Release Date: 14th February 2020
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” The steadily brilliant French producer Nathan Melja – who’s made the rounds between choice outlets over the past half decade, from Mister Saturday Nights to Antinote, via Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour and Opal Tapes, seems to have learnt Bruce Lee’s lesson by heart, and his seamlessly fluid, no-nonsense debut foray on K.O.C. is here to potently cement his status as one of Europe’s number one club trailblazers, and one that knows all too well how to turn any dancefloor into an infinity pool of pure liquid euphoria.
Drawing its name from the physiological and psychological process that results in a confusion of one’s sensory perceptions, ‘Synesthesia’ is indeed the kind of club single that shall trigger off massive reaction amongst right-minded bipeds and chromakey house suckers. Straightforward club business done right, Melja’s original is a vivid kaleidoscope of skittish drums, swampy bass stabs and a well-rounded, supremely curvy synthwork, tailored to take ravers on a flash journey through space and time without the help of Richard Branson or Elon Tusk (pun intended).
Called in on remix duty, TTT affiliate and Incienso co-founder Anthony Naples delivers a more fragmented and ambientish variation, though functional and club-ready in its own right. Brushing even wider verbed-out pad tapestries for your brain to wander in, the track expands to deeper organic horizons with a field-depth that can not but recall that of the KLF and Bochum Welt’s emotional soundscaping. Meanwhile, Karenn half Pariah takes care of whelming us deep into more techno-friendly terrains, true to his ever masterly touch for epic buildups and multi-level textural innovation, bringing up the acidic phlegm of Melja’s original as he treats us to a carefully orchestrated ballet of synthetic whorls, contemplative chords and propulsive drum programming.
a1. Nathan Melja - Synesthesia
b1. Nathan Melja - Synesthesia (Anthony Naples Remix)
b2. Nathan Melja - Synesthesia (Pariah Remix)
Release Date: 19th June 2020
Expert in trippy joints and knee-buckling bounce, OZ-based producer Reptant is back with a vengeance after an array of choice outings on the likes of Salt Mines, Planet Euphorique and Craigie Knowes. No warm-up lap needed, ‘Phasic Reflex’ may start as a tycho-esque daydream, what’s bred in the bone comes out in the flesh. A pure adrenaline rush of vogue-ing 303, hi-voltage electro and intricate drum programming, this one has dancefloor ripper written all over it.
Keeping the tension up to hazardous levels, ‘MS Plenty’ zones out to a Detroit-style elixir of arpeggiated seesaws and pong-indebted, body-jacking pep. As its title suggests – or not, the B-side opener ‘A Realist’s Realistic Reality’ clearly lies closer to a cyphered Dick-ian parallel world full of binary bleepin’ and swirlin’, post-kosmische infused riffs and tentacular Arpanet-style modularity, which Roza Terenzi alters into a lo-pressure dub expedition – better tasted at sunrise, feet buried deep in the sand and your hazy mind draped in the cosy folds of a cheerful seaside sloth with friends.
a1. Phasic Reflex
a2. MS Plenty
b1. A Realist's Realistic Reality
b2. A Realist's Realistic Reality (Roza's Realism Remix)
Release Date: 15th February 2019
It’s a new year and what better way to celebrate it than with a new release and a new artist. As Liluzu, Lachlan McGeehan debuts on Kalahari Oyster Cult with What’s Your Star Sign. Part of Australia’s growing pool of musical talent, McGeehan combines a wide spread of influences and styles to arrive at his own unique sonic personality.
“I Think That…” opens the 12”. Classic breakbeat percussion is countered by chanting samples and silken chords as western grooves collide with the exoticism of the east. Tribal toms are cut by a rasping drum for the Bubble Mix of “Arreca.” Delicate notes flutter next to squelchy basslines and aquatic flows in this dreamy and imaginative work. BPMs rise as “Scale Libra” makes itself known on the flip. Shapeshifting melodies glow from the outset, bright notes dawn and shine in this track of new age optimism and old-school class. The I Love You Mix of “Scale Libra” muscles up rhythm patterns, sourcing extra pound through thick kicks while adding height to the ascending lines of the Liluzu’s version. A provocative dust-mask remake by Sentiments that captures all the enthusiasm and grace of the original as it nods to the verve of the 1990s dance scene.
a1. I Think That...
