Ron Trent Presents: Prescription – Word, Sound & Power (Rush Hour Recordings, 2017)

[house, deep house]

01. C. Damier & R. Trent – Morning Factory
02. Ron Trent – Prescription
03. Ron & Chez D – Don’t Try It
04. Ron Trent – Seduction
05. Ron Trent – Pop, Dip And Spin
06. Ron Trent – Energy
07. Chez Damier & Ron Trent – Sometimes I Feel Like
08. Angora – Enchantment
09. Ron Trent – I Feel The Rhythm
10. Ron Trent & Anthony Nicholson – Soul Samba Express
11. USG – Life 4 Living feat. Monica Elam
12. Ron Trent – Space Ridims
13. Chez Damier & Ron Trent – Foot Therapy
14. Konfusion Kidzz – On My Mind
15. Ron Trent – Morning Fever
16. Ani – Love Is The Message (For Those Who Didn’t Hear It)
17. World, Sky & Universes – The Answer
18. Ron Trent – Black Magic Woman feat. Harry Dennis
19. Noni – Be My
20. Warp Dub Sound System – Night Places Darkness Upon The Earth
21. Chez-N Trent – The Choice
22. Ron Trent – History
23. Ron Trent – The Meaning
24. Ron Trent – Piano Track

“In 1993, Prescription, the label established by Ron Trent and Chez Damier, got off to a casual start. “Carl Bias called me up one day,” Trent told NPR recently, “and said, ‘This guy Chez is at my house, and he wants to meet you.’ [In] a week or two, we were in Detroit recording in Kevin Saunderson’s lab, and the first tune we did was a tune that became pretty big for us, “Don’t Try [It].”” That the recently acquainted duo managed, in a matter of days, to knock out a near-perfect vocal house track was a sign of things to come. Over the next couple of years, enduring classics such as “Morning Factory” and “The Choice” would become the building blocks of a legacy documented on the six-disc Prescription: Word, Sound & Power.

By the time Damier and Trent formed Prescription, the then 20-something producers had already left their marks on dance music history. Trent wrote “Altered States” when he was 14. (Damier, at the same age, was going to clubs and working at a record store.) Damier would head to East Lansing, Michigan, and eventually cofounded the Music Institute alongside George Baker and Alton Miller. Before meeting Trent, he had already made three classic KMS EPs, Can You Feel It, I Never Knew Love and Untitled. “A lot of the wonderful stuff that was going on [in Chicago] in the ’80s had died off and gone in a different direction,” Trent told RBMA in 2007. With Prescription, Damier and Trent wanted to bring back the halcyon days of Chicago dance music.

Prescription was also named for Damier and Trent’s beliefs in the spiritual power of house music. On the compilation’s second track, “Prescription,” Trent says this music is “bringing you back to what is sacred, not cheap,” before paying his respects to his influences, charting a course through Fela Kuti, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy. “I was more or less the music guy,” said Trent, explaining the division of labour in the studio. “I synthesized the sound, and Chez was more the spiritual philosopher that Chez is.” Trent landed on a timeless formula: jazzy pads, dreamy ambience, hand percussion and deep, sub-bass lines. You can hear it on the masterful “Seduction,” the roller-skate glide of “Pop, Dip And Spin” and “Morning Fever,” and the walking bassline on “The Meaning,” among others.

Damier’s vocals gave Prescription tracks a certain attitude. On “Don’t Try It,” his ad libs—”do, dah, do dah”—dovetail with Angelique Nicole’s lead vocal. On “The Choice,” he combines his own vocal with a hiccup-like sound. Trent’s collaborations with Anthony Nicholson feel more like jams—their 11-minute “Soul Samba Express” features a wild, extended percussion breakdown, while the near-16 minute “Night Places Darkness Upon The Earth” has the longest house music synth solo I can think of. Several previously unreleased tracks appear on Prescription: Word, Sound & Power. One of them, “Black Magic Woman,” a spacey hip-house collaboration with Harry Dennis, provides the compilation’s most memorable line: “I would walk a crooked mile / on the backs of crocodiles / just to get with you.”

