May 10, 2007

Baby Ford / Benno Blome - Smoke Machine

I’m a sucker for Sender. There’s something irresistible about Benno Blome’s brittle, sawing, rocking vision of reduced tech-house that keeps on keeping on, even sixty or more releases in. But where earlier highlights in the catalog steered much closer to a tight, dry sound aesthetic, recent releases (perhaps since the first Baby Ford release here) have moistened and loosened things considerably. Until recently, it just wasn’t plausible to say that “Sender’s gonna house you.”

But here it is folks, perhaps the loosest, housiest release on the catalog, probing the play in the groove on the A-side (without losing the menace), then plugging back into the click, spray, and clatter of Bruno Pronsato’s microhouse-inflected revision on the flip. Ford and Blome’s version nods forward with a big-ass bassline, surrounded by Ford’s cut-and-stuttered vocal utterances. The track grooves along in this pattern, until a huge tearout full of granulated static (or is that the smoke machine?) interrupts things, and then the bassline returns.

Pronsato’s mix offers the same percussive spatiality of his recent (excellent) collaboration with Sammy Dee as Half Hawaii. It’s got a smooth bassline, dry, panning congas, and a metallic vocoded vocal, all of which sound like they are jamming in a big, hard-walled room somewhere inside his laptop. It’s a nice interconnection between the swinging micro/clapfunk of his work on hello?repeat and Sender’s overall aesthetic. Worth a look.

Sender / send064
[Peter Chambers]

November 3, 2006

Beatzcast #9



01: Zero 7 - You’re My Flame (Justus Kohncke Mix)
02: Thomas P. Heckmann - Tangents
03: Andy Stott - She’s Gone Wrong
04: Bliss - Right Here (Bliss Remix)
05: Prins Thomas - Fehara
06: Maarten van der Vleuten - Eltec (Rude 66 Gortex Remix)
07: Mike Shannon - Playin’ the Fool
08: Bruno Pronsato - All Night Blahblah… (Jackmate Str8mx)
09: MAS 2008 - Memories

November 3, 2006

Bruno Pronsato - All Night Blahblah…

So many of this guy’s twelves are totally interesting but way too busy, as if the Canadian micro-clicker is worried about getting called lazy or something. I’ve worked in slow restaurants and know the feeling; you just want to do *something* so the boss knows he’s getting his money’s worth. But dude, the boss is out of town! Relax! You’re not going to get fired! Re-released from 2004, “Blah Blah” isn’t too glitched out but there’s something groove-averse about it, very little space explored dynamically. The best things the track has going for it are these warped deep-dub basstones that slurp under the fracas, and the lyrics, which seem to moralize coke use: “talking all night,” “blah blah blah.” “wasting our time,” “do ya wanna grind [teeth?]?”, etc. Jackmate’s remix actually literalizes said dental grind at the track’s end, though the remix never pops, and maybe I’m reading into things.

Philpot / PHP 019
[Nick Sylvester]

October 13, 2006

Charts: October 13 2006

Guest Chart: DJ Barbara Preisinger [~Scape, Berlin]

Alix Alverez & Mr.V - Beat Bodega vol1 [Sound Channel Music]
Shed - Shot Selection [Selection records]
Deadbeat - Version Immersion [~scape]
STL - Purple Saturn Days [Perlon]
Pantha Du Prince - Lichten [Dial]
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc - The Black Door [ibadan]
Nathan Cole - Musik Freak [Funk´d]
Andy Vaz - Remixes [Background]
Herrmann & Kaden - Corroboree [Freude Am Tanzen]
Beckett & Taylor - Hired New Hands [Hand On The Plow]

