ARGOTAPE002
Hippie Priest - Gaia Variants
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Since its inception in 2012, Argot's mission statement has remained the same: to promote, showcase, and support American electronic music. Four years and numerous 12" singles later, Argot proudly presents Hippie Priest's "Gaia Variants", the first full-length album released on the label. The debut work of 21-year-old Illinoisan Will Justice, "Gaia Variants" is a 50 minute long psychedelic journey that pairs cosmic textures and moods with a warm dancefloor sensibility.

Although Gaia Variants is Justice's first release, it possesses a maturity and a coherent vision that belies the youth of its author. In writing the album, Justice explains: "I liked the idea of writing music about a feeling — or a moment, for everything," he says. "Gaia Variants is about finding the right sounds to suit a mood and expanding on that." Each track is a world unto itself: "There's a lot of contemplation throughout the album," says Justice, "Focusing on a theme or an idea and letting it expand."

From its first minute, the album plays with mood and motif. "Einn" is sunny and lively. "Field Hats (Reflection Mix)" is grand, a contemporary vision of Tangerine Dream built from arpeggiated synthesizers. The lighthearted "Interdimensional Traveler" tweaks expectations, highlighting the album's playful sense of humor. "Into The Gangway," which closes the album's first side, is its most arresting work, written in a pentatonic scale with a driving deep house beat — like Philip Glass meets Mr. Fingers. The second side features some contemporary R&B flavor, most notably on "Vibe Uuu," featuring a warped, rubberized vocal sample. It ends with "He's Drifting" and "Windowed Ceiling," two spectral, emotional works that become one.
ARGOT018
Stefan Ringer - bossa grv
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Stefan Ringer's music is undeniably soul rousing. Across a short but muscular clutch of releases on labels like Kai Alce's NDATL and Mike Simonetti's 2MR, Stefan has employed a kind of primal swing and exuberance that's as referential to his childhood in the church as his love of rap. This is dance music lifted by curiosity and refined by gut instinct. It's with this in mind that Argot proudly announces Stefan as the artist behind our next release: a slab of sweat-out-your-work-week house music entitled bossa grv.

Across two originals and a drum track, Stefan's lethal aptitude for programming is obvious—as is his sense of wit. On the title track, a plucked harp threads delicate notes alongside hi-hats that fall forwards in endless spirals, encouraging movement and lightness. On B side "to the bone," oboe notes mingle with crushed snares, dubbed chords, and a vocal that's as classically absurd as it is completely irresistible. As we share this work with dancefloors and selectors alike, we are struck by just how much FUN the record is. On today's head-down dancefloor that is often caught up in the idea of "depth" and "darkness", the youthful curiosity of this record cuts through like a knife.
ARGOT017
Amir Alexander - The Butterfly
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Amir Alexander makes his triumphant return to Argot with an exceptional and enigmatic new record, The Butterfly. Since providing the label's inaugural release in 2012 with his Gutter Flex EP, Alexander's music has graced the catalogues of respected labels like Secretsundaze, Finale Sessions, and Hype_LTD, and expanded his Vanguard Sounds and Anunnaki Cartel imprints. The Butterfly finds Alexander picking up the conversation where Gutter Flex left off, but now he's speaking it in a new language.

"This EP name-drops many subjects and themes for those who are truly interested in 'lifting the veil' in order to fully understand what we're up against. It's also just a nice deep house record for those who only want a good beat to party to. Like life, it is what you make it."—Amir Alexander

The Butterfly is a seductive record. Its supple grooves and unique textures are earcatching whether or not you notice the twisted lyrics of "Butterfly (The Monarch)" or the read into titles like "Many False Prophets". Yet close observers are rewarded with bread crumbs that bring Alexander's perspective into focus.

