Saturday, 28 December 2013

Desert Dwellers Interview

I've been a big fan of the Desert Dwellers since I came across their re-mix of the Laya Projects "Sunset In Akkarai" back in 2010. 

I'm really pleased and grateful that Amani Friend one of the founders of the Desert Dwellers has taken the time out of his festive break to give us this wonderful insight into their world.

1)      I gather that you choose to call yourselves the Desert Dwellers as a connection to the Moontribe parties you’ve played a big part in holding in the Californian deserts since the early 90’s. Aside from the obvious open space do you hold any affinity (spiritual or otherwise) with the desert? 

During the 90s, Treavor was based in LA organizing the legendary full moon parties in the Mojave deserts, and Amani was in the deserts of New Mexico also organizing outdoor electronic events with the Cosmic Kidz. All the Moontribe DJs would come through New Mexico quite often back then, and this is where the main dwellers met and started working together in the studio, originally producing faster electronic tribal dance music under the name Amani vs Teapot. The vast majority of the Desert Dwellers music catalog was made in New Mexico; the unique and dynamic enchanted desert spaces of New Mexico have been a huge influence on the spacious and mysterious sound of DD. The first Desert Dwellers CD was produced in 2001 to give away as gifts at Burning Man. This Black Rock desert festival is another environment that has really fueled the energy behind Desert Dwellers. There is a lot to be said for these types of gatherings like Burning Man and Moontribe .... sometimes when you get lost in the Desert, you can really find yourself; you are in touch with the raw power of the environment around you, and become one with the flow of the natural elements, the stars, the moon, and sand; these experiences offer a heightened sense of awareness, especially for those individuals that are seeking peek experiences through all night dance rituals. Dancing till the sun rises in the desert is one of the most epic and uplifting experiences.

2)      Your music is often described as music for Yoga. Is Yoga something you both practise and how much of a part does it play when constructing a track?

Amani has been practicing Yoga and meditation on and off since the mid nineties, and Treavor has never done yoga much. The original Desert Dwellers album produced in 2001 by Amani and Treavor was not directly intended for Yoga; it was more of an exploration of downtempo dub beats mixed with East Indian music, a form of music that has greatly inspired both Amani and Treavor since the mid 90s. In 2005, Rara Avis and Craig Kohland of Shaman's Dream heard that original DD album and saw the potential in it to be such a perfect fit for the yoga scene ..... so Shaman's Dream brought Amani on board to score original music for several dozen yoga related DVD's over the course of 4 years (2005 to 2009). It was during these years that the immense yoga inspired catalog of DD music was produced for teachers like Shiva Rea, Duncan Wong, and many other high level teachers. Once the DVD's were completed, we were able to release the music through our own channels, which turned into the DownTemple Dub series on White Swan Records and the Yoga Dub Series on Yogi Tunes. All of this music was originally intended to be played underneath a teacher talking and giving instructions ... so we had to make it "open" enough to hold space for that, but also still be interesting and captivating as well; and we always wanted to make sure what we were creating was interesting to our own ears as well in terms of the hybrid of electronic music and world instruments mixed with groovy beats and dubby bass lines. So it was a challenge at first, but we ended up creating a unique style of music all our own, and each album was slightly different from the previous.  What we have found is that people have been incorporating this music into so many different healing modalities ... It has been a real gift, and we love to see how much this music has effected people's daily lives from yoga to the bedroom to the dance-floor. 

3)      Your sound combines both organic and electronic flavours. Are the organic instruments mostly samples or do you prefer to use session musicians or play some yourselves?

We greatly prefer to collaborate with real musicians in the studio. All the dwellers play instruments and have musical training in one form or another. Treavor and Rara both studied guitar, and Amani has studied the keyboard, as well as Didgeridoo. So we have always had an affinity to bringing real instruments and vocalists into the realms of electronic music. These "organic flavors" we add are usually a collaboration with a real person and not a sample CD. Amani has been blessed to grow up surrounded by several masters of traditional world music lineages from East India, Middle East, and Africa. The majority of the DD tracks were collaborations with Santa Fe musicians such as Meagan Chandler, Ricardin, Sarah West, and Yamuna Wali and her teacher Pandit Birju Maharaj. There were a few times where we were incorporating sample libraries here and there, but that's probably because that's all we had access to, or maybe we had to meet a very tight deadline for one of those DVDs. Lately we have been recording lots of amazing new studio musicians and vocalists, either at our studio in Santa Fe or on the road as we have been traveling the world. This ongoing collaboration with other musicians and with other electronic music producers is the heart of the Desert Dwellers.

