• The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (12th November)

    By | November 12, 2018

    Manipulated field recordings, flute fuzz and electric riddles from Tokyo.

    This week’s new singles feature new music from Portico Quartet’s Keir Vine, hip-house acid electro from Sagats, and reissues on Melodies International and Rocket Recordings.

    In the album’s section, there’s a new percussive adventure from Eli Keszler, Yoshinori Hayashi’s eccentric dance floor electronics, Maisha’s spiritual jazz meets afro-beat debut, and another virtuosic effort from Shit & Shine.

    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


    Anders Enge

    Love Loser

    (Borft)

    Listen / Buy

    After a couple of years dominating the cassette scene with a clutch of hardware heaters on Dissociated and Funeral Fog, Anders Enge gets back on the black stuff with a second release for cult electronix imprint Borft. In keeping with the Swedish label’s MO of acid laced techno and razor sharp electro, Anders finds the sonic sweet spot between Dopplereffekt and Chris & Cosey. Warped, weird and properly pinging, this is peak time play for basement dwellers.


    Keir Vine

    Instance

    (Trestle)

    Listen / Buy

    Springing from suggestions of space and location, this is one of those rare releases that expands the fabric of field recording and personal memory. Heartbeats, East-End ice cream vans, the post-seizure glossolalia of a friend, the acoustics of empty churches; all strike at the edges of their perceptibility and encourage the ear to venture below the surface in pursuit of their continually unraveling threads. Adventurous in composition and processing whilst employing the inherent musicality that Vine is known for in his work with Portico Quartet, this EP is the kind of electro-acoustic ferment that calls out for repeated listens.


    Le Stim

    ‘Tribute To Muhammad Ali (We Crown The King)’

    (Melodies International)

    Listen / Buy

    Melodies International bring the heat once more, with the first ever reissue of Le Stim’s cult 1980 d-floor stormer ‘Tribute To Muhammad Ali (We Crown The King)’. Originally recorded as an ode to the prize fighter, the track became a disco party anthem courtesy of its anthemic “Muhammad Ali, woo yeah!” exultations. The 12″ follows Melodies’ reissue of Trio Ternura’s ‘A Gira’ – one of our favourite dance records in September, as well Frankie Knuckles’ shimmering Womack & Womack ‘M.P.B.’ edits. In short, a similarly coveted gem that has been lovingly unearthed by the Melodies crew, to round out what has been a stellar year for the reissue imprint.


    Goat

    ‘Let it Burn’

    (Rocket)

    Listen / Buy

    A song so popular it warrants the rarest of things: a 7″ re-press. Goat return to their earlier, rawer sound for a song which marries flute, fuzz and early Black Sabbath. for the full effect, listen while watching an early ’70s episode of Top of the Pops. After a series of different colour vinyl editions, this one arrives on blue vinyl.


    Sagats

    Folgaria EP

    (Vakum)

    Listen / Buy

    Next up on the excellent Vakum label comes this banger from Sagats. ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ is an acid hip-house roller, ‘Venice Marathon’ will have you dusting off that lino while, ‘Therapy’ encourages all shapes of robot. Yes it’s electro. Yes it’s acid. And yes, it’s brilliant.


    LPs


    Yoshinori Hayashi

    Ambivalence

    (Smalltown Supersound)

    Listen / Buy

    At home in the leftfield ranks of Smalltown Supersound, Japanese producer Yoshinori Hayashi extends his experiments with off-kilter loops, atonal piano and dense sound collage to craft a double vinyl descent into dance floor insanity. Ever changing, utterly unpredictable and entirely unique, Hayashi’s music saunters towards the rest of the dance music world, has an anxiety attack and hastily retreats into its own cryptic sanctuary.


    Eli Keszler

    Stadium

    (Shelter Press)

    Listen / Buy

    Renowned for his adventurous and refreshing approach to percussion and rhythm, Eli Keszler’s latest solo effort features some of the finest compositions of his career, and indeed of this whole year in experimental music. Approaching the work in his distinctive “world-building” fashion, where compositional blueprints are mapped out from disciplines like architecture and field recordings, Stadium’s percussion patterns trigger all manner of evolutions and corresponding sounds from woodwind and keys. Inimitable in structure and acoustic finesse, this is a record you’ll come back to for some time.


    J Fernandez

    Occasional Din

    (Joyful Noise)

    Listen / Buy

    Some clever and engaging pop here from this Chicago singer songwriter, who blends Stereolab and Broadcast-styled melodies with Brian Eno-inspired art rock. It’s all shot through with that gauzy, home-fi recording technique, adding the sort of warm fuzzy sound you know from records by the likes of Mac De Marco.


    Maisha

    There Is A Place

    (Brownswood)

    Listen / Buy

    The latest We Out Here graduates to showcase what they do best on a full-length LP, Maisha’s There Is A Place draws on spiritual jazz tropes for an album that exemplifies just how intense the influence of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane has been. But that’s just the start… Synthesising a potpourri of sounds and grooves, first track ‘Osiris’ is a celebration of musical diversity, as sweeping modal movements erupt into a subtle, afro-beat inflected groove that culminates in a lavish, virtuosic finale. If there’s a place to start your post-We Out Here explorations, it’s here.


    Shit & Shine

    Bad Vibes

    (Rocket)

    Listen / Buy

    Craig Clouse is back with his fourth outing for Rocket Recordings. Over the nine cuts on Bad Vibes, you get everything from the feathered double bass of ‘Bottle Brush’ to the straight-up and banging ‘7986’ via the head-nodding ‘Sunrise Sam’. Being warped and wonky has never been so much fun.

  • Le Stim’s coveted 1980 Detroit disco tribute to Muhammad Ali gets first vinyl reissue

    By | October 16, 2018

    A knock-out record.

    Le Stim’s ‘A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (We Crown The King)’ is being reissued on vinyl for the first time, this November via Melodies International.

    The 12″ follows Melodies’ reissue of Trio Ternura’s ‘A Gira’ – one of our favourite dance records in September, as well Frankie Knuckles’ shimmering Womack & Womack ‘M.P.B.’ edits – one of our favourite dance records in May.

