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Fantastic Man
 Heartbreaker

Although they haven't gotten as much attention as the records under his own name, Melbourne's Mic Newman has been releasing tracks under the Fantastic Man alias since 2010. Heartbreaker, his latest EP under that banner, is not too far removed from what one expects of Newman—its three originals offer deeper tracks with inflections from old-school house and '80s boogie, with dashes of vocals for good measure. It's not an especially daring EP, but even hardened house heads will find bits to latch onto. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/03/2013

Akkord Akkord

Pick

As far as bass music goes, one would be hard pressed to find a more accessible producer than Synkro (a.k.a. Joe McBride). The Manchester producer's last solo release was called Acceptance and bore the implications of the title out in swooning, heartbroken melodies and the blush of nylon-string guitars and detailed, inventive drum programming. McBride has shown that he's also capable of the steeliest techno vibes as one half of Akkord—his collaborative project with fellow Manchester resident Indigo (a.k.a. Liam Blackburn)—without giving up the core accessibility and inventiveness that define his approach. Techno—of the scrappy, metallic variety—is in vogue thanks to labels like L.I.E.S., but Akkord's take is unique. Although the duo gets a lot of mileage out of fractured, jagged samples for its drum hits, the vibe here is more Consumed/Closer-era Plastikman than, say, Unit Moebius, with tracks patiently coalescing around towering rhythmic riffs. There are no real melodies to speak of, and yet Akkord is an especially articulate album, one that offers a series of wintry industrial scenes that fade into each other with growing urgency. If this is techno, it's the genre at its least monolithic. At every turn, Akkord pushes against the grain of the 4/4 grid, laying heavy swing over the otherwise straightforward stomp of "3dOS" or flirting with 2562/Demdike Stare territory on the eerie fourth-world invocation "Smoke Circle." Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/02/2013

Fis Preparations EP

Label: Tri Angle

Having previously gained a little bit of attention for his "DMT Usher" single, which saw release last year via Samurai Music, the New Zealand-based Fis (a.k.a. Olly Peryman) has retreated further from his already idiosyncratic vision of drum & bass with his recent Homologous EP for Void Coms and Preparations, his debut release for Tri Angle. The four-track EP presents listeners with some seriously murky skeletal sketches of tunes, which bear only a passing resemblance to the sort of drum & bass that most people are familiar with. Defined by abstract textures, a unique rhythmic sensibility, and deep, ominous bass, the Preparations EP is a release with an eerie, claustrophobic intensity. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 12/02/2013

Jacques Renault Got to Believe

The third and latest offering for Let's Play House's one-sided white-label series comes from its co-owner Jacques Renault, following efforts by Waze & Odyssey and Urulu. Like much of the label's catalog, "Got to Believe
" offers an update on tried-and-true, garage-leaning, early-to-mid-'90s-house motifs. Coupled with its runtime of around seven minutes, it's hardly the kind of weird or epic piece one associates with its quick-shot release format, but it does show Renault in typically decent form. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/27/2013

Bicep Satisfy

London-via-Belfast production duo Bicep has proven itself to be more than capable of churning out classically minded dancefloor stunners—its sultry 2012 single "$tripper" perfectly paired a carefree, blissful attitude with an old-school Jersey garage sound, while "Vision of Love" exhubertantly channeled the spirit of '90s diva-house anthems. More recently, the pair has collaborated with Simian Mobile Disco on the melody-driven "Sacrifice" and dropped the diverse Stash EP. Now, Bicep has delivered Satisfy, a similarly varied three-track release for via its own Feel My Bicep imprint. According to the producers themselves, the record finds them taking a darker, more synth-oriented approach. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/27/2013

Âme Tatischeff EP

As part owners of Innervisions, Âme's musical taste is irrevocably ingrained in the DNA of the Berlin-based imprint. Alongside co-owner Dixon, Âme's Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann have taken great care to craft their label's aesthetic. For these three, that comes with a degree of meticulous consistency that extends from the packaging to the music itself. A similar approach is taken when it comes to Âme, as Beyer and Wiedemann keep their output to a scant one or two releases each year; in short, they're not the kinds of producers who slouch on craftsmanship, a fact that is readily backed up by both entries on the duo's new Tatischeff EP. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/27/2013

Boya Boya

Boya's only credit prior to this, his self-titled debut EP, was a track on Opal Tapes' Cold Holiday compilation from last year. The producer's sound slots in well with that label's rough aesthetic, and indeed with the one Mister Saturday Night has been honing lately as well. The three tracks here are perhaps purposefully distorted, but unlike the works of many producers chasing this trend, there are clearly some production chops hidden underneath. This is ultimately what makes the record work. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/26/2013

Teengirl Fantasy Nun

Former art-school duo Teengirl Fantasy (a.k.a. Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi) has laid fairly low since the 2012 release of its second full-length record, Tracer. Nun, a new four-track EP for London/LA collective This Is Music, finds the pair continuing to pull inspiration from a range of sources and exploring a diverse palette of instrumental sounds. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/26/2013

Ben La Desh Wondering What We Are

Ben La Desh may reside half a world away from Young Adults' LA offices, but musically, the Rotterdam-based producer occupies a space that's right at home with the breezy house sound the label has been championing since it launched last year. Propulsive, deep, and jazzy, La Desh's "Let Us Down" was a natural fit for the balmy bonhomie of Young Adults' House Slippers compilation from this past spring. And now, with his first EP for the imprint, Wondering What We Are, La Desh both strengthens this bond and shows that he's broadening his musical palette a bit along the way. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/26/2013

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