March 31, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 13

Faze Action - In The Trees (Juno)

Nick Sylvester: Especially with the crowd that space-disco’s drawing at the moment, you can’t go wrong re-releasing what in retrospect sounds like an accidentally seminal cut. Speaking of accidentally seminal cuts, don’t be surprised to find, as I did, the Carl Craig remix in otherwise aggravating neu-rave Franco-filter-metal sets happening in Lower East Sides near you.

Andy Stott - Handle with Care / See in Me 10” (Modern Love)

Lusine - Podgelism / Podgelism Select Remixes (Ghostly International)

40 Thieves - Point to the Joint (Smash Hit Music)

Tobias - Dial EP (Logistic)

Peter Chambers: In every way the sequel to Street Knowledge, Dial is the second part of a manifesto that lays out the unmistakable patterns of an incurable machine romance.

Mad Mike - Hi-Tech Dreams (Underground Resistance)

Patrice Bäumel - Just Electricty (Trapez)

Justus Köhncke - Justus Köhncke vs Prins Thomas (Kompakt)

Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck (Cocoon)

Michael F. Gill: As good as “Six Feet Above” and “Double Secret Life” were, “Goodnight & Good Luck” sounds like a breakout release, straddling high-clarity minimal techno with a set of winding trance-esque melodies a la Orbital.

2007 Winter Music Conference Coverage: Day Three, Night Three

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #25: Nativespeaker (Peter Chambers) - dysappearance

March 30, 2007

Beatzcast #25: Nativespeaker (Peter Chambers)


Nativespeaker - dysappearance

01: Louderbach - For Lack of a Better Solution [buy]
02: DJ Koze - Madame Zifandl [buy]
03: Sleeparchive - Image Photometer [buy]
04: Studio 1 - Gold [buy]
05: Auch - Tomorrow Goodbye (Villalobos mix) [buy]
06: NSI - Clara Ghavami (extended) [buy]
07: Efdemin - Post Script Blues [buy]
08: Moodymann - Dem Young Sconies [buy]
09: Plastikman - Hypokondriak [buy]
10: Pansonic - Pyokki Halko [buy]
11: Claro Intelecto - New Dawn [buy]
12: Nike.Bordom - Unfinished Symphony [buy]
13: Björk - Headphones (Ø mix) [buy]

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March 30, 2007

Charts: March 30 2007

Todd Hutlock
Audion - Mouth To Mouth (Heartthrob’s Hot Breath Treatment) [Spectral Sound]
Pole - Jungs [~scape]
Creation Rebel - Starship Africa (Parts 1-5) [On U Sound]
DJ T - Lucky Bastard [Get Physical]
Mad Mike - Lo-Tech Reality [Underground Resistance]
Riton - Hammer of Thor (Roman Flügel Remix) [Souvenir]
Dominik Eulberg - Die Grunschenkel Im Blauen Priel [Traum Schallplatten]
Faze Action - In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 Remix 1) [Juno]
Adultnapper - Betty Crocker Moves To Berlin [Superfreq]
Audio Werner – Flatfunk [Circus Company]

Michael F. Gill
Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck [Cocoon]
Porter Ricks – Porter Ricks [Mille Plateaux]
Motorcitysoul – Aura (Jimpster Remix) [STIR15 Recordings]
Glimpse – Julia [Hypercolour]
Jay Pauli – Hamburger Spritzer [Ware]
DJ E Tones – Soul Detergent [Sounds]
Blue Vision – Visions [EMI Electrola]
Secession - Touch (Parts 3 & 4) [Beggars Banquet]
Rick James – Glow [Gordy/Motown]
Cheri – Murphy’s Law [Venture]

March 29, 2007

Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck

In comparison to his more introspective material on his own Recognition label, Jacek’s singles on Cocoon are usually more of a mainroom affair, and this one’s no exception. As good as “Six Feet Above” and “Double Secret Life” were, “Goodnight & Good Luck” sounds like a breakout release, straddling high-clarity minimal techno with a set of winding trance-esque melodies a la Orbital. “Good Luck” is the stunner: twelve minutes of pure sunrise techno, starting with high-pitched ping-ponging synth octaves, and adding in twinkling bells and warm drones half way in. “Good Night” is a bit more reminiscent of Donnacha Costello’s recent work, with crisp, dry bell sounds working an echoing lock-groove that eventually shows itself to be just as mesmerizing as its counterpart. Highly recommended.

Cocoon / COR0336
[Michael F. Gill]

March 29, 2007

Justus Köhncke - Justus Köhncke vs Prins Thomas


Full Pupp’s blueprint of acid-washed, spacey electro-disco found curious but undeniable elective affinities with Kompakt’s less schranzy/trancey moments. It’s a love that spoke its name by M. Mayer’s insistence on not only including Terje’s mix of “Another Station” on Immer 2, but mixing it with Justus Köhncke’s own “Advance.” What a shame then, that the A-side (Prins Thomas’ “string plucking” diskomikks) doesn’t really work. Elementally, there’s nothing wrong with the arrangement, it’s just that, well, it doesn’t swing. There’s something slightly off about the strings and the bass playing, as if the session was rehearsed and recorded over Skype, with the slight delay that entails. Where Kelley Polar’s playing lends his tracks a magnificent liquidity, the diskomikks sounds lumpy—the bass just doesn’t groove with the strings.

