Sunday, 20 December 2009

Merry Christmas from Werkdiscs

I hope you've all been good!

Keep checking the werkdiscs twitter for updates


Friday, 18 December 2009

Sensational on The Wire

Sensational took over the front cover of Decembers issue of The Wire.

Contents include - "Sensational - The New York 'freak styler' MC and former Jungle Brother documents life on the edge through a surrealist fog of text. Plus: The now sound of Sheffield, King Crimson Primer, Carlos Giffoni's Invisible Jukebox, Ben Frost, Lubomyr Melnyk, Oneohtrix Point Never, Nico Vascellari, Dãm-Funk and more"

The magazine can be bought here and all good news agents.

The Nochexxx Feat. Sensational 12" is available now

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Ecstasy & Friends available now

Here's a review of the new Lone album 'Ecstasy & Friends' from FACT magazine.

"The latest full-length release from UK house auteur Actress's Werk Discs label (also home of Lukid, and sometimes Zomby) takes the form of Ecstasy and Friends, the third long player from Matt Culter, the Nottingham-based producer best known as Lone.

Picking up where critically acclaimed - and pretty damn good - 2008 LP Lemurian left off, Lone produces sophisticated, soul-infused instrumentals that look to California's sun-kissed beat scene while adding his own crunching, melody-heavy take. Going heavy on the synths and 808s, Lone effortlessly weaves his sound between soul, hip-hop and house like some amorphous (day)dream state.

Read the rest of the review here at FACT Magazine

Ecstasy & Friends available here and other major record stores

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

because you need to see it

Pretty, new website launched

Nochexxx: Smashing Your System (ft. Sensational) / Sinbliss, 12" vinyl and digital, November 2009

Lone: Ecstasy & Friends, CD and digital, November 2009

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Stool Pigeon - Actress interview

The free newspaper's October issue, available in bars all over the UK and readable online, has an Actress interview on page 4: "Actress keen to steer clear of drama and let his filmic productions take on the starring role". Words by Danna Hawley.

Digested / whet your appetite:
Paragraph 1 is open to investigation
Paragraph 2 was living in quite a small flat
Paragraph 3 are a lot of actresses
Paragraph 4 insists
Paragraph 5's unexpectedly just signed it to Honest Jon's

Monday, 3 August 2009

Anti-Mercury part2

Following on from this post, Toby Frith of adds up the stats on the Mercury Music prize and finds it failing to represent electronic music. While repping both Zomby and Lukid, his preferred nominations for this year's award are:
• Actress - Hazyville [werk]
• Harmonic 313 - When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence [warp]
• Heartbreak - Lies [lex]

Read the full article here...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Where Were U In 92? (mixtape)

Werk Download

Due to incessant reader requests for a tracklist, and after much persuasion, Zomby, Darren and SBlair finally emerge from a bedroom full of smoke to provide you with their personal commentary for Zomby's "Where Were U in 92" mixtape – enjoy. Or as Robbie Dee puts it, 'Are you still fucking mental out there yet?'

I never heard these tracks in a rave – I didn’t reach my first rave until 1993 – these were tunes that I first heard on the tapes being passed around at the time either recorded in raves or mixed by the older kids in my school who were ahead of the game – ahead of us anyway. A few of the tracks I came to later as I dug around in second hand shops. No point even starting to list the tunes that aren’t on here…

Ridiculous that this tune isn’t played in full – but the mix is only made up of tracks that I have on vinyl and I missed this one so was grabbed from youtube as it had to be on there one way or another, BODYSNATCH – EUPHONY, AKA ‘Just 4 U London’. If ever London needs its own anthem look no further – makes me ache with pride – but you don’t hear that vocal here, or the beat, just this sound from the intro.

Over that you have Robbie Dee mc’ing at a Fantazia rave in ’92. Used to sit around smoking weed at an Olympic level, twisting our half-formed, adolescent minds listening to tapes like this. It always made you feel like you had come into the scene too late. And moments of mc’ing could become biblical.

Then straight into MANIX – SPECIAL REQUEST. First bought the record for ‘Feel Real Good’, but this track is the killer for me and I wanted to avoid the whole piano thing and keep the mix darker and tougher but still with that rave sound to connect it to the Zomby album.

Out of that into STRUCTURAL DAMAGE – REALLY LIVING which was on a Fantazia tape we used to listen to. The sounds of those stabs do something strange to me – fuck, I’m back in Duffy’s bedroom!

Again, I bought 2 BAD MICE – 2 BAD MICE (REMIX) for its more famous a-side ‘Bombscare’ but it was a toss up between this and ‘Waremouse’ for pride of place on the mix. For some reason this won.

CODE 071 – A LONDON SUMTIN is another track to get the cockney pride rising, and has to be one of my favourites on here even though I came to it late during a Reinforced crate digging session. Incredible.

Could have chosen almost any of Goldie’s early releases, but went for RUFIGE KRU – MENACE. How many ideas are there in this tune? When I first started listening to this stuff Goldie was a complete mystery, almost a myth, the guy that made ‘Terminator’ which was the tune that really opened me up to hardcore.

He features again on 4HERO – THE ELEMENTS (FIRE AND WATER REMIX), credited alongside Marc Mac and Dego. Came to this tune late too – my giddy teenage mind wasn’t ready for this shit.

Next up, time to get the rave started, DMS – VENGENCE, produced by Acen, another hardcore legend who helped really define the sound. Good times.

CRIMINAL MINDS – BAPTISED BY DUB made perfect sense to my stoned 15 year-old mind with its reggae flavoured build up and jump into frenetic e’d up mayhem. I’m getting sentimental now.

Time to take it back down with 4HERO – STUDENTS OF THE FUTURE (THE 4TH DIMENSION 4HERO REMIX), though I’m now wondering if it’s the (NOSTRADAMUS: REVELATION RUGIGE KRU REMIX), the picture disc is confusing. Either way it’s bad.

After the pirate radio clip ¬we drop into STUDIO 2 – DIRTY GAMES, the ultimate floppy bass monster. What the fuck is this music?

JOHNNY JUNGLE – FLAMMABLE is from ’93. Hardcore? Jungle? Somewhere in between I guess.

Then a clip of MC GQ – ‘look at the crowd’ from a World Dance rave I was at, and a snippet from a Kaotic Chemistry track ‘Space Cakes’ which would have been on here if I could have found the record in my collection, and then into INTA WARRIORS – YOUR LOVE IS YOURS, produced by Grooverider.

Back to Robbie Dee pushing the boundaries of the English language with his ‘Are you still fucking mental out there yet?’ question. Then into DUB II – BADMAN (TUFFNESS MIX). It doesn’t get much more hardcore than this track. Brash, incessant, relentless and contributed to a generation of English kids talking in patois.

Last up is DJ TRACE – LOST ENTITY, another from ’93, just felt like putting on a heavy Amen tune.

taken from Dazed & Confused Magazine

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Mired in a miasma of fog, submerged rumbles contort to rise through jagged cracks in the industrial concrete. The trunks of passing trucks shake rattle-rattle with subwoof swells that cause arm hairs to stand at full attention. A palette of gray haze glazes the district over with an artificial sheen of Saran-wrapped grit. The digital junkyard awaits its daily shipment of crashed hard drives and cracked circuit boards: a reliquary of forgotten technology. Tethered telephone lines conduct melodies in the thick hum of electric air. Somewhere, off in the distance, a jackhammer jots encrypted notes as notches in rock. Welcome to Hazyville.

