another fierce and unique act from the depths of the glasgow underground appear on optimo music with their debut green door studios recorded four track ep. keyboard player jim mckinven was previously in altered images, worked for many years in martin rushent s genetic studios, was in one dove and previously appeared on optimo music as one half of organs of love. he is however but one component of this transgenerational band. they describe their music far better than we could - “seedy electronica, consisting of 2 basses, electronic drums, synths and dark vocals. inspired by the avant-garde that influenced the electronic music scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s.”
optimo music is thrilled to release the new album from jacob yates. not only is he one of our all-time favourite artists from glasgow, but he is one of our favourite artists from anywhere. criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.
the penultimate release on optimo trax (at least for now) comes from tel aviv’s mighty kalbata. i was already a big fan and was so delighted when he got in touch to see if i would be interested in releasing something by him. unusually for optimo trax this is one track in 3 versions but each version is so different that often i play them all in one dj set. originally there were two versions but as kalbata is a renowned master of dub (check out the documentary online about him recording in jamaica), i gently persuaded him to do a no-holds-barred dub mix too which appears here as enkuan pt 3. a few words about the record from kalbata – i went to ethiopia in the beginning of 2017 to record musicians. the most memorable one was mulugeta teshome who plays the washint flute on this record. it’s a traditional ethiopian flute made out of wood, and mulugeta came to the studio carrying a whole bag of them, each one in a different key. we chose the scale and started the recording session. i ended up taking the tracks a lot further with the three cuts on the record but really it all started that day, in a small studio shack in addis ababa.
optimo music is delighted to present the debut ep from glasgow-based lo kindre. lo kindre is luxembourg-born and raised irishman daniel magee s personal dub interpretation, the result of a year of on u indulgence and tuff dub encounters, and time spent honing a live show across venues in glasgow. debut ep plant up presents a cosmic blend of swirling synth and low-slung bass offering magee s own version of dub to the public for the very first time.
optimo music are delighted to present the second full-length from the golden filter, still / alone. after relocating to london and playing shows around europe for a year and a half, self-imposed pariahs penelope trappes and stephen hindman delved into creating a two-sided existential opus by renting out old studio spaces around the uk and using mostly analog 80 s instruments, machines and effects. an album about being in love with pure solitude, when still // alone is separated into two distinct sides, record one, still, is a hypnotic meditation for the nightclub. wavy patterns of sound and light bounce off of penelope’s literary vocal bursts, layered over the ominous deep synths and arpeggiators, held together only by a strict 4/4 beat. the rhythm, ironically forcing the body to move, however internally focused and mindful, still. record two, alone, takes the club offline and into the fringes of raw, odd pop.
it’s the return of the sexual vigilante sex judas and his trusted sidekick ricky. this time in full album mode. norwegian producer tore gjedrem of ost & kjex fame, channels his love of comix, bohemia and fascination with human vice, the unspoken, the red light districts, the alleys of the mind into his alter ego.
optimo trax reaches no. 33, the final number in the series (although reserving the right to return at some point). the last release is a 3 track ep from montreal’s solitary dancer that ends the label’s run with a distinctly non 4/4 feel. we asked solitary dancer to say a few words about this ep to which they responded with
- -recordings inspired by archetypes existing within a hypothetical matriarchal society and how that may pertain to our present day reality.”
blurt are perhaps the act who have played live at optimo more than any other. active for close to 40 years they are one of the uk’s all time great acts, phenomenal live and on record and supremely underrated. blurt mainman ted milton is a living legend. now in his 70s but more vibrant on stage than most artists 50 years his junior, he is a man of many talents, artist, poet, musician, performer…. in 1984 he released a solo 12”, “love is like a violē,nce”, a no doubt accidental dancefloor gem completely out of kilter with any other music of the era that now makes total sense in 2017. dubbed-out stabs, programmed rhythm, trademark sax squeals and a more subdued than normal vocal that is strangely reminiscent of vincent price. thee definition of a cult classic and much in demand, side a of this 12” presents the a and b side (the equally outre “it’s only recently that stalins have begun to roost”) of this mighty 12” on one side of vinyl.
a cold cell in bangkok will be released on a single sided 12 inch single with a silk screened image on the other side lovingly designed by lindsay todd, the remarkable and acclaimed scottish artist and runner of the firecracker, sacred summits, shevchenko and unthank record labels. this record is dedicated to the memories of jhon balance and peter christoperson whose music has brought so much joy and light into my life.
originally released in japan in 2015 on dj emmas nitelist music as part of its acid ep series, only a small handful of copies of this 12inch made it to europe. jd twitch was lucky to score a copy and both tracks became firm favourites in his sets and much asked about. twitch felt this music deserved a wider audience so was kindly granted permission to reissue it on optimo trax. yes another double a side release, a1, hiroshi watanabes - infinity sign is a hypno ecstatic acid piano-tingling monolith. a2, kuniyukis acid air is a slow building organic percussive acid freak out that will cause a freak out on the floor. it is hard to do anything with a 303 that is interesting these days but both the tracks on this 12inch are 100% club classic.
