it is the first vinyl release on diet clinic’s newly-formed sub label of optimo music marking international women’s day 2019 and featuring brand new tracks from artists c.a.r, cucina povera, fantastic twins, human jones, maral, marika underspreche, odete, penelope trappes, slime, sue zuki and zoe mcpherson.
DIFFERENT VOICES FOR YOU. DIFFERENT COLOURS FOR ME (LP)
12" Vinyl D28.09.18
on an unassuming cassette, just labelled ‘robert rental’ in green dymo tape, these demos have lain unheard for years amongst his family’s treasured possessions, cared-for artefacts of a life cut short far too soon.
these songs, which robert recorded in his council flat in battersea in 1980, provide an enticing glimpse into his all-too-infrequent solo work. on most occasions, robert worked with thomas leer, daniel miller or other collaborators. these are rough recordings, tape hiss still in evidence, but his creativity shines through the murk, like uncut diamonds.
the fourth release of selva discos is one that has been bursting audiences into flames for a good while. barbatuques, a well-known brazilian group of body percussionists, adapted -baianá,,,,,,- back in 2005 (first released on the -o seguinte é,,,,,, esse- album) and since then it became a staple of their concerts, getting crazy reactions from the children to the elder, being featured on soundtracks and sampled by trap duo tropkillaz. the original is a modern folk song from bahia composed by maria do carmo barbosa, but it was the mouth harp sound and the stomping beat on the barbatuques arrangement that imprinted its trademark sound - like the first lightning strikes before the storm. a couple of years ago, jan schulte, the german producer known for his taste for tropical drums (and also for using a few different aliases), heard the song and decided to add an extra punch to it for his dj sets: more drums, taken from a library record of -drumdrops- (hence the title). in his appearance at 2017 s dekmantel boiler room stage as bufiman, he dropped it to the crowd s awe, and it s been like that wherever its played - believe it, it s been tested all around. so now for the first time -baianá,,,,,,- is issued on vinyl. it marks the second volume of the brasingles series, a new series on selva discos dedicated to releasing loud 12- singles with the original song on the a side and a rework on the b side, to please both the dj and the listener.
selva discos kick off a new series of singles with a rare native brazilian chant adapted by marlui miranda backed with a dancefloor friendly joutro mundo mix the indigenous cause is an urgent one not only in terms of territory but also when it comes to the preservation of the vast native brazilian culture and brazilian singer-songwriter marlui miranda has been dedicating herself for almost four decades to keep their music alive (she s a doctorate on native brazilian music, so you know).
brasileira is the second record released by selva discos and administrated by optimo music.
those who experienced listening to the original maria rita version of -cântico brasileiro nº3 (kamaiurá)- on the dancefloor know it’s such a thrilling experience that could only be better if the song was a bit longer. at the same time, it didn’t make much sense to mess with the original. having these thoughts on their minds, the selvagem boys augusto olivani and millos kaiser (the minds behind selva discos) had an insight while discussing the reissue of the -brasileira- material with singer maria rita stumpf: why not hit the studio and remake the track? also, why not ask someone like joakim, known for his exquisite taste and brilliant production skills, to remix -lamento africano/rictus-? it would be the perfect package. and that’s what happened.
a new optimo music disco plate and the debut release from feon. when these tracks first came my way i instantly knew they were ripe for a release on the label. original, idiosyncratic, full of imagination and featuring a couple of dancefloor hits, how could i resist? ’also, “the sun is high” was surely destined to become a sun-blissed summer anthem.
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.
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.
after a year’s hiatus optimo music disco plates returns with the first of several planned releases.
first up is long time friend phil kieran with an ep made specifically with optimo in mind. it has been tried and tested over recent months and more than ticks all our boxes. we feel confident it will tick yours too.
phil says “the ep was recorded in my house and made up of mostly live percussion performed live by thomas tettey annang. originally from ghana, he moved to belfast some years ago. it just so happens his wife is a close friend of my sisters and that was the first introduction. thomas now runs -releasing rhythms” here in belfast teaching drum classes.
we used a wide selection of traditional african drums that all have their own name, each one has a style and a sound. the rhythms used in this record would stem back to south american rhythms but using african drums. this was a sound and rhythm that influenced early post punk records in new york and still has an influence on dance music today.”
