August 23, 2007

Will Saul & Lee Jones - Hug the Scary

Best served with a sigh, the “micro-epic” genre is as microscopic and widespread as a virus. It’s an oxymoron, but if I’m allowed to be so blunt, such fucktard names are known to have staying power (hello IDM!). And that doesn’t account for the reserve force of progressive house rejects like James Holden and Minilogue, who lovingly craft odes against the law of normal distribution - think minimal and maximal squashed together.

If there’s one image and tone that seems to inspire these folks, it’s that of looking straight up either as becoming bubble-laden dolls stuck in bathtubs or fluorescent skies. The latest of these neck-breakers comes from Aus label-boss Will Saul and Lee Jones (of My My fame). While “Hug the Scary” might have the bleary-eyes to run into flowers, the track also has a gravity that won’t allow it to expand and contract as far as pulling muscles.

I’d be hard pressed to mistake “Scary” for cotton candy despite its flickering arpeggiator and billowing melodies. Instead there’s a grace to the track that hits tempered minor keys as well as blistering swells without sounding disjointed for a second. Which is as good of a description as any for Partial Art’s recent single, “Trauermusik.” Partial Arts, aka Ewan Pearson and Al Usher, do not derail the momentum of the title cut, but they streamline it and add enough fizz to leave you hiccupping.

Aus Music / AUS0707
[Nate DeYoung]

May 25, 2007

Beatzcast #34: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music…

01: Shemale - Untitled [buy]
02: Lindstrom and Solale - Let’s Practise [buy]
03: Trusme - Nards [buy]
04: Miguel Migs - So Far [buy]
05: Voom Voom - Sao Verought (Marcus Worgull Mix) [buy]
06: Booka Shade - Karma Car [buy]
07: Baby Ford and Zip - Morning Sir [buy]
08: Minilogue - Inca [buy]
09: Crowdpleaser and St. Plomb - Zukunft (Dachshund Remix) [buy]
10: Tiesto feat. Julie Thompson - Do You Feel Me [buy]
11: Nid and Sancy - Give It Up for Sound [buy]

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May 20, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 20

Battles - Atlas (Warp Records)
Genre: Leftfield

Peter Chambers: The two tracks seem to wind into each other, not so much remixes as silent halves of the other that mutually intimate, stroke, and ground. The diehard math-rockers will hate it, and its too weird for the functionally-obsessed dancefloors of the world, but thats (also) why its one of the more interesting EPs of the year so far.

Water Lilly - Invisible Ink (Mental Groove)
Genre: Electro-House, Minimal/Deep

Minilogue - Elephant Parade (Wagon Repair)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Nate DeYoung: Ive been told that Elephant Parade is a snorefest, and while Im sure thats the case for most people, I sleep on my belly.

Solomun & Stimming - Feuer & Eis (Diynamic)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Escort - All Through The Night (Escort)
Genre: Disco

John Daly - Sky Dive (Plak Records)
Genre: Techno, Detroit

Skatebard - Vuelo (Radius)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Nick Sylvester: Makes me wonder whether I would have liked that Sally Shapiro album more if there was, cough, less Sally Shapiro.

Selway and Vincenzo - Dream Stealer (CSM)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Weekly Staff Charts

Beatzcast #33: Crambe Repetita

May 15, 2007

Minilogue - Elephant Parade

Ive been told that Elephant Parade is a snorefest, and while Im sure thats the case for most people, I sleep on my belly. This means two things - one, I cant snore as much as Id like and two, recent studies have shown that my sleep-position (described as “freefall”) reveals that my personality can be bit “nervy.” So give me a little lee-way when I say that the title cut here doesnt bore me as much as it might bore you its all in the nerves. Sure, dude riffs a bass for ten minutes that goes nowhere and sounds like that fact doesnt matter a damn to him. But the live-ness of the recording is there, like the song could just fall flat on its face with each iteration of the corkscrewing bassline. And the group walks the line just enough to give the song the urgency it needs. But Ill admit that Im giving Minilogue a free pass for throwing a little dirt into their finely tuned and fluffed out epic-minimal compositions.

It might be time for a little reinvention for Minilogue, whose largest claim to fame so far has been changing from prog-house posterboys into prog-house-gone-minimal posterboys. Not to mince broad sides with nit-picks, but both sides of this single find the duo stretching away from the group traditional strengths. “Elephant Parade” has flab of a couple extra minutes that misses the brevity the duo showed when taking Radiohead in bite-sized chunks (ala “Certain Things Around You Part 2″). And “Birdsong,” despite the juicy faint echoes of a monkey house, is never sculpted as sublimely as “Girl From Botany Bay.” Despite the flaws, what sticks out is Minilogues insistence to try new directions on a label (Wagon Repair) known for encouraging artists to branch out, and its worth each awkward first step.

Wagon Repair / WAG 022
[Nate DeYoung]

October 20, 2006

Minilogue - Hitchhiker’s Choice


There’s a head-nods-back propulsion to “Hitchhiker” that will remind some of Luomo’s “Market”not necessarily that track’s sprawl but definitely its rubber. What’s a shame is that Minilogue didn’t drop this five years ago, when he could stick wriggles and wraggles and other hard techno accents on top of a pretty straightforward kick, without getting compared unfavorably to, say, the Perlon camp, specifically something like Melchior Production’s “Different Places,” which musically and rhythmically doesn’t even sound like it’s from this planet. Poor “Hitchhiker” is just stable, serviceable tech-funk next to that stuff, but that’s no knock: lots of space here, unafraid of melody or familiarity or even a set of shitty computer speakers. Call me blasphemous, but the extra color actually makes the more so-called forward thinking stuff seem too ascetic, no fun. Hear hear, a compromise.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 030
[Nick Sylvester]

March 24, 2006

Minilogue - The Girl from Botany Bay

A spiritual heir to Nathan Fakes The Sky Was Pink, without all the DJ versions and help afforded by James Holden, Minilogues The Girl from Botany Bay is a self-assured progressive house behemoth, set to annihilate any dancefloor that it comes across. The first release from Treibstoff sub-label Wir, the Swedish duo Minilogue, best known in the tech-house world for their Radiohead sampling 12 for Traum, mine the sort of giddy pop music that their country has been known for and compress the results into a gem of melodic yearning. Utilizing the loudest kick drum ever recorded, rosy fingertip synths, and a girl in a bathtub, the track hums along in its first seven minutes towards a climax never reached in Fakes original or Holdens remix of the same that obliterates. Apparently theres a B-side. Id actually never seen the words supertip before, but this release demands it.

Wir / 001
[Todd Burns]

March 24, 2006

In The Mix: Todd Burns


1. Cosmic Sandwich - Man in a Box (Daso Remix)
2. Marc Romboy - Disco Impact
3. Sleeparchive - Bleep04
4. Sasse feat. Kiki - Loosing Touch
5. Error Error - Your Everlasting Breath (Paul Kalkbrenner Remix)
6. Lazy Fat People - Dark Water
7. Minilogue - The Girl from Botany Bay
8. Daso - Go Upstairs

September 22, 2005

Minilogue - Certain Things EP

Traum continues its win streak with a duo Ive never heard of before taking on Everything In Its Right Place on the opener and matching it with a slowly modulating gospel vocal that nearly breaks out of its self-imposed obfuscation by tracks end. Part 2 trades pop song familiarity for dance music move familiarity, by utilizing acid squiggles and synth pads to nicely clichd effect. Steve Barnes pops in for a third portion that splits the difference between the two, melding the atmospherics and emphatically dance-centric second part. Needless to say, recommended.

Traum Schallplatten / TRAUM V64
[Todd Burns]