In Rotation: Mark Salinas Summer 2017

BEWITH020LPAhmad Jamal Trio – The Awakening LP – Be With
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CPT4921Future Sounds Of Jazz 13 4xLP – Compost
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RS1706Lone – Ambivert Tools Vol. 1 12″ – R&S
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FIFTH004Interval compilation 12″ – Fifth Interval
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KONDI018Anthiliawaters – The Miles Without You 2xLP – KONDI

Octo Octa – New Paths 12″ – Argot

ARGOT019Having previously released on labels such as 100% Silk, Deepblak, and Running Back, Brooklyn-based Octo Octa makes a second appearance on Steve Mizek and Savile’s Chicago-based label Argot.

The title track is subtly joyous, uplifting, yet introspective; it displays dreamy pads over 4-to-the-floor house beats. The B-side hosts Hidden Truth. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, this track also carries hazy pads and a mellow mood. The emphasis throughout the release is certainly on harmonies and atmospheres. Listeners shouldn’t expect to find “jacking'” house beats here, but if you’re looking for chill, colorful tunes of a techy, deep-house vein, this might suit you.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

Meter @ Wise Owl, Saturday June 18th, 2017

Coming up this Sunday: an outdoor show in the city featuring Gramaphone heads J. Copes, Leja Hazer, Garrett David. These talented trio will be joined by locals Shazam Bangles (Birthday jam), Madeline, and Tamahori. “Dancefloor and bar will be under a tent, so we’re doing it rain or shine.” There’s no cover for this event. Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse is at 324 S Racine, near the Racine Blue Line stop.
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In Rotation: SOLD Summer 2017

3EEPLP201701hm505 – 505 Explorations 2xLP – Third Ear
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CAL010The Other People Place – Saturday Night Live At The Laptop Cafe 12″ – Clone Aqualung Series
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APT027Jerome Sydenham – No Earth Required 12″ – Apotek
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18090481_10102693050891610_729580769_oMr White – WTF (Work Tha Fader) 12″ – Edgewood Estate
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GRA003Yoshinori Hayashi & DB.Source – Square Sun 12″ – Gravity Graffiti

Caveman LSD – untitled 12″ – City-2 St Giga

C2SG002Caveman LSD’s untitled EP bursts open with a super-compressed take on the microhouse aesthetic, bubbling over with ramshackle percussion flowing atop a dubby bass groove. Second up is a ~75 bpm muffled techno song (think mid-era Andy Stott). On the other side there’s a grinding electro-noise track and a song that could be a strange ambient reprise of the A1, a similar sonic space but without the frenetic rhythmic energy of the opener. Of course, no track titles.

City-2 St. Giga is apparently an obscure Japanese label, the website doesn’t offer a lot more to go on at the moment. This is their second record, the first was earlier this year from Pavel Milyakov’s Buttechno project, an outlet which has been getting a lot of buzz on Soundcloud and in the rapidly expanding Russian leftfield house scene.

Caveman LSD, on the other hand, is an ex-Chicagoan with more than a couple aliases and an adventurous approach to music with a clear interest in the history of the sounds as well. Last summer he appeared at smartbar’s Queen event and was involved with a variety of underground parties around the city, both as a DJ and organizer, with ties into the art school crowd and the house music community. While this seems to be the first appearance under this guise, expect more releases in the near future (under one name or another…)

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

 

Aschof Mal – Came Home From Work & Your House Was Missing 12″ – Material Image

MATIMG04Los Angelino via Chicago, Aschof Mal has been part of the Gramaphone organization, helped found the Pure Moods event series with Garrett David and Adam Rowe, and continues to run the Material Image from his home on the west coast.

This record is his first solo offering. After dabbling with a compilation track for Berlin’s LL.M and a remix for Royer’s Day Of EP, the tracks here fit well within his label’s melodic techno template. Aussenwelt and Free Player show evident Dutch influence with the spacey lead and dry bassline cosmic electro workout. A midwest house sound shows itself a bit more on the droning four-on-the-floor jamming on Palais and Doing It Again.

Came Home From Work… was the sole release from Material Image for 2016, this year they’re following it up with a promising record by fellow Californian Force Placement.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

In Rotation: Colin Boardway Summer 2017

BEWITH020LPAhmad Jamal Trio – The Awakening LP – Be With
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CS645107-01A-BIGGarrett David & Colin Johnson – Fern Grotto 12″ – Night Sea Journey
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SUED015Sw. – 015 2xLP – Sued
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ARC100VAtjazz – That Something Else! 12″ – Atjazz
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LOTR013Das Komplex – Szlugi 12″ – Love On The Rocks

Earlove Earplugs

Earlove hearing protection products are now available at Gramaphone. The Earlove company was founded by a Chicago musician, and makes earplugs with clubbers & concert-goers in mind. They’ve been featured in The Chicago Tribune, TimeOut Chicago, Gizmodo, Lumino, Cool Hunting, & Sound Opinions.

Mike Huckaby – Too Many Classics To Be Left With Little Or No Protection 2xLP – Deep Transportation

DT04The oddly titled opus marks the occasion of Mike Huckaby’s first full-length album format release. Appearing here on his own Deep Transportation imprint, it serves to compile some of the hard-to-find gems from across his 20 years in music.

In order: opening, The Jazz Republic dates back as the opening track for his same-titled 1997 EP on Chris Simmonds’ UK-based Cross Section imprint; Dance is the B2 cut on the 1996 Deep Transportation Vol 2 12″ out on fellow Detroiter Rick Wade’s Harmonie Park imprint; The Rowdy Swing was on the sole release under Huckaby’s Roland King guise in 1997 on The Versatility EP for M3 records out of Detroit; Groove Box is the A2 cut on The Jazz Republic’s original 12″ on Cross Section in 1997; Mathematics From The Jazz Republic came out in 2010 on a split 12″ on Jose Rico’s Downbeat imprint out of Madrid; and closing out the record is Flashback 78′ [sic], an A2 track, again on Deep Transportation Vol 2.

The compilation is a testament to the consistency of Mike Huckaby’s output, its groundedness in the fundamentals of deep house, as well as his role in establishing those standards. He blurs the lines between Chicago house and the Detroit beatdown sound, and hopefully this showcase of his work inspires more DJs to dig deeper into his catalogue.

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 May 31st, 2017

Gramaphone affiliates Sassmouth (smartbar’s Planet Chicago), SOLD (smartbar’s Hugo Ball), and Alex Gonzales all feature in this month’s edition of the Clark Street Jams series at aliveOne. The free mid-week party mixes it up in the backroom for an opportunity to get to know Gramaphone’s selectors and hear some new vinyl.
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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

 

Interval compilation 12″ – Fifth Interval

FIFTH004Federsen’s Fifth Interval label marks its fifth year with a compilation. 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 Fifth 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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