October 20, 2006

Jay Haze feat. Big Bully and Sven VT - Soul in a Bottle


Haze is one of those producers whose persistence and willingness to experiment promises to yield occasional gems and eventual masterworks. His compositions, with an emphasis on atmospheric space juxtaposed with interestingly used vocals and well programmed, slightly off-kilter beats have created floor friendly dubspaces and murky pearls for Karloff, 240 Vaults, and his own Contexterrior imprint. “Soul in a Bottle” sees all these formative elements in full-flight—the tension between playfulness and sincerity is brushed smooth and shiny, and the huge kick, interesting static and “incidental” sounds lend a marvellous opening for the hypnotic “three keys from Chicago” melody that carries the wonderful vocal, which seems to float over it all. Following Holger Zilke and Dave Dk’s great Midishower EP reviewed last week, this one is thoroughly ecstatic, summer sunshine music, skillful enough to give the headz goosebumps and make the pretty girls yelp delightfully. The irony of the EP is that even, as the lyrics suggest, “you can’t put soul in a bottle,” it seems like, occasionally, it finds its way frozen into the scratched surface of records.

Kindisch / KD 002
[Peter Chambers]

October 6, 2006

Charts: October 6 2006

Guest Chart: Steve Bug, Poker Flat

Extraproduktionen - Subgreen (Arto Mwambe Mix) [Brontosaurus]
Ian O’Brien - Totally Alright (Martin Buttrich Mix) [Virgin]
Ben Westbeech - So Good Today (Yoruba Soul Mix) [Brownswood]
Das Bierbeben - Alles Fällt (Losoul Mix) [Shitkatapult]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innercity Visions]
Cle & Mike Vamp - Maisonette (All Mixes) [Dessous]
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Mix) [Mobile]
Dan Berkson & James What - Mescalincircus [Poker Flat]
Abe Duque - When The Fever Breaks [Abe Duque Records]
Studiogemeinschaft - Employee [Treibstoff]

Todd Hutlock
Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew [Clink]
Ricardo Villalobos - Bach to Back [Playhouse]
Markus Nikolai - Bushes (Freaks In Outer Space Dub) [Perlon]
Jay Haze - Change Something (Pier Bucci Remix) [Contexterrior]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Dominik Eulberg Remix) [Trapez LTD]
Anthony Shakir - Sermon [Sublime]
Justin Martin & Sammy D - Swamp Thang (Claude VonStroke Swamp Rat Mix) [Dirtybird]
Kenny Leaven - Feeling Spicy [Traum]
Alexi Delano & Xpansul - Vegetotherapy [Plus 8]
Davidovitch - Insider [Kompakt]

Ronan Fitzgerald
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Remix) [Mobilee]
Solieb - Isotropy (Lazy Fat People Remix) [Maschine]
Rekorder - 6 – [Rekorder]
Jens Bond - Rocket Queen [Highgrade]
Stefan Goldmann and Ame - Sleepy Hollow Version [Innervisions]
Argenix and Samim - Sabor EP [Tuning Spork Family Affair]
Anja Schneider - Addicted (Gummihz Mix) - [Mobilee]
Juergens - Love It [Room Recordings]
Shonky - Closer To Pluton [Resopal Red]
Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Disconnect EP [Ostwind]

Mallory O’Donnell
Lindstrom - Arp She Said [Smalltown Supersound]
Erasure - Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day) (Fingers In Crumbs) [Mute]
Peru - Oriental – [Red Bullet / Compost]
Tetine - A Historia De Garca [Soul Jazz]
Dexter Vs. Cosmic Force - Drum Techniek [Marguerita ]
Sneak Thief - Body Militia [Voltage Musique]
Underworld – Cowgirl [Junior Boy’s Own]

Michael F. Gill
Pinktronix – Booty Sez (Juho Kahilainen rmx) [Elettrica]
The It - Donnie (Ron Hardy mix) [DJ International]
Public Energy - Three ‘O Three [Probe Records]
Ministry - I Wanted to Tell Her [Arista]
George Clinton - Erotic City [Fox Records]
Contemporary Household – She Said (Toktok remix) [Bomzh]
XR7 – XR7 [Quality Records]
Galaxy – Dancing Tight [Island/Ensign]
Sven Weisemann – Slices [Liebe Detail]
Ginny - Can’t Be Serious [VM Records]

