• Phonica Records taps Brooklyn-producer Justin Cudmore for new 12″

    By | October 19, 2018

    Listen to an exclusive premiere of tangy space acid track ‘About To Burst’ now.

    Phonica has announced the latest instalment of its Phonica White series – a two-track 12” by Justin Cudmore called ‘Twisted Love’ / ‘About To Burst’ – out this November.

    Read more: The World’s Best Record Shops #012: Phonica Records, London

    It features A-side ‘Twisted Love’ – an echoing zippy chugger, backed with the floor filling, rolling space blips on acid of B-side ‘About To Burst’.

    Ahead of its release, listen to an exclusive premiere of ‘About To Burst’ now:

    “Primed for club use”, ‘Twisted Love’ / ‘About To Burst’ marks Cudmore’s first Phonica outing, and includes artwork by Pedro Carvalho de Almeida.

    It follows the release of Peggy Gou’s Phonica White ‘Traveling Without Arriving’ 12” earlier this year, which featured Ge-Ology on the rework duties.

    Pre-order a copy of ‘Twisted Love’ / ‘About To Burst’ here ahead of its 6th November release, and check out the artwork below.

  • Phonica introduces roll-top record backpack

    By | October 8, 2018

    With room for 30 12″s.

    London record shop Phonica is getting in on the backpack game with a very welcome roll-top record bag.

    Read more: The best record bags for taking your vinyl on the road

    “Perfect for DJs on the move,” shares the shop. “Use it instead of or in addition to your trolley bag!”

    The bag will also appeal to cyclists and those who prefer to distribute the crushing weight of records across two shoulders.

    Phonica’s Roll-Top Backpack / Record Bag features a padded back, straps and base, with 15.6″ padded laptop compartment and handle.

    It comes in three variants: Black, Navy and Dark Green.

    Head here to order.

  • Peggy Gou is launching a record label and fashion line

    By | August 30, 2018

    “Music is music so if I like it, you’re signed.”

    DJ and producer Peggy Gou is launching a record label and fashion line next year, she revealed in an interview with i-D.

    “I realised I wanted to be my own boss with my own music,” explains Gou. “At first I wanted to have just my music, but now I think people would like to know what kind of artists I support.”

    Earlier this year Gou released her ‘Traveling Without Arriving’ 12″ on Phonica’s White label as well as the Once EP via Ninja Tune, with the single ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’ which features Gou singing for the first time.

    The record label will be called Gudu, which is the word for shoes in Korean – a hat tip to her fans penchant for chanting ‘Peggy Shoe’ as well as a play on “Gou do”.

    Her fashion company called Kirin (giraffe in Korean) came to fruition thanks to New Guards Group, the production house behind Virgil Abloh’s Off White. Gou expects to launch a womens streetwear collection next year with a view to offer unisex lines in the future.

    “When I first started DJing I wanted to look as serious as possible. I used to dress up in just a white t-shirt and denim, but now I know fashion is just part of me.”

  • The best dance records of the month (July)

    By | July 31, 2018

    Smoking electro, tropical techno, soulful disco reissues and more.

    This month’s selects reflect the range of moods that peak summertime days entail: traversing from refreshing and calypso-hued ditties to frenetic and funked-the-hell-out pumpers in equal measure.

    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 in the comments below.


    Bo^Vel

    ‘Check 4 U’

    (Be With Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Zinging out garage fingers while surrounded by your favourite crew

    OG pressings of ‘Check 4 U’ were previously being hawked for £2,000+ on Discogs, which goes to show how delusional some vinyl sharks can be. Ludicrous re-sale prices aside, ‘Check 4 U’ is a legit, supreme street soul classic from Manchester, long coveted, and reissued for the first time by Be With. Of particular note is the garage edit of the track, an excellent heatwave banger, whether you’re winding around town, prapping your digits into the air with pizzazz… or an immobile sweatball slug, like the majority of us currently are.


