July 20, 2007

Charts: July 20 2007

The Beatz staff pick their favorite dance releases of 2007, so far…

Peter Chambers

Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Lopazz - Share my Rhythm (Isolee mix) [Review]
Andy Stott - Handle with Care / See in Me [Review]
Kalabrese - Rumpelzirkus Part 1 [Review]
Efdemin/Carsten Jost - Split EP [Review]
Carsten Jost - Atlantis I & II
Kerri Chandler - Computer Games EP
Andy Stott - the Massacre EP [Review]
DJ Koze - All the Time EP [Review]
Len Faki - Rainbow Delta/Mekong Delta [Review]
Shackleton - Blood on my Hands (Villalobos mix) [Review]
Roman Fluegel - Mutter EP
Various - Death is Nothing to Fear Vol. 1 [Review]
Vulva String Quartett - Cranberry Song EP [Review]
Portable - Don’t Give Up (Remixes) [Review]
Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars (Remixes) [Review]
Ilya Santana - Discotized EP [Review]
DJ Koze vs. Sid le Rock - Naked (Koze remix) [Review]
Battles - Atlas (Koze mix) [Review]
Prosumer/Murat Tepeli - What Makes You Go For It? [Review]

Nate DeYoung

Lindstrom & Solale - Let’s Practice [Review]
Hatchback - White Diamond (Prins Thomas remix)
Audion - I Gave You Away [Review]
Partial Arts - Trauermusik [Review]
Motiivi:Tuntematon - I Don’t Feel Good [Review]
Efdemin - Just a Track [Review]
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Ame - Balandine [Review]
Argy - 1985 (Sydenham & Rune Remix) [Review]
Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music [Review]
Dixon - Resident Advisor #48

Todd Hutlock

cv313 - Dimensional Space EP [Review]
Lazy Fat People - Pixelgirl EP [Review]
Dominik Eulberg - Limikolen EP [Review]
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Luciano - No Model No Tool [Review]
Audio Werner - Flatfunk [Review]
Tony Allen - Ole (A Remix by Moritz Von Oswald) [Review]
Riton - Hammer of Thor
Adultnapper - Betty Crocker Moves to Berlin
Gaiser vs Heartthrob - Nasty Girl [Review]
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime [Review]
Gui Boratto - Chromophobia [Review]
DeepChord presents Echospace - The Coldest Season
Dominik Eulberg - Heimische Gefilde [Review]
Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss [Review]

Michael F. Gill

Sorcerer - Surfing After Midnight (Prins Thomas Remix) [Review]
Matt John - Soulkaramba [Review]
Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck [Review]
Shackleton - New Dawn / Massacre
Air - Lost Message [Review]
M.I.A. - Bittersuss [Review]
Escort - All That She Is [Review]
Voom Voom - Best Friend / Sao Verought Remixes
Frankie Valentine - Zumbi (Henrik Schwarz Dub Remix)
Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Instrumental)


July 10, 2007

DJ 3000 / Gerald Mitchell / Ellen Allien - Alia / Geloshai 1862 / Retina

200712"TechnoDetroit

The fetish releases from the Motor City continue as DJ 3000’s (aka Frankie Juncaj) Motech label releases two limited-edition (at a mere 100 copies each) one-sided singles, capping the relative flurry of activity from the label in the last couple of months after a long layoff. Juncaj’s style fuses the sounds of his ancestral and birth homes: soulful keys and string sounds of classic Detroit mixed with tribal percussion inspired by the native music of Albania. It’s a rather unique mix, but on the first release here, the signature sounds are washed over a bit by Juncaj’s collaborators.

Gerald Mitchell (a fellow member of the UR/Los Hermanos family) adds a bit more techno thump than is necessary to the remix of the pair’s recent Alia single, effectively smothering its flavor; the addition of Diametric’s spoken word bits on “Geloshai 1862″ add some color, but not enough to make things memorable. Thankfully, Juncaj’s own remix of Ellen Allien’s “Retina” is full of the elements that make his best work so memorable. Led by a dramatic looped violin sample and laid over with his signature layered percussive elements, Juncaj makes the tune his own and then some. Anthemic, kinetic, and percolating in all the right ways, its a fantastic remix deserving of a much, much wider audience. Best of luck finding a copy, but if you do, clutch it with two hands.

