Beatz By The Pound

a weekly look into the world of electronic musics...

Ricardo Villalobos
For Disco Only 2
[White Label, 2005]

“Bucci, Ricardo, whoa-oh, how we love you so-o!” That’s the refrain I fear we might be singing in a few years when it becomes clear that Villalobos has hoovered his mind free of any sort of coherency. Until then, though, we have mind-altering slabs of vinyl that defy both categorization and movement. But what a sweet stasis the A-side, with its upwardly mobile bassline, funky guitar lick, and purposefully distended vomit vocals is! Which doesn’t even bother to mention the main event, a meeting of Philip Glass’ “The Grid” and that same bassline, which begins as train wreck and soon transforms into one of the most addictive examples of the Goofus/Gallant dichotomy of psychotropic music producers.

Maximilian Skiba
Randez-Vous Over Mars 12”
[Boxer Recordings, 2005]

I’ve always felt, right or wrong, that Boxer was one of those harder-edged labels that rarely sounds good at home and always offers up the goods while on the dancefloor. That assumption is blown away by the built for home-listening Randez-Vous Over Mars, which is primarily built on sinuous and melodic electro. The title track dispels any notion of coldness immediately, matching up a bouncing beat with an arpeggiated set of notes and a bulbous bassline. “Bizzarre,” meanwhile, raves it up and “Transcendental Dinkiness”…well, the title really says it all.

Bruxelles 12”
[Dial, 2005]

If Kompakt’s the popular kid at school, Traum/Trapez/MBF is the jock that plays three sports, and Perlon’s the hippie, then it follows that Dial is the arty goth kid. Sure, he becomes more parodic as time goes on, repeating the same brand of moodiness that has worked from the beginning, but he’s only doing what works. Efdemin’s second 12” is much like his first, pursuing the ghosts of emotion down dark deserted hallways filled with frightening silences and tense, finely wrought compositions.You shouldn’t be getting tired of Dial (I’m sure as hell not), but if you are take heart, they’ve got a shocker waiting on the horizon.

Rubicube 12”
[Cadenza, 2005]

Cadenza’s win streak (excepting NSI) is primarily based on the fact that Luciano has produced the majority of its releases. You’d be a wi… Digitaline, a duo featuring Gregorythme and the (unknown to me) Laps, continue apace with Rubicube, two tracks that fit into the label’s template nicely. The title track is bubbly, like a glass of water constantly being jostled, their contents spilling over onto the floor, while “Belladonna” is drier, more stiffly countering its lone wavering synth with a vocal stab and some politely Latin percussion. Nothing flashy here, just more quality.

Catch 12”
[Poker Flat Recordings, 2005]

Northern Germany rarely gets the love that Cologne does, but Poker Flat has quietly been among the finest labels in the country for the past few years. Beatz regrets only getting around to truly paying strict reviewing attention based around the presence of a Sten remix, but those are the breaks. Kersten’s mix here is classic work, melding cloudy synthetic crescendos and a busy bassline to what becomes an oddly affecting melody by the track’s close. In fact, Limacon’s original mix almost comes off as a distended dub version of the meatier remix, but you can see immediately what drew Kersten to the material. Also on the B-side is the funkier “Joni,” which sounds just as oddly thin as its predecessor and just as entrancingly off-kilter.

By: Todd Burns
Published on: 2005-10-13
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