Very limited 2016 repress! One of the indisputable classics of electronica, and a defining document for ambient music in particular, SELECTED AMBIENT WORKS 85-92 is one of Aphex Twin's earliest and most fully realized achievements. Reputedly created on homemade equipment deconstructed from standard synthesizers, the music within takes its cue from club beats and the techno rhythms of rave and acid-house culture. Upon these foundations, however, Aphex Twin weaves melodic tapestries of great subtlety, beauty, and atmospheric texture.
‘Darker Than Blue’ is an unswervingly honest, highly personal album – Blue Daisy distills his personal experiences in to this cinematic meditation on the clash between the forces of dark and light, yin and yang, good and evil. Wrestling with inner and outer, unconfined to one specific genre, the record traverses brooding rock, intense rap, elements of the blues, and is imbued with a punk attitude and aesthetic throughout. Highlights include gospel-tinged ‘My Heart’, caustic battle hymn and title track ‘Darker Than Blue’, and the blistering ‘Gravediggers’. Blue Daisy is vocalist, musician and producer The North Londoner’s ambition to make timeless music has resulted in a slow stream of high-caliber releases and thrilling, increasingly adventurous live shows. His debut single was awarded Pitchfork’s coveted ‘Best New Track’ status, and album, The Sunday Gift, was warmly received and heralded as Electronic Album of The Year by MOJO magazine. Then, in 2013, Blue Daisy rebooted and embarked on a new chapter by unleashing the defiantly NSFW track Fuck A Rap Song – The Guardian newspaper’s Single Of The Week – opening for Public Enemy, featuring and producing on kindred musical spirit Tricky’s latest album, and starting what would eventually become Darker Than Blue. Widely respected label R&S Records recently signed Blue Daisy adding his ever-evolving talent to an already vital discography that includes James Blake, Aphex Twin, Lone and others.
This is the debut single for the hugely tipped young London based producer on R&S. James Blake is making some of the most startlingly original music to have emerged from London in 2010 and is a real star in the making. In between studying Popular Music at Goldsmiths and writing a debut album that will take a lot of people by surprise, he has released amazing singles on Hemlock & Hessle, pushing the boundaries of what is expected of ‘dubstep’ music. This underground introduction has made him a star on influential blogs and websites and has now pricked up the ears of more mainstream press. The CMYK EP has been a feature on Radio One on shows by Zane Lowe, Gilles Peterson, Huw Stephens, Mary Ann Hobbs and Nick Grimshaw.
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2010 saw James Blake emerge as the leading light in a populated world of forward thinking music, expertly disposing of the commonly used dubstep rule book with the Bell Sketch 12” on Hessle Audio before teaching daytime radio a strict lesson in quality control with his R&S Records debut CMYK EP. The worlds leading tastemakers were beside themselves, showering the internet with praise, whilst in the outer reaches of the blog ether, rumours of James’ songs began to surface. The Klavierwerke EP features the first glimpse of Blakes vocal, albeit cut, pitched and intricately woven into four tracks that offer an insight into James’ futuristic soundscape. Where the R&B sampling CMYK EP aimed at the dancefloor, the Klavierwerke EP finds itself on an insular and abstract plain, in places reminiscent of Burial's emotive urban hymms while all the time maintaining the distinct originality that sets James apart from the rest. The title track, a sonic realisation of a recent Berlin escapade pays homage to Berghain, the cavernous HQ of techno, where languid pianos and James’ pitch shifted vocals collide head on with moody low frequencies. I Only Know (What I Know Now) is a contemplative piece where James’ voice is brought to the fore, casting a solemn gaze over his own re-sampled piano to create a contemporary masterpiece. “Don’t You Think I Do” follows a similar path, drawing on a side-chained lead synth and trademark piano. Tell Her Safe rounds off the EP, further affecting the vocal against a high tempo beat. The perfect follow up to the huge CMYK EP and a true representation of what’s around the corner for one of the most exciting artists to emerge in years.
Unmistakeably James Blake from the moment the first note kicks in, 'Love What Happened Here' sees the wonderboy returning back to R&S, the label that kicked off his skywards career with the deliriously good CMYK' - whose essence is definitely felt in the title-track's warm R&B chop-up style. Elsewhere, 'At Birth' is a mysterious house groover, suppressed and subtly bubbling along waiting for its peak that never arrives. 'Curbside' is a wildly percussive cosmic number, deliciously off-kilter and forlorn. A welcome return from the boy Blake.
