Reviews/Previews

PIEK – Insorit (SINCO17)

piek review

The next release to come from Spanish imprint Sincopat comes from Piek. The versatile producer has already released on labels including DIYnamic, Cecille and Smoke N Mirrors, and his tracks have found themselves in compilations from Derrick Carter and Nic Fanciulli. His latest work – the Insorit EP– comprises of two summery cuts alongside remixes from Marc Scholl and label owner AFFKT.

Title track ‘Insorit’ opens the release with fairly straightforward foundations that are gradually embellished upon with a tasteful combination of filtered melodies and soulful interjections, blossoming midway through in what would make a nice summer opener. Marc Scholl puts his own twist on things with his ‘Glory Hole’, adding weighty reinforcements to the bassline and introducing a slightly darker undercurrent that feels a little fresher than the original.

What You Want From Me’ couples some expertly programmed percussion that shuffles along with silky-smooth vocals, in what is undoubtedly the more unique of the two originals. AFFKT puts to use the melodic build up from the second half to form the basis of his remix, which snowballs around a thickset rhythm.

It’s a strong addition to a label that already boasts a diverse back-catalogue of house music with a hint of Spanish flavour, and will surely get some heavy play time this summer. 

RELEASE DATE: 1st August 2013

{soundcloud}httpss://soundcloud.com/piek/insorit-sincopat{/soundcloud}

Words: James Ellis
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Art in London: Louise & the Supernatural at DegreeArt.com

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www.DegreeArt.com present Louise McNaught’s solo residency and inaugural exhibition ‘Supernatural’. Open daily from 12 - 6pm and runs until 28th July 2013.

The pursuit of art can be found to be confusing but also ever so fascinating; it is, however, an interest not many have time to dig in to, and possibly something that not everyone can afford…but Elinor Olisa and Isobel Beauchamp wanted to change the game. So, together, they funded and opened the pioneering DegreeArt in 2003, and by doing so provided us with one of the first online galleries of high quality and affordable art. In 2007 they opened the doors to DegreeArt’s gallery space “The Execution Room”, on East London's Vyner Street. Not only do they sell art to the common man online - alongside art events, exhibitions and art fairs - they also hand-pick and nurture new talent to provide a helping hand in how to market, present and sell art. One segment of the DegreeArt platform is the residency program, this particular concept is built on the possibility for the public to not only enjoy but to interact with art - through workshops, talks, discussions, performances and by meeting the artists.

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Currently, The Execution Room is playing host to artists, Louise Mcnaught, where she is carrying out her residency. Louise graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2012 with a Fine Art Bsc and takes her inspiration from all things wild, strong and beautiful in nature. She paints on a whole range of supports (glass bottles, light bulb, newspaper, music scores and celestial maps) as well as canvases. Her art is suitable for everyone; from experienced collectors to art-newbies. When browsing through her work you are guaranteed that something will catch your eye due to the variety in style, mixed-media and the playfulness that runs through her work. Louise has a way of giving animals an elevated status by using neon paint in her work, illuminating and highlighting the most eye-catching features.  

Louise at work on "Wild Spirit"

louise mcknight art

I met with Louise at the exhibition space in DegreeArt to have a chat about Supernatural, and she greeted me with a smile and hands full of gold leaf remnants. The room is currently filled with natural light, and the painted walls and scattered materials provide a colorful and shrine-like back-drop to her paintings which feature nature’s finest and most interesting animals (stags, zebras and a wide variety of humming birds). I can’t help to ask her if she has ever seen all these creatures in real life? “The stags I’ve watched and photographed in deer parks, the zebras I’ve seen in zoos all over the world…I think the only animal I haven’t been familiar with is the humming birds.” The interesting thing with the artist residency program is that the work is always changing. During my visit – Louise was working on a large scale picture of two stags fighting. In front of the painting there was a camera set up to take a picture every couple of minutes to then be used in a stop motion animation giving a “behind the scenes” insight into her work.  Louise frequently uses social media and videos to showcase her work, giving the viewer the chance to follow the process from the beginning. “Wild Spirit” one of the bigger paintings in the exhibition, measuring 185x185 cm, on which a grand stag has center focus on the canvas surrounded by butterflies- painted with fluorescent paint for that magical glow - is a prime example of this as Louise showed the whole naissance of the painting on her Facebook page (pictured above). Is she not scared someone will steal her ideas? “I think if an artist wanted to copy my ideas they would do so anyway, there is no secrets in the way I paint. I have in the past been contacted especially by students on various levels wanting to use my paintings as inspiration for projects and assignments.” I guess that’s the best compliment for any artist.

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Chantelle May Purcell, the Sales & Art Residencies Manager also told us a little about their plans for the following year: “Our hopes for next year are to provide an even more experimental program that will see international exchanges as well as group and solo residencies that challenge the notions of display and presentation and work to provide an educative, accessible archive.”

The Supernatural exhibition is currently running until the 28th of July at The Execution Room on Vyner Street in East London. Louise herself is there on most days until 6pm and will be holding artist talks on the 25th of July 6pm-8.30pm; her art work is also presented online at www.Degreeart.com. The pricing starts from £55 for her smaller jewelery.


For more info visit: www.degreeart.com/events/louise-mcnaught-supernatural

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AMA Mixology Vol. 1 – Ray Okpara

RAYOKPARA REVIEW

AMA Mixology Vol. 1 – Ray Okpara 

Brought up in Nigeria but residing in Berlin, Ray Okpara has slowly been shaping his sound for over a decade, with releases on Mobilee, Cecille, Oslo, Get Physical, and Area Remote warmly received by DJs across a broad spectrum of electronic music, thanks to his versatile, groove driven style. Natural progression led to the birth of AMA Recordings back in 2010, an imprint which stems from his own middle name and means ‘you will never get lost’ – a comment the strength and unity found through music. AMA Mixology Vol.1 feels like a celebration of the label so far, and features exclusively material from artists that have previously released on the label.

