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ALBUMS REVIEWS 7.0


Jon Convex Idoru Convex Industries Retro workout


‘Idoru’ continues Instra:mental member Damon Kirkham’s swap of the new — drumstep — for the old: Underground Resistance and Drexciya-style electro. It might seem like a move in line with UK bass’ current mining of dance history, but there’s an urgency to ‘Four Faces’, ‘Aversion’ and ‘Desolation’ that suggests Kirkham just needed to reconnect with trusty sources of inspiration and found his in vintage Detroit. With fellow Instra:Mentalist Alex Green mining not dissimilar ground under his Boddika guise, you might wonder why the duo needed to go solo, but Convex takes the sound of ‘Resolution 653’ down a more introspective, moodier alley, most notably on ‘About Her’, only really descending into pastiche when creepy ‘80s vocals are allowed in (the Breakage-featuring ‘No Love’). It might lack ambition, but the faithfulness is ironically what makes ‘Idoru’ so strong. Sunil Chauhan


Hideo Kobayashi Underground Business APT International Back to business


Less an album, arguably, than a collection of solid club tracks, but frankly who cares? Whether or not we’re missing a couple of downtempo numbers or beatless interludes matters not. Japanese producer Kobayashi has been a linchpin in the country’s techno and house scene for two decades now (and a reliable member of APT International’s roster too since 2009), so he’s earned the right to conduct his sonic explorations as he sees fit on this, his second album proper. ‘Snow Monkeys’ lays it down from the off, a thunderous, percussive thing. ‘Dica’ veers towards house after an exhaustingly intense opening, all brassy stabs, but not at the expense of shaking, sashaying funk. ‘Small Forest’, too, eases up on the techno and delivers sweet, soulful electronic respite. ‘Mori’ concludes, a shuffling, rhythmic builder doubtless already in the boxes of label mates Dennis Ferrer and Kerri Chandler. Ben Arnold


8.0


quIckIES


Jessie Ware Devotion PMR 7.5


Believe the hype?


A few solo tracks and collabs with SBTRKT and Sampha later, we already have Jessie Ware’s full-length album. Does it deliver? If high-end r&b borrowing as much from Bat For Lashes as it does Prince is your thing, sure. Watertight production comes from Julio Bashmore, Dave ‘The Invisible’ Okumu and Kid Harpoon, but Jessie shines brightest. Adam Saville


The Flaming Lips


The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends Bella Union 6.0


Out with the in crowd


Ke$ha, Prefuse 73 and Nick Cave walking into psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips’ studio sounds less like an album than the start of a joke. And these collaborations, which also feature Erykah Badu and Bon Iver and veer from garage rock rackets to sublime gospel-tinged folkers, are something not everyone is going to ‘get’. Paul Clarke


Zed Bias presents


Yannah Valdevit Equilibrium Tru Thoughts 7.0


Credit swap


As a seal of approval Zed Bias Presents Yannah Valdevit is sterling; as an artist name, a little misleading. For whilst the UK bass producer has done a great job behind the mixing desk, the jazzy torch songs, bumping house and skipping two-step Croatian singer Valdevit has crafted for ‘Equilibrium’ are glittering enough. Paul Clarke


Taragana Pyrama Tipped Bowls Kompakt 8.0


Bananas in Pyramas 7.5


Greeen Linez Things That Fade Diskotopia Cocktail party


‘Things That Fade’, the debut full-length of Chris Greenberg (of Hong Kong In The ‘60s) and Matt Lyne (Tokyo-based producer A Taut Line), is an album of soothing summer glamour and fantasy. The pair execute a thick and lush slant on boogie, the lolling bass and softly prickling guitar of second track ‘Palm Coast Freeway’ showing they’ve got a hankering for the honey-ed, rose-tinted world of the West Coast. ‘Hibiscus Pacific’ was made for long highway drives, there’s a sun-kissed sheen to the uptempo ‘Fantasy Glide’, and the languid ‘Forgotten Shores’ stretches itself out like a sunbather on an exotic beach. It’s definitely one- dimensional, but the dedication to so perfectly evoking a certain mood is to be toasted. Preferably on a beach at sunset with a cocktail. Tamara el Essawi


DFRNT Fading Echodub Great but not DFRNT


Joining vowel-hating exponents of edgy electronica SBTRKT and BNJMN, Edinburgh’s DFRNT (aka producer Alex Cowles) presents his second set of thunderous, undulating bass, and eerie, tingling ambience following 2009’s ‘Metafiction’, and his rather generous extended EP ‘Emotional Response’ for Tricksta’s Nu-Directions label. ‘Fading’ comes on his own Echodub imprint, and it’s a thing of beauty from front to back. The impossibly lush opener ‘Silent Witness’ sprawls over eight minutes, all arppegiated bleeps and ambitious soundscapery. The tempo frequently rises, nevermore ecstatically than on ‘El Spirito’, a shimmering, dubby anthem. ‘That’s Interesting’ is Good Looking era drum & bass without the blistering breaks, substituted instead for a dubby 4/4. ‘Deep Into It’ one might term intelligent garage, while ‘In You Go’ is a languid dubstepper layered thickly with enveloping layers of sound, distant vocals and autumnal lushness. Savour it. Ben Arnold


066 8.5


Kompakt reaches once more across the border to Denmark, as it has for other acts on its roster like Jatoma and Kenton Slash Demon. Taragana Pyrama, also known as Nick Eriksen, appears to be made for the Cologne imprint. ‘Tipped Bowls’ nails Kompakt’s USP squarely, a blend of off-kilter house music, blissful downtempo and atmospheric ambience. Ben Arnold


Jet Project So Fly Snatch Records 8.0


So Fly, so good


The latest promising dance act to emerge from Belfast, Jet Project hit an immediate high note with their debut album, mixing lashings of classic Chicago attitude with crisp, contemporary production. Some excellent acid-dashed, punched-up tracks, such as ‘Alright’ and ‘So Fly’, show the duo’s judgement to be top- notch. Tristan Parker


Dan Deacon America Domino 6.5


Beardy but bonkers


More is less for odd-ball electro-folk soloist Dan Deacon on sixth LP ‘America’. Less clarity, that is, as the cacophony of synth distortion recreates the sound of Animal Collective played on your grandmother’s stereo. Beardy noise- meets-Boys Noize on a bonkers but brave homage to The US of A. Not for everyone. Adam Saville


repeAtTHE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE...


Mr G State Of Flux Rekids 8.5


Loose, heady percussive house from a venerable master.


www.djmag.com


Shed The Killer 50 Weapons 8.5


Cyborgian drones are building an empire on Shed’s sophomore LP.


Guy Gerber Fabric 64 Fabric 8.5


Sublimely hypnotic techno instalment of the Fabric series.


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