Paraphrasing the Soul Sonic Force and sorting through today`s releases for tunes that could have graced Alfie & Leo`s Amnesia dance floor.
Max Essa tackles What Do You See In Me?, calming the original’s new wave-edged Compass Point vibes. Transcribing the bass-line into fat, squelchy, digital dancehall, adding Reggae Philharmonic orchestration, plus a very balearic piano and acoustic strum. Max`s chunkier dub then switches the focus to some fusion-flavoured keys. Faint Waves continue to conjure a Caribbean climate, supplying a surf-soaked, slow, sleepy, synthetic, siesta skank through Out On The Step. Baz Bradley`s Orbs Of Light rework of Perfect Timing is more overtly White Isle inclined – flamenco clapping in crescendos above its cascading chimes and bulbous bottom end. Finally the Balearic Ultras come on all Ballistic Brothers – balancing syncopated head-nodding hip hop with blue-skied drum n bass on their great re-rub of Good News.
Taken from an E.P. released to mark the Manchester International Festival, and showcase local talent, Lena C`s Pelago is a globe-trotting mid-tempo`d meltdown of exotic idiophones – echoed steel pans, marimba machinations – and traditional North African and Middle Eastern percussion. Invoking the open-minded offerings of Jasper Van`t Hof`s Pili Pili project, its thoroughly recommended for those feeling Good Block`s productions and edits.
Two Tribes Brewery’s 7s Clash label have a fresh 45 cued-up. Co-produced by the tag team of Justin Deighton, Pete Herbert, and Leo Zero, Time centres around a shot of sampled Rasta wisdom. The original bangs, and bubbles, with a bass heavy bounce – similar in seismic activity to The Orb`s pairing with Lee Scratch Perry, The Orbserver In The Star House – and showers the righteous ruminations on history and unity in psychedelic, kosmische, sequences. Pete’s mix pitches things down and fixes the track, appropriately, to a clock-like tick tock, while replacing the cosmic ringing with what sounds like an oud. Blasts of ancient reeds bolstering its air of Eastern mystery.
Further, slightly more authentic, NA / ME vibes can be located on Kutiman`s Guruji – due on a 7 from Siyal. The Israeli multi-instrumentalist`s classically trained tabla – taught at the hands of Indian Pandit Tanmoy Bose – forming the foundation of a dance for hand-clapping dervishes. Spinning slow, and then dizzily, accompanied by see-sawing harmonium and spiraling psyche organ, in the mode of Anatolian Weapons stunning To The Mother Of Gods set for Beats In Space, and / or Mameen 3`s brilliant releases on Les Disques Bongo Joe.
German percussionist Simon Popp serves up a sophomore set of gamelan-influenced grooves for Munich-based label, Squama. Devi delivers eight organically evolving dances of colliding counter rhythms – deft, dynamic studies for temple bells and gongs that are required listening for folks into meditation through movement, fans of say Gabriel Roth. Popp`s fast fingers flickering, raising techno-timbre`d iron and steel voices. His bass drum generating a tribal throb and thump. The dramatic dharma of Dama might be the standout, while devotees may find themselves lost in the ringing and resonance of the final track Higlehasn`s tone poem float.
New Zealand duo Manuel Darquart`s Sleazy Sunday Mix of their own Keep It DXy – forthcoming on a 10” from Wolf Music – could well be an homage to mid-90s Italian house masters, artists who recorded for labels such as Irma. Soulful, mid-tempo, and funky break-driven, chock full of sampled shouts and cut-up jazzy keys, it pays respect, to my ears at least, to people like Luca Trevisi aka L.T.J. Talking of Italian maestros, they then bring in the real deal for an additional remix. Don Carlos builds on that break, adds a forceful 4 / 4 and one of his trademark TR-909 bass-lines. Painting a bright landscape of bold piano chords and soaring synths. Creating something simple, but certainly effective, dynamic, and deceptively catchy, despite not containing a big room hook. No one, and I mean no one, does this stuff quite like The Don. After all didn’t he play a large part in defining the “genre”. It`s his work that young “dream house” folks are now attempting to emulate. He’s the standard, the benchmark.