April 10, 2006

Sweet ‘n Candy - Unbreakable Remixes

Sweet ‘n Candy, aka Berlin’s Rico Henschel, emerged last year as one of the better producers of brittle, bass-heavy minimal techno, and his “Unbreakable” from last year’s Dead Behind The Ears EP is remixed here in wonderfully claustrophobic fashion by Justin Maxwell and Lan Muzic’s Exercise One. While there are dozens of similarly minded records, both mixes don’t at all sound like they’re being minimal for minimal’s sake. Maxwell’s mix in particular translates the idea of minimal as the notion of trapping energy in a compressed space, and then watching it trying to get out. The prickly tweaked synths respond to bouncing off the walls with a small but noticeable pitch-bending after every release, resulting in a very inorganic bubbling sound. Exercise One’s mix is more typical of the overall Dumb Unit sound, with gritty low-slung basslines and thick bristly hats, and snare. Give me this any day over the recent crop of M_nus, Contexterrior, and Tuning Spork 12 inches.

Dumb Unit / 027
[Michael F. Gill]

June 23, 2005

Label Profile: Contexterrior Records

Contexterrior is a label geared at bringing sub bass, click, and glitch heavy music to your bedroom and the dancefloor.” So says their website. But things have a way of mutating and evolving into forms that you’d never imagine when you begin them. With its latest releases, Contexterrior has shown itself to be a label interested in a new brand of psych-house—the type of music that Ricardo Villalobos explored intensely on last year’s Thé Au Harem D’archimède.

Ricardo vs. Jay
Prefer Summer
, 2004

The title track of this 12” illustrates what I’m talking about perfectly. At 12 minutes long, it takes one watery synth theme for its length and then puts a whole host of garnishing around it. The beat is rubbery and hardly a stomper, but it provides just enough backbone for the whole thing to stand steady enough to keep everything on the table. It’s hardly going to knock over dancefloors, but it’s intense home-listening. The dancefloor is taken care of on the other side of the vinyl: “Cactus Love” is an awkward jaunt, until halfway through when it finds its footing and starts to really hum. Literally. “Archive” on the other hand revives the rubbery for an almost goofy sounding tune that puts its faith in reverb.

Ricardo vs. Jay
CNTX 08.5
, 2004

Sessions must’ve gone well, as this 12” followed up “Prefer Summer” immediately in 2004 in the Contexterrior catalogue. The words printed on the B-side of the vinyl here are “Mother Earth Is Pregnant - Feed Her Some Funk” and it probably illustrates the difference in the two works best: “Fenlow” is a far more substantial piece of dancefloor material than “Prefer Summer.” Here, the track rides a riveting beat as coiling glitches and effects work themselves out over its 12-minute length. “Kick the Verb” is a heady surprise from the two, it being a relatively straightforward banger that delivers on the promise of their collaboration fully and unexpectedly. “It’s Alright” similarly rocks a more obvious beat and is all the better for it. Definitely recommended.

Jay Haze vs. Robag Wruhme
Socrates Rules
, 2005

On the label’s first release of 2005, Jay is collaborating again, but this time with Wighnomy Brother Gabor Schablitzki. “Change Is Natural” leads off the proceedings with a suitably Wighnomy-esque slow-burner that seethes along its length, until a slight crescendo in its second half. The track, along with the rest of the 12” go straight for the label’s insistence on love of bass and revel in it. And while “Do Something” and “Change” are worse for the wear because of the adherence to dub, “Don’t Stop” is another highlight that wouldn’t be anywhere without its bass bona fides. That and the cut-up vocals and rolling toms that inch the whole thing forward without break.

Pheek vs. Vivianne Project
CNTX 11,

The label’s latest 12” isn’t necessarily a vs. proposition, as the title states: Pheek singularly provides the first three tracks here, while new on the scene Vivianne Project finishes it off with “Der Frau.” Pheek’s contributions here are typically deep, typically accomplished, and typically boring. While it’s obvious that he’s a talented producer and deserves to be here, it’s hard to heartily recommend anything here because it hardly anything excites or surprises. Vivianne Project is another story: “Der Frau” makes you jack, rather than sway or nod; makes you gasp, rather than acknowledge or appreciate; makes you want to seek out more, rather than accept it for what it is. Considering this is coming from someone that only has one other 12” to their credit (on Contexterrior affiliate, Textone), the future is looking bright for Vivianne Project.

[Todd Burns]