so low is an occasional night in glasgow run by iona fortune, jd twitch, katie shambles and becky marshall. so low is strictly for creatures of the night and plays music that could perhaps be described by the words dark waves / cold waves / minimal synthesis / maximal industrial / lo-nrg / forgotten flemish goth bands, teutonic apocalyptic beats +++ it is now also a label, administered by optimo music. the third release on so low is a 5-track ep from ian hicks, formerly one half of soft metals. ian also appeared on our “now & then” compilation ep. here he commands his own release and sets the synths to stun with 5 tracks of analogue waves ranging from the xtc bliss out of “character collapse” and “depths of psyche” to the shockwave klang of “chemical environments” and “specter”, perhaps leaving the very best to last with the ultimate hypno, sex slug groove of “continuous”. subliminal vocals. wrecked drum boxes. synths spiralling. full colour picture sleeve designed by so low collective member and acclaimed glasgow artist katie shannon.
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.
optimo music don’t generally do limited edition releases but when the golden filter did these extra mixes of “end of times”, the a1 track off their recent ep we thought they were too good to remain in the digital domain so have pressed up a small run of 12” singles aimed specifically at djs. the original single version is a future synth classic. these new dub versions take it to the dancefloor and have been tried and tested around the world over the last few months. they are considerably extended, dubbed out and add extra dynamics & ecstatic synth power with hints of the original vocal. there is a slo mo version at 103 bpm and a faster version at 118bpm which means the track should work any time from warm up to peak set. there is also a drone-apella version included too.
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 trax presents a 4-track ep from germanys mathias schober, head honcho of berlin’s lossless label. as always we prefer to let our artists do the talking. heres what mathias has to say about this release - the idea behind all tracks on the ep was a simple setup of drums and one synth that would do a main sequence/sound, yet theres a lot of detail in all of them. in a certain way features a 808ish beat with a main sequence coming from a tiny monophon synth called atmegatron - 8bit love, it turned out being much more music than i thought it would be when i set everything up. but what rules are made for is the same setup but the sequence is a 101 and so are all the washed out fx synths. on is to break them i went a different route, i had the dub, delayed stabs synth first as i was messin with my moog and a space echo - which btw is used on every single track i release, if you haven’t noticed yet. so i was trying to build something around those stabs in order to fit the track to the others and so i ended up with another sequence coming from my moog. as there was still space on the record, i decided to add an ambient version of is to break them, i love the ambience on this track. i hope that my love for dub sounds is obvious enough on these tracks. happy i found such an excellent home for the ep!
two of the best tracks off the brasileira lp get an updated dancefloor treatment by selvagem, carrot green and joakim. those who experienced listening to the original maria rita version of cantico brasileiro nº3 (kamaiura) on the dancefloor know it s such a thrilling experience that could only be better if the song was a bit longer. at the same time, it didnt make much sense to mess with the original. having these thoughts on their minds, the selvagem boys augusto olivani and millos kaiser (the minds behind selva discos) had an insight while discussing the reissue of the brasileira material with singer maria rita stumpf: why not hit the studio and remake the track? also, why not ask someone like joakim, known for his exquisite taste and brilliant production skills, to remix lamento africano/rictus? it would be the perfect package.
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.
optimo trax 30 celebrates a double 30 year anniversary: the original release date of “rejekto” and 30 years since twitch started dj’ing. in 1987, twitch, who wasn’t known as twitch yet, picked up a copy of “rejekto” at glasgow’s then numero uno import shop, 23rd precinct. he was smitten.
an original copy of the brasileira lp by brazilian singer maria rita stumpf has been on top of collectors and music lovers wishlist for the past couple of years, since cântico brasileiro no 3 (kamaiura)- broke out and cast a spell worldwide – from japan to brazil, from norway to south africa, everybody was flabbergasted after they first heard the song, and each and every time they heard it again. for the lucky ones that could listen to her whole album – and get to know other gems such as lamento africano/rictus and a cidade it is clear that it is an ouvre that more people should have access to, not only an elite of listeners and connaisseurs. the good news are that the lp will be available again in its entirety in a new, glossy, loud and clear pressing released through selva discos, a new label run by augusto olivani and millos kaiser (the dj/production duo known as selvagem) in partnership with jd twitch s optimo music. it s a legit reissue overviewed by maria rita stumpf herself, the music being remastered from the remaining dat tape of the original release and artwork faithfully updated by brazilian design studio colletivo, featuring liner notes by the singer/songwriter.
newcastle-born, mexico-based man power debuts on optimo trax with two psychasonic missives cut extra loud for optimum sound system performance. we asked man power for some words about this release and he told us - -both tracks sound different, but they re both from the same place in as much as they represent a conscious effort by me to strip back some of unnecessary niceties in my music and really sharpen my focus on what makes people dance without crossing the fine line of what makes me sound like me.”
