September 29, 2006

Christian Dittmann - Nortesur


Chilean-born Dittmann follows up his vinyl debut from earlier this year (and an MP3 EP on Archipel from ‘05) with three more tracks of organic minimalist grooves, moving from RRYGULAR to Echocord in the process. This time out, however, Dittmann seems to have dialed up the excitement level a bit. It’s all relative of course, as these cuts are still full of gently pulsing beats, dubby phased sounds, and underwater ambient washes, but where the Bajo El Vocan EP meandered somewhat aimlessly, these grooves drift with more purpose, a stronger construction. A-side “Buena Decision” sounds like Villalobos on downers or maybe classic Orb minus the dippy samples, while “Dr. Murnau” and “Sin Saber” on the flip are shorter and more uptempo excursions, with the latter hitting a particularly nice “rainforest boogie” sound. Dittmann has honed and upgraded his craft between releases, and at this pace, I expect the next one to be virtually flawless.

Echocord / echocord21
[Todd Hutlock]

September 22, 2006

Miss Fitz - Komisarin Kauz Sounds Good

Maayan Nidam (aka Miss Fitz) follows up her debut on Sushitech Purple with an equally strong four-tracker of percussive minimalist grooves, this time on the Canadian Archipel imprint. Lead track “Porn 04” pops along and careens with a swooping, sliding synth, punctuated by a random “Hey!” vocal sample that keeps things from getting too dark. “Plak Du Jour” follows a similar ping/pop rhythmic base, but this time with a warm and dreamy, melodic riff that gets your head nodding in several directions at once. A definite grower, as that damn riff has been in my head for days now. Remixes on the flip by Pheek (a slightly skewed rhythmic workout of “Porn” that adds a clipped hi-hat and some more glitchy noises to the mix) and Mossa (“Plak” taken down a dark alley and fed some amphetamines) work well, but Miss Fitz is the queen of this outing. Nidam’s material recalls similarly percussion-obsessed minimalists like Ryan Crosson (who remixed a track on the Sushitech 12”) or Gaiser, but she has enough of her own thing going on to make her a qualified up-and-comer in her own right.

Archipel / ARCHPL003
[Todd Hutlock]

September 15, 2006

Charts: September 15 2006

Guest Chart: Troy Pierce

JPLS - Program [Minus]
Marcel Dettman – Radio [MDR 1]
Dapyak - Uma [Mo’s Ferry]
Andre Chrome - Bodenturen [Leftroom]
The Knife - Like a Pen (Heartthrob remix) [Rabid Records]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Konrad Black remix) [Minus]
Frankie - Hunt [Frankie Rec]
Acid Circus - Minimal Junk (Jason Emsley Remix) [Droid]
Reagen - Dirt [Unreleased]

Todd Hutlock
iO - Claire [Cheap]
Michael Ho - Frisky [Tuning Spork]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing Rainbow [Mobilee]
Octave One - DayStar Rising [430 West]
Los Hermanos - Freedom Dancer [Los Hermanos]
Donnacha Costello - 6.1 [Minimise]
M.I.A. - Schoolcraft Bump [Underground Resistance]
Marc Houle - Bay of Figs [Minus]
Miss Fitz - Plak Du Jour (Mossa Remix) [Archipel]
Dominik Eulberg - Bionik [Cocoon]

Cameron Octigan
Misc. - Among Thieves [Sender]
Silicon Teens - State of Shock [Mute]
Partly Clouded [Fucked]
Extrawelt - Doch Doch [Traum]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate [M_nus]
Dominion - The Light of Day [KK Records]
Heroin - Meaning Less [Gravity]
Coil - The Snow [Wax Trax!]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]
Troy Pierce (feat. Gibby Miller) - The Day After Yesterday [Items & Things]

Michael F. Gill
The Creatures - Believe In Yourself [Teldec]
Kasso – Walkmen [Rams Horn Records]
Evelyn “Champagne” King - Love Come Down [RCA]
Mystic Merlin - Just Can’t Give You Up [Capitol]
M.I.A. - Safe Night [Sub Static]
Max Berlin - Elle Et Moi (Joakim Remix) [Eighttrack Recordings]
Likwid Biskit - Sound Orgy [Dynamite Joint / People]
Baby Ford & Mark Broom - Bubble Bath [Pure Plastic]
Plaid – Squance [Warp]
Craig David - What’s Your Flava? (Akufen Remixes) [Wildstar/Atlantic]

August 25, 2005

Jesse Somfay - Between Heartbeats

That same synthesizer is used to deadening effect on Jesse Somfay’s debut album, Between Heartbeats. Don’t get me wrong: it’s creates a lovely, wispy, and rapid-fire sound when used in isolation, but Somfay sees fit to use on what seems like more than forty of the album’s seventy minute running time. All that being said, the track’s here are gorgeous in isolation, falling somewhere between the lengthy diversions of Ricardo Villalobos and the sumptuous melodies of Boards of Canada (albeit only one per song, it seems). I hesitate to theorize here, but it seems to me with both Somfay and labels like Border Community bringing melody and micro together rather effortlessly, that there maybe a wing of romanticism firmly establishing itself not a moment too soon. Top stuff.

Archipel / archipelcd002
[Todd Burns]

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]