Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Paqua - Akaliko

Paul 'Mudd' Murphy's Claremont 56 is such a class act, equally forward as it is backward looking, equally referential as it is original, and equally eclectic as it is precisely modern and sleek. It's a veritable haven for aging ravers, diggers and trainspotters, surfers and travellers, Harvey fans, bikers, Balearic dreamers, sunset aficionados and beards. The box set of tracks from their seminal 'Originals' series is one of the most exciting and desireable vinyl collections of overlooked gems in recent years, or ever... and it's a perfect example of the label's meticulous approach to substance and quality. The label is also, as i'm sure most of you already know, home to a host of exceptional music makers that include Bison, Alumnia, Torn Sail, Paqua and even a recent Hulger Czukay project... amongst others. But ok, this post isn't really about Claremont 56, instead it's about the first full length from Paqua entitled 'Akaliko', a Budhist word that means 'timeless', released on the label some weeks back. Being well late on this review has given me time to really live with the record, to hear it in a number of situations and settings and i can honestly say it's a classic in every sense of the word.

For those that don't already know, Paqua is a cross continental collaboration between Paul Murphy (Akwaaba, Mudd, Bison, Claremont 56), Phenomenal Handclap Band's Quine Luke (aka Bing Ji Ling), Alex Searle, Groove Armada's percussionist Patrick Dawes and Patrick Wood, also from the Phenomenal Handclap Band. Joining them on a few of the albums tracks also is celloist Robin Lee, one half of Faze Action. That's practically some kind of underground supergroup right there... and the album is a testament to the combined talents present on the record.

'Akaliko' is a beast of a thing! 8 superb tracks that remind one of any number of Adult Oriented West Coast Yacht Rock golden moments from back in yer mum's day, familiar...  and yet fresh with the ocean spray of recent summers on the Dalmation coast. You could say it's the revivified sound of The Hollies Folk Disco on 'Draggin' My Heels' meets The Doors, CSN, Brian Auger, Batteaux... only it's made by young men who've undoubtedly lived through Acid House, Madchester and Balearica. The beats are funky and modern, the crisp and free jangle of their guitars reverberate with the sound of heady holidays on exotic shores, and with hot spots of psychedelic shimmering beauty liberally scattered about, 'Akaliko' is far less than a sum of it's inspirations and far more the fresh beginings of a well travelled, savvy, attuned and cosmically inclined crew. Everything about this album is deeply pleasing and as such is essential to own.

A limited edition 10" called 'The Dubs' also hit the stores a couple of weeks after the album came out. Ray Mang and the Idjut Boys take on 'The Visitor', my current favourite track from the LP, and both deliver extra warm and now also essential beauties. The Idjut's version just barely takes first prize with it's dubbed out extended play, a bit like staring at the sun.

Get either or both records here and here, or hunt them down in your favourite spot. Oh and keep a look out for a further remix double pack with Emperor Machine versions of 'Late Train'

Friday, June 13, 2014

Press Play #80 - Mad'r

Rogier Keller aka Mad'r is a Rotterdam based dj and music connoissieur, he's a heavy- weight digger with an ear for Disco not Disco, slept on left field Euro Dance, No Wave, Afro beats, deep burnt Electro, forgotten soft Rock grooves, off kilter space wonkiness and things that'll make you dance like an extra in a Twyla Tharpe production... in a good way of course. Sometimes i think Mad'r is Rotterdam's answer to Loud E, well kind of, but different? What i do know for sure, from following Rogier on facebook, is that he is often out in the field digging for exotic finds. Check his 'Excess Baggage' slo mo mix on Soundcloud for proof; it's a seriously fine head nodding journey, like some photocopied memory of hot vhs neon love blasting out of my mom's Ford Capri way back in time.... for real!

