December 22, 2006

2006 Year In Review: Individual Writer Lists

As a companion piece to our 2006 year in review, here are the individual lists/charts from each of our contributors. Happy reading…

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December 22, 2006

2006: The Year In Review

Welcome to the Beatz By The Pound year-end roundup for 2006, a veritable smorgasbord of lists, thoughts, and reflections about the current state of dance music. And while all of our writers handed in very diverse ballots, we were able to come to a consensus on a couple of key releases, producers, and labels. Let the madness begin…

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December 15, 2006

The Orb - Blue Room

Reanimation1990s12"CD/AlbumDubAmbient

With longer singles coming back into vogue again, a glance back at the longest chart single in UK history seemed in order. Cleverly timed at exactly 39:58 to get under the 40 minute limitation on UK singles chart entries at the time—it reached number 8 in the summer of 1992—Dr. Alex Patterson and Co.’s “Blue Room” stands as a monolithic signpost for the ambient house movement and remains surprisingly listenable today. It may seem odd to refer to a 40-minute track as anyone’s finest “moment,” but if the moon boot fits…

In direct comparison to the Villalobos’ track, which concentrates on working a single basic idea into an infinite amount of mutations and permutations, “Blue Room” is a relative explosion of musical textures and spaces. If “Fizheuer” is a journey to the inner spaces of one’s mind via beat transmogrification, “Blue Room” is a trip to the dark side of the moon and back, complete with all the sci-fi noises and relevant vocal samples and sound effects you might expect. The track isn’t tight in the least—it’s a free-flowing mélange of sounds (Steve Hillage’s spaced-out guitar licks and bubbling percussive sounds chief among them) and textures, but it’s tethered down by the rock-solid anchors of Jah Wobble’s throbbing bass groove and the gently popping backbeat. The rhythm tracks start around the 6-minute mark, giving the track enough time to establish a mood but not to reach boredom threshold, and Patterson mixes things up from there. With such a wide palette of sounds to mix up and years of experience in this modified ambient-dub style (check back to the KLF’s masterful Chill Out album to hear Patterson cutting his teeth on a similarly long-form piece), “Blue Room” never gets old, never sits still, never blows its cool. It honestly doesn’t sound a second too long. And that bassline… oh, that bassline. It makes you see trails. The sonic detritus is interesting enough to maintain the ear’s interest; the groove is strong enough to keep heads nodding and toes tapping. “Ambient house” may have been coined a few years prior, but one could argue that this single track should play on the term’s Wikipedia page, perhaps over a shifting kaleidoscope of colors and astronomical images.

“Fizheuer” and “Blue Room” take very different paths to get where they are going, and outside of the length, there is very little in common between the two recordings on the surface—in fact, the comparison is a study of contrasts. While the Orb leave more space in their track, they also use far more sounds. While Villalobos uses only two basic pieces to construct his track (horns and drums), he is just as much of a manipulator and his track actually sounds far more dense. While criticisms may abound about both (generally from those with short attention spans), you’d certainly never hear “Blue Room” referred to as an overgrown DJ tool. Still, examining how two very different producers tackle epic-length electronic tracks can be a fun and enlightening exercise, assuming you have an afternoon to kill. Get comfy.

[Todd Hutlock]


November 17, 2006

Thomas Brinkmann /Alex Under - Naranja Monje

200612"Techno

After the decidedly un-Brinkmann-like Lucky Hands LP in 2005, electronic pioneer Thomas Brinkmann has been a bit quiet, and from the sounds of his track on this split EP with Spaniard Alex Under, he’s spent that time honing his old sound rather than moving further away from it. Brinkmann’s “128 Rua Villalobos” sounds like it could have been lifted directly from one of his singles circa 2000, an up-tempo, Basic Channel-style dub workout that doesn’t do much but sounds oh so good doing it. Buoyed by that familiar looping, loping style, Brinkmann’s side slips on like an old comfortable shoe, pulsing along with that familiar rhythmic invention and phasing technique that made that style so irresistible in the first place. CMYK boss Alex Under, for his part, heads in the opposite direction, with the jumping “Naran Jamón, jejeje,” following in the funky footsteps of his EPs on Plus 8, Apnea, and Trapez from earlier this year—rollicking, bumpy, and full of shifting layers of clicky percussion that keeps the action moving along with regularity, with a really nice breakdown series in the middle to top it off.

