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  • Little White Earbuds » head high http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com Hook up your ears Tue, 15 Jul 2014 05:01:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Little White Earbuds February Charts 2014 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/little-white-earbuds-february-charts-2014/ http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/little-white-earbuds-february-charts-2014/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 06:01:04 +0000 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/?p=42827 01. Doubt, "Captain Hours" [Mistress Recordings] 02. Shan, "Chord Memories" [Running Back] 03. Todd Osborn, "5thep" [Blueberry Records] 04. Matthew Styles, "Gesospik Console" [Nofitstate] 05. Janis, "Illusion of Choice" [Mirau] 06. Martyn, "Vancouver" (Head High Remix) [3024] 07. Rivet, "Bear Bile Pt. 3" [Kontra-Musik] 08. Leisure Muffin, "In Wearable Hertz" [The Bunker New York] 09. Seixlack, "Tele-Sexo" 40% Foda/Maneirissimo] 10. Oskar Offermann, "4th Dimension" [White]]]> 20140301_gdm916_1
    Chart courtesy of The Economist

    01. Doubt, “Captain Hours”
    [Mistress Recordings] (buy)

    Mistress Recordings, the recently launched sub-label of DVS1′s Hush Sound, is by all accounts an unqualified success. This has little to do with the Minneapolis-based producer’s own renown and everything to do with the quality of secret weapons he’s released into the wild after extensive road testing. But Mistress03 by hitherto unknown Doubt, is the first one that’s found its way into my personal collection, mainly for the B1 cut, “Captain Hours.” It’s a rare track that manages to be many things at once without collapsing under its own weight or trailing off incoherently. This can be chalked up to impeccably complex sound design that feels pulled from several eras at once, as well as a pensive but pointed arrangement that coils around listeners, squeezing them into submission without ever raising alarms. Its atmosphere is akin to dust caught in beams of light, grainy but always in motion, while single-wobble bass and sinister chord stabs provide a sense of naughty fun, like a warehouse party in a dangerous neighborhood. Whoever the mystery producer is behind Doubt — and one-sheet asserts it’s an old Minneapolis hand under a new name — they’ve got a good thing going on which is unlikely to stay a sidekick/sidechick for long.

    02. Shan, “Chord Memories”
    [Running Back] (buy)

    Radio Slave’s Sex Trax EP marked a significant turning point in Running Back’s discography back in 2008, with the ubiquity of its track “RJ” elevating Gerd Janson’s label to a sudden prominence that could have taken years to achieve otherwise. Ever since then, Janson has done his bit to release records that are particularly useful to DJs, offering extra bonus beats and tool cuts in addition to tracks that manage to be both utilitarian and quite memorable (the same can be said for Tuff City Kids releases). Shan’s Chord Memories is a great recent example of this, and not only for the three stripped back and numbered B-sides. The title track is a potent reminder of how thrilling dub techno can be when it doesn’t get lost in reverb navel gazing. It’s admittedly not radically different from its predecessors, but the way Shan pushes the tightly reverberating chords with sharply prodding and delectably placed hi-hat accents feels emblematic of the sub-genre’s best moments. And with the exception of a higher pitched pad to heighten the tension, the modulation of the chords’ timbre is the only real development, giving each twist and turn a certain significance. “Chord Memories” might be too full-bodied to work its way into as many DJs’ crates as “RJ,” but Shan has created a memorable moment with a sound that only occasionally yields them.

    03. Todd Osborn, “5thep”
    [Blueberry Records] (buy)

    Many artists start their own labels as a means to take complete creative control of their music and how it’s presented to audiences. Drew Lustman, the New York producer better known as FaltyDL, seems to have something different in mind for Blueberry Records. Kicking off the label with two records by unknown producer Brrd, Lustman continues to champion other artists and steps things up a notch with the Michigan Dream by Todd Osborn, “a hero of [his].” True to form, Osborn delivers the goods across multiple genres — acid house, hip-hop, hyperactive electro — but it’s the most Osborne-ish track that has its hooks in me. It’s not just that “5thep” feels like a summer ride in a convertible, although that helps during this bitter winter. Osborn wrings every possible ounce of energy from one chord progression throughout the entire track, letting the squishy synth line fizz and froth throughout. Jabbing vocal syllables give the track its shape and its jaunty rhythm, with only lockstep percussion checking things into place. Beautifully simple enough to appeal to DJs and home listeners alike, it’s certainly clear why Lustman chose “5thep” as the EP’s lead track.

