Mr Scruff

One of Manchester’s favourite sons, Mr. Scruff shares a sincerely heavy track ahead of the arrival of his sixth album ‘Friendly Bacteria’ due for release by Ninja Tune on 19th May.

Yesterday the veteran British producer premiered a new track off his soon to be issued next long player, his first in over six years. Aptly titled ‘We Are Coming’, it’s the third offering to be debuted in as many months following hotly in the footsteps of the singles ‘Render Me‘ and ‘Thought To The Meaning’ , two collaborations with vocalist Denis Jones, and while both are nice in terms of songs primed for radio play, it’s the predominantly instrumental feel of this fresh outing that’s currently got us excited. With Gondwana Records’ Matthew Halsall (trumpet / FX) and Taz Modi (Rhodes / string synths) on hand, it’s certainly a tale of two halves – with Scruff’s trademark breaks, beats and wobble self evident in the first three minutes, before a sizeable drop leads us into something a little deeper. The previous glitchy effects drop away, the wobble morphs into a melody and Modi’s Rhodes solo takes centre stage, his playful vamps effortlessly riding the syncopated beat and strings slowly building to form an atmospheric backdrop. It’s definitely another killer jazz-house bomb from the producer and reminds us a little of ‘Fresh Noodles’, a track he  recorded alongside Kaidi Tatham, released back in December 2009 on the Prime Numbers label and certainly worth another revisit.

With additional guest features from perennial Soul-identity favourites Robert Owens and Vanessa Freeman on vox, the new album is shaping up quite  nicely in our humble opinion and ‘We Are Coming’ raises just enough intrigue to what those collaborations might sound like. To pre-order the track as well as the album, visit the Ninja Tune online shop. In the meantime enjoy a full stream of the track now thanks to the Mr. Scruff  Soundcloud page.

Luke Warm / Blueberry Records

A new EP from the hotly tipped ‘Luke Warm’ lands this week on FaltyDL’s burgeoning Blueberry Recordings imprint and it delivers more than just a few surprises.

There seems to be a tad of anonymity to the artist’s new moniker this time around (although if you know what you’re looking for it becomes a little more apparent), but the sound is all but familiar, not least due to the variety of samples plundered in the process of putting together this strong four-tracker. Fresh from a recent solo outing firmly rooted around the buzz of a Roland TB-303, here this (highly acclaimed) British producer gets a little more playful in the studio, combining as he does elements of old school house, hip-hop and disco to produce fruitful concoctions that bring forth a sound that seems to have one foot in the past, while the other stands firmly in the now.

Take for instance, the EP opener, ‘Daydreamin’, which makes use of a sample bank that spans almost 30 years, borrowing liberally from political speeches, psychedelic soul and rave culture while the rhythm weaves in and around a deliciously bumping slice of electronica. ‘Brockley Spears’ harks back to the cut and paste era of block party hip-hop (albeit in its instrumental format) with a slice of early-90s hardcore, while title track ‘Instant Vibe’ channels a little Chicago magic by way of Robert Owens and Chuck Roberts and updates it for today’s more discerning dance floors. Perhaps the standout though is the final track  of the four, ‘Party Piece’ which unmistakably trips into action on an 80s hip-hop tip before pushing its way through to sunnier electronic climes, complete with a trademark electrifying bass line. It’s no doubt an inventive selection of ideas from  ‘Mr Warm’ and as accomplished as we’ve come to expect from the producer, his master of assorted tempos and styles shining through on this release. After previous strong showings from Ghostly’s Todd Osborn and newcomer Brrd, this is another another promising EP for the new Brooklyn label and much like its genre-hopping founder, demonstrates its dare to be different.

You can download the digital release of the EP right now from all the usual outlets, including Juno and iTunes, while the vinyl junkies among us can grab the vinyl next Monday. In the meanwhile to get a flavour of all four tracks, stream them in full below:

GUESTMIX003 | Danny Clark (Late Night Audio / Luxor Records) (April 2014)

GUESTMIX003 | Danny Clark (Late Night Audio / Luxor Records) (April 2014) by Soul-Identity Music on Mixcloud

April’s guest mix comes courtesy of Late Night Audio’s Danny Clark and it’s a deeply dubby and low slung excursion into underground house sounds just the way we like it. As Late Night Audio, Clark alongside Toby Tobias (Rekids) promoted some of the freshest house and disco events in London Town over the course of four years, as well as running a record label under the same name, putting out tracks from Tobias, Das Volt and New York legend Jovonn. Since then he’s established a second label, Luxor Records that has so far released new music from Stee Downes and original Chicago house diva Liz Torres. He upped and left these fair shores a while ago and can now be found spinning his own unique take on house over in Singapore with an online radio show also in development.

There’s plenty of newness in the works from both Danny and the LNA camp with a solid flow of new tracks and edits to drop in the coming months. New digital remixes from Merwyn Sanders (Virgo 4) as well as new takes by Tobias and Citizen Kane (Disques Sinthomme/NY) of Liz Torres ‘Your Love Is All I Need’ are hot off the press and available online as is the addition of a Dub Mix to the recently released Fabric 72 compilation by Move D.

