Monday, 16 August 2010
4 Remixes featured here, the first from Denmark's 'Future 3' is a completely overwhelming piece of warm, lush electronic composition that weaves its way in and out of the accoustic underlays of the original. Isan, meanwhile, echo tones in restrained, minimal and melodic cycles shifting from coldness to warmth. The B-side kicks-off with a remix by 'Ensemble', newly signed to Rephlex and approaching the original with the slightly distorted minimal tones that one would imagine Fennesz to employ on similar material. Lastly, Opiate provides an intricate chopped-up breakbeat piece. Highly Recommended.
One and a half years ago, Meriel Barham from Leeds released her debut album "Kids With Sticks" as Kuchen on Karaoke Kalk. "Kuchen meets Mapstation" now follows the second release by meriel, former member of the Pale Saints; though this time, as the title reveals, it's a joint project with Stefan Schneider from Dusseldorf, the person behind the Mapstation project and also a key member of To Rococo Rot. Two people, two musicians, meet; each of them bringing their own idea of music and together merging these into a whole. The result is the album at hand, which took tw… Read more
This has some of the mercurial genius displayed on the Contriva 12" from a few years back on Monika - cello and strong beats set a mood, there's a debt to the epically slow and best Theo Parrish productions on tunes such as the title track, albeit with a touch more european sensibility. Dare we say it, F.S.K.'s own collaboration with Shake Shakir earlier this year on Disko B should ideally have sounded a lot more like this. Fast forwards to 'Ignaz Guenther House', one of the tunes of the week for everyone here, and marvel at the overdriven bass and pure groove of this tune - this is destined to become one of those records, tucked away for those who know.
Long awaited new full-length on the flawless Karaoke Kalk label from Cologne. Fumble is the new project from Jens Massel, who has also brought us releases under the names Senking and Kandis. Fumble, however, is a wholly new experience. Less minimal and bass-heavy than much of the Senking output, 'Fumble' concentrates on the upper regions of sound - slight rhythms, higher-end tinkling melodies and and an almost schoolyard groove. The overall effect is one of complex, multi-layered beauty with high atmospheric density that still somehow manages to stay accessable to the kids.
Changing course again onto a poppier electronic fizz lick. Thirty four year old artist Christian Przygodda (a star is born) gives you fourteen life enhancing tracks. Highly inventive, original and downright joyful fusing of electronic technology with an understanding of live instrumentation and pure pop craft strictly no looping. Music that no one could dislike. Every track has a none cheesy hum n whistle factor of ten. Makes you want to run round the garden jumping over the flower beds. Wicked swinging rhythms. This release has a twist in its tail -you are embedded in its lovelyness and… Read more
The third outing for Hausmeister on Karaoke Kalk arrives, and while the name is probably the least well known of the Karaoke roster, the albums have always been amongst the very best material on the label. "Hausmeister" literally means "caretaker", and from the homespun, almost brazilian charms of ‘Nitten’ from the self-titled debut, to the slide guitars and prominent gingham of "Unser", Hausmeister have in one way or another been a consistent part of our office soundtrack for the last two years. The intro ‘Ester’s Moonraker melodies sweep over smooth, warm bass tones perfectly setting up the … Read more
"Sound of a Handshake" is Morr Music's brand new offshoot label, named after one of Morr's best-loved tracks (by Anticon hiphop-supremos Clouddead) - and designed primarily to showcase collaborative work. For 'Into Forever', the first instalment in this new series, Morr Music favourite Jonas Munk (Manual / Limp) and New York concept artist and producer Alexander Perls (Icebreaker International and member of an early incarnation of Piano Magic) join forces. Weaving mingled, sparse beats and song structures (Munk) with layered guitars and tricky melodic leads (Perls) in… Read more