A muffled diva croons an indecipherable hook that resembles the word “Pecans” on the opener, “Again The Addiction.” From the jump, warbling underwater TurboGrafx tones suck you into their vortex with Freestyle vocal sputters and shuffling hi-hat stutters. A cold distance emanates as the track slowly thaws. Spastic, manic, and paranoid, it scores virtual reality high-speed chases through slick streets, blurred data racing past. “Ivy May Gilpin” comes equipped with the sway of a digitized rainforest, 808 congas tapping under echoing bird chirps, and slow-growing synth moss. If not for its adrenaline-paced rhythm, it might lull to relaxation, but as percussive layers mount, the tension rises toward the tree canopy. “Mincin” is a scraping metal-on-metal throbber that wears down ears like grating gears of a bulldozer. Both nervous and stirring, it rewards those who can escape unscathed by its jarringly rough edges.

This is the music playing at hovercraft assembly lines and robot weddings; mechanized emotion, carefully constructed by the human hand.

People call this dub-step. People call this Detroit. People call this wonky. Darren J. Cunningham, a.k.a. Actress, calls this Werk. His imprint, born out of a Bristol Hyperdub monthly, has provided Cunningham the forum to foster some of the finest forward-thinking, beat-driven movements out of the UK, with a roster that reps Lukid, Radioclit, and Disrupt. Some four years in the making, the fervently awaited Actress long-player dropped hot on the heels of the radical Zomby release, Where Were U In ’92? While Zomby garnered Werk Discs their deserved propers from everyone and their glowstick-laden candy-raver moms, Actress barely blipped beyond the cliquish Boomkat radar. Not quite a full-blown felony, but at least a petty crime, as Hazyville is easily one of last year’s most slept-on electronic releases. Perhaps this U.S. release will change that.

Taken from

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Anti-Mercury Awards

Never Mind The Mercury Prize: Here's The Quietus' Jovian Bow Shock Award - July 09

It took a pot of tea to come up with a better list than the Mercury
Prize. Who'll be taken out for a pizza come September?

The powers that be will have you believe that The Mercury Prize,
formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, formerly known as the Cif Lemon
Mercury Music Prize and currently known as the Mmmm! Danone! Mercury
Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the
best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland. It was set-up by the
British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers
in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated Brit Awards. But in
a scientific experiment we decided that it would take us in the office
(John Doran, Luke Turner and Kev Kharas) literally 40 minutes and a pot
of tea to come up with a much better list. Lo and behold, this is
exactly what we have done with a minimum amount of box ticking, bung
chucking, misjudged diversity sensitivity and (in the case of Florence
and the Machine) utter fucking wrongness.

Anyway, here it is: the album shortlist for The Quietus Jovian Bow Shock
Prize in association with Il Bacio Express Pizzas on Stoke Newington
Church Street. The rules are pretty much the same as with the Mercury
Prize except we've chosen good albums. When we decide who the winner is,
we'll take them out for a pizza. We can highly recommend the Franos
which has artichoke, goat's cheese and slices of roast potatoes on it.

As rumours reach us from multiple sources that several judges were
amazed to see Lily Allen's It's Not Me It's You not reach the final
twelve, given that most people seemed to be in agreement about its
worthiness, we have to ask, what exactly is the point of this prize?

Seriously, awards: either do them properly or fuck off.

The Horrors - Primary Colours (XL)
Various Productions - The Invisible Lodger (Fire)
Teeth Of The Sea - Orphaned By The Ocean (Rocket)
Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers (Sony)
Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery (Rough Trade)
Zomby - Where Were You In '92? (Werk Discs)
Simon Bookish - Everything / Everything (TomLab)
That Fucking Tank - Tanknology (Gringo)
Pet Shop Boys - Yes (EMI)
Actress - Hazyville (Werk Discs)
PJ Harvey & John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By (Universal/Island)
Benge - Twenty Systems (Expanding)

Full feature:

Monday, 20 July 2009

Joy Reel

This needs so much more attention. What else are people listening to? If Lone's forthcoming album Ecstasy And Friends can measure up to this double-A side he'll surely be fighting off the paparazzos and falling into beautiful women. 'Joy Reel' is exactly what it says it is; a 25th Century rush of startled, glassy tones and whining, galaxy-warped mecha-soul that for some reason reminds me of Bristol's 'Purple Sound', only less reliant on bass and more given to whirling treble. Benji B must fucking adore this. For fans of Zomby, Dam-Funk, Terrence Dixon.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Mr. Scruff charts Lone

Lone - Joy Reel/Sunset Teens instores now!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Saturday, 27 June 2009


Lukid's new album Foma has had my head ringing (in a good way) since I heard it on sunday. It's a beat n' texture record, minimal in its musical elements but maximal in its admiration of spatiality. Everything has its right place in the mix, it's efficient, alluring, and totally evasive. Some of the record plays like a leaner, more vocally inclined Flying Lotus with his sense of a beat held back by a gluey gravity, and his penchant for soulful organ washes and disruptions of bleepy atari ejaculations (let's see how many posts I can mention semen in...on second thought let's not!) But Lukid is also playing around in sound design and modern classical electro-acoustic territory from much the same angle as Pole, or, in a different vein, Matmos (the synthy Matmos, not the concréte Matmos); weird tape hisses, Eno style drones, superannuated synth murmurs, and indecipherable voice samples. "Ice Nine" is a wintry, beatific thing, sort of like something of Kim Hiorthøy's. The piano is cavernous (and sometimes backwards), so are the high hats, but the casio congas are in the water closet, and somebody left the radio on, tuned to nothing, and every once in while there's an attempt to get a signal on Jupiter. In "Slow Hand Slap" a grimey bass is being tested out against a typewriter and eventually loses out to a flock of mermaids. They drown it, but it never really stops grindin. "Chord" comes from a more unanimous world, something out of Autechre's 90's playbook, an incessant, unnerving drone, insect wings, canisters, and relentlessness together with subtle shading. I hear 'Tri Repetae' but who knows... "Ski Fly" slinks closer to FlyLo or Hudson Mohawke than anything else on here - an EPMD beat pattern, Al Green guitars and backup singers, a horn section that got squashed into a synth or vice versa, and the feeling that if only D'Angelo could hook up with these dudes, we'd have an R&B we could be proud of. "Time Doing So Mean" is a summative anthem of the album which already feels like a critical release for beat heads and dreamers here in the first steps of '09.

Taken from

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sinden drops new Lone album track

Sinden features "Waves Imagination" from the forthcoming Lone album - Ecstasy & Friends.

