It’s well-documented, almost to the point of redundancy, how Oneman has built his reputation as a DJ and selector organically. Though despite having never dabbled in production, the Standard Place ringleader and Rinse FM veteran has managed to carve out a comfortable niche for himself. His sets are renowned for throwing up surprising little sonic fusions that you just know are Original Oneman Fire, which brings us nicely onto his latest project. Oneman dropped “Solitaire Vol. 1“ at the end of January - his first in what will be a series of independent mixtapes. On paper there’s nothing particularly jaw-dropping about the tracklist but unlike his rather limp Fabriclive contribution, it’s a whole other story when you let it play out. He kicks off by layering a Bone Thugs-n-Harmony a capella over Fatima Al Qadiri’s steel drum-laden “Hydra” – the combination has serious bite and sets the pace for the remaining eighty minutes.
Stream: Oneman – Solitaire Vol. 1
True to his signature style he seamlessly blends grime, 4/4 house and woozy rap joints without ever compromising the vibes. Peverelist & Kowton’s “Raw Code” and L-Vis’ “Ballad 4D” – both serious dancefloor weapons and alike in their sinister percussion-led grooves– sit astride the summery dancehall-lite of the “Diplo Rhythm“. Elsewhere, Machinedrum’s infectious “Van Vogue” rubs shoulders with Katie Got Bandz’s “Hittaz Only“. An additional personal touch is delivered by way of the Oneman edit, which are peppered throughout the mixtape. Whilst the TNGHT x B.O.B. track (christened “Still Bugg’n this Bitch“) has gone a bit stale since it was unveiled last year, there are rather inspired bootlegs of Flocka’s “Hand in the Paint” and Ginuwine’s “Pony“. After a relatively quiet few months for the 502 Recordings boss “Solitaire Vol. 1″ proves that Oneman is back on his A-game, and has everyone at the Truants Mansion excited for the next instalment.
Oneman’s Solitaire Vol. 1 is available now.
Words by Sophie Kindreich, 10 February 2013. Leave a comment
It’s been an interesting path for Sabina Plamenova. Moving between the worlds of dubstep and techno, featuring on Surgeon’s Fabric mix and collaborating with Jamie Woon (the pair met at RBMA 2008), she then drifted towards tough house music, often peppering tracks with her own abstract vocals. This led her to establish a new alias, Alis. She released the wonderful “Hybrids In The Attic” album late last year, and now she’s teamed up with one of our favourite labels, Don’t Be Afraid, for the “Azimuth” EP. It kicks off with the powerful stomp of “You Can Try“, its three-note phrases parading around with powerful grandeur. It’s a barrage of elements, hard-hitting kicks, sonic blasts and Alis’s floating vocals. After a percussive break the main theme returns, albeit in a less intimidating fashion, acting as a coda of sorts before wistfully disappearing in a sea of reverb. It’s quite something, although it’s hard to tell if this is aimed at the dancefloor or the headphones – it’s too slow for many a floor, but it’ll do more than just get your foot tapping while you’re on the train to work.
Stream: Alis – Azimuth/Azimuth (D’Marc Cantu Remix)
The EP’s title track is an expansive cut that’s swathed in chunky electro sounds, wallowing in giddy 80s kicks and bleeps that swarm like bees on a sunny day. Half-way through we’re pulled down a tunnel of emotion, with violent, swirling synths combining with more hazy vocals. It’s hard to call these tracks songs, as the vocals act almost as an additional instrumental element rather than a standout point. Remixer D’Marc Cantu takes those swirling synths, muffles them and builds a gripping house jam around them. It’s a deep loop of funk, one that you really wish would go on more than just the paltry five minutes we’re granted here. With its fizzing bass, and a dark pendulous two-note phrase that hangs over the track, it really commands your attention. “Imperium” is a languid disco groove, incorporating those harsh yet infectious synths explored in earlier tracks, perforated with strident semiquavers up and down the octaves. It, and the record, comes crashing to a close, like the breakdown of a computer or a carousel jerking awkwardly to a halt. Alis took part in the great DBA takeover of Boiler Room back in October, and you can get a glimpse of these three originals towards the end of her wonderful set. It’s the perfect manner to taste this release before you get your hands on whole thing
Stream: Alis Live in the Boiler Room
Alis – Azimuth EP is out on Don’t Be Afraid this month
Words by Aidan Hanratty, 08 February 2013. Leave a comment
With the fast pace of the internet music-sphere, and with so many artists teetering on the cusp of recognition, it’s really great to actually witness talent rise through the never-ending, ever-reaching crowd of music-makers. That’s not to say that Garry McCartney, also known as Ejeca, is in anyway a complete new-comer. He teamed up with his fellow Irishmen and good friends Bicep a couple of months ago, releasing “You“, a track that draws from the 90′s rave scene and received big love from people like Pete Tong and Waze & Odyssey, not to mention releasing tracks on AUS Music, Saints & Sonnets, W&O Street Tracks, Future Classic and more. The Belfast boy talks of long lasting respect for Orbital, The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers and “that wee phase in the nineties when garage was pop“, listening to tunes by Shanks and Bigfoot, Artful Dodger and the like. It’s a blossoming of music passion that we here at Truants can relate to, and we are absolutely loving the vibes on his newly released EP that is released on Last Night on Earth, the label of progressive house legend Sasha.
