July 30, 2007

Burial - Ghost Hardware

200712"Dubstep

Why the urge - I ask guilty of it myself - to contextualize the songs we hear, to categorize them right away, to do anything beyond talk in terms of the surprises we encounter in songs, the moods they put us in, and the reasons these might be so? The dialogue between rhythm and sound is so simple, yet we consistently overthink it and insist on making things more difficult for ourselves, whether to make stupid word counts (but never words count) or to obscure music’s basic sensuality with histories to be understood, discographies to be devoured. Anybody that tells you this gig is like dancing about architecture is a worthless writer and an absolute fool.

This 12″ is the follow-up to Burial’s self-titled “dubstep” LP from last year. These three songs feature unsteady rhythms that roll like banged-up wheels of hip-hop steel. It’s infuriating to listen to this metallic syncopation at first, because it’s so averse to headnods, and the accents are hard to pinpoint. The beat in “Shutta” is somewhere between 8/8 and 17/8 - I can’t tell - and there’s a series of three soft snare cracks in “Ghost Hardware” that seem to come out of nowhere again and again, just a split-second off from where they seem like they want to be. It’s not violent but it’s uncomfortable.

You don’t get a vocal hook anywhere either, or at least a complete one, so there’s not much of an anchor in this mess of rhythm. Instead Burial cuts up vocal tracks into short snippets (an Aguilera-like “Love you” and a Whitney-like “Yeah”) and orphans them in a fog filled with crackles, sizzles, and interminable echo. If you can imagine yourself cooking bacon in a forest somewhere at night, and every so often just shouting a bit from “Genie in a Bottle” because you thought you heard a motorcycle engine in the distance, you’re halfway there: alone but not yet lonely, fearful but not entirely hopeless.

The “love you” snippet stuff seems like such a self-imposed challenge for Burial too, i.e. How can I not make this sound too saccharine or cloying. I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me more, but I’m guessing Burial’s mixing has a lot to do with it: his kicks are never too pronounced, and the occasional turbo-skids of bass are always faint, hinting at something greater but never winding up front and center. Some sounds refuse to bring attention to themselves, others don’t have the energy to do so anymore, but try in vain regardless. Bleak stuff. Is it possible to mourn a sound?

Hyperdub / HDB 004
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


July 3, 2007

Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars Remixes

200712"TechnoDub

It seems wrong to call Speedy J a stalwart, because that suggests the guy’s still making average records, despite being “hard at it” for more than a decade. If at times his production (however brilliant) goes a little bit off the hard/deep end for my delicate ears (I spook easily) - with an incredible live show and a few seminal albums behind him, you’d have to say the guy’s an innovator. And an undermentioned one. Maybe the problem with him, the reason why he never became a Craig or a Hawtin, was just that he’s singular - there’s something inimitable about his style that has deterred disciples, and his deep, textured, powerful music has remained a cul-de-sac or an appendix, albeit a beautiful one.

But when he pulls one out, he really pulls one out: this remix of Syncom Data is one of the most powerful, expressive, deep, and interesting tracks I’ve heard all year. Like some of the contributions on the Shut Up and Dance compilation as well as some of Monolake and T++’s more epic workouts, this is more freestyle/deepscape than techno pure and proper; their cylinders are too large, and there’s two much gas in them for this to be a bog-standard four-pot burner. Damn, it’s is just…fantastic (gush alert).

Oh yeah, and there’s two other remixes here too, which are both great in their own way, although not nearly as grand as the A. SD’s remix is much more digi-dub (similar to the Burialmix & ~scape sound), taking a melodica into delayed terrain with some heavy beats which move all the textures around. Meanwhile, Legowelt comes out with one of his best tracks of late, opting for something which (as always) is both steeped in his ‘85-’95 passions/influences and is in possession of an eccentric expressivity that’s solely his own. This one also goes bang around the two and a half minute mark, with a massive kick that puts the whole kaboodle into peaktime orbit.