    04. Matthew Styles, “Gesospik Console”
    [Nofitstate] (buy)

    When I think of Matthew Styles’s sound, I tend to actually consider the shape of his arrangements first. The Berlin-based producer has shown off a range of styles, each connected by a sense that you’re tunneling deeper into the track, hearing melodic striations passing by in the rolling grooves. For Nofitstate, Styles offers four pretty different sounds, and the one I like most is the least identifiable as his. Like its predecessors, “Gesospik Console” is in constant, twirling motion, this time wrapping itself in arpeggiated bass lines and drum kit/cowbell percussion, evoking Italo disco as it emits melodic color in every direction. A stream of varying synth pads and leads offer endless evolution, a dazzling array that could be endless beyond its seven minute runtime and leave me glad Styles continues to push himself out of his comfort zone.

    05. Janis, “Different From The Rest”
    [Mirau] (buy)

    While not the most widely touted label, Mirau have proven consistent in sniffing out new talents early on: Tensnake (one of the founders), Iron Curtis, Mano Le Tough, and Erdbeerschnitzel all had early releases with Mirau before breaking out. After a quiet 2013, Mirau return with Forgiveness Ep by relatively unknown Janis, a Frankfurt-based producer who co-runs the label House Is OK. His first taste of wider exposure is not wasted, showing off four hugely different but still unified house tracks. One senses the influence of the late 90s and early aughts on Janis’s sound, with “Different From The Rest” in particular feeling as if it exited contemporary UK garage and arrives at the cusp of micro-house. This overtly digital sound is kept lively, from the walking bass line line to flickering synth melodies like pixels on the fritz, echoing vocals singing the title between the hummingbird melodies. It might be a touch fussy or hyperactive for some listeners, but worked into the right context “Different From The Rest” could be set-elevating moment. Looking forward to hearing what’s next from Janis.

    06. Martyn, “Vancouver” (Head High Remix)
    [3024] (buy)

    07. Rivet, “Bear Bile Pt. 3″ [Kontra-Musik] (buy)
    08. Leisure Muffin, “In Wearable Hertz” [The Bunker New York] (buy)
    09. Seixlack, “Tele-Sexo”
    [40% Foda/Maneirissimo ] (buy)

    10. Oskar Offermann, “4th Dimension” [White] (buy)

    Brandon Bussolini
    01. Prince of the Isles, “Symphony 201c” [Permanent Vacation]
    02. Untold, “Drop It on the One” [Hemlock Recordings]
    03. Vladislav Delay, “#5″ [Ripatti]
    04. Voices from the Lake, “Sentiero” [The Bunker New York]
    05. Moodymann, “Desire” [KDJ]
    06. Efdemin, “Track 93″ [Dial]
    07. Kangding Ray, “L’envol” [Raster-Noton]
    08. Bass Clef, “Faster Than the Speed of Love” [Public Information]
    09. Lakker, “K’antu” [R&S Records]
    10. Avalon Emerson, “Church of SoMa” [Spring Theory]

    Dino Lalić
    01. Sharif Laffrey, “Turn It Up” [Discos Capablanca]
    02. Tevo Howard, “Boing Pop” (Kornél Kovács Remix) [Rebirth]
    03. An-i, “Kino-i” (Mix) [Cititrax]
    04. DJ Qu, “Undescribed (Believer)” [Strength Music Recordings]
    05. Austin Cesear, “1 Year” [Proibito]
    06. Red 7, “Royal Rave” [Red 7]
    07. Polirican Alarm, “Shelter Or Funkbox” (NY Or Detroit Mix) [subBASS Sound System]
    08. Leisure Muffin, “In Wearable Hertz” [The Bunker New York]
    09. DJ Skull, “Big Girls” [Sect Records]
    10. Rivet, “Bear Bile Pt. 3″ [Kontra-Musik]

