September 17, 2007

Modeselektor - Happy Birthday!

Actually Modeselektor are excited to become cartoons. The group’s last couple of album covers are giddily aware of it. Inside the cover for Happy Birthday! and on its portly made-for-CD running-time, Modeselektor pound away with ACME anvils and beep beep through open ranges—covering the distance between bangers and ballads. Or, to be fair, it’s just bangers and ballads. That’s it.

Let’s not take away from Modeselektor’s strengths though, the pair is also good at bastardizing genres and music scenes. Their debut album wasn’t named Hello Mum! for no reason. Happy Birthday! just begs to be described in a pragmatic word like “chock-full,” but here’s an overlooked factoid—it’s the first album to be graced by one Thom Yorke which isn’t worried about being tasteful with a capital T.

Being tasteless suits the band just fine. With “2000007,” it also lets them out-prefuse Prefuse 73. Not stuck explaining their exquisite band name or racial politics must be fun, because it definitely sounds a helluva lot more brash and exciting than what Scott Herren is doing these days. The track might be in the genre-netherworld between glitch-hop and euro-crunk, but it’s definitely an unabashed sequel to group’s last album opener with the French rap group TTC.

Modeselektor continue to gleefully plunder their own past as well as others for inspiration throughout the 18 tracks. One notable choice is Scooter and their Teutonic happy-hardcore schlockfest, “Hyper Hyper.” The original isn’t waiting to be rediscovered anytime soon, which makes Modeselektor’s locked-jaw and straight-faced cover even more perfect. Enlisting Otto Von Schirach for the vocal role of Wizard-gone-Return to Oz, with a couple flying monkeys in tow, “Hyper Hyper” is bound to make another generation of kids yell for hardcore all over again.

When the tempo slows, the duo is wise to make their music just as sonically juicy and epic. On their collaboration with Apparat, “Let Your Love Grow,” the group let a field of bulbous synths and trip-hop drum patterns sprout around Paul St. Hilaire, ending up with a dead ringer for Massive Attack. The track is a highlight but one that’s sure to be trumped in notoriety by “The White Flash.” The group’s best contribution to “White Flash” is to let Thom Yorke do what he does best (i.e. play lost angel in our dystopia and moaning into the abyss), and Yorke is perfectly laconic in return—he even twists the euphoric “you have all the time in the world” into something preciously fleeting.

Happy Birthday! constantly reminds me of something Vitalic said in an interview—”I like people screaming in the sound with explosions.” When Modeselektor don’t try to fit every scream and explosion into its folds, the album sags. Tacks like “BMI” and “The Wedding Toccata Theme” sound dull when set against the cartoon-ish extremes of a song like “The First Rebirth,” which comes alive by being chopped and crunked before your ears. Luckily, most of Happy Birthday! finds Modeselektor being so busy being loony tunes that there’s little time to sit still and be bored.

Bpitch Control / BPC 159CD
[Listen]
[Nate DeYoung]


May 4, 2007

Beatzcast #31: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mini-mix of electronic music…

Tracklist
01: Boundzound - Louder (All Mighty Club Mix) [buy]
02: D-Pulse - Jane Air [buy]
03: Eberhard Schoener feat. Sting - Why Don’t You Answer [buy]
04: Lopazz - Share My Rhythm [buy]
05: Plasmik - Mindpattern [buy]
06: Paul Kalkbrenner - Altes Kamuffel [buy]
07: Riton vs. Heidi - To the Gum [buy]
08: Sneak Thief - My Sullen Mistress [buy]

Subscribe to the Beatzcast.


March 16, 2007

Charts: March 16 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Propaganda - Duel / Jewel [ZTT]
Silver Convention - Mission to Venus [Midland International]
Visions of Tomorrow - Galaxy (Charles Webster Edit) [Past Due]
Cat Stevens - Was Dog A Doughnut? (Pilooski Edit) [Dirty]
D-Train - Keep On (Dub) [Prelude]
Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence (Hands & Feet Mix) [Mute]
40 Thieves - Point to the Joint (Electric Boogie Band Remix) [Smash Hit Music Co.]
Sascha Funke - Auf Aix [BPitch Control]
Junior Boys - Dead Horse EP [Domino]
Juan Atkins - Wax Trax! Mastermix Volume 1 [Wax Trax]

Michael F. Gill
Teena Marie - You’re All The Boogie I Need [Gordy/Motown]
Brass Construction – Movin (12” Mix) [United Artists]
Number One Ensemble – Back To Heaven [Radio Records]
June Evans – If Your Want My Lovin [H & H records]
Roundtree – Hit On You (Tony Humphries Dub) [Discfunction]
Afx - VBS.Redlof.B [Rephlex]
Moonbeam – Sunshine [Traum]
Each – Sunrise (Original Mix) [Out of Orbit Recordings]
Joachim Spieth – Connect [Paso Music]
Dub Taylor – Schmidt’s Cat / Schmidt’s Katze (Part 1) [Organic Domain]


March 14, 2007

Sascha Funke - Auf Aix

Sascha Funke has been around the traps for quite a while now, and his music has had its small share of sublime moments, from the wonderful Safety First EP on Kompakt to occasional moments on his Bravo album that otherwise suffered from terrible vocals. At its best, Funke’s music is propelled by a precious “feeling” contained within the melodic minimalist sound he works within. At its worst, we have more or less the same aforementioned elements failing to ignite the fire.

