February 24, 2005

Polmo Polpo – Kiss Me Again and Again

Polmo Polpo returns with this one-track EP showcasing a bit more bounce than previous ambient releases Alien8 and Constellation labels. That’s because he’s taking on Dinosaur L’s “Kiss Me Again and Again.” Each element that made the original a stone-cold classic is here in some way, but there’s something about the extended format and remixed elements that make this thing even stronger the second time around. For woozy dance parties and hipsters over that whole Arthur Russell thing, this one’s a must-have.

Intr-Version / INEP 002V
[Todd Burns]


February 24, 2005

Apparat – Silizium EP

A re-recording of Apparat’s Peel Session of May 2004, Silizium sees Sascha Ring presenting the leaps made from the melodic IDM of last years’ Shapemodes EP. Which means: live instruments and voices. “Komponent” is the keeper, sounding like a more vital version of the good track that fools you into buying the new Morr Music release each time out. “Not A Good Place” is moody down-tempo that doesn’t quite connect as well, while both “Silizium” and “It’s Gonna Be A Long Walk” walk a more abstract bent, the latter being the slightly less glitched out and more approachable of the two. Bus (good), Rechzentrum (better), Telefon Tel Aviv (best), and Apparat himself close it out with remixes.

Shitkatapult / Strike 53
[Todd Burns]


February 17, 2005

Mathew Jonson – Followed By Angels

Always soft and better off for it is Mathew Jonson. After what seemed like an unfair hiatus after some brilliant debut productions, Jonson has released enough 12”’s in the past few months to hopefully pay for some new gear. That’s right, the sound is much the same, but despite the snarkiness, I can’t help but think that this sound (especially in 12” form) will never really get old. That’s because Jonson has a unique ear for the way that melodies interlock and an obvious penchant for terrycloth house beats. Two things that make me very happy, apparently.

Itiswhatitis / IIWII010
[Todd Burns]


February 17, 2005

Heib – The Undertaker

12"2004KompaktTechno

Heib’s latest cures listeners of any doubts that Kompakt was going off the avant deep-end with this furiously hammering 12” that could be just as well suited for the Extra sub-label. “Stripped” is an much-needed ode to Daft Punk’s “Rollin’ & Scratchin’,” “Phonix” keeps the dance party alive in the same manner, distorting a different sound to chilling effect, while the title track is much the same, sans an overdriven element that threatens to destroy the stereo field. Maybe Heib is getting soft too.

Kompakt / KOM 111
[Todd Burns]


February 17, 2005

DJ Koze – Late Check Out

The 12” that did have me, and others, going BEST 12” EVAR last year was DJ Koze’s Speicher contribution, “Brutalga Square.” This one…not so much. Call it the Villalobos virus: Koze seems too enamoured of his own production skills to ever really get into anything approaching a groove here. The opening track sees fit to take its leisurely time in bringing off a rather exciting melodic counterpoint, but it’s too little and too late to get me much interested. “Kushelrock,” though, is prime Pop Ambient 2006 material being a curiously muted Slowdive B-side from the Souvlaki sessions.

Kompakt / KOM 110
[Todd Burns]


February 17, 2005

NSI – Max Binski

OK, the label isn’t all BEST 12” EVAR material. Take NSI, a duo consisting of Pink Elln & Max Loderbauer that mixes piano loops as well as can be expected with tech-house beats. Luckily, the piano is more improvised than not on “Max Binski,” but it still has the effect of making it more interesting than bangin’, which wasn’t necessarily the case on previous releases. “Clara Ghavami” does its best to rectify this, but it doesn’t quite come off like it should.

Cadenza / CADENZA 05
[Todd Burns]


February 17, 2005

Lucien N. Luciano / Pier Bucci – Stone Age / Amael

Luciano started the Cadenza label last year, adding a number of 12” to the spate of full-length releases he unleashed on other labels. I kept that sentence rather boring because I don’t want to betray how absolutely stunning I think nearly every single release has been. But, then again, I’m a self-avowed sucker for 12-minute latin-tinged micro-house tracks that meld dubby bass and bulbous synths.

Cadenza / CADENZA 02
[Todd Burns]


February 10, 2005

Jesse Somfay – Love Affair with the Moon

Somfay’s recent posting about originality on his own website’s blog is a bit of a red herring. He owes major debts to the influence of Ricardo Villalobos. In my book: not much of a problem there. On this, his second major release (first for the net-label Archipel), Somfay stretches out with three songs totaling nearly 40 minutes. While that can be wearing for some, the elastic push/pull of the watery beats and the lush, romantic drones that make up the melodies in each track are right up my alley. Those looking for the proper follow-up to the poppier moments of Alchacofa would do well to look here. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have a new crush.

Archipel / ARCH002
[Todd Burns]