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]

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)

April 26, 2007

Para One - Midnight Swim

Curiouser and curiouser. It never ceases to amaze me how t(r)endencies in dance music collide, mutate, and spawn new monsters. If one of the key refrains of producers (against music journalists) is that we keep on pigeonholing them against their will, then the reply should be a demand for some sympathyhow else are we to get a handle on all this flux? This EP is so thoroughly under the influences that it staggerstheres crunk, hip-hop, house (bouncy French, disco, micro, electro, whore), plus nods to rave, all packaged with lashings of snappy pop.

First listen reminded me of my mother, telling me that Big Black was headache music. I didnt think Songs About Fucking was, but this EP is colorful like a mouthful of gummies, high like your surging blood sugar, and sickly like your stomach after the binge is over. The original has got the cut, paste, and bounce of Akufens old classics like Deck the House and Quebec Nightclub. The problem with the track (to these ears at least) is the minor-key string sample over the top of the mix, which abrades the party below.

Ritons mix is the bermanic wedding of the originals housey parts to full-bore synth-electro madness. Like Alter Egos remix of Partial Arts a few months back, if the kids in your club don’t dance to this, theyre dead. Thats not a threat, its a medical fact. The Drowning mix by Surkin continues with the cut and spazz, but this time is matched with sirens, rave atmospheres and big-room house ass. Headache music! (Dear god, Im turning into my mother.) Finally, Beckett and Taylor take their hands off the plow long enough to outclass their fellows with a mix that sounds surprisingly adult and sophisticated by comparison, while still keeping things well hectic.

It feels odd to praise an EP I have difficulty listening to from start to finish, but this is exemplary, and if youre a working gal (in the DJ sense) this is a warhorse for the whore-house.

Naive France / Institubes / NV 809166/ INS 12017
[Peter Chambers]

February 16, 2007

Partial Arts - Trauermusik

Why has Ewan Pearson has emerged as a star remixer? His neatly crafted versions of other peoples music often sound like the original should have in the first place. Its a know-how that he applies here with co-consiprator Alistair Usher to produce a record that sounds like Kompakt records might, but often dont. The duo have managed to key in on the particularly lush, rich, sentimental melodic techno sound thats marked anthems like Magnets KissKissKiss, Superpitchers Mushroom, or Robert Babicz Sonntag and transport it into an emotional landscape of their own creation.

Trauermusik begins with a slight electro-disco inflection, boogying past with a neat bassline, but then piles on the synths and falling drums until theres not a dry eye left in the house. Full release (as they advertise in Japanese massage parlors) in eight minutes, guaranteed. But its nothing compared to its evil, mischief loving Alter Ego mix. From the get go, this is a raucous, rambunctious smasherif the original cries tears, then this version rips them. Very close to Rocker and the other huge tracks off the recent Alter Ego album, the track manages to neck five shots of the hard stuff on its way to total annihilation, and no doubt it will take the whole floor with it. Two very different types of emotional hit, both fully realized. Not all Kompakt EPs are worth buying, but this is one of them.

Kompakt / KOM 149
[Peter Chambers]

February 16, 2007

Beatzcast #19



01: Strangelets - Riot on Planet 10 (Blitz Gramsci Rmx)
02: Tracy Thorn - It’s All True (Martin Buttrich Remix)
03: Kalle-M - Glow with the Flow
04: Aril Brikkha - Berghain
05: Sian - Merman
06: Partial Arts - Trauermusik (Original Mix)
07: Lil Suzy - Take Me in Your Arms

December 8, 2006

Beatzcast #13



01: 2020 Soundsystem Tape (12 Edit)
02: Audision Vanish (Sascha Funke Mix)
03: Plasmik - Ahead
04: Mike Uzzi and Ben Recht Talk You Down
05: Tiga 3 Weeks (Troy Pierce Move Until You Leave Mix)
06: Skat - Nightwalk
07: Klein & Zenker Delusion
08: Partial Parts - Trauermusik