And so we reach number 80 in the Press Play series, we celebrate this grand feat in the company of Rogier 'Mad'r' Keller. According to Mad'r his 'Monopoly on Suffering' mix for us meditates on 'how different cultures cope with suffering'. The journey takes in Africa, Spain, Western Europe, the U.S. and American Indian territories in the search for answers. He says 'don't identify yourself with your culture, race or sex', but rather 'identify yourself (if u must) with a human cause', after all this is what we are most. I love this mix, it's packed with unusual dusty grooves; varied and meaningful but also just groovy. It's the kind of mix that will make a road trip feel... life altering... even epochal... Sadly there is no track list, but Rogier send me a photograph that gives a few clues to those who need 'em (you'll find it in the comments below). Thanks so much Rogier for dropping this wonderful mix on us, it's been an education... everyone else you know what to do.... 
press play #80 - mad'r - monopoly on suffering

Friday, May 30, 2014

Press Play #79 - Marcel Vogel

The Vogel drops in for his annual visit to a.n.o.e. with an absolute stunner; 'Down By The River' is the perfect mixtape for those sunset hours, when the shadows get long and deep, when dancing is free form and sexy and the music shines like the sun from inside. Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Disco flavours, organic Slo Mo bits, rare stuff, all tweaked 'n mixed up and exuding high emotion from an inspired man; having met and played alongside Danny Krivit at a recent gig in Amsterdam, Marcel seems to be on fire. But then he's always on fire, the way i hear it....

Massive thanks Marcel, we love having you stop on by. This one's a keeper folks... 
press play #79 - marcel vogel - down by the river

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

inner circles

On a recent'ish dig i found two Ian Carr's Nucleus albums ('Solar Plexus' & 'In Flagrante Delicto'), both of which are really superb Jazz Fusion records. They are the first Nucleus albums in my collection and they sparked a bit of a research frenzy into the band's members and other records that might surround it's core. New Zealand born, keyboardist Dave Macrae was a member of Nucleus for some years but ultimately left the band to work on his own project with his wife Joy Yates. Together they created Pacific Eardrum. From what i gather there were 3 different albums during their 2 or 3 year run. Later Dave would work with Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair and many others, even later he joined a re-united Soft Machine. There's a fair bit of gold to be found on Pacific Eardrum records, but tonight i'm playing 'Inner Circles' from their second lp 'Beyond Panic' over and over and over ... Latin flavoured Fusion heaven for ya then.

Pacific Eardrum - Inner Circles

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Press Play #78 - Mannmademusic

Iain Mann aka MannMade - Music makes Moodyman - esque House bombs from deep Disco originals (for the most part); his tracks have featured on Lumberjacks In Hell, ISM, Glenview, Welcome To The Underground, Diner City Sounds and Audio Parallax amongst others; he's got a new one on Lumberjacks Boogie and an ep on the very excellent Shadeleaf Music, both of which will be in stores shortly. He's also dropped in on a.n.o.e. with a smouldering blend of Detroit feelin' Housey Disco called 'Northern Excursion'. Included in this fine ride are a couple of exclusives too. Damn!! ... what a catch ...

As always i'm well chuffed to have talent like Mann join the Press Play series, so thank you Iain. For the rest of ya, get downloading... (note: divshare is giving me stick, so for the moment the mix is downloadable from Box, i'll have it back on divshare shortly).

press play #78 - mannmademusic - northen excursion

Saturday, May 17, 2014

heaven is in your mind

Linda Tillery's second album came out in 1977 on the feminist leaning Olivia Records; it's a beautiful and warm Soul Funk set backed by an all-female band. The whole record is lush and atmospheric; it's easy to play and has quite a few standout tracks... perfect for late nights on earth. Linda sang for Coke Escovedo on his albums 'Coke' and 'Disco Fantasy', she worked with Santana, Boz Scaggs, and Lenny White, and much later there was her involvement on the He3 Project's Family Groove cd; her tracks have featured on Ubiquity's 'California Soul', Kenny Dope's 'Favourite Grooves' and Volcov has an edit of 'Markin Time' (also on this record) out on a Japanese cd compilation. Linda's eponymous lp is not hard to find and it isn't crazy expensive either (yet), should u wish to acquire it... and you do. 

