Boska‘s Shesick EP comes in as the first official release on Trax Couture of 2016 and while the London-based outfit’s World Series is over for the time being, it’s clear that label boss Rushmore has not slowed down one bit in his mission to bring in a wide array of international talent. Currently residing in Berlin, Boska’s combination of prickly rhythms and earworm quality melodies has had us excited for a good while and Shesick far exceeds even those expectations. A previous collaboration with MA Nguzu and 2015’s Cascades EP (on Balsa Wood) saw the producer experimenting with sparse club-focused constructions and natural sound palettes, Shesick comes off as a much more full-fledged effort as tracks like “Glass Limb” and “Shesick” escape the bounds of their influences and become something else entirely. “Glass Limb”, which we have on premiere today, is especially impressive, starting off with slithering laser sounds seemingly reverberating out of a well before entering a second phase of brass-y grandiosity and clanging metal noises. Shesick is highly recommended and is out today on TC. Get it here.
Hitting at the crossroads of rap, footwork, electro and more, Rushmore is finishing off the Trax Couture World Series in style with Vol. 12, an eight rack effort stacked with low slung club weapons. Whereas most of the World Series has come in fast, hard and mechanical, Rushmore’s final entry into the series he has expertly curated takes the tempo down a bit, recalling everything from hyphy and g-funk to footwork and electro. If you’ve been lucky enough to attend the perpetually hyped House of Trax parties Rushmore throws in London, you’ll probably be familiar with these sounds, if not the tracks from Vol. 12 in particular, and its clear that Rushmore has been learning from the best as he distills these classic dance sounds into his own, ever-growing repertoire. Be sure to grab World Series Vol. 12 from the Trax Couture store on November 2.
If you’ve been lucky enough to hear and/or own some of Malaysian artist Moslem Priest‘s many dubs, you’ll know the man born Farhan Yassin has a load of talent and a twisted rhythmic sensibility. One of the hardest working producers in the general club music sphere, Yassin’s Soundcloud is chock full of one-offs, remixes and other sonic goodies and despite a lack of official releases to his name, you could easily derive three to four albums worth of material based only on what’s already public. Next week, Rushmore‘s Trax Couture label brings Moslem Priest in for the second to last World Series, a slight derivation from the past few efforts in the serial, but a fit nonetheless with regards to its ruthless percussive sensibilities and functionality in the dance. World Series Vol. 11 is comprised of five sub bass-heavy efforts from Moslem Priest, an exercise in unconventional arrangements and robust, metallic noise. “Can I Get A” is an undulating, rolling techno number that contorts into a maelstrom of paranoiac synth work over its six minutes. It’s a track fit for warehouse play that doesn’t fit into any existing “warehouse techno” format, a divergence from past four-on-the-floor that draws from grime’s sparse arrangements and in-your-face attitude. World Series Vol. 11 is out September 28 on Trax Couture. Hit the jump for clips from the full EP.
As the 10th release in Rushmore‘s globetrotting World Series, Portland-based producer C Plus Plus‘ entry has a lot to be compared to, from the terraforming madness of Dreams‘ Vol. 4 to Akito‘s neck-snapping, snare-heavy Vol. 5. The company is thick in this series and it takes a strong four track effort to stand out in any way. And even though the series is chock full of functional, stripped down bangers, it’s still a pleasure to find the odd track that just embodies the spirit it intends to convey. “Bounce Trak” is a runway track with flair, from the playful glissandos, walk-bounce-walk-repeat flow and on to the bang the box percussion. Think breaks and luscious pad work fill out the work, but the splintering percussion and formal intention are the focus here and while traversing several other spheres including techno and electro, the rest of Vol. 10 achieves on a similar level. World Series Vol. 10 is out Monday, August 24 and can be previewed after the jump.
Coming in hot with a highly tipped release on Black Acre, Tsunga is the latest artist to contribute to Trax Couture‘s monthly World Series, bringing his own brand of ‘ardkore to the London-based outlet. Support from Scratcha DVA and the “Feisar / Maris Piper” single have put Tsunga on the map over the past few months and, along with cohorts Wallwork & RZR, he has begun to makes waves with his hard-edged take on slowed down take jungle/hardcore or whatever you’d prefer to call it several years down the line from “Hackney Parrot”. Where Tessela and the Livity Sound folks take a strict percussion-focused approach to their revivalism, Tsunga indulges in rave stab-led euphoria, harkening not only to the drum frenzy of jungle, but to the earliest, rave-leveling forms of hardcore. “Cica Lights”, named after a popular 90s kids sneaker from Clarks, is the lead off of World Series Vol. 9, a four tracker highlighting fun-as-hell breakbeat productions, a donk and ghetto house-derived “Stomp Mix” and enough rave stabs to satiate us all. Vol. 9 is out July 1 via Rushmore‘s Trax Couture.
