Visible Cloaks – Lex [RVNG Ltd.]
In wake of their exceptional LP Reassmblage released earlier this year, Visible Cloaks are coming to find themselves held in many listener’s highest regards. The Oregon duo’s fusion of the new age style honed by Japanese producers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto with their own highly synthetic style of production, once again proves effective on their fantastic new mini-album Lex. Featuring the fourteen-minute ‘World’ alongside five shorter pieces, Visible Cloaks combine a host of string, synth and woodwind sounds with the distant chattering of voices, sparse marimba melodies and much, much more; even donning their best 808-era yeezy impression on ‘Frame’. Based on recent trajectory Visible Cloaks are destined for big things: we can’t wait to hear what comes next!
RAMZi – Pese Piston [12th Isle]
RAMZi’s exceptional skills as a producer are no secret. With a string of great releases already under her belt, including two excellent volumes of Phobiza, her proficiency should come as no surprise as she moves onto her fifth full length project in as many years. Pese Piston, released in collaboration with Glaswegian powerhouse 12th Isle, is quite possibly RAMZi’s most accomplished work to date. It is the disjointed nature of much of her music that makes it so exciting, gliding seamlessly through gorgeous tapestries of sound.
Vanligt Folk – Paelle Bondo [iDEAL Recordings]
Scandinavian band Vanligt Folk come through with their first record in two years with Paelle Bondo on iDEAL Recordings. Glistening synths, garish, croaked vocal performances and sparse, powerful percussion are the essential ingredients that give the record’s four tracks their hypnotic, spooky feel. Moving between moments of cold, callous tension and frenetic, visceral fury, Vanligt Folk settle themselves down for winter’s darkness in their terrifying new home.
Gloria Jay – Know What You Want [Melodies International]
London-based imprint Melodies International round off a prolific 2017 with a reissue of two wonderful tracks performed by Gloria Jay: ‘Know What You Want’ and ‘I’m Gonna Make It’. Originally recorded in 1977 for the short lived Chicago label Stage Productions, both tracks are helmed by a superb vocalist who’s talent unfortunately seems not to have graced any other records since. Indeed, most web searches for the name ‘Gloria Jay’ lead only to clips of the TV show Modern Family. However, thanks to the work of Melodies International, these two gorgeous soul numbers and the beautiful voice that sung them can be heard by a new band of listeners.
“Q” – The Voice Of Q [Isle Of Jura]
Isle Of Jura is an imprint we have become very familiar with over the last year. From the mystic groove of Ozo’s Anambra to the galactic wizardry of Brian Bennett’s Voyage, Kevin Griffiths has helmed the revival of several excellent records in 2017. Now to close out the year, the Adelaide label bring one of their most exciting projects yet: a reissue of The Voice Of Q – a delicious slice of leftfield electro funk from 1982. Written by Bruce Weeden and Michael Forte, ‘The Voice Of Q’ is awash with epithets of the era: slap bass, vocoder, theremin, you name it. But what really carries this fantastic track is it’s infectiously familiar airy synth melody that sits beautifully astride the rest in this timeless, otherworldly classic.