Miss Represented (Party Central)

Laughing or whimpering? Blood stained five quid notes. Cheap chaffing leather. A beaming Patrick Cowley. The wrong party at the right time. Forgetting where you are on day two.

The above were a few extremely half arsed notes that I made upon listening to this basement sleazefest for the first time. It’s a darkly gleeful diary of lessons learnt the hard way, helmed by an artist who has, to quote, “lived her life on the dark side of Scotland’s acid house scene” and who is ably co-produced by a chug-mode Thomas Von Party (known for his work with Multi Culti and Turbo).

There’s a lot to love: the ultra pragmatic ‘The Truth Is Out There’, ‘Crack That Habit’ and ‘The Prowler’ are all throbbing mid and uptempo killers, but for me it’s the lo fi nihilism of Johnny Aux’s mix of ‘Crack That Habit’ that makes me want to go out for, like, ever (which might or might not have been the record’s intention). This is V V V dangerous and worth your time if you like a lot of sleaze with your strobe light. And who doesn’t? You can buy it here.


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Evans Pyramid ‘Never Gonna Leave You’ (Joakim / Max Pask Disco Mix)

Here lies a killer vinyl-only edit of Evans Pyramid ‘Never Gonna Leave You’. Yes yes, it’s all about new music… Except when it’s not. Let’s start by stating there are countless edits of records out there that never needed editing. Someone way more famous than me once said that by removing the cheese you might also remove the contrast, meaning without the dodgy bit you might not recognise the good bit! Or something like that. Anyway, there was definitely a glut of edits that came out for a while that just sounded like late nineties house records without the sub (or slow Ron Hardy edits without the soul)… You know the ones.

This bad boy does not belong to that group. Evans Pyramid’s 1978 underground bomb was pretty poorly mixed and mastered in its original form, with an arrangement that all happens a little too quickly for a lot of contemporary DJs. Certainly a little too quickly for the record to be the megaton serotonin detonation that it was always meant to be and now is.

French legend Joakim and Brooklyn-based Max Pask need no introduction and needless to say this has been handled with a deft touch that comes from a hefty dollop of experience and huge respect for the original material. Bien joué fellas!


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Lexx ‘Eye 1-2’ feat Asé

I met Lexx aka Alexander Storrer once many moons ago: he was one of the first people I interviewed for Heads Down (see the interview here) in the early days of the blog. I remember we finished the interview after about 30 minutes and then sat around drinking red wine listening to tunes… It was one of those rare situations where you just click with someone out of the blue. We were both golden era hip hop kids whose tastes had veered way leftfield as time had gone on.

Lexx is one of those producers who’s progress has been forensically followed for years by heads for any sign of an LP. Over the years I’ve given him the very occasional good-humoured ribbing online for failing to deliver more music (pre his superb Phantom Island collaborative label). I should’ve kept quiet because the album that has emerged is immaculately conceived, painstakingly produced and is, quelle surprise, a coherent album rather than a pot pourri of tracks, as is the reality with a lot of producer/DJs LP efforts (mine included).

This horizontally-inclined beauty is from his upcoming long-player aptly named Cosmic Shift, on the Phantom Island imprint. Featuring the album-stealing Zurich-based singer Asé, it effortlessly pulses along with rich synth flourishes and beautifully represented live instrumentation. It really is gorgeous, and for me the high-water mark on an album with a slew of stellar moments.

If you want to find out more about the album, go to Apiento’s Test Pressing: Piers Harrison has painted a broader view of an album no one should really be without, as the promise of a long Western Hemisphere summer stretches ahead.


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Ruf Dug Presents The Committee ‘Down 2 It’ ft. Watson

OK, so this isn’t fresh-out-of-the-box (it was released back in April), but it’s super fresh. Newness for the sake of newness is not really what Heads Down is about. This is a stone cold mid-tempo basement detonation, period! Once again, this is not speculative; this record is tried, tested and certified at Body Electric. That might not mean a huge amount to you if you’re outside New Zealand, but let’s just say it’s a demanding dancefloor. It’s a set up banger par excellence. The project is the work of Balearic rudeboy Ruf Dug plus a host of Rhythm International associates and is just one song off an extremely listenable and lively EP.

The full Ruf Dug Presents The Committee EP features vocals from Bradley Zero, Chris Watson (on this track), Natalie Wildgoose, Sienna Mustafa and Nadina. Produced by Mali Baden Powell, it was recorded over two weeks in the South East London label’s in-house studio.

At a different time in a record industry past, this kind of record would get you a major deal. It’s a modern slice of pop-not-pop: lyrically naive (in an extremely appealing way) yet monstrously heavyweight… this record will live well beyond most from this cyclically regurgitating era. Buy buy buy.


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Rebles ‘Sweetest Taboo’ (Club Mix)

Ah Soundway. Can this label do no wrong? I could dedicate a post to the towering power of their recent output alone (Steve Monite? Flamingo Pier? Hinde? Etc etc), but I’ll refrain because this isn’t a PR release. Still, right now if it’s got Soundway Records on it it means you should definitely pause Big Little Lies or whatever and listen to it immediately.

This brand new reissue is of the 1986 Soca version (and my own favourite, the ‘Club Mix’) of Sade’s classic is by Caribbean band Reble (also known as D’Rebels Band). I’m pretty sure Soundway have sprayed each record with Hawaiian Tropic, it’s so evocative of rickety deckchair days and warm sun on your skin.