The release offers both a mixed & unmixed version, allowing you to sit back and enjoy Okpara crafting together his selection to form an hour of forward thinking house music spanning across the darker stretches of the genre. Alternatively, each track can be taken in separately and in its entirety, which will no doubt prick up the ears of fellow DJs. Kicking things off is Sek with ‘Bala Rina’ with dark atmospherics reverberating around a straight laced beat, before a far techier offering by Enrico Peretti dubbed ‘Lentamente’. Okpara follows up with one of his own; ‘Airplane’ has that unmistakable percussive swing synonymous with his name – provided by a bouncing two-note bassline. It’s simple but effective, and one of the strongest on the album. Back to a techier feel with ‘Looper’ by Andre Butano & Juan Zolbaran, which is a pretty versatile track but doesn’t realy leap out at you.

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Double Change’ by Maiki, Matthew Lima & Toni Varga is littered with lovely rich textures from a combination of percussion and effects. ‘Nelipot’ is a track by Greek duo Ntemos & Stef; driving techno with a metallic lead and a relentless backbone. Nekes is next up, and he lays down the no-nonsense ‘KUTSCHO (RAW)’ – a track that’s been a favourite of Okpara’s for some time now. He makes his second appearance alongside Mobius Strum next for the eighth chapter in the album – ‘Skumpt’. It’s got a real nice feel to it, with a pounding bassline that moves through you, coupled with snappy, marching snares and the obligatory robotic monotones. The next track, 'I Tell You (Marcus Sur RMX)' by Sven Kerkhoff & Bata again stands out as one of the strongest tracks on the release; a sophisticated remix that never fully lets go, leaving you constantly craving a little more, which is delivered in calculated doses throughout as the track moves forwards.

Marko Nastic’s ‘Just a Ride’ crosses borders between house, techno, acid and electro, as Nastic toys with a 303Clone to great effect. The penultimate track by Gebrüder Hartmann has a different feel once again. ‘Mono Moon’ is a pacey deep house number with a playful keyboard acting as the main foothold whilst soulful vocals soften the edges, before the original of ‘I Tell You’ closes the release with bags of funk that really feeds the craving felt earlier during the remix. All in all a strong release and a great representation of the label.

RELEASE DATE: JULY 24nd 2013

PREORDER YOUR COPY HERE

Words: James Ellis
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Harmonized invite Next Wave to Hops! Open Space, Italy

HARMONIZED ART

No philosophy, just music. July 17th sees the Italian party Harmonized play host to Next Wave for another night of no-bullshit underground techno. It will be the eighth edition of Harmonized parties; Raresh, Vera, Radio Slave and Tobi Neumann have all taken to the decks in previous months to play to the eager Italian crowds, and the next chapter is set to be a big one…

Fronted by Valetino Kanzyani – who will top the bill on the night – Next Wave has grown a reputation since its inception as one of the most exciting events in Ibiza, where people dress to dance, not to prance. The next leg of their European tour will be at Hops! Open Space in Central Italy, and will see Thomas Melchior, Cabanne and Francesco Del Garda playing alongside Valentino in what promises to be yet another night to remember. Check out these mixes to get a taste for what to expect ;) 

 

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Where: Hops! Open Space  / Viale Vittorio Veneto, 130/A - Civitanova Marche

When: 14th July 2013

Cost12/18 €

Full Line UpValentino Kanzyani, Thomas Melchior, Cabanne, Francesco Del Garda

 

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Guy Andrews - Annum EP

 GUY ANDREWS REVIEW

July sees the return of the ever reliable UK imprint FINA Records with a four-track EP from Brighton based Guy Andrews, a producer quickly gaining a reputation for being at the forefront of the so-called ‘UK bass’ scene. With previous releases on Hotflush and Hemlock, a broad taste in everything from post-rock to afrobeat has resulted in incredibly refined productions that never fail to stand apart from the crowd. Always extremely organic, percussive and progressive: this potent combination has led to support from the likes of Massive Attack, Ame, Dixon and Untold – which speaks for itself on the versatility of his records.

A slow-burning introduction comes in the form of opening track ‘Divide’, instantly recognisable from the rich mixdown as a haze of textures gradually builds to form a dense mist of ethereal synths and melodies, thickened up with a growling bassline, in what sounds like a nod to his early drum & bass influence. It’s the playful toms in ‘7AM’ that see the EP pick up the pace a little. A larger than life lead synth conjures up a real 80s new-wave atmosphere, with a hazy, emotive hook making this a nice little set-closer before we flip over to the B-side.

Fixture’ is by far the most straight-laced out of the bunch, with an industrial backbone railed to a strict 4x4 march. There’s a gorgeous contrast between this hard exterior and the slow dreamlike pads that float above it, and the result is a track that I’m sure will get some heavy usage over the next few months. ‘Tapes’ sees a more pensive side of Andrews shine through a little more for the close. Right from the offset, there is something in the choice of chords used that give this track a more sophisticated feel. A stylish arrangement of off-kilter percussion and chopped up vocals is steadily built up, surprising with every bar as the song develops, eventually being awarded pride of place as all other elements are stripped away for the climax, rounding the release off perfectly. 

FINA0012 B SIDE

Release Date: 17TH JULY 2013

{soundcloud}httpss://soundcloud.com/guyandrews/sets/annum-ep-fina-17-07-13{/soundcloud}

Words: James Ellis
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