This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
White Noise: January 2013

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Natan H & Amy Jean – For Her

Label: ManMakeMusic

George Fitzgerald’s impeccably curated ManMakeMusic has, over the course of its 5 releases to date, acquired a special place in our hearts not just for great music, but also for an eerie knack for spotting new talent. Apart from the labelhead’s debut release, each slab of wax to date has been by a fresh face, and the choice has ranged from Trikk’s excellent techno hybrids to Leon Vynehall’s dusty house concoctions to the mysterious and experimental debut release from U. The one thing these varied releases had in common was their superb quality, so when we heard that MMM was putting out another debut, we were more than a little excited.

For Her / I Know / Rush
EP Clips

The label hasn’t disappointed, turning out a patient and nuanced set of deep house burners from the relatively-unknown pair. Title track For Her sets the stage nicely; a solid groove underpins bright, airy synthwork and an impressively textured percussive range. The opener’s half-heard vocal snips come to the fore in second tune For Her, where a locked melodic loop not miles away from The Field compliments subtle vocal manipulations and another steady 4/4. Closer Rush features New Zealand's Amy Jean, and just about lives up to its name, upping the energy levels with an addictive bassline and a spacious layout of synths and vocal cuts. For Her isn’t chock full of dancefloor killers, but instead MMM again sidesteps the club market and offers something interesting, a polished selection of immaculately produced burners that offer a pleasant sense of space alongside the irresistible grooves.


Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January Roundup 2013

As long as we’ve been into the UK dance scene, it has seemed to get better every single year. 2012 was a momentous one, where the scene began to properly diversify and the darkest shades of techno could be found rubbing shoulders with the airiest bass-pop tunes. If this list is anything to go by, we might have an even more exciting year on our hands.

Let’s get on with business then. We start with our favourite track of the month, and onwards through lush piano house, dark techno sounds all the way to the experimental edges of bass music. Here are White Noise’s top tunes for January.


(Click the track to go to our review of the release)

Applebottom – All Nite [Madtech]
Chesus – Special [Local Talk]
The Phantom – Vogue Dub [Your Mama’s Friend]
Bicep - Mixxmaster 88 [Wolf]
Alex Coulton – Dance, Max [Hype Ltd]
Natan H & Amy Jean – I Know [ManMakeMusic]
Kevin McPhee - Version 5 [3024]
Elson David – God Bless  [Shades of Grey]
Waifs & Strays – I Saw Yo Girl (Full Acid Vox Edit) [Future Boogie]
Parris Mitchell – All Night Long feat. Reggie Hall [Wicked Bass]
Palace – Trust [UTTU]
Boddika – Soul What (Mickey Pearce RMX) [Swamp81]
Troy Gunner – Masks [Infinite Machine]
Synkro – Acceptance [Apollo]
Diva - Paris Stabbing [New Kanada]
Delroy Edwards - Sprk tha Dust [L.I.E.S]
Machine Drum x Sun Ra – Door Of The Cosmos [All City]


We love Bok Bok's remix of All Night Long, but it's not on Youtube. Check it here.

Listen to the full version of Chesus' Special here.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, 28 January 2013

Applebottom – All Nite

Label: Madtech

The unstoppable rise of Bristol’s dance scene shows no sign of abating, as fresh teenage producer Applebottom (aka Joe Arthur) steps up to the plate for Kerri Chandler’s on-point Madtech imprint. The city's dance output over the last few years has betrayed a preference for big, ear-shattering bass workouts to steady 4/4s; somewhere on the threshold of the house, garage and bass music scenes. Applebottom's muscular release is no different. Here the young producer seamlessly incorporates disparate styles and references to create a storming pair of dance tunes that are sure to stand out in any set.

These soulful tunes reflect the recent trend towards big 90s sounds without ever sounding less than cutting edge 2013 material. A-side All Nite kicks off with twitching percussive accents and deep kicks crunching under lucid garage-style vocal chops. Around the two-minute mark descending chords introduce a weighty bass drop, accompanied by tough kicks and some deftly applied diva vocals which round up a hefty package. Arthur doesn’t turn down the power for tough B-side Turn On The Faith, which wastes no time starting out with a hefty 4/4, jukey rhythms and a cut-up ghettotech vocal line whose start-stop rhythm is complemented by some powerful synth stabs that add a touch of colour without ever softening this tune's edges. 

Applebottom achieves a remarkably mature sound for a talent so new: each track is structurally complex with an impressive and exciting range of powerful layers, but neither feels over-crowded for a second. Instead we're left with what are perhaps this year's first club-knockouts, and another jewel in the crown for both Bristol's house scene and Chandler's Madtech Records.


