Tuesday, 29 March 2011
In the years following WWII and the creation of magnetic tape recording techniques, composers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry along with engineer Jacques Poullin opened a portal to the future of music through the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète (GRMC), based at France's national television station (RTF) in Paris. It became the first purpose-built studio capable of creating electroacoustic music and would play host to a succession of advanced musical thinkers and composers such as Oliver Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varese and Iannis Xenakis. The … Read more
Junior Boys make a very welcome return to our lives with their fourth album, three years since predecessor 'Begone Dull Care'. Now firmly established as one of the world's pre-eminent blue-eyed disco-soul groups, they present a set of laidback, streamlined and spacious productions, much more diverse than their previous two, and dare we say, recalling the immense gratification of their debut 'Last Exit' (one of the best pop albums of the last decade?). For us, like many others, the rhythms carry as much weight (if not, sometime, more) than the vocals, which was why we didn't care so much… Read more
Monday, 28 March 2011
A much needed return to our crazy messed up world for the outright pop genius that is Max Tundra. Ben Jacobs has been hard at work following the amazing 'Some Best Friend You Used To Be' album and this tempter for 'Mastered By Guy At The Exchange' is perfectly timed. 'Lysine' is an anthem of distressed sunshine emotions, lovingly sung by Ben's sister Becky Jacobs with lyrics about the benefits of the genetically coded amino acid 'Lysine' and much more, it closes with the lines 'an obituary by mr.toop, now he's gone there's one less laptop loop, with your help this time I might… Read more
Four tracks of properly advanced electronic funk. Since 2008 Dorian Concept has made an indelible imprint on electronic music, not least with his incredible 'When Stars Explode' album and the outrageous 'Trilingual Dance Sexperience'. For Ninja Tune he drops a suite of surprisingly DJ-friendly dancefloor idiosyncrasies, shimmying between the Funky-compatible, jazz-twirling dip 'n jak of the title track to the Bashment bouncing propulsion of 'My Face Needs Food', sounding uncannily like a Siriusmo production, and into the stereo-flitting drums of 'Toe Games Made Her Giggl… Read more
LuckyMe drop one of the most anticipated dancefloor 12"s of the last 12 months, backed up with remixes of tracks from 'The Look' by Rinse FM's Braiden and UR's Mark Flash. There's no need to bang on about 'Another Girl', it's straight anthem material combining ohrwurming vocal, a a rolling emotional topography and dancing neon melodies in beautiful style. Flip it and Braiden gives a tough rework of 'Holdin' On', full of titanium cowbells, rampant R1 Ryders style bass revs and chopped vocals, but UR's Mark Flash steals the show with a Hi-tek, carnival-killing remix of 'The Look'. Very large 12"!!!
Supremely dynamic, Technoid futurism from the studio of Boddika aka Instra:mental's Alex Green. Boddika is the name he uses to exercise those areas of his production palette which are possibly too freaky for his better known alias, so here we get the dazzling architecture of 'You Tell Me' with its highly individual torsion and detuned lead riff, while 'Breez'in' jams on a fruity House tip, albeit a fruity flavour spiked with genetically modified enzymes and programmed two steps ahead of anyone else you'd care to mention. This label is hard ON IT at the moment!
So, They Live turns out to be a collaboration between Joe Seven (who dropped that killer 10" a few weeks back) and epic D&B producer, Consequence. 'Cancel Standard' is their debut album, an exquisite suite of deeply atmospheric, sci-fi-toned productions with an engrossing narrative and exceptional production values. Tempos are kept downbeat and bass is squashed deep into the groove, making clear their intentions for this to be used as a home listening device. Unlike the substrata of synth/noise artists referencing late '70s/early '80s sci-fi, these guys have their lazer-guided scopes l… Read more
Girl Unit, Brenmar, Bad Autopsy, Samo Sound Boy, DJ Pierre, Munchi, Gongon, and Canblaster & Berou line up to rework tracks from the 'Mirage EP' by LA's Nguzunguzu. Highlights have to be Girl Unit's fusion of rave sirens, Bubblin' synth licks and steel-tipped Electro, Brenmar's piquant R&B stinger - one for the Kindom fans - or Munchi's hyper-mental '...Likes Excessive Amounts Of Bass Mamba Juke Remix'. Ace.