    Chris Miller
    01. Tin Man & Donato Dozzy, “Test 07” [Absurd Recordings]
    02. STL, “Amelie’s Dub” [Smallville]
    03. Tobias., “Instant” [Ostgut Ton]
    04. Kassem Mosse, “Workshop 19 A2” [Workshop]
    05. Efdemin, “Transducer” [Dial]
    06. Voices From The Lake, “Velo di Maya” [The Bunker New York]
    07. General Ludd, “Woo Ha” [Mister Saturday Night]
    08. Actress, “Wee Bey” [Werk Discs]
    09. Alex Israel, “A Man Of Qualities” [Crème Organization]
    10. Deadbeat & Paul St. Hilaire, “Little Darling” [BLKRTZ]

    Brandon Wilner
    01. Bass Clef, “Faster Than the Speed of Love” [Public Information]
    02. Soulphiction, “When Radio Was Boss” [Pampa Records]
    03. Austin Cesear, “1 Year” [Proibito]
    04. Dana Ruh, “Don’t You Find Me” [Underground Quality]
    05. Shan, “Chord Memories” [Running Back]
    06. DJ Wey, “Giggles” [white]
    07. Legowelt, “When The Spring Comes Again” [Crème Organization]
    08. Alex Israel, “Colugo” [Crème Organization]
    09. James Bin, “Love Is Infinity (I Will Not Die)” [Fake Music]
    10. MGUN, “Sumtin” [Don't Be Afraid]

    ]]>
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    Martyn, Vancouver (Head High Remix) http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/martyn-vancouver-head-high-remix/ http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/martyn-vancouver-head-high-remix/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:01:29 +0000 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/?p=42764 original

    [3024]


    Buy Vinyl

    Let’s face it: there aren’t many well-loved tracks from years past that merit an update in 2014. There are even fewer producers who can successfully navigate the musical and emotional minefield that is remixing a beloved single. But as affirmed by a seemingly infinite list of one-off aliases and releases that send Hard Wax employees into a flurry of mailing activity, Rene Pawlowitz is a unique quantity himself. “Vancouver,” Martyn’s sublime stepper from 2008, still feels vital today, even if its halftime bounce and upper 130s tempo limit who reaches for it now. Having crossed paths previously in remix form when Martyn remixed Shed’s “Another Wedged Chicken” to great effect, Pawlowitz is perfectly positioned to return the favor under his bone crunching Head High alias on a new single released by 3024.

    The sumptuous dub chords at the center of “Vancouver” still rattle in Pawlowitz’s hands, but they arrive as concise stabs that fit into the spaces of an utterly addictive stop-start percussion pattern. Reducing the range of tones only emphasizes this stunning groove, as if every brief empty beat in the clenching hi-hat/snare pattern was a precious breath keeping listeners from drowning in their own sweat. And while the chords do occasionally ring out in full, wordless vocals sliding between the bars and the occasional chuckle — all from the original — are what keep the mood lighthearted, letting a little skin show between the fearsome spiky percussion. Whenever it was made, Pawlowitz’s remix opens a door between 2008 and 2014, allowing a new crop of admirers and long-time “Vancouver” enthusiasts alike to celebrate Martyn’s excellent tune in a more contemporarily accessible form.

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    LWE’s Top 25 Tracks of 2012 (1-5) http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/lwes-top-25-tracks-of-2012-1-5/ http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/lwes-top-25-tracks-of-2012-1-5/#comments Fri, 21 Dec 2012 06:01:07 +0000 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/?p=36339

    05. Head High, “Rave” (Dirt Mix)
    [Power House] (buy)

    They say that if you’re really taken by a record upon its first hearing, then you’ll soon grow tired of it. There’s a certain amount of truth in that, and a result, only a select few tunes have it in them to hit as hard the first time as they will do the last. If anyone was going to achieve this in the realm of pounding electronic beats, it was going to be René Pawlowitz. Under the Head High guise, the man more commonly known as Shed set the scene alight this May with one of the most effortlessly simple and heartening slices of techno in recent times. Crucially, it’s magic lies in its barren, unassuming start, comprising of a cacophonous wasteland of militant kicks and hasty, hurried snares. Two minutes in however, and from the cavernous recesses ascends an arrangement of stabs so delectable and so instantly (and eternally) gratifying that they genuinely feel familiar. I just wish the first time I’d experienced that moment had been on the dance floor. (Carlos Hawthorn)

