August 5, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 31

Burial - Ghost Hardware (Hyperdub)
Genre: Dubstep

Nick Sylvester: If you can imagine yourself cooking bacon in a forest somewhere at night, and every so often just shouting a bit from “Genie in a Bottle” because you thought you heard a motorcycle engine in the distance, you’re halfway there.

DJ Naughty - World EP (Moodmusic)
Genre: Electro-House, Neo-Disco

Italoboyz - Viktor Casanova (Mothership)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Nate DeYoung: I’ll enjoy the sights of “fucked up girls trying to imitate the opera singer” as much as hearing the minimal percussion which delicately avoids overshadowing or under-lighting the track’s main attraction.

Ilya Santana - Quasar (Disciple of Groove)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Jupiter Black feat. Fred Ventura - Hold Me (Clone)
Genre: Italo

Michael F. Gill: Needless to say, if you found stuff like Ryan Paris, P. Lion, Ken Laszlo, and Eddy Huntington to be pure parmesan, you probably won’t be into this.

Beatzcast #44: Nate Deyoung

Nick Southall is feeling balearic while reviewing West Coast by Studio, and Future Rock by Strategy.

Nina Phillips is feeling trancey while reviewing Guy Gerber’s Late Bloomers and Stephan Bodzin’s Liebe Ist

Charles Merwin is hanging out in NYC, dancing with Tigercity

Todd Burns looks into the Outhud-ness of Delorean’s Transatlantic KK


July 31, 2007

Naughty - World EP

Recently, I feel like I’ve been overpraising records. A niggling brain loop returns to me for the nth time, saying “You should pan something, you’re losing your critical faculty.” But then, what should I pan? Maybe it’s a sign of narrowness, of only listening to what you like of course you’re gonna give it a positive spin. Or maybe, just maybe, the releases of late have been solid gold. No doubt there’s elements of all of the above floating around in the mix, but I can say for certain (as certain as any provisional judgement can be) that Naughty has come up with one of his best, which (given his standard) makes it a shoe-in for one of the better tracks of the year so far.

The EP’s songtitles are likely a wordplay based on Double’s “Woman of the World”, an old 1983 track that has had a recent caning after inclusion, first on DJ Harvey’s Sarcastic Disco mix, then Ame’s Mixing, the Permanent Vacation compilation, and the extremely popular (and highly accomplished) DJ Kicks mix from Henrik Schwarz. “World of a Man” (nominally the B-side) opens like a very “big” Ananda track, slowly unfurling with rhythmic synth stabs and a blunt kick dug in below. In fact, the Ananda comparison holds throughout there’s a definite nano-trance undertow pulling the whole kaboodle out into a sea of dance. It’s a nice track, but it’s not why you should buy this EP…that would be the A-side.

“The World of a Woman” proclaims itself from the first bar, looping four bars from the grounding groove of “Woman of the World”, but quickly twisting things in a very Naughty direction, using a soft rounded pad with a three note ascending melody to contrast with the sawtooth bassline. But what a melody! There are shades of old-school Luciano (like the sparkling Capricciosa EP on Bruchstuecke) in the melodics, but with big, trucking rhythms. There’s elements of Italo, Balearic, and early 90s house, but it’s all so beautifully harmonised. I’ve been listening to this several times a day for the past week or so, and remain entranced.

Moodmusic / MOOD 053
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


July 23, 2007

Jahcoozi - Reworks

200712"HouseLeftfield

Yet even more sweets for 2007’s remix piata. I’m not too familiar with Jahcoozi’s glitchy dub-pop stylings, but the “name” remixers piqued my interest here, and deliver three eargrabbing pieces of lively and stripped down house music. Leading things off is the nicely titled “Robert Johnson 6AM X-Ray Italo Rework” of “Ali McBillls” by Playhouse boss Ata and Moodmusic’s Sasse. It starts off a bit like an old MRI or Force Tracks record (dubby stabs on 2 and 4), punctuated by a heavily flanged snare at the beginning of each measure. As it progresses, things get slimier, with some disco-dub effects, pulsating eighth-note synths, and posh female vocals (”My Daddy’s rich but I don’t admit it”). There’s a line about Ally McBeal which is a bit cringeworthy, but thankfully it’s not so much a deterrent but a reminder of the fact that there are finger smudges in this chic pudding.

