Monday, 09 February
Raw and intimate field recordings made by Stephan Laubner when he's not making smoked-out house at STL. 'Sylvesterabend 18Uhr' is a lovely piece capturing the festive atmosphere…
"Last summer Francis Hsueh (aka Policy) revisited his childhood neighborhood in Taipei, where his parents settled briefly after fleeing China when the communists seized power in 1949. Despite its legacy of displacement and diaspora, he felt a communion by riding the city’s MRT train through hazily remembered suburbs and landscapes: “The sounds of urban life, of people going someplace, made sense no matter who or where I was.” This “steady thump of movement” led to the creation of The Republic, an essentially unbroken 50-minute piece of music, with each section named after stations along Taip… Read more
Livity Sound (Pev, Kowton & Asusu) hand two riddims to Ghost 202 (Ron Morelli and Svengalisghost) and Beneath for darker, tuffened remixes. The L.I.E.S. crew spill a tarry but brilliantly bristling industrial techno groove cued up for the boggle-eyed 5am crew. Beneath locks down to some patented swing jack business, punctuating a proper dread rollers riddim with snappy claps, bouncing toms and stomach-churning subs. Killer DJ tackle.
Surgeon and Nick Höppner lay into Livity Sound with heavyweight house and techno reworks of Pev, Asusu and Kowton cuts. As with previous revisions by Beneath, MMM and AMUS, among others, the remix nominations are more an exchange of ideas than an exercise in commercial cynicism. Up top, Surgeon encrypts Pev & Kowton's 'Raw Code' as a deft, muscular breakbeat techno ace loaded with Reese bass and emotive chords in classic form. Flipside, Panorama Bar's Nick Höppner applies his patented, techy funk to Asusu's dubbed roller, 'Sister' with writhing, dynamic effect.
Tuffened techno remixes of Pev & Kowton from Tessela and Ilian Tape's Andrea & Stenny. Up top, Bristol native Tessela tweak Pev's 'Aztec Chant' with a longer, tenser intro before giving way to a barrelling breakbeat techno monster galvanized with some vicious electronics. Turn her over and Italy's Andrea & Stenny step up Pev & Kowton's emosh 'End Point' as a fully-charged but beautifully atmopshreic techno romp set to find a home in many discerning record bags across the world. Serious session.
MMM and Pangaea reinforce Livity Sound zingers to boot up the Bristol label's new remix series. For only their 2nd official remix to date (the James Brown and Donna Summer edits don't count) Fiedel and Errorsmith aka MMM turn Pev & Asusu's 'Surge' into a big room stormer laced with jagged, industrial kicks , haughty bassline and brain-tweaking, 'synthlines bound to incite mad frolics on 'floor. B-side, close ally Pangaea gives Pev & Kowton's 'Vapours' a bucking Tribal techno overhaul percolating Dance Mania-esque rhythms with a ruddy sorta British bassbin behaviour.
Pumping big room drama from Italian newcomers, Mind Against, and Belgium's Locked Groove. Stylish and effective, 'Elysium' plays out a hydraulic flux of thrumming kicks and gaunt pads giving way to a stellar breakdown; 'Pulsar' comes over all kosmiche with simmering, Schulze-like synth escalation and crafty, teasing rhythms.
Smooth, well-rounded house trax by the American duo for San Francisco's Icee Hot. The serene 'Lotus Position' eases in with buoyant kicks and floating, romantic chords, promptly freckled with rimshots and reshuffled kicks in the tensile build and reward of Ghosts On Tape's 'Natural Instinct' mix. Back to Matrixxxman and Vin Sol on the flip with their deep and wiggly play, 'Interrog8' giving way to the liquid percolations of 'What You See' for dancer and DJ.
