The Guests of Reality EP is a quality look at the past, present and future of electronic music, a well crafted EP where every track can stand on its own two feet. Definitely recommended and is well worth having on your shelves.
a1 - Luke Eargoggle & Kan3da - Night Smoker: This track has a retro electro feel going on with proper raw sounding bass sound that holds up a wonderfully crafted piano arp and shimmering vocal fx string sounds. Big energy here for this tune and a superb way to start the EP.
a2 - Kan3da – Photoptarmosis - Kan3da: continues the EP with a shiny tech style that encompasses intricate acid noises with washed out synth pad sounds adding a kind of mysterious and haunting atmosphere. Little blips leap out of the track as it progresses, and as for beat structure, a very snappy and crunchy snare is the most prominent feature here really adding urgency to the motion of this piece.
b1 - Obergman – Rosetta: Rosetta fuses the wondrous sound of early electro vibes with interesting wobbles of synth, quality squelchy business going on this jam! The use of pitch bent sounds and LFO oscillations make this a kind of sci-fi adventure, and very prominent stab noises penetrate through as the track develops. A dark vibe for the wobblers amongst you.
b2 - Luke Eargoggle – Ambulance: A very apt title for this tune as it sounds like a emergency ward going crazy - analog sounds that have a quirky and weird quality to them, machine code communications are what we are left with. Excellent use of both syncopated noises as well as more slightly loose feeling sounds, bleepy but well thought out - freestyle with style.
b3 - Rutherford – Fordelningspolitik: Rutherford closes the EP with a combination of all that has gone before, massive arpeggiated noodles and melodic pads create a slinky vibe, pure depth with a spacey atmosphere, uplifted with outstanding leads. A solid ending to a tidy EP.
a1. Luke Eargoggle & Kan3da - Night Smoker
a2. Kan3da - Photoptarmosis
b1. Obergman - Rosetta
b2. Luke Eargoggle - Ambulance
b3. Rutherford - Fordelningspolitik
A1 – Escape from Terminal Island, Ubre Blanca starts this fine retro cool wave EP off with some lovely 80’s inspired synth noodling’s, a tidy arp bass sound which makes you instantly think of things like Airwolf or Street Hawk etc - soundtracks of classic TV fame. They are smothered with little sparkling sounds and space piano vibes that really add to the styling of the track, once the drums kick in it kind of rubber stamps it and puts the final touch on this nostalgic trip.
A2 – Muscles & Jungle, The cool wave vibes continue here with this really beautiful synth driven beast, again the use of quality 80’s synth sounds and arpeggio riffs really capture the magic of this period in time but re-imagined in a modern way, very futuristic and well made this track really does tick all of the boxes as far as this genre of music goes - very cool indeed.
B1 – Red Skies, As you gather by now we are firmly in retroville with this EP, Red Skies builds on what has gone before and keeps the quality production coming, if you like all things synth then this driving progressive track will be the one for you. It really lifts as drives forward with a wonderful uplifting melody that has got both beauty and edge.
B2 – World On A Wire, We finish things off with a very thoughtful and more downtempo piece, the production quality oozing pure wonderment and synth perfection. This is a great way to wrap up the EP, mellow sounds and well crafted beats make this tune a must have for the old school synth lovers around the world, the main synth line really stands up on the track and has a real power to it, proper 80’s vibes.
In summary Ubre Blanca does an absolute stunner with the Terminal Island EP a must have piece if vinyl for lovers of synth based music that nods its head well and truly at the 80’s decade but modernises and refines that sound.
a1. Ubre Blanca - Escape From Terminal Island
a2. Ubre Blanca - Muscles And Jungle
b1. Ubre Blanca - Red Skies
b2. Ubre Blanca - World On A Wire
a1. Ekoplekz - Trance Elements
a2. Ekoplekz - Nerva Beacon
a3. Ekoplekz - Robert Rental
b1. Ekoplekz - Severn Beach
b2. Ekoplekz - Sea 90
b3. Ekoplekz - Unfidelity
c1. Ekoplekz - Coalpit Health
c2. Ekoplekz - Pressure Level
d1. Ekoplekz - Analogue Twitch
d2. Ekoplekz - Tuning Out
d3. Ekoplekz - Sleng Zen
a1. Fatima Al Qadiri - Shanzhai (Ft. Helen Feng)
a2. Fatima Al Qadiri - Szechuan
a3. Fatima Al Qadiri - Wudang
a4. Fatima Al Qadiri - Loading Beijing
a5. Fatima Al Qadiri - Hainan Island
b1. Fatima Al Qadiri - Shenzhen
b2. Fatima Al Qadiri - Dragon Tattoo
b3. Fatima Al Qadiri - Forbidden City
b4. Fatima Al Qadiri - Shanghai Freeway
b5. Fatima Al Qadiri - Jade Stairs
A1 – Freakin, Chicagodamn kick this EP off with a 4/4 track that has a great energy to it, techno styled percussion with hypnotic quality that you would expect with textured synth elements rising up out of the beat structure. Heavily phased sounds wash around the whole track adding mysterious vibe to the tune.
A2 – Strange Roads, Downtempo feelings with this track, transcendent elements that bounce off each other and intertwine as the tune progresses... calming beat work that chugs along with claps that leap out of the mix to keep you on your toes, an excellent kicked back track that does have a great energy and atmosphere about it, detailed work here.
B1 – Clean High, is the very energetic piece in regard to this EP, retro house / techno vibes that are washed with effective pads giving the track depth without a loss of urgency. The beats and percussion build up pace without ever getting heavy and uncomfortable, a dance floor track that doesn't go to crazy is the order of the day - an essential tool for your box.