    04. Anthony Naples, “Mad Disrespect”
    [Mister Saturday Night Records] (buy)

    To those who have ever attended wild NYC-based Mister Saturday Night parties, it was probably not a surprise that its makers decided to start their own label, as well. What surprises though, is their enigmatic choice of a newcomer — Anthony Naples — on their very first release. With three outstanding tracks on this 12″, he’s managed to bring serious attention from the heads to the nascent label, turning his “Mad Disrespect” track into something of a summer anthem. Its rubber ball bleeps, lush and warm house chords, handclaps and soulful vocal chops make this moody interplay sound easy. More important to the dance floor, though, is the author’s rhythmic sensibility, which finds the funk in everything from shuffling NYC and New Jersey influences to jazz and disco. Brimming with scissoring cymbals and syncopated hi-hats, he manages to balance a wonderfully spacious combination of crackling, pensive house flavors with one of the most intoxicating vocal earworms of 2012. What’s so striking about it is the way it imagines club music not as series of peaks and troughs, but as a breathing communal feeling in a constant state of flux, glowing with romantic love. As it was said in LWE’s review earlier this year, “Mad Disrespect” may be among his very first tracks, but it hints at Naples as being one unexpectedly mature producer indeed, leaving us in eager expectation of his further ventures.
    (Dino Lalic)

    03. Joy Orbison, “Ellipsis”
    [Hinge Finger] (buy)

    Whether or not he intended to, Peter O’Grady laid out something of a manifesto when he wrote “Ellipsis.” The vocal sample at its core, taken from an interview with Source Direct’s Phil Aslett back in 1996, seemed to speak directly to the British producer’s aims: “We just used to like, do our own thing.” It’s said with a kind of nonchalance that lines up nicely with Joy Orbison’s casual approach to rearranging how we think about house music. He might just be making tunes, but as wildly memorable as they are, their impact is felt much more widely than the average 12″ — especially “Ellipsis.” People have been losing their minds to its rapidly shrugging bass line and chopping the air in time to its swinging katana hi-hats since it began making the rounds in 2011, yet I’ve seen no evidence of it losing its appeal throughout 2012. Perhaps that’s because O’Grady doesn’t trade in trendy tropes or subscribe to genre conventions. “Ellipsis” thoughtfully pulls from the entire arsenal of dance music’s past in preparation for the future, applying each element with such grace and benevolence it’s easy to remember what each sounds like without an audible reminder. Seriously, who can forget the first time they heard its liberating piano chords ring out? It’s the kind of thing even scrupulous producers might try to imitate in their own work, if not for that nagging vocal reminder that doing your own thing and doing it well is much more valuable and rewarding. Even though “Ellipsis” was one of the most difficult big records to snag this year, I sense it’s already earned its place in dance music history and so in a way, it already belongs to all of us. (Steve Mizek)

    02. Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse”
    [Smalltown Supersound] (buy)

    Some masterpieces sound tortured. “Inspector Norse,” very possibly Todd Terje’s finest moment yet, sounds anything but. With its easy hook and liberal dousing of schmaltz, it’s not hard to see why the track has been lodged in our collective unconscious since its release back in January. What’s most impressive — maybe even Terje’s genius stroke — is that we never got sick of it. You could theoretically chalk that up to the sleek sound design and expert synth work underpinning its sugary coating, but I wonder if Terje actually created a disco track so brash, its charms are physically impossible to deny. And when I hear its arpeggios swell to clown-shoe-sized proportions so many months after I first experienced it, that’s the explanation I’m most likely to favor. No matter how dark things got this year, “Inspector Norse” was always there to lighten the load. I’d say it’s what I’d like to remember 2012 by, if the track had managed to leave my head long enough to become a memory in the first place. (Jordan Rothlein)