4)      Your latest E.P. “Dive Into Forever” is more song based than your previous material featuring the vocals of Ixchel Prisma. In addition, the Eastern flavours seem to have taken a back bench on the first track. Is this a new direction you want take the Desert Dwellers sound to or simply another string to your bow so to speak?

Our collective DD musical background and training (before there was electronic dance music) was in jazz, blues, funk, reggae, and rock; since the mid 90s we have been exploring a specific hybrid of electronic and world-fusion music, but there are many various roots to our musical foundations. After the Yoga DVDs were completed, the next phase of our exploration came online in 2009 as Amani and Treavor started working on projects together again. The Spaces Between EP, Spinning out of Nothingness, and even the Critters bonus edition EP  are all electronic downtempo tracks that are not quite so "yoga leaning." For the past couple years we have been exploring new psychedelic bass realms with tracks like Seeing Things on Twisted Records and our various remixes for many great artists, which are geared more for the dance floor and for our live sets.  This most recent release "Dive into Forever" manifested because we have really been enjoying the work of Phaeleh, a UK artist that has an amazing skill at bringing spacious english lyrics and electronic chill-step together. We have always wanted to make a few songs with english lyrics and have had many fans ask for this, we just have never had the right vocalist to collaborate with. Amani first met Ixchel Prisma in Guatemala in Dec 2012, during the end of the mayan calendar. The various travel synchronicities in 2013 led to these songs being produced over a good chunk of time. We wanted the music and the lyrics and melodies to have a spacious flow, allowing the listener to be transported by the openness of the sonic journey, and to still offer the familiar verses and choruses of a "song based" format. This sound indeed is a new direction for us … but it seems we are always going in new directions; so it is just another string for the bow, and not a new direction that would take away from our deep love of world-electronic fusions. Actually, in addition to these more song based tracks, Ixchel is also singing and collaborating with Amani on some powerful shamanic ceremony songs from south america; there is another shamanic trance album in the works with Ixchel for a side project called Liquid Bloom. As far as this new direction on "Dive into Forever," we actually have a bit more to explore there and already have a couple more english songs recorded with Ixchel that need to be flushed out and finished.  In general, we are always trying to be open to where this ongoing collective collaboration is wanting us to explore. We have so many musical influences and collaborations, and we love to keep pushing ourselves to create new things; and to live out the "music beyond borders" credo … exploring new sonic terrains that bridge worlds, genres, and generations. 

5)      Could you describe your studio set-up and what hardware or software appeals to you most?
We have been mac based since 1995. We have always produced music in Logic Audio, and before that it was Opcode Vision. Our studio has MOTU audio interfaces and good old Mackie HR 824 Studio Monitors. We have had lots of hardware over the years, but lately find ourselves using the computer more than anything ... so a lot of gear has been sold off. Amani still has his vintage Sequential Circuits Pro One synth, a Korg R3 and some Korg Kaoss Pads. But honestly these are all collecting dust because we are traveling so much and just using our computers to produce. When we perform live we are midi syncing both laptops together with one running Traktor and the other running Ableton Live. We both have shifted to the Allen and Heath XONE2 midi controllers recently and are very happy.

6)      You’re embarking on a tour of the United States. Where can people catch the show and who have you got onboard for the support slots?

Yes we will be traveling around in a bus for 7 weeks hitting 42 different spots in the United States. Actually WE are the support for the tour, as we are opening for a legendary psy-dub producer named Simon Posford, AKA Shpongle. Simon has been the leading edge since the 90s and is one of our biggest musical influences ... so this is really a dream come true for any psychedelic electronic music producer.  We are also honored to be releasing music on his label Twisted Records now as well. We will be staring off in Boston on Feb 12th, heading down the east coast into florida, across the south, hitting our home state New Mexico on march 5th, then heading over to California for several gigs, up the west coast and back over the country through the midwest, ending up in New York and Philadelphia at the beginning of April. You can see the specific tour dates here ... and you can stay in touch with us and our touring schedule here ::: …. we also have a great line of merchandise and all our music on our website as well. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Desert Dwellers - Dive Into Forever Review

Artist: Desert Dwellers

Title: Dive into Forever E.P.

