April 28, 2005

Undo and Vicknoise – Sonambula

Regulars here know how this one is going to turn out, so we’ll just say it straight out: awesome. Aside from Nathan Fake and Alex Smoke, this duo has to be the brightest young stars on the house scene. Unlike those youngins, though, U+V have always had a bit more of the electro-trance in them and it comes out in full force on “Sonambula,” which by track’s end will have both wrecked you and been nice enough to put you to bed. Turn it over, though, and get even further towards dreamland with “Orca.” Yes, there are whale sounds.

Factor City / FC 010
[Todd Burns]


April 28, 2005

The Kooky Scientist – Mosquito Bytes

Sub Static is on it lately. This most recent 12”’s A-side is more woodpecker than mosquito, what with its insistent pecking throughout. The deep bass here is offset by liquid synth stabs that gloss up into a puddle and then immediately break apart to make away for the next. Its counterpart is darker and more metallic, each moment suspended in mid-air by a wavering powerline that precariously lurches back and forth in perfect rhythm. It’s a paranoid masterpiece that reaches its zenith in the sampling of what sounds like a distorted Ludacris from “Saturday (Ooh Ooh!).”

Sub Static / sus_46
[Todd Burns]


April 28, 2005

Golden Red – Falling Sickness

“Falling Sickness” gets the sound it’s looking for about two minutes in when it enters its second portion and the bottom falls out, only to reveal another more massive layer. I wasn’t entirely sold on how the original track is grafted back on top, until the off-beat anchors locked into place and the bass started to get even heavier. It’s not quite electro-house, but it’s damn close. “Dropsy” is unrepentantly electrohouse, though, and doesn’t make apologies. Todd Edwards cut-ups merge with a straight banging track to make even the limpest dancer get jacking a bit. Recommended.

Sub Static / sus_45
[Todd Burns]


April 28, 2005

Jeff Samuel – Endpoint

12"2005DubMinimal/Deep

Let’s get straight to the point: Jeff Samuel gets straight to the emotional point with “Endpoint.” A rotating rhythmic sample and a bass drum are merely pedestrians amid the stunningly simple and stunningly evocative melody that unfolds throughout. It’s destined to be a low-key classic. Probably not so for the B-side, but given the right context it’ll hit you just as hard. “Forinsee” has that stuttering affect that producers are putting to great use these days and, once again, it mixes well with Samuel’s keen sense of melody. This 12” is easily one of Trapez’s best for melodic tech-house lovers.

Trapez Ltd / Trapez LTD 031
[Todd Burns]


April 28, 2005

Yasushi Miura – Instant Construction Series No. 36-38: Fine Motion, Bulk of Cosmic, Medical

Ever since Dat Politics went to shit after “Sous Hit,” their masterpiece of discordant 8-bit seizure techno, I’ve been looking for someone to follow their lead and combine the speedy mentalism of gabba and rave with the campy fun of video game music. I’ve found a new hope in mysterious and prolific Japanese producer Yasushi Miura, who has amazingly self-released 38 EPs of hyperactive tinny techno in the past two years. Based upon the latest three installments in the series, Miura’s quality control is similar to the prolificnature of The Fall, Guided By Voices, and Stereolab, where consistency is favored over stylistic diversity. Miura alternates amelodic four-on-the-floor bangers (average speed: 140 BPM) with spastic, pitched up drum’n’bass that recall a person actually living in the sped-up world from Koyaanisqatsi. Occasionally, he applies some reverb and drones to his squealing melodies, revealing a bizarre, alienating form of frantic tech-dub. While repeated listens may cause convulsions, you have to hand it to Miura; he is never anything less then attention-diverting and highly disconcerting.

kp / karidome
[Michael F. Gill]


April 21, 2005

Losoul – Brain Of Glass / You Know

An Alter Ego mix and a SuperMayer mix on the same 12”? Count everyone and their brother in, right? Much like Getting Even, though, it all looks better on paper than it does on the dancefloor. Ego’s mix of “Brain of Glass” falters via the repetition of a rather boring hook, amid an overbearing synth pattern that fails to yield in the path of inevitability. Too many hooks going on at once and not in that Basement Jaxx kind of way. The SuperMayer mix, on the other hand, fails from the exact opposite problem: it never gets up off the ground. Like a very low-rent “Wurz and Blosse,” it could do with a lot less subtlety and one heavy bass hit (that never comes) to set it on a different path.

Playhouse / PLAY103
[Todd Burns]


April 21, 2005

Heiko Voss – Call Me Killer

Apparently if Moby were German, all would be forgiven because many of the tracks are just as simplistic and naïve as the ones that found their way onto Hotel (“I’d like to be close to you / I’d love to be close to you / Ohhhh I’m sticking with you / Like glue” being the entirety of “Like Glue”). But unlike Moby’s productions, Voss has a few things in his favor: a) a decent voice, b) a tendency towards less “emotional” synth melodic motifs (the sonic tendrils in “Killer” sound more Junior Boys than anything else) , c) a tendency to switch up genres at will (“Sitting in my Song” could easily have found its way on Midnite Vultures and “Fade Out” is David Bowie unadorned), and d) is doing it on 12”, exactly what Hotel should have been.

Firm / FIRM 12
[Todd Burns]


April 21, 2005

Undo and Vicknoise – Ten

The main Factor City continue their exploration of the meeting point between genres: this time it’s the pointed and bulbous synth pads that typify trance mixing with the drag-lock-step of shuffle-tech. It’s a song that doesn’t sound that far off from previous outing’s “Sparow,” but it’s far more luminous, yielding a strong crescendo in the track’s latter half. The Iñaki Marin mix that follows it up on the B-side goes more towards the Get Physical side of things and might just be as good as it predecessor, if not better.

Factor City / FC 008
[Todd Burns]


April 21, 2005

Imogen – Whiplash

The first release from this label that I haven’t really felt in a long while. What’s wrong here? It’s hard to say exactly: the beat’s plodding, the melodies are nice but don’t really hook into your brain, but I think it’s more accurate to say that this release has too much going on too be tracky and not enough going on to really entice listeners to give it a go on their headphones—a difficult middle ground. The title track is the one to keep, if you’re going to be searching this one out via digital means.

Areal / Areal028
[Todd Burns]


April 14, 2005

Und – Maxfield

Huh. The microhouse “Losing My Edge”? Let me back off of that and say that the narrator going on over the repetitive backing seems to be interested in fashion design, going all Gil-Scott Heron every time that the name Max Fields comes up in the course of his dialogue. A perfect mid-set build-up, this one defies easy description. “Toverfee” works a loop of a orchestral record starting up as its main melodic theme, amid pounding bass and that same crazed narrator making the odd appearance. But it’s B-side “Ambivalente” that comes as a real surprise, ditching the dude and trading him in for some Lawrence or Superpitcher-at-his-romantic-style moody tech-house. Definitely a weird one.

Defrag / DFRG_08
[Todd Burns]


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