Check the link >> Kiss 100 FM


El Michels Affair - Shimmy Shimmy Ya - Fatbeat Records
J Dilla - Kjay And We Out - Nature Sounds
Grizzly Bear - Two Week - Warp
Joker - Solid State - Kapsize Download
Maniac - Thug - Terror Rhythm
Toddla T - Rebel (Skream Remix) - 1965
Natalie Storm - Recession Special - Cdr
Genghis Clan Ft Mr Catra - Gatinha - Man Recordings
Unknown - Afro Nuts (Douster Remix) - Cdr
King Tubby And The Aggrovators - Ruffer Version - Soul Jazz Recordings
Donaeo - Mind Your Business - My Ish
Boy 8_Bit - Baltic Pine - Cdr
Herve - Who’s The Champ - Cheaper Thrills
Red Light Ft Redskin And Scorpio - Twist Up - Cdr
Feadz - Constantovulation - Ed Banger
Lone - Waves Imagination - Werk Discs

Monday, 15 June 2009

Keep closer

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Foundation Bit Repress

Instores Now

Happy Customer

Monday, 8 June 2009

Lone Kiss FM mix

As we warm up to drop the latest werk transmission courtesy of Lone.
The man himself dropped into the London studios of Kiss FM to colour the scene bad with a quick blend of nightjams.

Download now and get with the program

Lone on Kiss

Zomby a modern day Bob Dylan or John cage?

Somehow, Zomby got it into his head that his first full-length shouldn’t continue in the direction of the fantastic string of dubstep singles that put him square in the sights of sub-genre-naming vinyl-only headz worldwide, but should be a 39-minutes-and-change fireball that affectionately recreates the sound of early 1990s jungle, with slight forays into the house and techno sounds of the day. If he had asked me, I would have said “In 92? I was in elementary school, learning to write in cursive, where were you Zomby? and then I would have told him to just make a whole album that sounds like Liquid Dancehal. Zomby, being a gentleman of sound mind and impeccable taste, would no doubt have had the wisdom to ignore my advice and make this album instead.

Most of these fourteen tracks have short running times and no real beginning or end, slamming into each other in an end-to-end brick wall of beats. This may inspire fantasies about delicious full-length versions of these tracks hiding on DATs in Zomby’s closet, but the album doesn’t quite play out like the DJ mix you might expect. The lack of smooth transitions echoes track one’s title (“Fuck Mixing, Let’s Dance”) and emphasizes Zomby’s preference for straight-banging dance music over careful sonic (or vinyl) manipulation. In this music’s delirious ecstasy (pardon the pun,) you can hear a bright-eyed nostalgia for a dance music culture before LTJ Bukem and the like “elevated” jungle into the polite terrain of smoother (and more arrogantly named) “intelligent drum and bass. This is not the refined sound of soundtracks and car commercials, and the aerobics-class cheese melted into much of this music bolsters its unpretentious, raving sincerity. Sincerity; not reverence. Zomby obviously loves music like this, but this recording gives us a sense that he loves it as music, not as a religion or as a craft. This album never feels like devotion or like an exercise.

Plenty of artists have traded in received nostalgia for a bygone slice of pop (The Poets of Rhythm, The Darkness, The Pipettes) often with enjoyable, if not durable, results. Sometimes this is ironic pastiche and sometimes it is affectionate imitation, but either way, it smells suspiciously like an admission of defeat, as if we have reached a cultural dead end and our record-buying future holds nothing for us except reissues and star-studded tribute albums. Maybe the indie kids were right, and all music before now was just leading up to Animal Collective. Will there be no John Cage or Grandmaster Flash of tomorrow? Maybe I’m jumping the gun. Maybe Zomby IS the next John Cage (although I like him better as the first Zomby.) Maybe Zomby is making one last nostalgic stop before launching into the wide unknown. When the liner notes proudly proclaim that this record was made using only early 1990s gear, it’s a big flashing clue that Zomby is... not crossing, but flirting with the line between an art and a discipline.

Approaching music as a discipline is rarely a good way to get me running to the record store with my hard-earned substitute-teaching money in hand. This kind of approach gives birth to many breeds of mutant snobbery, from the theory-head sanctimony of too-smart-to-like-the-Ramones music majors to the arch-conservative, Wynton Marsalis attitude that continues to turn jazz into a dusty wax museum instead of a thriving art form. Rebel! Reject! Renounce! Be a cultural heretic, a pop-apostate! Musicians obsessed with the past are doomed to repeat it. Or imitate it. Or cover it. The lecture blurted out to kids in Pink Floyd t-shirts: “Don’t let the Keepers of Taste stagnate the airwaves! Find your own heroes!” That being said, if you’ll pardon this dispatch from the Village Green Preservation Society, maybe there is something to be said for glancing back over our shoulders, even turning around for a moment or two…

Bob Dylan’s debut album was a precedent for Zomby's. Dylan began his career with an album that consisted of his troubadour-repertoire of traditional folk songs and one original, the Guthrie tribute “Song to Woody”. Famous as an innovative, forward-thinking pioneer (although I might dispute that reputation), Dylan started out with a record as backwards-looking as possible. His conection with this tradition grounded him, and gave him a foundation on which he could build his ragged, thin-mercury folk rock. Charles Mingus is also admired for keeping alive embers of the jazz tradition, but his other foot was always placed firmly in the avant-garde. Traditions change, and an artist can inherit them without being enslaved by them. A great musician can expose the tradition’s un-mined facets, or use that tradition as a jumping-off point or a warm-up as their unique identity is developing. Sticking close to a tradition can also be a sneering (and probably deserved) finger-in-the-face to staunch demagogues like me who think music has to innovate in order to have value.

The music on Where Were U in '92? is too much reckless fun to be judged simply as a craft, but the imitation is too exact for it to not be judged as a discipline. I am sure that this album will be listened to and discussed very differently in light of Zomby's work in the future. For now, though, I can enjoy it without the burden of any context other than possibility. I’m not sure what Zomby’s intentions are, but I think he might tell us “Fuck Criticism, Let’s Dance.”

taken from

Pop Matters Review: Where were you in 92?

I was 10 in 1992. So, to answer the rhetorical question posed on an M.I.A track a few years back and reexamined on the debut full-length by British master dubstep-cum-wonky producer Zomby, where I was in ’92 was probably out in my backyard playing with G.I. Joes. According to the rare interviews with the recondite Zomby, the future bass fiend was 14 in ’92, too young to gain admission into the thriving UK rave scene, but old enough to be completely taken by the vibrations and auras percolating out of the reclaimed factory space of those illegal parties.

Anyone who has gone through puberty can testify that the age difference between being 10 years old and 14 years old is as vast as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Similarly, the U.S. and the UK experience of electronic dance music is sweepingly disparate. U.S. dance music was routinely ignored by polite society if it couldn’t be absorbed into the dominant culture, whereas the UK became gripped in panic over the latest youth proclivity for late-night drugging, the street crime that followed the former, and the decidedly anti-capitalist bent of heterotopian rave communities. At the same time as Zomby caught D-Force and Foul Play on pirate radio as a developing lad, I was in suburbia glimpsing only fragments of house music through the occasional radio play of Bizarre Inc., C+C Music Factory, or Inner City on the radio, interspersed with formulary mainstream record label runoff like Richard Marx, New Kids On The Block or Timmy T.