    Marquis Hawkes
    ‘We Should Be Free’ featuring Jamie Lidell

    (Houndstooth)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Sashaying into twilight like a neon queen from Studio 54

    “Halleloo!” is what you’ll say as you listen to ‘We Should Be Free’ whilst slinging your limbs into the air. ‘We Should Be Free’ is the second track off Marquis Hawkes forthcoming album, The Marquis of Hawkes – a euphoric and shimmering slice of sunshine house, delivered in four ways on this 12″. On the A-side, you’ll find the original version plus a dub, b/w the poolside ready ‘Hawkes Club Vocal’ edit, and booty-percolating DJ tool ‘Bonus Beats’ version on the flip.


    D.I.E. (Detroit In Effect)
    The Men You’ll Never See Pt. 2 EP

    (Clone West Coast Series)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Bossing through the gym with shoulders going to ninety

    Inhabiting a world alongside fellow Motor City maestros like Drexciya and DJ Assault, D.I.E. make a welcome return, courtesy of Clone’s The Men You’ll Never See reissue. The 6-track EP is perfectly frenetic, filled with the kind of motivational vocals that will transform you into an electro funk machine of the highest order. As the (chipmunk) man proclaims on ‘U Can’t See Us’: “You can’t see us, but we can see you. You can’t hear us, but we can hear you, ’cause this techno thing is all we do.”


    E. Myers
    ‘I’m Alive’ / ‘Dreamland’

    (Unknown Label)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Stepping into a sweet convertible whip as fog swirls around you

    E.Myers’ latest serves a one-two punch of tech synth, suitable for any time of day. A-Side ‘I’m Alive’ weaves through conga-hued, percussive drum pad joy, the kind that makes you want to slick your hair back, throw on a leather jacket and time-travel straight to 1982. Meanwhile, ‘Dreamland’ soars to different heights, an unexpected bass ascender that’s equal parts opener and closing number. Just wait until those hand-clap ready hi-hats come in, too.


    Sophisticated Ladies
    ‘This Ain’t Really Love’

    (Kalita)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: When you need to unite a dance floor in self-affirming harmony

    Originally known as The Bobettes when they launched their career in the mid-’50s, the quintet released 34 singles before calling it quits. Thankfully they didn’t throw in the towel altogether, instead rebranding as a trio called The Sophisticated Ladies for two singles under the new moniker. The last track on their final release is the deeply soulful stomper ‘This Ain’t Really Love’. It’s a remarkably apt rallying cry to save all that you’ve worked for in a relationship that’s on the outs, whether that be with a trifling man who never fully reciprocated your love, or with a music industry that never fully recognised your talents. On a simpler level: it’s a helluva tune, filled with disco strings that will set dance floors alight, reissued for the first time by Kalita, who pair it with a Zaf edit of ‘Check It Out’ on the flip.


    Various Artists
    Jura Soundsystem Presents Transmission One EP

    (Isle of Jura)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Jiggling along paradise sands like a fruity pineapple

    Technically Transmission One is a double album, but really it’s multiple dance 12″ reissues – spanning everything from Norwegian tropico-funk to Legowelt space synth and ’80s hip-hop breaks – all for the price of one. Some may call this a compilation, but alongside 9 reissued tracks you’ll also find four ‘ambient tools’ from the label as well. However you slice it, this 2×12″ – the first in a series of compilations from Jura Soundsystem, aka label head Kevin Griffiths – is a killer collection. Highlights include: Ken-Dang’s 1983 percussive super jam ‘Born in Borneo’, the first ever vinyl release of Legowelt’s Smackos alias ambient tune ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, Minus Group’s elusive 1979 Italian psych 7″ ‘Black Shadow’, and the eighties Baltimore shimmy shake of Mix-O-Rap’s ‘All Party People’.


