December 1, 2006

Substance & Vainqueur - Surface / Immersion

200612"TechnoDub

Colin James Nagy: In terms of sound and style, there’s nothing particularly new or groundbreaking here, and that’s fine by me. The tried-and-true formula of Basic Channel-style dub techno doesn’t get old to these ears, and this instalment on Scion-seen as a successor to the Chain Reaction imprint-consists of two impossibly deep constructions created from a restricted palate of sounds. Per the style of the sub-genre, there are no clearly defined tones (i.e. discernible hi-hat) in the sound field, but rather everything is blurred together in a wet, spinning haze. “Surface” is the more up-tempo of the two tracks on the release, anchored by a deep, driving kick and space-echo drenched static clips and tones. On the flip, “Immersion” is absolutely essential. It is much more dynamic, building into a swirling crescendo with pointed, golden synth stabs and a bass line that keeps driving deeper and deeper then you thought it could possibly head.

Peter Chambers: There’s a rumbling about in the dubbier parts of the Berlin techno underground: first the See Mi Yah remixes, then the recent Monolake “Alaska Melting” reworks, and now this puppy. Are we witnessing the productive rebirth of Basic Channel, or perhaps even a new sound alliance between the deepest of minimal techno and the maturing dubstep sound? Ren Lwe and Peter Kuschnereit may still be preoccupied with “nothing much,” but what a wonderful “nothing much!” Ten years on, and nobody (except the rest of the Basic Channel crew) produces dub techno that sounds so beautiful, deep, and timeless. Working with the barest of palettes and the sharpest of ears, the duo have here managed to blend Vainquer’s sound (which tends to a liquidity, the sound equivalent of a pint of Guinness slowly developing on the bar) and Substance’s clangier, mineral/metallic tone palette. The audible result is another two pieces of time-and-space conquering heaven, the very essence of techno stripped of all its tinsel and glowsticks. Amazing, once again.

Surface / Immersion
Scion / SV 01

[Listen]


July 28, 2006

Charts: Best of 2006 (so far)

Ronan Fitzgerald

Loco Dice - Seeing Through Shadows [M_Nus]
Duoteque - Amyra [Boxer Sport]
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler [Dirty Bird]
Gummihz - The First Time [Mobilee]
Fuckaponydelic - Switch on the Light [White]

Michael F. Gill

Albums
Luciano - Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Volume 2 [Soma]
Kiki - Boogybytes Volume 1 [Bpitch Control]
TBA Empty - Stupid Rotation [Max Ernst]
Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener [Monika]
Herbert - Scale [!K7]

Singles / EPs
Sasse - Loosing Touch [Moodmusic]
Italoboyz - The Titty Twister [Einmaleins]
Chelonis R Jones - Deer in the Headlights Remixes [Get Physical]
Escort - Starlight [Escort]
Soulphiction - Masai Mara [Philpot]

Todd Hutlock

Albums
Magda - Shes a Dancing Machine [M_nus]
V/A - Interstellar Fugitives 2: The Destruction of Order [Underground Resistance]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Booka Shade - Movements [Get Physical]
Alex Smoke - Paradolia [Soma]

Singles / EPs
Jeff Mills - Natural World [Purpose Maker]
Audion/Ellen Allien - Just a Man/Woman [Spectral Sound]
Troy Pierce - 25 Bitches [Vols. 1 and 2] [M_nus]
DJ T vs. Booka Shade - Played Runner [Get Physical]
Sleeparchive - Radio Transmission [Sleeparchive]

Colin James Nagy

Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs [City Centre Offices]
Burial - Burial [Hyperdub]
Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck/Peace Offering [Wagon Repair]
The Knife - Silent Shout [Rabid]
DJ Koze - Kosi Comes Around Remixes Part 1 [Kompakt]

Mallory ODonnell

Albums
The Knife - Silent Shout [Brille/Mute]
Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb - 2006 [Mental Groove]
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Orchestra of Bubbles [BPitch Control]
Fuckpony - Children of Love [Get Physical]
Hot Chip - The Warning [DFA/Astralwerks]

Singles / EPs
Fred Falke - Omega Man [Work It Baby]
Sneak Thief - The Hollow Land [Creme Organisation]
Christopher & Raphael Just - Popper [Kitsune]
Lindstrom - Another Station [Feedelity]
Morgan Geist - Raremix [Environ]

Cameron Octigan

Gabriel Ananda & Cio D’or - Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Adam Beyer - Stereotypes [Cocoon]
Gui Boratto - Like You [Supermayer Remix] [Kompakt Pop]
Loco Dice - Orchidee [M_nus]
Misc. - Tanz Der Polymere [Hemmann & Kaden Remix] [Sender]

