Category Archives: Album Reviews
Summer is upon us folks, I heard it myself. It has arrived in the form of a short Mexican-born electronic music producer. Betoko is here to take you out of the cold and into whatever sunlit paradise your imagination deems fit. This week saw the official release of his Phobik EP on Einmusika Records, featuring three brand new original tracks! After a ridiculously interminable winter, the anticipation for summer has been so thick you can smell it in the air. It smells like metallic radiators and dwindling optimism. Fortunately the odor is finally fading, the birds are back north, and that means a seasonal shift in music too. It’s a special thing when a tune takes you to a specific place in your mind. It should be acknowledged, and this track will certainly get it’s praise. Grab your aviators, change your tires, and get ready to hear “Botox” all summer long.
As talented as Beto “Betoko” Cohen is, those skills are relatively particular and his releases don’t typically emanate a sunny vibe. Then again, international techno and London bass never really do. This isn’t an exception to that perception either, but the words “summer track” are still written all over the EP’s third song“Botox”. Thoughts of sunshine and the ol’ Memory Lane aren’t what give this humble banger it’s seasonal vibe. The fact that you’re inevitably going to hear the song in a dozen summer mixtapes from DJs around the globe is what will qualify this as a summer banger. I’m not complaining either, it’s just that good. Here’s a preview to get your feet wet:
There’s a certain lack of ego in this tune that gives it those qualities. It’s classic, not too complex, and genuine, a combination which by defintion is near perfect. Instead of putting pressure on you to like the release, or making failed promises of granduire like MSTRKRFT did with Fist of God, Betoko sticks to what he knows and what he’s good at (which is a lot)- producing authentic techno-influenced music that’s specific to him only. Phobik is his first EP release in over a year, and it’s a huge relief to see he’s still got all that intrinsic moxy left in him. He’s not an old dog, but he doesn’t need to learn any new tricks either. Beto’s approach to music production is adherently metculously and strict. Rather than using pre-programmed sound bites, he turns a simple frequency into a complex and staggeringly original composition like a master of sonic alchemy. That’s why he’s been a model for our criteria since the get-go. We tip our hat yet again to you sir. Head to the link below to get more of the Phobik EP!
Alright, it’s January 7th and we’re still seeing Robin Meade covering New Year’s Eve pet photos on the so-called HLN network. The hangovers have dissipated, empty Christmas trees have begun to line the road side, it’s about time we get started with the new year don’t you think? 4mplify is back on our radar with the release of his new ‘Thrill EP’. To kick off 2015 with a cosmic bang, the Belgian producer dropped the two new tracks for FREE DOWNLOAD. What a guy. Now, are you going to let him go through all that selfless trouble for nothing? Check out a review of the release and grab the EP below! (The “PLAY” button is the big one on the left). Read the rest of this entry
Silverclub returns to the spotlight this week with the music video premier of “Back to the Start”, exclusively on T&A! The song comes hot off their newest EP, NOW available on Red Laser Records! Just as the title implies, these guys are onto new beginnings. The release marks the jubilant end to a long and bumpy road, personifying everything this Indie project has set out to accomplish. Backed with the new haunting vocals of Henrietta Smith-Rolla and a fresh batch of tunes, these Brits are tearing it up. Watch their brand new music video, directed by Torie Zalben, and check out the ‘Back to the Start EP’ below!
Today Simian Mobile Disco released a preview of their new track “Parson’s Nose”, you can listen to it now! The track was produced as an exclusive contribution to the upcoming 2020 Vision compilation album, titled ‘Content’, being presented by Ralph Lawson. In celebration of their 20th Anniversary, the label has called for 20 exclusive songs from artists all over the UK, and more. The album showcases new remixes from Groove Armada, Psychemagik, PBR Streetgang, and new originals from Waze & Odyssey, Eats Everything, Huxley, and so much more. Looks pretty tasty doesn’t it? Oh and if you pre-order the album now, you will instantly receive a free download of this song!
