Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams release much needed new material from Dub Tractor - his first album in almost a decade and sounding as sublime as ever...
“The new album by Danish legend Dub Tractor. One of the founding fathers of electronica in Denmark in the early 90s, Anders Remmer has remained a reluctant beacon of Copenhagen's scene ever since, with his musical legacy still a work in progress. As well as being a member of Future 3, Remmer has released material under a number of different aliases, but his most frequent guise dating back to 1994 has been Dub Tractor. Under this name, he gently crafts complex yet warm and organic electronic music that flirts with ambient, dub and IDM.
With Hello Ambient Wash', the first Dub Tractor album since 2009, Remmer explores further the possibilities of Dub Tractor after the more pop-oriented & shoegaze-flavoured approach of his last album "Sorry". In addition to new material, the second half of Hello Ambient Wash' presents a retrospective of hand-picked tracks from his first three albums on Flex Records (the label which Music For Dreams founder Kenneth Bager ran with Ole Mortensen from 1994 to 2007). Two "Discrete Recordings" tracks from 1994 highlight the atmospheric dub origins of Remmer's sound, while the two tracks from the 1996 album "An Evening With.." see Remmer at his most accessible and funky. The four cuts from his seminal 2000 album "Delay" still sound as vibrant and fresh today as they did then, and perfectly add weight to this unique collection.
Back on the new material, we see Remmer experimenting further with the style he has become synonymous with. On tracks like "Wow" and Flutter', he plays with elements of distortion and layers of sound to create an atmosphere of fragility and nostalgic haze. Loops trapped in reverse over the delicate but intense humming of lo-fi ambient noise create a sense that these tracks could fall apart at any given moment, but still push forward at a cautious pace. The melodic side of Dub Tractor shines through on the opening track "C8 90", the title track "Hello Ambient Wash", and "A7 94". Coming off as crackly old cassette recordings of some lost Southeast Asian folk music filtered through the high-tech dub engines of Remmer, the sound of the new Dub Tractor proves a heady stew of influences that still sound wholly their own.
Stay Home' echoes more the shoegaze direction Remmer took on "Sorry" with a melancholic sway which layers ghostlike vocals over muted lingering chords. While on tracks like "SIne Song" and "Ltl" Remmer truly gives cause to the name Dub Tractor, as he ploughs down tight rhythms over sub-bass frequencies and a myriad of trickling effects. Like walking through a dense rain forest of sound, drum clicks stick to your body like moist leaves - these tracks conjure the sensation of a cannabis high or an ASMR episode (google that if you don't know it). Remmer must have tapped into some masterful technology of sine wave manipulation to push the listener into these mind altered states.”
Hardass Detroit electro-techno from the captain of his industry, DJ Stingray 313, who’s still pushing it like few others with his debut for Athens-based Lower Parts.
On the front you’ll find one of a rare excursion in 130bpm tempo with the slamming-but-spaced out 4:4 torque of Acetylcholine whereas Dendrite pumps up to his signature 140bpm+ scale with a coruscating flux of underwater FX and pronging percussion swept in trippy mixing trickery.
Backside, eRbB4 again catches him at a rarer 134bpm roll with lush harmonic developments as close as you’ll get to Stingray’s Drexciyan roots, a matter further explored in Kon001’s booming 808 rerub.
Stingray is the best.
Detroit’s captain of industry, Terrence Dixon yields exceptionally trim and driving techno cuts on the Athens-based Lower Parts label.
Currently working in 5th gear, despite announcing his retirement a few years ago, Dixon serves up his signature sound between the subaquatic dynamics of the first part, thru a killer piece of Afro-tribal techno patterning int he 2nd, to an infectious wriggler on the B-side recalling recent Jeff Mills trajectories, and one pounding, uptempo deep techno workout in the 5th part.
Den Haag’s Mark Du Mosch does his gritty, stealthy, tracky house thing for Clone Royal Oak.
Built for all-night play, UM-ing builds it from the toes to yer nose over the course of four tracks, patiently raising the temperature with his raw, woozily dubbed jacker Heat It Up, then with firmer kicks and spaced-out disco synths in the upward tilt of Adrift, before squaring off theGherkin Jerks-styles of UM-ing, and following into the cosmic buck of Firefly. Either someone put some mud in my lunch or this shit works.
Low-key, charmingly eccentric solo piano works on the ever curious Reckno label
“Reckno is extremely proud to present PIANO MUSIC, two side long live recordings featuring the piano as the primary sound source.
On Side A: the composer and inventor Leafcutter John joins forces with the sound artist Devon Loch for an improvised duet, utilising John's self-made light interface and a piano that had sat unused for decades in the Margate Arts Club.
By connecting ultra sensitive contact microphones to the antique piano's frame, the pair were able to sample notes and other timbres from the instrument's strings and body, which were manipulated live using a photo-sensitive grid stimulated with an array of bike lights, torches and sparklers.
The result is an investigative, transportive piece of electro-acoustic music. Between sparse dissonance and flurries of alien texture, the performance keeps at its heart a sensitive understanding - like two unfamiliar creatures attempting communication for the first time.
Performance/sound artist Claire Orme takes us on an elegant trip across the dark sea using the piano as a boat. Vibraphone, violin and live sampling merge to conjure images of a ritual happening on the shore; only partially visible through the fog. Orme uses the space and the objects around her to create a fragile dreamlike sound world, the initial beauty giving way to mechanical clanking and violin contortions. Everything ends with the piano back on dry land and a romantic encounter with a Ghost.”
Wonderfully eccentric instrument builder Pierre Bastien meets electro-acoustic whiz Eddie Ladoire on Versatile with first fruits of their new duo, backed by ‘floor-ready remixes from Suzanne Kraft and Oceanic.
Phantom Dance features Bastien playing a trumpet underwater against see-sawing organ and drum machine patter with an effect recalling the horror disco vibes of Goblin meets DJ Bert & Eagle. Suzanne Kraft reworks it with a more viscous, acidic hustle for the darkroom, and Rotterdam’s Oceanic tilts between tucked minimal tech house swing and twanging Afro flavour in two respective mixes on the B-side.
Golden, evergreen Chi house from 1987
Serving the resolutely classic jacks of Robert Owens’ belting vocal in acapella, and on the tumbling House Mix, beside Mr. Fingers or Fingers Inc’s delirious, tracky instrumental and the Bonus Beats for crafty DJs.
Tipped for ever!
UTTU catch Frak dicing with more funked up US house and disco styles
Dancing up the spicy organ vamps and ruddy acid bass lixx of Lane Escape, then like a rawer, Landcruising Carl Craig in Protes, before stomping out the early UR-like techno tattoo, Long Fork and some gritty ghetto-fonk in Large Function.
Inventive electronic explorer AGF seriously impresses with the playfully loose-limbed and devious calculations of her Solid EP, a killer, “messy” adjunct to her self-released Solidicity LP released in 2017.
The Solid EP firms up as four deliciously sloppy spurts of unquantised rhythm and abstract electronics almost certain to catch the dancefloor off guard, offering myriad permutations for the adventurous rug-cutter in the fractious funk of Solids, with the mind and body-bending proprioception of Unlimited Migration, and to noisier, brittler degrees with GReeD, and gleefully ripping the spine out of footwork and replacing with concrète electronics on i-tikka.