100% Silk Reviews: JMII “Nueva York EP” & Vertical 67 “Soulmates CS”
The 100% Silk label is a boutique label in every sense. Making limited run releases that are pressed on either 12″ 45’s or cassettes, the label is making no bones about the fact that this isn’t an operation looking to give Interscrope a run for their money (or whomever…are they even still a label?). Run by ex-Pocahaunted, current LA Vampires front women Amanda Brown, the blissed out electro disco label is a subsidiary of Not Not Fun, an off kilter label of high regard itself that Brown started a few years back. In addition to being an awesome musician herself, Brown seems to be even more adept at curating sounds from across the globe, consistently releasing music that somehow is accessible and dance floor ready while still venturing into new sonic territories. Two of the labels latest releases showcase why, if you can wrap your head around what they are doing, you will find one of the most consistently amazing avenues of music being created right now.
My latest batch from the label contained the 12″ Nueva York from JMII and a tape titled Soulmates by Vertical 67. Both, aesthetically, capture the zeitgeist that is 100% Silk to a T. Twitchy synths, sputtering high hats, syrup laden melodies and locked in grooves weave through the songs on both releases. JMII really lets the songs saturate your brain, letting four songs ebb and flow over their extended, trance inducing lifespans. Whether you are dropping the needle for your warehouse dance party or looking to slowly crawl backwards into that empty space in your brain, Nueva York’s, well manicured jams will take you there. With the shortest song clocking in at 6:11, the songs seem crafted for the folks still grooving at 4am, but even if you aren’t at an all night rave in Berlin, the songs on Nueva York are textured, ambient jams that can melt vibrant colors through your headphones. It might be the medium (cassette versus LP), but Soulmates by Vertical 67 seems less like a heady trip and more like a a whacked out mixtape. Still featuring the techicolor groove that makes it a “100% Silk” release, Soulmates at times feels like a more polished, dance floor ready version of Run DMT than 100% Silk mainstays Octo Octa or Pharaohs. The bass is still slinky, the high hats crisp, and the synths lush, but songs meld more quickly into the ether, ideas don’t stretch out as much as other releases on the label. Where Nueva York locks you into a beat and numbs you into a trance, Soulmates jumps around and phases in and out of tracks in a way that almost makes it feel like a ADD mixtape of the best features from across the label.
Both releases highlight, again, the amazing work the Brown and company are documenting with the 100% Silk label. There are very few labels that I feel like I could pick any record from their webstore and I would get something of value, but 100% Silk has proven themselves to hold that distinction in my book. Vertical 67 chops up the “bliss-house” that the label seems to mine so well, while JMII dives right into the deep end, exploring the nooks and crannies of the bubbling electronic genre. JMII and Vertical 67, while not being household names by any stretch of the imagination, are prime examples of the great work being created (and diligently collected and released by a truly mom and pop-esqe label) with little fanfare in a world where Nickleback sells out arenas. Weird.
Listen below to samples from each release and grab them from the 100% Silk store.