Hailed as one of the 50 best ambient albums of all time, 'Vernal Equinox' was the first commercially released work by Jon Hassell, originally put out by Lovely Music in 1977. It was also the debut of a pioneering new form of music that would become known as “fourth world”: a subtle blend of field recordings, electric jazz, ambience and global music influences. Hassell’s trademark FX-soaked trumpet is carefully embellished by a studio ensemble including the master Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and David Rosenboom on synth. The result is a quiet, meditative and highly original work of outstanding beauty.
Originally released in 1999, 'Oktember' gets reissued on Voigt's own label Kompakt, pressed on 180 gram vinyl with its original artwork. This reissue features 'Tal 90' (instead of the original A side) - a predecessor to the Gas project originally recorded in 1990 under the alias TAL, and was released as a part of the Pop Ambient 2002 collection. With its sampled strings, horns and guitars, 'Tal 90' soundtracks a more uplifting side to what is typically accustomed to being the sound of Gas. The title track 'Oktember' is a dense, hypnotic affair that conjures a unique vision of dub techno that few have been able to replicate.
Upon its original release in 2000, 'Vocalcity' was a totally unexpected turn from the artist best known as Vladislav Delay, who'd by then established his reputation as a producer of abstract dub techno for Chain Reaction. The Finnish artist's knack for shifty rhythm programming, teamed up with vocalist Johanna Livanainen, revealed the core influence of sensuous, soulful deep house and garage on Sasu Ripatti's sound. Twenty years later it's fair to say the six tracks of 'Vocalcity' have withstood the test of time.
A new record from the legendary Pepe Bradock is always cause for excitement. His releases over the last couple of years have been especially good - less experimental (but still quirky) and much more aimed for the dancefloor. The first chapter of 'Dactylonomy' is two cuts of strutting deep house that is reminiscent of Bradock's late 90s output.
The Fear Ratio
They Can't Be Saved
Usually known for uncompromising techno, James Ruskin and Mark Broom, have created their own signature style working under their The Fear Ratio moniker. On their second album, 'They Can't Be Saved', Broom and Ruskin flex their techno muscles ever further beyond the dance floor giving us abstract synths, heavy basslines and experimental soundscapes that fit somewhere in between IDM, electronic and ambient, making for a compelling listen.
Sam Shepard releases two new versions of one of the highlights from last years album 'Crush'. 'Bias' began to morph and expand during Floating Points' live shows, resulting in 'The Mayfield Depot' mix, named after the Manchester venue which the mix is based around. Adding an killer acid line towards the end of the track and snatches of crowd noise from Shepard's mic, the new mix perfectly captures the intense energy of 'Bias' and Floating Points live performances.
Selbstportrait Wahre Liebe
Hans-Joachim Roedelius the German experimental rock producer and member of legendary groups Harmonia and Cluster, returns with a new volume in his Selbstportrait (Self-Portrait) series. The first three volumes of 'Selbstportrait', recorded between 1979-1980, utilized a minimal sound palette (Farfisa, drum machine and tape delay) and turned out as some of Roedelius' most lasting works. Forty years after these initial recordings, 'Selbstportrait Wahre Liebe' strikes a similar intimate and reflective tone.
The final installment in De:tuned's 10 part vinyl series celebrating a decade of releasing forward thinking techno. Part 10 is a real treat - Plaid provides a remix of Humanoid's classic 'Stakker', while Erik Van Den Broek (aka Shiver), Steven Rutter (aka B12) and Lone each gives us unreleased material. One for the heads!
Annual Flowers in Color
Initially released in 2016 as a private pressing on cassette, this ambient gem from John Elliot gets a much needed vinyl pressing via Amethyst Sunset. A collection of demos and unreleased material from 2011 through 2015, which Elliott calls "a scrapbook documenting some of the fruitful experiments happening in private over the years." If you're not familiar with John Elliot's output, 'Annual Flowers in Color' is the ideal album to dive into.
R&S sub-label, Apollo Records, gives us the latest from Italian ambient maestro Gigi Masin. ‘Calypso’ is inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia and its alleged real life counterpart Gavdos – also known unofficially as Calypso – a place of extreme beauty, which upon visiting had a profound effect on Masin. A thoroughly absorbing and soothing listen.
New music from Roman Flugel is always something to look forward to, and his latest stands out as one of his best to date. Released via Gerd's Running Back label, 'Garden Party' features four cuts of catchy, uplifting deep house with subtle nods to Flugel's musical influences (80's Italo/synth and 90's bleep), while still keeping it fresh and interesting.
Multila' was the third album by Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti under his Vladislav Delay moniker. It compiles the 'Huone' and 'Ranta' 12" EPs Ripatti released on Basic Channel's Chain Reaction label in 1999 & 2000. 'Multila' features six murky dub ambient tracks and the 22-minute techno odyssey 'Huone'. 20 years after its original release on CD album, these timeless recordings are now finally available for the first time as a double-vinyl edition.
Nightmares On Wax
Released four years after NOW's 1991 debut album, 'Smoker's Delight' became the album that put George Evelyn on the map. 'Smokers Delight' moved away from the bleep techno that NOW was initially known for, to fully expand on the downtempo tracks that were hinted at on the debut. Limited edition reissue via Warp Records on green and red vinyl with two previously unheard bonus tracks.
Future Sound Of London
Mental Cube EP
Sought after tracks from the early 1990 by Mental Cube aka The Future Sound Of London. Firm dance floor favorites, these four tracks displayed Dougans & Cobain's signature sound before they went on to form the beloved FSOL project.
Despite having countless remix, production and writing credits, the 'FK EP' was Francois K's first release under his own name. A deep house gem that sounds as good today as it did when it was originally released in 1995. An essential for your collection!