March 31, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 13

Faze Action - In The Trees (Juno)

Nick Sylvester: Especially with the crowd that space-disco’s drawing at the moment, you can’t go wrong re-releasing what in retrospect sounds like an accidentally seminal cut. Speaking of accidentally seminal cuts, don’t be surprised to find, as I did, the Carl Craig remix in otherwise aggravating neu-rave Franco-filter-metal sets happening in Lower East Sides near you.

Andy Stott - Handle with Care / See in Me 10” (Modern Love)

Lusine - Podgelism / Podgelism Select Remixes (Ghostly International)

40 Thieves - Point to the Joint (Smash Hit Music)


Tobias - Dial EP (Logistic)

Peter Chambers: In every way the sequel to Street Knowledge, Dial is the second part of a manifesto that lays out the unmistakable patterns of an incurable machine romance.

Mad Mike - Hi-Tech Dreams (Underground Resistance)

Patrice Bäumel - Just Electricty (Trapez)

Justus Köhncke - Justus Köhncke vs Prins Thomas (Kompakt)


Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck (Cocoon)

Michael F. Gill: As good as “Six Feet Above” and “Double Secret Life” were, “Goodnight & Good Luck” sounds like a breakout release, straddling high-clarity minimal techno with a set of winding trance-esque melodies a la Orbital.

2007 Winter Music Conference Coverage: Day Three, Night Three

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #25: Nativespeaker (Peter Chambers) - dysappearance


March 26, 2007

Faze Action - In the Trees

200712"HouseTechno

UK dance vinyl shop Juno Records plans to celebrate 2007, its tenth anniversary, with ten classic tracks reissued and remixed by topdog producers; “In the Trees” is their first and bodes extremely (extremely) well for the series. Faze Action’s debut record from 1996 was just one of those prime do-no-wrong disco-house cuts: the brooding swaths of strings under nervous agitations of violin, the lascivious interval-jumping bassline that screams ‘90s house (to me), the mist of synth that does in fact permeate the track’s eight-minute length. Especially with the crowd that space-disco’s drawing at the moment, you can’t go wrong re-releasing what in retrospect sounds like an accidentally seminal cut.

Speaking of accidentally seminal cuts, don’t be surprised to find, as I did, the Carl Craig remix in otherwise aggravating neu-rave Franco-filter-metal sets happening in Lower East Sides near you. Everything sounds like an imitation next to this monster: just the way the acid bassline throbs so menacingly, the way the strings take on this outlandishly world-is-gone vibe that reminds me (favorably) of the Kronos Quartet’s work for the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack…I feel bad pretending like CC is actively stunting on your Ed Banger partypeople types but so it goes. Expect to hear this everywhere.

Juno Records / JUNO 1
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


January 19, 2007

Aroy Dee - Embrace

200612"Detroit

Eminently listenable throwbacks from techno’s second wave sonically, these benefit from hindsight too: none too ravey breakbeats, no overblown overly chromatic hooks (i.e. stuff that sounds like the Mortal Kombat soundtrack), the grind felt, not heard. Part of its success comes first from Aroy Dee keeping more insistent rhythms soft in the treble, which reminds me of Gottsching’s unrushed hi-hat sixteenths in E2-E4, and second from drizzling the synths onto the ear rather than dropping them like knives. Modern parallel: Juan Maclean’s “Dance With Me,” but without that track’s lovesick subtext. The track “Embrace” has a Morr Music-like comfort food quality to its longtoned lullabied progression, but the palette is totally food-and-arts-era Carl Craig, subdued analog, legitimate warmth. Like I said, really easy on the ears, and, serving tradition well, second b-side “Shade” makes for a nice beatless chaser.

MOS Recordings / mos0005
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


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 1, 2006

Menstruation Monsters - Dirty Soaked Tampon

Cameron Macdonald: Ilsa Gold’s Christopher Just produced this nine-minute zinger that is more Lesbians on Ecstasy gimmickry than ironic Chicks on Speed performance art. We’ve got the fake orgasms, Christina Aguilera melodrama done in a karaoke way, demands for “satisfaction now,” and requests for rectal insertion. The song’s generic, Europop-house sound simply deflates the sass and worse, clubgoers will have little idea that the tune is actually about soiled tampons. Just’s own remix thankfully obscures the trash by stuttering the vocals and grooving to a decent microfunk glide, despite the synth blows seemingly stolen from The Juan MacLean’s “You Can’t Have It Both Ways.” Axel Bartsch’s remix is a bit bloodless, plodding along to keyboard squirts, slouching melodies, and vocals that are drenched in unnecessary echo.

Nick Sylvester: As if you can’t tell from the artist name and track title, MM’s “DST” is boilerplate electroclash w/ dirty lyrics!, the rub here being that MM’s oversized skidmark-goth synth can’t decide on an audience: I hear Jock Jams one minute, Benny Benassi strip anthem the next (the word “satisfaction” is actually said at one point), Chicks on Speed on bad speed after that. And when the brickhanded piano chords burst out mid-scene like the bad Chicago house parody they are, I hear Cece Peniston’ “Finally,” which turns out I’m not as excited about as I used to be. How Christopher Just turned this turd into a Carl Craig-circa-Paperclip People acid-house monster, with that relentless thump and an acid freakout Benassi only dreams of, I have no idea, but it’s one of the best fake Carl Craig tracks I’ve heard in a while, and aside from the vocal cutups it has nothing to do with the a-side.

Censored / Censored099
[Listen]


November 17, 2005

Matt Tolfrey & Craig Sylvester - Acix / The Horn

Crosstown is another label having a great year. Their latest is a collab between two unknowns (as far as I can tell) that’s been utilized on a mix already by Damian Lazarus and is guaranteed to be featured on a few others, if the custom to over-use known quantities continues unabated. It would be welcome, though, as “Acix” is an acid monster that only lets the true squelch out of the bag for the climax and song’s second-half. B-side, “The Horn,” is slower-building but no less of a beast once it unleashes its enormous flange. Recommended.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 019
[Todd Burns]