KAAZI “ZEN TRAVEL” CS (SILK097) $7
Emergent New York City producer Kaazi conceives of his woozy rhythm experiments in lofty terms – utopian extensions of self, alternate windows of perception, “something to move beyond the static,” etc. – but their mesmeric and transportive properties need little explanation. Zen Travel voyages through nine winding, textured terrains of breathy acid funk, foggy jungle dub, and violet vaporous house, inspired by youthful trips to Tokyo and the adventurous synthetic fusion of Hiroshi Yoshimura and Yasuaki Shimizu. Recorded in the summer and fall of 2015 using a Bass Station, Prophet 600, and minimal palette of FX, the tracks were born from long-form improvisational sessions, then later edited for brevity and essence. The titles gesture at the mood and motion of each microcosm – “Air,” “Tropics,” “Skate,” “Street,” “Cruise” – but taken as a collection Kaazi conjures a sense of expanse, altitudes, flux, and feeling, where the dance floor and the devotional dissolve as one. Mastered by Rioux. Artwork by David McLeod.
RARE WAREHOUSE DEADSTOCK, BACK IN THE SHOP:
BOBBY BROWSER “JUST BROWSING” 12″ (SILK017) $8
Bay Area whiz kid Andre Ferreira aka Bobby Browser makes People-Mover music: refined glides, dewy bass, escalator acid, sunny techno. Spot him around town biking the Bay Bridge with a 909 in his knapsack or grabbing organic produce alongside some Berkeley techno vegans. A Man Of The People, primed for all your Uplift Mo’ Blow Party Plans. Just Browsing? Just Buying.
PHARAOHS “UHH UHH” 12″ (SILK012) $8
Mad Madchester vibes all over Pharaohs debut Uhh Uhh, happy mondays, tuesdays and wednesdays full of synthetic drums, funky 808, pitch-shifted vocals, freaky dancing, baggy world party heaven. Add a bit of bubbly acid, some extended jazz grooves, a dash of KLF big band UK mayhem, and a touch of 94.7 FM liquid sax/velvet breath and you’ve got the deep pleasure of these LA kings can conjure. Taking the shiny dance floor to the warehouse cement, then out on to the sandy patio floor for some hot Hacienda nights.
MAGIC TOUCH “I CAN FEEL THE HEAT” 12″ (SILK009) $8
Groove into Magic Touch’s pleasure factory, a floor-to-ceiling inventory of disco-covalence, guitar rush, even-better-than-the-real-thing samples, and jumpin’ jackin’ flash. A vice is nice but pills will never thrill you like the sensation of Magic Touch, his feverish fantasia of sweet heat. “I Can Feel The Heat” features additional shredding by So-Cal amigo Josh Anzano while “Clubhouse” stars additional instrumentation by Miracle Clubber Honey Owens.
GILLETTE 12″ (SILK005) $8
Gillette are an eastern monorail through black-lit airbrushed metropolis cityscapes, liquid metalheads and bladerunners bargaining in back alleys for stolen hardware. Dying yet eternal, scenic but bleak, formless though fated. Remote with control. Craft/work for the machines of men. Comprised of Profligates & Lazy Magnets.
THE DEEEP “MUDDY TRACKS” 12″ (SILK002) $8
The Deeep’s Muddy Tracks is the kind of Toronto shamanism you never knew existed: like someone pulled the stinger out of Beth Gibbons and sucked the poison out of Tricky, leaving a stripped devotional dub exoskeleton. The remixes fold in jubilant Indo-Eastern rhythms & sensual software schisms, for sophisticates.
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.
JAMES BOOTH “HUMAN RITES” 12″ (SILK084) $10
Mancunian producer James Booth holed up in various Hulme flats and half-studios with nothing but an old iMac to craft the six lushly overcast house designs comprising his vinyl debut, Human Rites. And, as is sometimes the case, the limitations were liberating: “With all of my gear in storage I downloaded a couple of plugins and tried to breath some life into them… with none of my old dusty buttons and keys I ended up focusing more deeply on the melodies and sound of each instrument.” Building on the misty-lensed techniques of his 2013 SILK cassette, Reunion, Booth’s new set of tracks feel even more nuanced and rain-streaked, streetlights dissolving through night bus windows, suburbs and moors glowing grey in the motorway’s false dawn. Structurally these songs swirl more than peak – synth lines spiral woozily, rhythms flex and fade, emotions come in and out of focus. He sees it similarly, describing Rites as “music for processes and passages; time elapses and we change.” Personal music for an impersonal world. 33 RPM black vinyl 12 inches in SILK label jackets designed by Roland Tings. Mastered by Eric Hanson.
CHERUSHII “FAR AWAY SO CLOSE” 12″ (SILK081) $10
San Fran rave loyalist Chelsea Faith aka Cherushii centered her 2nd EP around its title track, which evokes some Balearic brunch dream sequence coasting in the ether off a Mediterranean isle – swooping shorelines, seagulls, liquid sky sax (courtesy of jazz multi-instrumentalist Marcia Miget), sex surfer acid. Escape as experience. The record’s other three cuts stake her map across varied terrains, from maximalist catwalk (“Set You Free”) to sensual moonlight (“Nightsteps”) to fogged up DJ booths (“Sweet Spot”). Far Away So Close finds Faith at her most focused and free, glitter in her eyes and the dancefloor in her fingers. Music for bodies in motion, no matter the ocean. In SILK label sleeves designed by Spencer Longo. Mastered by Eric Hanson.
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.