October 20, 2006

Beatzcast #8

2006Mixes

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01: Azzido Da Bass – Lonely By Your Side
02: And Again – Thirty-One Times
03: John Tejada – The End of it All
04: Dirt Crew – Domino
05: Jay Haze – Soul in a Bottle
06: Melchior Productions – Different Places


October 20, 2006

Radioslave – Secret Base

Rekids has everything: nice packaging, great remixers, and quite a lot of goodwill. Nonetheless I haven’t been absolutely blown away by any of the releases since Roman Flugel’s remix of “My Bleep.” “Secret Base” is a little better than most, taking the Rekid aesthetic, which seems to be lo-fi Detroit techno or Chicago House sounds, a little further into primetime. Rob Mello’s mix loses the gritty sting of the original but some will prefer it—it sounds more expensive but removes any chance for playing “Secret Base” at peak-time. A decent 12”, nothing more.

Rekids / REKIDS 005
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[Ronan Fitzgerald]


October 20, 2006

And Again – To the Moles and the Masses

12"2006LeftfieldTechno

Sean O’Neal (Someone Else) comes to Sender with the label’s most interesting release in quite a while. “Thirty One Times” is based around a chopped up guitar riff and a weird vocal sample, with a tight jacking groove. This record will work on any floor—minimal, electro, house—it doesn’t matter, this is infectious and brilliant. “Larry’s Circus” meanwhile is deeper but keeps the enjoyable and slightly wacky feel of this 12” going, with great random stabs of sampled vocals and piano keys. Definitely a change of pace for everyone involved, but still great dancefloor music.

Sender / send061
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[Ronan Fitzgerald]


October 20, 2006

From Karaoke to Stardom – Mon Dieu Moi Aussi

Nothing’s got me gassed here, not the Super Mario World ghost castle sound that’s surely meant to be the money shot, not the boilerplate “round” digital tones or the “subdued” excuse for a kick, not the hisses of smoky white noise, as if I’ve never been to a middle school dance. Why did this get released exactly? Besides the bassline on the A-side, which gets cross-panned whenever the notes change, all funk-performatizing I hope, I can’t recommend much here, especially since the b-side tracks are same ingredients different parts, more or less. When a twelve is this bad, you have to wonder whether it’s a case of bad composition, boring sound bank, lazy producer, or your own increasingly lower expectations.

RRYGULAR / RRY09
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[Nick Sylvester]


October 20, 2006

Minilogue – Hitchhiker’s Choice

12"2006HouseMinimal/Tech

There’s a head-nods-back propulsion to “Hitchhiker” that will remind some of Luomo’s “Market”—not necessarily that track’s sprawl but definitely its rubber. What’s a shame is that Minilogue didn’t drop this five years ago, when he could stick wriggles and wraggles and other hard techno accents on top of a pretty straightforward kick, without getting compared unfavorably to, say, the Perlon camp, specifically something like Melchior Production’s “Different Places,” which musically and rhythmically doesn’t even sound like it’s from this planet. Poor “Hitchhiker” is just stable, serviceable tech-funk next to that stuff, but that’s no knock: lots of space here, unafraid of melody or familiarity or even a set of shitty computer speakers. Call me blasphemous, but the extra color actually makes the more so-called forward thinking stuff seem too ascetic, no fun. Hear hear, a compromise.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 030
[Nick Sylvester]


October 20, 2006

Andrew Weatherall – The Bullet Catcher’s Apprentice

After more than 15 years of recording under a laundry list of pseudonyms and group names—and a two-year hiatus—maverick U.K. dance music pioneer Andrew Weatherall has finally unleashed his debut under his own name. I’m pleased to report that it was well worth the wait. Available as a three-track 12” or a five-track CD, The Bullet Catcher’s Apprentice picks up where Two Lone Swordsmen’s From the Double Gone Chapel left off—and builds exponentially from there. Opener “Feathers” is funky dancefloor techno played on guitars, bass, and drums rather than computers, but bears more of a resemblance to vintage PiL or Killing Joke than the DFA, turning something new out of the retro influences rather than merely trying to recreate them. Uptempo beats, Wevvy’s own distinctive croon, and a mirrorball diva chorus do turn up on “You Can’t Do Disco Without a Strat” (also on the CD version in a Repeat/Repeat remix that loses the Studio 54 for a clicky/glitchy reinvention, as is “La Sirena,” all rattling percussion, distorted guitar riffs, and analog electro menace.) “Edie Eleven” finds Weatherall amid some sizzling uptempo minimalism laden with the sort of unique noises and effects that made his back catalog so utterly distinctive, as well as an unexpected but entirely wonderful treated acoustic guitar riff. The old boy has most definitely still got it. Great to have him back.

