quickly become the format of choice, as popular with dancehall DJs playing Jamaican sound systems as it was with Larry Levan spinning Tom Moulton mixes at the temple of Paradise Garage. It’s no wonder that many DJs refused to give up on the 12-inch even during vinyl’s darkest days.

    Today, the 12-inch market is stronger than ever, and while this list is inevitably dominated by dance music, we’ve opened up the format to all genres. Alongside techno, balearic, IDM and grime, we’ve found homes for folk, modern soul, R&B, and even jazz records in this list – proof of the format’s timeless appeal.

    A few ground rules: only new releases count (re-releases go in the reissues list) and, not limiting ourselves to singles, full EPs get a look in too.


    Catch up on all our end of year lists:

    The 50 best vinyl LPs of 2015
    The 30 best vinyl reissues of 2015
    The 20 best 7″s of 2015
    The 20 best record sleeves of 2015
    The 10 most collectable records of 2015
    The Year in vinyl tech
    The 10 best vinyl soundtracks of 2015


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    20. Wiley x Zomby

    Step 2001

    (Big Dada)

    Listen / Buy

    Two generations of eski, one single-sided slab of 12”. It’s perhaps surprising that the pair haven’t linked on a release prior to 2015. Zomby grew up listening to Wiley’s eski beats, which use the Korg Triton’s gliding squares preset and EMU percussion clicks to create a hollow and bouncy ice-cold sound (hence the name).

    Fitting then that he gives Wiley’s much-loved lyrical avalanche ‘Step 20’ an update with a biting sharp OG grime beat that steps the template up a pace or two. Given that the white label 12” was grime’s greatest currency back in the ‘00s, this release harks back to those days without sliding into pastiche.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    19. The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band

    The New Sound Of Siam (Rabih Beaini & Manasseh remixes)

    (Paradise Bangkok)

    Listen / Buy

    Like Soundway, who we featured in our 7”s list, Paradise Bangkok have built their reputation on reissues, and like Soundway, they are now beginning to bring their knowledge of South Asian music to bare to craft new and unique international sounds. The New Sound Of Siam is representative both of where the label is right now and how our expanded knowledge of intricate musical sub-cultures from around the world is now front and centre on our dance floors.

    With their house band The Paradise Bangkok Molam International laying the ground work, Nick Manasseh reworks ‘Kwang Noi Cholay’ into a Dinosaur-L-goes-dub disco banger on the a-side before Rabih Beaini (Morphosis) pulls ‘Sao Sakit Mae’ into a shimmering, atmospheric house track that builds with subtle force, awash with trance-like Thai violins and lush Balearic percussion.

    More reissues doesn’t have to mean less new music. It can only enrich our experience, as it has done so brilliantly here.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    18. Aphex Twin

    Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt 2

    (Warp Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Given that last year’s Syro was cited as only a fifth of the unreleased works Aphex Twin has recorded over the past 10 years, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise that only a few months later at the start of 2015 this EP showed up.

    Dipping into Richard D. James vast pool of ideas, it was of no similar surprise, that it’s an altogether different beast to Syro – here James’ computers are controlling all manner of acoustic instruments and robotics for some tracks that are much more mechanical and dissonant than most contemporary ideas of computer control would have it.

    That’s not to say there’s a nice piano etude or drum break to be found, flitting from one idea to another under the conceptual banner, there’s a lot of ground covered in this one.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    17. Jason Moran

    Staged

    (The Vinyl Factory)

    Listen / Buy

    Jazz is a genre that, as far as vinyl is concerned, revels in its past. The hip hop/electronic crossover of Robert Glasper or Kamasi Washington aside, not much challenging contemporary jazz ever makes it to vinyl, let alone as a 12” single. As such, despite our involvement in the project, Moran’s Staged was impossible to ignore.

    Draw a line through the genre’s great pianists, from Duke Ellington to Monk to Herbie Hancock and you will eventually arrive at Jason Moran. Exploring the social and political resonance of New York’s great jazz clubs and the genre’s roots in the work songs of the blues, the pianist and artist exhibited Staged at the Venice Biennale this year, releasing a three track 12” of solo piano compositions in the process.