Prins’ version of “Advance” is far better, but it’s just what you’d expect and nothing more—the original, soaked in spacemaking delay and reverb until the whole thing whooshes and churns itself to a giddy climax. “Tilda,” in every apparent way the “B-side,” comes away as the most interesting track on the EP, although it has very little to do with the meeting of the various sound spectrums that the record seems to have been “designed” for. It’s a really pleasant repeatscape, driven by a metallic dulcimer that conceals a strong sense of pop smarts—subtly and quintessentially Kompakt, in other words.

Kompakt / KOM 153
[Peter Chambers]

March 28, 2007

After No Spank Rock Party, It’s the Hotel Lobby (WMC, Night Three)

Well, I suppose we should have seen it coming.

Spank Rock & the Rub got cancelled at the last minute. Or, so they said. Instead of rapid-fire funk and ghetto breaks, our ears were assaulted with pumping house. We were informed by an extremely drunk employee of the Marlin that the last-minute DJ showcase thrown together and taped to the door in no-frills centered, black-on-white lettering was the “Tampa Sound.” Whatever constitutes the “Tampa Sound,” it sounded like shit to me, so we hoofed it over to see what else we could run into.

The Chelsea and Chesterfield were not really our scene, and I think I was on point of giving up, when Ross remembered the Whitelaw- now if we could only find it. A couple blocks and a question or two later and we did, full of crazy mothers and some actually goddamn decent house. Glasses guy certainly approved:

So we stayed and danced ’til 5 (it was a strict 5 to boot, they cut the power on that right on the top of the hour. I suppose their guests have to sleep sometime). While it lasted it was a sweaty (very sweaty) and fitting end to a half-weeks worth of revelry. J Phlip finished out the night with one of the best house sets I’ve heard in a long long time- inventive, stylistically varied, and danceable as hell. As hard as I shook it this weekend, the Whitelaw was the funkiest. Even Ross busted out some P-Funk moves. Oh, did I mention that J (Jessica) Phlip is also absolutely gorgeous and totally my new DJ crush? Yeah, I did:

5 A.M. seemed to be the unofficial cutoff time for all the Hotel parties on the central side of South Beach, so we wandered around a bit more, discussing the whole crazy experience, made ourselves each a gin & juice, and slowly wound our way up Meridian to get some well-deserved rest.

[Mallory O’Donnell]

March 28, 2007

ULTRA Festival, Day Two (WMC, Day Three)

Our trip to Ultra for Day 2 was fraught with difficulty from the start- Ross was hanging some of his paintings for a show Sunday at Flavour in Coconut Grove, which is the kickoff for a new weekly party hosted by Miami’s G-Unit/Shadyville DJ Epps, who rocks on The Beat 103.5. At any rate, the hanging of the show on Saturday morning took a great deal longer than anticipated, so we headed off to ULTRA @ around 5, after stormclouds began a-brewing. Walking to the event from about twelve blocks away (and through a pile of people queuing for the Miami Heat game), we had to seek refuge from the onslaught of pounding rain. The sky looked to be clearing, though, so we kept on through it and made it to Bicentennial Park with high hopes and slightly damp clothing.

We had no freaking idea. The downpour began almost immediately. I was keen on seeing DJ Hell and then Tiefschwarz, who were scheduled to rock the Amnesia Electro/Techno stage starting about that time (we’d already missed Tiga, at least according to the schedule), so we headed right over there after skating through the V.I.P. (L.O.L.) entrance. Right as we got there, we felt the rain pick up and then saw everyone running away. That’s funny, we were thinking - where could they be running to in an open-air event? ANYWHERE, that’s where. The intensity of the storm was unendurable, buckets of water pounding down on the masses until everyone had to seek some form of cover. Someone out there will be able to appreciate the irony in our source of refuge - the Carl Cox & friends tent. If everything was going according to schedule, Danny Tenaglia was playing. Whoever it was, for the twenty minutes or so that we could endure the oppressive, stifling atmosphere of thousands of bodies completely pressed against each other, the music was like a hard-house version of Nazi marching band tunes. I like feeling compelled to dance, but my hackles get raised when its seems like I’m being ordered to. It looked something like this, although it really only approximates the painful crush of flesh:

Luckily, the rain slowed down, and though it took a long time to really go away (and even then, one couldn’t be sure), the worst was over. Only a couple of the stages were covered, so most of them had some delay in their schedules to work out. With tarps covering the stage and equipment (including the massive speakers), the DJs at the Electro-Techno stage finally got cracking - the DnB and House stages quickly picked up ravers as well. In fact, the House stage seemed the most attended of the evening apart from the Main Stage - at least during David Guetta and DJ Dan’s sets.

