October 6, 2006

Marc Romboy - Gemini (The Remixes)

Systematic has had a few great releases recently, in whatever sense each of the 20 or so Stephan Bodzin-related projects released in the last two months are great, rather than interchangeable. This remix package then, is a nice breath of fresh air, with Fairmont supplying the best of the three. He re-works “Model 1601,” arguably the only really great track on the Gemini album, adding his trademark weeping synths and making things that bit more epic. Williams takes on “Impact Disco” and comes up with a quirky electro track, though you can’t escape the feeling that the Williams well has run dry as of late. John Tejada meanwhile re-works “Jigsaw,” and well, it’s not tremendously exciting. However, the great Fairmont mix is worth a purchase, whether physically or digitally.

Systematic / SYST 0026-6
[Ronan Fitzgerald]

May 5, 2006

Lazy Fat People - Big City

Border Community’s latest 12” offerings from Fairmont and, now, Lazy Fat People seem to be veering closer to the ambient side of the spectrum, allowing tracks to glide far longer than shoulda-been three minute running times to near-interminable six- and seven-minute bores. So you might say, if you only heard the A-side of Lazy Fat People’s debut entry into the label’s catalogue. But then comes the spellbinding “Dark Water,” which has received play in all corners of the techno world (including even John Digweed’s KISS FM show). That track never quite reaches the heights of Nathan Fake’s world-beating “The Sky Was Pink,” but the molasses-stretched static, pound-turns-into-plod house beat, and Knife-esque congo melody-drums turn into a whole ‘nother beast entirely, with the Sleeparchive-esque sonar meltdown providing the cherry on top. The Community does it again.

Border Community / 11BC
[Todd Burns]

April 10, 2006

Fairmont - Gazebo Remixes

Canadian producer Jake Fairley’s Fairmont project was always a tight fit on Border Community. It is, after all, a label with an obvious strong trance and progressive house influence running through each of its releases. However, with a re-release on Electrochoc, “Gazebo” returns with a simple re-edit titled “Gazebo (Remix),” and like the name it fails to impress. Essentially it’s a rearrangement with the main melodies held out in certain places and shortened in others. Darker than simple tech-house, Lifelike/Inner City remixer Sebastian Léger’s recontextualization of Fairmont’s original melodies, within his own added production, lends a different overall feel to the track, emphasizing the tension within the brilliant original. Although there is still a good deal of down time in the track, it is a much friendlier version for dancers. Though not on Border Community, this could easily find a home there. And like all of BC’s projects, this is absolutely worth owning.

Electrochoc / 009
[Cameron Octigan]

April 10, 2006

Charts: April 10 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
Pier Bucci - L’nuit (Dominik Eulberg Remix)
Jimmy Edgar - My Beats
Linus Loves - The Terrace
Mystery Jets - The Boy Who Ran Away (Riton Re-Rub)
Mash - Somebody’s Property (Zones Mix)
The SOS Band - Just Be Good to Me
New Order - Blue Monday 1988
Palermo Disko Machine - Shake Dat Shit
Lindstrom - I Feel Space (Freeform Five Remix)

Cameron Octigan
Claro Intelecto - Peace of Mind
Defender – Bliss
Dexter – Acid Lullaby
Fairmont – Gazebo (Sebastian Léger Remix)
Gabriel Ananda – Ihre Personliche Glucksmelodie
Lindstrom – I Feel Space (Freeform Five Remix)
Marek Bois – You Got Good Ash
The Rice Twins – For Penny and Alexis
Royksopp – Beautiful Day Without You (Rex the Dog Remix)
Sebastian – Smoking Kills

Michael F. Gill
Chateau Flight - Cosmic Race
Aqua Bassino - I’m a Believer
Onur Özer - Twilight
Four Below Zero - My Baby’s Got ESP
Blake Baxter - Sexuality
Maurizio – Domina (Carl Craig’s Mind Mix)
Sun Palace - Rude Movements
Sing-Sing - Hit & Run
LB - Ashes To Ashes
Fingers Inc - Distant Planet

March 24, 2006

Nathan Fake - Drowning in a Sea of Remixes

Nathan Fake must be busy trying to get Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva to remix for the next 12”, because it seems like every other big name is quickly finding itself attached to his work. But as evidenced by the Watlington Street EP, and his recent full-length, he doesn’t really need them. Still, there are some seriously noteworthy mixes on this short EP, and none of them sound much at all like the originals. Apparat’s take on “Charlie’s House” was an attempt, in his words, “to just try and make a rave song.” I nod my head as if I understand, and think to myself that it’s maybe the most beautiful remix to have been graced by such a stomping electro beat. It’s like a cleaner German take on Sebastian, and just using Nathan Fake as a starting point. It is clearly the standout track.

Nathan’s friend and visual artist Vincent Oliver takes a stab at “Long Sunny,” in an attempt that brings to mind the work of Textual and Arab Strap, vocals and sloppy guitar jabs present. In a hot Border Community-on-Border Community action sequence, Fairmont, of “Gazebo” fame, takes a completely different approach to “Long Sunny” by keeping things fairly micro and melodic. There’s no doubt that it’s well done, although probably a bit too downtempo for most dance floors. The Fortdax remix of “You Are Here” is a good track, but on an EP this strong it takes more to stand out. Also, at times Fortdax’s mix comes off like the triumphant theme song of an anime cartoon, with strings. When all is said and done, it’s best that James Holden isn’t on this, if for no other reason than to prove that there is so much in Fake’s music and that other artists deserve a fair chance. Run, don’t walk, to Beatport, or Itunes, or whatever, because you’re going to need this.

