While many of us here at Organic have completely fallen off the sides when it comes to having a clue (about anything!), trusty Muttley remains a reliable source of knowledge and wisdom when it comes to tunage... Listen up!
Repertoire003 - Realside / Law & Wheeler / The Invisible Man / Tim Reaper
Another year passes - another year to ask "Where Ya Going?" Another year to give someone or something a "Second Chance".
These tracks also mark as distinctions on Repertoire003 vinyl, amplified by Law & Wheeler's voluminous sub and amen workout "Natural Resource". Along with a previously unreleased piece from The Invisible Man that dates all the way back to 1996 (who remembers 20 years behind?) the focal points are spread across 25 years and don't suffer for it. This is a contemporary jungle EP that's top-heavy in midrange but underlined by bass, stretching like the potency of a Scotch Bonnet chilli to your tastebuds. As in the moments of heat, light keys are essential, so piano touches, chant-esque vocal rhetoric (also a mainstay of early Studio Pressure cuts that sees these four drawing from the same rich stylistic reservoir) and a qualitative absence of brainfreeze drops increases the longevity of love in the listener. Everything sounds worthwhile, as if it was meant to exist, and the sequencing cohesion creates extra necessary frames of reference. A highly recommended offering from Repertoire.
FBD Project - The Core / Terminate (Bandcamp)
A now sold out repress of two early 90s (1992-1993 to be exact) darkside jungle tunes from FDB project. Paranoid pulsing synth pickets tick out a rhythm base that feels at no odds with technology. Almost completely natural in its style as the fluttering furore that is slightly fear-lobed for your ear lobes. The vintage amen and soul pride breakbeat mashup sounds a bit tired now but along with the timestretches proto Rufige Cru's "Terminator", around at the peak of this sound in 1994, the DJ Die meets Override jungle of the day are noteworthy comparisons. In the context of the modern dancefloor this might not pack a hertz-y punch, but reproducing the masters in this day and age of the jungle en vogue period is a novel idea as any.
FatGyver - Talk To Strangers LP (ReDef Records digital release)
Crunchy drums were forever epicentric to Janne Hatula's contemporary jungle pseudonym Fanu. With FatGyver, the fatness fromdown-pitching the percussion results in whopper low frequencies and enough mid to boost the appreciation singal of everydaylife. With only two lyricists on the entire album, the genre is firmly pitched to instrumental hip hop, while there's a subtle blurring of lines between downtempo as well. Hues of greenery-based symptomatica sprawl out with the beats in almost sombre clusters of coolest blue. This changing of colour in sound is surprisingly coherent and free-spirited, but keeps the weight of the sub close to its chest throughout. Particular standout 'Talk To Strangers (feat. Raw Poetic & Blu)' knots fluid lyricism that loosens like a lead dropped into the ocean, and from there underwater timbres push to the surface with gusto.
Maiians - Tokyo EP (Idiot King Records CD)
Most praised track "Lemon" squeezes a framework of transcendent electronica driven by neon ambient synths and dizzying sampledelia. There's a whiff of epitome about the two-drummer setup in relation to the jungle/dnb genres it takes certaininspiration from. At the inception of the track, those shimmering skyline synths placate a consciousness-weary cityscape - Maiians being from Oxford - and produce a very fresh version of progressive electronica. The great leveller - or levelling - of all the channeled data remains tender handicraft. Toms and shakers swell like petticoat tails against the warm jumper cable tying the record together - mellifluous melodies.
White Blush - SubVersion Influences Mix - Free DL
The synth pop megalomaniacal subgenre mop is often buffeted by lateral thinking - multiple counterpoint, musically, and in White Blush's 2012 mix for my group blog SubVersion, at the outset the trajectory is synth pop that mops up melody and wrings it from the edges of tempo. Likening a stadium posterdom through mid-career Joy Division in "Atmosphere", "Laura Palmer" synthtronica twinkles and "The Wheel" from Tropic Of Coldness, this trip is more along the lines of what Gary Numan was doing on the down low before the majors kept on milking it.
Julien.M - Put It Down (Sunraid Recordings)
Shuffling, short shock sharp percussion rounds out a personable tech house sound-track from Julien.M, coming out of the underexposed Section8 promoters, who have links with Metalheadz Data and Free Love Digi promotions. It's a pulsating exercise in clinical excitement.
Aphex Twin - Computer Controlled Acoustic Experiments Pt. 2 EP (Warp)
A quick follow up release to the highly acclaimed "Syro" from 2014. This time, Richard D James is focusing more on funk frequencies with pianism over explicit electronica. The castle-like majesty is tripped away, folding rhythms careening into jazz territory with hairy trees undercarriaged by worm basslines. The pieces wander well enough, not falling too deeply into kitsch, and obtain a certain pertinence towards abstraction and resolution of modality. The piano playing, whether computer controlled or not, is particularly impressive, meticulous phrases treading through Davis avenue, whereas the drums root up and down the scales of natural timbre and rough-hewn grit.