    Randomer
    Slicing EP

    (Dekmantel)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Blowing a bass klaxon into blazing festival skies

    For the uninitiated, techno can often be regarded as a largely nocturnal, sonic world, filled with an abundance of rave gremlins. Those in the know are aware of how wrong this sentiment is. Entré Randomer to the cause, kicking his latest EP off with a number called ‘Van Pelt’, or what is best described as: tropical techno. (Close your eyes tightly enough, and a toucan might even flap out, chirpsing in 4/4.) As with all of the best Dekmantel releases, things get delightfully weirder from here. ‘Shadow Harp’ revs itself into a machine-gun whip of instrumentals, before the darker shades take over on the reverse, as incantatory, late night fare leads the way in ‘Dissolve’, closing out through a horn-filled, twerk sieve on title-track ‘Slicing’.


    Pional

    ‘Xme’/’One Night Stand’

    (Phonica Records)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Swinging in slothy slo-mo from your favourite lounge tree

    Spanish producer Pional helms the latest 12″ for Phonica, with a double-dose of breezy, summertime house. A-side ‘XME’ brings celestial, big room, kaleidoscopics, a lá Pional’s past John Talabot collaborations. The original version also comes paired with ‘A Quiet Ceremony Mix’ – sublimely dusky, balearic fare to lead you from scorchio day into the night. Once you’ve relaxed into the groove, ‘One Night Stand’ shifts the mood into get down o’clock, with requisite bass and vocal samples to have you coming back for more. Like ‘XME’, the B-side also features a stripped down, yet still glittery, rework – in this case the ‘Slow Drumapella Mix’, bringing you eighties, Atari gamer-style delight.


    Object Blue
    Rex

    (Let’s Go Swimming)

    Listen / Buy

    To be played: Descending into a basement netherworld as you usher the weekend in

    According to producer Object Blue, Rex was due to be her debut EP way back in 2017, but, as it’s wont to do, life got in the way. In the meantime, Do You Plan To End A Siege was released instead. Object Blue then abandoned Rex‘s first incarnation, starting afresh to create four, entirely different tracks under the same moniker. A-side opener ‘The princess is no longer at this address’ is a slow burner, something you’d listen to while a warm breeze grazes your cheeks, but soon enough ‘(time to) WORK’ picks things up a bit, complete with a familiar RnB sample. Consider it a fitting primer for what lies in wait on the flip, where looping hypnotics of ‘Cordelia’s call to arms’ join forces with subterranean shudder in ‘Chipping at the kingdom’.

  • The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (16th July)

    By | July 16, 2018

    A pitch perfect assortment to breeze you through the summer heat.

    The World Cup may be over, but we’re here to help lift thy mopey brow.

    In singles, we’ve got Pional’s double-dose of summer house shade on Phonica, psychedelic disco revamps of a Kelly Lee Owens original, and Marquis Hawkes serving up booty percolations aplenty.

    On the albums front, Eric B and Rakim’s final hip-hop masterpiece gets a long awaited reissue, Tokyo trio Hontatadori swirl crystalline vocals atop stripped-back guitars, and John Maus’ undervalued synth-pop masterpiece is back.

    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


    Pional

    ‘Xme’/’One Night Stand’

    (Phonica Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Spanish producer Pional helms the latest 12″ for Phonica, with a double-dose of summertime house. A-side ‘XME’ serves up celestial, big room, kaleidoscopic synth, a lá Pional’s past John Talabot collaborations. The original version also comes paired with ‘A Quiet Ceremony Mix’ – sublimely dusky, balearic fare to lead you from scorchio day into the night. Once you’ve relaxed into the groove, ‘One Night Stand’ shifts the mood into get down o’clock, with requisite bass and vocal samples to have you coming back for many more. Like ‘XME’, the B-side also features a stripped down, glittery rework – in this case the ‘Slow Drumapella Mix’, bringing you eighties, Atari gamer-style delight.


