Active Ingredients – Blow the House Down EP

Ramrock Red Records are incredibly proud to present the fabulous new release ‘Blow the House Down’ by Active Ingredients a.k.a the prodigious Antipodean beatsmith, Inkswel and his partner in rhymes, the formidable Atlanta emcee, Stan Smith. Their new 7 track EP gets the party started from the get-go. The original version has Stan bouncing his flow over the beats, giving the track Sugarhill vibes mixed in with that classic NY hip hop sound from back in the day with a sprinkling of Atlanta Funk and an incessant rhythm. The North Street West Crew’s production nods towards a Philadelphia groove, with a smattering of inspiration from Pete Rock, Cold Crush Brothers and the Jungle Brothers as well as your very own label mistress Jo, aka Lady Kaos, elbowing her way onto backing vocals.

Ahead of the EP we ask them a few questions..

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Inkswel aka Jules Habib – one half of Active Ingredients with the mighty Stan Smith  

Where are you from, where are you now?

Adelaide Australia… back there now due to COVID but have spent the last ten years living in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Gold Coast, Berlin, London and beyond. 

What are you up to today?

Working on a guest DJ mix and finishing the final mixes for my new album coming next year and the debut album from Neo Soul vocalist Erin Buku. 

Talk us through your new release a little.

Me and Stan initially linked in 2019 via our mutual friend Daz-I-kue, of Bugz in the Attic, and we formed like Voltron as Active Ingredients. Our first EP was on French label, Cosmocities and we have since worked on a lot of music together. This jam came about around the same time as the initial one, but we sat on it until we found the right home for it with Jo Wallace’s Ramrock Records!

Is there a process of production that you follow when making a new track?

I usually pick a stack of records to listen to. I start with inspiration, and this usually connects me to the Universe’s vibrations. The process from there is something divine and beyond this ether. I just let it flow.  

Who would you love to see playing this music?

Anyone who listens for the love ..

Where is the best place to listen to it?

Digital services … and Bandcamp  

What was the last piece of music that you bought?

Re issue of ‘Madvillain’ (RIP DOOM) from my friends store, Cold Krush Records, and Hiatus Kaiyote ‘Get Sun’ single on Brainfeeder Records. 

If someone wanted to get to know your taste, what album should they listen to?  

Platinum Pied Pipers – Triple P Wajeed is an absolute don! Or DJ SPINNA – intergalactic soul.

What advice would you give to other producers in the studio?

Know your approach inside out – what you use is irrelevant. Your intention and vibration is what matters.  

What have you got the pipeline?

New album start of 2022, lots of remixes and production for other vocalists and rappers.. And loads more!

Inkswel is an eclectic DJ, producer and tastemaker with a long and extensive history of blending the boundaries of genre with a strong B-Boy foundation and forever evolving outlook. He has recently launched his own label, Inner Tribe Records, released his second album on Atjazz Records as well as a boogie EP for Kraak and Smaak’s label, Boogie Angst. Plus, there are several forthcoming Active Ingredients projects in his collaborative musical pipeline.

Stan “Steam” Smith has earnt an international reputation as a versatile emcee, having worked with the likes of Daz-I-Kue, Soulparlor and Rahgroove on their Tokyo Dawn Records release “Get Up Movement” and recently showcased his superb mike techniques on Japanese beat maker MFP’s “Busy Work” and he is constantly in the studio.

Releases November 26, 2021 – Bandcamp here or via player above…

Paradise, Forever EP – Uzu Moon

UZU MOON | NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE INTERVIEW

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Uzu Moon and I’m a Dutch/Japanese American composer and DJ.

Where are you from, where are you now?

I was born and raised in a small village in the South of The Netherlands, but currently based in Amsterdam.

What are you up to today?

I just woke up and it’s still early in the morning. Just finished my morning routine. It’s still dark outside but the city is slowly waking up. I’ll be in the studio later today, but first I’m finishing up some work on my laptop.

