Claremont 56, Blair French’s sometime musical home, have a new label showcase set for release. Eight tracks in total, commencing with the soulful strut of Smith & Mudd`s Norway Stores – a teaser from the sessions for their 5th long-player. A slice of laidback sunshine funk full of Leroy Hutson / Curtom-esque orchestral touches, Bobby Humphrey Harlem River Drive flute, and Indian Summer Madness synths. It`s clipped jazz chords coming on like Charlie Street`s seminal lick on Northend`s Tees Happy. Tune. Continuing that 6-string theme Almunia`s Leo Ceccanti gives us a quick run through of just what he’s capable of, as he warms up for his debut solo LP with the track Brillo De Luna. Switching from Starman-esque strum, to Robin Guthrie-like reverb, heart-break arcs, and bursts of bottleneck slide. While the dub-beats give the tune the vibe of Oasis lost in Lee Perry`s Black Ark echo chamber. Fürsattl do their classic motorik thing – which to be honest I`d love to hear a whole album of. Here they contribute 5 minutes of hypnotic of interlocked bass, drums, synth and guitar. The addition of sampled birdsong an allusion to the track`s title, Haru – which is Japanese for “spring”. New signings Jpye & Leonidas` Oui Non is a classy piece of Euro-pop. Listening, I was imagining Roxy Music fronted by a french femme fatale, instead of a white tuxedoed Bryan Ferry. Its quality as high as Richard Norris` Time & Space Machine spin on the old louche lounge lizard`s Alphaville. Slipping into Spanish, “balearic supergroup” Paqua, reveal their first recorded material in 3 years. Escondido, “hidden”, once more recalling the funky folk of essential sides such as Batteaux` Living`s Worth Loving and Odyssey’s Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love. Statues` Lokrum sails stately piano out over a sparse sea of water droplet-like twists of treated sound. Hillside`s Walpole Days comes in 2 takes. The OG is a groovy, loved-up, boogie. Sustained by Stevie Wonder / Superstition-esque clav, but covered in all kinds of keys and percussion. Then there`s Joaquin Claussell`s Stripped Down Mix. An almost beatless 10 minutes plus, powered by bass notes alone. Do you remember Claussell`s Loft Classic Lost Horizons, a track he recorded back in 1993, as Instant House. Well, this traverses a similarly well trippy trajectory. Epic ambient-not-ambient that disorientates dance-floor disciples with dub-wise thunder cracks and rainstick showers. Sending the song`s original elements – synths, piano, guitar scratch – flying like King Tubby`s cymbals in and out of the mix, brain-bendingly building to a brass fanfare finale.
Claremont 56`s Editions Volume 2 will be released on October 6th. You can pre-order a copy here.