Rotters Golf Club / RGC011
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[Todd Hutlock]


October 20, 2006

Melchior Productions – Different Places

Melchior’s got the sneaky freaky deeky goin’ on. “Nothin’ to see / Hear, folks,” well, no gimmicks at least. These are tracks, not tricks. Either by accident or through some deep, machinic symbiosis, the shuffle function on my pod selected two tracks after listening to this that contextualise it nicely, Luomo’s “Synkro” and Portable’s “Liquid Crystal Display”—and just as with those tracks there’s the sense that both of Melchior’s extensive workouts need their enormous palette to work out and work through the combinations of grooves. Both “Different Places” and “The Phantom” are extended excursions, and they take their time leading the willing through the fullness of their landscapes before returning to where they began. The A starts with a moody, looped melody that blues the vocal refrain “I get lonely in different places,” but then the track seems to leave the thought, rambling into twinkle-toed terrain characterized by a nice descending bassline, squiggling/malfunctioning noises and a whole lotta repetitions. You get so lost in listening that by the time the “lonely” returns, you wonder where you’ve been. To the unattenuated ear, this is the quintessence of “the dreaded minimal,” uneventful music that goes nowhere. But there’s no muddling, or even meandering involved. Tell your ears to shut up and listen, and maybe they’ll hear.

Perlon / PERL 58
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[Peter Chambers]


October 20, 2006

Jay Haze feat. Big Bully and Sven VT – Soul in a Bottle

12"2006DubHouse

Haze is one of those producers whose persistence and willingness to experiment promises to yield occasional gems and eventual masterworks. His compositions, with an emphasis on atmospheric space juxtaposed with interestingly used vocals and well programmed, slightly off-kilter beats have created floor friendly dubspaces and murky pearls for Karloff, 240 Vaults, and his own Contexterrior imprint. “Soul in a Bottle” sees all these formative elements in full-flight—the tension between playfulness and sincerity is brushed smooth and shiny, and the huge kick, interesting static and “incidental” sounds lend a marvellous opening for the hypnotic “three keys from Chicago” melody that carries the wonderful vocal, which seems to float over it all. Following Holger Zilke and Dave Dk’s great Midishower EP reviewed last week, this one is thoroughly ecstatic, summer sunshine music, skillful enough to give the headz goosebumps and make the pretty girls yelp delightfully. The irony of the EP is that even, as the lyrics suggest, “you can’t put soul in a bottle,” it seems like, occasionally, it finds its way frozen into the scratched surface of records.

Kindisch / KD 002
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


October 20, 2006

Tony Allen – Moyege

12"2006DubWorld

Mark Ernestus takes two stabs at afrobeat legend Tony Allen’s “Moyege,” with a vocal mix and a dub. One of his simmering (and I hesitate to call ’em this) slow jams, the star here is the bass, full-bodied and shaking like a voluptuous maiden at sunset. Offset by Allen’s usual sparkling polyrhythmic percussion work, it’s really the kind of thing one feels almost ashamed to be listening to at home—it warrants a cold drink, the feeling of sand in your toes and such buoyancy of your body that you could swear you just hovered in mid-air for a full second. The “Disco Dub” widens out the bass and pushes it to the point where it’s more a part of your body than a conscious sound. Warmth personified.

Honest Jon’s / HJP32
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


October 20, 2006

Brennan Green – Cool Ranch

12"2006BalearicNeo-Disco

Two sides from the Daniel Wang-affiliated Green, two different shades of roomy instrumental grace. A-side “Bunko” is spaced enough for Prins Thomas fans but provides enough catchy thrills that you’re more inclined to have a dance-off than nod off. The organic guitar that runs through “Bunko” like a warm salt-water wave turns a sun-tanned shoulder or two in “Divisadero,” reappearing as a strummed cascade on an acoustic six-stringer(!). This track should warrant immediate inclusion on every one of the 60 downtempo collections coming out this month, except it’s far too toothsome to be wasted on that crowd. God, I miss the summer already.

Modal Music / MODAL005
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[Mallory O’Donnell]


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