Talk us through your new release a little…

‘Paradise, Forever’ is my first label EP as Uzu Moon, releasing on Fluid Funk. It features three tracks that take influence from (acid) house, jazz, electronica, Japanese ambient and hip-hop/R&B. There’s also a very groovy samba-influenced remix by Cody Currie.

Is there a process of production that you follow when making a new track?

There isn’t really a set process that I follow when I’m creating music, it is always very intuitive and fluid. I’m always working on multiple tracks and projects at a time, which keeps me from getting a creative block. Whenever I start a new project, I’ll usually begin with going through my database of demo’s and see if anything in there sparks my interest. Sometimes I’ll take a tiny element from a random demo and create a new track from it, or sometimes I’ll just start completely anew. In the end it really depends on whatever ignites my creativity and gets the juices flowing.

Who would you love to see playing this music?

I’d probably die overjoyed if someone like Madlib or Four Tet would play this. Then again, I’m just happy to have anyone play it who really resonates with the music.

Where is the best place to listen to it?

Driving down a neon-lit street in the dead of night during summer.

What was the last piece of music that you bought?

Promises by Floating Points & Pharaoh Sanders on vinyl. Such a beauty.

If someone wanted to get to know your taste, what album should they listen to?

This is a really tough question, because I’m into a lot of very opposing styles of music. I’d say perhaps Toro y Moi’s Anything In Return because it effortlessly blends elements of dance, jazz, R&B & hip-hop.

What advice would you give to other producers in the studio?

Forget the rules and try to rely on your intuition as much as possible.

What have you got the pipeline?

I’m currently working on a short film for Uzu Moon, which I co-wrote. It will feature some new music, a bit more cinematic. I’m also working on a new EP and writing the score for a documentary. There will be a lot of new music in 2022.

Socials:

Website: uzumoon.com

IG: instagram.com/uzu.moon

FB: facebook.com/uzumoon

SC: soundcloud.com/uzumoon

Debuting on Fluid Funk with a lush and lax voyage dreamy coastal scapes, Dutch artist with Japanese / American heritage Uzu Moon dishes out feel-good, Cali-funk-informed vibes by the dozen over the course of four delectably smooth tracks, infused with elements of LA beat, soulful house and post-balearic elevation – including a rework from Cody Currie

A bespoke late-summer joint to bump out loud in your open-top, “Asa” gets the ball rolling slo-mo style, brittle piano stabs chiming alongside mangled rap samples, playful acid spurts and a languid jazzy shuffle to drive it all. Funky synth hooks blazing, “Sunder, Love” lets off washed-out RnB vibrations over beds of 303-emulating squelch, topped off with a guitar solo a la Santana like you’re chilling out in Venice Beach. 

When I Get Home, I’ll Know It’s Over” then heads for the opposite side of the Pacific with its koto-esque resonances, soft tapping drums and rugged acid loops weaving a melancholia-laced, loungey narrative for the dance floor and not. “Sunder, Love” as reshaped by Shall Not Fade affiliate Cody Currie revs things up two notches further, turning the original into a doped-up chugger, primed for sustained hustlin’ n bustlin’ in the ballroom with its convulsive congas and vaporous melody fluttering like a groovy butterfly.

Released November 25, 2021 – Buy / Listen via Bandcamp and other digital services here…

Ya Bosmang – Freak Seven

Northern Life Records are proud, and a little dizzy with excitement, to present Freak Seven’s debut long player ‘Ya Bosmang’.

After taking a hiatus for ten years, Freak Seven recorded and mixed this album in Manchester during 2019-2020. The album is a ten tracker running at a little over fifty minutes with its musical roots treading dark dubby waters, Manchester warehouses and Detroit Electronica

The album starts with ‘This Ain’t Hip Hop’ a mid tempo electro groove with a choppy sequenced dissonant synth bassline, TR808 drums and a string line at the end which is a head nod to New Religion and Al Nafyysh.

Ya Bosmang is the title track that starts off with a chin stroking chord progression and then steers into more visceral Beltalowda territory.

This Hurting In Me features the vocals of the wonderfully talented Victoria Unthank (no not those Unthanks but maybe a distant cousin?). A dark dragging bassline with minimal drums and a haunting vocal.