Like most of our favorite record labels, Rushmore‘s Trax Couture has developed organically over the past few years, bringing international artists into the fold via its globally-focused World Series while also retaining a keen focus on London. April brought GROVESTREET into the fold and World Series Vol. 8 puts the focus on Evil Streets, one of London’s foremost proponents of Bmore and Jersey club. If you were lucky enough to catch GROVESTREET and Evil Streets on Just Jam 136 or at one of several House of Trax events, you’d catch classic East Coast club records, ballroom motifs and a distinct UK funky flavor, all put through an eccentric, rave culture filter. Evil Streets’ Vol. 8 comes in at four tracks and consistently features the choppy, syncopated rhythms that mark funky, as well as a good heaping of break beats and horn work that recall Baltimore’s finest. It’s an exciting debut for a nascent artist who also graces Radar Radio monthly and “Times Up” is the best of the lot, a retro-flavored, peak time burner that should be all over sets in no time. Vol. 8 is out on Wednesday May 27 and if you’re in New York that same day be sure to catch Rushmore and Evil Streets at the Purple Tape Pedigree pop up shop!
It’s hard to believe that Rushmore‘s Trax Couture label is already at the seventh edition of its World Series, partially because each and every edition has been thoroughly on point and partially because it’s seems like only last week that the label head kicked off the series. The last three volumes have come from Air Max ’97, Akito and Dreams respectively so Vol. 7 had to come with a real punch and GROVESTREET is the perfect man to do it. Five drastically different tracks make up GROVESTREET’s World Series Vol. 7, from peak time percussive banger “Soliloquy” to “Blue Ribbon”, a bouncy, acid-tinged techno number that flips into a twinkly, beatless track midway through. And then there’s “Disqualified”, a track that announces its own grandeur within 30 seconds with a barrage of brass, sub bass and snares. Fittingly, “Disqualified” closes out Vol. 7and after the percussive madness of the previous four tracks, it could be viewed as a palette cleanser of sorts, but it could also be utilized in peak time, its swaggering cool ready to be deployed in a big room setting. GROVESTREET’s World Series Vol. 7 is out Wednesday, April 29 on Trax Couture.
Since its inception in January (with Rushmore’s effort), London-based Trax Couture’s World Series has set the pace for club music releases. hosting an international array of talent, including Dreams, Imaabs, Akito and more. Earlier this month, the series was made even more official with a compilation-like 12″ featuring highlights from each respective effort. But that doesn’t mean that the series is ending and World Series Vol. 6 just happens to be coming from Melbourne’s finest, Air Max ’97. Alongside a ripping Divoli S’vere feature and two other structurally proficient club tracks, “Spoken” is exactly the sort of metallic heat we’ve come to expect from AM97, a non-linear piece of sound system music that manages both a jarring affect and a startlingly danceable groove. World Series Vol. 6 is out March 25.
Over the past several months, we’ve brought you a good deal of coverage on Trax Couture‘s globe trotting World Series, a string of EPs that has seen the London label enlist Dreams, Sylvere and Imaabs into the fold. World Series Vol. 5 sees TC bringing the series back around to London with Akito providing four indomitable club tracks to the table. Headed up by two excellent mixes of “Dalston Dips”, Akito’s latest is another percussive monster with loads of Jersey club, techno, grime and dancehall folded into tidy 130 packages. “Sordid Forfeit” grabbed our attention right off the bat, a confluence of grime’s square wave obsession and the monolithic kick pattern favored in Jersey. It’s a track that could be abetted with a Riko Dan, Flowdan or Stormzy vocal, but also exists on its own in a space cleared out by Mumdance, Logos and Slack. World Series Vol. 5 is out on Wednesday, February 25 and can be pre-ordered here.
Already three releases into their globally leaning World Series in as many months, London imprint Trax Couture is taking the show to Los Angeles by-way-of Private Selection co-boss Dreams. The first three volumes in the series have come from Trax Couture principal Rushmore, Chile’s Imaabs and France’s Sylvere respectively, the result a trio of drum track-minded EPs that press on several key touchstones in the last two and a half decades of elemental dance music. Vol. 4 sees the series’ first American contributor in Dreams and the Angeleno’s acumen for trawling everything from classic jackin’ house to South African gqom and new age into his productions makes the EP as a whole a thrilling listen. Like most of the series, Dreams’ contribution doesn’t hit on one genre, but his sound palette is immediately recognizable, a series of raw, percussive notes that can be recognized from classic drum machines and samplers, as well as core elements of grime, ghetto house and Brit-style techno. That runs true until EP closer “Reactor (Devil Mix)”, an ode to Wiley’s mixes of the same name and step out of the World Series’ unremitting flow. Whereas “Esoteric” pummels with cyclical kicks and 808 cow bells, and “Dead Zone” falls into a half-step swing replete with pulse-like hits and crashing glass, “Reactor (Devil Mix)” is more in line with Mr. Mitch’s Parallel Memories or Strict Face’s Marble Isles. Its cerebral face hides a churning underbelly of melancholy and solitary loss, a necessary flip to the unremitting aggression of the rest of the EP. World Series Vol. 4 will be released on January 21 and clips of each respective track can be streamed after the jump.