April 4, 2007

Kotey Extra Band feat. Chaz Jankel - Sooner Or Later

There’s a beguiling quality to Giorgio Moroder’s music that seems to efface its often catastrophic lapses of taste. Even the Cat People soundtrack, which provoked “Is this record a pisstake?!” from a horrified friend the other week, has a well-deserved place in my collection—next to the thriftshop copy of Neverending Story, of course. Like a lot of Moroder’s material, “Sooner or Later,” a B-side of 1976’s soft disco soiree Knights in White Satin bears up remarkably well to the ravages of time. The Kotey Band’s version is a nice, fast-paced but relaxed disco trip through the Moroderverse—a discotheque in which the Moog’s place in the VIP area is assured.

But the Chicken Lips remixes outshine their inspiration—and for the price of admission, you get two subtly trippy, dub-reggae disco renditions of Kotey’s cover. The instrumental gives the rhythm section space to wind the groove into a neat nodfest (and not a snooze cruise,) equal parts white satin and spliff smoke. The vocal version brings things back to pop, but only in order to fling the vocals into dubland. All three versions drift by in a pleasing haze—perfect for the early hours or a quiet week in the house with marmalade on toast and the cat.

Bear Funk / BFK 022
[Peter Chambers]

March 2, 2007

Goat Dance - Goat Dance


This is Dean Meredith from Chicken Lips, which is why you might confuse this one for a CL track or even an Emperor Machine track: really rubbery, really spacey, loose-jointed disco-funk. The difference between this and “Sizzle,” Meredith’s first single as Goat Dance, is this one’s less wobbly and ramshackle. It’s all for the better, with a steady kick and a simple bassline melody that doesn’t quite resolve and a groove that’s content gaining momentum while (I think they’re) Juno synths shimmer atop. When it kicks into full-gear there’s no stopping it, a real just-before-peaktime record, which I don’t think you can really say for most of the DC Records axis, most of which falls under the umbrella of just good listening. Dub on the flipside.

Bear Entertainment / BE016
[Nick Sylvester]

February 16, 2007

Charts: February 16 2007

Todd Hutlock
Todd Sines - In_Come [Frankie Rec]
Safety Scissors - Where Is Germany and How Do I Get There? (Ellen Allien Germany Remix) [Bpitch Control]
Roxy Music - The Main Thing (Rub-N-Tug’s Proton Saga) [Virgin]
Dominik Eulberg & Gabriel Ananda - Harzer Roller [Traum Schallplatten]
Pär Grindvik - Casio [Spectral Sound]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Robotman Remix) [M_nus]
Ripperton - Tainted Words [Connaisseur]
Audio Werner - Flat Funk [Circus Company]
Tracey Thorn - It’s All True (Martin Buttrich Dub) [Virgin]
Marcellus Pittman - A Mix [Unirhythm]

Michael F. Gill
Goat Dance – Goat Dance (Version) [Bear Entertainment]
Blackjoy – Untitled (Kerri Chandler’s Bigga Mix) [Freerange]
Tony Allen – One Tree (Terrence Parker’s Spirit of Unity Instrumental Mix) [Honest Jon’s]
PM Dawn – A Watcher Point of View [Don’t Cha Think] (Todd Terry’s Hard House Mix) [Gee Street]
Escort - All That She Is [Escort]
Jo Squillo Eletrix – Avventurieri [Polydor]
The Voyagers - Distant Planet [Discomagic]
Venus Gang – Space Woman [P.B.I. Records]
Two Tons O’ Fun – Got The Feeling [Fantasy Honey]
Tribe – Koke [Probe]

November 3, 2006

Prins Thomas - Fehrara


Aside from that fat kick drum sound, I’m not sure what to recommend here. “Fehrara” is by-the-numbers space-disco, not the best look for Lindstrřm’s sidekick as he tries to distance himself from that fellowship. The bassline just idles on the chord notes over and over while Prins manipulates the timbre; the percussion sprinkled above and beneath never congeals into hooks, it just remain atomized in their rooms. At eight minutes long, I dunno, I’m just expecting more than, like, a lessonbook etude, even if the build is pretty and patient throughout. If “Fehrara” is practice, “Is It Big Enough?” is performance: a really sparse, spacious bassline, plus those funny mouth-music Seinfeld theme noises. Prins doesn’t pretend that the bassline counts for a melody, that’s a relief, so all the swollen longtones stay soft focus but make sense sequentially—the melody’s there, in other words, just hidden, elongated, and definitely big enough.

