May 30, 2007

Crowdpleaser & St Plomb - 2006 Remixes 1

My God, has it really been three years since the “plugin acid” revival ran its course? Remember all those Dalhbäck and Dahlbäck records? Actually, they were pretty good, I thought. But maybe it’s wrong to ever talk about acid as a “revival”, when it’s never really gone away for more than a moment. Like the Blues Brothers, acid seems to be as revoltingly effective as it ever was, now matter how much of a caning it gets.

Little wonder though, when you hear a record like the “Jackin’ Freak” remix of Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb’s wonky floor-warmer “1,2,3″. This track manages to bottle the psychopathology of an entire lost weekend in the space of six minutes, starting out quite politely, bugging like a pair of Rodney Dangerfield eyes for a moment, then calming right down—just in time for your neat segue into the low-slung scape of the Daschund mix of “Zukunft”, which echoes and eddies its way into a party mood (in a very mnml way), with lots of splashing granulated textures, and that “sleazy bee” melody retained from the original version. Und (remember “Fox in the Box”—now that was a polarizer) brings her love for out-of-place-vocals and her ear for melody to bear “Today”, coming up with a nice A to B microhouse record, replete with strange intrusions, crowing cocks and toy machines.

This is a great EP that manages to do what remix EPs should—complementing the spirit of the original and introducing new relationships, new proximities that suggest both the source and an inspiration. Hot on the heels of Crowdpleaser & St Plomb’s album and the recent Kate Wax reissue, Mental Groove are (just quietly) shaping up to be one of the truly great labels.

Mental Groove / MG.LTD.016
[Peter Chambers]

April 20, 2007

Beatzcast #28: Crambe Repetita


01: Theo Parrish - Children of the Drum (1997 Predecessor Mix) [buy]
02: Lovebirds - Behind You [buy]
03: Bebel Gilberto - Bring Back the Love (Prins Thomas Miks) [buy]
04: Kate Wax - Killing Your Ghost (St. Plomb Mix) [buy]
05: Sly Mongoose - Bad Pulse [buy]

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April 19, 2007

Tiny Sticks vs. Mental Groove - Killing Your Ghost

Given Michael Mayer’s re-positioning of himself between minimal tech-house and space disco on Immer 2 (he even cites the fade between Lindstrom’s track and the Rice Twins as the essential moment on the mix), you’d have to say that this EP is aimed squarely at “the space between” in the Kompakt jock’s box. Whatever the motive, it’s a solid lob, and one that lands the record right in our “now” (Oh no! It’s the zeitgeist!).

St. Plomb’s mix of (ever under-rated) songstress Kate Wax begins all Chicken Lips with a big, plump bassline, but the space made between the mental synth attack and the vocal twists this track into a tense tech-house number full of the same self-possessed effectiveness that made 2006 such a (ahem) crowdpleaser.

The Emperor Machine mix of Michoacan on the flipside is full of whooshing synth breaks, bubbling space noises, and a kicking electro-disco groove that’s bound to send the cool kids into hyperspace. Whilst neither of these tracks is a smash/hit in their own right, their combined force on one EP is a canny call to all you record buyers out there. This record has box appeal.

Mental Groove / Tiny Sticks / MGSTICK 01
[Peter Chambers]

April 13, 2007

Charts: April 13 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
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]

September 15, 2006

Charts: September 15 2006

Guest Chart: Troy Pierce

JPLS - Program [Minus]
Marcel Dettman – Radio [MDR 1]
Dapyak - Uma [Mo’s Ferry]
Andre Chrome - Bodenturen [Leftroom]
The Knife - Like a Pen (Heartthrob remix) [Rabid Records]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Konrad Black remix) [Minus]
Frankie - Hunt [Frankie Rec]
Acid Circus - Minimal Junk (Jason Emsley Remix) [Droid]
Reagen - Dirt [Unreleased]

Todd Hutlock
iO - Claire [Cheap]
Michael Ho - Frisky [Tuning Spork]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing Rainbow [Mobilee]
Octave One - DayStar Rising [430 West]
Los Hermanos - Freedom Dancer [Los Hermanos]
Donnacha Costello - 6.1 [Minimise]
M.I.A. - Schoolcraft Bump [Underground Resistance]
Marc Houle - Bay of Figs [Minus]
Miss Fitz - Plak Du Jour (Mossa Remix) [Archipel]
Dominik Eulberg - Bionik [Cocoon]

Cameron Octigan
Misc. - Among Thieves [Sender]
Silicon Teens - State of Shock [Mute]
Partly Clouded [Fucked]
Extrawelt - Doch Doch [Traum]
Heartthrob - Baby Kate [M_nus]
Dominion - The Light of Day [KK Records]
Heroin - Meaning Less [Gravity]
Coil - The Snow [Wax Trax!]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]
Troy Pierce (feat. Gibby Miller) - The Day After Yesterday [Items & Things]

Michael F. Gill
The Creatures - Believe In Yourself [Teldec]
Kasso – Walkmen [Rams Horn Records]
Evelyn “Champagne” King - Love Come Down [RCA]
Mystic Merlin - Just Can’t Give You Up [Capitol]
M.I.A. - Safe Night [Sub Static]
Max Berlin - Elle Et Moi (Joakim Remix) [Eighttrack Recordings]
Likwid Biskit - Sound Orgy [Dynamite Joint / People]
Baby Ford & Mark Broom - Bubble Bath [Pure Plastic]
Plaid – Squance [Warp]
Craig David - What’s Your Flava? (Akufen Remixes) [Wildstar/Atlantic]

July 14, 2006

Kate Wax - Beetles & Spiders / Catch the Buzz (Remixes)

Kate Wax’s 2005 LP Reflections of the Dark Heat is getting a double CD reissue later this year, so here’s a pair of singles to help re-whet one’s appetite. “Catch the Buzz” is the one for the dancefloor, and even if each remix manages to maintain the pristinely frosted machine-electro feel of the original, they do so in different ways. Roman Flügel’s drastic overhaul of “Beetles & Spiders” plays up the detached angle in Kate’s voice, morphing from decidedly inhumane tech-electro into a solitary, faux-piano jazz breakdown before finding its way back again with some synthetically overdriven guitar. Kalabrese, who has been on a bit of a roll lately, provides another winner from leftfield with a spartan house/funk groove backed by an elastic sub-low bass. In his usual fashion, he lets in weird loungey elements, live drums and percussion, and seemingly random beatless breakdowns where the vocals snippets end up more like random, nonchalant freestyling. “Beetles & Spiders,” released on Output, is more on the down tempo tip. The title cut, a reprised highlight from Dark Heat, is a sombre shuffle-dirge driven by Kate’s consistent shifting from singing to spoken word, and the mental image that she is likely sighing wearily between each line. Less interesting is the b-side “Choose They Croon,” which meanders on a stark, bloodless sawtooth synth and a flat sounding drum kit, and then adds some awkward and goofy pitch-bending to the bass lines half-way through.

Output / OPR 72
Mental Groove / MG 053
[Michael F. Gill]