    01. Andrés, “New For U”
    [La Vida] (buy)

    This is where we’re supposed to discuss how “”New For U”” is so far removed from most standard house fare; about its ubiquitous bounds, as capable of coaxing a dance floor onto that next plateau as it is in shutting down shop, sending revelers to come down on someone else’’s time. Or its roots — Andrés lays his head in Detroit and the track embodies the city’’s soulful propulsion. About its ability to supersede the space–time continuum, sounding like it could’’ve been released 20 years ago and worthy of rub 20 years from now. “”New For U”” accomplishes all of that. But it still doesn’’t feel too far removed from most standard house fare. There’’s a palpable disco sheen that radiates over a slick tempo, celebratory string swipes, and a barely-there vocal sigh. Oh yeah, and there’’s handclaps. About 366 of them by my count. So with all that familiarity, what is it that makes Andrés’’ summer (then fall and now winter) anthem so damn delectable? I’’ve racked my brain around that quandary for the better part of nine months now and the best answer I can provide is that it’s a result of pure chance. If you dance around an equation for long enough, you’’re bound to eventually settle on the perfect formula. And that “”New For U”” sounds like a sermon hand delivered from the mount should be proof enough that not every tune needs a gimmick to succeed. A lesson everybody would be well served by learning from the track of 2012. (Michael C. Walsh)

    <<6-10
    <<11-15
    <<16-20
    <<21-25

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    Joy Orbison, Ellipsis http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/joy-orbison-ellipsis/ http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/joy-orbison-ellipsis/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:01:57 +0000 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/?p=32457

    [Hinge Finger]


    Buy Vinyl TK
    Buy MP3s

    Is it ever not a big deal when Joy Orbison releases a track? It seems impossible that anything produced by a mere human could match the buzz surrounding his ultra-auspicious debut, “Hyph Mngo,” but that flashpoint just feels like the beginning; from “Sicko Cell” (a track definitely not in any way produced by the man born Peter O’Grady, of course) through his recent run of Boddika collabs culminating in “Swims,” the Briton only seems to have become more captivating. It certainly helps that his material tends to bounce around for awhile in the DJ sets of the well-connected and in YouTube rips clipped from those DJ sets: his physical releases aren’t so much 12″s as repositories of all the excitement surrounding them, collected over months of fleeting contact.
    Joy Orbison, “Ellipsis”

    But as Chris Miller asked in his “Hyph Mngo” review back in 2009, why is our enthusiasm for Joy Orbison so outsized compared to what we express for his peers? He’s not the only producer whose tunes have a life before they’re officially released, and he certainly isn’t the only guy making weighty, uptempo house tunes. “Ellipsis,” his latest for his and Trilogy Tapes boss Will Bankhead’s Hinge Finger label, may provide an answer for what makes him so special to so many. In typical Joy O fashion, the track landed on YouTube well over a year ago — ripped from a Boddika appearance on Benji B’s Radio 1 show, appropriately — and its legend quickly grew. Finally pressed to wax and available to the masses in full, the track is as good as we thought it’d be, and it’s indicative of what makes Joy O such a uniquely talented producer.

    “Ellipsis” is at its heart a balancing act: its buttery ambience and now-iconic vocal (snipped from a 1996 interview with Source Direct’s Phil Aslett) coax you into otherwise razor-sharp sound design, with its face-slapping hi-hats an insidious acid bass line eying you menacingly from the bushes. At once sternly peaktime-ish and playfully airy, grittily underground and atypically catchy — you can hear all these vibes simultaneously in the forceful piano stomp pumping up the track’s second movement — it occupies a space all Joy Orbison’s own. Rene Pawlowitz’s blistering remix as Head High (much gushed over online as well, albeit on a compressed timetable) manages to be a whole lot at once as well: quite a bit rougher on ears and bodies than the original, it’s nevertheless as detailed and intricate as anything we’ve heard out of Shed’s studio. If “hype” implies something that can never be lived up to, then “Ellipsis” and its remix are products of something else entirely — reasonably gargantuan expectations.