    While each track adds integral brush strokes to the expressive picture, the flagship composition is ‘He Cares’, which swells towards denouement from amid the chopped samples of chain gang cries, before resolving in a gospel blues refrain. On the flip, ‘Sharp Works’ is a study in intensity before the EP concludes with ‘All Hammers And Chains’, Moran working the piano aggressively to evoke the salve tools of its title.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    16. Don’t DJ

    Hexentrix

    (Berceuse Heroique)

    Listen / Buy

    What has been a choppy year for the label on social media has been trumped by real consistency in the record shops, with Don’t DJ’s Hexentrix leading from the front as one of the deepest, weirdest, most compelling techno 12”s we heard this year.

    A transcendental twelve minute trip of dance floor minimalism, Florian Meyer dips away from the label’s technoise fare, favouring a full frequency fusion of Reich-in-Africa rhythms and surging bass that is perfect for dreaming or dancing. Jordan (GCZ) takes things in to even more primitive territory with a keen remix on the flip, rounding off a complete, concise 12” with stunningly detailed artwork to boot.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    15. Laurel Halo

    In Situ

    (Honest Jon’s)

    Listen / Buy

    On the cusp between EP and LP, the eight tracks of Laurel Halo’s ‘In Situ’ were impossible to ignore. A sophisticated series of techno experiments and warped dance floor machinations, Halo manipulates afro-influenced rhythms and swells of synthetic emotion that nod to Honest Jon’s last great techno album, Actress’ Splazsh.

    There’s so much going on here, you’d be forgiven for not reducing ‘In Situ’ to simply techno, drawing on free jazz, the sensibility (if not the acoustics) of field recordings and improvised, cosmic psychedelia. What a strong year for a label that this is the lower of its two entries into this list.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    14. Wayne Snow

    Rosie

    (Tartelet Records)

    Listen / Buy

    If virtuosic, off-kilter electronic music is your thing, get to know Tartelet Records. Having introduced the world to Brandt Brauer Frick, Kenton Slash Demon and Max Graef, the Danish label continues to catch our ears in 2015. Glenn Astro’s debut album deserves a mention, as does Nu Guinea’s ‘World’ EP too, but the one for us is Wayne Snow’s sophomore EP.

    With wonky, warbling Max Graef production, Snow’s falsetto vocals tread a careful tightrope between soulful and rugged, resulting in three tracks that sound like Barry White, D’Angelo and Theo Parrish just jumped in the studio. Remixes of ‘Rosie’ by Nu Guinea and Hubert Daviz on the flip, this package is a genre-hopping bomb!


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    13. Powell

    Insomniac

    (XL Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    Did any track this year get as much coverage as Powell’s ‘Insomniac’? From the original letter to Albini to his response via that billboard and the amazing fit-inducing video this got everyone talking. It’s almost like the track got forgotten which just by itself is a monster. With it’s buzz saw bass and see saw rhythm it was total Powell and should just how unique and special his music making is.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    12. Nots

    Reactor (Mikey Young remix)

    (Heavenly Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    After licensing this all-girl post punk’s debut from Goner Records, Heavenly created a match made in heaven by getting Total Control’s Mikey Young to turn the track ‘Reactor’ into something quite different altogether.

    By slowing it all down, building an instrumental track that wouldn’t have been out of place on The Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication and laying the girl’s vocals back over the top the finished product came on like a modern day Slits. Amazing mix. Pretty limited too.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    11. Stump Valley

    Magica Movida

    (No ‘Label’)

    Listen / Buy

    After a trio of essential releases for Off Minor, Uzuria and Rush Hour, Stump Valley returned to the Dutch imprint with this essential double pack tribute to under appreciated cosmic pioneer DJ Peppe.

    Harnessing the percussive, psychedelic style of the understated Italian, S.V. fired up the hardware and unleashed a sublime six tracker, incorporating wall shaking proto-house, head-spinning tribal drum tracks, future primitive funk and slanked out, wrong speed madness, complete with new wave drums and detuned sax.

