June 1, 2007

Beatzcast #35: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music…

01: A Mountain of One - Freefall [buy]
02: Bassed on Kyoto - Flower [buy]
03: Christian Prommer´s Drum Lesson - Space Jam 2000.17 [buy]
04: The Skull - Sensuella [buy]
05: Oxia - Not Sure [buy]
06: Dusty Cabinets - Hi-5 [buy]
07: Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music [buy]

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April 1, 2007

From The Archives #1

From The Archive is a selection of dance related articles and reviews from the archives of Stylus Magazine.

Frank Martiniq - Little Fluffy Crowds (Boxer Recordings, 2005)

Todd Burns: Frank Martiniq hardly has an identifiable “sound,” as you can tell from the above descriptions, but his compositions are united by one thing: a consistent quality, no matter the spin that Martiniq is putting on it. While you’ll probably never actively go out and seek Little Fluffy Crowds, if it somehow ends up finding you, you won’t be disappointed.

Losoul - Getting Even (Playhouse, 2004)

Ron Schepper: Peter Kremeier understands that a random gathering of dance tracks does not an album make, and so gives weighty consideration to Getting Even’s sequencing and its contrasts to ensure it’s heard as a listening experience beyond all else.

Shuttle 358 - Chessa (12k Records, 2004)

Michael Heumann: Chessa continues to deliver emotion-laden atmospherics. The eleven songs here are replete with the same spinning sine waves, sputtering bleeps and clicks, and (especially) lilting synthesizer melodies that effectively comprise the “Shuttle358″ sound.

Mokira - Album (Type, 2004)

Francis Henville:
+++++++++++long pasted water tones, clouds ++++++++++
+++++++four colors of air++++++++repressed anger++____
________nostalgia++++++++=======irrelevance, the sound
of muffled crying from next door (+) (+) (+) ++++++++++++
+++++++short moving tones++++++something sung_______
+++++++++++++++++++++it was once a guitar**********
+then the evening+++++++++ and the longer night+++++++

September 1, 2006

Paul Nazca - Scandale

Patrick Chardronnet! James Holden! What have you wrought! If you haven’t heard “Eve By Day,” or the first Oxia Speicher, or “The Sky Was Pink,” then you’ll probably consider this record to be utter genius. If this is the case you may want to try the new wonder drug, penicillin, and replace the logs under your massive immovable stone with a device known as a “wheel.” Of course this sarcasm is scuppered by the fact that “Sleeping,” Nazca’s version of “Eve By Day,” still gives the synapses a little twitch. It’s not bad by any means, a little ravier than its grim counterparts, and it’s got a much bigger kick drum on it. On the flip, “Western” is a barely passable piece of electro-disco, but “Svell” is a nice piece of house/trance, like Lawrence with pills instead of black and white pictures.

Boxer / Boxer 041
[Ronan Fitzgerald]

May 24, 2006

Duoteque - Daki EP

Nate De Young: Duoteque are a couple of Italians that made their first big ripple last summer with analog bass-waves gone wild on “Drug Queen.” The song was massive, but also completely predictable—with breakdowns and build-ups signaled from a minute away. The Daki EP takes a hard left and finds the duo loosening up: lead track “Daki Theta”’s chorus goes, “I am a kid who feels fine / I want a pill that makes one smile.” If the grammar is a little awkward, it makes it that much harder to tell if you’re smiling about the lyrics or the music’s series of sonic gags—with pitch-shifting synths jumping every which way over a rubbery bassline. While the source material is an insta-setup for remixing, The MFA doesn’t paint by numbers. They can take credit for both a captivating take on filter-house and an 8-bit Contra-style breakdown.

Mallory O’Donnell: Brushing on Italo and New Beat textures while employing some of the squeaky goofiness of Gomma and the playfulness of Playhouse, “Daki Theta” is a proper headrush-inducer disguised as novelty number. “I just forgot your postal code,” indeed. This is primetime material for me—immediately bracing, but dense and original enough to go the distance, with extra points awarded for actually yelling “bass!” “Kyra” makes it clear that Duoteque have come here for one reason and one reason alone—to blow some speaker cones and kick some ass. Tomorrow we might all be gone, so there’s only so much time to strip down to our undies, dance before the beach bonfire, and experience the transcendental revelation that can only come through booming bass, synths cascading off into whirls of color and vapor and—oh shit, I’ve run out of synonyms for “throbbing.” The MFA remix of “Daki Theta” unites the two approaches—funk gets stronger, killer kilometer-longer version. Present in both vocal and instrumental flavors for added fun, play ‘em both together and watch the trance bunnies run.