On the b-side, Arto Mwamb’s “Bubbles In The Bathtub Shake” remix of “Shake the Doom” is more straightforwardly housey, with simpler kick patterns and a two-note bassline. Arto maintains the interest level with an ever-shifting arrangement of staccato vocal chunks, colorful cymbal timbres, and a sneaky little chord progression revealed at the end. Cassy, Miss Panoramabar herself, remains in fine form with her own take on “Shake The Doom”. Similar in sound to her recent single with A Guy Called Gerald, this is a cyclic minimal house cut in love with its taut, old skool sounding drum rhythms. Yet it doesn’t feel flat or indulgent to me, as there’s a lot of spring to this remix’s step. Maybe I have a soft spot for drums that sound like they are made of rubber (i.e. they feel very flexible, yet still give a strong attack), but Cassy seems to get endless mileage out of this drum sound with only one vocal and keyboard loop laid on top.

Careless / LESS007
[Listen]
[Michael F. Gill]


July 20, 2007

Beatzcast #42: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from Anja Schneider and the Kindisch label, as well as Dial Records and a remix from the Wighnomy Brothers…

Tracklist
01: Herb LF - Fruchtalarm (Wighnomys Obstkokktailie) [buy]
02: Sten - Undercover [buy]
03: Phonique - Gaga [buy]
04: Einzelkind - Maferefumeco [buy]
05: Anja Schneider - Belize [buy]

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July 15, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 28

Peter Visti - Dolly (Mindless Boogie)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Balearic

Wild Rumpus - Musical Blaze-Up (Bitches Brew)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Reggae

Nate DeYoung: I can only imagine that the Rumpus duo of legends, DJ Cosmo and Gary Lucas, must have a winged costume or two in their closets.

DJ 3000 / Gerald Mitchell / Ellen Allien - Alia / Geloshai 1862 / Retina (Motech Limited)
Genre: Detroit, Techno

Pharoahe Monch - Body Baby Remixes (Island Records)
Genre: House, R & B

Mallory O’Donnell: This single is a mixed bag to be sure, but one worth investigating, especially for those in search of rap / house crossovers that take chances, rather than skating to the easy route.

cv313 - Dimensional Space (echospace [detroit])
Genre: Techno, Dub

Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music (Moodmusic)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Dennis Ferrer - Son of Raw (Locodice Remixes) (Objektivity)
Genre: Techno, Minimal/Deep

Peter Chambers: Is LocoButtrich the king of mild pitch house?

Weekly Staff Charts

Beatzcast #41: Crambe Repetita

Andrew Gaerig looks at Klaus Dinger’s post-Neu! project La Dusseldorf

Brad Luen reviews the Disco documentary The Godfather of Disco


July 13, 2007

Beatzcast #41: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from Cobblestone Jazz, Lindstrom, one half of Metro Area, and Radio Slave…

Tracklist
01: Glissandro 70 - Bolan Muppets [buy]
02: Detalles - Sociber [buy]
03: Captain - Glorious (Radio Slave Mix) [buy]
04: Cybotron - Clear (Louderbach All This Space Remix) [buy]
05: Cybotron - Clear (Cobblestone Jazz Remix) [buy]
06: Lindstrom and Solale - Let It Happen [buy]
07: The Green Men - The Fog (Darshan Jesrani Remix) [buy]
08: Super700 - Millions [buy]

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July 12, 2007

Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music

200712"HouseMinimal/Deep

If seeing is believing, hearing is disbelieving. It’s a fact that might’ve been founded by the musique concrete godfather Pierre Schafer more than fifty years ago, but still leaves more than a few of us lost in what it actually means. How about this one - when reversed, how can you listen to a sound that ends before it’s created? The latest artist playing in these sound riddles is Henrik Schwarz, who left his own breadcrumbs with “Walk Music” a couple months ago. For an artist responsible for one of the best DJ mixes of 2006, the response to Schwarz’s return to Moodmusic was not only unfounded, it was bizarre “Walk Music” was completely ignored.

