Of Norway - Eyes EP (Beatservice Records)

Oslo’s Vegard Wolf Dyvik and Christian Steenstrup make up Of Norway, an eclectic electronic duo consistently releasing stellar music for over a decade. Through cuts on the likes of Connaisseur Recordings, Rockets & Ponies, and Darkroom Dubs and explosive DJ and live gigs, the two are a well-known commodity in underground dance music. This latest single, the Eyes EP, continues a string of top notch releases from Of Norway on the Beatservice imprint.

The duo recently contributed to Beatservice’s Prima Norsk 5 compilation, delivering two tracks instead of the requested single cut. “Normal Eyes” appeared on the collection to much acclaim, but the other track — the also brilliant “Dim Your Eyes” – demanded to be heard. The Eyes EP exposes both tunes and includes remixes from Syntax Erik, Terje Saether, Karl Fraunhofer, and Prins Oblonsky.

“Dim Your Eyes” is a moody breakbeat number, featuring transported-from-another-world vocals, bouncing sub-bass, and deliciously tweaky synth sounds. Its distinctive vibe will stand out in any DJ’s set. “Normal Eyes” is also from a similar vein, but works in house music rhythms and spacey pad hits. A warehouse bass-line – reminiscent of early Warp tracks — takes the lead, accompanied by fluttering arpeggios that chase up and down the scales. The remixes take the tracks in various dance floor directions, from deep house, to peak time rumblers, to mysterious minimal techno ambiance. These ‘Eyes’ are a sublime treat for the ears.

Three (Hallucienda) – “Both originals and the Prins Oblonsky remix for me. I’m a big fan of Of Norway.”
Bruce Tantum (XLR8R) – “Gorgeous music all around. Loving pretty much all of these.”
Meri (Rulers of the Deep) – “Very very cool release.”
Arne Goettsch (Electronic Earthquake) – “Dim Your Eyes is a bomb! Full support.”
Lönya (Asymmetric Recordings) – “Great EP! Full support.”
DJ Firefly (Couch Dancing) – “These are fantastic. Catchy and hypnotic.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Amazing EP. The Terje Saether Remix stands out amongst a very strong tracklist.”
Sharlese (KEXP) – “Very exciting & nice sounds to bring you into the morning.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex radio show) – “Such a beautiful body of work.”
Jon Fugler (XLNT Radio Show) – “Both lead tracks are extremely good, and the remixes turn this into an excellent release. Thoroughly enjoyable.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Bandcamp, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Murr - Foreign Nationals (Harmonious Discord)

As the complexities in the world enumerate, we must evolve to include our fellow humans in new and thoughtful ways. Diversity is a key pillar of what makes underground music so dynamic and worldly efforts to dissuade the diversification of music ultimately erode the very foundations that love and music depend on. As our trip through this galaxy becomes infinitely more complex it is ever more important to celebrate the beauty that is created when people of different cultures and viewpoints come together to create music that unifies across all boundaries.

This EP celebrates the colorful palate of influence created when we work together as humans. For the project, Toronto-based techno subvert and LAL front man Murr returns to the label with two brilliantly designed selections: “Foreign Nationals” and “Blood River.” On remix duties for “Foreign Nationals” the label is excited to announce the return of a well-known entity with a name sure to touch some emotional portions of memory. Rithma (Om Records) joins the project to balance a world of melody with the psychedelic soundscapes of Southern California. Also on remix duties is Station Point, a new moniker for HD frequent J.D. Northrup (JDN/Chakaharta). The label first featured these two artists together on a release in 2004 and is happy to have them paired again.

“Foreign Nationals” displays the subversive tones that Murr is known for. Stripped down and fleshed out, Murr’s recordings stick to careful design and minimally maneuvered parts creating catchy tunes with seemingly simple constructions. The original is the perfect selection to help build anticipation leading into heavier material. Rithma’s remix draws upon the original building blocks but is delivered in a dance-floor friendly and quite unfamiliar revisit. Defining square-wave bass and perfectly tempered drum construction quickly allow feet to move, while later sections bring in melodic washing reprises. Station Point is the more techno-focused moniker of HD artist JDN and Chakaharta. Known for fluid bass construction and poly-rhythmic percussion, JD really turns up the fun on the bass line, providing a satisfying remix for the middle of a DJ set. “Blood River” offers something slightly different with crunched, rattling drum placement around staccato effects with intermittent dub washes creating a dream-state experience.

Be on the lookout for new material from Murr and Rithma in the coming months as they are deep in the lab working on new full-length projects.

Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “The original mix of Foreign Nationals is ace!”
Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “Love the raw and moody vibe on Blood River.”
Jamie Kidd (Box of Kittens) – “The original mix of Foreign Nationals is beautiful. Really lovely work from Murr.”
Lars Behrenroth (Deeper Shades of House) – “Perfect to build around in a set.”
Liquid Todd (Sirius XM Radio) – “Dreamy.”
Tyler Stadius (Deepsite) – “Good chill, atmospheric tracks.”
juSt b (Melodic Deep) – “Nice warm vibes.”
Salvatore Logicfusion (Deepinradio) – “Lovely and deep.”
HighTower (JELEWA music blog) “Full support for all of this.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Brilliant EP. The Station Point remix is amazing!”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Five Alarm Funk - Widowmaker / Freight Train (Remixed) [Selekta Recordings]

Selekta Recordings returns with the serious grooves of Five Alarm Funk, an 8 piece ‘gypsy-rock, afro-funk, latin’ band from Vancouver. With six fiery albums under their belt, the band lends two rousing cuts — “Freight Train” and “Widowmaker” — to the label for late night remix treatments.

The two original songs confirm the talent, die-hard rhythms, and wall of sound that Five Alarm Funk are known for. Loads of percussion, in-your-face horns, and slinky bass and guitar beam these sounds straight into the boogie zone. And then — the quality remixes come fast and furious. Italian producer and sound engineer Max Paparella delivers a suave nu-disco version of “Widowmaker,” rolling at a glorious spacey pace to add class anywhere it’s played. Selekta mainstay Statedlife surprises with a breakbeat mix of “Freight Train,” giving the dance-floor b-boys a reason for freaky footwork. And NYC house music veteran Dirty Dan totally turns the tables on “Freight Train,” dropping a deep and chuggy four-on-the-floor remix that’s perfect for 4 AM warehouse moments. Feel the funk!

BMD (Timewarp Music) – “Great funkiness on this release guys! Love it. 5 Stars.”
Nightmares On Wax (Wax da Box / Ibiza Sonica Radio) – “All about the max mix for me.”
Severino (HorseMeatDisco) – “Groovy!”
Rusty (All Good Funk Alliance) - (Funk Weapons) – “Funky stuff. Not easy remixes to pull off and I think everyone did a good job.”
Trotter (Royal Soul Records) – “Wow! This is pure gold. Love it!”
Phunktastike (Spirit Soul Music) – “Yeah! Some funky action here.”
Rory Hoy (Super Hi-Fi) – “Really fun release with plenty of funky goodness.”
Mr. Bristow (Subtek) – “Some tasty joints in here.”
The Funk Hunters (Westwood Recordings) – “Funkin Dope!”
Quincy Joints (Ibiza Global Radio) – “Max Paparella Remix is dope.”

Available Now From: Traxsource, Beatport, Amazon, And Spotify.