Below are a few releases that really should have been in last month`s round-up.
Hazy James and Millennium Culkin – who, in the press release describe themselves as “hippy goths” – return with 2 new tracks. The Night is a love song to the sleazier, seedier, side of NYC, that moves to a groove of modern kosmische motorik. Like La Dusseldorf dancing in the dark of a downtown glory hole. For the remix, DFA`s Juan MacLean gates everything – mimicking the effect of an industrial strength strobe- has it pulsing with the sleepless post-midnight allure of strip-joint neon, and set to the beat of a racing robotic heart. Out For You is a 4 / 4 electro stomp with stadium rock aspirations – welding head-banging axe riffs and solos. Something about the nagging nature of which had me scribble “Guns N Roses, Sweet Child O` Mine”. Hazy James` vocal also approaches Axel`s strung-out, nasal, gymnastics. For the overhaul Justin Strauss and Max Pask don their Each Other guise and reign in the metal excess. While still carrying a considerable kick, instead the tune now rides a TB-303 express. In its wake `60s psyche, Doors-ian, keys flash by, and as it gathers momentum handclaps and nitrous harmonies make way for kinda Crooked Man-esque bastardized bleep.
Max and Justin have also remixed Bowery 559, for Peter Invasion and Gregor Habicht. Actualizing another outing of gothic electronics, another trip to downtown`s unsavoury underbelly – delivered with a touch of Ministry’s menace and with an old school NYC freestyle feel about it. Peppered with police sirens and marauding dance-floors somewhere between “The Nest Mix” of Information Society’s Running and the darker gear on Canada`s Big Shot.
Also making a return, but dreaming of a sunset cocktail in Eivissa rather than a lap-dance in the lurid Lower East Side, are Andres Y Xavi. Walking In The Sun sees them team-up with The Woodentops` Rolo McGinty. I have to admit that the results aren’t quite what I was expecting. I saw Rolo`s name and pressed play anticipating violent strumming and an impassioned call to arms, and instead was greeted by swirling dub sound-effects and gospel harmonies. Interlocking breaks and beats only eventually joining Mr. McGinty`s echoed vocals and electric guitar. James Bright`s remix is a tad more spritely, combining a disco bass-line and tasteful acid attack. Recalling – like much of James` work – the classy balearic house of The Beloved’s The Sun Rising. Xavi`s own 2 alternate passes, though, progressively voyage toward ambient vistas. The first almost beat-less – but not bass-less. The rhythm reduced to slow conga and cowbell, while subliminal snatches of song simmer somewhere in the sonic fizz and fuzz. The second mix is devoid of both. Drones frolicking with warm, friendly, fractals – dissolving reality like an Irresistible Force re-imagining. Similarly, Coyote remain sedate, and introspective – summoning emotionally stirring strings and handclaps like distant cracks of lightning.
Coyote are part of the crew called in to help out on Eclectics` latest missive – 2 new tracks from Statues. Rotunda is built on a big-bass-ed, slick, street soul, blueprint – that bottom end grumbling and growling in a dirty, down-low, Rick James / George Clinton do electro fashion. The song`s second half supported by twin psychedelic guitars. Gold Suite comes in and completely alters the vibe, from sedate seduction to uplifting anthem. Raising the tempo, house-ing up the b-line, and adding a summery strum. Lessons, in contrast is a stoned, electric, blues, which Coyote bombard with beats like a tropical storm brewing.
Leeds-based 9-piece Tempo Feliz have their debut album due on May 20th. Ahead of that they’ve released the title track, Respirar, as a single. The jazz that they make jumps and jives with happy, enthusiastic, honking, and echoes that of `80s post-punk bands such as Manchester’s Kalima, London’s Weekend, and Bristol`s Pig Bag. Leeds-born Mikey Sibson – our mate from the great Elevator East Parties – handles the remix, sending in spinning sound effects and depth charge dubwise drops. Mikey`s more machined rhythm – percussion built to chug, bump, and percolate – brings out the afro in the beat and takes the cut closer to the funk.
I did include Expositions` remix E.P. in last month`s round up, but Balearic Social have now also shared a brilliant new bonus track, Pour Yourself A Drink. Its rolling rhythm and lead synth and guitar lines – dueling with something of the Morricone spaghetti western score about them – conveniently gives me the opportunity to attach the QRates link (see above).
This last 12 was actually reissued late last year, but copies have only just arrived in Japan. A dynamite dose of “unclassic” slap-bass, disco-not-disco, straight outta mid-80s Dublin – containing a bottleneck solo, conga break, and neat, excitable, “Hot And Sexable” hook. Rescued by All City’s sub-label, Allchival, and radically remixed by Wah Wah Wino`s Morgan Buckley. His “Cheap Organ Cover” treats the vocals until they’re unrecognizable, instead a ringer for an overblown blues harp. The “Compressor Mix” fragments everything, sets it flickering, amidst bass undulations, as the percussion distorts a la Konono #1. On the Rock Version Buckley smashes the original and rebuilds the track from the resulting broken, stuttered, loops. Reassembling them as a Mark Stewart-esque / On-U-esque industrial, disorientating, groove