Reviews/Previews

Culoe De Song - Watergate 21: Review

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It is rare that a compilation is referred to as beautiful, however Culoe De Songs Watergate 21 is just that. Following the highly regarded twentieth installment of the mix series from Mathias Mayer, Watergate has remained consistent when choosing a successor for the twenty first installment. The South African native has forged an international name for himself over the last ten years, having come a long way since his first release on Black Coffees compilation ‘Have Another One’ in 2007. For Culoe De Song 100 Zulu Warriors, which was his offering on the compilation, fundamentally marked the beginning for him in South Africa’s musical circle.

 

Staying true to his South African roots and his unique tribal house sound, Culoe has since released well received tracks on Innversions, Mule Musiq and his own label De Song Music which he established as an outlet to showcase his own music last year. The 18 track LP Washa was the first to come out of De Song Music and similarly to Watergate 21 showcases Culoes musical heritage.

No stranger to Watergate having made his debut in 2014, Culoe has skillfully encompassed elements from his sets at the notorious Berlin nightclub via this 15 track compilation. Expertly mixed Culoe puts his stamp on the compilation through his own unheard exclusive tracks with additional offerings from heavyweights such as &ME, Boddhi Satva, Guti and Em ExDead Man's Walk marks the opening of the compilation, a steady journey track which builds beautifully as the track develops with added dolphin like samples which nod towards to releases artwork. Equally as strong Aftermath and Juice communicate Culoe's roots through sounds of the homeland.

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Expertly mixed tribal rhythms, pulsing percussion and heartfelt vocals transport the listener on a journey washing over you like a warm South African breeze. Although its contributors each hold their unique sound with every track on the compilation, Culoe expertly transitions from one track to the next with ease. Watergate 21 is a glorious soundscape of uplifting tribal house with splashes of ambient melody whereby Culoe De Song is your guide making his unique artistic talents apparent throughout.

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Culoe De Song Watergate 21 will relese on November 18th, 2016

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Words: Mahala Ashley

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LP Review: Livio & Roby – Phantom Circle LP (Desolat) & Interview

Livio Roby

Celebrating ten years of Livio & Roby – Phantom Circle LP (Desolat)

Ten years ago in the depths of Romania, a duo was born. Unknown to the world, the two of them probably did not realise that they would spend the majority of that time at the forefront of the Romanian & worldwide house and techno scene. Always creating a contagious vibe and sound, with their dreamy percussions and groovy basslines, they maintain the high quality associated with their country, but push it to boundaries beyond the imagination. The last decade has seen them work with some incredible labels, Julian Perez’s Father & Sons Productions, Dutch Label Memoria Recordings and some amazing records on Cecille Numbers back in 2009 (highly recommend checking out) just to name a few.

Working closely with the renowned Desolat throughout their time, it seems fitting that they have chosen this label to celebrate this huge milestone. ‘Phantom Circle’ is a 3 x 12”, eleven track LP, curated by the duo and ten top artists in the electronic scene. As always with Livio & Roby, there is more to this than meets the eye, a deeper concept with much more meaning. Over time the music market has become so intense, with new material coming from all angles, meaning the focus of what you are actually hearing is lost as you think about the artists and labels related to the track. So with this, expect the unexpected, an anonymous track listing highlights the true purpose of what they are trying to achieve forcing you to appreciate the production and feel the magic of their creations.

 

 

Luckily for you we can reveal the legion of incredible talent that has been called in to celebrate their ten years. However, it will remain unknown who the ‘Phantom’ collaborator is on each track . Meaning the listener will find a more natural love for the music, rather than simply following the artist involved, Prepare yourself. The heavyweight line up consists of tINI, Enzo Siragusa, Guti, Martin Buttrich, Hector, Julian Perez, Ryan Crosson, Cesar Merveille, Andrea Oliva & Premiesku. There are no doubts that each of these artists were carefully selected, as they all bring their own traits and influences to the table, perfectly blending with the infectious Livio & Roby sound. Due to this well thought out approach each track is as unique as the next, and special in their own right, inspired by the experiences and knowledge of each producer.

There seems to be something so special about this release, and fills us with excitement for what they have in store for the future. There are no signs of them slowing down as they make this mark in their career, keeping it as natural as ever. Here’s to another ten years.

