Monday, 06 December 2010
I don’t know what they do to their youngsters up in Iceland but I’m sure it’s not the first time I’ve heard a record made by a troupe of kids with xylophones and nylon-strung guitars. Maybe I’m just getting confused, but the fact that this femme foursome recorded this debut album at fourteen is still pretty astonishing. Now sixteen years old, their record is finally out for all to hear, and rather than sounding juvenile ‘Pascal Pinon’ rather sounds like a deliriously lo-fidelity combination of Mum and Paavoharju. There is definitely the fingerprint of the Scandinavian underground to thi… Read more
Armchair Traveller is the collaborative moniker of musicians Hella von Ploetz (on glass harp), Silvia Ocougne (on a variety of prepared and traditional guitars), Werner Durand (on self-made wind instruments), and Sebastian Hiken (on percussion and cello). From this collection of instruments you have an inkling that the music will be somewhat ‘different’ and you’d be right – as the name suggests the band takes influence from ethnic music, and rather than reframe it as coffee-table drivel they attempt to let this music guide their compositions. The results are haunting and unusua… Read more
Expanded digital edition of this dope debut from Light Club, now including remixes from V.C, Grimace, Miramichi and Boss Kite. Like we said before **He gets top marks just for the title of 'Scirroco Night Drive', but the woozy, Carpenter-esque synths and spindly crunk beats reall ain't too shabby either. Following this, 'Sweet' is fonky little Skweee-like HipHop number, but matters get much more muddied with the ghoulish construction of 'Ghost', which sounds like some crooked Benelux darkwave experiment beamed into a wonky 2010, and 'Nick Nolte' is left to dot he Mr. Soft strut in style… Read more
Weighty rave assault from Boys Noize and an army of remixes including Rob Hood, Mixhell, Steve Strip and Phon.O. The stomping original cut of 'Trooper' is followed by a Rob Hood version, giving you a fierce DJ tool driven by bolshy but minimal kicks and stentorian stereo commands of "Left", Right!". Biggest of all is Phon.O's Funky-referencing remix, nicely synced with the sound of Roska or Doc Daneeka. Good stuff indeed.
Chunky bundle from Starkey, combining his 'Space Traitor EP' 12" with remixes from Egyptrixx, Kaiser, Rudi Zygadlo, ARP101, and Ital Tek. These are some of his first new productions since the 'Ear Drums And Black Holes' LP dropped at the other end of the year, firing out the lurid rave ruffige of 'Robot Hands' and the mad grimey string slashes of 'Holodeck' plus a laidback moment with regular vocalist Anneka. The CD also includes his exclusive 'Lenses', next to the slippin' cyber Funky remix of 'Robot Hands' by Egyptrixx and a splendidly screwed and agitated Wonky revision of 'Para… Read more
Fresh Minute Music have a habit of pulling out optimised Funky House heavyweights, evidenced by previous killers from Altered Natives. 'Three Of A Kind EP 2' collects four debut rug cutters from previously unreleased producers, Actraiser, Rotty and Thought Cosmic, all keeping the quality levels typically high. Actraiser dominates proceedings with his Funky compatible A-side rides 'Step Up' and 'Lakitu', both built muscular yet agile for the dancers and the kind of gear we could easily imagine Marcus Nasty rinsing out. Flip it and Rotty's 'I'm Deep' hits a groove o… Read more
'Weekend' is quite simply the loveliest thing Tirk have released all year. It's the debut release from Edinburgh-based six-piece Molly Wagger, with some help from the Sunharbour string quartet and remarkable production from Sam Annand aka Architeq. That pop-primed lead cut revolves around a killer piano and vocal hook with shades of classic Fleetwood Mac, while 'Molly' is more of a pastoral indie charmer with subtle electronic embellishments. Richard Norris steps in with a Balearic remix of 'Weekend' giving it a 4/4 tap on the ass and DJ friendly playing time.
