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Electronic Vinyl Records
JuntoJUNTO-due out via Atlantic Jaxx/PIAS America--marks pioneering U.K. electronic music duo BASEMENT JAXX's seventh studio album.
Globally revered as innovators and leading lights of their genre, BASEMENT JAXX blew the lid off the dance music scene of the late 90's with their ground breaking albums Remedy, Rooty and Kish Kash. Having firmly established their place in the pantheon of dance music greats, the duo of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe are back with JUNTO, a genre-hopping musical roller-coaster that showcases the band's legendary inventiveness, irresistible songwriting and production smarts.
In May, the pair debuted the club-ready, jacking "Unicorn," the first track to be taken from Junto. It has met with universal praise, working as a perfect taster of what the full length has to offer. They soon followed with "Mermaid Of Salinas," a samba sensation just in time for the World Cub festivities. Then came "Never Say Never," the first official single from the album, currently sitting at #4 on Billboard's Club Play chart and racing up Billboard's Dance Radio chart.
Spanish for 'together,' the concept behind JUNTO is one of unity and soulfulness, fusing dance music's sub-genres into one cohesive multi-flavored confection. It's a bold, boisterous, brilliant album full of amazing guest vocal performances, richly layered production and the irresistible sense of groove that has set them apart from the very beginning. Summer is here, and the JAXX are back.
- Broadway World1. Intro
2. Power To the People
4. Never Say Never
5. We Are Not Alone
6. What's The News
7. Summer Dem
9. Rock This Road
10. Sneakin' Toronto
11. Something About You
12. Mermaid of Salinas
13. Love Is At Your Side
$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
xEast India Youth
Total Strife ForeverThe lead single, and the accompanying video, from East India Youth's debut album Total Strife Forever really tells you all you need to know about the record. 'Looking For Someone' opens like a familiar, albeit electronic, ballad with East India Youth (otherwise known as William Doyle) emoting directly into camera in a way reminiscent of Sinead O'Connor. Then he begins to ascend, the London skyline now whizzing past Doyle as the elevator he's in climbs the Heron Tower. Almighty, booming drums signalled the ascension; humming synths join the journey to the top before the music is stripped away and the camera pans away, twisting as the elevator descends. We are then shown a vertigo-inducing journey back to street level and a trip through the shaft of an elevator. Abrasive synthesisers and what sounds like a distorted church organ are the soundtrack for this dizzying descent. It's no longer a simple plea to a lost lover, but a rallying cry against loneliness in the midst of huge, anonymous monuments.
Total Strife Forever is a brutal electronic album, but one that still retains a very humanistic core - this juxtaposition is a thematic thread which runs throughout the album. Doyle then sculpts and defines the music in order to create tension between these two disparate elements, or else uses their differences in order to surprise and engage the listener. This is done within individual songs and across the record: over 11 tracks you'll hear acid beats, euphoric electronic pop, ambient passages, drone, krautrock and more. What's incredible is how East India Youth has managed to bring all of these elements together and construct a cohesive record.
The album opens with 'Glitter Recession'. Soft piano meets a twinkling keyboard melody and then heavy bass stabs. The piano becomes louder and deeper, the keyboard softer, and swirling synths enter the mix. It's a beautiful, optimistic opening, the instruments all layered so that they never feel like they are jostling for attention, but rather adding details and intricacies to make the piece more alive. 'Glitter Recession' is followed by the first of four 'Total Strife Forever' pieces, this one built around a steady sawtooth bass line that grows in intensity as a pounding kick drum appears and echoing synths wash in and out of audible range. It feels like it is building towards heavy electronic noise, of the kind bands like Fuck Buttons are renowned for. But instead 'Total Strife Forever I' is more restrained as sustained chords create a stunning euphoric ending.
The third track 'Dripping Down' is the first to feature vocals. If you've previously heard the singles leading into this album, or the Hostel EP from last year, you might be surprised by the fact that Total Strife Forever is largely instrumental, yet it makes the rare appearance of vocals all the more effective. 'Dripping Down's harmonies are beautiful, particularly in the closing moments of the track when they sound as though they've been recorded in a grand cathedral (most of this album was in fact recorded at home over the course of three years).
