June 29, 2007

Beatzcast #39: Crambe Repetita

2007Mixes

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from Liebe Detail, Get Physical’s Kindisch, and Tattoorec.com…

Tracklist
01: Ink and Needle – Number Seven [buy]
02: Raz Ohara – Whitmey Na (Nass Aka Geiger Ride Vocal Mix) [buy]
03: TNT – L8 [buy]
04: Tiger Stripes – Hooked [buy]
05: Pharoahe Monch – Body Baby (An Optimo [Espacio] Dub) [buy]
06: Mountain People – Mountain003 [buy]
07: Murat Tepeli feat. Prosumer – What Makes You Go for It [buy]
08: Chris Rea – Josephine (Visti Edit) [buy]

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June 29, 2007

Charts: June 29 2007

Nate DeYoung

Tiger Stripes / Solomun – Hooked / Jungle River Cruise [Liebe*Detail]
Half Hawaii – Mir Nichts / Dir Nichts [Hello?Repeat]
Brendon Moeller – Jazz Space [Third Ear]
The Mountain People – Mountain People 003 [Mountain]
Argenis Brito – Micro Mundo [Cadenza]
Henrik Schwarz – Walk Music [Innervisions]
Blackstrobe – I’m A Man (Audion Donation Mix) [Playlouderecordings]
Mock & Toof – Zomby [Mule]
Sorcerer – Surfing At Midnight (Prins Thomas Miks) [Tirk]
Eddie Kendricks – Thanks For The Memories (Lee Douglas Edit) [White]

Michael F. Gill

Peter Horrevorts – You Look But You Don’t See [Kanzleramt]
Brando Lupi – The Attitude [Dozzy Records]
The Dining Rooms – Thank You (Skwerl Dub) [Schema]
Roland Appel – Dark Soldier [Sonar Kollektiv]
Dredl Kibosh – I Found You [Fenou]
Jupiter Black feat. Fred Ventura – Hold Me [Clone]
Salome De Bahia – Outro Lugar [Yellow Productions]
Billy Griffin – Hold Me Tighter In The Rain [CBS]
Earth, Wind, and Fire – Let’s Groove [CBS]
Cappuccino – Tomorrow [Black Sun]


June 28, 2007

Studio – Life’s a Beach! (Remixes)

12"2007BalearicNeo-Disco

Along with Finland’s Uusi Fantasia and Sweden’s Bjorn Torske, Studio are one of the groups whose sounds and sympathies orbit the cosmos of Prins Thomas’ imagination of space/disco/dub. It’s “not disco” though, or not as we know it, but a form busted open by eccentric tastes and open ears. In a recent interview I did with Prins Thomas, he explained how the relative marginality of Scandanavia (and especially Norway) has kept things prised open, and open things prized. “On the one hand,” he explained, “I could have lived anywhere and made the music I do – but the isolation is important. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s a lot of diversity here. We’re open to a lot of styles and it’s been an important part of generating our open approach…you have to work hard to please everybody when you play here – there’s no sub-genre nights or anything like that. You can’t afford to be a genre fascist in Oslo.”

Prins’ remix of “Life’s a Beach” opens with an appropriately stomp-paced cosmic bassline with all sorts of shifting Balearic textures thrown over it, slowly rising to full swing alongside spills of space delay. Then, at the five minute mark, by the strange and welcome intrusion of a very 8-bit sounding note, the track reaches its peak (which only sounds once!), after which the whole thing just drifts away on congas and beachy spume. Meanwhile, back at the disco, Todd Terje turns tables on the tracks, rendering “Beach” nocturnally capable with some chunkier percussion, altering the mood from giddy to “giddy up”. Terje likewise uses the same 8-bit note at almost exactly the same point in the track, then opts for the a similar long outro, re-done in a more late-evening fashion. Oddly similar, the two mixes here are sun and moon to each other. Ah, so much good music.

Information / INF 003
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 28, 2007

Various Artists – 4 Season Sampler, Volume 1

The young Jet Set Records out of Kyoto (who rock a logo highly reminiscent of a certain defunct airline) brings us this three-track sampler for their 4 Seasons CD comp, including an exclusive from Daniel Wang and organic beatscapes from two Japanese groups. The former is a fine enough offering, with typically bubblesome bass and a pair of “Eastern-sounding” melodic motifs, but it might sound a bit rote to those expecting some new tricks from the mighty Mr. Wang. The two natal inclusions are far more interesting, however.

Nix fuse several styles together for “Syk-A” with impressive, rapidly-moving fluidity. Over a smooth synthetic beat, they drop some jazzy keyboard infusions and gospel-house yearning with almost a New Age-y prettiness. The unexpected appearance of the flute in the track’s final third is a welcome nod to East-West crossover that sounds remarkably unforced. Similarly lovely and graced by natural progressions is the delicate “Flower” by Bassed on Kyoto. More jazz than house or techno, it’s a textural marvel, a series of interlocked rhythms, tasteful soloing and Minnie Riperton-esque vocal ejaculations that positively oozes the promise of spring emerging from an unfolding bud.

