In this day and age of online shops and fastidious blogs, it's comforting how record stores can still prove to be a crate digger's finest resource. Take OYE, a low-ceilinged shop in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district. Had it not been for one of their staff-written notes ("JUST AMAZING HOUSE MUSIC! LIVE RECORDED! TIP!!!), I probably never would have picked up Spontaneous Music From Natural Feelings, the inaugural release on LiveJam Records, a vinyl-only German label. Featuring raw and heavy tracks by several hitherto unknown artists, Spontaneous Music… combines an old school production approach with a modern songwriting style, resulting in a mini-compilation that's as clubbable as it is intriguing.
"Winter Night" by Invisible Men is probably the EP's strongest track. It struts along with an aggressive swagger, boasting sharp hand claps, chunky bass kicks and a pitched-down, incoherent vocal hook. Once this arrangement has carried on for a bit, a tight high-hat pattern drops into the mix, further boosting the track's fierce driving rhythm. This leads into "Almeto on 303," a campy interlude that pairs an ominous pulse with a clip of Hamlet muttering his last words: "The rest is silence." Not too exciting on its own, but good for a weird dance floor moment or a mixtape outro.
On the B-side, The Shippers and EMG take the energy level up a few notches. The former artist delivers "Beauty," a raw and galloping deep house track that barrels forward with weird vocals and a single smooth chord. EMG's "Spreading Love" is even more raucous, with hectic strings and a thudding beat that eventually give way to a reeling, distorted vocal clip, repeating hypnotically ad infinitum. This is the EP's most rave-ready offering, but all three songs would slip neatly into a peak-time DJ set, despite their messy levels and floppy arrangements. Based on this debut release, LiveJams could easily be this year's favorite cryptic series on wax.
TracklistA1 Invisible Men - Winter Night
A2 Unknown Artist - Amleto On 303
B1 The Shippers - The Beauty
B2 EMG - Spreading Love