    Le Stim was a Detroit band fronted by Donald Jennings, who was largely a gospel singer. However, in the late ’70s the writer of ‘We Crown The King’, Herbert Andrei Duncan, spent five years convincing Jennings to lend his vocals to the funky track, who was concerned the singing was out of his range.

    Jennings acquiesced and recorded the tune in 1980 – it later became a became a disco party anthem, fuelled by its anthemic “Muhammad Ali, woo yeah!” exultations.

    As Melodies shares: “According to Jennings, Ali did hear the track back then and liked it! Le Stim were in touch with Ali’s management and were about to meet him on a number of occasions which unfortunately didn’t work out.”

    ‘A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (We Crown The King)’ has been remastered from its original tapes – cut at half speed “to bring the shine out the top end” – for this 12″ reissue, and comes with exclusive Melodies Stickers.

    Pre-order a copy here ahead of its November release and check out the cover art in full below.

  • The best dance records of the month (September)

    By | September 29, 2018

    Coveted Brazilian boogie, cyborg demon techno, synth-filled soul salve and more.

    Here in the Northern hemisphere summer is finito, which means it’s time to steer away from floor filling fondant house pumpers and tropical flute toot techno… for now. In their place comes heavier shades to fuel you through autumn. NB: As with previous instalments, albums are fair game on this list, provided every single track is certified ‘wagging your tush like an excited canine’ material.

    There are but two strict requirements of the music contained within. 1: It is released on vinyl. 2: There is something special about it, something that will make you want to hoof a legit groove – from a subtle Monday morning, finger-tapping, chair boogie to a late night, limbs-flailing-like-you’ve-been-electrocuted warehouse soirée and everything in between.

    Let us know what you’ve been loving at social@thevinylfactory.com or in the comments below.


    Carmel

    Georgia

    (Lobster Theremin)

    Listen / Buy

    A percussive tick-tack, vocals sampled from a film, sepia-hued echoing synth ascensions with a catchy hook: it’s a seemingly simple formula, oft used for creating a decent track. Crafting greatness from these elements is another matter entirely. Carmel’s Lobster Theremin debut Georgia manages to do this twice in one record. On any other 7″ ’12 Hours’ would be a highlight. But here, the stunner of a title track ‘Georgia’ steals the show, complete with Fifth Element musings to boot. Perfect for late night, early morning, and everything in between, if this doesn’t tug on your heart strings, best to check you even have a pulse.


    Various Artists

    DOYOURECORDS001

    (Do!! You!!!)

    Listen / Buy

    Sonic sherpa Charlie Bones has been singlehandedly lifting morning spirits for over five years thanks to his Do!! You!!! breakfast show on NTS, where you’re as likely to hear Sade as you are Arthur Russell, Theo Parrish or Prince. Everything is fair game to be played, at varying pitches and formations. This includes regular shows featuring submissions from listeners, or what Bones called “Readers WAVS”. For his first Do You Records release, he collects three of these Readers WAVS – a duo of boogie-tinged disco stompers, alongside the wonderfully mysterious, sublime electronics of its standout tune – Dog and Fox’s ‘Who Gets The Cows?’ – a Do!! You!!! wake-up staple.


    Specter

    Built To Last

    (Sound Signature)

    Listen / Buy

    Specter aka Andres Ordones has been producing shimmering, Detroit-style productions for over 20 years, but Built To Last marks his first full length proper, and boy oh boy does it deliver. Released on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature, Ordones serves up a mighty helping of what can best described as booty house. Best prepare thy asses and mins for the bass machinations that lie in wait, this one will be powering dance floors for many moons to come.


    Galcher Lustwerk

    200% Galcher (Selection)

    (Lustwerk Music)

    Listen / Buy

    Halleloo! Ohio producer Galcher Lustwerk’s 200% Galcher LP, released digitally earlier this year, finally gets a vinyl offering, of sorts. Eight tunes feature on the appropriately titled ‘200% Galcher (Selection)’. The all killer no filler assortment includes album highlights ‘This N That’ – a serious contender for best cowbell house track of the year – and the Larry Heard-esque slow roller ‘Niggas (Instrumental)’.


    Aylon

    Rehtom EP

    (Nous)

    Listen / Buy

    Listening to Aylon’s Rehtom you’d be forgiven in thinking the supposed Greek producer is actually a possessed cyborg sent to conquer planet earth. But hey, if the robot takeover sounds like this we’d be pretty OK with it. The EP mixes slithering percussion, stuttering machine vocals and looping weirdo synth in delightfully freaky measures.


    Trio Ternura

    ‘A Gira’/’Last Tango In Paris’

    (Melodies International)

    Listen / Buy

    Following the seminal re-release of Frankie Knuckles’ Womack & Womack ‘M.P.B.’ edits – one of our favourite dance records in May – Melodies International returns with another essential. This time it’s a Brazilian boogie affair – Trio Ternura’s stone cold jam ‘A Gira’. Reissued for the first time, the 7″ also includes Trio Ternura’s version of Gato Barbieri’s ‘Last Tango in Paris’ on the reverse, accompanied by the first bilingual issue of Melodies’ Melozine.


    Jovonn

    Goldtone Edits

    (Royal Oak)

    Listen / Buy

    House aficionados Mike Huckaby, DJ Deep and Ian Pooley rework three Jovonn tracks for a trio of fresh spins on beloved classics, via Clone’s Royal Oak imprint. Pooley’s edit of ‘Pianos Of Gold’ is of particular note, bringing glimmering, endlessly satisfying loops of the track – guaranteed to send the masses into euphoric, fist-pumping frenzies.


    D Man

    Workshop 25

    (Workshop)

    Listen / Buy

    As with so many of Workshop’s excellent releases, the label’s latest EP, from producer D Man, might not be an immediate attention grabber. Rather, months later you’ll realise you know these tracks inside and out, having played them virtually every day since you first heard them. All six tunes on Workshop 25 are understated, beautifully slow-burning techno numbers that will merge into your psyche, especially acid-hued ‘A3’ and chugger ‘B1’.


    KWC 92

    Dream Of The Walled City

    (L.I.E.S.)

