June 13, 2007

Audion - Noiser / Fred’s Bells

Since Beatz isn’t afraid of repeating itself, it’s worth pointing out that we really do think Audion is running neck to neck with sliced bread for what we prefer to gush over. We would feel totally justified doodling New Yorker comics where Matthew Dear (AKA Audion) gets to use the punchline “but I wrote Mouth to Mouth, bitch” in various settings in front of a Rothko, on top of the Sear’s Tower, or meticulously peed onto a wall in R. Kelly’s mansion. Dear’s recent releases and remixes have all but shown that he can turn water into wine, leap tall buildings in a single bound and even make the Chemical Brothers sound relevant again.

His latest two-sider will no doubt satisfy such high expectations. “Fred’s Bells” mumbles, slithers, and ties the bow with any narco-minimal heart in sight. The track’s boomerang effect, which generally defies the law of conservation, is as much about the competing basslines as the song’s loss of depth perception. “Noiser” returns to the dry-heaving and dry-humping jack that culminated in Suckfish. Set next to “Fred’s Bells,” though, it shows how Dears previous all-excess all-acid diet lead to the dreadful and desperate cul-de-sac of “how can I add even more?” Both with “Bells” and his recent string of songs, it sounds like he realized the question should’ve been “how can I make it sound like I’m adding even more?” It’s subtle, but important.

Spectral Sound / SPL-44
[Listen]
[Nate DeYoung]


June 3, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 22

Various Artists - Shut Up And Dance! Updated (Ostgut Tontrger)
Genre: Techno, Minimal/Deep

Richard Carnes: At a time of the year where everyones looking to individual artists for 2007s top electronic album, this release definitely shouldnt be swept under the carpet.

Crowdpleaser & St Plomb - 2006 Remixes 1 (Mental Groove)
Genre: Electro-House

Marco Resmann - Watercolour (Mobilee)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: In this case, its easy to visualise a blue wash like an Yves Klein canvas on an overcast afternoon right before dusk.

Booka Shade - Tickle (Get Physical Music)
Genre: Electro-House

Maximilian Skiba - Beginning (Eva)
Genre: Electro-House

Prinzhorn Dance School - Up! Up! Up! (DFA)
Genre: Indie-Dance

The Skull - Enter The Skull
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: “Sensuella” continues the run of apt track titles by paring things back a few notches, with a lonely lady being serenading by sine tones who appear to be telling us that the undead are holding her captive. Or she wants to be held. Or something.

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #35: Crambe Repetita

Mike Powell interviews Environ’s Kelley Polar
Todd Hutlock reviews Hot Chip’s DJ Kicks mix CD.
Peter Parrish reviews Colleen’s Les Ondes Silencieuses


May 18, 2007

Charts: May 18 2007

Peter Lansky

The Black Ghosts - Anyway You Choose To Give It (Extended Version) [Southern Fried Records]
Passions - Emergency [Kitsune Music]
Para One - Midnight Swim (Surkin Drowning Mix) [Institubes]
!!! - Must Be The Moon (Hot Chip Remix) [Warp]
Black Devil Disco Club - The Devil In Us (Dub Version) [Lo Recordings]
Herbert - Moving Like A Train (Smith & Hack Remix) [Studio !K7]
Booka Shade - Tickle [Get Physical]
Bjrk - Earth Intruders (Spank Rock Remix) [One Little Indian]
Lindstrm & Solale - Let’s Practise [Feedelity]
Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) [White]

Michael F. Gill

Andre Crom - Reiner Wahnsinn [Sender Records]
Shyza Minelli - Haunting Me [Tuning Spork]
Pablo Bolivar - The King Of My System (Phage & Daniel Dreier’s Whisper Mix) [MIS]
Ark & Mossa - Homme Sweat Homme [Complot]
Skream feat. Warrior Queen - Check It [Tempa]
Dee Scott - Irresistible [Electric Ice Records]
Scientist - Rids The World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires [Greensleeves]
Can - Soon Over Babaluma [Spoon/Mute]
Stephanie Mills - Sweet Sensation [20th Century Records]
Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy (Serge Santiago Version) [Catskills]


