Audio/Visual Feng Shui

Cut, Edit and Bump.

London 2012 is an Olympic ting for sure but Infrasonics head honcho and forward thinking beatsmith Spatial has got a slew of new jams in shops and about to be released.

"Bring Me Joy" dropped as part of the 'Deconstructivist Dubs' 3 track 12"/digi EP via Well Rounded, the standout Brighton label that seems incapable of setting a foot wrong. From early Deadboy gems to this vocal rework banger, Donga has surely curated one of the most vital label's in the post whatever scene.

And below is a preview of "Unify", soon to be unleashed upon dance floors worldwide by the sublime Stillcold boutique imprint. A double 12" offering signaling a continued evolution of the Stillcold repertoire while remaining firmly rooted in the non numm legacy of all things house and techno. Big tings afoot here in East London to get you off the sofa, and I don't mean the one time every four years you watch weightlifting.

Girls Music Gets Trim

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Ladies night?

With my favourite name in dance, Walter Ego on the buttons and grime legend in the making TRIM in tow (shock horror no link to a twitter account) this soon to be released gem on Girls Music was always going to be something special. I could go on and on about Walter. His recent collab with 2046 was insanely good, his UTTU release was on point and his new tracks for senseless records are straight up bangers, but when you throw him and Trim together you get something really special, The New British as some would call it.

It's grime with that Trim flow, after years of grinding it out with the Roll Deep Crew and even longer since he broke out on his own, the script on this tune is as ever cryptic and syncopated. What can you say really about the man's delivery? For once an MC that doesn't make me wince at the content of his lyrics.

Control Freak

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Get your freak on.

It's not like Disclosure actually need anymore promotion then they are already getting. The day I heard "Tenderly" playing over the shop radio while picking up avocados in Marks & Spencers at Liverpool Street Station, was the day I knew these fine young gentlemen had reached a level of publicity far beyond what most underground dance music acts would ever dream of. And more power to them, you can hardly fault them for putting out such well crafted and sonically pleasing tunes.

But after seeing that the unofficial video for "What's in your head" had already racked up 900K views on youtube, I felt compelled to post this unofficial video for "Control" from the same Face EP on Greco Roman. To me this is the stand out tune of the release with Ria Ritchie's vocal a thing of beauty. Keep an eye on the lad's soundcloud for the occasional free download.

A La Moda

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Techno, techno, techno.

Hailing from Southampton and repping the SO15 crew Kam Moda first caught my attention with this track "Swan" and its dirty techno stylings.

Knowing almost nothing about this newcomer to the scene does little to detract from this clever piece of tuneage he has created. With the bass reminiscent of the pump and woosh found in the best of Blawan's output, the tune keeps things firmly dance floor footed. Clunky and mechanical, the percussion has a crisp and distinct sound. It all feels fresh with the rhythm plodding along throughout the track, settling down nicely for a middle 8 building to a drop and introducing a deep pad stab that plays out the rest of the tune. Hinting at good things to come from this young producer, this track is an impressive first outing. Check his soundcloud for a few newer tracks and more tunes as they develop.

North London Arsenal?

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2nd Drop dropping heavy bombs.

Every once in a while a new artist sneaks up on you and their debut 12" lands in your grubby little paws without any warning of the awesomeness etched into those squiggly little grooves. This recent release from 2nd Drop records is exactly one of those little gems.

South London Ordnance is one those plucky individuals whose music sounds incredibly rich and complex without sounding fussed over. Almost organic in conception, yet thoroughly digital in its implementation, this 12" features two great tracks that could both easily find their way to the dj booth. For me though, the b-side roofy is the stand out track. Deep, dark and pulsating, it immediately makes me want to hear it at full blast in a warehouse on a huge rig. Check out his soundcloud for more tunes and advance warning of the next bombing run.

Sophomore Curse?

Une fleur à un coeur.

Since the release of Sepalcure's eponymous debut on Hotflush I have been wondering to myself just how will these two will manage to follow up, what in my opinion, was the best debut release of 2010. Well wonder no more because the boyz from N.Y.C. are set to release their second Hotflush 12" entitled Fleur.

Again with artwork from Sougwen this new 12" sounds very much of the same standard as the first release and stand out track "No Think" is highlighted below. Sepalcure's housey ethereal vocal step dream states are the perfect tonic for that new year hangover.