Michael F. Gill
And One – Sometimes (Instrumental) [Virgin]
Terrence Fixmer – Resistance [Gigolo]
Deepchild – Blackness of the Sea (Luomo Remix) [Future Classic]
Chagrin D’Amour – Chacun Fait (Dub) [Barclay]
Black Gold – C’mon Stop [Prelude]
Kiko – Solar [Notorious Elektro]
Alisha – All Night Passion [Vanguard]
Stephane Signore & Wehbba – Destiny [Bound Records]
Red Lipstique – Drac´s Back (Dub) [Magnet Records Ltd]
Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats – Let Them Talk [Soundway]

Todd Hutlock
Lawrence - “Deep Summer Hole” [Dial]
Lazy Fat People - “Shinjuku” [Wagon Repair]
Heidi Vs Riton - “Vejer” [Get Physical]
Sense Club - “Tommorrov Cocktail” [Perlon]
John Dahlbaeck - “Wet Summer” [Kompakt Extra]
Trentemøeller - “Always Something Better (Trentemøeller Remix)” [Poker Flat]
Meek - “Glowing Trees” [New Ground]
Andrew Weatherall - “Feathers” [Rotters Golf Club]
John Hassell - “Voiceprint (Blind from the Facts) (808 Mix Two - Latin In It Mix)” [Opal]
Dirt Crew - “Largo” [Dirt Crew Recordings]

Nate DeYoung
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet [Kranky]
Rex the Dog - Maximize [Kompakt]
Matthias Kaden / Onur Ozer - Pentaton / Twilight [Vakant R]
Mobilee - Back to Basics [Mobilee]
Pikaya / Andomat 3000 & Jan - Grüne Raufaser / Entr’acte Music [Cadenza]
Bruno Pronsato - Lady Collage [Orac]
The Modernist - Presents “Popular Songs” [Faith]

August 25, 2006


Beatz by the Pound is proud to present its newest podcast to the world: Influx. On the first edition, we profile Seattle-based Orac Records, a label specializing in experimental dance music. Todd Burns interviewed co-label head Randy Jones about the origins of Orac, his own music under the alias Caro, and about the future plans for the label.

01: Strategy - Super Vamp
02: Bruno Pronsato – Wuorinen
03: Appendics Shuffle - Cleanse You
04: Caro - My Little Pony

April 24, 2006

Charts: April 24 2006

Michael F. Gill
Byron Bogues – 2 B In Love (Gabriel Ananda Remix)
J. Dahlback – What Is The Time, Mr. Templar?
Aphrohead – Morning in Mexico
The Sunburst Band – Garden of Love
X-Ray – Lock It Down
Soave – Crying Over You (Dub)
Claudja Barry – Down & Counting (Emulator Dub)
TLC – Hat 2 Da Back (Extended Remix)
Queen – Body Language
Meta Roos – Feel Like Making Love

Nate De Young
Luciano - Yamore
Nhar - Hexoflip
GummiHz - Select & Bounce
Duoteque - Daki
Tekel & Tim Paris - Marketel & Marketim
Burial - South London Buroughs EP
Bruno Pronsato - Wade in the Water, Children
G-Man - The Way You Move

Mallory O’Donnell
Soylent Green - Camera Obscura
Sparks - Tryouts for the Human Race (DJ Kafka Edit)
Fred Falke - Wait for Love
Linus Loves - VH1
Tomboy - Itchi Feet
Lindstrom - I Feel Space (M.A.N.D.Y. Remix)
Julius Kammerl - Dromedar
Electronic - Free Will (Extended)

June 16, 2005

Profile: American Microhouse

American microhouse? The essential problem, I think, is that the country is just too big. Whereas parties in Cologne and Berlin perhaps focus the energies of those scenes, the drive to other cities is almost oppressive in allowing sounds in the Midwest and the West to form properly. That’s why the self-run labels Ghostly International (and its dancefloor leaning subsidiary Spectral Sound) and Orac are so important towards the creation of a truly American aesthetic. Just don’t ask me exactly what the hell it is.