Label: Self Release

Released: 23rd December 2013

This E.P. seems to reach into new territories where the vocals of Ixchel Prisma are really brought to the forefront. I wasn’t too sure about track one ‘Dive Into The Core’ despite the Eastern sounding name the vocal was more Celtic sounding to me, layered over a slowed down trance number which was reminiscent of Delerium.

The second track a re-work of ‘You Can See Forever’ (I often utilise the Deep Cave Mix in my sets) on the other hand is sheer brilliance. The approach is completely different the spacious ambient sounds are still there and my mind’s eye is back in the desert. The vocal is extended and really brought to the forefront of the track, while the bouncy bass-line gives the impression it’s constructed for the dance floor. That is until it drops off and an extended focus on synth delays and vocals is laid down like a magic carpet inviting you to soar into the sky as the bassline returns.

The E.P. closes with a bonus re-mix of Android Cartel’s ‘Wake Up Call’ who are an act I’m not familiar with but I have to say this is great. It sounds like they’ve dragged a soulful house number through the dub laboratory and haven’t spared the bass.

Review by Woodzee


Desert Dwellers - Night Visions Review

Artist: Desert Dwellers

Title: Night Visions

Label: Black Swan Sounds

Released: 29th October 2013

Night Visions is a selection of re-mixes by the Desert Dwellers. This selection contains familiar and unfamiliar artists to me drawing from the western slant of world/dub/bass fusion and the world music scene.

My attention is really caught by the second track a re-mix of Earthrise Sound Systems ‘Makyen Ghrir Allah’ I must confess I don’t know too much about Earthrise Sound System except they are another Yoga inspired act and label mate of the Desert Dwellers.  Someone I’d marked as must explore deeper a while back after watching this video ...

Anyway, back to the review in question … this track is a wonderful combination of lush ambient sequences and deep speaker shaking low frequency bass and features a lovely North African male vocal.

The next track is a re-mix of Australia’s psy-bass aficionado Kalya Scintilla. The vocal switches to a female this time. While the music is a melting pot of glitchy wobbles, fx sequences and continues to maintain the trend of appeal I have begun to find consistent with the Desert Dwellers. Moving forward to the re-mix of Girish’s ode to the Hindu goddess of art, music and science ‘Saraswati’ and I have to say I love this one. Beginning with gentle acoustics and vocals the sequenced layers are slowly introduced utilising the reverb perfectly. Proper chillout!

Next up is a re-mix of the Kaya Projects ‘Ghasi Ram Blues’ and the track is aptly named, beginning with Seb’s blue’s guitar before a lovely bassline is introduced the term ‘this chugs along nicely’ springs to mind. No need to worry though it’s not one of those re-mixes where someone just adds a fresh beat. There are plenty of well constructed blues filled bridges. This is followed by Adham Shaikh’s ‘Desert Dub’ a great track it’s own right in my humble opinion. This version is perhaps a little more laid back exploring different avenues of where the dub fx are utilised and a nice alternative to boot.

Other artists include Deva Premal, Jai Uttel and finishes with the track that really turned me onto the Desert Dwellers music … The Laya Projects ‘Sunset in Akkarai’ wonderful stuff.

Review by Woodzee



Thursday, 19 December 2013

Abstractive Noise - Of The Adders Bite Review

Artist: Abstractive Noise

Title: Of The Adders Bite

Label: Abstractive Records

Release Date:     
9th December 2013

This release is described as a concept album in which the main ‘character’ a male in his normal form is trapped in a gigantic machine-world that is revealed as a woman (or a woman in the form of this machine). Where all the tracks represent a journey through this unfamiliar ‘world’. Each chapter implies the understanding of the protagonist’s journey. The first chapter is the awakening and realisation of the machine’s existence. The second chapter is the struggle for escape and the last the understanding that there is no way of doing so.