No Think by sepalcure

We Now Return To Our Regular Scheduled Programming

Over 6 months ago I put my last post up on this blog. It was the middle of summer 2010, we were in the process of throwing a party over at the house to celebrate my birthday and Gon's record being released. Things were looking sweet for the summer ahead with a trip to Italy all planned for the end of summer. But fate has a way of conspiring against the best of intentions and within a few weeks the shape of summer would change dramatically.

On returning from holidays the somber task of dismantling Studio Dudio was upon us. The world economy may have imploded a year and a half earlier, but things in Ireland were only starting to get really bleak. Gon & Halfdutch were on the move to London for pastures greener (well grayer actually but nonetheless), in hopes of finding work and escaping from the seemingly never ending Irish bitch & moan session that has become a national pastime round these parts. A sensible move and I would be remiss to say I wasn't in some ways envious of their departure.

Some of us though would have to stay behind. Man the sinking ship as it would be. And so, somethings fell by the wayside. Like this blog, and more importantly our internet connection. For the last 6 months we have embraced a relatively Luddite condition and have been living without ever since. It has been a tough experiment, but now with the start of a new year there looks to be a sliver of hope on the horizon. 30Mbps fibre power broadband has been on promise for a couple of years now and while living in a country that still doesn't use post codes provides little confidence that the future is about arrive any day soon, I still hold on to the dream and have resolved to continue on with this blog regardless.


Gon on 12"

So the time has come. Summer is here, the weather is fine and June 21st saw the release of 2 tracks by Gon on 12" through Infrasonics. Studio Dudio has been a great home away from home these last couple of years and Gon has put in some serious work shaping his sounds and upping his production game. The results speak for themselves.

Gon's 2 tracks give an idea of the man's varied take on the underground UK dance sounds of the now and sit quite comfortably alongside the 2 tracks of the record's other introductee Jamie Grind. Infrasonics recent offerings of double A-Side 12"s continue to impress, so get yer skates on and pick up a copy at any of the following on line sources.


An Audience With You Know Who?

A few words with Milyoo.

I’ve read that your name Milyoo is meant as an homage to “milieu”, a French word hinting at a mixture of sorts (though actually defined as one’s surroundings, esp. of a social or cultural nature). With that in mind can you elaborate a little on the influences that are guiding the melange of sounds you are creating?

Milyoo: Piles of stuff really. Although I hesitate to reach back too far historically... mostly because I can't remember it as well as the present. But I try to reach back. Old mixtapes and the record collection.

Well you have a history in house music right?

Milyoo: Right, a history. I started DJing in about 97-98. Deep house mostly. My record collection definitely reflects this, but I listen to so much new music daily that my influences are a mess to be honest. I'm not trying to be intentionally evasive, I actually just find the whole thing very thick and without any definite point to grab onto.

So does that diversity of influences play a part in the way you build your tracks? I mean it wouldn’t be a stretch to call some of your tracks and demos, experimental.

Milyoo: Absolutely. Hearing something new (and good) compels me to get into the studio and sort it out. My musical 'training' however isn't sufficient to bite all the way, but I definitely riff off everything I hear. Almost all the time. Rarely do I find myself with a singular sound I want to push, though I am a fan of (re)imagining house music at the moment.

No doubt, that Sepalcure vibe is hitting me hard at the moment.

Milyoo: Gah. Yeah I love that album. I'm also feeling West Norwood Cassette Library and Oriol for similar reasons. The house vibe is great. The best I think. It’s about dancing and sex. Win/Win. Oh, and love I guess. A holy trinity of sorts.

I noticed very early on in your tracks a real soulful house feeling backed up with the use of some vocals. Is that something that you think about when you are making tracks?

Milyoo: Yeah I kinda feel obligated to have vocals. I dunno. I like to sing along? That and my wife shrugs her shoulders at anything without vocals, so I toss them in to keep the household stable :) Seriously though, vocals, I like them.

Speaking of households, you live in Kentucky right?

Milyoo: For now yeah.

Is there much of a scene locally for the kind of music you are producing?

Milyoo: The 'scene' from my recent survey is a mixture of brostep and straight up house. That said, there are some very talented producers around here. A kid named Amtrak, Company Processing and a duo called Refinery are all quite good. So the answer is... no :) Not at the moment.

A kind of splendid isolation then?

Milyoo: That's an amazing euphemism. Consider it stolen. Ha.

Does the lack of a real vibrant local scene help keep you glued to the studio then? Because you have been posting tracks up to the cloud at a serious pace?

Milyoo: Yup. A little. I'm really obsessive too. If I'm not out rock climbing I'm glued to reason/record.

