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Martin Hayes - Modern Love EP (Rose Records)

After solo efforts by M.Ono and Luvless, Martin Hayes now gets to headline an EP on Rose Records, the exquisit boutique imprint the trio owns and operates, and does so with great panache. Hayes kicks things off with the J Dilla-inspired 'Heaven & Hell', an excellent slice of hazy instrumental hiphop. There's more badass leftfield hiphop to be found on the A side in the form of 'One Step Away' with big drums not unlike Tribe used to employ in their halcyon days.

Hayes also tries his hand at glitchy 80s boogie with 'Bring it On', a marvellous synthy midtempo burner with a killer hook. The classy deephouse workout 'You Are The One' on the B-side brings us back to more familiar territory with its driving drums and moody pads, while the lush 'Thrills (Basic Feelings)'  on the A side - our pick of the litter - epitomizes the Rose Records sound. Reminiscent of Tornado Wallace's seminal output for Delusions of Grandeur, it might be Martin Hayes' best effort yet and sounds absolutely immense over a big rig (as we witnessed last friday)

It's great to see the Rose camp venturing beyond the world of 4/4 deephouse, a sign of both maturity and confidence for this classy outfit. This wonderful release will surely add to the label's legacy and become a collector's item before long. The Rose gang is valiantly sticking to its DIY policy, which means limited pressings, self-distribution and no digital release, so you ought to know what to do right now if you don't want to miss out.

Get one here or get in touch with Ed Davies, our favourite online retailer of the black stuff


  1. Just curious, but what about "no digital release" = DIY? Seems like digital is perfectly compatible with that philosophy, and in fact limiting oneself to limited vinyl only serves to encourage the collector scum demo? If anything, digital is as DIY as it gets and cuts nearly all middlemen.

  2. Hey Matthew, you're very right, DIY and digital releases are very compatible (bandcamp being a great example). The DIY part in the review refers to the Rose Record way of running the vinyl side of things. While most labels go through a Pressing & Distribution deal, these guys press up their own records (which mean paying upfront) and instead of having a distributor deal with shops they sell their records directly to various outlets. We know from experience how labour-intensive that can be!


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