Nick Sylvester

01. The Knife Silent Shout [Rabid]
02. Delia & Gavin Relevee (DFA Remix) [DFA]
03. Belong October Language [Carpark]
04. Herbert Something Isnt Right [!K7]
05. Excepter Alternation [5RC]


July 14, 2006

Lemon8 - Model8

Reanimation1990s12"TechnoAcid

It shouldnt come as much of a surprise to find this acid techno classic from the golden age of the genre reissued by none other than Richie Hawtin himself, as the track was a regular feature of his own DJ sets back in the day and was even included on the X-Mix-3 mix CD that he released with Plus 8 partner John Acquaviva back in 1994. Hawtins one-man revival campaign (see the last few reissues on Plus 8 for evidence, including Baby Ford + Eon, Link, and even Teste, originally released on his own Probe imprint) may be the result of a feeling of nostalgia or a longing for the good old days but it is sure making for some damn fine records to be rescued from obscurity.

Model8 was an early single from the aptly named Dutch producer and DJ Harry Lemon and you can hear the early Plus 8 sound all over its grooves. The classic drum pattern, bouncing bass riff, and especially the smashed-to-hell hi-hats might sound a bit dated now, but an enterprising DJ could likely still work it into a set. The original mix builds in layers to a big breakdown about halfway through before really letting fly with the acid/percussion madness. All well and good, but its the remix on the flip that is the real killer. It sounds infinitely more modern, with its stripped-down percussion attacks and positively HYOOOOOGE build-ups and breakdowns clearly prefiguring where Hawtin was going with F.U.S.E. and later with Plastikman. A massive, floor-filler of a record that isnt quite ready to be retired yet.

Basic Energy / ENERGY 103-5
Plus 8 / PLUS8089
1993 / 2006
[Todd Hutlock]


July 12, 2006

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill - “Blue On Blue”

Mixes2006House

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As summer begins and the sweat rings begin to glow off of my forehead, I find myself drifting towards the hazy melancholy and organic warmth of deep house instead of the chill of minimal techno and electro. This mix reflects these thoughts and feelings…

01 Dubtribe Sound System - We Used To Dance (Intro) - Imperial Dub 1996

A short string intro from a track that appears later on the mix, DSS tell us about their first time they heard house music in San Francisco (”That’s a long story,” they say, but manage to tell in like forty seconds,) recalling a faithful night that Doc Martin switched from an all hip-hop set to four on the floor…

02 Quentin Harris - Let’s Be Young (Trackheadz Remix) - NRK Sound Division 2005

I first heard this at one of the last deep house nights in Boston and was pretty transfixed by the beauty of the string lines compared to over-the-top synthetic horns, which apparently are straight from a preset in Apple’s Garageband. The Trackheadz remix removes most of the trumpet excess to focus back on the yearning violins.

03 Club Artists United - Sweet Chariot (Dramatic Dub) - Nervous 1998

Ending this opening string trio is Kerri Chandler’s mix of “Sweet Chariot,” a complete reworking of the diva-ish original into a, err…dramatic dub. I found this 12″ in Brooklyn’s secondhand shop Junk, where the amount of used Strictly Rhythm and Nervous records in the bin can make one’s head spin.

04 Aqua Bassino - I’m A Believer - F-Communications 2006

Now over to Scotland for the stand out cut on Aqua Bassino’s 2006 album “Rue De Paris,” a rather urgent vocal cut with breathy falsetto that seems to aim for Prince or even Jamie Lidell, but ends up sounding a bit more like George Michael. The lush production and vocoder echoes are just barely able to keep the tumultuous song from becoming overwrought.

05 Justin Martin - The Sad Piano (Charles Webster Remix) - Buzzin’ Fly 2004

First of two entries from the slightly underrated Buzzin’ Fly label, run by Ben Watt (of Everything But the Girl.) A simple gliding bassline and three echoing chords are able to transcend the rather mundane song title and blend rather well with the bassline for the next track…

06 Sublevel - Just Us - White Label 2002

…which happens to be Sublevel’s “Just Us,” one of the few original productions from Doc Martin, originally on white label and then later appearing on his own Fabric 10 compilation. Immersive and aquatic enough that you might be able to sneak it into a minimal mix, it’s perplexing why the good Doc doesn’t release more of this!

07 Chuck Love - Set Me Free (Festival Mix) - Vista 2005

Most of the stuff I’ve heard from Chuck Love has been a straight up purist garage/deep house, but this dubbed out remix from last year is one of the better things I’ve heard from him. Also, you’d never guess from the lead vocals that he’s a skinny white guy from Minnesota and not a black man from the ‘hood.

