Ultimate Crew – untitled 12″ – Acoustic Division

AD013This record displays 4 tracks geared in the direction of acid house and electro. The EP consists of repetitive loops of vocal samples, quite a bit of squelch, square waves, and what seems like a mostly monophonic palette.

“Elastic” is first up, featuring rave-esque squelch and a sample of the hi-hats from Fast Eddie’s “Hip House”. The synth line and some of the elements in “Future” almost reminds me of Drexciya, and I can’t help but think of Theo Parrish’s “Falling Up” when I listen to “Method”. I’m not partial to this record, but it is mix-friendly, and has many of the sounds one might expect to hear on a dancefloor, so it may come in handy for some.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

In Rotation: Leja Hazer Spring 2016

DAS016Anthony Nicholson – Gravity 2xLP – deepArtSounds
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
MSLP006Skymark – Resistance Sonore LP – Modern Sun
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
IDWT001Chaos In The CBD – Accidental Meetings 12″ – In Dust We Trust
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
SRR002Cuisine Dub – Vacationland 12″ – Sound Reflection
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
MFM01601Outro Tempo: Electronic & Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992
.
.
.
.

Gravity release party in-store Saturday, March 18th 2017

Veteran Chicago house auteur Anthony Nicholson’s newest full-length, “Gravity”, is being celebrated this Saturday evening at the store. The album is coming out on the Swiss deepArtSounds imprint and includes contributions from Cara Dawn, William Kurk, Chris Rob, Matt CashDollar, Felena Bunn, Chestor Gregory, Asa Watkins, Andrew Scalercio, and Boobjazz’ Lars Bartkuhn.

For the party, there will be a 10% discount off the featured release, half off all used music, and refreshments while they last. Festivities kick off at 6pm.
17201401_10155103114845127_1545809249063639363_n

In Rotation: m50 Spring 2017

SYNAPSIS013Miltiades – Outermost Sensitive Paranoia 12″ – Synapsis
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
RH10412DKenny Larkin presents Dark Comedy Pt 1 12″ – Rush Hour
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
jaydeeJaydee – Plastic Dreams 12″ – R&S
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
MyownBubbleMyown – Bubble 12″ – Kimochi Sound
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
seq010Ephemeral Nature compilation 12″ – Sequencias

Robert Williams Birthday Celebration @ Elastic Arts, Saturday March 11th, 2017

Robert Williams, founder of both the Warehouse and Muzic Box venues in the 1970s, will be celebrating his birthday tonight. Music will be provided by Ron Trent, Lee Collins, Duane Powell, and special guest Nicky Siano from New York City. Amongst these musical visionaries, Siano played at The Gallery, an inspiration for Robert Williams’ Chicago endeavors. These projects crossed paths with Frankie Kuckles, Larry Levan, and Ron Hardy in laying the foundations of house music in America. This 21+ event is hosted with the help of the Frankie Knuckles Foundation, presale tickets are available online via the Facebook event page, it kicks off at 8pm.

17201044_10155013944022744_1964067883979370457_n

K-Hand – Project 6 EP 12″ – Acacia

ACACIA3001Kelli Hand has been at it for a couple of decades. This release finds the Acacia Records founder opening with the twisting, somewhat heavy, and hard-textured “Boiler Room Teaser”, and sampling disco on the B-side. The EP is seemingly oriented for big room dance floors, and will likely resonate most with those looking for exactly that.

K-Hand will be playing with DJ Heather and MTZ at SmartBar on March 31st, 2017.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Rescue Me release party in-store Thursday, March 9th 2017

This will be a very special release party for Vick Lavender, announcing a release featuring Spike Rebel on his own Sophisticado label. Vick and Spike will be performing material from the new record live in-store. Sean Ali from Sophisticado will also be playing forthcoming music from the Chicago-owned imprint. As usual, special deals on the featured release & on used-record are available during the event, refreshments will be provided.
a0428884853_10

In Rotation: Spring 2017 Jacob Hopes

SEQ014Area – Enough With 12″ – Sequencias
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
EGC4020Thoughts From Chicago Volume 4 compilation 2xLP – Eargasmic
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
GR1210Shafty – Deep Inside (Of You) 12″ – Groovin
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
DMX02Robert Armani – Work That 12″ – Domina Trxxx
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
MC001Iz & Diz – Mouth (Pepe Bradock Remixes) 12″ – Mint Condition

