May 16, 2007

Solomun & Stimming - Feuer & Eis


Do you remember Chicago? No, not the city, I mean the Shuffle Inc tracks, with the wonderful Swag remixes. Surfacing in 2001 and doing the rounds with a lot of tech/house DJs for the next few years (including the second Tyrant compilation), the track had that wonderful pump, knock, and grind that Swag put into all their percussion. I mention the track (and Swag with it) only because hearing Feuer & Eis took me right back to the early 2000s, when minimal was still slippery and young, hitched by hyphens to house and techno, and didn’t seemed quite as fixed as it is now.

There’s that and, on the main track, something like a very synthetic version of Âme’s “Rej” – yes, strings, things, and anthem-potential. But there’s less pomposity to these fiddled arrangements (tapped out on midi-keyboards though they may be): more funk, and more swing. Guido Schneider seems like the perfect man for remix duties, given the click and tech-inflected house directions in play, but this track lacks the man’s usual polish and unmatched attention to detail and steals barely a bar of thunder from “Feuervogel”. But to me it’s the B that’s the heart-thief. Harking back to the early 2000s yet again, I’m reminded of moments on the defunct Classic records label, especially Brett Johnson’s “Here and Now” (whose stucco homes likewise appears on the aforementioned Tyrant comp). “Eiszauber” is a track with the lot – it’s gentle, playful, neatly structured, anthemic, whistleable – it’s got the loose swing of house and the dry clonk of continental tech-house records. You can never guarantee whether these kinds of tracks will blow up (I’m in two minds), but all the ingredients are here. Hit? Maybe. But definitely don’t miss.

Diynamic / DIYNAMIC006
[Peter Chambers]

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…


December 15, 2006

Locodice - Harissa

Peter Chambers: Maybe it’s the bodginess of my radar, but from a distant observer’s perspective, the rise and rise of Loco Dice seems as sudden as it is phenomenal: this guy has appeared to come from the margins as a DJ and producer to emerge as one of the key sculptors of the mnml microverse in eighteen months. Little wonder, given the material here. Hardwax’s oft-caned expression “long tripping”ť has found its true home with these four monstrously long shimmying and shimmering drumathons. It’s all percussion here, tuned percussion. Despite the emphasis on mesmeric melodies, every element in Dice’s tracks serves the groove. “Raindrops on my Window”ť and “A Chico A Rhytmico”ť (the standout) remind this listener of Guido Schneider’s productions, but purged of all their tricks and trapdoors. Here it’s all a slow evolution - a long road to nowhere, but one that should also work well in the mix and serve the inchoate philosophical statement that Cadenza seems to be stating again and again, with endless drums in their grooves and pretty flowers on their sleeves.

Nick Sylvester: This one seems a classic case of producer X having no clue what producers Y and Z (and A and B) are putting into their tracks, what structures they’re envisioning, what nutmeat is at the tracks’ cores, and then doing his best to approximate. Yeah, all four tracks here sorta sound like variations on the hollowed out “lots of peripheral percussion clouding around one barely-there synth-riff kinda-melody” that Villalobos and Luciano et al. were doing to acclaim the last two years, with all the slurps and ghostly flute flutters and clicks and squeaks and clatters, but none of these LD tracks have the right melody for the job. It’s either too bright and comfortable (”Raindrops On My Window”), too ethereal (”Vamos”) or too middling, too have-it-both-ways (”Paradiso”). The best wriggly tech-house (do we still say k-house?) has melodies that are either barely there or just so completely bizarre, so unpredictable, that they just work (e.g. Melchior’s “Different Places”). In fairness “Paradiso” isn’t half-bad, since the arpeggiating melody has this stringy timbre to it, and as the percussion grooves more obviously as the track progresses, LD also adds in a few extra sub-bass wrinkles to speed along the melody. Either way, there’s a cautionary tale aspect to this release, which is (a) the Compositional Stuff That Matters still actually matters, and (b) detailwork only takes one so far.

