DJ Roach – Nuestro Futuro (Nuestro Futuro NF-01 – 2013)

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‘This is our future’, told DJ Roach to the world when launched Nuestro Futuro, a new Detroit label distributed by Submerge. The debut turned out a good one and now, before the label’s next release, it is time for a late but vital addendum to the year 2013. The EP cannot have any better start than “My Riot”, a simple but efficient motorway take on UR’s harsh techno funk. Carelessly swinging “Yo No Se”, where filtered vocal sample is bitten by techno’s teeth, suggests to join a ‘muy caliente’ block party. Other tracks, “Festivas” and “Tec-Troit”, are more restrained but keep the percussive edge without any annoying droning. That all means […]

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Alone – Has God Left This City? (Underground Resistance ‎UR 084 – 2014)

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It was only a matter of time when Underground Resistance would speak out about Motor City’s financial and social hardship that has found so much negative press lately. Now the task has been accomplished by an artist called Alone whose real identity is unknown. Although the UR camp has been less booming than in the mid-1990s, “Has God Left This City” is a strong reaffirmation of the vitality of techno’s real headquarters. Announced in 2013 as a white label going for inflated prices at Discogs marketplace, and supported by full-length teaser videos*, the actual release is a gem with all […]

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Tornaado – Instrumentaaltsükkel “Regatt” (Frotee Records FRO001 – 2013)

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The year 2013 saw the birth of the Estonian label Frotee Records, in search of the Balearic beat of the Baltics and doing it with vinyl pressings of long-lost compositions.The label debuted with an EP by a band called Tornaado, thus going back to the year 1979 when Lada, the Soviet worker’s limousine, celebrated the ninth birthday and Pepsi hit some upmarket stores in Estonia. The yachting regatta of the 1980 Moscow Olympics was at the gate in Tallinn, the medieval city preparing for the event of sports and peace, actually boycotted by many Western countries.The funk had arrived across the […]

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Cratedigging: Supertrax, Svante Thuresson, Black Ice, Dragnet et al

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Some interesting finds from a box of vinyl stowed between kitchenware and 1990s jumpers in a second hand outlet. Because of limited time for browsing  just grabbed seven items and now I’m pretty happy with the outcome.Really no techno but the first one, “Supertrax Vol. 1” from 1983, features many highlights of the italo/hi-NRG and electro scene. Taking off with Bobby Orlando and his curated projects like One-Two-Three and The Flirts, we proceed to Patrick Cowley, Paul Parker, Man Parrish, Sylvester and others. Including Maurizio Vandelli AKA Key Of Dreams performing “Africa”, a song known from Toto’s catalog. Liner notes tell […]

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The Trash Company – Pluto (Peoples Potential Unlimited PPU-036 – 2012)

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Andrew Morgan’s Peoples Potential Unlimited introduces another hidden talent. Max E. Monroe, the man behind The Trash Company, started composing in 1970’s and is only now preparing his first album for Steady Sounds. Before that, a single works as an appetizer. The A-side of the wide-hole seven-inch suggests to wear a neon headband for full-bodied 1980’s synth funk titled “Pluto”. On the flip a real mid-tempo power cut called “For The Hook”, a robotic crossover reminding of Robert Hood’s “Rhythm Of Vision”, Syncom Data’s metallic dub funk and Fortran 5’s chopper techno. To round up the story about Monroe, this […]

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Uku Kuut – Vision Of Estonia (Peoples Potential Unlimited PPU-034 – 2012)

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Peoples Potential Unlimited, a label from Washington DC, is on a mission to excavate forgotten treasures of  funk and soul. It was only recently when Andrew Morgan’s label issued a seven-inch by Uku Kuut, bringing the artist’s past not only to the consciousness of native Estonian audience, but also attracting wider recognition. Now the time is ripe for a LP, a collection of vibrating funk from Kuut’s teenage years.Exiled with his mother Maryn Coote (Marju Kuut) from the Soviet Union, Kuut recorded most of the tracks in the home studios in Santa Monica and Stockholm. He also produced for Maryn […]

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Hype Williams – Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol. II (Hyperdub HDB052)

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Rating: 7/10 Catalog number 52 is my first Hyperdub and my first Hype Williams. The label that introduced Burial might be searching for new directions as I can’t find any dubstep here. The question is, what genres does the record represent as in many aspects “Kelly Price …”  is more art and performance than music.Four tracks in total and two of them clearly not for the floor. On snarling and clapping synth backdrop, “Rise Up”opens up slowly as a bloom under the rising sun. Spoken-word cut “Badmind” is like picked up from random US radio transmissions dedicated to cultural issues. […]

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Nacho Patrol – The Africa Jet Band Experience (M Division MDIV07)

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Rating: 8/10 Synth freak Danny Wolfers continues his explorations in soulful disco and funk under the Nacho Patrol moniker, delivering a genuine-sounding fiesta of vintage grooves. Except of the knowledge that this record has roots in black music, the references to Africa remain limited and one should not expect any tribal shakers here. Both “Stars Over Africa” and “Salambo Funk” are thriving party fare with vigorously working synth lines, known from Legowelt’s many productions. “Fuzz Party” and “Ghetto Compressor” move closer to jazz, but real bliss comes in “No Angry People” – such a happy track with fizzy synths and […]

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Various – Tropical Discotheque EP (SOFR002) – 8/10

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The heat is on at Sofrito; after vintage afro club funk of “Soweto Disco” they come with a 2010 repress of “Tropical Discotheque EP”, carrying the same power and emotion as known from Sofrito’s previous releases. No artist credits but four edits or reworks of thriving floor tracks: A-side is filled with two quite similar versions of “African Disco Power”, with male vocal backing. On the B-side tempo is reduced in Caribbean-sounding “Calypso Path”, while “Disco La Calle” goes a bit cosmic, being the best track of the EP.

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Uku Kuut – I Don’t Have To Cry / Vision Of Estonia (UQ 001) – 10/10

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For a review about Uku Kuut’s album “Vision Of Estonia” (2012), please click here. The sounds that are going right under the skin might be easily vintage funk and soul with roots in American cities like New York or Chicago, but Peoples Potential Unlimited (PPU), a label from Washington DC, has found an hidden gem produced in Sweden by two exiled Estonians in 1984, Uku Kuut [oo-cooh cooth] and his mother, in 1984. The title track, “I Don’t Have To Cry”, is cozy synthesizer funk with smooth vocals and slight vocoder. Even more I like jazzy funk instrumental “Vision Of Estonia” on […]

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