Syncom Data Records / SD05
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


May 11, 2007

Charts: May 11 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Soft Cell - This Last Night in Sodom [Some Bizarre]
Mysterymen - Everything But an Answer [Disko B]
Brian Eno - Ali Click [Warner]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Sneak Thief - G-String Orchestra EP [Klakson]
Ilya Santana - Discotized [Permanent Vacation]
John Cale - All My Friends [EMI]
Move D - AC1D [Modern Love]
Doug Lazy - H.O.U.S.E. [Atlantic]
Junior Boys - In the Morning (Hot Chip Remix) [Domino]

Michael F. Gill
Voice Farm - Elevate [Systematic Records]
Asha Puthli - Right Down Here [Columbia]
Willow Band - Willowman [Epic]
Company B - Fascinated [Atlantic]
Tumblack - Caraiba [Island]
Marlow & Delhia - Movin’ (Marlow’s Movin Bassline Mix) [Moon Harbour Recordings]
Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Instrumental) [Environ]
John Daly - Sky Dive [Plak Records]
Burial - Unite [Soul Jazz]
Solomun & Stimming - Eiszauberv [Diynamic]


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…)


September 22, 2006

Andi Teichmann - Refaded

Berlins Festplatten are back with a remix 12 inch for Andi Teichmanns Fades CD, which doubles as one of the few exercises in recent memory that makes clinical sterility sound enticing. While none of the these three remixes [plus a skip-worthy 20 second collage called Loops] are club material, there is something a bit jarring and claustrophobic about layering mellifluous Joe Pernice-styled vocals over such prickly, quantized, and whitewashed productions. With ultra-dry toms and chiseled minimal acid-lines, Hannes Teichmanns remix of They Dont Care is like an anemic version of Trentemoller, while Ukraines Dubmastas turn in a grim, mostly beatless mix that shows off only a few ugly glitches in its freshly shined exterior. When the disjointed kick drum comes in during the latter, it could pass as an unlikely combination of The Notwist jamming with the dubstep of Burial. Ada comes up with the biggest winner here, nailing the trademark Festplatten sound of synthesized electric guitar (used so well on practically every record by Gebr. Teichmann) while adding just the slightest bit of her own squelchy basslines and lush organ pads. Everything here might be carved a bit too lucid and upfront to really sink your teeth into, but just like excessive plastic surgery and botox, it still demands a curious kind of rubbernecking attention.

Festplatten / FEST 33
[Listen]
[Michael F. Gill]


July 28, 2006

Charts: Best of 2006 (so far)

Ronan Fitzgerald

Loco Dice - Seeing Through Shadows [M_Nus]
Duoteque - Amyra [Boxer Sport]
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler [Dirty Bird]
Gummihz - The First Time [Mobilee]
Fuckaponydelic - Switch on the Light [White]

Michael F. Gill

Albums
Luciano - Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Volume 2 [Soma]
Kiki - Boogybytes Volume 1 [Bpitch Control]
TBA Empty - Stupid Rotation [Max Ernst]
Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener [Monika]
Herbert - Scale [!K7]

Singles / EPs
Sasse - Loosing Touch [Moodmusic]
Italoboyz - The Titty Twister [Einmaleins]
Chelonis R Jones - Deer in the Headlights Remixes [Get Physical]
Escort - Starlight [Escort]
Soulphiction - Masai Mara [Philpot]

Todd Hutlock

Albums
Magda - Shes a Dancing Machine [M_nus]
V/A - Interstellar Fugitives 2: The Destruction of Order [Underground Resistance]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Booka Shade - Movements [Get Physical]
Alex Smoke - Paradolia [Soma]

Singles / EPs
Jeff Mills - Natural World [Purpose Maker]
Audion/Ellen Allien - Just a Man/Woman [Spectral Sound]
Troy Pierce - 25 Bitches [Vols. 1 and 2] [M_nus]
DJ T vs. Booka Shade - Played Runner [Get Physical]
Sleeparchive - Radio Transmission [Sleeparchive]

Colin James Nagy

Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs [City Centre Offices]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck/Peace Offering [Wagon Repair]
The Knife - Silent Shout [Rabid]
DJ Koze - Kosi Comes Around Remixes Part 1 [Kompakt]

