Trippy Slipmats!

There are some new slipmats in stock and they are kaleidoscopes of colour and motion:

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spotsspiral

Second Woman – S/W LP – Spectrum Spools

SP043I think heard Second Woman described as something like Mark Fell meets dub techno. (Maybe it was Multipara?) This sounds about right, though – Telefon Tel Aviv’s Joshua Eustis and serial collaborator Turk Dietrich combine forces for their second full-length album of hyperreal sound design and intensely mathy programming.

The “dub techno” side of the characterization might seem misleading at first, this isn’t smoked-out slow techno with rolling basslines, but there is an aspect of blurred atmosphere, smearing the clean, angular shapes that would otherwise dominate these otherwise rigorously spartan compositions.

And I guess “////\\” actually has something like a bassline. Which makes it sound vaguely like Vladislav Delay meets Autechre’s Cichli Suite. In short, Second Woman often sounds eerily familiar while at the same time carving out a style that’s distinctive and novel.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

A5 – 001 12″ – Udacha

UDACHA001One of those weirdo leftfield detail-oriented 12″ imprints, Udacha is consistently surprising and adventurous. On their first release, available again for some reason (repressed maybe?), the shadowy A5 doesn’t give us much to go on – hazily painted label art, four untitled tracks on an untitled record.

The swirly chords on the opening deep house cut sound as dusky and purple as the graphics, the second is loping downtempo electronic jazz, the third is back to an overflowingly lush house vibe, and finally it closes out with a tricky beatdown number. Overall, a rangey offering, though perhaps unsurprisingly so given the wide range of A5’s offerings elsewhere. It’s a friendly introduction to the quietly outstanding imprint’s catalog. Fans of Vakula and Ethereal Sound take note.

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

 

Greg Gow – Lost Days 2xLP – Social Experiment

SE008Maybe everyone else already knew this, but I didn’t. Apparently, Social Experiment is a project from Jonny White, formerly of No. 19 Music, the lone remaining member of Art Department. I guess everyone probably already knew that. The association seems kind of surprising to me, given Social Experiment’s consistently grittier, loopier approach. Anyway, Social Experiment’s proclaimed theme is to contribute proceeds to Music Against Animal Cruelty, “a non profit organization with one simple directive: to save African wildlife.”

The Canadian connection runs deep: Toronto stalwart Greg Gow’s first contribution to the label is the imprint’s first full-length album. The first record is a pair of unexceptionably balanced tech-house tracks, book-ended with ambient interludes. The second record has a bit more personality, the title track’s thunderous techno stomp roils under dubby chords before the eventual introduction of a squeaky lead, Too Late is the same archetype but without the acid. By contrast, Still Life is endearingly minimalist with only a kick, hat, and earnest arpeggio (aside from the occasional percussive flourish.) And again, the album closes out with an ambient interlude.

Overall, it feels like Gow knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s an album that takes no chances, feels supremely functional and sort of timeless, has many moments that would fit in easily in most mainstream underground club sets, from techno to progressive house, from Hot Creations to Watergate.  “Jonny White’s internationally acclaimed series of Social Experiment showcases that have been an essential brand for the worlds top clubs and music festivals since its inception. From installments in Panorama Bar and Fabric to DC10″

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

Ike Release – Geospatial 12″ – Mister Saturday Night

MSN026Ex-Gramaphone employee and current NYC resident is establishing himself quickly in his new city, here making inroads with the critically acclaimed Mister Saturday Night party and label family. His tracks for this 12″ are all pretty “big” sounds in the context of his repertoire, Geospatial leading the way with a wonky fat lead bassline and rubber mallet kickdrum. The B side is much more about the pad melodies, which run smoothly over straight deep house beats with heavily syncopated elements and sentimental chord progressions. Fans of Chris Gray & Larry Heard take note.

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Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

 

Fifth Interval compilation 12″ – Interval

FIFTH004Federsen’s Interval label marks its fifth year with a confusingly titled compilation, considering it’s the fourth release on the slow-burning imprint. Where the first three releases have been his solo recordings, here he seems to be branching out, at least geographically. The San Francisco-based label has enlisted stylistically similar artists from around the world: New York’s Brendon Moeller, recording here as Beat Pharmacy, Alessandro Crimi in Switzerland, UK’s Tomas Rubeck.

