Only a week to go until this year’s Lucky Lotus, including my first recorded set of the year. Once again it’ll be a back to back with Shimotsukei, but this time with more of a freeform feel than our previous collab.

As always the lineup for the rest of the event is as good as you could hope for, happily with another good showing from the freeform scene. Names that leap out so far include Horzi, Hedonistik Ritual, Orphic, Alabaster, Solvynt, Decion, Byproduct and Alek Szahala, but as the festival runs for the usual three days it’s definitely worth checking the event page for updates and timetable info. Shimotsukei and I are scheduled for Saturday the 24th at 13:35 GMT.

Although the archives I disovered aren’t going online as quickly as hoped for a variety of reasons, there are plenty of bits and pieces that’ll be making appearance eventually. With time in short supply this week I decided to add some short, classic examples of COGI’s dark psy, another collection of videos that can’t help but make you long for the days when events like these were a regular occurrence. Even on a less busy night (as that one seems to have been) Romancer’s atmosphere really was something else.

Stay tuned for some more recorded sets, on the way soon.

Inspired by the incoming Terraformer from Global Sect, I was meaning to go back to Goa for a post-In Praise of Shadows refresh, even before the freeform drought we’ve seen so far in 2017. Another release I’ve taken a proper look at in the meantime is Veil Of The Moon, the excellent fourth installment in Neogoa’s Dimensional Gateway series.

After a lot of recent Suntrip, Altar and Global Sect compilations that cater for the lighter Goa sound its nice to hear a darker, melodic, old-schoolish atmosphere throughout VOTM, especially as my forever-WIP Goa mix is always at the back of my mind. The intro track Dragon Twins starts the release off in impressively creative style, with some nice acid, psy elements and even decent use of the Think break. It’s into more conventional Goa territory for the following tracks, maintaining a consistently high standard throughout even if some of the production falls short of the scene’s big-hitters, with some occasional (comparative) muddiness or slightly spongy kicks.

Favourites for me would be the Proxeeus tracks Dagon and (with GoaD) Acid Implant, as well as Clementz’ Black Dwarfs. Negans’ Silver is a fine track, but doesn’t quite match the lovely stuff on his own Neogoa release, Danse Macabre. Both that and VOTM are freely downloadable and a very nice accompaniment to the great music appearing on the physical labels at the moment.

I dread to think when the last post was – Life Stuff has meant some schedule juggling to fit everything in, and TYFTH has been suffering a bit as a result. Finally getting around to a few posts though, starting with the grand launch of Lucky Lotus’ CD compilation, Summertime Dreams.

The most significant news so far for freeform in 2017, this compilation has some very big names on board – Nomic, Qygen and Morita Yuuhei top the bill, with a very nicely produced contribution from Erkenfresh and Archari and Shimotsukei’s Dagor Dagorath adding some up-and-comers to the tracklist. With Shimotsukei in charge of things the rest of the release is about as eclectic as you’d expect, giving us a taste of everything from funkot to downtempo chillout, via Lab4’s excellent, roll-back-the-years NRG track, Moving To The Beat.

edit: I’ll blame posting rustiness for not mentioning something so important yesterday, but LL has announced that Qygen’s Crystal Cave will be his last freeform track. Talk about another huge loss to the scene, though the signs are that he’ll make a return to music of a different sort in the future.

Not really a release you can afford to miss, I’d say – it’s set for the end of June, but preorders are open already on the Lucky Lotus bandcamp and bigcartel sites.

Long time no speak, isn’t it? I’ve had a lot going on for the past couple of weeks, but all being well posts will be appearing more regularly from this weekend. There’s also a small mountain of music-related projects building up that I should really be putting into some sort of priority order.

In the meantime, here’s a new release from ikaurga_nex, buried inside a dat file records compilation. This is one of those albums that might not be doing much to float your boat overall, but Barbatos is a fine enough track to be worth the price of entry alone. Of course if the rest of the compilation’s chiptune and J-Core appeals then all the better – it’ll be available at M3 next weekend and is already buyable via Akiba-Hobby.

The mining for Romancer mixes continues, uncovering a classic, almost decade-old COGI set that I thought had long since disappeared. This is a short (and through the mic again, I’m afraid) recording from NRGetic Romancer’s 4th anniversary, right around the time that COGI was experimenting with various configurations of dark psy and freeform.

He fits a lot into the 35 minutes, starting with Void Of Farthest and ending on Cosmo and OSOM’s Instrumental, via some really interesting transitions. The Epyx & Cyrez remix of Hanuman Visits Lanka was always one of his favourite tracks, while he does very well to shenanigan a mix between Ultimate Protection and Invitation. It’s a superb, if short set that brings back some very fond memories, and I hope the rest of you enjoy listening back as much as I have.