So, wow. This is the first ever compendium of Martin Hannett's work with Steve Hopkins as The Invisible Girls. Comprising 22 rare and largely unheard gems from 1976 - 1987, including Nico's 'Procession' amidst stacks of haunting and jaw-dropping studio experiments and even their 1976 soundtrack for a short animation. Pinch yourself now. Doesn't it hurt?! As history tells us, the pair met at a Soft Machine gig in Manchester's science and technology university, UMIST, in 1976. Realising they had common interests - Hopkins, a hippie veteran of Manc psych band Gemini… Read more
Back on Berceuse Heroique under his full name, Manuel Gonzales hits the groove hard and soft in two Detroit techno joints. A-side, 'Full Frontal' comes for your booty at 138bpm inna old skool UR or Rob Hood style, layering the kicks with chirruping alien bleeps and discordant synth surges. B-side he links up with Ramon Ramirez for the much more personable 'Blowout' yielding dubbed-out kosmiche synth expressions anchored by a billowing B-line at 118bpm.
At long last, Loren Connors' breathtaking suite of solo guitar 'Airs' availed on vinyl! Self-released on CDr in 1999, it's arguably one of the august American's finest releases: a series of "brief electronic guitar poems" condensing the tactile expression of his longer form explorations into heart-breakingly intimate vignettes. Humble, never showy, each stroke and lingering hesitation of the nineteen Airs - including 'The Lost Track' discovered during the re-transfer - is instinctively emotive and seductive, conveying his personal, aching truths with grace and unadorned simplicity. A rare and wonderful thing, set to be loved by all who fall under its spell.
*Includes bonus tracks* Sally Shapiro's producer, Johan Agebjörn blesses Paper Bag Records with a gorgeous suite of sylvan synth themes in 'Notes'. New gear from this fella is always a pleasure, never a chore, and this one's lush as ever, linking up guest coos from Ms. Shapiro plus collaborations with similarly sensitive souls such as Lonely Dear, Young Galaxy, and Brain Machine. The dancefloor is but a distant, hazy place to these songs, far more concerned with elegant, dreamy sound design and romantic intimacy than bodies in motion. We're particularly smitten with the swirling shoegaze p… Read more
The regrouped In Aeternam Vale continue to plumb darkest hardware depths with 'Gnd Lift' for Minimal Wave. From 14 minutes of impending drone techno doom in 'Gnd Lift' to grinding Gallic goth-pop with 'J'ai Mange Des Nerfs', and lusting Skinny Puppy styles with the slow industrial slug of 'Animals Don't Mind'.
Outboxx's Hodge bares his teeth on a trio of tuffened UK trax for Berceuse Heroique. They've pushed the boat out on this latest batch, replete with full colour jackets and all. Inside the place, you'll find the pendulous street rave swagger of 'You Better Lie Down', adrenalised with wavey, Carpenter-esque arpeggios, c*nty snare whacks and welting subs for ruder behaviour. Underneath, 'Exodus Blue' takes ballroom to the warehouse with ha-like grunts and rusted bitch-slaps puncturing the claggy atmosphere while thumping kicks toil away. Then there's a moment for reflection in the shimmering ambience of 'Return To The East'. Wicked and bad.
Hypercolour's Tom Demac galvanizes Gazelle Twin for the tech-house dancefloors. 'Belly Of The Beast' rolls with industrialised bass and pistoning hi-hats under snatched phrases from the original - coming off like Blawan meets Emika. 'GUTS' is gullier, resetting to a Radioactiveman-style electro-Breaks framework with noisy, lashing sound design.
Funk Butcher dices with half-tempo footwork/trap inna UK fashion, bolstered by the ever-underrated Trim and a TS Repman remix. Hip hop by another term, 'Funk x Trim' juggles the percolated claps of Chicago footwork with sullen bass and blue pads for Trim to set the mood with typical hunger. Remixing, TS Repman fills in the gaps with double timed flux at 160bpm.