B2 – Natalie’s Tracks, Chicagodamn finish the Postmodern Blues Vol.1 EP off with a wonderfully styled arp based track that has a chunky feel with well designed sounds written all over, it’s a really hypnotic tune that works its way into your head. Expert detailing in the percussion keep it interesting all the way through and yet again not overpowering the musical aspects of the piece, very well made and just as good in the cans as on the floor.
a1. Chicagodamn - Freakin'
a2. Chicagodamn - Strange Roads
b1. Chicagodamn - Clean High
b2. Chicagodamn - Natalie's Tracks
A1 – Eric ‘Dunks’ Duncan – Nerve Control: Mareh Music kicks the label off with a track entitled “Nerve Control” rocking a very old school almost 80’s soundtrack kind of thing with its filtered bassline that really jacks the track along. Percussion again touching the retro buttons here that hold up the various synth noodles and oscillating sounds - all together put this jam is well and truly in the dance floor category!
B1 – Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco – Disco De Chocolate: The flip side of the EP is a more subtle affair, beats that chug along firmly and little dub stabs that lift the track skywards working beautifully with the bass snippets. Real world instrument sounds are sprinkled throughout, vox samples jumping out of the track adding a random quality to the overall vibe of this track, definitely a funky little number for the heads.
A great debut EP from Mareh Music that really offers two different styles on one EP which in some ways is daring and can only be commended. Both tracks would have people moving on dance floors at different times of an evening but whilst doing this retaining quality that is well worth a listen.
a1. Eric 'Dunks' Duncan - Nerve Control
b1. Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco - Disco De Chocolate
All nervous energy, ill-defined brilliance, detached emotion, and subdued minimalism, Man is Deaf is the new album from London based electronic musician Brassica. Sophisticated and distinctive it distills Michael Anthony Wright’s storied musical past; capturing new wave, psych, synth music, avant garde electronics, house, and italo disco; without sounding consigned to any part of it.
a1. Be Lost (feat. Veronica So)
a2. Dance (feat. Stuart Warwick)
b1. Turn Me (feat. Ghostape)
b2. Psychic Heartburn
c1. Tears I Can Afford
c2. Art Ebb Lull Us
d1. The Lodger
d2. Ballo Dei Morti
d3. No Apocalypse
A1) We start with a very interesting soundscape that encompasses pitched down vocals over a really deep atmospheric backdrop that really has a lovely relaxing feel to it, maybe slightly disconcerting as the vox adds a kind of otherworldly suspense throughout.
A2) Heading out to the second outing on this EP, with what sounds like excellent field recordings that capture a very East Indian type of vibe; lush bird song and general ambience of the area in which the sounds have been recorded.
B1) A quickening rhythm, glitch sounds and eerie soundscape that kind of utilises the captured field recordings here, very quiet and delicate electronic synth sounds are very much in the background, very nicely done.
B2) This tune has a more energetic vibe going on with nice hypnotic percussion and growing synth sounds that have a edgy quality, a well structured groove that moves along at a good pace, an odd but lovely track.
B3) A deep and atmospheric end to the EP again using quality recordings over lovely drifting sounds that are held back in the mix, this really creates a very visual filmic vibe, a haunting vocal adds a kind of spooky almost Bioshock video game atmosphere.
Overall the EP really has a contemplative feel and would be suited to a thoughtful and laid back listening session.
a1. Anom Vitruv - Untitled
a2. Anom Vitruv - Untitled
b1. Anom Vitruv - Untitled
b2. Anom Vitruv - Untitled
b3. Anom Vitruv - Untitled
A1 – Searching: Prequel starts the EP with a very live sounding jazz house noodling affair, vocoder vox samples drift over a funky freestyle bass and supporting percussion. This is wrapped in soft stab sounds and retro pad atmospherics that have a laid back sophistication to them, very Sunday afternoon chilling in a café stroking your beard.
A2 – Fidelio: This track has a more traditional house structure albeit with a certain swing to the percussion, a lush kick drum sound drives the track along with tappy percussive vibes bolted to it. The use of jazz style stabs is evident again on this tune and the minimalistic way in which they are used has a really sense of space within the track.
B1 – Michelle: Oscillating synth sounds are the order of the day here and the way that they progress into the main body of the track is very innovative and done with class. An eerie main pad sound rises up through the mix of the tune and adds a suspense to the more soothing lead sounds. The percussive element of the track has a great groove to it and adds a kind of half step vibe through the main 4 / 4 structure.
B2 – The Test Dream: The EP closes with a kicked back track that slows everything down, focusing on more of a looped sample style that uses a downtempo breakbeat kind of atmosphere over the looping lead sounds. The mix of percussion on the track is well thought out going from a very traditional house style into the offbeat breaks and back again really works well and has an originality to it.
Polite Strangers EP by Prequel has definitely got the laid back vote for people who love their tunes to have the certain jazzed smoky style and vibe to them, the is a lot of innovation on this EP and the way that the tracks form as a whole is very cool indeed, well worth adding to the collection.
a1. Prequel - Searching
a2. Prequel - Fidelio
b1. Prequel - Michelle
b2. Prequel - The Test Dream
a1. Steffi - Pip
a2. Steffi - Everyday Objects
a3. Steffi - Fine Friend
b1. Steffi - Selfhood
b2. Steffi - Power Of Anonymity
c1. Steffi - Bag Of Crystals
c2. Steffi - Hard Hitting Horizon
d1. Steffi - JBW25
d2. Steffi - Treasure Seeking (Ft. Dexter & Virginia)
d3. Steffi - Bang For Your Buck