The term isan stands for "integrated services analogue network", and it perfectly reveals their interest in using dodgy old keyboards to make dodgy old noise. Isan´s music is a kind of ambilvalent thing: simple but pure, noisy but clear, strange but true........they mention influences as varied as artists like brian eno, stereolab, autechre, my bloody valentine...and as a matter of necessity you will find yourself whistling their beautiful melodies regardless of intention and mood. This is delicately refined beauty with one eye focused firmly on the nature and sounds of analogue machinery, with… Read more
Donna Regina were handpicked from obscurty by a certain Matthew Herbert a good few years ago for a 12” on his anonymous Lowlife label. Since then, the release of their debut album ‘A Quiet Week In The House’ on Cologne’s flawless Karaoke Kalk imprint brought together some of the loveliest, freshest vocal pop music to have crossed our ears. For a rough starting point, think of Morr Music’s massive Lali Puna. Donna regina tread a similar path of decadent pop, an amalgamation of the smokey/ethereal/seductive vocals of Ms Regina and the perfectly executed beats, samples and concocted at… Read more
Cobra Killer, the demented duo of Gina V.D'Orio and Annika Line Trost, first came together in the late 90's for a couple of legendary releases for Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore imprint ( “Right into a Kick for More” recently voted as one of the top 500 singles of all time..). Since then the girls have donned their blood-soaked nurse uniforms and have honed their love of 60's psych rock and freaked out electronic mashups into a glorious display of scuzzy euphoria that couldn't be more fashionable if it tried. And if you think that's a bad thing, gina and Annika ain't gonna tolerate your negati… Read more
A 7" of Erik Satie covers? On Morr? All given the once-over by electronica royalty Isan? You're just going to have to listen, aren't you...? The latest in Morr Music's occasional 'A Number Of Small Things' series, 'Trois Gymnopedies' takes Satie's original 1888 compositions, then bathes them in a warm and sudsy bath of digital milk - resulting in a sleight but thoroughly satisfying slice of vinyl. Opening with the most recognisable of Satie's triptych ('Lent Et Douloureux'), Isan avoid any accusations of 'furniture music' (the composers own description for his later work) by pepping t… Read more
Lali Puna’s Valerie Trebeljahr and Markus Acher have clearly resigned themselves to the fact that they will forever be known amongst friends and fellow band members as John & Yoko. This particularly iconoclastic nom de plume serves it’s purpose fabulously for their first joint excursion outside the familiar surroundings of their band set up, and provides the latest installment in a carefully selected series of 7”s on morr music’s embryonic sub-label “a number of small things” - an imprint that’s been dormant for quite some time. It’s fitting that the two cover versions fo… Read more
Since its humble beginnings some 3 years and 30 releases ago, Morr Music has fast become one of the most important, genre-defining and iconoclastic record labels the independent scene has produced since Warp came along and changed the rules in the early 1990's. This second compilation on the label is set to take us into its next crucial phase. Named after an obscure track by those deepest of all shoegazers - Slowdive, "Blue Skied 'An Clear" builds on the fact that so many electronic musicians are gradually starting to (re-)discover guitars, acoustics and the dense atmosphe… Read more
Karaoke Kalk manage to throw a graceful bodyswerve, here inaugurating a new dancefloor offshoot: Kalk pets. Pascal has impressed us before now in these pages, not least with his ‘Melody Express’ mini album for Karaoke last year: this however is a totally different ball game. As you may have guessed from the title, this twelve is intoxicated by the rhythms, the cantering tempo and sizzlin conga work lays the a side as a bedfellow for the extended modal form of a Kenny Dixon or a Theo: emotional strings round out an accomplished and original piece. Be sure to check.
Nice to see some new material surfacing from Michaela Melian, member of F.S.K., longtime audiovisual collaborator with Move D and hotshot art lecturer. This new 12" compiles two tracks in which Melian fuses her slow, exceedingly jaunty drum machine pulses against an incongruously lavish sounding instrumental ensemble (most of which is made up of Melian multitracking her own performances). The B-side features a vocal, which resultantly sounds rather more world-weary and bedraggled than the symphonic A, but the whole endeavour feels like a unique excursion into Bavarian pop weirdness.