Collaborations 3 compilation 12″ – Unlock Recordings

UNLOCK006Argentina’s Unlock Recordings presents 4 DJ-friendly house tracks for this 12″ compilation. The production throughout is pretty sparse, with an emphasis on 4-to-the-floor beats. Some of the tracks have qualities that remind me of Johnny D or Seuil and their minimal approach to making house grooves. Ronan Portela’s “Changing Minds” offers the most color on the record, getting a moody sense of movement from its chords and wandering synth lines.

Those looking for some minimal building blocks may want to pick this up. The release also gives some insight into housey things happening south of the equator.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Vick Lavender – Rescue Me 12″ – Sophisticado

SR06Part of Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Music family, Sophisticado has been a regular outlet for Chicago’s Vick Lavender for about ten years now. On this latest outing he’s produced three distinct versions of the title track with contributions from Spike Rebel, Sean Ali, Corey Munk Julious, and Shawn Hibbler.

This is deep house that overtly marries spirituality to sensuality through the sumptuous instrumentation, gospel and choral vocal stylings. Probably the most impressive aspect of this package, even beyond the extravagant orchestration, is the diversity between the three interpretations; though the labeling might present them as different edits, the compositions are so varied that they could all be played together without repetitiveness.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

In Rotation: Joshua Adam Spring 2017

GAMM108Al Kent – So Good 12″ – Gamm
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
DUDI002S&W – Dub Disco 12″ – Dub Disco
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
VIBR005Minimal Vision II – The True Underground Sound Of Rome LP – Vibraphone
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
AUDAZ01Alkalino – Reworks Vol 1. 12″ – Audaz
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
PDR001eoism – Cellarworx 12″ – Pulse Drift

Cuisine Dub – Vacationland 12″ – Sound Reflection

SRR002The affable, jazzy mind behind the Fields & Forests label & events series emerges here on the Chicago-based Perpetual Rhythms sublabel Sound Reflection. Like a (reverse?) raindance, beckoning warmer weather and lighter moods, this record feels like a lighter, more luminescent version of his free-floating approach on 2015’s Fatureta 10″. While a house-tempo rhythm underpins four out of the five songs included, the weightlessness throughout almost completely disguises any type of prosaic functionality.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Reggie Dokes – Ten-5 10″ – We Play House

WPHTEN5Reggie Dokes is so skilled at wringing funk and soul out of a few dry dancefloor elements with a sort of essentialist minimalism.  The two tracks on this little record, first with an edit by labelboss Red D, and then with an original, effortlessly showcase this aptitude.

Each track feels like it could go on forever, blue chords roiling a gentle tension over the course of each 5 minute runtime, subtly evoking a Detroit beatdown via Atlanta atmosphere.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Peter Croce – Revival 12″ – Rocksteady Disco

RSD005Peter Croce puts house beats behind the words of Dr. William J. Barber II. The speech touches on the current political and social times in the U.S. and will likely resonate with many.

The drum programming is straightforward, and the track finds Croce adding some chord stabs that aid in deepening the vibe. “Revival” is mix-friendly and with the weight of Barber’s words, likely ensures that you’ll be hearing this out quite a bit.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Clark Street Jams @ aliveOne, Wednesday February 22nd, 2017

The Gramaphone crew fills up the back room of aliveOne with sounds, this time featuring Sassmouth (God Particle, Hej, Klektik, & smartbar resident), Leja Hazer (Hesperian Sound Division), & Alex Gonzales, who together bring a lot of experience to the fore. There’s no cover charge, aliveOne is located at 2683 N Halsted in Chicago.
14695439_10154670887655127_7300277625996805485_n

Ike Release – Finale Select 003 10″ – Finale Sessions

FSS003Former Gramaphone staffer Ike Release serves up a couple of techno-leaning, deep house cuts for Finale Sessions. “Tangerine” sports a groovy bass line and mellow vibes. The flip side’s “Tungsten” features atmospheric pads; it’s bottom end is also likely to get floors moving.

