So sang D-Train on Music and never has the sentiment resonated more than during the current Coronavirus situation.
Cooped up at home and deprived of face-to-face contact with friends and family, I’ve found that music can really lift the spirits.
Fortunately, the supply of great records hasn’t stopped and there are a number of trusty online stores to keep us connected.
Let’s dive into the stack of wax that has been keeping me (mostly) sane during lockdown.
The Stance Brothers - Minor Minor
Here’s a pair of jazzy hip hop instrumentals from Finland, both riffing on the bassline from Bob James’ classic Nautilus. This 7″ was introduced to me by Tom a couple of years back and has just had a welcome repress. Fans of Marc Mac’s Visioneers project, Kenny Dope and BadBadNotGood won’t go wrong here.
Favourite Track: Minor Minor
Golden Ivy - Kläppen (LP)
Beautiful sounds from Malmo that straddle the organic and the electronic, settling on something vaguely oriental. I was relieved to snap up a copy before it disappeared, given that their previous LP – Monika - is as rare as hen’s teeth and still eludes me. Alas the parcel is currently languishing, unloved, on my desk at work, having arrived there from Gothenburg just a day after the office shut for the lockdown. Damn it! Good things come to those who wait…
Favourite Track: Klappen 11
D.K. - Live at the Edge (LP)
My favourite release to date from Parisian producer D.K. was his stellar collaboration with Suzanne Kraft on Melody as Truth in 2017. This LP ploughs a similar sensous, ambient furrough and would have been a pretty tasty live gig (if you happened to be in Seoul at the time). Yet another great release from Glaswegian label 12th Isle, with beautiful artwork to boot.
Favourite Track: Untitled 11 (not yet on YouTube)
Datassette – Existenzmaximum
I’ve loved Datassette since his first outing on Ai records back in 2005. He’s got such a great sound – simultanesouly futuristic, funky, musical and heartfelt in a way that few electronic producers can match. This EP (from November last year but just repressed) is typically brilliant.
Favourite Track: Shooz Who
Various - Gazillions
These days I try not to buy records for just one track, but this is something special. Top cut Lotus Turbo by Russian duo Formally Unknown is a hard-hitting blend of electro and bass that sounds pretty fresh to these ears. This one is screaming to be played loud.
Favourite Track: Formally Unknown – Lotus Turbo
Various - Bubble Chamber (LP)
I’d urge any fans of serious electro to get on this tout suite – you won’t be disappointed. It boasts a formidable line-up, featuring tracks by Gerald Donald, The Exaltics and Plant43 to name but three. The music comes from a variety of locations and eras; we get Montreal-based Iko’s 1983 track Approach on Tokyo nestling alongside new music from Detroit. Kuldaboli from Reykjavík is a new name on me but offers up the pick of the bunch. Oh, and the vinyl also comes with a 56-page booklet containing previously unseen Drexciyan art by Abdul Haqq… which is nice.
Favourite Track: Kuldaboli – Draumur inní heilann þinn
Max D - Many Any (LP)
Solid LP from one half of Beautiful Swimmers, taking in house/techno cuts that evoke vintage Morgan Geist and Ferox, interspersed with hip hop influences. Big up my man Gav aka Other Lands at Underground Solu’shn for the hot tip!
Favourite Track: Shoutout Seefeel