The club season has started and with it a bunch of good releases from Leipzig spilled in in October. A little review.
Credit 00 & Wolf Müller – „Funk The System“ (Rat Life)
A super exciting EP comes from Uncanny Valley sublabel Rat Life! A Düsseldorf/Leipzig collaboration between Wolf Müller (aka Bufiman, Jan Schulte etc.) and Credit 00. The five tracks, which run under the motto “Funk The System”, began in Düsseldorf in 2018. Wild hardware jams on whatever was at hand and samples from old GDR jazz records provided the basis. The pieces then lay on the hard drive for an entire pandemic, but were still considered worthy after Corona and were finally finalized.
It starts boldly with a Kraftwerk sample. “Yellow Fire” actually sounds a bit like a dressed-up version of the classic “Boing Boom Tschak” by the aforementioned band. Already fat! “Never Mind The Gap!” comes across as a slow electro breakbeat track that boasts a thick bassline and filter sounds. “Ursuppe” is an esoteric downbeat stomper with jungle bass and lots of drumming. For me, the title track “Funk the system” is what makes the EP outstanding. With Rizmi on the mic, we create our own interpretation of an old GDR workers’ song with bizarre vocals (see intro of the track), which is all in all super funky and poppy. Check out the synth/vocal entry at minute 4. All clear, right? “Urban Utan” could be on any old Chemical Brothers record. Big beat time! The synths have a bit of a trance feel to them. Is that a “Tour de France” sample? Haha, ok. Stop!
Nils’ hit: “Funk The System”. Why: The surprising use of vocals in combination with the synths is simply incredibly beautiful.
Grush – „INTO001“ (Into Records)
Into, what? Yes, RAND Muzik doesn’t even think about slowing down. Instead, the label, which is affiliated with the Leipzig record press of the same name, is starting another sub-label. Into is said to be more dedicated to minimal and tech house. So a little less proggy sounds?
Does not sound bad. On the 001 there is a Greek newcomer, Grush, who obviously fits in well here. His three tracks make do with a few, precisely placed elements. The good thing about him: He leaves crispness in the sounds, it crackles and rustles, so that the tracks can be easily differentiated from the slick Ibiza tech house. So a good start.
Jens‘ Hit: “Nightwalk”. Why: Because the groovy bassline gives the minimal vibe a very fresh boost.
Lekande – „It Happens“ (Row Records)
The new EP on Row is a little surprising with its catchiness. In the title track, Leipzig producer Lekande relies on a flat, loop-based and soft breakbeat sound that comes across as a bit melancholic and dreamy. “Stella Maris” is a cinematic ambient number that is no less atypical for a label that actually has a completely different sound. But be that as it may, the quality is right!
The Lowtec remix on the B-side then opens up a few more Dub spaces. Kaep and Bhed conclude with a remix that best represents the “Row sound”. A varied and refreshing mix of ambient surfaces, dub elements and breaks. Pretty cool!
By the way, I’d like to point out that the collage-like artwork on Row is quite attractive. For that reason alone it’s worth picking up the records.
Nils‘ Hit: “It happens”. Why: Spherical, atmospheric, beautiful.
Construction Workers of Love – “Auf Monte in LE #1” (Oldnew Records)
At the beginning of October a new EP by the trio Bauarbeiter der Liebe was released. An EP that was probably recorded in just 24 hours. And this session lightness can definitely be heard in the four tracks.
Groovy, funky and organic deep house, plus a few preacher vocals, brass and dreamy guitars, plus a lot of laidback atmosphere. “Auf Monte in LE” has a strong band vibe that works really well in its reduced form. The perfect EP to tone down the fall blues.
Jens‘ Hit: “Love Is A Construction Site”. Why: Because great title and great breakiness.
The Other Others – „The Other Others“ (Jahtari Music)
And the Jahtari Music label also delivers new, hot goods. An album by producers Disrupt, Rootah and singer/vocalist Jasmine Tutum. Together they call themselves The Other Others and are opening up a new category with their music: “Experimental Deephouse Afro-futurism,” is what the three of them call it themselves.
Tracks at deep house speed with a certain reggae vibe, accompanied by the imploring vocals of vocalist Jasmin, who was born in Tokyo and grew up in Jamaica. The combination of basslines, jungle sounds, spherical synths over 4/4 bed and the singer’s energetically performed dub poetry is pretty good. An atmospheric and versatile record that stretches out its feelers in all possible directions (Chicago, Jamaica, Detroit) and draws its inspiration from everything possible. An exciting fusion of styles.
Nils`Hit: Daze Days. Why: The track has such a nice Massive Attack 90s vibe that I like.
Ginkø x BSN Posse – „Nobody EP“ (Defrostatica)
After an extremely active last year, Defrostatica has dialed things back a bit in 2023 and released the first record of the year in October. It’s a rehearsal with the Spanish juke heroes BSN Posse.
They teamed up with Ginkø from the Madrid-based Humanoid Audio collective and produced an extremely engaging EP that’s super well balanced between drama and depth as well as juke and modern drum & bass. Tracks with great presence and wide spaces, emotionally pitched vocal samples and a high level of musicality. An EP that makes it clear how quality assured and important Defrostatica has become.
Jens’ hit: “Rainforest”. Why: Because the juke hustle and bustle brings the dynamics of a rainforest perfectly to the club floor.
David Wunderlich – „First They’ve Built Their Walls“ (Unterschall Records)
Also new is Unterschall Records – in our summer review we took a look at the Leipzig dark synth post-punk label for the first time. David Wunderlich’s debut EP followed in October, a coming-of-age reckoning with his own youth in a conservative small town. Perfect material for dark, melancholic synth and post-punk songs.
Wunderlich’s deep voice and his German accent give the classic 80s-filtered pop songs the appropriate German dreariness. Somehow the vocals seem a bit distant despite the really good sounds and usually don’t really take me away. His stories, however, do.
Jens’ hit: “Old Sounds”. Why: Because as a wonderfully slow-moving ballad, it’s a great outro from this EP.
Yseto – „Vestiges Of Stellar Coasts“ (Patching Flowers)
In mid-October we also discovered a new electronic label from Leipzig: Patching Flowers. It has been active since the beginning of 2021 and has had a surprisingly high output since then – digitally and partly also on tape.
Most recently there was an EP from Yseto that was dedicated to ambient in various facets. With a lot of delay, the tracks pass through dissonant and harmonious sound spheres, tickle the synapses ASMR-like and simply allow a lot of time to unfold. “Zeda” meanders over 50 minutes and creates a very contemplative, completely enveloping state of suspension. We should definitely keep an eye on it.
Jens’ hit: “Flunx”. Why: Because floating and crisp are well combined here, with borrowings from Alva Noto.
DJ Chrysalis – „Gather Thistles, Expect Prickles“ (Kann Records)
Kann Records also announced a new in in October – with an EP by Australian producer DJ Chrysalis. It starts with a playful, breaky and brightly shimmering track, before later sliding into proggy, cosmic tech house realms.
Kann also doesn’t seem to be able to resist the RAND sound, which obviously works very well. The three other tracks would have fit there well too. Maybe it’s an attempt to shift the label sound a bit into the zeitgeist. Why not.
Jens’ hit: “Gather Thistles, Expect Prickles”. Why: The playful lightness just picks me up in November.