Released 28th October 2016
Having previously turned out some refined club tracks for friendly neighbourhood label Banoffee Pies, Christian Jay comes to Idle Hands for his debut solo 12". As revealed in our past support of artists such as I.A. Bericochea and Matt Karmil, an appreciation of the finer end of the minimal house and techno spectrum weighs heavy at Idle Hands HQ, and Christian embodies everything good about the micro-genre. The stylistic approach on this single is consistent across both tracks, fusing shuffling, 2-step fuelled drum patterns with blissful atmospheric content in a most natural of ways. On "117" this manifests in a more flamboyant end result peppered with playful hi-hat tones and delicate melodic licks, while on "Contrail" the mood is resolutely low-end focused with some choice bass touches in amongst the tightly wound funk of the beat. What makes Jay's efforts stand out is their immersive finish, using dexterous doses of dub processing to create a quintessentially Bristolian mood while retaining the razor-sharp edges of upfront European minimal. It's a tone that speaks to limbering up at the start of the party, or shaking down deep into the morning. That said, we could listen to this all day and night.
Released 16th September 2016
Bristol is a tight knit place and there has always been a healthy culture of collaboration in the city, LMYE (Lend Me Your Ears) are the latet in that tradition. Two friends who met, and for a period recorded above the Idle Hands shop on Stokes Croft. They made their debut on Funkineven's Apron label earlier in 2016 with the 'Cali 76'. Here they keep things closer to home with a release on Idle Hands. 'Manhattan' is as indebted to '70s US Funk as it is to '90s Uk Garage. A house tune that has turned heads on the various mixes it has found itself on over the last year. Over on the flip Shanti Celeste turns in a brilliant remix, one of her best we think.
b1. Manhattan (Shanti Celeste Remix)
Over the years Jim Coles has turned his hand to a fair few different styles and made them his own. These days, most know his Om Unit alias as a significant force in fresh developments within D&B (recently found larking about with Alix Perez, Binga and more in the Richie Brains project on Exit Records), but it's not always been that way. From initial moves in the dubstep world via Terrorhythm through to shimmering, playful electro-leaning business on Civil Music, he's graced plenty of high profile labels with his many-sided musical dice and come up trumps. A personal favourite moment for us came in the shape of the All City 7" Lavender / Lightgrids in 2010, which matched Jim's knack for rich and detailed production to a slower, more contemplative groove. This new release for Idle Hands comes from that era, a trio of secret weapons sat waiting for the opportune moment to step out into the world. With the warmer months upon us, it feels like the perfect time to let a track like "Friend Of The Day" roll out in a heavy-lidded haze of sun-kissed, ivory-tinkled finery. This being Om Unit, of course there are different shades on offer here as well. "Basement Superman" plumbs aqueous depths with its appropriation of dub techno tropes in a slow-stepping, meditative framework. "What It Is" too revels in introspection, a laconic bassline loping jauntily against the feathery beat in a succinct encapsulation of Bristolian laissez-faire. Jim's current exploits are reaching ever more interesting pastures, and there's an increasing recognition of his past achievements too (check the Kutmah-curated Lost Stories collection of unreleased 2tall bits from his archives), so it's a pleasure to add to the movement and support some truly special gems from a long time friend of the shop.
a1. Om Unit - Friend of Day
a2. Om Unit - Basement Superman
b1. Om Unit - What It Is
Release Date 22nd March 2019
Following the first chapter of Andy Mac'sDiving Birdseries, Idle Hands welcomes Italian producer Piezo into the fold with an EP that harks back to the smoky, dubwise ambience of some of the label's earliest releases.
Luca Mucci was a Bristol resident for a few years before returning to his native Milan, carving out an identity for his Piezo alias with a slew of dubstep-focused EPs on labels such as Artikal Music and Subaltern.
While on an Idle Hands skirmish stateside and playing on NY radio, one of The Kelly Twins dropped "Lume" and remarked on how 'Idle' it sounded, sparking the process that led to this record.
You can sense a link the early Kowton records on EP opener "Opeq", all monochromatic textures and taut, slow-stalking rhythms, but here those facets are interspersed with a unique melodic elegance that offsets the moody immersion of the track, eventually blooming out into an effervescent slice of slow-motion house music.
"Novemiluano" meanwhile displays Mucci's capabilities in handling broken beats, exercising a devastating restraint without compromising on presence or energy in crafting a stunning piece of meditative soundsystem music.
Pushing that foundational dub principle of space and minimalism even further, "Lume" closes the record out in stunning style with an intimate, glacial stepper that champions minute detail as much as looming gaps in the sound. With a peppering of micro-sampling atop a deathly bassweight march, it's a finely pointed arrow aimed right at the heart of Idle Hands, and we couldn't be happier to be releasing it.
Release Date: 21st June 2019
Strategy returns to Chris Farrell's Idle Hands label for the first time since his 'Seeds Of Paradise' LP, and his first record of the year following releases for Nite Owl's Diner and Zam Zam's sister label Khaliphonic in 2018.
Here he turns in a bassy house number by the name of 'Tropical Storm', one for those sloppy grins in the summer months. The most requested track ID on Shanti Celeste's Dekmantel mix, here it finally sees the light of day. On the flip is the more paired back 'Evolu'
a. Tropical Storm