    Listen / Buy

    An imaginary soundtrack to a fantasy film set in Kowloon City in Hong Kong, Dream Of The Walled City gets a very welcome reissue courtesy of L.I.E.S. Created by KWC 92 aka Samo DJ Max Stenerudh, its six tracks mix sci-fi techno sonicscapes with tripped-out synths and emerald-hued back-alley samples. Of particular note for nocturnal basement denizens is ‘Macau Ferry Terminal’, a swirling track suitable for sending even the most hardened of club goers into loopy revelries.


    Gloria Ann Taylor

    ‘Deep Inside You’

    (Expansion)

    Listen / Buy

    RnB singer Gloria Ann Taylor’s stirring soul serenade ‘Deep Inside You’ was originally released on 1973, and has since been heavily sampled in house and techno tracks along the way. Though the tune was reissued as part of a compilation back in 2015, it gets a welcome first ever reissue of the single version. Backed with the lesser known, but equally moving, ‘World That’s Not Real’, the record is a long-coveted and duly revered classic.

  • Trio Ternura’s ’70s Brazilian super jam ‘A Gira’ reissued for the first time

    By | July 31, 2018

    A poly-rhythmic slice of boogie previously fetching £250+.

    Given that Melodies International’s last release was the sublime reissue of Franke Knuckles’ Womack & Womack ‘Missing Person’s Bureau’ edits, you’d be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, their next record might not measure up.

    Listen next: Discover the scorching sound of ’60s Brazilian bossa

    Following in equally stellar fashion, however, is the label’s 12th release – the first ever reissue of Trio Ternura’s coveted and elusive MPB 7″ ‘A Gira’ / ‘Last Tango in Paris’.

    Trio Ternura (which translates to Tenderness Trio), was truly a family affair – the group consisted of three siblings, with other members of their family assuming songwriting and instrumental duties.

    Originally released in 1973, ‘A Gira’ was created by Trio Ternura’s father and uncle, as an homage to the Candomblé deity.

    According to the siblings, the song “has the dancing, the expression, the lyrics and musical relaxation – something very Brazilian.”

    Described by Melodies as “a tribute to nature, spirituality and mindfulness,” ‘A Gira’ fuses Brazilian influences with percussive poly-rhythms.

    The track is backed with Trio Ternura’s version of Gato Barbieri’s ‘Last Tango in Paris’ on the reverse, and accompanied by the first bilingual issue of Melodies’ Melozine.

    Pre-order a copy of here ahead of its 7th September release, and listen to ‘A Gira’ below.

  • The best dance records this month: May 2018

    By | May 25, 2018

    Essential house anthems, techno to singe your hair off with gusto, disco soul jayums and more.

    Certain ‘dance’ records are on such a level that they transcend tastes and generations to be universally met with whoops and head nods, no matter how old you are or where your aural preferences lie. This month contains more than a few of these kinds of 12″s. (NB: These are also the kinds of tracks previously being sold for silly cashish, lending further weight to the life mantra that you should never feed the Discogs sharks.)

    Another life mantra echoed in this month’s selects is that no B-side shall be left unturned. You never know what unexpected and freakily delightful ditty lies in wait on the flip…

    There are but two strict requirements of the music contained within. 1: It is released on vinyl. And 2: There is something special about it, something that will make you want to hoof a legit groove – from a subtle Monday morning, finger-tapping, chair boogie to a late night, limbs-flailing-like-you’ve-been-electrocuted warehouse soirée and everything in between.

    Let us know what you’ve been loving in the comments below.


    Womack & Womack

    ‘M.P.B.’ Frankie Knuckles Paradise Ballroom Mix / ‘M.P.B.’ Frankie Knuckles Folk Version

    (Melodies International)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: If you need a hit of emotional house to the heart, chased with some zen

    Womack & Womack were notoriously DIVAS when it came to people remixing their tunes. Thankfully for us, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell managed to convinced them to let legend Frankie Knuckles assume the work duties on their single ‘M.P.B.’ (Surely it should be the other way around, but that’s a different story…) For the occasion, Knuckles delivered five impeccable versions – two of which are being reissued by Melodies International for the first time. (A word to the wise, Melodies International is a familiar label within these lists, thanks to its with stellar reissues. Keep an eye out for everything they release.)


    Yu Su
    Preparations For Departure EP

    (Arcane)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Insta-teleporting your cabeza coconut to a balmy tropical island

    Toronto producer Yu Su appeared in last month’s selects courtesy of her shimmering Seb Wildblood rework on The One With The Remixes EP. Here Yu Su steps out solo, with a five track stunner. As its name suggests, opener ‘Make Your Escape’ is a cool breeze whisking you away to a holiday. Once you land, you’ll be treated to jungle excursions aplenty, complete with a dip into South American percussive paradise. At which point Yu Su delivers a sonic cloud closer for maximum ascension.


    Maurice Fulton’s South Street Edits, Alice Smith
    ‘Love Endeavor’

    (South Street)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Getting the limbs akimbo a lá an art school teacher on the first day of summer

    This stone cold classic was first discovered at NYC’s Mister Saturday Night (after which I swiftly asked for a track id in about 0.2 seconds… like the keeno that I am). To much delight, the track soon appeared on MSN’s killer Weekends and Beginnings compilation, which rightly sold-out like vinyl hot cakes. If you missed out the first time, no matter, because lo. It is back – plus the instrumental is on here too. ‘Love Endeavor’ sees Maurice Fulton lending his singular and magical touch to an Alice Smith original, drawing the shimmering pianos out to the ends of their bounds…. until finally those gospel vocals kick in to exultant effect.


    Roman Flugel Remixes, Wolfgang Tillmans
    ‘Source’

    (Fragile)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Summoning 303 new disciples to the inaugural meeting at the temple of acid

    Roman Flügel is a professional at whipping up a collective state of booty-swerving, percussive revelries, particularly with a sprinkling of endlessly catchy and instantly sing-a-long-able hooks. (For the uninitiated, peep ‘Sliced Africa’ or his entire Monday Brain EP.) Here he takes on artist Wolfgang Tillman’s new single ‘Source’ – featuring its extremely bizarre vocals – for a pair of reworks. The first is solid, big room fare. The second is next level. Opening with chanting that sounds like a secret sect are coming to kidnap and indoctrinate you into a cult. Until a few minutes in when you realise… Oh. Hullo. It’s time to let the freak flag fly.


