It’s good to be back! After a small hiatus, our monthly New Wax feature returns…this time, for good. With Record Store Day looming its mammoth presence over the month once again, we’ve tried our very best to steer clear of specific RSD releases (with a few guilty exceptions!)
A more focused issue of New Wax this month, as James Zaremba & Josh Aitman take a whistle stop tour of (mostly) the best in house, disco and boogie…again, with a few VERY guilty exceptions. Check out the music that’s been the talk of the town this April, the releases that have slipped lamentably under lé radar, and others that are touted for release next month.
With music coming from; Moomin, Lossy, Chain Reaction, Asei Kobayashi & Mickie Yoshiko, Nu Guinea, Sex Judas ft. Ricky, Ilija Rudman & many mo!
*All selections appear in order of release*
Ilija Rudman – Paradigma [Imogen Recordings] (16th April)
The latest release from Croatia’s Ilija Rudman offers a rich blend of blissful balearic boogie that serves well for home listening as-well-as the club. A seven-track outing on Imogen Recordings, Ilija packs the perfect soundtrack for the beach festivals dotted up and down the Dalmatian Coast this summer…(get the pun?)
With a studio set-up 20 years in the making, Ilija makes it clear that his equipment has given him the full ability to express himself in his sonic and creative ideas. With an arsenal full of samplers, synths and drum machines, it’s unsurprising that Paradigma offers such a warm and clean sound throughout.
Produced as a cyclical listen, Paradigma is representative of the 7 days in a week, as the record ebbs and flows with a musical diapason of funk, soul and deep colours. Check out the Melodic Distraction Premiere of the album’s closer, ‘Serpent Slide’, below and read about it HERE.
Lossy – Gated Soul EP [Boot Cycle Audio] (20th April)
With early support flying in from the likes of Jacques Renault, Horse Meat Disco and James Zabiela, it’s guaranteed that Lossy’s latest EP, Gated Soul, will be heard out across a spectrum of different sets this spring and summer. The London producer’s fourth release on his own imprint, Boot Cycle Audio, Lossy continues to switch it up with four tracks that deliver wonky melodic electro and a seriously choppy drum machine workout.
Keeping a soulful vibe throughout, warm Fender Rhodes keys gloss over the top of much of this release, proving yet again that this iconic 70’s instrument still has a strong foothold in world of electronic music.
The big winner on this has to be the EP’s blissful opener, ‘Blues for Jekyll’, which brings a steady builder of soft-footed breakbeat, sparse digital pianos and synths all into the mix for a soundtrack befitting of a Californian coastal drive. Apparently the whole EP was written while Lossy toured with Introducing Live – a fully live band performing DJ Shadow’s seminal Endtroducing album!
Nu Guinea – Nuova Napoli [NG Records] (23rd April / Second repress expected in May)
A HUGE new boogie record from Neopolitan duo, Nu Guinea, following on from their highly-acclaimed 2016 Tony Allen Experiments album. Having masterfully reinvented the legendary Nigerian drummer’s music to fit their own synth-heavy, balearic style, it was only a matter of time before the pair were set to release an album of original compositions.
Having already sold out of OG and repress copies in all online stores, Nuova Napoli has become one of the most talked about releases of 2018 so far as the band offer up 30-minutes of blissful jazz-funk, disco and boogie that holds true to the same colourful style seen on their previous work.
Whereas other releases on this month’s New Wax have created their sounds through an amalgam of digital hardware, the warm analogue vibrations and live instrumentation on this album create a winning formula that offers nostalgia and futurism in equal measure.
Chain Reaction – Say Yeah / Search For Tomorrow [Rain & Shine Records] (RSD Release)
Changing hands for the past few years at astronomical prices, some topping $500, Chain Reaction’s legendary soul 45, Say Yeah / Search For Tomorrow, is finally getting a long-anticipated Record Store Day repress.
Some records exist in a transcendental state, enduring the fleeting trends that sweep across dance floors the world over. It is heartwarming to see then, that Chain Reaction’s downright legendary ‘Say Yeah / Search For Tomorrow’, is finally getting the reissue it so rightfully deserves – a universally-beloved classic, re-released to the world by an unlikely source; the non-profit, New Zealand-based reissue label, Rain & Shine.
The music itself needs little introduction…two huge modern soul bangers that have electrified every dancefloor they touch, from Plastic People to headsy soul gatherings – these cuts from Chain Reaction will always remain to be…THE SHIT! ‘Search For Tomorrow’ is the better known of the two, and delivers a powerful message of looking forward in life. ‘Say Yeah’, the criminally underappreciated A-side delivers a locked-down funk groover with blasting horns and a more light-hearted message about partying and just letting go!
String Theory – Modularity [Rhythm Section] (27th April)
There’s no questioning a release from Peckham-based label Rhythm Section these days. If it’s got the famous emblem on its sleeve, chances are it’s dope and furthermore, it’s pretty likely they’ve already (and rightfully) banked your hard earned pocket money.