May 11, 2007

Charts: May 11 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Soft Cell - This Last Night in Sodom [Some Bizarre]
Mysterymen - Everything But an Answer [Disko B]
Brian Eno - Ali Click [Warner]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Sneak Thief - G-String Orchestra EP [Klakson]
Ilya Santana - Discotized [Permanent Vacation]
John Cale - All My Friends [EMI]
Move D - AC1D [Modern Love]
Doug Lazy - H.O.U.S.E. [Atlantic]
Junior Boys - In the Morning (Hot Chip Remix) [Domino]

Michael F. Gill
Voice Farm - Elevate [Systematic Records]
Asha Puthli - Right Down Here [Columbia]
Willow Band - Willowman [Epic]
Company B - Fascinated [Atlantic]
Tumblack - Caraiba [Island]
Marlow & Delhia - Movin’ (Marlow’s Movin Bassline Mix) [Moon Harbour Recordings]
Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Instrumental) [Environ]
John Daly - Sky Dive [Plak Records]
Burial - Unite [Soul Jazz]
Solomun & Stimming - Eiszauberv [Diynamic]


May 1, 2007

Junior Boys - Dead Horse EP

200712"TechnoIndie-Dance

A lot of people might say that the remix is nothing newand in a sense, theyre right. But what is new is the emphasis, and the excitement. Where in the old days a remix was a way of disco-nizing a pop hit or letting the studio heads show off their skills, these days, the remixes are often not only more anticipated (and fascinating when they do drop), but also a way of establishing connections between talented artists, and showing the points of condensation and digression among and between various mutations of music. Hot Chip (and the Knife, with less success) have grasped this shift in the logic of (re) release and presentation, driving completists mad with a vast array of remixes, many of which are offered with multiple colours on the cover art. Junior Boys were always the third in the holy trinity of highly rated electro-pop releases last year, but unlike the Knife and the Chip, this is only the Boys second remix EP, after 2006 gave us Smokes beautifully calming mix of In the Morning and Morgan Geists disappointing crack at The Equalizer. But herewow, talk about big guns oh no, did somebody say zeitgeist again?! Carl Craig, Kode 9, and Hot Chip all on the one piece of wax. So? Whats it like, you ask?

Well, fantastic, in a word. Fantastic, with a big but (Ill get to that). Hot Chip pull out all the stops here for a typically heart-strings yanking electro-pop anthem, adding (as they often do on their remixes) their own new lyrics over the top. The vocal harmonies of the original become a background choir, and in the front is a big, fat, and warm rave synth that drives the mix along. Like their wonderful version of Steve Malkmus Kindling for the Master, the group manages to not only add, subtract, or re-arrange, but to multiply the songs melodic elements into something wonderful, touching, and entirely new. Marsen Jules pop-ambient offering (for obvious reasons the least in-your-face of the bunch) is likewise a transformative effort that brings the originals vocals close to some of the work on Panda Bears great new album Person Pitch, with its own heart-on-sleeve remembrance of beaches and boys of yore.

Carl Craigs re-work reduces in order to enlarge (for the big room), turning Like a Child into Like a Bad Weekend. Its too easy a criticism to say its too long, but theres something not un but undersatisfying about the track here. Its definitely Carl Craig, but by the book, if not by numbers. Theres no button being pushed here that hasnt been pushed better, harder, and more passionately elsewhere. Kode 9s mix here brings us back to the grimy, alien/zombie-filled landscape of the dubstep imagination. No doubt Hardwax thinks this is the best mix (and it is neat) but its a whole lotta Kode 9 and very little of the Junior Boysis there any overlap between the black, paranoid, science-fiction imagination of Kode 9 and the white, floppy-boy romantic snow-borne sorrows of Junior Boys? That would be a negative. Ten Snakes mix goes for a spacey/italo/electro rendition, which jars with the other offerings here, though it does have its own discrete charms.

The big but after this long description is that, with the possible exception of Hot Chip, none of these admirable mixes comes close to the aching beauty of the original tracks. I finished listening to all these tracksand I just wanted to hear the album again.