    Enhanced by an analogue mix from Nu Guinea, this EP expertly married both the retro and futuristic into a unique hit of tripped out magic for the new school freaks.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    10. Laura Groves

    Committed Language

    (Deek Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    It’s ‘pop not slop’; so says Bullion of his label Deek recordings, which, through a carefully selected handful of impeccable 12”s (check out Thool’s debut too) this year continued its quiet rise to being one of the most exciting young labels around.

    Last year we charted Nautic’s Navy Blue in our end of year list in large part due to the tactile interplay between Laura Groves’ Kate Bush-meets-Linda Thompson vocals and Bullion’s sumptuous production. It’s a relationship which has flowered on ‘Committed Language’.

    As we said in our mid-term review: Another flawless four-track of balearic-inclined pop music, ‘Committed Language’ has an addictive, chimerical quality where every track helps to induce a kind of soft-centred dream-state. The EP ends with the gorgeous, revelatory ‘Mystique’, where Groves’ cushioned harmonies seem to evaporate completely.

    Laura Groves may be a debut album away from being on everyone’s radar, but until then, we recommend you enjoy this EP as your own little secret.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    9. Chiwoniso

    Zvichapera

    (Nyami Nyami)

    Listen / Buy

    Passing away whilst at the peak of her career, Chiwoniso Maraire’s truly inspired and unique voice for the mbira is much missed, and this 12” presented us with her final recording- a stripped-down and moving version of Thomas Mapfumo’s Zvichapera.

    Clearly a labor of love in its production and as the inaugural release for French imprint Nyami Nyami, the 350 copies flew out the gates (see our most collectable records of 2015 list as well). From the lead track to the silk screened artwork, and B-side remix from her brother Tendai Marare (one half of Shabazz Palaces), everything about this one makes for a fitting and beautiful testament to Maraire’s legacy, and one of this year’s most memorable 12” releases.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    8. Payfone

    Quarantine

    (Golf Channel Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    Yet another peerless year of 12”s from NYC imprint Golf Channel. From the bossa nova-infused sounds of Cherry Garcia to The Loose Control’s industrial thrash to the ancestral boogie of Africaine 808, if you picked up any one of their ten releases in 2015 you’ve done your DJ sets a favour.

    Cream of the the crop is this absolutely lethal Payfone record. Side A continues the line of thought that 2014’s ‘Paradise’ sketched out with powerhouse vocalist Louis Howard Jones delivering a knock-out blow, right between your eyes. On the flip it’s a completely different story – a wild afro-cuban tribute to Passera’s (one half of Payfone) Italian father.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    7. Maalem Mahmoud Guinia / Floating Points / James Holden

    Marhaba

    (Eglo Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Earlier this year Sam Shepherd and James Holden were invited to Morocco to collaborate with Mahmoud Guinia, a Gnawa musician, singer and guembri player, traditionally regarded as a Maâllem (translation: master) of the North African sound.

    Communicating via translators, the musicians spent a week in residency toying with the intersection between ancestral rhythm and contemporary electronica. The finished product is simply stunning, one collaboration on each side of 12”, packaged with a 20-page photo essay by Camille Blak which beautifully documents the unique cultural exchange.

    One month after the release, Guinia sadly passed away – which makes this already singular 12” extra unique.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    6. NO ZU

    Medusa Music

    (Home Loan Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Earlier this year Melbourne’s freakiest multi-limbed ensemble hit up top label down-under Home Loan Records with a vibrant EP packed with the rattle of percussion and shimmer of heat haze. Over the course of five body moving cuts, the crew channel the disco-not-disco spirit of ESG and Was (Not Was), the house energy of the mid ’80s Chicago dancefloor and plenty of antipodean charm, resulting in a truly ecstatic listening experience.

    Their new ‘High Gloss’ EP which dropped just last month also deserves a shout out. Another four tracks of wild x-rated boogie and percussive lunacy, including a dubby collaboration with Sal Principato of pioneering post-punk outfit Liquid Liquid, we’d highly recommend adding some NO ZU to your collection.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    5. Beatrice Dillon

    Face A/B

    (Where To Now?)

