Having released one of our favourite tracks of 2015 in Dan & Medlar’s ‘Walk’, the Delusions Of Grandeur label are at it again with Ugly Drum’s ‘Like Its OK’ – which forms part of their 50th release: Delusions50.

Kolour LTD regular, Ugly Drums – aka Steffen Baldo – holds court in the middle of the release with a raw, organic percussive number that stomps and shuffles it’s way through 7 minutes punctuated by carefully chosen cuts of soul vocals, huge syncopated bass hits and replete with undulating organs, a sound the label has become renown for. Capped off with long drawn out strings, the only thing that makes us happier than seeing Delusions Of Grandeur hit 50 is to know they’ve done so with such a choice cut.

Ok, Ok, so this album got absolutely hammered when it came out, but we don’t care, we’re off to see him this Friday and we can’t wait. Set to headline live at Dance Tunnel, Soichi Terada will also be joined by Daniel Wang and John Gomez to complete a line-up that’s got us flush with excitement. 

Now it was a tough call which tune to go with, whether ‘Saturday Love Sunday’ for it’s sheer analogue brilliance; ‘Do it Again’ because it’s such an anthem or ‘Love Tension’ – which sounds like a beautiful, lost early-90s 4AM anthem. In the end though we plumped for CPM for that intro and the fact it does nothing but put a smile on our face. We’ll see you down the front on Friday, we’ll be the ones wearing grins.

We’ve been keeping tabs on vinyl only label Rothmans for a while now. Most of their releases have been in a retro vein, keeping things stripped back to a classic drum machines pootling along to infectious synth lines with a bit of sample thrown in for good measure. Certainly a job well done, but we were somewhat surprised to find that “The Mario Tresor Release” featured a b-side remix by Folkestone legend Brassica.

Shamelessly contemporary, the remix is an 8 minute powerhouse that keeps on giving. The acid and trance influenced lines of the original are set atop a driving bass that sustains an unfaltering momentum throughout, but the the real magic lies in the exotic original sound design, phasing vocals and melody. After moments of almost Egyptian flavour, the winding elements converge into chord stabs to lift the veil of mystery into euphoria.

This one’s a bit of an epic, but nonetheless a perfect peak time party tune that transitions through some great places.

Since it’s conception in 2009, Cocktail d’Amore has become an unmissable feature of the Berlin calendar. Started by Italian duo Discodromo with Berghain resident Boris, the liberal air of rulelessness, sexuality and well meaning hedonism sees the baton gratuitously passed from long established parties like about:blank’s Hom-O-Patik. But in addition to throwing wild nights, where hairy bears in harnesses rub shoulders with open minded heteros, Cocktail d’Amore has created a prolific label releasing breakthrough music.

“Spring” is the A-side from Israeli-born producer Omer’s offering of celestial house. The track begins with stripped back carnival rhythms that gradually dissipate into digital drum machines. Enter the exotic arpeggiated synth, running in beautiful euphoric cycles, breaking down to a tranquility further elevated by a tonal riser that could lift the most stoically homophobic of crowds into a swooning mess of campness.

Playful, powerful and beautiful, this track captures some of the unique atmosphere of those dark Neukoelln days and nights. To find out more, check out the liner notes from the last Cocktail d’Amore compilation, written by Balihu label head Daniel Wang sharing his perspective on our favourite Berlin gay bash.

Belgian duo The Dewaele brothers aka Soulwax aka 2ManyDJs’ new record label DEEWEE rolls on this month with another mysterious release – this time from an elusive pair of fellow Belgians called Asa Moto. The info on these two is pretty sparse which leads us to believe it might be the famous pairing who are behind it – indeed the label’s first release by Kranken has widely been called out as having the Dewaele’s fingerprints all over it.

A-side ‘Stay Wake’ is a futuristic slow-jam that reminds us a lot of what Bullion is currently putting out on his DEEK label but it’s the b-side ‘Wanowan Efem’ that really grabbed us. The track reminds us so much of the 80s African electro stuff that’s getting dug up recently – think William Onyeabor, think Awesome Tapes From Africa etc. All lose drums, pummeling analogue bass, chanting vocals, organ stabs and searing synth lines.

