July 20, 2007

Charts: July 20 2007

The Beatz staff pick their favorite dance releases of 2007, so far…

Peter Chambers

Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Lopazz - Share my Rhythm (Isolee mix) [Review]
Andy Stott - Handle with Care / See in Me [Review]
Kalabrese - Rumpelzirkus Part 1 [Review]
Efdemin/Carsten Jost - Split EP [Review]
Carsten Jost - Atlantis I & II
Kerri Chandler - Computer Games EP
Andy Stott - the Massacre EP [Review]
DJ Koze - All the Time EP [Review]
Len Faki - Rainbow Delta/Mekong Delta [Review]
Shackleton - Blood on my Hands (Villalobos mix) [Review]
Roman Fluegel - Mutter EP
Various - Death is Nothing to Fear Vol. 1 [Review]
Vulva String Quartett - Cranberry Song EP [Review]
Portable - Don’t Give Up (Remixes) [Review]
Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars (Remixes) [Review]
Ilya Santana - Discotized EP [Review]
DJ Koze vs. Sid le Rock - Naked (Koze remix) [Review]
Battles - Atlas (Koze mix) [Review]
Prosumer/Murat Tepeli - What Makes You Go For It? [Review]

Nate DeYoung

Lindstrom & Solale - Let’s Practice [Review]
Hatchback - White Diamond (Prins Thomas remix)
Audion - I Gave You Away [Review]
Partial Arts - Trauermusik [Review]
Motiivi:Tuntematon - I Don’t Feel Good [Review]
Efdemin - Just a Track [Review]
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Ame - Balandine [Review]
Argy - 1985 (Sydenham & Rune Remix) [Review]
Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music [Review]
Dixon - Resident Advisor #48

Todd Hutlock

cv313 - Dimensional Space EP [Review]
Lazy Fat People - Pixelgirl EP [Review]
Dominik Eulberg - Limikolen EP [Review]
Beck - Cellphone’s Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
Luciano - No Model No Tool [Review]
Audio Werner - Flatfunk [Review]
Tony Allen - Ole (A Remix by Moritz Von Oswald) [Review]
Riton - Hammer of Thor
Adultnapper - Betty Crocker Moves to Berlin
Gaiser vs Heartthrob - Nasty Girl [Review]
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime [Review]
Gui Boratto - Chromophobia [Review]
DeepChord presents Echospace - The Coldest Season
Dominik Eulberg - Heimische Gefilde [Review]
Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss [Review]

Michael F. Gill

Sorcerer - Surfing After Midnight (Prins Thomas Remix) [Review]
Matt John - Soulkaramba [Review]
Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck [Review]
Shackleton - New Dawn / Massacre
Air - Lost Message [Review]
M.I.A. - Bittersuss [Review]
Escort - All That She Is [Review]
Voom Voom - Best Friend / Sao Verought Remixes
Frankie Valentine - Zumbi (Henrik Schwarz Dub Remix)
Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Instrumental)

July 6, 2007

Beatzcast #40: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from Ricardo Villalobos and Jay Haze, Luciano, Get Physical, and My Best Friend…

01: Piemont - Sick Certificate [buy]
02: Riley Reinhold - Lights in My Eyes (Patrice Bumel Mokum Rmx) [buy]
03: Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Grillen Im Park [buy]
04: Gluhen 4 - The World Of… [buy]
05: Kramer - Sonne Ist Da [buy]
06: Social Being - Free Your Mind [buy]
07: Luciano - Back to Front [buy]
08: Half Hawaii - Mir Nichts [buy]
09: Phonique feat. Erlend Oye - Casualties [buy]

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June 10, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 23

Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Ed Banger / Because Music)
Genre: Indie-Dance

Nina Phillips: You know what would be cool for those DJ gigs you guysll be going to soon? Music that girls actually like. Music that has a tension between hard and soft. Music built for the floor - and not the blog.