Give us a little run down on Love Studios then for the tech heads out there.

Milyoo: Regular Macbook, MPD 32, Novation remote SL, Launchpad, EMU E4XT sampler, Korg Elecribe A, tons of percussion bits, decks, tape deck... and an extra widescreen monitor, totally essential. Reason/Record and Ableton 8.

You fairly recently started using Ableton 8 right? Was that switch for arranging purposes?

Milyoo: Well for the live show mostly, and sometimes I'll do an effects pass/master on a track. But for the most part I'm still working in the Propellerheads environ.

So your first 12" has just dropped on the OPIT records. Have you been happy with the reception so far?

Milyoo: Happy would be an incredible understatement. I'm thrilled. Overjoyed. Ecstatic. Etc. The list of people who like the release is uber-humbling. Having a pile of artists you adore, like your music, is really really really awesome.

Astro awesome?

Milyoo: Double astro awesome. I'm sometimes hyperbolic. Obviously. No, it's really cool. But odd if only because things here (my house/studio/city) are completely the same. The whole thing seems very virtual from where I'm sitting. I mean, I'm having a release party tonight at my house. I invited 9 people, but I'm thinking it will top out at 8:) Guest listed all of them.

It's funny you say that though, because it was through the virtual world of the net and Soundcloud that you hooked up with Subeena who is behind OPIT records.

Milyoo: Yeah well my entire musical being is virtual interwebbage, which is a shame because I'm way more charming in person :)

Well you must have made some in roads, other than just on the net, considering the BBC1 Mary Anne Hobbs guestmix and all.

Milyoo: Basically everything hinged on the Opit release. People liked it and I happen to have enough tracks sitting on my hardrive and enough time to reach out to people i like to form useful and inspiring musical relationships. I'm definitely not a spammer, but if someone is doing something i like i don't hesitate to fire up a virtual conversation with them.

Well, any plans to take the Milyoo live experience on the road? The U.K.? or even a visit here to the emerald isle to hook up with Shatterfreak?

Milyoo: Yes, yes and definitely yes. I'm slowly working out a regional gig thing in the States, but it’s really difficult to make inroads here. And i'm totally planning to head your way next spring or sooner if demand/money allows. I talk to Aidan (Shatterfreak) dozens of times a day, and I feel like I need to get over to Dublin to see if he's really as cool as he says he is, and if he's not.... I'm going to have to torch the entire country. Ethics.

Cure For All Ails

Songs in the key of love?

Oh where oh where to begin? Perhaps due to the hilarity of MTV's Brostep Vs. Joystep parlava, when I first stumbled across the Sepalcure website and before actually pressing play on any of their tracks, I thought just for a fleeting moment that I was witness to the most sublime troll ever perpetrated on the aul tubes. Lovestep? Are they for real? Four minutes and forty two seconds later I was sure I had just heard the redefining of the undefinable.

Words simply do not suffice describing the beauty to be found in these sonic revelations. It literally needs to be heard to be believed, it's just that good. While resisting the urge to indulge in the kind of micro-generification that has irked many dubstep commentators and aficionados lately, I do however believe that these tracks represent a moment of definition similar to that described in Blackdown's "where do you call it" missive. But this is no line in the sand kind of moment. For me this is the Nuum coming full circle, back to one of its four constituent elements. House. Plain and simple.

The Hotflush vinyl release "Love Pressure" is due very soon and has been beautifully enhanced by Sougwen's hauntingly ethereal artistry. As far as first impressions go, it was love at first listen.

100bpm = Dance

Munchi's moombahton madness going global?

I first spotted this producer on Soundcloud peddling some rather excellent ambient and spaced out dubstep in the form of "Madre, No Llores". But soon after hearing his first uploaded productions I came across the track you find below, "Sandungueo". A melange of Baltimore repetition, Lazer bass rave sounds, Latin tinged rhythms and Baile percussion with the single and solitary intent to induce dance. What ever Moombahton is, it's music that will get the peeps on the floor. Visit Rotterdam's Munchi @ his blog and download yourself his spankin fresh Moombahton promo.

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Down under and delivering the goods.

Next up is the Slap & Dash edit of "Fried Toy Moombahton". Hailing from Melbourne, the duo of Mu-Gen and Scattermish have embraced the Moombahton sound and their production below delivers dance groves in spades. Set up as a blog / night / label / soundsystem and art vehicle the Scattermusic blog boys are hammering out the tunes with reckless abandon. Check the links for downloads and get ready to bounce!!!

