Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mick Chillage : FAXology PS 08/122

I've been meaning for sometime to write an article on Fax records but I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be writing an article about my own release for the label.

Fax records have been a major influence on me ever since I discovered the cult electronic imprint back in 1993. While so many labels have come and gone since its inception in 1992 Fax still continue with the same open minded approach and high quality standard, breaking new artists and giving Pete himself and many veterans of the scene a platform to release cutting edge and experimental music.

Fax continue to release on CD and focus on full albums while many independent labels struggle to survive with just MP3 releases. Over the years the label has pioneered completely new formats like the MP3 CD [several albums on one disc] and double discs with DTS and regular stereo versions included, so with names like, Klaus Schulze, Anthony Rother, Ritchie Hawtin, Move D and even the godfather of ambient himself Brian Eno and many collaborations with Pete, its no surprise to the labels continued success.

Over the years some of my productions have had a Fax records feel, not that I ever consciously set out to emulate the sound, I guess its down to the fact that I have listened to so much of Fax over the years, it just instinctively appears in the creative process. So it has always been a dream that one day I may release on the label, I've had plenty of friends and followers of my music saying "That has a strong Fax vibe" or "why don't you send some music to Namlook"

So Mick Chillage "FAXology" is a result of me psyching myself up to send Peter a demo for Fax records, as the title suggest the CD is collection of Fax inspired pieces which Pete felt would suit a release to celebrate the labels fast approaching 20th year. Pete said while listening to the works he began to reminisce about the early days of Fax with albums like Broadway 2350 etc and felt the time was right for such a release.

So I am absolutely delighted to be part of this incredible legacy and to present a collection of my Fax inspired works just before Fax celebrate its 20th birthday.

Mick Chillage FAXology CD is out 14/06/2011

Check the official info here

FAXology PS08/122 Teaser Clips forthcoming on Fax [Germany] by mick chillage

Pre listen on itunes now

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Secret Cinema "Minerals"

Secret Cinema AKA Jeroen Verheij releases his latest long player "Minerals" on the recently formed Netherlands based Gem Records. The album is released on vinyl and CD. The tracks on Minerals, are inspired by the hardness, color and material of various minerals.

The CD version comes with two albums disc one "Night On Earth" covers the tech/house vibes Jeroen is more associated with and then the ambient/experimental collaboration "Moving Earth" with Mental Youth..

Night on earth opens with "Exploration" a dreamy ambient intro before heading into the deep tech house of "Smooth Talc" its layered poly rhythmic groove and funky arpeggio's and swelling synth stabs and melodic organ refrains make this an blinding opener. "Crystal System" effortlessly flows in next, a bouncy and hypnotic deep bass driven growler that cruises along with some tastefully filtered and delayed cymbals, vocal stabs and shimmering Detroit-esque keys keep this emotive and deeply funky

The deepness continues with "Turquoise" with its solid house groove, filtered alien funk and a mutating yet incredibly infectious organ hook keeps it building. "Calcite Night" ventures into some serious tech-jazz.

Things get slightly sinister yet extremely deep with the off kilter afro tribal vibes of "Moms Scale" its a rather dark and hypnotic mantra.. "Star Sapphire" is an absolute killer techno track reminiscent of The Black Dogs "Bytes" period. "Smoky Quartz" takes us in a more minimal direction but its warped acidic bass line is almost psychosis inducing but with the help of sweeping cinematic swells it brings you back to a normal mind state.

Towards the end we have "Caught In Amber" another acidic bleep treat with an almost jazz like feel but never leaving the dance floor. we are then given a little breather with the beautifully haunting Interlude "Passage" before finishing off with the early IDM inspired "Ruby FM" which ends "Night On Earth" with a subtly melancholic vibe..

Disc two "Moving Earth" is an ambient mix created from the source material on the tracks off disc one, Dirk-Jan Hanegraaff and Robert Kroos also known as Mental Youth, collaborated with Verheij on this collection of deeply haunting yet futuristic ambient textures. For the maximum effect, this is one for personal listening in a horizontal position with the lights out.

Overall "Minerals" is a stunningly produced release, although disc one "Night On Earth" is extremely club friendly I feel its one of those techno/house music albums that will work for home listening, perfect for preparing for a night of clubbing or for long journeys with only your headphones to keep you company, because of its mixed format its ideal for parties, a guaranteed floor burner with an underground edge often venturing into the more darker/experimental side of club culture. The inclusion of a second ambient album will only further delight the more open minded music fans.. 9/10

Minerals is out now on Gem Records on Vinyl and double CD..

Stream the album here @128kbps
Secret Cinema - Minerals: CD1 mixed (128Kbps) by GEM Records

Friday, May 13, 2011

Soma Coma 5 Various Compilation

Various Soma Coma 5

Glasgow based Soma records are celebrating their 20Th birthday this year, to mark this occasion they are releasing their 5Th Soma Coma compilation.
Soma maybe best known for their techno and house music releases from the likes of Slam, Funk de void and many many more but the label is certainly no stranger to other forms of electronic music, most recently they have ventured into the full on ambient album territory with the ambient classic "Music For Real Airports" by The Black Dog.

So the fifth in the Soma Coma series yet again displays a rather eclectic range of electronic music with some previously released tracks and some new artists to the Soma roster..

Some of the highlights are, the albums opener "Later Vexations" by The Black Dog, the track effortlessly combines beautiful shifting pads and electronic bleeps with distant melodic flourishes and then a deep bassline and a minimal downtempo groove appear, keeping this haunting track evolving with a graceful momentum.

Recent newcomer Joe Starwarz delivers an emotive string soaked epic "Cry" which rides along a deep dub tech structure and subtle jazz breaks. Hatikvah moves us with his thought provoking electric piano composition on "Daedalus". From Decimal we have the dreamy uplifting and infectiously melodic "The Lesson of Hope" which takes me back to the days of labels like "Recycle or Die".

Another new comer to the label, Vakama AKA Conor Dalton, debuts his mesmerising "Yemaya", its a deep grinding dub tech epic set adrift with a Steve Hillage style solo guitar jam which kinda makes you think this is what the Orb and David Gilmore's recent collaboration should have sounded like.

Gene Farris serves up "Smoke Session Pause" which is a Delicious downtempo funk jam, that wouldn't sound out of place on a Nightmares On Wax album. Harvey Mckay's "Life" returns us to the more emotive side of the album, a rather short but delicate and haunting track.

Counter Plan treats us with a melodic yet deeply soulful slab of electro minimalism that is "The Morning After" and in a similar vein "Sleazy Listening" by Chaser is an excellent shimmering electro jazz jam with a deep funk vibe. Universal Principles keeps thing's in the funk arena with "Dons Different Ducks" Smokey Keys, throbbing bass and a tastefully modulated synth line sit nicely on top of some classic breaks all designed to keep your head nodding blissfully.

The album finishes with the rather quirky minimal hip hopper "The Strip" which has a synth melody that reminds me of Lalo Schiffrins "Enter The Dragon".

So a truly solid collection of downtempo cuts from Scotland finest electronica label which will suit any mood and one that certainly displays Soma's dedication to quality music, here's to another twenty years!!!

The Album will be released on CD and digital 23rd May