My favourite track on the lp, doesn't feature a whole lot of Linda's vocal stylings, instead it's sparkling fusion highlights her backing band's serious skills. The thing is the whole record is pretty special, if you see it grab it, but for tonight... a little heaven in your mind...

Linda Tillery - Heaven is in Your Mind

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dance with me Ojala

Things found on soundcloud #1452: Mike Burns went off making edits quiet some time ago, but occasionally (read as very rarely) something new will make its way up on his page on SC. If you're not keeping an eye out for new mixes from the man, you're not likely to notice gems like this... previously undiscovered discovery on a Thursday evening then...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Press Play #77 - Norio Sato

Anyone who takes digging seriously knows Norio Sato and his Osaka based rarities store Rare Groove. Any time you see quality international heads playing in Japan, it won't be long before you also see Instagram posts of them in Norio's shop. Rare Groove has been open since 2007 and its stock primarily reflects an interest in music made for dancing; new, old and hard to find titles in any genre. Of course Norio is also a dj and he runs the expertly curated Metro club nights with Daisuke Kakimoto; their guests have included Cos/Mes, Tiago, Invisible City Dj's, Lexx, Altz, Mori Ra, Lovefingers, Land of Light, Basso, Chee Shimizu, Michael Kucyk a.k.a Noise In My Head, Michael Ozone, Steel Bonus, Roland Tings... the list goes on (it's a killer list if ever there was one). Norio has also played alongside Daniele Baldelli, Rahaan, Todd Terje, Joel Martin, Bepe Loda, Soft Rocks, and Mongolian Jet Set amongst others.

I feel incredibly lucky and deeply honoured to have Norio join the Press Play series, the mix is made entirely of Japanese records which makes it doubly special. It's a very fine thing too and as eclectic as you like; if you're anything like me there will be more than a few new additions to your wants/needs list.... Thank you very much Norio for this truly wonderful and uplifting beauty ... for the rest of ya, don't sleep!

press play #77 - norio sato - nippon no ongaku

Monday, April 28, 2014

turning you loose...

Landing on discerning shelves in a couple of weeks is this slice of wonderful mid tempo sweet soul; the label Psycho/Super Disco Edits is worth checking/ keeping an eye out for in general, and they have a nice website where u can do exactly that. Apparently the tracks not been heard by too many before and was sitting on some reel somewhere gathering dust (and value probably). Always surprises me that something this good can remain out of sight for so long...scorching!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

scapa flow

Shades of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull (sort of), on some golden pastoral folk trek... but played out by a Swedish (or Finnish), 80's band called Scapa Flow. Honestly this is not something i personally discovered, i dont even own the record... yet! In fact i saw this up on facebook or something, was curious and pursued it further. The Scapa Flow is a body of water where Vikings once harboured, somewhere in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Knowing this goes some way to explaining what an 80's band were doing traversing these particular waters at that particular time...kind of... Being one third hippy, i just love this.... the title track from their 1980 album.. prog not prog on a Monday night then.

Scapa Flow - Uuteen Aikan

Friday, April 25, 2014

Press Play #76 - Frank Booker

You can trust a Frank Booker record, it will make people dance. It's a fact. Being a digger by nature, his edits and productions always source something lesser known... a find, and he has that magic wherewithal to spin a deeply dance inducing track with it. I've seen the results, people getting down to something they've not heard before, going with it, feeling the groove and ultimately finding themselves giving over, flipping out, going to that place we all love to go on a good night out. 

So i had a little chat with the man about some things and he handed over a decidedly house mix for our Press Play series. A little bit of that raw, rough cut, Detroit deep for late night listening/ dancing/ whatever called 'House of Booker'. I love it! And i'm massively grateful for Frank dropping by. You'll find the interview below and below that, a link to Frank's House of fire.

