August 19, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 31 & 32

G-Man - Quo Vadis (Styrax Leaves)
Genre: Techno, Dub

Peter Chambers: These tracks lumber forward, only allowing the slow revelation of a timbro-melodic theme to happen “in the fullness of time.” It’s a strategy that gave rise to a lot of exceedingly dull records, but Varley knows exactly which tone-pots to touch, and how.

Adam Craft / Grindvik - Catch Me / NAND-Grind (Stockholm LTD)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

B12 - Practopia / Slope (B12 Records)
Genre: Techno, IDM/Experimental

Todd Hutlock: The infamous cover of the original Artificial Intelligence comp features a robot chilling out in an easy chair with headphones on. This could easily have been what it was listening to.

Various Artists - Death Is Nothing To Fear Vol. 2 (Spectral Sound)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

Argenis Brito - Micro Mundo (Cadenza)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Nate DeYoung: With Micro Mundo’s highs never too far away from its lows, the Chilean techno drug is no longer as potent as it used to be.

Henrik B feat. Terri B - Soul Heaven (Boss)
Genre: House, Electro-House

Michael F. Gill: Let’s act like this review never happened.

Beatzcast #45: Crambe Repetita

Michael F. Gill’s featured article on Stylus: The Bluffers Guide To Freestyle

The Chemical Brothers - Do it Again (Remixes) (Virgin / Astralwerks)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Electro-House

Beatzcast #46: Crambe Repetita

Album Reviews:

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Reinterpretations - reviewed by Mike Powell

Prins Thomas - Cosmo Galactic Prism - reviewed by Tal Rosenberg

Dixon - Body Language Vol. 4 - reviewed by Nina Phillips

V/A - Kompakt Total 8 - reviewed by Peter Chambers

V/A - Soundboy Punishments - reviewed by Nina Phillips

The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night - reviewed by Dan Weiss

White Noise - An Electric Storm - reviewed by Mike Powell


August 14, 2007

The Chemical Brothers - Do it Again (Remixes)

Recently, my sister decided to through a ’90s retro party, something that has only become conceivable in the past few years. Until about 2004, the 90s, with all its big hair, baggy trousers and bad colour combos (lime green and tangerine?!) was still too fresh a scar, too painful a memory to be safely retro. Planning the programming for the party, something emerged the ’90s feels like two eras with a brief threshold in the middle. For me at least, the ’90s begins in 1989 with acid-house and early techno crossovers, hip-house, New Jack Swing, “rap” (prior to its being hip-hop) and the last of the Stock, Aitken, and Waterman hits. 1995 feels like the threshold “respectable” electronica like Autechre and Aphex Twin finds its way onto the cassette comps of indie kids and groups like the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers suddenly sit comfortably beside the Smashing Pumpkins and Tool on the rotating platters of 5CD mini-systems at teen parties. My sister and I pulled out all our old ’90s comps and gave some of the classics a rinse. The Prodigy still have brutal energy and addictive hooks, Fatboy Slim sounds even more irritating than it was, and KLF’s The White Room is an unqualified masterpiece. The Chemical Brothers’ albums get worse and worse as the nineties climb to the highpoint (lowpoint?) of “pre-millenium tension” Exit Planet Dust is still their best work, while by 1999 the tracks rely on bombastic impacts to the detriment of groove and flow.

As if conceding the need to ride the coat-tails of the swiftly departing zeitgeist, the Brothers have enlisted the talents of Oliver Huntemann and Matthew Dear (here in Audion guise) to overcome redundancy. Huntemann’s track is lacklustre and dull it takes little of the original version’s hyperactivity and replaces it with your typical Huntemann/Bodzin big rolling synth. The Audion version is actually closer to recent False material in style, but unlike the tracks on the outstanding 2007 record (a record that actually is 2007), this re-touch is relatively bland, with none of the compelling spookiness of the twisted medleys in the murk. The last song on the Brothers’ new album is called “The Pills won’t Help you Now”, and I can’t help but think this is a self-reproach (or maybe it should be) but on “Do it Again” the lyrical content suggests the opposite. It details the misadventures of some hapless drugged punter in a way that seems to celebrate the very thing it’s condemning; this is probably not what they were aiming for, and the overall impression is “who cares?” more than “do it again”.

