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.