Full Pupp / FP05
[Nick Sylvester]

October 13, 2006

Lexx - Sirocco


Not to be too gimmicky about this, but I was searching for this twelve in my iTunes like a sec ago, and instead of typing “Lexx” I wrote “Lindstr?m,” weird little “?” and all. So that’s my touchstone, i.e. this is as dense and smooth and hooky-not-hooky as any mid-tempo Lindstr?m disco cut, though the guitar scraps on “Sirocco” are closer to “Mr. Magic” and early R&B-influenced smooth jazz than anything Balearic. At the moment I like the b-sides more: the same-tempo “Slow Burning,” and a Mudd remix of the track that’s really more of a dub?given its politeness. Mudd’s fattened-up bassline sticks to the original’s suggestive one-note thump, and the firm synths have a buoyancy that puts the track way ahead of otherwise verbatim space-disco. After Oorutaichi’s “Misen Gymnastics,” this may be the best weirdo-disco twelve Bearfunk’s put out to date.

Bearfunk / BFK 020
[Nick Sylvester]

August 11, 2006

Goat Dance - Sizzle


Hector Rodriguez: Goat Dance is a side project of Chicken Lips member Dean Meredith. While recent Chicken Lips material hasn’t quite sit right with me, this EP, particular the lead cut “Sizzle,” has been a staple from the moment I heard it. The sound is a plodding disco-dub with a sprinkling of cosmic keys, rock dynamics, and chicken scratch guitar. In contrast to the clean shimmering disco of someone like Prins Thomas this makes me think more of New York City: dirty funky sounds for ass shaking, where you can almost see the sweat on the walls.

Nick Sylvester: This may not be my favorite neo-disco-funk slowburn 2K6, but it might be the weirdest, so uncool it’s coolest, etc. On the title track, every sound seems off, as if Goat Dance recorded a straightforward Moroder rip, slowed it down 40BPM, then tweaked notes first a quarter sharp and the next a quarter flat. Hi-hats don’t snap, they sandpaper, and the echo treatment on the drums turns this uptight march into a drunk amble. Goat Dance friend Adrian McLaughlin offers an over-processed maximum pomp guitar solo for the otherwise minimal effort, a nice enough reminder that over-processed maximum pomp guitar solos are not funk-antithetical, i.e. Maggot Brain totally exists. “High Voltage” takes a minute to kick out similar slow funk, and also like “Sizzle” all the tuning’s off, so the bass call and synth responses up the octaves are infuriating and grand in a post-post-punk fake-DIY kind of way. Who knew machines were capable of such glorious fuckups?

Bear Entertainment / BE011

June 2, 2006

Idjut Boys feat. Rune Lindbćk - Laisn


Known mostly for their excellent mixes focusing on the dubby, psychedelic end of the dancefloor, as well as their inveterate love of all things residing at the deeper end of disco, Idjut Boys come up with a bit of a surprise on “Laisn.” It’s a far more down-tempo affair than usual—a bit like Dominik Eulberg remixing Kruder/Dorfmeister. Kalabrese’s remix adds a blues sample and extra percussion to great effect, focusing on the warmness and mindbending-ness of the original. Moodmusic’s Sasse checks in with a mix that wields the same elements, but ends up taking too long a ride to Dub Town…anyone still listening by the end winds up left at the station with a pocketful of change and a half-smoked blunt, wondering whether or not they just missed the transfer.

Bear Funk / BFK 018
[Mallory O’Donnell]