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The red resistance?

Never shy of courting controversy, M.I.A. has made a career out of speaking her mind through her music. Though not personally a huge fan of her sounds, her ethic and this video for the first single off her new album is a hell of a declaration. While the majors continue to pump out the bile and women like GaGa are lauded by the delusional media of the mainstream, it is at least nice to see someone stir the pot once in a while.

I'm all for music with meaning, however the theme of the video is rather quaint. None the less the whole production is extremely well done. French Director Romain Gavras, who made some waves with his "Stress" video for Jus†ice, is rumored to be developing a movie based on the premise of "Born Free". La Haine en Rouge anyone?

Your Words Matter

Looking forward, looking back.

It's over a year now since this animated video for "Humber" (Applepips) debuted and Hessle Audio co-conspirator, producer and DJ magnifique David Kennedy hasn't been resting on his laurels since. 2009 saw a steady stream of top quality release and remixes on a diverse platform of labels including the likes of Tempa, Soul Jazz, 2nd Drop and 7even along side the rise of the Hessle Audio empire. A year in the ascendancy without a doubt.

Having firmly cemented his place as a producer at the vanguard of the Dubtech / 2step / Garage / House crossover, so far in 2010 Ramadanman seems incapable of putting a foot wrong on the dance floor. His sublime refix of James Fox's "Put It Back" kicked January off in tremendous style. Now only weeks since the release of the Ramadanman E.P., his recent effort making the rounds is pure sweet black plastic gold. A collab with Midland out on Aus Music in the near future, for now here is the preview.

Irishdubstep.com Mix 002

The one they call Gon takes control of the 1s&2s for the new installment of the IDS mix series. Check out irishdubstep.com for download and interview.

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01: Darkstar - Dead To Me (2010)
02: Darkstar - Squeeze My Lime (Hyperdub)
03: James Blake - Give A Man A Rod (Hessle Audio)
04: Lewis B - Take (Smokin' Sessions)
05: Major Grave - Dilettantism (Forthcoming Standard)
06: Hyetal & Shortstuff - Ice Cream (Punch Drunk)
07: Jamie Grind - Balloon (Forthcoming Infrasonics)
08: Spatial - 100319 (Dub)
09: Chesus - Me N You (Dub)
10: Gon - Gotta Have You (Forthcoming Standard)
11: Major Grave - Memories A-Force Rmx (Dub)
12: Colz - Pleasure Control (Demo)
13: Major Grave - Lights Colz Rmx (Standard)
14: Gon - Chaka Mad (Forthcoming Infrasonics)
15: Deadboy - If You Want Me (Numbers)
16: Cassius - Feeling 4 U (Dragon Rmx)
17: Once Was Nice - What Could I Do Wideboys Rmx (Dubz For Klubz)
18: Tivannagh - Live & Learn (Dub)
19: Myd - Noria Dubbel Dutch Rmx (Dub)
20: Monkey Steak - Harlem Drift (Steakhouse)
21: DVA - Natty (Hyperdub)
22: Pier - Six Million Dollar Man (Dub)
23: T-Woc - The Window (Forthcoming Alphabet Set)
24: Gon - The Rythm (Carbon Logic)

Slugabed Hits The Snail On The Head

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Neoncat overlawd is amused.

With 8bit synth attack lazers set to obliterate and rumbletron bass inducer activated, this half time plodding beat monster crushes all in its way. This is purple wow in the key of awesome and without the fromage frais. With more than a subtle nod to Floyd in the visuals department, the video is top notch fare. The 80's influence is overt, but tastefully done. Someone has to ask though what's the story with slugs/pyramid/tron/pixel & vector design aesthetic resurgence at the moment? Did the graphic designers from EDGE all end up in the London underground record label scene?

Anyway, the man himself, Slugabed, is on top of his game with this stellar new release. Wonky UK hip hop was the flavour of the day long enough now for it all to have gone a little stale for me of late. Well, that was until this little video surfaced.

Milk Carton 7 Inches

Lost treasures are often golden.

Handsome reward offered for information leading to the whereabouts of this record. If you have seen this record, be advised it is known to be seriously legendary. Last known sightings somewhere in the U.K. No reported copies on discogs so I am starting to get worried. Do some 7's really get away?

When you need them on vinyl no matter what!!! Sometimes you gotta beg.

<a onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/bullion.bandcamp.com/album/get-familiar');" href="http://bullion.bandcamp.com/album/get-familiar">Get Familiar by Bullion</a>

Open Hand Clenched Fist

If not for you, then for the good of all.

