English Settlement

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Mancunian Joe McBride gets set to drop his debut LP as Synkro for Apollo on September 18th. The aptly titled ‘Changes’ comes off the back of a trip to Japan where Joe fell in love with vintage analogue synths – the kind we’d all love to get our hands on. RA can take over from here but in the meantime you may sample the title track and preorder what’s left on the Bandcamp site (full disclosure: I scored the white LP/cassette/print which was limited to 20 pieces worldwide. It sold out on the quick).

Anybody familiar with Synkro’s work over the last half decade will know that Synkro can be drum and bass, chillwave, drone, dubstep and downtempo. He is effortless and limitless in scope.


After the late 80s heyday of Belgian new beat was followed by the early rise of techno, R&S Records was running about 15 sublabels and one of these was Global Cuts, formed in 1992 and managed by one Sven Van Hees who put out some of his most memorable work during this time. All but two of these labels folded as the 90s wore on but Van Hees has reinvented himself lately with a new label Your Lips and a string of I-don’t-know-what global-sunday-afternoon goodness that’s contained in this new 2xCD called ‘Chameleon’ that keeps selling out on Juno and I finally got my paws on it from the FedEx man today. Just check the mini-mixes of each disc and draw your own conclusions and I’ll just draw.


You might be wondering how in holy hell I have not reviewed the new Orb album yet and it’s because I’ve barely had time to listen to the damn thing! You play it once and you need to run through it again and then it’s all gone Pete Tong. Disregard any review you may have read on Pitchfork because unless your name is Kendrick Lamar or tUnE-yArDs, you don’t really count for much there. Before I digress too much, they have a new feature on a book about the rise of EDM in the US written in the about-to-be-annoying-as-fuck disaffected first-person style of Michaelangelo Matos who could use a few visits to Dancecult. Seriously. I believe that a quarter-century of rave, even in the States, should not be distilled to the lowest common denominator. I’ll save any criticisms until I read the book but I’d expect a populist music journalist who went to a few raves “back inna day” to write this stuff. I did enjoy his 33 1/3 book on ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ though. The incorrect use of ‘EDM’ is the killer though, Mike:


But back to The Orb. The good Dr. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann actually get better with age. ‘Moonbuilding 2703 AD’ comes as a CD, 2xLP and a 3xLP+CD with that extra LP being a tribute to JDilla and the Kompakt camp pulls out all the stops on the physical presentation. As for the bulk of the album, the first three cuts hover at 114 BPM, just perfect for getting a mind-bending set going and allowing the listener to take away something new each time. This is not deliberate music nor is it an elbow in the face at EDC. It is a keepsake of an album in the subjective Kompakt style and yet another step in the journey. Plus, they’re gonna be at the State Theatre in St. Pete on September 5th. And the place will be packed.

TOTD: Sven Vath – Ritual Of Life (Adam Port 108 Mix)

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