October 4, 2007

Soul Capsule - Waiting 4 A Way

For their first single as Soul Capsule in six years, Thomas Melchior and Peter “Baby Ford” Adshead deliver not so much a set of DJ tools but something similar to an “open source code” of minimal techno. It’s wonderful to hear an EP that builds out of its own heritage, bringing the warm waves straight out of the depths of the circuits they’ve been coursing through for almost fifteen years.

Like a lot of his recent solo tracks, Baby Ford’s voice comperes the whole event he’s a quiet master of ceremonies who murmurs, whispers, and coaxes you through the auroral atmosphere like some kind of positively charged Leonard Cohen. As evidenced on the long and winding title cut, Ford’s influence on Melchior’s style is akin to the flattening of a wiggling arc - he basically gets Tommy to turn the brightness of his space-dusted melodies inwards. B-Side “Beauty and the Beat” brings the sound closer to the epic, deep minimal techno explored at length on Ford’s Sacred Machine a machine that wills the eternal return of a perfectly pitched and filtered kick drum. A repetition without gravity. Welcome back, guys.

Perlon / PERL 63
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


August 6, 2007

G-Man - Quo Vadis

20071990s12"TechnoDub

Like Baby Ford and Mark Broom, Gez Varley is one of the few British producers from the dawn of the era who has continued to make interesting, relevant minimal music that still adds something to the original template he helped formulate. I first heard “Quo Vadis” on Richie Hawtin’s 1995 Mixmag compilation, a mix that has aged remarkably well and is still definitely worth a rinse, especially in light of recent directions in house-influenced minimal techno. Given the survival of the track in this context (or, more generally, the fact that it’s never really stopped being played), who better to re-release the classic than Styrax Leaves, a label who are (thankfully, actually) stuck in the best bits of ’90s techno, a place of patchy perfections at the best of times.

The drum sounds themselves are as dated as you’d expect, but it’s the subtle seductions of their patterning that help this release retain the breath of life. Stripped, deep, and long, the themes rise out of a flat gas of beats, repeating and slowly mutating through the addition, reduction, or substitution of one simple element. With nothing more than plodding, dogged repetitions, 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. Listen to these puppies and dream of candyflips in a sweaty bunker, consoled only by the natural warmth emanating from the rhythm machines. It’s enough to make you slowly bug out.

Styrax Leaves / strx leaves 005
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


May 25, 2007

Beatzcast #34: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music…

Tracklist
01: Shemale - Untitled [buy]
02: Lindstrom and Solale - Let’s Practise [buy]
03: Trusme - Nards [buy]
04: Miguel Migs - So Far [buy]
05: Voom Voom - Sao Verought (Marcus Worgull Mix) [buy]
06: Booka Shade - Karma Car [buy]
07: Baby Ford and Zip - Morning Sir [buy]
08: Minilogue - Inca [buy]
09: Crowdpleaser and St. Plomb - Zukunft (Dachshund Remix) [buy]
10: Tiesto feat. Julie Thompson - Do You Feel Me [buy]
11: Nid and Sancy - Give It Up for Sound [buy]

Subscribe to the Stycast.
Subscribe to Beatz By The Pound.


May 13, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 19

Pepe Bradock - Rhapsody in Pain (Atavisme)
Genre: Leftfield

Peter Chambers: Youre not going to have a lukewarm reaction to this compositionI love it, but that might be a reflection of my overdeveloped sense of the ridiculous. Im so happy people are making fearlessly individual, expressive music like this, experimenting with the idiom of groove to make something perverted, pervertingyet still funky.

Ilya Santana - Discotized (Permanent Vacation)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Force of Nature - Sequencer / Afroshock (Mule Musiq / Headinghome Records)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Nate DeYoung: It takes a grown man to acknowledge when he goes out of his way to find dishwashing music and this timelike alwaysForce of Natures Afroshock (Broken Rule Mix) just fell on my lap.

Toby Tobias - Daves Sex Bits (Rekids)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Balearic

Shed - Remixes In Four Parts 2 (Soloaction)
Genre: Techno, Detroit

Oliver $ - Hotflash Vol 2 (Grand Petrol)
Genre: Electro-House

Nick Sylvester: When [Oliver] grooves for a few seconds on a hiccup of filterhouse, I suddenly remember how infuriating glitch can get. I want that hiccup to last forever, a hiccup that comprises the best moment on the whole twelve-inch, but Olivers already moved on.

Baby Ford / Benno Blome - Smoke Machine (Sender)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Passions - Emergency (Kitsune)
Genre: Indie-Dance

Move D - Ac1D (Modern Love)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #32: Crambe Repetita

Nina Phillips reviews MIA’s Bittersss

Michael F. Gill talks about the process of a creating a DJ mix on Modyfier


May 10, 2007

Baby Ford / Benno Blome - Smoke Machine

Im a sucker for Sender. Theres something irresistible about Benno Blomes brittle, sawing, rocking vision of reduced tech-house that keeps on keeping on, even sixty or more releases in. But where earlier highlights in the catalog steered much closer to a tight, dry sound aesthetic, recent releases (perhaps since the first Baby Ford release here) have moistened and loosened things considerably. Until recently, it just wasnt plausible to say that Senders gonna house you.

But here it is folks, perhaps the loosest, housiest release on the catalog, probing the play in the groove on the A-side (without losing the menace), then plugging back into the click, spray, and clatter of Bruno Pronsatos microhouse-inflected revision on the flip. Ford and Blomes version nods forward with a big-ass bassline, surrounded by Fords cut-and-stuttered vocal utterances. The track grooves along in this pattern, until a huge tearout full of granulated static (or is that the smoke machine?) interrupts things, and then the bassline returns.

