April 29, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 17

Baby Oliver - Primetime (Uptown Express) (Environ)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Mallory O’Donnell: From the “Disco Train” to the Last Train to Lhasa, the railway serves nicely as a metaphor of convenience for electronic dance music and its slowly-chugging agenda. Baby Oliver, newly signed to Jersey’s finest label Environ, maps out their program of disco-derived deviance with “Primetime,” an ode to the A & C trains of the NYC subway system.

Reverso 68 – Especial (Eskimo)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Balearic

Boundzound - Louder (Warner / Island)
Genre: House

Lopazz - Share My Rhythm (Get Physical)
Genre: Electro-House

Black Devil Disco Club - Black Sunshine (LoEB)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Italo

Joel Mull - The End Has Begun EP (Railyard Recordings)
Genre: Progressive/Trance, Minimal/Deep

Nick Sylvester: I find myself rewinding back to the beginning just so I can hear the beat drop at minute two, which is saying something.

Dominik Eulberg – Limikolen (Traum)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Todd Hutlock: The breathtaking moment comes at about 6:45 or so, when the bottom drops out, as the bird simply glides over everything, peering down at the busy world below heard in the percussion distant in the mix.

Mock & Toof - Black Jub (Tiny Sticks)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Para One - Midnight Swim (Naive France / Institubes)
Genre: Indie-Dance, Leftfield

Weekly Staff Charts

Beatzcast #29 and Beatzcast #30: Michael F. Gill presents some of the Beatz by the Pound crew’s favorite dance tracks, both old and new.

Michaelangelo Matos interviews house/garage/2-step producer Todd Edwards

Mallory O’Donnell interviews Kompakt artist The Field

April 24, 2007

Reverso 68 – Especial


Reverso 68’s new single is somewhat of an anomaly: a disco burner with a rather refined sense of character. Rather than just focusing on one element and turning it up to 11, like an acid synth freak-out or intense barrages of drum programming, Pete Herbert and Phil Mison take each individual instrument and set it to “stun.” The result is an even-keeled, sleek, and shimmering slab of disco that slowly but surely set fire to the dance floor.

Whereas last year’s “Tokyo Disco” read like a groove-infused Kraftwerk, music for the distracted dancers of the future, “Especial” is much more happy to stick it out and debase with abandon. Combinations of popping bass, ricocheting synth lines, stabs of electric guitar, and celebratory chanting all mesh together nicely without over-doing it.

If the A-side is about the party, B-side “Take Me Back (To Yours)” is entirely concerned with the after-party—in the bedroom—and everyone plays it cool. The drums and bass sit back and dig deliberately into the beat, the guitar stands in the corner and chucks along, and the darker synths throb underneath while the track shimmers in and out of consciousness. All the while you can hear the results, a female’s enthused affirmations echoing throughout, climaxing with the repeated mantra, “it feels good on your lips.” And as the last note reverberates into oblivion, there’s a feeling that Reverso 68 have soundtracked one of the best nights out of the year so far.

Eskimo Recordings / 541416 501598
[Peter Lansky]

February 16, 2007

Peter Visti - Balearic Love


It really doesn’t come much more transparent then the title of this little ditty—”Balearic Love” pretty much does what it says on the tin, which is certainly not a problem for this child. A sensuous, deep, casa de tropico number, it gets stark naked and runs around on the beach at 3 a.m. looking for hugs—and we’ve only reached the halfway mark. All the touchstones are here—lingering syn-strings, piano stabs, warm layers of
multiple melodic lines and drums that don’t so much drive as bolster the sexualized technology on display. There’s even an indecipherable vocal coming in at the song’s close, so you can vibe and chant away, at least until the rush cools off.

B-side “Bad Weather” mixes things up a bit and gets into squirrely funk land, which is more than fine—this time the rhythm is dominant and chunky like a 1983 dance dubplate, with the layering of multiple synths as prominent as on the flip, but to the tune of a more
stark and Euro-disco beat. Though not as memorable as the A-side, it gives us a little bit more to chew on in the bottom-end department, while still retaining the lovely midi-scapes of its partner. Completely predictable, yet somehow completely awesome.

