ÅMNFX “MOSCOW BEAT” CS (SILK098) $7
Russian producer Vasily Skobeev’s recording alias, Åmnfx – an abbreviation of the phrase “amen to FX” – alludes to the transformative power of multi-effects on devotional music. His own tracks convincingly demonstrate this principle, routing piano, drum machines, samples, soft synths, and field recordings through a selection of pedals and amplifiers to condense and color the sound, adding grit, grain, space, and shadow. Moscow Beat ranges from moody memory house (“Forget,” “In The Café”) to wintry minimal tech-dub (“Build A Home,” “Strictly Dub”) to wavy rhythm deliriums (“Wayback,” “Moscow Beat”), all sourced from recent insomniac workshop sessions: “Most of the good ideas come around 4-7 in the morning, when you’re tired as a dog.” Previous offerings on Opal Tapes, Neo Violence, and Dirty Tapes impressed but these eight FX-flexed cuts trace a fuller portrait of an artist at the threshold. Cover image by Sasha Popov. Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
SPECIAL MEMORIAL EDITION
CHERUSHII “MEMORY OF WATER” CS (SILK085) $8
Released in advance of her forthcoming Far Away So Close 12” though recorded almost a year later, Memory Of Water pools together eight dazed Cherushii excursions through sci-fi opera house, digital dolpin-scapes, cloud city slowgrind, ultraviolet synthwave, and ambient quicksand. Distinctly her least DJ-dedicated collection, exploring all kinds of sprawls and sketches and planetarium textures not intended for dancefloor consumption – although ex-tour sister Ms. Maria Minerva does cameo on “Thin Line,” a prize pearl of Estonian discotheque-pop about “trembling on a tightrope caught between sweet seduction and mass destruction.” But in general this is Cherushii in research-and-development mode, vibing rich veins out of new wiring schemes, chilled champagne, and Mission District memories. A revealing cross-section of diverse designs, down its own side street. Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
SPECIAL MEMORIAL EDITION
NACKT “VIREX” CS (SILK088) $8
A decade-plus duration of Bay Area electronic community building has distilled Johnny Igaz’s production alias Nackt down to its rubbery, resinous essence. Virex captures the project in its purest state: all live, all hardware, traced in curvilinear acid. The collection flows from fog machine night-stalk (“Full Coat,” “Ford”) to grooved mothership jack (“Black Widow,” “Trash Brothers”) to 303 soul (“Husk”), cut with verve and variance. Outpost party co-founder CM-4 shares much of the writing and production credit, frequently joining Nackt for live hardware PA performances. A squad of other SF house associates – Michael Claus (Outpost), Jason Key (Rotation), Doc Sleep (Jacktone) – cameo with drum patterns, 303 design, and additional production duties. Both alone and in collaboration Nackt conjures a riveting chemistry: lean, liquid, mechanized, and mesmerizing. Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
RARE WAREHOUSE COPIES
CHERUSHII “QUEEN OF CUPS” 12″ (SILK056) $15
Bay Area native Chelsea Faith’s debut as Cherushii – a name she’s been recording under since her first teenage techno Tascam experiments more than a decade ago – spills over with loves and lessons gleaned from a lifer voyage through the city’s expansive rave underworlds. Though she trained as a classical pianist at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music, the rigidity of the culture disillusioned her, so she dove headfirst into the Bay’s electronic warehouse scene, both as a promoter and performer. For her 19th birthday she received a Yamaha RS7000 sequencer, thus birthing an obsession with live PA sets, which she’s never deviated from. Recorded mostly in SF (with the exception of one track cut in Berlin), and mixed by Matthew Zipkin, Queen Of Cups takes the expansive blueprint of slow-burn deep house but threads it through with waves of synth wash, acid flash, and simmering strobe glow, for a loose yet composed suite of 21st-century free-spirit pulse generation. Mastered by Eric Hanson. In SILK label sleeves designed by Bobby Houlihan.