Motech Limited / MT-LIMITED-1 / MT-LIMITED-2
[Listen]
[Todd Hutlock]


June 25, 2007

Portable - Don’t Give Up (Remixes)

Bodycode’s The Conservation of Electric Charge would have been better titled “Flying under Fanbase Radar”, such was its woefully under-appreciative reception. Along with Jan Jelinek’s Tierbeobachtungen (a very different pleasure admittedly) nobody seemed to get it, to have gotten it, or even to care, despite my squeaky protestations that they should, they really should. Abrahams’ inclusion on the recent Death is Nothing to Fear EP along with rising star Par Grindvik and Matthew “Raygun Audion” Dear seemed to confer a good (dries sticky, sets permanently) bridesmaiding. All this by way of saying, get the album, have a listen, and give Bodycode the listening his subtle creativity deserves.

With that rant out of the way, let’s turn to the music at hand, and another great remix EP, but a remix of what? “Don’t Give Up”, apparently. But discog it however I might, I can’t seem to find the original. Is this proof of some kind of remix primacy, that the original doesn’t even have to be released anymore? Bodycode’s remix is a twelve minute journey through his sound, with all those cool little polyrhythms, that metallic flange, and a slow stabbing synth line. This track is a gem, twelve minutes of rolling, kicking techno plateaus with an overlong fade at the end. Cassy’s version takes her typical mixture of sparse and voice, adds a blues harmonica in the background, makes everything unsettled with a droning sample, and then (suddenly and almost miraculously) introduces a very Tortoise-y bassline, which brings it all back home. The rich bright metal of the strings sounds lovely against the shadowy background.

Meanwhile, somewhere near a bath-house, Lawrence is writing the gayest track he’s ever made (and not in the Cartman sense). I wonder how he saw his monitor with all that sticky steam. In truth though, it’s more like “Frankie goes to the Panorama Bar” with the blue synth washes undercutting the Mardi Gras vocal. Lawrence’s sound-design dead-ended itself on The Night Will Last Forever after a productive three preceding years, but here, as with the inklings on his recent(ish) Liebe Detail release, you get the sense of a new vector. All three tracks here work beautifully on their own, but together it’s an exceptional EP that shows three interesting artists doing some of their better work of the past year.

Sud Electronic / SUED 010
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


February 16, 2007

Todd Sines - Broad Band

200712"HouseTechno

Todd Sines has released records on Carl Craig�s Planet E and Dan Bell�s 7th City imprints among others, so you know he�s learned from the best. But after five years in hibernation, will Sines still remember those lessons? The answer is yes, and the four-track Broad Band EP shows that the time off hasn�t dried up his creative well.

Opener �Rive Gauche� actually sounds a bit like a hybrid of Craig and Bell, with the former�s layered percussion and analog synth buzzes and the latter�s clipped sounds and choppy rhythms, as well as some vocal snippets from who I assume is Sines� longtime partner in crime Natacha Labelle. Elsewhere, Sines strips down the percussion and makes with some seriously twisted organ riffage on �In_Come,� and comes over a bit Akufen-like on �Elastic.� A well-rounded and diverse return to form, then. I would think that if Sines could ever get a full-length together, it would be a glorious thing indeed.

Frankie Rec / FRANKIE REC 17
[Listen]
[Todd Hutlock]


February 16, 2007

Charts: February 16 2007

Todd Hutlock
Todd Sines - In_Come [Frankie Rec]
Safety Scissors - Where Is Germany and How Do I Get There? (Ellen Allien Germany Remix) [Bpitch Control]
Roxy Music - The Main Thing (Rub-N-Tug�s Proton Saga) [Virgin]
Dominik Eulberg & Gabriel Ananda - Harzer Roller [Traum Schallplatten]
P�r Grindvik - Casio [Spectral Sound]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Robotman Remix) [M_nus]
Ripperton - Tainted Words [Connaisseur]
Audio Werner - Flat Funk [Circus Company]
Tracey Thorn - It�s All True (Martin Buttrich Dub) [Virgin]
Marcellus Pittman - A Mix [Unirhythm]

Michael F. Gill
Goat Dance � Goat Dance (Version) [Bear Entertainment]
Blackjoy � Untitled (Kerri Chandler�s Bigga Mix) [Freerange]
Tony Allen � One Tree (Terrence Parker�s Spirit of Unity Instrumental Mix) [Honest Jon�s]
PM Dawn � A Watcher Point of View [Don�t Cha Think] (Todd Terry�s Hard House Mix) [Gee Street]
Escort - All That She Is [Escort]
Jo Squillo Eletrix � Avventurieri [Polydor]
The Voyagers - Distant Planet [Discomagic]
Venus Gang � Space Woman [P.B.I. Records]
Two Tons O’ Fun � Got The Feeling [Fantasy Honey]
Tribe � Koke [Probe]


November 3, 2006

Interview: Cerrone

French disco producer Cerrone is, undoubtedly, a legend of dance music. Beginning his solo work in 1976 with the classic Love in C Minor, he has gone on to sell more than 25 million records and win five Grammy Awards for his efforts. In the course of promoting the reissue of his first four albums and the upcoming NY Dance Party for 2007, Stylus sat down with the man that brought us Supernature.