Venetian Snares - Hospitality (ZIQ140CD)
Out Now (actually, 2006!)
Funk is not usually also something I associate with Aaron Funk as Venetian Snares, since breakcore, drill 'n' bass and orchestral downtempo normally eschews rhythmic structure in favour of syncopative orgy. But in "Hospitality EP", Snares are supposed to work, you know. Like a sand dune rose over the masturbatory IDM (eurgh) crowd and collapsed the air viaduct, then got washed over with a thunderstorm and left to cool down in holistically supportive spurts. I commented on "Cabbage" for TDD Chapter 1 in 2006, but revisiting the EP this month, "Beverly's Potatoe Orchestra" and the massive "Frictional Nevada" understand how to get under the skin of sugar analog melody acids. "Duffy" doesn't beg you for mercy here, to counter the singer of the period, but contrives a traditional melodic pattern of major/minor interleaved. I'm glad I re-listened.
Villem & Macleod - Borrowed Love (Utopia Music)
Mercurial rhythms and Cookin' Records likenesses abound this track on the B side to Bristolian label Utopia Music. Sub-funked out and full of hummable melodies. Borrowed love is often unrequited, and that feeling certainly applies here.
Pageant - Victoria EP / Various Artists - The Outer Reaches Pts.1 & 2 vinyl (Omni Music)
There's an element of d-Bridge's fluttering atmospheres about Paegent's ambient dnb/electronica. Stooped out of the slurry pit of Eurotrance, instead perched on a rooftop on some early 90s Ibiza secret beach. It's a brisk walk: slower BPMs, nothingtoo ear-ripping or lacerating in terms of harmonic counterpoint. As an EP, the tracks dovetail in a spiffy, polished way, blending Detroit Laurent Garnier in the vein of "Acid Eiffel". Pop and sputter of glitchtronica is subsumed for smoothness; angularity ironed out but left to air in front of an open window. That's how the melodies feel, edging up amongst the upper end of the octave with a parliamentary intent to net as much seat as they do raise a response.
"But if you listen to the tape, what was going on might have been in the atmosphere rather than the notes" continues Robert Fripp in a completely unnparallel world as part of King Crimson in The Wire #368 (October 2014), which I happen to be reading this month. That quote is apt as if you see the journey of jungle thru to drum 'n' bass and then back to wider 'EDM' (forget what the denial hipsters say, this term was being used in the late 80s in America, not for Tiesto and the like) there is a continuous parallel to this dialogue now: the development of the spoken genres has converged like a mixtape that dispels specificity into a more try-hard eclectic, dogmatic thought breed.
The second part of the third-in-series Omni vinyl showcases extensions of these ideologues. Atmosphere is championed; short clusters of notes stretched out into longer breaths that become inconspicuous and playful in a Cookin' Records fashion, particularly Justice & Enjoy's "Reconstruction". Pete Rann and Tidal turn in more than a sonic "Sketch", and GLR's Voyager and Aural Imbalance tow a line through continuous harmony with atmospheric drums arriving as the ordered dial in this "Transmission Control". And it's all stellar stuff from Omni; someone commented it sounds "very much like Moving Shadow in their prime".
Deep Space Research - Saturation (Bandcamp)
This excellent handful of tracks is siphoned stylistically with fluency for fibre into a coherent LP without too much of the titular saturation suggested. ASC's "Nectar" remix is a highlight, smoothing out his Autonomic crossover days with buoyancyin the beats that bob like a shadow boxer drawing waves with his arms. The general strictness of 4/4 on the release and a natural straightforwardness where nothing is too prog renders the compositions well, as if they transcend the cliche of dancefloor/home listening by simply being fully realised as possible. Hardfloor's remix is another standout, a cutlass of
old school goa drumwork put to arpeggiated synth work that bubbles like a crystal cave's stalagmites from the ceiling up. Deep space research indeed, in scope and gravitas direction.
Aphex Twin (speculatively) - Select SoundCloud Demos
'Nocares' / 'Redcalx (Slo)' / 'Plinky Plonk' / 'Lush Slow Blips' / 'Utopia' / 'With My Family' / 'Slow Early Morning'
'Organ Epic' / 'Martin's Car LPF' (from a whopping 110)
These tracks (I know I know, second mention of Aphex in Basal Sounds this year, what is becoming of me?) deserve a tail-end mention to give you some free listening that works in a constant stream that strings out the gulf of ambient techno circa Orbital and Dave Clark on the harder end of things, pillowing melodies boring against your alpha passage as you relax into them. "Martin's Car LPF" is a real gem in this concentric regard, while "Red Calx" adapts the famous "Blue Calx" concave lens and sinks the sinuousness of reverb through a compression filter. Overall there's some absolutely brilliant stuff by
Aphex standards in this illustrious bunch of demos, and it can be seen as a cornucopian magnifying glass on his whole ouevre.
Agree with my selections this month? Anything I've missed, or anything I should be checking out for next? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me at @MuttleySV on Twitter.