The best records of May 2017

MAY’S ESSENTIAL SELECTION: Antinote, Khotin, Contort Yourself, Bahnsteig 23, Macadam Mambo, Astro Chicken, Comeme, Kitjen, Future Times, Kashual Plastik, Melodies Souterraines, Pinkman, Kontra Music, Pulse Drift, Nyami Nyami.

Various Artists — Five Years Of Loving Notes 2xLP [Antinote]

Krossfingers May Best Records-01

Time goes very fast. Hard to realise how many times I watched Syracuse’ live on label’s 2 years party. Everything changed since then. Many new faces appeared, there were Antinote showcase on Boiler Room. But the love is still in my heart. Tracks sequence on the comp reminds me the take-off strip. First 5 creating robust and light as clouds foundation. Firm analogue minimalism from Domenique Dumont and Stephane Laporte worked well here. Raphael Top-Secret, Kogut, Nico Motte and D.K. added tropical delights. Tracks number 6 and 7 are frontier dividing the compilation. Sublime ambient with luxuriant inflorescences of New Age from Shirabe (Warm&Easy) and Nico Motte (Cap De Creus) are the point of summarizing and values rethinking. Like the soul jumped out of the body and flying and obesrving over it. Since the 8th track Antinote muscles are in full effect. Stylish intellectual Iueke instantly awakens from meditation with his track Giza. Then Detlef Weinrich screws massive Raut with surgical precision. One of fave tracks on comp is work of Leonardo Martelli — sucking psychedelic house, bringing back into 90s like in a portal. Metromind from Geena for me is sort of peak-time moment here, it squized a tear and reminded that the whole epoch changed. While Natsukashii, The Simplists and Alek Lee created three alternative finals. First is a futuristic melodrama, second — western ending and third — post industrial road movie. Congratulations Zaltan and company, don’t stop!

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Khotin — New Tab Cassette [Self-Released]

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It’s somewhere between reality and sleep. Morning music. Something opposite to your alarm waking you up to work. It has calming and refreshing effect. Deeply emotional record from Canadian producer Dylan Khotin-Foote who found a new territory for his talent, turned from house road into ambient, more 90s IDM’ one. New Tab has some connections to last year’s House Of Dad 12″, both Andras and Khotin created something more crystal clear and obscure than usual. Funny detail: Khotin has strange connection to Russian language: he had record under name Vitebsk (city in Russia) and two tracks on the current album has some funny dialogues on Russian. 70% of the album is beatless, some of it sounds familiar to the opening hours of Young Marco party in De School last Saturday where he played a lot of mysterious stuff. My fave track is New Window — it sums a whole album for me, it has optimistic feeling, magical melody framed in a perfect arrangement and brilliant beats.

Various Artists — From Heavy Metal Bashing To Leisure Pursuits EP 12″ [Contort Yourself]

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Contort Yourself continues its quality output with the seventh compilation. Track from Eindkrak absorbs you with magnetism, oppressive but attractive tension, stockade of metallic sounds. The next is a work from experimental electro project Andromeda Complex created in 1993. Their humming Servant bribes you with its simple and elegant sound. The remix from Klankman added masculinity into track. My fave here is Circling Vultures work — fast rhythm, melody changing under the flurry of wind.

Kris Baha — BAH036 12″ [Bahnsteig 23]

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Our long time favourite Kris Baha debuted on Bahnsteig 23 with heavy loaded 12″. Opener really catches your attention with its slow industrial groove, echoed guitars, heavy drums rolling with confidently through track’s nine minutes. All tracks here gives you this feeling of longing for something hidden behind current beat, powerful tool for any DJs who want to hypnotise his audience. Mind Unit Theory is a banger, my friend, the tension there is so high, its peak moment just put you into orgasmic state on the dancefloor. While Energy Theme closing EP with banging dry drums and strange distorted flutes. The 12″ is a must have, really one of the highlights in Bahnsteig 23 series.

Various Artists — Danzas Electricas 2xLP + 7″ [Macadam Mambo]

Krossfingers May Best Records6-01

This month there were a lot of anniversaries, Macadam Mambo had also one — 5 years. The label created a strong reputation of putting out really quality obscurities in careful and talented processing by the best edit-makers on the planet. Current compilation illustrates perfectly label’s eclecticism, there are a wide spectrum of genres on it from industrial to disco. Killian Krings opens the comp with sort of Arabian heroine-synth in dark tones. Dunkeltier heats up the atmosphere with crazy jumping synth disco. Panoptique continues dance with post punk number shooting you with bass line. Mori Ra midtempo Japanese edit of Keiko Sekido & Tomohiro Sekido catches ear with steady beat and mystic keys. Our buddy Shiny Boots kills it with his grandiose Armand Frydman edit, slow burner electronica tickling nerves. Another our Moscow friend Misha Geleyn reloads the story with his delicate remake of acid-disco from Futurologischer Congress with warm synths and guitars. Sneaker DJ is one of faves here with his hypnotic drums and retro-futuristic synthesizers. Label owner Sacha closes with excellent new wave electric boogie French tune. While the finish is at high note with Swedish veteran Johan Ressle sort of Herb Alpert’ cool groove with trombones and crying guitars. Fantastic compilation for curious DJs, long live Macadam Mambo!