Stream: Bicep & Ejeca “You” (Aus Music)
Ejeca’s “Frequency” EP moves away from a fist pumping house vibe that was seen on his “Krunk” EP, giving us a more stripped back, refined, and introspective insight into Gary’s production technique. The first track “Hi Rollin” introduces a smooth atmosphere with an intense and methodical bassline typical of house beats, a tune that will in no way confuse the following he has already acquired. It is followed up by the similar “Neva 2 Far”, dripping with classic vocals and vintage house sounds. The last two tracks on the EP however really make you prick up your ears and double check you’re still listening to the same producer. “Nassau Storm” builds brilliantly, releasing a dub beat and subtle melodic line, only to then filter through each other like sand between your fingers. The bassline is an uneasy one – imagine a wolf in the wild with his hackles raised and you’ll get the general feeling of the entire thing. The last track on the EP “Time For Change” isn’t as dark as ”Nassau Storm” and you may find yourself reminded of the main man Burial, but nonetheless, it’s intelligent, gentle, and soothing, whilst still managing to hold down a chunky bassline and some poignant hooks. The snippets of rolling vocal are entrancing and we couldn’t help noticing the perfectly placed, sneaky last vocal sample of Donell Jones’ “U Know What’s Up“. We see you, Ejeca, and we like it.
Ejeca’s “Frequency” EP is available now on Last Night on Earth
Words by Jess Melia, 08 February 2013. Leave a comment
After being introduced to the world with a collaboration with Ramadanman, Midland might have felt a certain pressure releasing his first solo outing “Play The Game” back in 2010. In a similar vein, Bristol based producer Borai may have felt an equal amount of pressure in releasing his first solo work after three collaborations with fellow Bristol affiliate and long time studio partner Julian Smith; known to most as October. With three different releases strongly rooted in the house end of the musical spectrum, Borai has graced a number of respected UK based labels such as Applepips, BRSTL and Never Leant alongside Smith, but his debut release on his ones sees him land on recently inaugurated Chicago based label Tasteful Nudes. We’re not quite sure exactly who is behind the label at the moment, but you can peek a look at their site for now, which will no doubt be dropping some information and new tunes over the coming months. Having been djing for around 12 years and recently been taken on as an apprentice at Henry Bainbridge’s Dubstudio learning the art of vinyl mastering, Borai puts any pressure he may have had to waste and comes through just as strong by himself with a release titled “Moonlight On The Malago”. Borai himself will have to let us know whether the title is inspired by the song by Adge Cutler or just a beautiful memory from time spent on the river Malago in Bristol.
On the A-side, title track “Moonlight On The Malago” makes a strong first impression as Borai pushes a warm, bouncy bassline alongside a set of uplifting chords and playful summery melodies. It’s incredibly danceable and undeniably catchy and at seven minutes in length the track takes full advantage in creating a blissful 4/4 groove, that will have as much use shifting shapes in a club to creating vibes on a chilled Sunday afternoon. The B-side “Does It Bother You” follows suit in a similar manner, yet oozes a more spacious and slick appeal with its sustained pads and early 90s inspired hooks. Whilst Borai doesn’t break the bank in terms of innovation on these tracks, they are two greatly structured house joints that are meant to be enjoyed immensely in a number of settings and club hour times. Pure fun from Bristol once again.
Stream: Borai – Moonlight On The Malago (Tasteful Nudes)
Borai – Moonlight On The Malogo 12″ is out as a hand-stamped white label on the 5th February and digitally two months later.
Words by Riccardo Villella, 07 February 2013. Leave a comment
In a recent interview with FACT Lee Gamble elaborated on the underlying theory behind his celebrated record Diversions 1994-1996: “You know sometimes when you go to bed in the morning after a rave and you can ‘hear’ music in your head? Most of the time it’s a fragment or a rhythm or a phrase. Often you aren’t sure whether you’re making it up, or whether you’re replaying something from the night. Neurologically, these are called ‘release hallucinations’. When your brain is starved of a source of stimulation it has become accustomed to, it can start introducing memories (in this case musical ones). The brain wants to stay active and when it’s starved of this input it can create a hallucination.” “Eah”, the debut release from U, occupies the same headspace. It arrives on a hand-stamped 10″ from George Fitzgerald’s Man Make Music, a label know for intricate garage excursions, but unlike its peers Eah is more suited for the hours after the club, than the ones before or during. That being said, the latter experience can’t exist without the former. It’s the sort of record you throw on while you’re peeling off your sweaty clothes and coming down from the evening’s highs.
Stream: U – Eah EP (Man Make Music)
Words by Stephanie Neptune, 06 February 2013. Leave a comment