September 22, 2005

Minilogue – Certain Things EP

Traum continues its win streak with a duo I’ve never heard of before taking on “Everything In Its Right Place” on the opener and matching it with a slowly modulating gospel vocal that nearly breaks out of its self-imposed obfuscation by track’s end. “Part 2” trades pop song familiarity for dance music move familiarity, by utilizing acid squiggles and synth pads to nicely clichéd effect. Steve Barnes pops in for a third portion that splits the difference between the two, melding the atmospherics and emphatically dance-centric second part. Needless to say, recommended.

Traum Schallplatten / TRAUM V64
[Todd Burns]


September 22, 2005

Hug – The Angry Ghost

The more well-known than you might think is useful for an “unknowns” label, John Dahlback brings out his new Hug alias for the second K2 release. Predictably, it’s quite a bit more self-assured and cohesive. “Fluteorgie” is not exactly what it promises (sadly), but it does eventually climax after an orgy of synth lines congregate around the five-minute mark. “The Angry Ghost” gets a little bit closer to its title, while “Pip” thankfully avoids the issue entirely by just acting as the great forgotten B-side.

K2 / K2/02
[Todd Burns]


September 22, 2005

Steadycam – Ding

New Kompakt label K2 marks its inaugural release with, uh, Steadycam. No worries, though, the label is intended to showcase up-and-coming producers. And while none of the tracks are exactly stand-outs, they’re all of the sort of Kompakt quality that makes their releases hardly worth mentioning anymore. The A-side is “Caress”’ micro-edits and propulsive bass and “Stay There”’s abstracto-dub-house which owes more than a little bit to Mikkel Metal. On the flipside, “Ding” gets more acidic as the track rolls along, while “Allvar” takes some knifing synth stabs and runs them through the sequencer for the majority of its rhythmic and melodic elements.

K2 / K2/01
[Todd Burns]


September 22, 2005

Lawrence – The Night Will Last Forever

Lawrence’s second single from his latest album gets the remix treatment here by John Tejada and L’usine bookending the original mix with a B-side thrown in for good measure. L’usine’s mix is the preferred, working some micro cuts and putting a slamming bass underneath. In fact, it might even trump the original. “Happy Sometimes” is the aforementioned B-side, and it’s business as usual for Kersten, riding a morse code backing to guide its two-pronged melodic attack. Sublime romanticism as always.

Ladomat2000 / LADO 2175-0
[Todd Burns]


September 22, 2005

Sleeparchive – Infrared Glow

I didn’t realize the appeal of Sleeparchive very much until I had the pleasure of hearing “Elephant Island” for the first time. That’s when their sonic bleep techno began to make obvious and banging sense. But, for the most part, their (?) (people say it’s Hawtin and I can believe that) releases have been too abstract and obfuscatory to warrant the salivating that some quarters have lavished on the product thus far. “Infrared Glow” continues along in this vein, sadly, with “Galactic Chaos” and “Galactic Blob” languishing in a place that can only be worthwhile when used as augmentation for other tracks. “Dusty Galaxies,” though, gets closest to the sublime in rehashing much of “Elephant Island”’s groove to great effect. If you’re a fan, it’ll be more brilliance. But not a place to start.

Sleeparchive / ZZZ 04
[Todd Burns]


September 15, 2005

In Flagranti feat. G Rizo – Bang Bang

If all this is leading up to a debut full-length, then color me psyched. When we last caught up with In Flagranti, “Melodymaker” was in high rotation and “Striking Ejaculation” was acting as a great song title/disappointing song. This time around, the boys get down to business and create something that you might like if you’re into the hot and heavy disco of the 70s, while the B-side has Halt Maul’s mix, a version that would make Jason Forrest wet his pants. The capper is the Italo-tinged version-or as Codek lets us know: a great soundtrack for a haircut video. Recommended.

Codek / CRE007
[Todd Burns]


September 15, 2005

Blome & Grummich – Crystal Avenue / Hungry Bassline

12"2005Techno

I imagine whenever German techno luminaries are in the studio and they’ve settled on a hard tinged bassline they name the file “sender.” That’s because everything the label releases is a beautiful barreling piece of wax. Call it Berlin crunk, if you will. This particular joint is a successfully melodic addition to the catalogue, with Blome putting fragile icicles of synth amid a gurgling and ferocious bass on “Crystal Avenue” and what sounds like fax transmissions in C major around the titular “Hungry Bassline.”

Sender / send049
[Todd Burns]


September 15, 2005

Phage and Daniel Dreier – Salt and Vinegar

Sometimes when I’m on the dancefloor I ask myself where DJ’s find these interminably funky mid-set filler tracks that serve as bridge’s to the set’s highlights. Here’s one. Composed of three minimal micro-sampled tech-house tracks that could sub in for one another in a pinch, Phage and Dreier have released one of the most successfully forgettable 12”’s that I’ve listened to in recent memory that I’ll be sure to try to ID when I’m lost in the drunken haze of another Friday night. That’s a compliment, but not necessarily a recommendation.

Highgrade / Highgrade 027
[Todd Burns]


September 15, 2005

Yard – Bloom

Starting slowly, the opening track to Yard’s “Bloom,” “Numba,” soon gets up to a gallop, incorporating Laurie Anderson, a yawning synth bass undercurrent, and Artificial Intelligence gobules of melody thrown in for good measure. The track is kind of a mess, but it’s an endearing mess that evokes the early days of IDM well, and it certainly helps the punishing acid tracks “Bloody Mary” and “Mitten” to go down a bit easier. The highlight on this schizophrenic 12” is “Adam Johnson Haunting Neal’s Yard Remix” which comes on the B-side. It’s like “Numba” in many ways, but shears off the rough edges and cuts it all down to essential elements, revealing a sleek Gap-wearing version of “Numba”’s thrift-store charm. What can I say? I’m a sell-out. Anyway, a nice entry into this M3rck offshoot label’s catalogue.

Narita / NRT05
[Todd Burns]


September 8, 2005

Metope – Kobol

For the first album of the big (read: other) three in the Areal stable, Metope’s Kobol delivers exactly what you need. There are straight bangers (“Superimbat,” “33”), Ada-styled mixtures of the sweetly melodic and industrial-tinged (“Nashville,” “M1D1”), and surprises (not surprises) (“I’m So Ready,” “Panicflute”). And if you’ve got the vinyl version, that only leaves two tracks unaccounted for. Rest assured, they’re just as good as the others. I just haven’t been able to neatly slot them into some sort of naming convention quite yet (a good thing). A step up from their widely lauded, lackluster recent compilation, Metope’s Kobol is sure to be overlooked, but doesn’t deserve to be.

Areal / Areal033 / Arealcd5
[Todd Burns]


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