a2. Arecca (Bubble Mix)
b1. Scale Libra
b2. Scale Libra (Sentiments I Love You Mix)
Released 21st September
Roza Terenzi is the latest convert to the Kalahari Oyster Cult, the Australian producer debuts with four tracks showcasing her unique sound. Influences come from far and wide, shifting between electro, house, techno and even early rave anthems. The space bleeps of “Gigi” are soon interrupted by shouldering kick drums. Samples stagger and stumble before key stabs cut through beats in this hazy piece of early morning elation. “Mwah” maintains those euphoric moods. Snapping snares slice through shimmering synthwork and soaring strings to keep the night grooving. Darker tones enter with “Rare High”, but these shades are soon brightened by arcing notes. Acid lines squeak and squirm in this balancing act of disparate colours and chords. Distant lands and exotic encounters are conjured for “Soft”, perfumed percussion and meandering melodies mingle and merge for head swimming close of aromatic audio.
b1. Rare High
Release Date: 3rd April 2020
Following up to a pair of choice transmissions on Aussie operated imprint Vulcan Venti, Perth-based rising talent Hame DJ turns up on KOC with a debut four-track platter oozing pure elegiac acid vibes and transient, sci-fi-infused ambient, seamlessly hedge-hopping from UK bass to liquid jungle, through gauzy atmospheric techno and bastardized shades of Rephlex-style electronica.
Fresh as a cucumber, opener ‘On 1’ ushers its listener in a world of keys-loaded, faux-organic layers and rippling ’90s motifs. Threading its way betwixt garage, dub and piano house, the track brushes an equally vivid and dynamic tableau of shape-shifting floor-ready electronics. Starting off as a further mischievous affair, A2 ‘Zoot’ sounds like the outback cousin to Paul Woolford’s seminal steely burner ‘Erotic Discourse’ but soon evolves into a top-shelf breaky chugger that shall jam alien radars as much as it should have everyone on the dancefloor down on their knees in a jiffy.
Breaking the B-side in, slo-mo drifter ‘Nightlife’ turns the tempo down to ‘after-party sunrise’ mode. Implementing a lushly arranged battery of swampy 303 arpeggios, soft-spoken piano stabs and vaporous vocals, this one’s custom-cut for daydreaming with a bunch of friends by the Gold Coast’s idyllic seaside. Topping off that otherworldly journey is ‘Erosion’ – a FX-laden, hip-hop drums-strewn slab making the rounds between sepulchral, Kraut-dunked broken beat a la Tolouse Low Trax and post-Drexciyan synth wizardry. Proper mind-expanding stuff from a producer on the cusp of real big tings.
a1. On 1
Released 13th March
Originally released via Terraform Records in 1995, ‘Systems E.P. 1’ was certainly too ahead of its time to meet with success back in the day. That said, as years went by, so swelled the reputation of this sextet of visionary, alien-engineered jams, soon turning the once $1 bin find into a highly sought-after item on the second-hand market. Much to the displeasure of hardline speculators but for the greatest joy of skint ’90s sound lovers, KOC reissues the Systems experience in full force and effect.
Harbouring a trio of submersible ambient-tech and 303-driven breaksy weapons, Red Shift’s own dedicated A-side has lost nothing of its soul-fulfilling appeal. Getting the ball rolling, ‘3rd Moon’ skippers us to brightly hued sound niches, where trancey acid motifs merge with slo-moving ambient pads and uptempo breakbeat on a frenzy. Laced with a hint of bleepy abstraction, the more lascivious, piano-laden ‘Audity’ then shifts the scope to further introspective depths before ‘Himalayas’ takes us on a mind-expanding ride across imaginary snow-capped summits and lushly forested slopes.
Flip it over and here comes Ether and their mightily explosive ‘Detonator’ – a wild and woolly acid number that shall not go without conjuring up memories of the early Prodigy’s mid-nineties rave exploits. Not to be confused with that of his contemporary Australian counterpart, Escape Artist’s ‘Rain Eternal’ evokes the soulful RnB suavity of Sade’s classics, adorned with otherworldly organic warbles and addictive piano stabs. Constants of Nature vibey closer ‘Slow Symmetry Breaking’ rounds off the journey on a further distinctively atmospheric note, perfect to muster up the energy and drive to take it on the lam from our crazy world.
a1. Red Shift - 3rd Moon
a2. Red Shift - Audity
a3. Red Shift - Himalayas
b1. Ether - Detonator
b2. Escape Artist - Rain Eternal
b3. Constants of Nature - Slow Symmetry Breaking
Release Date: 13th December 2019
“Digital native. Noun. A person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and so familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.”
