June 20, 2007

From The Archives #2

From The Archive is a selection of dance related articles and reviews from the archives of Stylus Magazine.

Sami Koivikko - Salmiakki (Shitkatapult)

Todd Burns: Quite simply, tennis has become less of a game of finesse and more of overpowering menaces that demand respect less because of their innate ability to outthink the other player and more because of their ability to stifle any response. For a long time, this was the state of German techno…

Various Artists - Inflation (Mu Label)

Michael Heumann: This is, in short, a remix album where the source material is inaudible and the artists must use these inaudible sounds to create audible music.

Monobox - Molecule (Logistic Records)

Todd Burns: The true highlight of the album comes with “The Diamond Age,” which oddly enough sounds much more like early Autechre or Posthuman than any other obvious antecedents to Robert Hood’s brand of minimal techno.

On Second Thought: Thomas Brinkmann’s Studio 1 – Variationen / Concept 1:96:VR (Profan / M_nus)

Todd Hutlock: In the liner notes to the release, Brinkmann explains his system (which one can assume he used on both releases) in detail: “I used a self-made turntable with 30 kilo plate, and two SME 309 Tone Arms utilizing both Ortofon and Van den Hul moving-coil pickups. The interventions with the actual vinyl are few: I slowed down the speed of the record and used the left pickup (arm) for the left channel, and the right pickup (arm) for the right channel. It’s possible to hear a melodic displacement between the channels. With a little intervention and displacement of elements, the Concepts are sounding different. The same information they had before, but two times present. Like the idea of cloning and twins: still Richie’s DNA with a little mutation. A different groove.”

On Second Thought: Pete Namlook and Dandy Jack - Silent Music (Fax)

Dane Schultz: Silent Music could be seen as a stylistic pastiche of the entire FAX catalogue.

March 28, 2007

Tobias - Dial EP

I found myself contorted into all kinds of verbal shapes and hard-wrung hand positions the other night, trying to explain to a non-techno friend exactly what’s so good about Tobias’ productions—because on the surface at least, there’s very little to it. The friend’s ears, tuned to jazz and classical, kept wading through the repetitions waiting for “it” to happen – and he shrugged when it didn’t. “It’s not the moment, it’s the movement,” I said. I’m not sure that conveys it either. It just sounds so damned good. Like last year’s wonderful Street Knowledge EP, every clap, kick and bassline on Dial sound just right.

And the tracks groove like hell, especially the title cut, which twists through seven minutes with nothing more than bass and percussion. “Violence” takes things in a more experimental direction, and sounds like some of Carl Craig’s similar styled-work (“Darkness”). “Below Houston” (which was featured on Cassy’s Panoramabar mix along with the title track) is a much housier cut in the vein of older 7th City Records tracks, while “Second to None” is a more spacious tech-house excursion. In every way the sequel to Street Knowledge, Dial is the second part of a manifesto that lays out the unmistakable patterns of an incurable machine romance.

Logistic / LOG059
[Peter Chambers]

March 23, 2007

Charts: March 23 2007

Peter Chambers
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos entlebuch remix) [Geffen]
Len Faki - Pearl Delta/Mekong Delta [Ostgut Tontraeger]
Tobias. - Dial EP [Logistic]
Andy Stott - Handle with Care/See in Me [Modern Love]
Carsten Jost/Efdemin - Split EP [Dial]
Lawrence - Friday’s Child EP [Mule]
Donnacha Costello - 6.6 [Minimise]
Half Hawaii - Into Me/Out of Me [Perlon]
Move D - Anne Will (Lawrence remix) [Liebe Detail]
Repeat/Repeat – Carpark (Second Edition) [Soma]
DJ Koze/Sid le Rock - Naked (Koze remix) [Cereal/Killers]

Michael F. Gill
Jan Leslie Holmes – I’m Your Superman [Jay Jay Records]
Domina – You Got My Soul [Crash]
Automat – Automat [EMI/Barclay]
Alloy Orchestra – The Man With The Movie Camera [Junk Metal Music]
David Garcet – Redemption (The Revolving Eyes Mix) [Dirty Dancing]
Roy Davis Jr – Traxx From The Nile [Bombay Records]
Wolfgang Voigt – Oktoberfest [Auftrieb]
Mike Uzzi & Ben Recht – Reclaiming The 120s [Unfoundsound]
Loco Dice - El Gallo Negro [Ovum]
Nasty & Tresher - The Well Served Event [Terminal M]

March 2, 2007

Charts: March 2 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Trippy Disco - Frankfurt in Fifteen [Radius]
Maximilian Skiba - Apple of Disco EP [Terranova]
Chris Rea - On the Beach (Tangoterje Edit) [Balearic Biscuits]
Tackhead - The Game [4th & Broadway]
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch (Hot Chip Remix) [Island]
Galen - Playing Games [Utensil]
Evelyn “Champagne” King - Shame / Nobody Knows [RCA]
Shades of Love - Keep In Touch [Body to Body] (Instrumental Version) [Venture]
V/A - Music of Quality & Distinction, Volume One [Virgin]
V/A - Dirty Edits 2-5 [Dirty Edits]

Todd Hutlock
Andy Stott - Handle With Care [Modern Love]
Håkan Lidbo - This Looks Infected, Doesn’t It? [Musick]
Porter Ricks - Scuba Lounge [Mille Plateaux]
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix) [Geffen]
Luciano - Keridos [Cadenza Split Composition]
Rod Modell – Avionics [Echocord]
Cortney Tidwell - Don’t Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Long Vox) – [Ever]
JTC – Trancender [Crème Organization]
tobias. – Dial [Logistic]
Ace Frehley - New York Groove [Casablanca]