What releases have u got coming up?

Releases coming up? I'm finishing an edit 12" for Disco Deviance (should be out in June), and doing another EP for Kolour LTD. And I'm quietly working away on a full length album, which is homeless (at the moment). Oh, I forgot to mention, Recloose is starting a new label (Rancho Deluxe) and I'm doing some work for them, including a remix for young upstarts Manuel Darquart, who are making some really good house. At some stage I'll hopefully be doing a collaboration with Recloose, my old Hit It & Quit It pal... And the guy I share an office with on my day job!

Can u tell us a bit more about the album? Will it be edits? Also what inspires u to create a new track and how do u go about the process?

Well there will be "sampling" (naturally!) as that's the key part of my process. but it won't be edits as such.... I'd prefer to make something that's a bit like a snapshot of how I dj.... so, some things there are quite mellow, as well as the more disco & house stuff.... but somehow put together in a way that is cohesive and makes sense as a whole package.... that's part of the challenge I think, as I've only ever done EPs or singles to this point.

In terms of inspiration and creating stuff, all sorts of things inspire me, new productions that I hear, to good DJ sets, to just being simply inspired to sit down with maschine, ableton or logic and see what happens from mucking around. As I've said, sampling is a big part of what I do naturally... so often the beginning of the process will be listening or digging, then sampling through the Urei and chopping it up within an inch of it's life... Ultimately - and strangely - I find the tracks I've done that seem to work best are the things that I've done quite quickly. In terms of finding the idea, executing it, and keeping it "raw"... whenever I spend too long on things, I tend to forget why I started it in the first place!

Ok one more thing. I recently played two tracks of yours off the Kat release, to a packed dance floor. To say they rocked the floor would be an understatement. So two things... Do you spend a lot of time digging? And what thoughts come up knowing that your releases have that kind of effect on people from really different cultures such as your own?

Thanks man! It's very inspiring for me to hear things like that. Obviously it's very isolated down here in the South Pacific, and while we have a good music culture, I often feel as though the music that I love (disco, boogie and so on) falls on deaf ears here... So in a way I think I try and imagine far off exotic places when I'm constructing these things. Which in it's own way is probably funny to people who think New Zealand is some kind of Island paradise!! It's very cool for me to think that something like the release on KAT - which was my attempt to do something "afro flavoured" (whatever that might be!) could work somewhere like in South Africa. 

In terms of digging, I'm definitely a vinyl junkie... I buy a lot from Really Groovy records, which is a bit of an institution here in Auckland (opened in the early 80s). I'm a bit of a newcomer to discogs, but making up for lost time! And I tend to grab new stuff from the obvious online places (Juno etc)... The shipping costs to NZ are appalling, but when you've gotta do, you gotta do it. Spoken like a true addict!
press play #76 - frank booker - house of booker

Friday, April 18, 2014


I dont know anything about Marju Kuut, I suspect she is the wife or sister of the very brilliant Uku Kuut ??? Well obviously there is a connection... Uku produced her 1992 album 'Zuke' for one. I'm a major fan of Uku and this strings heavy beauty by Marju popped up on his Souncloud feed earlier today (it is also downloadable for the moment). 'Mäng' was previously available on the 22 track compilation of her music called 'Raagus Sõnad' out in Estonia in 2005; it was written by American songwriter and musician Leon Russel. What a gem!

absolutely straight

I'm not breaking any new ground here, just highlighting a track that's been getting a fair bit of play at a.n.o.e. headquarters of late. Phantom Band were made up of a couple of ex Can members and some Dunkelziffers. According to Discogs they initially focused on the Fusion Jazz sound of late Can before shifting in an Art Rock direction. Thus their debut eponymous lp would be the one that peaks my interest most... Weirdly the album's soft blue, chalky, new age/world music sleeve feels disconnected from the good stuff inside it (maybe im reading it wrong); i somehow can't bridge the magic sounds of Hulger Czuckay, Dominik Von Senger, Helmutt Zerlett and Conny Plank with it's thin 80's veneer. Anyway, i been spinning 'Absolutely Straight' quite a bit... those drums, those keys, the spacey bits, it's inventive jaunt... it's anything but absolutely straight... check it if you don't know it..

