June 6, 2007

Gui Boratto - Chromophobia Remixe Part 1

Like Booka Shade or Hĺkan Lidbo, Gui Boratto has an extensive background as a “hired gun”, and has produced all kinds of tracks to order. Chromophobia, his debut on Kompakt, is likewise a finely fashioned piece of work by somebody who knows their way around a studio and is intent on manufacturing a product with polish and care. The album sounds exactly as Boratto had intended, which is both its strength and (ultimately) its limit.

This remix EP is also “exactly what you’d expect” - close your eyes and imagine either Robert Babicz or The Field remixing Boratto and (if you’ve any imagination) you’d probably conceive of something almost identical to what’s being offered here. Babicz’s mix of “Mr. Decay” is typically loud, fruity, and rich (his tracks always “sound” about 10% fatter than anyone elses) with his quasi-Wagnerian love of massive stabs and huge malfunctioning reverb breakdowns. With the mids-heavy bassline driving things along here, this is also as close to Alex Smoke as Babicz has ever sounded, but ultimately it’s neither Babicz’s best work nor a magical translation of the original. The Field’s rework of “Hera” does the equivalent of cutting a photograph into tiny squares and then sticking them back together…in almost exactly the same place. Both mixes are competent works by talented producers reworking decent tracks by a conspicuous professional - but that’s not enough, there’s no surprise here, nothing dangerous or truly unexpected. Ho hum.

Kompakt / KOMPAKT 158
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 3, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 22

Various Artists - Shut Up And Dance! Updated (Ostgut Tonträger)
Genre: Techno, Minimal/Deep

Richard Carnes: At a time of the year where everyone’s looking to individual artists for 2007’s top electronic album, this release definitely shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

Crowdpleaser & St Plomb - 2006 Remixes 1 (Mental Groove)
Genre: Electro-House

Marco Resmann - Watercolour (Mobilee)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: In this case, it’s easy to visualise a blue wash like an Yves Klein canvas on an overcast afternoon right before dusk.

Booka Shade - Tickle (Get Physical Music)
Genre: Electro-House

Maximilian Skiba - Beginning (Eva)
Genre: Electro-House

Prinzhorn Dance School - Up! Up! Up! (DFA)
Genre: Indie-Dance

The Skull - Enter The Skull
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: “Sensuella” continues the run of apt track titles by paring things back a few notches, with a lonely lady being serenading by sine tones who appear to be telling us that the undead are holding her captive. Or she wants to be held. Or something.

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #35: Crambe Repetita

Mike Powell interviews Environ’s Kelley Polar
Todd Hutlock reviews Hot Chip’s DJ Kicks mix CD.
Peter Parrish reviews Colleen’s Les Ondes Silencieuses


May 30, 2007

Booka Shade - Tickle

The definitive low point of this year’s Winter Music Conference was standing outside the venue for the Get Physical event and being told that Booka Shade were about to wrap up their live set and the door fee had just doubled to $40 a head. At 4:30 AM. This almost makes up for it, though.

“Tickle” could be an addendum to last year’s amazing Movements LP, with those itchy little tapping sounds and swooning ethereal pads the duo favor so much. Their use of percussion in particular seems to have gotten even richer, with oscillating drumrolls and filtered beats sounding both metallic and static-fringed. Tickle? Indeed it does. Even sweeter to these ears is “Karma Car,” balancing a crunchy sawtooth undercurrent with chime and bell-like tones. The wood-circle faerie dance of alternating melody lines that starts close to the two-minute mark gets even tastier with the addition of finger snaps and one of the boys singing wordlessly along. It’s rare to find a track that combines a clean, ultra-modern aesthetic with a great sense of humor, but this is definitely one of those moments. Simultaneously classy and joyous, as we’ve come to expect from this lot.

Get Physical Music / GPM 0706
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


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 18, 2007

Charts: May 18 2007

Peter Lansky

The Black Ghosts - Anyway You Choose To Give It (Extended Version) [Southern Fried Records]
Passions - Emergency [Kitsune Music]
Para One - Midnight Swim (Surkin Drowning Mix) [Institubes]
!!! - Must Be The Moon (Hot Chip Remix) [Warp]
Black Devil Disco Club - The Devil In Us (Dub Version) [Lo Recordings]
Herbert - Moving Like A Train (Smith & Hack Remix) [Studio !K7]
Booka Shade - Tickle [Get Physical]
Björk - Earth Intruders (Spank Rock Remix) [One Little Indian]
Lindstrřm & Solale - Let’s Practise [Feedelity]
Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) [White]

Michael F. Gill

Andre Crom - Reiner Wahnsinn [Sender Records]
Shyza Minelli - Haunting Me [Tuning Spork]
Pablo Bolivar - The King Of My System (Phage & Daniel Dreier’s Whisper Mix) [MIS]
Ark & Mossa - Homme Sweat Homme [Complot]
Skream feat. Warrior Queen - Check It [Tempa]
Dee Scott - Irresistible [Electric Ice Records]
Scientist - Rids The World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires [Greensleeves]
Can - Soon Over Babaluma [Spoon/Mute]
Stephanie Mills - Sweet Sensation [20th Century Records]
Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy (Serge Santiago Version) [Catskills]


May 17, 2007

Skatebard - Vuelo

200712"Neo-Disco

Way back in 2004 when I didn’t know techno from the sounds my backside makes after a night of too much hummus, Skatebard was an ultra-obscure contributor to Erlend Řye’s DJ Kicks outing, with a four-on-the-floor high-treble UR-like banger called “Metal Chix.” In 2006, the Nordic producer gave us Midnight Magic, which was mostly chillout music and mostly a letdown. Tempo-wise Vuelo splits the difference, but this might be Skatebard’s best outing yet: two tracks of forlorn italo-disco, one track of Lindstrřm-like downtempo space music (”Celluloid Mirage”), and one massively rhythmic, melodically impressionistic techno track akin to Booka Shade or Gui Boratto (”Holidays On Ice In Space”). The italo tracks are tops: understated melodies over the standard italo bubble, percussion underneath either going through various tweaks to reverb and modulations (”Vuelo”) or just overwhelming the lines with massive claps and more twittering hi-hat sounds, all of it dissipating upon contact (”June Nights South of Siena”). Makes me wonder whether I would have liked that Sally Shapiro album more if there was, cough, less Sally Shapiro.