BACK IN STOCK
V/A “SENSATE SILK” CS (SILK100) $7
To commemorate the label’s catalog centennial 100% Silk spread its threads coast to coast and station to station for 11 faded blazers and future classics from a fresh cast of characters spanning Okayama to Berlin, England to Echo Park, Boston to British Columbia. Despite such distances the rhythms run parallel: lithe, low-lit, lush, and lost in sense memory. Sensate Silk swirls 75 minutes of smeared neon house, glitter decadence, skyscraper shuffle, flatliner acid, lovesick loops, mutant pulse, rave reverie, and tactile electronics into an expansive voyage of motion, mood, and meaning. Roster includes: Keita Sano, Cromie, Sage Caswell, Inoue Shirabe, Jack Novin, Donny, Badia, PARC, Helios Mode, Nackt, Westcoast Goddess. Defend the dream; feel the feeling.
HUBERT CLARKE JR “AL DENTE” 12″ (SILK083) $10
Impressionistic dub-house devotee Hubert Clarke Jr. fluctuates through several deviations of Sydney afterhours circuit specialties on his debut, Al Dente. Alternately wired and unwound, classic and contempo, vibed soul and lean house, the EP threads soft-focus funk into longform live voyages, naturalist emotion, dance as relaxed delirium. The vocal samples (“I’m not into this to be traveling around the world / I’m not into this to impress anybody”) evoke a mood of reflective idealism, spirits undiminished, hope in spite of it all. Dusted with memories and reveries of Heavenly, Picnic, and Mad Racket parties, hallucinated Omar-S demos, newer Sex Tags sides, and various nations under a groove, HJC’s 4 originals (plus a remix by Adelaide vibe squad MBM) feel like a beginning, a submerged energy swelling to the surface. Black vinyl 12 inches in stickered sleeves designed by Peta Farago with smiley meatball illustrations by John-Henry Pajak and Geordie Cargill. Mastered by Eric Hanson. Edition of 175.
HOUSE OF NEED – LES LEVEL
FLOAT KEYS – OCTO OCTA
FLUTTER & MOAN – PHARAOHS
WHATEVER – POLYSICK
ONLY FOR TONITE (ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MIX) – ITAL
FROM A DREAM (MAGIC TOUCH REMIX) – ITAL
CLUBHOUSE (WITH HONEY OWENS) – MAGIC TOUCH
FLAVORED BEATS – SIR STEPHEN
LET ME SEE YOU – OCTO OCTA
PSYCHO ZOMBIE DREAMS – ROCHE
WETDEVIL – SFV ACID
VEIL (VERSION) – COSBY
PANORAMA – STRATEGY
REMOVAL ACID – VERTICAL67
SILK: THE FILM – DIGITAL RENTAL & PURCHASE
(via VHX) $1.99 / $6.99 / $7.99
SILK, the 100% Silk documentary and dance film, is available through VHX and Amazon Instant Video. Shot over two years, the film follows four acts from the label – LA Vampires, Ital, Magic Touch and Maria Minerva – across a lengthy 2012 tour of the UK, Europe and Russia. SILK chronicles the performances, environments, and scenes they passed through: congested underground Parisian clubs, motorcycle showrooms in Bristol, abandoned industrial lots in Moscow, afterhours Berlin compounds, re-purposed World War II gun towers in Hamburg, plus large international festivals (Distortion in Copenhagen, Sonar in Barcelona). The film is punctuated by staged dance sequences conceived, choreographed, and performed by Mecca Vazie Andrews and the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company. SILK premiered in 2013 at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen and subsequently screened at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, as well as la Gaîte Lyrique in Paris. SILK was an official selection at the 2014 Amsterdam Dance Event, Melbourne International Film Festival, and Planete + Doc Film Festival in Poland. The SILK: DELUXE package includes the film as well as four exclusive live sets from the tour by each of the featured acts.