Wednesday, 30 December 2015

E.R.S. 'Full Moon Skank' Review

Full Moon Skank is a fresh new E.P. from Manfred a Himalayas based artist releasing material under the pseudonym E.R.S. The E.P. is available generally through Dubmission Records from the 18th of December (a tad late on this one).

The E.P. opens with 'Justice and Equal Rights' where the reggae keys are a constant underbelly to the intricate riddims, where the percussion rolls and at time explodes. In the latter section the vocal cuts, horns and twisted loops all come together making the cohesive whole a strong opening track indeed. The mood becomes slower and heavier with 'Hear and Now' and although the intricate and well panned percussion remains the low frequency bass is employed flirting with Dub-Step in a reggae stylee.

The following two tracks are more mellow 'E.T. Existence' employs Sci-Fi samples as you've probably ascertained from the title and the keys are pleasing to the ear. The title track however, puzzles me somewhat. There's nothing wrong with it the intricate percussion remains and the samples are fine. However, it lacks the dynamics of some of the other tracks so seems to me a strange choice for the title track. The E.P. comes to a close with 'Massive in Funk' which restores the dynamics of the first two pieces with some additional funky vocal cuts that work a treat.

Review by Woodzee

Links …

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Interchill the Compilation Review

Interchill Compilation

I must confess that this album was on my Bandcamp wish list, so I was delighted when Woodzee offered me the chance to review it.
First thing that struck me is the beautiful artwork adorning the front cover- the morning sun (I assume), in a clear blue sky partially hidden by the girder of a bridge. A perfect moment of stillness.
The artwork appropriately sets the mood for the music contained within. This is a selection obviously compiled with great love and attention to detail and as such it seems a bit churlish to have favourites. In saying that I’m going to single out the tracks that I either knew beforehand or grabbed my attention at first listen
First off is the effusive tones of Bruce Bikerton aka Alucidnation. I’ve known of Bruce’s music for a good few years now and love the warmth and generosity of his stuff. I was lucky enough to have Bruce compile a sublime selection for my radio show a year or so ago- (
Next up is the sublime Tom Green aka Another Fine Day with a track from his most recent album ‘A good place to be’. On remix duties is Greg Hunter who comes up with a delightful little twist taking in elements of Dub and Didgeridoo. The Kaya Project's 'Desert Phase' (Hibernation remix) is a more up-tempo offering, yet still proves to be a gorgeous slice of aural sunshine.
This is followed by the dreamy vocals of ‘To Mend’ by Bluetech & Lynx & Janover. I must admit that I far prefer this version to the harder original with the softer approach that Bluetech has taken the piece. Whilst Tom's 2nd inclusion on this compilation is the delicate and playful ‘Dusty Feet’. This track is the aural equivalent of summer rain, all light and refreshing
Spiral System follows up perfectly with the aptly named ‘Rain’. A great bass line provides the foundation for a lazy, hazy meander. Then Liquid Stranger takes us for a little diversion into ‘Zero Gravity’ before the brief interlude of Sunmonx laid back number ‘Run’. Then the Kaya Project return with their second offering the even shorter, but appropriately named ‘Flicker’. Short but extremely sweet.
Sinepearl serve up the aptly named and blissful ‘Ceremonial Tea’ and Ishq follows with a sublime slice of ambience. Best let these last two just work their subtle magic over you and please don’t attempt to operate any heavy machinery!
Alucidnation return for their second offering ‘Genetics’. This time remixed by the incomparable Mixmaster Morris in his much loved Irresistible Force incarnation. For me Morris can pretty much do no wrong and this track has long been a favourite of mine. I’m very much looking forward to the new Irresistible Force album seeing the light of day, hopefully in the New Year.
Liquid Stranger finishes off the delights with a final slice of excellence, which puts me in mind a little bit of Global Communications, remix of Chapterhouse ‘Pentamerous Metamorphosis’. Which is no bad thing at all.
In my honest opinion this is a sublime selection of chilled and ambient tunes to keep away the winter chill and I heartily recommend adding this to your collection.

Reviewed by Matthew Foord


Monday, 21 December 2015

Dr. Trippy 'Punjabi Swamp Music' Review

Dr. Trippy – Punjabi Swamp Music

Dr. Trippy burst out on the scene back in May of last year with his debut album 'Invasion by Osmosis' on Banco De Gaia's label Disco Gecko recordings. Since then I've had the good fortune to make his acquaintance at this years Whirl-Y-Fayre and catch a live performance. Fans of his sound shouldn't be disappointed with this new e.p. of fresh tracks full to the brim with the sounds of India and Jamaica.

The opening track 'Ashram' is slightly deceiving with it's intro which appears to be a nice slice of chilled electronica and then comes the drop and the mish-mash of Indian vocal stabs, dub and fiddle provides an instant festival floor filler. 'Darjeeling Daydream' has less of a jig to it than the opening track and more of a dubby Indian hip-hop feel but works just as well. While Dr. T Meets the Exterminator sounds like a James Bond ska track has been dragged through the washing machine with some psychedelic breaks.

I'm certain I've heard the underlying female Indian sample that runs throughout the pacier 'Indubia' alongside the flutes and male ragga vocal stabs either way this track is top draw. Drawing this e.p. to a close is 'Rant and Rave at Sunday School' where the horns and dub reggae meet the choral choir just in time for Christmas.