I enjoyed it all, of course, because I was ten. But in the ensuing years of adolescent objection, I found myself veering away from breakbeats and arpeggios in favor of the grinding guitars of grunge, metal, and rock-based-industrial. Something perverse within the American condition, supplemented by a junk food diet of Rolling Stone and MTV (not to mention a perhaps unconscious reactionary anti-drug, anti-gay, anti-minority cognitive dissonance) caused me to reject the innate rebellion of dance music as disposable and trite, pre-destined for roller-rinks and in-crowds. It was a culture apart from one I was expected to request entry. Europe, on the other hand, found total redemption from the chains of the dasein of late capitalism’s perpetual ennui in staccatos contrasted with whole notes, strobes, amen brothers, rippling vocal tides shouting “selecta”, and late, late nights out as zombies adrift in the somnambulance of waking life’s dreadful limitations. At the time, music journalists wrote off the scene and particularly the music itself as superficial, unfocused, unrefined, insular, and at times wantonly uncouth. The rapid pace of genre-swapping and scene erosion within what techno scribe and theorist Simon Reynolds has dubbed the hardcore continuum caused many to dismiss the music as fad-hopping bollocks, fueled by youth with no interest in developing the music enough to withstand the litmus test of time. With the perfect hindsight of history, it now appears that the tables have turned. The music of my teenage rebellion seems like rock hegemony. Pearl Jam, Metallica, and Skinny Puppy all seem like contrived and plodding relics, whereas 2 Bad Mice, Mr. Fingers, and 4hero still sound fresh, enduring, and timeless.

The point of this long aside is that Zomby’s debut album Where Were U in ’92? has already been branded as a retro artifact by both those who’d warmly welcome a nostalgia trip and those who could never understand why someone might want to revisit ’92 ‘ardkore in the first place. My argument is that a) those styles are still vital, particularly when not viewed through American rock-goggled lenses, and b)Where Were U in ’92? is more of a love letter than a flashback and thus cannot be carelessly dismissed as a genre experiment.

Far from the unexpected departure many are labeling it, Zomby’s latest is fully informed by his series of undeniably riveting short players for Hyperdub. It is bass music, just made with the old equipment rather than laptops. The wobbly sub-bass on “Euphoria” and “Tears in the Rain” should be familiar to any one with Kode9 or Skream, even if they couldn’t tell their Shep Pettibone from their Shanks & Bigfoot. “Pillz”, on the other hand, computes an offbeat Antipop Consortium-style malfunctioning synth riff which rushes on a grime beat. It’s a killer track and all the signs point more to parody than homage. “Is you rollin’?”, a female voice asks of the uncredited male rapper, before concluding “Girl, he get dumb.” Even still, it captures its desired energy acutely.

Zomby’s disc seems to try its damnedest to replicate a mixtape, or at least the atmosphere of a mix tape. While it’s easy to get distracted by the titular year in question, the aim of the artist seems to be directed more at evoking the sensation and the sense of possibility in ’92 rather than anything specific. The songs aren’t posed towards becoming singles. They’re mostly pretty short (only one track clocks in at over four minutes) and are either mixed seamlessly into one another or abruptly truncated in the midst of headrush momentum. Some tracks are even so sample-specific that appear to be more remix than original (or even mashup). “Float” exacts the whole of the melody line from Bizarre Inc.’s “Playing with Knives”, while “U R My Fantasy [Street Fighter II Theme Mix]” is essentially a version of the nearly identically named “You are my Fantasy” by Baby D. “

Daft Punk Rave” takes on a more recent tune (Daft Punk’s “Technologic”) and crunks it down a couple dozen BPM and riffs on it for minute or so to make the kid robot vocal of the original into the opening of a Shut Up and Dance song. And then as quickly as it appears it’s on to the next.

Of course, the reference points are still all over- diva squeals, recurrent Caribbean voices beckoning “rude boy” or “Zomby dub”, house synth-stabs, the return of the vanished funky break, and the requisite sound effects from Street Fighter II. It’s a mostly wonderful brew, even if it seems slightly pale in the shadow of it reference points. What it provides best, though, is a lucid rearview mirror vista onto a scene that the music press was far too immature to understand.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Lone Instores Now

Lone - Joy Reel / Sunset Teens
12" / Digital

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Lukid to play Sonar 2009

Lukid plus Barca sunshine. A match made in heaven.

What Sonar say....

Back in 2007, he released an LP and an EP on Werk Discs, full of emotive abstract electronic beats, as well as contributing to the 'We Are...' monthly podcasts, sniffing out dusty nuggets like a well-trained platter-hound. Stussy snapped up another of his tracks for a compilation, which also featured Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer, while the start of this year saw his second LP 'Foma' for Werk Discs receive critical acclaim from the likes of Resident Advisor, Boomkat, and Fact magazine, for his bass-heavy, tripped out grooves.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Lone signs to Werk

Joy Reel / Sunset Teens



Fresh from last summers brilliant wake up album “Lemurian” – Lone, Werks latest whizz proudly presents “Joy Reel / Sunset Teens”, a subliminal assault of defocused synths, with a hypnotic glow guaranteed to put even the hardest club head into a stereo induced trance.

Only this time however the Greenhills Zone b-boy breaks out the 808, swivels his cap, and steps out into the summer haze, with a boombox full of 80’s R&B inspired computer talk.

Without doubt a more thuggish update on the Lone sound, this 12” gives a taste of the eagerly anticipated debut album on Werk Discs slated for a Summer 2009 release.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Monday, 6 April 2009

Dntel digs Hazyville

Jimmy Tamborello drops Ivy May Gilpin from Hazyville on his incredible Dying Songs radio show. Also, top marks for playing the almost forgotten Blue Nile...



fELT - Candles In A Church - Ballad of the Band ep
Heidi Berry - Cradle - Love
Bonnie “Prince” Billy - The Girl In Me - Louisville Is For Lovers 2009 (v/a)
Iham-Echo - Eagle - Let The Pigeons In (v/a)
Jeremy Jay - Everlasting Love - Everlasting Love ep
The Blue Nile - From Rags To Riches - A Walk Across The Rooftops
The pale Fountains - Reach - Pacific Street
Miaow - When It All Comes Down - When It All Comes Down
Liechtenstein - Everything’s For Sale - Everything’s For Sale ep
Au Revoir Simone - All Or Nothing - Still Night, Still Light
Pet Shop Boys - Love Etc. - Yes
Aphex Twin - Alberto Balsalm - I Care Because You Do
Actress - Ivy May Gilpin - Hazyville
Locust - All My Sadness - Natural Composite
Conemelt - untitled (A2) - 12″ 1993

Monday, 30 March 2009

“Foma is a lovely, multi-stylistic display of the new generation of sample-delic + electronic producers happening world-wide"