Cadenza / CADENZA 13

September 15, 2006

In the Mix: Nativespeaker [Peter Chambers]

36 Degrees Celsius (Possible Thunderstorm)

01. AM/PM – No Matter Whether [Dreck]
02. AM/PM – The Ends [11] [Dreck]
03. Lawrence – Teaser [Kompakt]
04. Carsten Jost – Krokus [Superpitcher mix] [Dial]
05. James DinA4 - ??? [Esel 03]
06. Luomo – The Right Wing [Force Tracks]
07. Oxtongue – Delight [Voight & Voigt mix] [Kompakt Pop]
08. Mark Henning – With the Folks [Freude am Tanzen]
09. Guido Schneider – Long Distance Runner [Pokerflat]
10. Dublee – Eleven [Mule Musiq]
11. Noon(at – 780km nach osten [Salo]

September 8, 2006

Charts: September 8 2006

Todd Hutlock
Shinedoe - Seek And You Will Find [100% Pure]
Ican - A Quien [Planet E]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral Sound]
Daniel Stefanik - Move Me (Guido Schneider’s Dark Side of the Moon Mix) [Moon Harbour]
Musical Science - Musical Science (Squelch Mix) [Sabres of Paradise]
Two Lone Swordsmen - Felt Under Pressure [Firewire]
Galaxy 2 Galaxy - Afros, Arps, and Minimoogs [Underground Resistance]
Spektrum - May Day (DJ T. Remix) [Spektrum]
Pier Bucci - Junk [Cocoon]
Dominik Eulberg - Der Buchdrucker [Traum Schallplatten]

Mallory O’Donnelll
Daso - Sam N Max [Conaisseur]
Booka Shade - In White Rooms (Mexico Mix) [Get Physical]
Kerrier District - Sho U Rite [Rephlex]
Kelis - Bossy (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix) [Virgin]
Arthur Russell - Springfield (DFA Remix) [Audika]
Justin Timberlake - Future Sex / Love Sounds [Jive]
Beyonce - Get Me Bodied (Remix) [Columbia]

Michael F. Gill
Lee Douglas – Same Changes [Rong]
Lindsay J & Sneak Thief – Open The Door (Imatran Voima Remix) [Mighty Robot]
Spice Girls – Holler (Masters At Work Remixes) [Virgin]
P’taah – Staring At The Sun (Atjazz Remix) [Ubiquity]
Demon vs Heartbreaker - You are My High [20000st]
Pete Shelley – Witness The Change (Dub) [Arista]
P. Lightfoot – The Drive [Recycled Records]
Patti Jo – Make me Believe In You [Scepter / Souljazz]
Alden Tyrell feat. Fred Ventura – Love Explosion ‘05 [Clone]
Carlton & The Shoes – Love Me Forever [Trojan]

August 11, 2006

Guido Schneider - Focus On

Berlin-based Guido Schneider’s first full-length is also the first in the new Focus On artist-album concept series on Poker Flat. The CD version features Schneider mixing his own recent tracks (including “Sideways,” his fab collab with Sammy Dee, remixes for Brtschitsch & Galluzzi and Daniel Stefanik, and singles on Poker Flat and Tuning Spork) into a seamless portrait of his recent work. The LP version features only the exclusive new Schneider cuts from the CD, which more than stand on their own. The prospect of an artist mixing all his own tracks may sound a bit lame, but when the grooves are as diverse as Schneider’s, it hardly matters. Schneider’s catalog has been consistently great, but presented together like this, it takes on a whole new weight and depth. Bravo to Poker Flat for the concept—who’s up next?

Poker Flat / PFR CD 17
[Todd Hutlock]

August 11, 2006

Shane Berry - Losttime EP

Berry’s new EP ‘starts from a sine wave’ and moves quickly in five directions. “Losttime,” the A-side, sounds somewhere between the growl and twitter of some of Gaiser’s recent tracks and a more purposive reworking of Villalobos’ “Bahaha Hahi.” It’s atmospheric, but its patterns never manage to come together, explode, or fall apart like the anticlimactic break keeps threatening they might, and as a result the track not only loses time, but energy. I kept expecting some of the sublime malfunctions of “Filtertet 2” to show up, but I ended up with two cans full of menacing stutter and a half smile. “Freed” is another beast altogether—the power of two tracks fused into a third. It starts off with a three-minute percussive intro not dissimilar to Guido Schneider in a bad mood or Alex Smoke in a good one. The track limbers up and morphs into an arpeggio driven builder that pounds and snarls its way toward dancefloor destruction. I’ll be damned if I didn’t find myself starting to dance on the train.

Trapez / Trapez LTD 046
[Peter Chambers]

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]