Eskimo Records / 541416 501583
[Mallory O’Donnell]

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…


October 20, 2006

Charts: October 20 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Trentemoller - The Last Resort [Poker Flat]
Tussle - Telescope Mind [Smalltown Supersound]
Lil Louis - Blackout Phase 3 [Mathematics]
Hot Chip - Colours (Fred Falke Remix) [Astralwerks]
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Tempo Tempo [Eskimo]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Brennan Green - Divisadero [Modal]

Ronan Fitzgerald
And Again - To The Moles and the Masses [Sender]
Heckmann and Kaufelt - Kookaburra (Knarz Mix) [AFU-Ltd]
Alland Byallo - Buckets [Liebe Detail]
Pascal Feos - Timeless [Synaptic]
Reynold - Over There (Donato Dozzy Mix) [Montrose]
My My – Moneybowl [Aus Records]
Alexis Tyrell - Rebecca Loos [Weave Music]
Daniela Stickroth - Ghost In The Attic (Dan Berkson and James What Mix) [Meerestief]
Chaton - Précis 2 [Plak]
Shonky - Solar [Substatic]

Todd Hutlock
Ric Y Martin - Sini Est [Perlon]
Andrew Weatherall - Edie Eleven [Rotters Golf Club]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Matthew Dear - Dog Days (Pantytec Interpretation) [Spectral Sound]
Six Cups of Rebel - Arp She Said [Feedelity]
Plastikman - Plink Plonk [Minus]
Terrance Dixon - Minimalism [Utensil]
The Infiltrator - I’m In [Underground Resistance]
Renegade Soundwave - Space Gladiator (Dub) [Mute]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Gabriel Ananda Remix) [Trapez LTD]

Michael F. Gill
Was A Bee - On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) [Schema]
Jesse Rose feat. Solid Groove & Jamie Anderson - Nice & Slow [Front Room Recordings]
Citizen Kain - Above The Influence (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [Regular]
Logistics - Call Me Back [Hospital]
Lady Saw - Sweetest [Soul Jazz]
Breeze - Get Back [Heartbeat]
Underground Resistance feat. Yolanda - Your Time Is Up [Underground Resistance]
Minimal Vision - Vertigo [Vibraphone]
Raven feat. Jocelyn Brown - So In Love [Silver Cloud]
Convertion - All I Want Is You [Sam Records]

October 13, 2006

Lotterboys - Iron Man

Since yeah it’s obviously that “Iron Man,” electro-discofied to oh-so-campy proportions, and obviously it’s terrible no matter who sings over it (the always annoying Princess Superstar) or remixes it (the pretty reliable [italo-]disco editor Serge Santiago), I recommend staying away. It’s like not even worth knowing about. Lotterboys, to say nothing of composite parts Terranova and Detroit Grand Pubahs, have one pretty solid song called “Blazer,” whose aux percussion breakdowns and horn stabs and hard-plucked basslines could land the track into those Klaxons / EdBanger / Institubes / Kitsune franco-disco-metal type dance sets. But the goofy-electro stuff they deal in otherwise, e.g. this “Iron Man” cover or the punny “Heroine,” really never pops: the humor’s either overbearing or not enough.

Eskimo / 541416 501544
[Nick Sylvester]

August 11, 2006

Allez Allez - Allez Allez

Superb reissue from Eskimo—crouched comfortably in Flying Lizards / Ze Records funky netherworld-of-the-dancefloor. Lovely proto-house piano washes and quirkily charming half-spoken, yearning vocals make for the best Belgian gospel-tinged indie disco track you’ll hear all year! Lindstrom & Prins Thomas do the right thing here—find the jazz in the original instrumental, stretch it out and catch those tingling keys in it like baubles in a net. They just do it for a bit too long—like the DFA, they still need to learn that not every song needs to be 12 minutes long.