First up�tell us a little bit about the NY Dance Party for 2007. How did you become involved with this project and with Nile Rodgers?

Yes, Nile, he’s been my friend for thirty years. We’re going to celebrate thirty years of dance, also thirty years of his and my careers, too! (Laughs) It’s going to be in New York, during the Columbus Day weekend, and it’s going to be really huge. We have fifteen different sites, the main stage is going to be in the park (Central Park), and the event will be between 3 PM to 9:30 PM. Every site is going to have something different�some will be a DJs, some singers, but at 6:30, from the main stage, we’re going to have the big show, with a lot of stars involved from the last thirty years of dance, and that (will be broadcast to) all the sites by satellite, because all the sites (across the city) are going to have a large video screen on the back of the stage. With all of the sites in New York, we could have more than 3 or 400,000 New Yorkers dancing in the streets�it would be a great image for the World, and for New York. This is what the Mayor wants, too.

So, the Mayor has been enthusiastic and positive about it?

Oh yes, and if the mayor was not enthusiastic about it, you know, how could we do it? The mayor understands very well what we are trying to do, and likes the idea to give back the image of New York to the world… it’s sad, because after the Eleventh of September of 2001, the image of New York for the rest of the world changed very much. You know, it’s become much more a city of business than music, like in Europe we have Geneva… but New York is a wonderful city for music, and we want to celebrate the city as the home of dance music. The image of the people of New York, young or old dancing in the street, it’s a tremendous, beautiful image that we want to give back to the world. We are still working on the sites for the event, but we are thinking Battery Park, other parks, some sites for 3,000 people, some for 10 or 15,000, maybe something by LaGuardia as well… every month the event is getting bigger and better, with more and more people getting on board.

You’ve been doing a number of live events and dance parties recently, haven�t you?

We did the event in front of Versailles, with 100,000 people, which you can see six minutes of video from on my website… that was last year… Two months ago I played (an event) for Dolce Gabana, next month a tour in Moscow, in February another tour in France… and I’ll be working in the middle on a new LP to be released in the spring.

This will be all original material?

Yes, right now we have 14 new tracks.

So, do you enjoy the live performances as much as the studio work? How do you feel about that?

Oh, I love it! Did you see the video?

The DVD you released last year? Yes, I saw that.

OK, because if you see the video, you have the answer for your question.

Very true!

After 30 years in the music industry, when you have the chance to play in front of so many young people… I take a great pleasure, it’s a surprise and a pleasure… and I thank my God that I could do this!

It’s great to see some of the things that you’ve done as far as live performances�not just concerts but theatre events, operas, the global peace concert back in ‘92… do you still see yourself as primarily a musician? In some ways it seems like you’ve become more of an artist in the broad sense, a cultural force of sorts.

When I’m on stage, I’m a musician. More a musician than an artist. I have to be. But, I mean, when you start in a group, in a band, as a musician, it’s for the rest of your life. When you take an American star, like a Carlos Santana, no matter what you have going on in the front, they are still a musician in mind.

How do you feel about your relationship with the dance music world? It seems that you’ve moved away from dance at times, doing rock and doing more neo-classical music, but that you’ve never really turned your back on dance music as a whole…

Well, every few years I have a DJ who remixes or releases some of my old music, so the radio plays new stuff, but also, plays the old stuff with a new style, and the DJ puts me right on the floor where I have to be. For example, William Orbit made a remix in 1990, 1991 and then David Morales and Frankie Knuckles and so on, I mean there are so many DJs who have remixed my back-catalog, so no matter what, if I want to move from the style�and I say to you, I don’t want to move�the DJ kicks me in the… (laughs).

You don’t have a choice!

Yeah, and thanks, it’s perfect! Those guys make my life easier, so I don’t sound like a has-been!

Well I think you’ve combined enough looking back with looking forward that no one could accuse you of resting on your laurels or taking it easy…

Thank you!

But, looking back for a moment, what are some of your favorite or most memorable of your own releases?

Of my back-catalog, oh wow… I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I like I lot of it�starting from “Love in C Minor,” to “Got to Have Loving,” to “Supernature,” and so on… I like them all, they are my babies, if I can say that! I have to love my babies, you know? (Laughs)

How about your productions for other people?