Phantom Band - Absolutely Straight

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

planet of winds

Ralph Lundsten is a real favourite of mine, though mainly his 70's and early 80's records. Diggers know him well and many a leftfield Disco dj has been heard playing that amazing Discophrenia record. He's incredibly inventive and can weave a thick fog of scenic atmosphere's like few other, his music is also often filled with beautiful intricate and evolving melodies... this makes him easy to obsess over... which i do. So... here's 'The Planet Of Winds' from his 1977 lp with The Andromeda Allstars, an amazing easy funkin groove underpins this journey to far gone places. Huge!

Ralph Lundsten - The Planet Of Winds

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Press Play #75 - Asai

Japanese selector and producer Akihiro Asai aka Dj Asai drops in on a.n.o.e. with a drum heavy mix of serious quality. I first found out about Akihiro as one half of the edit duo Everybody Must Get Stoned or E.M.G.S. You can check them out on Soundcloud here, though you'll notice they haven't been all that busy of late. Back then i was blown away with their original take on things, i still am; some serious digging went down when putting their two 'Editors Must Get Stoned' ep's together. Long time readers will remember me ranting about them before, so i'll just add that they made a real impact on me.

Anyway Akihiro is probably better known these days as a resident dj for the fantastic Dawn parties at Grand Space Quark in Tokyo, where he has played alongside underground heavyweights like Kenji Takima, Dr Nishimura, Chida, Lee Douglas, the Idjut Boys, Shota Tanaka and Dicky Trisco amongst others... i mean, that's some serious cred right there. But 'Ese Ethno', his brilliant mix is all the convincing you'll need.... Huge thanks to Akihiro, i am honoured and very grateful sir. For the rest of you, grab this all styles gem, play repeatedly...
press play #75 - asai - ese ethno

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

once in a lifetime...

It seems obvious now that i know, but until a couple of months ago, it never occured to me to check out Robert Lamm's solo records, i wasnt even aware he had any... i'm slow lilke that. His only record from the 70's (all the others seem to be from the 90's onward) is called 'Skinny Boy', it's the one i found and it's the one that sparked the realisation. What followed the spark was a sort of burning hope that the record would have something along the lines of his more famous work with early Chicago burried somewhere within. Classics like 'Beginnings' and 'Questions 67 And 68' are amongst my all time favourite tracks; they get played regularly with great air guitar strumming and hippy dancing (... ok maybe not). Anyway it turns out 'Skinny Boy' is a smooth sort of record with occasional highs, there's a kind of Micheal Franks meets Jimi Tenor sort of atmosphere to much of its contents, though most of it fails to fully ignite (...for me). Until 'A Lifetime We' on the second side, which is lovely! It would fit well on any decent Balearic mix, though probably that's already happened, right? So... creamy solo beginnings on a Tuesday night...

Robert Lamm - A Lifetime We

Friday, March 14, 2014

galassia m81

The Astral Dimension's 'Galassia M81' is a choice Fabio Fabor produced album, if space is your place. Released in 1981 on Italian label BAM. My favourite Fabor album is his 1980 record 'Aquarium' which is on the Hard label (there's a post up about that from some years ago), but for trippy galactic synth music 'Gallasia' is the one to find. The title track is really beautiful.

The Astral Dimension - Galassia M81

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

hibiscus love

Serious Record Alert! New York based label Alliance Upholstery are about to release their debut 12". It's the kind of record that will fit perfectly amongst your Andras Fox, Uku Kuut, Jex Opolis, Benny Badge and Moon B sides. 'Hibiscus Pacific' from Greeen Linez sounds exactly as you'd imagine a track called 'Hibiscus Pacific' would; a touch of Boogie, a little JazzFunk, a smudge of lo fi House and more than a fistful of Japanese supermarket Muzak. It's pure gold, the way i hear it, and it fizzes and bubbles with a special warm shimmering energy. If that's not enough it's got remixes from Jacques Renault, Socerer and most importantly Moon B who delivers typical icy heat! 