I’m sketchy on the three (?) dark psy tracks in the middle of the set, but here’s what I’ve made of the tracklist so far:

01. Hase vs Psyfix – Void Of Farthest
02. Twisted Freq – Hanuman Visits Lanka (Epyx & Cyrez remix)
03. ?
04. ?
05. ?
06. Carbon Based – Utimate Protection
07. Alek Száhala – Invitation
08. Cosmo vs OSOM – Instrumental

Finally returning from the UK the other day I discovered that a very welcome Munted! comeback has been announced, just a little too early for my next likely visit. This one is a free party in the Midlands that features some of the finest folk in the UK freeform scene – a must-attend if you’re in the area, and hopefully the start of a real revival.

Check the facebook event page for more info and the full lineup.

Sorry there’s been a pause in the set uploads – but the next one, from Guld, is actually a nice follow-up to today’s Lab 4 post. This time it’s a mic-recorded Romancer set from 2007, a time when Guld was getting a feel for his own sound while Hase and Betwixt were already at the top of their games.

An excellent, aggressive 70 minutes that shows just what his sets sounded (and often still sound) like, Guld finds time for a fine selection of Lab 4 promos, some old and new tracks of his own, and a couple of unknowns that I really should be able to ID. Any ideas?

01. Hase – Meditation
02. GULD – Nightmare Freak
03. ?
04. Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the UK (Lab 4 remix)
05. ?
06. Lab 4 – Perfect Drug
07. Lab 4 – Falling Down
08. ?
09. Nish – Heart Breaker (Guld’s Hellfire remix)
10. Proteus – I See Things You Don’t See (GULD remix)
11. GULD – Hannya
12. GULD vs Betwixt & Between – Hatral
13. Lab 4 – Transformation
[encore] ?

 

About time some posts started appearing again, starting with a recording of Lab 4’s set from last weekend’s Dark Dimension. By most accounts it was as good an event as you’d expect but I had to miss it, making this upload a welcome chance to catch up.

Overall this is a slightly disappointing set when compared to Lab 4’s previous Japanese appearance (at Ageha a few years ago), as it tries to find a middle ground between their pure NRG of the past and newer tracks that take in semi-hardstyle, fewer filtered leads and even some dubstep breakdowns. On the other hand this selection likely has wider appeal than an hour of ten-year-old NRG, and I’ve only heard good responses to the set so far. A nice selection of the classics also helps of course, my favourite being a lovely edit of Psychopath that introduces the final ‘old school’ section, ending with Candyman.

edit: Thanks to Shimotsukei for the tracklist, via DJ X:

Intro
Efini – 00.39
Rave Revolućion – 5.15
Last Night ( Lab4_Unit13 feat Steve Blue Eyes) – 9.19
Requiem – 14.16
London ( Party All Night ) – 19.54
Come With Us ( Genetic Response ) – 24.10
No One’s Gonna Take Us Alive – 28.05
Ex Machina_( Weaponised ) – 30.25
We Live _ Mash Up – 35.06
Psychopath – 39.32
The Uprising – 45.18
Candyman ( Drop Glitch ) – 52.58

The next NRGetic Romancer set is a pretty formative one for the whole event, with Orfeus setting the standard for guest bookings for the rest of the decade. A lot of the FINRG artists were already in full flow by this point, possibly making Orfeus a surprising first choice until you skip through this absolutely on-point hour and a bit of NRG and early golden-era FINRG. The booking says a lot for Guld’s knowledge of the scene even 13 years ago, and Orfeus of course went on to use the deadly combo of Japanese and Finnish tracks in a lot of sets, a good few years before I started doing the same.

This is a live recording via the mixer, giving a nice clean sound minus crowd noise and any nasty volume changes. The tracklist is a tricky one though, as apart from the obvious selections I’m having a really tough time identifying many. I love the first track after the intro, but up until the Kraken – Epilim combination I don’t have much of a clue what’s playing. Would anyone like to give it a go?

Even without the tracklist this is a lovely set in classic Proteus/Guld style – slanted towards NRG, plus melodic FINRG tracks as interludes that are still hard and dark enough to slot in smoothly. This might be my favourite of the Romancer sets I’ve discovered, but there’s more to come.

edit: Thanks to SteTN and Solvynt we’ve already got a pretty respectable tracklist. Feel free to pitch in if you have some ideas for what’s left!

00:00 = PoC & Orfeus – Intro (uses parts from a very early prototype of PoC & Orfeus – The Sanctuary)
1:27 – 8:30 = Proteus – Dark Queen (?)

14:24 – 19:54 = Reyes – Fuck You / Captain Tinrib – The Kraken (?)
19:54 = Epilim – Rapid Fire

30:30 – 35:09 = Flatus – Cloaca

45:25 = Alek Szahala – Chimaera
51:20 = Epilim – Plasma
56:20 = RX – Uprising
1:03:16 = Epilim – Desert Eagle