GEMINI LION “ADORATION” 12″ (HOS003)
Portland vocal house roots duo Gemini Lion is an ongoing collaboration between soul-singer J. Green and SILK staple producer A. Kalin (Temples, Polonaise, Finesse). Adoration, their debut, pickpockets from various downtown wardrobes for a multi-culti vibe that’s equal parts party monster, ballroom strut, and melancholic sweat. Green’s voice is a rich and dexterous presence, waxing after romantic obsessions and delineating queer terminology, while Kalin’s lean bass lines and percussion sequences shuffle and flow through fluid, reflective states. Their commitment to such a classic palette (especially on the ravey, pump-up-the-volume closer, “Best Believe”) might ruffle the feathers of certain prickly futurists but GL know the difference between affect and effect; they even have a phrase for the former: ”a boy / in a dress.” Center label artwork by GL.
SIR STEPHEN “SANCTUARY” 12″ (HOS002)
French Quarter diva-house decadent Sir Stephen explores fresh palatial terrace party terrain on Sanctuary, a six-song rosary for SILK streetwear subsidiary House Of Silk. Seemingly inspired by that short-lived (and culturally off-limits) stylistic intersection of 90′s club music and devotional New Age – think early Enigma, deep house PM Dawn white labels, wind chime samples, etc – the EP glides between moods of self-reflection and celebration, often in the same track. Vocals rise through synth-swells of incense and candlelight, tag-teaming with sub-currents of tribal percussion, trumpet, sax, software warble, piano stabs, and acid-jazz flute. An absorbing and sensual resurrection collection by New Orleans’ foremost dancefloor defibrillator. Hand-stamped white label 12 inches mastered by Marshall Jefferson in Chicago, IL.
EZLV/ROMY “HOME” 12″ (HOS001)
French-Canadian dirty-disco duo EZLV kick off SILK’s new imprint, House Of Silk, with four fresh & carefree club classix led by “Home,” the lush uptown house anthem by Melbourne vocalist/MC/boheme Romy Hoffman. The rest of the EP spans funked-out nu-groove edits of prized Salsoul sides, a “Home” deelite-dub by EZLV, plus an androgynous slow-pitched re-imagining of the hard house heartbreaker “It’s Over Now.” Quebecois culture’s finest body-rocking export of late, crafted expressly 2 B N-Joyed. For fans of letting loose. Black vinyl 45 RPM 12 inches mastered by A.P. In hand-stamped and stickered sleeves.
ROCHE “DAWN OF THE NEXT CYCLE” CS (SILK089)
Ben Winans’ work as Roche resists niches and deadzones, threading through various outer rings of electronic trance, proto-techno, and unnamed house. His latest logbook of tracks, Dawn Of The Next Cycle, spirals as deep as ever into red-eyed trips of pulsing, gaseous patterns, electric body music reflections on “a world at war, a world that is falling apart, or perhaps reforming.” Shades of tribal jack, slap bass, submerged disco, cyber club, and programmer haze interweave and evaporate; nebulous melodies swell and dissolve; cycles dawn and die. Adapt or collapse – both man and machine. Even more than on previous releases, here Winans wields an innerspace touch, sinuous and circular, heavy-lidded like a horizon line. It’s always darkest before the Dawn. Recorded in San Francisco, California and mastered by Matt Tammariello.
NACKT “VIREX” CS (SILK088)
Over a decade of Bay Area nightlife and warehouse culture has boiled Johnny Igaz’s production methodology as Nackt down to its rubbery, resinous husk. Virex captures the project in its most stripped and purist form, all live, all hardware, traced in strict acid. The fluid genesis of each track allows for a curvature of mood from fog machine nightstalk (“Full Coat,” “Ford”) to grooved mothership jack (“Black Widow,” “Trash Brothers”), prone to mutation and variance. Outpost party co-founder CM-4 shares much of the writing and production credit, and joins Nackt on stage for live hardware PA performances. A squad of other SF house associates also contribute cameos – Michael Claus (Outpost), Jason Key (Rotation), Doc Sleep (Jacktone) – pitching in on drum patterns, 303, and additional production duties. Both alone and in collaboration, Nackt conjures his own distinct sonic corridor: liquid metal, insectoid, mechanized rubber sculptures strobe-lit above the speaker cabinets. Recorded in Oakland, California and mastered by Matt Tammariello.
MR BRONSON “TRANS PACIFIC” CS (SILK087)
Melbourne hardware flatliner Mr. Bronson (aka Andrew Broughton) strips tracks back to their strobing skeletons, lean sequences of poly-synth and 707, a spiraling infinity window across Oceania. Motion does not equal movement; Pacific vertigo is its own reward. The eight woozy waveforms of Trans Pacific traverse overlapping strands of tranced acid, throbbing bass, and minimal synthesizer design, alternately stealthy and slogged, a low-slung speedboat in the dusk approaching Ball’s Pyramid. Previous limited lathes on his Bad Party imprint have explored similarly endless grids but the cuts collected here cruise the furthest into Mr. Bronson selfhood ritual, raw constructs of mantric pulse and drum machinery, gear in flight. Mastered by Alter Echo.
CHERUSHII “MEMORY OF WATER” CS (SILK085)
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.
PARADISE 100 “NORTHERN SEOUL” CS (SILK082)
Brussels-based rhythm nationalist Graham Peel aka Paradise 100 returns to the recorded realm after 20-plus months off the grid with a four track EP of “micro fugues” designed to evoke a sense of “hazy ecstatic awe.” That’s one way of putting it. Like his last SILK outing, 2013’s The Loin King, Peel’s pieces pulse with tactical patience, carefully Jenga-piling synths, drum programming, and samples (voice, xylophone, etc) into fluid, curvilinear forms spiked with off-sync hooks, stark breakdowns, and filtered acid bass. Northern Seoul spans a quadrant of moods, from sunblind jack to dusk terrace to shattered glass piña colada, “when we wander around a foreign place for the first time.” Second time’s a charm, apparently. Subtle Seoul-searching by a craftsman out of the lights and off on his own. Mastered by Eric Hanson.