    Roy Of The Ravers
    White Line Sunrise II

    (Emotional Rescue)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Sloshing across festival grasslands into the waiting arms of your brodeo brigade

    A ‘follow-up’ of sorts to Emotional Rescue’s release of Roy Of The Ravers’ 2 Late 2 Love EP, containing the supreme ‘Emotinium’, White Line Sunrise II collects 12 tracks that ROTR recorded between 1997 – 2017, previously thought to be lost, but recently discovered lying in a box under some cables. Eureka! Contained within are future anthemic exultations, subdued affairs and bumping DJ tools alike. Yes this is a double album and not a 12″ nor a single. But hey. All of the tracks contained within fit d-floors of every shape and size. And, at a mere 16 queenie coins if this isn’t the definition of an almighty bang for your buck, I don’t know what is.


    Shed
    No Repress But Warehouse Find EP

    (The Final Experiment)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: While leaning your forehead directly into a speaker to zing your eyebrows off

    No Repress But Warehouse Find EP can best be described as: that feeling when you stick your head straight into gale force winds and like it – equal parts enjoyable mixed with a feeling your lips might flap off and never come back. Two tracks into the A-side, when you think its reached an apex, ‘Acid Drift (track08)’ storms along to prove otherwise. Meanwhile, what you find on B1 ‘Probe’ is positively… serene by comparison? Has the mood shifted? Ha ha. No. Because ‘SP Tool Vkt3’ slams your face in some bass once more, with ‘130 Go Sweep’ driving chainsaw machinations to finish the whole EP out in style.


     

    Loidis
    A Parade In the Place I sit, The Floating World (& All Its Pleasures) EP

    (Anno)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Skipping into a glowing emerald rave cave like a denizen of nocturnal Narnia

    An alias of Huerco S, Loidis’ A Parade In the Place I sit, The Floating World (& All Its Pleasures) blends a DJ Le Roi meets Marshall Jefferson touch through a tranquilliser sieve. The result is an EP filled with 3-tracks of perfectly dreamy house, minus even the slightest hint of saccharine sentiments. All three of which are as equally suited to a club as they are while lounging in the stray sun rays of afternoon.


    Timeless Disco
    ‘I Was Born To Love You’ / ‘Everybody Disco’

    (Love Vinyl)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Soul Train-ing your ass out of the office and into your happy place

    London record shop Love Vinyl released Timeless Legend’s super disco soul jayums ‘Everybody Disco’/’I Was Born To Love You’ as part of RSD. If, like the majority of us, you weren’t able to high-tail it there in person this April you’re in luck – the record has surfaced online. Though recently reissued in 2015, this essential, with its feel good, fancy-free falsetto that will inspire hand claps and disco points aplenty, contains the original versions – ‘Everyday Disco (Part Two)’ is the far and away stunner – alongside Zaf’s “mighty” ’80s edit.


    Stereofuse
    Casino EP

    (Phonica Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Snapping jazz hands to and fro like the hip tech house cat that you are

    Phonica Records marks 15 years in the game, and its 20th release on the main label, with this bubbling delight. Stereofuse’s Casino EP, was originally released on Salo in 2003 – no coinkidink it’s also the same year when Phonica first opened its doors. Described by the shop as “sitting somewhere between house and techno (before tech-house became a disputed tag-line!)”, each side pairs a brassy anthems (‘Black Jack’, ‘Poker Face’) alongside a shooping, chugged out roller (‘Hot Shot’, ‘Royal Flash’). Casino is also the first in a series of EPs to celebrate Phonica’s 15th birthday, thus keep your eyes peeled – more gems are sure to follow.

  • Frankie Knuckles’ rare ‘MPB’ Womack & Womack remixes reissued on 12″

    By | May 4, 2018

    An underground club classic and stripped back, beatless interpretation.

    Melodies International is releasing two of Frankie Knuckles’ rare Womack & Womack ‘MPB (Missin’ Persons Bureau)’ edits on 12″ this May.

    ‘MPB’ was originally released on Womack & Womack’s Conscience LP in 1988; though the duo were opposed to their tracks being remixed, Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell managed to convince them to let Knuckles assume the rework duties.

    For the occasion, Knuckles delivered five edits of the single – released on 12″ in 1989 – including the two being reissued by Melodies International: the 9-minute piano-roller ‘Paradise Ballroom Mix’ and a beautifully stripped-back and beatless ‘Folk Version’.

    Both tracks have been restored and remastered from the original tapes for this first ever reissue, which also features the original cover artwork.

    The ‘MPB’ reissue follows Melodies International’s re-release of Majik’s ‘Back Into Your Heart’ – one of our favourite dance records of March.

    Pre-order a copy of ‘MPB’ here ahead of its 25th May release, and listen to the ‘Folk Version’ below.

  • The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (19th March)

    By | March 19, 2018

    Spiritual folk-funk, glacial techno and Prince-like future soul.

    This week’s new singles cut right across the spectrum. Destructive 12″s from Tessela and Lanark Artefax and Ste Spandex bolster the DJ bag, while rnb sensation Anaïs vies Melodies International’s Abu Talib reissue for the most soulful release of the week.

    In the albums section, there’s a stunning debut from experimental cellist Lucy Railton, the return of Yo La Tengo, Villa Abo on Dark Entries and the ever-wonderful Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

    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


    Abu Talib (Bobby Wright)

    Blood of an American

    (Melodies International)

    Listen / Buy

    With Bobby Wright as the leader of a band reduced to a duet, following the death of one member and the enlistment in the Vietnam conflict of another, there’s a palpable sense of melancholy to the two beautiful numbers that make up this little heard 7” single from 1974. Reissued by Melodies International, who have a knack for finding such soulful gems, the sparing, gently phrased guitar lines and hopeful vocals that float across both cuts make for essential listening.


