Roll up, roll up, Prince Street Record Forum join us in the Melodic Distraction studio! If you’re yet to get in the know, PSRF is a pop-up record store and mail order distributor based in Liverpool. Fresh on the scene, and packing serious heat into a couple lil crates, the burgeoning Liverpool record seller brings in a tasteful selection of new releases from across the world and houses them right in our very own corner of the Baltic Triangle. Scope out what goodies Kelvin SM has on offer, and be sure to pop by the studio to cop ’em before they fly. Don’t forget that you can check out the esteem able Kelvin’s debut MDR show for his launch of Prince Street, right here to boot:
LT –Forest Floor [Rhythm Section]
2018 really has been Peckham strong. Following on from two outstanding releases by Neue Grafik and the Glaswegian outfit String Theory, Peckham-based label, Rhythm Section International, brings another newcomer in the form of LT (Lewis Taylor) to its ever-expanding family. Friend of RS associate Mallard, this release is a story of graduation for the North England protégé who has previous releases on YAM records and RS sister-label, ‘International Black’.
For now we’ve only the preview of ‘North Circular’, the closing track on this record’s B-Side. This track alone is representative of an artist who is very quickly developing a benchmark for young producers. His house music is clinically informed, deploying a 90s-esque piano house riff and sampling the classic breaks and vocal stabs of Lyn Collins’ ‘Think (About It)’ – “woo, yeah”. Yet despite these references this record is by no means a formulaic reproduction, those elements are introduced underneath 606 analog drums, deep stabby chords and delayed synth pops to give an overall sound that is unmistakably Rhythm Section.
Bruxas – Sirocco [Dekmantel]
This EP is what happens when two well seasoned live instrumentalists of rich and diverse musical history come together. Bruxas (Portugese for Witches) is the electronic project of the Amsterdam-based duo of Nic Mausoviç and Jacco Gardner. Nic is a seasoned live drummer and brainchild of the The Mauskovic Dance Band, Jacco a multi-instrumentalist influenced by 1960’s psychedelia.
This combination debuted in June of last year with an EP for Dekmantel. The result was a four-track EP of groovy, psychedelic dance music driven by afro-centric rhythm sections, loosely sectioned under balearic disco. This summertime sound has seen them wilfully re-invited to the dutch label for a 2018 summer encore.
The title track ‘Sirocco’ is a mixture of tense psychedelic pads and a ritualistic synth hook, released into the club mix that takes the record poolside with some brighter percussion and keys for a more complete groove. Elsewhere there’s Hermes, a downtempo 100bpm bumper before the EP’s rounded off with ‘Maria’s Holiday’: shinier pads than ‘Sirocco’ and just the right amount of acid. What better way to round off the grooviest psychedelic EP of your summer?
Project Pablo – Come To Canada You Will Like It [Verdicchio Music Publishing]
Okay so technically this release was at the very very end of June, though allow me to sneak it in here because it’s undeniably worth a mention. Albums are always an opportunity for an artist to connect with their fanbase on a level that expresses a deeper level of cultural influences, for DJs in particular it provides an opportunity to present their environment outside of the club circuit. That’s an idea that certainly comes through on Patrick Holland (AKA Project Pablo’s) second album.
The Canadian producer/DJ, though distinctly melodic and emotive, is more closely associated with house music and it’s sister genres, at least from a performance perspective. However to put it in Holland’s own words, Come To Canada You Will Like It is: “A record about slowing down while finding a balance between rural and city living”. It’s an album exploring the downtempo arrangements of Pablo’s signature leisurely sound, with barely a four-four kick-drum in sight until track 5.
There’s a hint of an artist unspoiled by the rise to touring global DJ. Holland has a history of working in coffee shops & surf campsites, plus moved to Montreal (Canada’s culture capital) to further his career artistically. Seemingly bohemian from afar, it makes sense that things fell into place for Holland to develop a sound that’s as intensely relaxed as this album. There’s recognisable tracks like ‘To Sealeigh And Back’ that will tease fans of the club sound in, but on the whole it’s a story of a touring DJ returning home and taking stock, immersing himself back into the environment that has been a catalyst for a career in music.
As much as it’s an advert for the Canadian tourist board, perhaps it’s also the soundtrack for all of us to simply just take a minute.
Felipe Gordon – Deep Fried Banana EP [Flat White Records]
This five track EP from Colombian producer Felipe Gordon is something of a tutorial in jazz sampling. It’s only the second release from East Midlands-based Flat White Records after their early 2018 debut EP of a similar fashion, a deep house EP from Skygaze reminiscent of a young Detroit Swindle. Despite being in their infancy, this label and independent record dealer might just be the finest thing to come out of Leicester since the ‘15-16 Premier League campaign.
With this EP there’s a sense of familiarity for fans of Better Listen or Toy Tonics records. We kick off with the title track that’s built steadily around conga percussion, filtered rhodes and the vocals of Felipe’s compatriot Vagabundo Club Social, erupting into a dancefloor smash with a carnival brass hook that’ll tease out any early party sober self-consciousness. A2 follows suit in a deeper fashion, proving here exactly how to work a jazz piano sample. That’s the riff to support instructions on how to dance first intended for the 50’s American dad and a heavy bassline – future classic.
The B-side adds an acid line to piano and sax samples plus a much tougher 707 kick drum and sidechained pads for some loud and direct deep house. Finally the title track invites The Last Trip To Gandahar for a remix that brings the atmosphere back to a lively afternoon garden session, rounding off a diverse EP for all hours of the party and providing DJs with a serious record bag tool. All-in-all this is a new label that may seem playful at a glance but are by no means to be overlooked, it’s not just Jamie Vardy that’s having a party!
Balako – Balako Edits [Razor-N-Tape]
Cut in Brooklyn // Good for Dance!
If we left nothing more than the sound clips below and the label motto above, the Razor-N-Tape stamp to a record is by now enough of a precursor to know that what’s in those grooves is going to be funky. The New York based partnership are something of a juggernaut when it comes to pushing forward contemporary house and disco. Here we’ve got the relatively unknown Balako, a Brazilian duo from Rio De Janeiro on a fast upwards trajectory since their first ever vinyl release just five months ago. They’ve earned this call up to the A League with a trio of edits that globalize local Brazilian music. The A side takes on a slightly darker personality as ‘Batuque’ takes the popular sounds of MPB and laces it with modular synthesis, ‘Deixa Acontecer’ is tense and acidic but breaks into samba keys and a chorus that belongs to a caipirinha advert. On the flip is a reminder that despite venturing South for this EP, the label has one foot firmly in New York history. ‘Honey Honey Honey’ is an extended 9 minutes of afro-brazilian disco that could’ve been pulled straight out of the late 70s. Killer EP from the Balako boys, rounding off our selection of July’s new releases that offer something for every hour of the sun’s long summer rotations.
Check out the Prince Street Record Forum show on Melodic Distraction below.