First of all, we love the ideas and concept behind the LP. It must of taken such a long time and a lot of hard work to bring this together. What made you come up with the ‘Phantom’ approach? And How long has this been in the making?

First, we just thought about making an album couple of years ago and we never found the right moment to start. The Phantom Circle concept came back in 2014 when the whole idea of making a collaboration album came and we got really excited about it.  Still, even though we hook up lots of talented friends to participate in this project, in the end, we came up with the concept of hiding the names, to leave space for a little bit of mystery and let the music speak for itself. We want to give the auditor the space to intercept the music as it is, and not be influenced by names.

You have teamed up with such an incredible bunch of artists to celebrate your ten years, what made you choose the artists involved? Is there anyone you enjoyed working with the most?

We chose our close friends, the people from our “circle” of course. We have known them since we started and had a bond from the beginning. There is something about the comfort of creating with someone that you feel serene with. Its an intimate moment and needs a special vibe, that’s why, in order to create something special, you need a halo in that particular juncture and this you get really easily with your close friends.

 

 

You clearly enjoy collaborating with other artists. What is it you like about it so much? What is different in the studio?

The whole idea was somehow inspired by the Premiesku work flow and jams. But of course, in all our traveling we had the chance to meet people and make music together, we like the team work, it’s interesting and at the end of the day it’s a game of trust and this makes it more intricate and beautiful.

What made you choose Desolat for your milestone release?

Desolat has always supported our releases. They trusted us from the early stages and stood there when we came with conceptual ideas. They are our long-term partner, we put our first record out there in 2009. But also, a good amount of the artists that we collaborated with are Desolat artists, so it makes sense.

We always like to ask at least one question about equipment and technology, what’s your favourite/most used items in the studio?

All machines are special but in this case we would easily say Buchla or ARP2600. Now, if we think more in depth there are some soldiers that stand there and they participate on all the tracks, these are the Studer mixers that are so beautiful and silky sounding. 

Ten years is an incredible amount of time to be at the top of your game. Is there any particular highlights or favourite moments for either of you?

We guess being first-timer in different situations, playing or signing records. 

Any plans for the future you can enlighten us on?

We have loads of plans, some of the plans we can reveal, some not.  There is North American tour that follows later this month, really excited about that. We started producing new music with a slightly different approach, so we have to finish that. There could also be some label plans involved. 

Thank you for doing what you do.
Thank you for your time.


Release Dates:
12 inch – September 26th
Digital – October 14th

http://phantom-circle.com/

 

Words by Zac

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EP Review: FrameSounds 002 - Various Artists

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On the back of a successful first release from Madrid based label FrameSounds, the time has come for the next instalment. A moving minimal masterpiece as likeminded friends and artists come together for this 4 track VA. There is no limit, no line to be crossed, when working with these guys, as they make their mark on the underground scene. A unique vibe is created when talent is brought together through a variety of sound, and the outcome speaks for itself. 

 

The opening track of the EP comes from seventeen-year-old Italian artist, KOKO. At such a young age it’s hard to believe he has already released on top labels Drumma, Banoffee Pies and Sakadat. An intelligent producer, creating a sound of his own that even people with years of experience could not imagine making. ‘OKOK’ is laced throughout with choppy obscure vocals, guaranteed to take the dance floor on trip. The broken words are pieced back together as the track moves up a notch, back in to its mellow rhythm. A2 ‘Mountain High’ is a spaced out dubby number from Colt Music main guy Javier Moreno and Pablo Marco (Cadenza Lab/Serialism). The slick snares, and moody bass combined are screaming to be played on a big system, the perfect after party wake up call. After the popular debut release they had to call in native Canary Island, DJ and producer Javier Carballo to lay down a steady driven track, for when the night starts to pick up some momentum. A constant rolling echo keeping the track alive. Moreno & Marco collaborate again for ‘Oasis’, the hypnotiser. Dreamy percussions guaranteed to move the listener, taking you away from the real world, before leaving you in a trance. Despite the wobbling kicks, it feels like such a smooth ride. 

 

The forward motions from this label, will leave you eager and curious to what they have up their sleeve next. It seems they have a tight knit, and carefully selected group of artists all pulling in the same direction. In today’s market it is hard to find something fresh, swaying away from the norm, but the FrameSounds team seem to be achieving this. This is just the second mark in their legacy.

