LA VAMPIRES DOES COLOGNE “10 OUTTA 10” CS (SILK122) $7
Angeleno escape artist LA Vampires returns from retirement with her first set of hot ‘n’ cold heartwave hymns since 2012, this time in collaboration with bicoastal-tronica duo Cologne. A 7-sided dice of pleasuredome pop, synthetic seduction, and emotional fantasy, 10 Outta 10 spins a sensual web of liminal lovesickness and decadent dance, amorous holograms for today’s Age Of Mirage.
From diva-house strut (“HOWUKISS”) to diamond-life lament (“STRANGERS2ME”), the vocal/production design feels sparkling and psychic, a gallery of glamorous masks: romance, rapture, regret. To feel is to feel unreal; to be moved is to be moved away.
FORCE PLACEMENT “VIBE REPAIR” CS (SILK119) $8
Black Lodge mainstay Jason James explains his freshest Force Placement track pack as “a hazy late night vibe… songs you play on your way home from the rave: bottom heavy enough to keep you awake but kind of heady and tripped out.” Sculpted from sketches conceived during early morning post-party sessions, Vibe Repair snakes, slinks, and slides through various fogged comedown rhythms, from noir house to dusty breaks to empty alley jack.
James cites “classic jazz, funk, hip-hop & ambient” as his recent listening cross-section, which slip in and out of focus on these 10 smoky sleepwalker steppers, channeling the bleary bump of a sound system in a busted building down the block on an unlit street. The night’s late but not lost – repair the vibe.
CAMMI “LOOK AT THE WORLD” CS (SILK116) $8
Fresh, fried, and freewheeling debut by Owosso/Lansing, Michigander Cameron Weede aka Cammi checks every SILK box in the book: teen MPC experiments, thrifted hardware jack, tape noise dumpster dub, longform luxury house, department store boogie, standup comedy groove, etc. Tracked in fits and starts over the past eight years, Look At The World runs on immediacy and intuition, man/machine symbiosis at its loosest and most liquidated. Early years spent jamming improv trombone with free jazz hillbillies eventually led to a love of classic house and cheap gear, with a special fondness for “ugly 90’s FM/romplers and digital synths because it’s all I can afford.”
But limited means don’t mean limited ends: across 54 minutes Cammi cuts a sweaty swath of raw rhythm, busted bass, and plastic passion, from outer rings to inner circles. Take a Look: “I just do whatever’s in my head, it’s all subconscious. I’m def not a purist – about anything, really.”
12″ + CS ($16)
AFK & BLUDWORK “LOYALTY N SERVICE” 12″ (SILK113)
South Cali classmates AFK and Bludwork come from oceans apart – South Korea and Georgia, respectively – but their intertwined social / sonic chemistry are proof that true vibe unions transcend geography. The pair initially bonded over teacher pranks and 420 habits before rendezvousing off campus to link rigs and jam live electronics, eventually culminating in the six smog-smeared low-lidded bangers comprising their vinyl debut, Loyalty N Service.
Alternately coastal and concrete, the songs slide between dusky sunset house (“Akina Memory,” “That Pain”) and funked up warehouse smoke (“No Equal,” “Searchin”), tag-teaming melody, MIDI, and drum machinery into compelling composites of Pacific motion and emotion. Blud is blunt about their bond: “AFK is one of my most cherished friends; I’d do anything for this guy.” This is music from the heart and for the heads, pensive and propulsive, loose and liquid, raw and rising. “One of our biggest inspirations is the Rush Hour films. We’re the best Black and Asian duo since those guys.”
Record is available with or without exclusive Bludwork bonus tape, Portal Of Hope.
CHERUSHII & MARIA MINERVA “S/T” 12″ (SILK102) $14
In the fall of 2013 Maria Minerva mapped an 8-show United States trek up the west coast and across to Chicago but, being newly emigrated and without car or driver’s license, needed a traveling companion who did. Given the grueling itinerary only one road warrior / joie de vivrist came to mind: dear friend, penpal, and SILK sister Chelsea Faith AKA Cherushii. The two covered over 3,000 miles together, performing in bars and towns not known for leftfield electronic patronage (i.e. VFW halls in Missoula, Montana). Though attendance was occasionally minimal they bonded deeply, in ways specific to arduous American DIY touring.
In subsequent years the pair shared bills, traded tracks, and remained close – even playing live together a few times – yet the dream of a proper collaboration always loomed. The tragic Oakland fire of December 2016 cut short such plans but not before they’d written, recorded, and mixed the better part of six songs. With the devoted assistance of David Last, Adam Gunther, and Brian Foote these recordings were posthumously polished and finalized and it’s our heart-aching honor to share them with the world.
Drawing on Minerva and Faith’s most vibrant Venn diagram overlap, the tracks evoke mirror-lined music video sets, downtempo night drives, rainbow eyeshadow, glittering skylines, and sweaty discotheques, flowing from lush to lavish, highly finessed and full of feeling. It’s the sound of true union, Faith’s divine dancefloor DNA threaded through Minerva’s chic pop hooks, rhythmic and revelatory, the best of two beautiful worlds.
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.