Domino / RUG251T2
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


April 27, 2007

Charts: April 27 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Simple Minds - Theme From Great Cities [Virgin]
Stevie B - Party Your Body (Dub Mix) [Midtown]
Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day [EMI]
Boundzound - Louder (All Mighty Club Mix) [Universal Island]
Lopazz - Share My Rhythm [Get Physical Music]
Baby Oliver - Hypochondriac [Environ]
Mock & Toof - Black Jub [Tiny Sticks]
Kathy Diamond - The Moment [Permanent Vacation]
Hot Chip - Over & Over (Remixes) [Astralwerks]
Black Devil Disco Club - Black Sunshine [LoEB]
Plone - Plone EP [Warp]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Mysterymen - Everything But An Answer [Disko B]

Michael F. Gill
Kevin Reynolds Afrik [Todhchai Records]
Djosos Krost Earthball [Music For Dreams]
Bassed On Kyoto - Flower [Jet Set Records]
Kocky - Remone [Windsong]
Jasper Van’t Hof - Hoomba Hoomba [Virgin Schallplatten]
Voom:Voom - Best Friend / Sao Verought Remixes [G-Stone Recordings]
Akabu - Im Not Afraid of the Future (DJ Fudge Remix)
Chaim - Popsky / Under My Skin [Hifreaks]
Rene Breitbarth - Graveyard Swing One [Neopren Recordings]
Kraftwerk - Tour De France Soundtracks [Astralwerks]


April 13, 2007

Charts: April 13 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Pet Shop Boys - Back to Mine [EMI]
Hot Chip - DJ Kicks [Astralwerks]
Headman - It Rough [Gomma]
V/A - Trance-Europe Express, Vol. One [Volume]
Kathy Diamond - Over [Permanent Vacation]
George McRae - I Get Lifted (Mischief Brew Re-Edit) [OST]
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (12″ Mix) [EMI]
Herbie Hancock - Saturday Night (Beatconductor Disco Mix) [G.A.M.M.]
Inner Life - Make It Last Forever [Salsoul]
Bobby Davenport - Time (Has Come Today) [Flexx]

Michael F. Gill
Redshape - Dog Day [Millions Of Moments]
Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid - People Be Happy / Rhythm Dance (Audion’s Highlight Mix) [Domino]
Ferry Corsten - Beautiful (Original Mix) [Flashover Recordings]
Byron Burke - String Section [Maxi Records]
The Rurals - Mainbreak [Peng]
The KLF - Chill Out [Wax Trax]
Cherrelle - Fragile [Tabu]
Gary Low - You Are A Danger [Il Discotto]
George Aaron - Silly Reason [Full Time]
George LaMond - Where Does That Leave Love [Columbia]


March 2, 2007

Charts: March 2 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Trippy Disco - Frankfurt in Fifteen [Radius]
Maximilian Skiba - Apple of Disco EP [Terranova]
Chris Rea - On the Beach (Tangoterje Edit) [Balearic Biscuits]
Tackhead - The Game [4th & Broadway]
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch (Hot Chip Remix) [Island]
Galen - Playing Games [Utensil]
Evelyn “Champagne” King - Shame / Nobody Knows [RCA]
Shades of Love - Keep In Touch [Body to Body] (Instrumental Version) [Venture]
V/A - Music of Quality & Distinction, Volume One [Virgin]
V/A - Dirty Edits 2-5 [Dirty Edits]

Todd Hutlock
Andy Stott - Handle With Care [Modern Love]
Hkan Lidbo - This Looks Infected, Doesnt It? [Musick]
Porter Ricks - Scuba Lounge [Mille Plateaux]
Beck - Cellphones Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix) [Geffen]
Luciano - Keridos [Cadenza Split Composition]
Rod Modell Avionics [Echocord]
Cortney Tidwell - Dont Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Long Vox) [Ever]
JTC Trancender [Crme Organization]
tobias. Dial [Logistic]
Ace Frehley - New York Groove [Casablanca]