V/A “SUNSET SILK” CS (SILK080)
Five years flies by in a flash, but feels like an eon. Sunset Silk reflects on the label’s half-decade dim glow in the distance of dance with new tracks and remixes by Prison Garde, Jupiter Jax, James Booth, C.L.A.W.S., Cruise Family (a vintage unreleased 11-minute recording), Strategy, Sapphire Slows, Afterhours, Roche and his brother CB Radio, as well both Bobbys: Draino and Browser. Though the rhythms come far-flung – Montreal, Malta, Vienna, beyond – the approaches feel unified, faded, fogged, and heavily felt. Woozy coastal house, MIDI new wave, cosmic techno, Bay Area dark jack, ripper acid, vapor grooves – the forms fluctuate across 60 minutes of shapeshifting SILK. Body music for sinking suns. Mastered in Portland, Oregon by Alter Echo.
AUSCULTATION “L’ETREINTE IMAGINAIRE” CS (SILK079)
Auscultation is Madisonian-gone-Oregonian musician Joel Shanahan’s outlet for slinkier, more subliminal productions, as inaugurated on last year’s sprawling self-titled debut for 1080p Collection. His sophomore set, L’étreinte Imaginaire (which translates generally as “imaginary embrace”), was recorded off and on across France and Wisconsin throughout the last year, during and between various regional tours. The album’s seven selections swerve through jazzy, sunflared house (“Black Window,” “Composure Fuzz”), glimmering rhythm (“Stranded Love”), and misted, moody electronics (“Drop Off,” “Lost You In The Fog”). As with Shanahan’s work via Golden Donna and elsewhere, structures spiral and slide, textures phase in and out of focus, and a mood of heavy longing hovers in the headphones. Even so, the sense of focus and craft-sharpening here is unambiguous; these pieces are among his most plasmatic, pensive, and aerodynamic. Slow growth on a shadowed vine. The embrace may be imaginary but the touch feels real. Mastered by Alter Echo.
COSBY “MIRROR BOX” CS (SILK078)
East Coast audio curator Will Creason’s recording alias inevitably exudes a darker resonance in light of recent events, but coincidentally so does his latest sheaf of Cosby cuts, Mirror Box. Inspired by an amalgam of “real and imagined locations” ranging from the Strip District to Surfers Paradise, the album’s six songs stalk starker and steelier circuits than his previous work, from the glassy, paranoid dub of “Mirror Box” to the hollow powder rush of “Gold Coast” to the twitchy trio of bleakly jacking EBM B Side tracks. Each piece is a spiraling ice-slide further inside its own event horizon, cyclical and relentless. Play loud and late. Mastered by Alter Echo. Edition of 100.
POLICY “THE REPUBLIC” CS (SILK077)
Last summer Francis Hsueh (aka Policy) revisited his childhood neighborhood in Taipei, where his parents settled briefly after fleeing China when the communists seized power in 1949. Despite its legacy of displacement and diaspora, he felt a communion by riding the city’s MRT train through hazily remembered suburbs and landscapes: “The sounds of urban life, of people going someplace, made sense no matter who or where I was.” This “steady thump of movement” led to the creation of The Republic, an essentially unbroken 50-minute piece of music, with each section named after stations along Taipei’s subway. Opening with the airy chords of “Shipai,” the album curves through expanses of phased percussion, melancholic organ (“Jiantan”), post-punk basslines, cryptic voice samples (“NTU Hospital”), street ambience, syncopated bells (“Daan Park”), and beyond. But the rhythm never brakes, riding the rails through and past each new cosmopolitan borough, structures ghosting away in the dusk. A captivating sight-see of sinuous, autobiographical house. Mastered by Alter Echo. Edition of 100.
POTIONS “PHASED” CS (SILK076)
Chicago’s Potions (aka Tom Owens) oozes a suitably liquid sub-species of electronic rhythm miasma, which he’s been bottling on boutique cassette reels since 2011, exploring various vibes and viscosities. Phased collects seven of his latest and most luxuriantly languid lava lamp concoctions for what, to our ears, may be his supreme setlist to date. Recorded primarily using “MIDI technology of decades past” (not for nothing was his debut LP called MIDI Jazz Bass), the album slips and slides through jittery cyborg jazz, disjointed lounge-fusion, siphoned acid, and dubby, dissolved house, a bubbling beaker of fluid synthetic textures. The off-kilter percussion programming gives each piece a pleasingly unstable voltage, skewing the equilibrium in whooshes of phaser and stereo rainstick. Fellow ambient sculptress Laura Jane Friedman guests with some gorgeously reflective multi-tracked vox on “Glass Lake,” but otherwise this is an instrumental affair. Mastered by Alter Echo. Edition of 100.
BOBBY BROWSER “CLUBSPINNING” 12″ (SILK075)
Bobby Browser’s human counterpart, Andre Ferreira, decamped to Brooklyn last year after nearly a decade in San Francisco but his Pacific moods and Portuguese slang remain undiminished. Clubspinning is his latest EP, culled from a series of 2013 sessions based around a Yamaha SU700 Sampling Unit, the tracks “selected to represent the most unique and memorable performances during that time.” Mission accomplished: “Clubspinning” and “No Attachments” are great glitterball glides, soft-lensed and silk-spun; “Manchester” a bass-prowler dubbed with synthetic flute and Factory samples; and “Go 90” a complete soul-in-the-rain ghost comedown, misted in piano, voice, and percussion. That pieces this sculpted came mainly via hardware intuition is beyond impressive – limitations turned hyperfocus. This is Browser at his best, strobing but smooth, four gems of weirdly elegant smiley face minimalism. Mixed by Matthew Patterson Curry at Transmitter Park Studios in Greenpoint, BK. Mastered by Eric Hanson at Maven in Los Angeles. Center label artwork by SF club cat Primo Pitino.
