Review: For their latest deep dive into the world of little-known electronic gorgeousness, Holland's Music From Memory crew has taken a trawl through the impeccable and largely overlooked catalogue of Japanese ambient musician Toshifumi Hinata. The essential "Broken Relief" draws on material recorded by the musician between 1985 and 87, joining the dots between gentle beat-scapes, inspired new age soundscapes, warm ambient explorations and glassy-eyed instrumentals rich in fluid fretless bass, twinkling pianos, shuffling rhythms and chords so tactile you might want to go to bed with them. It's an inspired set all told, with an impressive number of highlights. These include the evocative piano lament "Ikoku No Onna Tachi", the spacey ambient swirl of "Colored Air", and the undeniably Balearic grooves of "Atarashii Yuhbokumin".
Review: Three months after rapper turned singer Lizzo's major label debut first appeared on CD and digital download, Atlantic has decided to offer up a deluxe vinyl edition of the well-received set featuring three bonus tracks. Prior to release, Lizzo admitted she wanted to become "this generation's Aretha Franklin"; while she's not at the late soul legend's standard just yet, there's enough on "Cuz I Love You" to suggest that she's going in the right direction. Her vocals are variously confident, powerful, strutting and tender, with the accompanying backing tracks mixing hip-hop and R&B style beats with raucous guitars, bombastic basslines, Daft Punk style synth stabs (think "Robot Rock" and "Technologic") and occasional nods towards more pastoral, semi-acoustic sounds. Above all, though, the album is funky, forthright and hugely entertaining.
Review: We are honored to release the debut album from Violet, the alias of Ines Borges Coutinho, Lisbon born and raised DJ, producer boss of Naive records, co-founder of Radio Quantica, and mina resident. Violet began producing music in 2012 and has released music on One Eyed Jacks, Love on the Rocks, Paraiso and Naive. Ines uses her seemingly boundless energy to amplify other artists all the while progressing her own creative practice.
'Bed of Roses' contains 10 songs made as a sort of childhood-teenage memories diary, a return to things Ines liked then and also the difficult things she's been through. The feeling behind the album is self forgiveness in an optimistic way but also in an adult way, aware of the bruises (thorns) but also of the invaluable love and life experiences (roses). The title comes from the Bon Jovi song that Ines loved as a 9-year old and doubles as an intent of positivity paired with the inescapable darkness of life. Ines says, "I wrote this music as a healing device that I hope can somehow help heal others too." All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The jacket features an original design by Eloise Leigh that incorporates themes of self-inspection and hope mixing a teen bedroom girly vintage scrapbook aesthetic with contemporary 3D mapping techniques. Each LP contains a postcard featuring a childhood photo of Ines with notes.