    Anaïs

    Before Zero

    (Virgin)

    Listen / Buy

    Oh boy this is so damn good. If you haven’t come across Anaïs yet make this the time to do so, as she’s destined for big things. On ‘Before Zero’, she cuts that future soul sound stone dead with her killer voice and incredible production that’s definitely been touched by the spirit of Prince.


    Ste Spandex

    Home Extraction EP

    (Cerberus Future Technologies)

    Listen / Buy

    Officially Manchester’s best kept secret, Ste Spandex has finally pulled his finger out, cleared some of the Orgonite off his desk and hand stamped the first vinyl release on his Cerberus Future Technologies imprint. For those living outside the M60, Spandex is a shell-suited hardware fanatic, usually found deploying intense machine jackers at Wet Play or locked in his studio for hours jamming on an array of homemade drum machines and synths. The Home Extraction EP sees Spandex translate the DMT experience into four tracks of fizzing, frazzled and brain twisting acid techno, each rinsed through the VHS and oversaturated for a little radioactive colour.


    Tessela / Lanark Artefax

    Blue 01

    (Whities)

    Listen / Buy

    Turning Whities blue for the first release in new sub series on the label, Tessela and Lanark Artefax go back-to-back for a 12″ capable of causing serious dance floor damage. Both tracks have been spotted before – the former on Joy O’s 2016 essential mix, and the latter on a swiftly scoffed Whities dubplate in the same year, so it’s safe to say anticipation levels have been high. Whether in Tessela’s onomatopoeic ‘Glisten’, which crackles with glacial precision, or the acid nostalgia of ‘Touch Absence’, both tracks revel in the tension of unreleased energy and euphoric restraint.


    Palehound

    YMCA Pool

    (Saddle Creek)

    Listen / Buy

    Boston’s Palehound write simple nursery rhyme-like compositions and hit repeat, for a 7″ that sounds like a lo-fi sing-song around the campfire. That may be all they do, but it’s wonderful nonetheless.


    LPs


    Lucy Railton

    Paradise 94

    (Modern Love)

    Listen / Buy

    With an already impressive footprint across electro-acoustic composition, be it as a curator, performer, or collaborator, Paradise 94 comes as Lucy Railton’s debut solo LP, and it’s a stunner. A cellist with a distinct ability to explode the instrument’s vocabulary, here such excavations into technique and texture are in full force, with the sound source collaged or manipulated into an imaginative triumph of non-linear narrative. Anyone interested in experimental music needs to check this one out.


    Yo La Tengo

    There’s A Riot Going On

    (Matador)

    Listen / Buy

    This is their first album proper since 2013’s Fade and it’s always a special day to get them back. Hoboken’s favourite trio return with the improvised beauty of There’s A Riot Going On which glides from song to song on some seriously soothing sonic waves. Recorded by the band and mixed by Tortoise’s John McEntire, this album is incredibly delicate and warm.


    Beverly Glenn-Copeland

    Beverly Glenn-Copeland

    (Super Sonic Jazz)

    Listen / Buy

    The reappraisal of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s hugely over-looked back catalogue continues apace following reissues on Invisible City and Séance Centre. Here, it’s the Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist’s self-titled debut that’s in the spotlight – a lost folk-funk opus with echoes of Terry Callier, Joni Mitchell and Jon Lucien – that laid the foundation for his new age experimentations the following decade. Although sonically removed from the ambience of …Keyboard Fantasies…, there’s a communion with nature on show here sympathetic to those electronic impulses, delivered with the naivety of a self-described “fresh-faced kid of twenty-six”. Masterful stuff.


    Villa Abo

    Magnetic Moves

    (Dark Entries)

    Listen / Buy

    Dark Entries offer the vinyl fan a real treat this week with a double LP pressing of this Swedish techno artefact, previously only available on 65 hand-numbered cassettes. Though Villa Abo may be the least prolific alias of Frak member Jan Svensson, the material on this debut LP is easily as good as anything that the producer has put out under his other monikers. The nine tracks all loosely fit under the acid techno umbrella, though the level of intensity ranges from the loose and limber roll of ‘Doortest’ to the unhinged ‘Water Galaxy’, providing heavyweight drum tools, corrosive 303 jams and gloomy machine funk.


    Dungen and Woods

    Myths 003

    (Mexican Summer)

    Listen / Buy

    Mexican Summer’s Myths series pits Swedish jammers Dungen against folksy pop lot Woods on an album that combines sun soaked pastoral folk with more out there psych rock jams.

  • Our favourite dance records: March 2018

    By | March 16, 2018

    Get down sounds.

    For the better part of 8 months, I have been slyly, and not so slyly, trying to sneak in my favourite techno, acid, house, disco, funk, soul, Japanese enigma calypso, etc, into our ‘best records of the week’ selections.

    Lo! Today that ends… ish. Because today we launch a new feature, whereby I channel this Helfet hyperbole into a regular rundown of the most stellar dance records out there. Records that deserve to be played on sound systems big and small.

    There are but two strict requirements of the music contained within. 1: It is released on vinyl. And 2: There is something special about it, something that will make you want to hoof a legit groove – from a subtle Monday morning, finger-tapping, chair boogie to a late night, limbs-flailing-like-you’ve-been-electrocuted warehouse soirée and everything in between.

    Let us know what you’ve been loving in the comments below.


    Shahara-Ja and Egyptian Lover

    ‘I Am An Arabian Knight’
    (Left Ear Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Before breakdancing like a genie from another dimension

    If Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock’ transformed into an ’80s electro desert oasis, it might sound something like Shahara-Ja. A wedding singer by day who only ever released one record, Arabian Knight was unearthed by Left Ear for a reissue last year. Like us, when Egyptian Lover heard the track he became mesmerised by its Middle Eastern electronic pizzazz. Unlike us, he added his 808 magic to three out of sight reworks of the original.


