June 13, 2007

DJ Koze - All The Time

In all his work, DJ Koze’s sense of humour tends toward an overdeveloped, lo-fi sense of the ridiculous, and it’s not something limited to the picture you see above: the madness is also in the music. Listen to any of Koze’s tunes, and there’s a sense of willful perversity to the crazy twists, the pleateaus, the digressions, and the timbral sleights-of-hand. Like his often amazing DJ sets, he’s always toying with you as he plays with himself in sound relentlessly, recklessly, joyfully. The recent (brilliant) remix of his own Naked (with Sheldon “Pan/Tone” Thompson) was a case in point.

“All the Time” hits all the familiar sweet spots by defamiliarising idioms of melodic minimalism and house (off the deep end). The A harks back to early Kompakt, with shades of Dettinger and Reinhard Voigt, but again re-fashioned into something utterly Koze. It bleeps, it squawks, and it grooves like hell, taking you into the shadowy parts of the thicket where the creatures only come out at night. But it’s the B, “Cicely”, that makes this EP. Starting off with a long (maybe overlong) intro, the track drops in what sounds like a stretched ‘n’ pulled guitar sample, before lifting things off the ground with a rising attack of gulping drums contrasted by another, higher pitched guitar sample. The track just keeps building and unfolding, introducing a third swirling loop (a la the Superpitcher of yore) and then letting the whole she-bang fall away for a moment, leaving the drums to climb their way out of the darkening ebb. Great stuff.

Philpot / PHP 024
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


December 22, 2006

2006 Year In Review: Individual Writer Lists

As a companion piece to our 2006 year in review, here are the individual lists/charts from each of our contributors. Happy reading…

(more…)


August 11, 2006

Interview: Amy Grill / Speaking In Code

Stylus and Beatz By the Pound are very excited to bring you an interview with sQuare Productions Amy Grill, director and producer of the upcoming techno documentary Speaking in Code.

So, Amy, youre making a movie about electronic music. Why?

Speaking in Code is a techno movie thats not really about techno. Its about people. It is a feature length character driven documentary that follows a global cast of underground electronic music writers, DJs, producers, and label heads as they survive and thrive in the digital age.

Within the indie electronic music community there are many compelling characters. By tracking these characters Speaking in Code discovers some very human truths about subculture, independence, DIY determination, risk, obsession, and eccentricity.

The music (and the minimal scene) is a colorful, captivating backdrop and binding force for several intersecting character driven storiesthe film has a narrative arc to it based on the life changes and exciting, even funny moments that happen over the course of the year and a half that we will have spent making the film and following these people.

There are a lot of electronic music documentaries out there that have attempted to do one of a few things: capture the spirit of rave culture, survey a specific genre of electronic music, engage the viewer in DJ worship and/or crazy laser light fascination, or make some kind of grand statement about the significance of electronic music, but this film is nothing like any of that.

We are interested in exploring personality, motivation, and getting beyond the surface-y, questions and answers. The film invites the viewer in to experience being thereat the club, in the studio, in a forest, climbing a hill on the way to see chalk mines, visiting moms in the suburbs, driving through a white-out snow storm, performing at a huge festival, entering the secret underground club or illegal party, and on and on. We have unprecedented access and we get very close with the main characters in the film.

We want to surprise people and perhaps change their minds about electronic music or at least open their minds and show them something they didnt expect. This movie isnt just for the techno heads, its for the hip old ladies who love character-driven art house documentaries too.

What about 2005/2006 strikes you as the right time for this sort of film?

A film like this could have been made 10 or 20 years ago and although some of the themes and characters would have a different tone and purposemany similarities would still exist.

There is something special about right now thoughfrom a big picture historical perspective we are seeing the effects of the digital age that make advanced communication and sound technology very accessible. This has strengthened the possibilities for independent music and subculture and our main characters are living proof.

From a more localized perspective on the minimal scene and our charactersover the last year or two minimal techno has arguably become the dominant sub-genre in techno and it has been fun to explore the personalities in the minimal scene and experience the musics rise in popularity vicariously through our characters. Of course, its difficult to even know what minimal really is: is it a sound, an aesthetic, a lifestyle, a hairstyle, a look, or all those things combined perhaps? Some of the characters cant even be described as minimal at all, but they are somehow minimal by association or connection to the minimal scene. Musings aside, I have to emphasize this is not the what is minimal techno? film. Im sure there is a DVD project like that on the way soon, but we arent the ones making it.