CMYK Musik / CMYK009
[Listen]
[Todd Hutlock]


November 17, 2006

Charts: November 17 2006

Todd Hutlock
Alex Under - Naran Jamón, jejeje [CMYK Musik]
Villalobos - Fizheuer Zieheuer [Playhouse]
Robert Hood - Still Hear [Music Man]
Unknown Artist - #100 [Wooling]
Konrad Black - Coma Couch Surfing [Items & Things]
The Knife - We Share Our Mother’s Health (Radioslave Remix) [Brille/Mute]
Tres Demented - Demented Drums [Planet E]
Kate Simko - Strumm (Jonas Bering Remix) [Kupei]
Lindstrom - Take Me To The Metro [Capricious]
Gaiser - Neural Block [Minus]

Michael F. Gill
Zwicker – Made Up [Compost Black Label]
Yennek – Without (Acapella Mix) [Substance]
Jeff Mills – The Art of Connecting [Nextera/Axis]
Pieces of a Dream – Warm Weather [Elektra]
The Temptations – Zoom [Motown]
Jorge Santana – Darling I Love You [Underdog Edits]
Bjork – Pagan Poetry (Ripperton Remix) [White]
Jomanda – Got a Love for You (Hurley’s House mix) [Warner / Big Beat]
Todd Edwards – The Journey [i! Records]
Klimek – Music to Fall Asleep [Kompakt]


October 20, 2006

Charts: October 20 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Trentemoller - The Last Resort [Poker Flat]
Tussle - Telescope Mind [Smalltown Supersound]
Lil Louis - Blackout Phase 3 [Mathematics]
Hot Chip - Colours (Fred Falke Remix) [Astralwerks]
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Tempo Tempo [Eskimo]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Brennan Green - Divisadero [Modal]

Ronan Fitzgerald
And Again - To The Moles and the Masses [Sender]
Heckmann and Kaufelt - Kookaburra (Knarz Mix) [AFU-Ltd]
Alland Byallo - Buckets [Liebe Detail]
Pascal Feos - Timeless [Synaptic]
Reynold - Over There (Donato Dozzy Mix) [Montrose]
My My – Moneybowl [Aus Records]
Alexis Tyrell - Rebecca Loos [Weave Music]
Daniela Stickroth - Ghost In The Attic (Dan Berkson and James What Mix) [Meerestief]
Chaton - Précis 2 [Plak]
Shonky - Solar [Substatic]

Todd Hutlock
Ric Y Martin - Sini Est [Perlon]
Andrew Weatherall - Edie Eleven [Rotters Golf Club]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Matthew Dear - Dog Days (Pantytec Interpretation) [Spectral Sound]
Six Cups of Rebel - Arp She Said [Feedelity]
Plastikman - Plink Plonk [Minus]
Terrance Dixon - Minimalism [Utensil]
The Infiltrator - I’m In [Underground Resistance]
Renegade Soundwave - Space Gladiator (Dub) [Mute]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Gabriel Ananda Remix) [Trapez LTD]

Michael F. Gill
Was A Bee - On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) [Schema]
Jesse Rose feat. Solid Groove & Jamie Anderson - Nice & Slow [Front Room Recordings]
Citizen Kain - Above The Influence (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [Regular]
Logistics - Call Me Back [Hospital]
Lady Saw - Sweetest [Soul Jazz]
Breeze - Get Back [Heartbeat]
Underground Resistance feat. Yolanda - Your Time Is Up [Underground Resistance]
Minimal Vision - Vertigo [Vibraphone]
Raven feat. Jocelyn Brown - So In Love [Silver Cloud]
Convertion - All I Want Is You [Sam Records]


