2014 might well have been a watershed year in terms of the amount of re-releases coming our way, but now, as we are about to hit the second half of 2015, interesting stuff is beginning to happen in house and techno’s own little heritage industry. At long last we’re beginning to get some genuinely interesting material stuck out on wax and digi, and one of the biggest news stories of the last week wasn’t Resident Advisor’s slightly weird item about what shirts Dixon has been photographed wearing (an RA attempt to cream off some of Mixmag’s cheese?), nor was it the, errr, fanfare for Zac Efron’s new movie about EDM and hippy techno-bollocks gibberish. The big news item as far as the peanut gallery goes this week was that Dekmantel will soon be re-releasing Fatima Yamaha’s What’s A Girl To Do?, the ten-year old tune by Bas Bron which is apparently changing hands for over £100 on Discogs.
Whether or not it’s entirely healthy that this sort of thing should be exciting people far more than stories about brand new records, I can’t say. What I can say is that here is volume two in my irregular series of micro reviews. As last time there is no other criteria except for the fact that I like these a lot and I think you should too.
IBM – Kill Bill (Interdimensional Transmissions)
Jamal Moss has been chewing my brain open all week long with his phenomenally demented The Faces Of Drums record with Steve Poindexter so it’s little surprise that this re-release has been battering its way into my conciousness too. Best known for his work as Hieroglyphic Being, his other guise, IBM, is even more unhinged and raw. Kill Bill itself is almost indescribable. Part freaky house work out, part cosmic death march that comes across like Ennio Morricone doing messed up acid this is dark side experimentalism of the highest order. Backed with an edit of Black Sunday, which hails from a similar part of the psyche as Kill Bill, and the rattling, broken machine bark of Manicheanism, this is a starving pitbull of a record let loose amongst the scene’s fat house pigeons. Buy it now or don’t come crying to me when you have to wait another decade for a re-release.
Boyd Jarvis – Stomp (Echovolt)
Kudos to Echovolt for getting this release together. Apparently taken from the original tapes that had been lying around in New York for 30 years, this is one of those re-releases that transcends music and enters proper historical document territory. Apparently the original instrumental version for Jarvis and Tommy Regisford’s The Music Got Me, which first hit in 1983, Stomp is one of the missing links between house and disco. Deep, soulful and epic, it still sounds absolutely vital today. Backed with the loose disco shuffle of In The Jungle and the wriggly grooves of Piano Track, this is music that takes it time to do what it’s got to do, and melts your heart and mind while it does it.
Gesloten Cirkel – Gesloten Cirkel (Murder Capital)
Decades younger than the Jarvis one above, having been released for the first time in 2009, this début by the anonymous Russian producer is still a welcome little belter of a record to get on wax if you missed it that first time. Perhaps not as brilliant as last year’s album, it’s nevertheless a potent release which is wonderfully strong in the old techno ethos of ‘If at first you can’t quite get your point across with technical ability, hit it all with funk and see what happens’. Every tune brings something fresh to the table, but for me the stand out cut is Swedish Woman, a sweep of orchestral electroid drama that moves itself along with the stately shuffle of its bruised riff and melodic spikes that sound as if they were stolen from the soundtrack to some brutal and forgotten 1970’s Euro-cop show. My top choice if you are the getaway driver for a bank heist in Munich and need something special to get you fired up.