Bedroom beat morpher, Lukid, follows up his 2007 debut ‘Onadon’ with ‘Foma’ on the well established, and increasingly vital Werk Discs record label. Traversing the landscape of late night sojourns and the moods of a dawn breathing out sun rays, ‘Foma’ has a surprisingly restrained approach in its composition and arrangement that belies an intricate depth and complexity, which unfolds under repeated listens. While electronic in its application of sounds, its organic ethos is evident as samples flutter haphazardly, loops roll out of time and bass lines morph and change pitch spontaneously, giving Foma a freedom and liveliness more commonly found in jazz records than electronic productions. ‘Fall Apart’ displays this approach, as tribal drum rhythms subtly shift time signatures, while a throbbing bass line grows rich in texture, rising to fuse with the rhythm before washing away underneath its changing patterns only to re-emerge later, rising again with stranger textures and a different purpose. An identifiable thread weaves through ‘Foma’, as dreamy sequence loops float over plunging cables of sub bass. This creates a balanced contrast between the airy, early morning lucidity that permeates the album and the weighted soul that lends it an exploratory, moody depth. The up-tempo ‘Chord’ provides a highpoint with its stepped, clicky beats, hypnotic synth loop and relentless, unpredictable bass line. However it is what is happening in between the drum rhythms and the low end frequencies that is where the magic occurs in ‘Foma’. The warmth, soulfulness and pure hypnotism created by Lukid’s manipulation of the samples, synths and pads at his disposal feels almost cosmic in its ability to yield the listeners soul. You can call it Post Hip Hop, Future Beats, IDM or Electronica, in the end none of that means shit, as ‘Foma’ is so unflinchingly honest. This is music to dissolve to (Richard Buck). 8/10

Norman Records Dig Actress Remix

This record left our Ant feeling happy

It took me a bit to work out what this Various Production "20" 12" was but I got it in the end so now I'm going to reward myself with something edible... Oh the record... It's two remixes. The first is by Actress and it's a deep house track with super hissy loud hi-hats and female vocal snippet sample. It sounds a bit fucked up but still flows. It's quite harsh and raw sounding especially on the top end. There's a sweet jazzy melody in there and the bassline is nice and round and sexy. One to drop to get the girlies on the floor before you warp their minds by dropping 'Nellie The Elephant' backwards at 290BPM while cutting into the Smiths refrain 'Hang The DJ'. Then all the girls start projectile vomiting on you and so you moon at them while downing a pint of Wild Turkey in one then throw the decks in the bin and then go home and mutilate yourself with a broken rusty coat hanger... (typicalSaturday night out for our Ant, that) Rustie does a remix of 'In This' on the other side. He keeps the grimey vocal and adds lots of his own sounds into the mix. I quite like this bloops and squiggle stuttering action everywhere. If you like his style then you'll be rinsing this plate. Brett digs the drum rush.

Mired in a miasma of fog, submerged rumbles contort to rise through jagged cracks in the industrial concrete. The trunks of passing trucks shake rattle-rattle with subwoof swells that cause arm hairs to stand at full attention. A palette of gray haze glazes the district over with an artificial sheen of Saran-wrapped grit. The digital junkyard awaits its daily shipment of crashed hard drives and cracked circuit boards: a reliquary of forgotten technology. Tethered telephone lines conduct melodies in the thick hum of electric air. Somewhere, off in the distance, a jackhammer jots encrypted notes as notches in rock. Welcome to Hazyville.

A muffled diva croons an indecipherable hook that resembles the word “Pecans” on the opener, “Again The Addiction.” From the jump, warbling underwater TurboGrafx tones suck you into their vortex with Freestyle vocal sputters and shuffling hi-hat stutters. A cold distance emanates as the track slowly thaws. Spastic, manic, and paranoid, it scores virtual reality high-speed chases through slick streets, blurred data racing past. “Ivy May Gilpin” comes equipped with the sway of a digitized rainforest, 808 congas tapping under echoing bird chirps, and slow-growing synth moss. If not for its adrenaline-paced rhythm, it might lull to relaxation, but as percussive layers mount, the tension rises toward the tree canopy. “Mincin” is a scraping metal-on-metal throbber that wears down ears like grating gears of a bulldozer. Both nervous and stirring, it rewards those who can escape unscathed by its jarringly rough edges.

This is the music playing at hovercraft assembly lines and robot weddings; mechanized emotion, carefully constructed by the human hand.

People call this dub-step. People call this Detroit. People call this wonky. Darren J. Cunningham, a.k.a. Actress, calls this Werk. 
The Werk imprint has provided Cunningham the forum to foster some of the finest forward-thinking, beat-driven movements out of the UK, with a roster that reps Lukid, Radioclit, and Disrupt. Some four years in the making, the fervently awaited Actress long-player dropped hot on the heels of the radical Zomby release, Where Were U In ’92? While Zomby garnered Werk Discs their deserved proppers from everyone and their glowstick-laden candy-raver moms, Actress barely blipped beyond the cliquish Boomkat radar. Not quite a full-blown felony, but at least a petty crime, as Hazyville is easily one of last year’s most slept-on electronic releases. Perhaps this U.S. release will change that.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Actress Blip

Video by Sam B and Davin. Processing visual by Matt Wade.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Aphex Twin drops Zomby

Reports came back pretty quickly that the Twin playlisted tracks from Zomby's now confirmed classic  "Where Were U In 92 ?" in the rave at Bloc Weekender.

What else is to be said but wow.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Where Were U In 92?

At the very end of last year, Zomby weighed in with an astonishing double-pack EP on Hyperdub. This was wonky (I’m STILL holding out for aquacrunk) in all its physically beguiling, futuristic impossibility - is sounded like a PlayStation attempting to dance to a dubbed-out Prodigy. This was (is) most definitely now. And then, simultaneously, he quickly super-glued the frames back on the doors that he had just booted in with this, his debut album on Werk, a seemingly straight ‘homage’ to rave culture. Some may have wondered what the proudly anonymous Zomby was up to. I certainly did.

Back in 2006, Rufige Kru (Goldie and conspirator) delivered their debut album after a decade of peerless singles. Despite his decidedly dodgy solo career, Malice in Wonderland (and what a title) felt like a triumph - a valiant attempt from the old guard to make good with contemporary drum’n’bass. Unfortunately, after a few weeks it fell from memory and I’ve not touched it since.

Maybe that’s the reason why it took me a while to getting round to actually hearing this and why it’s still getting reviewed everywhere. Why would you even bother with such an endeavour? Why did I get this SO wrong?

Where Were You in ’92? jumps straight in with 'Fuck Mixing, Let’s Dance'. It's all there - sirens, mentasm stabs, looped hyper-breaks, rave piano and chipmunk vocals. Every texture and every nuance is immediately recognisable, an instant memory rush. But, far from being a facsimile, it all ends up sounding a bit well, weird. Zomby treats rave the way early Young Gods treated metal. All the sound sources are perfect but it’s put together in a way that could only have been now. It’s not quirky or jerky, each song rolls and flows and punches the air but somehow what should feel like pastiche seems a million miles ahead of the aforementioned Malice....

Take the second tune, 'Euphoria'. Like every song on the album, it opens brutally, in the middle - there's no introduction and no separation between tracks. An ‘ardkore (hate that word) piano gravitates merrily over a looping vocal and more sirens (they’re everywhere) and while the former is as expected, it’s the latter two that are bizarre. The whoosh of wordless female vocal is so weirdly FX’d that it sounds like it’s attached to a cyber-whisk. It’s also right in your face, a mile of separation between it and the piano. Meantime, the air-horn clarion-call is cracked- sounds cassette sampled, feeling almost ancient in effect. It’s these little tweaks that make the project such a staggering success. All those old sounds and riffs become textures in the hands of a master craftsman and it becomes apparent that Zomby is the yin to Burial’s yang. Where the latter moves forward by embracing the melancholy of a temporary social carnival that can only be imagined, Zomby soaks in the futurism and redeploys it. Both fuck with memory - one haunted the other blissful.

