October 4, 2007

Soul Capsule - Waiting 4 A Way

For their first single as Soul Capsule in six years, Thomas Melchior and Peter “Baby Ford” Adshead deliver not so much a set of DJ tools but something similar to an “open source code” of minimal techno. It’s wonderful to hear an EP that builds out of its own heritage, bringing the warm waves straight out of the depths of the circuits they’ve been coursing through for almost fifteen years.

Like a lot of his recent solo tracks, Baby Ford’s voice comperes the whole event he’s a quiet master of ceremonies who murmurs, whispers, and coaxes you through the auroral atmosphere like some kind of positively charged Leonard Cohen. As evidenced on the long and winding title cut, Ford’s influence on Melchior’s style is akin to the flattening of a wiggling arc - he basically gets Tommy to turn the brightness of his space-dusted melodies inwards. B-Side “Beauty and the Beat” brings the sound closer to the epic, deep minimal techno explored at length on Ford’s Sacred Machine a machine that wills the eternal return of a perfectly pitched and filtered kick drum. A repetition without gravity. Welcome back, guys.

Perlon / PERL 63
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


July 29, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 30

Jahcoozi - Reworks (Careless)
Genre: House, Leftfield

Tiger Stripes / Solomun - Hooked / Jungle River Cruise (Liebe Detail)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Nate DeYoung: It didn’t take too long until I realized that yes, once again, the sky must still be quite pink.

Social Being - Free Your Mind (Tuning Spork)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: The guitar part is like a memory, like the raw acoustic riffs struggling against the walls of digital feedback in Fennesz’ Endless Summer.

Turbo Crystal - French Girl (Tiny Sticks)
Genre: Leftfield, Neo-Disco

Luciano - Fourges et Sabres (Perlon)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Peter Chambers: Luciano, unlike Guns n Roses (theres a first time for every comparison), has achieved that rare thing, a track which almost totally suspends the sensation of time passing, which thrusts you into a soundworld which is propulsive and immersive.

Socks and Sandals - Rishi Saturn (Microcosm)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Beatzcast #43: Crambe Repetita

Kevin J. Elliott reviews Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork


July 26, 2007

Luciano - Fourges et Sabres

Just after the fifteen minute mark, a strange thing happens while listening to Luciano’s new epic “Fourges et Sabres”. It fades out. That in itself is hardly strange, I suppose. What is odd is the sense of disappointment because the track feels cut short. Truncated. Abridged. FM radio stations (understandably) do this to Guns n Roses’ “November Rain”, but even then, the full version is less than nine minutes long. And you hardly feel “cheated” when it finishes. Luciano, unlike Guns n Roses (there’s a first time for every comparison), has achieved that rare thing, a track which almost totally suspends the sensation of time passing, which thrusts you into a soundworld which is propulsive and immersive.

Like Prins Thomas’ glorious twenty minute remix of “Hatchback”, this is partially achieved through unhurriedness. These tracks don’t feel like epics, they sound like songs unfolding at their own pace with a stride that’s (naturally) long and loping. Able to leap minutes in a single bound. Users of Reaktor might be familiar with some of the “autopoietic” synthesizers you can download you just fire them up, and they randomise, differentiate, and “make music” for as long as you let them. There’s a strong element of that here, although it’s mixed with an all-too-human command of the rhythm structures that bespeaks a knowledge of floors and dancing. Under all the ovoid chimes and fluff and hum there’s a big, warm bassline, and a fat kick.

“Back to Front”, the B, is not quite as successful (or effortless) in achieving a similar effect. The more conventional of the pair, it relies on a sax sample that stabs itself into the mix, urging the whole kaboose down the line along with some vocoded mutterings. This is a fantastically light, listenable EP that’s bound to layer and mix well (like most of Luciano’s recordings), but at the moment I’m still sort of dumbstruck by the qualities of the title track. If only life could be so effortless and endless…

Perlon / PERL 62
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


July 6, 2007

Beatzcast #40: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

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…

Tracklist
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]

Subscribe to the Stycast.
Subscribe to Beatz By The Pound.