Prescription: Word, Sound & Power isn’t perfect. Romanthony’s “The Wanderer” is notably absent. “Enchantment (Original Demo Mix),” by Angora—a group whose members included Peven Everett and Roy Davis, Jr.—is neither producer’s strongest material. Otherwise, this is about as essential a house compilation as money can buy. Damier and Trent blended Detroit, Chicago and New York styles of house in music that was clearly black and American. Spirituality was also key. (“It was healing work,” said Trent. “We used to put messages on the back of our records.”) With Prescription, Trent and Damier made house that honored the long tradition of black soul music, harnessing its healing potential for the dance floor. It sounds as vital as ever.”

fonte – RA – www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/20708


Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration (2017)

1. Mimi Pretend 00:00
2. Silvertonic 05:32
3. Dead Museum 10:57
4. Ziggy 15:21
5. Everything, All the Time 19:10
6. Modern English Decoration 23:30
7. Full of Men 26:38
8. Saw a Habit Forming 31:14
9. Victorian Acid 36:22
10. Protestant Work Slump 41:21

“The sophomore long-player from the English psych-rock/dream-pop/post-punk/Krautrock outfit, Modern English Decoration delivers a hazy D.I.Y. batch of late-night/early-morning sonic emissions that invoke names like Deerhunter, My Bloody Valentine, and Can. There’s a seamlessness to the ten-track set that suggests a narrative, but the concept is purely aural, and largely hypnotic — despite the group’s triple-guitar assault, the songs rarely gnash teeth, leaving ample room for frontman Rhys Edwards’ spectral Thom Yorke-esque vocals. The album’s most immediate moments are also relatively bucolic, with highlights arriving via the sleepy “Silvertonic,” the fuzzed-out instrumental “Victorian Acid,” and the motorik-fueled closer, “Protestant Work Slump,” all three of which sound like they evolved out of rainy Sunday jam sessions. It’s enjoyable yet familiar fare, and whether or not Ulrika Spacek bring anything new to the art rock table is certainly debatable, but with Modern English Decoration, they’ve definitely established themselves as reliable, and occasionally crafty, sonic spellcasters that reward a patient ear.”

fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/modern-english-decoration-mw0003045327

My Bloody Valentine – M B V (2013)


01) She Found Now
02) Only Tomorrow
03) Who Sees You
04) Is This And Yes
05) If I Am
06) New You
07) In Another Way
08) Nothing Is
09) Wonder 2

“Even though My Bloody Valentine promised late in 2012 that they would release new music in the near future, when m b v arrived in the middle of a February weekend in 2013, it was hard to believe it actually existed — and not just because demand for the album kept crashing the band’s website. For years, a follow-up to their 1991 masterpiece Loveless seemed impossible, and perhaps even unnecessary. What could live up to Kevin Shields’ notorious perfectionism, never mind the expectations of rabid fans (some of whom weren’t even alive when Loveless was released)? With a title that evoked years of scrawling initials on mixtapes and playlists, m b v answered those worries with a set of songs that felt immediately familiar. And, appropriately enough given the 22-year wait, many of these tracks are decidedly unhurried, and maybe even hazier than what came before. “who sees you” and “if i am” churn and hover, full of cloudy vocals and lingering guitars, while “she found now” recalls Loveless’ “Sometimes” in its whispery bliss. Yet there are differences, too: m b v’s production is surprisingly direct and intimate, at times almost insular compared to Loveless’ panoramas. “is this and yes,” which jettisons guitars in favor of organ and brass that evoke Stereolab’s regal serenity, is one of the most strikingly different songs in their catalog. Shields and company spend much of the album avoiding the rhythmic heft that made their previous music equally lush and propulsive. Instead, they save m b v’s loudest and most daring moments for last. “in another way” pairs a stair-stepping vocal melody with tones that approach free jazz in their dense clusters, while “nothing is” rides a pummeling riff and drums that are almost perversely loud, as if to make up for muffling them elsewhere. The most exciting moment is “wonder 2,” which makes the jet engine comparisons to their music more literal than ever before, with rapid-fire beats and streaking sonics that suggest the song is being shot into space. Occasionally, m b v’s songwriting doesn’t always feel as immediate as before: “only tomorrow” and “new you” are among the tracks that make the most of their poppy structures and Bilinda Butcher’s sugared murmurs, but as fans know, most of the band’s hooks take their time to emerge. More comforting than revelatory, m b v reaffirms that My Bloody Valentine are one of a kind; the subtlety to their melodies, instrumentation, and the way they blur together belongs to them alone. They’re not trying to re-create Loveless, nor should they, and m b v doesn’t have to reinvent music (again) to be worth the wait.”

fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/m-b-v-mw0002488164


Swirlies – Blonder Tongue Audio Baton (1992)

[Lo-Fi, Shoegaze, Indie Rock]

1 [untitled] 0:12
2 Bell 4:29
3 Vigilant Always 5:10
4 His Love Just Washed Away 5:24
5 His Life of Academic Freedom 2:07
6 Pancake 3:15
7 Jeremy Parker 4:14
8 Park the Car by the Side of the Road 5:04
9 Tree Chopped Down 3:12
10 Wrong Tube 5:06
11 Wait Forever 4:18

“The Swirlies’ first full-length album melds noisy guitars, samples, and sweet girl-boy vocals into a disheveled take on dream pop. Where so many dreamy bands polish their sound into pristine oblivion, the Swirlies create a hazy atmosphere that is evocative and unpretentious. Blonder Tongue Audio Baton — named after a vintage tube equalizer — combines the elements of the band’s early work with more complexity. Songs like “Bell” and “Vigilant Always” juxtapose gentle and brash moments for a spontaneous feel, while “His Life of Artistic Freedom” expands on the Swirlies’ noisy, experimental side. The group also shows off their accessible fuzz-pop on the album’s centerpiece, “Pancake.” The combination of Seana Carmody’s demure vocals, big guitars, and burbling Mellotrons makes for one of Boston’s most memorable pop moments since the Pixies’ “Gigantic.” The crunchy rhythms of “Tree Chopped Down” and “Wrong Tube” complement Damon Tuntunjian and Carmody’s limpid vocals beautifully, and the sweetly noisy “Wait Forever” sums up the Swirlies’ homemade noise pop aesthetic. A mainstay of early-’90s indie music, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton still sounds fresh today.”

fonte: allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/blonder-tongue-audio-baton-mw0000098286

Windy & Carl – Drawing of Sound (1996)

Experimental, Drone, Ambient, Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock

You 4:38
Lighthouse 9:03
Venice 8:22
Awhile 10:10
Whisper 10:43

“The second full-length release by Windy & Carl finds the Detroit-based duo building on the concepts first explored on 1994’s Portal. Not quite formless enough to be ambient music, but more delicate than the driving rhythms of space rock, and with an almost folky indie pop edge, Windy & Carl’s lengthy songs (only the opening “You” falls under five minutes; the other four tracks are in the eight- to 11-minute range) are their own little breed of psychedelia. Where bands like Charalambides make a virtue of their indistinctness, these songs can be maddening to a listener used to more song-based music, as they almost but never quite cohere into proper pop songs. Bassist Windy Weber’s vocals are agreeably breathy and kittenish, but they’re mixed so softly that understanding more than a stray phrase or two is impossible. Add the gossamer haze of Carl Hultgren’s overdubbed guitars and the overall effect of Drawing of Sound is not unlike listening to a Cocteau Twins album, from the next room, while coming out from under anesthesia. This is not necessarily a bad thing.”

fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/drawing-of-sound-mw0000613261

Susumu Yokota – Sakura (2000)

[Downtempo, Ambient]

3.”Uchu Tanjyo”
8.”Azukiiro no Kaori”

“Multi-talented producer Susumu Yokota returns to the ambient realm with the beautiful and diverse Sakura. When he indulges his fondness for pop hooks with his dancefloor material, Yokota’s melodic choices are glossy and extroverted, but his music for home listening is focused, controlled, and deeply internal. His knack for blending traditional instruments like guitar and piano with simple electronics harks back to ambient music’s birth in the mid-’70s; at times Sakura recalls the work of pioneers like Brian Eno, Cluster, and Manuel Göttsching. The icy “Saku” sets the meditative tone on Sakura, with gentle, winding guitar lines, relaxed synthesizer oscillations, and plenty of breathing space for the minimal instrumentation. Beats make their first appearance on “Uchiu Tanjyo,” as smooth, semi-tribal hand drums blend organically with the repeating keyboard figures. “Genshi” adds house drum programming to the brew, and Yokota’s knack for reflective electronic melody on the track rivals the best of Kraftwerk. Both “Azukiior No Kaori” and “Kodomotachi” use vocal samples to haunting effect, bringing to mind the favored techniques of Nobukazu Takemura without direct reference to machine glitches. The flow is marred by a misplaced jazz cutup (“Naminote”), but Sakura possesses an austere beauty and should not be overlooked.”

fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/sakura-mw0000104849