All contribute to the blue-grey smouldering dub techno atmosphere throughout the release, which fits well within Interval’s mission statement of “releasing deep dub infused techno.” Federsen, Moeller, & Rubeck’s tracks stay melodically static while relying on weighty rhythms and rubbery basslines to propel; Crimi’s track Fractual Clouds closes the record out with its most radiant moment, surging chords spilling out over a playful beat.

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

Natan H – Atmosphere 12” – Acid Camp

ACR002The newly founded Acid Camp Records employs Natan H for their second release. Long cloudy chords can be found in the deep, slightly dubby title track. Conforce hands in a bleepy and seemingly Mills-y take on the aforementioned. Flipping the record reveals the calming, vast ambiance of Remote View Pt. 1. Meanwhile Pt. 2 sounds like further exploration of the same harmonic palette, with Natan H adding some deep four-to-the-floor vibes and other embellishments. The title track probably stands out to me the most, but the EP as a whole provides a nice listen.

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

Garrett David & Colin Johnson – Fern Grotto 12″ – Night Sea Journey

CS645107-01A-BIGGarrett David’s latest outlet, Night Sea Journey, starts off with a collaborative 12″ with Colin Johnson. Here they explore a deep jazzy house sound, an aesthetic Garrett David has well established himself within, via his work at Gramaphone records, his residency at Smartbar, his solo recordings for Stripped & Chewed, Distant Hawaii, Balance, and his collaborative works as 1/2 of Bell Boys.

Here, Fern Grotto Theme and Walk Amongst The Ancients are underpinned by airy but assertive drums and persistent pad chords, while the closing alternate take is a somber ambient revision of the Fern Grotto Theme. Certainly likeminded with the local sounds of Perpetual Rhythms, Eargasmic and the like.

Gramaphone is carrying a limited RSD version of this release.

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

Donnie Tempo (INBLUEBLACKNESS) – Trak Register 12” – Perpetual Rhythms

PERP008_1Chicago’s Perpetual Rhythms releases 4 atmospheric deep house tracks by way of Donnie Tempo. The music is pretty laid-back and dreamy, sitting atop four-to-the-floor grooves. There is definitely a retrospective vibe throughout. There are elements that remind me of Larry Heard, or Virgo, or something of a similar nature.

I have to say that N-Haler resonates most with me. There’s a soft, yet jagged bass line situated against a slick groove, and some nice riffing using what sounds like a woodwind. Listeners should find some mellow and pleasing vibes for the ears with this release.

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

Asclepias release party in-store Friday, April 28th 2017

Gramaphone invites Karya, a collaboration between Beyond Luck’s Moppy and Lailah Reich, to come celebrate the release of their debut: Asclepias. They will be presenting a live set in support of their album for Animal Rights Records. Also performing on the evening will be Krush Love and Cōs, with a DJ set by Constance K. Beat scene, leftfield, and hiphop heads should definitely check it out. Refreshments and discounts will be available while supplies last, the music kicks off in the shop at 6pm.
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Clark Street Jams @ aliveOne, Wednesday April 26th, 2017

Leja Hazer, Colin Bourdway, and J.Copes usher in springtime in this month’s edition of the Clark Street Jams series. aliveOne’s back room comes alive with sound, vinyl selections offered directly from the minds behind Hesperian Sound Divison and Kind Gesture imprints. There’s no cover charge, aliveOne is a 21+ venue located at 2683 N Halsted in Chicago.
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WTF (Work The Fader) release party in-store Saturday, April 22nd 2017

As part of 2017’s Record Store Day extravaganza at Gramaphone, Mr White will be DJing to commemorate the release of his latest: WTF (Work The Fader). Available on his own Edgewood Estate label, the record builds upon his young label’s Bandcamp offerings from last year. This set will be in addition to the Fern Grotto release party mentioned earlier on Phonologue.

Karya – Asclepias LP – Animal Rights Records

ARR002.1Karya is a collaboration between Lailah Reich and DJ Moppy. The two have worked together in the past on projects like Beyond Luck. This joint effort yields 7 atmospheric songs that seem to fold into one another. The pair also look to a few instrumentalists to add various touches on the album.

The chords and harmonies are mostly bright and playful, and provide a nice aura to accompany Lailah’s voice. The beats are sometimes shuffly and delayed, giving a sense of experimentalism. Seemingly named after the Greek god of healing, Asclepias should provide a summery aural excursion for listeners. The album features artwork by Lailah Reich and coloring by Jin Aprilson.

