weekly look into the world of electronic musics...
Justified and Ancient
[Blaou Sounds, 2005]
This 12” sees the series of KLF remixes continue in fine style. Deichkind, a German three piece “electronic superdanceband” takes the A-side and turns the title track into a perfectly competent jangly rock tune, while the B-side sees (underrated-for-a-reason) producer Mathias Schaffhäuser compile a piece that is just as unremarkable and forgettable. Done in differing styles, this 12” proves that the KLF were working from a textbook on how to write hit songs—all of the elements are here. What that textbook never told us, though, is that it takes a bit of personality to push them over the top, something these versions undoubtedly don’t.
Subject Carrier (Remixes)
[Blaou Sounds, 2005]
Going along on that remix tip, Oliver Hacke gets two of his Subject Carrier tunes reworked here by micro luminaries, John Tejada and Alex Under. Tejada’s mix benefits from more immediate source material and he doesn’t disappoint, coloring the stunning melody of “6:04” in only slightly different, but no less beautiful, ways. Alex Under has a harder job ahead of him, but he turns in a rather refreshing take on “7:03,” which doesn’t skimp on the deep house beats or the lithe synthesized melody.
That same synthesizer is used to deadening effect on Jesse Somfay’s debut album, Between Heartbeats. Don’t get me wrong: it’s creates a lovely, wispy, and rapid-fire sound when used in isolation, but Somfay sees fit to use on what seems like more than forty of the album’s seventy minute running time. All that being said, the track’s here are gorgeous in isolation, falling somewhere between the lengthy diversions of Ricardo Villalobos and the sumptuous melodies of Boards of Canada (albeit only one per song, it seems). I hesitate to theorize here, but it seems to me with both Somfay and labels like Border Community bringing melody and micro together rather effortlessly, that there maybe a wing of romanticism firmly establishing itself not a moment too soon. Top stuff.
No Matter What I Do
One man who is no stranger to melody is Minimse label head Donnacha Costello whose new 12” “No Matter What I Do” is a strong entrant into an already deep catalogue. Fresh from his color series, Costello seems almost buoyant here, playing two competing melodic runs against one another throughout the song’s length, gently shifting and transforming them both to keep things interesting. “Bear Bounces Back,” the B-side seems to be a remix of the A-side, bringing a vocal sample, a choir, and a deeper beat to the proceedings. Needless to say, it kills. Recommended.
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On his way back home, little Todd saw Michael, still holding his hand lantern before him. The lantern, while very beautiful was of a different, much bigger style from the previous year. Todd couldn’t understand why Michael would merely add on things on top of the lantern, with the only changes being disappointing add-ons that served no real purpose. The loud music was still buzzing in his years, but he wanted it gone. Todd hated getting nostalgic, but this had been done much better, long ago. There must be a way out of this dilemma!