Penelope Trappes – Penelope One [Optimo Music]
Once again we find ourselves singing the praises of JD Twitch’s Optimo Music. The Glaswegian label has consistently been at the top of the game for some time now, this week delivering another stunning record in the form of Penelope Trappes’ Penelope One. The Golden Filter member’s debut solo effort is a majestic portrayal of the struggles of female artistry in a already dark and confusing world. Trappes displays gentle mastery of space and sound – sparse song structure complimenting her achingly beautiful vocal performance.
Scott Gilmore – Subtle Vertigo [International Feel Recordings]
The latest release on Ibiza based label International Feel Recordings comes from California native Scott Gilmore. Subtle Vertigo is a melting pot of musical forms and ideas, unified under one balaeric umbrella sound that instantly puts Gilmore’s name on the map. The LA-based producer’s second full length release was conceived through a multitude of random instruments and synthesizers scavenged from various yard sales and second hand repositories over the years. Despite appearing perhaps erratic and slapdash on the surface, Gilmore’s electronic orchestra of oddities produces an album that is both enjoyable and diverse – a wide range of styles colliding to create something exquisitely delightful.
Various Artists – Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon, 1976 – 1984 [Analogue Africa]
Analogue Africa, the Frankfurt based label responsible for bringing a variety of sounds from Africa to wider audiences, hits the money once again with Pop Makossa – a compilation of music recorded in Cameroon between 1976 and 1984. Titled as ‘The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon’, the twelve-track compilation is the result of eight years tireless research by label head Samy Ben Redjeb. Assisted in large part by DJ and producer Deni Shain, Redjeb was eventually able to compile this fantastic collection of tracks that encapsulate Cameroon’s Makossa sound – an amalgamation of Merengue, High-Life and Disco influences on traditional Sawa music. Bursting with character and style; grace and emotion – Pop Makossa shines light on powerful music as fit for the dance floor as for personal listening.
SVN – Mechine [SUED]
The Berlin-based monolith that is SUED returns once more for another excellent release, with label co-founder SVN again taking the reins to bring us the Mechine EP. Displaying once more the label’s penchant for transforming conventional electronic styles into twisted, unique compositions – Mechine trawls from electro to minimal to house seamlessly, paying homage to the genres without ever diverging from SVN’s own unique sound. Deep and glowing throughout, the record twists from grooving jaunts on it’s A-side to fierce, darker beats on the flip – upholding the imprints reputation as one of the most consistent around.
Umfang – Symbolic Use Of Light [Technicolour]
As a core figure in one of dance music’s most forward thinking and exciting groups, Discwoman’s Umfang is a name on the tips of many commentators tongues. With such high anticipation surrounding the Brooklyn producer’s debut release on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint, expectations were extremely high. Consistent from beginning to end, Symbolic Use Of Light totally lives up to the hype. Giving form to the brand of dark techno cultivated in her intensely revered DJ sets, the record is a timely reminder of Umfang’s skills as a producer: an LP that feels fluid and exciting – the album’s pace skillfully manipulated in fantastic style.