    Denis Sulta

    Sulta Selects Vol. 3
    (Sulta Selects)

    Listen / Buy 

    To be played: While strutting into the Friday pub like a glam version of Reservoir Dogs

    Hooooooooooo lawd. Sampling the greats for dance records can, often, go wrong. (There are only so many 11 minute, mediocre disco string loops the world needs.) But when it goes right? A full-bodied, freaky-all-over kind of joy will ensue. Such is the case with Denis Sulta’s ‘D_K_Y (But I Do)’ on new Sulta Selects Vol. 3, debuted last summer and whipping up dance floor frenzies ever since. Complete with the unexpected flips that are rightly becoming his signature, Sulta has turned Thelma Houston’s original into a kind of warp speed, clubbing throw down. In short: a supreme track to keep you on your twinkle toes. The two B-side edits of ‘L_M_Y_S_A’ are nothing to snub your nose at either.


    Hi & Säberhagen

    Light On Leaves
    (Intergraded)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: When swaying to and fro like a euphoric palm tree in a summer’s breeze

    Hi & Säberhagen serve up understated beauts for the second release on Midland’s new label Intergraded. A-Side duo ‘Loveless’ and ‘Parachute’ are a hypnotic, minimal aqua techno twosome – the kinds of tracks that reveal themselves with each repeated listen, especially ‘Loveless’ which pairs muted Japanese vocals against a kaleidoscopic build. On the flip things feel, subtly, sunnier. ‘Light on Leaves’ sends a solar twang of tropical echoes, before closing with the broken-beat echoing swing of ‘Alright’.


    Unknown Artist

    Last Night A Conga Saved My Life
    (Piano Music)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: During conga-fuelled liming, fiesta, forever

    Piano Music follow-up their ‘A Piano Saved My Life’ 12” dedicated to the majesty of keys, with a four-part ode to the power of the almighty dance floor tumper: the conga drum. Opener ‘Dance Louca’ is a string-filled, slow-building roller to warm up the moves, before launching into a shoulder-shimmying, derrière-quaking trio of Brazilian edits.


    Majik

    ‘Back Into Your Heart’/’Dance, Dance, Dance’
    (Melodies International)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Before sending exultant hallelujahs to the soulful disco gods above

    Deep funktified growls on a level with The Miracles’ ‘Love Machine’ intro? Check. Emotional vocal crescendos to tug at even the most hardened of heartstrings? Check. Rhythms you can clap to with unabashed glee? Check. Disco horns aplenty? Check check check, thanks to ‘Back Into Your Heart’. Hankering for more? Look no further than ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ on the reverse.


    Keysha / FG’s Romance

    ‘Stop It!’ / ‘What Is Love Today’
    (Stroom Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: While channelling your inner, suave cheetah of seduction

    ‘Stop It!’ was first discovered courtesy of Charlie Bones’ Do You party, when the track turned even the most jacked up of attendees into slinking, dance floor casanovas. With the sultriest rhythm breakdown meets breathy vocals we’ve heard in time, if this one doesn’t leave you weak in the knees get your ass to Dr. Love, pronto. Lest overheating occur from Keysha’s smutty slow jam, ‘What’s Love Today’ is a welcome cool down.


    Satari

    ‘Smile’/’Nobody To Love’
    (La Casa Tropical Holland)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: As you sup a piña colada, getting caught in the tropical rains

    Satari’s elusive bongo synth pop from South Africa in the ’80s is back, in this first ever reissue of what was, sadly, the only music she ever released. Catchy hooks and silky smooth choral chants abound in both tracks, but ‘Smile’ is the particular highlight. Here you’ll find a silky symbiosis of echoing space drums, funky crescendos, and “oooh hoo hoos” lamenting unrequited love for you to belt along to on the dance floor.


    Avon Blume

    Slowly Diving EP
    (On Loop)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: After your rump tells you to kick things up a notch

    The latest record on Moxie’s stellar On Loop label comes from enigmatic producer Avon Blume. In Slowly Diving, no-frills, hypno-tropical drums take centre stage with maximum heiney shaking affect. Proof that you don’t need hype or audio brouhaha to catch attention – if you deliver the riddims, the dancers they will come.


    Larry Heard

    ‘Missing You’
    (Alleviated Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Morning, noon or night, whenever or whenever… you get the idea

    Ahead of Chicago house pioneer Larry Heard’s first Mr. Fingers record in 25 years, comes this remastered reissue of ‘Missing You’. A reminder of how great tracks transcend time and genre, the 12″ features its original version (an intergalactic ascension of synths and keys), instrumental edit and the shimmering Jazz Cafe rework. If you don’t have a copy, this is a seminal must-have. If you do have a copy, this is a seminal must-have.


    Uchitoshi

    Saibansho
    (No Label)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: When bubbling the techno juices at peak time

    In the interest of realness: if something looks or sounds vaguely mysterious and Japanese we’ll probably give it a listen. Such is the way we discovered Uchitoshi. Following up last year’s solid Midori EP in the same vein is Saibansho, also released by the similarly enigmatic YYK No Label. Gloriously sludgy, strung-out twerks, floor-rumbling bass and minimal blips unite in all the right places – perfect fuel for the head nodding, techno loving, night owl in all of us.

  • Melodies International reissue Bobby Wright’s stripped-back ’70s soul

    By | February 6, 2018

    The 7″ includes a 16-page ‘Melozine’ featuring a message from Jeremy Corbyn.

    Bobby Wright’s ‘Blood Of An American’ and ‘Everyone Should Have Its Day’ will be reissued on 7″, this March via Melodies International.

    The tracks were originally recorded and self-released by Wright (now Abu Talib) in 1974, following the death of a band member in Vietnam.

    Wright “considered music to be the greatest form of communication with the world and it was his belief that a positive message should be spread to future generations,” shares Melodies International.

    The 7″ reissue also includes a 16-page ‘Melozine’ featuring a message from Jeremy Corbyn, interview with Abu Talib, sheet notes for ‘Blood Of An American’, revolutionary records that came out during the Vietnam war and more.

    Pre-order a copy here ahead of its 9th March release and listen to ‘Blood Of An American’ below.

  • Yo! Selector with Mafalda

    By | November 17, 2017

    Soulful sunshine sounds from inside the Melodies International DJ bag.

    Yo! Selector take you into the deepest corners of your favourite DJ’s record bag.

    From the weirdest bargain bin finds, to the juciest slow jams, rarest samples and stone-cold floor-emptiers, every DJ has his or her own individual approach to building a set. It’s these records that we’re setting out to discover and share with you.

