September 9, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Weeks 33, 34, & 35

Beatzcast: Freestyle Essentials 01
Beatzcast: Freestyle Essentials 02
Beatzcast: Freestyle Essentials 03

Pikaya - Cambrium (Cadenza)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: This is not house so much as the ivy that clings to it.

Will Saul & Lee Jones - Hug the Scary
(Aus Music)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Electro-House

Charts: August 23 2007

Gavin Mueller’s guide to Ghettotech

Future Loop Foundation - The Sea and the Sky (Louisiana Recordings)
Genre: House, Neo-Disco

Osborne - Outta Sight (Spectral Sound)
Genre: Acid, House

Nate DeYoung: If we’re heading into the last days of summer, then by all means let it be soundtracked by shimmering piano-house.

Brendon Moeller - Jazz Space (Third Ear)
Genre: Techno, Dub

False - False (M_nus)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Andy Stott - Fear of Heights
(Modern Love)
Genre: Dub, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: As a child, I used to build my Lego castles as per the instructions, but only the first time. The subsequent re-builds would slowly deviate, riffing around the structures of the original but adding, subtracting and supplementing elements, to the point where my later creations were unrecognisable as mutants of the original.

Tobias Thomas - Please Please Please (Kompakt)
Kaito - Contact to the Spirits (Kompakt)

Nina Phillips: Thomas is too busy crafting to see the dancers looking back at him from the floor. No wonder this was mixed live—in an empty dance club in Cologne.

V/A - Grand Cru 2007 (Connaisseur)
V/A - Rekids One (Rekids)

Nina Phillips: If you build bangers, they will come.


Wiley - Playtime Is Over
(Big Dada)

Chris Gaerig: Playtime Is Over proves that Wiley truly does run the grime game. Hell, he’s the only one left.

Arsenal - The Coming (Idjut Boys Mixes) (Play Out!)
Genre: Downtempo, Balearic

Beatzcast #47: Crambe Repetita

Deepchord Presents Echospace - The Coldest Season (Modern Love)
Genre: Dub, Techno

Todd Hutlock: Basic Channel effectively invented the wheel of this genre, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t admire the latest models to roll off the modern assembly line.


August 23, 2007

Pikaya - Cambrium

I recently rediscovered my CD copy of Gescom’s Minidisc. To those who are unfamiliar with the album, it’s comprised of eighty-something short tracks: rhythmic loops; spooky atmospheres; crunchbeats – the building blocks of an Autechre album laid bare, and a view onto the unarranged organs of a functional set. It was originally designed to be played on shuffle with a minidisk player, which meant that the album never played the same way twice, producing thousands of combinations of mixes. iTunes has given this album a new lease on life, because not only does it randomise the tracks and mix them gaplessly, it can also fade them into each other, resulting in both amazing and awful mixes. The only problem is the arrhythmic flam that you get when one beat crosses another out of phase…but once Apple releases a version of iTunes that can beat match, it’s bye-bye DJ.

I’ve done a similar thing with my collection of Cadenza EPs, which I play in a similar fashion, leaving the 4.6 hours worth of material on at low volume in the background and letting them randomise and waft into each other. The open structures and aleatory nature of Cadenza’s tracks (avowedly so in the case of Digitaline) mean that the music seems to take pleasure in its own meandering. Needing no intervention, it scribbles and squiggles away the afternoon in its own way. It’s my very own automatic etch-a-sketch, and it draws monochrome flowers.

The playlist is evolving with every Cadenza release, and with the addition of this new Pikaya EP, it’s grown in dub and daub, adding ornamental flourishes and deep-thrown effects to the labels’ prototypical boom-click/plip-plop skeleton. Pikaya’s debut on Cadenza came with “Grüne Raufaser” the b-side on the split they shared with Andomat 3000 and Jan’s more boisterous and successful “Entr’acte Music”. It was a track that always hinted at introducing a major theme, but never really delivered on this tease. Both “Fango” and “Jedi” offer the similar sense of imminent drama (which never quite materialises, it’s stuck teetering on the verge), and at high volumes they provide useful tension as foregrounding tracks to be mixed in before “Mr Big Hooks”. At low volumes (when the tracks return to being my living room wallpaper) this also works as part of the overall Cadenza strategy. This is not house so much as the ivy that clings to it.

