August 25, 2006

Cassy – Cassy 1

12"2006HouseMinimal/Deep

Following releases for Perlon and Mental Groove, and coinciding with the release of her stellar Panoramabar 01 mix cd, Berlin-based Cassy Britton kicks off her own self-titled label with this fine twelve-inch. No stranger to production, the a-side fuses the refined tones and crisp percussive elements familiar from her minimal Perlon work, but moves in a different direction with slightly off-kilter, open piano chords and soulful female vocals over a more traditional house groove. If the a-side is music for beach sunsets and Balearic raving, the b-side is much more on the haunted haus tip, fusing classic Roland drum tones with a sinister, growling bass line and an absolutely eerie polyphonic vocal samples that make you look over shoulder repeatedly. Personally, I’m not sure how often I’d pull this side out of my bag for fear of instigating really creepy trips, but the cut is nonetheless a very good one.

Cassy / Cassy 001
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[Colin James Nagy]


August 25, 2006

Djuma Soundsystem – Les Djinns Remixes

Nate De Young: Get Physical’s first re-released single is a tribal-house dish from 2003. Thankfully, the three remixers avoid staring too long at the song’s “ethnic” instrumentation to fetishize it. Trentemøller’s remix might have the trance crowds looking for cheap tickets to Berlin, but it’s My My’s remix that’ll rock the clubs, distilling three years into a fizzy yelp and a glitchy, ass-swinging good time. Djuma Soundsytem’s own remix (under the Def Jaguar moniker) prove the group have been taking tips directly from label bosses Booka Shade, with an instantly memorable bassline providing the listener with something warm to nuzzle with as the summer nights fade into autumn.

Ronan Fitzgerald: With this reissue/remix package, Get Physical gives some neat exposure to the Scandinavian Balearic scene which has been quietly awesome for some time now. Trentemoller’s remix is not the banger you might expect, but rather a haunting downtempo effort that focuses on the ear-grabbing hook of the original. Def Jaguar, loosely connected to possibly the world’s greatest down-tempo label, Music For Dreams, comes with a mix that’s strongly evocative of Superpitcher’s “Heroin,” with a little less rock and a little more disco. Finally, Playhouse’s My My provide the techno with a sprawling, dub heavy re-work that scores full marks for intricacy.

Get Physical / GPM 049
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August 25, 2006

Justus Köhncke – Advance

Köhncke heads straight for the dancefloor on this disco-minded two-tracker, and enterprising DJs will let him stay there all night long if they know what’s good for them. The title track is a pleasant-enough eight-minute minimal house thing that never quite gets to where it threatens to go, but should work well in a mix with, oh, just about everything. No, the winner here is the flip, “Overhead,” wherein the mirror ball kicks into overdrive and a tasty Four Seasons (yes, those Four Seasons) sample is twisted and tweaked in a series of peaks and valleys and breaks that will have hands in the air and sweat in your eyes. Shame this didn’t hit in May or June, as it could have ruled the summer parties. Better late than never.

Kompakt / KOM 141
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[Todd Hutlock]


August 25, 2006

Paradroid – Monster Waves Revealed!

Two new tracks and two remixes from Max “Paradroid” Wendling that find his brand of popping minimal funk working to fine effect. A-side “Faked Moon Landing” snaps and swerves with panache over some mellow chords, while the remix by Manutchehr Ghassemlou (what a name!) strips things down a bit further but is basically cut from the same cloth. The flipside, “Technology Dream Was Squashed,” treads similar territory, but the Elco Park (aka Wendling and occasional partner-in-crime Tobias Lorsbach) version turns it out and is the highlight here. All four tracks resemble each other a bit too much for comfort, which is a shame as some radical reconstructions of these tracks might have been spectacular, given that the source material is strong and swinging.

Force Inc. / FIM 248
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[Todd Hutlock]


August 25, 2006

Pig & Dan – On to the Beat

Dan Duncan and Igor Tchkotoua’s second single on Cocoon starts off sounding a bit like classic Plastikman, all thumping beats and phased bass rumbles, before taking off with some trancey synths and treated vocals that walk dangerously close to the cheese line before ending much as it started. As such, “On to the Beat” would have been awesome in 1993, in between tracks by Underworld and Leftfield. The b-side is where it’s at, however, as “4 Leaf Clover” ups the tempo and pounds away in 4/4 with a shuffling hi-hat pattern, rubbery bass bop, and bleeping riff. It’s also a bit retro, but far more effective at it. Is progressive house due for a comeback? If so, Pig & Dan might be leading the way.

Cocoon / COR 12 023
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[Todd Hutlock]


August 25, 2006

Sweet ‘n Candy – Tacky Wakeup Remixes

Sweet ‘n Candy have been consistently hitting the mark in recent times for fans of the Smagghe/Tiefschwarz approach to minimal, so it’s no surprise Raum have pulled in two big-name remixers here, in Dominik Eulberg and Marek Hemann. Eulberg’s epic mix takes a melodic trance route, not quite as erratic as usual and keeping more of the jacking feel of the original than you’d expect. Hemann, on the other hand, goes for the dubbier Berlin sound, with neat, pristine melodies and everything sounding gloriously submerged.