    Kelly Lee Owens

    ‘Bird’

    (Smalltown Supersound)

    Listen / Buy

    This one’s been blowing minds on dance floors for some time, and is sure to blow a few more through the summer and beyond, thanks to its vinyl release. Clocking in at nearly eighteen minutes long, Prins Thomas’s remix takes the glacial original and drops a psychedelic disco re-rub all over it, sending it to space and back in extraordinary style.


    Bass Clef

    ‘Charnel House’

    (Happy Skull)

    Listen / Buy

    Ralph Cumbers’ knack for wrangling a host of hardware synths around varying genres has made for a pretty impressive and expansive back-catalogue when it comes to the 12” single format. With ‘Charnel House’ he shifts his gaze to acid. Two differing pulses on the idea, both sides here are worth the entry price.


    Marquis Hawkes featuring Jamie Lidell

    ‘We Should Be Free’

    (Houndstooth)

    Listen / Buy

    “Halleloo!” is what you’ll say as you listen to ‘We Should Be Free’ whilst slinging your limbs into the air. A euphoric and shimmering slice of sunshine house, delivered in four ways on this 12″. ‘We Should Be Free’ is the second track off Marquis Hawkes forthcoming album, The Marquis of Hawkes. On the A-side, you’ll find the stellar original version plus a dub, b/w the poolside ready ‘Hawkes Club Vocal’ edit and booty-percolating DJ tool ‘Bonus Beats’ version on the flip.


    River Yarra

    #Lucky #Boy EP

    (Antinote)

    Listen / Buy

    Parisian powerhouse Antinote’s latest, essential vinyl offering comes from unorthodox Antipodean River Yarra. Adopting a decidedly post-ironic approach to identity, artwork and inspiration, the Australian producer (and presumed meme hero) cooks up a quartet of wonked-out, fourth world, disco jams packed with naive rhythm programming and kooky lead lines. If this guy has a spirit animal, it’s Banjo and Kazooie…


    LPs


    Hontatedori

    Konata Kanata

    (Drag City)

    Listen / Pre-order

    Tokyo trio Hontatadori “deal in crystalline settings of aphoristic song… from medieval plainchant to cold psychedelia” – a far lovelier way of saying: female vocals atop stripped back guitars. This description might give you the impression that you are veering into dreaded twee territory, but in the hands of Tokyo trio Hontatedori, these sounds are anything but. Released on Drag City sub-label Blue Chopsticks, album Konata Kanata is a follow-up to their 2013 LP on Japanese imprint Compare Notes, an album that’s equally enigmatic and equally worth checking out.


    Eric B And Rakim

    Don’t Sweat The Technique

    (Universal)

    Listen / Buy

    This week we finally see double vinyl reissues of Eric B and Rakim’s four masterpiece albums. It was always going to be a hard choice between them, but let’s dive back into the final LP, Don’t Sweat The Technique. It’s bleak, hard, relentless and funky as fuck. A real moment of its time that still sounds as amazing as it ever did. Buy them all though.


    Luluc

    Sculptor

    (Sub Pop)

    Listen / Buy

    Championed by The National, duo Luluc play the kind of considered, thoughtful, slowcore that will appeal to fans of Galaxie 500 or Low. Here on Sculptor, Singer Zoe Randall delivers the sort of languid delivery that could be compared to Mimi Parker or Hope Sandoval.


    John Maus

    We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

    (Ribbon Music)

    Listen / Buy

    Having given John Maus fans a vintage 2018 with a new LP and a lavish career-spanning vinyl box set, Ribbon Music return this week with individual vinyl reissues of Maus’ first three albums, of which Pitliless Censors is the pick of the crop. With a manic and celebratory live show, a singular sense of humour, and a keen ear for a vocal hook, Maus deftly built upon the intersections of pop and the avant-garde with his first two efforts and nailed the formula here, with what stills stands as an undervalued synth-pop masterpiece. This nifty, yellow vinyl edition comes as a welcome, and indeed necessary reissue, with the originals scarce and ever-scaling Discogs’ price ladder.