There are references to Blade Runner and Baby D via the PlayStation, but where he revels himself is three quarters of the way through on 'Pillz'. It’s so massively off-kilter, an out-of-sync chip-riff with skewed R&B backing vocals before it suddenly drops into a breakbeat. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to anything that happened before mid-2008.

And with this knowing sleight-of-hand, Zomby proves himself to be as subtle as he is energetic. Where Were You in ’92? screws over your synapses, fucks with your memory and you can dance to it. A triumph in every respect.



Luke Blair masterfully tickled ears and hearts with his last release, (2007's Onandon) displaying artful poise and a real knack for crafting head-nodding wonders. His music drips with the kind of secretive static atmospheres that helped define Burial's sound, yet the style here is overtly more blunted – think the shuffling psychedelia of post-Dilla/Flying Lotus-style hip-hop. That influence is still apparent on this new record yet it's testament to the 22-year old's skills that he carves out a sound of his own, dotted with cinematic flourishes and intelligent use of samples but one still very much dedicated to the beat.

Being on Werk, bass figures heavily in the sub-inflected stylings on show, but its the deft embellishments that really make Foma worth checking out. The first couple of tracks set the mood with Ice Nine bringing a fizzing jazzy groove out from dark drones to meet a simple treated piano motif. The composition here is definitely of the less-is-more school, but interestingly nothing feels underdone. From the simple affecting nature of the opener, Lukid introduces another of his little trademarks on Raise the High Roof Beam which I'm going to refer to as the 'Bubble and Squeak' effect. It's pretty self-explanatory. His love for stumbling, looped progressions is also apparent and it's easy to draw comparisons with the downbeat sunshine of Elvin Estella's Nobody project.

Veto ramps up the funk with organs blazing and shuffling snares pulled straight from the Madlib book of beatmaking. Random stop-start interludes inject some playful spontaneity, but when the mood changes with a minute to go suddenly you're grooving underwater in a glass submarine watching the tropical fish flit by. Standout track Slow Hand Slap starts out all coy and swathed in static. As the beats build over the fuzz-bass, a smooth vocal loop drifts by, lightening the intensity and wrapping you up in cotton wool. Eventually a soothing two-note melody is layered perfectly over the top and the cumulative effect is hypnotically blissful.

It's important to note that listening to this album on headphones is deeply rewarding, all the little details that sucked you in the first time become even more woozy and beguiling. Wandering along in the swaying little bubble that Foma creates is not only highly recommended, its genuinely transporting. As the record continues, Chord takes an never-ending sustain and fuses it into a rolling broken-beat underpinned by some smooth bass textures and clicking rhythms. Foma stands alone being at once minimal in nature and grand in scope, yet retaining the beat-heavy focus that established the Lukid sound. Ultimately, it's a refreshing approach that succeeds far more often than it flounders. Recommended.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Half Stereo Interview With Lukid

A New Wonderkind: Lukid
One of London’s underground and most creative labels, Werk Discs have been releasing the best and promising electronic music for a while and they have a brand new wonderkid, Lukid.

With his second long player “Foma”, he proves his abilities to do electronica lullabies with a big hip hop and abstract beats influence. Lukid’s “Foma” is already one of the best albums of 2009. Also home to Distrupt, Actress and Zomby, Werk Discs continue broadening and transmitting their forward thinking electronic music spectrum, this time with Lukid’s melody and beat tank “Foma”. A twisted electronica journey full of jazz, ambient and funk.

What you will get from Lukid is most easily Prefuse 73 mixed with Hudson Mohawke or Dabyre. He has a real, enormous sound scape, full of creative moments and high end beat construction. Dub, dubstep, trip-hop, hip-hop and any other electronic music inspiring source maybe Lukid’s origin for a real ‘wonky’. He is a multidisciplinary beat constructivist, a high level talent. A true beatmaker. Next, he says will be a folk album. Who knows! What we know is he is doing a great music. Here is the interview we did with Luke Blair aka Lukid regarding his new album “Foma”.

How did you become a part of the Werk Discs community And how about your first LP then?
I sent them a demo a few years ago, and met up with Darren (the label manager) not long after. We stayed in contact, I kept sending him tunes, and he liked them enough to agree to put out an LP. That was "Onandon".

What about the second LP "Foma", how long did it take you to finish up and why is the name "Foma"?
All in all it was probably about a year. The word “Foma” is a reference to the book ‘Cat’s Cradle’ by Kurt Vonnegut. It basically means lies.

The album also has a good artwork and a poster inside which we are hungry to have these days. You keep the quality of your work not only on the music side but also on the printing and the packaging side. The Artwork is done by Davin Gormley and Paul Roberts. What is the idea behind it and how was the process?
Davin and Paul are both friends of mine, so I keep them in the loop when it comes to my music. As I was putting “Foma” together, I was sending them tracks, and I think they got a feel for the mood of the album, and started collaborating on the artwork for it. You’d have to ask them about how they went about getting their ideas together, I know that they are very talented designers and I know that whatever they do will look great, so I stay out of their processes.
I think artwork is extra important these days in a way, you need to give people that extra incentive to actually buy the physical product. Make it worth their while.

What about the sound of "Foma"? How do you define your sound in relation with the genres and trends? I would say you are doing a post-abstract-hip hop and beats thing. And you are very good combination of (you are in the middle of) Prefuse 73 and Hudson Mohawke.
I think Foma is a lot more varied than my 1st album, has more of a flow to it. I’d like to think that it explores many areas of electronic music. My favourite albums are ones that have variation in them, that tell a story. That’s what I was trying to achieve with “Foma”. I don’t know if I did or not though. You tell me.

Would you be mad at me If I say you are a strong opponent to what Hudson Mohawke is doing right now? What is your opinions about selling so much, getting known by lots of people. I guess this issue is not so much important for you or the Werk Discs crew. Could you please talk about it a little bit?
I’m not an opponent of Hudson Mohawke at all, I love his music. As for selling records, I think every artist wants to get their work out to as many people as possible, but I wouldn’t say it’s a big concern of mine. I think as long as you’re making good music, you will get a following.

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. " So please tell us something that you would like to talk about...
I’d like to talk about the steak sandwich I just made. It almost made me cry it was so good.

What about your name Lukid? Was it always the same? My prediction would be, your name ‘Luke’ multi exposed with 'Kid'. Is it right?
Yeah, I guess that’s what it is. I just liked the sound of it to be honest, no real meaning behind it. I would’ve used my real name but my last name (Blair) will be forever associated with Tony now.

Do you have a favorite track in the EP? Or a track which has an interesting story behind?
The title track ‘Foma’ is the only one I can really listen to now. It was me trying to be Erik Satie and failing miserably, but I think it’s a nice track. Could work as a bedtime lullaby.

How did you started on doing productions? What were your inspirations at the beginning? Which labels and producers do you admire these days?
I started at school. I didn’t know what I was doing really. There was no particular scene I was following or anything, I just enjoyed making music. These days? I dunno, I love a lot of stuff. Loving that new Mount Kimble record on Hotflush, a few tracks on the new Animal Collective record are absolutely killing me, Pharell, Bullion, Zomby, Dabrye of course. Loads of good stuff around. As for labels, I may be biased but Werk have some serious heat at the moment.