On paper, the cricket-laden response might be hard to explain. On vinyl, though, the lost and reversed voice that pierces through the ether of “Walk Music” makes perfect sense. The single doesn’t seem to belong to a release date cemented by the 2003 version of “Walk Music” here that’s been lost and found. The uncanny cinematic burn of synths on “Walk Music” only enhances the track’s abject vocals, reminding you that horror not only has an ability to torture but also to haunt. Even the melodic sprinkle that begins the 2003 version has few comforts - it’s ends up being just the damp underbelly in which the rest of the song festers. But despite all of that, here’s the kicker: upon hearing Walk Music, it’s impossible to look away. Hearing really is disbelieving.

Mood Music / MOOD 51
[Listen]
[Nate Deyoung]


June 1, 2007

Charts: June 1 2007

Nate DeYoung

Map of Africa - Map of Africa [Whatever We Want]
Stephan Bodzin - Liebe Ist [Herzblut]
Guy Gerber - Late Bloomers [Cocoon]
Herlihy & Torrance - So That’s What Happens [Moodmusic]
Lee Douglas - New York Story [Rong]
Len Faki - Rainbow Delta / Mekong Delta [Ostgut]
Tensnake - I Say Mista [Mirau]
Studio - Life’s a Beach! [Information]
Damian Schwartz - Verde Confeti Remixes [CMYK]
Otterman Empire - Babylon and On / Dharma [Whatever We Want]

Michael F. Gill

Soultourist - Side Dish [Drumpoet Community]
Aleksi Perl - Underwater Carousel [Rephlex]
Chris Moss Acid - Acid Buddy [Mathematics Recordings]
Joe Claussell - Evora [White]
Tito Puente - Hot Timbales [Sony]
Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson - Space Jam 2000.17 [Sonar Kollektiv]
Chymera - Satura / Arabesque [Tishomingo Music]
Disrupt - Tubby ROM Module [Werk Discs]
Plunky & The Oneness Of JuJu - Every Way But Loose [Sutra]
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes - Don’t Leave Me This Way [Epic/Philadelphia International]


November 10, 2006

Sasse feat. Malte - Up to You

200612"Minimal/TechHouse

Playhouse headz would know Maltes distinctive vocals from some of Losouls greatest tracks, like the Cameo cribbing Lies and his I know theyre meaningful, but of what exactly I cannot say part on You Know. Sasses original sits quite comfortably between 80s synth-pop and the pop-leaning minimal-house outings of Ware artists of yore. Are we witnessing a vocal house renaissance? If so, lets hope the lyricists dig deeper than fare here and elsewhere (Koehnke/Leyers), which seems to borrow from the pseudo-philosophy of those Successories posters that arseholes who work in marketing stick on their office partition walls to remind them to believe and achieve. Anja Schneiders mix ditches the main floor for the space typical to her own Mobilee productions, which is either (not the dreaded mnml again!) exquisitely sparse or deadly boring, depending on your point of view. I like it. Naughtys mixes wear their sunglasses at night. This one turns the synth into that dadnk-dnk dnk dnk dnk rhythm that made his Silver and Gold EP such a trucker. The Drum Cult mix brings in a bigger kick and foregrounds some synth pads that give it a strange Satoshi Tomiie/Twilo feel, especially with the reverb added to the vocal. Theres a whole lotta interpretation going on here, but the net result is more a study in remixology than a satisfying music release.

Moodmusic / MOOD 045
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


July 28, 2006

Common Factor - Through

200612"Techno

Three mixes of laid back tech-house from Nick Calingaert, half of Soma act Retroflex and Planet E alum. Calingaert definitely bears some traces of his former mentors work here, as layers of percussion, a pseudo-jazzy keyboard riff, and textural synth pads play musical chairs over a throbbing two-note bassline and a few key breakdowns. The stomping Phonique remix strips things down to start, then adds the layers back piece by piece for an altogether more interesting and dynamic track. Holmar Filipsson plays it a bit retro, with a big swinging hi-hat and an accent on the riffs rather than the rhythms. A little something for everyone, then, although nothing that will really stick to your ribs the next day.

Moodmusic / MOOD 042
[Listen]

[Todd Hutlock]


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