    Listen / Buy

    Setting the bar high in terms of debut releases and fresh approaches with last year’s ‘Blues Dances’ and her acclaimed Conrad Shawcross collab, this second 12” from Beatrice Dillon is even more reason to pay attention.

    Throwing saxophone noodles into a heady mix of pulsing dance-floor electronics is a bold move, or a recipe for disaster depending on your outlook, but the results are fantastic on Face A and testament to Dillon’s ability to fearlessly experiment with these dubbed-out songforms.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    4. Project Pablo

    I Want To Believe

    (1080p)

    Listen / Buy

    Vancouver’s prolific cassette peddlers took their first step into the vinyl world this year with a sublime four tracker cherry picked from fellow Canadian Project Pablo’s tape and digital LP I Want To Believe. Slotting neatly into the same smooth, synthetic and soulful deep house bracket as those deservedly hyped Mood Hut releases, ‘I Want To Believe’ served up vaped out pads, sophisticated sax licks and live sounding rhythm sections, leading you into the stoned haze of the heart of the contemporary dance floor.

    A worthy vinyl debut from the label who gave us the original cassette releases of modern classics from Khotin and Moon B, ‘I Want To Believe’ retained a little of that raw, tapey charm, while filling out the frequencies for peak time club play.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    3. Kelela

    Hallucinogen

    (Warp Records)

    Listen / Buy

    “I would like to do Brandy but weirder,” Kelela told FACT in 2013, just before her Cut 4 Me debut recast R&B. Two years later, she’s back with a deluxe vinyl reissue of that mixtape, a Warp deal, her follow-up EP and talk of a new album. Jam City and Girl Unit might have been on the last one, but Arca and Kingdom unite on ‘Hallucingogen’.

    Exploring cycles of love and carnal proclivities across six tracks, the EP refines the electronic sound of R&B whilst maintaining tight lyricism and storytelling. Alongside FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean and Abra, Kelela is further proof that the future of R&B looks bright…


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    2. Golden Teacher

    Golden Teacher Meets Dennis Bovell At The Green Door

    (Optimo Music)

    Listen / Buy

    Everything coming out form behind Glasgow’s Green Door studio is pure fire right now, and what better way to celebrate their most inventive residents than with the year’s most potent collaboration.

    But first a schooling in Golden Teacher. The Glaswegian six piece primitive afro punk outfit have had some year, self-releasing their Souchiehall Enthrall 12” and contibuting to Optimo’s ace Youth Stand Up comp (also check out GT member Cassie Ojay’s wicked LAPS (Ladies As Pimps) side-project). Not to mention that their first six singles now collected as a de facto debut album.

    What a brainwave this was from Optimo, nabbing the legendary dub producer Denis Bovell for a day to retool the Teacher. The man behind some of the ‘80s finest dub, disco and post-punk (think Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Slits and Orange Juice), Bovell winds such thick mire of low end and echo around these two tracks (one an unreleased belter and one a hit from the back catalogue now collected in the LP) that it almost subsumes the trenchant vocals and driving percussion native to GT.

    Delirious, heady, guttural stuff, packed up with ace artwork and wholly representative of one of the UK’s most exciting acts pushing things forwards.


    © The Vinyl Factory, best 12 vinyl record releases of 2015, Pho

    1. Insanlar / Ricardo Villalobos

    Kime Ne

    (Honest Jon’s)

    Listen / Buy

    Helmed by a much-loved record shop in Notting Hill, that can count Mo’Wax boss James Lavelle and vibes player Roger Beaujolais within its alumni, Honest Jon’s may be veteran but 2015 will go down as a banner year for the label. Everything released this year, whether archival or cutting-edge, demonstrates the importance of curation in a world increasingly dictated by streaming and direct-to-fan sales.

    Long-players from DJ Sotofett and Moritz Von Oswald Trio, 12”s by Laurel Halo, Tapes and Dresvn, and a rather good gospel roots compilation, all deserve mention. The highlight by some stretch though arrives all the way from Turkey with late night stopovers in Chile, Berlin and Ibiza.