Green Linez are a brilliant collaboration from Tokyo based, Diskotopia label boss Matt Lyne and Chris Greenberg from British 60's band Hong Kong. I recommend scouring Youtube for more of their tracks and some excellent videos. You might start here with the promo for 'Hibiscus'

Label boss Eli Cohen tells me the name Alliance Upholstery comes from his dad's store in Springfield, MA. Describing the label's spirit, he says 'I used to strip furniture there for years. It fits the ethos of the label because we want to take old music (or music that sounds old) and update it in the same way that you would remove the fabric, replace the foam, and recover a piece of furniture'. It's a label i'm certainly going to pay a lot of attention to. You'll find pre-orders are available in Rush Hour and at Juno, amongst others... Do not miss this dreamy Green Linez release.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Press Play #74 - Stupid Human

'Gang of Wolves', the new ep from Stupid Human is in the shops. It's probably doing very well on the charts too... and for good reason... you have it already right? 3 slinky, Disco edged, bearded beauties make up exactly the kind of EP one expects from the Human (hear for yourself here if u havent already done so). It should go without saying that you need to get this toothy edit cluster into your collection.

So i bothered the Human, to answer a few questions and to hand over a new mix for our Press Play series. He's featured in the collection before, back in June 2010, just after he released his second 12"; you can read about it and download it here. The questions and answers follow below, after which you'll find a link to his brilliant mix (it's a real repeat player and you'll need some lino on yer floor). Big thanks go out to the man for his wonderful contribution, I would be nothing if it weren't for the kindness of the great people who bring it for a.n.o.e.

What made you go back to putting out an ep of edits?... I mean dont get me wrong, we want them and it's a great ep! - Thanks, I think it was because i was messing around with a few things and before i knew it i had enough for an EP; the tracks really complemented each other so i thought why not, i love editing but i also want to produce too and i've been doing that with some having suceess and some being not so well received. The distro warned me that original material is a tougher game to play and it is, and rightly so.

How has making this fantastic series of edits influenced your original work? - Edits give you ideas and sometimes if you just use a sample, it's that whole is it an edit or an original work so i suppose they feed off each other.

I personally got very excited to see a record of yours come out on Running Back... will u be working with them again? What is the plan re - your original material? anything new soon? - I hope so, but at the moment i'm just trying to refine what it is i'm doing, it's a personal battle, i think i need to work with some people to make it really work well, i've got a thing coming out on a new label which i did with a good friend of mine Richard Kenney. We dj together and go out now and then and he's really good at crystalising the moment when we're in the studio. Had really excellent feedback on the stuff we've done, so it's worked out really well. So i'm kind of working solo but also working with trusted friends.

Can u give us 5 Disco records that have been on your playlist the longest - Tough one, i rotate my box quite often, i get bored easily, but that said here's 5 that get proper regular plays...

Vakula - New Romantics
Nebraska - Soho Grand
Adjowa - Red Leather
Double Hill & Jerome C - A little More
Mighty Pope - Sweet Blindness

Can u do the same as above with 5 edits?
Disco & Co - Cold Coke
Rick Wilhite - B1 Saldubsa 2

Glowing Palms - Ket Set
that KZA double 12" Dig & Edit

Free Association - Love Affair       

press play #74 - stupid human - rideout

Sunday, March 02, 2014

ghost tapes

For those of you who arent friends with me on facebook, you may be interested in a mix i did for Balearic Social not so long ago. It wasn't an official Sad Ghost thing, though much of the music is exactly the kind of thing the Ghost plays. Check it here on  Soundcloud if u keen.