    After kicking things of with Moses Boyd, we’re back in Croatia courtesy of Dimensions Festival to get a peak into the record bag of soulful Portuguese selector Mafalda.

    Co-running rare soul and disco reissue label Melodies International with Floating Points and working behind the counter as Cosmos Records, Mafalda has quickly built up a reputation for bringing genre-bending spiritual groove to the dancefloor, where she’ll happily drop Pharoah Sanders and Minnie Riperton in the same breathe.

    Watch her Yo! Selector above, check out our in depth interview for Crate Diggers earlier this year and make sure you cop Melodies International’s latest release, the gospel-tinged Chicago soul of Gloria Jay.

  • Melodies International to reissue Gloria Jay’s gospel-tinged Chicago soul on 7″

    By | November 13, 2017

    “There’s nothing getting in the way of the feeling, it’s straight from the heart.”

    Mafalda and Floating Points’ Melodies International will reissue Gloria Jay’s ‘Know What You Want’ on 7″ vinyl this December.

    Crate Diggers: Mafalda

    The latest in the label’s all-killer-no-filler liner of rare jazz, funk and soul reissues, ‘Know What You Want’ captures the raw talent of Gloria J. Jennings, who was catapulted into the recording studio aged just sixteen to stand in for the track’s absent singer and song-writer Theresa Eagins.

    Channeling the gospel inflections and spiritual ease honed in the choir of her father’s Southern Baptist Church, ‘Know What You Want’ has enchanted and evaded a generation of DJs and soul fans with, in Patrick Forge’s words, its “pure and unadulterated soul”. Like the original 7″, ‘Know What You Want’ is backed by the playful ‘I’m Gonna Make It’.

    Reissued on 7″ vinyl via Melodies International and available from 8th December, you can pre-order your copy here.

    It follows the release of Maurice Moore’s ‘Everything That Shines Ain’t Gold’ and Y. Gershovsky’s ‘Disco Baby’ on the label earlier this year.

  • Crate Diggers: Mafalda

    By | August 9, 2017

    “I love when people play Pharoah Sanders in clubs.”

    It’s this impulse that brought Mafalda to London three years ago. Drawn to a city where DJs play jazz on the dancefloor, Mafalda has quickly made tracks as a joyful selector of spiritual grooves, straying gleefully across genres as a regular on NTS, Worldwide and festivals like Dimensions, where she’ll appear next month.

    As Floating Points’ partner in crime she co-runs reissue label Melodies International, and has overseen the release of now iconic records by Aged In Harmony and Open Soul, originals of which you’d be more than likely to find at Cosmos, the London arm of the first pressings record shop where Mafalda also works.

    Inviting us to the attic room of a small North London apartment, Mafalda begins by putting on her latest acquisition, Pharoah Sanders’ Love In Us All, a smile flashing across her face: “Pharoah Sanders is very special, I love all the records I have of his.”


    Since we’ve got a Pharoah Sanders soundtrack going on, could you tell us a little bit about this specific record?

    There’s a funny story behind this one – Sam [Shepherd aka Floating Points] bought it for me in Amoeba in Los Angeles six months ago. He was doing that ‘What’s In My Bag?’ film, and said “this is for my friend Mafalda” and he sent me the link. But he lost it and never actually gave me the record!

    Then it was his birthday the other day and I was helping him organise his records because he had just put up new shelves and I found this one and he was like, ‘That’s yours, that’s the one for you’. He had lost it in the middle of his zillions of records.

    Pharoah Sanders is very special, I love all the records I have of his, but some are more difficult. They have this agitation, they can shake you and sometimes you need a record like that. Also, I love when people play Pharoah Sanders in clubs. It doesn’t happen often but when it does I think it’s quite special.

    Can you dance to it?

    I mean, I can, but that’s what I do, I’m always dancing. If the music is good I’ll dance to whatever it is. I totally dance to Pharoah Sanders, and it’s amazing when more people do it – when it’s not just me.

    A long time ago, I was at Brilliant Corners and Sam played ‘You’ve Got To Have Freedom’ and it was insane, everyone was dancing. It’s from Journey To The One, which is another special one.

    What was your journey to Pharoah Sanders and spiritual jazz?

    I don’t really know. In Portugal I didn’t listen to much jazz. My father had some Egberto Gismonti records, which I brought here.

    But I came to London because of that, and I didn’t know why. Three years ago I came here to visit my mum, who lives in Epping, and Sam [Floating Points] and Sadar Bahar were playing at Corsica Studios and I was there having the time of my life, listening to all the music I love. And at some point Sadah Bahar dropped a jazz tune at 4am and everyone was dancing, everyone was grooving. And that moment was very powerful. That’s when I decided to move here, because I felt fascinated with people dancing to jazz in clubs.

    But you came here without much of a plan?

    I had quite a nice job in Portugal, I was a fashion designer, and when I got back from my London holidays, it took me two weeks to decide to quit.

    We can come back to this, but let’s go back a little bit first – What was the first record you ever bought?

    I was about 13, my father was living in Lisbon but I was still living in Porto with my mother. I would go to visit him and there was a big hip-hop shop, so my first record was a hip-hop record. I’m a big hip-hop fan and that’s really how it started with music and records. I had a hip-hop band when I was a kid…

    Did you rap?

    Yes, I used to rap (laughs), when I was very young, you know 14 or 15. I had these two friends at school and they were studying science and I was studying arts, so we had this really cool vocabulary we used for lyrics and our older friends made beats for us. I was no good but everyone supported us because we were so young, and they wanted us to keep on doing it. Every time I’m clearing up though I still find papers with lyrics that I wrote and it’s funny…

    Rapping aside, you arrived in London less than three years ago without a network of people, but here you are embedded in the music scene. What happened?

    I came here and I didn’t have friends, but I was staying with someone I knew for about a month just next to Plastic People. And even though I was on my own I would go on by myself to Plastic People a lot – almost every weekend – because I just couldn’t stay at home knowing such good music was being played there. I basically ended up making lots of friends through Plastics. Most of my friends in this country are music people.