Pre-Order ‘Content’ here! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ralph-lawson-content-bonus/id881464274
The German production trio Rework just dropped their new ‘Rise and Fall’ EP last week on Visionquest. If you’re looking for a fresh and clever twist on the recent deep/minimal wave of house music, you might want to give this a spin. Since I’ll be catching the Visionquest showcase this Saturday at the Mysteryland Electronic Music Festival, I figured I’d give you guys a glimpse at the label’s most recent release! Never heard of em? Cool. I got you guys, no worries. The group was originally formed by friends Daniel Varga and Michael Kuebler, becoming the full trio in 2000 when French singer Laetitia joined. Shortly after their first release on Playhouse Records in 2003, she and another part-time singer departed from the group. It wasn’t long before they found Sascha Hedgehog in 2005, and formed a permanent lineup. In the battle of the sexy names, Sascha won with her seductive German voice, a perfect fit for the atmosphere they were going for. Rework’s sound can be described as an icy yet colorful approach to their own tough-love house music. Listen to the featured track “Ask You” below! Read the rest of this entry
Solomun just released his new ‘Samson’ EP this month on DIynamic Records. For those who are now being introduced to this fine gentleman, he is from Germany, and he makes electronic music. This creature of the Black Forest is no stranger to the studio or the stage. In one solid year, he received the honor of winning Best Producer at the Ibiza DJ Awards, and Mixmag Magazine’s DJ Of The Year award. His “music is moments” motto is something he embodies on a daily basis.
Solomun specializes in meditative, cerebral house grooves. Although his music takes a fairly classic approach to the genre, this artist has rewritten the formula with his own unique twist. He is like the ghost of an era haunting the corridors of the modern electronic industry. The heavy notes of trance, disco, tribal, and especially house influences are all wrapped together in a semi-conventional yet somber format. He is in tune with something higher than the basic desire to make dance music. His tendency to reference theological figures in his titling could have something to do with the otherworldly feel to his sound. As to what, we do not know. Perhaps he chose that moniker because he himself is a prophet, like the Muslim’s fabled Solomon. The ‘Samson’ EP is out now, and you can purchase it on Beatport here! Preview the two new originals below and check out the review>>> Read the rest of this entry
If you live in MA and you’re into the electronic jamband wave, then you’ve probably heard of Jules Jenssen. Years ago he formed a three piece band called Higher Organix, based out of Great Barrington, MA. Starting as a local outlet for the hillside “jamtronica” fans to get their kicks, HoX themselves got more involved in not only bringing their music to like minds in the community, but also became an intergal part in bringing more acts, and better events to the home front. Their skills in promotion, and the help of others got acts like Ott [Twisted Records] to play our county. Jules and Higher Organix are also directly involved with the development of the Let It Roll music festival, which eventually became the short-lived, but heavily praised and greatly missed Big Up music festival, both located just outside of MA, in Eastern New York State. Unlike most festivals which evolve over the years, The Big Up came out swinging with it’s initial lineup. Ian Stewart was right there next to him. For several years he has been bringing his heavy house vibe to hillside parties, including the previous festivals. He’s shared the bill at most of the events these two have helped to create. Jules has acknowledged him as mentor is his musical journey as well, which speaks greatly upon his own abilities.
Jules’ talent echoes far beyond the blue hills of Western MA, Eastern NY. Although a founding member of Higher Organix, he has since moved on become to full time drummer for Boston-based electronic jamband, The Indobox. Like Mr. Jenssen here, this band quickly escalated from local stardom to full touring status and mass appeal in the northeastern jam community. Since joining, their fanbase has increased immensely, and their tour presence with it. There’s a noticeable difference in the group’s overall style; they’re bringing more definition to their sound, and much harder dance grooves to both their studio work and live imrov. You can check out some of the material off their last album ‘Shapes and Colors’ here, or below!
Recently Jules suffered from a slipped disc in his back, which forced him to endure a surgery procedure that put him out of commission for a bit. The little black cloud hovering over his drum kit turned into a full fledged thunder storm when the original wound got infected, resulting in two additional surgeries and even more time from his passions. As a drummer, this is a nightmare come true. This kid won’t get taken down by a few minor back surgeries though(please not our sarcasm), there’s a beast inside this boy. Full recovery will be a slow burn, but he’ll be back on the kit before you know it. That will make his fans happy, which is a surprisingly large group of people, all who have shown overwhelming support. We wouldn’t mind hearing more beats like this EP he and Stewart just released!
JJ got off the stool and into the studio with long-time friend Ian Stewart, collaborating as Weird Zero. Just two weeks ago the newly formed duo released their debut EP ”The New Depth‘. No stranger to the studio, along with The Indobox and HoX, Jenssen has also toured under the moniker ELECTRONICAnonymous. Strike that all from the record though, we have an entirely new specimen on our hands.
