We find it kind of hard to believe it’s been nearly three years since Brooklyn’s Octo Octa‘s debut effort Let Me See You was brought into the world in all its euphoric 90s steeped glory. It even managed to get dropped in the middle of Move D’s outstanding Boiler Room Berlin set, a testament to how good it is (it’s seriously amazing though). The label that brought us such joy, 100% Silk, has since built up an impressive arsenal of releases which fall somewhere in the spectrum of lush, raw house and more experimental house-structured drone and noise, an indicator of the label’s affiliation with now long-running San Francisco label Not Not Fun. Michael Bouldry-Morrison aka. Octo Octa falls firmly in the former end of the spectrum and with new release Cause I Love You adds to his catalogue of 100% Silk records with his now familiar class.
Stream: Octo Octa – Cause I Love You (100% Silk)
The title track opener is a straight up body mover. The chopped vintage house vocal lifts the track off the ground and into more heady dimensions whilst still providing a pulsating, suggestive tone to the track. The airy synth stabs give it a light euphoric feel but ultimately “Cause I Love You” explores a sexier realm than Octo Octa’s previous work. We’re ultimately provided with an exceptionally well executed tribute to deep house masters that’s hyped and tumultuous to bring out at the peak of the night. “So Lux”, while still keeping the EP firmly within the sphere of deep house with Rick Wade and Theo Parrish the obvious reference points, eases on the throttle. This is music made for summer nights when the sun sets a bit too late. “Give” is similarly laid-back and its hazy chords give it the lo-fi Balearic quality which incite memories of chillwave. The vocal guest spot from Raw Moans, who sounds a bit like Toro Y Moi, reinforces the vibe and a gleeful reminder lazy warm evenings. We exit the EP with a return to the party mood of the opener with “Mine (Second Chance Mix)”. Not as forceful or immediate in its quest to get you to dance, it slides in to the subconscious without making much of a fuss with tasteful vocal stabs throughout. It’s one of those ones that gets you going a lot more than you realise and when combined with the humidity of the track, next thing you know your shirt is soaked through. “Mine” swoops and warps with Octo Octa’s customary flair just as the rest of the EP does and it is this uncanny flair and understanding of atmosphere and groove that Bouldry-Morrison has that distinguishes him from the current mass of platitudinal deep house.
Words by: Antoin Lindsay
Words by Truants, 18 April 2014. Leave a comment
Bristol’s house label for only rough-edged, local produce — homegrown and organic, if you will — readies two cool and casual house cuts from a newly-arrived artist on the city’s jostling production scene. Samuel‘s simple identity fits well with the rest of the no-frills label’s roster, this new release following the debut records by Shanti Celeste and Jay L, not to mention the recent release by the anonymous Lily on affiliate label Idle Hands. We get two straight-to-the-chase rhythms here, with more attention to general vibe than formality and pernickety details. This is the case especially on “Groove Therapy”, a track that doesn’t seem to attempt anything more than a familiar and functional pulse and flow, in a relaxed, bumping blend of floaty pads, percussion sheen and serene synth scales. For all its nicely worked details and well-crafted sense of unified motion in its parts, it’s quite standard, albeit with a UK feel in its strong sub bass that underpins the kick drums.
Stream: Samuel – Groove Therapy (BRSTL)
Allowing barely 16 bars for a intro, the heavily-weighted house beat on “Numberuma” is suddenly joined, unexpectedly, by a freshly-scented jumble of plucked strings and lo-fi, granular bass. It transports you instantly somewhere more tropical; the instrumentation sounds handmade and indigenous to West Africa or South America. It’s a fresh approach, like a traditional deep-house track buzzing with a zesty squeeze of Shangaan Electro melody; the blend of modern Western club music and distant world music timbres has some recent parallels in the form of the Honest Jon-released Shangaan Electro remixes and some of MMM’s material. We do wish that it would have pushed this strangeness all the way though; the emergence of clichéed deep-house pads, mars the rusty chug that the tune began with. Overall, this record is the work of a producer still finding their feet, in which case they’re doing a great job of it, with traces of real originality already present.