Michoacan - 2 Bullets (Glimmers/DJ Harvey Remixes) (Grayhound)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Indie-Dance

Peter Chambers: Are you DJ enough to like this? Youll get cred for trying.

Oto Gelb / Daniel Wang - Magical Yellow Sound From Germania / Look Ma, No Drum Machine! (Balihu)
Genre: House, Disco

Tensnake - I Say Mista (Mirau)
Genre: Neo-Disco, Minimal/Deep

Gui Boratto - Chromophobia Remixe Part 1 (Kompakt)
Genre: Minimal/Deep, Progressive/Trance

Riley Reinhold - Light In My Eyes (My Best Friend)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

A Mountain Of One - EP1 / EP2 (AMO)
Genre: Balearic

Nick Sylvester: A lot of this stuff sounds to me like Talk Talk covers the Dances With Wolves soundtrack, at best when people actually believed rock & roll was something spiritual and not just a backdoor to preteen booty.

Beatzcast #36: Crambe Repetita

Derek Miller reviews Matthew Dear’s Asa Breed
Peter Chambers’ take on Get Physical’s 5th Year Anniversary Compilation
Mallory O’Donnell takes on Bondo Do Role’s With Lasers
James Cobo reviews the compilation Kitsune Maison Volume 4

June 7, 2007

Riley Reinhold - Light In My Eyes

Last year, Riley Reinhold released a co-written EP, Friends are Silence. It was rubbish, but the excuse was that it had been a collaboration. At the time, I wondered two things: was the release a by-product of a market where the “release reflex” had become compulsive, and secondly, would Riley (himself a label owner) have released his own work if he’d received it as a promo? But let’s leave the excuses and accusations aside for a moment - let’s give Riley a chance.

For the price of admission, what’s offered here are two different sides to one coin cast in the same alloy - wafting, introspective digi-trance with its heart on its sleeve and its finger on the mouse-key, dragging and dropping various kinds of delay plugins over the melodies. Yeah, I was once in a noise-rock band, and being beyond awful and in the throes of a particularly nasty Sonic Youth trip, we saw fit to drench everything in as much reverb, distortion and delay as possible. The Big Muff was my best friend.

I call the laptop equivalent of this “Abletonitis”, and Rileys only just besting his bout of it here. The A-side, “Light in my Eyes”, grounds the track with a static, dry kick-snare pattern which is left unmodulated in the back of the mix. Over the top, a simple synthloop is leant texture and shift (more by plugin than art) and then, right over the top of that like some imagined “northern lights” pattern, come several big blue synth washes, one after the other. Atmospherically its nice, but at over eight minutes long the soft rinse begins to dry, drag, and then drone on. Compare this track to Sascha Funkes recent “Ey” (reviewed here a few months back) which conjures similar blisses of navel-gazing but with no more complexity. Perhaps with this kind of music, it’s all about the ineffable qualities of the sounds chosen (’cos after all, if it sounds on every beat you’re gonna hear it over a thousand times in an eight minute track). The B-side, “Ghosts”, sounds…thats right, spookier (!) than the A, but again, the track relies too much on the emotive effects of FX gimmicks and pays too little attention to the small details of construction and nuance necessary to make such flights of fancy soar.

Theres the nub of something promising here, and it is an improvement on Friends are Silence, but while Id urge Riley to continue developing his sound/ideas, I still wouldn’t inflict this on the dancing public.

My Best Friend / MBFLTD 12013
[Peter Chambers]

May 25, 2007

Thinking Out Loud: Physical vs. Digital

Thinking Out Loud developed from a series of open-ended email conversations and ruminations between Beatz staff members. In this article, Michael F. Gill and Peter Chambers discuss the merits of dance music on vinyl and MP3.


