Review by Matthew Crick
If the Mano le Tough blueprint is to create music “that’s more than hands in the air 5am moments in a club”, then his debut LP, Changing Days, could possibly be the antidote for those excessive moments of partying.
And through this album, we could also be encountering the more accomplished Niall Mannion mood at present, rather than the unpolished Mano sound of the past. The Irishman did what many of us would barely survive a weekend from, and eloped to Berlin in his youth to work on his burgeoning marriage to music. Several liaisons later, including notable releases on Mirau and Buzzin Fly, Permanent Vacation were inevitably the ideal working partner to support this particular Mano project.
So, you could say that expectations were ostensibly high then. It opens with ‘Cannibalise’, an eerie and brooding proclamation of self-indulgence in the modern world. The tone does get a little more light-hearted from here on in, with ‘Everything You’ve Done Before’ offering the rewarding use of both an electric organ and Mano’s vocals – elements that feature throughout the album.
When you eventually drift on to ‘Please’, this could so easily be the archetypal 5am track that we’ve all been craving after a hedonistic evening. A stunning, plaintive song that avoids sentimentality. Basically a welcomed five minute cuddle.
‘Moments Of Truth’ then quickly revives you from sedation by furnishing a slap around the face as it announces “You ain’t going to bed just yet my friend”. The latter stages of the album, although slightly more nocturnal and kinetic, could also be the very beginning, overall displaying a clever melodic cycle.
Mano may have produced music that doesn’t necessarily redefine the boundaries, however he is one of the best out there who provokes emotion and reflection.
Review by Joshua Mason
If like me you’re a little tired of pretentious sounding paradoxical titles to albums and tracks then the title of this latest release by Osunlade may not sit too well with you. I promise however that all can be forgiven once you delve a little deeper. ‘A Man With No Past Originating The Future’ is the seventh studio album to be released by the Yoruba boss, and with a staggering 718 releases on Discogs this is a man that has been on a long and enlightening musical journey. Those of you that would be expecting to hear the usual soulful house music in this album from Osunlade would be very much wrong. Light some scented candles and place yourself cross legged on a cushion because it is simply so much more than that.
The album begins with ‘The Realm of Difference’ which really sets the mood for arguably his most diverse and personal release so far. The track is a trip through an ambient soundscape with flutters of wildlife that complement the gentle beat of a heart like drum. Yoruba records was originally created with the purpose of making music to elevate the soul and the opening track of the album certainly embodies that motif. In ‘Eclipse’ Osunlade gets back to his St. Louis Missouri roots with a jazz adorned track layered with gorgeous guitar licks that gently charm you through the entirety of the song. ‘Sour The Plan’ featuring newcomer Supreme is a politically charged track in which Osunlade speaks his mind. The muted guitar picking resonates in the mind and translates almost as a ticking while he preaches that there’s ‘2 minutes left in the hour glass and time is moving fast.’ It’s tracks like this on the album along with ‘The Vessel’ that show his wisdom and how much this album is from the heart. One of the album highlights for me is ‘Human Beings,’ a beautiful vocoder ballad that lulls you into glossy eyed state of dream and wonder. Waves can be heard lapping onto far away shores and the lyrics speak true as ‘the world before as we know it goes.’
A Man With No Past Originating The Future is an endeavour of love and passion, an individualistic album that stretches musical boundaries while at the same time stays true to the artist. While previous releases by Osunlade have been largely house based, this release is purely music of the world. Many of the tracks are difficult to define genre wise and this only further highlights his versatility and talent as an artist. It’s quite simply a man with nothing to prove making music that he loves.
Review by Matthew Crick
When a new label comes along, often with a swagger and high expectation, you do wonder how in the hell will it survive. That’s not necessarily a pessimistic stance, more a judicious view of an industry that competes rigorously with the illegal download, and in more recent times, the frugal and distracted consumer.
