July 29, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 30

Jahcoozi - Reworks (Careless)
Genre: House, Leftfield

Tiger Stripes / Solomun - Hooked / Jungle River Cruise (Liebe Detail)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Nate DeYoung: It didn’t take too long until I realized that yes, once again, the sky must still be quite pink.

Social Being - Free Your Mind (Tuning Spork)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: The guitar part is like a memory, like the raw acoustic riffs struggling against the walls of digital feedback in Fennesz’ Endless Summer.

Turbo Crystal - French Girl (Tiny Sticks)
Genre: Leftfield, Neo-Disco

Luciano - Fourges et Sabres (Perlon)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: Luciano, unlike Guns n Roses (theres a first time for every comparison), has achieved that rare thing, a track which almost totally suspends the sensation of time passing, which thrusts you into a soundworld which is propulsive and immersive.

Socks and Sandals - Rishi Saturn (Microcosm)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Beatzcast #43: Crambe Repetita

Kevin J. Elliott reviews Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork

July 26, 2007

Social Being - Free Your Mind

A few weeks ago I reviewed a DJ Harvey remix of Michoacan with a very swampy, swirling, early-Funkadelic feel to it. This time, these “Social Beings” (aka Ricardo Villalobos and Jay Haze) have gone the whole hog and plonked Eddie Hazel’s amazing solo from “Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts” right onto their EP.

I tried doing this myself, years ago. If you haven’t heard the song, you should I think it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of music, well, ever. Full stop (or “period” as Americans say). So I got the solo and I chopped it in an editing program, and then I fiddled with it in Audiomulch for a few hours. No matter which way I mangled it, it was almost totally destroyed by the fiddling. It really wanted to be left alone. It didn’t want to be part of my silly loop orchestra. Nor did I.

I get the feeling that Jay & Ricardo realised this themselves, somewhere along the way. Villalobos has been sampling a lot lately, from his Floyd-cribbing number “Frank and Hennes” on that Bruchstuecke compilation a few years back to Fizheuer, the original version being found by some nerd and quickly blogged. With Fizheuer, Villalobos put the sample front and centre, making those horns rise out of the system like a revelation to machine-tired ears. But here, Hazel’s licks (and even the huge stream of feedback) are kept in the background, mostly unedited, in a gesture which seems to realise that the integrity of the original is best left alone. As it is, the guitar part is like a memory, like the raw acoustic riffs struggling against the walls of digital feedback in Fennesz Endless Summer.

Rhythmically, this is the straightest thing that both artists have released in a while; Haze’s influence recalls Villalobos to “808 the Bassqueen”-era patterns, and that ain’t no bad vibe. I’m tempted to think, in six months hence, Haze will brag in an interview that he wrote the whole thing (just like he did to Samim after the Fuckpony album). But hey, maybe he did for all I know. Anyhow, this EP is not quite the success it could be, given the confluence of talent and source material it marshals. All the same, it’s a very worthy, useful, and blissful track for the wrong side of the morning.

Tuning Spork / TSXTRA 001EP
[Peter Chambers]

July 6, 2007

Beatzcast #40: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from Ricardo Villalobos and Jay Haze, Luciano, Get Physical, and My Best Friend…

01: Piemont - Sick Certificate [buy]
02: Riley Reinhold - Lights in My Eyes (Patrice Bumel Mokum Rmx) [buy]
03: Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Grillen Im Park [buy]
04: Gluhen 4 - The World Of… [buy]
05: Kramer - Sonne Ist Da [buy]
06: Social Being - Free Your Mind [buy]
07: Luciano - Back to Front [buy]
08: Half Hawaii - Mir Nichts [buy]
09: Phonique feat. Erlend Oye - Casualties [buy]

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May 31, 2007

The Skull - Enter The Skull


Im so happy Mikael Stavstrand has stuck at it. After contributing to one of the most lastingly appealing clicks/cuts releases with 2001s “Reduce” (man, that was six years ago now), Stavstrand has gone on to “enlarge”, albeit subtly and slowly into something of a techno producer, retaining the lust for the little sound that imbued his earlier work, but sending things kicking and clicking out into the big night with dry overtones and a bassdrums irrefutable need to dance all night.