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]


August 11, 2006

Charts: August 11 2006

Cameron Octigan
Ada - Living It Up [Areal]
Luca Bacchetti – Out of Breath [Tenax]
Hemmann & Kaden – Roll in Moll [Freude am Tanzen]
Lawrence - Place to Be [Liebe]
Louderbach – Reflected [Underl_ne]
Magda – She’s a Dancing Machine [M_nus]
Misc. – Tanz Der Polymere [Sender]
Reverso 68 - Tokyo Disko [Eskimo]
Various Artists - Cocoon Compilation F [Cocoon]
Wighnomy Bros. - Dukktus [Freude am Tanzen]

Todd Hutlock
Future/Past - Jam Packed [Applied Rhythmic Technology]
Sammy Dee & Guido Schneider - Styleways [Poker Flat]
Kayot - Clear Sky (Main Mix) [Buzzin’ Fly]
Paradroid - Faked Moon Landing (Fym Remix) [Force Inc.]
Justus Köhncke - Advance [Kompakt]
Antonelli Electr. - Snowflake Funk [Level]
Pig & Dan - 4 Leaf Clover [Cocoon]
Carl Craig - Darkness (Max Mix) [Planet E]
Magda - She’s a Dancing Machine [Minus]
The Knife - Silent Shout (Troy Pierce Barado en Locombia Mix) [Rabid/Brille/Mute]

Mallory O’Donnell
Booka Shade - Paper Moon [Get Physical]
Junior Boys - In the Morning [Domino]
CSS - Let’s Make Love & Listen Death from Above (Spank Rock Remix) [Sub Pop]
808 State - San FranCisco [Tommy Boy]
Applegarden - Twentyfive 6 Four (Putsch ‘79 Remix) [Clone]
Toby Tobias - A Close Shave (Prins Thomas Disko-Tek Miks) [REKIDS]
Allez Allez - Allez Allez [Eskimo]
Cassie Vs. Ice-T - Girls LM&UGBNAF (Various Bootlegs) [Aristo-Camille]

Michael F. Gill
Arsenal feat. Jhelisa Anderson - Far Have I Come [Cottage]
Telex - L’amour Toujours [Interdisc]
Sally Shapiro - I’ll Be By Your Side [Diskokaine]
IMS - Dancing Therapy [Ballaphon / Emergency]
Cassy - Alexandra / Toyah [Cassy]
Swat-Squad - Shared [Galaktika]
Paul Johnson - I Need You [Motus Music]
Troy Brown - Feel Allright [Aquarius Recordings]
Sandy Kerr - Thug Rock [High Fashion]
Rene & Angela - I Love You More [Capitol]


July 28, 2006

Hot Chip - Boy from School

Mallory O’Donnell: “Boy from School” walks Hot Chip’s typical tightrope: eminently danceable, with a rather eyebrow-raising detour thrown in halfway that sort of ruins the blissful singularity of it all. This, my friends, is why God invented the remix. Up first is Steve Barnes’ “Cosmic Sandwich Remix” (I can’t think of it without laughing,) a deep-house rework that sucks most of the soul out of the original vocal. Things get a bit more interesting around the four-minute mark, but it’s too late for most of us to bliss out by now. Thankfully, Erol Alkan is as reliable as ever, injecting extra handclaps and retaining the moments of beauty in the original, while still keeping your sweatshirt sleeves rolled up and your ass swaying.