“Auf Aix” sees a condensation of these two sides pressed onto one piece of vinyl. To these ears at least, the A-side is a flop—as is quite often the case with tracky music that doesn’t work, you can “hear” what’s happening at all times, the musical equivalent of seeing a conjurer’s sleight of hand. It’s a dull, predictable track that plods along with very little rhythmic, melodic or timbral invention. Ho-hum. Yet “Ey” works—with a different arrangement of similar ideas (a delayed one-note synth line, a soft bass line, plus a very Cassy-ish vocal “Ey”) this track conjures a summer party in the sunshine of 2000, when M. Mayer was playing a lot of melodic minimal tracks right on the border between trance and tech-house.

Is it too early to call it “The good old days”? Walking the tightrope between deadliness and dud-liness, this EP is quintessential Funke, and a nice reminder of how this form of music, redolent of the early Kompakt classics, could move you so much with so little, when it didn’t leave you cold and begging.

Bpitch Control / BPC 144
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


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]


February 9, 2007

Charts: February 9 2007

Todd Hutlock
Can - Mother Sky (Pilooski Edit) [D*I*R*T*Y Edits]
Tony Allen - Ole (A Remix by Moritz Von Oswald) [Honest Jon’s]
Riley Reinhold - Point Zero [Trapez]
Damero - Mope [BPitch Control]
Claude VonStroke - Who’s Afraid of Detroit? (Tanner Ross Remix) [Dirty Bird]
Thomas Melchior & Luciano - Solomon’s Prayer [Cadenza]
Villalobos – Ioda [Playhouse]
Mikkel Metal - Untitled (Vainquer Remix) [Echocord]
Dub Syndicate - Pounding System [On-U Sound]
Ron Trent & Chez Damier - Hip To Be Disillusioned [Prescription]

Mallory O’Donnell
Wendy Carlos - Sonic Seasonings [Columbia]
Morton Subotnick - Silver Apples of the Moon [Nonesuch]
V/A - Sub Rosa Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music, Volume 4 [Sub Rosa]
i-F - Mixed Up In the Hague, Volume 2 [No Label]
Kraftwerk - Ralf & Florian [Vertigo]
Drei Farben House - Any Kind of Feeling [Force Tracks]
Nathan Fake - Outhouse Remixes [Recycled Loops]
Legowelt - The Land of Lonzo [Bunker]
nofloatoutput - the sound of systems failing [Greystate]

Michael F. Gill
Mash – Somebody’s Property [Glasgow Underground]
The Work – Just Talk (Skatebaard Remix) [Powerblytt]
Sam K – Doesn’t Matter (Ripperton Remix) [Perspectiv]
Los Angeles T.F. – Everliving Fever [Proxima Centauri]
Fake – Donna Rouge [Did Records]
Mouzon’s Electric Band – Everybody Get Down [Vanguard]
Ritchie Family – I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby) [RCA]
Julia & Company – Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba) [London]
Modeselektor – Hello Mom! [Bpitch Control]
MAT101 - Goodbye Mum! [Balance Records]


February 2, 2007

Charts: February 2 2007

Todd Hutlock
Kiki - Trust Me (Super Dub) [Bpitch Control]
Radio Slave - Weeeze [Rekids]
Pantytec - Micromission (Daniel Bell Remix) [Perlon]
Thomas Brinkmann - Wait A Minute [Max Ernst]
Mikkel Metal - Noff [Echocord]
Sieg Über Die Sonne - You’ll Never Come Back (Tobi Neumann’s Waiting For You Rmx) [Multicolor Recordings]
Villalobos - Tub [Playhouse]
Alan Parsons Project - I Robot (Pilooski Edit) [D*I*R*T*Y Edits]
Depeche Mode - Master And Servant (An ON-U Sound Science Fiction Dance Hall Classic) [Mute]
Convextion - Solum Ferrum [Down Low]

Mallory O’Donnell
Roxy Music - Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix) [Virgin]
Love Supreme - Pork Chop Express [Tirk]
Kathy Diamond - All Woman [Permanent Vacation]
Flim Flam - Best of Joint Mix [Dum Dum]
Marsha Raven - I Like Plastic [Red Bus]
Pet Shop Boys - One More Chance (Remix) [ARS]
Orgue Electronique - The Garden [Creme Organisation]
Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words [RCA]
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime [Kompakt]
Gui Borrato - Chromophobia [Kompakt]

Michael F. Gill
Tenderness - Got To Keep On Trying [RCA]
Bob-A-Rela - Why Does It Rain? [Channel]
O’Gar – Playback Fantasy (Instrumental) [Magic Circus Productions]
Quartz – Beyond The Clouds [T.K. Disco]
Omar-S- The Maker [FXHE]
Robert Hood – Hoodmusic 2 [Music Man Records]
Marcellus Pittman – Come See [Unirhythm]
Herbert – The Movers & The Shakers (Green Velvet Remix) [!K7]
Remo feat. Chelonis R. Jones - Empire [Dance Electric]
Home Video - The Penguin (Tim Goldsworthy’s The Loving Hand Remix) [Defend]


January 19, 2007

Kiki - Trust Me

Kiki’s streamlined techno, with its graceful interpolation of EBM, electro, and darkwave elements, has occasionally suffered from being a bit too well-mannered. One thing it never fails to do, however, is provide a sense of motion. “Trust Me” gurns along at the steady altitude of a night flight across the Atlantic, split between a “Super Dub” to placate those seeking only depth and texture, and a “Cowboy Mix,” which introduces turbulence in the form of a menacing theme and some reverbed effects, hee-ya! So, sure, we’re traveling, but where the hell are we going? On to the next track, then the next, then so on. This is a well-crafted set-builder for the early evening, more interesting for the direction its motion implies than anything that actually happens. And we’re just fine with that.

BPitch Control / BPC 141
[Listen]
[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…

(more…)


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