The haunting vocals on "Butterfly (The Monarch)" reference Monarch mind control techniques, intermixing comforting familiar phrases with dark, affected passages. They seem surreal threaded through limber bass licks and bold organ patterns, Alexander's signature 909 hi-hats cutting through the fray. "Black Mass" engages audiences in deeply hypnotic patterns that grow to a near frenzy before falling back into ritualesque patterns. And "Many False Prophets" is a lament for the easily misled, encircling listeners with gorgeously evolving percussion patterns and gently waltzing organ lines. "Deep, dark, and brooding," as Alexander puts it. That's an apt description of the whole record, as well.
ARGOT016
Maxine & Cleo - Mad Blanc
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Philadelphia-based producer Maxine & Cleo joins the Argot fold with his Mad Blanc EP. The follow up to his Pendergast EP for Material Image arose from a few weeks of feverish production during the spring of 2014 and represent the duality of the Kansas native's sound. Side A is full of gifts for DJs in the form of "Flynn Rhythm"'s relentlessly jacking house grooves and the blurry-eyed deep house pleasures of the title track. Flipping the record reveals the more fragile side of Maxine & Cleo, courting home listeners and after hours crowds on the spirit-conjuring spectral house cut "Mind Is Spinnin" and the dreamy "Proto", gliding on thrumming pads and gilded with vocal slivers.
ARGOT015
Policy - The Disconekt EP
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Policy returns to Argot with a mature and joyful record entitled The Disconekt EP. This time around the New York-based producer integrates an array of organic sounds into his refined palette, adding further depth to meticulously written tunes. Plucked guitars pop out of the cinematic "We Are Connected"; rotund floor tom beats set the pace for charmingly interwoven melodies on "Moleskine"; and closer "His Meaningful Breath" is Flügel-esque in its zig-zagging synth leads and deliberate pace. The record's varied, confident nature makes it a pleasure to enjoy at home and then pop in your bag for that night's DJ gig.
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T.B. Arthur - Dubs From The DAT
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Enigmatic producer T.B. Arthur makes his Argot debut with Dubs From the DAT. Following four scene-stealing, acid-fed EPs rescued from DAT tapes by Hard Wax, this record focuses on T.B. Arthur's meticulous percussion work. Making judicious use of delay and reverb, all three tracks evoke sublime environments in which hand drums burble, snare hits ring out like thunderclaps, and darkness creeps into every detail. Dubs From the DAT was mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering.
ARGOT013
John Barera & Will Martin -
1,2,3 (Feels Right)
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Argot is excited to welcome John Barera & Will Martin to the label with their spectacular EP, 1,2,3 (Feels Right). Still aglow after the warm reception to their Dolly-released debut album, "Grace", the Boston/NYC duo deliver a versatile record whose four house cuts burn no matter where you put the needle down. John and Will flex their skills on anthemic hardware jams like the title track and "High Tide", the rhythmic whirlwind of "Spin Cycle", and sublime deep house groove, "The Bog".
ARGOTX01
Contakt - Eve Of Gentrification
Argot steps outside its usual catalog numbers for a vinyl-only release by Contakt. You can feel the drum beat of uneasy change in the Brooklyn-based producer's “Eve Of Gentrification”, its eager hand drums, bass throbs, and stalking synth stabs turning up the tension like rents in a hip neighborhood. Detroit veteran Terrence Parker is more optimistic and melodic on his “Deeep Detroit Heat” remix, rolling out lush pads and rollicking piano/organ interplay across a bed of hand drums. The hand stamped record features designs by Chicago artist Steven Vainberg and is limited to 200 copies in black vinyl and 100 copies in marbled grey vinyl.
ARGOT012
Olin & Savile - Thanks, Karl
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Olin returns to Argot with fellow Smart Bar resident Savile in tow for our first release of 2015. The vinyl-only "Thanks, Karl" is a loving tribute to one of Smart Bar's biggest and best bouncers, the swaggering confidence of its guitar-led groove and bombastic drum break emulating his many charms. Savile's version reduces the track to a dubbed out floor-filler, swollen bass notes adding bruised funk vibes to the mix. Meanwhile, Olin's version shakes dance floors with suffocating bass, massive kicks, and relentless drum programming, as if putting dancers on the receiving end of Karl's huge fists. The record's B-side features an illustration of Karl by Minneapolis artist Jamie Kinroy.
ARGOT011
Community Corporation -
Aquifer EP
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For the benefit of all Clubland's residents, Argot is releasing Community Corporation's latest development, the Aquifer EP. This deluxe, four track record from the Detroit producer provides DJs and home listeners a diverse selection of musical amenities: the playful, live-wire antics of "Crystalis"; jaunty, arpeggiated techno flows across "Patent Lies"; a gorgeously evolving banger in "Subterranean Limestone"; and the swirling, almost jazzy romp through "Sunken Water Table".
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Eamon Harkin - Back Down
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After two quiet years release-wise, Eamon Harkin returns with the Back Down single for Argot. The Brooklyn-based producer best known as half of the DJ/party-throwing/label-owning duo Mister Saturday Night offers a saber-toothed, bass-heavy take on techno with an unexpected tender side. On the flip, "Species Of Comedy" is a trance-like stomper sporting stirring strings, hypnotizing with its barrage of primary color melodies.
