Best Of The Represses – October 2016

OK, so no smart-arsed fiction to start things off tonight. While September was, even by our slim standards, a rather barren month October at least has had the good grace to pass on some decent slabs of new-old and old-new vinyl for us to get our teeth into.

New-Old represses were everywhere during October in actual fact. A repress of Population One’s excellent Theatre Of A Confused Mind on Rush Hour is first up, where Terrance Dixon does his trademarked Detroit into Tresor thing with aplomb. He also dips his toes into the Old-New schedules with a return of his seminal From The Far Future LP on Tresor, itself from waaaay back in 2000. Both are worth a bunch of your increasingly worthless pounds. Aside from anything else, the vinyl will hold it’s value better than the pound will ever manage again.

Canadian house stable Pacific Rhythm have also seen fit to re-release the first two parts of their Rhythms Of The Pacific series to greet the just out third instalment. Both were blink-and-miss-em records the first time around, and I imagine they might well go with similar speed if you’re not quick. Both are pretty good, but if I had to pick one I probably nudge myself towards the first, containing as it does Cloudface’s insanely good swaggering acid nuttery Panter Bleu and Lnrdcroy’s Sunrise Market – surely one of the most beautiful house tracks of the last 10 years.

Old-New once again brings us Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol. 1. Don’t let the sheer ubiquity of this album in the re-release schedules fool you. It really is one of the most important electronic records in forever. I wore tape after tape of this out as I drove around darkened highlands roads late at night, lost in its weird and beautiful worlds. The Beastie Boys’s debut album, Licence To Ill, also makes a return for its – and this is horrifying – 30th anniversary. Fight For Your Right (To Party), No Sleep To Brooklyn and all the rest on brand new wax. Lovely, even if it does make me feel like a pensioner. Elsewhere there are several represses of long-lost material by Gemini, including his 1997 Relief Records LP Imagine A Nation, doing the rounds. Not a bad wee month, is it? Anyway, Here are a couple of favourites for you:

DJ Di’jital – Mind Of The Master II (Rawax Motor City Editions)

I got all excited when I heard this was getting pressed up as I jumped the gun and thought it was a repress of his long gone Mind Of The Master EP that had originally been on Direct Beat, which would have been the first time anything from that label had got the repress treatment (as far as I know.) Even though it isn’t that one, it’s still a pretty damn good blast of Detroit techno bass like nobody seems to really be doing these days. Originally out as a digi release on Di’jital’s own Di’jital Axcess back in 2013, it still contains a pair of bangers from that distant Direct Beat release in the form of the original Mind Of The Master and .7 Interference – both of them heaving, weaving, pulsing blasts of electroid mayhem. A pretty class record altogether, and its about time Di’jital got some repress love regardless of which 12″ it is – the guy remains a proper talent who has still never got enough attention. Get on it.

DJ Skull – The DJ Skull Saga: Stomping Grounds (Chiwax)

Chicago’s Ron Maney first released this 25 years ago on Djax-Up-Beats, and quickly became one of the Dutch label’s big hitters. Although he also released for Relief and others I think his best tunes always surfaced on Djax. Even though Stomping Grounds was his début, in many ways it was to provide a template for a lot of his subsequent work. Hard, minimal, and so incredibly funky, Stomping Ground was one of the first of a wave of Chicago records that didn’t seem, on the surface, to have much in common with that town’s heritage. Essentially taking a scalpel to house, it cut away a lot of the extraneous flab and left lean, focussed, hardstepping machine jams ready to do their work. Even today it sounds like a stark blast of future funk ready to set fire to the nearest dancefloor.

Jaydee – Plastic Dreams (R&S)

Ok, so, I actually missed this when it first came out a couple of months back, and it seems to have inaugurated what I hope will be a decent run of some of the Belgian label’s finest moments. As for this one, I can’t imagine there are many who aren’t familiar with it, and it has long been one of my favourite tunes – even aside from the fact it was a wee bit of a Mystec anthem for us at times way back when. The repress comes single sided with nothing but the 10 minute long original cut for company. No remixes, no extra material. And, to be quite honest, the tune is such a humdinger is really doesn’t need anything else. A long woozy snake of darkside funk powered by the most famous jazz organ in house. Comes with a guarantee that it’ll make things messy when the time is right.