September 29, 2006

Beckett and Taylor - (Hired New Hands)


Before I begin my gushing again for another Hands on the Plow release, I’d like to take a quick moment to wipe off the drool and give a quick criticism that has marred the label so far. That is, “where you gonna hide” Beckett and Taylor? With each passing year between releases, I’ve only been able to carry these tumbling tracks with the sad fact, like a hole in my pocket, that I’d have another year to wait for the next. No more, damn it. With Todd Burn’s recent Influx profile on the label, there’s no asterisk that footnotes my impatience for the label’s next release after (Hired New Hands). The opening cut “Where There You Been Gone Find It” takes bare-bone house structure and tickling voice-tweaks while adding the one thing that might describe the Hand on the Plow phenomenon in a short sampled nutshell: the sound of a screw twisting into a knot of wood. For all the group’s accumulated descriptions as loose or haphazard, their samples find that specific texture that is able to be twisted to the point that the underpinning screw will never fall out. Caro amplifies it, remixing the duo’s earlier track, “Hand on the Plow” with a sure touch. B-side “Hoody” might contort less, but the track’s slow burn makes up for any absence of revolution and finishes out another solid single.

Hand On The Plow / hotp003
[Nate DeYoung]

September 29, 2006

The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute

Plangent three-track EP on the somewhat puzzling Kompakt sublabel K2. Whatever the K2 raison d’etre might be, the Rice Twins are filling a much needed role with this lush soundtrack to a night of summer city driving with the windows down and a loved one by your side. “For Dan” evokes a wistful, romantic tone; “Rome” gets the blood racing a bit quicker as we merge onto the freeway, and the slightly wacky / nervous “Poppers” plays as you arrive at the club and surreptitiously smoke a joint in the parking lot.

K2 / K2/16
[Mallory O’Donnell]

September 29, 2006

Daso - Daybreak Remixe

Daso’s “Daybreak” was quite possibly the highpoint of the MBF label mix “Flashback,” so I admit to being wary of two remixes by (to me) unknowns. Luckily, that was plain foolish of me: Oliver Koletzki brings a rugged, Belgian EBM-type feel to the track; he lets it bang hard for the first half, then drops in that lovely three-note melody and shimmies it all behind a wall of steam. Skat’s remix gets things funkier with a killer multitimbred version. He rolls the beat up tight like sausage, garnishing it with pitchbent snips and snaps of the vocal, and then ending it all with a physical set of broken beats to up the tension.

My Best Friend / MBF 12024
[Mallory O’Donnell]

September 29, 2006

Shane Berry - Filtertet 2 Remixes

South African and living in Tokyo? I love this techno stuff. Dominik Eulberg remixes on the A-side, where something spongy and stuttering goes boomp in the night. Then all the machines stop functioning and the ominous hum of the generator is heard working overtime to bring them back to life. They re-emerge sharper, but more sinister, refracted shadows of their former selves. Gabriel Ananda strikes again on the flip, with a more subdued feel that still manages to be as tactile as sticking your hand in a bag filled with rubber nubs. Chunky, elastic and ever so slightly psycho-delic.

Trapez / Trapez Ltd 048
[Mallory O’Donnell]

September 29, 2006

Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew EP

Tim Xavier and Tony Rohr’s third release (and second for Brooklyn-based Clink Music) as the Afternoon Coffee Boys is a stellar three-track exercise in American minimalism. Stripped-down and percussion-based, the Boys add some squonky, short-decay riffs and disjointed robotic voices to the title version, as well as some clutch breakdowns. It pops with techno hardware but bounces to a housey funk rhythm and therefore should mix well with just about everything, though it sounds great all by itself. On the flip, “Splice and Dice Brew” runs the whole work through a fuzzy filter, and “Eno’s Brew” dials back on the beats and plays up the spookified noises. The Boys haven’t released a dud yet (their EP on Cocoon earlier this year was also a corker), and you have to wonder when the world is going to stand up and take notice.

Clink Music / CLINK 004
[Todd Hutlock]

September 29, 2006

Tobi Neumann - Flieder Lieder

Despite a nearly unreadable font and a few glaring errors on the tracklisting, Neumann’s mix is pretty on point here, treading that fertile ground between minimal, tech-house, and deep house grooves. Standouts include Cassy’s “Night To Remember,” DJ Yellow’s “Goddess,” Thomas Melchoir & Luciano’s “Father,” and Femi Kuti’s “Traitors of Africa.” That’s right, I said Femi Kuti. Neumann’s transitions are inspired, and the mix is full of lively movements and solid pacing, but I swear if I hear Tobias’ “Street Knowledge” on one more mix I’m gonna toss it out my car window. All in all, though, another winner from Cocoon’s mix series.

Cocoon / COR MIX 015
[Todd Hutlock]

September 29, 2006

Christian Dittmann - Nortesur


Chilean-born Dittmann follows up his vinyl debut from earlier this year (and an MP3 EP on Archipel from ‘05) with three more tracks of organic minimalist grooves, moving from RRYGULAR to Echocord in the process. This time out, however, Dittmann seems to have dialed up the excitement level a bit. It’s all relative of course, as these cuts are still full of gently pulsing beats, dubby phased sounds, and underwater ambient washes, but where the Bajo El Vocan EP meandered somewhat aimlessly, these grooves drift with more purpose, a stronger construction. A-side “Buena Decision” sounds like Villalobos on downers or maybe classic Orb minus the dippy samples, while “Dr. Murnau” and “Sin Saber” on the flip are shorter and more uptempo excursions, with the latter hitting a particularly nice “rainforest boogie” sound. Dittmann has honed and upgraded his craft between releases, and at this pace, I expect the next one to be virtually flawless.

