June 3, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 22

Various Artists - Shut Up And Dance! Updated (Ostgut Tonträger)
Genre: Techno, Minimal/Deep

Richard Carnes: At a time of the year where everyone’s looking to individual artists for 2007’s top electronic album, this release definitely shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

Crowdpleaser & St Plomb - 2006 Remixes 1 (Mental Groove)
Genre: Electro-House

Marco Resmann - Watercolour (Mobilee)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: In this case, it’s easy to visualise a blue wash like an Yves Klein canvas on an overcast afternoon right before dusk.

Booka Shade - Tickle (Get Physical Music)
Genre: Electro-House

Maximilian Skiba - Beginning (Eva)
Genre: Electro-House

Prinzhorn Dance School - Up! Up! Up! (DFA)
Genre: Indie-Dance

The Skull - Enter The Skull
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: “Sensuella” continues the run of apt track titles by paring things back a few notches, with a lonely lady being serenading by sine tones who appear to be telling us that the undead are holding her captive. Or she wants to be held. Or something.

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #35: Crambe Repetita

Mike Powell interviews Environ’s Kelley Polar
Todd Hutlock reviews Hot Chip’s DJ Kicks mix CD.
Peter Parrish reviews Colleen’s Les Ondes Silencieuses

May 31, 2007

Maximilian Skiba - Beginning

Six months ago I’d never heard of Maximilian Skiba. I chanced upon him in a record store, when I picked up a curiously scribbled-on EP with the suspiciously eccentric title “Apple of Disco” (see review here). My inquisitiveness was quickly rewarded with one of the kookiest, most interesting of EPs I’ve heard lately, fashioned through a form of electro soundscaping that moved between references, emotions, and structures more times within the space of one track than some mnml labels have in their whole back-catalogue. Without being a slavish Moroder/Carpenter cribber or dogmatically retro (*cough* Legowelt *cough*), Skiba laid out a ruggedly individual imprint that screamed “talented eccentricity” through a Moog Vocoder and a disco breakdown.

But this is something else. Gone is the hyper reverential work, in its place, tooth-loosening machine electro that kicks harder than a methed up drag queen in a burst of jealous rage. “Transphormer” spreads its muscular legs all over the A, galloping along at 45 with plenty of pressure for the peaktime…and in fact, the perfect “scene” for this record is a catfight between the aforementioned drag queen and his/her unfortunate partner. Sydney Roy (sounding very close to Siegfried and Roy) revs things up for his remix with a dose of “boots and pants”, reigning in the quirk and losing the great touch of Skiba’s original in the process. The B2 is another gem, “Bye-Bye c64″ – it’s one of those tracks you fall into, come down with, or break up to – like Todd Terje’s “Eurodans” or Closer Musik’s beautiful “Maria”, this is a real sentimentalists treat. Eyes on the young Pole.

Eva / EVA 006
[Peter Chambers]

March 2, 2007

Maximilian Skiba - Apple Of Disco.RD EP


Video-game disco? MIDI Cerrone demos? This is precious stuff but very, very catchy, almost disarmingly so. Skiba is a 19-year-old Polish kid from what I gather, just out of high school, and he’s got a patient sense of build, never too anxious to prove how clever he is. The sound palette is pretty 8-bit, but there’s always one element in the song that sounds dizzingly acoustic by contrast: the ride cymbal taps on disco-funk a-side “Safari Jazz”; the rhythm guitar scratches on “Violet Carnation,” which is “Supernature” meets the theme from NES’s Ghosts and Goblins; the obviously digital runs of piano on horror-disco track “The Fog.” I don’t think this stuff would work too well in a club setting alongside bigger-sounding tracks, and the ornamentation is a little too new-sounding to fit entirely into neo-italo stuff that’s happening now (though the title track would disagree with me). That said, consider me charmed.

Terranova / TNT 82876870531
[Nick Sylvester]

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]
Hĺkan 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 [Crčme 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]

February 23, 2007

Beatzcast #20



01: Rework - Love Love Love Yeah
02: Goat Dance - Goat Dance
03: Dorfmeister vs. MDLA - Boogie No More (Reverso 68 Remix)
04: Pär Grindvik - Casio
05: Maximilian Skiba - Violet Carnation
06: Popnoname - No Doubt
07: Onur Özer - Allegro Energico

October 13, 2005

Maximilian Skiba - Randez-Vous Over Mars

I’ve always felt, right or wrong, that Boxer was one of those harder-edged labels that rarely sounds good at home and always offers up the goods while on the dancefloor. That assumption is blown away by the built for home-listening Randez-Vous Over Mars, which is primarily built on sinuous and melodic electro. The title track dispels any notion of coldness immediately, matching up a bouncing beat with an arpeggiated set of notes and a bulbous bassline. “Bizzarre,” meanwhile, raves it up and “Transcendental Dinkiness”…well, the title really says it all.

Boxer Recordings / Boxer 032
[Todd Burns]