Over the last 2 years Rene Hell has emerged as one of the most distinctive characters from a wave of neo-Kosmische and synth noise operators. Since his debut album for Type, 'Porcelain Opera', his restless talent has been diverted into cassettes for Night People and Agents Of Chaos, a brilliant 7" track for Kraak and sterling collaborations with Daren Ho's Driphouse as Cuticle and Mandelbrot & Skyy, all displaying an artist confidently in his creative stride. 'The Terminal Symphony' is a bold evolution of his sound, reframing analogue synth and drum machine experiments with a more… Read more
Hatchback is the solo moniker of San Francisco producer Sam Grawe. While his day job might be producing syrupy house and disco under the Windsurf moniker (along with producing buddy Daniel Judd), the Hatchback material shows his more sensitive, calmer side. I want to refrain from dropping the dreaded ‘chill’ tag, but this is decidedly chilled material, with slowly developing synthesizer textures and pads and propulsive analogue rumbles and sequencer patterns building underneath. Somehow it reminds me of Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom, albeit slowed down to a near-crawl and heard from the n… Read more
A proper Detroit House affair: Scott Grooves remixing Norm Talley. In Panther mode it's all about subtly stealthy chord progressions and cool percussion while the beats mix strips it all back to the rhythm.
Techy Electro/Garage split from Sclist and Point B. Both producers have an appreciation of efficient minimalism, keeping their riddims clipped and tight with a paucity of cliches. Following his drops on L2S and Urban Scrumping, Sclist rolls out the trim 2-step skip of 'Safari', a little like a reduced T++ production with quirkier sounds, while Point B's 'Battery operated' ends up sounding something like a grittier Akufen production, all razored edits and angular blurts of melody.
Monkeytown deliver an addendum to Siriusmo's debut LP, 'Mosaik' in the form of four full-fat party tunes. 'Sirimande' is like Bassline taken to Berlin, jacked-up and electronified; 'Programchild' is a cute stab at angular, heavily tweaked Electro-pop; 'Feed My Machine' is a discombobulated HipHop/Techno head-wrecker; the erratic 'Auf Wiedersehn' is a rogue polyrhythmic dance crasher with badass drums and complex melodic arrangement.
Experimental electronic type Rafael Toral started his Space series back in 2004, and since then he’s been exploring new ways to implement his signature electronic squiggles into performance and composition, reframing his arsenal of modified oscillators as jazz instruments (of a sort). ‘Space Elements III’ is possibly the closest Toral has come yet to realizing that dream – with the alien blips and hisses hitting up alongside jazz percussion and even Rhodes. In a dark room and not listening too carefully you might even mistake ‘Space Elements III’ for a jazz record, but on clo… Read more
Sterling debut album effort from Edinburgh's Fudge Fingas aka Gavin Sutherland. We know some House heads have been counting down the days until this landed, such is the level of love for this guy's productions. As a multi instrumentalist talent, he's played on Prime Numbers from Linkwood and Trus'me, but it's his own productions that have garnered the most attention, landing in mixes from the likes of Joy Orbison and Ame and loved by the likes of Gilles Peterson and Fact magazine. His multi-dimensional dancefloor template is equally informed by "organic" forms of music from the Black A… Read more
Rinse FM's DJ MA1 lays out three slick Funky rollers, including versions. Featuring Sophia, 'Do It Better' is a smooth tribal roller but check for the Technoid, dub-chord driven 'Static' if you're in the mood for some.
Six tracks of jazzy, beatdown German House music from Berlin/Jena's Taron-Trekka. Smoky vibes abound on 'Where' and the sweetly smudged 'Smithereens', whereas 'Kome Dime' and 'Adoly' are more blunted HipHop numbers, leaving 'Blown To' to fill the House quota and the lovely 'Lo-Fi Autumn' to float freely in simulated jazz space.
Kozzie goes on hard over a remix of Spooky's anthemic 'Spartan', backed with a bruising Darq E Freaker version. Big on road!
Expansive second album from Amsterdam's talented Tom Trago, featuring guest appearances from Om'Mas Keith of Sa-Ra, Tyree Cooper, Oliver Daysoul, Meikbar, Romanthony and San Proper. Moving beyond the pure disco inspirations of his 'Voyage' sessions, 'Iris' dilates his scope to incorporate elements of R&B, Soul, Techno, Electro and HipHop with his supremely deft touch. From classy Moroder styles on 'Life Of Plants & Flowers' we're coridally swept through Timbaland-does-Boogie vibes of 'Being With You', to the 'Falling Up'-alike Hip-House of 'What You Do' with Tyree Cooper. Album highlight, 'So Cold… Read more
Terror Danjah's imprint comes correct once again with the killer instincts of P Jam's slewing '04 instrumental 'Anger Management', a ruggedly sinuous, snake biting riddim built with the coldest drums and seething, barely muzzled bassline. The swagger-tech special, 'Sorefoot' is equally deadly, one for warehouse spaces and hard-jawed headphone sessions. Heavy.