THE CYCLIST “HOT HOUSE” CS (SILK074)
Andrew Morrison’s grasp of static-hazed grit as a Cyclist production signature continues to grow more grisly and majestic. On Hot House he pushes beyond tape throb into widescreen steel-wool jack, cooled with fifth-generation hiss and electric new age. Side A is all singles: heady bass, blasted dub, and phasing, echoed keys. But the reverse three lurk outside the club, blanker synthesizing, droned rhythm spirals, desperation on the streets. It’s not afraid to be epic too; 9-minute EP closer, “Higher Volumes,” is a saga of opaque tape emotion, samples, synthetic rain, and deep house. Another impressive structure from an artist miles from peaking. Pro-dubbed cassettes in label J-cards. Edition of 100. Vinyl and digital edition available worldwide via music/is/for/losers.
JUPITER JAX “VISIONS” LP (SILK072)
Two years ago Maltese musician Rudi Agius aka Jupiter Jax was in London, finishing a PHD in computational biology, awake late and usually alone, when Visions emerged: “My life was literally getting back from the lab, and spending the night (usually till 4-5 AM) making some music… the gloom is something that I love.” Many nights bled into dawn while designing presets for his synths – “sounds that give me feeling” – from which bass lines, beats, and the exploration of “further territory” flowed forth: quartz-clouded, questing house (“Armed For Peace,” “Soul Searching”), foggy breakbeat (“The Deepest”), tranced technoid (“Beyond The Walls”), plus glimmering, ghosted-vocal guest spots by Merwyn Virgo Four, Xosar, and Mykle Anthony. Across eight hazed vistas, Visions never wanes: “Jupiter Jax is about ethereal music.” Deep planetary Italo disco moods dissolved through overcast city voids, haunted by the heartbeat of melancholic early Chicago jack. See beyond the walls. Grid-mapped cloudscape cover art by the artist. Mastered by Alex Nagle.
NOTE: LP is available individually or with exclusive full-length companion cassette, Visitors (SILK073), limited to 100 copies. (The tape is not for sale separately). While supplies last. Paypal accordingly.
UPDATE: Visitors tape is now sold out.
LUNATE “FAR SHORES” CS (SILK071)
Bogota believer Manuel Cortes conjures a spare schematic of autobiographical street house. Tracks emerge from experiences and lived insights into lean rhythm assemblages bouncing through zones of bass, acid, ballroom, warrior funk, tripped-hop: Lunate. Like the narcotic medication his alias echoes, Far Shoresshivers with a blurry pulse through wavering doses of nocturnal lament. “The Liminal,” “Cold City,” “Molt” – identities unravel in the numbing metropolis, chiming keys flashing like digital clocks in glass mansions. His vacancies are deep; “Pawn Shop Romance” sparkles on a cheap streetcorner runway groove but is about “people who make choices where they sell out true happiness for comfort and wealth.” Across 8 tracks Lunate leaves a loose-limbed trail of late nite truths and dancefloor introspections, molting into new percussion-and-sample symbioses. Recorded in Turkey, Colombia, and beyond across the last year, and mastered by Alter Echo. Edition of 100.
LUCA LOZANO “ISOLATION DISTORTS” CS (SILK070)
Berlin-based label impresario and shapeshifting selector Luca Lozano has sounded a lot of ways over his seven odd 12 inches (for his own Klasse Recordings, plus Optimo, Morris/Audio, etc), but Isolation Distortsspawns from the sensation of solitude warping reality, and the results may be his most skewed and striking to date. Wheezing sci-fi samples ebb into martian techno expanses; quiet organ melodies lilt under lunar acid; dead-end synth-pop burrows into creeped craters of dust. Lozano’s pacing emphasis patience, loops and melodies hung across long alien canyons, pivoting from one tranced conspiracy passage to another. The collection brightens toward the end, planetary shadow receding into a jazzed breakbeat sunrise (“Lifting Forward”), which then cuts loose via space station 303 boogie (“The Fox”). Overall, an oxygen-drunk six-pack of general utility astro-house by a man with a plan. Mastered by Josh “Alter Echo” Derry. Edition of 100.
PRISON GARDE “OCCULTSYSTEM” CS (SILK068)
Montreal barber Robert Squire has a lengthy music biz CV as hip-hop producer, remixer, label boss, DJ, graphic designer, and beyond, but the past few years have seen him zeroing in more exclusively on his revolving door hardware operation, Prison Garde, with rawer and more ruthless results. Occultsystemgathers ten of his starkest grey-scale technoid skeletons into a tense suite of paranoiac electronics and faded 5 AM cruises down desolate service roads. Entirely improvised using a TR909, Moog Minitaur, Juno-60, Tetra synthesizer, 3630 Compressor, some pedals, and a mixing desk, Squire’s tracks strip rhythms to the bone, leaving them to shiver in a shadow of echo and bass gloom. Close associates like Ango, Ace Decade, and Kevin Eames contribute as well, co-scheming percussion blueprints, modulating FX, and whatever else gets deemed crucial to the particular Prison Garde industrial complex at hand. A bleary, brooding, but banging decagon of jammed signals, hunkered youth, and concrete tunnel visions, decrepit grain elevators flashing past in the window.
VERTICAL67 “AURA” 12″ (SILK067)
Berlin sequencer Thomas Pahl aka Vertical67 pitches his latest sheaf of sim city nostalgia acid away from the lovers lanes of his last SILK sides, Soulmates, towards a new nocturnal dome. Faded neon, concave rubber basslines, fluorescent synths, and Roland rhythm patterns interweave across expanses of spheric interior space – an Aurapervades. The EP’s 5 pieces patrol different perimeters, evoking various shades of windswept, moon-burned, ecstatic, restless states of mind. Pahl’s interests in electronic textures spill over into his ambient work as The Coloured Chaos, a fixation with fluidity, weightlessness, lasers fluttering between microchips, an android’s haunted thoughts. Interface and inter-place. Features a remix of zero gravity poolside theme “Invisible Presence” by Octo Octa. Mastered by Eric Hanson.