Bearing the above in mind I’m aiming to see if the music can conjure the up the feelings or visual representation of this plot to myself as the listener. So without further ado (and lacking popcorn) I’ll begin.

Chapter I: Wanderer

The first track aptly named ‘Outcast’ begins with a distorted orchestral build up fusing cellos, triangles and sparse kick drums. Cellos for me can easily bring a sense of sadness which can easily be related to an ‘outcast’ but not necessarily a ‘wanderer’. However, I find the piece quite pleasant and it fits well enough to the theme for me. The second track ‘Machine (Phase I)’ starts rather abruptly and utilises classical strings to an almost ear-piercing level with engines, slamming and whirring clock cog samples with underlining ambient atmospherics which make it almost impossible not to imagine machinery in action. Machine (Phase II) brings in the percussion and begins to pull the ambient atmospherics to the fore front dropping the samples as the horn section takes over. For me this adds to a sense of foreboding and is quite cleverly constructed However, I lost the sense of the mechanical world.  

Chapter II: The Adder

The track begins with dark gloomy synths and rolling percussion before the accompanying cello and fits aptly to the title of the track ‘Trap” the enveloping sound certainly brought a sense of claustrophobia from within me (whether this is something ingrained into the psyche from film,  television and theatre is another discussion). The title track (well the first movement at least) begins with soothing piano soon accompanied by a distorted and elongated classical drone which serves to confuse the senses i.e soothing piano, irritating drone but when the strings begin and even though the track never really settles I find myself beginning to enjoy the piece. This chapter finishes with the track ‘Vengeance’ where the previous theme continues but with distorted percussion and when it drops plucked strings are utilised to great effect before the strings and percussion amalgamate before tailing off again at the end.

Chapter III: Ancient Riddle

The first track is this chapter ‘Poisonous Well’ begins with chimes dropped over an ambient drone and sections of compressed drums with layers of synth sounds which add an electric guitar feel in places. This leads nicely into the 2nd movement of the title track, where we return to the melancholic cello and ambient atmospherics. The final track ‘Of Betrayed and Betrayers’ utilises orchestral bass chords and chimes which adopt a classic sense of walking or indeed wandering and searching (which I can’t help feeling would have suited the theme of the first Chapter). The notes get deeper and seem to almost overlap adding a slight intensity as strings clicks and (I’ll hazard a guess at) an elongated sousaphone are added which at first drew a feeling of anxiety but soon levels out bring a more soothing feeling achieving the sense of acceptance.

To summarise this album is cleverly constructed over a period of time and fits the theme of the proposed subject matter. Is it an album I’d return to again and again to be honest probably not? However, it was an interesting and somewhat dark journey which draws on emotions so that I felt was worth spending the time to experience.

Review by Woodzee


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Banco De Gaia - For Such A Time Review

Artist: Banco De Gaia

Title: For Such A Time

Label: Disco Gecko Recordings

Release Date:  21st December 2013

This release is the final single from this year’s album “Apollo”. It begins (as you would expect) with the original mix. Without a doubt this is a stereotypical Banco track and as blasé as that might sound the track certainly doesn't. Toby's skilfully mastered techique of fusing running loops, deep ambient chords and flute with tribal samples and a gorgeous female Arabic vocal instantly transports your minds eye to a hidden oasis within an eastern paradise. 

If you have already purchased “Apollo” and it’s younger sibling “Ollopa: Apollo Re-Mixed” you may wonder what fresh material this single holds.

Well next on the agenda is a re-mix by Animat who as an artist is fresh territory for me and I like what he, she or indeed they bring to the table. The piece manages to maintain a chilled atmosphere and although the Arabic vocals are dropped the tribal samples remain, while playfully toying with the chords and percussion and plenty of dubby echoes to a blissful effect.

Next up on the re-mix duties is Kuba whose blend of dubby, psychedelic, beach chill I’m a big fan of. Water laps over lovely guitar strings and slowly drifts in and out of psy-dub where the Arabic vocal never really gets going but is masterfully utilised and I have to say this really is one for the hammock. Absolute quality!

