October 26, 2015

Okokon - Turkson Side LP

 Beautifully Designed 1LP, 180g Vinyl Just waking up and everything sounding slower. Holes in the wall. The unknown in the familiar. The shock of the new. Just-turned rubble. Thick clouds of recall. Muted high-life, de-centered hip-hop, and disparate conversation. Heavy, sinking jazz and dissected infomercials. Too much chewing gum? Not quite anything, or half of something. Reminds me of. Smells like…? Turkson Side is Africanus Okokon’s first album. It is almost entirely sample-based, made largely within a simple, custom-made playback software with each track recorded in one take with very little editing. “Wrake” is the only exception, a recording of him playing an Ethopian krar inside his house. Africanus is no stranger to the label. Primarily a visual artist with background in video, animation, and collage, he’s designed most of Other People’s recent site graphics and a number of release covers. In part, this album as Okokon is a translation of a developed aesthetic to an unfamiliar medium. Like his collage and animation work , it’s rough-hewn yet deliberate, consciously inclusive of digital processing and sampling artifacts for their unique texture and visceral affect. Throw the means aside, though, and what you’ve got is an evocative collection of craggy, trance-inducing concréte-poetry that act equally well as soundscapes for late-night or early-morning. “Asphalt” starts things, a near-fifteen-minute “multi-movement” (if you will) piece that moves through zones of blasted commercial intro FX, alien telecast High-Life, gibberish spoken word, and xylophonic skeleton dance march music, lingering at every interstice. Shorter, more singular pieces follow, each swathing and detailing a particular rhythmic structure with choice loops: the detritus of film soundtracks, warped conversation, gain-pumped jazz-shuffles, and old, mystic drum tapes that glitch and squeeze through the software’s un-sanded synapses. Higher volumes are recommended to bring out the recor


 

October 12, 2015

Roman Flügel - Monday Brain - (2x12")

 Very few artists have influenced the sound of house and techno as much as Roman Flügel. Having been active since the early 90’s under various aliases, few have been revered so widely as a DJ, live performer, producer, remixer, intellectual and record label owner. The record labels he helped found, Ongaku, Klang and Playhouse, are pivotal imprints in the electronic music scene, and his ability to gracefully incorporate and master most styles of 4/4 has seen him create a range of genres from techno, house, electro, ambient, IDM, downtempo, and acid house. Respected both as a solo artist and collaborator, this veteran of the scene has just ticked the label’s bucket list with an incredible double vinyl for Hypercolour. 6 tracks of highly polished techno/electronica cover a range of tempos and styles on ‘Monday Brain’, a double pack vinyl to be released this October. Flügel demonstrates his ability to morph his sound with the times, and displays his breadth of sound design magnificently over the release. Cosmic IDM sensibilities are explored on EP opener ‘Teenage Engineering’, building in harmony and texture, and a fine example of Flügel’s melodic sound, whilst ‘Make It Happen’ captures more psychedelic touches over a solid groove. ‘Man Sees The Face God Sees The Heart’ goes as deep as the title suggests, rhythmic sounds melodically ride over minimal beats and luscious bass in a stirring slice of modern electronica, whilst ‘Church Of Dork’ wigs out like the very best Chicago house records, its synth motif worming around the jacked up beats. ‘Picnic For Players’ comes ready with blissful and melancholic riffs, dipped in warm