Hyboid — UFOs Over Berlin 12″ [Astro Chicken]

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Bomb modern coldwave record came out on Astro Chicken from its label boss Sebastian Hubert aka Hyboid. Powerful and hitting fast electro with humming Portishead’ like UFO melody in the opener. Colouful energetic cocktail Torture by Popcorn sends you back into 80s, everything is so simple and clear here. Depeche Mode like Rocket Science adds some demonic vibe. While Ambush At Treptower Park simply teleports you into high technology future with battles between humans and robots. A Fistful Of Tribbles is a symbiosis of DMX Crew and some electro boogie, triumph of acid and synth melody. Rendezvous With An Invader closes EP with class and leaves your brain soaked into some saturated extract of the finest synth and coldwave.

Charlotte Bendiks — Hidden Tracks 12″ [Comeme]

Krossfingers May Best Records9-01

Tromso-based Charlotte Bendiks brings some new different sound on Comeme. Opener is tribal chant with optimistic synths. Then Kaia dips you into dark hypnotic techno river with a few drops of melody. Jumping Moped Jacks is one of the highlights, drum machines counts a perfect rhythm and simple bass lines kicks your ass. Tellstainnj is like a huge fat plane rushing on the runway ready to take off. Heavy massage for your brain.

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Beesmunt Soundsystem — Aqua Como 12″ [Kitjen]

Krossfingers May Best Records10-01

Amsterdam talents Luigi & David debuting brilliantly on Kitjen, the label from Frankfurt specialised on refined modern house with its firm sound. Title track starts from bird and water sounds setting the light tone for the whole record. Flute Valley is centrepiece here for me — memorable strange melody creates some special tension on the dancefloor and creates some magic in a peak-time moment. Ocean Chant really has some marine vibe, with synths floating over the horizon upon the waves of beats. Then Short Swim closes EP with sweet nostalgic sounds. Beesmunt Soundsystem has ears for the melody, very quality record.

Sami — Planing 12″ [Future Times]

Krossfingers May Best Records11-01

Debut record from US-based producer Sami Yenigun on Future Times. Solid two-tracker house EP with sophisticated and non-cliché arrangement. Funny detail: two sides sounds like house music from different eras. The Planing on A-side is perfect example of modern 2017 catchy deep/tech house with summer feeling, cool drum breaks, echoed and mutated background clicks, memorable flute melody and huge dancefloor potential. While the second track, Sickos, sounds like some B-side from Nuphonic from the middle of 90s: fat bassline, waves of synths, sunny keys and the whole composition in dub-disco fashion. Hard to believe it’s a debut, keep Sami under the radar!

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Various Artists — A Weird State Of Experimental Experience 12″ [Kashual Plastik]

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Another compilation, this time on German Kashual Plastik. It opens with very interesting dark tribal downtempo from Philipp Matalla called Bonus Drums, it has perfect catching groove and some underwater percussion. The Amsterdam underrated genius Robert Bergman continues with hypnotic techno with industrial feel and bleek melodies. Bear Bones & Lay Low presenting beyond-the-grave number reminding Jan Schulte percussion workouts. Inkasso dips you into smoky ambient from another galaxy while Her E Rillen is already somewhere in the forest at night making field recordings and improvising on synths.

Various Artists — S/T 12″ [Melodies Souterraines]

Krossfingers May Best Records13-01

Powerful compilation. Banger from Die Kartoffel was tested successfully on the dancefloors many times. Dominating synth punk from Autonom named Kill is a winner here. Plus there is a traditionally strong work from Wosto, emanating slow shamanic dance from ancient Germans.

Identified Patient — Weeshuis Der Verloren Zielen 12″ [Pinkman]

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It’s a second EP from Identified Patient and interesting that his first record on Common Threads was released around same dates year ago. First track unloads the whole clip of electro-cartridges. Het Infuus is a groovy, wheezing and crispy techno mutant amazed me with its bright acid line. One more fave here is Vrouwe Fataal stands out with its unordinary vocals of Sophie Du Palais. The last track Vermoedens Van Arcterdocht sounds a bt similar to Ekman sound.

Harmonious Thelonious — Argwohnischer Rhythm 12″ [Kontra Music]

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Another banger on Kontra Music from Harmonious Thelonious, the master of repetition. Dark distorted beats are all over it. Harmonious’ hypnotism gives you freedom and sense of «What am I doing here?» at the same time. Drums, break, drums, break. Mind-bending techno and acid you can’t hide from anywhere.

Various Artists — Transmission Europa 12″ [Pulse Drift]

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It’s a second release on the promising German label Pulse Drift. Harsh industrial techno opens the compilation in a track from Das Muster. Then Eoism goes into territory of old school electro. Zagrebacki Elektricni continues with dark synths in MariSari with a lot of space inside and cosmic melody. Lectromagnetique starts the B-side with a compact acid banger Avoid The Void. Tense night in Helios Transit closes the EP on a powerful note.

Zimba — Baleka 12″ [Nyami Nyami]

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Good news for the fans of African tribal music: long-awaited reissue of Zimba 12″ originally released on Dureco Benelux in 1983 is out! It’s a story about «one record group» which was formed by Zimbabwean Phil Arosa who fled to Netherlands from apartheid in his native country, then Zimba performed in clubs for ten years but had just one studio session. Current reissue contains both original short and long versions plus two solid remixes from Siwo (known also as Blackjoy) and The Comet Is Coming.

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Words Artem Ikra (1, 3, 11, 12), Sasha Tessio (2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15).
Illustrations Turbo Mamba