Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Newfound

It's been a productive time in terms of finding new tunes - between Omodaka and this bevy of stuff I'm sharing today we've got a decent amount of variety. For a while I felt like I was stagnating a bit - but I've also had it go the other way where I'm getting so much new music that I don't think that I'm giving it a good amount of appreciation. Not so much this time, a smattering of EPs makes for just the right amount of new stuff in my experience, and that's exactly what we have today - bits and pieces I've found either through recommendations, looking up old EPs to see if they're readily available for streaming and just generally exploring the world of electronic.
Wilhelm Sasnal - Kacper and Anka (2009)



Photek to begin with, yet another artist on the list of 'Things that I should be familiar with on paper'. I've never really explored Photek in much detail despite my occasional dips into 90's D&B - outside of the now customary bits and pieces I have from soundtracks I can't say I have much. But that's not really as relevant anyway as Photek has done much more than just Drum & Bass since the 90's (something that often sees people come out of the woodwork to whinge and moan about as well). The Aviator / Totem EP is a House / Dubstep record respectively, and it's the title track I've chosen today. Discogs says it's Deep House and I can kinda get where it's coming from, it's not the kind that I talked about in my big Deep House dive a couple posts ago though - But I'm not here to argue semantics, it's a lovely piece of mid-tempo house with a nice groove to it, a real far cry from the rough cut breakbeats that you may know him for. It's not hard to see why Photek is doing a lot of soundtrack stuff these days, tracks like this have that slick edge to them that makes for good ammo for that kind of thing.

Please excuse the doubling up of players, I wanted one for the Hypem archives but there is only this preview on 'tek's official soundcloud, so I included the YT player underneath with the full thing just to cover both bases.





Heading back to the 90's next with Dave Angel. I wrongfully assumed that a lot of Dave's older work would be not readily available online, as is so often the story with so many electronic artists, there's normally a licence issue or something stopping it from being readily available. But I am glad to report that is not the case - the entirety of the Seas Of Tranquility EP is up on Dave's soundcloud, as it is on other streaming platforms, albeit with much more plain album art than the actual original vinyl.

As you might have guessed from the titles, the whole EP has this aquatic theme running throughout it which is used to great effect when creating all different kinds of atmospheres. The EP dances between techno and house, with bits and pieces (Especially the opening track Shallow Waters) sounding like what Underground Resistance were making for Galaxy 2 Galaxy - think Jupiter Jazz and the like.

Some of these tracks could have gone into the Deep House post quite easily as well: Abyss is one of the standouts from the EP and would have fit right in with the rest of my selections there - though it's a little bit more heavy with those kicks than the choices I made for that post, the oceanic theme still makes for generous applications of lush synth work. I would have liked a little bit more variety throughout, but there's plenty to go at if you love the sound of each element as much as I as they each have their chance in the spotlight. I also love the pitch bends down during the break around the 5:30 mark, it's a small touch but one that's masterfully placed - It's a shame it happens so late in the mix though. The whole EP is a great listen but I just can't stop myself from playing this one out recently, for a track that's as old as I am I'm finding it incredibly fresh.



And finally - a little more from Ceephax. I've mentioned Ceephax a couple of times, mainly because I love Mediterranean Acid very much. And if you needed an introduction to the kind of thing you can expect from the Acid Crew, that video should let you know. Like DMX Krew, Ceephax has a rather playful approach to electronic music - making Acid covers of Bach, cheekily called Prelude in 303 Major, with deliberatley dated album art to go along with them.

But don't be tempted to write it off as just a tongue in cheek comedy project, as you might have heard on those last two examples - Ceephax has a penchant for being able to write real ear-worms which makes a lot of his works a real treat to listen to. Enter Haliphax (Friend Reunited), a reworking of an older tune called Friend Track. It's a refreshing take for me, lovely and smooth but with some pretty hefty kicks once the track gets going, similar to the Dave Angel track in that respect actually. While it's pretty hefty at a 9 and a half minute runtime, it's kept consistently fresh throughout so it doesn't feel overly extended.

I like the approach Ceephax takes on tracks like this too, it would be very easy to fall into the trap of making it all about the analogue tech, whereas I think that Ceephax's productions are more like modern tracks that just happen to be made on old equipment. While as you heard on Prelude in 303 Major Ceephax does go all in on the acid front from time to time, tracks like Haliphax really show off how good he is at taking those hallmark sounds and making something new with them. Tracks like this feel like they come out of a sincere place of love for the equipment, I love a squealing 303 as much as anyone but it's great to hear fresh spins like this every now and then.



And that'll do it for this time, I hope you like some of these tracks as much as I do - I've been really into the Seas Of Tranquility EP as of late following on from that House post before - and I plan on saving some of that Ceephax goodness for the next Bandcamp Friday so you can expect it to crop up again soon! I have my eyes on a couple of things to talk about next too, but IRL commitments are picking back up so it may be a day or two later than usual like this one was, but I'll be here!

And as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.

-CVF

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