Both tracks are mix-friendly and chill. Those looking for deep house might want to give this record a go.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Bocaj – Already Used To It, Already Used 12″ – Deep Club

DC03Unfussy, heartfelt, melodic, effortlessly groovy tracks from Deep Club resident DJ Jacob Wood on his debut solo release. Based in Denver but with experience abroad, Bocaj performs solo and as half of Falling Into Places and has been honing his sound for some years.

Already Used To It… opens with Empty Is A Feeling, the most overtly atmospheric track on the release. Yearning, almost unbounded synths stretch over the energetic start-stop house beat. By contrast, Restart feels considerably more optimistic by comparison, with a subtle rolling acid line, sunlit chords, and bluesy asides. On the flip, What’s Your Addiction is a bit slowed down, leaving room for bleary vocals and a ten-minute deep house flow that sounds as indebted to mid-90s afterhours sounds (Charles Webster, Paul Hester, Paper Recordings et al) as it does to to contemporary deep house.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Gilles Peterson – Havana Cultura anthology 3xLP – Brownswood Recordings

bwood0158lpGilles Peterson’s 3-disc compilation celebrates almost a decade’s worth of researching, experimenting with, and exploring part of Cuba’s rich musical history. Songs like “Arroz Con Pollo” and “Ipacuba” breathe fresh air into styles firmly rooted in tradition. Meanwhile Mala and Tom Skinner hand in contributions that are more steeped in electronica. The former produces the smooth, bass heavy “Calle F”, while Skinner’s rework is slightly glitchy and sample-based. Peterson also employs remix duties to artists such as Motor City Drum Ensemble and Michel Cleis.

“Orisa” is a favorite of mine. It features really nice improvisation on the keys and embraces dissonance in a sophisticated manner. This is a nice compilation and features some gorgeous chords and riffing throughout. Those with a penchant or curiosity for jazz and/or Latin music should give this a go.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Tuner Blog Feature

After a few years of writing for Phonologue, I moved to Seattle, which seemed like the logical next step in my life. Although it’s a much smaller city, I’m constantly inspired by the musical community here; anyone and everyone is encouraged to play what they like, and there is always a venue for them to perform at. One thing I noticed is that there aren’t really many blogs that chronicle ambient/electronic music here, so I figured that was blank space that needed to be filled. To keep track of the music I was hearing and what was going on around me, I decided to create my own blog called Tuner. It’s a way for me to be part of the community by documenting some of what I listen to as well as exposing emerging artists to my readers. There is no specific Seattle bent to the site, but you will see a lot of local music on Tuner.
Some of the features are album reviews, like the recent one I did about Avishai Cohen’s Into the Silence, a jazz album from last year. Others are roundups of ways to find new or interesting music, like the post I wrote about radio shows from around the world. Tuner isn’t bound by any genres or writing style, but in general, the music that’s chronicled isn’t commercial. I plan to deepen my digs by doing interviews with local musicians and previewing cultural events coming up in the area.
If you have something you think I should write about, feel free to drop me a line at kera@tunerseattle.co or on Twitter: @quatrovingt.

tuner-seattle-banner-r2

Dream House Tropicana Volume 3 compilation 12″ – Blind Jack’s Journey

blndtrop3Blind Jack’s Journey has been a extensively multifaceted outlet, a sublabel that’s spawned sub-sublabels, their balmy sounds capturing our imaginations as well as serving as a springboard for talents like Gnork and Acasual. Their latest venture is the Dream House Tropicana series, which seems to dig back into the varieties of sound that started Blind Jack’s Journey in 2012.

This third installment in the series of compilation 12″s features RNR, Deep88, and collaborative ventures between RNR & Luv Jam, and Gnork & Luv Jam. A remarkably prolific and underrated UK-based artist, Luv Jam’s contributions stand out here even amongst the quartet of excellent selections. This record doesn’t land far from last week’s K-rAd & Opcode 66 collaboration; a warm atmosphere and gently introverted melodies tie this collection together. Meanwhile, there remain a variety of rhythmic approaches: Room Of Soul is slow grind house, Talk To Me is UK artificial intelligence techno, Acid Casio is dry acid techno under the silky chords, and Zipppp is breakbeat house, a Gnork signature.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683