Finally, the single ends with System 7’s re-mix featured on “Ollopa” which takes the vibe up a notch. However, with the years of experience Steve and Miquel have amassed they certainly know how to blend blissful chill with a bouncy beat and where to drop the tempo and bring it back again. Throw in a little bit of Steve’s guitar and it’s a perfect ending to a damn fine single where no one in my opinion has let the side down.

Reviewed by Woodzee

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Obsidian Kingdom "Torn and Burnt - The Mantiis Re-Mixes" Review

Artist: Obsidian Kingdom

Release: Torn and Burnt : The Mantiis Re-Mixes

Label: Free Download

Release Date: 15th November 2013

Obsidian Kingdom, a band hailing from Barcelona, described their sound as hard to classify heavy music with plenty of contrasts. Its main features are the use of multiple sound resources in order to portray a wide range of emotions; a deep interest for aesthetics and the mise-en-scène; and the sombre and cryptic quality of their lyrical topics. Defying both tradition and their Black Metal origins, they continue to tread their own path in an untiring search for their own unique style, aside from convention or style boundaries.

Even though this album is a re-mix project based on a previous release. I hazard a guess that it is not one you would expect us to feature on this blog. However, I’ve have noticed certain metal tracks which seem to ditch the guitar for atmospheric, operatic, religious or even satanic chants. It’s only natural that at some point someone would focus on this area and blend it with ambient electronica and for me that person was Kostas K whose Subheim “Dark Ambient” (as it’s known) project who brought this to life. So considering Subheim is one of the artists aboard the project and bearing in mind I’ve not heard the original I thought I’d give it a go anyway.

The album opens with a re-mix by Oktopus one of many that I’m not familiar with on the re-mix duties. The sound blends techy industrial sounds with dark brooding synths and an almost eastern sounding bass guitar to be honest I couldn’t decide weather I liked it or not. Next up, are the afore-mentioned Subheim who joins forces with Poordream they contrast ambient sounds and chorus against a slo-mo dark and dubby electro bassline imo not his best work but nice none-the-less. Necro Deathmort begins with some elongated choral sounds, soon followed by sparse drum kicks and a dark brooding synths which build a gloomy atmosphere till eventually the growling vocals build to a crescendo which is surprising followed by a well layered soothing, atmospheric ambient outro. Jr Morgue is up next and it’s quite a contrast indie like vocals are strewn over electro beats and dark synths creating a sound not a million miles away from NIN. This sets the tone of this album a real mixed bag for instance Drumcorp fuses glitchy broken hip-hop beats with reverbed bass and guitars while Larvae took me deeper into ambience with a classic piano vibe with low-frequency bass injections in the latter part of the track and I have to say I like it. Mothboy (another one I’m actually familiar with) closes the album with his genre-bending unique approach to down-tempo and I feel he may just have bagged the gold medal with this little beauty.

To summarise this may not appeal if you only like a purely ambient vibe. This really is an album of contrasts taking you from the dark to the light and back using a variety of sub-genres. However, if you’re a lover of both or fancy something a little different especially, with those long winter nights drawing in this could well be worth a listen.

Review by Woodzee


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Suns Of Arqa "Ancient Temples" Review

Artist: Suns Of Arqa

Title: Ancient Temples E.P.

Label: Interchill Records

Release Date: 19th November 2013

I first came across the Suns of Arqa on a free cassette from a magazine I’d brought to pass the time on a train journey in the early 90’s. It was one of those tracks I played over and over and not long after I came across “Kokoromochi” on vinyl which proved to contain some perfect openers to a set. After that somehow they dropped off the radar for me for many years until I picked up a compilation of their tracks over the years “Through The Gates We Go” mixed by Tom Fu.

Through the internet I discovered there was a vast back catalogue of Michael Wadada & Co’s fusion of Indian Raga’s and Rastafarian Niyabinghi drumming dating back to 1980. I still have some way to go to fulfil this collection and was very impressed with Youth’s mix of “Jagnath Bhairavi” that Matthew Foord played on House of the Flying Eyeball’s “My Favourite Things” radio show recently (which sparked an interest in obtaining the Interchill album).

