July 8, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 27

Prosumer / Murat Tepeli - What Makes You Go For It? (Ostgut Tontrager)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: The title track is somewhere between the blue, raw, and pink beats of the old Trax tracks, but with a vocal trip describing a one night stand that’s equal parts philosophical and carnal, leading to automatic comparisons with Chelonis R. Jones.

Zander VT - Dig Your Own Rave (Memo)
Genre: Techno, Electro-House

Tolga Fidan - Venice / Tambulistan (Vakant)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: Once something sufficiently menacing is found (black horns, icy strings, something scaly and slithering), a two-note minor interval or an arabesque/creepy/ancient-sounding melody is mixed in, and there’s your track.

Theo Parrish - Sound Sculptures Volume 1 (Sound Signature)
Genre: Detroit, House

Michael F. Gill: To me, there is still enough of a distinctive “soulful” (for lack of a better word) quality to this music that comes across as tangible, even when motifs are being heavily repeated.

Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars Remixes (Syncom Data Records)
Genre: Techno, Dub

Beatzcast #40: Crambe Repetita

Nick Southall reviews Two Lone Swordsmen’s Wrong Meeting II

Nate DeYoung takes on the Scandanavian Disco of Bjorn Torske


July 2, 2007

Prosumer / Murat Tepeli - What Makes You Go For It?

200712"HouseMinimal/Deep

Well, to me this is shaping up as a vintage year for techno (if you still call it that). There seems to be a glut of subtle, surefooted records being made at the moment by producers whose unformed foundational years are behind them. It’s often difficult not to feel you’re drowning in the sea of new releases. For my own part, I gave up trying frantically to cram in a rinse of everything that flickered fancily past. And in a sense, I feel like this might be happening with the music. There’s a period of settlement upon us, and now nearly-veteran people (though this is just my anecdotal impression) seem to be producing fewer and better tracks than three years ago, when the “medicore minimal” glut seemed to peak.

To me, the label that seems to have condensed this idea is Ostgut Tontrger. They don’t release much, but everything is solid gold: from the moment you first see the beautiful sleeves to the final aaah you get on a floor once the dragging needle’s signal drops at full volume. This is proper techno, made by people who love, understand, and care about their music. Listen to Len Faki’s Mekong Delta or Ben Klock’s Czeslawa/Warzsawa EP from earlier this year, and get an Ostgut lesson in how to “do” techno properly. Yet both Faki and Klock’s contributions are full-bore, main-floor, peaktime numbers, delicate though they may be in detail. They’re Berghain. Prosumer and Murat Tepeli’s “What Makes You Go For It” on the other hand is every inch the upstairs/backroom (or even bedroom) incarnation. They’re the Panoramabar.

The title track is somewhere between the blue, raw, and pink beats of the old Trax tracks, but with a vocal trip describing a one night stand that’s equal parts philosophical and carnal, leading to automatic comparisons with Chelonis R Jones. But there’s a definite Ostgut quality at work, too. It bangs, it swings, it’s a great track with a big metallic bell clanging all over it. Prosumer’s vocal sits nicely in the mix he doesn’t overstretch chords or overstate words: she’s got a boyfriend, they’re fucking, where will it end up?

Tepeli’s “Jaws” is much closer to the housey end of Mobilee’s sound, with matte-finish percussion and a sleek, fat bassline whose physicality wiggles widely, in neat contrast to a very chic string synth over the top. Like the lyric on the A, there’s a nice tension between the forward-pushing needs of the body and the inwardly reflective eyes of the mind. But it’s Prosumer’s “Vise” that really puts the icing on this ambivalent cupcake, for me at least. I could swear Prosumer has borrowed My My’s patches to write the melody here the tone, the dynamics, and the break are all redolent of Jones & Hppner, with just a touch of Rest-era Isole. All three tracks here stand on their own, but as a trio they make an outstanding EP.

Ostgut Tontrger / o-ton 07
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


June 24, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 25

Chymera - Satura / Arabesque (Tishomingo)
Genre: Progressive/Trance, Minimal/Deep

Nina Phillips: How else to revel in the neo-prog essentials? Deep Connaisseur chords and a lithe melody line cutting over top, natch.

