The best music of May 2018

Various Artists — Club Meduse compiled by Charles Bals 2xLP [Spacetalk]

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Danny McLewin continues a series of compilations curated by the top diggers (previous two were Jeremy Underground and Jeremy Spellacey) with his friend, Charles Bals, record hunter from Dusseldorf who also runs Beach Freaks. We made a topfive with Charles 4 years ago (its cover is still the hottest on our website), his last online mix dated 2015 so it’s really special to see him back. And such come back feels like a gold bar rising from the warm waves of some Mediterranean sea. Club Meduse is a result of Bals’ research focused on the music between the 1970s and 1990s. Can imagine the difficulty of the licensing process for it, but Charles and Danny made fantastic work. The story contains 13 chapters. Starts from the enigmatic laidback folk-rock ballad accompanied by a drum machine (!!!) from the self-titled album by Bastion from 1984. Rock fusing with disco into the desert mirage in the epic Savannah by The Keyboys. Then you will hear one of the most beautiful songs in your life: the angelic voice of Ara Macao makes extraordinary pirouettes on top of the pure Balearic beat. Chris & Kylie turn everything upside down and makes a debauch with their dirty dance in Feelin Good. Charles injects extra sweetness with his own edit of The One O Ones’ song Radio Cosmo 101 (recorded to promote Italian radio station at the time). There are also used both sides of The Clean Hands Group’s 12” from 1984, Night Fly from A-side is a light breeze and sand on your feet while Shake It Off from the B-side burns unknown flame in the heart of every listener with its synth lines. Crazy disco produced by Jean-Pierre Bernard Massiera shines and flirts in Hip Hop by Miss from the same 1984 year. And finally, Bals closing the compilation perfectly with the mysterious jungle mover from the hot nights of the 7” by Eddy La Viny. What a trip, Charles, bravo and huge thank you for it!


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Rex Ilusivii — Selected Works 2xLP [Versatile]

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Gilbert Cohen spent more than two years selecting tunes for this compilation of Mitar Subotic’ music. In the recent years, Vladimir Ivkovic already highlighted the genius of Rex Ilusivii on his own label Offen. It’s also Vladimir introduced Gilbert to this music. Apart from well-known Facedance from Disillusioned! LP, all material here was previously unreleased. So the voyage starts from the cosmic trip in Sekvenca 21. Forced March is a downtempo organic groove accompanied by the firm Rex’ paranoid vocals. Estrie sound like a seance with ghosts and spirits coming out of the darkness, percussion here is just mesmerizing. Plavobradi is a very interesting sampler workout with some traditional melodies. Veliki Prekor opens the second vinyl with another sophisticated tribal drum and wandering flute. Mitar’s talent was restless and full of otherworldly energies, sure we’ll hear more divine music from his archives.


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Various Artists — A Totally New Sound LP [Smiling C]

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Another very special compilation here. It’s the second release on Smiling C, one of our fave new labels around. Henry Jones, the man behind it, (who also recorded our last podcast with lots of upcoming material) compiled the music of Washington, DC-based label, Aset. The music you can’t find anywhere else plus a track previously unreleased. The story of Aset is also special: created by Mba Mbulu and a group of individuals deeply involved in community improvement initiatives and the struggle for justice and equality. There were also a producer and a coach for young talented musicians, O Jabbo, a songwriter and piano/bass guitar player who created most of the songs, prepared demos and curated recording process. The A-side contains 4 songs of Latonya, 11-year-old girl singing about grown-up feelings on top of the repetitive and enigmatic rhythms. There was also a trio of high school girls, Treo, singing about love and emotions (one of their tunes, «Second Is Too Close», inspired and dedicated to Benito Mussolini’s wife, Rachele). Plus one song from Whax, supposed to be boys-band but apparently had just one vocalist, a long version of which was previously unreleased. Mind-blowing music with DIY spirit and some strange background.


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Odopt — Incident EP 12″ [Born Free]

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Our Moscow friends uncovered their guns again so their mutant dance saga continues. Its first chapter detonated our chart in 2016, enigmatic Belgrade was our secret weapon in 2017, and now boys are back to Born Free nest. The sound palette, aftertaste and the whole dynamic of tracks are recognizable Odopt-ish. Clanking metallic hi-hats, brutal EBM beat, industrialized noises, mechanical birds crowing. This masculine music stands out of any set, adds energy and punching effect to it. Strange sounds in the middle of Haunted Tales rising like monsters in the War Of The Worlds movie. Want to admit especially my favorite Navy Fit Republic, its melody doesn’t come out of my head.


