Prince Street Record Forum Presents: New Wax (October ’18)
Written by Kelvin Slesser-Marriott on 30th October 2018
Prince Street Record Forum are back for their third edition of the Melodic Distraction New Wax! 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.
G.B Beckers – Walkman [Music From Memory]
First up from this month’s selections is the latest release from recent Boogaloo guest Jamie Tiller’s esteemed reissue label, Music From Memory. ‘Walkman’ is a 10 track LP first designed by the German painter and musician Günther Beckers in 1982, his third album produced to accompany his then latest exhibition. It’s a beautifully sincere ambient recording that draws meditative qualities from minimal drum machines, acoustic guitars and distant classical female vocals that takes us on a journey to a place of quiet contemplation and serenity. Recorded using the Kunstkopf technique, you’re encouraged to listen to this album on headphones to better replicate the spatial experience of being ‘in’ the original recording itself. Put simply, close your eyes and drift away for an hour in Günther’s studio. One for the winter nights and tender early mornings.
Domenique Dumont – Miniatures De Auto Rhythm [Antinote]
As any record collector soon learns, genres are there to be obscured, blended and broken. Although for the purposes of guiding your ears, you’d likely find this one sectioned under balearic and/or French pop. Its creators, Domenique Dumont, are a Latvian duo that have released sparingly and exclusively on Antinote over the last three years, given the time to experiment and put together this unique recording. As the label work of venerated underground selectors Zaltan and Raphaël Top-Secret, Antinote’s output remains fluid and unconstrained in keeping with its proprietors Paris-centric club performances. ‘Miniatures De Auto Rhythm’ kicks off with Le Debut De La Fin, a poppy, filtered guitar number that you might expect will soon provide the soundtrack to a French export commercial. There’s a tropical undertone to most of the core grooves here that give Dumont’s sound an air of exotica, including the regular use of uptempo reggae stabs that give tracks like Faux Savage and Ono Mambo Haiku a gentle bounce. We build up through much of the same great combinations to the pad leads and sunset serenade of Le Soleil Dans Le Monde, pitched just right to close this wonderful record off as balearic.
D.E (AKIS Dance Project) – Giant Step [Into The Light]
Keepin’ it global, we’re dancing our way back to the early 90s with a re-issue of D.E’s house record Giant Step. The 1992 club mix introduces a beatless melody of operatic stabs, building with strings and a violin fill before unleashing its squelching funk bassline and a pulsing drum track that’s characteristically in line with the global house sound that had erupted in the years prior. Add in some flutes played originally for the Aegean gods (don’t fact check that) and a mid-track breakdown and you’ve got yourself 12 inches of dancefloor power.
Its previous iteration, the demo mix, forms a less synthesized affair that’s almost unrecognizable from the A-side of the same track name. There’s a steady and familiar introduction of bass guitar and heavy snare that goes with 80s funk. Yet this doesn’t develop as expected, instead it’s interjected with bemusing samples from early video games or TV and trickles along with nursery level percussion. Though what it lacks in dance-ability it certainly makes up for in listening intrigue, just make sure you drop the needle on the right side in the club as I think we’re looking at a production that realised its full potential when given the framework of early 90s house music.
Into The Light’s mission is to focus on overlooked Greek productions – if it brings the Club Mix to a few more dancefloors then this one’s a job well done.
Munir – Grand Paradise Hotel [Dopeness Galore]
Described by the record label as a ‘boogie aficionado’ and ‘funkateer’, this concept album of underground dance music presents Munir as Indonesia’s answer to Dâm-Funk. “Built around a lush stay at a place where water is salt and life is sweet”, the Grand Paradise Hotel is your invitation to explore the work of an artist whose use of borrowed analogue hardware playfully tells the story of western electronic music’s far reaching influence on the Southeast Asian island. The twelve-track record moves through house, funk, boogie and ambient across a beautifully packaged double LP. There’s an order of funk with a breakbeat side on Room Service 303, before spending an ambient evening in the Outdoor Bathtub, getting your boogie on after a Sangria or seven and sneaking off with the Concierge.
Kojo Antwi – Kojo i København [Music For Dreams]
We’re over to Copenhagen for our last focus in this month’s feature, rounding things off with the feelgood highlife-disco reissue of Kojo Antwi’s 1986 EP, ‘Kojo in Copenhagen’. Originally from Ghana, this record falls into the field of cassette music so prolific on the African continent that’s having a renewed heyday in Europe and beyond through the archival work of Soundway, Africa Seven, DJ Okapi, Awesome Tapes from Africa and now Music For Dreams to name a few. B1 feels like it’s going to fall somewhere in the leagues of Letta Mbulu’s ‘Normalizo’, driven by a strong groove and a catchy chorus this one gets you moving even if it doesn’t quite reach the fever pitch of Letta’s classic. B2 follows with the uptempo beat of Meribe-Bom, complete with brass instrumentation and a teasing guitar solo that creeps in on the outro. But it’s the A-side I want to leave you on, Hini Mi is the record I want to see across every dancefloor in this city and further afield. The beauty of African music, beyond its own joyous instrumentation, is that its adoption into afro-american culture gave us the four-four rhythms that club music has so closely followed through the decades, so when it comes full circle and the likes of Palms Trax and Hunee spin these records at a party, the movements of a dancefloor and the smiles that follow are ones of a transcendental understanding, the moments reminding us that underground music is a beacon of universality.