ARGOTAPE001
Paul Levack - Lower Wacker
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Argot's first foray into the world of tape is a complete departure sonically as well. ARGOTAPE001 is by Paul Levack, a Chicago-based artist whose manipulated field recordings of Lower Wacker Drive expose the city's dark heartbeat. Listeners are immersed in unearthly roars, distant cries, piercing feedback, and a trembling pulse that go unnoticed by Chicago's millions of denizens every day. The B-side "Stereo Mix" reveals more of "Lower Wacker"'s source material but is equally fascinating and unsettling. ARGOTAPE001 is limited to 35 cassettes featuring original artwork by Chicago artist Olivia Coran, but can also be bought in digital formats. Copies purchased through the Argot Store come with a download code for a free digital copy.
ARGOT009
Octo Octa - Where Did You Go? /
Through The Haze
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Argot's ninth release, Where Did You Go? / Through The Haze, is by Brooklyn-based producer Octo Octa. It's the first single he's released on a label besides 100% Silk, the home of his two full-lengths and three EPs. This shift is embodied in the tracks, too, as Octo Octa sharpens his effervescent sound to a harder, more floor-focused edge.
ARGOT008
Chase Smith - Stay
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Argot starts out 2014 with the help of Pittsburgh's Chase Smith and his new single, Stay. Following releases for W.T. Records and Pittsburgh Tracks, the up-and-coming producer hits new songwriting heights with "Stay", an impassioned modern disco tune featuring Lauren Ojanpa's smoldering vocals and a live bass line courtesy of Karl Ojanpa. Smith also provides the swift charge of "27 Summers", a rave-influenced house jam whose banged out piano chords and brass fanfare will stir the dance floor.
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Gunnar Haslam - Bera Range EP
Gunnar Haslam's Bera Range EP is Argot's seventh release. The unknown NYC denizen arrives fresh off a stunning, singular album for L.I.E.S to deliver three tracks showcasing his swift growth as a producer. Snares thumping like jungle rabbits' feet across widescreen techno melodies, "Bera Range" crackles with occultish energy. "Optional" is more hopeful but equally stern, cracking house percussion upon its purring bass line and chase-scene synth interplay. That purr becomes a benevolent growl in "Nevenoe," a feel good house track whose stoned, spectral accents leave trails all over jacking drum work.
ARGOT006
The Black Madonna -
Lady Of Sorrows EP
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Argot's sixth release is a long awaited dispatch from the Black Madonna. Lady of Sorrows EP is the Chicago-based producer's most fully realized work to date—a leap forward from the sample-clad disco house of her records for Home Taping Is Killing Music and Stripped & Chewed. Weaving live orchestration and irresistible synth lines through tough percussive frames, both tracks bare their souls to listeners with enough muscle to command dancers' attention. Argot is proud to release such stirring, emotional music born from the trials and tribulations Black Madonna has bravely faced.
ARGOT005
Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson -
Urban Off Road
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Argot's fifth release calls upon Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson, an enigmatic lady lurking in the shadows of Detroit, to reveal her three track debut record. On Urban Off Road, her muscular take on techno dashes across dancefloors bearing a distinct twinge of vulnerability, courtesy of the gorgeous bell melodies nestled between heartburning bass lines, brisk piano chords, and precisely arranged cascades of vintage percussion.
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Policy - Hit Gone Bad
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Argot's fourth release is the Hit Gone Bad EP by NYC-based producer Policy. Let the title track prowl through soundsystems, stabbed with cavernous horns and dogged by the most infectious woodblock in recent memory. Employ the ebullient "Walk Up" to add some fizz with dizzy organ riffs and jaunty brass notes. Or perhaps conjure a reflective mood with the tensely plucked bass lines, bittersweet melodies, and live percussion of "Thick Nostalgia". The choice is yours.
ARGOT003
Pittsburgh Track Authority - Giza
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If you thought Pittsburgh Track Authority's production prowess ended at techno and house, prepare for Argot's third release. The single finds the trio stretching into luminous, pulse quickening 2-step on "Giza" and booty bumping, aquamarine electro with "Crosstown Blvd".
ARGOT002
Olin - Finally
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Argot's second release is the Finally single by Chicago-based producer Olin. Splashed with exultant synth stabs and nudged along by a persistent bass line and hooked vocals, the title track is well placed to kick a party into next gear. B-side "Tomorrow's News" is unabashedly playful, creating a space where dotted techno melodies chase after each other and dancers rush the booth to figure out what's playing.
ARGOT001
Amir Alexander - Gutter Flex EP
Argot's first release is the Gutter Flex EP by Amir Alexander. Its four tracks reveal a startlingly rich and complete aesthetic inspired by the history of American house while avoiding merely emulating its forefathers. Alexander's commanding melodies are carried on hard-bitten beats and often guided by deeply resonant bass lines befitting of this trained bassist.