    Scoring points alone for the way it embraces the 12-inch format; three compositions, averaging 20-minutes, stretch across a full side of vinyl each, leaving one side of the double pack free for a striking Katherina Immekus etching. In fact the quality of packaging throughout – from the labels to the insert to the art on the front – makes this a hugely collectible item, even before we get into the grooves.

    Leading the charge is Insansalar’s ‘Kime Ne’, a snaking 24-minute Moog-infused groover from Istanbul that takes its roots in traditional Turkish mysticism, and delivery in a mesmerizing tangle of improvisation and electronic manipulation. The baglama is the instrument at the forefront here, with its staccato runs and inflections merging within the acidic pulse that propels this into something for both the dancefloor and curious ear alike.

    That track was originally released on Istanbul imprint Aboov Plak back in 2013 (and has attracted three digit sums on Discogs) but Honest Jon’s brought it to these shores with two syncopated Ricardo Villalobos rides through haunting Anataloian folklore. The original is worth your money alone, but with an hour of incessantly pulsing, deep desert trance in total, this is one hell of a package. Haydar Haydar…


    Illustration by Hector Plimmer
    Photography by Michael Wilkin

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (31st August)

    By | August 31, 2015

    31

    We select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.

    August closes with a bang. In the singles club, revisit one of the most important post-punk 12″s ever recorded, check out Beatrice Dillon’s pulsing new EP, immerse yourself in Japanese noise rock, and pick up a bunch of DJ-friendly items for the impending Indian summer. LPs-wise, there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s bass, bleeps and bumps from Peru, Jamaican dub, Manchester DIY house or Paul Metzger’s unique work for banjo and guitar; we’ve got you covered.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond. 5 singles and 5 LP’s every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


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    Liquid Liquid

    Optimo

    (Superior Viaduct / 99 Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Through years of gigging and craft honing, Liquid Liquid improved as they went along. That’s not to say that EPs 1 and 2 (also reissued by Superior Viaduct) aren’t banging. They are. But EP number 3 is a truly impressive summation off the Liquids their tightest and most polyrhythmically funky. “Cavern” should sound familiar – it was later copied extensively by Grandmaster Flash for “White Lines”; a theft that plagued 99 records, eventually leading to its demise. Read all about that here.


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    Beatrice Dillon

    Face A/B

    (Where to Now?)

    Listen / Buy

    Setting the bar high in terms of debut releases and fresh approaches with last year’s Blues Dances, this second 12” from Beatrice Dillon is another reason to pay attention. Throwing saxophone noodles into a heady mix of pulsing dance-floor electronics is a bold move, or a recipe for disaster depending on your outlook, but the results are fantastic on Face A and testament to Dillon’s ability to fearlessly experiment with these dubbed-out songforms.


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    Sinkane / Peaking Lights

    Mean Dub EP

    (City Slang)

    Listen / Buy

    When he’s not doubling as William Onyeabor for Luaka Bop’s live shows, Sinkane’s Ahmed Gallab is getting the once over from Peaking Lights’ Aaron Coyes. The four tracks Coyes has reworked here have that blissful, baked feel of being left out in the sun too long, a little bleached, a little dazed but as supple as ever. Spiritual, light-hearted stuff for the impending Indian summer.


    LIES_BLK_08_Lipelis_Edits

    Lipelis

    Lipelis Edits

    (Long Island Electrical Systems)

    Listen / Buy

    Flanked by an entourage of the Russian Disco Mafia’s key enforcers, the That’s A Steal boss arrives at Ron Morelli’s LIES with a three track salvo of deranged dancefloor magic. Rejecting the usual LIES template of a muffled 808 under a contact mic’d kettle, Lipelis hits us with strangled Thai vocals over soft focus jazz pop, blue eyed soul with a hint of cock-rock histrionics and crude and camp disco with a lysergic twist. Brilliant but troubled, you need to become acquainted with this exceptional eccentric before he finds himself in Bethlam Royal.