Yet somehow, this never deters the birth of a spritely and hungry imprint to enter our music cosmos. However the first EP from Delayed Audio, a Brighton born and bred label, seemingly hasn’t arrived kicking and screaming – although if anything its introduction to us was slightly delayed, but never late they insist. The proud parents possess familiar faces, that of Richard Harmer (Black Key Records) and Paul Budd (The Unity Agency/Disco Deviant) who are both more than equipped to deal with the potential teething problems and frequent late nights that come with such obligations.
Delayed EP1 generally sums up their ethos and approach, as you would possibly expect on a first outing, of a label that clearly intends to make an immediate impact. Genre defining may now be an over-used and under-appreciated term declared by the people who just want to sell, however Delayed Audio have simply chosen to demonstrate it.
Recruiting the services of Chamboche (aka Sam Williams) was probably a no brainer for Harmer, after seeing him produce similar quality under Black Key. With ‘Anodyne’, though, you’re treated to some truly rich deep house, peppered with broken beats and rebounding vocals, all topped off with a bass line that craves the after hours.
Session9, comprising of Ben Max & K-Bana, have been applying their Djing trade for many years, and ‘Ambient Clutter’ is testament to their long standing admiration for tech and deep house, with the in-favour Ejeca providing a version that again highlights his natural ability to fuse garage and house.
And to finish, Last Mood’s ‘Superstition’ is a wall-crawling, tormenting portion of slo-mo electronica that completes a rather accomplished opener from a label that may just do more than survive.
Review by Matthew Crick
If we think back to 2010 when ‘Look Right Through’ quite literally picked up the dance music industry, shook it with controlled yet fervent arms and sat it back down so it could register exactly what had just happened – eventually becoming the year’s requisite standout track.
Consequently, our senses never did quite recover in time before the arrival of 2011’s ‘It Goes On’ – largely due to a tsunami of remixes that continue to this day – the second chapter of the Storm Queen project that almost eclipsed its predecessor in both popularity and praise.
So Morgan Geist, if his studied mind even allows him to feel such emotions, could have been under considerable pressure in making ‘Let’s Make Mistakes’ of similar magnitude. However, whether immune or not, his alter ego has simply stuck to the original strategy, using the preferred Detroit and Chicago house music influences, as well as individual disco pedigree. Damon C. Scott, ‘The Singer in the Subway’, has been involved from the very beginning, and after another incisive vocal display, no doubt turning his back on New York’s 86th Street Station for the long-term.
As well as the mounting adoration, expect a surge of high-profile remixes during the coming months – and possibly years.
Words by: Christopher Collins
Now we all, at some point, have loved participating in a good ole game of pass the parcel, if not for the winner’s privilege of getting the prize, but for the excitement in timing your passing for the stopping of the music….
With the digital age in full throttle, the delight in unwrapping a newly delivered piece of vinyl can certainly be a an exhilarating experience…this is taken to another level when presented with a limited edition (400 presses on each release) from recently formed London based record label Tusk Wax….even before allowing the needle to press the grooves the experience has truly begun, safe in the knowledge that each piece of wax released by Tusk are hand stamped with ink made from the “ground up tusks of unicorns and sperm whales!”
So you may ask, what does the love child of such a conception sound like….well each release could easily be accused of being the “milkman’s”, possessing seemingly unrelated, unique and individual characteristics, not constrained by a particular genre and wondrous life of their own.
If pushed to describe collectively….lush strings with deep house baselines can often be enjoyed, best exemplified through House of Disco’ current fave, “Tusk Wax Five” which brings 2 tracks from the prolific Ejeca. Firstly, with the exuberantly energised 90s house vibe, “X Girl” and then as an added bonus we are gifted a chance to feel the Bicep treatment on the track “Pushed” with its dubbed out deep house baselines taking on us a journey you just don’t want to end.
So like a game of pass the parcel; au contre, it’s not the music you want to stop but indeed begin..!
Within the first 12 months, Tusk have enjoyed a SOLD OUT sign on each of their first 7 releases, with their Tusk Wax Eight due for release, it may be wise to get involved and get yourself a rare piece of wax, reassuringly stamped with the fluids of fantastical beings!
Our current TUSK favourite is Tusk Wax 5