Cadenza / CADENZA 17
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


August 19, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 31 & 32

G-Man - Quo Vadis (Styrax Leaves)
Genre: Techno, Dub

Peter Chambers: These tracks lumber forward, only allowing the slow revelation of a timbro-melodic theme to happen “in the fullness of time.” It’s a strategy that gave rise to a lot of exceedingly dull records, but Varley knows exactly which tone-pots to touch, and how.

Adam Craft / Grindvik - Catch Me / NAND-Grind (Stockholm LTD)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

B12 - Practopia / Slope (B12 Records)
Genre: Techno, IDM/Experimental

Todd Hutlock: The infamous cover of the original Artificial Intelligence comp features a robot chilling out in an easy chair with headphones on. This could easily have been what it was listening to.

Various Artists - Death Is Nothing To Fear Vol. 2 (Spectral Sound)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

Argenis Brito - Micro Mundo (Cadenza)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Nate DeYoung: With Micro Mundo’s highs never too far away from its lows, the Chilean techno drug is no longer as potent as it used to be.

Henrik B feat. Terri B - Soul Heaven (Boss)
Genre: House, Electro-House

Michael F. Gill: Let’s act like this review never happened.

Beatzcast #45: Crambe Repetita

Michael F. Gill’s featured article on Stylus: The Bluffer’s Guide To Freestyle

The Chemical Brothers - Do it Again (Remixes) (Virgin / Astralwerks)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Electro-House

Beatzcast #46: Crambe Repetita

Album Reviews:

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Reinterpretations - reviewed by Mike Powell

Prins Thomas - Cosmo Galactic Prism - reviewed by Tal Rosenberg

Dixon - Body Language Vol. 4 - reviewed by Nina Phillips

V/A - Kompakt Total 8 - reviewed by Peter Chambers

V/A - Soundboy Punishments - reviewed by Nina Phillips

The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night - reviewed by Dan Weiss

White Noise - An Electric Storm - reviewed by Mike Powell


August 10, 2007

Beatzcast #45: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new tunes from Daso, Shackleton, and Aril Brikha…

Tracklist
01: Future Loop Foundation - The Sea And The Sky (Beedle’s Orchestral Reprise) [buy]
02: Future Loop Foundation - The Sea And The Sky (Padded Cell Remix) [buy]
03: Daso and Pawas - TGV [buy]
04: Aril Brikha - Room 337 [buy]
05: Dennis Ferrer - Touched the Sky [buy]
06: Pikaya - Jedi [buy]
07: Shackleton feat. Jackson del Ray - Next to Nothing [buy]
08: Lucio Aquilina - Feeling Plastik [buy]

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Subscribe to Beatz By The Pound.


August 8, 2007

Argenis Brito - Micro Mundo

Chileans must have techno intravenously injected in their blood from birth. The Chilean-gone-techno-superstar not only accounts for instant deities like Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano, but has also been a cliché going on five years strong. You might remember Argenis Brito’s contributions to the Chilean project Monne Automne, and it’s frequently brilliant album Introducing Light and Sound. So the prospect of Brito coming out with his debut album on Chilean ex-pat label Cadenza doesn’t sound surprising at all. Which might be the biggest detriment to Micro Mundo – its mythology overshadows an album that’s too modest to be noteworthy otherwise.

It won’t be too long before the wrinkles of warm bass that adorn tracks like “Disconet” and “Amplified” will be forever lost among the sea of German minimal techno. There’s also many cuts like “Sensorial”, which is something that could provide a nice bridge mid-set, but for the life of me, I can’t hum the main motif even though I’ve heard it at least 20 times. This sound-over-substance quality hides the few small surprises collected herein, like “Cepe”, an accomplished and laidback production that starts to build towards a climax when the bare bass and hi-hats swirl into an unexpected spoken vocal. A similar resonant effect can be heard on “Espejismo”, but for an album that never wavers and is never quantifiably bad, such highlights feel underwhelming on the whole. With Micro Mundo’s highs never too far away from its lows, the Chilean techno drug is no longer as potent as it used to be.

