Bobby Wright – Blood Of An American [Melodies Intl.]
When reflecting on 2017, possibly the standout single release for us was a reissue by Floating Points’ Melodies International imprint: Gloria Jay’s ‘Know What You Want’. Now, the label strike gold with us once again with a reissue of ‘Blood Of An American’ by Bobby Wright. Much like Jay, after Wright released this record back in 1975 he seems to have dropped off the face of the musical earth. ‘This world need not hurt no more’ Bobby sings mournfully at the song’s opening, its gentle façade (a soft and jaunty acoustic rhythm section) masking lyrics bemoaning the violence engendered by America’s existence. One could argue Wright had little musical aspirations other than using this fantastic piece of music as a message, and we are so grateful to Melodies for passing it on.
Solitary Dancer – In The Name Of The Mother [Optimo Trax]
The latest release on Optimo Trax comes from Montreal-producer Solitary Dancer. In The Name Of The Mother’s three tracks traverse territory of slow burning groove. The rolling hi hats and shimmering yet menacing synth melodies of ‘Lady Pimp’ recall trap-oriented beats primed for an F64, whilst opening track ‘Heroine Dub’ utilizes a steady breakbeat and distorted vocal pattern in beautiful, wonky fashion. Another great release from the Scottish imprint.
Space Afrika – Somewhere Decent To Live [sferic]
The second release on Manchester-based imprint sferic comes from fellow Mancunians Space Afrika. On previous releases for Where To Now? And LL.M. the duo portrayed a penchant for steady 4×4 ambient slow burners. However now, they enter a new realm – rave music for the darkest depths of the ocean – half-step rhythms stripped down to their bare bones; distant, floating amidst a sea of ice cold weight. Stark and minimal, Somewhere Decent To Live brews it’s hypnotic groove through deep bass passages and swirling synth pads, it’s path occasionally lit up by the flicker of dissonant voices. Deafening in its serenity, this record strikes the soul with a force far greater than many more assertive records and indeed, than any of the duo’s own back catalogue.
De Leon – De Leon [Mana Records]
The forth official release on Mana Records is the eponymous debut LP from De Leon. With several of the record’s tracks having appeared in the group’s 2016 Blowing Up The Workshop mix, it was only right that they should appear in full on Mana, a label co-run by BUTW head honcho Matthew Kent. Incorporating elements of gamelan and capoeira, De Leon enchants and haunts in equal measure – it’s fractured, dubby outward texture ensnaring the vibrant base of the album’s melodies into a deep-rooted frenzy. A truly meditative listen.