May 10, 2007

Move D - Ac1D

Being both a sucker for Modern Love’s polished, neo-classical “adult contemporary” listening techno AND Move D’s deep, lovely jazz influenced, IDM-inflected deep/minimal/tech/house vibrations, I was doubly determined to give “Ac1d” as unsympathetic a listening as possible. If we are to spurt praise, let us at least align and aim the gush cannon, as it were. Yet spurt I must, or squirt at least—once again David Moufang has dug deep and offered up two subtle, satisfying pieces of dubbed-out tech-house.

“Ac1d,” the A, moves through a repeating, decaying “padded acid” groove, whilst rich, textural elements (bleeps, vocal snatches, snipped squelch effects) are flung by. We’re close by the Luomo of Vocalcity here, where straight beats belie hidden depths that surge out at large volumes, or intimate strange feelings if left in the background. “Sheffield Dance” is a little more retro and less effective, beginning from a waddling bassline and building toward an emotional release that curves too slowly and releases too little—but works well as an ebbing, fading track, slowly dying away like five AM.

Modern Love / Modern Love 028
[Peter Chambers]

February 16, 2007

Audision - Jetlag

A download-only release from Russian imprint Between Us, Audision returns with more dubby, brooding melancholia that sounds like an outtake from the first quarter of Michael Mayer’s Immer mix. While the original is best suited for a headphone listen or perhaps to create atmosphere early on in a set, the remix by Pablo Bolivar pushes things down further down the filtered-down, Basic Channel path to enlightenment, also adding a bit more swing and animated drum programming to make it slightly more floor friendly. Recommended.

Between Us / BTWN 07
[Colin James Nagy]

May 5, 2006

Sparks - Tryouts for the Human Race (Kafka Re-Edit)

Currently available as a free download from DJ Kafka’s website, this re-edit of a track from Sparks Moroder-produced No. 1 In Heaven proves that buoyant, beefy Italo knows no national boundaries. Homing in on the classic oscillators and the “let us outta here” chorus, Kafka diverts the slightly clunky post-disco feel of the original into a sleeker and more (dare I say it) modern beast. Sparks and Italo both deserve a Renaissance, but it’s the lost art of the re-edit that really needs re-investigation. Taking nothing more than the original released version of a track, one can easily, as Kafka’s done here, take a workable or decent track and cut and paste it’s prime moments (or those of a number of versions of the track) into something that rocks out whatever kink your particular dancefloor gets off on. Considering the ready availability of track-editing software, what once took hours of laborious tape-splicing is now just a click or two away. Get on it people!

[Mallory O’Donnell]

January 27, 2006

Jonas Bering - Luna

Even though it’s a pain to find on cd and often maligned as derivative, I thought Jonas Bering’s first album Beinfait was an interesting mid-section of Basic Channel vapor and Kompakt’s early dubby house. Considering he dropped most of the BC influence afterwards for a warmer, shinier, and often dancier style of dub-house, Luna is a bit of a switch up, offering up a rush of elegant Detroit Techno with a frantic oom-pah-oom-pah beat during the middle. Also on this free internet release are remixes by Bern and Ari Bau, the former testing the limits of my boredom with nine minutes of monophonic tech-house, the latter retaining the Detroit vibe but adding in some excellent free-jazz styles polyrhythm.

Less Iz More / 002
[Michael F. Gill]

February 10, 2005

Jesse Somfay - Love Affair with the Moon

Somfay’s recent posting about originality on his own website’s blog is a bit of a red herring. He owes major debts to the influence of Ricardo Villalobos. In my book: not much of a problem there. On this, his second major release (first for the net-label Archipel), Somfay stretches out with three songs totaling nearly 40 minutes. While that can be wearing for some, the elastic push/pull of the watery beats and the lush, romantic drones that make up the melodies in each track are right up my alley. Those looking for the proper follow-up to the poppier moments of Alchacofa would do well to look here. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have a new crush.

Archipel / ARCH002
[Todd Burns]