The second of two new EP's from Jimmy Tamborello’s Dntel, ‘After Parties II’ is possibly an even more horizontal take on his sound delivering subtle house experimentations and excursions into cavernous dub. Seriously, the EP might begin with the urgent beat-led bliss of ‘Flares’ but before long we’re treated to wobbling basslines and echoing soundscapes with ‘Hits Line’. Coming almost like a gift for a remembering he’s still out there, Tamborello closes the EP on the most ‘classic’ sounding DNTEL track ‘Leed’, with elements of the Postal Service bubbling to the surface in the melanchol… Read more
Jimmy Tamborello has been quiet of late, the last DNTEL album proper was back in 2007 and the last Postal Service album was earlier than that, so what’s he been up to since then? Well by the sounds of this EP, he’s been hard at work in the studio dialling back his sound to something far less pop and a little harder to place. That is, after all, where DNTEL started off – the vocal pop he perfected on ‘Give Up’ wasn’t exactly prevalent in his early LPs. ‘After Parties I’ kicks off with the clipped near-house of the title track, and while there is a driving beat and subtle bassline, the t… Read more
Gorgeously cinematic, beatless ambience from Dutch synth boffin and amateur astronomer Jos Lieferink. 'Glaciers' sounds like it could have taken from a vintage library record, which is kind of explained by the fact that he's been actively making this stuff since the mid 1970s. His contemporary analog, Legowelt, offers a mix of 'Interface Phrase A', adding a Chicago jack engine and his trademark vintage synth works for added drama. Ace.
L. van Zaltbommel's brilliant Roswell Return project ventures to deep space techno zones with his debut full length album. 'Probe' includes 'IFTODEX C0001' AND 'Hara Sun' from his teaser single, amidst a constellation of deepest outer space communications, from breathtaking beatless compositions like 'Free Fall' and 'A Goldbach Vibe (Clean Cut Remix)' through pulsating Drexciyan moments like 'Translunar', the abyssal 'Same Hepox' and the recurring 'Probe' scapes. Vividly evocative stuff. Check!
Leading on from his 'Connect' single, Brendon Moeller breaks the track down into seven finely tooled mixes for pretty much every occasion (*as long as it's techno-related). All fairly self-explanatory, really.
Stephan Laubner goes under again as Lunatik Sound System with eight X ten minute electronic drone tracks playing through as one extended piece. This isn't drone music concerned with tonal fidelity or dynamics, it's more about painting abstract and sci-fi-influenced soundscapes with a distinctly impressionistic quality. As an atmospherist Laubner travels great distances into the heart of his machines, teasing out their strangest, quirkiest voices and seemingly letting them organise themselves in the primordial silicon soup you can hear in the samples. Strange and alien synthetic sounds.
Lunatik Sound System is Stephan Laubner (aka STL) operating within the realms of somnambulant drone electronics. He's cut at least fifteen albums in this guise, mostly on CDr for his Something label. It's deeply immersive stuff, composed with the same sort of musty atmospheres and wandering arrangements as his better known STL records, but with a far more reclined and mystical intention hinting at a water-stained version of Wolfgang Voigt's romantic odes to Bavarian forests left in the woods to decompose and become infected by fungi. Tracks such as the lushly evoca… Read more
Some months after DJ Oneman gave it the seal of approval on his Rinse: 11 mix CD, Jamie George's 'Flying Saucer' lands on wax backed up with Roska and J Kenzo remixes. His original goes in slick and streamlined, greasy enough to slide into the shirt and shoes crowd but still ravin' enough to work in the grimier ends. Jamie's partner in SoulTonic SoundSystem J Kenzo, gives a ruder remix, deftly melding dubstep rave sounds into a Breakbeat-infused tribal houser while Mr Kick & Snares himself gives it a lick of infectiously reworked melody and sculpted drums. Ace.
Boka present Broken Note's crushing 'Zound', the kind of dynamic Dubstep ruffage that separates the men from the boize. Going on hard styles with fearsome synthlines unfolding like a Transformer in fight mode and punishing drums designed to send the rave over the edge.
Two cuts alternating between liquid and weighty halfstep D&B. 'Crackden' features a disgustingly visceral crack-tone (akin to Dubstep rave's Govt-identified meph-tone) filtered for acute potency and alloyed with restrained yet kinetic halfstep syncopations. If that track was all about tension then 'Fatsoul is the release, surging forward with an endorphin rush of sparkling melodic flourishes, sweeping strings and quickstepping beats.