Eskimo Recordings / 541416 501502
[Mallory O’Donnell]

August 11, 2006

Charts: August 11 2006

Cameron Octigan
Ada - Living It Up [Areal]
Luca Bacchetti – Out of Breath [Tenax]
Hemmann & Kaden – Roll in Moll [Freude am Tanzen]
Lawrence - Place to Be [Liebe]
Louderbach – Reflected [Underl_ne]
Magda – She’s a Dancing Machine [M_nus]
Misc. – Tanz Der Polymere [Sender]
Reverso 68 - Tokyo Disko [Eskimo]
Various Artists - Cocoon Compilation F [Cocoon]
Wighnomy Bros. - Dukktus [Freude am Tanzen]

Todd Hutlock
Future/Past - Jam Packed [Applied Rhythmic Technology]
Sammy Dee & Guido Schneider - Styleways [Poker Flat]
Kayot - Clear Sky (Main Mix) [Buzzin’ Fly]
Paradroid - Faked Moon Landing (Fym Remix) [Force Inc.]
Justus Köhncke - Advance [Kompakt]
Antonelli Electr. - Snowflake Funk [Level]
Pig & Dan - 4 Leaf Clover [Cocoon]
Carl Craig - Darkness (Max Mix) [Planet E]
Magda - She’s a Dancing Machine [Minus]
The Knife - Silent Shout (Troy Pierce Barado en Locombia Mix) [Rabid/Brille/Mute]

Mallory O’Donnell
Booka Shade - Paper Moon [Get Physical]
Junior Boys - In the Morning [Domino]
CSS - Let’s Make Love & Listen Death from Above (Spank Rock Remix) [Sub Pop]
808 State - San FranCisco [Tommy Boy]
Applegarden - Twentyfive 6 Four (Putsch ‘79 Remix) [Clone]
Toby Tobias - A Close Shave (Prins Thomas Disko-Tek Miks) [REKIDS]
Allez Allez - Allez Allez [Eskimo]
Cassie Vs. Ice-T - Girls LM&UGBNAF (Various Bootlegs) [Aristo-Camille]

Michael F. Gill
Arsenal feat. Jhelisa Anderson - Far Have I Come [Cottage]
Telex - L’amour Toujours [Interdisc]
Sally Shapiro - I’ll Be By Your Side [Diskokaine]
IMS - Dancing Therapy [Ballaphon / Emergency]
Cassy - Alexandra / Toyah [Cassy]
Swat-Squad - Shared [Galaktika]
Paul Johnson - I Need You [Motus Music]
Troy Brown - Feel Allright [Aquarius Recordings]
Sandy Kerr - Thug Rock [High Fashion]
Rene & Angela - I Love You More [Capitol]

May 5, 2006

The Lotterboys - Animalia

Combine Terranova with Paris the Black Fu from the Detroit Grand Pubahs and what do you get? In their own words “electrofunkypunkrockband” (oh god) The Lotterboys. What else do you get? Tremolo-ed live guitar, punk funk bass, block party disco breaks, overdriven snare clatter and chopped trumpet samples—which at it’s worst sounds like the oft-threatened return of big beat or, when Paris’ vocals come in, outtakes from Fatboy Slim’s deeply unfunky Freakpower project. Occasionally it works; “Star Whores” pool hall crack and swagger and the Dirtbombs-like garage punk of “Wired and Tired” convince and, most unexpectedly, sparks happen on a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” where lead-boot syncopation meets “It’s the Joint” drum rolls. Princess Superstar provides the “Death Valley 69” backing moans. But aside from everything else, how you get on with this album will be determined by your tolerance for Paris’ wobbly loverman pastiche baritone, his love for puns that don’t quite and scribbled on a napkin backstage clichés. Sometimes he replaces the word fuck with funk. It’s that type of album.

Eskimo / 501505
[Patrick McNally]

February 24, 2006

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Mighty Girl


Epic, almost-Baroque Eurodisco is the order of the day on “Mighty Girl,” presented by Lindstrom and Prins Thomas in both its original form and in two fairly radical remixes. From the fugue-like feel of the main theme to the sparkling counterpoint of the backing synths, this track encapsulates the neo-classical and orchestral ambitions of disco in a nutshell. The “Vran Gog” mix moves towards the atmospheric side of the equation, while the “Feel PM” mix is a joyful, wobbly dub which would sound great at about 5 am while you squeeze the sweat out of the third t-shirt of the evening. The remixes though, as good as they are, pale in comparison to the glory of the original version. Cop this, and consider the envelope pushed.

Eskimo / 541416 501482
[Mallory O’Donnell]

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