Review by Woodzee

Available from the 18th of December


Monday, 14 December 2015

Kwalli Kumara & Pete Ardron 'Exalted' Review

Kwalli Kumara & Pete Ardron – Exalted

Orchid-Star head honcho Pete Ardron cumulates a euphoric combination of classical, psychedelia, ambience, Indian and Celtic flavours in his own productions and on re-mixes for the likes of Afro-Celt Sound System and Terra Nine. On this occasion he has teamed up with Kwalli Kumara a singer, snake and fire dancer and Kundalini instructor. Each track on the album is based around an 11 minute mantra which can easily be applied to Kundalini meditation. Now although this is a market the album is aimed towards they're hoping it will also appeal to the fans of Pete's music in general. So approaching this review in the latter concept I'm looking for the appeal as a general global chill out release.

The opening track 'Bliss (Rakhe Rakhanhar)' combines finger cymbals layered over atmospheric synths which is soon accompanied by the mantra (which is delivered in a soothing and professional manner) and shortly after by the flutes which to me add a Celtic feel to the piece. The meditative aspect of the piece is obvious and although it's definitely not a dance number it serves the purpose for general relaxation.

The following track 'Strength (Gobinday Mukanday)' retains a fair few aspects of the opening number but is a trifle more uplifting in both the vocal and music and with the mantra is a touch reminiscent of George Harrison's use of the Krishna mantra 'Govinda Jaya Jaya'.

Whilst 'Joy (Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru)' employs the drums alongside the flutes and mantras continuing to lift the mood higher again.. In contrast 'Courage (Chattr Chakkr Varti) although retaining the drums has a more laid back tribal feel to them and comes across as a prayer chant even more so than the previous tracks.

As the title would suggest 'Energy (Adi Shakti)' reverts to the uplifting vibe once again with an almost trance like feel to the piece in places, it's definitely the most danceable number on the album so far. 'Abundance (Har)' retains the upbeat momentum beginning with an aboriginal feel with a dark underbelly that continues along with the short mantra and the other sounds bubble up into an uplifting crescendo around it.

I would imagine this release will be warmly received as an accompaniment in the Kundalini meditation market and I don't see why fans of Pete's other projects would be disappointed. Although, if the individual fan isn't completely at home with the total relaxation numbers they might want to skip through the tracks towards the end.

Reviewed by Woodzee


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Radium88 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Space Traveller' Review

‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Traveller’ is the 8th album by Nottingham based band Radium88. The band consists of Jema Davis who provides the delicate and ethereal vocals and Tim Thwaites, who pretty much does everything else!
I must confess an ignorance of the band up until recently when I discovered a track titled ‘ The Futures bright, The Futures Incandescent’ ,their contribution to Toby Mark’s (of Banco de Gaia fame) recent compilation ‘Strange Eyed Constellations'.
This album represents somewhat of a ‘stylistic leap sideways’ for the band, according to the blurb that I received with the album.
It certainly builds upon the ambient dub like textures apparent on ‘The Futures bright’ with a more, at times, guitar and beat driven formula; however, funnily enough, for me the more interesting and richly textured tracks are the ones of a more sedate vintage (although the change in tempo mid song during Track 4 ‘Renunciation Blues’ from a Dubby chugger to a slide guitar driven voodoo wig out is simply superb. My only complaint with this track is that it could have gone on for longer).
The album begins with ‘Disavowed, no doubt unaware’ sounds like it being heard over the airwaves beamed out for the depths of space. This segues nicely into ‘who will save us from the waves?'
Track 5 ‘Washed by Gravity’s Waves’ is reminiscent of a lullaby overheard from Cygnus XI- quaint and yet somewhat disturbing. This sense of unease and melancholy seems to permeate throughout the album, in keeping with the title and track names, perhaps representing a concept?
The beginning of Track 6 ‘The girl who outshined the Void’ with its gorgeous piano refrain put me in mind of an out-take from the Blade Runner soundtrack, before gentle beats are layered to aid a perfect accompaniment to the piano.
‘Heavy water, falling Stone’ is simply sublime- building delicately with Jema’s floating, choral vocals, it also progresses to become subtly more beat driven, intertwined with some excellent guitar work- all the parts working together in perfect harmony. This track for me perfectly utilises Jema’s vocals to full strength
‘The disappearing skies’ is the sound of a Parisian CafĂ© magically transported to the beach of some far off star.
Things seem to kind of weaken after this, with nothing seeming to match the imagination of the tracks that have gone previously.
Overall this is a good album with some lush and sophisticated ideas. Radium88 have served up a strange little dish (no bad thing in a world of X-Factor and its homogeneous banality) with more than a hint of melancholy, but with moments of genuine lightness and charm.
Reviewed by Matthew Foord
This album was released by Lotek Recordings on the 1st of November 2015 and widely available for purchase

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Perpetual Loop 'Nocturnal Symbiosis' Review


Perpetual Loop


Nocturnal Symbiosis


Digital Duvet/Uxmal


30th November

Nocturnal Symbiosis the 5th and latest studio release from Manchester based Charles Massey A.K.A. Perpetual Loop opens with 'Momentum', a track which contains a hefty proportion of piano and guitar that you'd also find on the more chilled side of Digtal Duvets releases, those tracks that conjure up a summery trance feel. However, here the vital difference is there's more of a spring in it's step.

The next few tracks take you on a journey reminiscent of late 90's trance with deep bass notes, harmonious piano, strings and flutes set against distorted gating and lush breakdowns. At this point I have to admit that although I don't really listen to much of that music these days, I'm totally enjoying this.

The rest of the album continues very much in the same vein, some might say it's dated, others retro. Whatever way you look at it there's obviously passion behind the music here and it's all good clean summery trance. What's more it's free of cheesy pop vocals and sends my mind down memory lane to labels like Platipus Records and I ask myself is there anything wrong in that?

Reviewed by Woodzee