Mallory ODonnell

Albums
The Knife - Silent Shout [Brille/Mute]
Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb - 2006 [Mental Groove]
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Orchestra of Bubbles [BPitch Control]
Fuckpony - Children of Love [Get Physical]
Hot Chip - The Warning [DFA/Astralwerks]

Singles / EPs
Fred Falke - Omega Man [Work It Baby]
Sneak Thief - The Hollow Land [Creme Organisation]
Christopher & Raphael Just - Popper [Kitsune]
Lindstrom - Another Station [Feedelity]
Morgan Geist - Raremix [Environ]

Cameron Octigan

Gabriel Ananda & Cio D’or - Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Adam Beyer - Stereotypes [Cocoon]
Gui Boratto - Like You [Supermayer Remix] [Kompakt Pop]
Loco Dice - Orchidee [M_nus]
Misc. - Tanz Der Polymere [Hemmann & Kaden Remix] [Sender]

Nick Sylvester

01. The Knife Silent Shout [Rabid]
02. Delia & Gavin Relevee (DFA Remix) [DFA]
03. Belong October Language [Carpark]
04. Herbert Something Isnt Right [!K7]
05. Excepter Alternation [5RC]


June 30, 2006

Charts: June 30 2006

Todd Hutlock
Black Dice Cone Toaster [DFA]
Booka Shade Pong Pang [Get Physical]
Burial Pirates [Hyperdub]
Two Lone Swordsmen Slutloop [Jockey Slut]
Cristian Vogel Whipaspank [NovaMute]
The Illustrator Beautiful Boxer [Underground Resistance]
Black Phuture Unfriendly [Motech]
Ellen Allien Just a Woman (Audion Version) [Spectral Sound]
Pantytec Maybe Not [Perlon]
Rhythm & Sound Poor People Must Work (Carl Craig Remix) [Burial Mix]

Cameron Octigan
Agoria La 11me Marche [PIAS]
Gui Boratto Like You (Supermayer Remix) [Kompakt]
Crystal Castles Atlantis to Interzone (Klaxons Remix) [White]
Cio D’or Lichtblick [Karmarouge]
Taana Gardner Heartbeat [West End]
Kris Menace Voyager [Compuphonic]
Mtrika Ichi [Crosstown Rebels]
Treacherous Three Feel the Heartbeat [Enjoy]
Sven Vth & Anthony Rother Springlove (Original) [Datapunk]
Claude Von Stroke Seven Deadly Strokes (Patrick Chardronnet Remix) [Neuton]

Michael F. Gill
TBA Empty Stupid Rotation [Max Ernst]
Adam Beyer Selmas Dream [Cocoon]
Matt John IO [Underline]
Alex Smoke Never Want to See You Again (Ada Remix) [Soma]
Five Deez Black Rushmore (Force Of Nature Remix) [Rapster]
Cream De Coco Disco Strut [Free Spirit]
TJ Swann And You Know That [Express]
Steve Angello Tracks [Konvex Konkav]
Jody Watley I Love to Love [MAW]
Soulphiction Masai Mara [Philpot]


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 ODonnell
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)


March 24, 2006

Rhythm & Sound - See Mi Yah Remixes #1

200612"TechnoDub

The legendary Berlin dub-techno imprint recruits a trio of mixers to raid their back catalog, and the results are, well, mixed. Ricardo Villalobos takes on Let We Go with his familiar formula of spacey effects, deeeeeeep bass, a short vocal clip, and popping percussion for a 10-minute-plus excursion into dub. He slows things to just a crawl and a reggae rhythm a few minutes in, and though you keep expecting the beats to build back up and the rhythm to chug again, it simply never happens. Points for unpredictability, then, but youll feel like youve been to Mars and back, if not Montego Bay. Tikimans mix of Boss Man is traditional Jamaican dub-style that works great in headphones with a giant bong, but not on dancefloors, and only Vladislav Delays take on Truly is sizzling enough to work feet rather than head nods. A little something for everyone, then. Look for volume two soon.

Burial Mix / 001
[Todd Hutlock]