April 30, 2007

Phobia - Phobia (DJ Hell / Silence Mix)

It still seems so easy to write off International Deejay Gigolos, even if it’s now a full five years or so since the death of electroclash. Their rampant release schedule and terminally hit-or-miss CD compilations have never done them any favors, and I would actually agree with naysayers who claim that their M.O of sleazy rave, electro-techno, and acid works better in theory than in abundant practice. Yet looking back over the last three years, I’m surprised how many quality tracks they’ve been a part of, from the DJ Hell remixes by Dominik Eulberg and Superpitcher, the Psychonauts “World Keeps Turning,” Abe Duque’s album, and Johnny Dangerous’ fantastic “King of Clubs,” to great recent sides from Terrence Fixmer and Kevin Gorman.

And here we are again, with another massive release: DJ Hell’s perfect update of Phobia’s (aka Pink Elln) self-titled proto-trance cut from 1991. Pretty much all the elements that made the original such a smash are here: an eerie two-note drone acting as a depth charge, a slightly melancholic diva wail, and a spoken voice intoning “let me have silence.” DJ Hell just seems to fill in the blanks in making it sound contemporary, basically giving it a sleeker drum kit and some reserved acid lines; the source material does the rest of the heavy lifting effortlessly. On the flip side is the “Silence Mix,” a co-production between Pink Elln and Atom Heart, which uses the two-note drone as the basis for a frigid piece of ambience that threatens but never quite makes it way into something comfortable (a good thing). It’s actually a little hard to believe “Phobia” is over 15 years old, as this single makes so much sense, and sounds so vital.

International Deejay Gigolos / GIGOLO 213
[Listen]
[Michael F. Gill]


October 13, 2006

Abe Duque - When the Fever Breaks

There’s a sense of joy in Abe Duque’s records that doesn’t often occur in the hardcore techno camp he’s most often associated with. It’s too bad—results this uniformly excellent aren’t exactly abounding, and any “shtick” that might result from being so clearly enamoured of a pop approach is rendered null and void by Duque’s methodical attention to detail. Sure, he might be an artist—but he’s an artist unwilling to relinquish his role as craftsman, which means that every drum pattern and every denouement of “When the Fever Breaks” is a dance-worthy wiggle, a chance to slide across the floor with a slithering attempt at grace. House songs that exceed 13 minutes simply shouldn’t be this much fun. Flip it over, and you’ve got “Ghost Dance,” another nine minutes of pure pleasure, this time on a flanged-piano / female vocal motif. Irresistible and endlessly listenable.

Abe Duque Records / ADR-013
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


October 6, 2006

Charts: October 6 2006

Guest Chart: Steve Bug, Poker Flat

Extraproduktionen - Subgreen (Arto Mwambe Mix) [Brontosaurus]
Ian O’Brien - Totally Alright (Martin Buttrich Mix) [Virgin]
Ben Westbeech - So Good Today (Yoruba Soul Mix) [Brownswood]
Das Bierbeben - Alles Fällt (Losoul Mix) [Shitkatapult]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innercity Visions]
Cle & Mike Vamp - Maisonette (All Mixes) [Dessous]
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Mix) [Mobile]
Dan Berkson & James What - Mescalincircus [Poker Flat]
Abe Duque - When The Fever Breaks [Abe Duque Records]
Studiogemeinschaft - Employee [Treibstoff]

Todd Hutlock
Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew [Clink]
Ricardo Villalobos - Bach to Back [Playhouse]
Markus Nikolai - Bushes (Freaks In Outer Space Dub) [Perlon]
Jay Haze - Change Something (Pier Bucci Remix) [Contexterrior]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Dominik Eulberg Remix) [Trapez LTD]
Anthony Shakir - Sermon [Sublime]
Justin Martin & Sammy D - Swamp Thang (Claude VonStroke Swamp Rat Mix) [Dirtybird]
Kenny Leaven - Feeling Spicy [Traum]
Alexi Delano & Xpansul - Vegetotherapy [Plus 8]
Davidovitch - Insider [Kompakt]

Ronan Fitzgerald
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Remix) [Mobilee]
Solieb - Isotropy (Lazy Fat People Remix) [Maschine]
Rekorder - 6 – [Rekorder]
Jens Bond - Rocket Queen [Highgrade]
Stefan Goldmann and Ame - Sleepy Hollow Version [Innervisions]
Argenix and Samim - Sabor EP [Tuning Spork Family Affair]
Anja Schneider - Addicted (Gummihz Mix) - [Mobilee]
Juergens - Love It [Room Recordings]
Shonky - Closer To Pluton [Resopal Red]
Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Disconnect EP [Ostwind]

Mallory O’Donnell
Lindstrom - Arp She Said [Smalltown Supersound]
Erasure - Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day) (Fingers In Crumbs) [Mute]
Peru - Oriental – [Red Bullet / Compost]
Tetine - A Historia De Garca [Soul Jazz]
Dexter Vs. Cosmic Force - Drum Techniek [Marguerita ]
Sneak Thief - Body Militia [Voltage Musique]
Underworld – Cowgirl [Junior Boy’s Own]