Following last year's self-titled debut, Jens Massel (Senking / Kandis) returns with this incredibly good new Fumble 5-tracker. With a progression in sound that seems to have jumped several leagues into something entirely fresh, 'Milo' is a truly indespensible release from a man that seems to rise in stature on all 3-fronts of his artistic development. If Senking focuses on the microscopic reduction of sound to looped depth, and Kandis delves into percussive restraint, fumble emphasises its beauty on a rising melodic thread that uplifts the tone of the percussive undercurrent. Opening track 'Chip' de… Read more
It can certainly be said that Morr Music's B.Fleischmann is not one to shy away from epic recordings. He started his musical journey with 'Pop Loops for Breakfast' which also, interestingly enough, was the premier release on the then unknown Morr Music label. Since then both he and the label have expanded rapidly and his work peaked with the fabulously grandiose double disc album 'Welcome, Tourist'. Split into a cd of more bite-sized pop songs and one gigantic electronic-jazz experimentation this saw Fleischmann at the top of his game, and this kind of expanded … Read more
Uwe Zahn, aka Arovane, has been one of the most influential characters in the electronic music scene over the last few years. His classic ‘Tides’ album was not only the first full-length release on the City Centre Offices label (and a huge influence on the label‘s roster) but is also often cited as one of the key electronic music releases of the last decade. After 4 long years, arovane finally returns."Lilies" is a follow-up to "Tides" in every sense, exploring a trip to japan and drawing on shimmering textures and the sort of melodies that you might need some time to recover from. There's a hugel… Read more
Boy Robot is what we’d like to consider a bit of a one off. Its the sort of record that fits in so perfectly within the CCO agenda – a love of pop music, electronica, dub, simplicity, catchiness, something memorable. The collaborative effort of Berlin’s Zorn and Uppsala’s Hans Möller , Boy Robot take things from end to end with a myriad of styles that manage to encapsulate and disect a pool of generic ideas that scarcely make an appearance across a full body of work - let alone a first album - perfectly fusing the musical signatures that each artist has perfected over th… Read more
Be it on his own, as a collaborator with Uwe Zahn’s Arovane project, or as a member of Herrmann & Kleine, Christian Kleine and his guitars, drumkit and PowerBook have appealed to those ever growing number of people involving themselves with electronic music at its most heartwarming, organic, life-affirming. His love of Hip Hop, indie-pop and experimental music has always contributed to an other-worldly mix of hypnotic beats and blissed-out acoustica, a sound that later on would become so crucial to the enigmatic pop soundscapes of labelmate Ulrich Schnauss. “Real Ghosts”, his third a… Read more
B.Fleischmann feels like an old friend now, he’s been a mainstay in these offices for so long, ever since his sublime 'Poploops For Breakfast' dropped way back when we first opened up shop. Its nice to see Morr Music re-igniting this excellent 7" series, the bijou format offering perfect space for classic morr off-pop, as personified so well by Isan on their recent set of Satie cover-versions and, now, for this gorgeous 2-tracker from Mr Fleischmann himself. The A Side here is a brand new track, not featured on the ‘Humbucking Coil’ album, and is classic Fleischmann : simple and beau… Read more
Benni Hemm Hemm are the latest in a line of smash sensations from Iceland. Considering there are only about 100 people living in Iceland, I have worked out that they must all be A. related and B. Musicians. Apparently the Hemm Hemm folks won the Icelandic equivalent of a Grammy last year for their album (also called Beginning End) and this 7" takes the first two tracks from the record and places them on high quality wax for our aural pleasure. The A Side is like a jaunty Sufjan Stevens crossed with Belle and Sebastian, all good vibrations and smiles punctuated by Xylophone and a kne… Read more
Originally included as a freebie with the LP version of Benni Hemm Hemm's latest album 'Kajak' the general public now finally have a chance to put their mitts on this lovely 7". The A side features a gorgeous alternative version of 'Skvavars', one of Benni Hemm Hemm's most breathtaking moments - a collision of skyward facing melodies and orchestrally arranged instrumentation. This is what post rock would sound like if it wasn't made by terminally depressed boys all the time - it's genuinely happy music and all the better for it. However the B-Side is an exclusive collaboration with the v… Read more
You wait months for a new Electric President record... Continuing Morr's fabulous 7" series (see Isan's 'Trois Gymnopedies' for homework), 'You Have The Right To Remain Awesome Vol 1' is the first in Electric President's double-header, wherein the 24-year old Jacksonville Beach-resident (Ben Cooper if you must know) goes about reaffirming the bombastic indiepop of his eponymous debut. Unashamed in its sonic juxtaposition, 'You Have The Right To Remain Awesome Vol 1' opens with 'Good Ol' Boys' - a rhythm-based pop monster that digitally worms its way… Read more
In a parallel universe this would be exactly the kind of perfect pop music you'd hear blaring out of every commercial radio station across the country...actually, that parallel universe seems to exist, pretty much every radio station in Berlin has had this playlisted for several weeks...and you wonder why seemingly every other musician listed on these pages has moved there in the last few years? Anyway, back to this diamond 7", what we have here is one of the most overlooked and genius guitar bands of the last few years reworking Bryan Ferry's classic "Don't Stop … Read more
Harking from the glorious province of Iceland - a nation-state which matches its natural beauty and enviable musical heritage with a drinking culture of Beowulf scope - Benni Hemm Hemm (aka Benedikt H. Hermannsson) has crafted a gorgeous follow up to 'Beginning End'; wherein the immediacy of that debut LP was recaptured through a lightening blast of undiluted recording time. Shoehorned into just four days, 'Kajak' was conceived and matured at Sundlaugin (the studio of Sigur Rós) - with eleven musicians coming together to fuse Hermannsson's vision into the kind of throbbing aural diktat that… Read more