STRATEGY “BOXOLOGY” CS (SILK066)
The breadth of bass and rhythm imagineerings devised weekly by Portland machinist Paul Dickow is as invigorating as it is overwhelming – some cups run dry and some flow forever apparently. More than a decade in and Strategy’s strategies only continue to pinwheel and proliferate, as showcased on his latest capsule collection, Boxology, which swirls through slinky sunrise house (“Panorama,” “The Mink”), acid-splashed funktronix (“The Works,” “Drag It Through The Garden”), jazzy Detroit shuffles (“A Secret,” “Planet Of Jazz”), and airy dancefloor escalators (“Tomorrow May Never Come”). Throughout, Dickow wields a light touch, allowing each concoction to fizz, flex, and ferment before queuing up the next hardware pattern or pitch-bent synth hook. The fact that the bulk of these pieces were road-tested at west coast parties over the last couple years helps explain their fluidity and sneaky footloose agenda. Also worth mentioning/praising: for a dude this deep in the game this is some seriously un-cynical music. Who else writes Chi-house jams about their hot dog condiment preferences? NOT ENOUGH. Mastered by Josh “Alter Echo” Derry.
POLICY “POSTSCRIPT” LP (SILK065)
Manhattan filmmaker-turned-beatbroker Francis Hsueh aka Policy has been unfolding a skewed yet chic house blueprint across the last three years, as evinced via a series of EPs for eminent dancefloor wholesalers such as Rush Hour and Argot – yet his latest seems his most assured and distilled to date. Postscriptplays street dice with choppy electronics and disrobed rhythm architectures, maxed out but close to the chest, splashed with off-grid percussive patterns and muted jazz textures. Policy’s policy of artisanal layering has never been more elegantly executed; metropolis gems like “Postscript 187,” “Ghost In The Groove,” and “Big Beast Anthem,” swing and stutter, brisk and bouncy, graffitied with smoke-lounge keys, soft pad dub-stabs, synth-flute streaks, burnished brass, city grit. A uniquely contemplative take on funky uptown house by one of NYC’s rising talents. Cover photograph by Francis Hsueh. Mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann at Complete Mastering.
GOLDEN DONNA “II” CS (SILK064)
Madisonian synthesizer omnivore follows the trippy club-crunched double helixes of his recent split 12 on Atlanta’s burgeoning CGI imprint with a 7-song skybath of breezy balcony themes, trap-flecked trampoline electronics, pale dream-pitched slow-rides, and diamond-headed aerodynamics for SILK’s subliminal magnetic tape division. There’s a consistent looking-glass curvature to the way he bends textures and percussion, giving them this lens flare glow, like a warped sheen of translucent plastic. Dense but dispersed, IIpushes past his debut into higher altitude airspace, towards warmer climes. A uniquely hardwired hanging garden of hibernation strategies from a voracious jammer locked in the lair of midwestern winter. Mastered by Ghost Sounds.
TEMPLES “EARRINGS II” 12″ (SILK063)
Portlandia house bastion Ecstasy termed Temples’ 2012 debut mini-LP, I-VII, “ambient jack,” which captures something of the project’s contradictory strengths: airy yet agile, sparse but plush, flights of intuition mapped onto morphing grids of percussion, crystalline electronics, and pastel skylines. Avalon Kalin’s latest collection of tech finery, Earrings II, dials back the atmospheric quotient somewhat, though there’s still a rock garden spaciousness to his mixes, each element arranged with regard to some higher harmony, the poetry of negative space. Recorded in his home studio “while dancing,” the four tracks here ebb between passages of pressure and release, euphoric but unstable, dusted with pyramid-chamber slap back and live dubbing acrobatics. Their melting clock asymmetries more closely echo Kalin’s hardware improvisations with Scott Goodwin as Polonaise than the velvet vocal house of his other solo vessel, Finesse, but Temples is ultimately a holy place all its own. A sleekly compelling statement from one of the Pacific Northwest’s secret weapons. Mastered by Eric Hanson.
OCTO OCTA “CAUSE I LOVE YOU” 12″ (SILK061)
New England deep house patriot Octo Octa logged some real miles in 2013, flexing his live muscles, refining his crowd vibe antennae, and tracking a trio of fresh EPs to kick off the new year. Cause I Love Youis the first – to be followed by 12′s for Skylax and Argot – and it’s a real shot to the heart. “Cause I Love You” jacks out of the gate, a jubilant drag race of tumbling percussion, intestinal bass, and slipstreaming vocal samples. It’s not all so raring though. Live staple “So Lux” lives up to the title, a creamy, serene slice of stereo software, while “Give” (featuring Raw Moans) coasts on a mesmerizing melody loop, filtered, flowing, and low to the ground. Closer “Mine (Second Chance Mix)” is classic Octo: lens-flared, high-stepping, turned on, turned loose. Though more of a variety pack than a linearly themed collection, these four cuts show a craftsman hot in the pocket, still picking up steam, alive with ideas. Mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann. In sand-dune fantasia SILK sleeve designed by Luke Brown/Les Level.
