December 22, 2006

2006: The Year In Review

Welcome to the Beatz By The Pound year-end roundup for 2006, a veritable smorgasbord of lists, thoughts, and reflections about the current state of dance music. And while all of our writers handed in very diverse ballots, we were able to come to a consensus on a couple of key releases, producers, and labels. Let the madness begin…


November 10, 2006

Greg Wilson - Hardcore Boogie


Last year’s Credit to the Edit was, for many, one of the reissues of the year, as long-time Manchester DJ Greg Wilson served up some of his finest disco, funk, electro, and boogie re-edits. The three tracks on Hardcore Boogie are Wilson’s own, created using the same techniques as his re-edits, but with more layers of different source songs and various vocals thrown on top. In other words: bootlegs. “Hardcore Boogie” cuts in some orgiastic female panting and a vocoder-ized Bambaataa over a roller-disco loop. “Chocolate Factor” is an unqualified masterpiece—nearly fourteen minutes of Chocolate Milk’s “Who’s Getting It Now” atop a mesmerizing set of funk bass and stabs. The result is an early-morning danceathon that’s the essence of boogie—spare enough to be ageless, forceful enough to keep the dedicated groover in total body-lock. The last track, “DD & Rakim” mixes Eric B & Rakim’s well-worn “I Know You Got Soul” and a James Brown grunt scratched at 45 (from Dubble D’s “Squelch”) to create an almost introspective, broken beat-esque jazzscape. Essential productions from a living legend.

Redux / REDUX001
[Mallory O’Donnell]

November 10, 2006

Charts: November 10 2006

Guest Chart: Mathias Schaffhauser, Ware

Ricardo Villalobos – Unflug / Good Groove & Yapacc Remix [Frisbee Tracks]
Bond & Blome – Tentacular [Sender]
Five Green Circle – Ochim EP [Meerestief]
NDKJ – Pimp / from „Put It Where You Want It EP“ [Maschine]
Oliver Koletzki – Follow Up / Kiki Remix [Stil vor Talent]
V.A. – Mobilée Remix Series Vol. 4 / Daniel Stefanik Remix [Mobilée]
Agnčs – Is She He [Einmaleinsmusik]
Garnica – The Lucky Guy [Galaktika ] – Panakia EP [Ware]
Mathias Schaffhäuser vs. V.A. – RE:2 / Vinyl Selection [Multicolor]

Mallory O’Donnell
Greg Wilson - Chocolate Factor [Redux]
Alice Smith - Love Endevour (Maurice Fulton Remix) [BBE]
Sessomatto - Movin’ On (Joey Negro Remixes) [Z Records]
Tantra - The Double LP [Importe/12]
V/A - El Mejor Italo-Disco De Los 80’s [Contrasena]
Skatebĺrd - Midnight Magic [Digitalo Enterprises]
Matt & Kim - Matt & Kim [IHEARTCOMIX]
Blowfly - Blowfly’s Disco Party [Weird World]

Michael F. Gill
Alan Banford - Delanox [F1]
Pheek - Magda Had A Little Troll ([a]pendics.shuffle remix) [Clever Music]
Freddie Mercury - Love Kills (More Order Rework By The Glimmers) [Parlophone]
John Dahlback - My Secret [Acid 80 Italy]
Jetone - Sufraise II [Apnea]
Arpanet - Event Horizon (Instrumental) [Record Makers]
Umwelt - Kiss In The Dark [Satamile Records]
Das Kraftfuttermischwerk - Monotonism [Tendenzen Freier Entfaltung]
Rekleiner - Sideways [Catwash Records]
Phase - Espresso [Ingoma]

September 22, 2006

Silversurfer - Dirty Dishes / Ace of Spades

“Dirty Dishes,” Crosstown’s Silversurfer tries his hand at one of those hard-sounding squelch-driven “Rocker” redux tracks, really bottomed out, lots of space, etc.. Too bad it doesn’t work out for him—all the sounds are there, but there’s no monster hook to compensate for the minimalism, and the aux percussion is pretty worthless. “Ace of Spades” is only somewhat better, something like a Kompakt b-lister remixing Ministry, but it’s half-assed from the start: The snare clicks are fat and sandpapery, but the basskicks couldn’t sound more lifeless. I guess the only-upbeats synth line counts for the melody here; at the very least it will remind people of Kylie’s “Can’t Get Your Out of My Head” both sonically and sentimentally. The flipside is that it makes the “Ace of Spades” sound merely like an instrumental, incomplete and unfulfilled.

Crosstown Rebels / CRM 028
[Nick Sylvester]

August 11, 2006

Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck


Hector Rodriguez: Being unaware of this side project of Mathew Jonson’s, I cracked it open expecting something along the lines of his slamming electro fuelled tracks, but I could not have been more wrong: it’s fuelled by a more jazzy, vaguely Detroit groove. The B side, “Peace Offering,” is the highlight. An electronic bass line with a simple break provides a foundation, which is punctuated with the occasional reverb soaked keyboard flourish. It works well as anticipation for some incredible jazz inspired keyboard work by band member Tyger Dhula. It’s the kind of track that could easily be slipped into a Lindstrom set, especially as a bridge to something a little more forceful.

Nick Sylvester: Apparently Cobblestone Jazz privilege heart over head, are bringing back improvisation to dance music composition, all that… I dunno. Of the three CJ guys I only know Mathew Jonson’s work, but after seeing two monster Ableton sets of his in Montreal a year ago I’m willing to bite. “Dump Truck” has all the makings of Moodymann redux but then somebody in CJ decided to get his glitch on (his words not mine), somebody decided to throw down a boxed Eurohouse progression, somebody decided to over-vocode a bad female vox hook—so the less said the better. A better time can be had on the flip. “Peace Offering,” if you remember the no-man’s-land minute between LCD Soundsystem’s “Yeah” (the song) and LCD Soundsystem’s “Yeah” (the indulgent acid-house freakout), sounds exactly like that for eleven minutes. It’s a ticking bomb set to rock drums, and it never blows out, not even when CJ add more percussion or trigger (old Herbie?) jazz-funk keyboard riffs in succession. It could have been a “Yeah” disco edit, but there’s no fun in that, which might be the larger lesson here.

Wagon Repair / WAG 014