Considering the above I was eager to hear this E.P. (a precursor for a new album to be released in 2014) from the word go. The release opens with a re-mix of “Ancient Temples in the Southern Cape” by master of dub and vintage electronics Gaudi and I have to say the dreamy synths and reggae chords grabbed my attention immediately and the spacey vocal I can’t put a name to just adds to the appeal. Next up is a mix of the same track by Astralasia’s Swordfish. This version seems to take a more orchestral stance and although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Gaudi’s, it’s still a nice alternative.

There’s certainly no lack of talent on this release as next up is Youth dub mix of “Pablo’s Lament” which to me blends soundtrack vocal samples, with Augustus Pablo’esque melodica heavy reggae and psychedelic dub.  The closing track “The Truth Will Set You Free” mixed by Gagarin is the nearest to Indian Classical music on the release and sets me in mind of the vibe of On-U Sounds “Pay It All Back” releases so it’s no great surprise to discover it was recorded in their studio with Skip McDonald on bass and drums.

To summarise, this E.P.I love it and can only surmise that if you’ve read this far you’re tastes are similar to mine and you’re probably playing it already.

Review by Woodzee.

Release Link 

Links for artists:

Suns of Arqa





Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Aligning Minds "My Heart Is Remixed" Review

Artist: Aligning Minds

Album: My Heart Is ReMixed

Label: Gravitas Recordings/Critical Beats

Release Date: 5th November 2013

I’ll have to admit I’ve not heard the original album “My Heart Is Love” by Aligning Minds. However, having been impressed by their re-mix on the Desert Dwellers album “Re-Calibrated 2” and having heard the promotional Androcell Re-Mix of “In The Wake Of Forever” featured on this album my mind was aligned with the sound and I was more than happy to give an ear to this selection of re-mixes.

The album is part of the Critical Beats series which we have previously mentioned before and money will be donated to RAN (The Rainforest Action Network)

For further info on Evan Marc’s Critical Beats project aimed at helping the indigenous people of the rainforests and RAN see the links below.

The opening track is Anvil Hands take on the title track which layers a chilled atmosphere and soothing soulful vocals over slo-mo deep bass stabs. I’ve never heard of Anvil Hands or the original track so I’m in the dark as to how similar or different the track is to the original. It’s not the greatest or catchiest track you will hear, but I think it achieves a laid back atmosphere so a good start all in all.

The album continues fusing elements of ambience, dub-step & glitchly electronica of which there’s nothing wrong but it doesn’t really grab me until it chills right down with the Androcell re-edit I mentioned before (a welcome respite to the previous track which got a little hectic) this track really is quite special featuring beautifully alluring vocals, perfectly laid over soothing music and when the psy-dub interjects it compliments perfectly. All in all a sterling job by Tyler.

Overall, the album is well produced drawing on a range of styles and sub-genres, some which I find appealing and others not so much. But it does contain a few gems alongside the Androcell re-mix. I thoroughly enjoyed Krusseldorf’s glitchy ride through ambience with their take of “Oak Kalendar” and Shortmanb’s reggae vocals which sound almost vocoder’ish in places offers a different outlet to the rest of the album.

Reviewed by Woodzee


Friday, 1 November 2013

3 Hour Chillout Radio Special

The Sun Is Shining is teaming up with House of the Flying Eyeball delivering over 3 hours of chill out music 

When: Sunday the 3rd of November 19:00 - 22:30 GMT


This show will consist of the following with a chat room available for anyone who wishes to join in the fun.

One hour of Dubmission Records material compiled by Woodzee

The label started from a beach hut in Goa back in 1995, and initially released compilations “Mashing Up Creation”, “Skunked On Planet Dub” and "More Bass than Space" featuring artists such as Doof, Zion Train and Alpha & Omega.

With the New Zealand reggae scene going worldwide with acts like Fat Freddy’s Drop and Salmonella Dub, Dubmission Records picked up Pitch Black's albums to release in Europe and America. Their fusion of Reggae, Electronica and Ambient Soundscapes was making big waves as well as honorary Kiwi, International Observer, who lived down under for over 10 years.

Other releases include albums by Warp Technique, Third Ear Audio, Bluey and Deep Fried Dub.

