Update

Update

You may or may not have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet of late. Life gets in the way I guess, and the inevitable final year of Uni is beginning to take its toll.

Fear not though, we’ll be back around Spring time.

FourFour.

New Years Day will see Electric Minds host a mammoth selection to close The Hydra’s 2013.

This year has seen the London event series leapfrogging from venue to venue, setting up shop at Electric Brixton, Autumn Street Studios, Village Underground, Studio Spaces and XOYO. More often than not they’ve took the controls of Fire in Vaxhall, hosting the likes of 20 Years of Kompakt as well as 3 Chairs X Nonplus X Eglo event.

On New Years Day they’re set to take control of Fire once more, this time letting Electric Minds (their partners in crime) host an Innervisions and Aus collaboration. The line-up sees Innervisions’ Dixon, Âme and Marcus Worgull host one room whilst Aus regular’s Glimpse and Komon host another. Move D is scheduled to headline the final room, with Electric Minds’ staples Dolan Bergin, Fold and Endian all filling in the gaps.

Both Hydra and Fire’s 2013 can hallmarked as a purple patch; concluding with the two being nominated in their respective categories in this years DJ Mag’s Best of British awards. From our friends south of sunny Manchester, we hear this is all well deserved, with Fire holding a position of of reliability amongst the London scene when dogged ‘secret warehouse parties’ appear to be ruling the roost. As for Hydra, I’m not really sure if there’s a promoter that can boast being able to program Hyperdub, Feel My Bicep, Boarder Community, Dial and Bugged Out in their November schedule alone.

Lucky for you, we’ve got two tickets to give away for the NYD event. All you have to do is email us at hello@fourfourblog.com, and we’ll pick the winner at random and email them back around Boxing Day. Best of luck!

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If you’re not feeling lucky, tickets for this event are still on sale and can be found here. 

Since we reported it here, Medlar’s Sleep went on to make quite the stir. Part of this obviously comes down to the production (which for the record was impeccable and practically faultless for such a relative newcomer), but I’d argue another reason for its success comes down to the extent to which Wolf truly pushed the LP. Alongside the music was classy emphasis on imagery, and with ”Blues” and “Tides” being backed by such elegant video; the standards really were pushed to a whole new level.

In retrospect it appears that these videos were part of a larger sequence. Because a couple of weeks ago, Wolf were kind enough to upload an album-length music video of the LP itself. The video see “Blues” and “Tides” in line with the rest of the LP’s tracklist, making a Christmas treat for those who weren’t able to listen to the vinyl-only release. Thanks Wolf.

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You can buy Sleep from Piccadilly Records here .

After our coverage back in July, Nicolas Jaar’s ‘serial’ imprint Other People has, as promised, been releasing new content on the holy day of each week. This periodical schedule provides an influx of fresh sounds for their loyal subscribers, attempting to bring the successful magazine model of the physical world into the digital realm of electronic music.

Sixteen weeks in and Jaar steps up again with a solo performance in homage of John Lennon; released on the 8th of December to mark the 33rd anniversary of his death. Following his idiolectic style the mix is a creative celebration of music and all of its various forms, once again transcending genre and morphing into a shrine towards musical possibility.

A distorted radio interview with John Lennon starts the mix in which he comes across as modest, light-hearted and all round charming; suspended chords fade to super-slow ‘Imagine’ vocals creating an energetic chorus of nostalgia and greatness. Jaar exercises his mastering of suspension, as he easily builds and releases musical tension whilst adhering to an underlining relaxed sentiment. Epiphanic moments arise from layers of foley sounds, sublime piano riffs and unintelligible vocals. As the mix progresses the vocals of both James Brown’s “This Is A Man’s World” and Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” (or Common’s Misunderstood), appear in the energetic middle eight of the mix. Jazz influences with an electronic rework infuse the mix later down the run-time, whilst angelic orchestral strings create a profound moment of beauty before the mix is closed with “Oh My Love” by Lennon himself.

Clichés exist for a reason and this mix embodies the journey music can take you on; crossing genres and cloying at your emotions in the most unpredictable of ways. A homage to the label, to Jaar’s ability, to the sheer power of music and to one of the histories most respected musicians. Although a week old in ‘serial’ times yet still fresh in relation to Jaar’s schedule, this really is a piece of music that has to be experienced.

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Check out more from Other People here.

Everything goes full circle in the end, or at least it does with this Numbers release. Sparky’s Portland was originally put out on Stuffrecord in 2002, before the label went onto to form the Numbers as we know it. Not only was it a firm favourite at the early Numbers parties, but it also held a suppressing place in the record bag of one of minimals kingpins: Ricardo Villalobos.

This explains why the re-release is  priding itself on a remix that sees Villalobos meet Numbers head-on. It would appear that he’s been up to his old tricks, not content with a moderate time allowance and instead opting for a staggering 32 minute remix – supposedly all done in one take. At first you might get the feeling its Villalobos in a relatively tamed mood, given it isn’t at his usual peak-time speed nor is it in his trademark percussive-heavy style. Instead it’s at more plodding pace, one that places the original spiky melody into a more cosmic soundscape. Numbers title this as “Remix 1″, whilst “Remix 2″ brings the inevitable of Villalobos well, being…Villalobos. He essentially unwinds it all; stripping it down to the core pads before starting over again. The result is insular, cozy and ultimately admirable music, and like his best it strikes the unique balance of refusing to be categorised while sounding unforced and completely organic. If you’re looking for a curveball 2013 release, this is probably it.

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If you liked Portland, you can buy it here.