MAGIC TOUCH “PALERMO HOUSE GANG” CD/2×12″ (SILK060)
After three thick years of performances, passport abuse, and pumping, pleasure-principle EPs, Damon Palermo aka classic house torchbearer Magic Touch presents his pinnacle statement to date: Palermo House Gang. Joining forces with a vast cast of collaborators sourced from his intercontinental travels – Octo Octa, Newbody, Benny Badge, The Horses, Sarah Bates, Sorcerer, Ash Williams – the album’s eight cuts swing and sweat through funky new wave club mixes, freestyle R&B, mesh-top house, freeform hardware workouts, and decadent disco, a sprawling celebration of communal motion and dancefloor idealism. Sustained heavy touring often grizzles some musicians into cynical survivalists but it seems to have had the opposite effect on Palermo – these are his most generous, playful, and sensual tracks to date. Let go, lighten up, join the Gang. Mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann. Krazy cat artwork by San Fran cartoonist Primo Pitino.
BEAT DETECTIVES “MUSIC 2″ CS (SILK059)
Anarchic trash-techno trios from Minneapolis aren’t typically a plentiful commodity in our experience, especially ones as freewheeling and funked up as Beat Detectives. Comprised of visual artist Aaron Anderson, Chris Hontos (also of Food Pyramid and Dreamweapon), and the multi-talented Oakley Tapola, the group got their start playing a heavily smeared form of rudimentary dance music at “dirt raves in punker basements” around the Twin Cities before Anderson relocated to NYC. Music 2 is the perfect sophomore stepping stone slab, following their Casual Encounters Of The Third Kinddebut collection on Moon Glyph earlier this year. Woozy house mutations and pitch-shifted party-acid experiments congeal and dissolve around Tapioca’s delirious, deadpan vocals (she manages to make lyrics like “American flag / with weed leaves / replacing the stars” sound strange and deranged instead of silly), interspersed with dizzy dub grooves and displaced electro-jack. Reminiscent in places of those weird deep cuts on certain late 80′s Warrior Records acid comps, before the style got codified and normalized. Regenerative club mutagen for a world with a stick up its ass. Recorded in Minneapolis and Brooklyn, 2012-2013, and mastered by Cole Weiland.
FAST TIMES “BODYTALK” CS (SILK058)
Brooklynite Jorge Day’s musical CV includes synth duties in Wierd Records mope-pop act Plastic Flowers as well as production for sultry neo-wavers Lingerie, but when left to his own devices he crafts gritty skeletal house sketches under the Fast Times flag. Bodytalk is his debut after a year of workshopping demos and touring Europe, and the results caress a spectrum of SILK sweet-spots: reverbed runway themes (“Mon Petit”), warehouse memory tapes (“Ephemera”), dirty drum machinery (“Eternity Is Past”), naked soul samples (“Toxic City”), luxe lo-fi hypnosis (“Male Polish,” “Midnight Vamp”), etc. There’s a starkness and crunch to these tracks that skews them more towards the proto-house vibe of various mid-80′s analog sides, when productions were more about raw rhythms and melodic minimalism, instead of the prolonged tension-and-release model which dominates to this day. History aside, Fast Times makes background boombox gold, ripe for cranking loud and cutting loose. Expect more from this transporter in the near future. Mastered by Brian Pyle.
JAMES BOOTH “REUNION” CS (SILK053)
Memory-taper James Booth trickled through his teen years in Manchester tracking melancholia house shadows and overcast bedroom bangers on a home-rigged dictaphone/Tascam arrangement, and though he’s since upgraded his studio assemblage the essential agenda remains unchanged. Reunionis his debut, documenting ten of his choicest Northern isolation reveries, a Polaroid-hued tube-ride-turned-rhythm-odyssey through 150 shades of grey, from the nocturnal ice-house jazz of “End Tipsy” to the foggy, 5 AM club deja vu, “Seeing Voices.” An alternately hushed and hypnotized journey to the end of the night, in search of pleasures known and unknown. Again, please. Pro-dubbed, hand-numbered tapes in full-color SILK label J-cards.
COSBY “HANDS TOGETHER” CS (SILK052)
American bass lifer Will Creason aka Cosby has a storied history in various electronic micro-scenes, with hands in an an array of labels and modes, but he first cropped up on our radar back in early ’11 with his “Sangria” demo, an entrancing anthem of sultry, Sound Stream-y nu groove magic that we immediately burned and spun out in several time zones. Inspired equally by NY garage and Baltimore club music, he patiently pieced together the rest of his SILK debut EP from sessions in Seattle and D.C. and the results reveal a colorful cutaway of classic club energies: dubbed vocal workouts, confused house, funky footloose FX, jacking party acid, woozy filtered disco edits, etc. Hands Togethercasts a wide net and is all the better for it, dragging up a fun, freaky mishmash of time-warped dance forms from the bottom of the body-music world-brain. Pro-dubbed and hand-numbered.
ROLAND TINGS “LIVE IN THORNBURY” CS (SILK051)
Australia friends always tell us what a slayer SILK house-smelter Roland Tings aka Rohan Newman is in the live setting, as we’ve never had the pleasure yet ourself. Finally someone sent us proof: this cool, ripping, well-recorded recent warehouse set of his. Stitches in some choice trax from his Milky Way12″ as well as a slew of inspired unreleased jams.
ALEX BURKAT “TAROT” 12″ (SILK050)
Brooklyn public figure Alex Burkat’s SILK debut owns a mood all its own: patient, swelling loops of new age club mist give way to classic Chicago figure-8 bass patterns, punctuated by dubby, sampled drum fills, before billowing back out into breathy warehouse atmospherics. His recent EP for Mister Saturday Night explored more upbeat-oriented dynamics but Tarotunwinds with a dreamier deja vu, waves of arpeggiatted echoes, strobing stereo shimmer, and low acid warble arcing over a limitless subterranean dance floor. Hypnotic humanist mantric mystery music for the 21st century, for those invested in what the deck has to hold. Mastered in Los Angeles by Eric Hanson.