Pronsatos mix offers the same percussive spatiality of his recent (excellent) collaboration with Sammy Dee as Half Hawaii. Its got a smooth bassline, dry, panning congas, and a metallic vocoded vocal, all of which sound like they are jamming in a big, hard-walled room somewhere inside his laptop. Its a nice interconnection between the swinging micro/clapfunk of his work on hello?repeat and Senders overall aesthetic. Worth a look.

Sender / send064
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


December 8, 2006

Charts: December 8 2006

Todd Hutlock
Pier Bucci - Instinct [Crosstown Rebels]
Radioactive Man - Itisanditisnt [Rotters Golf Club]
Vince Watson - Renaissance [Planet E]
Baby Ford - Beach Bump (Wildflower Mix) [Rhythm King]
Point Blank - Frug [Phono]
Loco Dice - Vamos a Cali [Cadenza]
Thomas P. Heckmann - Strobe [Bpitch Control]
False - .Wav Pool [Plus 8]
Hecker - Untitled (KIT 001) [Rephlex]
Compass - Gliding [Cabinet]

Mallory ODonnell
Tomboy 4 [Gomma]
Ost & Kjex - How Not to Be a Biscuit [Crosstown Rebels]
Thomas P. Heckmann Medusa [BPitch Control]
Bangkok Impact - Aus Birgittes Tagebuch [Crme Organization]
Kudu - Playing House [Nublu]
Escort Karawane [Escort]
Luciano - For Disco Only [For Disco Only]
Smackos - Waiting For the Red Bear [Strange Life]

Michael F. Gill
Daniele Baldelli - Cosmic Sound [Mediane]
Ricardo Villalobos Africolaps [Perlon]
Dirty Minds I Want U (Dub) [Eskimo]
John Dahlback Our Song [Pickadoll]
Rude 66 Break The Silence [Vynalogica]
Bertine Zetlitz Girl Like You [EMI]
DJ Assault Crank This Mutha [Booty Wax]
Jimmy Ross Fall Into a Trance [Quality / RFC]
Walter Gibbons Mixed With Love [Salsoul]
Philip Glass Prophecies [Nonesuch]


September 22, 2006

STL - The Early Tracks

Hot on the oscillating heels of Baby Fords Bubblebath EP (see last weeks review) comes this great EP. STLs imagination lives somewhere between the chin-stroking of Robert Monolake Henkes early beatless/sound-design works like Piercing Music and the residue of the Drexciyan drugsweat that leaked into your drum machines innards. Its big, bad, and dark minimal techno, properly constructed with one ear cocked toward the microscopics of the sound, and the other receiving the call from deeeeep space. Purple Saturn Days is a monster, and the standout cut, beginning with a six-minute ambient intro before blossoming into an epic trip through the outer atmosphere and into the techno cosmos. As for the other tracks, Getting Deeper does exactly what the title promises, while That Mnml Track is somewhere between a short piece and a DJ tool, although its not as explicitly functional as Loop A and Loop B, which literally are manna for the three deck maniacs.

Perlon / PERL 57
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


September 15, 2006

Baby Ford & Mark Broom - Bubblebath

Heres some well proper deep minimal techno for you, flab-stripped and fatter than your mums bassbins, jamming the groove into your ear, little by little. Ford and Brooms work always works by feel, substituting studio trickery for a touch and swing that far busier, more obviously tricky tracks lack. It is what it is folks, the sounds of hot motherboards and tweaked knobs on the wrong side of sunrise veering close to the atmospheres of some of the deep, proper bleepers on Cassys recent Panorama Bar mix. Tightrope part-one could be the perfect tool to lend some big teeth to the martini microhouse that aint quite biting on the other deck, while Part Two adds some slurred vocals and a warm bassline to another repeatscape which is (again) perfect for those who like to keep the mix layered and open. While none of the material here will attract big choon hunters, those game for the gains of those little somethings should find an enduring place for it in their party-packed jacking box.

Pure Plastic / PP064
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


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 - Whats Your Flava? (Akufen Remixes) [Wildstar/Atlantic]


July 14, 2006

Lemon8 - Model8

Reanimation1990s12"TechnoAcid

It shouldnt come as much of a surprise to find this acid techno classic from the golden age of the genre reissued by none other than Richie Hawtin himself, as the track was a regular feature of his own DJ sets back in the day and was even included on the X-Mix-3 mix CD that he released with Plus 8 partner John Acquaviva back in 1994. Hawtins one-man revival campaign (see the last few reissues on Plus 8 for evidence, including Baby Ford + Eon, Link, and even Teste, originally released on his own Probe imprint) may be the result of a feeling of nostalgia or a longing for the good old days but it is sure making for some damn fine records to be rescued from obscurity.

Model8 was an early single from the aptly named Dutch producer and DJ Harry Lemon and you can hear the early Plus 8 sound all over its grooves. The classic drum pattern, bouncing bass riff, and especially the smashed-to-hell hi-hats might sound a bit dated now, but an enterprising DJ could likely still work it into a set. The original mix builds in layers to a big breakdown about halfway through before really letting fly with the acid/percussion madness. All well and good, but its the remix on the flip that is the real killer. It sounds infinitely more modern, with its stripped-down percussion attacks and positively HYOOOOOGE build-ups and breakdowns clearly prefiguring where Hawtin was going with F.U.S.E. and later with Plastikman. A massive, floor-filler of a record that isnt quite ready to be retired yet.

Basic Energy / ENERGY 103-5
Plus 8 / PLUS8089
1993 / 2006
[Todd Hutlock]


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