For the fourth release on her excellent Opit imprint, Subeena serves three tracks of deeper, House-inspired electronics. 'Wrong For Me' layers Soul-warmed chords and vocals over swooning subbass to woozy swinging effect while 'Space Of Flow' fuses a bumpy mid-tempo Afro-beat rhythm over dynamic, spiraling electro synths. Lifting the tempo, 'End Of Reason' goes heads down into square-bassed '90s acid jack style.
"Swarms are Bristol-based production trio, originally from Malvern, where they came together under a shared love of many different influences; Sam and Pete both have a diverse background in post-rock, electronica, shoe gaze and ambient styles, while Tom brings in a deep understanding of drum and bass and dubstep. The merging of these sounds and ideas manifests itself in the uniquely evocative output of Swarms. Early tracks were created “just for fun” and sent to a few radio stations, and before long Mary Anne Hobbs was playing ‘Never Step On Me’ to global audiences on her famed Radio 1 progr… Read more
Pixelord, aka Gultuskra Artikler, drops four diverse tracks of neon-hued dancefloor fusions backed with remixes by Submerse, SRC, VVV, Milyoo and more. We find a huge highlight on 'Equis', a quicksilver 2-stepper with dramatic Burial vibes and a killer Tracey Chapman sample, next to the raved-up and techy trance power of 'Oh Lord' and the stuttered Funky drums of 'Kiwi Dream'. Pick of the remixes comes from Submerse and his turbo-rushin' 'Oh Lord' version and the crafty jack of Milyoo's 'Kiwi Dream' refit.
Inimitable Techno productions from Luke Slater in his Planetary Assault Systems guise. 'Sucktion' is a deadly monotone pounder with dynamic forcefield of metallic synths while 'Powwow' is stoic, square bassed and tweaking, very much in the vein of Norman Nodge releases. 'Raid' is classically minimal, subtly menacing and propulsive.
BBE continue their valiant effort to give Dilla’s work the royal treatment and ‘Come Get It’ is the third single in the 10 Year Anniversary of Dilla’s classic ‘Welcome To Detroit’ set. ‘Come Get It’ is probably the least well-known track so far, but is a keen reminder of Dilla’s immeasurable production skill. Fans of Slum Village’s classic ‘Fantastic Vol.1’ will be able to trace the sonic signature here and Dilla’s dusted snares and soulful clipped bass is presented in glorious widescreen. There are few producers for me who ha… Read more
The titan of Berghain applies his discretely effective, driving therapies to O/V/R's 'Post-Traumatic Son' in three versions. 'Construction 1' sets the pace with systolic, spherical bass throbs and dry, moody vibes. 'Construction 2' teases in extra layers of percussion and probing synthlines. 'MDR Version' feeds the whole thing through his meat grinder for gristly, prickly, pounding effect. Strong.
BD1982 is a bit of a badman. His drops for Seclusiasis have proved this in style. For his 'VHS Nite EP' on Diskotopia he comes backed with remixes from Ikonika & Optimum, Starkey and Slackk, and A Taut Line. The title track sounds like what might happen if Wiley linked with VHS Head - it's an obvious comparison but fits neatly. The 'Rewound Version' screws the pace to a sub-loaded reggaeton bounce, while Slackk's mix fires it up in Soca-NRGetic style and Starkey swivels on a halfstep. With 'Utukku' he configures inflated subs, broken tribalist drums, and err, Dolphin sounds which 'Ikonika & O… Read more
Ace debut album from the highly intriguing June, following a blink-and-miss-it 12" last year and ahead of a forthcoming Mathematics release. Including two DJ Sprinkles remixes, 'Cyntheria' is a canny mix of vintage Chicago moods and grooves with more European Italo influences, best heard in the Sally Shapiro-like title track, the Jamie Principle-aping 'Blue City' or the slightly camp French jack of 'Les émotions s'éteignent'. Make sure to check DJ Sprinkles' Breakbeat and jeep-bass infused 'Lost Dancefloor' mix or his sublime, Leyland Kirby-esque 'Enpty Dancefloor' mix. TIP!