Prime handler of comet powder-fuelled floor heroics for the sun-dazed hours, Melbourne’s Escape Artist made quite the impression with his previous pair of EPs for Salt Mines and much enticing debut tape album for Couch Acid Recordings. Turning up on Kalahari Oyster Cult with his anticipated third outing, ‘Digital Natives’, the Aussie producer pulls out a quartet of old-school ravey pumpers, rife with the usual pack of patented Escape Artist tropes. Kalahari’s 19th oyster is sure to get dancers wading knee-deep in their own sweat as EA takes care of whooshing us off to dreamier Utopian heights in one smooth movement.
Cutting a path of cyber-organic fascination, ‘Another World’ flies us straight off to fantasized tropics where warm swashes of bleached-out pads and roguish acid froth languidly lap at convulsive ridges of breaks-riddled drum programming. Taking the original for a dive into swampy, Chain Reaction’esque depths, Canadian techno deconstructivist Flørist offers a moment of calm before the B-side’s storm.
An all-out dynamic affair, ‘Digital Natives’ cranks up the heat a notch further with its heavy alloy of propulsive electro and ankle-breaking rhythmic outbursts, which shall wreak absolute havoc no matter the hour or place. Rounding off the trip on a jazzy, laid-back after party vibe, ‘Inner City Pressure’ is a vivid mix-&-match of junglistic engineering and ethereal house-ism; a most spitting sum-up of Escape Artist’s playful and versatile approach toward production. Roll the dices and brace yourself, this is some massive magic at work right here.
a1. Another World
a2. Another World (Flørist Remix)
b1. Digital Natives
b2. Inner City Pressure (Relief Mix)
Release Date: 14th June 2019
Munich. 1994. A group buck current trends with a ground-breaking release. Tikitaka by Tamburá left aside the techno of the time to focus on a the lesser known styles of afrobeat and tribal music. The result was three tracks that sail and soar on a primal energy, three works that whisk listeners away to exotic lands of wooden wind instruments, ritualistic vocals and, even, bag pipe majesty. For twenty five years this record has been an unattainable mystery, until now that is. Kalahari Oyster Cult have lovingly restored all three of the trailblazing original tracks alongside two very special remixes. Melbourne’s Tornado Wallace adds new layers of intensity as he cuts and reshapes melodies and beats to set any floor alight with this visionary remake. Dazion offers a very different interpretation. Focusing on vocals, this new talent accentuates the shamanic-like chants of Tikitaka, using them as a base from which throbbing synth lines grow as new depths are explored. An EP every bit as daring in 2019 as it was in 1994.
a1. Tikitaka (Highland Mix)
a2. Tikitaka (Instrumental)
b1. Tikitaka (Tabla Mix)
b2. Tikitaka (Tornado Wallace Remix)
b3. Tikitaka (Dazion Remix)
Release Date: 5th April 2019
Casting the net ever wider, Kalahari Oyster Cult have drawn in new music and a new artist for their latest release. Flora FM, a.k.a. Community Corporation a.k.a. T. Hawkins, has graced imprints such as Argot and Vanity and now debuts with Chaos Light. Trying to define the style of this sound weaver is a near impossible task, the gamut of electronics has been plundered to create this unique EP. From the aquatic hypnotics of “Hallucinogenic Worm” and the hyperactive energy of “Chrome Glass”, Flora FM borrows from acid house, rave anthems and techno with a magpie like curiosity as he melts textures and tones like a master. Broken beats and rich xylophonic melodies coalesce in the bubbling “Storm Cleaned” before the warm bath that is the Chicago hued “Insist on You.” Chaos Light keeps you guessing until the very end, the erratic and frenzied reductions of beat and bass combining to form “Inc Stop.” A youngster with the ear and ability of a seasoned veteran.
a1. Hallucinogenic Worm
a2. Chrome Grass
b1. Storm Cleaned
b2. Insist On You
Release Date: 15th March 2019
X-Ray records’ catalogue is as under the radar as it is rich and ahead of its time. Releasing between 1992 and 1994, most of the label’s outputs were produced by Raymond Castoldi.
Although people primarily know Castoldi for being the music director and organist in Madison Square Garden, he also has a lesser known chapter of his life. In the early 1990s, Raymond released 6 EPs on his imprint X-Ray Records. By coupling his musical education with a four-on-the-floor club pattern, Castoldi managed to create a jazzy vibe with spaceous sounds and keyboard jams, all coalescing into a relaxing atmosphere that would eventually become the signature sound of 90’s deep house.