Labels: , , , ,

Friday, 25 January 2013

Synkro – Acceptance

Label: Apollo

Fans of the music of Joe McBride, aka Manchester’s Synkro, won’t have failed to notice the extraordinary stylistic shift that his work has seen over the last year. In 2012 The dark autonomic workouts of his past took a backseat for the release of the producer’s debut for Apollo Records, R&S’ ambient-inclined sister imprint. On the Broken Promise EP Synkro took the energy down a few notches, dwelling more on mood and emotion than kinetic power. The resulting tracks were interesting but ultimately  didn’t quite stand out enough from the crowd. Now for good or ill Synkro has ventured even further down the rabbit hole on his longest release to date, the moody Acceptance mini-LP.


The move is, as it turns out, largely successful. A focus on lusher, more ambient constructions has allowed the producer to bring out the knack for atmosphere that could always be heard on his early productions, letting the haunting synthwork and angelic vocal snippets take centre stage on a piece that’s more about introspection than the dancefloor. The components that make up Acceptance are generally polished, pretty tracks that sound like a UK take on the LA beat sound, with the Californian funk influence replaced by the ghosts of garage and the bass music scene.

These thoughtful pieces are constructed using a fairly limited sonic palette, but it’s Synkro’s taste and execution that makes the music stand out. Drawn-out ambient washes are lain down like canvas, onto which McBride applies meditative synthwork and a host of impressive atmospherics, ranging from far-off percussive accents to spectral strains of human vocals that get lost in the mix. Despite these changes, echoes of the producer’s percussive past can still be found; gorgeous opener Acceptance trades in slo-mo beatscience and a ghostly, sensual array of vocal samples, while the later Illuminations uses clean snares and claps to bring a momentum to the boomerang bass and distended vocals. The most upbeat number of the collection is also one of its standout tracks in the form of Spirals, where a kinetic rhythm drives a pretty harp loop along some sharp vocal chops that reference the current UK dance scene more than any other tune on here.


Despite the occasional nods to his past, the majority of the strongest moments on Acceptance come from the most ambient songs. The deep To Be is an early highlight, showing the full range of Synkro’s new introspective, emotionally complex sound with subtly manipulated vocal samples and a distant percussive clatter. Yet there’s a negative side to all this ambience. The fact that many of these songs are cut from similar sonic cloth means that they can be hard to distinguish between, and some, such as the undeniably pretty Disappear, feel a little empty, without enough substance to really stand out. The inclusion of acoustic textures such as the guitar loops on this and Indigo collab Mutual Divide (which sounds a lot like a lost track from Tycho’s Dive) is a fluid move, but it can’t raise the more unremarkable tracks on the release up from obscurity.

The tracks here are generally well produced and deeply atmospheric, but over a 35-minute runtime it’s hard to not wish for a little more variation and surprise in these sounds, and the listener might be frustrated waiting for Synkro to push the boat out a bit. Acceptance as a whole is meditative and filled with yearning, which will be great for those who love the sound and just want more of the same. But any listeners looking for a little experimentation and a wide range of emotional impact may prefer to look elsewhere in McBride’s discography for more adventurous material.


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Phantom – Piano Moods

Label: Your Mama’s Friend

Piano house is certainly in vogue at the moment, but who can blame the DJs? Powerful house beats are brought to a new level by the dual emotive possibilities of a piano sample; which can be flexibly used to inspire melancholy or ecstasy in the space of a single track. Here Warsaw-based Phantom, aka Bartosz Kruczynski, offers one of the more tasteful recent interpretations of the genre by implementing classic tropes without ever venturing into the dangerous territory of revivalism.

These slow house burners come in a selection of moods, kicking off with the lazy groove of opener Piano Moods. An upbeat take on the classic 4am tune, here a punchy 4/4 is supplemented by warm synthwork and a brass stab that offsets the hazy vocal work perfectly. It’s catchy and offers a blissed-out atmosphere for the floor, but the best from The Phantom is yet to come. It arrives in the form of superb final tune Vogue Dub, which easily justifies the EP’s title with a stunning piano riff that’s sure to get the dancefloor's attention. A swung-out beat pattern and a classic handclap underpin that infectious piano loop which morphs midway through into an utterly euphoric fluttering melody. It all serves to remind the listener of just why piano house was so popular in its time, and will without fail raise a smile on even the most sour-faced dancers.

Piano Moods / When I Found Out (Medlar Remix) / When I Found Out / When I Found Out (Chaos In The CBD Remix) / Vogue Dub
EP Clips

Second tune When I Found Out turns even more overtly to the past, sampling Jocelyn Brown’s legendary Somebody Else’s Guy alongside a locked piano loop which unravels in the second breakdown into a lush riff that again offers those feelgood vibes in spades. The tune is given two choice remixes, the first by Wolf Music stalwart Medlar, who offers a typically gauzy take on the original with vintage strings accompanying a downbeat, loping groove. Rising New Zealand duo Chaos in the CBD offer a straighter rework of the original, playing with the piano loop and hazy textures to create more of an eyes-down burner. Nothing here breaks any boundaries, but it wasn’t supposed to. The Phantom offers a great selection of piano house tunes including one out-and-out gem. The release shows a talent for bringing old tropes bang up to date,  and it should whet listeners’ appetites for more to come in the future from the promising producer.


Labels: , ,