With no deviation, the latest offering is arguably one of our favourite Rhythm Section releases to date. Modularity is the debut release from Glaswegian duo, String Theory. Featuring stabbing acidic synthesisers, a funk directive throughout and tight, energetic percussion that sounds impossibly off the cusp, the 4 track EP showcases the finest in hybrid electronic music. The inescapable groove and quick rhythms embedded within could easily be mistaken for those of a live outfit, yet the two forward thinking Scottish producers create a body of work that is filled with cleverly placed tangents and twists keeping each track, and furthermore each minute, fresh and exciting.
Children Of Zeus – Slow Down / All Night [First Word Records] (4th May)
With eclectic offerings coming from a wide array of artists, First Word Records is on the pulse of the UK’s most forward-thinking music. Reaching into broken beat with Kaidi Tatham, neo-soul and jazz with their newest signing Yazmin Lacey, and right into their roots – from 2003 to the present day – with the newest release from Children of Zeus, the abundance of talent on the label is plain to see.
One of Manchester’s ‘finest hip hop and soul exports’, Children of Zeus build on their 2017 First Word Records release, ‘The Story So Far’, with a new 3 track EP entitled Slow Down / All Night. With only one track available at present, their unmistakable blend of boom bap and soul is at the forefront of this record. The flip, ‘Slow Down’, teases to be a slow summer soul anthem with a ‘floor shaking twist’. But, without a preview in sight, we’ll have to sit on our hands until the release comes through.
Check out our interview with the lads HERE to keep you occupied in the interim!
Sex Judas Feat. Ricky – Go Down Judas [Optimo Music] (May 18th)
“It’s the return of the sexual vigilante Sex Judas and his trusted sidekick Ricky.” The press info for this latest release by Norwegian producer Tore Gjedrem pulls absolutely no punches. A cosmic adventure that touches on everything from nu-disco to blues, funk, post-punk, IDM, acid house and so much else, Go Down Judas remains masterfully cohesive despite its kaleidoscopic influences.
The double LP, out on 18th May via Optimo Music, begins with beautiful folk and ambient sounds, before embarking on a journey that soon touches on Gjedrem’s love for Nordic disco, IDM and more dancefloor-ready sounds. Whereas tracks like ‘Candy Darling’ wouldn’t look out of place in a thousand-cap warehouse, the album’s penultimate cut, ‘Snake Song’, offers a laid-pack low-end approach to soul.
The pick of the bunch has to be the album’s second track, ‘The Sorrows of Young Walter.’ A funk-infused synth pop that if I had to take a punt…pays tribute to the late, great Walter Gibbons – Gjedrem…let me know, brother!
Moomin – Yesterday’s Tomorrow [WOLF Music] (18th May)
Loops on loops on loops, it’s how Moomin has always operated as an artist and we wouldn’t dream to imagine it any other way.
Funky, soulful, jazz-driven but forever hypnotic and cyclical in his practice, one complete listen of Moomin’s new full-length, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, assures he has yet again delivered upon what he does best.
With that, it’s great to see the Berlin-based producer rolling back the genre boundaries to which he is usually earmarked, coming through with a few tight DnB excursions on, ‘Move On’ and ‘Into the Woods’, with the tracks sandwiched by some East-Coast style boom-bap on, ‘949494’ and ‘Fruits.’
Another feather in the WOLF Music cap…rest assured!
Lucas Welle – Touch EP [Abandon Silence Records] (TBC May)
Sorry not sorry but this one HAS to get a shout out! So, so long in the making – partly due to those dastardly Pink Floyd reissues clogging up the pressing plants – Abandon Silence can finally reveal that they will be launching a record label this May.
With AS001 coming from local producer and Familiar Circles DJ, Lucas Welle, the label’s debut is a 4-track EP that stands tall at the centre of the dance floor with a high energy focus.
Previously collaborating with the likes of Jamie Trench with a release on Roots For Bloom, Lucas’ productions are designed with the club in mind. With early support coming from Jackmaster, Denis Sulta & Jasper James, plus a killer rework from Liverpool’s stalwart producer, Melé, the record is a strong first outing for Abandon Silence Records and hefty continuation for Lucas Welle. No release date has been confirmed as of yet but hints suggest digital and vinyl versions will be dropping sometime in May or June…soon come!
Asei Kobayashi, Mickie Yoshino, Godiego – Hausu, Original Soundtrack [Super Fuji Disc Japan] (TBC May)
The phrase ‘Japanese jazz’ seems to be about as popular as ‘avocado toast’, or ‘artisanal goods’ right now. Reserved seemingly for the uber-trendy, it would appear on the surface that diving down the rabbit hole of genre has become the go-to for online diggers, and who could blame them? With so many musical obscurities at our fingertips, why not explore?
Hausu, or “House” as it translates into English, is telling of the accessibility gifted to us on a daily basis – a film and soundtrack that would have no business being salvaged if it weren’t for the great powers of the internet driving the demand for this wacky, gaudy slice of late 70’s horror with an obscure, yet oddly addictive soundtrack!
Harmonica-led blues? Tick
Sultry downtown jazz? Tick
Cheesy synth-pop? Tick
Oddball jazz-funk? Tick
“Weird but wonderful” just about covers it. Check out the trailer below for an album sampler…of sorts!