Umwelt – Acid Avengers Vol. 3 [Tripalium Records]
Third in the 12” series from France’s Tripalium crew, best known for pushing a strong line of noisey, post-braindance rave. The Acid Avengers releases have been really strong so far (the Jacquarius track on Vol. 1 has been in regular rotation for us all year) and this entry certainly pulls no punches.
Opening track ‘Reflections on a Strange Existence’ is a real dirty sci-fi acid electro affair of epic strings, distorted beats and pitch-modulated acid lines. ‘Theory of Alienation’ has the same feel but is almost an acid acapella, a beatless DJ tool. The rest of the EP moves more into ‘Aaaavin It!!’ industrial acid techno vibes, heavy hitters but not as subtle or memorable as the opening tracks. Still, worth grabbing on wax for the first two tracks alone (plus the superb Tintin artwork!).
Listen to Acid Avengers Vol. 3 here.
Matt Whitehead – Bombing EP [Super Rhythm Trax]
‘A Is For Acid’ is easily one of the best acid tracks ever written. First appearing on Jerome Hill’s other label Don’t Recordings – as the B2 track on a split EP with Neil Landstrumm back in 2012 – it was re-released with new versions by Perc and MPIA3 in 2013, and now appears here as an acapella. The original is relentless and epic, but hard to bring into a DJ set as it’s just several minutes of crescendo with no space for breath. Having the acid line alone to mix against it gives more options to play it out.
There is of course more to this EP than just the acapella. ‘Crosstalk’ is all Adamski-style squiggles, ‘Seeing Red’ has plenty of hands-in-the-air high pitched 303 bleeps and snare rolls, but the standout track is ‘We’re Bombing’, a jacking electro workout straight from the ghetto blaster-lined cardboard mats of street corner breakdancing. Proper gear.
Dona – Stilln EP [MoreAboutMusic]
Out on MoreAboutMusic, who also released his Acid Day EP last year. We don’t know much about Dona aside that he’s an Italian producer who has also released on 10PILLSMATE (seriously superb label!) and his own imprint, Points. His Facebook, Discogs etc. remain empty of information, letting the music do the talking.
The A-side comprises of two heavy-but-lush tracks – the building pads on the title track ‘Stilln’ set against a bubbling acid bassline, gorgeous tracks perfect for that sunrise moment in a set where everyone is still going strong. The flipside track ‘Too XS’ is a straight up, no frills, acid and beats jack session, supremely confident in its simplicity and just as effective too – our fave on the 12” for sure.
Lil Mark feat. Della – It’s Acid [Twirl]
Chicago imprint Twirl, run by Alinka and Shaun J. Wright, is well into it’s second year now and going strong – and this is probably their best release so far. House veteran Lil’ Mark (of Apollo Records and Bump Music fame) and vocalist Della come with respected credentials, and they do not disappoint.
Wonky, spacious beats with a simple-but-effective twisting 303 bassline sit perfectly under Della’s delicate spoken word vocals. There are two very similar edits, with the ‘Microdot’ version ever so slightly dirtier. Label boss Alinka beefs it up for her remix, four to the floor with atonal juddering synth hits giving it a darker, more sinister feel. The EP finishes up with the vocal acapella (I love how many people are now including acapellas and bonus beats!). Tidy little release all round!
Various Artists – The Acid Drop [Tsuba]
Not a new acid release, but a collection of TB-303 action from the Tsuba catalogue over the last ten years. While tracks like the Mr Fingers dub of Sebo K’s ‘Aquamarine’ are pretty established, there are some lesser-known gems here with the lush slo-mo vibes of Steve Cook’s ‘Haze’ and the spiralling, shapeshifting ‘Acids Revenge’ by LHAS Inc.
Standout track for us though is the chugging juggernaut that is Craig Bratley’s ‘Beat On The Drum’, which wouldn’t sound out of place being dropped at 4am on the dancefloor at A Love From Outer Space. Sadly digital-only, but very much a worthy addition to the collection if you hadn’t picked up the individual releases already.