Echocord / echocord21
[Todd Hutlock]

September 29, 2006

Interview: Cassy

Berlin DJ, producer, and vocalist Cassy Britton has released tracks and remixes for Mental Groove, Perlon, and Playhouse, as well as her own self-titled label. Stylus caught up with her to talk about her new label, single, and mix CD…

Stylus: How does DJing at [Berlin’s] Panoramabar differ from other locales? Does it play to any particular strong points of your style?

Cassy Britton: Well first of all I know the club and I feel at home there, though I have to say that every single time it’s different - a different crowd, a different mood. I’m nervous everytime I play and I don’t know what’s going to happen…what helps is that I’ve got three hours and I have time to relax into it and build something.

Do you feel that your experience producing your own tracks plays a role in how you structure your DJ sets?

I thought it would make a difference, but it’s actually the other way round. More DJing helps me structure my tracks.

A lot of people that have seen you DJ say you find this “zen, contented space” even when you’ve been playing for hours on end. Can you explain anything about your mental state of focus?

I try to leave myself alone, as I was taught in my acting training (funnily enough at some point one adheres to what one was told). Everytime a negative thought pops up, I try to not let it get hold of me for too long…sometimes it’s very difficult, though.

What was the initial thought/moment/catalyst that lead you to start making your own music?

I just wanted to do it all by myself. I was sick and tired of watching other people do what I would love to do, so I had to push myself a little further and get over my fear of failing and sounding like a loser. And curiosity of course. I just wanted to know what it’s like…

Why did you decide to go with your own label, as opposed to releasing elsewhere?

Also curiosity, and a strong interest in the process of releasing music - something very important to make yourself familiar with as a musician. The times of big labels doing all your work are gone, and as a musician you have to know as much as possible in order to let your music speak and be successful. You can’t allow yourself becoming the victim of some uncontrollable circumstances. Sometimes shit happens and that’s very good. You learn, but the rest of the time it’s important to, as you say in German, to “hold the reins in your own hands.” But I still want to release music on other labels, especially Perlon.

It seems like a lot of Berlin-based producers are stuck using the same tones, plug-ins, etc. Who do you feel is really pushing things forward and exploring new styles/sounds at the moment?

No one. I guess we all do what other people have done. There are some people who’s work I love and really appreciate for its authenticity or for its vibe or…I can’t describe it further, I guess those are very subjective preferences.

One final question: any forthcoming releases you’re particularly excited about?

My husband Tobias’ next record, on Logistic, is one of my most favourite tracks at the moment. It’s also on my mix cd. It’s called “Dial.”

Cassy’s new mix CD Panorama Bar 01, and single “Alexandra/Toyah,” are both out now. For more information, visit her official website.

[Colin James Nagy]

September 29, 2006

Charts: September 29 2006

Guest Chart: Kiki

Mr Gone - Do 4 Love (Radio Slave Remix) [Rebirth]
Henrik Schwarz - Imagination Limitation [K7]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innervisions]
Lazy Fat People - Shinjuku [Wagon Repair]
Jamie Jones - The Capsule [Freak n Chic]
Latex - The Porcupine [Rebelone]
Underworld - Pig Play (Buick Project Mix 2) [White]
Shonky - Closer to Pluton [Resopal]
Kiki - Trust Me [Bpitch Control]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]

Todd Hutlock
InBetween DJs - Horns in the Attic [Wallshaker Music]
Raudive - Ultraviolet [Klang Elektronik]
Marc Houle - Edamame [Minus]
Andrea Parker - Ballbreaker [Mo’ Wax]
Cobblestone Jazz - India In Me [Wagon Repair]
Metope - I’m So Ready (Sleeparchive Remix) [Areal]
Christian Dittmann - Buena Decision [Echocord]
Paul Kalkbrenner - Queer Fellow (Ellen Allien & Apparat Remix) [Bpitch Control]
Fraktion - This Fever Works [Resopal Red]
Thomas Melchoir & Luciano - Father [Cadenza]

Mallory O’Donnell
Morgan Geist - Crash Tracks EP [Metamorphic]
Daso - Daybreak (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [My Best Friend]
The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute EP [K2]
Putsch 79 - Doin’ It Remixes [Clone]
Scarlet Smears - Spitfire [Blank Start]
Lindstrom - It’s A Feedelity Affair [Smalltown Supersound]
Scissor Sisters - I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (Linus Loves Remixes) [Polydor]

Michael F. Gill
Chris & Cosey - Walking Through Heaven [Rough Trade]
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop (Instrumental) [Profile]
Ahzz - New York Moving [Land of Hits]
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly Soundtrack [Curtom]
The League Unlimited Orchestra - Love and Dancing [Virgin]
Legowelt - Bonn 1978 (Discodubmix) [Legowelt]
Dilo vs Gurtz - Piedras (Dandy Jack and the Latin Elvis Remix) [Roman,Photo]
Cohen vs Deluxe - Just Kick! (Carl Cox Mix) [Intec]
Kevin McKay - Summer Breeze [Muzik/Glasgow Underground]
V/A - Idol Tryout Two [Ghostly International]

September 22, 2006


On this third edition of Influx, we profile Foundsound. The label puts out music “showcasing quirky, dancefloor-friendly tracks constructed from fragmented samples, organic minimalism, and random field recordings.” Stylus editor Todd Burns talked to Sean O’Neal and Cyhl Takerkart about the Philadelphia electronic music scene, the differences between DJing and producing, and what’s up next in 2006 and 2007 for the label.

01: Sarah Goldfarb - Forty Years Ago I Sold My Body
02: Redwan - Macky & Donald (Fusiphorm Remix)
03: Someone Else - Goofball
04: Omar Salgado - Miniature

[INFLUX #001: Orac Records]
INFLUX #002: Hand on the Plow]

Next Page »