November 17, 2005

Morane – Everyone Is Like You

More Down Than Out’s slogan is simple: never boring. And what with Morane’s acoustic instrumentation and Markus Nikolai’s glitch effects lending an unpredictability to the proceedings, Everyone Is Like You certainly fits the bill. The essential breakdown of each song is guitar, bass, and drums, but within those four minutes is a multitude of possibilities. Often times horns feature heavily, most notably in the highlight “Do Not Write Me a Lovesong” and the sing-songy “I Do It Best.” What Morane seem to be creating here is a hybrid between pop, IDM, and house and while at times it can get a bit too childish (“We Hate Cars,” “Where’s My Head”), it’s the sort of glee that can be excused as naïve enthusiasm.

More Down Than Out / MDTO 02CD
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Andi Teichmann – Fades

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to which indie rock bands Andi Teichmann was listening to while composing his debut album? Fades is a rather pleasant outing from Teichmann and it’s also an attempt to bridge the gap between indie rock and techno. Like a lot of producers making techno today, Teichmann started his career in a punk band as a teenager. “They Don’t Care” is the first song on the record to make the combination explicit, pitting a wildly oscillating bass line against an acoustic guitar and vocals. But while the two songs that sound like a house Death Cab end up working nicely, it’s the songs that combine the compositional ideas behind rock without resorting to the use of the instruments that work the best: “Alias,” “Nicoff,” and “Aether” all shine on an album filled with moderate highlights, but nothing exceptional.

Festplatten / FEST 30/CD02
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Golden Red – Hotel Mandatory

Sub Static’s fiftieth release comes in a special golden sleeve, a change from their usual gray. The label couldn’t find a more appropriate act to bring in the anniversary than rising star Golden Red, whose Sub Static output has been utterly solid thus far. Things don’t change here: “Water Damage” is a smoldering track, merging a healthy dose of techno to an acidic bassline. It’s “Mildews” that stars here, though. That track slithers along, eventually coming out the other side of its initial debt to classic Detroit wearing Plastikman’s clothes. Not a bad celebration…

Sub Static / sus_50
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Various Artists – The Appliance of Science, Volume 1

Considering it’s the debut track of the Unlocked Groove label, Rainbow Bright’s “The Rollah” is the type of thing that makes you sigh in the knowledge that you just might have to buy everything they put out. And while the rest of the debut 12” doesn’t quite reach the heights of this minimal “Bolero,” you can rest assured that the restless dedication to melodicism might just herald a new great American house label. We’ll see.

Unlocked Groove / UG001
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Vincenzo / Serafin – Scope / Starship Discothèque

New-ish label Liebe Detail has paired up like-minded artists for each of their 12”’s and on this, their 7th, they bring together the talents of Dessous mainstay Vincenzo and Cadenza co label-head Serafin. Each of those descriptors goes towards describing exactly what their side of the wax sounds like: Vincenzo’s side leans towards an even-building acid-house, while Serafin works inside the wispy confines of the cavernous house music made by co-conspirators Luciano and Pier Bucci. While this particular release isn’t that much to shout about, the label does bear mentioning in this column: its 2005 catalogue has been excellent.

Liebe Detail / ld07
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Various Artists – Compilation 01

If I’m not mistaken, no track on here isn’t on a 12″ already released by the label. And for dance music fans that “only get the CD”, this should come as a welcome boon. It also acts as a nice history lesson: you can see throughout the compilation the way that minimal techno moved away from the digital disco of the early 00s to the ketamine-house that is in now so very much in vogue: Gamat 3000 to Wighnomy Brothers, basically. The latter duo are the predictable stars here, featuring on no less than four of the 11 tracks, while DJ Koze also makes his mark on two. Couple in the underrated Hemmann + Kaden’s best work and you’ve got yourself a winner. Recommended.

Freude Am Tanzen / FATCD 001
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

The Orb – Okie Dokie It’s The Orb On Kompakt

2005AmbientCD/AlbumHouseKompakt

The definition of laziness: this album title. This album, however, is anything but. As wide-ranging as the Bicycles & Tricycles debacle, it’s safe to assume that Thomas Fehlmann had a much larger hand in the construction in this one and it shows. Early standout, “Lunik,” may be the finest pop song they’ve made since “Toxygene,” “Captain Korma” bests it, and “Can Can” is deliciously off-kilter techno. After “Cool Harbour,” they seem to call it day and turn on their delay pedals and ambient machines (which is fine by the way), but the first half of this record is something a lot more potent than anything they’ve released (not on Kompakt) for some time. Thanks Thomas. Keep the Dr. out of the studio more often, OK?

Kompakt / KOMPAKT CD 45
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Matt Tolfrey & Craig Sylvester – Acix / The Horn

Crosstown is another label having a great year. Their latest is a collab between two unknowns (as far as I can tell) that’s been utilized on a mix already by Damian Lazarus and is guaranteed to be featured on a few others, if the custom to over-use known quantities continues unabated. It would be welcome, though, as “Acix” is an acid monster that only lets the true squelch out of the bag for the climax and song’s second-half. B-side, “The Horn,” is slower-building but no less of a beast once it unleashes its enormous flange. Recommended.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 019
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Djinxx – Microscopic

12"2005Techno

On the basis of “Geht’s Noch?” you could safely say that Cocoon has had a strong year. It only gets better here with Djinxx’s first release on the imprint. “Micro Mini” is the sort of nameless, faceless trancey racket that makes you wonder whether your love of this music is genuine, but the B-side holds a duo of interesting moments: “Scopic” is easy-listening psych that placates in a good way, while “The Other Side” picks up the pace and reveals itself to be the long-lost cousin of early 1990’s IDM (emphasis on the D).

Cocoon / COR 12 015
[Todd Burns]


November 17, 2005

Ada – I Love Asphalt

Seems like we have a budding rivalry: Dominik Eulberg’s love of biology and exclusion of Ada on his newest mix CD is responded to on this new Areal 12”. Or perhaps Ada’s just found the exactly right metaphor for her hard-driving, yet luminously melodic, techno compositions. The title track is classic 12” Ada, meaning there’s no vocals save a female laugh and the whole thing is garnished with a healthy dose of Atari. The B-side is yet another “version” of previous material. This time it’s the “Wet Cement Mix” of “Believer.” Nice, I suppose. But nothing revelatory.

Areal / Areal034
[Todd Burns]


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