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.
in 2016. i rented out a small piano studio in east london for nearly the whole year and set out to write an introspective, trendless, and mostly beatless album. inspired by albums from this mortal coil and scott walker, who also sought freedom to work outside of the expectations of their previous work, i limited the instrumentation to mostly an acoustic piano and effects, which left space to expose a lot of emotional vulnerabilities about myself and people close to me. writing lullabies about being a mother in a dystopian world, with pensive words about swimming against the current as a female artist, i felt free enough to tell untold truths that i’ve never felt comfortable talking about within music. free, liberated, empowered. naked.
iona fortune is a composer and producer from glasgow and presents the “tao of i” album as her debut release. inspired by eastern philosophy and slated to be the first in an 8 album series exploring all the symbols of the i ching, her music is influenced by oriental sounds and features a palette of instruments that includes the guzheng, gamelan and synthi aks. the overall effect is a singular and beguiling sound that loosely fits in with the fourth world concept imagined by jon hassell, and indeed iona fortune has also contributed a track to optimo music’s new fourth world compilation “miracle steps”. the initial vinyl edition will come on a white vinyl pressing with inside sleeve and original artwork by iona fortune.
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.
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
boot & tax are back. after two 12inches for optimo trax and an album on optimo music they return to optimo trax with their first new music of the year, just before it ends. four tracks of spangled, idiosyncratic, woozily spacious and slightly off kilter music that could only have been made by these two milanese maestros. as ever on optimo trax a quadruple a side where all tracks share equal billing.
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.
nice price deal !!! the title of this ep sorta says it all. its quite an important release for the label. glasgow musical connections all around! when most people think of optimo music, they think of the long-running club night in glasgow >optimo (espacio)<, which ran for 12 years every sunday…headed by jd twitch and jg wilkes. label honcho jd twitch is extremely proud to be releasing naum gabo … as this is the studio project of his optimo partner, jonnie wilkes, along with james savage. jonnie and james (formally releasing three 12 inches simply as >naum< on kompakts mighty speicher series) have been active on the scene for a while now. as well as releasing the original music on kompakt, mule, eskimo, dissident, and tinae they have provided some wonderful naum gabo reworks for hot chip, simian mobile disco, franz ferdinand, snow patrol, psychonauts and so many more… twitch has long been a fan of naum gabo so it is a bit of a coup to be getting this fantastic release: two covers of two mighty scottish acts from the late 70s/early 80s.
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
from oporto, portugal but now resident in london, trikk presents a 4-track ep for optimo trax. each of the tracks is a dubbed-out, percussive hypno gem with advanced production and while not dub per se, the use of dub effects is up there with the finest ja studio experimentation. all 4 tracks have been extensively club tested and may cause subtle pandemonium. dj tip : watch out for the slow down in modo ritmico!
after the success of their debut split ep with muslimgauze which sold out in record time, the southern italian male/female duo underspreche return to optimo trax for their first ep in their own right. three tracks of deliciously psychedelic advanced techno grooves filled with subtle syncopations and head melting sound design. first release in the new optimo trax colour scheme.
with his project fred und luna musician rainer buchmüller (sugar ray buckmiller) from karlsruhe, germany is paying tribute to his favourite electronic oriented music by using its characteristics like repetition and beautiful melodies, putting them in a contemporary context and preserving their subtle and seductive charm. fred und luna play their self described elektrokraut (concerning songs that are basically kraut mixed with electronic elements) and krautelektro (which is elektro mixed with kraut elements). they live in karlsruhe which, like düsseldorf, lies next to the river rhine. perhaps karlsruhe is the new (neu) düsseldorf, with fred und luna (as pioneers/vanguard).
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