Where all have you traveled to get footage for the film?

Weve been all over: Montreal, San Francisco, New York, Boston (I live in Boston), Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Jena, Amsterdam, Miami

Most of the film has been shotwhat techno celebs can we expect in the final cut?

Well, weve shot 217 hours of footage since we began production in May of 2005 and we hope to cull all of that into a feature-length film, so I hesitate to list everyone at this point, but certainly you can expect to see a lot from these people:

Robert Henke aka Monolake (co-creator Ableton Live)
Modeselektor, Bpitch Control
Ellen Allien, Bpitch Control
Wighnomy Brothers, Freude-Am-Tanzen
Bryan Kasenic (minimal techno promoter in NY)
Jimmy Johnson (owner of Forced Exposure)
Philip Sherburne (writer, DJ)
David Day (Label Manager and Marketing Director at Forced Exposure, DJ, writer, promoter)
Mike Uzzi aka Smartypants, Unlocked Groove
Dan Paluska aka Six Million Dollar Dan, Unlocked Groove
Tobias Thomas, Kompakt
David Prince, M3 Summit

Interviews / Appearances (it remains to be seen whether or not all of these people will make the final cut and we have interviewed many more people not included in this list to help us round out the story):/p>

Akufen
Deadbeat
Apparat
Wolfgang Voigt
Michael Mayer
Reinhard Voigt
The MFA
James Holden
Superpitcher
Isolee
Luomo
Anja Schnieder
Richie Hawtin
The Juan Maclean

Any surprising anecdotes that you can share with us (Vitalic actually is a robot, etc.)?

Too many stories to even tell. The whole film is like one big surprising anecdote, but a surprising anecdote with a point. ;)

What kind of role has Philip Sherburne played?

Philip is a character in the movie, and as a co-producer he has been part tour guide, advisor, consultant, and friend throughout the entire process.

Tell me about financing something like thiswhat sources are you relying on to keep it going?

Plastic, lots of plastic (as in credit cards) and a handful of small private investors and a community of online supportersalthough we are nearing the end of our credit limits and this last Europe trip tapped most of the small investments. So we are now really relying on grassroots fundraising online and also an upcoming benefit/screening/art party/happening here in Boston on August 26 at the sQuareone studio space in Fort Point / South Boston (New Englands oldest and largest artist community). We want to stay away from corporate sponsorship, so we are hoping that people who want to see the film made will help us make it. Anyone can donate any amount on our websitewe are offering screen credit in the film for any donation of $50 or more. The grassroots efforts are to make the film mirror the DIY attitudes youll see in the documentary.

We are also seeking a film producer to help us cultivate prospective investors and help manage the business end of the filmand most importantly we are looking for investorsbig and small.

We need another 25K in the very immediate future to finish production in the fall (Camera and equipment rentals, bus/train/plane tickets, gas, tape stock, the Director of Photographys day rate) and also to purchase a G5 and enough drive storage (several terabytes) to be able to cut the film. We are currently hobbling along with my laptop and a few Lacie Hard Drives. We also need to be able to pay an assistant editor to log the tapes.

It isnt cheap making a filmespecially when the locations are all over the world even if we eat on the cheap and stay with friends when we can. And, now Scott (our Director of Photography) is paidhe volunteered for a full year, but it is important to start paying him. Fortunately the most expensive part of the production is out of the waywe can see the light at the end of the tunnelwe just need a little more funding to get through the last few months of production and post production.

By May 2007. Then begins the festival circuit and search for distribution. We would like to see the film get international and domestic theatrical distribution, some broadcast play abroad, and a DVD release toowith lots of extras for the collector type.