JUPITER JAX “CITY LIFE ’88″ CS (SILK048)
City Life ‘88 is the hypno-melancholic synth-fantasia of Maltese producer Rudi Agius aka Jupiter Jax, a daytime computational biologist and nighttime sensational keyboardologist, coding and de-coding his way through dancefloor cosmoses. In his teen years he began throwing underground parties in Malta, flying in artists from the Crème/Bunker/Clone set, revivifying the mezmer-magic of early Chicago house and obscure Italo-Disco. His compositions are omni-influenced, conjuring nocturnal neon cities of the mind.
TELESEEN “PASSAGES” CS (SILK047)
Teleseen’s producer/drifter Gabriel Cyr bounces back n’ forth between Rio and NYC, sometimes stopping off in Africa or the Caribbean, absorbing Mid-East beat feasts, electro-ragas, Ethiope tropes, and Carnivale Dance Hall into his Blessed-Meets-West multi-culti mash-ups. Teleseen drags the dancefloor to the desert floor, creating saxxy, sandy, sensual stops around the midi-map of Ethnography House. Bumper Dub for NatGeo trips, sambas for Saharan sunsets, enigmas for your savannah train trances.
OCTO OCTA “BETWEEN TWO SELVES” 2xLP/CD (SILK046)
Sophistication and elegance have not always been the strobelight honey of many dancefloor pursuits but it’s been Octo Octa’s strongest suit since his 2011 SILK debut, and here again are those core moods of displaced identity and intimacy giving way to an adrift, uneasy feeling. Between Two Selves has a facile sensuality – the reclining nude of Octo’s Blue Period – with more room to breathe and sigh anthemic samplics (“I don’t want you to go,” “All his kisses taste sweet”). There’s fewer elements in the mix but more space to explore them, pitched down and out across abstracted, extended compositions. A deep accomplishment of regal soul and melancholy. Sleeve design by Amanda Brown.
PHARAOHS “REPLICANT MOODS” CD (SILK045)
L.A.’s best live band finally delivers a full-length after some scattered EPs and it totally jacks into the dizzy party-acid gang-groove they summon so effortlessly month after month at the city’s various far-flung afterhours warehouses. All the strobed classics are here: the 303 soul-shakedown “Everything,” nu-groove neighborhood funk-out “Syzygy,” island-synth escape pod “F&M Suite,” and sweaty set-closer, “Above/Below.” Even Miss Maria Minerva pays a visit, on the club-dub single, “Miraculous Feet.” Mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic. Incan temple sleeve design by Cedric Hervet.
COYOTE CLEAN UP “2 HOT 2 WAIT” CD (SILK044)
Detroit’s secret weapon caps a string of deceptively excellent digital and tape collections with his vinyl (and CD) debut and it’s everything it should be. His bedroom blizzard production style shimmers here in a rare and mysterious way, like wandering graffiti’d city streets in a snowstorm: icy reverbed beats ride the rails, cascading synth freeze, sampled vocals fogging like breath. Includes dream-grime mixtape classics like “The Least U Could Feel” and “Awesome Luv.” 2 True 2 Believe. In pointillist posterior artwork designed by Bobby Houlihan.
BOBBY BROWSER “STILL BROWSING” 12″ (SILK043)
San Fran smiley face Andre Ferreira lives and breathes analog acid/house/jack in a way few other heads can, and his tracks from the Bobby Browser bouncy castle are invariably the choicest cuts from the lifelong mastermix DJing through his brain. Following patiently on the heels of last year’s OOP Just Browsing 12″ comes this new fresh new 4-track EP, Still Browsing (the 3rd piece of the trilogy is rumored to be called Just Hurry Up And Fucking Buy Something Already). In May Señor Browser will be cruising down under on a 100% Silk Australia tour alongside Magic Touch and Octo Octa; get warmed up.
MARIA MINERVA “BLESS” 12″ (SILK042)
SILK’s favorite divine-dance diva Maria Minerva dons a new wardrobe for her BlessEP. Opening with the wry ‘n witchy “Black Magick” – Minerva’s take on New Romantic new waif synth-pop – the rest of the record explores downbeat dub-chillers (“Space 4 U”), aroused funk dee-lites (“Symbol of My Pleasure”), and meta island vacation bounce (“Soul Searchin”), rounded out with Lady Blacktonika’s “Black Magick” Garage trippin’ remix – a decadent layer cake of lush house.
SHAMS “PIANO CLOUD” 12″ (SILK041)
This polarizing Brooklyn performer/producer antagonizes crowds with dada pranks during his nightshift but afterhours he crafts sprightly continental brunch-house tracks for escapist addicts, comfort creeps, and next-wave hedonists. Piano Cloudmixes Balearic floatation devices with cheeky disco love-hangovers. Heart-on-sleeve wonderland anthems for the heartless and heartbroken.
VERTICAL67 “SOULMATES” CS (SILK039)
Casual R n’ B swagger, puro-Euro instincts, and studio techniques swarm over Soulmates, Vertical67’s debut SILK cassette. The Berliner combines heartbreak house with analog haze and anime melancholia for a mood so true you won’t know what you’ve been missing till you’ve kissed it and missed it.
MAGIC TOUCH + SAPPHIRE SLOWS “JUST WANNA FEEL” 12″ (SILK038)
Just Wanna Feelis the expectation-shattering perfect house-pop collaboration of blonde disco don Magic Touch and heavenly weirdo wizardress Sapphire Slows. The A side floats bright and breathtaking, like St. Germain on a terrace in the early morning. The B track, “When I See You,” is an even purer piano-house pleasure. The 12” also includes a dark night rubik’s cubic remix by I:Cube, as well as a fluttering dub by M. Touch himself. A match made in SILK paradise, faraway and forever in my heart. Bi-lingual graphic design by all-seeing eye Bobby Houlihan, plus a full-color insert.
EZLV “SELFISH BEAT” 12″ (SILK037)
EZLV are like SoundStream in song form, luscious and light, soul-sampled, elegant acts of DJ creationism. Selfish Beatsparkles, shimmers, allures, uplifts, indulging in the beauty of nighttime exhibitionism and extravagance. Get a good feeling about this one. [NOTE: Don't trust the center labels, these play at 33 not 45].