If I made a production or a track for someone else, like Don Ray or Kongas or something like that, it’s still 75% myself, so, it’s still my baby! For example, for my last LP I composed 18 songs, and I know that I’m only going to use 12 or 14 songs for the record, so the other four songs are maybe going to go to someone else, but… I’m going to do something with it. Like, the Don Ray album�I had too many tracks for my album Supernature, and in the meantime, because Don Ray was my arranger for strings and brass, I said let’s make an LP for you�and we finished the LP together, but as I said, these are still my songs, my production�my babies!

What else are you listening to right now?

There is a lot. A lot, a lot of good music right now�I like a lot of R&B, I like also… the Madonna, I love the last Madonna!

How about when you started?

For strings, I got very influenced by Barry White, of course. And because I’m a drummer, I put the drums at the front on the mix. At the moment everybody told me, it’s crazy to have the drums up front, you have to remix that for the radio. But, to make sure that the record company isn’t going to remix my songs, I made it 60 seconds or a few minutes longer so that I was sure I’m not going to be played on the radio and no one is going to touch my mix!

Well, it worked out well for you and for the dancers as well…

Yes!

[Mallory O�Donnell]


October 13, 2006

Commune

When I was growing up, I wanted to live in a commune. Just to be in one building or a small area with all my friends nearby and everyone in constant touch with each other. Somewhere that didn�t foster as many inhibitions. It may seem like a cultish pipe dream now, but I really believed in it and felt I needed it, being yet another young person staring in the face of alienation. In one sense, this is what house and techno has been all about: supplying a refuge for the oppressed and frustrated through music and communion, creating insular families that share a vernacular with each other, and providing outlets for exploring both spirituality and sexuality. But in the same way, this close-knit circle cultivates a sort of distant, blurred elitism from the outside, which is not only daunting to dance neophytes (let alone general music fans), but also creates an intriguing and/or frustrating confusion as to how house and techno should be confronted and evaluated.

Part of my fascination with house music is these contradictions. Community and exclusion, sex and religion, the organic and the mechanical: all these factors are working off each other during the best DJ mixes, the best tracks, the best parties. The insularity of each little scene and sub-genre these days has made those transcendental moments seemingly more fleeting. I�ve gone to many minimal/techno nights where you�d think the DJ has contempt for any sense of humanity or motion in music, I�ve been to deep house clubs where the edgiest part of the night is deciding what color lounge chair to bring with me, and then there are nights where I�ve heard people frantically mix mash-ups with loud electro-rock until you get a headache stuck on one dynamic level. For me, the element that I often feel is missing in the music as well as the atmosphere is a certain �physical� component. It�s not necessarily something that�s overtly sexual, but one that gives off a vibe of kinship, while still challenging your comfort zone.

The two-sided coin of sexuality and spirituality is one that is becoming sorely underused in house and techno today. This idea fuels a great deal of Chicago House, where the soul could be redeemed through the body, where salvation and release often came from sexualized dancing and music. For the quintessential example of this, look no further than the seminal �Baby Wants to Ride� by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle, which is no doubt one of the most sexually explicit tracks to come from the era, but yet it opens with a prayer (�Now I lay me down to sleep��) and a message from God (�Jamie, it�s time to tell my people the truth, it�s time to tell them the revelation of my second coming.�) While there are plenty of sun-coated soul divas and foul-mouthed ghetto-tech impresarios, there are too few people with the rawness of Chelonis R. Jones, too few tracks that play up the sense of community and physicality that is such an essential part to dance music.

This is a scene from the end of the film Morvern Callar that really illustrates the divide I often feel on the dancefloor. There is a sense of comfort being surrounded by these likeminded people, but there is also a sense of individuality. The headphones Morvern wears stress a sense of alienation as well as a kind of mute rapture. This sense of being almost paralyzed by a multitude of emotions is something that comes over me often on the dance floor. The scent and sporadic taste of these feelings, no matter how divergent they are, is something I chase, and is one of the major factors that has endeared me to electronic dance music.

[Michael F Gill]


September 15, 2006

Charts: September 15 2006

Guest Chart: Troy Pierce

JPLS - Program [Minus]
Marcel Dettman � Radio [MDR 1]
Dapyak - Uma [Mo’s Ferry]
Andre Chrome - Bodenturen [Leftroom]
The Knife - Like a Pen (Heartthrob remix) [Rabid Records]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Konrad Black remix) [Minus]
Frankie - Hunt [Frankie Rec]
Acid Circus - Minimal Junk (Jason Emsley Remix) [Droid]
Reagen - Dirt [Unreleased]

