Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
Review: Bristol bassheads Lurka and Batu have long been friends, so its little surprise to see them join forces for a collaborative effort on the former's freshly minted Fringe White label. The untitled track lurking (sorry) on the A-side is an analogue affair built around heavy sub bass, metallic rhythms and flashes of vintage Motor City electronics, as if the duo has reinvented Yorkshire bleep for the broken techno generation. Flip for a metronomic 4/4 slammer with subtle UK funky influences (particularly in the mutilated, Serato's-gone-mental melodies), and a sparser, more electro influenced cut that bounces, bobs and weaves impressively.
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Review: Take a look at the artists to grace the A-side of Decadubs 4 and you'll find a collection of names that have released some of this year's most talked about albums: Lee Gamble, Inga Copeland, The Bug and Fatima Al Qadiri. The B-side, however, hosts Hyperdub regulars like Ikonika and DVA, and the boss Kode9 of course, to more intriguing names like footworker DJ Earl and Jeremy Greenspoon & Borys who have previously released music on Dan Snaith's Jiaolong label. Dean Blunt also appears with a jazzy ambient cut, while Cooly G does the same with the sombre, vocal-driven "Mind".
Review: Re:st regular Lcp has so far proven to be a producer with many musical talents, offering up a string of releases that flit between ambient, techno, IDM and off-kilter dancefloor moves. "Carried From Secret Seas" marks the producer's first solo EP for two years and sees him combine club-ready rhythms with evocative ambient chords and far-sighted, intergalactic electronics. The most robust of the three tracks is "Rural Nightline", a heavy, stripped-back and effects laden drum workout that's as creepy and clandestine as it is tough and intense. The other two cuts, "Minus 10" and "Carried From Secret Seas", are both far more dreamy and positive in tone, with Lcp wrapping ambient textures and soft focus melodies around deep broken techno beats.
Review: Given that Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan is the man at the controls, it's perhaps unsurprising that this surprise debut full-length from little known Canadian chanteuse Jessy Lanza drips with smooth, synthesized sweetness. Packed with Greenspan's trademark melancholic, Metro Area-ish synths, but built around Lanza's fragile, otherworldly vocals, Pull My Hair Back is a contender for the best leftfield pop album of the year. Variously touching on synthesized R&B, deep boogie, sparse torch songs (see the sublime title track) and starbust wonkiness (the beautifully off-kilter "As If"), Lanza and Greenspan have delivered an impeccable, unassuming delight. Recommended.
Review: Frequent Jeremy Greenspan and Morgan Geist collaborator Jessy Lanza was hailed as a future star on the release of her 2013 debut album, Pull My Hair Back. That album projected her as some kind of New York freestyle chanteuse dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, backed by an all-electronic band fascinated with the potential of future R&B and left-of-centre synth-pop. This belated follow-up, which was once again produced in cahoots with Jeremy Greenspan, is even better. Colourful, vibrant and attractive, the ten songs are truthful to their '80s NYC inspirations, but smartly avoid the pitfalls of such blatant retro-futurism. In other words, it's a superb collection of future R&B and pop gems.
Review: Since his last solo album dropped six years ago, James "Logos" Parker has spent much of his studio time collaborating with fellow Tectonic alumnus Mumdance. Fittingly, the latter makes a brief appearance on "Imperial Flood" - on the high-octane, mind-altering madness of "Zoned In" - but otherwise the album is the solo Logos set we've been craving for some time. It sees Parker saunter between moody, unsettling ambience, psychedelic electronica, spaced-out experimental soundscapes (see the clandestine "Lighthouse Dub"), and the kind of hard-to-define workouts whose hard-edged rhythmical pulse plays second fiddle to atmospheric electronics and intergalactic modular noise. In other words, it's Parker veering away from the dancefloor with impressively out-there results.