Various Artists - Planetary Consciousness

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  • Roughly six months after their debut release, Berlin's LiveJam Records are doing about as well as any deliberately cryptic, vinyl-only imprint could hope. Despite having no association with any established labels or well-known artists, their records have consistently gone out of stock in online shops, and been picked up by the likes of Efdemin, Ben Klock, Steffi and Zip, to name just a few. Though fairly specific in terms of style, their sound has diverse appeal: modern but classic, raw but tight, and somehow equally suited to both peak time and afterhours. On Planetary Consciousness, their third release, the mysterious LiveJam crew mostly stick to their guns, but trade their often twisted hooks for more conventional, classic house fare. Planetary Consciousness features four of LiveJam's usual suspects: John Swing, Invisible Men, EMG and Appointment. Swing heads up the A-side (or as the label text states, "theese moments") with "Black Weekend," a fierce party track that rides a single chord and a quick loop of a b-girl saying "each and every weekend." It's probably the label's most by-the-numbers tune yet, but its club potential is hard to deny. Appointment follows up with "Get On," a much more subtle offering that anchors a far-off diva moan with a foggy deep house arrangement. On the flip-side (i.e. "thooose moments"), EMG gives us "Up the Majic Train," a track that starts out drab, then leaps in energy following yet another diva line, this time saying "you know what I'm talkin' about!" Just like on "Black Weekend," the vocal part is cheesy, but well-executed—after the druggy, minimalist intro, you're not expecting such a generous hook. Invisible Men close out the EP with "The New Disco," another surefire party track with a vivid, high-contrast aesthetic. Like the rest of the EP, it's undoubtedly fun, but following the far-flung weirdness of earlier LiveJam tracks (the skeletal feel of "Moon Quarter," the vocals on "Winter Night" and "Spreading Love") its decidedly retro vibe is just a tad disappointing. Nonetheless, all four tunes are distinctive, nicely-crafted club cuts, and well worth checking out—especially if you're a DJ.
  • Tracklist
      A1 John Swing - Black Weekend A2 Appointment - Get On B1 EMG - Up The Magic Train B2 Invisible Men - The New Disco