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    Little White Earbuds May Charts 2012 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/little-white-earbuds-may-charts-2012/ http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/chart/little-white-earbuds-may-charts-2012/#comments Fri, 01 Jun 2012 15:01:02 +0000 http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/?p=31711 01. Head High, "Rave" (Dirt Mix) [Power House] 02. Marco Bernardi, "The Burning Love Ensemble" [Royal Oak] 03. Omar, "Lay It Down" (André Lodemann New Vocal Mix) [Best Works Records] 04. Bass Clef, "Walworth Road Acid Trapdoor" [Punch Drunk] 05. Maayan Nidam, "Trippin' Over You" [Cadenza] 06. Dream 2 Science, "How Do I Love Thee" [Rush Hour Recordings] 07. Pépé Bradock, "12Turn13" [Atavisme] 08. The Citizen's Band, "Densed" [Live At Robert Johnson] 09. Lone, "As A Child (Feat. Machinedrum)" [R&S Records] 10. Actress, "The Lord's Graffiti" [Honest Jon's Records]]]>
    Chart courtesy of The Economist

    01. Head High, “Rave” (Dirt Mix) [Power House] (buy)
    In most cases, critics are likely to throw shade at a producer who sticks rigidly to their formula across several releases. René Pawlowitz has repeatedly proven to be an exception to that kind of criticism, even though the many aliases he’s racked up each tend to hew closely to their own clearly defined sound. Think of them as preset labels on a synthesizer — or perhaps more accurately gear that’s set aside for creating a distinct kind of track. That’s why the Hard Wax sourced white label marked only as RAVE was so instantly recognizable as his work: it had his earthshaking kicks, skilled hi-hat chop work, and a thrilling yet linear arrangement few producers can eke out so readily. It was a relief when this rapidly snapped up tune received an official pressing, fittingly under the Head High guise. Having just returned from the Movement festival in Detroit, I can tell you “Rave” (Dirt Mix) is tailor made for main stage festival play. The voracious drum patterns are a fine starting point, but the generously syncopated synth line — which arrives in a deliciously executed breakdown — practically begs the throngs to move their hands in time. Its resplendent tone is the clincher, subtly harmonizing with itself as the notes quiver in a reverbating space. Like so many of his “anonymous” tunes, “Rave” has summer anthem written all over it without any of the pretense that might ordinarily imply. And it’ll be just our luck if Pawlowitz keeps repeating himself when the results are this exceptional.

    02. Marco Bernardi, “The Burning Love Ensemble” [Royal Oak]
    After a rather busy and lucrative 2011, Clone’s Royal Oak sub-label has been taking this year easy, issuing only one remix EP thus far. Its second release of the year, Marco Bernardi’s The Burning Love Ensemble, is a worthy way to get back into the swing of things. The Italian-born, Glasgow-based producer is no stranger to Clone or a range of other Dutch labels, in no small part because he’s closely studied the first wave of Chicago house. I can almost hear a certain kind of reader groaning at this point, but rest assured, “The Burning Love Ensemble” is hardly one of the many over faithful pastiches going around. The influence is felt more in the warmth of the climbing and falling progression at the tune’s core, a sense that the synth had been left humming for a while before blanketing the proceedings. The sensation of lift-off is aided by the doubled hi-hat hits and a bass line revealed over two bars rather than the usual one. Admittedly not as colorful or diverse as the EP’s lead cut, “Days Gone By,” the title track lays a path between a slo-mo house set and something to start getting the blood up.

    03. Omar, “Lay It Down” (André Lodemann New Vocal Mix) [Best Works Records] (buy)
    This remix is actually not new, having originated on the same 2010 Peppermint Jam remix EP that birthed Henrik Schwarz’s better-known remix of “Feeling You.” But its inclusion on André Lodemann’s Fragments compilation is a potent reminder of how dangerous this often underrated producer can be with a worthwhile vocal. What’s wonderful about this remix is how Lodemann toys with tension by allowing Omar’s intensely musical vocals do most of the heavy lifting for the first three minutes or so. Providing only a couple swaying organ chords and firm drum programming, the track shifts from pleasant to essential as Omar repeats the titular refrain and funky melodies start welling up behind him. Suddenly you’re dancing to a whole new rhythmic scheme led by punchy vocal syllables, a euphoric turn no one sees coming without leaving dancers flummoxed. There’s something classic in the track’s patient arrangement — a nod to past peaks in dance songwriting more than any specific sound. A great tune for turning up the heat on your next summer party.

