June 22, 2007

Charts: June 22 2007

Mallory O’Donnell

The Nick Straker Band - The Nick Straker Band [Prelude]
William Strickland - An Electronic Visit to the Zoo and Sound Hypnosis [Spectrum]
Tiefschwarz - Black Music [Souvenir]
Ack By Panel - Base Filmtab EP [Greystate]
Bonde Do Role - Office Boy [Mad Decent]
Grand National - By The Time I Get Home… [Domino]
Third World - One More Time [Columbia]
Ricardo Villalobos - 1ş Encuentro Latinoamericano de la Soledad [White]
Justice - D.A.N.C.E. [Ed Banger]
Bohemia - All The Way [Discos de Tinga]

Michael F. Gill

Alton Miller - Souls Like Mine (R2)
Canvas - The Cat (Rebelone)
Keith Worthy - shelovesmenot [Mental Deepstrumental] (Aesthetic Audio)
Syncom Data - Beyond The Stars (Legowelt Remix) (SD Records)
Paul Birken - Numbskull (Communique Records)
Studio - Radio Edit [Information]
Alicia Myers - I Want To Thank You [MCA]
Marek Bilinski - Po Drugiej Stronie Swiata [Polton/Digiton)
Wish feat. La-Rita Gaskin - Nice and Soft (Downtown Version) [Perspective Records]
Kat Mandu - Super Lady (Manhattan Formula)


June 17, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 24

DeepChord - Vantage Isle (echospace [detroit])
Genre: Techno, Dub

Todd Hutlock: Vantage Isle is perfection for anyone looking for the logical successors to the Basic Channel throne, or just looking for something mellow for those steamy late summer nights.

Ame - Balandine (Innervisions)
Genre: Techno, Progressive/Trance

Gudrun Gut - In Pieces (Monika Enterprises)
Genre: Downtempo, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: If you’ve ever seen Michael Mayer do his dance behind the decks, the Burger/Voigt remix is, well…this is what the dance “sounds” like.

Audion - Noiser / Fred’s Bells (Spectral Sound)
Genre: Minimal/Tech, Techno

Nate DeYoung: Dear’s previous all-excess all-acid diet lead to the dreadful and desperate cul-de-sac of “how can I add even more?” 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?”

DJ Koze - All The Time (Philpot)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Argy - 1985 (Liebe Detail Spezial)
Genre: Minimal/Deep, House

Motorcitysoul - Kazan (Exit Cube) (Aus Music)
Genre: Electro-House, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: Classy gear for warming up cool-hearted floors.

Beatzcast #37: Crambe Repetita

Mike Powell talks to Gui Boratto

Thomas Inskeep’s bluffer’s guide to ’80s R&B

Mike Orme reviews Justice’s

Fergal O’Reilly takes on Burn Your Own Church by Black Strobe


June 10, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 23

Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Ed Banger / Because Music)
Genre: Indie-Dance

Nina Phillips: You know what would be cool for those DJ gigs you guys’ll be going to soon? Music that girls actually like. Music that has a tension between hard and soft. Music built for the floor - and not the blog.

Michoacan - 2 Bullets (Glimmers/DJ Harvey Remixes) (Grayhound)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Indie-Dance

Peter Chambers: Are you DJ enough to like this? You’ll get cred for trying.

Oto Gelb / Daniel Wang - Magical Yellow Sound From Germania / Look Ma, No Drum Machine! (Balihu)
Genre: House, Disco

Tensnake - I Say Mista (Mirau)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Minimal/Deep

Gui Boratto - Chromophobia Remixe Part 1 (Kompakt)
Genre: Minimal/Deep, Progressive/Trance

Riley Reinhold - Light In My Eyes (My Best Friend)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

A Mountain Of One - EP1 / EP2 (AMO)
Genre: Balearic

Nick Sylvester: A lot of this stuff sounds to me like “Talk Talk covers the Dances With Wolves soundtrack,” at best when people actually believed rock & roll was something spiritual and not just a backdoor to preteen booty.

Beatzcast #36: Crambe Repetita

Derek Miller reviews Matthew Dear’s Asa Breed
Peter Chambers’ take on Get Physical’s 5th Year Anniversary Compilation
Mallory O’Donnell takes on Bondo Do Role’s With Lasers
James Cobo reviews the compilation Kitsune Maison Volume 4


June 4, 2007

Justice - D.A.N.C.E.

