Yogi’s Choice Cuts
iamCrü’s vinyl-addict reveals the tracks giving him all the feels at the moment
Humberto Polar & Mike Sandoval
Six Asymmetric Studies (Mini LP vinyl & digital promo)
The ambiguity of the track titles – the six cuts are simply identified by Roman numerals prefixed by ‘Study’ – is perhaps a clue as to the experimental musical content that lies within. It’s fair to say Six Asymmetric Studies is free of any musical boundaries or constraints; it’s a mini LP of pure, unadulterated experimental ambient tapestries of electronica. Its avant-garde attitude is a little displaced from the Latin background of its musical creators, who met in Mexico City and set about fusing classical music, techno and abstract sounds from the corners of their musical minds. If you ever need atmospheric music for
an art instillation, or to set a mood as your audience settle in to a performance, or you jus’ wanna melt into your sofa, I’d argue that you’d struggle to find a finer collection of six tracks to set your mood mosaic.
Memory Haze EP (12” vinyl)
(No Shallow Pool Records)
We’re playing catch up a lil’ with this one but this debut offering from Scottish lad Robert Tomlinson is worthy of a shout. Tomlinson, aka Son Milton, is a well-known face on the Scottish house music scene and his passion for Chicago house, jackin’ house and booty beats is unmatched by many of his counterparts. He is also an avid lover of disco but not poppy, same ol’, same ol’ sampled disco; he and his brother are champions of seriously rare and underplayed “proper” disco. There’s a definite nod to Larry Heard’s drum programming on Minerals, which is as deep as any Heard composition thanks to the lush string. I love, love, love the intelligent breakdown where the drums tumble back into the musical affray, falling all over each other, before straightening themselves out into a regimented semblance of
house beats. Capybara is another string infused deep groove and the bass! Well, no doubt the bass has been influenced by Red Rack’em’s highly influential wonkle donkle banger Wonky Bassline.
Sons of Slum
Funky Music Part 1 & 2 (7” vinyl promo)
Due out early February and taken from the album Music Is The Message, it’s not two parts of the same mix or Part 2 being a dub of Part 1 – but two very different flavours. Part 1 is a frantic disco workout that only the most enthusiastic will be able to keep up with on the dancefloor, while the flip is far mo’ sedate and dancefloor friendly. The drummer carries this track
with forceful energy, while the rest of the gang noodle away with their jamming musicianship that really makes you feel as though you’re sitting in on a jamming session or a live performance. Cordial is rapidly becoming one of Gilles Peterson’s favourite labels, if the plaudits he gives this Margate-based stable on air are anything to go by.
Family of Swede
Family Album (vinyl LP test pressing)
As ever, these tests are in very limited numbers and with half of the finished copies sold on pre-order already, it looks as though Cordial have an in-demand LP waiting to be shipped out of the warehouse. Everybody Must Pay is a very funky jam but almost instantly the tone shifts with the cover of The Temptations’ The Girl’s Alright With Me, which transports us into the swingy soul sound that crosses over so well onto Northern/modern dancefloors. You know the type of sound, Terry Callier Ordinary Joe, CM Lord I’m So Happy That Love Has Found You and Ronnie McNeir’s Lately spring to mind. Sad Lonely Feeling (70s Version) is a great downtempo cut curdled with thick bassline business and fantastic keys, synth-like horns and strings, and the soulful vocals are on-point too. Life is a mega funky dancer and Living From Day To Day is an uplifting modern soul dancer that tops off an album that’s also blessed with some great downtempo cuts. I like this LP, a lot!
Real Love (7” vinyl)
(Izipho Soul Records)
Frederick Davis hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and is a true soul survivor. Casting my mind back to 1985 and the Heat Records self-titled album, I instantly think of the track Games, which is a firm favourite of mine and is played regularly on my deck at home to this day. Coupled with the 2017 previously released I Can’t Help But Love You, Real Love finds Frederick in soulful form once again and I guess that’s why there’s already a buzz on this very limited 7” single. It’s beautifully packaged in a Roger Williams’ designed picture sleeve, which you simply can’t miss on the record store shelf if you own the Heat LP, as Frederick, although looking a tad more distinguished, still looks dapper in his famous white suit, as worn on the cover of the 1985 album. You know how quickly these soul sevens get snapped up these days so grab yourself one of these donuts before the Discogs parasites add their obligatory percentage as the track inevitably grows in popularity on the dancefloor.
Midway EP (12” vinyl test pressing)
This is the first new material from George T since 2001. Those with long memories might recall his Pohm Pohm label, which was heavily influenced by the sound of Chicago. Indeed, George’s roots are firmly planted in the Chicago sound. He ran one of Scotland’s premier jackin’ clubs back in the day called Tribal Funktion, where many of the Chicago trailblazers made their UK debuts. A move to London interrupted things and George slipped into the character known as George Demure, a kinda music-come-cabaret-come-art project he worked on. Now back in Scotland and back as George T, the eclectic DJ has put together a fine EP. Show is a wonderful bleepy, deep, techy kinda thing with proper Chicago style spoken vocals delivered in a woozy, camp, monotone kinda fashion.
Midway Day Sweats is a chaotic, almost experimental, chugger that builds methodically and nicely. Lido in Dub is a trippy workout. But the real star of the show is Get A Grip, a pure unadulterated bassline workout that sucks you in and chews your speakers up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Only problem with this EP is the mastering; it’s sounds like this was the last job on a Friday night. Great if you love real dirty tracks the way they used to make ’em in Chicago but for me, the music suffers from the poor workmanship in the mastering suite.
01383 EP (digital & 12” vinyl)
This label is on fire! Every track I’ve managed to get my mitts on has been off the hook. 01383 4824, taken from the Dunfermline area code if memory serves me correctly, is proper ol’ skool bangin’ house. Remember Go Bitch Go Work This Pussy and its incredible hi-hat and beats backing track? There ya go then, that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. Mo’ familiar ol’ skool samples are used for the vocal parts on Like Dat and Eight Zero Eight is full of ’80s jackin’ paraphernalia. Ghetto Love is a kinda electro, acid fusion where the two sounds conflate into a killa banger – it’s genius, plain and simple. Boiler Bunny is simply User Engine showing off now, with an acid track that is as acid as acid can be and then some – all clattering
percussion and the TB-303 let loose to wreak havoc over the beats. If you like ’80s jackin’ house and acid with a fresh twist, you need this!
Orlando Johnson and Trance
Turn The Music On (12” vinyl)
This record is so right for you if you’re starting to cultivate a vinyl collection and if you’re lookin’ for something the DJ in the local wine bar is probably oblivious to. Owning a back catalogue of classic label tracks is always a great tool for DJs to keep stashed, I mean who doesn’t drop the odd Strictly Rhythm, Nu Groove or PIR track a couple of times a year? Easy Street is a go-to stable for garage aficionados and nestled within its large classic garage/house musical vault is this brilliant funk/boogie cut that deserves some attention from the mo’ explorative spinners out there. For as little as £5.90 on Discogs, you could own an underplayed chunk o’ funk, on a label that will always stop folk in their tracks as they flick through your rekkids. It’s one of those labels that every semi-knowledgeable house head
recognises and is usually interested in; it’s a label that is one of the fundamental foundation blocks of our scene after all, but will your mates know this largely forgotten soul/funk/boogie crossover joint? Mixed by Jellybean, this mid-paced dancer from 1983 is cut from the same cloth as World Premiere’s Share The Night on Easy Street, rather than some of the mo’ house-infused anthems that later became the label’s trademark sound.