February 9, 2007

Audio Werner - Flatfunk

If samples were cats, then Audio Werner’s would definitely be among the pigeons. Like his popular Just Darr It EP on Trapez Ltd, this release is full of exuberant micro house with one eyebrow raised, but it’s less “hyper” than the Akufen-esque sound of yore or its even more manic French cousins on Circus Company. Anywhere you find it, these are likeable and useable tracks that easily fit between the cracks in your tiny wee house. It’s all about the drum samples, boys and girls, and Audio Werner’s predilection is for hits, taps, and toms that seem more likely to be drawn from an anthropologist’s field recordings, rather than some 909 drum sample CD-ROM. The title track lives up to its name, bubbling for a full ten minute workout, and sounds somewhere between Betrieb’s more accessible moments on Klang and some of the less schizo bits on Lump’s color series vinyl. “DBA” sounds like early Musik Krause, and funks along without a hiccup or a highlight. “Moved,” the B2, is filled with cool xylophone sounds and oddball percussion samples, bells, and spooky reverb. With a touch of Latin madness, it could easily be a Narcotic Syntax production. I have a feeling this one would layer really well in the mix, and can imagine it +8 betwixt two other rolling, shaking percussion monsters under the mixer of Villalobos or Luciano.

Circus Company / CCS 017
[Peter Chambers]

February 2, 2007

Robag Wruhme - Pap-tonnik

Robag Wruhme (or Gabor “Wighnomy” Schlabitzki to his mum) did a fateful thing, the day he bought Ableton Live. Like a lot of other new users, it seems, it wasn’t long before Mr. Wruhme was able to “unlock the secrets of this amazing software” by following the tutorials. I think it’s the third one that must have really grabbed him, because (if memory serves) it’s the one in which you learn how to use stutter. Between Ableton’s stutter, its reverb plugin, and his own talent for whimsical boompty, Robag managed to build an album’s worth of tracks, with a sound signature that was startlingly different to his earlier Herbert-ish workouts on Freude am Tanzen and Musik Krause. The stuff sounded wild, and the album, unsurprisingly, got the big thumbs up from a lot of tech-loving pundits. Three years, a half dozen twelves and umpteen remixes later though, and Robag’s stutter patter is beginning to sound decidedly tired, and his tracks like a parody of themselves. It’s something that plagued Akufen until he (thankfully) ditched the microsampling techniques that made his reputation. Unfortunately, Wruhme has persisted with the same formulas. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great in their own right. Both “Papp-Tonik” and “Ikke’s Schlonze” kick along with the same housey rump, boisterous breakdowns and sudden, rearing echo chambers that made standout EPs like Kopfnikker and Backkatalog so fresh, and “Pontifekks” shows his obvious love for Richard D. James blossoming in new directions. It’s just that, well, there’s only so long that you can whip a one trick pony (even a champion) before it becomes a dead one. And Robag, with a reverb, a stutter, and barely a second thought, is flogging a dead horse. Will someone please buy this guy some new software?

Musik Krause / MK 19
[Peter Chambers]

November 7, 2005

In the Mix: Michael F. Gill - “Lessons In Not Thinking #1″

The first in what will hopefully a series of manic dance mixes that spans through all kinds of new house, minimal, techno, and disco in a quick, ADD-type of fashion. 31 tracks in under 80 minutes is a bit overwhelming, and that’s exactly the point. My experience of dance music is often overwhelming, and involves hyperactive and obsessive emotions. It’s visceral and physical, a melting sigh with a craftsmen’s touch. It’s that Tuesday night at 4 am with the headphones on, lying on the kitchen floor, thinking about chaos and Taoism. Or something.

1 Yasushi Miura - Oceans (Kp, 2005)
2 G-Man - Quo Vardis (Swim~, 1995)
3 Error Error - Rotten (Italic, 2005)
4 Danton Eeprom - Oddbassliner (Virgo, 2005)
5 Chelonis R. Jones - I Don’t Know [Michael F Gil’s “Midas Touch” Mix] (Get Physical/Blank Start, 2005)
6 Robag Wruhme - Wortkabular [Luciano Remix] (Musik Krause, 2005)
7 Pier Bucci - Tita (Crosstown Rebels, 2005)
8 Pig & Dan - Love Myself (Sonic Society, 2005)
9 Henrik Schwarz - Feel Good [Juju Christian Mix] (Zeppelin Recordings, 2005)
10 Oasis - Nine (Fxhe, 2005)
11 Planck Length - Salidas (Blank Start, 2005)
12 Jesse Somfay - This Fragile Addiction (Traum, 2005)
13 Steve Barnes - Man In A Box [Jesse Somfay’s Trapped In 1981 Mix] (My Best Friend, 2005)
14 Mcfadden & Whitehead - Ain’t No Stoppin’ [Ain’t No Way] (Buddah, 1984)
15 Teena Marie - Midnight Magnet [Instrumental Version] (Epic, 1983)
16 Dandy Jack & The Junction SM - Casper House (Perlon, 2005)
17 Keith Tucker - Nemesis (Puzzlebox, 1998)
18 I’m Not A Gun - Make Sense & Loose [Ulrich Schnauss Remix] (City Centre Offices, 2003)
19 L.U.P.O. - Hell or Heaven (Low Spirit, 1990)
20 Edo Van Asseldonk - Moon 2 Moon (Phonocult, 2005)
21 DK7 - Where’s The Fun [Sweet Light Remix] (Output, 2005)
22 Ricardo Villalobos - Easy Lee [Smith & Hack Unreleased Mix Pt. 1] (Playhouse, 2004)
23 Teenage DJ - Time and Place [Disco Break] (Disco Best, 2005)
24 Amp Dog Knight - Over U (Mahoghani, 2005)
25 Schatrax - Just For Fun (Classic/Schatrax, 2001)
26 Soulphiction - What’s Your Name (Freude Am Tanzen, 2004)
27 Moodymann - LT1 #2 (KDJ, 2005)
28 Zachary Lubin - Introduction To Algorithms (6277, 2005)
29 Donato Dozzy & Exercise One - People of Paprika (Lan Muzic, 2005)
30 Dapayk & Midnight - Emergency (Fenou, 2005)
31 Ezekiel Honig - Transportation Application (Microcosm, 2005)


May 12, 2005

Wighnomy Brothers - 3 Fachmisch EP

I’ve always looked at Wighnomy-related 12”’s as experiments: certainly Robag’s work on Musik Krause has always been a mixed-bag, the much-loved Wuzzellbudd LP notwithstanding. This newest EP by the Sasha and Digweed of microhouse is no exception, featuring two non-musical interludes of no apparent consequence. It’s the three burners here, though, that make this worth a buy: “Pele Bloss” being the rightful A-side. It’s reminiscent in feel to the stunning “Wurz and Blosse,” but is easily the more banging of the two. The two B-sides pale in comparison, but offer up some nice surprises: “Nunca,” particularly, ends in a haze of uncharacteristic horns and piano.

Freude am Tanzen / FAT 019
[Todd Burns]