the first new release in 15 years for matt thibideau under the altitude name and its as if he never left. just like his legendary 1998-2001 output on blue recordings, each of these tracks is a deep and dubby analog groove to get utterly lost in. integration could be a new addition to maurizios classic m series, while harmonic scan lays the reverb on even thicker over a dark pulsing bass. stabilizer provides a techier counterpoint more aligned with the deep and driving loops of bluespirit or driftwood. its a pleasure to have altitude back on vinyl in such fine form.
assemble music brings together four more producers at the forefront of today’s fine minimal/house/electro scene. eklo boss seuil kicks things off with jam, a slowly-unfolding confection of metallic percussion and rolling bass set against a meditative, minor backdrop. his fellow half baked resident robin ordell brings a tipsy-sounding vibe to mobsiw, each element swaying its way around the others in an off-key dance. les points’ barbir adds detroit hats to a no-shits-given breakbeat and suspends it in time, before finally a 4/4 kick comes to put feet back on the ground. finally, traffic founders martyné and jacob draw on more contemporary breaks and electro influences on electronetto, with that laissez-faire swing with which their label has become synonymous.
the activ-analog collective return under this name for the first time in 10 years with a blistering new ep on lisbon s assemble music. taken from group live jams which are mixed down and tweaked on the fly, these four tracks recall the explosive simplicity of daniel bell s output on accelerate, both a-side tracks all whacked-out acid and basslines cut through by razor sharp hats and claps. the b-side sees the addition of the same woozy pads that defined their venerated night shift eps from the late 90s, taking the mood far into the afterhours. hard but with a light touch, funky and clean - in one word, irresistible.
raw machine funk from an intergalactic mind – hakim murphy brings us two contrasting sides of classic analog jams, chicago style. on the a-side, ‘toms from space’ and ‘bgstyle’ both have a melodic nostalgia, the former with pads and drum accents that are almost conversational, the latter’s ringing synth lines cleaving more to the jamal moss school of machines-gone-wild, but still in an introspective mood. the b-side is a heavier affair, ‘stompsb’ coming at you with a barrage of snares, claps and toms that will tickle the more adventurous dancers out there. by ’tf3_2’ the machines are in pure revolt, battery draining and sounds escaping in fits and starts – avant-garde chicago house, no questions asked.
four multi-purpose, innovative tracks from the assemble music family. mike shannon takes the pace right down on pimp limp to stunning effect, weaving together tweaked pads and a deep, tripping bass with the tightest of drum sounds, developing an irresistible, effortless groove. aloe varu (aka dan andrei) takes the shuffle up a notch on shifty, evoking classic herbert with cut-up jazz samples and bumping, stop-start percussion. nicola kazimir nods to another master, jan jelinek aka farben, on reductive ford, channeling the latters contemplative, intricate and emotive programming. finally voigtmanns muff shuffler does, well, exactly that, shuffling along with a minimal vibe enhanced with fine atmospherics.
two raw extended trips from the mind of stl in a rare foray beyond his self-run something imprint. stephan laubner applies his usual auteur principles to these groove experiments, whose sounds circle round each other cagily, rough meeting smooth, organic meeting synthetic, all combining in a propulsive form thats classic stl. shifty hats on * crank notion* provide an insistent shuffle through which nauseous pads plot a dissonant course. * neat buzzl* is a grimier excursion in the undergrowth, little creatures scurrying left and right while the kick maintains its forward stomp. join stl and assemble music in these off-map excursions and see where you emerge.
this ep brings together tracks that bookend lee norris prolific career: two from 1998s sought-after tidal frequencies ep and two cd-only tracks from 2015s * soul of the machine* compilation. for fans, this is a welcome reminder of the sometimes visceral (‘instamatic’), sometimes weightless (‘fragile’) but always deeply-felt sensation that noriss’ music continues to impress even on the most seasoned devotee. for new listeners, this is a comprehensive introduction to the career of a man whose sound has remained diverse yet cohesive over more than 15 lps and twice as many 12”s. ‘slowform’ and ‘ride’, both new cuts from last year’s retrospective, show a dance floor progression that bodes well for his newest album, out in 2016.
a labour of love and friendship, the camila ep contains two finely-worked originals. the slow, loping, scratchy jnd is a collaboration with close friend jürgen von krebs that brings to mind stl and theo parrish in its interlocking simplicity and off-key accents. ricky g. (soulmate mix) is a smoother, more wistful glide, paying tribute to the lady in st. josephs life. finally, giegling-affiliated dreamer edward provides his own psychedelic take on jnd, twisting the synth line through a battery of live percussion samples and analog bass. dusty, wonky, raw, musical – words synonymous with the great 3 chairs, but totally apt for describing st. josephs growing discography on lisbon-based imprint assemble music. vinyl only.
vinyl only. extended precision-tooled killers on this latest ep from specialist label assemble music, which reunites daze maxim with his long-time friend and collaborator patrick specke. the two put their considerable dj experience to the proof on two serious heads-down weapons aimed squarely at the floor: ‘battery’ rides a threatening bassline and loose, propulsive percussion through a series of phased synth lines that envelop and disorientate, while the portside waves-esque bass swells on drag me massage the eardrums and direct the feet. completing the ep in complementary fashion is chromosome, which brings some more skip to proceedings, its shuffling percussion, pitchbent bassline and melodic accents all interlocking to form an irresistible groove. primed and ready for action and only on vinyl – get it while it’ hot.