Nick Sylvester: No knock, “Boy from School” sounds more mash-up than song. Vocal and musical energy levels couldn’t differ more, as Alexis Taylor’s breathy carole breezes over a beat four times faster, clickier, more bubbly, double handclap turnarounds, and all. It’s the band’s trick throughout The Warning, which is one reason the LP strikes me so samey. That said, “Boy” is aces, maybe even better than its louder cousin “Over and Over.” I hear young loneliness, identity crises, the obvious fear-fare in the chorus (”We try, but we don’t belong”), but then again I have no idea if that’s what Alexis Taylor’s really singing anyway. The impulse for every sound here—harp strums to synth solos to the intermittent glitch—is to explode, but every sound remains understated, artfully subdued. Maybe I’m selling Taylor’s lyrics short. Both remixers apparently like the understatement too. Cosmic Sandwich merely kills the vocals and abstracts the instrumental into slowburn French filter, somewhere between Maurizio and Robert Babicz. With twice the playtime, Alkan’s take is less a burn, more a patient inquiry into the original’s smaller sounds: the cymbal swells, the percussion shakers, the tinkering bells.

Astralwerks / ASW 59943
[Listen]


July 28, 2006

Charts: Best of 2006 (so far)

Ronan Fitzgerald

Loco Dice - Seeing Through Shadows [M_Nus]
Duoteque - Amyra [Boxer Sport]
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler [Dirty Bird]
Gummihz - The First Time [Mobilee]
Fuckaponydelic - Switch on the Light [White]

Michael F. Gill

Albums
Luciano - Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Volume 2 [Soma]
Kiki - Boogybytes Volume 1 [Bpitch Control]
TBA Empty - Stupid Rotation [Max Ernst]
Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener [Monika]
Herbert - Scale [!K7]

Singles / EPs
Sasse - Loosing Touch [Moodmusic]
Italoboyz - The Titty Twister [Einmaleins]
Chelonis R Jones - Deer in the Headlights Remixes [Get Physical]
Escort - Starlight [Escort]
Soulphiction - Masai Mara [Philpot]

Todd Hutlock

Albums
Magda - She’s a Dancing Machine [M_nus]
V/A - Interstellar Fugitives 2: The Destruction of Order [Underground Resistance]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Booka Shade - Movements [Get Physical]
Alex Smoke - Paradolia [Soma]

Singles / EPs
Jeff Mills - Natural World [Purpose Maker]
Audion/Ellen Allien - Just a Man/Woman [Spectral Sound]
Troy Pierce - 25 Bitches [Vols. 1 and 2] [M_nus]
DJ T vs. Booka Shade - Played Runner [Get Physical]
Sleeparchive - Radio Transmission [Sleeparchive]

Colin James Nagy

Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs [City Centre Offices]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck/Peace Offering [Wagon Repair]
The Knife - Silent Shout [Rabid]
DJ Koze - Kosi Comes Around Remixes Part 1 [Kompakt]

Mallory O’Donnell

Albums
The Knife - Silent Shout [Brille/Mute]
Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb - 2006 [Mental Groove]
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Orchestra of Bubbles [BPitch Control]
Fuckpony - Children of Love [Get Physical]
Hot Chip - The Warning [DFA/Astralwerks]

Singles / EPs
Fred Falke - Omega Man [Work It Baby]
Sneak Thief - The Hollow Land [Creme Organisation]
Christopher & Raphael Just - Popper [Kitsune]
Lindstrom - Another Station [Feedelity]
Morgan Geist - Raremix [Environ]

Cameron Octigan

Gabriel Ananda & Cio D’or - Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Adam Beyer - Stereotypes [Cocoon]
Gui Boratto - Like You [Supermayer Remix] [Kompakt Pop]
Loco Dice - Orchidee [M_nus]
Misc. - Tanz Der Polymere [Hemmann & Kaden Remix] [Sender]

Nick Sylvester

01. The Knife – Silent Shout [Rabid]
02. Delia & Gavin – “Relevee (DFA Remix)” [DFA]
03. Belong – October Language [Carpark]
04. Herbert – “Something Isn’t Right” [!K7]
05. Excepter – Alternation [5RC]


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