What about playing live in Turkey/İstanbul at a Werk Discs party? Does it excite you? What do you know about Istanbul and Turkey?
Man, I would love to come to Turkey. I’ve heard a lot of great things about İstanbul, and apart from anything else I’m totally addicted to Turkish food. So many good, cheap Turkish food joints in London, but I’m sure it doesn’t compare to what you have over there. Bring on the Werk İstanbul invasion.

What about your future plans regarding your musical carrer?
I want to keep getting better, I want to make a folk record, I want to make a hip hop record, I want to make an ambient record, I want to have a number 1 song, I want to score a film, I want to produce a band, I want to produce another band, I want to learn the oboe. All that good stuff.

Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes. I have to say that I thought ‘Slumodog Millionaire’ was crap. Who’s with me?

Check out Half StereoHere

Simon Reynolds

All of a sudden, it seems, Animal Collective have become a "mirror group". I don't just mean that their music is a reflection of the desires and dreams of their fans. Any old cult does that to some extent. No, with their new album Merriweather Post Pavilion, they have been promoted to a bigger league, where they're a talking point for a whole new set of people who, until recently, had no interest in their existence. Just like when you pass by a mirror and can't resist taking a glance, people are looking for the flattering angle, for a stance on the band and their music that makes the opinionator look good. Look, I'm doing it right now: the pose struck is "someone who rises above the fray and takes the meta-view".

Through the obscure process that's partly chosen by a band and partly out of their hands completely, Animal Collective have reached the threshold of being a group that matters. Suddenly, a lot more people have a stake in taking a position. Some can get mileage from finding them horribly overrated or just plain horrid-sounding, by being mystified by their appeal. Others â€' the long-term fans â€' can choose between complaining that they've traded in their edge (no one says "sold out" these days, that's like talking about the Man, it's too Citizen Smith), or they can guardedly approve of the group's shift towards accessibility, the ambition and generosity of reaching out to a larger audience. Then there are those who never had much interest when Animal Collective dwelled in the "experimental ghetto", but are coming on board now that they might actually become popular and therefore "significant", maybe even zeitgeist-y.

There are lots of records that receive critical and blogospheric plaudits galore but never become polarising bones of contention (there's no voluble army of opposition to Deerhunter, for instance, just the besotted and the indifferent). But every year there are a handful of records that make everyone stake out a stance. They're not consensus records in the sense that everyone thinks they're great; the consensus here is simply that this is worth getting worked up about. We literally agree to disagree. Merriweather is this year's first discursive flashpoint album. Last year we had Vampire Weekend, Portishead, Lil Wayne, Kanye West; if you look at the past five years, MIA defeats all-comers in this category. At a deeper level, beneath the particulars of aesthetics and resonance, what's really at issue is, I think, the status and function in our culture of "middlebrow". With Merriweather, almost everyone is either castigating or applauding Animal Collective for their tentative steps into the middling regions of pop culture: that Kid A zone where mild experimentalism meets not-too-obvious melodicism.

Recently I've been thinking about the importance of a strong middlebrow culture. A middlebrow that could include a record like Merriweather or Saint Dymphna â€' by AC's Brooklyn allies Gang Gang Dance, who ply a similar experimental/ecstastic sound and were rewarded in last year's critics polls for their shift towards clarity and tunefulness â€' strikes me as valuable. Whereas abandoning middlebrow to the Coldplays and Elbows of this world seems cowardly. The trouble is there's little cultural capital to be had from sticking up for middlebrow, for the kind of music that America's don of rock criticism Robert Christgau long ago tagged "semi-popular music". There's two obvious and immediately satisfying ways of responding to the existence of semi-popular/middlebrow. One is the elitist path, which involves making an invidious comparision between the middlebrow group in question and some obscure artist, pointing out how Middlebrow Record X isn't really experimental or innovative, how it has compromised itself with song structures or concessions to pleasantness. The other angle, equally rewarding, is the populist stance, where what you hold against the middlebrow artist is the fact it's not really pop, because it's not selling that much. If you're really sharp, you'll then point to some mega-successful artist who's doing genuinely radical mischief right at the money-pumping heart of the mainstream (Timbaland/Missy Elliott always used to be a good stick to beat the hapless middlebrow with, but I'm not sure who could be used now).

It's a risky business for a band to move from relative unpopularity towards the edge of the mainstream. Their original following, seeing their stock about to get devalued by new fans, may be tempted to dump it and latch on to some new buzz band. Semi-popularity in some ways is a weak place to be situated: you're not going to be the Beatles, you're probably not even going to be Radiohead, and since the difference between having 100,000 fans and 10,000 isn't really that significant (in the grand scheme of things), why not keep your music "pure"? But from another angle, you might say that middlebrow calls into question both the mainstream and the margins: pop, for its lack of risk and reach, and the unpop peripheries, for their pointless extremism, concealed macho, impotent inconsequentiality. At its best, middlebrow really does offer the best of both worlds. There's a sense too in which anything really good is going to end up in the middle zone, if not by intent then by acclamation: The Beatles and the Smiths, obviously, but also the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine (all of whose achievement lay not in their noise â€' plenty of other people were dealing in that â€' but in the merger of melody and riff-structure with swarming textural chaos).

Mess and melody, space and song ... making them coexist is Animal Collective's forte, too. Which reminds me: I haven't said a peep about the new record. A long-time fan, I didn't really get on with the last one, Strawberry Jam, but I adore Merriweather, despite the crap title and initial feeling that it was all a bit too much of monster sugar-rush (Warren Ellis felt the same way). There's long been an electronic element within Animal Collective's folkadelic sound, but in the past the group have tended to namedrop ultra-hip German minimal techno artists like Gas. This new record is less hypnotic, though, and closer to ... banging. Dance pundit Ronan Fitzgerald points out that its pounding euphoria occasionally resembles Underworld. It seems revealing that the word "ecstasy" features in the first song, In the Flowers. Now that might refer to a rising high that's purely spiritual ... but then again, it might not. Sharp-eared blogger Carl Neville of The Impostume reckons that Merriweather and the stampede of positive energy that is Dan Deacon's Bromst could prove to be America's counterpart to nu rave. Indeed, Animal Collective have been quite vocal in their admiration for Zomby's Where Were U in 92?, a loving pastiche of early UK rave by a renegade from the dubstep scene.

One of the odd things about rave in its original form was the scene's child-like chasteness, which happens to be one of the striking aspects of the Animal Collective songbook â€' the dearth of songs of lust. (Big fans of the Grateful Dead, they often get snarkily dismissed as a hipster version of the dreaded jam-band scene, another style of music that's utterly devoid of sex.) All boyish buoyancy and pure-hearted wonder, the Animal Collective sound is about Agape not Eros. The music can be best understood as a manifestation of their extraordinarily tight friendship, which goes back to school days; more than that, the band itself is an attempt to preserve that fraternal bond in the face of all the entropic forces of adulthood and "the real world". The most popular tune on Panda Bear's solo album was called Bros, while Merriweather features songs with titles like Guys Eyes and Brothersport.

