With a steady stream of material filtering out over the past couple of years, from reissues and remixes to new collaborations, restructured moments from the club and fresh new solo material to boot, the Dozzy train continues full steam ahead. In 2016, the minimal maestro has dropped an EP for The Bunker, cameoed alongside Neel as Voices From The Lake on Time To Express, and the pair have already released on their own new label. Spazio Disponibile (“free space” according to Google) is to be a place for its founders’ own productions, as well as that of their musical affiliates. Following up an inaugural VFTL record, the label makes true on its premise with Donato Dozzy’s That Fab EP. It features four starkly different yet deeply Dozzy tracks of techno, ranging from the percussion wormhole of “TechTresor” to the subtly shifting bass glugs of “A.Ritmica”. “Aurora” is the most charming of the bunch, with its meditative melodies and deja vu ambience. The quiet crackles and the interweaving layers of hi-hats and claps highlight the best of Dozzy’s humble elegance. On the opposite end of that scale is the final track, “The Drunken Ghost”, with sounds perfectly encapsulated by its descriptive title. Each shapeshifting squelch could easily be belching, the panning of the atmospherics essentially normalises dizziness, and the beat stumbles somewhat miraculously towards the track’s conclusion. It’s surreal and entertaining, and most musical styles could certainly do with more innocent humour like this.
The passage of time seems to warp in the world of music, relative to the prolificacy of artists such as Obey City. Greediness aside, this accentuates the excitement whenever we do hear from the Brooklyn producer. Whilst these Merlot Sounds: Alternative Versions aren’t strictly original works of his, the return to his 2015 EP allows six artists to cover new ground with the source material. The first couple of these artists are Nashville pair Jensen Sportag, who transform the Kelela-featuring “Airy” into an almost-ballad, rich with strings and piano. Hearing the supreme vocalist in this new sort of arrangement is a blessing and a privilege – it’ll be no surprise to anyone that her vocals work in such a different setting. There’s also a track by Seiho, fresh from the release of new album Collapse on Leaving Records. Seiho retains the utopian national anthem flavour of the original, “With Grace We Go”, only this time migrating from Earth to elsewhere. The pair split an EP in 2014 for Perfect Touch so it’s no surprise that the results are such a treat. In between are interpretations by Deebs and S-Type, doing beats as only they can, plus Hi Tom hitting hard with the syncopations, which you may well recall from his Truancy Volume! A wide variety of tastes are catered for, and with this being a free release there seems little reason to miss out.
Following the excellent Human Body cassette on Truants favorite Where to Now? Records, Dublin-based artist Melly returns with his debut 12”, Flying Ducks, which further showcases his ability as a producer. The first track “Skip Fire” opens with enveloping toms interspersed with eerily delayed and distorted keys that quickly build in intensity before abruptly being dominated by acid bass. The track cycles through sounds in a dreamlike fashion, creating a surreal and energetic trip. Percussion dominates the title track, which is accented by a variety of distinct sounds floating effortlessly in and out. Strong rhythm keeps the tune focused despite a constant layering of unique voices, at times sounding like birds in conversation. Fellow Dubliner Lumigraph’s remix of “Skip Fire” is far more sinister than the original with its pounding bass line and aggro cymbals. Coupled with a cult-like chant and the sound of an igniting flame, it’s like some dark dancefloor ritual. Closing track “Windproof” follows with more hard-hitting drums, but feels spacious compared to the rest of the EP. Sounds drift in on the breeze, bubble up from the deep, get caught in static, are lost in transmission…
Historically, Chief Keef isn’t someone who has okey-doked his way through his career. While Zayn and Rihanna have only just created their first true-taste-of-creative-freedom solo stoner records, Keef’s astronomical 360 deal with a Greek billionaire has afforded him cocoon of comfort in which to continue his clusterfuck of sonic elements (while smoking blunts the length of Helix shatter-proof rulers). On our pick of the snippets he posted to YouTube last week, “Pursuit of Liberty”, he sings “You can be whoever you want to be”. The track stiff-arms you into the crossfire of green and purple water bubble beams (spoiler: it’s Fairy Liquid), popping and snapping on your brain, leaving wet neon cup rings behind to sink in and mix with the dopamine released. Bang. Please give the guy his i8 back, he needs a new paintball cover.
I don’t know if I can say enough good things about this mix. It comes from CL, a Toronto-based DJ/radio host/promoter, and was done for LA mix series Far Away. It starts off with the soft, blissful tones of 1080p’s Ex-Terrestrial, coming across like a cool breeze on a gloriously sunny morning and moving into a brisk and steady patch of similarly vibrant modern house – from the restrained stomp of Pilotwings to Assar’s rumbling beauty. The key thing about this mix is how it builds. It’s paced perfectly. Gorgeous floating arpeggios move into solid pulses of bass, acid that’s somehow both deeply gurgling and breathily light grows out of tracks with powerful heft. If the mix has a real focal point it’s the rolling bass and shimmering chords of “Blaff” by Telephones, and it reaches a frenzied, joyous conclusion with the euphoric breaks of Kink’s “Pocket Piano (Breakbeat Mix)“. It’s easy to say it’s a spring/summer mix, but I imagine it will cheer weary spirits in the darker months to come. Hats off, this bangs.
Words by Tayyab Amin, Matt Coombs, Taylor Trostle, Akash Chohan and Aidan Hanratty.