July 28, 2006

Hot Chip - Boy from School

Mallory O’Donnell: “Boy from School” walks Hot Chip’s typical tightrope: eminently danceable, with a rather eyebrow-raising detour thrown in halfway that sort of ruins the blissful singularity of it all. This, my friends, is why God invented the remix. Up first is Steve Barnes’ “Cosmic Sandwich Remix” (I can’t think of it without laughing,) a deep-house rework that sucks most of the soul out of the original vocal. Things get a bit more interesting around the four-minute mark, but it’s too late for most of us to bliss out by now. Thankfully, Erol Alkan is as reliable as ever, injecting extra handclaps and retaining the moments of beauty in the original, while still keeping your sweatshirt sleeves rolled up and your ass swaying.

Nick Sylvester: No knock, “Boy from School” sounds more mash-up than song. Vocal and musical energy levels couldn’t differ more, as Alexis Taylor’s breathy carole breezes over a beat four times faster, clickier, more bubbly, double handclap turnarounds, and all. It’s the band’s trick throughout The Warning, which is one reason the LP strikes me so samey. That said, “Boy” is aces, maybe even better than its louder cousin “Over and Over.” I hear young loneliness, identity crises, the obvious fear-fare in the chorus (”We try, but we don’t belong”), but then again I have no idea if that’s what Alexis Taylor’s really singing anyway. The impulse for every sound here—harp strums to synth solos to the intermittent glitch—is to explode, but every sound remains understated, artfully subdued. Maybe I’m selling Taylor’s lyrics short. Both remixers apparently like the understatement too. Cosmic Sandwich merely kills the vocals and abstracts the instrumental into slowburn French filter, somewhere between Maurizio and Robert Babicz. With twice the playtime, Alkan’s take is less a burn, more a patient inquiry into the original’s smaller sounds: the cymbal swells, the percussion shakers, the tinkering bells.

Astralwerks / ASW 59943
[Listen]


May 19, 2006

Charts: May 19 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My Robot Friend - 23 Minutes in Brussels
My My - Swiss on Rye
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Maida Vale Version)
Kris Menace - Voyage
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out (Dance Remix)
Snax & Ianeq - Fill Me Up
Mr. Cisco - Culo
Tim Paris - Standing Up (Goldman Remix)
Phonique - Gaga (Tim Paris Remix)

Ronan Fitzgerald
Serge Santiago - Anticipation
Falko Brocksieper - Hardwired EP
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Cosmic Sandwich Mix)
Pet Shop Boys - Flamboyant (Michael Mayer Mix)
Gui Boratto - Strobe
Fuckpony - Cell Phone Hit
Ost and Kjex – Kjexterminate
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler
I-Robots - Spacer Frau (Boys Noize Remix)
Shyza Minelli - To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Michael F. Gill
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Zulu Rock
Donna Allen – Serious
Full Intention – I Believe in You
K Hand – Mystery
Various Artists – Cream Collect: Balearic
Awesome 3 – Don’t Go (Kicks like a Mule mix)
Boytronic –Bryllyant
Patato & Totico – Patato & Totico
The Congos – Congoman Chant
Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face


March 24, 2006

In The Mix: Todd Burns

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1. Cosmic Sandwich - Man in a Box (Daso Remix)
2. Marc Romboy - Disco Impact
3. Sleeparchive - Bleep04
4. Sasse feat. Kiki - Loosing Touch
5. Error Error - Your Everlasting Breath (Paul Kalkbrenner Remix)
6. Lazy Fat People - Dark Water
7. Minilogue - The Girl from Botany Bay
8. Daso - Go Upstairs


April 7, 2005

Cosmic Sandwich - Zig Zag Feeling

The follow-up to the massive “Cosmic Sandwich,” Steve Barnes takes on that song’s name as a recording moniker here to unleash the 12-minute “Zig Zag Feeling.” It’s a similarly ambitious track that mines the unfairly-small what-if-tech-house-turned-prog area of inquiry. Ideas float in and out of the mix, tossed to the side in favor of bigger and more spacey effects in a dizzying mix that makes its way through three different beats over its entirety. Zigging and zagging, it’s impossible to pin this one down, but it’s equally as hard to pick the needle up.

MBF Ltd. / MBF LTD 12005
[Todd Burns]


January 27, 2005

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill - “Romance Drones”

The inspirations for this mix were the recent singles “Cosmic Sandwich” and “Odyssey” by Steve Barnes, which showcase a new and interesting tangent on the basic micro/electro-house template. It was an epic, sprawling sound that combined the romantic melancholy of Michael Mayer’s “Immer” with a heavy psychedelic bent that engulfs you through a series of visceral repetition, trippy vocals, and wandering stratospheric synths. I’ve picked tracks here that complement this sound, and sequenced them in such a fashion that the music becomes more open and extroverted as time passes. Hence, things begin with the misty noir-ish glimmers of Anders ilar, move through the brisk druggy bliss of Ewan Pearson’s Closer Musik remix, and end up with some Italo/Metro Area influenced tracks by Jersey Devil Social Club and Justus Kohncke. This being the internet and not the club, I’ve taken the time to do some re-edits of the tracks in order to emphasize the themes of the mix. I hope you enjoy it.

01. Anders ilar - Treasure Gardens (Echocord)
02. Lucien-N-Luciano - Lilou Swan (Klang Elektronik)
03. Lawrence - Live At 37 (Dial)
04. M.I.A. - Ballad II (Substatic)
05. Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink [James Holden Remix] (Border Community)
06. John Foxx - Mr. No (New Religion)
07. Steve Barnes & Riley Reinhold - Odyssey (My Best Friend Limited)
08. Closer Musik - One Two Three (No Gravity) [Ewan Pearson Mix] (Out of the Loop)
09. Steve Barnes & Riley Reinhold - Memories (My Best Friend Limited)
10. Steve Barnes - Cosmic Sandwich [Extended Version] (My Best Friend Limited)
11. Geiger - Standing In A Line (Firm)
12. Kaos featuring Captain Comatose - Bang The Box (K7)
13.George Thomson - Laid Back Snack Attack [Ellen Allien Via Mix] (Crosstown Rebels)
14. Jersey Devil Social Club – Magnifique [Health Club Dub] (Environ)
15. Justus Kohncke - Elan (Kompakt)
16. Annie - Heartbeat [Alan Braxe Remix] (679)

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