hammer presents his vinyl debut on optimo music disco plates. this three track 12inch is a vinyl only / club use only limited edition guaranteed dancefloor activator. tech-house djs might want to skip this one
after a split single with muslimgauze and a single of their own on optimo trax, we are delighted to present the first optimo trax album release by italy’s underspreche. the album is split across two four- track eps, released two weeks apart
yet more italians on optimo trax! jose manuel delivers 4 unique exotic, fourth world, tribal slabs of ritual music. a1, the great beast in outer space is actually an andrew liles track that jose has completely reworked and sprinkled his magick on. mr. liles is one of my favourite producers in the world, both for his solo work and for his input into my all time heroes nurse with wound. for those who know his work, having something by him that will work on a dancefloor may bring a smile to your face. thankfully i know him a bit and he was more than happy to grant permission for this to be released. a2, folklore is fourth world exotica reimagined for late night dance rites. aa1, ritual, is exactly what the title says it is. aa2, sisi leaves the dance floor completely and even though optimo trax is 100% aimed at djs, was simply too lovely to leave off.
at last! this one took literally years to piece together. does dennis bovell need an introduction? i think not but in case you dont know, he is a musical polymath, top flight producer, dub legend and one of the finest artists the uk has ever produced. optimo music has worked with dennis before when he went into green door studios and dubbed out golden teacher to the max. this disco plate ep was already in the works before then but various circumstances caused it to take until now to see the light of day
peter zummo (born 1948) is an american composer and musician. he plays the trombone, valve trombone, euphonium, synthesizer, other electronic instruments, and also sings. he is associated with the postminimalist and downtown aesthetics, and he describes his music as -minimalism plus a whole lot more.- hes well-known for his work with arthur russell. in this project for optimo, the listener can hear that my musical food pyramid has musicians at top, or maybe they are at the bottom. in any case, they are important. that is why, from track to track, i selected segments in which one player or another is featured in the take. some may think that we musicians do multiple takes to get the perfect performance, but i like to find the special interactions lurking in each excursion. different players came forward in each of the takes, which were recorded in the studios seaside lounge and headroom, in brooklyn, and live in performances at cube cinema, in bristol, u.k., as well as in long island city and on staten island, new york. in order to escape the tyranny of the lyric, i am exploring in this release the possibilities of nonsensical and non-emotional lyrics. these kinds of lyrics bring the singing voices into the mix without an overweening message. the tracks include open-form compositions in which the duration was not specified.
london’s alex warren, aka kiwi presents “throwdown”, a cover version of carmen’s cult and in demand 1986 electro funk hit. it comes in two versions, a 4/4 club mix and at the suggestion of jd twitch, an updated take on a latin freestyle mix. both versions feature full vocals from ciara haidar and have “summer hit” written all over them.
pussy mothers is the behaviour of a cross-continental two piece from scotland and down under: formed by waving not drowning. chasing percussions, vocal athletics and hand claps concocted into a platter of disco junk funk and early hip hop rhythms, the number 1 ep took shape in glasgow s tenement flats and came to life through a spaced-out echo party held at green door studios.
after a sell out first ep on optimo music, mr tc follows it up with ep 2, surf & destroy four more tracks of analogue plus live instruments delirium. mr tc has been taking his live show (which involves a four-piece band) out on the road to great acclaim. his music and dj sets encompass leftfield disco, tropical oddity, house and techno whilst channelling the spirit of a youth spent playing in psychedelic rock bands in luxembourg, listening to krautrock and worshipping lou reed and david bowie. this is just the beginning
originally released on the mighty y records in 1982, this one-off single by disconnection was a mutant disco cover version of a song from rodgers and hammersteins 1949 musical, south pacific which was made into a blockbuster film in 1958.
powerdance is a collective formed by luke solomon and nick maurer formed as a reaction to bland soul less dance music that seems to infiltrating nightclubs the world over. luke and nicks comradely stems back many many years to their association with the classic music company a label formed by derrick carter and luke. nick maurer was one half of the then prolific greens keepers. this ep for optimo trax features the wigged epically funkoid gem mysterious space plane who doesn t like songs about space? on the other side is the modern hyper jacking more fire. alongside these are a reprise of mysterious space plane and a bonus beats of more fire for those djs who like to, are able to get creative with their mixing
glasgows junto club return with their second ep. in their own words. this is the second in our planned trilogy of junto club eps. if the first was the birth of the junto club, this is the middle-aged existential crisis. we ve followed the same ethos as the first ep, allowing the music to develop organically rather than being restricted by considerations of genre. naturally, this was shaped by our experiences of the first ep.
celebrating our 20th release, glasgows dave clark returns to optimo trax as sparky. he was responsible for the third release on the label as luma which featured the club smash -john broadwood- and recently had another big club hit with signals- on numbers. we are delighted to welcome him back in what is a contunuation of a relationship that stretches back further than we care to remember. all four tracks here are certified dancefloor winners, from the reach for the lasers, kickless things fall apart through the synth rhapsodies of black swan and my prophet, climaxing in the jacking seven daggers. all killer, no filler is often a trite cliche in these blurbs but is entirely true in the case of this ep.
from france comes fabrizio rat with a 4-track ep constructed entirely from acoustic piano and drum machine. mr. rats unique sound design blew our ears away, particularly at a time when so much techno is more reliant on following a blueprint rather than trying to push the frontiers of what is possible, which to us was always the true raison dêtre of techno
golden teacher started life as a studio collaboration between glasgows noise punk trio, ultimate thrush and glasgows all analogue house duo, silk cut. the results of their collaboration turned the ears of all who heard them, not least twitch who after one listen asked if he could release the project on optimo music label.
originally released in 1985 in an edition of 500 copies, this is the first time this album has been available on vinyl for nearly 30 years. peter zummo (born 1948) is an american composer and musician. he plays the trombone, valve trombone, euphonium, synthesizer, other electronic instruments, and also sings. he is associated with the postminimalist and downtown aesthetics, and he describes his music as >minimalism plus a whole lot more<.