    Donato Dozzy

    Filo Loves The Acid

    (Tresor)

    Listen / Buy

    Picking up plaudits all over the place for his unique DJ sets, deep aesthetic and complete mastery of sound design, Dozzy arrives at his fourth solo LP in peerless form. Whereas previous offerings have seen him experiment with more esoteric musical modes, Filo Loves The Acid is a straight-up set of club bangers, tension builders and techno stompers, all centred around the percolating sound of the 303. Get yourself to a pair of speakers and clear your schedule, this one’s a keeper.

  • Phonica releasing Secretsundaze debut 12″, featuring poet Anthony Anaxagorou

    By | May 9, 2018

    With two remixes by Detroit producer Waajeed.

    DJ and production duo Secretsundaze aka Giles Smith and James Priestley are releasing their debut 12″ ‘Still Hope’, this June via Phonica Records’ main label.

    Read more: The world’s best record shops: Phonica Records, London

    Though the duo have been throwing parties and DJing for over 16 years, this is their first solo record.

    It follows Secretsundaze’s debut track ‘Motorway’, which they released on their Dance 2017 Pt. 3 sampler, last year b/w Palms Trax’s ‘Outflight’.

    ‘Still Hope’ EP includes the ‘Original Mix’ with a political spoken word piece by award-winning poet Anthony Anaxagorou, and ‘Poems In The Heart Floor Version’ on the A-Side.

    On the reverse, seminal Slum Village collaborator and producer Waajeed delivers two reworks: a dance floor ready ‘Detroit Hardcore Dub’ and jazzier ‘Searching Dub’.

    Pre-order a copy of ‘Still Hope’ here ahead of its 1st June release.

    Tracklist

    Side A

    A1. Still Hope (Original Mix)
    A2. Still Hope (Secretsundaze’s Poems In The Heart Floor Version)

    Side B

    B1. Still Hope (Waajeed’s Detroit Hardcore Dub)
    B2. Still Hope (Waajeed’s Searching Dub)

  • Watch all of Phonica’s Record Store Day DJ sets

    By | April 24, 2018

    With Byron the Aquarius, KiNK, Funkineven, Gilles Peterson, Peach and more.

    Regardless of what your thoughts are on Record Store Day, you can always count on Phonica to deliver a stellar, free party inside the shop while you browse, and down in the basement below.

    As per usual the line-up was kept secret and this year was no exception, with KiNK, Daniel Avery, FunkinEven, Byron The Aquarius, Peach, HAAi and Gilles Peterson amongst the 18 DJs who hit the TPI soundsystem.

    Watch the sets in full below, and check out photos from the day by Rob Jones.


    KiNK

    Byron the Aquarius b2b Steven Julien / FunkinEven

    Peach b2b Jay

    Daniel Avery

    DJ Boring b2b NYRA

    Esa b2b HAAi

    Gilles Peterson

    Collen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy

    Soundway Records b2b Sofrito Sounds

    Secretsundaze

  • Peggy Gou releasing new 12″ on Phonica’s White label

    By | March 26, 2018

    With a dance floor ready Ge-ology rework on the flip.

    A new 12″ from producer Peggy Gou is incoming on Phonica White this April.

    ‘Travelling Without Arriving’ follows Gou’s stellar Once EP released earlier this year on Ninja Tune, as well as her ‘Day Without Yesterday’/ ‘Six O’ Phonica White 2016 debut.

    The ‘Travelling Without Arriving’ 12″ features the Soichi Terada-esque title track on the A-side, with a spaced out synth edit by Ge-ology on the reverse, and artwork by Pedro Carvalho de Almeida.

    Pre-order a copy of ‘Travelling Without Arriving’ and listen to clips here ahead of its 13th April release; watch Peggy Gou DJing at Phonica below.

