Forgotten Memories – Alphonse
New label Black Orpheus kick things off with a heavy weight release from Alphonse entitled “Forgotten Memories”, a four track house record fully focused on the club and dance floors. However Alphonse manages to keep things emotional throughout. The title track opens up blissfully with some wonderful wind chime-esque sounds. These blissful and dreamy chimes remain present, but take backseat to allow the club focused breakbeats to drive the track forward. Even while keeping everyone moving over the festive period “Forgotten Memories” synths add to an overall feeling of midsummer madness. “R-House” is a slower and deeper record altogether; however Alphonse’s use of fading and echoing synths keeps emotion locked within the grooves. The persistent playing with effects throughout gives “R-House” a really nice atmosphere, providing a bit more depth to the techy feeling. On the flip “Distro Objection” brings back the breakbeats, with even more energy than “Forgotten Memories”. Drawing influence for techno, as well as the old ragga sounds of the UK underground “Distro Objection” is an absolute weapon. Fading waves of acid influence, the classic Mikey Dread “Saturday Night Style” sample, and the odd scratch sound ensure a screw face and energy. The final offering “Cazbot” starts life as a homage to the hardcore scene. The big bassline full of acid and the breaks whiling everyone around, yet as the tune progresses the pounding kick drums take over with the expertly cut vocal samples. “Cazbot” again makes wonderful use of the effects Alphonse has at his disposal, keeping the track constantly fresh. “Forgotten Memories” is an amazing and highly recommended release from Alphonse, emotional yet club focused. We can’t wait to hear what he, and “Black Orpheus” both have to offer in the future.
So Phat – DJ Sotofett
DJ Sotefett stands tall with the small group of today’s producers uniquely talented enough to basically create a mini-culture simply around their own releases. The aptly named so-phat encapsulated Sotofett’s technical ability for soundscaping and arks to an extremely prevalent understanding of space within a track. Two equally as weighted techno influenced versions of the same melody holder places on this vinyl. The ‘generic’ is raw and unruly, stabbing base and ticking highs ring their way through. It’s stripped down and animalistic in comparison to the other side. The ‘alternate’ mix is somewhat smoother and rolls its way through with more continuous and pulsing bass-notes. Neither 1-ups the other. They are simply two very good versions of the same song.
#3 Black LP – Various Artists
Nous return with #3 Black LP. after the success of #3 White LP the label bring us another 7 track LP, this time leaning on Techno rather than the house cuts that featured previously. Originally conceived to be released as one whole, black and white together, both LP’s ended up getting their own standalone release; as label head George Mavikros explains “I thought the combination with the house tracks would be weird, so I split them into two different records.”With seven brilliant techno songs on offer here it’s hard to pick a favorite. The first track Movement from the fade by Juniper is the perfect example of what a techno track should be, distorted synths and rumbling drum beats carry the listener to pure energetic bliss. Another point of interest would be B3 – Wet Dreams by Ayln, wobbling away in its own little world it’s quite reminiscent of a hessle audio track. We first came across this release in Phonica last Saturday when it was playing through the overhead speakers and just had to have it, we highly recommend this LP and you definitely won’t be disappointed upon purchasing it.
I’m Still Dizzy – Elmo Crumb
Joe Seaton, a.k.a. Call Super, returns to The Trilogy Tapes not as Ondo Fudd, but debuting as Elmo Crumb. Seaton has stated that he intends to use many different aliases irrespective of his changing sounds; yet introducing Elmo seems to help helps make sense of his previously both playful and serious dial-a-god fairytale tone. Accompanied by collage artwork riffing off 60s and 70s graphics such as those of the divisively explicit cartoonist Robert Crumb, and Italian radical architects Superstudio, Call Super happily complicates the symbols that accompany his total aesthetic, whilst continuing to forge the sonic stories between intrigue and drama, and the fanciful and grave that have earnt him his respect. Seducing and electrifying, we are happy to highlight that his currently exhorted samplesmithery continues to please.
Highlife 012 – Tanzania Soundsystem
This week we feature a debut from the mysterious Tanzania Soundsystem: the twelfth release on Huntleys + Palmers and Auntie Flo’s Highlife imprint. The label themselves have been hushed over the identity of the individual or individuals unknown, and only future releases will give an idea as to who really produced this EP. Regardless, this record makes the classic combination of heavy, fun percussion with powerful vocals so reminiscent of highlife music. Add a noodly juju guitar riff or two and you have a record seamlessly transitioning between beach party bonanza and prime time club hysteria. Power and passion coexist peacefully on this debut, and we’ll be watching keenly for more material.