Raum…musik / musik055
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[Ronan Fitzgerald]


August 25, 2006

Gabriel Ananda – Miracel Whop

Fresh off the snappily titled “Irhe Personliche Glucksmelodie” single, Gabriel Ananda now drops his latest confusingly-named twelve-inch, “Miracel Whop.” Luckily, we don’t need a spaceman-to-English translator to confirm or confound these grooves: this is minimalism played-out as pop, as delightfully plasticized as anything out of the Kompakt camp, as boot-whippingly (or whoppingly) chunky as any Perlon sides, and as ridiculously revisionist with yr tech-house history as the Poker Flat crew. The two A-sides (the title track and “Leikau”) play out two very-different variations on micro-adjustment; the former rubberizes click tracks and puts a soldering iron to the bouncing-tire results, the latter re-imagines a techno world in which fragments of wholly inappropriate pop tracks are just as sample-worthy as 808 kicks and moog rushes, then splices them together to trill and puke all over your trucker-hat house party. On the flipside, the engagingly-titled “Dopplewhipper” re-enacts a rave circa-1988 with Berlin circa-2004 touches and emerges hiding goodies underneath a tucked-in trenchcoat that totally has “2006” emblazoned upon its collar. Outstandingly now!

Platzhirsch Schallplatten / Platzhirsch 08
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[Mallory O’Donnell]


August 25, 2006

Telex – Do Worry Remixes

12"2006Neo-Disco

Perhaps the world at large has yet to embrace Telex, returned from an indefinable hiatus to plague us with delicious synthpop ditties, but one gets the feeling it doesn’t really matter to these Belgian pranksters. Lacing their “Do Worry” with typical analog swoops and absurdist sub-Kraftwerk vocalising, they’re hardly a revolutionary outfit – especially in these recycling-conscious times – but luckily they’ve added a stupid-clever “woops” line to their Star Wars synth-stabbing and motorik churning. Spanned across four remixes, it’s a bit too much of a good thing, but their space-disco lineage is made apparent in the jazz-on-phasers Lindstrom rework and the quite-ready-for-prime-time Bangkok Impact (it’s called album #2, Sami, album fucking #2) remix. On the less-essential side, Kid Alex would love to be Mylo but he’s a day late and a dollar short, and the “Dirty Dancing Remix” is all dirty and precious little dancing.

Virgin / 370430
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[Mallory O’Donnell]


August 25, 2006

Pantha du Prince – Lichten / Walden

If Dial have always lived in the dark haze of the northern winter, then, until recently, its artists have been in a double darkness, being in the shadow of Peter Kersten’s exquisite Sten and Lawrence releases. Along with Efdemin and Nike.Bordom, Pantha du Prince have recently stepped into the silvery light with releases that clearly sublimate “the sadness” into their own high-gloss vision. “Lichten” and “Walden” complement each other neatly: the former bounces along on a bassline that wants to keep evaporating into chimes, but never quite makes it there, (anti-) climaxing somewhere between thawing and freezing. “Walden” is the shyer cousin, but like “Lichten,” works on a grand scale, slowly winding and unwinding itself around sounds reminiscent of distant cathedral bells, long lost summer dance-floors and sudden, brief cloudbreaks. Dial, like Anders Ilar, Claro Intelecto, and recent work by Jacek Sienkiewicz, all seem to be drawing us back to that vision of deep, lonely techno that exists far away from the sweat and hedonism of its others.

Dial / dial 29
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[Peter Chambers]


August 25, 2006

Lindstrøm – Feedelity Remixed Vol 1

12"2006Neo-Disco

Norway, so hot right now. Piece by piece, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm has quickly built up one of the most compelling bodies of work of any contemporary producer. His music bears comparison with Isolée, not because they sound alike (which they don’t, really) but because both artists share something that is deeply personal, utterly idiosyncratic, and emphatically their own. It’s a parallel trick to the one Raymond Chandler pulled on noir—while lesser writers cranked out genre novels, Chandler pressed the form into service as his very own sublime statement. So Lindstrøm too owns or maybe even is the genre he works in, whatever tag you want to call it (Space Disco, Disco-Tech, Universal Boogie.) For this remix EP, the Mungolian Jet Set mix of the previously unreleased track “A Blast of Loser” is the more obvious piece. Its initial brassiness leads to irritation on repeat listening, and the sweaty vocal hook either makes or (in my opinion) nearly breaks the entire track. On the flip, Brennan Green’s remix of “Pesto Og Kolera” is festooned with shiny hooks and bounces around a brand new rubbery bass line. I’ve had this groove on brain-loop for three days now: this shit gets in there and stays. As with all Lindstrøm releases, there’s a strong sense of the epic; these are two big, complex, progressive (in the true sense) tracks full of many parts, ideas, digressions, and groove.

Feedelity / feed 007
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[Peter Chambers]


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