Radius / RAD 012
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


April 4, 2007

DJ T - Lucky Bastard

DJ T, one fire-breathing component of the many-headed hydra that runs my favorite Berlin label, usually busts out with tracks on the more minimal, hypnotic end of the Get Physical spectrum (see last years’ “Stalker”), and this is no exception. While labelmates Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. are more likely to use a bass-driven tidal wave as their calling card, DJ T’s tracks are like mini tug-of-wars between a persistent group of minor-hued sounds, interacting to create sensuous unrest with microtonal variations.

“Lonely Bastard” is an exceptionally sparse and tech-y example of this style—a melody pushes towards the front and almost seems to develop, but the threat never materializes. Instead, waves of percussive clicks batter the little dinghy of a tune back out to sea. An outstanding example of what I usually think of as a “bridge” track. The Prosumer and Dub Mixes understand this admirably well and present useful manipulations of the formula—the first sunnier and sparser, the second a bit darker and more coagulated.

Get Physical Music / GPM 065-6
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


March 23, 2007

Spread the Love - Om Party @ Y Ultralounge (WMC, Night One)

ultralounge-crowd.jpg

Om Party @ Y Ultra Lounge, Thursday Night:

First of all, the Y Ultra Lounge is huge. It’s actually three clubs (plus a restaurant through a fenced-off lobby): Y Ultra Lounge (why? because we love you…). Tottem and Tottem Gardens. Trying to find friends was a mistake. The only thing to do was ride the butter churn into the next room, and over the course of a an hour we began to establish a rough map of this labyrinth. Or so we thought - attempting to leave actually led us into the largest areas of the club, especially the great Tottem Gardens, which have a great Tiki Party vibe and plenty of space. Not to mention close access to the $3 hot dogs and $6 burgers. I’m sure the drink prices were out-of-hand, but I didn’t ask. Luckily, the crowd was thick as stew and the music was excellent. To be fair, I was a bit wary- while I love some of the artists on Om, their roster is large and diverse enough that some of it (like most any larger label) has slipped through the wack crack. Two artists, both new to me, that played during the time we were there hooked us in and wouldn’t let go.

bassnectar4-headbanging.jpg

First up was Bassnectar (yeah, I know). As we entered, chunky electro breaks slapped us right across the cheeks with bold, up-front basslines and pounding drums. A whip of hair thrashes over the DJ deck as a wiry figure bounces infectiously to the beat of his own drum. Bassnectar looks like somebody you might buy windowpane from outside the Phish concert (fittingly, he broke through at Burning Man). He sounds like someone from his own damn planet though - raw, bass-dominated tracks that draw from dub, electro, hip-hop, jungle, you name it, all re-edited and tweaked by himself, then burned to CDr. As a pan-cultural purveyor of bust-your-shit-open beats, Bassnectar delivered with enthusiastic elan.

ChuckLove1.jpg

As we attempted to exit, we found ourselves in the fab Tottem Gardens - man-made streams, bridges, white fabric tents and the lingering aroma of hash competing with the heady scent of grilled pork. Edging through the crowd towards the dj booth, we were lulled in by a really suave and sensuous jazzy house record, only to find out that the bossa-style guitar draped over the beats was being played by an actual human being. It took a few shouted times to get his name right, but the name is Chuck Love (not Josh Love as I bemusedly first heard). Anyone who thinks so-called “deep house” is a dinosaur ought to check the man out. Over soulful, funky beats, he sings and plays guitar, flute, trumpet, and melodica (pictured above), Chuck Love makes some seriously funky and uplifting shit. The live-instrumentation is far from a gimmick- that and his boundless energy and positivity make him an artist worth watching, someone who brings the crowd somewhere and keeps them there. I’ll accept and endorse Om despite a million crap compilations if they keep unearthing gems like Chuck Love. Who, of course, was followed by Collette. Who I predicted would be entertaining for precisely five minutes. I was about two minutes off:

collette.jpg

The only genuine disappointment of the evening was the one which cut into my most anticipated event -the Get Physical showcase at Studio A. Well, not so much cut into as decimated - by the time (4 am) we’d made it down to 11th St., the entry price (this event was not WMC-affiliated) had gone from $10 to $20 to $40. As much as I’d really love to see a four hour M.A.N.D.Y. DJ set and the last fifteen minutes of a live Booka Shade concert, $40 is $40.

So instead we get an impressionistic shot of the very beginnings of sunrise:

dawn-on-the-beach.jpg

[Mallory O’Donnell]


January 19, 2007

Charts: January 19 2007

Michael F. Gill
Sylvester – I Need You (Dim’s 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 - L’nuit (Dominik Eulberg Mix) [Crosstown Rebels]
Booka Shade - In White Rooms (Shinedoe Remix) [Get Physical]
Nitzer Ebb - Control I’m 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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