08 Justin Harris - Hangerang - Paranoid Music 2006

One half of London’s duo/record label Music for Freaks, Harris’ latest single takes inspiration from the golden era of Chicago house, with some pitched down trippy vocals (reminiscent of Sleezy D’s “I’ve Lost Control” or a number of Phuture tracks,) and those melodic keyboard drones which were used so much by producers like Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson that anytime I hear them I relate it back to the Windy City. This track is also notable for its high amount of beatless breakdowns, and the moments when Harris’ British accent slips into the mix.

09 Johnny Dangerous - Beat That Bitch (Mr. V’s Sole Channel Mix) - Nite Grooves 2006

Mr. V did two remixes of Johnny Dangerous’ “Beat That Bitch,” (which became a club hit despite its blatant misogyny) and they sit on opposite sides of the pole. This mix removes the famous chant and adds some falsetto and minor-key keyboards to actually make things sound pretty. You could even play it for your Mom. His other mix, however, is somehow even more misogynistic than the original, with a series of phone messages detailing a party where everyone will get together and practice the song title on other party members. I threw up after it was over, played “Pink Hearts Yellow Moons” by Dressy Bessy, and got on with my life.

10 Angie Stone - Brotha (DJ Spen Remix) - Arista 2002

First heard on the Eskimo 4 compilation, one of the many great mixes by The Glimmer Twins, I can imagine “Brotha” being a bit too neo-soul for some people, but DJ Spen’s remix works a treat for me, especially because of the unexpectedly great juxtaposition of church-style organ with a sleazy, staccato guitar lines that could come right out of a porno.

11 Peven Everett - I Can’t Believe I Loved Her - Nite Grooves 2002

Probably Peven’s signature tune, released back when it was actually possible to keep up with this Chicago producer’s constant influx of home made releases. It’s too bad he hasn’t dabbled in house as much as he has in lo-fi soul and funk, but I have to say he’s still one of my favorite underground soul producers/songwriters at the moment.

12 Dubtribe Sound System - We Used To Dance (Muzique Tropique’s Glasgow Funk Mix) - Imperial Dub 1996

The original “We Used To Dance” is a bit of a dire tech-house track with lyrics that don’t amount to more than just another nostalgic, “back in the day, everything was so much better” track. Muzique Tropique’s funk remix is a big improvement though, with a wild and indulgent wah-wah solo that unfortunately ends too soon, just before it gets hallucinatory. I edited out the half-interested vocals which just seem to impede the entire flow of the track.

13 Wildmoos - Waldohreule - Crippled Dick Hot Wax 2005

A one-off from the two members of Sonar Kollektiv’s Slope with Crippled Dick’s chairman Toni Schifer, “Waldohreule” was recorded in ‘03 but never released until ‘05, when it found a place on Crippled Dick’s compilation “Basscheck.” A improvisational jam with a stiff Maurice Fulton-esque bassline, retro synths, and snippets of random party chatter make this an oddball floor-filler.

14 Vincenzo - Peace Is Not The Word To Play (I:Cube’s Vocopop Muzak Mix) - Dessous 1998

Deep house meets filter disco. Does anything else need to be said?!

15 3 Chairs - I Wonder Why - Three Chairs 2004

3 Chairs are the Detroit supergroup of Kenny Dixon Jr. [Moodymann], Rick Wilhite, Theo Parrish, and Marcellus Pittman, although sometimes its hard to tell who’s collaborating with who on each track. The low key “I Wonder Why” sounds like it could’ve been pulled from one of Theo Parrish’s Ugly Edits, with a faded soul vocal snippet riding on a steely-eyed kick drum. Parrish and Dixon may have done this type of track a hundred times, but I’ve yet to hear many who better their approach.

16 Lephtee - So Far Back (The Nova Dream Sequence Remix) - Buzzin’ Fly 2006

Closing things with this gorgeously lush remix from the latest Buzzin’ Fly 12″, which reworks the sparse, droney original into a tense, exhausted epic of Detroit proportions.