Border Community / 010
[Cameron Octigan]

February 10, 2006

Charts: February 10 2006

Guest Chart
Patrice Baumel, Trapez

Baxendale - I Built This City
Carl Craig - Darkness
Fairmont - Gazebo
Jesse Somfay - Traum 65
Ame - Rej
Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV
Phonique - For The Time Being
Gabriel Ananda - Ihre Persoenliche Gluecksmelodie
Alex Under - Dispositivos De Mi Granja
Daso - Daybreak

Mallory O’Donnell
Royksopp - What Else Is There? (Trentemoller Remix)
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Do Not Break
Tiga - Far From Home
Flatpack - Sweet Child O’ Mine (Mylo Remix)
Justice Vs. Simian - Never Be Alone
Transformer di Roboters - Hi End (Metro B & Maslope Remix)
Annie - The Wedding (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)
Depeche Mode - Precious (Michael Mayer’s Balearic Mix)
The Knife - Neverland
Dead Disco - The Treatment (Metronomy Remix)
Chromeo - Needy Girl (Phillipe Zdar Dub)
Linus Loves - VH1
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke - Bliss

Cameron Octigan
Zimt - U.O.A.A. (Jurgen Paape Remix)
Yoshimoto - Do What U Du (Trentemoller Remix)
Unlimited Touch - I Hear Music in the Streets
Uffie - Pop the Glock
Transformer der Roboters - Hi End (Metro B & Maslope Remix)
New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
MSTRKRFT - Easy Love
Michael Mayer & Reinhard Voigt - Sky Dumont
The Knife - Like a Pen
Crystal Castles - Tuesday
Black Strobe - Me & Madonna
Benjamin Theves - Texas

Todd Hutlock
Suburban Knight - Predator’s Language
Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)
Renegade Soundwave - The Phantom (Subsonic Legacy)
Gaiser - And Answer
Fumiya Tanaka - Unknown Possibility Vol 1.
Akufen - Psychometry 1.1-3.2 (Thomas Brinkmann Remix)
Battant - Jump Up EP
KLF Vs. Ricardo Villalobos - What Time Is Love? (Veto Retro Mix #1)
Plastikman - Afrika
Talking Heads - Making Flippy Floppy (David Byrne/John “Jellybean” Benitez Remix)

Michael F. Gill
Kalabrese - Hühnerfest
Isolee - Rockers
Frequency - Loosen Up
Fred Gianelli - Distant Gratification
Jean-Luc Ponty - Cosmic Messenger
DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
Sa-Fire - Boy, I’ve Been Told (Rascal/Two In A Room Dub)
Doris D. and The Pins - Shine Up
A Guy Called Gerald - Finley’s Rainbow (Slow Motion Mix)
Regina - Baby Love

January 27, 2006

In The Mix: Nate De Young

Following the release of a recent study done by the University of Leicester that found that digital music and downloading causes listener apathy, my Stylus colleague Nick Southall probably ran to the nearest soapbox to proclaim, did you see what I wrote there? For the rest of us, this might not be an epiphany but it does cement the idea that “music burnout” probably won’t get easier any time soon. Especially within dance culture and the sheer volume of singles released each month, it’s practically ensured that apathy can be found on that next series of thump-thump-thump-thump minimal records—if you’re willing to seek it out.

So for my Beatz by the Pound mix, I decided to document my response to burn-out. That is, by limiting intake and squinting my ears as frequently as possible. Most of these tracks come from labels that found a spotlight or two in 2005 and are regulars to the Beatz by the Pound column—Areal, My Best Friend, Border Community. But if songs like Ada’s swinging 8-bit “I Love Asphalt” or Fairmont’s soothing “Gazelle” are any indication, then these labels definitely deserve some undivided attention now and again. As for squinting my ears, Motiivi’s “1939” and Tim Paris’ “Edges of Corrosion” have both forced me to consider how I hear music. Both Motiivi’s paradoxical “expansive claustrophobia” and the Paris’ endless series of melodic crevices question dichotomies that I presume steadfast far too often.

1. Tim Paris - Edges of Corrosion (Marketing Music)
2. Digitalism - Zdarlight (Kitsune)
3. Mateo & Ganteimi Meets Miss Anacoe - Danseur (My Best Friend Ltd)
4. Motiivi - 1939 (Freundinnen)
5. Ada - I Love Asphalt (Areal)
6. Daso - Daybreak (My Best Friend)
7. Fairmont - Gazelle (Border Community)


January 5, 2006

Fairmont - Gazebo

For those following BC, you’ll know exactly what to expect: glossy melodies, transcendent crescendos, basslines that build and build, and a pay-off that never gets the whole cork out of the bottle. This time out, the tools are particularly interesting: each is four-and-a-half minutes long and would do well outside of their original dance context on a possible ambient album. A sidenote: B-side “Gazelle” has to be the slowest aural imagining of the animal yet on record.

Border Community / 09BC
[Todd Burns]