JUST BLACK “CAN’T PUT MY FINGER ON IT” CS (SILK035)
Smooth is the groove with Just Black. These deep house pulse-progressions hump n’ pump the body right. Six tracks of now and how, for slow burners, all-nighters, jam vamps, sleek seekers, jackin’ jills and running men, stitched together by the slinky Sir Stephen.
ANDY SANGRIA “KILL THE PRECEDENT” CS (SILK034)
The Sangria atmosphere is chilled with notes of ripe summer fruit. Kill The Precedent warps and wonks with past-tense idealism, supple samples, subtle bubbles, soupy bloops, smeared snares, raw awe. Distill the Precedent. Bleeding edge side-long mixes by the light knight of bright nights, Sir Stephen.
LA VAMPIRES BY OCTO OCTA “FREEDOM 2K” 12″ (SILK031)
Octo Octa brings the melancholy to LA Vampires’ infinite badness on Freedom 2K, their long-in-the-longing collaboration. Sleek/chic haunted house layered with vocal dubs, glass keys, and moonlit piano melodies. An extra-finessed Malvoeaux remix powers down the collection. Stark cover photography by Ashley Anthony; design and layout by SILK lynchpin Bobby Houlihan.
MAGIC TOUCH / ITAL 12″ (SILK030)
Groovesome twosome Damon Palermo and Daniel Martin McCormick disjoin forces for a split personality/12 inch. Like his previous single “Clubhouse,” Magic Touch’s “Anywhere You Want Me” explodes in a slip-disco dash, while Ital’s reworking of the track pitches things into a delirious paranoia. On the B side Ital’s “From A Dream” follows a more jacked muse, maxxed and throbbing. Magic Touch’s remix softens the beat into more of an italo-boogie loops, eventually ebbing into interzone afterglow.
JONAS REINHARDT “FOAM FANGS” 12″ (SILK029)
‘Foam Fangs’ could describe SILK’s preferred take on dismissed 70’s disco: the soft bite, love nibble, mirrorball on steady/ready perma-revolve. Jesse Reiner (Jonas Reinhardt’s first mister, alongside past/part-time collaborators like Phil Manley of Trans Am and Damon Palermo of Mi Ami/Magic Touch), travels head-on through long-form cosmic Moroder constellations on Foam Fangs. It’s a sonic language both transparent and metallic, cold ribbons of data surfing across infinite space. Digital version comes with an exclusive remix by Beat Broker.
COYOTE CLEAN UP “FROZEN SOLID” CS (SILK027)
Coyote Clean Up aka Ice Cold Chrissy went to the same high school as Madonna but Frozen Solid goes eons further into glam-mo sensuality mesh/mash-up, fashion apocalypse humor, and Midwest wind-chill dream grime. CCU’s got old style for the new world, fresh and frozen for all you future freaks.
POLYSICK “FLOW FM” CS (SILK026)
Tune in Tokyo, Rio, Rome, to Flow FM, Polysick’s choppy, reality-byting radio station. Channel glide between robotic-chaotic dub, ecstatic acid static, sunny synth sampladelica, Jack-the-Risker groove stabs, Rowdy Rick Dees-sleaze, organ-doning vogue-zoning, crunk color wheelies, sweet jellies and sick jams. What? And now a word from our SILK Sponsors: Flow FM has the sleekest sounds on the waves.
OCTO OCTA “ROUGH, RUGGED, AND RAW” CS (SILK025)
First in the SILK DJ Cassette Series, limited edition of 200, hot for tour. 35 minutes of previously unreleased Octo Octa tracks, mixed together for a smooth, creamy flow. 100% MILK. These bootlegs were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do.
OCTO OCTA “OH LOVE” 12″ (SILK023)
Burning deeper and yearning harder than his first SILK outing, Let Me See You, Oh Love projects dreams that can’t be followed, love that can’t last, futures that won’t solve the present. The dancefloor dissolves into warm and womby atmospheres, tear-jerk body-works, poised for poignancy.
FORT ROMEAU “KINGDOMS” CD/12″ (SILK022)
Sensual, immaculate, jackin’ romance masterpieces by boy London and rarefied studio craftsman Fort Romeau aka Mike Norris. Kingdoms is a swooning swirl of synth finesse, microscope-dust crate-digger production nuance, house-pulse heartbeats, heavy breathing, empty 3 AM South London streets, night bus stops in the rain, memories, etc. A stirring, secretive, subtle, and singular collection of dancefloor ghost-soul anthems.
BOBBY BROWSER “JUST BROWSING” 12″ (SILK017)
Bay Area whiz kid Andre Ferreira aka Bobby Browser makes PeopleMover music: refined glides, dewy bass, escalator acid, sunny techno. Spot him around town biking over 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.
SFV ACID “GROWN” 12″ (SILK016)
Like the midnight warm-up at an ’83 Journey bash, the empty squelch of SFV Acid is at its tab-on-tongue-in-cheek acid-burning best when you don’t stop believing. These are midsummer night dreams of homegrown arcade grooves, sci-fi FX over luscious piano leisure, alien versus elation, Robo-copiousness. Driving up a wide boulevard in the San Fernando Valley never felt like this.
PEAKING LIGHTS “936 REMIXED” 12″ (SILK014)
Ponies from the SILK stable transform 936 on this remix redux. From the chic metallic vocal pitch n’ bounce of Ital’s take on “Marshmellow Yellow” to Xander Harris’ giallo-reggae revision of “Birds of Paradise” to Innergaze’s minimal wave “All The Sun That Shines” and Cuticle’s hi-hat space jam conversion of “Tiger Eyes,” this is even beater than the real thing. Let the Domino fall; 936‘s gone nightlife.