May 23, 2007

Robag Wruhme Als Rolf Oksen - Bart Eins

Since I fashion myself as Beatz’s token hack, I spend my fair share of time poring over press releases to find out what music means when it doesn’t have lyrics to spell out those things we all like to obsess over - love handles, the “are two prunes too few or three prunes too many” debate and so on. Robag Wruhme might have cloned himself with the same sci-fi ether as Areal’s finest blurbs, but his alter-ego, Rolf Oksen, has an uncanny knack for self awareness that Areal might have missed when they described themselves as “advanced tech-electronic minimalism.” Rolf, as we’ve been introduced by the press release, “is so drunk, as drunk as a skunk! He has lost all control, and now his alter-ego Robag has to take control” (italics added for those keeping score on the sideline - we’re talking about an alter-ego’s alter-ego here).

Aside from the charming text, there’s something missing musically in this vodka-drenched haze. Blame it on the alter-ego, doppelganger, or your friendly neighborhood schizophrenic, but the shimmy drums of “Dopamin” are totally lost on the song’s threadbare hook. I can’t put my finger on it, but its too slow, too meandering, and its excessive glimmers makes the narrow scope of “Hakkatzen” feel like a virtue. There’s no reason to give “Hakkatzen” a backhanded compliment, though; its the highlight here, nuzzling like a sweater - prickling in all the right places as it expands and contracts. Rounding things off are three tracks of ambient found-sound which are more interesting in theory than practice. I spend enough time hearing the same cellphone buzz from telemarketers, so no thank you very much. Listening to “Rolf Auf Seinem Ausgukk,” the best of the ambient trio, I can only picture alter-ego Rolf, passed out on a train with his live recorder running, using the piece as his aural breadcrumbs back home.

Freude Am Tanzen / FAT 030
[Nate DeYoung]

May 21, 2007

Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (Villalobos Remix)

Even when I see the towers fallfallits difficult to see, to breathe, for all the smoke and dust. I have this feeling with Villalobos’ remixes these days: rumours that theyre about to drop induce the mental equivalent of wheezing. It was the same being a latecomer to Reservoir Dogs and Bladerunner, the demand to find genius at play was inversely proportional to the ability to “just enjoy” the works after so much praise had preceded them. Its the hype, your honour, and this asthmatic boy doth breathily protest.

The personal irony then (or not) was the elemental force of Villalobos’ remix of Becks “Cellphones Dead”. Unhyped by friends, unanticipated by me, it sighed, kicked, and sung its way right out of my loudspeakers and into the quiet parts of my heart. It might be one of the best house tracks Ive ever heard. Might be. I set the Beck remix up as a counterpoint against the two “smoke machines” : the hype and the structure. “Cellphones Dead” is a beautifully composed track designed to unfold over its long minutes, with every refrain changing its relationship through repetition and emphasis. Its like a blueprint for how to do groove music, and it feels like its composed to do so.

“Blood on my Hands”, like Fizheuer, is nothing like this. Both tracks, similar in scope and sound, play with (as far as I can gather) an effects processor called the Eventide H3000, producing slowly modulating drum sounds that shift timbre and seem to push and pull into each other, creating (especially at high volumes) beguiling tricks of the ear and sending dancefloors into paroxysms of addled ecstasy. Theyre tools, likely written by Villalobos solely for himself, to be layered under other tracks and to fade through other mixes in his inimitable DJ style. I imagine him, off his guts after a long weekend of after-after parties, eyes rolling mental hours spent in the studio with a buzzing whirl of falling drums.

The wonder of these tracks is twofold then: that theyre the audible traces of a private musical process; that theyre unfinished, more like snatches of an almost unending work made from hours of tweaking, of getting deep inside your groove, out of your head. Simply by releasing them as such, Villalobos has innovated like Andy Warhol’s eight hour long films of people sleeping, “Blood on my Hands” questions the presuppositions and re-frames the possibility of what a piece of music is, how its structured, what it does, and what its for at once process, instrument, and product. And there is a unique piece of music in here it emerges in the plateaus, the retreats and the attacks of the effected drums, it rushes up through Shackletons fantastic lyrics (and how many groove-based tracks have even good lyrics), it drops past you with the atmosphere of apocalypse conjured by the image of the falling towers. Its a ridiculous criticism to say that “its too long”, or that “its not a track” these are two other undeniable qualities that make this work so exemplary, just as they point out its limitations. “Blood on my Hands” might not be a beautiful piece of music like “Cellphones Dead” is, but it is undiminished as an artistic statement for all that. As Brian Eno once noted, new forms of music necessitate new ways of listening. So it is here.

