Few people are onto great records as quickly as a great record store.
Phonica’s end of year lists are always a treasure trove for undersung gems, so we realised we ought to just give the shop’s learned staff their own slot on FACT. Every Saturday, the team behind the counter at the Soho institution select five vinyl records you should pick up this week.
Megaprojects One EP
New Jersey house stalwart Morgan Geist kicks off his Megaprojects series with a tuff, stripped down EP inspired by “surreal engineering and architecture”. Each of these four tracks, made with “cheap little drum machines and rejected old synths”, offers enough foundation-shaking thwack and cavernous space to live up to the theme, while closing number ‘Clarence’ adds some noirish sexiness to the mix.
Rhythm Is All You Can Dance 12″
Channelling the wobbling funk of Nigeria’s rediscovered synth star William Onyeabor, the A-side of Africaine 808’s new single is squelchy, earthy and liberally sprinkled with rhythms both machine-made and human, while the B-side finds the Berlin duo applying an acid touch to South African house for a wonky, sunshiney club track.
Shan & Gerd Janson Edits
Garage daddy Todd Terry is the subject of four edits by Victor Shan and Gerd Janson, who take a light touch approach while making the perky originals somehow even bouncier. The tough but soulful edit of ‘Searchin’ in particular comes off very nicely.
Birdman (inc. Onirik Remix) 12″
Robin Ordell, a resident at London’s Sunday party Half Baked, flexes his boisterous, jazz-inflected take on house to excellent stompy effect on the intricate title track of this 12″, dropping into more melancholy mood on ‘Fooled’ and the shuffly breaks of ‘There Somewhere’. Label boss Onirik offers a thick, deep techno version of ‘Birdman’ on the flip.
Ambient 3 : Day Of Radiance LP
It’s always worth stocking up on the glorious Laraaji, whose Ambient 3: Day of Radiance became the third instalment of Brian Eno’s ambient music series in 1980, an alien concoction of shimmering zithers, hammered rhythms and head-spinning sound treatments by Eno.