I’m sure that there are moments of brilliance in the very hip French filter-metal-disco scene (see: “Killing in the Name Of” simultaneously killing a dancefloor and [possibly] killing a movement), but as I just let loose in the parenthetical above, I sincerely doubt this thing’s got more legs. Justice’s upcoming album proves that much in short order and, if it weren’t for “D.A.N.C.E,” I’d predict their downfall for sometime in mid-2008.

But here it is and I’m forced to point out that it’s kinda structured like a song (a feat for these guys), is much lighter than their previous speaker-blowing plod-fests, and actually bounces along like something that an actual human being might dance to. It’s as if someone got a hold of these guys after they made the track “Phantom,” which appears here as a B-side, and told them, “You know what would be cool for those DJ gigs you guys’ll be going to soon? Music that girls actually like. Music that has a tension between hard and soft. Music built for the floor - and not the blog.” Thank God they listened.

Ed Banger Records / ED 017
Because Music / BEC5772071
[Listen]
[Nina Phillips]


April 17, 2007

Cortney Tidwell - Don’t Let the Stars Keep Us Tangled Up

Because I live in lame-ass dance-hating Los Angeles, I rarely get to hear nakedly big-room techno actually played for people to actually, y’know, dance to it. As a result, I feel a little unqualified to discuss Ewan Pearson’s colossal 12 minute remix of Cortney Tidwell’s “Don’t Let the Stars Keep Us Tangled Up” if only because the world has taught me to listen to it as a pop song first and a dance track second. To be fair, Pearson’s commitment to doing justice to Tidwell’s archly breathy vocals and gloriously messy syntax over the course of this mix’s first five minutes is simply astonishing. He may have stripped the original of its graceful Portishead-like tempo in favor of a rigid disco pulse, but it still shows a lot of respect for the original.

The first half’s pop-song formalism ingrains a sense of dynamism sorely lacking from the second, which just seems to keep piling on layers of synth pads without ever directly addressing any audience which hasn’t been paying attention to it since bar one. Given Pearson’s virtuosity with Cerrone-esque electro-disco arrangements, his indulgence can justifiably be charged to the game if you’ve got the right audience, but the rest of us might do well to stick to the radio edit.

Ever Records / EVER09S
[Listen]
[James Cobo]


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…

(more…)


December 22, 2006

2006: The Year In Review

Welcome to the Beatz By The Pound year-end roundup for 2006, a veritable smorgasbord of lists, thoughts, and reflections about the current state of dance music. And while all of our writers handed in very diverse ballots, we were able to come to a consensus on a couple of key releases, producers, and labels. Let the madness begin…

(more…)


July 28, 2006

Jesse Somfay - Flight Of Disposition EP

Why Somfay settled on this clipped, tinny 33-at-45rpm groove for the a-side is beyond me, but eventually the track finds a sellable drone and a lovelorn chord progression worthy of its title, “Tonight’s Frail Desire.” The brutal distortion and constant brick-a-bracking will keep “Desire” off most floors, but anybody hankering for Farmers Manual dance remixes will have a joyous trail of shit down his legs. Somfay’s really economical the way he creates depth, hiding snare clicks behind static then suddenly switching up their places and turning the static into the track’s anthem—not many elements, but the illusion of more is there. The end of “Desire” gets needlessly glitchy, but when this carries over to the b-side “Shivering Midnight Frost Laced Their Lips,” we’re in much prettier territory. Think Mum’s Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK’s sputtering melancholy set to a steady four. Kid bangers, I worry, will hear Somfay’s big franco-filter metal hook here and find a spot for “Shivering Midnight” between the latest Justice abortions, but I’m hoping that’s what happens too.

Budenzauber / buza007
[Listen]

[Nick Sylvester]


June 30, 2006

Beatzcast #5: Will Simmons

The out-and-out wonder of dance music has often been the result of the live DJ set, whether it be at a club, bar, rave, house party or festival. The same sense of spontaneity and crowd interaction has never quite been reproduced in a studio, on a LP or single, or in a music video. This mix is my way of trying to recreate the excitement of a live set, where the sum is much greater than the parts, and anything can happen.