New Age Orchestra – Let`s Dream Together – Music For Dreams
On the subject of “dream house” Music For Dreams reissued a highly sought after slice of archival, Sueno Latino-inspired, in its author’s, Kenneth Bager`s, words “paradise”. Originally released in 1989 as a single-sided 12, in an edition of 50 (?!) The New Age Orchestra`s Let`s Dream Together has now been expanded into a five-part suite, exclusively on vinyl, for Record Store Day. Prices of the admittedly super rare OG sky-rocketed once it was picked up by Amsterdam-based musical adventurers, such as the Redlight Records gang and Young Marco. In its late `80s mix – produced and largely played by “Dr.” Lasse Illinton Mosegaard – it`s a prime piece of European house designed no doubt with Ibiza`s open-air pleasure palaces in mind. An orgy of steel pans and arms aloft piano, dancing to lush, latin, TR-505 percussion, and to be honest dated more than a tad by the ecstatic, orgasmic, moans and cries of sisters Camilla and Charlotte Wisofeldt. The walls of that recording studio could tell some tales, I`ll bet. The new versions include an extended, beatless, intro, outro and interlude – Entrance, Epilog, and Momento Del Sol, respectfully. Where wild winds blow around romantic reeds – clarinet and sax – and field recorded fresh running water. Reinhard, from Rheinzand, also adds some very cool jazz violin. Top for me though is part two – La Llegada de Los Tambores – not least because its free of those “saucy” second summer of love sex noises. Proper party music, it`s a dynamite, tropical, drum machine workout, that three minutes into its eight minute duration launches an electric axe solo. Bent notes singing a blues for clear, cloudless, skies.
In the same vein, but brand spanking new, Joe Morris` Pacific Dream – in its Energy Mix – takes a few cues from Don Carlos – with perhaps a touch of early Transmat in its machined kick and handclaps. Its spoken narration appears to be a cover, of sorts, of Propaganda`s classic Dream Within A Dream. There`s a Sunrise Mix too, which swaps the dance-floor for congas, and the whisper of waves gently washing a dawn shore, and the two remaining tracks are also downtempo affairs. New Generation`s serene synth-scape boasts an ethereal siren, a faux “Whistle Song” flute, and rave fractals flying – like seabirds – in formation. Island People’s bucolic, but benevolently bumping, bleep recalls Ultramarine`s much-loved Stella.
Mix to follow care of my dear friends at Hamon Radio….
Cheb Kader – Reggae Rai – Into The Deep Treasury
Andres Y Xavi – What Do You See In Me (Max Essa Dub) – Hollis Recordings
The Rootsman – Into The Light (Edit) – Akuphone
Manuel Darquart – Keep It DXy (Sleazy Sunday Mix) – Wolf Music
Lex – The Jamail Pass – Leng
A Certain Ratio – The Guv`nor – Mute
James Bright – Suburbia (Hardway Bros Mix) – Eclectics
James Bright – Outside – Eclectics
Justin Deighton & Leo Zero – Time (Pete Herbert Remix) – Two Tribes 7s Clash
The New Age Orchestra – La Llegada de Los Tambores – Music For Dreams
A Certain Ratio – Musik Kontrol – Mute
Psychedereck – Screamadereka (Hardway Bros & Moncton Downtown Disco Dub)
Rude Audio – Railton Ruckus (Hugo Nicolson Remix)
Kaspar Bjorke – Baybi (Roman Flugel Remix) – HFN Music
Manuel Darquart – Keep It DXy (Don Carlos Remix) – Wolf Music
Hugo Nicolson – Finally Free (David Harrow Remix)
Kameelah Waheed – America The Beautiful (Bruise Remix) – Ramrock Red
A Man Called Adam – All My Favourite People (Mixes) – Other