Related Links
sQuare Productions
Speaking in Code @ MySpace
Photos from Speaking in Codes Production
Contribute to sQuare Productions [Todd Burns]


June 2, 2006

Michael Mayer & Reinhard Voigt / Davidovitch - Speicher 36

Ronan Fitzgerald: Presumably there are people in the indie kid turned Kompakt kommunity that dont start thinking calling Mr Raider, calling Mr Wrong, calling Mr Vain when they hear Transparenza. Shame on them! Tranzparenza is essentially a great piece of pop trance just in time for summer. And if youre going to break a trance taboo, then why not do it with an air raid siren?! On the flip Davidovitchs Cellophane continues the summer in the 90s theme. Im too young to remember if Ace of Base released 12 inch versions, or what kind of seedy underworld clubs played these, but if they did then Cellophane is surely what they sounded like; stomping dub basslines for the holiday resort beach.

Nick Sylvester: Coulda told me Davidovitch’s b-side was Senor Coconut stabbing at some sideways America’s Most Wanted, Commish or New York Undercover theme, I’da believed. This is by far the most shoulder-jiggly synth-noir wax I’ve heard out the Speicher series, which once used to put out real dance(able) music but now has become a repository for shitty basslines like this one, blup blup blup, fat guy doing the stairmaster. I appreciate the “steady beat with crazy shit on top” approachcrazy shit here being some dentist drill sounds and a dude talking about stuffbut this is camp at best, and it’s too slow to dance to anyway.

Know what? I think Mayer and R. Voigt actually do take a cop theme for their side. Listen to “Transparenza,” then listen to the turnaround on (the original) “Axel F. The whole thing is a pleasant if not accidental Rex the Dog homage, the synths way too rounded off for either Mayer or Voigt. And like Davidovitch, crazy shit on top is the game’s name, but these vets pronounce their beats better, their snares crumpling not snapping, their smarts in the kicks.

Kompakt Extra / KOMEX36


February 10, 2006

Charts: February 10 2006

Guest Chart
Patrice Baumel, Trapez

Baxendale - I Built This City
Carl Craig - Darkness
Fairmont - Gazebo
Jesse Somfay - Traum 65
Ame - Rej
Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV
Phonique - For The Time Being
Gabriel Ananda - Ihre Persoenliche Gluecksmelodie
Alex Under - Dispositivos De Mi Granja
Daso - Daybreak

Mallory ODonnell
Royksopp - What Else Is There? (Trentemoller Remix)
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Do Not Break
Tiga - Far From Home
Flatpack - Sweet Child O’ Mine (Mylo Remix)
Justice Vs. Simian - Never Be Alone
Transformer di Roboters - Hi End (Metro B & Maslope Remix)
Annie - The Wedding (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)
Depeche Mode - Precious (Michael Mayer’s Balearic Mix)
The Knife - Neverland
Dead Disco - The Treatment (Metronomy Remix)
Chromeo - Needy Girl (Phillipe Zdar Dub)
Linus Loves - VH1
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke - Bliss

Cameron Octigan
Zimt - U.O.A.A. (Jurgen Paape Remix)
Yoshimoto - Do What U Du (Trentemoller Remix)
Unlimited Touch - I Hear Music in the Streets
Uffie - Pop the Glock
Transformer der Roboters - Hi End (Metro B & Maslope Remix)
New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
MSTRKRFT - Easy Love
Michael Mayer & Reinhard Voigt - Sky Dumont
The Knife - Like a Pen
Crystal Castles - Tuesday
Black Strobe - Me & Madonna
Benjamin Theves - Texas

Todd Hutlock
Suburban Knight - Predator’s Language
Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)
Renegade Soundwave - The Phantom (Subsonic Legacy)
Gaiser - And Answer
Fumiya Tanaka - Unknown Possibility Vol 1.
Akufen - Psychometry 1.1-3.2 (Thomas Brinkmann Remix)
Battant - Jump Up EP
KLF Vs. Ricardo Villalobos - What Time Is Love? (Veto Retro Mix #1)
Plastikman - Afrika
Talking Heads - Making Flippy Floppy (David Byrne/John “Jellybean” Benitez Remix)

Michael F. Gill
Kalabrese - Hhnerfest
Isolee - Rockers
Frequency - Loosen Up
Fred Gianelli - Distant Gratification
Jean-Luc Ponty - Cosmic Messenger
DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
Sa-Fire - Boy, Ive Been Told (Rascal/Two In A Room Dub)
Doris D. and The Pins - Shine Up
A Guy Called Gerald - Finleys Rainbow (Slow Motion Mix)
Regina - Baby Love