Stream: Samuel – Numberuma (BRSTL)
Words by Gwyn Thomas de Chroustchoff.
Words by Truants, 16 April 2014. Leave a comment
“Different feelings… this is doing one feeling, this is doing another feeling, or is this maybe doing a sad feeling, this may be doing, like a happy feeling!” So professes an excited voice at the beginning of the Black Is Beautiful-esque “Say Word”, summarising the potent duality of Mo Kolours’ self-titled debut. Even the artwork’s face represents this mixture, at first appearing stunned and tearful, though later glances accentuate the unrevealing expression, a shapeless mouth that can appear appreciative, upset or completely straight depending on the mood of the beholder. A face that might reflect our own expression; with a tear that follows wherever we allow it to. Mo Kolours is Joseph Deenmamode, half-English and half-Mauritian, and combining the fact with his early love of A Tribe Called Quest and his residence beneath the wing of Gilles Peterson, it feels easy to pave the road his music could take in our heads. But for all the talk of his Mauritian heritage and his channeling of its native sega music, Deenmamode’s debut sounds like his home: London. Influences ranging from hip-hop and dub to funk and calypso are threaded throughout Mo Kolours, always in the same direction and never clashing; Deenmamode’s music seems to exist aloof of any rules or distinctions, much like the people of the UK’s ethnic melting pot. Mo Kolours is the sound of the bustle that brings a city to life, sometimes under sun yet often overcast with grey, and always carrying a sense of wistfulness.
It begins at “Brixton House”, birthed with the cries of a baby, then developing into a woozy collage of scholarly wisdom, human claps and folk music. The loose and sporadic blend in the opener sets the tone for the rest of the album – formatted from the perspective of an instrumental hip-hop beats album that builds loops up and breaks them down. Hip-hop is at its most tangible in the boom-bap of “Play It Loud (In Your Car)”, a track that sounds like it would be a skit on an old-school rap album with a synth that ambles along with Deenmamode’s smooth vehicle soliloquy. The lengthy tracklist of short tunes comes as little surprise from a beatmaker so influenced by J Dilla, whose presence is felt throughout the album’s rough, fuzzy instrumentation. Deenmamode’s use of actual instruments for the beats also contributes to the lo-fi coarseness of it all, though it only feels realer because each instrument is jammed with rather than played. Take the Carribbean “Curly Girly”, a track where guitar licks feel their way across the beat and Deenmamode’s singing sounds like it could be completely ad-libbed. His use of his own voice is another manifestation of his desire to explore as many avenues as possible, at times just hums and grunts, other times spoken word or singing in the forefront on the soulful “Little Brown Dog”. On “Mike Black”, the second-longest track at just over three minutes and also the closest thing to a ‘song’ in terms of structure, Deenmamode quietly cries out his worries in a way similar to Jai Paul’s muted delicacy. Even as he repeats the mantra, “For the truth is love as our men say,” the exact words seem to elude the ears as the vocals are wrapped around the instrumental layers with little distinction made between them. He sounds aged, perhaps wise, on the sombre “In Her Eyes (Funk Heart)”, a dark, funk-tronic jam where he voices a homies-gather-round storytelling cadence á la “Ms. Fat Booty”.
Despite the upbeat, bittersweet last-summer nostalgia that courses through the record, Mo Kolours has its own sinister underbelly. The sheer dread and finality that crashes against the cymbals on “Take Us” haunts long after the interlude of merely thirteen seconds. There’s an intimidating, Afro-shamanistic vocal performance on both “Shepherd” and “Natural Disasters Wish List”, the latter littered with prophecies of doom over a warbling bassline. “Child’s Play” juxtaposes playground chants with gunfire and police sirens with relative inconspicuity thanks to innocuous bass guitar and easygoing, uplifting brass as Deenmamode reflects the inevitable loss of innocence to a mindless struggle. The African influence makes cameos both subtle and unsubtle on the record, certainly on “Afro Quarters”, an instrumental that finds its groove almost instantly. Rustic percussion lays a foundation for laid-back West African hand drums and looped cymbal work interspersed with occasional electro-funk. Not only does the track avoid heading in any particular direction, it seems to pause the passing of time around it, existing in its own static bubble apart from the rest of the album.