British born, native Korean, Berlin resident Peggy Gou is a bit of a cultural melange. With her debut “Art of War EP” on Matt Edwards’ Rekids imprint this year making waves, Peggy is following up with a two track single on Phonica’s White Label.

“Six O Six” is the quirky b-side, and a lesson in Korean counting. Subsurface live bongos patter beneath the robotic rotation of a 606.  Hi-hats have been charged through desk pres to the point of white noise, while dueling 303s take on blip and blop duties. All very text book, all very fun, but what set’s the tune apart is the deadpan vocals, and interacting pad parts that give a softer touch to the hallmarks of acid tuffness.

Keep eyes and ears open for a forthcoming release on Rekids, plus Ms. Gou’s illustrations, which are hotly tipped to be released as a new range of tees on Love Hangover.

We’re more convinced that Melbourne is really where it’s at day by day – a pretty shit thought when you realise it’s half the fucking World away. Having given us producers such as Harvey Sutherland, M5K and Andy Hart – the city has firmly garnered a reputation as a hotbed for future-boogie meditations on analogue rhythm and sound. Add to that list Andy Wilson – aka András – whose latest release has just come out on Superconscious Records.

By no means András’ first outing – having released some dreamy EPs on the likes of Dopeness Galore and Mexican Summer – the release is a marked departure from his trademark blissful style with a notable lean to the dance-floor on pitched-up lead track ‘T.N.T.F’. However, it’s the track ‘Gold Coast (House Mix)’ that really does it for us –  a track we think perfectly combines his penchant for a cloud nine jam with his new under-taking to create some memorable post-3 a.m. moments.

Vahagn’s recent Deep Probe EP shows why he’s so much more than a deep house Deej. His productions elicit a prominent musicality, fed by his clear ability to bind & structure a track.  Released around a year ago on Paradise Valley Records, it’s taken a while to filter through to us via a track we first heard on Orange’s BIS mix. We’re glad it has.

Harmonically , the title track is a smooth peak time banger, charged low-end energy, rolling drums climbing on synths to reach a helluva drop. It’s a track to get lost in, the type of which all too often sounds a mess. But no, Vahagn manages the palette well and turns this into the aforementioned smooth peak time banger you want it to be.

Meanwhile on side B, Uralove is an electric harp for martians affair, whilst the 3rd Element is an exploration of pads & piano, beautifully combined.

Stockholm jazz man Seegweed has put together three top edits, forthcoming / nearly out now on the excellent G.A.M.M. records. Have a range back through their catalogue when you get a chance..

Our pick is the souley smooth beauty ‘Save Your Love’. Underpinned by a grooving drum line, the track lets Nancy breathe. Impeccably mixed, the reason this works is that the acid edge is way way down in the mix, whilst Nancy keeps it front and centre. This one’s getting played on Friday at our party…. thanks Seegweed!!!

 

Detroit homeboy Moodymann has coupled up with Carhaart WIP to put out a 7″ limited to 500 copies and some clothes. The collab is a revival of Mahogani Music and a celebration of Detroit by two of the leading exports. We ripped the tracks in low quality so you can listen to them below.

Side A features a short version of the much loved “J.A.N.” which was originally pressed to 200 copies and been steadily rising in price on Discogs for the past few years. It’s always was, and still is, a perfectly formed deep house slice.

Side B features an original track, which heavily references Carhaart WIP and Detroit. “5800 Cass Ave” is the location of the Carhaart store in downtown Detroit, and the track runs for 3 min 13 secs – Eminem EYHO. This one sounds like floating vocals and spacey drums, switching to detroit orchestra arrangement and back.

Thanks to the Carhaart WIP store Old Street for helping us get our hands on a copy. You have great clothes and top nice staff.

Label: Carhartt WIP ‎– CORE 063-2
Format: Vinyl, 7″, Limited Edition