June 25, 2007

Portable - Don’t Give Up (Remixes)

Bodycode’s The Conservation of Electric Charge would have been better titled “Flying under Fanbase Radar”, such was its woefully under-appreciative reception. Along with Jan Jelinek’s Tierbeobachtungen (a very different pleasure admittedly) nobody seemed to get it, to have gotten it, or even to care, despite my squeaky protestations that they should, they really should. Abrahams’ inclusion on the recent Death is Nothing to Fear EP along with rising star Par Grindvik and Matthew “Raygun Audion” Dear seemed to confer a good (dries sticky, sets permanently) bridesmaiding. All this by way of saying, get the album, have a listen, and give Bodycode the listening his subtle creativity deserves.

With that rant out of the way, let’s turn to the music at hand, and another great remix EP, but a remix of what? “Don’t Give Up”, apparently. But discog it however I might, I can’t seem to find the original. Is this proof of some kind of remix primacy, that the original doesn’t even have to be released anymore? Bodycode’s remix is a twelve minute journey through his sound, with all those cool little polyrhythms, that metallic flange, and a slow stabbing synth line. This track is a gem, twelve minutes of rolling, kicking techno plateaus with an overlong fade at the end. Cassy’s version takes her typical mixture of sparse and voice, adds a blues harmonica in the background, makes everything unsettled with a droning sample, and then (suddenly and almost miraculously) introduces a very Tortoise-y bassline, which brings it all back home. The rich bright metal of the strings sounds lovely against the shadowy background.

Meanwhile, somewhere near a bath-house, Lawrence is writing the gayest track he’s ever made (and not in the Cartman sense). I wonder how he saw his monitor with all that sticky steam. In truth though, it’s more like “Frankie goes to the Panorama Bar” with the blue synth washes undercutting the Mardi Gras vocal. Lawrence’s sound-design dead-ended itself on The Night Will Last Forever after a productive three preceding years, but here, as with the inklings on his recent(ish) Liebe Detail release, you get the sense of a new vector. All three tracks here work beautifully on their own, but together it’s an exceptional EP that shows three interesting artists doing some of their better work of the past year.

Sud Electronic / SUED 010
[Peter Chambers]

February 23, 2007

Various Artists - Death Is Nothing to Fear Vol. 1

Another year, another universally brilliant various artists release from the Spectral camp. Label poster boy Matthew Dear kicks things off in his Audion guise with the 12-minute I Gave You Away. Its a big, groovy, building-block epic in the mould of last years breakout hit Mouth To Mouth, laced through with a winding, distorted key riff in place of Mouths jumbo jet noises. Not as immediately satisfying (or memorable), but hey, it swings like hell and will mix with just about anything, so whos complaining? Plus, when the rhythm really starts to kick at about the four-minute mark, chills are a-plenty.

The flipside features the wonderful Casio by Spectral rookie Pr Grindvik, a funky minimal workout in the DBX vein, complete with cut-up vocal snip. Finally, we get Bodycode, following up his 2006 full-length for the label with Exciting Ride, a shimmering filter-freq-out that would be far better off without the cliched diva vocal track and otherwise is a bit flat. Even the dramatic drop-out halfway through isnt a big thrill, though it should be on paper. Youll buy this for the Audion (and you should), but those who dont peep the Grindvik cut are missing the boat.

Spectral Sound / SPC-40
[Todd Hutlock]

July 28, 2006

Ren Breitbarth / Bodycode - Spectral Sound Presents No. 1


With this split 12-inch, Spectral Sound launches its new parallel series of singles that aims to release new tracks from artists outside their roster whose work they admire. Groovy as fuck with a mellow house piano riff and a funk-driven rhythm, Tales from the Light Side, the a-side from Cologne native and Treibstoff majordomo Ren Breitbarth, builds some nice momentum before shifting the pitch and finally stripping it all down to the drum track for the final minute. A fun little ride to be sure. Steam Machine slows the tempo but increases the bounce factor with a bubbling bass groove and a series of subtle breakbeats that recalls an updated version of Mr. Fingers classic Washing Machine before cutting loose with some acidic synth pads for a late-night winner. On the flip, the Mole (of Kompakt/Wagon Repair fame) remixes Bodycodes Hands Free Computer Interface into a twisting, stuttering journey that is every bit as good as the original, if a bit more schizophrenic sounding, setting a cut-up/dub-out sort of feel against a backdrop of the originals house-y organ vibes to great effect. So far in 2006, Spectral can do no wrong to these ears.

Spectral Sound / SSP-001

[Todd Hutlock]

June 16, 2006

Charts: June 16 2006

Todd Hutlock
Fraktion - Nebokki [Resopal Red]
Alex Under - El Encuentro [M-nus]
Bodycode - Bounce Back [Spectral Sound]
Trefa - 77 Hz [Mission 6277]
Jeff Mills - The Clairvoyant [Purpose Maker]
Gerald Mitchell - Bellydancer [Motech]
The Martian - Tobacco Ties [Red Planet]
Shane Berry - For a Moment [Trapez LTD]
Alex Smoke - Snider [Soma]
Baby Ford & Zip - Morning Sir [Perlon]

Cameron Octigan
Gabriel Ananda & Cio Dor Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Patrick Chardronnet Eve by Day [Connaisseur Recordings]
Delia & Gavin Relevee (DFA Remix) [DFA]
Loleatta Holloway Love Sensation [Salsoul]
Adam Kroll - Stalker [Traum Schallplatten]
Nerk und Dirk Leyers Monster One [My Best Friend]
Rekid Nite [Soul Jazz]
Remute & Riley Reinhold Polyester [My Best Friend]
Shift Roller Rink Funk [P&P Records]
Unlimited Touch I Hear Music in the Streets [Prelude]

Michael F. Gill
Jimmy Ross - First True Love Affair [Full Time]
Answering Service Call Me Mr. Telephone [Third Label]
V/A Background 50 [Background]
Auto Repeat - Auto Disco (Soundhack Remix) [Lazycuts]
Susumu Yokota Siva Dance [Skintone/Lo Recordings]
Angie Stone Brotha (DJ Spen Remix) [Arista]
Justin Harris Hangerang [Paranoid Music]
Irakere Siete Tazas De Caf [Escondida]
Kissing The Pink Big Man Restless (Extended Mix) [Magnet]
Janet Kay Silly Games [Solid Groove/Trojan]