A long stroll around the whole site left us both in awe - the attendees of Ultra, despite a million other parties going on in closed spaces with no danger of getting drenched, really stuck it out to wait for their favorites get behind the wheels of steel. Whether they were holding out for Paul Van Dyk, BT, Cox, Richie Hawtin or whoever, they raved and raved and raved. Some raved a bit too hard - the night turned ghastly for us when we saw a woman who was dancing next to the fence at the Amnesia event suddenly collapse. Her boyfriend attempted to revive her and not really getting anywhere, so we contacted the nearest staff person. By the time we returned, she was obviously shaken but had motor control, so we stepped back and hoped for the best. Luckily, amongst the thousands of people there, this was the only incident that gave us fright - most everyone else seemed to be at least nominally in control of the situation.

Still, as the approach to midnight began in earnest, we left, somewhat shaken but thankfully not bruised. The Heat were losing as we walked past the arena, watching with some amusement as traffic was diverted around the massive congestion of the game and festival area. Not to say we walked blithely past, knowing we’d be dealing with it soon enough, but it felt good to come out of such intensity and see people who had absolutely no clue about the madness happening just a few hundred feet away. So we drove back to the beach in high hopes, looking forward to the party with Spank Rock and the Rub.

[Mallory O’Donnell]

March 28, 2007

Patrice Bäumel - Just Electricty

Both functional and unique, Patrice Bäumel’s Mutant Pop 12” for the Trapez label was one of my most heavily caned platters of 2005. Anytime I couldn’t find a link in a DJ set, there were “Mutant Pop” and “Shower of Ice” with their building, extended intros ready to bail me out again. After that intro, though, came the unique part—where Bäumel basically built a mini-DJ set of his own inside the track as elements took their time in presenting themselves and then gradually fading away.

Bäumel’s newest 12”, Just Electricity, doesn’t work in the same way. Instead, each of the two tracks here are primarily useful for DJs looking to subtly change the tenor of their set. That’s why “Just Electricity” leaves you that synth pad bed underneath its pseudo-trance melody and even goes so far as to stop with a minute left for a few seconds to let slower DJs mix something right quick. “Fantomas” works similarly, seemingly begging its entire run-time for another, more distinctive tune to run up alongside it and guide the prospective set elsewhere.

Trapez / Trapez 073
[Todd Burns]

March 28, 2007

Mad Mike - Hi-Tech Dreams

It’s been a long gap between releases on Underground Resistance—just over a year—but those expecting Mad Mike to come back with some sort of reinvention of the UR wheel will be sorely disappointed—but only for a second. “Hi-Tech Dreams” is classic Detroit techno funk, deep and smooth but with a distinct grit to it thanks to the slightly harder elements of the main bass riff and snapping beats. Distorted vocals come courtesy of UR Agent Chaos alongside some female wailing, giving the jazzed-up space groove a sharper edge, as do the rather sinister out-of-time breakdowns and rhythmic jumps. It won’t make you forget “Jupiter Jazz,” but it’s definitely cut from the same cloth.

On the flip, “Hold My Own” is a downtempo hybrid of rock, funk, and hip-hop that works as a political statement but not really as a memorable piece of music, but “Lo-Tech Reality” is the A-side’s evil twin, reprising the rhythmic punch of “Hi-Tech Dreams” in a stripped-down mode and a sinister voiceover explaining that “You don’t really understand any of this.” Oozing with urban politics and some truly wicked analog noise loops, “Lo-Tech” is what ghetto menace sounds like when transmitted from Detroit directly to Mars. This is a fine return to form, and as long as they don’t take a year to issue a follow-up, UR should be back on top of the Detroit techno dogpile in no time.

Underground Resistance / UR-071
[Todd Hutlock]

March 28, 2007

Tobias - Dial EP

I found myself contorted into all kinds of verbal shapes and hard-wrung hand positions the other night, trying to explain to a non-techno friend exactly what’s so good about Tobias’ productions—because on the surface at least, there’s very little to it. The friend’s ears, tuned to jazz and classical, kept wading through the repetitions waiting for “it” to happen – and he shrugged when it didn’t. “It’s not the moment, it’s the movement,” I said. I’m not sure that conveys it either. It just sounds so damned good. Like last year’s wonderful Street Knowledge EP, every clap, kick and bassline on Dial sound just right.

And the tracks groove like hell, especially the title cut, which twists through seven minutes with nothing more than bass and percussion. “Violence” takes things in a more experimental direction, and sounds like some of Carl Craig’s similar styled-work (“Darkness”). “Below Houston” (which was featured on Cassy’s Panoramabar mix along with the title track) is a much housier cut in the vein of older 7th City Records tracks, while “Second to None” is a more spacious tech-house excursion. In every way the sequel to Street Knowledge, Dial is the second part of a manifesto that lays out the unmistakable patterns of an incurable machine romance.

Logistic / LOG059
[Peter Chambers]

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