The album closes with ‘Drop It’ a tune that would fit quite easily in West London or a UR party somewhere in Detroit.

released October 1, 2021 – buy via Bandcamp link above…

Out For You – Birds Of Pandæmonium

If we dare to be optimistic, there’s a chance we’ll be back at gigs, clubs and festivals sometime soon, this is a good thing for the guys who’ve just released these big, anthemic VERY arena friendly bangers. This big guitar lead stadium house sound hasn’t been hammered like this since the golden days of the KLF!

Self confessed ‘Hippy Goths’ Birds Of Pandæmonium are a nomadic psychedelic collective led by Millennium Culkin and Hazy James. Taking simple songs of raw emotion then refracted through their maximalist, tripped out lens. The Birds are out to craft sonic collages for the new love renaissance. Exploring the darkness while pursuing light.

First up on the EP, title track, “Out For You” is an anthemic belter filled with ripping guitars (two solos….wtf?!), pounding arpeggiated bass, 808 drops, plus a dreamy break filled with slide guitars that rumble, build and explode underneath Hazy James’ airy falsetto. Designed for arena madness and soundtracking your moments of catharsis.

Not satisfied with just arena filling vibes, Each Other (Justin Strauss and Max Pask) take the original and twist it into a different experience which should really only be beamed down from a DJ booth orbiting the Earth to a fully global dance party. File this in the “Peak Time Festival” folder.

Flipping over to the b-side, the energy is high but the feeling a little colder on “The Night” – a chugging, introspective, escapist anthem for anytime the sun goes down. Sonically it’s a little goth-punk and a little bit acid house.

NY icon, Juan MacLean picks up remixing duties and turns in a taut, lean, dark, body moving machine. Shimmering synth lines cascade over a rough hypnotic beat

Available on May 28, 2021 vinyl & digital via Bandcamp link above or here…

Walking in the sun EP – Andres Y Xavi

Brighton’s Balearic brethren Andres Y Xavi join forces with legendary Woodentops front man Rolo McGinty with a taster track from the soon to be released 2nd album ‘Sounds From The Secret Bar’ (due on 11 June 2021) . ‘Walking in the sun‘ comes with an atmospheric album mix, dubbed out ‘Higher Vibration Mix’ from IIB? dons Coyote, squelchy, percussive James Bright mix and Xavi himself closes out the package with a storming couple of tripped out dub & pianopella mixes.

Released April 30, 2021 via Bandcamp link below – essential listening!

Satelliti – Saturnino

Fresh out of Italy and just in time for the Summer, this is a really strong five tracker on Milano imprint Roll Over Records. This is a perfect Balearic package taking us from chugging head nodders to guitar lead dream house anthems, from poolside at Pikes into the hedonistic sweat on Freddie’s dancefloor. A call to action after the sensory depravation of the lockdown months.

The sixth outing on Rollover Milano is by one of Italy’s most accredited bass players Saturnino, in collaboration with Metatron, producer Pierpaolo Peroni and guitarist/producer Davide Ferrario. The EP contains five original cuts on which Saturnino’s solo bass prevails.

‘It’s an elegant affair, with EP opener ‘Saturnintro’ drawing you into the idea and concept of what is Balearic via fluttering beats and guitar strums. One for the chuggers and early doors at ALFOS is ‘Mimas’, which packs much vivid detail and colour in its five and half minutes. The glamorous ‘Milano’ is sassy and cheeky with a vocal that wouldn’t be out of place alongside Sueno Latino. ‘Rea’ is full of fun, achieving similar levels of magic. It deceptively begins with shades of acid house and has a breakdown that will certainly see some hands reaching for the air festival moments. When it drops, its funk guitar riff will take the dancefloor through to the end of the night. EP closer, ‘Teti’, ups the tempo and dials the lights down low, with its driving beat and mesmerising bass strings. It’s deliciously dubbed-out groove takes us back to the club where we all so want to be right now. This EP is pure pleasure from beginning to end.’

