KUMASI MUSIC VOLUME 1
Release Date: 2nd April 2013
Kumasi Music present their first compilation, 17 tracks of dancefloor weapons and sublime after-party sounds, taking you from the UK to 80’s Ibiza and back again. Kumasi Music Volume 1 indulges in its now signature sound, where emphatic, crashing bass stabs are coupled with infectious, jacking house/disco melodies. It is unmistakeably deep house, but of a distinctly UK identity, with its range of sonic textures making it an ideal fit for the UK’s obsessive love of soundsystem culture. Similar to their excellently received UK parties, the compilation sees artists from the core Kumasi family pit their wits against a few select guests, providing not only a refreshing means of contrast but also perspective on the labels status and progression over the previous year.
Kumasi Music has been careful to maintain an international element to its artist roster as a counterpoint to its UK success, and this is epitomised in the opening track by Russian producer S.K.A.M. Scattered claps decorate the expansive bassline, whilst the melody could come straight out of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Recent Kumasi recruits TRAV & VOLTA maintain this cosmic theme, boldly reworking and modernising elements of Balearic house, where other-worldly strings are sticky with androgynous vocals, floating effortlessly amongst the drums. NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS provide the first external interpretation of Kumasi’s distinctive sound, raising the tempo with a straight-up 4 x 4 number driven my military snares and Bashmore-esque bass-beats. Nasty Funk Records owner ERIK CHRISTIANSEN brings early-morning vibes with his paranoid, robotic “Do It 2 U”. All skittering hi-hats and forlorn kick drums, the track bristles with unrequited energy, twisting the tribal sounds of bongos into his mechanical palette of pads and samples.
Kumasi stalwart KREATURE teams up with SIZEUP for the pornographic “She Freaks”, which centres on a menacing vocal hook from Kreature himself. The pair do a number on the bassline, building it into a growling dancefloor weapon, leashed only by an awesome array of clattering hi-hats and snare rolls. “Times” sees MATT FEAR in typically rude health, balancing stilted bass-stabs with acid-tinged bleeps and operatic, Chicago-indebted strings. A gorgeous piano riff bubbles underneath, as the track meanders through a sonically engaging tug-of-war between light and dark. Kumasi’s youngest brother and MTA Records shining light SION, finds himself in a much more direct mood. His collaboration with production partner UPSTROKE, “Knockout”, begins with synths straight from retro zombie movies, a vocal reminiscent of the great jungle MC’s, and through an alchemist’s touch assigns a raw, jacking house beat to complete the most club-focused offering on the release.
2020Vision’s JONNY CADE ups the tempo for “Wells”, drawing on garage for inspiration as he unfurls a tech-house roller of rising cyborg chords and stuttering 2-step drums. Second guest contributor TAPESH of Mobilee, Get Physical and Rekids fame, builds on this increased pace, building a four-to-the-floor club weapon slowly, before unleashing a New York-style melody and array of crashing cymbals worthy of the great MK. ADAM BANKS provides good reason for his sharp ascent in nu-disco over the past year; “My Sound” builds on retro synth-work from the Gary Numan era, and is constantly guided by the inquisitive vocal hook, giving it the rare quality of interactivity and self-analysis. Italian duo NEWBIE NERDZ weigh in with “The Way You Look”, a sultry and seductive affair characterised by ethereal vocals dancing effortlessly through heart-wrenching piano chords and fleet-footed percussion.
Lithuania’s MARKAS serves up a typically rowdy, straight-laced affair. Bass-stabs roll at breakneck speed, accompanied by house party claps, whilst a deft hand at distortion and echo adds intricacy and texture. In “Twisted Fatty”, Greek producer SOFTCASH delivers a tense take on slow, jacking house. A boom-tiss beat is partnered with the in-vogue cowbell, whilst dark orchestral strings lurk in the shadow of a hallucinogenic dance between male and female vocal samples. MATT FEAR’s second tune is more in keeping with the producers rise in tempo of late. His signature breakdown, complete with pulsing bassline, houses a beatless interplay between synths that demands a club sit down. The VA turns its ear towards disco for the penultimate track, as Georgian duo ROTKRAFT compile a future-facing retro banger of glittering melodies and arpeggios made for the rising sun.
Finally, Kumasi Music’s rockstar of 2012, the all-conquering KOLOMBO, turns his ear away from the ghetto inspired sound he is known for, to deliver a lo-fi Balearic disco roller that can only be described as lush. The chords, pads and strings work with a beautiful, effortless cohesion. Euphoric is a term much-abused in electronic music, but is entirely appropriate here, as the Belgian conjures up an elysian soundscape of haunting and mystifying beauty. The compilation closes with a never previously released wAFF remix of MIKE GILL, which comes complete with a special guest appearance from one of house music’s most inspirational vocalists of the past 25 years, ROBERT OWENS. wAFF’s remix of “In The Midst” is a dancefloor weapon, and a present from us to you. Enjoy x
1. S.K.A.M. - Enter The Void
2. Trav & Volta - Hunting
3. No Artificial Colours – Release
4. Erik Christiansen - Do It 2 U
5. Kreature & Sizeup - She Freaks
6. Matt Fear - Times
7. Upstroke & SION - Knockout
8. Jonny Cade - Wells
9. Tapesh - Fantasy
10. Adam Banks - My Sound
11. Newbie Nerdz - The Way You Look
12. Markas - Bow Bow
13. Softcash - Twisted Fatty
14. Matt Fear - Senseless
15. Rotkraft - Mumbai
16. kolombo – Slammed
17. Mike Gill feat. Robert Owens – In The Midst (wAFF Remix)
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