June 22, 2007

INFLUX #004: CHELONIS R. JONES

Influx2007HouseChicagoLeftfield

On this fourth edition of Influx, we profile Chelonis R. Jones. Stylus editor Todd Burns talked to Jones about his upcoming album Chatterton, the cover art to Dislocated Genius, and what’s it like to be the “Franz Kafka of electro-pop”…

Tracks
01: Chelonis R. Jones - I Don’t Know
02: Marc Romboy vs. Chelonis R. Jones - Helen Cornell
03: Chelonis R. Jones - Sky Is Sea

[INFLUX #001: Orac Records]
[
INFLUX #002: Hand on the Plow]
[
INFLUX #003: Foundsound]


June 19, 2007

Dopplereffekt / Los Angeles TF / Mike Dunn - Gesamtkunstwerk / Magical Body / So Let It Be House

20071990s1980s12"CD/AlbumChicagoElectroItalo

Three more italo, electro, and house nuggets from Clone’s reliable Classic Cuts imprint, and the hits just keep on coming. First up is Dopplereffekt, the well-known Detroit electro collective featuring Gerald Donald of Drexciya. Gesamtkunstwerk is a reissue of a compilation that Gigolo put out in 1999, made up of all the vinyl sides from the group’s own Dataphysix Engineering label. It’s got all the hallmarks you’d expect to find on an electro record (sci-fi/technology themes, bleakly monophonic synths, precise/robotic beats) but with a consistency and a pop sensibility that the genre often lacks. The sleazy female vocals deadpanning on tracks like “Pornovision” and “Pornoactress” also predict what Adult’s Nicola Kuperus (and in turn, many electroclashers) would be doing years down the road. Great stuff.

Second up is a reissue of Los Angeles TF’s electro-italo smash “Magical Body” from 1983, sounding amazingly pristine here in a new remaster by Alden Tyrell. I wasn’t originally sold on the vocal version, where singer Taffy (of “I Love My Radio” fame) seems to over-emphasize the end of each phrase (”Magical! Magical! Is your bod-EE!”), but the tracky instrumental on the B provides immediate gratification, and shows why so many nu-italo producers were inspired to do what they do.

For the third helping, we get another EP of vintage acid house from Mike Dunn. Clone boss Serge was so scared to damage his vinyl copy of Dunn’s “So Let It Be House” he’s gone out and secured this reissue of it, along with two superior b-sides. While the press releases gushes about the title cut’s rareness, and frames 1980s Chicago as this exotic, magical place, to these ears it’s an overly sparse acid track with another “Birth of House Music” speech. It may be the weakest of this trio of releases, but I sort of get the cross-continental appeal. I’m never going to be a intimidating black man from the streets either.

Clone Classic Cuts / C#CC 004/005/006
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[Listen]
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[Michael F. Gill]


April 11, 2007

Redshape - Dog Day

200712"HouseChicago

A rising star of the Euro-Detroit movement, Redshape’s latest single is actually his most overt nod to house yet. Specifically, the aura here is towards the lesser-mined sounds of ’90s Chicago house, when artists like the Foremost Poets would detune, stretch, and staccato-ize a synth burst, and then repeat it until it became a viable, body-moving loop that sounded fresh over a kick. “Dog Day” wouldn’t be too far from some of the early stuff on Relief Records, if not for a somewhat suspect breakbeat loop, likely lifted from one of the thousand dance records in the early ’90s that featured it. This is one of those pesky, one-sided releases that will likely be hard to find, but is worthy of seeking out.

Millions of Moments / MOM 05
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[Michael F. Gill]