Slavery When Wet
Orac / ORAC16

Mossa’s first 12” for the label seems to be as representative as any: “Slavery When Wet” is a cut-up house cut that boasts vocal tics, slivers of dub, and sundry bells and whistles inside of its glitch moments. It’s all laid out by the one-minute mark and, by the time you reach five, it all seems a tad more repetitive than most. Ben Nevile’s mix of the song immediately dispels any qualms, as his faster-paced take runs through all of the possibilities of the song, rarely overdoing any one portion throughout the length of the song, which is incidentally the exact same as the original. The B-side, “Gastrula,” stretches out its arms and moves in the same arena as its predecessor, but does so more confidently. Its counterpart, “Gastrula (Crushed),” hammers the song into nearly half of the original and is a highly abstract joint that only really gets going two minutes in and doesn’t really ever find its step completely. Some mixed feelings on this one, but “Gastrula” is definitely a keeper.

Bruno Pronsato
Silver Cities
Orac / ORAC09CD

You could hardly find anyone with a bad thing to say about Pronsato’s Silver Cities full-length last year, which is why I tried to stay silent on it. That being said, “Wuorinen” reminds me much more of Pronsato’s DJ sets, about which I have nothing but kind things to say (Go see him live, you won’t regret it.). The song is first-rate microsurgery-house, intersplicing elements that only begin to make sense later on, but never take away from the moment. And it’s funky as hell. Jackmate’s remix is stellar—exactly the sort of smooth rejoinder to the semi-schizophrenic original. It’s “Live in Cascadia” that I keep coming back to, though, which takes the best elements of both tracks that come before it for an epic B-side of dubby micro-house that shouldn’t be missed.

The Return of Caro
Orac / ORAC14CD

At the very least, you should get a good look at the cover for Caro’s first album for his own label. It features, presumably the label head himself, atop a pony and looking quite dapper. For a genre increasingly fond of humor, it’s a brilliantly pompous image that can’t help but make you smile. Music-wise, the album veers over and says hello to just about everything imaginable: acieed, Italo, down-tempo, minimal house, and jazz. “Heavy Wheel” does one of these synthesized moments best, working a Keith Jarrett piano into a fascinating duel with acid bass. Of course, the previously released “My Little Pony” is a highlight, but honestly that track’s adherence to the one genre that Orac can be accused of favoring (cut-up house) is the exception and not the rule here. “Can’t Tell Why,” for example, moves straight from dubby techno into a fierce jacking beat, for example, hardly stopping along the way. Caro’s The Return of Caro sounds exactly like what you might expect from the guy that is credited with helping create software called Jitter for Cycling74, but that’s hardly a bad thing—it’ll keep you on your toes throughout.

Geoff White
Spectral Sound / SPC-29

Labeled sketches, intended to show off his incredible production diversity, “Etsche” is White’s second 12” for Spectral in a series started with “Ince.” Unlike that more natural outing, “Etsche” finds White mining the more techno side of his personality, instead of the langorous ambient guitar side best exemplified by Aeroc. The closest he comes is “Guitarjacked,” which is too indebted to Steve Reich and Hurley to make much of an atmospheric impact. But White’s music, especially gem B-side “Scillecta,” never gets too hard That track rides bubbly synth pads and melodies, and a severe lack of low-end, into mid-set bliss.

Brian Aneurysm
Das Element Des Menschen
Spectral Sound / SPC-31

No lack of low-end on this, Brian Aneurysm’s initial entry onto the label. In fact it’s probably the hardest song that the label has ever put out. Ostensibly an ode to water, the A-side crackles with intensity and purpose, throwing out stabs along the way that pierce rather than comfort. Similarly, the B-side “Unwanted” is a single-minded slab of vinyl that doesn’t let up. Otherworldly voices, shifting blocks of rhythm, and a melody built from a simple four-note bed distract but momentarily from the ferocious beat. James T. Cotton’s mix of “Das Element Des Menschen” turns on the acid and throws the vocals through a variety of effects changing the tenor of the song rather drastically, but keeping the high level of quality.

[Todd Burns]