    (Photo via Peggy Gou’s Instagram.)

  • 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 (9th October)

    By | October 9, 2017

    Italo acid, ‘Teardrop’-era Massive Attack, and a synth masterclass.

    After last week’s disc-a-dozen bonanza, we’re back to a standard 10 records, beginning with 12″s from Oren Ambarchi and Agnes Obel, the return of Yak, and a 7″ to drink tea to.

    In the LP section, things get a little weird with Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson’s Walhalla, a synth masterclass from Alessandro Cortini and Kelela’s debut LP proper on Warp, Take Me Apart.

    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


    Oren Ambarchi

    Stacte Karaoke 2

    (Black Truffle)

    Listen / Buy

    This is the second instalment in Oren Ambarchi’s ‘Stacte Karaoke’ series on his excellent Black Truffle label, and as with the first edition, it’s another giddily bizarre distillation of classic rock riffs and a warped take on karaoke. Never one to rest comfortably within genre and label constraints, as a guitarist, percussionist, sound artist or member of Sunn O))), Ambarchi has produced many a prized aural oddity, and this 12” is another to add to the collection.


    Yak

    All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life

    (Yala! Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Yak are back! Recorded at Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth by fellow Tame Impala member Jay Gum Watson, this is their take on The Dixie Nightingale’s classic. With its grinding tempo and distorted sense of doom, it showcases Yak at their best, turning the song upside down and making it their own. On the flip, Lee Hazelwood’s ‘Wait and See’ gets the treatment too. Limited to 300 copies.


    >ONE

    Applebush

    (Mas O Menos)

    Listen / Buy

    Ooof! Levi Love’s brand new Mas O Menos imprint notches up a big victory for MCR with an absolute ripper from the collaborative brain of Metrodome and Alex Morgan. Manning the controls as >One, the duo stitch elements of garage, UK funky and kwaito into a wall-shaking, speaker-freaking hit from the future. Adding a little extra attitude to the A-side, Levelz / Mouse Outfit affiliate Sparkz drops by to spit fire, topping the immersive and ever changing beat with his trademark rhythmic flow. Meanwhile, the flip twists all the best elements of A-grade soundsystem tackle into a true township tonker!


    Agnes Obel

    Stretch Your Eyes (Quiet Village Remix)

    (Phonica Special Editions)

    Listen / Buy

    Our neighbourhood record shop re-ups its Special Editions imprint to release Quiet Village’s creeping, paranoid remix of Danish singer Agnes Obel. Lurking in the shadows with ‘Teardrop’-era Massive Attack or Burial’s more medieval chorales, ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ comes backed with drone-like acapella that brings the full force of Obel’s funereal harmonies to the fore. Lucky enough to get our hands on a TP some weeks ago, this hasn’t left the office player since.


    The Chemistry Set

    Lovely Cup of Tea

    (Fruits De Mer Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Chosen only because we love tea so much, this is one of two fine Fruits De Mer singles this week which continue with the label’s obsession with late ’60s psych pop. As usual, covers are involved, and this time it’s the Moody Blues. Put the kettle on and enjoy.


    LPs


    Dean Blunt and Joanne Robertson

    Walhalla

    (Textile)

    Listen / Buy

    We may not see Dean Blunt as your usual rock and pop troubadour but this album with shy folkstress Joanne Robertson is as bleak and wonderful as any Smog lament. These are fractured fingerpicked songs that drift in and out of consciousness making for one of the week’s more heartfelt releases.


    Alessandro Cortini

    
Avanti


    (Point of Departure)

    Listen / Buy

    Avanti may be familiar to fans of the NIN synth maestro’s output as the spellbinding live set he’s been airing over the past year or so, and here on this LP version it certainly stands as one of his finest works. Conceived as a reflection on his grandfather’s home movie collection, and recorded entirely on the legendary EMS Synthi AKS, Avanti embraces nostalgia and the senescence of memory, creating a personal and affecting work whilst managing to avoid the navel gazing that such themes encourage.