Cadenza / CADENZA 16
[Listen]
[Nate DeYoung]


July 1, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 26

Portable - Don’t Give Up (Remixes) [Sud Electronic]
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Turzi - Seven Inch Allah (Record Makers)
Genre: Indie-Dance, Leftifeld

Nick Sylvester: Three pretty different tracks from this French act, though they all could have ended up on Optimo’s Psyche Out cosmic/dance/kraut mix from two years ago had they existed then.

Andy Stott - The Massacre (Modern Love)
Genre: Dub, Techno

Underground Resistance - Electronic Warfare 2.0 (Underground Resistance)
Genre: Detroit, Techno

Todd Hutlock: I’m a pretty mild-mannered dude, but this shit made me want to punch some oppressive fucker in the face! Uh!

Andomat 3000 and Jan - L Delay (Cadenza)
Genre: Minimal/Deep, House

Peter Chambers: If you’ve a troublesome vocal to mix out of, this rather plain track could save your fretting DJ ass.

Various Artists - 4 Season Sampler, Volume 1 (Jet Set Records)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Downtempo

Studio - Life’s a Beach! (Remixes) (Information)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Balearic

Peter Chambers: Oddly similar, the two mixes here are sun and moon to each other.

Weekly Staff Charts

Beatzcast #39: Crambe Repetita

Nick Southall reviews Rushup Edge by The Tuss, on Rephlex Records.

Ben Good’s take on Adapt by Milanese, new on Planet Mu.


June 29, 2007

Charts: June 29 2007

Nate DeYoung

Tiger Stripes / Solomun - Hooked / Jungle River Cruise [Liebe*Detail]
Half Hawaii - Mir Nichts / Dir Nichts [Hello?Repeat]
Brendon Moeller - Jazz Space [Third Ear]
The Mountain People - Mountain People 003 [Mountain]
Argenis Brito - Micro Mundo [Cadenza]
Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music [Innervisions]
Blackstrobe - I’m A Man (Audion Donation Mix) [Playlouderecordings]
Mock & Toof - Zomby [Mule]
Sorcerer - Surfing At Midnight (Prins Thomas Miks) [Tirk]
Eddie Kendricks - Thanks For The Memories (Lee Douglas Edit) [White]

Michael F. Gill

Peter Horrevorts - You Look But You Don’t See [Kanzleramt]
Brando Lupi - The Attitude [Dozzy Records]
The Dining Rooms - Thank You (Skwerl Dub) [Schema]
Roland Appel - Dark Soldier [Sonar Kollektiv]
Dredl Kibosh - I Found You [Fenou]
Jupiter Black feat. Fred Ventura - Hold Me [Clone]
Salome De Bahia - Outro Lugar [Yellow Productions]
Billy Griffin - Hold Me Tighter In The Rain [CBS]
Earth, Wind, and Fire - Let’s Groove [CBS]
Cappuccino - Tomorrow [Black Sun]


June 27, 2007

Andomat 3000 and Jan - L Delay

200712"HouseCadenzaMinimal/Deep

About eight months ago, I had this to say about Andomat 3000 and Jan’s “big hit”:

“Entr’acte Music has got a grinding, slightly big-room and (dare I say) ‘tribal’ feel to it. It’s a little staid, but very effective.”

I think I was half right, as usual. Hearing the track dropped in between Deetron’s “Life Soundtrack” and Len Faki’s “Mekong Delta” (see review here) on Radioslave’s recent (and decent) Misch Masch compilation made me “hear” it properly for the first time. Here was a track with ass and teeth whose housed-up signifiers could freshen the deadened beats of any crabby old techno monster.