Van city resident, souvent blogueur and man of distinctly refined tastes, The Common Wealth has been obliging those in the know via Le Tanque since mid 2008. Now stepping up to the plates, this interesting mix of housey vibes with sprinkles of electro, funky and fidget also drops Breakage's spanking Newham Generals collab. A sign of good things to come from the Common Wealth, for the good of all.

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01: Mohammed Reza Shajarian - Avaz Masnari
02: Actress - Ghosts Have a Heaven
03: Micha - Quadruple Gold Dipped
04: Kabale und Liebe - Lost in Thoughts
05: Anton Piete - Encore
06: Klement Bonelli & Johannes Brahms - Los Chicanos (Claude Monnet)
07: Joey Negro - Sax my Bitch Up (Audio Jack)
08: Lee Van Dowski - Go Bowling (The Glitz)
09: Plasmik - Night Bell
10: Anton Piete - Love Machine
11: Anton Piete - Her Scent
12: Breakage - Hard

Casiono a Go Go

Welcome back from across the pond.

Just as familial bonds make for great band mates, time heals all wounds and after an almost three year pause The Yoko Casionos are back.

This recently surfaced live vid is an encouraging development. The Yoko's distinct dub laced indie pop sound, so brilliantly showcased on their debut album "These Are the New Old Times", continues to impress.

Its been a long journey knowing Juice and the Reid twins all these years. From the basement jams of castle negligence circa 93 to Misty and Juice's first demo together a la T Dot 97. From the fledgling Yoko's El Mocambo romps to me missing them hitting their stride during the noughties in Van City after I jumped ship to the emerald isle. But friends keep a watch from afar. These continue to be indeed, the new old times.

Smoke / Grind / Sleep

Decade later devastator.

Back in 93 a bunch of us drove to Van to catch Brutal Truth opening up for Cannibal Corpse. Their set that night would forever change my opinion of what a grindcore band was capable of. After a few seminal albums and numerous years of touring the band broke up.

A decade on the boys got back together and succeeded in proving that band reunions need not be cynical pension plans for has been rockers trying to relive their glory years doing cover versions of their own material.

Their comeback album, "Evolution Through Revolution", is harsher, faster and more pure badass grind than mere mortals are capable of producing. Seeing them on two tours now since they've reformed, all I can say is that Rich Hoak and the rest of the lads continue to amaze me, playing faster now then they did back in the day.

One day if I get my shite together I will edit up some of the video and audio I have of those tours and upload it along with some pics here at ak.vwat.net. Smoke, Grind, Sleep, indeed.

Neurosonics Live and in Holovision

Hip Hop head's holographic beats?

You've probably already seen these tech lads other scratchtastic vids on the net. This live holographic outing though takes things to a whole different level. Where can I buy one of these drum kits please? I've a few ideas who's heads I would happily use to bash out some beats.

Perhaps more importantly though, when is holographic technology actually gonna make some steps towards becoming a commercial reality. That Sega hologram video game 20 years ago was dire even if it was Rick Dyer creation. It's 2010 now folks and to be honest, Avatar was great for all the CGI but the 3D itself wasn't much of a leap forward from Michael Jackson's Captain EO Disneyland ride way back in '86. Tron Legacy IMAX 3D had better rule and come with those wrap around 3D glasses. In like Flynn, as they say.

Fact mag mix 124 – Spatial (an Infrasonics showcase)

Fact magazine consistently brings you the freshest sounds and this mix is no exception with a slew of tracks you wont yet find elsewhere from the likes of VVV, Ike Release, Hot City and Infrasonics label supremo Spatial himself, also featuring a couple tracks by Gon that will be finding their way to your decks via Infrasonics in the near future.

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Gon – Riddance [forthcoming Infrasonics]
spatial – 90927 [dub]
??? – Idle002 – Track 03 [Idle Hands]
Gon – Chaka mad [forthcoming Infrasonics]
Hot City – Another Girl [dub]
xxxy – Blue Flashing Lights [forthcoming Infrasonics]
spatial – 91027 [dub]
VVV – Dorsai Irregulars [dub]
spatial – 90807 [Infrasonics 003]
Jamie Grind – If U Want [forthcoming Infrasonics]
Jamie Grind – Balloon [forthcoming Infrasonics]
Ike Release – Nature Manipulation [forthcoming Infrasonics]
xxxy – Just for Me [dub]
Ike Release – The Long Kiss Goodnight [forthcoming Infrasonics]