Tracklisting
01: Four Tet - Pockets (Minimal Version) [!K7]
02: Mr. Oizo - Nazis [F Communications / PIAS]
03: Justice - Let There Be Light (Demo) [Ed Banger / Vice]
04: Hot Chip - (Just Like We) Breakdown [Astralwerks / DFA]
05: Edu K (w/ MC Deize Tigrona) - Sex-O-Matic [Solid Groove Remix) (Man]
06: Herbert (w/ Dani Siciliano & Neil Thomas) - The Movers and the Shakers [!K7)]
07: Lotterboys - Iron Man [Eskimo]
08: I Love UFO - Like in the Movies (Aysam Remix) [Record Makers]
09: Sébastien Tellier - Broadway (Chicken Lips Mix) [Record Makers]
10: Isolée - Lost (Forever Lost by The Glimmers) [Playhouse]
11: Nelly Furtado (w/ Timbaland) - Promiscuous (Johannes Heil Instrumental Mash by Luminfire) [Geffen; Klang Elektronik]

Download


May 19, 2006

Live: Alan Braxe at ISSST, The Key, London, May 2006

Alan Braxe has sold over two million records that are aimed straight for the heart of the dancefloor, most of them copies of “Music Sounds Better with You,” one of the best ever tracks about dancing and a giant crossover record that even the people I know who despise dance music grudgingly admit to liking (it was #2 in the UK back in August 1998.) Almost unbelievably, before the beginning of this month Alan Braxe had never played a DJ set in public, apparently preferring to be known for his production work.

His doing so deserves an in-depth report. Unfortunately this ain’t it, but I’ll endeavour to get as many details down as possible. It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention, but more that I was paying attention in the wrong way (with every sinew and fibre of my body—but not many brain cells). Also, I was drunk. If I could just write “I danced and had a lot of fun,” I would.

The Key, in Kings Cross, is a club that I’d had an awful experience with previously when it, along with other clubs in the same complex, was part of a hellishly overcrowded, incompetently organized, and hateful in all ways Soulwax “warehouse party.” Tonight, though, it was fine: friendly bar staff, a honeycomb dance floor that made me worry when the giant bees would be returning, and so much dry ice that I felt I was in a dream sequence from Manhunter or Risky Business. The sound was crisp and clear and bumping, but not so loud that I had no voice the next day from YELLING.

Here’s how things end up being in London—Justice and the Ed Banger Records crew along with Mr. Oizo were playing on the same night. In the club next door! And they got a bigger turnout, which is a shame but to be expected in the real or imagined constant NOW of dance music. On the plus side (for me, if not Braxe), it meant that there weren’t any boggly-eyed pill casualties except for one mullethead who’d travelled all the way from Scotland to get mashed and forget everything by the next day. Even he was friendly enough in a I-am-gonna-give-you-a-high-five kind of way.

What made Braxe decide that now was the time to play out (and in London rather than his homebase of Paris), I don’t know. Maybe it was the chance to DJ with Vulture label mate Kris Menace, who did the heavy lifting, manning the decks for most of the evening whilst Braxe cued up re-edits on his laptop. Not that division of labour mattered. As a force, they were hands in the air exciting all night, starting as they meant to go on—hi-impact—with a pitched up “LFO,” “Body Language” and some Chicken Lips before moving into filter-disco. There was surprisingly little I knew except for Lifelike and Kris Menace’s “Discopolis” and a vocal-less, re-cut and stripped-to-the-bone “Music Sounds Better with You” that removed the anthemic whilst keeping the disco propulsion. It was like a suite of variations on the first three seconds of the track, ever spawning and replicating. Near the end, three hours later, there was a baffling mindwarp of an edit of “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson (was it chosen because it also reached a highest chart position of #2 in the UK?) I emailed my brother to find out what I’d forgotten but all he could add was that Braxe “looks like a typical man from the Tricolour French textbooks from school… (i.e. like a sex criminal).”

Then Cagedbaby stepped up and killed the vibe as easily as Braxe had killed EQs with a set of ‘roided-out Bloc Party remixes and tracks that instruct you to have fun just a little too emphatically. It didn’t really matter, though. The best was over with and I managed to get chucked out by the bouncers anyway. I stood in the cool morning light, ears still ringing, loose limbed, and sweaty because I hadn’t stopped moving all night.[Patrick McNally]


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