Virgin / Astralwerks / 3941480 / ASTR 92726
[Listen]
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


April 27, 2007

Charts: April 27 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Simple Minds - Theme From Great Cities [Virgin]
Stevie B - Party Your Body (Dub Mix) [Midtown]
Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day [EMI]
Boundzound - Louder (All Mighty Club Mix) [Universal Island]
Lopazz - Share My Rhythm [Get Physical Music]
Baby Oliver - Hypochondriac [Environ]
Mock & Toof - Black Jub [Tiny Sticks]
Kathy Diamond - The Moment [Permanent Vacation]
Hot Chip - Over & Over (Remixes) [Astralwerks]
Black Devil Disco Club - Black Sunshine [LoEB]
Plone - Plone EP [Warp]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Mysterymen - Everything But An Answer [Disko B]

Michael F. Gill
Kevin Reynolds Afrik [Todhchai Records]
Djosos Krost Earthball [Music For Dreams]
Bassed On Kyoto - Flower [Jet Set Records]
Kocky - Remone [Windsong]
Jasper Van’t Hof - Hoomba Hoomba [Virgin Schallplatten]
Voom:Voom - Best Friend / Sao Verought Remixes [G-Stone Recordings]
Akabu - Im Not Afraid of the Future (DJ Fudge Remix)
Chaim - Popsky / Under My Skin [Hifreaks]
Rene Breitbarth - Graveyard Swing One [Neopren Recordings]
Kraftwerk - Tour De France Soundtracks [Astralwerks]


April 13, 2007

Charts: April 13 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Pet Shop Boys - Back to Mine [EMI]
Hot Chip - DJ Kicks [Astralwerks]
Headman - It Rough [Gomma]
V/A - Trance-Europe Express, Vol. One [Volume]
Kathy Diamond - Over [Permanent Vacation]
George McRae - I Get Lifted (Mischief Brew Re-Edit) [OST]
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (12″ Mix) [EMI]
Herbie Hancock - Saturday Night (Beatconductor Disco Mix) [G.A.M.M.]
Inner Life - Make It Last Forever [Salsoul]
Bobby Davenport - Time (Has Come Today) [Flexx]

Michael F. Gill
Redshape - Dog Day [Millions Of Moments]
Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid - People Be Happy / Rhythm Dance (Audion’s Highlight Mix) [Domino]
Ferry Corsten - Beautiful (Original Mix) [Flashover Recordings]
Byron Burke - String Section [Maxi Records]
The Rurals - Mainbreak [Peng]
The KLF - Chill Out [Wax Trax]
Cherrelle - Fragile [Tabu]
Gary Low - You Are A Danger [Il Discotto]
George Aaron - Silly Reason [Full Time]
George LaMond - Where Does That Leave Love [Columbia]


January 19, 2007

Charts: January 19 2007

Michael F. Gill
Sylvester I Need You (Dims Maxi Disco Blend) [ITH Records]
Remute Bounce 23 [Trapez]
V/A - This Is Rong Music [Rong Music]
Lil Louis - I Called You (The Story Continues) [Epic]
E-Dancer - Oombah [Planet E]
Midnightrats - Goalmaker [Magic Circus]
Macho Cat Garage - Ghetto Blues [Viewlexx]
V/A - Make Me What [Minisketch]
Benfay - Pink Silk Panties (Bang Goes Remix) [Stattmusik]
The Nova Dream Sequence - Interpretations [Compost]

Todd Hutlock
Depeche Mode - People Are People (Underground Resistance Remix) [Mute]
Tomas Andersson - Mot Matsalen! [Bpitch Control]
Radio Slave - Weeeze [Rekids]
Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Technasia Rmx) [Third Ear/Syncrophone]
Hot Chip - Over And Over (Naum Gabo Remix) [Astralwerks/DFA]
False - Kickball [Plus 8]
Thomas Fehlmann - Dusted [Kompakt]
Pier Bucci - Lnuit (Dominik Eulberg Mix) [Crosstown Rebels]
Booka Shade - In White Rooms (Shinedoe Remix) [Get Physical]
Nitzer Ebb - Control Im Here (Superchumbo Dub) [NovaMute]


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

(more…)


October 20, 2006

Tony Allen - Moyege

200612"DubWorld

Mark Ernestus takes two stabs at afrobeat legend Tony Allen’s “Moyege,” with a vocal mix and a dub. One of his simmering (and I hesitate to call ‘em this) slow jams, the star here is the bass, full-bodied and shaking like a voluptuous maiden at sunset. Offset by Allen’s usual sparkling polyrhythmic percussion work, it’s really the kind of thing one feels almost ashamed to be listening to at homeit warrants a cold drink, the feeling of sand in your toes and such buoyancy of your body that you could swear you just hovered in mid-air for a full second. The “Disco Dub” widens out the bass and pushes it to the point where it’s more a part of your body than a conscious sound. Warmth personified.

Honest Jon’s / HJP32
[Listen]
[Mallory ODonnell]


October 20, 2006

Charts: October 20 2006

Mallory ODonnell
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 - Prcis 2 [Plak]
Shonky - Solar [Substatic]

Todd Hutlock
Ric Y Martin - Sini Est [Perlon]
Andrew Weatherall - Edie Eleven [Rotters Golf Club]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Marks Disco Dub) [Honest Jons]
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 - Im 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]


July 28, 2006

Hot Chip - Boy from School

Mallory ODonnell: “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 hereharp strums to synth solos to the intermittent glitchis 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]


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