The Late Night Audio label is are also prepping their first new material since 2012. Watch this space for the eagerly anticipated Jovonn Revival EP2 which features the Brooklyn producer on two tracks‘The Deepest Move’ and ‘Wait a Minute (Stop!!!)’, and a remix from Danny and Das Volt. New material from Roy Davis Jr. and also Lady Blacktronika are forthcoming with special remixes on a limited 12″ vinyl to be made available to selected record shops and online stores soon.

We hope you enjoy the mixtape and if you dig it, make sure to show Danny some love in the comments.

Charlotte OC

It seems Detroit protagonist Kenny Dixon Jr AKA Moodymann has been spreading his A&R net a little wider than usual of late, surpassing the talent pool of The Motor City and heading transatlantic to pick up some serious up and comers.

First on the agenda was young London producer Dan Shake, who after meeting Dixon Jr. at last year’s Dimensions Festival and handing him a demo CD, has recently achieved the unlikely accolade of being the first non-Detroit artist to have their work (let alone their debut release) put out on Moodymann’s much revered Mahogani Music.

Now it appears it’s the turn of the Blackburn-born singer songwriter Charlotte OC, who this week finds herself sitting on the producer’s other, perhaps more legendary KDJ imprint, with not one but two Moodymann remixes of her current song ‘Hangover’.

Originally released last November as part of her ‘Colour My Heart’ EP, the original version of ‘Hangover’ (peep the official video below) is a seductive wander through new R&B influenced pop territory, OC carrying a rootsy vocal not too dissimilar to Lana Del Ray in range (an artist who has also received the Detroit touch of late on Moody’s ‘Born 2 Die’). In Dixon Jr’s hand though, things are of a slightly different hue. The digital exclusive ‘Moody Guevara Remix’, nod to Argentine Marxist revolutionaries withstanding, is amped up with raucous yelps, a beefier bass line, elastic drums and clever use of effects to produce a proper 313 banger, ringing out the more sultry aspects of OC’s vocal to really accentuate the feeling of the song. On the more electronic ‘Moodymann Mix’, which forms the basis of  the b-side of the soon to be released KDJ-45 twelve, he takes snatches of the original vocal and loops and chops his way to a slow-building, hypnotic stomper that more than matches his recent work.

It goes without saying that the pricing of some Detroit releases tend to owe more to market forces than actual physical demand, so it seems a good thing that Dixon Jr. has sought to join the Bandcamp revolution. Both this release, and his most recent (well-received) self-titled album in expanded form are available to download on the platform, and for those of you who may not be fussed about format, it seems the most cost effective way to secure the music moving forward.

For the hardcore vinyl heads amongst us however  there’s still an incentive to wait for the vinyl. The new  KDJ-45 will also feature an exclusive Moodymix of album highlight ‘Sloppy Cosmic’, the moody one vibing with George Clinton and Amp Fiddler in the studio and cutting up the master tapes from the original 1973 release.

Preview the ‘Hangover EP’ in full below and decide for yourself whether to part with your hard earned. It’s already in the Soul-Identity bag.

Charles Trees

Following the release of his extended set of electronic gems on Christmas Eve last year, Ann Arbour producer Charles Trees once again steps into the limelight with a new EP on Madrid’s suitably eclectic Lovemonk.

Enter stage left Charles Trees, so far a pretty likeable character out of Ann Arbour, Michigan, a state that single-handedly seems to have a stronghold on our writing of late. Truth be told this post had already been half written before the full samples of his new six-track EP had even been unearthed. There was just something totally irresistible about the title track “Rootwork” which had us hooked when it turned up in our music stream on Bandcamp earlier this month (shout to Mike Guerreri on that one). A unique mix of spaced out jazz, sax, electronic badness and 303 bass lines, it’s five and a half minutes of totally original music, all twists and turns – oh and it bangs HARD. That’s Dan Bennett on baritone sax (you may have already heard his work previously as part of the band Nomo) and we presume Mr Trees on all other machinery.

Thankfully it turns out the EP isn’t just a one-tracker as the Trees has a talent for constructing slow building jams that approach the age old problem of ‘genre’ in such a haphazard way, that things just seem to end up sonically pleasing. Take “Exodus” for instance, a tune which at the start bears more than a passing resemblance to a drum circle attempting to recreate a beatdown track, before a heavy kick punctuates the groove and we go off in search of that dark corner in the disco, next to the speaker stack. “Get Advanced” is what you would call futuristic hip hop if Konono No. 1 happened to employ a DJ, Detroit rapper, poet and Egyptologist Intricate Dialect effortlessly spitting lyrics over a distorted wall of percussion and acidic stabs. Then there’s the final of Tree’s four productions here, “What’s Next”, a shimmering, celestial build that breaks out into the most delicious of synthed out boogie cuts, the aforementioned Mr Bennett returning to add a little further sax spice in the second half.

The EP is rounded off with two very different remixes from Madrid’s very own veteran techno producer DJ F and fellow Ann Arbour native Shigeto. On his “DJ F Restructure”,  F strips away the organic feel of “Rootdown” and concentrates on building a fairly angular piece of house, all tripped out keys, breaks and mechanical beats, while Shigeto sets about contorting “What’s  Left” into an extended 9 minute behemoth, ramping up the original’s atmospherics before unleashing a driving slab of deep techno.

The EP is out today digitally and you can download it direct via Bandcamp. There’s also a 12″ floating about in all your usual spots (always nice to know). Try before you buy below!