July 28, 2005

Chelonis R. Jones – Dislocated Genius

It’s hard not to overstate how good of an album that Dislocated Genius is. For those who found Superpitcher’s album exactly versatile enough (but experimenting in the wrong places), Michael Mayer’s album not versatile enough (but catchy enough in places to disguise that fact), Booka Shade’s album not quite strong enough overall (but with highlights to burn), and Ada’s album with the exact right emphasis on vocals, you’ll find this rubbing you exactly the right way. Try “I Don’t Know” and “Deer in the Headlights (Myth III)” on for size.

Get Physical / GPMCD 005
[Todd Burns]


July 28, 2005

In Flagranti – Melodymaker

“Melody Maker” sounds like the computer program that Daft Punk forgot to consult on their way to making their latest album. It’s also the name of a song that beats them at their own game. Ineffable as it might be, the song’s riff is just much more catchy (and more expertly tooled around with) over its five-minute length, so that the song avoids the pitfalls that befell DP. “Paroli” and “Striking Ejaculation” despite their promising nature (due to predecessor and song titles) fall far short of expectations. The former is far better than the latter, but both go light on the riffage, instead focusing on drumcraft.

Codek / CRE006
[Todd Burns]


July 28, 2005

Ricardo Villalobos – Chromosul

Villalobos’ return to the 12″ is certainly a welcome one, but after the twin infinity of his Perlon full-lengths, you can’t help but feel like vinyl hems the minimal underwater-prog producer’s style in. Clocking in at 26 minutes for two songs, though, there’s more than enough time for what sounds like two B-sides from Ricardo’s latest to work their peculiar magic. The title track roils in the watery space that Villalobos has staked out so fervently in the past few years, throwing numerous melodic possibilities at the wall and trying to see what sticks. “Fadutron” has a more substantive beat that saves the wavering and shimmering for the bumpy and bruised melody that emerges over its length. You could listen to this all day and still not hear everything. Highly recommended for those that get high.

Perlon / PERL 48
[Todd Burns]


July 28, 2005

Geiger – Out of Tune

Geiger’s mix of “I Think About You” was one of this writer’s favorite Kompakt Pop’s tracks to yet surface, so this full-length on Firm was a nice surprise. A surprise because there is hardly anything here that could be described as straight dance music. Nice because it’s the sort of rock music that’s highly indebted to dance music and wouldn’t be anything without it. “Cocain-E” is LCD Soundsystem fronted by Jamie Lidell, “Five Years” is a potent pop track that veers off into metal for the choruses, and “Studio Star” indulges in the acid narcotic. A wide-ranging pop album, Out of Tune might just be Cologne’s answer to Phoenix.

Firm / FIRM CD01
[Todd Burns]


July 28, 2005

Nathan Fake – Dinamo / Coheed Remixes

There’s something about Nathan Fake right now that’s caught the hearts of most minimal listeners. It probably has something to do with his innate sense of melody, but it’s hard to say for sure. Coming off the highly caned “The Sky Was Pink” 12″ for Border Community and the best 12″ from Traum this year, Fake has gotten two remix 12″‘s released under his name featuring the talents of Dominik Eulberg, Michael Mayer, and Steve Barnes. While the ambient mixes that Barnes turned in on his more recent release don’t do much to excite, Eulberg’s mix of “Dinamo” does a great job of marrying the original’s ping-pong sonar blips to a propulsive beat. Mayer’s mix of “Coheed” is, if anything, better than Eulberg’s by making it just as epic in four less minutes. Featuring his now-typical move of taking everything out of the track, only to build it back up again, Mayer turns the track into a pop-house gem.

Traum / TRAUM V60
[Todd Burns]


July 26, 2005

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill – “Inflation Breeze”

With electro-house probably hitting its (relative) peak of popularity at the moment, I felt it was about time to do a mix of some of the great records that have been put out in the last year. There are a couple ongoing themes present to this mix. The first is that each successive track in this mix hits a little bit harder and louder than the last one. It’s a very gradual inflation process, starting from the ambient sighs of Donnacha Costello up until the bombastic Hystereo/Tiefschwarz/Ewan Pearson conclusion. To try and make these transitions as smooth as possible, I strove to include a good deal of melodic crosspllination between tracks. That is to say, the melodies of one track are very similiar in rhythm and/or timbre to the previous one. While a lot of DJ sets and mixes of electrohouse have either an acid-tech or EBM/goth type feel to them, I aimed to make this mix as fluent and burdenless as possible. You could almost say it sounds like a mechanical breeze. Perhaps, in fact, an inflation breeze.