Baldelli / Dionogi - Cosmicdiba 2007 (Gomma)
Genre: Neo-Disco, New Wave/Synth

Dopplereffekt / Los Angeles TF / Mike Dunn - Gesamtkunstwerk / Magical Body / So Let It Be House (Clone Classic Cuts)
Genre: Chicago, Electro, Italo

From The Archives #2

Skatebard - Marimba (Supersoul Recordings)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Minimal/Deep

Nick Sylvester: Something like “Feed The Mood” after two decades of looped disintegration, or really any children’s toy on its last five or six seconds of battery life, “Marimba” pines for early Detroit through a fog of tired synths and last-legged drum machine clatter, and yes there are marimbas.

Cassy / A Guy Called Gerald - Somelightuntothenight / Bodecka (Beatstreet Berlin)
Genre: House

Peter Chambers: The whole EP here is old-school, or the classic house sound just the basics, no faffing around. These tracks dont have to unfold, theyre already laid out.

INFLUX #004: CHELONIS R. JONES

Stylus editor Todd Burns talked to Jones about his upcoming album Chatterton, the cover art to Dislocated Genius, and whats it like to be the “Franz Kafka of electro-pop”

Beatzcast #38: Crambe Repetita

Weekly Staff Charts


June 22, 2007

INFLUX #004: CHELONIS R. JONES

Influx2007HouseChicagoLeftfield

On this fourth edition of Influx, we profile Chelonis R. Jones. Stylus editor Todd Burns talked to Jones about his upcoming album Chatterton, the cover art to Dislocated Genius, and what’s it like to be the “Franz Kafka of electro-pop”…

Tracks
01: Chelonis R. Jones - I Don’t Know
02: Marc Romboy vs. Chelonis R. Jones - Helen Cornell
03: Chelonis R. Jones - Sky Is Sea

[INFLUX #001: Orac Records]
[
INFLUX #002: Hand on the Plow]
[
INFLUX #003: Foundsound]


February 2, 2007

Beatzcast #17

Mixes2007

Download

01: Roxy Music - Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix)
02: In Flagranti - Just Gazing
03: Escort Bright New Life
04: Diskokaines Rock-A-Boogie (In Flagranti Mix)
05: Heib - Acid Pimp
06: Gui Boratto Mr. Decay
07: The Field - Everyday
08: Elektrochemie Mucky Star
09: Remo feat. Chelonis R. Jones Empire (Spektre Remix)


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 ber Die Sonne - Youll Never Come Back (Tobi Neumanns 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 ODonnell
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]


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…)


December 22, 2006

2006: The Year In Review

Welcome to the Beatz By The Pound year-end roundup for 2006, a veritable smorgasbord of lists, thoughts, and reflections about the current state of dance music. And while all of our writers handed in very diverse ballots, we were able to come to a consensus on a couple of key releases, producers, and labels. Let the madness begin

(more…)


October 13, 2006

Commune

When I was growing up, I wanted to live in a commune. Just to be in one building or a small area with all my friends nearby and everyone in constant touch with each other. Somewhere that didnt foster as many inhibitions. It may seem like a cultish pipe dream now, but I really believed in it and felt I needed it, being yet another young person staring in the face of alienation. In one sense, this is what house and techno has been all about: supplying a refuge for the oppressed and frustrated through music and communion, creating insular families that share a vernacular with each other, and providing outlets for exploring both spirituality and sexuality. But in the same way, this close-knit circle cultivates a sort of distant, blurred elitism from the outside, which is not only daunting to dance neophytes (let alone general music fans), but also creates an intriguing and/or frustrating confusion as to how house and techno should be confronted and evaluated.

Part of my fascination with house music is these contradictions. Community and exclusion, sex and religion, the organic and the mechanical: all these factors are working off each other during the best DJ mixes, the best tracks, the best parties. The insularity of each little scene and sub-genre these days has made those transcendental moments seemingly more fleeting. Ive gone to many minimal/techno nights where youd think the DJ has contempt for any sense of humanity or motion in music, Ive been to deep house clubs where the edgiest part of the night is deciding what color lounge chair to bring with me, and then there are nights where Ive heard people frantically mix mash-ups with loud electro-rock until you get a headache stuck on one dynamic level. For me, the element that I often feel is missing in the music as well as the atmosphere is a certain physical component. Its not necessarily something thats overtly sexual, but one that gives off a vibe of kinship, while still challenging your comfort zone.