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    Gagakirise and EYE

    Gagakiriseye

    (Thrill Jockey)

    Listen / Buy

    Here’s one of the finest collaborations so far this year. Gagakirise are a Japanese noise rock band that have been destroying crowds worldwide since 2006 (think Lightning Bolt, Black Pus, Wolf Eyes etc) and EYE is of course, the legendary founder of Boredoms. Together they have made something so fantastically full-on and loud it’s amazing that it could actually be recorded and played back. There’s a dark edge to it too which makes it’s fun factor even more exciting. Limited virgin 7″ vinyl with a postcard too.


    LPs


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    Faith No More

    Angel Dust

    (Slash / Rhino)

    Listen / Buy

    At last the amazing Rhino reissue gets a gorgeous double vinyl release and this is a record everyone should own. Originally released in 1992, ‘Angel Dust’ was the big fuck you from Faith No More after the massive worldwide success of their previous album ‘The Real Thing’. They didn’t want to be seen as some dumbass hard rockers so created an album full of some of the weirdest fucked up shit you’d ever hear. It’s imaginative, anthemic and really quite creepy too and has a sense of humour running through it as big as it’s riffs. One of the best ‘rock’ (?) albums ever.


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    Various Artists

    Peru Boom: Bass, bleeps and bumps from Peru’s electronic underground

    (Tiger’s Milk)

    Listen / Buy

    Here’s a thing – a compilation from a far-flung land that has chosen not to look back but to showcase a scene in full bloom. The third in the label-come-restaurant chain’s Peru-centric comps is a doozy, a hyper-charged snapshot of contemporary Lima, beyond the Cumbia crate diggers clique. Drawing on traditional syncopations, this collections focuses instead on its electronic incarnations, throwing dubstep, house, techno and even krauty ambient music from around the world into the mix for an astringent broth of bass heavy delights. There’s loads to explore here – and the raw fish ain’t half bad either.


    cover

    The Senior Allstars

    Dub From Jamdown Darker Than Blue

    (Echo Beach)

    Listen / Buy

    London is exploding with Carnival fever right about now; 1 million odd people dancing in the street to reggae sound systems. So, it’s only right to add some dub to this week’s selection. Here the Senior Allstars deliver a beautiful dub take of the Darker Than Blue – Soul from Jamdown comp, released in 2001 on Blood & Fire Records. The original collected reggaefied versions of classic soul tracks. Now over a decade on, the venerable Senior Allstars bring in the sun, in the spirit of the originals, but with mighty bottom end that drips off the speaker like honey. Straight fiyah!


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    Paul Metzger

    1300

    (Nero’s Neptune)

    Listen / Buy

    If you’re yet to hear Paul Metzger’s unique work for banjo and guitar 1300 is a great place to start, and with eight other most worthy listens preceding, it may be the standout in terms of its execution and as a current check-in point for the vast spectrum of sounds he is continually articulating from his modified instruments. With side A devoted to his 21 strong banjo and B to a far from ordinary Yamaha acoustic (think metal fret board, ride cymbal and sympathetic strings for a start) his technique and approach is as expansive and intriguing as his instrument innovations, and it all makes for a highly immersive work. Whilst a few other string pickers may come to mind it’s primarily those with a similarly single-minded and expansive approach to instruments that in the wrong hands can feel all too limited.


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    BE (Garth Be)

    H Y P N O T O N Y

    (Sweet Sticky)

    Listen / Buy

    Putting the obstacle course of pressing delays, mastering mix-ups and many a hangover safely behind him, Manchester’s DIY house maestro makes a triumphant return with ‘H Y P N O T O N Y’. Fans of last year’s “The Seven Movements” will be delighted to hear that Garth has ignored any second album inklings to branch out into prog or abstract jazz, instead opting to treat us to another flawless collection of smooth and swinging MPC workouts informed by jazz, soul, boogie and house music’s Midwestern origins. It’s early days, but I’m gonna say he’s bettered his debut.

