March 31, 2005

Tomas Andersson – Festivities

A lot of people seem to love themselves some BPitch Control. I’m not exactly in that camp. I like them. But I find them to be way too inconsistent for me to ever get the hype. Of course every so often they just hit it so hard, it hurts. Festivities is one of those times: “Happy Happy” is wet-yr-pants God-like electo-house, “The Birthday Party” is its slightly lesser cousin, and “Congratulations” will rock dancefloors, no questions asked. Only complaint? Running times. The latter two are begging for extended mixes of their combined ten-minute running time. Cop this.

Bpitch Control / BPC 100
[Todd Burns]


March 31, 2005

Nid and Sancy – Be Yourself Tonight

You can’t expect much from a name like that, which makes this track an even more pleasant surprise than it might have been. The tension is built from the beginning moment of the track, until the roiling bass and guitar build to a climactic peak in which an honest-to-god guitar riff sample comes barreling in to knock you off your feet. It does its job, mainly because it’s so unexpected, but once you get used to it, it makes perfect sense. But then you’re knocked off your feet again with the false ending! This, my friends, is dance-punk done right. Take note.

Surprise / Surprise 027
[Todd Burns]


March 31, 2005

Ziggy Kinder – Mikro Tanz

Ware has always struck me as the summer to Dial’s winter, and Ziggy Kinder’s newest 12″ works well in this formulation. Tiny specks of synth get loosely coalesced into hooks, while the beat remains incredibly buoyant at all times. Apparently this is Kinder’s debut 12″ and, in that respect, you have to be taken aback in some ways. The title is apt: every micro-detail is managed to within an inch of its life. But, you know, the production being impeccable is nothing without the tunes to carry it along (which Kinder is obviously trying to craft here in some way), and he doesn’t quite have that together just yet.

Ware / ware48
[Todd Burns]


March 31, 2005

Denis Karimani – War Es Nicht

The gloom-house of most Dial releases is in full-effect, with a healthy dose of click thrown in on the newest release from Denis Karimani. Karimani is a player in the Cologne scene, although he rarely seems to get his records out in bulk–one 12″ on Areal, Trapez, Dial, and Italic each. It’s hard to believe, as “War Es Nicht” is an incredibly self-assured slab of wax that moves from some abstract beginnings into a full-fledged banger by its end, all the while remaining defiantly catchy. The B-side opener “Pedestrian” is just that, but “Wahrheit” finishes up the 12″ nicely with a blossoming hook that never changes except in volume, eventually making its way to the forefront of the song.

Dial / dial 22
[Todd Burns]


March 31, 2005

Daniel Wang – Berlin Sunrise

12"2004AcidNeo-Disco

This Environ vet does little to change his sound on this, his Ghostly debut. It wouldn’t be such a heinous crime if this was his finest work, but “Berlin Sunrise (Die Nacht),” only comes to mean stuff in a mid-song breakdown worthy of the Neptunes, in which everything drops out except the glistening synth, the Italo tempo drums, and a yearning string line. When things get normal again, just pick the needle up and go back or wait for it all to come together in the finale. “Berlin Sunrise (Die Daemmerung)” is a less effective, more compact beast that pumps up everything at the expense of length and subtlety. On the flipside, the highlight is “Das ist Kein Techno!,” which is decidedly not techno! What it is is top-notch acid house.

Ghostly International / GI-34
[Todd Burns]


March 31, 2005

AFX – Analord 01 / Analord 02

Stylus writers have remained curiously silent on the newest offerings from Richard D. James and it’s easy to see why, based on the first two entries into the Analord series. Anyone who wants to bother taking 800 words to review the thing better be spending 700 recounting AFX’s historical impact or something equally as boring. Which reminds me: Analord 1‘s aceeeid revivalism is inconsequential to most who came to him after his Twin alias came to be regarded as his “important” work. For those who get off on it, you know what to expect: a bit more melodically complex than most acid and a whole lot harder to mix into and out of.

Rephlex / ANALORD 01 / ANALORD 02
[Todd Burns]


March 24, 2005

Sutekh – Two Rhapsodies

One of the best producers over the past few years in American experimental techno has been Sutekh. Unfortunately, the dearth of consistent releases under his name makes it a hard case to actually prove, but his most recent 12”, “Two Rhapsodies” makes it plainly and convincingly. The A-side, “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Variation 17,” is a glistening melodic beast of a tune, which might fall in line with Luciano’s recent productions if it wasn’t so hard-edged beat-wise. The B-side is similar, but has a cut-up beat that places him closer to Akufen. Luckily, the sumptuousness of the melody melds easily with the metallic click and clank that undergirds it.

Context / TEXT_16
[Todd Burns]


March 17, 2005

Hieroglyphic Being – The Temple Of The Moon

20047"TechnoWorld

Went to Germany last week and while what follows will mostly be Kompakt-related gushing, at the Hardwax store they were playing this little gem of a 7” on the stereo and even my friend who doesn’t like techno at all had to admit that it was something special. What it comes down as is tribal techno of an abstract bent. African and Caribbean drum sounds make up the base, while hazy off-kilter synths weave in and out of the two tracks. Strong stuff to scare off the uninitiated or, in the case of my friend, draw them in.

Mathematics / Mathematics 006
[Todd Burns]


March 17, 2005

M.I.A. – Sweet November

If I actually cared about M.I.A., I’d give her a piece of advice: take it from M.I.A., if you want to get your record into the hands of people it’s a whole lot easier if you just do it yourself. But the only M.I.A. I care about is putting out records and on this, her newest 12″, she gets more full-bodied than previous efforts, but no less melodic. The beats are, typically, are bit more simple than her contemporaries attention to sonic minutiae, but the substitute is a more careful attention to emotional timbres. This is the case on “Sweet November,” which revives the same synth that launched a thousand ships on “River,” making it a perfect mid-set comedown track. “Change” and “Morning Frost” both have deeper bass hits than you might expect, but offset with a healthy dose of three- and four-note melodies, the latter secretly getting in some C3PO samples underneath the radar.

Substatic / sus_43
[Todd Burns]


March 17, 2005

Michael Mayer – Lovefood

Michael Mayer makes “Lovefood” worth listening to again with this new 12” on the under-used (but-fine-with-me-when-the-quality-is-this-good) pop arm of Kompakt. I admit that I had written the song off completely after being paired to questionable effect with the snooze-a-thon “Slowfood.” Divorced, though, it’s a rather lush down-tempo thing that deservedly gets release here. It’s the B-side that’ll be of more interest, though, featuring a Matias Aguayo mix of “Lovefood,” which utilizes an enormous bassline that is again used in the Mayer/Aguayo cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Slow.” There are a lot of things to recommend about it, not least of all the fact that Mayer’s put his best dress on for us, but I’ll leave you to uncover the rest. Highly recommended.

Kompakt Pop / KOM POP 06
[Todd Burns]


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