With clear percussion and shimmering synthesiser riffs, 'Dripping Down' is the first dance track on the album, yet what follows takes things up a notch. 'Hinterland' is an out and out acid track. It starts with an echoing, sonar-like melody, ambient chords and a quick snare/kick beat. The bass drops and we're given an infectious, shuffling four-to-the-floor beat; what follows deserves to be a staple in any self-respecting DJ's club mix. 'Hinterland' is phenomenal, yet somehow East India Youth manages to go beyond that on the next track.
'Heaven How Long' is easily the album's highlight and arrives just around the mid-point of the album. It's euphoric electronica at its best, and features one of the record's most delicate sections in the second verse. Doyle's vocals, hushed during the verses, soar for the chorus and the whole song ends with a krautrock inspired instrumental, marrying looped synthesisers to heavy bass guitar riffs.
The second half of the Total Strife Forever is just as strong and rewarding as the first half. There's the aforementioned lead single 'Looking For Someone', as well as three more 'Total Strife Forever' pieces. The second of those tracks, which immediately follows 'Heaven How Long', is easily one of the most meditative tracks on the album, solely comprising an organ, haunting choral vocals and a deep electronic buzzing. In many ways it's similar to Tim Hecker's most recent work which used church organs and filters to blur the lines between what's real and what's synthetic. Meanwhile, 'Midnight Koto' is perhaps the album's most atmospheric track. Distant loops, heavily distorted and sounding like a terrifying rush of traffic, play under the koto melody. It's heavily inspired by Brian Eno, particularly his work with Bowie on tracks like 'Moss Garden'.
Whilst these references are clear, at no point does it seem like East India Youth is just trying to replicate his idols. Total Strife Forever pulls together these influences and creates something truly extraordinary. This is an album firmly rooted in a decade where technology blurs the lines between fact and fiction, where we 'socialise' with brands and it's possible to feel hopelessly alone amidst the towering skyscrapers of a city. The final track 'Total Strife Forever IV' opens with static that eventually fades away to reveal grand synthesiser melodies before disintegrating once more. The beauty of those melodies is only enhanced by their temporary nature. Amidst the machinery there's a realisation that whilst the buildings, the brands and digital world might live on, it's reality and our fellow human beings that are truly beautiful and deserving of our attention.
- Robert Whitfield (The 405)1. Glitter Recession
2. Total Strife Forever I
3. Dripping Down
5. Heaven, How Long
6. Total Strife Forever II
7. Looking For Someone
8. Midnight Koto
9. Total Strife Forever III
10. Song For Granular Piano
11. Total Strife Forever IV
$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
xI Break Horses
ChiaroscuroI BREAK HORSES is the musical project led by Maria Lindén. From her Stockholm base, the Swedish artist delivered an extraordinary debut album in the shape of Hearts, released by Bella Union in August 2011. Forward two years, and the arrival of an eagerly awaited follow-up, entitled Chiaroscuro, is upon us. The latest chapter in I Break Horses' much celebrated songbook is everything fans could wish for and more. In the words of Lindén: "My only aim when starting to write this album was to ignore any possible second album expectations." The result is a more confident and evolved sound with a more dramatic expression.
The title of Chiaroscuro - meaning "light-dark" - serves as the perfect embodiment of Lindén's sonic creations, where an atmosphere and mood is created that evokes innermost feelings and thoughts residing beyond the surface reality of the material world. Affecting ballads such as 'Heart To Know' and 'You Burn' are wrapped in fragile beauty. 'Denial' and 'Medicine Brush' are sublime synth-pop odysseys whose pulses guide you to new horizons. 'Faith' is a dance anthem complete with hypnotic beats, swirling synths and the mesmerising looped vocals of Lindén. "I let myself write both the happiest songs but also the saddest, and then I put them together", states Lindén. This arrangement of light and dark forms the essence of Chiaroscuro.