July 5, 2007

Tolga Fidan - Venice / Tambulistan

Perhaps in this age of microgenre and marketing category, all one needs to do is to corner a market, and carve out a niche. Everybody decries pigeonholing, but (tacitly) we all know it’s the road (or crevice) to success. It doesn’t really matter which one. A film-making friend of mine may be right there’s absolutely no point compromising your creative vision these days, if you’ve got effective distribution. Hell, I’ve been to 12k gigs in Tokyo crammed to the gills with microsound geeks, all of them ready to record the show with their mini-disc players. Now that’s a freakshow.

Vakant have their slot sorted too ominous, dry, digital sounding minimal/techno. The names of the producers even sound to my Anglo-Saxon ears like those of vampires: Mathias Kaden, Onur zer, Tolga Fidan. Fidan’s Venice/Tambulistan follows hot on the shiny black heels of zer’s Red Cabaret EP, which everyone else seemed to like but me. First listens (while washing dishes) made me think, “hey, they’ve sent me zers EP again by mistake”. But no, it’s different, just the same.

Just like Red Cabaret, the A-side is full of noises that seem to have come from flipping through VST patches. Once something sufficiently menacing is found (black horns, icy strings, something scaly and slithering), a two-note minor interval or an arabesque/creepy/ancient-sounding melody is mixed in, and there’s your track. Pardon my cynicism, but I hope the artlessness of this is remedied by the dancefloor impact. Anyway, there’s lots of cool, spooky ideas here that are thrown into the cauldron for good effect, and I think it’d sound great mixed into something incongruously “happy and gay”. The B-side, “Venice” is rhythmically more interesting, vibrating with little ideas and intrusive hits and hisses. I guess you can’t fault the novelty, really with only one or two other labels making horror house minimal (Underl_ne and Perlon [in its dark moments]) this record has a very distinctive sound/feel that, like all monsters, is equally repulsive and attractive.

Vakant / SD05
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


May 25, 2007

Beatzcast #34: Crambe Repetita

Mixes2007

Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music…

Tracklist
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]

Subscribe to the Stycast.
Subscribe to Beatz By The Pound.


May 17, 2007

John Daly - Sky Dive

200712"TechnoDetroit

John Dalys Sky Dive EP is probably as good as any release to bring up the fact that 2007 has ushered in a rethinking of the role of minimal labels. The transition from a curator that reworks the boundaries of minimal with each release into a stockbroker whose strength lies in the diversity of its portfolio might be reflected only subtly in the music so far. But its hard to see that staying the case for long. While early 00s stalwarts like Perlon and M_nus have maintained brand identity of their music to this day, marquee upstarts like Mobilee and Get Physical appear to be totally oblivious to genre allegiances. Which brings us back to Daly landing on Plak Records a Swiss label that might talk about themselves as deep and bouncy minimal, but more often sound like they buried their equipment in the garden for a couple weeks to hear what rotted sounds they could dig up.

Sky Dive can run among the best minimal/techno singles of the year so far, but the reason its so good might also be counterintuitive from what youd expect from Plak. Sure, the title cut is built around a squelching hiccup thats par for the Plak course, but the Irishmen Daly is far from the Swiss gardens. Invoking the best of Moodyman with the locked loop of slow chimes, submerged bongos and handclaps, “Sky Dive” is a deep and bouncy revelation for the label. And the b-side “Broken Juno” isnt too far behind. It was enough to encourage me to take a closer look at Dalys earlier records (quick primer search for Freak Out or Get Out and destroy Solaris). The shift to more diverse portfolios may bring scoffs from the purists but it definitely is treating Plak well here.

Plak Records / PLK 14
[Listen]
[Nate DeYoung]


March 23, 2007

Charts: March 23 2007

Peter Chambers
Beck - Cellphones Dead (Villalobos entlebuch remix) [Geffen]
Len Faki - Pearl Delta/Mekong Delta [Ostgut Tontraeger]
Tobias. - Dial EP [Logistic]
Andy Stott - Handle with Care/See in Me [Modern Love]
Carsten Jost/Efdemin - Split EP [Dial]
Lawrence - Fridays Child EP [Mule]
Donnacha Costello - 6.6 [Minimise]
Half Hawaii - Into Me/Out of Me [Perlon]
Move D - Anne Will (Lawrence remix) [Liebe Detail]
Repeat/Repeat Carpark (Second Edition) [Soma]
DJ Koze/Sid le Rock - Naked (Koze remix) [Cereal/Killers]

