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…


November 3, 2006

The Glimmers - Time 4 Action Remixes


It’s like I only review releases of mid-tempo or nu-disco around here. Anything with a thick semi-driven bassline, lots of reverb, and the occasional guitar flange—at the very least I’ll listen to it all the way through, forgive bad melodies for good texture, etc. This one tries my patience, though. It’s not Padded Cell’s fault, but that slight chromatic riff they keep from the original really blows, a shame because everything around it is aces, especially the new drum sounds, all programmed with different piston-like pneumatic qualities, like it’s this massive space-disco super-engine. There’s even one towards the end that sounds like a blowdryer; that’s a new one. The flipside is the CJ Bolland/Glimmers remix; sounds like a dubbier disco edit of the Brennan Green “Cerebral Tremolo” remix for Kaos, which is more interesting rhythmically and goes better places.

Diskimo / DISKO 6001
[Nick Sylvester]

October 20, 2006

Brennan Green - Cool Ranch


Two sides from the Daniel Wang-affiliated Green, two different shades of roomy instrumental grace. A-side “Bunko” is spaced enough for Prins Thomas fans but provides enough catchy thrills that you’re more inclined to have a dance-off than nod off. The organic guitar that runs through “Bunko” like a warm salt-water wave turns a sun-tanned shoulder or two in “Divisadero,” reappearing as a strummed cascade on an acoustic six-stringer(!). This track should warrant immediate inclusion on every one of the 60 downtempo collections coming out this month, except it’s far too toothsome to be wasted on that crowd. God, I miss the summer already.

Modal Music / MODAL005
[Mallory O’Donnell]

October 20, 2006

Charts: October 20 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Trentemoller - The Last Resort [Poker Flat]
Tussle - Telescope Mind [Smalltown Supersound]
Lil Louis - Blackout Phase 3 [Mathematics]
Hot Chip - Colours (Fred Falke Remix) [Astralwerks]
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Tempo Tempo [Eskimo]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Brennan Green - Divisadero [Modal]

Ronan Fitzgerald
And Again - To The Moles and the Masses [Sender]
Heckmann and Kaufelt - Kookaburra (Knarz Mix) [AFU-Ltd]
Alland Byallo - Buckets [Liebe Detail]
Pascal Feos - Timeless [Synaptic]
Reynold - Over There (Donato Dozzy Mix) [Montrose]
My My – Moneybowl [Aus Records]
Alexis Tyrell - Rebecca Loos [Weave Music]
Daniela Stickroth - Ghost In The Attic (Dan Berkson and James What Mix) [Meerestief]
Chaton - Précis 2 [Plak]
Shonky - Solar [Substatic]

Todd Hutlock
Ric Y Martin - Sini Est [Perlon]
Andrew Weatherall - Edie Eleven [Rotters Golf Club]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Matthew Dear - Dog Days (Pantytec Interpretation) [Spectral Sound]
Six Cups of Rebel - Arp She Said [Feedelity]
Plastikman - Plink Plonk [Minus]
Terrance Dixon - Minimalism [Utensil]
The Infiltrator - I’m In [Underground Resistance]
Renegade Soundwave - Space Gladiator (Dub) [Mute]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Gabriel Ananda Remix) [Trapez LTD]

Michael F. Gill
Was A Bee - On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) [Schema]
Jesse Rose feat. Solid Groove & Jamie Anderson - Nice & Slow [Front Room Recordings]
Citizen Kain - Above The Influence (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [Regular]
Logistics - Call Me Back [Hospital]
Lady Saw - Sweetest [Soul Jazz]
Breeze - Get Back [Heartbeat]
Underground Resistance feat. Yolanda - Your Time Is Up [Underground Resistance]
Minimal Vision - Vertigo [Vibraphone]
Raven feat. Jocelyn Brown - So In Love [Silver Cloud]
Convertion - All I Want Is You [Sam Records]

August 25, 2006

Lindstrřm - Feedelity Remixed Vol 1


Norway, so hot right now. Piece by piece, Hans-Peter Lindstrřm has quickly built up one of the most compelling bodies of work of any contemporary producer. His music bears comparison with Isolée, not because they sound alike (which they don’t, really) but because both artists share something that is deeply personal, utterly idiosyncratic, and emphatically their own. It’s a parallel trick to the one Raymond Chandler pulled on noir—while lesser writers cranked out genre novels, Chandler pressed the form into service as his very own sublime statement. So Lindstrřm too owns or maybe even is the genre he works in, whatever tag you want to call it (Space Disco, Disco-Tech, Universal Boogie.) For this remix EP, the Mungolian Jet Set mix of the previously unreleased track “A Blast of Loser” is the more obvious piece. Its initial brassiness leads to irritation on repeat listening, and the sweaty vocal hook either makes or (in my opinion) nearly breaks the entire track. On the flip, Brennan Green’s remix of “Pesto Og Kolera” is festooned with shiny hooks and bounces around a brand new rubbery bass line. I’ve had this groove on brain-loop for three days now: this shit gets in there and stays. As with all Lindstrřm releases, there’s a strong sense of the epic; these are two big, complex, progressive (in the true sense) tracks full of many parts, ideas, digressions, and groove.

Feedelity / feed 007
[Peter Chambers]

August 11, 2006

Kaos - Cerebral Tremolo


Some critics accused Berlin’s DJ Kaos of being a trendy hack that merely regurgitated the hippest and most lucrative retro disco sounds of 2004 into his debut album, Hello Stranger. And, yes, his 13-minute, space-disco jaunt “Cerebal Tremolo” may resemble a lost LCD Soundsystem b-side, but I doubt anybody would care less after the booze flows and they’re surrounded by fifty horny people crammed into a bedroom. The full-length single delivers a lot of what you’d expect: a cigarette-stained bassline, star shower synths, DFA-issued cowbells, a stumbling wah-wah guitar, and vocals that serenade while face-first into a pillow. A re-edit by Brennan Green and Salvatore Principato (from NYC’s immortal psych-funk unit Liquid Liquid) thankfully cuts “Cerebral’s” excess in half, making the song punchier and livelier. Khan’s remix is a rather generic acid-techno number that stamps to a thudding electro-beat, spell-casting synth bloops, and Khan’s own sexless huffing.

Rong / RONG 014
[Cameron Macdonald]

July 14, 2006

Dondolo - Dragon

Tracks like this give punkfunk/discorock its piss-poor reputation. I’m glad Dondolo’s heard “Shack Up” too but that doesn’t mean he needs to tell everybody with his own famished, probably unfinished, sub-ringtone quality take on it. When they should slice like knives, those rhythm guitar strokes hit like paper cuts. The cowbell’s utterly charmless, which is a feat, and the “funky” bassline sounds so forced, so unnatural, a veritable square into the circle hole. Neo-disco flavor of the month Brennan Green does Dondolo a solid by streamlining the mess into bare requisites, giving it a proper breakdown, treating the snare hits with reverb, rewriting the guy’s bassline, etc., etc., etc. —so the track’s passable, but he could only do so much without hurting the guy’s feelings. Shit Robot has fewer scruples. While his bass goes upfront overdriven and hiccuping, he turns the rest of Dondolo’s turd into technicolor: a miraculous glaze of old movie theater MGM horn drones, complete with the doppler-like shifts in tone, though the disco melancholy’s intact. There’s a reason they gave Robot the whole back side.

Tiny Sticks / stick 006
[Nick Sylvester]