Jet Set Records / JS12S007
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


June 27, 2007

Andomat 3000 and Jan – L Delay

12"2007CadenzaHouseMinimal/Deep

About eight months ago, I had this to say about Andomat 3000 and Jan’s “big hit”:

“Entr’acte Music has got a grinding, slightly big-room and (dare I say) ‘tribal’ feel to it. It’s a little staid, but very effective.”

I think I was half right, as usual. Hearing the track dropped in between Deetron’s “Life Soundtrack” and Len Faki’s “Mekong Delta” (see review here) on Radioslave’s recent (and decent) Misch Masch compilation made me “hear” it properly for the first time. Here was a track with ass and teeth whose housed-up signifiers could freshen the deadened beats of any crabby old techno monster.

So here they are again, back to do battle with boompty basslines against the unhoused (homeless?) creatures who inhabit the mnml microverse of Cadenza, a sub-sub-genre that a half-sympathetic DJ friend calls “martini microhouse”. If we’re gonna ride those cocktails, then, to wit, these puppies are in the process of shakin’, with a Cajmere sweater and hot pants toned down a shade for jaded Swiss eyes. There’s a heavily reverberated horn stab and a fulsome kick on “L Delay” that sounds like it’s been sampled from wadaiko drums – it’s nice, it works. “Frost”, the B, takes a wiggly bassline and makes it roll to a clap, getting things rocking enough so when the congas want to get in on the action, the kick drums don’t mind. Toolish over time and sparse within space, “Frost” seems to want to do more, as if it was in search of a nice vocal. Maybe Green Velvet rapping about aliens or porno would do the trick? Anyway, the drums go boom, the kidz go aaah and if you’ve a troublesome vocal to mix out of, this rather plain track could save your fretting DJ ass.

Cadenza / CADENZA 15
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 27, 2007

Underground Resistance – Electronic Warfare 2.0

“I AM/UR/WE WILL/RESIST!”

It’s been a while since the Underground Resistance crew have let their militant fangs show, but with the double-12 plus 7-inch Electronic Warfare 2.0 release (finally following up the classic original double-pack, released way back in 1996), and the above quoted rallying cry, they show there is some unrest left in those machines yet. Chanted, yelled, and spat out by some angry men credited simply as “The People” over a stripped-down electrofunk breakbeat and some grinding, industrial-strength noise bursts, “I AM UR” (note the all caps) lays down the template here with a definitive call to arms. Not only is this the first track of the fiercest things they’ve done for ages, it’s also one of the best, a power grab that UR have been sorely missing over the last few years. They’ve shown some flashes for sure, but this is the real deal, crisp and sizzling with attitude. Those looking for the next “Windchime” or “Jupiter Jazz” can turn their ears elsewhere. This is strictly “Seawolf” territory. No cheese allowed.

Over the six sides, the electromenace stomps through a variety of tough-minded analog instrumentals and vocal tracks, all of which are tight, minimal, funky-as-fukk, and thoroughly aggressive. I assume that “Kill My Radio Station” (also on the bonus 7-inch in an acapella version for extra mixing fun) is aimed at Detroit locals, but in these days of ClearChannel, et al, it could easily apply just about everywhere on earth. Then there’s “Kut (UR Heavy Analog Deployment),” kicking out one of the illest fuzz riffs ever over some snapping live drums and punctuating grunts. Uh! Mm! Uh! Mm! Uh! I’m a pretty mild-mannered dude, but this shit made me want to punch some oppressive fucker in the face! Uh!

Simply put, UR have dropped some serious artillery here, kicking that sissyfied techno back into the European disco it crawled out of. Black bandanas are optional but recommended. (Need more ammunition? There’s a separate four-cut single Electronic Warfare 2.1 available exclusively from Submerge mail order, as well.)

Underground Resistance / UR-072
[Buy]
[Listen 1/ Listen 2]
[Todd Hutlock]


June 26, 2007

Andy Stott – The Massacre

12"2007DubTechno

We live in the time of “dodgy rips” that clip and fudge your precious music. Crap, flat, dead sounding mp3s might well be the key reason that gets all you tune-filching Oinkers back into the shops to buy music that sounds as it was meant to. My previous experience of Pantha du Prince’s This Bliss was blighted by bitrates of only 128kbps, a reminder of just how crap mp3s were/are, and how much you really do miss out on by not listening to a prime source (or at least a high quality rip).

So it was (do I confess to much?) with my recent copy of Andy Stott’s EP The Massacre – a pre-release purloin, the codec kept coughing and spluttering all over a bassline that was simply too fat to chew on without choking. I ordered the vinyl the next day, and haven’t looked back. Stott’s recent work has brought in greater and deeper bass, to the point where a wooferless recital is only half the goodness, at most. “Unknown Exception” makes my headphones quiver on their headband, sending rippling buzz down the cable. Inside the can it’s a different matter, as the delicacy that Stott always fixes in high contrast to the threatening brutality of the deep below plays itself out. It’s extremely hard to believe this guy’s only been making music for a couple of years, and that he’s Claro’s “apprentice”.

