February 23, 2007

Charts: February 23 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Dorfmeister Vs. MDLA - Boogie No More (Reverson 68 Remix) [G-Stone]
Teena Marie - Fix It (Instrumental) [Epic]
Escort - “Bright New Life” (Morgan Geist Remix) [Escort]
Blackbelt Anderson - Alfaz De Pi [Full Pupp]
Jackson Jones - I Feel Good (Pilooski Edit) [Dirty Edits]
Justin Timberlake - My Love (Linus Loves Remix) [Virgin]
Pet Shop Boys - Was It Worth It? (12″ Version) [EMI]
Tomboy - Seriřs [Gomma]
Gui Boratto - Chromophobia [Kompakt]
Donna Summer - Love to Love You Baby [Casablanca]

Michael F. Gill
Slg – Anymore [Level Records]
The Model – Stargate Interlude [Underl_ne]
Kris Menace feat. Fred Falke – Fairlight [Compuphonic]
Photocall – Silver Clouds (Dexter Remix) [Clone]
Flakes – Sugar Frosted Lover [Calibre]
Proton Plus – Pay Up [Yew Wood]
Kay-Gees – Latican Funk [De-Lite Records]
Airto - Celebration Suite [Warner Bros/WEA Discos Ltda]
James “Jack Rabbit” Martin - Rabbit Trax I [Yoton]
Keith Tucker – Electro Lights [Twilight 76]


February 16, 2007

Tracey Thorn - It’s All True (Remixes)

Tracey Thorn has always been the “Thin White Duchess” of the dance diva landscape—her rich, sweet voice has graced countless dance EPs, from Deep Dish to Tiefschwarz. But this is one of her better efforts, first of all because (thank God) she’s not singing about an abusive relationship. In fact, even after eight or nine listens, I still haven’t paid any attention to the lyrics, and don’t feel the need to. It’s all true.

The really interesting thing here is how it’s managed to condense several threads or tendencies within recent dance music production into one artifact. In the first instance—how many people had even heard of Martin Buttrich a year ago? And yet now, based on the strength of no more than three EPs, Buttrich has become an in-demand remixer in the league of Matt Edwards or Ewan Pearson, who gets co-production credits on this track, along with Darshan Jesrani of Metro Area. Having Darshan, Martin and Ewan all in the room also brings three highly developed and particular production sensibilities into the same frame also shows not just a rapprochement, but an affection for and between dub-disco, electro inflected tech-house, and muscular minimal—a love that might not have spoken its name even a few years ago.

The original is hard to go past—it manages to showcase Thorn’s sweet throat and give itself a sparkling electro disco massage all in a radio friendly four minutes, easily referencing synth pop (a la Eurythmics), disco, and house along the way. Buttrich’s mixes are meaty, nine minute affairs. They start off all “Pokerflat” (dry, strumming minimal house) and gradually build with a melodic refrain that threatens to break into Ame’s “Rej” at any moment, until Thorn’s vocal reminds you where you are. The dub version adds space for a “bubbling up” feeling. Kris Menace’s version is a real stinker—unimaginative and unengaging, it adds cold pads and attempts to create drama with a break based around pitch shifting poor Tracey’s voice. Meh. Both the Escort extended mix and the DSE dub head for the dub disco, with the former opting for a more openly retro take and the latter taking things in a very Metro Area electro-disco vein (unsurprising, as it’s a Darshan production). They’re both great, but I couldn’t help but wish that M. Fulton had been brought on board to lend a pound more fruit and funk to proceedings.

Virgin / VST 1932 00946 3 83897 1 2
[Listen]
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


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…)


November 10, 2006

Cosmo Vitelli - Delayer

Like you, I checked this out for the Quiet Village remix. It’s OK—basically bigger drum breaks and a pronounced italo stutter over electro-house that’s more funky than Franco—but the surprise winner is the a-side. Questione Seria! Next to earlier twelves of CV’s, which were boiler if you ask me, this platter’s much more streamlined, less about the build, more about the groove (i.e. if Archigram were blacker, spacier, more Norwegian). And actually “I Feel Space” might be a nice foil here: if that track was all icy blues, “Delayer” is bright red and yellows, and up there with that Kris Menace/Lifelike “I Feel Music…” remix as one of the best filter tracks this year.

I’m A Cliché / CLICHÉ 009
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


October 6, 2006

Unai - Blissful Burden Remixes

Unai’s Erik Mřller has that pretty typical wistful/whispery tech-house voice, the kind that turns the instrumental, no matter the vibe, into a big, sappy Jon Secada-like ordeal. Same thing happens to Coloma, though not to, say, Erlend Řye, who saves himself with good lyrics, or Kelley Polar, who has good support. So there’s the rub—the burden, cough. The “Blissful” original had enough of a Herbert-like mid-tempo swing to it, and this garbled vocal effect that doubled Mřller’s clean vocals; shortened to a radio edit length, the original’s quite good. Both Kris Menace remixes zero in on the grief, but from the guy who’s done “Discopolis” and that Stars On 33 remix, I’m expecting more than boilerplate, buildless, trance-envious filter effects. Star You Star Me plays with key and scenery on their mix, but the song remains samer than it ever was.

