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

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Guest Mix - Amphetax "Dance Motherf**ker"

Igor Kauric was the mastermind behind the now defunkt who released the compilation "Chillbasics Vol 1" and Seamoon's "A Twisted Downbeat Adventure". As well as dj'ing at festivals and other events in his native Croatia he releases psy-chill music under the moniker "Atom-Based" and deep tech house under "Amphetax". 

He had provided a great guest mix many moons ago. In his own words he dj'd the more upbeat side of chill. Unfortunately, I mislaid the set over time and it's never been uploaded on Mixcloud. Therefore I asked Igor to do another one but this time he's decided to provide a tech-house set rather than a chilled one.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Guest Mix Khalil.m "The Gypsy Stepper"

Kahlil who hails from Montreal says he draws his inspiration from travelling, love and healing. Part of the Digital Alchemist label he describes his dj sets as a cross over in genres of bassy psychedelic music leading you through an enchanted bohemian forest, the soundtrack to an epic dream scape - an attempt to resonate the essence of psychedelic bohemian vibes channelled through sound waves. 

I was immediately drawn to this mix simply due to the artists on the track listing (with a few I didn't know too). When I pressed play I was happy in the knowledge that I'd listen to this unmixed.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

International Observer Interview

Tom Bailey is probably best remembered for his pop success with the Thompson Twins in the 80’s. But if you’re reading this, then like me, you’re probably more interested in reading about his International Observer moniker and the Dub Reggae he’s released in the last decade.

1)     After achieving success with 80’s pop hits in the UK charts you’ve now released four Dub Reggae albums and a number of E.P.’s, what was your inspiration to compose music of this genre?

I suppose that much of the work I've done in its various forms had its roots in a time before the pop period of the 1980s. Success has a funny way of preventing you from following experimental ideas, so a backlog of frustrated ideas builds up. But when I got down to making dub records, it seemed totally natural. I also did it along side projects involving North Indian classical music, experimental electronica and film music, for example. It's just a series of ideas which interest and inspire.

2) Traditionally Reggae has revolved around the bass guitar and although your music contains deep bass chords it is occasionally balanced with melodic strings and guitar. Was this a pre-mediated sound you wanted to achieve? And do you play all the instruments yourself?

I play all the instruments, so I become fascinated by the way notes and sounds go together, interlock, and play off each other. I know my dub sound is not stripped as bare as some others - and maybe that's the reason.
Dub is still an experimental form and has no fixed rules.

3)     You’ve just released the E.P. “More Tales of the Dungeon of Dub” through Dubmission Records. As you’re progressing through these releases are you exploring new technology? Or do you prefer to stick to more traditional and tested methods?

This is the second set of tracks in the "Dungeons of Dub" series and it's something Jasper at Dubmission encourages me to do with tracks which, for one reason or another, not been released in other formats. So there really is no plan for these tracks. Albums tend to be different because there is often an overriding theme or concept for a body of work which is done for a CD album release.

4)     You’re also involved in a multi-media side project with astronomer/visual artist José Francisco Salgado could you tell us about this project?

The BSP collaboration is with José Francisco Salgado who is and astronomer and film maker. We started making events which show his films with my music, usually with a live component, in order to close the perceived gap between art and science. We've done many short films together and it's been great fun, partly because it's a really creative collaboration which involves us both learning about each others fields of activity

5) Which artists have impressed you lately?

I live in an isolated place, so I'm really not as plugged into the latest things as most people are but, as a chance example, I've been impressed with the poetic qualities of an "Americana" folk-group from the north of England called Grassoline. Not my usual area of interest, but something that caught my ear.

6)     What tips would you give for any inspiring young producers wanting to create dub reggae?

I feel that dub is essentially a rebellious kind of music, so don't be afraid to take risks and see where they lead you. Listen to the great recordings, but also spend some time not listening to them so you can be relatively free of influence. I think this is important for many musicians otherwise, we all converge on the same sound and the world needs a broad range of art to address all its concerns. I feel lucky to be involved in so many different areas of music. I know it may mean I never master any one of them, but they inform each other and suggest things which may never occur to the single-minded specialist. So that's become my overall way of working.

Thanks for the interest in International Observer and all the best with the blog.


Thursday, 1 August 2013

A trio of releases from Dubmission Records

September the 9th sees a trio of releases from Dubmission Records. I’ve been impressed with their output this year the quality of tunes is once again capturing the initial vibe which attracted me to their releases in the first place.

I’m going to start with the Deep Fried Dub E.P. “Re-Fries” a collection of five of their re-mixes, which features a couple of big names as well as some others I’m not familiar with. Banco De Gaia’s “Oreia” for example is a chuggy Arabic dub number while Pitch Black’s “Transmissions” leans more to a slow heavy bass reggae-dub vibe. Lotus “Everyday” begins in a melodic summery ambient dub vibe with a pleasant enough female vocal. The Red Eves “Arms Over Jordan” again hits the deep dubby bass notes but this time adds an roots reggae vocal I’m not sure where they’re from but I’m guessing they’re another New Zealand act. The final Track is a re-work of "Captive Bird" by Australia’s Mr Savona  featuring Prince Allah which follows suit with the last track in a bass heavy roots fashion.

Next up is International Observer with his latest release “More Tales of the Dungeon of Dub” just in case you’re not aware International Observer is the dub moniker of Tom Bailey (formerly of 80’s pop sensations the Thompson Twins). Once again he delivers a collection of dub reggae with plenty of deep bass, melodic strings, guitar and synth sirens. If anything this collection is more vocal than previous releases while maintaining his usual musical high standard. Of the three promos this one probably edges it for me.

Lastly is a re-release of the Etherealites “Early” initially released in the 90’s. It’s an instrumental dub-reggae album, very much in a similar vein to the International Observer release, which maintains the raw sound recording of that era. Although, it hasn’t grabbed me as much initially, perhaps a few more listens will sway my opinion?

Review by Woodzee