Michael F. Gill
Pinktronix – Booty Sez (Juho Kahilainen rmx) [Elettrica]
The It - Donnie (Ron Hardy mix) [DJ International]
Public Energy - Three ‘O Three [Probe Records]
Ministry - I Wanted to Tell Her [Arista]
George Clinton - Erotic City [Fox Records]
Contemporary Household – She Said (Toktok remix) [Bomzh]
XR7 – XR7 [Quality Records]
Galaxy – Dancing Tight [Island/Ensign]
Sven Weisemann – Slices [Liebe Detail]
Ginny - Can’t Be Serious [VM Records]


July 14, 2006

Fuckaponydelic - Switch on the Light / Pee on You

On this unofficial release Fuckpony harness the power of several radio stations playing at the same time over some slow burning acid lines, and in the process come up with one of the rawest records of the year. Akin to a more irreverent version of Abe Duque’s “What Happened,” “Switch on the Light” is a heavy dub with garbled vocals and the mad incantations of a preacher (is it Funkadelic?) over a driving 303 line. “Pee on You” is a quirkier old style US house track, with further vocal weirdness and funky sounds which have seemingly been lost in recent years. You’re not likely to hear “from every head and ass, dollars flow,” yelled over many German minimal records. But then if more US producers made records like this we mightn’t need minimal.

White Label
[Ronan Fitzgerald]


December 22, 2005

2005: The Year In Review

A look into the year that was in electronic musics…

Top 10 Albums

Matthew Herbert – Plat du Jour
Audion – Suckfish
Vitalic – OK Cowboy
Ark – Caliente
Dandy Jack & Junction SM – Los Siete Castigos
Marc Leclair – Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes
Pier Bucci – Familia
Who Made Who – Who Made Who
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas – Lindstrom & Prins Thomas
Alex Smoke – Incommunicado

This young Glaswegian producer’s debut came on like a shock: marrying a heady combination of electro, old school techno, minimal, and an innate pop sense. A collection of tracks that were just as liable to make you stop dancing in wonder, as it was to get you on the floor…

Top 10 Singles

Booka Shade – Mandarine Girl
Spare Time - Lazy
Luciano – Bomberos
Donato Dozzy & Exercise One - Skarciofen
Common Factor – That Was Then
Unai – Oh You and I
Royskpp feat. Karin Dreijer – What Else Is There?
Daso – Daybreak
Patrice Baumel – Mutant Pop
Stefan Goldmann – Blood

After previously appearing on the smaller Classic and Ovum labels, Goldmann steps up to the plate for Perlon’s 51st release—three enormous monster tracks of clicks and bass that start out with the most modest of intentions…

Top 5 DJ Mixes

Dominik Eulberg – Kreucht and Fluecht
Ewan Pearson – Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi, Vol 1
Annie – DJ Kicks
DJ Clever – Breakbeat Science 5
DJ Naughty – One Naughty Night in Berlin

Showcasing the vocal-end of electro-house, while throwing in classic disco and Italo to boot, DJ Naughty further pushed the dirty disco sound to its limits on this mix from the Eskimo label…

Top 5 Producers

Jesse Somfay
LCD Soundsystem
Putsch 79
Trentemoeller
Nathan Fake

Finding himself on seemingly every single DJ mix released this year, Fake had a massive year on the residual effects of the classic “The Sky Was Pink,” Traum’s 2005 crown jewel, “Dinamo,” and the white label of “Silent Night”…

Top 5 Remixers

Ricardo Villalobos
Abe Duque
Switch / YES Productions
Robag Wruhme
Stuart Price

Almost made the Killers listenable. No mean feat.

Top 5 Labels

Get Physical
Gomma
DFA
Eskimo
Traum/Trapez/MBF

Located strategically across the road from Kompakt HQ, the Traum family had its best year yet with strong entries from known quantities (Steve Barnes, Dominik Eulberg, Jeff Samuel) and a whole host of new producers (Alex Under, Jesse Somfay, Noze, Patrice Baumel)…

Top 5 Reissues

Keith Hudson – The Hudson Affair: Keith Hudson and Friends
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
Luomo – Vocalcity
Prince Douglas – Dub Roots
AFX – Hangable Auto Bulb

Richard D. James’ formerly ultra-rare drill ‘n bass template sounds as fresh as ever, showing why betting on jungle in 1995 was the best decision he ever made…

Top 5 Compilations

Cybotron – Motor City Machine Music
V/A – Spectral Sound, Vol. 1
Senor Coconut – Coconut FM
Robag Wruhme & Wighnomy Brothers – Remikks Potpourri
Greg Wilson – Credit to the Edit

The first time that this dance music pioneer’s work has been collected. If you were going to clubs in the 1980s, Greg Wilson was your soundtrack—extending and tightening the tracks that you liked and turning them into the epics that you loved…

Words: Todd Burns
Voting Contributors: Todd Burns, Nate Deyoung, Michael F. Gill, Cameron Macdonald, Derek Miller, Mike Powell, Will Simmons