 

FRAMESOUNDS 002 BY KOKO, JAVIER MORENO, PABLO MARCO & JAVIER CARBALLO

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Words by Zac

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Enrico Mantini – Milestones (LP) Review

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After spending well over 20 years in the thick of the music industry, Enrico Mantini has taken time to reflect on some of his most loved productions and is presenting them to you in the form of an eight track LP, quite conveniently named Milestones'. Over the years the Italian Dj and producer has worked with prestigious labels including UMM and Smooth Sounds, and more recently UK based Half Baked Records and Veniceberg Records (Italy). On this occasion he has decided to focus on releases between 2012-2014 for this trip down memory lane, as he curated the debut release on his very own imprint Down Da Mountains.

 

Many years have flown by with the Deep House maestro on top of his game, and his decades of experience really shines through in his work, always using soulful vocals blended perfectly with a bouncy and rough round the edges sound. The leading track from the LPNeedin U’ (Half Baked Records) immediately throws you in to bumpy ride you are about to encounter.

Amongst the eight tracks are three tracks from his famous Slave To My Concept EP released on Traxx Underground in 2013. ‘Don’t think about it’, ‘Get into da Muzik’, and ‘Lost in a beat’ are some of the finest house cuts recent years have seen, and you can really feel the old school influences the Italian has picked up over the years. ‘Take me Make me’ and ‘Whenever you want’ are two dancefloor favourites released on SHIFT. in 2014, we are glad these two groovy numbers were called upon. Both including killer vocals. ‘Take me Make me’ is the more serious track out of the two, and ‘Whenever you want’ is one of those gems you save for the last hour of the night, uplifting and floaty bassline. ‘Get Infatuation’ was originally produced in 1992 but did not surface until 21 years later, a glitchy house track with a timeless feel. One of the more funky tracks out of the eight is ‘Don’t make’ on the eclectic Dutch label 4Lux, perfect peak time mover.

 

The 2x12” (180g) LP is accompanied by some great artwork, an extremely picturesque landscape of mountains, and they wax comes in some very nice pink and purple colours so it nearly looks as great as it sounds as it spins on the turntable. Take some time and join Mantini in this moment of reflection, a journey of sounds of the past, and as I am sure you agree, be excited for his sounds of the future and what he will bring to the table in January 2017.

 

You can get your copy here.

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 Words by Zac

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The Bridge - Session #2: Kobosil - Zomby

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Over the last few months a dark cloud has been cast over London nightlife but it is great to see something positive and inspiring coming our way in the form of new East London club The Bridge. As winter draws closer we can reveal that the people behind the scenes are working nonstop to create a fresh new venue, bringing the hottest talent in the electronic music scene. ‘Session’ will be a series of events at the nightclub curated by the team that consists of their favourite selectors, creating an extra special vibe. Take it from us, they will be digging deep in to the house and techno artists of today, for your pleasure.

 

 

3Rd of December (9pm-6am) will see the second of the parties taking place. After many releases on top techno label Ostgut Ton and his own imprint RK in the last few years, young artist Kobosil has picked up a huge reputation. Luckily for you, on the day he will be delivering a powerful journey crammed with his dark and mysterious synths, blended with his hypnotic basslines he is known for. Deeply involved with the scene in Berlin, it will be great to see what he brings to London.

Also called upon on the night is the iconic artist Zomby. Nearly ten years have gone by of fantastic releases on labels such as the famous Hyperdub Records and Werkdiscs, with deep influences from jungle and the 90’s rave scene. Expect, forward thinking garage sounds, breathing life in to glitchy break house beats.

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Making a name for herself in the city after hosting several shows on the renowned Rinse FM with some huge artists, and a string of productions under her belt with the likes of Leftroom it is to no surprise that SAOIRSE and The Bridge seem to be building a great relationship. She will be appearing at several parties at the club over the duration of this year, bringing her diverse deep grooves to the dancefloor how she knows best.

Of course there are more talented artists to be confirmed, but you will have to wait until closer to the time. Something very special is happening here, so keep your eyes peeled for more from this club. Get involved with the next chapter of their story this December.  

Words by: Zac

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