'Ascension' is rooted in a gorgeous 80s synth-pop sound, where Lindén's vocals melt into the lush sonic tapestry. The song deals with love and forgiveness. An irresistible groove lies at the heart of 'Disclosure' where a divine purity is distilled in the intricate array of instrumentation. 'You Burn' is perhaps the album's centrepiece, as well as being the opening track, where a brooding darkness envelops the surrounding human space. The delicate piano chords drift magnificently amidst Linden's searching lyrics. I Break Horses are one of those rare bands capable of conjuring up raw emotion through a sound that is ultimately something life-affirming.1. You Burn
6. Medicine Brush
8. Weigh True Words
9. Heart To Know
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Some Say I So I Say LightIncludes CD
Some Say I So Say Light is the second full length release of Ghostpoet’s, following 2010’s Mercury Prize-nominated Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam. Industrial beats, sonorous piano lines and hyper-detailed ornamentation provide a backdrop for Obaro Ejimiwe, AKA Ghostpoet, an artist who sounds ever more like a man old before his time, whether intoning words so laconically it’s virtually spoken word or croaking out sung melodies. Some Say I So I Say Light is a studio-based work co-produced with the talented Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Darkstar, Egyptian Hip-Hop).
"Even with a Mercury Prize nomination under his belt, London rapper Ghostpoet could walk through a crowd of music fans without notice and his albums don't land as much as emerge out of the mist. Maybe it's because his delivery is like Roots Manuva on sizzurp or that the lead single here is "MSI musmiD," which comes off as a Dali dream sequence directed by Man Ray, but deciphering Some Say I So I Say Light is certainly a joy for returning fans.
Maybe the album's title references a desire to communicate something brighter or more "up," as the lyrics are more audible here than previously, or in the case of "Them Waters," it's the music that's luminous, as balloons of synthesizer sound pass before the sun as they rise toward the sky. "Plastic Bag Brain" is the ultimate example and towering highlight with its combo of indie guitar riffing, Radiohead keyboards, and crackable code (his brain wanders like a plastic bag blowin' in the wind), and here's hoping that "Dorsal Morsel" is Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" for the Wittgenstein set, because a mention of women's jeans, "popping like a Pringle pack," and "revel in the elegance" all seem to point toward it. At 12 tracks long, the album is right-sized and flows beautifully with guests Tony Allen, Woodpecker Wooliams, Gwilym Gold, and This Heat's Charles Hayward adding some new sounds for the rapper to flow over. With Richard Formby and the MC himself on production, Ghostpoet remains the most aptly named rapper in the game with his excellent sophomore effort."
- David Jeffries (All Music Guide)1. Cold Win
2. Them Waters
3. Dial Tones
4. Plastic Bag Brain
7. Sloth Trot
8. Dorsal Morsel
9. MSI musmiD
10. 12 Deaf
$22.99Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Head Up HighWith a career spanning over 18 years and with millions of album sold worldwide, Morcheeba return with their 8th studio album - Head Up High due for release in 2013 via [PIAS] Recordings. The follow up to 2010's Blood Like Lemonade sees the band enlist Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), James Petralli (White Denim), Rizzle Kicks, Ana Tijoux and Nature Boy highlighting the magnitude of their career and influence on a wide variety of artists old and new.1. Gimme Your Love
2. Face Of Danger
3. Call it Love
4. Under the Ice
5. I'll Fall Apart
6. Make Believer
7. Release Me Now
8. To Be
10. To The Grave
11. Do You Good
12. Finally Found You
$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Believe it or not, electronic music’s origins go back as far as the 19th century. Early electronic instruments like the Teleharmonium helped set the first tones for what ultimately spawn not only a new genre of music, but countless subgenres from house music to dubstep.
The best part about any of these artists? They sound amazing on vinyl. Well, anything sounds amazing on vinyl, but electronic music in particular. A lot of classic electronic compositions were originally created with analog synthesizers, making vinyl the perfect medium to fully experience them.