    Is that how you met Sam [Floating Points]?

    Yeah, I think he knew who I was after a while at Plastic People because I was always in the front row singing and dancing the whole time. One day he was on NTS and he said he was going to start Melodies International. I emailed him saying “Hey Sam, it’s me, the girl who is always in front of you screaming and dancing. I heard about Melodies so if you need any help let me know.” And he was like “Yeah there’s this magazine, if you want to do that?” I’d never done a magazine before but I was sure I could figure it out. I was obviously very, very happy. I did the first magazine and we stayed friends, because we have the same musical taste.

    He was doing his album at the time and I knew Aged In Harmony was going to be released next, but nothing was happening. By this time I was pretty good friends with Sam and was just like “Do you need help?” I had worked with production before when I was a fashion designer, but this was still something completely different, it was records. So he gave me all the contacts and I learned how to do it.

    What binds the label together? Is there an ethos beyond your combined tastes?

    I think the thing that sparked it was the You’re A Melody parties, where they would play really beautiful, rare records. And those recordings of the first parties were shared thousands of time, and these tracks became famous and wanted in their own right. So we thought we could have some say in it.

    The party is the root of the label, but now as time goes by, we are all growing and discovering new stuff. And actually Mel08 and Mel09 are not going to be disco bangers they’re going to be really mellow soul tracks that are very beautiful. People can play them at parties, and I hope they do, but they’re not party tunes. It’s mostly music we love very much.

    And your own collection, have most of the records here been accumulated over the last three years?

    Yes, so this is my London collection. These are the records I got since I moved here. I don’t care about the quantity, I just care about the quality. All of these records were hand-picked carefully and I only have records I absolutely love.

    So they’re all special?

    Yeah, they’re all special, but I have some new ones. I’m fortunate enough that people think my music is Sunday music, so they invite me to play on Sundays and this Blossom Dearie record has a tune called ‘Sunday Afternoon’. I love partying but I really like mellow, chilled out music too.

    You said that your collection isn’t very organised, would you like it to be?

    Yes, I love organising stuff. I’m a Virgo! I’m not a freak, but I like things to be organised!

    You divide by genres?

    Yeah, by genres and then just mixed stuff, from gigs and recent buys, stuff I’m listening to at the moment. I have a big mix. Hip-hop, gospel, disco, soul, electronic music, lots of Brazilian, lots of Latin jazz, funky jazz, spiritual jazz, straight jazz, soul jazz (laughs). I like everything, even rock! I don’t collect one genre or one label or one artist. If I see a record I love and I can afford it, I’ll buy it. I like that my collection is so diverse because every day is different.

    How about first pressings vs. reissues?

    I work for a reissue label but I also work in a first pressings record shop, so I am really torn.

    Of course, if I can afford the first pressing and I find it in a shop, I’m going to get it. But some records are just very expensive and as much as I care about them, I also care about eating, and my landlord cares about me paying my rent. I can’t be too picky. I would love to get all the first pressings of these records and lots of them are. If I can’t I will stick to the reissue.

    What’s the most expensive record you’ve ever bought? Not that price has anything to do with it…

    Unfortunately really good records are rarely cheap. And that’s why reissues are great, especially when they’re done properly. With bootlegs and unofficial releases, if there is no love, I don’t see the point.

    This one, Shirley Nanette’s Never Coming Back, is a very special record. I think I got my job as Cosmos because of this record. I asked them for it and I think they were impressed. It’s the original, so it’s not a cheap record. But I love it so much that I had to have the first pressing. And it’s not £1,000…

    So what counts as an expensive record for you?

    Anything above £50 is expensive. And maybe some people think £40 is expensive but if it’s an amazing record, it’s cheap! Just get it! And that’s the problem with good music, it rarely gets cheaper. Working in a record shop for almost two years I have seen some records increase in price.

    In fact, I was in Zurich recently and I played Belair’s LP Relax You’re Soaking In It and someone came up and was like “Do you know how much this costs?! And you play it!?” And I was like “That’s why I bought it! I’m not working in a museum.”

    And this Lou Bond, I found it on a market for £20, which is pretty cheap. But, I have to admit that I scratched it…

    My favourite is track is ‘Come on Snob’, and all the good stuff is on that side, so I didn’t ruin any crucial tracks, but still it really hurt. With this one I learned a lesson – don’t bring your drunk friends home and play records! Actually that’s not good advice, bring people and play records but keep the chairs away from them.

    You mentioned before we started recording that you thought records were quite a feminine thing…

    I don’t know why, I think they’re just so beautiful and I think that women care more about beautiful things than men do… (Laughs) I think that, as a woman, for me this is very natural. I feel like I’m in my natural habitat when I’m here. If I’m having a tough day and I get home, I look at this shelf and I think it’s beautiful. Music really makes me happy and I know lots of girls who collect records, so it’s not just me obviously!

    Would you call yourself a collector?

    Yes, well I collect records, but I’m not too precious. I’m not like the Instagrammers (who I really like and follow). This is a big part of my life but as I was saying earlier, the music has to give me pleasure. That’s why I collect. It’s an obsession, I’m obsessed with music, but I’m not obsessed with records, or not too much and not in a way that’s going to cause me any stress. I just want to enjoy music.

    And DJing is something that came as a natural extension to this?

    Yes, I had my first gig in Lisbon before I moved here because I had some records but I never thought I would be a DJ. My ex-boyfriend was a DJ and we were together for many years and most of the time I would go and party with him, but I always liked being outside of the booth and just enjoying the music. But it does give me pleasure to play these records for people. It’s something I do and I really enjoy doing but it’s not my goal.

    So what is the goal?

    My ultimate goal in life is just to be happy. And that’s why I moved here, because I wasn’t happy with what I was doing there. And now, I really love Melodies and Cosmos, all day just playing records. I think that’s my definition of a good time. In ten years, whatever I’m doing, I just want to enjoy it. Hopefully it will be Melodies. I always tell Sam that I have a twenty year plan!


    ‘Disco Baby’ is out now on Melodies International, with Maurice Moore’s ‘Everything That Shines Ain’t Gold’ on the way.

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