"Raw, enchanted and heavily melodic hardware-based dance from a recent mainstay of Vancouver’s after hours club scene Friendly Chemist aka Jean Brazeau. His debut “Touch of Jupiter” is straight out of the Pacific Northwest and is blurred with a celestial, warmly sentimental take on classic elements of mid-late 90’s house and garage. “Touch of Jupiter”’s distant and dreamlike artificiality links that warm nostalgia for the jacked and energetic club moves with a distinct set of homemade textures and hypnagogic terrains, connecting with the higher energy from his live hardware set… Read more
Flava D on a house tip for Roska's Kicks & Snares, teamed with a slippery remix by the label boss and Rinse FM player. Dropping few gears down from her 2-step flex, Flava adapts to swinging house with subtle finesse, matching Miss Fire's soul vocal with warm chords and tidy, electrified shuffle. Roska extends and rolls out that vibe to 7 minutes of rounded subbass pressure and clipped congas with effortless groove.
First of two 'floor romps this week by Berghain resident and all-round Berlin fixture, Fiedel. This one's a remix showdown, seeing Fiedel's 'Back Door' given a feathered techno bounce by Tallmen 785 one side, and Fiedel taking Tallmen 785's 'Down' to the party with cantering bassline, begging vocal and squirting lead synthline.
Deft rhythm trax from the Berghain resident behind MMM with Errorsmith. Simplicity is key: A-side, 'Step Aside' wraps supple synth muscle to bare-boned kick, clap and hi-hats with slippery effect, building to a mix of BC or Substance-styled techno and lean, cheeky EBM funk. B-side, 'Sloth Moth' rolls on the halfstep with spare snares and bass offset by double-time percolations and awning synth pads for the skilled DJs.
UTTU's king swinger takes to Creme with four cuts of jacking old skool style garage-house. DJ Haus' first foray beyond his own labels gives up some of his dopest material bestween the laidback swing and perc of 'Wurk It Gurl', the bumpty budge of 'Little Pieces' and the Essex-meets-Donkaster-via-Leiden pump of 'Feel The Powder' (track title of the year, anyone? OK just me, then).
DJ Haus drops some dirty acid work on Clone's Jack For Daze sub-print. Raw-assed party funk in four versions, from stripped-down bangers to more freakish nuggets and bleepy bass styles.
D-troit's DJ Bone kicks a pair of killer techno trax on Don't Be Afraid. Hot on the heels of his smart 'Cultural Variance' 12", he keeps the vibe distinctly Detroit here with a balance of unrelenting rhythm pressure and techno-soul chords, 'Differ-Ent(hrall)' works a skippier coda of rimshots and rumbling bass offset with thumb piano-like riff and a synth arpeggio almost right out of Anne Clarke's 'Our Darkness'; B-side 'Differ-Ent(Ity)' brings the kicks right up front for a more militant, tracky roller tweaked out with junglist pings and slipping cross-rhythms. A strong look for DJs and dancers.
Studio's Dan Lissvik ventures solo with the suave Scando disco of 'Shuvit!'. After a breezy intro, 'Airwalk' bobs on with lissom bass licks and shuffling drums peppered with synth voices and sparkling chords at a louche 100bpm,; 'Shuvit!' steps up a frisky take on 'Sueño Latino' ripe for Scandinavian beach parties where the organic meatballs are free.
Praveen (Sharma) a.k.a. Braille returns: "Utilizing an organic sound palette and a vast repertoire of on the cusp production techniques, Braille’s first release on FoF positions the Brooklyn-resident at the fore of sultry, beat-based music that doesn’t shy away from letting the listener into the interior world of Sharma himself. Everyone’s Crazy will function as the precedent to Braille’s forthcoming full-length debut, Mute Swan, coming Spring 2015!"
"East Coast audio curator Will Creason’s recording alias inevitably exudes a darker resonance in light of recent events, but coincidentally so does his latest sheaf of Cosby cuts, Mirror Box. Inspired by an amalgam of “real and imagined locations” ranging from the Strip District to Surfers Paradise, the album’s six songs stalk starker and steelier circuits than his previous work, from the glassy, paranoid dub of “Mirror Box” to the hollow powder rush of “Gold Coast” to the twitchy trio of bleakly jacking EBM B Side tracks. Each piece is a spiraling ice-slide further inside its own event horizon… Read more