One hour of Interchill Records material compiled by Andrew Interchill

The label started back in 1994 emerging from the chill out rooms of Montreal’s rave scene. Initially created to showcase and export their music to the rest of the world they soon began to encompass producers from around the globe.

The list of quality releases from the label is vast with compilations and albums ranging from Ambient, Tribal Chill to Reggae and Dub-Step. Think Sounds From The Ground, Gaudi, Kaya Project, Alucidnation, Ishq, Eat Static, Suns Of Arqa, Liquid Stranger, Vibronics, Bush Chemists and you’re still only scratching the surface.

So it’s not surprising Andrew said he’d struggle to represent these artists with just one hour.

An hour and a half live set by Ade Laugee

On the back of his 4 hour special @ London's InSpiral Lounge this Saturday we will air Ade's set from Whirl-Y-Gig's first ever Whirl-Y-Fayre held in Glastonbury UK this summer.

A familiar face to London’s club scene, Ade Laugée has Dj'd since 2001. In 2010 Ade re commenced composing / producing and in 2011 released his debut track on Whirl-Y-Gig's 30th anniversary “Global Disco” compilation album.

As Dj, Ade has supported, Raja Ram, Eat Static, Banco De Gaia, Dreadzone Sound System, OTT, & Pathaan.

For the foreseeable future, Ade’s focus will be dedicated to further releases / remixes with an album in the offing thereafter. On the evidence of past productions, the direction for any such album is currently unknown….however we do know it'll be unlikely to sound “fashionable” for the sake of trend.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Banco De Gaia "Ollopa: Apolla Re-mixed" Review

Artist: Banco De Gaia

Title: Ollopa: Apolla Re-mixed

Label: Disco Gecko Records

Released: 7th October 2013

I don’t know about you but I find remix albums a bit hit and miss. I can honestly say that I’ve only really liked about two...’Alien radio remixed’- Slam and ‘Remixed on the 24th July’- Charles Webster.

Bearing this in mind I came to this album with an air of trepidation. I’ve not heard the original Apolla so I’m not sure how far the artists have diverted from the template set down by Toby. Never fear this is superb listening - a very strong album from start to finish. It seems churlish to single out any tracks in particular but that’s what I’m about to do!

The album opens with the simply sublime Tripswitch remix of Acquiescence with its Middle Eastern sounding air (honestly can’t stop listening to this track). The vocals are transcendent. While Kaya Project let the Tablas do the talking in the ace Apollon and Steve Hillage does his Japanese Trance thing on ‘For such a time’ and quite delightful it is too. Steve’s patent guitar weaves its magic in and out of the track like a humming bird on the search for pollen. My final choice is the excellent Lamentations remixed by Gaudi it's carried along with a killer bass line that could stun a charging rhino if needed!

This album comes highly I’m off to see if I can hunt down a copy of the original.

Reviewed by Matthew Foord


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Guest Mix - Kirsty P

Kirsty considers herself a record collector rather than a DJ. However, the years of vinyl collecting and crate digging have paid dividends. Kirsty's selections (which can vary from present day Balearica and Cosmic Disco to 80’s Synth-Pop, Italo-Disco, New Beat, House and more) aired on her radio show  for "Deep Vibes" has lead to invitations to play at events as far afield as London, Manchester and Italy. 

In my opinion chill out as a genre is quite a blasé generalisation. In reality it’s in the ear of the beholder and various people can listen to completely different vibes to relax. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to ask Kirsty to compile a selection of tracks she likes to play when chilling out. The result I think you’ll agree is more than apt for our blog.

Links Every 3rd Friday of the month 19:00 to 20:00 GMT

Banco De Gaia “All Sleeping” E.P. Review

Artist : Banco De Gaia

Title: All Sleeping

Label: Disco Gecko Recordings

Release Date: 21st September 2013

The original begins in a manner which reminds me of the field recording sound fx’s employed in Pink Floyds “Animals” and is soon joined by cinematic sounding synths and flutes reminding me why Toby Marks initially made such an impact when I first came across him on the Ambient Dub compliation’s of the early 90’s. I’d draw further comparison to Pink Floyd when the accompanying guitar enters the fold soon followed by a pleasant loop forming a cohesive ambient whole that as the title suggests sets a peaceful relaxing mood.