MARIA MINERVA “SACRED & PROFANE LOVE” 12″ (SILK013)
Producer/chanteuse Maria Minerva is the gift that keeps on giving. Her fourth effort of 2011 (after the how-low-can-you-fi Tallinn At Dawn, the upside-down disco EP Noble Savage, AND the salty sweet striptease Cabaret Cixous) has it all: drugged drag choruses, saucy pans, lines of echo powder, candy flips, layered bangs, crooked hooks, pop weaseling, sand dune sparkle, dream reels. Sensual in every sense. Comes with a swaggering Ital remix of “Luv So Strong” as the closer cut.
100% SILK 2011 TOUR T-SHIRT
PHARAOHS “UHH UHH” 12″ (SILK012)
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.
OCTO OCTA “LET ME SEE YOU” 12″ (SILK011)
“Tryin’ to let it go” is the theme at hand: yearnin’ to earn it. Rhythm is feeling, especially when feelings are feeling bad. A 12″ can be therapy, cutting through the pain. Docto Octa is in, checking the pulse, charging by the half hour, recalling past lives when the ball dropped, glittering with glitter, standing in a room full of strangers and lovers, life and loves fading into fog. And the DJ played on.
ITAL “ONLY FOR TONIGHT” 12″ (SILK010)
Dancing in the light of a miracle, a love song from an era gone, “Only For Tonight” is a tawdry affair with rhythm, noise, and soul. And if rhythm is a dancer then Ital is her choreographer, hands on her hips and showing the way. Twelve inches of time running out; you’ve got this night with Ital but will you love him tomorrow? Lovers don’t just rock, they let their bodies talk, but only for tonight.
MAGIC TOUCH “I CAN FEEL THE HEAT” 12″ (SILK009)
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.
INNERGAZE “SHADOW DISCO” 12″ (SILK008)
Innergaze your innerself – a Ror-shock of broken dreams and disco balls, cracked make-up mirrors of lipstick stains and smears, and Tom Collins highballs spilled on the tile. Innergaze makes dance music to lurch around to at 3 a.m., when the dry ice is dried out and you can’t find your fur coat. There’s taking candy from a baby and then there’s taking candy-colored cocktails from a stranger who’s dosed you with Innergaze’s bump and fuzz and slo-mo vocoderisms. For writhing on a cold white leather couch in an air-conditioned club. Strictly ballroom, strictly Freudian, and strictly speaking from the Innergaze Shadow Disco: Are you my mother, lover?
SIR STEPHEN “BY DESIGN” 12″ (SILK007)
Catwalk calls from a Creole Camelot; Sir Stephen’s more Boy London than Boy Bayou. Like the well-lit fitting room of a United Colors of Benetton store in Milan, By Design is consumer-cool counter counterculture – if the counter’s a denim bar that only takes gold Amex. Like the pool on the roof of a luxury hotel in Tokyo, By Design is Starck-er than stark, wetter than wild, and deeper in the shallow end. It’s so down it’s beat, so afterhours it’s early afternoon, so oversized there’s room for two. Made by design with the finest materials – rayon and on, cashmere and cream, and 100% silky Silk.
XANDER HARRIS “I WANT MORE THAN JUST BLOOD (HIGH HEELS REMIX)” 12″ (SILK006)
Italians may do it better (ice cream, genuine leather, synth splatter) but everything’s still bigger in Texas. Like this X-Large redux from Austin’s X-ander Harris. He calls side A the “high heels remix” and it sounds like a cosmic navigator who’s recently returned to Earth only to realize he’s left his generation behind, it’s closing in on 2012, and everyone he loves has aged and moved on without him. If Xander Harris had a hammer, he’d beat down John Carpenter’s door, turn Carpenteria into a Danceteria, and make that grave-waver Sweatt. Finally, an escape from New York.
GILLETTE 12″ (SILK005)
Gillette are a 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. Kraft work for the machines of men.
MARIA MINERVA “NOBLE SAVAGE” 12″ (SILK004)
Bedroom dance from the London flat of Estonian goddess – and self-professed “hippy chick” – Maria Minerva. The A side touches on tribal trance, hacker boy beats, looped love, and the atmospheric long walks down dark dawn hallways. But the hit is “Disko Bliss,” where Maria’s brand of cracked-mirror disco could chill out Donna’s hottest summer. If Blondie was bizarrer, if Madonna’s raver bedtime stories actually went deeper and deeper, you’d have the beginnings of the world of Ms. Minerva. But would she have you?
CUTICLE “CONFECTIONER BEATS” 12″ (SILK003)
Misunderstood during their time together by an Iowa City that couldn’t feel the computer-generated heart beating as one, Cuticle make the music of the matrix, jacked through the green grids of tron city. Blue pills of lazer tag, Strange Days steady cams, morphing synths, circuit rupture, cyber-symphonic warps. If neon lovers glow in the dark then Cuticle can be seen radiating for miles. From the finger-less gloves of Daren Ho (Driphouse), Brendan O’Keefe (Nimby), and Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell): a three-dimensional systems preference sound show.
THE DEEEP “MUDDY TRACKS” 12″ (SILK002)
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 zombie trance-hop. The remixes fold in jubilant Indo-Eastern moves, for sophisticates only.
ITAL “ITAL’S THEME” 12″ (SILK001)
Hot and sticky humid DC nights. San Fran brotherly love bangers. You-Can-Have-It-All loftings in Brooklyn. Ital bounces between these like a mechanized conga beat, offering up the kind of cuts that make you move like the smoother, sweeter version of yrself. “Itals Theme” is magnetic; the cold open for a one night stand, the montage you’d set yr Thursday night to – back when Thursday night was Friday night and you had to get out of the house. “Queens” reverberates through the dance hall like a rubber ball, off one wall and onto the other, picking up sweat and steam on the way. “One Hit” sounds like the scaling of a skyscraper, higher and higher.