Michael F. Gill
San Proper & Tom Trago Catterpillar Butter Plus (Propers Mixdown) [Rush Hour Recordings]
Mark Broom Upside Down [Pure Plastic]
John Thomas Magic [Logistic]
Oaysis Incredible Bass (Slipmatt remix) [Vicious Vinyl]
Lopazz I Need Ya [Output]
George Demure Sister Valhalla [Tirk]
Keith Hudson Nuh Skin Up [Greensleaves]
Shackleton Blood On My Hands [Skull Disco]
Shed Well Done [Soloaction]
Steve Doesnt Drive Woman & Car [Did Records]


February 23, 2007

Hot Chip - No Fit State (Audion Remix)

Peter Chambers: Something must have happened to Matthew Dears head a year or two back, or the Audion part of it at least. Where his earlier work under the alias presented a swirling maelstrom of jacking techno that sounded exactly like the album covers seasick art suggested, the new Mouth to Mouth style tracks are like a wave that never breaks, pitching you further and higher as the ray gun noises hit you harder and rougher each time, only to pull back on the brink of each successive impact. Its a fresh approach thats bound to inspire imitators, but for the moment, Audion seems to have become a genre unto himself, and its a state of play that Dear appears to be really enjoying on this record. Its not quite the smasher that Mouth to Mouth proved it to be, but nonetheless, this is one big rollercoasting mo-fo of a track, with a slowly ascending/descending flanged scale that has absolutely nothing to do with the Hot Chip original, but is bound to drive the floor hog wildand isnt that the point? As a remix its a non-eventthe vocal is the only snippet to be retained from the bands versionbut as yet another example of Dears new accuracy with his ray-spitting bop gun, its a bulls-eye.

Mallory ODonnell: Perhaps I’m too in thrall to the original, but the buzz that this remix is getting in circles bloggy quite baffles me. In terms of creative restructuring and incorporation of select elements from the original, it’s technically excellentMatthew Dear completely reconfigures the song into a neo-tech shuffle with lots of blurting bottom end, crackling hiss and dry percussion. The vocals are a wispy spectre haunting the track at various points throughout, and the cavernous sustained note that drops several times is suggestive of a higher plateau. The only problem is we never get thereit comes in first at the four minute mark, then more often, but it only marks a dip in the energy level when it acts as nothing more than a precursor to slightly more excitable bloopery and drum paddling. I thought the point of architecture was to build something useful and beautiful.

EMI UK / 12EMDJ 715
[Listen]


February 2, 2007

Kathy Diamond - All Woman

200612"Neo-DiscoFunk

Peter Chambers: Maurice Fulton has been at it for quite a while, producing everything between trancey techno, house, dub-disco, electro pop, and jazztronic. Whats so striking though, aside from the effortless versatility of his productions and the musicianship and acute ear he brings to everything his touches, is how much he manages to excavate polished and personal sounding gems from tired genres. Like Hans-Peter Lindstrom, Fulton has a knack for generating space in his recordings. His instrumental versions add to the groove by subtracting clutter, following George Clintons edict that funk is what you dont play. This recent EP with Kathy Diamond sends him to the sparkling dub end of space disco, armed with slap bass, fruity keys and mad-isms. Like recent remix work for Hot Chip and !!!, this EP has got a sense of ease to it, and grooves along, propelled by a self-assured succession of reverbed claps, skittering bongos, and wiggling synths. The B-side gets you an instrumental version, which stands equal scrutiny with the vocal cut. Kathy or no Kathy, this is one of the biz most talented people, doing their best work.

Nick Sylvester: I first heard this on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space program a few weeks ago actually. Reminds me of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” though this night does actually last forever, if that makes sense: excessive slapbass, conga accents of the “afro-electro-disco-funk” variety, the heavily FX’d Wurlitzer rhythms, “I came, I saw, I conquered your heart,” etc. Plus Diamond, who is Sheffield-from but London-in at the moment, has legitimate pipes, none of the whispery quote-nave girlfriend-of-producer stuff that OK yeah I’ve come to like a lot too. Either way, this is a Maurice Fulton production, which means the bass kicks are taut, and the snare clacks and handclaps combine on the twos and fours just a millisecond out of sync. I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be before that multitracked vocal harmony breakdown goes from cheesy-irresistible to merely cheesy, but let’s be fair: not all Rufus breakdowns aged well either.

Permanent Vacation / PERMVAC 005-1
[Listen]


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