Released April 30, 2021 – available here

Beats From the Quarantine – Third Attempt

Third Attempt from Tromsø, Norway has come up with a new album and after a few listens it’s been promoted to the classic heads section of my collection. I’m filing this with my down tempo dons like K&D, David Holmes and Thievery Corporation so you know it’s top quality. Expect jazzy beats and breaks, enigmatic samples and smoky slo-mo atmospherics.

‘How to turn a moment of worry, uncertainty and isolation into something of a warm-hearted, creative catalyst? How to build bridges when humanity in its entirety seems caught in the nets of decisively painful crossroads? Written and recorded during the lockdown that’s put our civilisations to sleep for the past year, the new album from Third Attempt comes as a much welcome balmy treat to our existentially dreadful times.’

Released April 30, 2021 – an essential purchase via the Bandcamp link below

On The Beach (Chris Coco Remix) – Nick & Samantha

This is a release that’s certain to bring warm Summer breezes and shimmering sun kissed waves…

Here the ultimate Balearic sunshine duo, Nick & Samantha, are remixed by sunset lover Chris Coco. He takes their cover of the classic, On The Beach, into deeper, more dubby, electronic territory. On the flip the remix is stripped back to its new original, instrumental elements to make a new track that works beautifully in its own right.

About Nick & Samantha:

Nick & Samantha make Balearic music. That’s music for the summer, preferably somewhere on an island in the Mediterranean. They do cover versions, and write their own beautiful songs inspired by the sea, the shore, and, of course, love, loss and desire.

releases April 23, 2021 – listen and buy via Bandcamp link below…

Jamu – Chris Coco

Lovely new album release from Chris Coco, file under ambient / deep listening / jazz / cosmic / balearic. Perfectly timed for the return of the sun, slow burning deepness that’ll reward some time and repeated listens, get it at Bandcamp link above and get your best headphones ready for a treat…

‘This is a new album project called Jamu. It is the second collection from Chris Coco inspired by the magical island of Bali, following on from the 2017 album Return To Good Karma. The title is the name of a drink made of local herbs sold by street vendors that is good for health and vitality. I hope we have created a musical version of that healthy juice with our particular variety of ingredients.

This project was made in collaboration with a close group of musician friends. Each person played their part separately on the simple original grooves and soundscapes, inspired by the rhythm or what the last player or singer had laid down. We built a ‘live’ sound without ever playing together. After that I used the live parts to edit and process to eventually create the finished work.’

Released March 5, 2021

Peaceful Revolution EP – Simbad

Simbad makes a return to Freerange following last year’s brilliant Take My Hand EP featuring South African vocalist Brian Temba with Peaceful Revolution, a top quality deep house four tracker.

Now based predominantly in Cape Town, the French Londoner producer and DJ is one of
the most prolific artists in the scene having notched up countless EP’s,
remixes and production work for labels like Apron, G.A.M.M. Faces,
Hyperdub, Atjazz, BBE & Brownswood. His association with Gilles Peterson
and Worldwide runs deep, hosting regular shows on WWFM as well as
traversing the globe delivering his unique and eclectic sets from Africa
to Asia and beyond.

Featuring South African upcoming producer Zito Mowa & vocalist
Lwandile Zulu who brings a raw and impassioned energy to the deep and
soulful mood, this tune was recorded in support of the troubled events
from the past few months and inspired by by the work of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Next up we have a track entitled Let Go which could quite easily be the
lead track of the EP if they weren’t all as good as each other! This is
late night emotive house music at its most sublime. Drop this at the
right time and watch the floor come together in collective bliss.

Flip over for SMBD’s Shaolin Dub remix of Peaceful Revolution which pushes
the original to the outer limits of the audio spectrum. Sub-sonic low end
rumbles sitting in contrast to the ghost like whispers, glitches and
industrial noises that pierce the ethereal pads.

Closing out this special release we find the unassumingly titled Soulful
Jam, a low-slung groove which sees Simbad going heavy on fizzing analogue
synths with a serene synth solo takin centre stage amongst the lush
chords.

EP release date: 22 January 2021 – Buy via Bandcamp on vinyl & digital