Enter the Skull has all the hallmarks of Stavstrands productions but is equally well-placed on Kindisch, with a fat, housed-up feel that’ll have the Jay Haze lovin booty heads juddering and bawling on the floor (in a nice way). “All you Booty Shakers” is the Fuckponiest of the cuts here, even featuring a gratuitous vocal urging you to, guess what, shake your body. “Keep it Moving” adds some disturbing/exciting garbles that sound like the demons in Quake did (a nerd confesses) as well as a massive, evil-sounding flange that attacks just as you start to get comfy with the hellbeast groans in the intro. Just as the undershot jaws and horns are getting too much, “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. “Soundclash” features yet another prisoner of Stavstrands minion-conjuring plugins, and, like the A1, sounds a lot like a Fuckpony record. And thats not a bad thing. Theres no big track here, but this is still a useful weapon for any micro/mnml leaning DJs who want to add lots of tooth, horn and (of course) skull to their boompty.

Kindisch / KINDISCH 006
[Peter Chambers]

December 8, 2006

Luciano - For Disco Only

Luciano is an artist with three faces; his work either aims at melodically rich kaleidelectro pop [as on the marvellous Capricciosa EP on Bruchstuecke], epic mnml on Cadenza, or slamming, stripped back, percussive techno business on his live and DJ releases. This For Disco Only release, as the name suggests, falls into the third category, and is some of his best work in ages in this mode. The A-side is a long, tripping, rolling batteria of drums with a lightly placed female vocal, care of Mercedes Sosa. Its not nearly as dramatic as his mix of Salif Keitas Yamor, but it has a wonderful playability and the same bouncing drumfunk that distinguishes his studied, careful minimalism from the lazy Abeltonitis of other less talented producers. The B-side adds a great male vocal [ed. note: from Pharrell!], this time with strong soulful house overtones and a slight hip-hop sensibility, a little like Jay Hazes Soul in a Bottle set adrift and swinging its way toward Santiago. This being a bootleg, availability might be an issue, but if you can get your hands on a copy, youd be well advised. This is the goods.

For Disco Only / 430 U
[Peter Chambers]

November 3, 2006

Justus Khncke & Dirk Leyers - An Ounce of Memories

If you were silly enough to pay money for Kompakts latest overblown mediocrity (Total 7), your listening adventure would have begun with a wonderful understatement: Dirk Leyers and Justus Khnckes magnificent Grey Skies to Blue, a track which evoked the spirit of classic melodic minimalism that made both Kompakt veterans previous gems like Maria, Departures, 2 After 909, and Jet so outstanding. Heres more of the same/difference, but with vocals. Releasing the EP with an instrumental and vocal version of the same track seems to suggest three things: that the track is strong enough to stand on its own; that both versions offer a unique listening experience; that people will either definitely want OR not want to hear An Ounce of Memories with its vocal. Fact is, the track does stand on its own without the vocaldoes that make it extraneous? In instrumental form, An Ounce of Memories conjures that wonderful open sky feeling that Leyers pulls from his mesmeric melodies. Its harder to hear Khnckes sound signature, or at least, Leyers contribution bleeds the cheese out of Justus disco, leaving a whimsical, light-minded tug that pulls the track into the light. With Eric D. Clarks (Whirlpool Productions) vocal added, we get a pale version of Jay Hazes wonderful Soul in a Bottle or Schwarz, Ame, and Dixons Where We At, leaving these heartstrings thoroughly untugged.

Firm / FIRM 20
[Peter Chambers]

October 20, 2006

Beatzcast #8



01: Azzido Da Bass - Lonely By Your Side
02: And Again - Thirty-One Times
03: John Tejada - The End of it All
04: Dirt Crew - Domino
05: Jay Haze - Soul in a Bottle
06: Melchior Productions - Different Places

October 20, 2006

Jay Haze feat. Big Bully and Sven VT - Soul in a Bottle


Haze is one of those producers whose persistence and willingness to experiment promises to yield occasional gems and eventual masterworks. His compositions, with an emphasis on atmospheric space juxtaposed with interestingly used vocals and well programmed, slightly off-kilter beats have created floor friendly dubspaces and murky pearls for Karloff, 240 Vaults, and his own Contexterrior imprint. Soul in a Bottle sees all these formative elements in full-flightthe tension between playfulness and sincerity is brushed smooth and shiny, and the huge kick, interesting static and incidental sounds lend a marvellous opening for the hypnotic three keys from Chicago melody that carries the wonderful vocal, which seems to float over it all. Following Holger Zilke and Dave Dks great Midishower EP reviewed last week, this one is thoroughly ecstatic, summer sunshine music, skillful enough to give the headz goosebumps and make the pretty girls yelp delightfully. The irony of the EP is that even, as the lyrics suggest, you cant put soul in a bottle, it seems like, occasionally, it finds its way frozen into the scratched surface of records.