Ultimately, Mo Kolours is an album of moments, all stacked up against each other to form a cohesive snapshot of life – apart from “Lighter Break” wherein all the moments run through one’s thoughts all at once. It’s hard to pinpoint the sound of Deenmamode, largely because his work feels sample-based. We can’t help but assume there are samples on the record, for example during the dying seconds of “Love for You (Humbeat)”, though by and large it comes across as an album of purpose-built samples. One of these productions that function as samples could be the opening seconds of “Curly Girly”, with onomatopoeic ad-libs that ring out in the mind after the moment’s passed. As a result of the massive influx of influences on it coalescing around the beats format, Deenmamode’s debut makes for an astonishingly versatile record; you can play it at a gathering with friends, maybe a barbeque, or quietly to yourself at night, or “Play It Loud (In Your Car)”, reflecting on it, focusing on it, getting lost in it, working to it – it’s so natural in its intricacy and so detailed in its effortlessness. There are moments for everyone to take away from Mo Kolours, moments to remember it by, thus we all might see something different when we gaze upon its cover.
Are you looking to get shredded or add mass for the summer and normal supplements aren’t working? Or are you looking to just get a bit leaner or healthier? Look no further! Following our previous crew mixes Club Full Of Truants (our favourite club tracks), Room Full Of Truants (a recap of last year), and Tomb Full Of Truants (the most harrowing tracks we could think of) we collectively hit the gym and exchanged our favourite tracks that motivate us while lifting weights, running marathons and boxing as we all do every day. The result is a two hour long mix entitled Gym Full Of Truants, designed to keep you going while working out, mixed together by Truant wordsmith and disc jockey Aidan Hanratty. What are you waiting for? Get up, hit play, Blast Fat And Get Ripped In 7 Days Truants Style!
Words by Truants, 15 April 2014. Leave a comment
Hold up, hold up! Our friends over at Subbacultcha! invited us to co-host Evian Christ‘s and Mssingno‘s Amsterdam stop of their Waterfall tour, which will happen on Easter Sunday. We are thrilled to welcome the two producers to MC Theater as we have been huge fans of both Evian Christ and Mssingno from the start. Though Evian Christ’s sound has evolved into something much more dystopian and capacious than his debut release, the reckless and novel dynamics are a running line through both records. Evian Christ’s last EP, Waterfall, is something to be fully enjoyed on a big sound system and we can not wait to finally have this experience next weekend. Last autumn, we described Mssingno’s impeccable debut EP as an “emotionally-charged rollercoaster of swooning highs and deep-rooted lows that tugs on the heart strings with reckless abandon, whilst retaining the edge, bite and rhythm to work within club sets.” The emotion translates to the dance floor too, as “XE2″ has reportedly made people burst into tears on the dance floor so we hope you are ready. And that is not all: we gathered support from Amsterdam’s finest for the Tri Angle and Goon Club associates and have The Trilogy Tapes’ Minor Science, Amsterdam’s Know V.A. and our very own Real Traxx Magick on the buttons during the rest of the night.
Stream: Mssingno – XE2 (Goon Club Allstars)
Please come and join us in celebrating the resurrection of Evian Christ with a drink and a dance at MC Theater next Sunday. Get ready by listening to Waterfall over on Evian Christ’s website, and stream his fresh Young Thug remix below. To buy tickets and get more information and updates, please head over to our Facebook event page: WATERFALL PARTY FT. EVIAN CHRIST | MSSINGNO | KNOW V.A. | MINOR SCIENCE | REAL TRAXX MAGICK. We’re also giving away 2×2 guestlist places for the night. In order to be in with a chance, simply attend our night on Facebook, like Truants and fill out the contact form below. Winners will be notified on Good Friday. Best of luck and see you next weekend!
Stream: Young Thug – Stoner (Evian Christ Remix)
Words by Truants, 14 April 2014. Leave a comment