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Sounds Like Summer

April 13, 2011

Without wanting to jinx it, the two things I’ve been enjoying immensely over the last week or so are the unseasonably nice weather  and the slew of happy, sunny music that’s being released.

First and foremost, the midas-touched remixing duo Holy Ghost! have finally been let loose with their own album, and I’m happy to report that the self-titled debut manages to distil all the promise of earlier productions into a delightfully catchy album of perfect summertime fare. Read my review here, get re-aquainted here and listen to the  infectious lead single below:

Continuing the vibe, the new album from wonky Warp favourite Bibio, ‘Mind Bokeh’, is a beautifully crafted bit of slightly off-kilter pop. Just like the Holy Ghost! album it’s very front-loaded, with two of my favourite tracks – ‘Pretentious’ and ‘Anything New’ – second and third up. The perfect accompaniment to some sunny Sunday pottering around or a summer road-trip.

If you can’t come up with any new music to complement the summer sunshine, then why not re-release a few golden oldies? Well that’s clearly what Soma and Flying Circus thought too, as the latter is releasing the unlikely combination on Ricardo Villalobos‘ remix of Energy 52’s Ibiza anthem ‘Cafe Del Mar’ and the former is putting out a remix package of Silicone Soul‘s 2000 classic ‘Right On Right On’ as part of their 20th anniversary. The Villalobos remake is unsurprisingly minimal, but surprisingly effective, while M.A.N.D.Y‘s Right On update is my pick of the bunch.

Someone else celebrating 20 years at dance music’s top table is the man so influential he’s become part of the lexicon; Pete Tong. For welcoming the weekend on Radio 1 since dance music was still in its infancy, Tongy deservedly took over the station last Friday, with a delve into his record collection, some live sessions from Maida Vale, an excellent guest hour with the Chemical Brothers, and of course, his very own Essential Mix:

There was another, slightly less conspicuous anniversary recently, as the more locally legendary Edinburgh techno night Dogma marked its 10th year of messy parties in the capital’s grottiest club; Studio 24. I’ve previously bemoaned the passing of techno’s golden age on this blog, and the Edinburgh’s club scene is certainly not what it was back in the club’s hey-day, but this post is about the positive present, so I’ll leave you with the mix and the memories:

Chances are you’ve no idea what I’m banging on about though, so I’ll move swiftly on to a mix that’s a lot more on point. Earlier this year I excitedly talked up Soul Clap‘s new DJ Kicks comp, and I’m pleased to say it lives up to my billing; a great mix of styles in and around that down tempo house template that they’ve made their own. Here’s their brilliant vinyl Essential Mix and the new video for the comp’s highlight, their collaboration with lonely-robot Charles Levine; ‘Lonely C’.

Less overtly summery, but still well worth a mention, are the latest efforts from The Strokes and The Kills. Both sound pretty good on initial inspection; the former finally thinking outside the box a bit and trying out some new styles (opener ‘Machu Picchu’ is a fine Vampire Weekend impression) while it’s more a case of ‘if it ain’t broke…’ for the latter; not to say there aren’t still some great songs on ‘Blood Pressures’  (I especially like the drum pattern on ‘Nail in my Coffin’, aped from Billy Squier’s ‘The Big Beat’ via Dizzie Rascal).

Finally, one more album to report on; the magnificent debut from beat-box extraordinaire Beardyman. He Done a Album and it’s pretty good, especially when you consider it’s all made with just his mouth and some samplers. If you get the chance though, the only way to get a proper sense of this man’s lyrical dexterity and showmanship is to see him live. He’s just finished a UK tour and I had to see him at his album launch party (review here), but he loves a festival appearance so make a bee-line if you see him listed.

Beardyman at the jazz Cafe, Camden

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