    04. Bass Clef, “Walworth Road Acid Trapdoor”
    [Punch Drunk] (buy)

    I’ll admit to not having a solid grasp on the discography of Ralph Cumbers, the London-based producer better known as Bass Clef. Yet I felt fairly secure in the assumption that Reeling Skullways, his latest LP which arrived on Bristol institution Punch Drunk, would fit somewhere along the bass music continuum. Instead the album hits on a variety of sounds, many within the realms of house, and does so in a charming and well executed manner. One of several standouts is “Walworth Road Acid Trapdoor,” whose thwacking drum programming and restless Juno bass could have been the basis for a John Heckle tune. The lovely, slowly decaying melodies, eventually joined by more frenetic phrasings, hardly dispel the connection but assure that it’s all Cumbers. I particularly enjoy its deliberate pacing, making listeners wait more than halfway through its runtime to get melodic development but offering little tweaks along the way to make the run-up worthwhile. Good things come to those who wait, particularly if they have no idea what to expect. Not only will I apply a more open mind to Bass Clef and Punch Drunk’s respective output, I’m going to be paying much closer attention henceforth.

    05. Maayan Nidam, “Trippin’ Over You”
    [Cadenza] (buy)

    Just before becoming a clearinghouse for Latin flavored party favors around ’08-’09, Luciano’s Cadenza imprint was still at the peak of its powers with its clever and at times brilliantly twisted takes on house and techno. Maayan Nidam came up through the ranks during this period, both solo and as half of Mara Trax, bearing a minimal house sound befitting of the climate and the labels she released on (Oslo, Contexterrior, Perlon, etc.). Now, almost two years since her last record hit shelves, Nidam returns with her second LP, New Moon. It arrives on Cadenza, yet it’s safe to put aside whatever apprehension the brand name might elicit. The album finds her making great strides in the depth of her sound while pushing the label back towards its more esoteric roots. “Trippin’ Over You” is a worthwhile starting point, its squishy, distorted vocals and 1/3/4 groove providing plenty to sink into. Yet it’s still fully danceable, cut up by an array of ride cymbals and given a more forceful push by a round, Chicago-influenced bass line. It’s the kind of tune Perlon could have conceivably nabbed had Cadenza not beaten them to the punch — and that’s the kicker. You might not always trust the label’s A&R decisions, but an album like New Moon attests you can’t count them out yet.

    06. Dream 2 Science, “How Do I Love Thee”
    [Rush Hour Recordings] (buy)

    07. Pépé Bradock, “12Turn13″ [Atavisme] (buy)
    08. The Citizen’s Band, “Densed”
    [Live At Robert Johnson] (buy)

    09. Lone, “As A Child (ft. Machinedrum)”
    [R&S Records] (buy)

    10. Actress, “The Lord’s Graffiti”
    [Honest Jon's Records] (buy)

    Staff Charts

    Per Bojsen-Moller
    01. Madteo & Sensational, “Freak Inspector” (Hieroglyphic Being Rework) [Morphine Records]
    02. Wolfram Featuring Haddaway, “Thing Called Love” (Legowelt Special Mix Dub) [Permanent Vacation]
    03. Roman Flügel, “O.T.H.” [Live At Robert Johnson]
    04. Jouem, “Eldarion” [Mojuba]
    05. DJ Kaos Featuring Ange Da Costa, “Keep On Movin’” (Arttu Raw Mix) [liebe*detail spezial]
    06. Gerry Read, “90′s Prostitution Racket” [Ramp]
    07. Makam, “What Ya Doin’” [Dekmantel]
    08. Ben Sims, “Bite This” [Theory Recordings]
    09. Pittsburgh Track Authority vs. Nice Rec, “Snap Off” [Pittsburgh Tracks]
    10. Midland, “What We Know” (Motor City Drum Ensemble Dub) [Aus Music]

    Steve Kerr
    01. Vatican Shadow, “Cairo Is a Haunted City” [Bed Of Nails]
    02. Forward Strategy Group, “Nihil Novi” (Nik Colk Void Remix)
    [Perc Trax]
    03. Laurel Halo, “Tumor” [Hyperdub]
    04. Suum Cuique, “Kuiper Anomaly” [Modern Love]
    05. Unknown artist, “Journey 2″ [Long Island Electrical Systems]
    06. Tropic Of Cancer, “It’s All Come Undone” [Mannequin]
    07. Jam City, “How We Relate To The Body” [Night Slugs]
    08. Anom Vitruv, “untitled B1″ [Tabernacle Records]
    09. Tin Man, “Devine Acid” [Absurd Recordings]
    10. Run DMT, “Cash For Gold” [LebensStrasse Records]