“The Massacre”, the B, takes a burbling drum machine pattern then puts a very Moritz-y melody over it, sending it forth into the never-never with another huge bassline. The closer on Efdemin’s recent (and exceptional) RA podcast, this track is the definition of deep, the soul of techno laid bare. The outro is exceptional, as tiny amounts of delay are added to the basic percussive pattern until it skips into itself, just as the bassline sidles up underneath, then pulls back, then returns, then fades back down. Ahhh. Listen closely and you can hear each element modulating slowly and inter-acting – nothing has been allowed to “just loop”: everything has been considered and placed perfectly in the mix, each part plays with every other. Rarely is techno so subtly or skilfully written.

Modern Love / LOVE 035
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 26, 2007

Turzi – Seven Inch Allah

Three pretty different tracks from this French act, though they all could have ended up on Optimo’s Psyche Out cosmic/dance/kraut mix from two years ago had they existed then: the uneasy trans-european chug of “Amadeus” whose sixteenth-note pulse recalls the pinprick synths on Delia and Gavin’s “Rise” (a Psyche Out track itself); the blast of surfrock punk in “Are You Thinking About Jesus” which could have pinch-hit for any number of Tarantino soundtracks (and any number of directors QT aped in the process); and “Hippy Heart”, a downtempo demo of Turzi’s “Afghanistan”, and something you might confuse for a Beastie Boys instrumental or, if you’re feeling generous, a grittier Serge. I hate the namedrop review as much as you do, but it’s worth noting that all of these descriptors are very good things.

Record Makers / REC 39
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


June 25, 2007

Portable – Don’t Give Up (Remixes)

Bodycode’s The Conservation of Electric Charge would have been better titled “Flying under Fanbase Radar”, such was its woefully under-appreciative reception. Along with Jan Jelinek’s Tierbeobachtungen (a very different pleasure admittedly) nobody seemed to get it, to have gotten it, or even to care, despite my squeaky protestations that they should, they really should. Abrahams’ inclusion on the recent Death is Nothing to Fear EP along with rising star Par Grindvik and Matthew “Raygun Audion” Dear seemed to confer a good (dries sticky, sets permanently) bridesmaiding. All this by way of saying, get the album, have a listen, and give Bodycode the listening his subtle creativity deserves.

With that rant out of the way, let’s turn to the music at hand, and another great remix EP, but a remix of what? “Don’t Give Up”, apparently. But discog it however I might, I can’t seem to find the original. Is this proof of some kind of remix primacy, that the original doesn’t even have to be released anymore? Bodycode’s remix is a twelve minute journey through his sound, with all those cool little polyrhythms, that metallic flange, and a slow stabbing synth line. This track is a gem, twelve minutes of rolling, kicking techno plateaus with an overlong fade at the end. Cassy’s version takes her typical mixture of sparse and voice, adds a blues harmonica in the background, makes everything unsettled with a droning sample, and then (suddenly and almost miraculously) introduces a very Tortoise-y bassline, which brings it all back home. The rich bright metal of the strings sounds lovely against the shadowy background.

Meanwhile, somewhere near a bath-house, Lawrence is writing the gayest track he’s ever made (and not in the Cartman sense). I wonder how he saw his monitor with all that sticky steam. In truth though, it’s more like “Frankie goes to the Panorama Bar” with the blue synth washes undercutting the Mardi Gras vocal. Lawrence’s sound-design dead-ended itself on The Night Will Last Forever after a productive three preceding years, but here, as with the inklings on his recent(ish) Liebe Detail release, you get the sense of a new vector. All three tracks here work beautifully on their own, but together it’s an exceptional EP that shows three interesting artists doing some of their better work of the past year.

Sud Electronic / SUED 010
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 24, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 25

Chymera – Satura / Arabesque (Tishomingo)
Genre: Progressive/Trance, Minimal/Deep

Nina Phillips: How else to revel in the neo-prog essentials? Deep Connaisseur chords and a lithe melody line cutting over top, natch.

Baldelli / Dionogi – Cosmicdiba 2007 (Gomma)
Genre: Neo-Disco, New Wave/Synth

Dopplereffekt / Los Angeles TF / Mike Dunn – Gesamtkunstwerk / Magical Body / So Let It Be House (Clone Classic Cuts)
Genre: Chicago, Electro, Italo

From The Archives #2

Skatebard – Marimba (Supersoul Recordings)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Minimal/Deep

Nick Sylvester: Something like “Feed The Mood” after two decades of looped disintegration, or really any children’s toy on its last five or six seconds of battery life, “Marimba” pines for early Detroit through a fog of tired synths and last-legged drum machine clatter, and yes there are marimbas.

Cassy / A Guy Called Gerald – Somelightuntothenight / Bodecka (Beatstreet Berlin)
Genre: House

Peter Chambers: The whole EP here is old-school, or the classic house sound – just the basics, no faffing around. These tracks don’t have to unfold, they’re already laid out.

INFLUX #004: CHELONIS R. JONES

Stylus editor Todd Burns talked to Jones about his upcoming album Chatterton, the cover art to Dislocated Genius, and what’s it like to be the “Franz Kafka of electro-pop”…

Beatzcast #38: Crambe Repetita

Weekly Staff Charts


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