Skip to main content

pothOles- Polaroids EP (Common Labour)

One of the main perks of running a blog is that we get sent records every so often. We know from experience how hard it is for small independent labels to get the gen pop and music journos to take note of a new project or release, unless you're Moodymann, sell your soul to the PR devils or are willing to fork out serious money for a remix by a big name. Now, there's only one KDJ, PR people have a tendency to pick the wrong media outlets over and over and getting a 'big' remixer on board usually means there's zero chance of ever breaking even. Most small label owners we know used to rely on digital promos to get the word out, but even us minor figures on the circuit get so swamped with promos we stopped downloading them altogether a good while ago, so that's another route that will just cost more money and cause more frustration (oh the horror of being able to track exactly who opened what and seeing nobody bothers to listen or give feedback any more..). That leaves pretty much one option open: the old school route. Yes, sticking actual records in the mail to a few select DJs/scribes and including a kind note in the mailer might sound horribly outdated, but it's an incredibly effective way to get noticed and some much needed PDA. Because let's face it, having Move D, Eddie C or Session Victim posting pics and videos of them playing your records on their social media outlets sure beats another generic comment on Fatdrop by Laurant Garnier's intern doesn't it?

Long story short: there was a package from Common Labour waiting on our doorstep yesterday, a vinyl-only boutique label from Finland, run by pothOles (a moniker of Finnish DJ/Producer Tuomo Aslak Puranen). The label put out its first release in 2013 and is about to drop its fifth missive, but until now the label flew under our radar. I'm absolutely stoked we got to meet the label this way though, as both the new release as the repress of label's maiden voyage we kindly got sent are truly stunning.

Let's start with pothOles' Polaroids EP, which should be in the next week or so. Recession Legacy on the A is the kind of deephouse that Larry Heard had in mind when he invented the genre. Understated drums get propelled forward by crisp hats, while gentle synth lines, warm pads and perfectly placed stabs set the mood for a long and winding journey into the deep. It reminds me of the kind of stuff Charles Webster and Atjazz used to make in the 90s (and I was a total Webster/Atjazz fanboy back in the day, so I don't say this lightly).

Flip over for Feather Island, a slightly punchier affair with a massive rubbery analogue bassline and a great electronic boogie-meets-house vibe. Finally there's Bollemannen (no idea what it means, tried to run it through Google Translate but no dice), another grand slice of twisted, chuggy deephouse that wouldn't have been out of place on the likes of Soma or Siesta back in the day. Limited to 250 copies, so don't feed the sharks and pick it up while you can. It's already in stock over at Decks and will be available from Juno soon.

As if that wasn't enough, we were also treated to a repress of the label's first release, another record by label boss pothOles. According to Discogs this was initially limited to 160 copies but it's clear from the reviews that that wasn't nearly enough to do it justice, so it was repressed in 2015 (another 100 copies) and is seeing another much-needed limited repress now. Dulappe on the A is friggin spectacular. Hard to describe how it sounds, so just have a listen below, but it's the kind of stuff that made me fall in love with Fred Everything and Lance Desardi back in the day. Chunky, moody, fresh and a joy to mix.

Phonogenic is on remix duties and beefs things up a little, but in my humble opinion his stripped-down version is not a patch on the mint original. Meanwhile, the toasty closing track Etiquette is the cherry on top of a mighty fine main course.

Decks seems to be the only place that has it in stock at the moment, so pick up a copy here before these are all gone too

From the packaging alone you can tell that a lot of love goes into these release. We spoke to our Finnish bud Saine just now who mentioned that the class photography that is used comes from old family albums from pothOles. The records come shrinkwrapped in sleeves with the label's logo on the back, which is another nice touch. Saine also gave us a bit of a scoop, as he mentioned there will be another release on the label later this year with remixes from Nachtbraker (that other pal of ours), Jori Hulkkonen and Saine himself.

I can already feel my collector's itch working its ugly magic, so while we whip out the card and pillage Decks for the Common Labour backcatalogue we urge you to keep an eye out for this fine Finnish imprint. Keep up with what's cooking at Common Labour on the book or on the cloud.


Popular posts from this blog

Sleazy Team ~ Best of '16

Jebus, another year gone by already? Time sure flies when the world's going bonkers and the masses are bent on sticking all their eggs in one giant smelly basket and having Farage, The Donald and a host of other lunatics break them all at once while laughing hysterically.

All farcical geo-political madness and neo-patriotic nu-bigotry aside, 2016 was a memorable year for us at SB. We tricked The Popular People's Front - our heroes, the originators! - into doing us the final record in the Black Ops series, which sold out in what seemed a nano-second. After burying the Black Ops project with a sniff and a tear, we launched a new imprint, Make Believe Disco, with French prodigal kid Folamour handling the inaugural release, which, unbelievably, also sold out from the distro on day one.
At the tail-end of the year we sat down in our cabin in the woods, started a fire and got the s'mores going, while looking back on 7 years of Sleazy Beats. We agreed that in spite of our valian…

Caravan - Coarsica EP (Ken Oath)

The inaugural release on Australian imprint Ken Oath is one of the finest bits of plastic I've managed to pick up do far this year. It was Riggles' Slick Like Oil that had me whipping out my AmEx right away, a loopy, sample-heavy basement jam with a killer rubbery bassline, but as often is the case when buying records for one specific tune, the flip ends up being the side you end up playing the most. Donald's House and Low Flung (all new names to me) serve up the delightful kind of delightful contemporary electronic boogie that the likes of Suzanne Kraft and Moon B do so well.

The sophomore effort on Ken Oath, a mini-LP by Caravan called 'Coarsica', is cut from the same boogie cloth and it's really, really good. Six tracks of understated, 80's-tinged electronic boogie to choose from here, none of which would have been out of place on People's Potential Unlimited or Rush Hour's 'Music for Autobahns' compilations. It's not exactly the kind…

Mori Ra - Oriental Forest (Forest Jams)

Recently Guy & Kris asked for support to keep the Sleazy blog running and to bring fresh mojo to the sleazyverse. When Luvless told me about their cry for help I immediately wrote Guy and offered my help.
Some of you might know me from my productions as Martin Hayes for Razor-n-Tape, Rose Records and recently In Any Case Records.
I’ve been reading the blog since the early "gallery of awesome people“ days, to which I actually contributed a picture (mugshot obscured by skimpy knickers, if you have a copy of Frank Booker's record on Sleazy Beats, try and spot me on the cover!). Now let's get crackin' with my first review.
Possibly you’ve never heard of Mori Ra before, but that should change before long. The Osaka-based dj, record collector and producer managed to fly under the radar for a good while, but after a string of fantastic records on Macadam MamboPassport To ParadiseMost Excellent Unlimited and a recent sureshot edit of Yoruba Singers’ Black Pepper (on Left …