June 22, 2007

Beatzcast #38: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from DJ Koze, the Wighnomys, and Glass Candy, as well as new tunes from Mobilee, Cocoon, and Vakant…

01: DJ Koze - Cicely [buy]
02: Portable - Don’t Give Up (Lawrence Remix) [buy]
03: Keytronics Ensemble - Calypso of House (Julien Jabre Remix) [buy]
04: Stephan Bodzin vs. Marc Romboy - Callisto [buy]
05: Glass Candy - Miss Broadway (Belle Epoque) [buy]
06: Wighnomy Brothers - Guppipeitsche [buy]
07: Onur Özer - Halikarnas [buy]
08: Tolga Fidan - Venice [buy]
09: Marcin Czubala - Consigliere [buy]
10: Loco Dice - El Gallo Negro [buy]

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May 19, 2006

Serials: The Disco-tech of…

This time: The Disco-tech of… series from France’s Yellow Productions; home and launching pad for Kid Loco, Dimitri From Paris, and Bob Sinclair.

The Disco-tech of…Julien Jabre (2003)
Still the only CD with Julien’s name on it, it is also the most diverse entry in the series so far, ranging from jazzy fusion, to disco and deep house, with little emphasis on the “tech.” To be honest, Jabre dangerously flirts with samba-ish cocktail jazz and velvety vocal house throughout, but through excellent mixing and sequencing, he does manage to hold interest way longer than, say, Thievery Corporation. Besides bookending the mix with a snippet of Philippe Sarde’s tumultuous score to “Les Choses De La Vie,” and including the extended version of Carl Craig’s epochal “Domina,” there’s little to interrupt the lush keyboards, round edges, and accomplished arrangements of each track here. And while it’s surprising to hear anonymity coming from tracks by such heavyweights as Herbie Hancock and Marvin Gaye, it’s good to see a mix that gives the smoother, classier side of jazz, disco, and house music a more respectable (if completely un-hip) name.

The Disco-tech of…DJ Cosmo (2003)
Veteran NYC/London resident Collen Murphy (aka DJ Cosmo) isn’t as well-known as Jabre or Robotnick, so here’s a short resume: she runs the label Bitches Brew, is a member of that forgotten Playhouse supergroup Light Fantastic, and is one of the few people allowed to fill in for David Mancuso during one of his famous loft parties. Right. Murphy’s mix is probably the one in the series that fits conceptions of what one would think “disco-tech” would sound like. Chicken Lips, Metro Area, Robotnick, Gino Soccio, and other synth-heavy artists fill out the tracklisting, including a slaying instrumental version of Rafael Cameron’s Salsoul hit “Boogie’s Gonna Get Ya” that is practically worth the price of admittance. There’s also a couple of great detours: namely the Isaac Hayes-baiting funk of Los Chicharbons and the old-school disco rapping by Fertile Ground. The only problem I have with this mix is that it feels more like a collection of good/excellent tracks that stand up by themselves, rather than a solid blended mix. Pickiness aside, Murphy holds her own against Jabre and Robotnick.

The Disco-tech of…Alexander Robotnick (2004)
Definitely the most popular in the series, Mr. Robotnick’s mix lays down the links between electro-clash, new wave, and italo disco while still being defiantly populist. It’s likely that since Maurizio Dami never DJed throughout the 80s, he hasn’t worn out all of the obvious genre touchstones and headed towards white-label obscurity. So, you get such familiar new wave staples like “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Wordy Rappinghood,” and “Enola Gay” rubbing up against nu-school tracks from Miss Kitten, Bangkok Impact, and Dopplereffekt (with a half-dozen italo classics splitting the hipster difference.) It may not have as much value to dance music nerds, but it does show a neat musical continuity over the past three decades: all the canonical tracks of each era have a similar idea of what defined radiant, romantic, and melodic dance music.

[Michael F. Gill]