Canto Della Liberta – 3rd Face

You don’t need me to tell you that a lot changed in the world between August 2018 and August 2022. That time period also marked the gap between the second and third edition of Houghton Festival. 2019 fell victim to ‘high winds’ and 2020 and 2021 were both casualties of COVID.

The 2018 festival was the first time I came across A Love From Outer Space, the project of Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston. They delivered a transfixing set, which felt both completely at home in, and completely distinct from, the house music surrounding it. Fast forward four years and we are now without Andrew Weatherall, who tragically died in February 2020.

Sean Johnston has been keeping the spirit of the duo alive by playing under the ALFOS moniker, and returned to play one of the closing sets at Houghton 2022. It was highly emotional, studded with tributes to his dead friend, and once again utterly transfixing. As well as some ALFOS favourites, Sean played Canto Della Liberta by 3rd Face. This was probably the most memorable tracks of the festival for me – bizarre, punchy and loads of fun.

Sean Johnston is playing as ALFOS at Phonox in December. Trust me, not one to miss if you can help it.

More Dusky

Long time no see listeners. I’m back with a triple-helping of Dusky goodness.

First up, one of my fave tracks from 2012, their remix of Cloud 9’s Don’t You Want Me Baby. This’ll be sure to get a smile on yer face.

But look, this is Dusky we are talking about, and it all really began (just over) a decade ago with Stick By This. Earlier this year they released a deluxe 10 year anniversary edition with some tasty little edits. Here. You. Go.

And finally, they released a new album just last week. Maybe you were at EartH this weekend for the launch party. Anyway, Pressure is a tribute to the sound of their youth, which is… garage. I have to be honest, most garage isn’t really for me – but for these guys I’ll make a small exception. Check it out here.

Manifest Bliss – United Freedom Collective

With the sun out as it is today, there’s a lot to like about this record.

Manifest Bliss is the debut single from United Freedom Collective, a new project from Mathieu Seynaeve, WaiFung Tsang and producer Robbie Redway. They say their music draws on the clinical work of Seynaeve and Tsang while also taking influence from worlds of Zen Taoism, Chinese plant medicines, and worldwide healing traditions. Lofty goals, but it really does come through, in a Bonobo and Maribou State kind of style. Enjoy!

Never The Same – Loods

I’m highly aware that this is skating just on the ride side of cheese (kind of Loods’ MO) but sometimes you’ve just got to let go. If you do that, you will be rewarded, because this feels real good. Definitely a track to be enjoyed in the sunshine after a drink or two. There’s not much subtlety about it, just strings and horns working to full effect. Summer 2022 baby!

The track is out now on Steel City Records. He’s not from Sheffield, he’s from Newcastle. But not that one, the one in Oz. Which is actually known as Steel City. Who knew?

Gunk – Overmono

I’ve been sitting on this for way too long. Please forgive me.

It’s UK duo Overmono with Gunk. They stood out at Wide Awake festival and this track was the one with the biggest impact. It has a ravey Jacques Greene kind of vibe that hits right.

They are getting well stuck into the European festival circuit with a UK tour to follow in the Autumn (including Koko in September) – don’t miss out.

Bonus track: this was my first exposure to the duo – an incredibly powerful remix of an incredibly powerful track. Full write-up here.

Crosswalk – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

This is my go-to track right now.

I’ve been a TEED fan for a long time, and it makes me really happy that he is back on the solo production train after some well-publicised time away and ups and downs. His two latest singles tell me that his second album is one to be excited about. Where the Lights Go will be released in July and has a mammoth 17 tracks. A lot more TEED to look forward to.

Bonus album: 8th June 2022 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the release of Trouble. And here it is.

Fade (Feat. SHELLS) – Bondax

If you are a fan of Flight Facilities’ Down to Earth then this will be right up your street. We all know that Bondax can deliver a catchy electronica track; in Fade, SHELLS channels every ounce of her inner Christine Hoberg to deliver vocals that pair urgency with a soft wistfulness and take it to the next level. I get the feeling the new album is going to be a goodie.

And here is that classic album from Flight Facilities themselves:

Tiraquon Recordings vol. 1 – Space Dimension Controller

Ain’t no two ways about it, I’m a big fan of Space Dimension Controller. He has released a really tasty 6-tracker on his own Tiraquon Recordings.

The release is a slight departure in tone from his usual work; it is less ‘high-concept’ in the sense that there is no space-traveller voiceover, and the tempo is raised a little. Both changes make the tracks just that little bit more danceable. Even so, the release feels very much of the Space Dimension Controller universe. Maybe this is the stuff playing in the clubs of Mikrosektor-50 when Mr. 8040 walks in. Anyway, none of the originality or charm of the persona is lost. Listen up.

If you didn’t understand any of what you just read, where have you been? Do your homework.