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Eleventeen Eston — At The Water LP [Growing Bin]

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Perth magician John Tanner aka Eleventeen Eston found the perfect home for his second album, Basso’s Growing Bin cabin. Rich guitar ambient motives in the opening C In Sympathy sounds like the unreleased Joan Bibiloni. Deep melodic music sounds like the early morning light through the dim glass. Piano at the end of East Perth Stories sound like a soundtrack to some 90s indie movie, it sounds so serene and enlightened. Cranky beats of The Four Fountains move you in the warm waves of the light guitar sounds. Mysterious I Remember is probably one of the most beautiful ambient, instrumental moments I ever heard. Distant flute or saxophone adds on the B-side in the sprawling I FLoat I Am Free. Amazing album from a very special producer.


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Wrong Water — Dozen LP [Muscut]

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Muscut is back with an LP from St. Petersburg musician Eugenii Fadeev (Flaty). Raising the attention of the musical community with his work for the 12th Isle and GOST Zvuk labels as AEM Rhythm Cascade, he’s also recently released on Udacha and his own label ANWO Records as Dada Ques. In addition to the aforementioned, Flaty also adopts such aliases as Ocurob and Wrong Water. Under that last name, he presents this current release of a dozen tracks, most of which were recorded purely using analog instruments. Drawing inspiration from the music of such electronic pioneers as Delia Derbyshire, Bruce Haack, Mort Garson and others, Wrong Water is an attempt to qualitatively re-think the heritage of the 70′s and 80′s. Thus, through tireless experimentation, Fadeev manages to create his own inimitable neo-library parable. Full of graceful flickering stars and midnight tropical breathing, Dozen is a welcome addition to the endlessly fascinating world of Muscut.


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Various Artists — Elsewhere MMDLXXVI 2xLP [Kalahari Oyster Cult]

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The second installment of soFa’s series of compilations. And the man knows what he selects. “Future retro oddities” in its best. On the first sight, I knew just Khidja and Bear Bones & Lay Low from Lullabies From Insomniacs, the tracklist is very intriguing. Detailed sound, slo-mo machine funk and some voodoo exorcism in the opener from Rony & Suzy. Zatua launches some digital camels wandering in the digital Arabian sands. Big fave is Cosmotropi by Velvet C, beautiful swirling electronic screw with delicate melodic ornament. While t-woc closing comp with the hypnotic digital storm in his Top Sausage. Don’t stop dj soFa!

Various Artists — Embrace Cassette [Petrola 80]

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It’s the first compilation in a series of three scheduled on Petrola 80. Its title was inspired by the Microsoft secret strategy to disadvantage its competitors, dubbed Embrace, Extend and Extinguish. So there are 11 tracks from a bunch of Danish producers, modern music with a strong beat and mood swings. Can pick three favorites. First is our fave Lyra with track Bomber, poisonous rhythmic bass music with crazy voices and pulsating backgrounds. The second is muddy Panxing mixing female vocals with synthetic noises, sounds of iMessage and echoes. And the third is Angelic Cash Flow by An Gella, ambient tune trembling like butterfly wings turning into the epic rave ecstatic moment.


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Jex — Bad Timin’ Vol. 1 12” [Bad Timin]

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After the smashing success of his club EP on Running Back, Jex is back with the record on his new sub-label of Good Timin, Bad Timin! Enthusiastic beats and swirling acid of Zone Phased opens the record. Fee WIFI cools things down with emotional disco house. Whistle song Crash In The Dark. Last Loft is an emotional banger. Very well produced club music.


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Abaddon — Abaddon LP [Orbeatize]

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Reissue of the holy grail space-disco LP from 1983 by Argentinian group led by keyboardist Bruno Carlos Musso. Strange grooves and proto vibrations. Live drums, loads of synths and killer artwork. Fave is Viaje Nocturno, a delicate mix of drum machines, rhythm, intriguing melodies and infernal mood.

Buy it on Discogs
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Morah — Ursa Major 12” [Brokntoys]

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Smashing come back from the half of Phormix, Greek producer and DJ Morah on Brokntoys. Innovative electro, candent hi-hats and visceral beat. Everything in its right place.


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Words Sasha Tessio (1-5, 7-11), Artem Ikra (6).
Illustrations Turbo Mamba