The two-sided coin of sexuality and spirituality is one that is becoming sorely underused in house and techno today. This idea fuels a great deal of Chicago House, where the soul could be redeemed through the body, where salvation and release often came from sexualized dancing and music. For the quintessential example of this, look no further than the seminal Baby Wants to Ride by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle, which is no doubt one of the most sexually explicit tracks to come from the era, but yet it opens with a prayer (Now I lay me down to sleep) and a message from God (Jamie, its time to tell my people the truth, its time to tell them the revelation of my second coming.) While there are plenty of sun-coated soul divas and foul-mouthed ghetto-tech impresarios, there are too few people with the rawness of Chelonis R. Jones, too few tracks that play up the sense of community and physicality that is such an essential part to dance music.

This is a scene from the end of the film Morvern Callar that really illustrates the divide I often feel on the dancefloor. There is a sense of comfort being surrounded by these likeminded people, but there is also a sense of individuality. The headphones Morvern wears stress a sense of alienation as well as a kind of mute rapture. This sense of being almost paralyzed by a multitude of emotions is something that comes over me often on the dance floor. The scent and sporadic taste of these feelings, no matter how divergent they are, is something I chase, and is one of the major factors that has endeared me to electronic dance music.

[Michael F Gill]


November 7, 2005

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill - “Lessons In Not Thinking #1″

The first in what will hopefully a series of manic dance mixes that spans through all kinds of new house, minimal, techno, and disco in a quick, ADD-type of fashion. 31 tracks in under 80 minutes is a bit overwhelming, and thats exactly the point. My experience of dance music is often overwhelming, and involves hyperactive and obsessive emotions. Its visceral and physical, a melting sigh with a craftsmens touch. Its that Tuesday night at 4 am with the headphones on, lying on the kitchen floor, thinking about chaos and Taoism. Or something.

1 Yasushi Miura - Oceans (Kp, 2005)
2 G-Man - Quo Vardis (Swim~, 1995)
3 Error Error - Rotten (Italic, 2005)
4 Danton Eeprom - Oddbassliner (Virgo, 2005)
5 Chelonis R. Jones - I Don’t Know [Michael F Gil’s “Midas Touch” Mix] (Get Physical/Blank Start, 2005)
6 Robag Wruhme - Wortkabular [Luciano Remix] (Musik Krause, 2005)
7 Pier Bucci - Tita (Crosstown Rebels, 2005)
8 Pig & Dan - Love Myself (Sonic Society, 2005)
9 Henrik Schwarz - Feel Good [Juju Christian Mix] (Zeppelin Recordings, 2005)
10 Oasis - Nine (Fxhe, 2005)
11 Planck Length - Salidas (Blank Start, 2005)
12 Jesse Somfay - This Fragile Addiction (Traum, 2005)
13 Steve Barnes - Man In A Box [Jesse Somfay’s Trapped In 1981 Mix] (My Best Friend, 2005)
14 Mcfadden & Whitehead - Ain’t No Stoppin’ [Ain’t No Way] (Buddah, 1984)
15 Teena Marie - Midnight Magnet [Instrumental Version] (Epic, 1983)
16 Dandy Jack & The Junction SM - Casper House (Perlon, 2005)
17 Keith Tucker - Nemesis (Puzzlebox, 1998)
18 I’m Not A Gun - Make Sense & Loose [Ulrich Schnauss Remix] (City Centre Offices, 2003)
19 L.U.P.O. - Hell or Heaven (Low Spirit, 1990)
20 Edo Van Asseldonk - Moon 2 Moon (Phonocult, 2005)
21 DK7 - Where’s The Fun [Sweet Light Remix] (Output, 2005)
22 Ricardo Villalobos - Easy Lee [Smith & Hack Unreleased Mix Pt. 1] (Playhouse, 2004)
23 Teenage DJ - Time and Place [Disco Break] (Disco Best, 2005)
24 Amp Dog Knight - Over U (Mahoghani, 2005)
25 Schatrax - Just For Fun (Classic/Schatrax, 2001)
26 Soulphiction - What’s Your Name (Freude Am Tanzen, 2004)
27 Moodymann - LT1 #2 (KDJ, 2005)
28 Zachary Lubin - Introduction To Algorithms (6277, 2005)
29 Donato Dozzy & Exercise One - People of Paprika (Lan Muzic, 2005)
30 Dapayk & Midnight - Emergency (Fenou, 2005)
31 Ezekiel Honig - Transportation Application (Microcosm, 2005)

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