Spacetalk

Jake Hottell “Break The Chains” (Spacetalk)

2020-03-07T05:31:23+00:00October 25th, 2019|

It had taken him almost three years to record, but in 1985 Jake Hottell finally finished his debut solo album, Break The Chains. Inspired by his opposition to fracking, anger at government corruption and a series of profound spiritual experiences, a hundred copies of the album were pressed and given away to radio stations, friends and local business interests in Hottell’s home state of New Mexico.

The album would have remained an obscure footnote in musical history had it not been for the efforts of Jeremy Spellacey and Danny McLewin. Between them, they tracked down Hottell to hear his story, offering the former electronics engineer and Nashville-based music producer the chance to get his music to a whole new audience. Now, some 34 years after the private press edition was produced, Spacetalk is reissuing Break The Chains for the very first time.

Hottell began recording the album in 1982 after reading Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, a best-selling book by Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj about the health benefits of clean, purified water. Remembering the poisonous, methane-laden water that came out of his mother’s taps in the 1970s – a by-product of extensive fracking activity in the area around the family farm – Hottell wanted to create a set of tracks that registered his concerns, reflected his recent spiritual experiences (many of which he still finds it difficult to discuss today) and offered a meditative listening experience.

The resultant set is suitably cosmic and emotive, with Hottell cannily fusing gentle drum machine rhythms and dreamy synthesizer motifs – influenced, he says, by a love of the contemporaneous new age output of former jazz label Windham Hill Records – with his own glistening guitar passages, which sit somewhere between the homespun riffs of country music and the classical guitar solos that have long been a sonic staple of Spanish styles such as Flamenco.

Many of the tracks have stories attached. “Horizon” features a profound spoken word vocal from local man Darald McCabe – whose homemade purified water helped Hottell recover from serious illness – while “El Rio dos les Delores” was composed after discovering that fracking was taking place on a local Native American reservation. “The Truth Is All I Want”, meanwhile, reflects Hottell’s growing exasperation at the extent of corporate greed and government corruption in the United States. There’s also the unreleased track ‘Sapphire’ which came to light whilst discussing the album reissue with Jake.

This new edition of Break The Chains has been painstakingly re-mastered while extensive new liner notes shed light on the remarkable musical and personal experiences that inspired Hottell to create an obscure, overlooked classic.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Various ‎Artists “Night City Life” (Spacetalk)

2019-10-25T03:51:07+00:00October 25th, 2019|

Should you find yourself taking a Thames-side stroll in the shadow of the City of London, keep an eye out for the headphone-clad figure of Ilan Pdahtzur. While be-suited bankers and frustrated office workers scurry home to their families, Ilan can frequently be found casting admiring glances towards the blinking lights of towering skyscrapers while filling his ears with the synthesizer-driven sounds of lesser-known 1980s dance music.

Ilan, an avid but little-known record collector best known for sharing the artwork of obscure and under-appreciated early-to-mid ’80s club cuts on his popular Instagram feed, has been digging for vibrant, kaleidoscopic records since his teens. Now, thanks to Spacetalk, he’s been given a chance to offer a glimpse into his neon-lit nocturnal musical world. The result is Night City Life, a killer collection of 1980s synthesizer songs inspired by Ilan’s admiration for the glow of London’s late night skyline. Over the course of 13 essential tunes, Ilan escorts us on a vibrant sprint through rare Italo-disco, steamy South African synth-boogie, fizzing American freestyle, oddball Austrian electrofunk and so much more.

There are naturally a fair few sought-after cuts present, but also a fine selection of under-appreciated gems that for one reason or other have been all but ignored since they were released three and a half decades ago. In fact, some selections are so obscure that barely any information exists about them online. Check for example Preludio’s “Mysterious Nights”, an evocative fusion of slow electronic grooves, dreamy chords and twinkling piano motifs previously buried on a lesser-known album of unremarkable German synth-pop, or the dollar-bin brilliance of Fragile’s sweet synth-pop gem “We’ve Got Tonight, Boy”, a cut that Ilan says is capable of “wrapping itself like tendrils around your soul”. He’s not wrong.

At the other end of the scale you’ll find the ultra-rare Italo-disco breeziness of Friend of Mine’s incredible “Just Your Pride” and Mac & Monica’s soulful 1986 South African synth-boogie cut “You’re So Good To Me”, copies of which regularly change hands for hundreds of pounds online. Ilan originally reached out to the men behind the record last year to tell them how one of their other forgotten gems had been played on a Boiler Room session; naturally, they were thrilled.

There’s plenty to admire elsewhere on the compilation, too, from the waves of analogue synths, bubbly melodies and bobbing beats of the instrumental dub version of Brian Tatcher’s “Hot Love” – a cold-war era cut inspired by the idea of love blossoming in the midst of a nuclear meltdown – to the Bobby Orlando-esque freestyle bustle of Janelle’s “Don’t Be Shy (Dub)” and the sparkling post-boogie brilliance of Jarmaz’s “Night City Life (Disco Remix)”, a track Ilan has listened to countless times while admiring the midnight skyline of his home city.

Record Label: 

Various Artists “Club Meduse Compiled By Charles Bals” (Spacetalk)

2018-06-08T17:24:04+00:00June 8th, 2018|

For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals. A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks’ mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals’ private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.

Record Label: 
Go to Top