Blog Archives

Clarian – Derail The Reptile Revolution EP

clarian

Culprit goes down Route 66 with the intensely original and inescapably beautiful release by Montreal’s coolest young export – Clarian. “Derail The Reptile Revolution” puts the “extended” back in the EP, with 5 songs of fresh ideas, unique delivery and offbeat humor.

A mini-album in all but a name, this collection is, possibly, the most cohesive artistic statement yet on the LA imprint. Likewise, the EP sums up Clarian’s six years of musical development, seeing the artist in full creative flight.

The five songs, each with distinct personality, are inspired by California desert mirages, neon Hollywood glow and faded sunsets over the Pacific. Neo-Future meets vivid Retro Analogue dreams…David Lynch’s “Dune” with the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson fully present.

Cosmic post-disco joins slow-burn techno, adorned with bits of New Wave, futuristic acid house and layers of celestial melodies that make for one-of-a-kind journey through space and time.

Clarian came into collective electronic music consciousness in 2010-11 with the Footprintz band project that burned fast like a comet but never faded away. Since then Clarian’s musings have found home on Visionquest, Rumors and Kompakt. It is now Culprit’s turn in the evolution of this exciting artist.

Release Date: November 21 on Culprit.

01. Derail the Reptile Revolution
02. Surfer Moon
03. Bleach
04. Acid Moon
05. Cosmic Microwave

Chaim – Nineties EP

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Culprit’s midsummer release has a distinct Israeli flavor. The Los Angeles-based imprint is pleased to welcome the terrifically talented Chaim and, on remixes, Red Axes and Shahar & Motum. Together they have crafted a 4-track EP of distinct style and top-level artistry.

Tel Aviv-born, New York-based Chaim Avital aka Chaim, is a familiar name on the global dance music circuit. Spawned by the scene that also brought the likes of Guy Gerber, Gel Abril, Shlomi Aber and Guy J.to prominence, Chaim has been a recording artist for nearly a decade. It was through his close friend and cohort Guy Gerber’s Supplement Facts label that Chaim first made his mark. Since then, the likes of BPitch Control, Visionquest and Rumors have all clamored for his music.

The title track deftly combines Chaim’s knack for bass-heavy, classic House-inspired grooves with a very modern production technique. The rolling analogue bassline hook truly sets the track apart. ‘Members’ is the deeper, hypnotic counterpart with a perfectly-selected vocal snippet and a low-slung sensuous groove.

Fellow Israelis, Red Axes, are one of the talked about acts right now. A string of hot releases for the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Hivern Discs and Permanent Vacation have made their patented tech-disco style hugely in-demand. Their slow-burn of a remix has an off-kilter leftfield charm and unique personality.

Remixing ‘Members’ are fresh-faced duo of young producers Motum and Shahar. The pair shares Chaim’s place of birth and their current base of New York City. They deliver a spare and moody version, with a subtle hint of melody and vocal – perfect for the early morning dancefloors.

Tracklist:
Nineties
Members
Nineties (Red Axes Remix)
Members (Shahar & Motum Remix)

Bambook – The Storm EP

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Swedish production duo Bambook are hitting a rich vein of creative form with their second release for Culprit, the ethereal ‘The Storm’.

Since their debut for the label last summer – the similarly beatific ‘Hearts & Roads’ – Bambook have been on an impressive streak of releases and remixes for notable imprints like Kindisch, Noir, Fayer and Jeudi. Clearly inspired, the duo of Eiad Sayegh and Hannes Netzell has managed to balance the sheer volume of recent musical output with tight quality control.

Bambook’s affinity for the Los Angeles-based Culprit has again culminated in some of their most appealing original music yet, on ‘The Storm’. Their penchant for the airy and wistful is combined with the strong songcraft, typically indelible original vocals – courtesy of regular collaborator Jennie A – and outstanding sound design.

The title song comes in two distinct versions: the brooding and, dare we say, stormy original is underpinned by Bambook’s most driving bassline yet. This version has already found early support from none other than the melodic house don, Dixon. The Kalimba version is the daytime yin to the original’s nighttime yang, with its deeper bassline and a graceful tropical touch.

The remix of ‘The Storm’ comes from The Drifter, an Irish producer, who alongside his compatriot and friend Mano Le Tough is the driving force behind the Maeve label. He “borrows” the original version’s bassline and adds layers of forceful dynamics, making it the release’s most dancefloor-focused track.

Rounding out the release is the gloriously upbeat ‘Dance With Me’, that takes an unexpected but welcome turn into the indie-dance territory, with its classic disco-inflected beat, sweetly delicate vocal, and an organic bassline.