    Flat Worms

    Flat Worms

    (Castle Face)

    Listen / Buy

    At last we get the debut from Los Angeles’ Flat Worms and it’s totally worth the wait. Made up of dudes from Dream Boys, The Babies and Thee Of Sees to name a few, this shit rocks and rolls in all the right places. It’s direct, more post punk and punk rock than most, and spiked full of attitude.


    Bottin

    I Have What I Gave

    (2MR)

    Listen / Buy

    Back in the house after a couple of quiet years, Italian synth maestro Bottin lands at Mike Simonetti’s 2MR imprint with a brand new LP of simmering, shimmering discoid brilliance. Building on a decade of stylistic experimentation, the Venetian blinds us with Giallo flourishes, acidic basslines, disco rhythms and the kind of hair raising, rush-inducing chord progressions you rarely find outside of a vintage Italo disc. Boasting collaborations with Lavinia Claws and the legendary Alexander Robotnick, I Have What I Gave is Bottin’s finest work to date.


    Kelela

    Take Me Apart

    (Warp Records)

    Listen / Buy

    For an artist that’s been present at the vanguard of her very own future RnB genre for almost 5 years since the brilliant Cut 4 Me, it’s hard to believe Take Me Apart is Kelela’s debut LP proper. But where that mixtape was a masterpiece for its radical deconstruction of electronic pop forms, Take Me Apart has taken its time in assembling fully formed, immersive worlds, where love, sex and sadness entwine in minute details that evoke the largest emotions. An album that never lets the tension slacken, tracks like ‘Blue Light’, ‘Frontline’ or the title track (produced by Cut 4 Me collaborator Jam City) are emblematic of her meticulous song-writing ability, delivered with conviction and controlled drama.

  • Jan Schulte and John Gómez to play Phonica x Automat Radio party this week

    By | September 12, 2017

    Europe’s only rolling radio station drives into London.

    Launched in April, Automat Radio is a mobile radio station that has rolled through Europe for five months hosting sets and live streams from the exciting DJs and producers they’ve encountered along the way.

    Making landfall in London, Automat Radio will host a series of parties over the coming weekend, teaming up with Phonica Records and local online stations like Resonance and Netil Radio.

    Taking place at Shoreditch Platform on Thursday 14th September the opening party will see sets from DJs behind two of the year’s most exciting compilations: John Gómez, whose Outro Tempo collection for Music From Memory opened the world’s ears to Brazil’s electronic sensibility, and Jan Schulte, whose Tropical Drums of Deutschland focusses on the unlikely union of tropical rhythms made in or around Germany in the late ’80s.

    Automat Radio will then continue streaming live all weekend from Dinerama Shoreditch, with headline sets from Trevor Jackson on Friday and Velvet Season & The Hearts of Gold on Sunday.

    Check out the Facebook event for more information.

    Main photo: Alexander Romey for hhv.demag

  • Quiet Village remix Agnes Obel for new Phonica Special Editions 12″

    By | September 5, 2017

    Listen to an exclusive preview.

    Phonica Records is releasing its latest limited Special Editions 12” – a slow burning remix of Danish singer and composer Agnes Obel’s ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ – in association with Play It Again Sam.

    Read more: The world’s best record shops: Phonica Records, London

    The 12” sees Quiet Village – better known as producer Radio Slave aka Matt Edwards and DJ Joel Martin – returning to Phonica’s Special Edition series after their excellent ‘Social Music’ / ‘Change’ techno release.

    It features their ethereal, dub-heavy remix – equal parts Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrops’ meets Kassem Mosse Workshop fare – on the A-side, with a stripped-down “Ambient Acapella” on the B-side.

    Pre-order a copy here ahead of its 29th September release, and listen to an exclusive stream of the 12” below:

Our privacy policy has changed - please go here to update your preferences.

Privacy Policy