In partnership with Castoldi, Kalahari Oyster Cult delivers the goods once again: 11 tracks from the X-Ray catalogue over a 3LP for your deejaying pleasure.
a1. Cycles Of Life
b2. Feel The Rhythm
c1. Feel The Piano
c2. And God Made A Woman
d1. The Solo
d2. In Orbit
e1. The Nightflight
f1. The Deep And Slow
f2. Absolute Time
Release Date: 15th March 2018
Reissue of this rave classic – Indians & Aliens and Great Spirit – 2 tracks packed with tribal rhythms, breaks and acid lines by West Coast pioneers DJ Trance & Darwin Chamber.
Straight from the DATS, remastered by Alden Tyrell and cut at The Exchange London, what else could you ask for? 2 fire remixes by D. Tiffany & Roza Terenzi, you say?
a1. Indians & Aliens
a2. Indians & Aliens (Roza Terenzi Terrestrial Mix)
b1. Great Spirit
b2. Great Spirit (D. Tiffany Human Spirit Mix)
Release Date: 5th January 2019
First opus of the new series is La Batterie, by the UK’s Richard Podolor and Sandy Nelson in 1983 in the hypnotic shimmering disco of “Let There Be Drums.” The music of Polodor and Nelson is being given new life by Kalahari Oyster Cult. Alongside the entrancing original are two remixes. First up is Australia via Amsterdam’s very own Max Abysmal with his “Spooky Remix.” Adopting and adapting the raw energy of the ’83 version, Abysmal layers ghostly notes and spectral snares into his mechanical remake. The flip takes on a different slant with “Shotgun” taken from the EP of twenty fives years ago. A super slick work of understated funk shot through with bold keys and powerful chants to show another side of the UK pair. The fiercely talented Benedikt Frey closes, turning his daringly able hand to “Let There Be Drums.” He keeps the vocal line, the rest of his rework is dipped in a thick heart of darkness threat. Pulsing thumps, menacing notes and danger lurk in this jungle of Frey’s own making.
a1. Let There Be Drums
a2. Let There Be Drums (Max Abysmal's Spooky Remix)
b2. Let There Be Drums (Benedikt Frey Remix)
Release Date: 14th December 2018
Kalahari Oyster Cult have been thumbing through their back catalogue and return to a past gem for some renewed attention. 2017 saw the release of Erell Ranson’s Hand in Hand, a quintet of beautifully crafted machine music. Two tracks have been chosen from the EP and remixed with stunning results.
First up is Dj Normal 4’s “Sealife Safari MixX” of “If We Never Try.” The sweet, shimmering melody of the original, the bubbling bass and subtle notes, are transformed in this remake. Silvery chords morph into bold and daring new forms under the tutelage of Tim Schumacher, neon streaked patterns coalescing with broken and cracked percussion for a superbly uplifting piece.
Pariah follows with his rework of “Hand in Hand.” A deep dreamscape intricately woven with heady notes, birdsong and endless possibilities.
The final odyssey comes care of SW (Stefan Wust) of SUED fame. The Berlin based musician delivers his reimagined idea of “If We Never Try” with Ranson’s version being washed over by lapping lines and gentle currents to create a smooth rounded finale. A trio of unique perspectives from three true talents of electronic music.
a1. Erell Ranson - If We Never Try (DJ Normal 4 Sealife Safari MixX)
a2. Erell Ranson - Hand In Hand (Pariah Remix)
b1. Erell Ranson - If We Never Try (SW. Amnesia Interpretation)
Released 5th October
In the wake of a spread of releases Urulu arrives, the latest convert to the Kalahari Oyster Cult. “Transworld” is the American artist’s first gift to the diety. The track physically jitters into life as broken beats and classic samples give rise to an elusive melody of spaced out synthlines and expansive arcs. Shapes are a central theme of the EP, like the exotic curves, playful percussion and full bodied bass of “Precinct 9.” Urulu toys with assumed structures, nowhere is this more evident than in the bizarre and brilliant medley of bleeps, honks, squeaks and bold beats that make up “Groove Therapy.” Trippy samples introduce “Precinct 9 (Extremix),” a final psychedelic trip of Technicolor trance to bring the listener back from a journey known as Ex-Terrestrial.
a2. Precinct 9
b1. Groove Therapy
b2. Precinct 9 (Ex-Terrestrial's Extremix)