June 16, 2006

Charts: June 16 2006

Todd Hutlock
Fraktion - Nebokki [Resopal Red]
Alex Under - El Encuentro [M-nus]
Bodycode - Bounce Back [Spectral Sound]
Trefa - 77 Hz [Mission 6277]
Jeff Mills - The Clairvoyant [Purpose Maker]
Gerald Mitchell - Bellydancer [Motech]
The Martian - Tobacco Ties [Red Planet]
Shane Berry - For a Moment [Trapez LTD]
Alex Smoke - Snider [Soma]
Baby Ford & Zip - Morning Sir [Perlon]

Cameron Octigan
Gabriel Ananda & Cio Dor Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Patrick Chardronnet Eve by Day [Connaisseur Recordings]
Delia & Gavin Relevee (DFA Remix) [DFA]
Loleatta Holloway Love Sensation [Salsoul]
Adam Kroll - Stalker [Traum Schallplatten]
Nerk und Dirk Leyers Monster One [My Best Friend]
Rekid Nite [Soul Jazz]
Remute & Riley Reinhold Polyester [My Best Friend]
Shift Roller Rink Funk [P&P Records]
Unlimited Touch I Hear Music in the Streets [Prelude]

Michael F. Gill
Jimmy Ross - First True Love Affair [Full Time]
Answering Service Call Me Mr. Telephone [Third Label]
V/A Background 50 [Background]
Auto Repeat - Auto Disco (Soundhack Remix) [Lazycuts]
Susumu Yokota Siva Dance [Skintone/Lo Recordings]
Angie Stone Brotha (DJ Spen Remix) [Arista]
Justin Harris Hangerang [Paranoid Music]
Irakere Siete Tazas De Caf [Escondida]
Kissing The Pink Big Man Restless (Extended Mix) [Magnet]
Janet Kay Silly Games [Solid Groove/Trojan]


June 2, 2006

Charts: June 2 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
Eve Massacre - When Silhouettes Cry
Cassie - Just Friends
Christopher & Raphael Just - Popper ft. Fox N’ Wolf
The Flirts - Passion
Gabriel Ananda - Ihre Personliche Glucksmelodie (Freeform Five Remix)
Adam Sky - Ape-X
Prince - Cindy C (Jaksoul’s Basilika Edit)
Momus - Lord of the Dance
Rekid - Retroactive

Todd Hutlock
Tres Demented - Shez Satan
Troy Pierce - 25 Bitches (Matt Johns 25 Pitches Remix)
James Cotton - Oochie Coo
Kid 606 - Pretty Girls Make Raves EP
DJ 3000 - Ancestors (Fabrice Lig Remix)
Audio Werner - Trust
Loco Dice - Menina Brasileira
Mr. Motech - Merchants of Identity
DJ Rolando - Jaguar (Mayday Dub)
Osborne - Bout Ready to Jak (Shakes Mix)

Cameron Octigan
Gabriel Ananda & Cio D’or - Lauschgoldengel
Can - I’m So Green
Cluster & Brian Eno - Hollywood
Luomo - The Present Lover
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler
Skyy - Let’s Turn it Out
John Tejada - The End of it All
Satoshi Tomiie - Glow (Spirit Catcher Remix)
Alden Tyrell - Knockers
Zongamin Spiral

Nate De Young
Auto Repeat - Auto Disco (Soundhack remix)
Giorgio Gigli - Geometrik Forms EP
Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom - Revelee (Carl Craig Remix)
Audio Werner - Trust
Unai - A Love Moderne
Skull Disco - Shackleton
Tolga Fidan - Now I’m Weak
Anja Schneider - Lily of the Valley

Michael F. Gill
J.M. Silk All in Vain
Band of South Sensitive
Ron Trent Altered States
Karen Young Deetour
SCSI-9 On the Edge
Remute & Riley Reinhold Polyester
Gary Low I Want You
Swingle Sisters Aria
Mark Conner - I Got Eyes
Franz Ferdinand Im Your Villain (Lindstrom Extended Mix)


November 17, 2005

Golden Red - Hotel Mandatory

Sub Statics fiftieth release comes in a special golden sleeve, a change from their usual gray. The label couldnt find a more appropriate act to bring in the anniversary than rising star Golden Red, whose Sub Static output has been utterly solid thus far. Things dont change here: Water Damage is a smoldering track, merging a healthy dose of techno to an acidic bassline. Its Mildews that stars here, though. That track slithers along, eventually coming out the other side of its initial debt to classic Detroit wearing Plastikmans clothes. Not a bad celebration

Sub Static / sus_50
[Todd Burns]


April 28, 2005

Golden Red - Falling Sickness

Falling Sickness gets the sound it’s looking for about two minutes in when it enters its second portion and the bottom falls out, only to reveal another more massive layer. I wasnt entirely sold on how the original track is grafted back on top, until the off-beat anchors locked into place and the bass started to get even heavier. Its not quite electro-house, but its damn close. Dropsy is unrepentantly electrohouse, though, and doesnt make apologies. Todd Edwards cut-ups merge with a straight banging track to make even the limpest dancer get jacking a bit. Recommended.

Sub Static / sus_45
[Todd Burns]