    Kuri Kondrak
    01. Soul 223, “Almost Like It Used To Be” [Delsin]
    02. Infestus, “Afterglow” [Groovement]
    03. Unknown artist, “Journey 1″ [Long Island Electrical Systems]
    04. Keith Worthy, “Is It In You?” [Aesthetic Audio]
    05. Protect-U, “Invisible Halo” [Planet Mu]
    06. Lerosa, “Decisions” [Apartment Records]
    07. Actress, “Caves Of Paradise” [Honest Jon's Records]
    08. New Order, “Elegia” [Factory]
    09. Moodymann, “Pray 4 Love” [Scion Audio/Visual]
    10. Uku Kuut, “Vision Of Estonia” [People Potential Unlimited]

    Chris Miller
    01. Shackleton, “There Is A Place For Us” [Woe To The Septic Heart!]
    02. Actress, “Caves of Paradise” [Honest Jon's Records]
    03. Alex Israel, “Mongo Raw” [Crème Organization]
    04. Bookworms, “Love Triangles” [L.I.E.S.]
    05. Laurel Halo, “Airsick” [Hyperdub]
    06. Trevino, “Backtracking” [The Nothing Special]
    07. Moritz von Oswald Trio, “Jam” [Honest Jon's Records]
    08. David Orphan, “The Witch” [Pre-Cert Home Entertainment]
    09. Roman Flügel, “O.T.H.” [Live At Robert Johnson]
    10. Pigon, “Kamm” (tobias. Version) [Lirum Larum]

    Jordan Rothlein
    01. Elgato, “Luv Zombie” [Hessle Audio]
    02. Bookworms, “African Rhythms” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
    03. Fudge Fingas, “Eyes On The Prize” [Purple Maze]
    04. The Traveller, “A100″ [Ostgut Ton]
    05. B.D.I. Presents Compassion Crew, “Paper Tears” (Same Victories, Same Mistakes) [Running Back]
    06. Bass Clef, “Electricity Comes From Other Planets” [Punch Drunk]
    07. Pépé Bradock, “12Turn13″ [Atavisme]
    08. Amir Alexander, “The Black Rain” [Argot]
    09. Afrikan Sciences, “The Onliest” [Deepblak]
    10. Joey Anderson, “Track 3″ [Soul People Music]

    Harry Sword
    01. Forward Strategy Group, “Elegant Mistakes” [Perc Trax]
    02. Bass Clef, “Walworth Road Acid Trapdoor” [Punch Drunk]
    03. Vatican Shadow, “Church Of All Images” [Type]
    04. Shackleton, “Powerplant” [Woe To The Septic Heart!]
    05. Guy Andrews, “The Wait” [Hotflush Recordings]
    06. Amir Alexander, “The Black Rain” [Argot]
    07. Omar S, “3c 273″ [FXHE Records]
    08. Forward Strategy Group, “Labour Division” [Perc Trax]
    09. Chicago Shags, “Ponderosa” [M>O>S Deep]
    10. Lone, “As A Child (Feat. Machinedrum)” [R&S Records]

    Brandon Wilner
    01. Behling & Simpson, “Work That Body (Feat. James Fox)” [Futureboogie Recordings]
    02. Roman Flügel, “Girls With Status” [Live At Robert Johnson]
    03. Amir Alexander, “Gutter Flex” [Argot]
    04. Traxman, “Footworkin On Air” [Planet Mu]
    05. Reggie Blount, “Shining Star” [Clone Crown Ltd.]
    06. Laurel Halo, “Light + Space” [Hyperdub]
    07. Policy, “One Last Time” [Rush Hour Recordings]
    08. Marco Bernardi, “La Montagne Des Reves” [Royal Oak]
    09. James Priestley & Marco Antonio, “Baia 2012″ [Secretsundaze]
    10. Infestus, “Electric Purple” [Groovement]

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