First up on the Re-Mix duties are California’s Desert Dwellers who immediately change the mood with a deep dubby bassline, glitchy wobbles and an Eastern undertone. The re-mix doesn’t really stand out as the same track. However, I have to say I like it. This is followed by Seb Taylor’s ambient project Hibernation which for me high-lights the cinematic sounds yet at the same time employs more bass with a tribal feel to the percussion in places. The final track is re-mixed by Mistrust which is a name I’ve only recently noticed has started to surface. This take is more dubby with sporadic beats where the original sounds at times seems to take a back seat only brought to the forefront in convenient places.

Overall, I’d say this is a well produced cinematic sounding piece of Eastern edged ambience that one has come to expect from the Banco De Gaia brand packaged with re-mixes where the artists have taken their time to think, rather than plugging for the obvious.

Reviewed by Woodzee

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Alucidnation “Aural Architecture” Review

Artist: Alucidnation

Title: Aural Architecture

Label: Interchill

Release Date: 24th September 2013

Aural Architextures is Bruce Bickerton’s follow up to his recent e.p. 03 (his first release for ten years). Bruce prides himself in his analogue approach to music avoiding plug-in’s and other gimmicks the result of this approach is a beautifully melodic journey filled with chilled piano chords and strings beautifully draped over ambient soundscapes.

I find it hard to pick stand out tracks on this release. But boy, does it work as a collective whole. In many ways this album gives a nod back to the ambient sounds of yesteryear, yet still captures your attention and most importantly achieves the desired relaxation and sets your mind adrift.

I’d highly recommend this album not only for the fans of his earlier releases on Big Chill Recordings but to anyone who loves melodic summer chill out sounds. Believe me you really can’t go wrong with this release it’s easily one of the best chill out albums I’ve heard this year.

Reviewed by Woodzee


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Guest Mix - Wingnut Live from Whirl-Y-Fayre 2013

A lush deep, tribal tech set (with a slight old-skool leaning in places) from Will A.K.A Wingnut live from Whirl-Y-Gig's first ever Whirl-Y-Fayre held recently in the vale of Glastonbury. 

Will specialises in various styles of house including minimal, deep, tech, tribal, fidget & electro, plus bass music, liquid, techstep & neuro d&b, psy & hard breaks, ethnic, global & world beats, sofa sinking chill, brain-blasting bass & anything in between. 

Elysian Project & Acidic Records resident, & veteran of Whirl-Y-Gig, Wonderland, Tribe, SuperSecret Shindig, Jabberwocky, Planet Angel, Imaginarium, Love/Hate, C-Panel & other events. 

Played at London venues including The Egg, The Coronet, The Metalworks, Hidden, The Colosseum, Relay, Lightbox, Crucifix Lane, Inspiral Lounge, Rhythm Factory, Cafe 1001, Union & Hive Bar as well as Basement 45 (Bristol) & Om Bar (Brighton), & Planet Angel's festival, Chilled In A Field.

Subaqueous "Re-Vision" Review

Artist: Subaqueous

Title: Re:Vision

Label: Self Release

Released: 14th August 2013

Hailing from Seattle Issac Coltec aka Subaqueous has been making music in his own right since the summer of 2005 but here he gives the reigns up to a plethora of re-mixer’s such as Govinda, Heavenly Father and Nossau.

If you are familiar with his work you will know that his music is very much influenced by the tribal and indigenous sounds, but saying that his production and overall results are very much planted in the 21st century. 

Re-Visions sees his sound morphed and interpreted from the opening underwater electronica of Erothymes remix of 'Shimmers In The Dark' on to more terra firma sounds from Futextures take on “Shimmers” that incorporates techy dubstep with jazzy minimal D&B (of a Roni Size vibe) to the pure dub of 'Shortmanbs remix of 'Devotion Afloat'

My personal fave on this release is the lush 'Bless The A.M' remix of 'Visions Embrace' brimming with beautiful melodies and swirling warm thermals with vibrato synths.

This album spans so many genres but at the same time holds it all together successfully and with a roster of accomplished producers on remix duties the final result is varied but never out of place.

Review By CKA John