In 2010 Brenmar has arrived at a style of melancholy and flighty R&B/Club tracks compatible with Dubbel Dutch and the Night Slugs sound. For Discobelle Recordings' 2nd release he comes loaded with remixes from Ikonika & Optimum, and the triple tag-team styles of DJs Rashad, Earl, and BMT. The electric blue vibes of 'You Make Me Say' owe as much to Chicago Juke as Kingdom's Ballroom-referencing sound, whereas 'Taking It Down' reminds of Chief Boima's NYC-Funky sound and quite brilliantly there's no category for 'Like It Like That' other than Party. On a… Read more
Crystalline poptronica from distinctive Swedish chanteuse, Cornelia, including remixes from TOKiMONSTA and Daisuke Tanabe. 'By The Fire' and 'Now And Hereafter' carve out a space between J-Pop and Scandinavian synthpop, all twinkling, expensive-sounding hi-end tones and exquisitely articulate vocals with proggy-HipHop touches located somewhere between Islaja and Rustie. Remixing the cuter 'Now And Hereafter' Daisuke Tanabe filters the the glassier tones from Cornelia's vox, swaddling her in detailed electro-acoustic tones, whereas TOKiMONSTA immerses the track in dreamier aquatic zones with diving bell sound sphere and laidback post R&B beats. Very sweet.
Running Back reissue a classic piece of Chain Reaction history from Pelon aka Henner Dondorf. 'No Stunts' was one of the earliest CR releases and still sounds as lushly immersive as it did on release in 1996. Henner is now an acclaimed mastering engineer, credited with work on the likes of Stephan Mathieu's sublime 'Radioland' album.
Sähkö's impeccable sublabel, Keys Of Life, presents an especially engaging release from Acid King's Tuomas Toivonen. With some shades of the awesome Tin Man releases, 'Urbanism In The House' tailors melancholy Electro-House productions to Tuomas' distinctively, steadily urgent delivery of intelligent lyrics covering modern urban utopias, artificial realities and quite possibly the only use of the line "the super smooth surface of a cartesian monolith is so unlike nature that early men understand it's alienness" that you'll ever come across. That line crops up in '2001', whic… Read more
Much-hyped House business from South London's Wbeeza, delivering his 4th 12" for Third Ear Recordings. Keeping matters as stripped-to-the-bone as possible 'Jack Ur Car' kicks out a raw and sub-heavy Jackers riddim compatible with the most efficient Prosumer productions, while the pitching percussive effect of the equally minimal 'Boom!' nods to Cooly G's 'Phat Si'. Cover looks dope.
The irrepressible heads at NHNH haul up heavyweight production from Mumdance featuring Trim and Jammer! 'Tarahtid' is some dark and exotic fusion of crisp, sub-continental percussion with snake-charming folksy melody and piquant sitar refrain with typically abstract and near-impentrable patois chat from Trim and Jammer. Taking it back to the '90s 'What Ima Say' licks out corrosive acid-techno riffs over rugged and bashy kicks, with absolutely no Mark E.G in sight. Dangerous!
Second release on Venetian Snares' Timesig imprint is a much touted collaboration between himself and RHCP's guitarist John Frusciante. To date they've only played a handful of shows together, concentrating largely on what sounds they can carve out of a 303 and 808. To be totally fair, 'March_Three-3' just sounds like a typically spazzy V. Snares composition. Perhaps there is an underlying melodic structure which isn't always at the root of an Aaron Funk track, but basically Frusciante's input isn't immediately noticeable. Much the same can be said of 'March_Four', but agai… Read more
Perc Trax collect ten highly effective remixes from the likes of Peter Van Hoesen, Norman Nodge, Milton Bradley, Russ Gabriel and Sawf on one very healthy compilation. Highlights have to be PvH's dank and driving remix of Ed Rush & Nico's 'Defect', Norman Nodge's dynamic inversion of Go Hiyama's 'Mathematical Accuracy' and the tension raising Milton Bradley mix of Perc's 'BCG'. Smarter modern techno.