Kindisch / KD 002
[Peter Chambers]

October 6, 2006

Charts: October 6 2006

Guest Chart: Steve Bug, Poker Flat

Extraproduktionen - Subgreen (Arto Mwambe Mix) [Brontosaurus]
Ian OBrien - Totally Alright (Martin Buttrich Mix) [Virgin]
Ben Westbeech - So Good Today (Yoruba Soul Mix) [Brownswood]
Das Bierbeben - Alles Fllt (Losoul Mix) [Shitkatapult]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innercity Visions]
Cle & Mike Vamp - Maisonette (All Mixes) [Dessous]
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Mix) [Mobile]
Dan Berkson & James What - Mescalincircus [Poker Flat]
Abe Duque - When The Fever Breaks [Abe Duque Records]
Studiogemeinschaft - Employee [Treibstoff]

Todd Hutlock
Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew [Clink]
Ricardo Villalobos - Bach to Back [Playhouse]
Markus Nikolai - Bushes (Freaks In Outer Space Dub) [Perlon]
Jay Haze - Change Something (Pier Bucci Remix) [Contexterrior]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Dominik Eulberg Remix) [Trapez LTD]
Anthony Shakir - Sermon [Sublime]
Justin Martin & Sammy D - Swamp Thang (Claude VonStroke Swamp Rat Mix) [Dirtybird]
Kenny Leaven - Feeling Spicy [Traum]
Alexi Delano & Xpansul - Vegetotherapy [Plus 8]
Davidovitch - Insider [Kompakt]

Ronan Fitzgerald
Gummihz - Isolate (Sebo K Remix) [Mobilee]
Solieb - Isotropy (Lazy Fat People Remix) [Maschine]
Rekorder - 6 [Rekorder]
Jens Bond - Rocket Queen [Highgrade]
Stefan Goldmann and Ame - Sleepy Hollow Version [Innervisions]
Argenix and Samim - Sabor EP [Tuning Spork Family Affair]
Anja Schneider - Addicted (Gummihz Mix) - [Mobilee]
Juergens - Love It [Room Recordings]
Shonky - Closer To Pluton [Resopal Red]
Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Disconnect EP [Ostwind]

Mallory ODonnell
Lindstrom - Arp She Said [Smalltown Supersound]
Erasure - Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day) (Fingers In Crumbs) [Mute]
Peru - Oriental [Red Bullet / Compost]
Tetine - A Historia De Garca [Soul Jazz]
Dexter Vs. Cosmic Force - Drum Techniek [Marguerita ]
Sneak Thief - Body Militia [Voltage Musique]
Underworld Cowgirl [Junior Boys Own]

Michael F. Gill
Pinktronix Booty Sez (Juho Kahilainen rmx) [Elettrica]
The It - Donnie (Ron Hardy mix) [DJ International]
Public Energy - Three ‘O Three [Probe Records]
Ministry - I Wanted to Tell Her [Arista]
George Clinton - Erotic City [Fox Records]
Contemporary Household She Said (Toktok remix) [Bomzh]
XR7 XR7 [Quality Records]
Galaxy Dancing Tight [Island/Ensign]
Sven Weisemann Slices [Liebe Detail]
Ginny - Can’t Be Serious [VM Records]

May 19, 2006

Fuckpony - Ride the Pony

Ronan Fitzgerald: Thankfully, Fuckponys Ride The Pony ends up being everything that Fill Me Up is not. Its sexier, more raw, and it actually bothers to mix its retro elements with 00s house music feeling. The title track is burbling in a Classic Records style, with a vocodered vocal thats a perfect string of rhyming Trax records clichs. But its Cell Phone Hit that steals the show. On Tuning Spork, Jay Haze and Samim have been flirting with the idea of ditching the minimal and making a record this garish and sleazy for some time. Theres no doubt Get Physical is pretty much the label for interesting pop-art-techno fusions these days, but it really must be done with some imagination otherwise its not worth the effort.

Nate De Young: Caros My Little Pony apparently sewed the seeds for the latest genre fad: prurient-pony-house. Jay Haze and Samim Winigers latest on Get Physical extends the wink-nudge of Caro, pairing a cartoon-western landscape cover with the title Ride the Pony. The title track is everything your heart and loins desire, with a beckoning diva and a backing track that gains velocity throughout the song. Just in case you were confused about the songs title, Fuckpony include found-sound of a guy peddling ridesand yes, its totally necessary. Cell Phone Hit might be no less salacious (e.g. I got to get inside ya), but both B-sides maintain the propulsion of the title cut. If this is an attempt to brand the pony as a sex symbol, Fuckpony didnt forget to bring the tattooing iron.

Get Physical Music / GPM 044

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