So here they are again, back to do battle with boompty basslines against the unhoused (homeless?) creatures who inhabit the mnml microverse of Cadenza, a sub-sub-genre that a half-sympathetic DJ friend calls “martini microhouse”. If we’re gonna ride those cocktails, then, to wit, these puppies are in the process of shakin’, with a Cajmere sweater and hot pants toned down a shade for jaded Swiss eyes. There’s a heavily reverberated horn stab and a fulsome kick on “L Delay” that sounds like it’s been sampled from wadaiko drums – it’s nice, it works. “Frost”, the B, takes a wiggly bassline and makes it roll to a clap, getting things rocking enough so when the congas want to get in on the action, the kick drums don’t mind. Toolish over time and sparse within space, “Frost” seems to want to do more, as if it was in search of a nice vocal. Maybe Green Velvet rapping about aliens or porno would do the trick? Anyway, the drums go boom, the kidz go aaah and if you’ve a troublesome vocal to mix out of, this rather plain track could save your fretting DJ ass.

Cadenza / CADENZA 15
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


May 4, 2007

Charts: May 4, 2007

Nate DeYoung
Baby Oliver - Uptown Express [Environ]
Lindstrom - Let’s Practice [Feedelity]
Force of Nature - Afroshock [Mule]
Juergen Paape - Speicher 47 [Kompakt]
Andomat3000 & Jan - L Delay [Cadenza]
Sebbo - Beirut Boogie [Liebe Detail]
V/A - Shut Up and Dance! [Ostgut]
Kathy Diamond - Miss Diamond to You [Permanent Vacation]
Matthew Dear - Asa Breed [Ghostly]
Efdemin - Efdemin [Dial]

Michael F. Gill
Marlow - So Mellow So Sweet [Moon Harbour Recordings]
DJ /Rupture - Secret Google Cheat Codes [Violent Turd]
David Keno and Francesco Passantino - Monosynth [Keno Records]
Acid OG’s - Good Good Feeling [Chicago Housing Commission]
Chris Rea - Josephine [Magnet]
Electribe 101 - Talking With Myself (Deep Dream Mix) [Club]
Lo Verde - Die Hard Lover [Moby Dick]
Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy [MCA]
Prism - The White Shadow [Univer Records Production]
Blaze - I Think Of You (Restless Soul Inspiration Information Remix) [Slip ‘n’ Slide]


April 22, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 16

Theo Parrish - Children of the Drums (Sound Signature)
Genre: Detroit

Peter Chambers: “Children of the Drum” contains all those elements that make Parrish’s music tick—a descending mesmer-melody that’s used as backdrop for rolling percussion (beautifully played by Jerry the Cat), a vocal very high in the mix, and these crazy drum machine patterns in the distant background somewhere—bongos going quietly bonkers.

Lovebirds - Modern Stalking (Winding Road Records)
Genre: House, Neo-disco

Audion - Mouth To Mouth Remixes (Spectral Sound)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Cortney Tidwell - Don’t Let the Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ever Records)
Genre: Electro-House

Sly Mongoose - Bad Pulse (Mule Musiq)
Genre: House, Neo-Disco

Nick Sylvester: Sped up just 8-10 BPM or so would make this hotly tipped Japanese producer’s latest a-side a primetime player at a disco-edit party, though there’s something special to how the track works at the slightly languorous tempo it ships with: the toms sound deeper and hold out with pitch, the percussive grit of the rhythm guitar scraping hits harder, the piano fills up what space is left.

Digitaline - Anticlockwise (Cadenza)
Genre: Minimal-Tech

Tiny Sticks vs. Mental Groove - Killing Your Ghost (Mental Groove/Tiny Sticks)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Electro-House

Jürgen Paape - Speicher 47 (Kompakt Extra)
Genre: Minimal/Deep, Techno

Convextion - Miranda Remixes (Matrix)
Genre: Techno, Dub

Todd Hutlock: The original mix is a damn fine piece of second-wave Detroit techno, all jumping rhythms, dubbed-out keyboard stabs, and ring-modulated riffage, but fuck, this ain’t the second coming of “Strings of Life” or something.

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #28: Crambe Repetita


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