01 Donnacha Costello – Cocoa (Minimise)
02 Water Lilly – Tangle of Wires (Mental Groove)
03 Delon & Dalcan – No Speak [Tekel Remix] (Boxer Sport)
04 Sweet ‘n’ Candy feat. Rufus Dunkel – Veritable (Lebensfreude)
05 Tomas Andersson – The Birthday Party (Bpitch Control)
06 Unit 4 – Bodydub [Bangok Impact Remix] (Clone)
07 Etienne De Crecy – Fast Track (Different Recordings/PIAS)
08 Tomas Andersson – Happy Happy (Bpitch Control)
09 Huntemann – Femme Fatale (International Deejay Gigolo)
10 Sweet Light – Nirvana (Freak ‘n Chic)
11 Dmx Krew – The Hunt (Sonic Groove)
12 ADJD – Believe (Pokerflat)
13 Alex Smoke – Chica Wappa [Mejor Edit] (Soma)
14 2 Rare People – Time [2 Rare People Redone Mix] (Blackout ‘77)
15 Hystereo – Corporate Crime Wave (Soma)
16 Tiefschwarz – Wait and See [Tiefschwarz Dub] (Four Music/Fine)
17 Silicone Soul – The Poisoner’s Diary [Ewan Pearson’s Instrumental Remix] (Soma)

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July 7, 2005

Pier Bucci – Cinetico Andino

Sometimes Luciano collaborator Pier Bucci brings the Chilean funk to this new 12” for the Crosstown Rebels label. Tendrils of synths billow out and return to their origins, rubbery drums seemingly never cohere into rocking beats, and vocals always appear under the influence here, making for a heady experience that’s perhaps better heard under the influence of substances that I would never encourage someone to imbibe. Let’s just say that I heard from a friend of a friend. Clocking in at nearly thirty minutes, it’s hard to imagine not playing this on repeat for an entire night and not getting tired of it.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 017
[Todd Burns]


July 7, 2005

Sunsetpeople – Orion

It’s no single of the year, but Get Physical rides again with this 12″, an incredibly subtle and involving joint that makes it mark by leaving no trace at all. The title track is all moody synth pads, longing for a Japanese vacation, resting comfortably with a sedate drum pattern that propels the production forward. The “Salty Dog” B-side is more ebullient, but doesn’t do much to establish itself outside of a beginning mixture of seagulls and dogs barking. Once that settles firmly into the background, though, we’re greeted with clinical acid basslines and violent synth stabs.

Get Physical / GPM 035
[Todd Burns]


July 7, 2005

Booka Shade – Mandarine EP

There are certain songs that make you want to find ways to make your stereo louder, so that you can somehow replicate the feel of hearing a track in a club. “Mandarine Girl” is one of those tracks. I honestly can’t think of a better track released this year. Unfortunately, both “Point Break” and “Triple Identity” are great as well. Meaning that I can’t do anything but fawn here. “Point Break”’s breakdown resembles Mayer’s mix of “Happiness” in its epic nature, but with an acid twist. And then “Triple Identity” is Metro Area on steroids. Single of the year (so far).

Get Physical / GPM 029
[Todd Burns]


July 7, 2005

Ada – Blondix 2

Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas have jointly created some of the most luminous moments in Kompakt’s history. Look no further than Smallville. They spread the love here over to the second edition of remixes from Ada’s Blondie album, making “Maps” what it should have been in the first place, an epic stormer of a techno track guided lightly by a music-box melody. Erlend Oye and band turn out on the B-side, playing what ends up being a rather stunning version of “Cool My Fire.” In a genre known for its production, Erlend does it exactly right in a rock context, giving the track an incredibly intimate feel (warts and all). Highly recommended.

Areal / Areal030
[Todd Burns]


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