Over the past couple of years, Manchester-based producer Lone (a.k.a. Matt Cutler) has become a fully fledged reinvention of his former self. Leaving behind the hip-hop seasoned abstraction and hazy beatscapes of his notable Ecstasy & Friends and Lemurian albums for a quicker-paced sound that draws on a much heavier Chicago house / Detroit Techno and early 90's London rave/hardcore sound. With his last album proper Emerald Fantasy Tracks & last year s R&S debut Coreshine Voodoo, we saw a honing of these styles. Continuing his ethereal journey through space and time where these previous two outings left off, new album Galaxy Garden - that you will hopefully have in your ears right now - is without doubt his most complete body of work to date. The varied excursions on display unearth new corners to the wunderkind, whilst maintaining his signature sound and cinematic overtones. Opener New Colour lays down the album s mandate with layers of symbiotic sound-scapes. On into The Animal Pattern, a rolling 8-bit bastardisation where visions of Out Run s Splash Wave come flooding back again. Nomrex label head machine drum makes an appearance on two tracks adding his hazy vocals to As A Child & Cthulhu. The latter evolving into a mid tempo broken roller with key stabs which wouldn t sound out of place on a Japan record. Thing of beauty, Lying in the Reeds finds Cutler in one of his more melodic, melancholic and reflective moods. This gives way to the ambient drone of Dragon Blue Eyes and through to Crystal Caverns 91; revival stabs, hardcore remnants, a frenetic cadence and we re already half way through the album. Two uptempo, blissed out stuttered motion bangers - proceed in the form of Raindance & Dream & Girl/Sky Surfer. It's Raindance and the incredible Earth's Lungs where he wears his love of Aphex Twin and Warp most prominently, all the time maintaining a very Lone take on it. The album closes this Lone chapter with vocalist Anneka - who's worked with the likes of Falty DL, Starkey, Ital Tek, Vex'd - and the track Spirals, which is the closest you ll get to Cutler writing a pop song. A rollercoaster ride of playful nods to a plethora of scenes and influences past, present and future, a residency at Manchester hot-spot Hoya:Hoya, upcoming shows all over the place, support for his tracks from the likes of Caribou, Diplo, Kode 9, Dark Sky, Rustie, James Holden, Martyn, Joy Orbison - to name just a few -remixes for Radiohead, Tensnake & Underworld already under his belt; it s going to be quite a year for Lone.
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Lone’s classic debut album ‘Lemurian’ gets the deluxe re-issue treatment courtesy of Magic Wire and R&S. Originally released in 2008. It returns in 2015 re-mastered by Matt Colton, with new artwork from Konx-om-Pax and on vinyl for the very first time.
Lone AKA Matt Cutler presents his sixth album 'Levitate' - which marks a point of departure from the inviting warmth of 'Reality Testing's blend of hip hop and house - the listener is taken on a rapid joy ride through breakbeats that at times will leave them gasping. Following the blockbuster success of previous album 'Reality Testing' (and its all conquering single 'Airglow Fires'), Cutler was left at somewhat of a musical impasse - a six month dry period with no new inspiration that was showing no signs of abating. The 'epiphany' moment came, during an enforced short break from touring in New York. Bed ridden and feverish for days Cutler started to hallucinate; "It was pretty terrifying - I'd try to go to sleep and lid be hearing these mad rave tunes form in my head. When I recovered I was left with all these ideas for fast, feverish tunes. Following that we went to LA and hung out with friends, driving round all day in the baking sun playing these jungle and hardcore edits - all the best bits from rare jungle tunes, spliced together... There was something that really seemed to fit hearing these ridiculously energetic tracks whilst speeding around LA under perfect blue skies, that was amazingly similar to the music I'd been dreaming up whilst in New York. I couldn't wait to get home and start putting this together - I had a new theme." The resulting 9 track LP, a breakneck psychedelic journey through hardcore, jungle, ambient, clocks in at a fat-free 34 minutes. "After making a record as mellow as 'Reality Testing' it was important to me to not repeat myself - I wanted it to be an intense blast" Evident in the "punch in the face" heaviness of 'Alpha Wheel' and `Back Tail Was Heavy"Levitate' is in many ways a spikier and more confrontational record than it's predecessor, and all the better for it - however there are moments of familiarity, like the blissed out club bounce of 'Vapour Trail' (sharing DNA with perennial fan fave 'Pineapple Crush') and pause for breath in the hypnotic beauty of 'Morning Birds' and 'Breeze Out'. 'Levitate' finds an inspired Cutler at his most energetic peak delivering a stunning record which feels both vital and contemporary.
Exhilarating futurist club music. Moire's latest release, Gel, comes on the heels of the producer's stellar work on Actress' Werkdiscs imprint.
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After a six year run on OHM, Paul White has signed to the legendary R&S Records for his new album Shaker Notes. It's a major departure for the British producer, who has put down the sampler and stepped forward as a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. Don't worry though, the same oddball genius that defines his beats is as present as ever as he pushes himself into new and more personal territory. Shaker Notes charts the intoxication, heartbreak and ultimate triumph of a grand love affair. The album moves from the cracked, bluesy groove of 'Honey Cats' to a sweetly pastoral take on house music ('Where You Gonna Go?', already championed by Jamie xx), and much more. It's Paul White's fourth album but his first for R&S. The Belgian label is a natural home for someone whose musical world was blown wide open as a teen by their Aphex Twin releases.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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