  • Holly Herndon & Mira Calix among collaborators for artist Conrad Shawcross’ ADA Salon at The Vinyl Factory’s Brewer Street Car Park

    By | October 1, 2014

    The Vinyl Factory is proud to present The ADA Project by Conrad Shawcross at its exhibition space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London.

    Bringing the project to London for the first time, Conrad Shawcross has invited four female musicians to respond to the movements of an industrial robot, hacked and programmed by the artist to create four unique choreographies. Turning the commissioning process on its head, Shawcross has created the parameters for the robot’s movements to inspire, rather then be determined by, the pieces of music.

    Drawing inspiration from mathematician Ada Lovelace, whose work with inventor Charles Babbage is heralded as among the very first in proto-computer programming, Shawcross worked closely with his four sets of collaborators, inviting Holly Herndon, Mira Calix, Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux and Tamara Barnett Herrin & Mylo to immerse themselves in Ada’s story and study the robot over a period of time at Shawcross’ studio.

    Each composition will be pressed by The Vinyl Factory as one of four limited edition laser etched 12” vinyl records, each accompanied by one of four artist’s prints, hand signed and numbered by Conrad Shawcross, with the singles also available alone as a larger edition.

    ADA Announcement Card copy

    With Lovelace pre-empting the birth of computer generated music by more than a century with her prediction that Babbage’s complex counting machine “might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent”, Shawcross based each of the robot’s four choreographies on ratios and drawings for the computer which Babbage never fully realised.

    Open to the public between 11th and 19th October and 23rd to the 31st October between 11am and 5pm, visitors to the exhibition will be able to select their chosen programme and related musical composition from a panel of four triggers. The ADA Salon will be free to visit with food by Arabeschi di Latte available.

    Mira Calix gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation.

    Address: The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park (top floor)
    Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA

    Dates: 11-19 October 2014 11am – 5pm
    23-31 October 2014 11am – 5pm

    Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

    Admission: Free

    Travel: Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

    The ADA Project was originally conceived for Palais de Tokyo, Paris with curator Ken Farmer.

  • Holly Herndon & Mira Calix among collaborators for artist Conrad Shawcross’ ADA Salon at The Vinyl Factory’s Brewer Street Car Park

    By | September 22, 2014

    The Vinyl Factory is proud to present The ADA Project by Conrad Shawcross at its exhibition space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London.

    Bringing the project to London for the first time, Conrad Shawcross has invited four female musicians to respond to the movements of an industrial robot, hacked and programmed by the artist to create four unique choreographies. Turning the commissioning process on its head, Shawcross has created the parameters for the robot’s movements to inspire, rather then be determined by, the pieces of music.

    Drawing inspiration from mathematician Ada Lovelace, whose work with inventor Charles Babbage is heralded as among the very first in proto-computer programming, Shawcross worked closely with his four sets of collaborators, inviting Holly Herndon, Mira Calix, Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux and Tamara Barnett Herrin & Mylo to immerse themselves in Ada’s story and study the robot over a period of time at Shawcross’ studio.

    Each composition will be pressed by The Vinyl Factory as one of four limited edition laser etched 12” vinyl records, each accompanied by one of four artist’s prints, hand signed and numbered by Conrad Shawcross, with the singles also available alone as a larger edition.

    ADA Announcement Card copy

    With Lovelace pre-empting the birth of computer generated music by more than a century with her prediction that Babbage’s complex counting machine “might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent”, Shawcross based each of the robot’s four choreographies on ratios and drawings for the computer which Babbage never fully realised.

    Open to the public between 11th and 19th October and 23rd to the 31st October between 11am and 5pm, visitors to the exhibition will be able to select their chosen programme and related musical composition from a panel of four triggers. The ADA Salon will be free to visit with food by Arabeschi di Latte available.

    Mira Calix gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation.

    Address: The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park (top floor)
    Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA

    Dates: 11-19 October 2014 11am – 5pm
    23-31 October 2014 11am – 5pm

    Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

    Admission: Free

    Travel: Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

    The ADA Project was originally conceived for Palais de Tokyo, Paris with curator Ken Farmer.

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