Edu Imbernon & Droog – Spectral EP

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One of Culprit’s brightest young stars Edu Imbernon meets label’s founders Droog on ‘Spectral’.

The trans-Atlantic collaboration had its start at Culprit’s in-house studio in Los Angeles and came to fruition in Edu’s Valencia recording space, yielding two originals rooted in melody and strong dancefloor sensibility. The title track is a slow but purposeful burn, with layers of swelling melody and subtle distortion that culminates in the patented Imbernon breakdown. ‘Smokefalls’ is the more menacing and propulsive counterpart, with a nod to the mid 90’s era prog.

Six years after the Culprit saga began with its first release, the label’s originators, Droog, finally make their full label debut. To prove themselves as producers, the Los Angeles collective have made a point of earning their stripes away from the label of their creation. The path has taken them to Crosstown Rebels, Supernature, Get Physical and Last Night on Earth, among others. Now, they have come home.

Edu Imbernon has become one of the trio’s designated star men to lead Culprit into the bright future, with ‘Spectral’ being his third round of original music for the label. The 26-year-old is both talented and tireless, finding time to deliver big releases for Suara, Culprit, his own two labels – Fayer & Eklektisch – and remix the likes of The XX and Hot Natured.

o+ The pair of remixers represent two of the label’s most significant recent coups. Ruede Hagelstein has long been near the top of Culprit’s wish list. The German producer is coming off his debut album on Watergate Records and here delivers a tightly constructed electronic/tribal workout that expertly builds tension. wAFF is part of Hot Creation’s English inner circle and on his remix manages to strike a great balance between his peaktime style and Culprit’s love for deep melody.

Tracklist:
Spectral
Smokefalls
Spectral (Ruede Hagelstein’s Remix)
Spectral (wAFF Remix)

jozif – Waikiki (part 2)

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The glorious creative love affair between Londoner jozif and LA- based Culprit continues unabated, with the artist’s fourth release for the imprint in as many years.

Six months after the first ‘Waikiki’ EP by jozif, Culprit releases its follow-up. The five 1originals that formed the core of the two-part ‘Waikiki’ were the fruits of the intensely prolific period of music-making by jozif. The two originals on ‘Waikiki 2’ highlight jozif’s inimitable sound: organic in essence, steeped in references that reach beyond the classic house/techno clichés, loose and fun, yet with the emotional core and depth of feeling worn proudly on its proverbial sleeve.

Remixes arrive courtesy of two exceptional producers of very different styles but equally strong personal voices: Eric Volta’s idiosyncratic take dives deep into the realm of melodically eerie, perfectly calibrated for the discerning afterhours. Hanfry Martinez is the rising Spanish talent whose love for the ceaseless groove unites him with fellow house groove masters like Apollonia, Djebali and Javier Carballo.

o+ jozif is a figure that is both well known and respected in the London dance community. He has built up a creditable reputation due to his strong releases on labels such as Culprit, Crosstown Rebels and Wolf + Lamb, regular appearances at clubs such as Fabric and a residency at Ibiza’s We Love Space.

M A N I K – Nightfall EP

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Culprit’s most prolific contributor M A N I K adds a fifth release of original material to the label’s canon.

Since his C​ulprit​ debut back in 2010, M ​A N I K​ has become one of LA imprint’s signature artists and the one whose growth as a producer closely mirrored the label’s own rise. A New York native, M ​A N I K​ has become even closer to C​ulprit ​in 2014 – physically, by moving to its home base of Los Angeles.

“N​ightfall” ​is an analogue house workout with an inventive bassline, crisp percussion and ethereal vocals that combine for one of the most distinct songs in C​ulprit’​s catalogue in some time. The remix comes courtesy of another of UK’s young rising production stars, T​hermalBear, ​best known for his releases on S​asha’​s Last Night on Earth label. His smooth yet bass-­heavy rework is primed for maximum dancefloor action. “J​erry Park” ​is a warm lighter take on the analogue sonic template.

“​N​ightfall”​ continues​ M A N I K’​s creative collaboration with an exciting pair of producers – London’s E​li & Fur​ who provided vocals on the title track. The duo is best known for their releases on D​efected ​and A​njunadeep.​ It is on the latter that M ​A N I K ​and they have collaborated for the first time, in late 2014.

Released on March 2nd 2015.

Maxxi Soundsystem – Medicine EP feat. Name One

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Culprit is delighted to kick-start its sixth year with a 50th EP release – Maxxi Soundsystem’s ‘Medicine’.