Michael F. Gill
San Proper & Tom Trago – Catterpillar Butter Plus (Proper’s Mixdown) [Rush Hour Recordings]
Mark Broom – Upside Down [Pure Plastic]
John Thomas – Magic [Logistic]
Oaysis – Incredible Bass (Slipmatt remix) [Vicious Vinyl]
Lopazz – I Need Ya [Output]
George Demure – Sister Valhalla [Tirk]
Keith Hudson – Nuh Skin Up [Greensleaves]
Shackleton – Blood On My Hands [Skull Disco]
Shed – Well Done [Soloaction]
Steve Doesn’t Drive – Woman & Car [Did Records]

January 19, 2007

tobias. - Street Knowledge

It was a sweet inevitability that once computer technology plateaued in plug-in heaven, increasingly large groups of nerds, purists, idiots, and visionaries would run for or cling to their old gear. Street Knowledge, produced by Cassy’s partner and NSI half Tobias Freund, shows that there’s good reason for the flight into obsolescence. Street Knowledge is one of those brilliant deep EPs that stay put in your box for years. The title track is one of the funkiest, deepest, driving-est tech-house grooves you’ve heard in ages—the kind yo mamma warned you about.

As with his NSI release on Cadenza, Freund proudly displays all the gear used for the music on the back cover of the EP, so I can tell you that the bass on this puppy was generated by a Studio Electronics se 1 (defunct in its original form, of course). Man, it’s the business. This track just rolls along, with the bass overshot by short horn stabs, and 808 claps, shots, and cowbells (real 808, of course.). “Solid State” appears to have been composed from the same arrangement of machines, and while not as obviously killer as the title cut, it’s a groover with the same quietly classic mood, movement, and presence that marks the EP as a whole. “Bayside” on the B is another winner, a slightly more sober, gliding record that skims to a calm halt right in the middle, then spins off into the clouds. Ah.

The gear sounds great, but it’s Tobias’ intuitive use of all the sounds available here to generate a record that sounds “just right” that’s so inspiring. It’s about the touch. With barely a fat lead or a farty bassline in sight, Freund has created an incredibly attuned, proper EP that won’t go platinum, but may well become a classic.

Logistic / LOG055
[Peter Chambers]

October 20, 2006

Charts: October 20 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Trentemoller - The Last Resort [Poker Flat]
Tussle - Telescope Mind [Smalltown Supersound]
Lil Louis - Blackout Phase 3 [Mathematics]
Hot Chip - Colours (Fred Falke Remix) [Astralwerks]
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Tempo Tempo [Eskimo]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Brennan Green - Divisadero [Modal]

Ronan Fitzgerald
And Again - To The Moles and the Masses [Sender]
Heckmann and Kaufelt - Kookaburra (Knarz Mix) [AFU-Ltd]
Alland Byallo - Buckets [Liebe Detail]
Pascal Feos - Timeless [Synaptic]
Reynold - Over There (Donato Dozzy Mix) [Montrose]
My My – Moneybowl [Aus Records]
Alexis Tyrell - Rebecca Loos [Weave Music]
Daniela Stickroth - Ghost In The Attic (Dan Berkson and James What Mix) [Meerestief]
Chaton - Précis 2 [Plak]
Shonky - Solar [Substatic]

Todd Hutlock
Ric Y Martin - Sini Est [Perlon]
Andrew Weatherall - Edie Eleven [Rotters Golf Club]
Tony Allen - Moyege (Mark’s Disco Dub) [Honest Jon’s]
Matthew Dear - Dog Days (Pantytec Interpretation) [Spectral Sound]
Six Cups of Rebel - Arp She Said [Feedelity]
Plastikman - Plink Plonk [Minus]
Terrance Dixon - Minimalism [Utensil]
The Infiltrator - I’m In [Underground Resistance]
Renegade Soundwave - Space Gladiator (Dub) [Mute]
Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 (Gabriel Ananda Remix) [Trapez LTD]

Michael F. Gill
Was A Bee - On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) [Schema]
Jesse Rose feat. Solid Groove & Jamie Anderson - Nice & Slow [Front Room Recordings]
Citizen Kain - Above The Influence (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [Regular]
Logistics - Call Me Back [Hospital]
Lady Saw - Sweetest [Soul Jazz]
Breeze - Get Back [Heartbeat]
Underground Resistance feat. Yolanda - Your Time Is Up [Underground Resistance]
Minimal Vision - Vertigo [Vibraphone]
Raven feat. Jocelyn Brown - So In Love [Silver Cloud]
Convertion - All I Want Is You [Sam Records]

June 30, 2006

RadiQ - The Grass Roots EP


God I wish that this record’s track titles were rearranged. Dimbiman drives Yoshihiro “RadiQ” Hanno’s “Grass Roots” on a bombastic, digitally diced microhouse beat while slivers of strings and electro noises shower over Paul “Tikiman” St. Hilaire as he sleepwalks and mutters about “the roots of creation.” The track made me double-check the title several times to see if I was actually listening to the Akufen remix. Dimbiman’s kung-fu only makes Akufen’s actual remix treatment sound like a case of mononucleosis. Akufen romances a lite soul-jazz sleeper that’s best heard in suburban hair and manicure salons. It’s actually not a bad way for him to earn extra bucks if he can license the track to those places. It’s still better than Moby. Hannio’s own remix glides well on a smooth dub-house groove in which he brushes in neon-lit organ riffs and hits of DSP’d noises to spike the punch. Definitely a mixed bag here.

Logistic / LOG056
[Cameron Macdonald]