Skull Disco / Skull 007
[Peter Chambers]

May 2, 2007

Andres Bucci - Chocopanda EP

Andres may not be the most famous of the three Chilean Bucci brothersthat distinction would go to his brother Pierbut as his debut solo release proves, he might just be the funkiest. Opener Get Up bounces around with some inspired, elastic layers of percussion, shifting time signatures, and a schwerving bottom end, conjuring classic Mr. Oizo crossed with Villalobos and Luciano. Sentinel follows the same sonic template, albeit with a more consistent, insistent rhythm track, but still abuzz with echoing perc and rubbery static bass tones.

On the flip, Dandy Jack and the Vitteloni rework Get Up into a spaced-out abstraction that shuffles along until a more standard kicking rhythm comes in upon which to hang the stretched and turned noises from the original, as well as some well-placed and apparently friendly UFOs. Buccis version is more inventive, but those looking for something to mix with should head here. All in all, an impressive debut that twitches around with the best of his countrymens work.

Kupei Musika / 12S06
[Todd Hutlock]

April 27, 2007

Charts: April 27 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Simple Minds - Theme From Great Cities [Virgin]
Stevie B - Party Your Body (Dub Mix) [Midtown]
Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day [EMI]
Boundzound - Louder (All Mighty Club Mix) [Universal Island]
Lopazz - Share My Rhythm [Get Physical Music]
Baby Oliver - Hypochondriac [Environ]
Mock & Toof - Black Jub [Tiny Sticks]
Kathy Diamond - The Moment [Permanent Vacation]
Hot Chip - Over & Over (Remixes) [Astralwerks]
Black Devil Disco Club - Black Sunshine [LoEB]
Plone - Plone EP [Warp]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Mysterymen - Everything But An Answer [Disko B]

Michael F. Gill
Kevin Reynolds Afrik [Todhchai Records]
Djosos Krost Earthball [Music For Dreams]
Bassed On Kyoto - Flower [Jet Set Records]
Kocky - Remone [Windsong]
Jasper Van’t Hof - Hoomba Hoomba [Virgin Schallplatten]
Voom:Voom - Best Friend / Sao Verought Remixes [G-Stone Recordings]
Akabu - Im Not Afraid of the Future (DJ Fudge Remix)
Chaim - Popsky / Under My Skin [Hifreaks]
Rene Breitbarth - Graveyard Swing One [Neopren Recordings]
Kraftwerk - Tour De France Soundtracks [Astralwerks]

April 5, 2007

David Garcet - Redemption

Similar to his first single on Belgium’s Dirty Dancing, “Redemption” sees Garcet working a heavy motorik beat with a consistent bassline on every 8th note, finding a common ground between Tussle’s minimal lockgrooves and early My Best Friend records like Toro’s “Phantom Drive.” With some soft-focus guitar melodies and snips of aching falsetto, Garcet is able to keep thing interesting while never diverting from the initial metronomic groove.

Fans of neo-italo duo the Revolving Eyes will find no stylistic surprises on their remix: they shift the monophonic chug into an arpeggiated hi-nrg rush, heightening the tension and creating a bit more heat for the dancefloor. Mister J, the other remixer here, could have had an electro-house hit on his hands if his production chops were more up to snuff. As it stands, he’s a little more than one well-programmed kick drum away from greatness.

Dirty Dancing / DDR 015
[Michael F. Gill]

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