The “Medicine“ EP represents Maxxi Soundsystem’s full-fledged Culprit debut, after providing a standout remix of Burnski & M A N I K’s “YJG” last year. The EP is Maxxi’s re-union with his frequent vocal collaborator Name One – their massive “Regrets I Have No Use For” was surely one of the songs of 2012 for the venerable Hypercolour label. Coincidentally, this is a second year running that Culprit begin their year with a record featuring Name One – his work for Adriatique’s “Midnight Walking” got 2014 off to a flying start for the LA imprint.

This EP represents the pick of the tracks I did working with Name One, they are songs but totally focused on the dancefloor – initially I thought of these as 3 singles but we did so many tracks together in a relatively short space of time it seemed only right to introduce them to the world on the same record. Working with Jack (Name One) is always a pleasure – his lyrics and ideas are in my opinion a huge level above what you find in most dance music”. Maxxi Soundsystem

“Medicine” EP is a confident statement of intent from the Brighton-based producer, with three single-ready songs combined on one strong release. The hook-laden title track, the stark groove of “Lone Raver” and the deeply melodic “Fading Thought” all combine Maxxi’s dynamic composition and crisp production values with Name One’s memorable lyrics that go beyond the typical dance music fodder. Maxxi Soundsystem opens Culprit’s 2015 with a bang and is certain to be one of the label’s leading artists for some time to come. Out on February 2nd 2015.

Benoit & Sergio – That’s The Party Talking EP

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Marquee production team and live act in dance music Benoit & Sergio return to Culprit for a second fantastic release in as many years. After last year’s deliciously off-­kilter “Adjustments,” the Berlin­ and Rome­-based duo delivers a 3­-song statement of dancefloor intent, with “That’s The Party Talking.”

As was with “Adjustments,” this set of new Benoit & Sergio material landed on Culprit in a truly organic, natural way. Two of the songs on the EP, fresh out of the studio, were the standouts in the boys’ live set, that took the roof off the Culprit showcase in Zurich in September. After a series of covetous (and persuasive) glances from Andrei of Droog, label’s boss, the jams had their new home.

The EP’s title is perfectly descriptive of the collection’s mood and its ambition. Written with a late-­night, discerning raver in mind, the EP shows off some of Benoit & Sergio’s most memorable bassline and synth hooks – in the catalogue already bristling with them.

Though unified in purpose and concept, each of the three songs show a slightly different side of the producers’ sound: low end­-heavy melodic house that’s full of anthemic quality in ‘Ibiza Bass’; electronic funk, with a touch of sleaze in ‘That’s The Party Talking’; and tongue-­in­-cheek, mega bouncy, disco­-infused opus, tailor-­made for afternoon delight or a mid­-morning afterparty shake in ‘You Might Say.’

Yet again, Benoit & Sergio prove to be one of the most interesting and accomplished acts around, with an assured and unique sound and personality. Out on December 10th 2014 on Culprit.

Tracklist:
Ibiza Bass
That’s The Party Talking
You Might Say

Shall Ocin – Conception EP

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Barcelona-based, Argentinian producer Nicolas Abalos aka Shall Ocin returns for his second helping of Culprit, almost exactly a year after his label debut, ‘Crash into My Love’. The first EP set the inventive and musically adventurous template for Shall and was supported by the likes of Damian Lazarus, Ivan Smagghe and Miguel Campbell, among others. The artist continues to explore the psychedelia-tinged, heavy electronic groove territory with the three sparkling originals on the ‘Conception EP’ plus a remix from Valencia talent, Edu Imbernon. Each song is brimming with musically sophisticated ideas: Shall’s own effected vocals, at times immediate and emotionally charged, at others – disembodied and spooky; his love of a catchy electric guitar riff; tight and precise basslines; off-kilter synth melodies, touches of jazz fusion and shimmering ambient textures.

Shall Ocin is a young producer clearly developing a sonic palette all his own. While influenced by the sound design of his friend and mentor Maceo Plex, Shall is a singular talent in the ascendancy, bursting with originality. Shall is focusing his already formidable production talents on output for just two labels – Culprit and Leftroom. Refreshingly loyal, the young Argentinian is certain to continue his rise, defining the sound of these two imprints.

For the remix, Culprit keep it in the family, as they tend to do. A friend of Shall Ocin’s from their days in Valencia, Edu Imbernon is a production juggernaut. He’s been responsible for a string of big releases in the past couple of years, including a massive remix of The XX and one of Culprit’s anthems of this past year, ‘Fayer’ (with Los Suruba). Here, Edu delivers one of his patented dance-floor smashing electronic grooves that meld the choice parts of the original and his own flair for drama.