Not if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere mind you (where I am), where there’s a genital-inverting gale blowing outside and a cacophony of guttural coughing everywhere I go. Still, it’s nice to dream that I’m bethonged in some wild Caribbean end-of-civilisation type scenario, staggering around with a half-split Dark & Stormy in a plastic cup, simultaneously laughing and crying at the sheer gorgeousness of this tune and the hopelessness of my dancing (try getting that image out of your head).

Can’t wait to punt this out t’floor on the 22nd at Body Electric with Frank Booker


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Carrot Green & Selvagem ‘Ossain’

As Heads Down has been out of commission for the last 4 years (!) I feel that’s it’s not too out of order to have a little retrospective on some of the tunes that during the last couple of years have turned out to be weapons-grade club destroyers of a more underground nature. One of the best things about having a jumping club night (Body Electric @ Club 121) is that it takes the speculative nature out of this, meaning when I say something’s a ‘club banger’ I mean it’s frickin certified, kid.

One of the tunes that literally never stops getting played and is actually a kind of green light, ‘let’s go’ record at around 11.45pm is the Brazilian Carrot Green & Selvagem’s 2016 version of ‘Ossain’. There isn’t a guest DJ who hasn’t asked me what this organic, driving mid tempo monster is (except Flamingo Pier who already has it) and it just ignites the room in a kind of deep, musical PERFECTLY produced kind of way. When I say perfect, I mean perfect drum, bass and synth sounds, perfect arrangement, perfect mix. Perfect.

Most of the excellent Disco Halal label’s material is available digitally, except this and the edits… it’s those big expensive samples that keep it strictly vinyl. They sensibly recently repressed it and I’d imagine it’s available at most of your favourite record spots. Basically I couldn’t recommend it more; reflected by the fact that I’ve bought a further 3 copies of the bad boy.


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9th House ‘Keeping Me Up’

This vinyl-only gem from W&O Street Tracks has been made to satiate Nu Groove loving ‘real’ house evangelists, the kind who sign off their text messages with ‘Keep On’ and cry every time a Braxton Holmes 12″ is bootlegged. Still, what’s wrong with that, eh? It samples Maxwell (yes yes, hear me out) but you can’t really make out what he’s mumbling on about- it’s more a vibe yeah? I’ve just bought a copy direct from Bandcamp because everywhere else seems to have sold out in (from what I can tell) about 3.5 seconds. It’s very musical, solidly produced and features the kind of Maurice Fulton-esque clap programming that makes your more discerning lollipop-sucking rave monkey bite their bottom lip and slap the ceiling. You might be able to (there was a couple left as of tonight) buy it here. Can’t wait to road test this bad boy at Body Electric with my old pal Frank Booker on the 22nd…


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Roisin Murphy ‘Incapable’

It seems I am officially a Roisin Murphy super fan. I’m not sure when this happened. The shrine I’ve built in my attic next to my Morgan Geist place of worship (which is starting to look a bit dusty tbh) is looking very nice! Some shreds of a Comme Des Garcons dress she wore on tour in Japan that I bought on the Yahoo auctions, nicely juxtaposed with the original two inch tape of ‘Sing It Back’. I’m even considering kidnapping Maurice Fulton so he can tell me studio anecdotes at gunpoint. If anyone has access to a lock of her hair, please, hook a brother up. Jokes.

Anyway, I know I have already banged on about this tune (only last week on FB in fact), but I debuted this DJ Parrot (Crooked Man) produced destroyer at my night Body Electric at Club 121 last weekend, and the response was outrageous- an instant BE anthem. Absolutely zero exaggeration (as you can see, I’m not prone to exaggeration). This is the official release so you can now stream, dream and idolise like me (officially).


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Apiento & Co ‘The Light Machine’

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For all you suckers in the western hemisphere this record by Test Pressing’s Paul Byrne and Sade’s Andrew Hale will almost seem like a terrible taunt as the long dark tunnel of winter closes in. Trust me, I’ve been there. But if you happen to be sitting smugly in the southern hemisphere (or anywhere vaguely equatorial) this music actually seems to beckon you to the local beach, headphones on, to squint into the sun as the gulls squark and swoop over the twinkling water.

This is so Balearic Andrew Hogge from ESP should create a special edition 12″ which is subtly dabbed with Hawaiian Tropic. OK perhaps not (although I do love that smell). It is of course proven that nothing triggers memories like your olfactory senses: memories of thunderstorms over Es Vedra, driving a rental with hot sandy feet and hearing Carl Craig’s mix of ‘Falling Down’ for the first time at Space.

This record here works that White Island magic for me.

 


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Al Dobson Jr ‘Santiago Black’ (Ptaki Version)

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Well, well, well. A new record I really love. I’m not going to reel into some verbose soliloquy about how the bassline makes me feel the same electrified joy at finding a copy of Knave hidden in the bushes outside the school bus shelter thirty years ago. I mean it might- I’m not at all sure what the woman’s singing about, but it sounds pretty carnal to me. Anyway, the version in question is by Polish rising stars Ptaki, and it’s a cracker. It fizzes and crackles with an analogue hiss that totally cossets the teeth-grinding grittiness of this track. Thanks to the inimitable Red Rack’em for introducing me to this today… Great to see you Danny. Touchdown!

 

 


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