imagine going to a club with damp leaves underfoot, raindrops falling gently from branches stretching high overhead, and all kinds of animal life creeping and flitting barely seen through the undergrowth. welcome to the soundworld desert sky creates on *rare consistence*, the a-side to this new ep on assemble music: a journey deep into a living, breathing rainforest. come for this endlessly rich and evocative take on minimal house soundscapes, but stay for the moment 7 minutes in when, with a wash of detroit pads, a shaft of brilliant sunlight penetrates the canopy, helping to illuminate the surroundings in all their complexity.
super-refined, funky and fresh – with a roster including villalobos, daze maxim and vera what else would we expect from assemble music? here colognes st joseph stretches out on his first ever full-length, resulting in 8 individually intriguing headspaces for you to inhabit at your leisure.
BEGINNING AN ENDING (INCL BABY FORD RMX) ** VINYL ONLY **
12" Vinyl D10.02.14
daze maxim adds another episode to his practice of long-form explorations, on this his second release for lisbon’s assemble music. this time hes joined by a master in this field, baby ford, whose remixes over the past few years continue his own distinctive development of extended minimal house trips. dazes beginning an ending rides a skippy, loose beat for several minutes, the snares and hats gradually opening up as wordless vocalizations exclaim and interject with increasing regularity, the bass bumping contentedly underneath. pads join the equation for an intricate midsection – evoking memories of alcachofa-era happy experimentalism that nonetheless fit within daze maxims disciplined and dancefloor-oriented approach.peter ford recasts the original into his now unmistakable soundspace, where the push and pull between front-and-centre rhythmic components and evanescent background atmospherics creates that recognizable but undefinable sense of emotion, felt but unexplained. in ford’s world there isnt anything as simple as a beginning or an end, so the remix provides a valuable counterpoint to the original. given their now impressive track record, its no surprise that assemble music has pulled off another cohesive statement that works equally on the body and the mind.
legendary studio 1 re-release! >a series of very special minimal funky music based on very small and sneaky samples, danceable music but very much influenced by architecture and by the idea of taking minimal by the word and leaving out as much elements as possible to bring the maximum within the minimum.< – wolfgang voigt on the studio 1 series. with this re-release of two tracks from wolfgang voigts seminal studio 1 series, lisbons assemble music turns the spotlight back on to what amounts to the basic grammar of most contemporary underground house and techno. along with basic channel and the concept series, studio 1 has long been acknowledged as one of the forerunners of minimalist techno, though voigt is at pains to point out the >differences between their handwriting. rightly so, since neither mark & moritz nor hawtin prioritised the funk and fizz that jumps out of these two tracks >gelb< the determined younger brother to the more conventionally dubby (but no less groovy) >lila<. any producer who has spent long hours making minute adjustments to the interplay between the simplest of elements – kick, bass, snare, hats – should know they have been walking in voigts ever-so-well-placed footsteps. this re-release from assemble music serves as a reminder of where the music has come from
ANTICLOCKWISE EP (VINYL ONLY / INCL ION LUDWIG REMIX)
12" Vinyl D24.06.13
claus voigtmann makes his vinyl debut on lisbon’s assemble music, applying the same high standards to his productions as he does to the toi toi parties he co-organises in london. in fact, you can imagine ‘spin’ greeting you on arrival in a moodily-lit shoreditch basement, its growling interplay of bass and kick drum instantly familiar and pleasurable. the plunging bass and pinpoint kicks of ‘junago’ bring to mind the refined soundspaces of peter ford or ‘the au harem’-era villalobos. it’s the kind of track that comes into its own the later the night gets, and just as the elements interlock then writhe apart from each other you can imagine the dance floor doing the same.
the veric ep is the highly-anticipated fruit of an extended collaboration between vera heindel and another member of the extended robert johnson family, ricardo villalobos, who has frequently shared the decks with her back at her home club in frankfurt, as well as further afield in berlin, ibiza and beyond... and of course: vinyl only
assemble music returns with a three-track ep from colognes david joseph aka st. joseph, exploring further the refined, tripping path forged on the labels previous release from daze maxim. the pianos, vocal snatches and ambient hiss of josephs releases on platzhirsch are present and correct, but here the jazz flourishes are reduced down into something far slicker. these tracks have been prepared using a keen blade, and none sharper than >personal dancefloor<. heavy drum programming and a rumbling bottom end bring to mind theo parrish in his moodier moments, but the deal is sweetened by light piano, garage-like vocal samples and a deep, burning 4 love bassline. >indigo< spins the duke ellington classic into a spiralling, shuffling chugger that will bring a 30s harlem spirit to enterprising dancefloors. move the needle to the b2, though, for the eps party hit. written in 2009 and reflecting that years raw arrangements and joyous samples, >wave/table/muscle< finally gets a vinyl release, proving this sound endures to this day. expect more of the same from assemble music with their next release featuring vera and ricardo villalobos.
lisbons vinyl-only assemble music isnt messing around. though the three tracks on this debut release from dorian paic each take aim at strikingly distinct dancefloors (london–frankfurt–berlin), they are unified by a credo of fine production values, functional savvy and a no-nonsense imperative to move.