Boxer / 038

March 10, 2006

Delon & Dalcan - La Migale Infernale

As heard on a previous Beatz mix, Delon & Dalcan’s opening salvo on their latest 12″ť for the Boxer Recordings label metastasizes shortly after it begins into an electro-bleep house epic. “La Migale”’s spindly synths wrap themselves around a deep, grinding bass that dares you with each passing bar to stop dancing. It’s physically impossible: I’ve tried it. Of course you can turn the wax over if you’d like, but as you might expect things don’t get better. But “Frisches”’s charms lie more in one of its synths sounding like a lost puppy lost amid a torrent of determined organization and “Live”ť sounds like it get lost somewhere along the way to a dark EBM rave and wandered into a trance set. Which is a good thing, I promise. Recommended.

Boxer Recordings / 036
[Todd Burns]

January 27, 2006

The Shock - Manhattan

The Shock teams up Ben Camp & George Bissen, an American and German ex-pat known mostly know for progressive house, for a guitar-heavy helping of electro-house that seems tailor-made for Ewan Pearson to play out during peak time. If you’ve heard Pearson’s Sci-Fi Hi-Fi mix cd, you have an idea what I’m talking about. If not, just note that I have a setting in my brain that triggers the word “Ewan Pearson” when I hear anthemic electro-house with big snares on 2 and 4. “Manhattan” is a bit of a shoddy rehash of Pearson’s own remix of “The Poisoner’s Diary” by Silicone Soul, but is redeemed by a great Einmusik remix on the b-side, which frames some guitar moans around a rhythm that easily moves back and forth from four-on-the-floor to schaffel.

Boxer / 035
[Michael F. Gill]

October 27, 2005

Frank Martiniq - Extrashark

“Extrashark”’s a deep tune seemingly built for the big room, with shades of shimmering trance chords that blast into the song mid-way through, only to be overtaken by huge swathes of white-noise that slide onto the sound field like waves. It’s a mildly queasy track, but one that works beautifully. “Dumb De Luxe” rides in the same car of unfortunate and random noisiness, but is far too uncompromising in its backbeat to really grab. That is, until the whole thing gets interrupted by an analog bassline that leads to the crucial swing that it’d been missing. Recommended.

Boxer Recordings / Boxer 033
[Todd Burns]

October 13, 2005

Maximilian Skiba - Randez-Vous Over Mars

I’ve always felt, right or wrong, that Boxer was one of those harder-edged labels that rarely sounds good at home and always offers up the goods while on the dancefloor. That assumption is blown away by the built for home-listening Randez-Vous Over Mars, which is primarily built on sinuous and melodic electro. The title track dispels any notion of coldness immediately, matching up a bouncing beat with an arpeggiated set of notes and a bulbous bassline. “Bizzarre,” meanwhile, raves it up and “Transcendental Dinkiness”…well, the title really says it all.

Boxer Recordings / Boxer 032
[Todd Burns]

July 26, 2005

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill - “Inflation Breeze”

With electro-house probably hitting its (relative) peak of popularity at the moment, I felt it was about time to do a mix of some of the great records that have been put out in the last year. There are a couple ongoing themes present to this mix. The first is that each successive track in this mix hits a little bit harder and louder than the last one. It’s a very gradual inflation process, starting from the ambient sighs of Donnacha Costello up until the bombastic Hystereo/Tiefschwarz/Ewan Pearson conclusion. To try and make these transitions as smooth as possible, I strove to include a good deal of melodic crosspllination between tracks. That is to say, the melodies of one track are very similiar in rhythm and/or timbre to the previous one. While a lot of DJ sets and mixes of electrohouse have either an acid-tech or EBM/goth type feel to them, I aimed to make this mix as fluent and burdenless as possible. You could almost say it sounds like a mechanical breeze. Perhaps, in fact, an inflation breeze.

01 Donnacha Costello - Cocoa (Minimise)
02 Water Lilly - Tangle of Wires (Mental Groove)
03 Delon & Dalcan - No Speak [Tekel Remix] (Boxer Sport)
04 Sweet ‘n’ Candy feat. Rufus Dunkel - Veritable (Lebensfreude)
05 Tomas Andersson - The Birthday Party (Bpitch Control)
06 Unit 4 - Bodydub [Bangok Impact Remix] (Clone)
07 Etienne De Crecy - Fast Track (Different Recordings/PIAS)
08 Tomas Andersson - Happy Happy (Bpitch Control)
09 Huntemann - Femme Fatale (International Deejay Gigolo)
10 Sweet Light - Nirvana (Freak ‘n Chic)
11 Dmx Krew - The Hunt (Sonic Groove)
12 ADJD - Believe (Pokerflat)
13 Alex Smoke - Chica Wappa [Mejor Edit] (Soma)
14 2 Rare People - Time [2 Rare People Redone Mix] (Blackout ‘77)
15 Hystereo - Corporate Crime Wave (Soma)
16 Tiefschwarz - Wait and See [Tiefschwarz Dub] (Four Music/Fine)
17 Silicone Soul - The Poisoner’s Diary [Ewan Pearson’s Instrumental Remix] (Soma)