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Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

NSJ1 release party in-store Saturday, April 22nd 2017

Garrett David & Colin Johnson celebrate the launch of their new label series, Night Sea Journey. They’re marking the occasion with a release party and early copies of the new record, made available two weeks early, exclusively for Record Store Day. The party will include sets by Adam Rowe and Mike Uhlarik in addition to Garrett & Colin themselves. The music will play from 1pm till 8pm at Gramaphone Records, 2843 N Clark in Chicago.

Ron Trent – Prescription: Word, Sound, and Power 6×12” – Prescription

RHRSS020This behemoth of a boxset provides a glimpse into some of the sounds that defined Chicago deep house in the 90’s. Prescription and Trent fans will find plenty of smooth and shuffly goodness to relive, plus a few unreleased tunes. For those less familiar, within a housey context, you’ll hear quite a bit of versatility in terms of mood, texture, and elements. The vibes range from laid-back party cuts to deep jams – the release kicks off a sweet one. This will likely go fast.

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

Differ-ent – It’s Good To Be Differ-Ent 3xLP – Don’t Be Afraid

DBALP002A skillful technician behind the turntables, DJ Bone’s productions continue to evolve and invent. In the last couple years on Semtek’s Don’t Be Afraid imprint he has been reimagining himself in as Differ-Ent. This project often has a more spartan, science-fiction outlook than some of the organic roots he established throughout many of his abundant earlier works, especially on his own Subject Detroit outlet.

Throughout the rhythmically adventurous album, there’s a shift towards an electroid feel: clear, icy drum machines; clinical, ominous melodies; dry, precise atmospheres. Maybe it’s just the Detroit aesthetic, but there are moments that remind me of Robert Hood’s work for Peacefrog. Elsewhere, Differ-ent ventures further afield – Fasten 8’s arpeggios and galloping rhythm aim for long nights, Drum Addict sounds like vintage DJ Bone: tumbling drums and a dominating chord progression. He experiments a bit more as the album winds down, with broken-beat and downtempo asides. It’s an impressive offering and a very worthy debut album, a testament to his two decades in the studio.

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

Anthony Nicholson & William Kurk – Humpty Dumpty 12″ – Circular Motion

CM057Nicholson and Kurk deliver a feel-good, shimmering, house cut for Nicholson’s label. There’s some gorgeous work on the keys and steady, rolling percussion, giving the song a summery, deep house vibe. This single will appeal to steppers, original house heads, and hopefully new ones too. For those less familiar with Nicholson, this song should also resonate with fans of Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Music, some of Kerri Chandler’s work, Vick Lavender, and the likes.

It seems like the labels might not correspond with their respective sides. Either way, the beats and pads are included opposite of the main track for your mixing adventures.

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

Roger 23 – Automotivation 12″ – No Suit

NOSR006There’s a certain drifting quality to the textural explorations on Roger 23’s latest, appearing on the four year old No Suit imprint. Output has a similar approach to that of René Löwe’s more ambient output, whereas Step Mix Dub X has a riddim more along the lines of Ulrich Troyer or Daniel Meteo, a sparing skank, a spectral stepper. But through the course of each, there’s a meandering patience that draws attention towards the process and slow movement, rather than to any arc, crescendo, or drop.

Neither track is particularly light, but nor are their keenly rhythmic grooves anchored by any heavy percussive elements. Instead, Roger seems content to tread purposefully in a sort of middle ground.

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

Kike Mayor & He Did – Esperanza 12″ – Detroit Vinylroom

DVRM002FrontCoverDetroit Vinylroom welcomes its second release with the help of Kike Mayor and He Did. The label name may throw some off; those seeking “Detroit-inspired” tracks will find grooves that are perhaps a little closer to latin-influenced, minimal house. For me this is redolent of some minimal music that was released in the late 2000’s. It reminds me of Richie Hawtin and outdoor festivals. The original track features 4-to-the-floor grooves and an opera sample. Meanwhile Denis Kaznacheev spices up the groove a bit with his remix.

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

In Rotation: Sassmouth Spring 2017

SPMB011Niro – The P Connection 12″ – Soul People Music
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IYSTB002Unknown – Staub 2 – I/Y
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BAH002.2Lost Tracks Vol. 2 compilation 12″ – Box Aus Holz
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MMM03James Hadfield featuring Danny Linton – Soak 12″ – Me Me Me
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KANN29Cmd Q – Dedicated To Someone Both Of Us Know 12″ – Kann