Disco Inc / DI 010
[Listen]
[Nick Sylvester]


June 30, 2006

Kris Menace - Jupiter

200612"Neo-Disco

Although he is perhaps known best for last year’s “Discopolis,” a collaboration with Lifelike, Kris Menace maintains a particularly low profile. Contemporaries like Francisco and Lindstrom, who privilege breaks over breakdowns, seem to be at the peak of their careers while he seems determined to keep the music just a bit more leftfield and even more low-key. “Jupiter” begins with a steady 4/4 beat just before a strong space dub cuts in and takes the track out of the disco lights and into surround-sound theatre speakers. On a second listen, the influence of early 80’s Italo becomes increasingly clearer. Side two of the record presents “Micropacer,” a track that brings to mind the more electro efforts of Mtume or Cashmere, perhaps even Prince. However, throughout the record, the emphasis is on the feel rather than feeling it. Whereas his friends Alan Braxe and Fred Falke amplify the latent fun in ironic compositions, Kris Menace seems determined to prove a deeper truth to the listener. While his instrumental, narrative efforts are to be admired, sometimes a great plot can be enhanced by a few well-placed special effects. Sometimes is has to be.

Compuphonic / COMPU 02
[Cameron Octigan]


June 30, 2006

Charts: June 30 2006

Todd Hutlock
Black Dice – Cone Toaster [DFA]
Booka Shade – Pong Pang [Get Physical]
Burial – Pirates [Hyperdub]
Two Lone Swordsmen – Slutloop [Jockey Slut]
Cristian Vogel – Whipaspank [NovaMute]
The Illustrator – Beautiful Boxer [Underground Resistance]
Black Phuture – Unfriendly [Motech]
Ellen Allien – Just a Woman (Audion Version) [Spectral Sound]
Pantytec – Maybe Not [Perlon]
Rhythm & Sound – Poor People Must Work (Carl Craig Remix)” [Burial Mix]

Cameron Octigan
Agoria – La 11čme Marche [PIAS]
Gui Boratto – Like You (Supermayer Remix) [Kompakt]
Crystal Castles – Atlantis to Interzone (Klaxons Remix) [White]
Cio D’or – Lichtblick [Karmarouge]
Taana Gardner – Heartbeat [West End]
Kris Menace – Voyager [Compuphonic]
Métrika – Ichi [Crosstown Rebels]
Treacherous Three – Feel the Heartbeat [Enjoy]
Sven Väth & Anthony Rother – Springlove (Original) [Datapunk]
Claude Von Stroke – Seven Deadly Strokes (Patrick Chardronnet Remix) [Neuton]

Michael F. Gill
TBA Empty – Stupid Rotation [Max Ernst]
Adam Beyer – Selma’s Dream [Cocoon]
Matt John – IO [Underline]
Alex Smoke – Never Want to See You Again (Ada Remix) [Soma]
Five Deez – Black Rushmore (Force Of Nature Remix) [Rapster]
Cream De Coco – Disco Strut [Free Spirit]
TJ Swann – And You Know That [Express]
Steve Angello – Tracks [Konvex Konkav]
Jody Watley – I Love to Love [MAW]
Soulphiction – Masai Mara [Philpot]


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]


May 19, 2006

Charts: May 19 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My Robot Friend - 23 Minutes in Brussels
My My - Swiss on Rye
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Maida Vale Version)
Kris Menace - Voyage
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out (Dance Remix)
Snax & Ianeq - Fill Me Up
Mr. Cisco - Culo
Tim Paris - Standing Up (Goldman Remix)
Phonique - Gaga (Tim Paris Remix)

Ronan Fitzgerald
Serge Santiago - Anticipation
Falko Brocksieper - Hardwired EP
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Cosmic Sandwich Mix)
Pet Shop Boys - Flamboyant (Michael Mayer Mix)
Gui Boratto - Strobe
Fuckpony - Cell Phone Hit
Ost and Kjex – Kjexterminate
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler
I-Robots - Spacer Frau (Boys Noize Remix)
Shyza Minelli - To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Michael F. Gill
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Zulu Rock
Donna Allen – Serious
Full Intention – I Believe in You
K Hand – Mystery
Various Artists – Cream Collect: Balearic
Awesome 3 – Don’t Go (Kicks like a Mule mix)
Boytronic –Bryllyant
Patato & Totico – Patato & Totico
The Congos – Congoman Chant
Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face


March 10, 2006

Charts: March 10 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
Soft Cell - Seedy Films
Gaznevada - IC Love Affair (Chinese Version)
Kano - Baby Not Tonight
Erasure - Love to Hate You
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan Remix)
Don Ray - Standing in the Rain
Telex - Moskow Diskow
Machine - There But For the Grace of God Go I (Remix)
Underworld - Dirty Epic
New Order - Video 5.8.6

Cameron Octigan
Alexander Robotnik - Problemes D’amour
Claro Intelecto – Peace of Mind
Claude Von Stroke - Chimps
Joakim - Wish You Were Gone (Dub)
Konrad Black - Medusa Smile (Don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’t Look Back)
Lifelike & Kris Menace - Discopolis
Mathew Jonson - Decompression
Mikkel Metal - Victimizer
Nathan Fake - Charlie’s House (Apparat Remix)
Scsi-9 - On The Edge
Sebastian - Smoking Lills

Nate DeYoung
Sleeparchive - Radio Transmission
Mobius Band The Loving Sounds of Static (Junior Boys Remix)
Peter Grummich - The Roll
Mark Broom - From London with Love…
Pantytec - Maybe
Break 3000 - Lights
Delon + Dalcan - La Migale Infernale
Daso - Go Upstairs
Jonas Bering - Behind this Silence
Nhar - Adrenochrome EP

Michael F. Gill
DJ Goon & DJ Koyote - Diamond Grills
Marcellus Pittman - M. Pittman EP #2
Fuckpony – Dave Brubeck
Fela Kuti – Ako
Quentin Harris - Let’s Be Young
Sutekh – Fire Weather
Virgo – Mechanically Replayed
Barbara Mason – Yes, I’m Ready
Kid – You Don’t Like My Music (Hupendi Muzikil Wangu)
E.G. Daily – Say It Say It