October 20, 2006

From Karaoke to Stardom - Mon Dieu Moi Aussi

Nothing’s got me gassed here, not the Super Mario World ghost castle sound that’s surely meant to be the money shot, not the boilerplate “round” digital tones or the “subdued” excuse for a kick, not the hisses of smoky white noise, as if I’ve never been to a middle school dance. Why did this get released exactly? Besides the bassline on the A-side, which gets cross-panned whenever the notes change, all funk-performatizing I hope, I can’t recommend much here, especially since the b-side tracks are same ingredients different parts, more or less. When a twelve is this bad, you have to wonder whether it’s a case of bad composition, boring sound bank, lazy producer, or your own increasingly lower expectations.

[Nick Sylvester]

September 29, 2006

Christian Dittmann - Nortesur


Chilean-born Dittmann follows up his vinyl debut from earlier this year (and an MP3 EP on Archipel from 05) with three more tracks of organic minimalist grooves, moving from RRYGULAR to Echocord in the process. This time out, however, Dittmann seems to have dialed up the excitement level a bit. Its all relative of course, as these cuts are still full of gently pulsing beats, dubby phased sounds, and underwater ambient washes, but where the Bajo El Vocan EP meandered somewhat aimlessly, these grooves drift with more purpose, a stronger construction. A-side Buena Decision sounds like Villalobos on downers or maybe classic Orb minus the dippy samples, while Dr. Murnau and Sin Saber on the flip are shorter and more uptempo excursions, with the latter hitting a particularly nice “rainforest boogie” sound. Dittmann has honed and upgraded his craft between releases, and at this pace, I expect the next one to be virtually flawless.

Echocord / echocord21
[Todd Hutlock]

July 28, 2006

Christian Dittmann - Bajo El Volcan

Chilean DJ/producer Dittmann makes his vinyl debut (his previous single was an MP3-only release) with two ten-minute-plus minimal workouts in the organic style of his countryman Ricardo Villalobos. That means: about fifty different types of popping, skittering percussion, the odd vocal sample and atmospheric keyboard wash, some echoes and dropouts, and lots and lots of space without a kick drum in sight, nor a melody, nor a comprehensive musical theme. It just sort of… you know, meanders. If you’re a sucker for this sound (as I am), then you won’t mind that you’ve likely got a whole stack of records just like this in your collection (like I do) that really start nowhere and end nowhere else. If you don’t have as much of a tolerance, or if you want to dance, best try something with a bit more oomph. (To be fair, the B-side, “Lluvia de Varano” does add a kick drum.)


[Todd Hutlock]