Orpheu the Wizard: The Sound Of Love International 005

Orpheu releas­es a com­pi­la­tion for Love International.

Orpheu the Wiz­ard has a mag­ic touch at find­ing records that fall between the gaps in music — odd­i­ties, curios, the weird, the won­der­ful. But that’s just half the trick. It takes a sen­si­tive and selec­tive ear to con­struct a coher­ent, acces­si­ble nar­ra­tive from them. So you get DJs who can play for the crowd and selec­tors” adept at min­ing the black gold. In Orpheu, you’ve got your­self some­one who can do both. On a fes­ti­val main stage, he can keep it weird enough for the heads. In an audio­phile set­ting, he’ll keep the flow.

These skill sets come into play on the fifth The Sound of Love Inter­na­tion­al com­pi­la­tion. Jump­ing between gen­res, decades, con­ti­nents, the tru­ly rare, and many B‑side cuts that passed you by. But nev­er eclec­ti­cism for its own sake; this col­lec­tion makes sense. Orpheu nev­er los­es sight of the lis­ten­er — he’s a friend­ly and knowl­edge­able guide to the cos­mic out­er reaches.

He opens his account with the warm, psy­che­del­ic elec­tron­ics of Draw­ing Future Life, with 1969’. Tucked away on the B‑side of an LP of ambient/​trance hail­ing from Fukuo­ka, this is a very pret­ty piece of music on a tru­ly rare piece of wax. Then, leapfrog­ging a cou­ple of decades and time­zones, we have Rutuu Poiss’ IHATSIN.” Off-kil­ter, exper­i­men­tal sounds with an endear­ing melod­ic hook, fol­lowed up by the with lethar­gic ambi­ent break­beat of Dig­i­tal Dis­tor­tion’s Mel­low Bug”.

On the B‑side, things start to get live­ly. French Audac­i­ty fea­tur­ing Valerie’s That Fine One” is Gal­lic garage that has simul­ta­ne­ous­ly got it huge­ly wrong and mas­sively right. Owing as much to new wave as New York house, this is propul­sive and quirky dance music at its finest. Next, we’re on a fer­ry over the chan­nel for DJ Spike and Gaps In Space.” Up-tem­po elec­tro with a fond­ness for sam­pled vocal cut-ups, like its predecessor.

lnter­dance’s Kurz” (anoth­er B‑side) is the per­fect seg­way — house from 1990 with that sweet, slight­ly goofy naïveté. Things move toward the gnarly with Bad Behav­iour and Liv­ing on Smoke,” a less­er-known cut on the leg­endary Atmos­phere records. The tem­po edges upward on Sys­tem­at­ic Input” by Fre­quen­cy, hec­tic hard­core tech­no that still retains a light­ness of touch.

Lush­es” by Dif­fu­sion spins us off into space, fil­i­gree tech­no with an emo­tive trance edge. The chim­ing intro of Blue to Be Hap­py” by MFA lulls us into a sense of false secu­ri­ty before mas­sive­ly putting the boot in with a pound­ing kick drum, bassline, and arpeg­gia­tion. From there, it’s a sharp left turn into the urban psy­che­del­ic dub of R.I.P’s E.O Pan” on cult label Digi Dub.

Stick­ing with UK sound sys­tem music but tak­ing it down a notch, Orpheu clos­es pro­ceed­ings with a left­field reg­gae excur­sion from the mas­ter of the mix­ing desk, Mad Professor’s“Oh Hell”.

It’s a com­pi­la­tion as var­ied as the many moods and grooves of Love Inter­na­tion­al itself — from sun-dap­pled olive groves to moments deep in the strobes. This is seri­ous music for par­ty freaks or par­ty music for seri­ous freaks. Tis­no is calling.

The Sound Of Love Inter­na­tion­al 005 is set to be released 30 June 2023.

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