Michael F. Gill
Jan Leslie Holmes Im Your Superman [Jay Jay Records]
Domina You Got My Soul [Crash]
Automat Automat [EMI/Barclay]
Alloy Orchestra The Man With The Movie Camera [Junk Metal Music]
David Garcet Redemption (The Revolving Eyes Mix) [Dirty Dancing]
Roy Davis Jr Traxx From The Nile [Bombay Records]
Wolfgang Voigt Oktoberfest [Auftrieb]
Mike Uzzi & Ben Recht Reclaiming The 120s [Unfoundsound]
Loco Dice - El Gallo Negro [Ovum]
Nasty & Tresher - The Well Served Event [Terminal M]


March 13, 2007

Narcotic Syntax - Provocative Percussion

Id always thought that Narcotic Syntax was nothing more than Marcus Nikolais silly sidethe kind of tracks that might have resulted when the dentist/label owner reached for his sampler not a moment after taking his snout out of the gas mask. I mean, Reptile Sweat Accelerator? Muff Diver? Whose madness is this? Punning Germans? Really?! Well, as it turns out, Narcotic Syntax is actually Yapacc and James Dean Brown, with the ribald puns being the work of the latter. Narcotic Syntax have been popping up on the Superlongevity compilations since the word go, and their Latinized, percussive microhouse jumped a zany inch out at you after the sometimes flatlining funk of other berminimal trackmakers.

Provocative Percussion takes you from this context to where the title would suggest, with four drum swamped tracks that would work wonderfully well as tools, provide the raw materials for a whole batteria of loops, or carve things up on their own. Blast Excavation sets the agenda, with a slow building heave of hits which add, conjugate, and multiply as the track unfolds. A background listen lends the impression of a straight-ahead barrage, but closer ears expose endlessly proliferating layers of grooves, breaking down, breaking apart, reforming, but always marching onward.

Descarca Narcotica is a re-presentation of their track Ping Pong Voodoo from Superlongevity 3 which introduces the old versions groove to the melodic equivalent of a leopard-skin couch in a mondo cocktail lounge. While somehow not as directly satisfying as their work incorporating vocals (check the hilarious Raptors Delight), this is an engaging and useful EP for anyone who wants to add more than a pinch more drums to their box.

Wir / WIR 005
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


February 2, 2007

Charts: February 2 2007

Todd Hutlock
Kiki - Trust Me (Super Dub) [Bpitch Control]
Radio Slave - Weeeze [Rekids]
Pantytec - Micromission (Daniel Bell Remix) [Perlon]
Thomas Brinkmann - Wait A Minute [Max Ernst]
Mikkel Metal - Noff [Echocord]
Sieg ber Die Sonne - Youll Never Come Back (Tobi Neumanns Waiting For You Rmx) [Multicolor Recordings]
Villalobos - Tub [Playhouse]
Alan Parsons Project - I Robot (Pilooski Edit) [D*I*R*T*Y Edits]
Depeche Mode - Master And Servant (An ON-U Sound Science Fiction Dance Hall Classic) [Mute]
Convextion - Solum Ferrum [Down Low]

Mallory ODonnell
Roxy Music - Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix) [Virgin]
Love Supreme - Pork Chop Express [Tirk]
Kathy Diamond - All Woman [Permanent Vacation]
Flim Flam - Best of Joint Mix [Dum Dum]
Marsha Raven - I Like Plastic [Red Bus]
Pet Shop Boys - One More Chance (Remix) [ARS]
Orgue Electronique - The Garden [Creme Organisation]
Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words [RCA]
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime [Kompakt]
Gui Borrato - Chromophobia [Kompakt]

Michael F. Gill
Tenderness - Got To Keep On Trying [RCA]
Bob-A-Rela - Why Does It Rain? [Channel]
O’Gar Playback Fantasy (Instrumental) [Magic Circus Productions]
Quartz Beyond The Clouds [T.K. Disco]
Omar-S- The Maker [FXHE]
Robert Hood Hoodmusic 2 [Music Man Records]
Marcellus Pittman Come See [Unirhythm]
Herbert The Movers & The Shakers (Green Velvet Remix) [!K7]
Remo feat. Chelonis R. Jones - Empire [Dance Electric]
Home Video - The Penguin (Tim Goldsworthy’s The Loving Hand Remix) [Defend]


— Next Page »