The EP opens up with the titular track “New Depth” and it gets right to the point. Heavy industrial synths come at you in a slow, repeating assault, and they keep coming for the duration of the song. The second track follows in the same fashion, only carrying on with a gentle melody that eventually wraps into a dark, disco laced culmination. The gritty, low distortion, and heavy weight behind these bass synths, almost sound like the dark and down low style of Soulwax, but with more colorful textures similar to Cinnamon Chasers, or Abakus. In the vein of those musician’s works, these rhythms crawl up your spine and throw your body into motion. It’s becoming more clear why Jules slipped that disc in his back I think. The third track “The Altar”, is a haunting “deer in the headlights” tune, you can’t get away from it. Saylor’s vocal contributions resemble closely to Adelle, if she were singing in the neon rooms of UK disco clubs. The four tracks roll into each beautifully. The EP starts off with such intensity, but as it progresses each track gradually gets more a bit more melodic than the last. This was likely deliberate, regardless the payoff was the same. When you’re dealing with a group of songs that share similar themes, the arrangement can add so so much to the story being told. Finally it ends with “Dock Monster”, which is down tempo tribal mind-bender that slowly develops into, well, a monster really. Ian Stewart is likely responsible for the fresh housey kick to these beats, and they certainly kick. We don’t get much in these parts for house music, but Stewart has always shared his refined tastes with the crowds both local and distant.
Over the years both parties have shown skills in various live formats, and now they’ve brought a nice little electronic release, new and hungry for your speakers. The entire EP was recorded and produced by Ian Stewart and Jules Jenssen themselves. We’re proud these local musicians have come to achieve so much, but then again, everyone has to come from somewhere right? Listen to it below, and try to catch them both at a gig near you!
There is a comforting embrace to be found in the darkness, and it can be found in Pink Skull. The Philadelphia-based analogue project just released their latest full-length album ‘Huitlacoche’. The album, released on My Favorite Robot Records, was available exclusively on vinyl, but you can purchase it on digital format here.
Cited as a “metallic, liquid, and raw affair, delving into urban landscapes and deep space industrial wastelands” by the carrying label, we couldn’t agree more. As a trio of musicians wielding analogue synthesizers, this band combines mechanical and organic worlds into one neon existence. These guys are connected to the music the entire time they are playing it, shaping the sounds right in front of you. It takes a particular breed of talent to master the patient and progressive methods of beat making associated with the Minimal House genre. It’s all about taking one theme and carefully developing it over time, pushing each individual layer to their evolutionary limits. By carefully altering the depth and texture of the sounds themselves, the right artists can sink further and further into a a limitless abyss. Pink Skull is a group of gentlemen who possess these characteristics at a DNA level.
> Purchase/preview ‘Huitlacoche’ here.
> Also check out the “Music To…Escape To” Mixtape, released as a precursor to the album, here.
Rather than kicking off the month with another installment of his Magic Tape series, mysterious disco debonair The Magician just dropped a preview of his new single, “When the Night is Over” featuring Newtimers. Even better, he will be releasing his untitled debut EP on Parlophone Records this November! Not only will the EP include at least one original track, but it seems he has already gained remix support from Busy P, Digitalism, Todd Edwards, and more!
This will be The Magician’s first studio collection released since the formation of the solo project. He has a couple handfuls of original tracks and remixes he has dropped over the years, such as his remix of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” which continues to circulate on dancefloors across the globe after being released 2 years ago! He’s been known to collaborate with Yuksek, releasing tracks as Peter & The Magician, the most recent of which was “On My Brain”. The two have a couple EP’s together: On My Brain and Twist. The upcoming debut in November will be the first EP released solely by the Magician however.
Formerly the second half of Aeroplane, in 2010 Stephen Fasano said his goodbyes to his partner Vito. The Magician started out a small DJ project as an attempt to keep his career moving forward after leaving Vito Deluca and the Aeroplane moniker behind. From the beginning his Magic Tapes were catching on. He was coming out strong, and he needed to with the large portion of fans still attached to the Aeroplane name. The disappointment from the breakup was a quickly being forgot, soon to become an anecdote in the two artists’ history. This was especially true once he did his first US tour, showcasing his genuine skills as a DJ and taking clubs by storm. By the time the 3rd installment to theMagic Tapes was released, it was clear that The Magician was going to do big things.
The new single will be available for purchase and download on September 23rd, and keep your eyes for the new EP, out November 4th on Parlophone Records! Who knows, perhaps we might get a little tour out this too…