I think this Bromanticism explains why they're so drawn to the Beach Boys, an influence audible in their choral voices, which sometimes also remind me of the Missa Luba music (Africanised Catholic masses you may remember from the soundtrack of If ... a film about a boys-only private school, like the one Animal Collective went to in Maryland). The ideal is eternal youth, endless summer. That's perhaps the hidden meaning of their 2004 anthem College (the only lyric of which is "you don't have to go to college"). Not so much "drop out/escape the career track" as "never grow up" (university being the ante-room to adulthood). Yet the group has become its own career track and responsibility, while on this album they're also grappling with parenthood (My Girls sees Panda Bear fretting about his desire to buy a house: it's not materialism, honest, I just want to shelter my daughters). Watching them try to reconcile growing up but staying young at heart over ensuing albums will be fascinating.

See full transcript Here

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Zomby Features In E4s Skins Top 10 Album List

Skins Music supervisor Alex Hancock has listed Where Were U In 92? in his top 10 albums list

"Zomby has had an absolutely amazing year – releasing some of the best 12"s around (Liquid Dancehall, Zomby EP) and also this quickly thrown together homage to the glory days of rave, which is one of the funnest albums you'll hear for a long time, especially the lead track 'Float'."

Read the full list Here

Sinden Drops Actress On Kiss FM

Paleface Ft Kyla - Do You Mind (Reggae Remix) - Cdr
Yo Magesty - Don't Let Go (Dj Ng Urbance Remix) - Domino
Tifa And Natalie Storm - Talk Of The Town - Cdr
Dj Class Ft Lil Jon - I'm The Shit - Unruly Records
Electric Red - So Good - Cdr
Santo Gold Ft Three 6 Mafia - Shuv It (Remix) - Atlantic
Terror Danjah - Zumpi Huntah (Swindle Remix) - After Shock
2000f & Jkamata - You Don't Know What Love Is - Hyperdub
Actress - Hazyville - Werk Discs
Shuttle - Tunnel - Ninja
Magnetic Man - Eclipse - Big Apple
Animal Collective - My Girls - Domino
Dance Area - Aa 24 7 - Phantasy Sound
Groove Armada - Pull It Up (Crank It Up) (Mad Decent B Live Remix) - B Live
Oj The Juiceman & Gucci Mane - Make The Trap Say Ay! - Cdr

Check the music to this list and show Here

Monday, 26 January 2009

Zomby Pitchforked

A proud moment for the label. Onwards!
Read the full review Here

Gilles Peterson Joins The Werk Party

Radio 1 DJ's continue their renaissance. Better recognise

22 January 2009

Listen again here
Salah Ragab And The Cairo Jazz Band - A Tribute To Sun Ra (Artyard)
Fela Kuti – Water Me No Get Enemy (Killer Funk Records)
Horace Andy – Stop The Fuss (Wackies)
Lukid –Slow Hand Slap (Werk Discs)
Phlash & Friends Ft Om’Mas- Do It Up (Restless Soul)
Yusef Lateef – 3 Faces of Balal (Critical Mass Re-edit) (OJC)
Pharoah Sanders – Jitu (Evidence)
Jonny Greenwood - Open Spaces (Atlantic)
Alexandre Desplat – Love In Murmansk (Concord Records)
Carter Bellwell – Thugs Passing In The Night (Lakeshore Records)
Circle Square – Timely (K7)
Robert Mitchell Trio –Teardrop (Jazz Services)
Raah Project – All Of Your Things (Test)
Sa Ra Creative Partners Ft Erykah Badu – Dirty Beauty (Ubiquity)
Hawthorn Headhunters - Do For You (HVW8 Records)
Os Originais Do Samba - Falador Passa Mal (Mr Bongo)
Amadou and Mariam - Sabali (Because)
Theophilus London – Grey X Sage (Misty Night) (Test)
Q-Tip - Life Is Better (Universal Motown)
Grandmaster Flash Ft Q-Tip - Shine All Day (Strut)
Kaidi Tatham – I’m High (Trus’Me edit) (Test)
Unknown – Martin Kemp (Test)
Wbeeza – He’s So Crazy (Third Ear Recordings)
Milton Jackson – Ghost In the Machine (Freerange)
Rasmus Vaber - Never Figure Out (Nurture)
Jazztronik - For You (Knife Edge)
Jazzanova Ft Theif - Lie (Universal)
Jazzsteppa - Big Swing Sound (Studio Rockers)
Doris - Beatmaker (Zonophone)
Andrea Pozza - Drop This Thing (Deja Vu)
Toys Are In Combat - Rhythmatic Train Behaviour (Eklektik Records)
Floating Points -Shangrila (Test)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

NYC Establishment Rate Lukid

"Wonky" seems to be the genre on everyone's lips at the moment. Popularized by the omnipresent Steven Ellison (a/k/a Flying Lotus), it is what electronic music has been stop-starting and attempting for years now -- the post hip-hop hybrid. In 2008 it came of age, losing the Prefuse 73/Machine Drum nerd-chic and replacing it with a Dilla-lite funk sheen and an eccentricity which was hard not to fall for. Sure, Dilla might be spinning in his grave, but artists such as Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Samiyam are pushing the genre just that little bit forward, blending a love of Slum Village productions with chiptunes, dubstep and crunk, and ending up with something all of their own. Lukid's Luke Blair was there before most, and his debut album, Onandon, was a shocking statement of post-Dilla machine funk. The Dabrye comparisons were maybe justified but Blair had pre-empted a burgeoning genre, and we have waited since to hear where he was going to take it. Of course, it would be too easy to out-wonk himself on this sophomore effort, so what does he do? Well, something completely different, of course. Blair may be very young but he's clearly got an encyclopedic musical knowledge as he traipses through ambient, jazz, minimalist hip-hop and twisted electronica on Foma. I would be loath to even bump this into the same spot on the shelf as Fly-Lo or his eager followers -- there's something just that little bit more horizontal about Fomaand an openness to experimentation which is fresh and alluring. It's almost as if Blair is dying to try his hand at anything; there's jazz ("Laughin"), dubstep ("Chord"), electronica ("Foma"), and even hints of acid (the incredible "Slow Hand Slap"). We would seem then to be having a much needed progression in this fledgling scene and instead of retreading old ground, Luke Blair has shown us that there's more to wonky than a copy of Fantastic Volume 2 and an MPC. With Foma, he has given us a hugely enjoyable collection with more than a swing and a bassline, and what more can we ask of him than that?

Vice Magazine

Basically translates to this album is dope!!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

In-depth Analysis On Actress and Werk

Interesting retrospective review of the Werk label, plus on point critical analysis of "Hazyville" written by Mike Newmark for PopMatters

Plus Actress is unwittingly exposed as a closet Avengers fan by TuneRaker .

Werk Roster Sign To Elastic Artists

Werk are pleased to announce that all Live/DJ bookings for our current roster will now be handled by Naomi at the Elastic Artists Agency

Animal Collective on Where Were U In 92 ?

Our Werk spies notified us that Animal Collective played the entire "Where Were U In 92 ?" album as part of the warm up for their London show at Koko, and since then the band have officially gone on record as big fans of the album.

Check their interview for Drowned In Sound