Todd Hutlock
iO - Claire [Cheap]
Michael Ho - Frisky [Tuning Spork]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing Rainbow [Mobilee]
Octave One - DayStar Rising [430 West]
Los Hermanos - Freedom Dancer [Los Hermanos]
Donnacha Costello - 6.1 [Minimise]
M.I.A. - Schoolcraft Bump [Underground Resistance]
Marc Houle - Bay of Figs [Minus]
Miss Fitz - Plak Du Jour (Mossa Remix) [Archipel]
Dominik Eulberg - Bionik [Cocoon]

Cameron Octigan
Misc. - Among Thieves [Sender]
Silicon Teens - State of Shock [Mute]
Partly Clouded [Fucked]
Extrawelt - Doch Doch [Traum]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate [M_nus]
Dominion - The Light of Day [KK Records]
Heroin - Meaning Less [Gravity]
Coil - The Snow [Wax Trax!]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]
Troy Pierce (feat. Gibby Miller) - The Day After Yesterday [Items & Things]

Michael F. Gill
The Creatures - Believe In Yourself [Teldec]
Kasso � Walkmen [Rams Horn Records]
Evelyn �Champagne� King - Love Come Down [RCA]
Mystic Merlin - Just Can’t Give You Up [Capitol]
M.I.A. - Safe Night [Sub Static]
Max Berlin - Elle Et Moi (Joakim Remix) [Eighttrack Recordings]
Likwid Biskit - Sound Orgy [Dynamite Joint / People]
Baby Ford & Mark Broom - Bubble Bath [Pure Plastic]
Plaid � Squance [Warp]
Craig David - What�s Your Flava? (Akufen Remixes) [Wildstar/Atlantic]


September 8, 2006

Phantom/Ghost - Relax It’s Only a Ghost Versions

�Is this some kind of German joke?� So asked my significant other upon hearing the lyrics of the original from the next room. �Relax,� I said, �it�s only Phantom/Ghost.� Indeed, the lyrical content of Dirk Von Lowtzow and Thies Mynther is that strange mix of an incredibly earnest theme (love beyond death) delivered in casual, breezy English. Those who remember the climax of Michael Mayer�s masterful �Immer� mix will know the score. The effect here is something like �Frankie goes to the tundra,� sees a ghost, likes it, and takes it to bed. Here�s a lyrical sample: �Try to let it stay / Make it warm and say / Ectoplasmatic friends / Are well behaved.� Hmm. For those of you who can �relax� and enjoy the oddball vocal, this EP�s got a lot to offer, including remixes by the rising darkstars of Dial: Efdemin (here with Carsten Jost) and Pantha du Prince. Pantha�s mix is very much in the vein of his wonderful �Lichten/Walden� EP, but without quite the emotive force. The Efdemin/Jost version sounds much more Leaving the Frantic-era Sten, and is a nice mid-tempo tech-house track. Neither this nor the Pantha really manage to deal with the vocal properly though, and both might be better without it. The surprise winner here is the Raboisen mix, which sounds somewhere between Fennesz-esque digital fuzz (but tamed and taught to sing in 4/4) and Pantha�s older material. In fact, although it�s not directly credited, the vocal credits suggest this is a Pantha du Prince mix. It�s great.

Ladomat / LADO 17187-0
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


August 11, 2006

Hemmann & Kaden - Tandem EP

Ronan Fitzgerald: These guys are probably beyond the �one to watch� zone and are revelling in the green pastures of the arrivals field by now, and this 12� is further fuel to the fire of their growing popularity. You can curse the addictive melodies of dub infused emo house all you want, but there�s no denying that it is capturing the imagination of producers and fans quite effortlessly. And, for the moment at least, it remains pretty compelling, as the magical, melancholy �Roll in Moll� will attest. It�s got a bassline that is evocative of �Hand to Phone�-era Adult melting underneath some dreamy chords. Kompakt must wish they still released tunes like this. �Corroboree,� on the flip, is completely different, a good slab of bass heavy minimal house in the Mobilee/Einmaleins style.

Cameron Octigan: Opener �Roll in Moll� slides in a deep, arpeggiated Vitalic style before bringing in an unexpected electric piano that coaxes the track down from late night heights. The momentum and mood somehow remain straight-faced enough to bridge two seemingly different sound palettes; a restrained Pascal Arbez-Nicolas and a ravier Frankie Knuckles. With fewer layers, and greater attention paid to the percussive aspects, �Corroboree� brings the night closer to climax. Losing the heavy push towards harmony and anthemics, Hemmann & Kaden offer a track that is much, much different. By the time the song is over, there have been so many different ideas thrown on the wall that you�ll think Sally Field�s Sybil was behind it. Then again, if Sybil could make this, then I say let her go crazy.

Freude Am Tanzen / FAT 027
[Listen]


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