September 28, 2007

Beatzcast #50: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music…

01: Break SL - Flow [buy]
02: Matias Aguayo - Papel [buy]
03: Sascha Funke - The Acrobat [buy]
04: Einmusik - Fleur De Lis [buy]
05: Lawrence - Compulsion [buy]
06: Petre Inspirescu - Galantar [buy]

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June 7, 2007

Riley Reinhold - Light In My Eyes

Last year, Riley Reinhold released a co-written EP, Friends are Silence. It was rubbish, but the excuse was that it had been a collaboration. At the time, I wondered two things: was the release a by-product of a market where the “release reflex” had become compulsive, and secondly, would Riley (himself a label owner) have released his own work if he’d received it as a promo? But let’s leave the excuses and accusations aside for a moment - let’s give Riley a chance.

For the price of admission, what’s offered here are two different sides to one coin cast in the same alloy - wafting, introspective digi-trance with its heart on its sleeve and its finger on the mouse-key, dragging and dropping various kinds of delay plugins over the melodies. Yeah, I was once in a noise-rock band, and being beyond awful and in the throes of a particularly nasty Sonic Youth trip, we saw fit to drench everything in as much reverb, distortion and delay as possible. The Big Muff was my best friend.

I call the laptop equivalent of this “Abletonitis”, and Rileys only just besting his bout of it here. The A-side, “Light in my Eyes”, grounds the track with a static, dry kick-snare pattern which is left unmodulated in the back of the mix. Over the top, a simple synthloop is leant texture and shift (more by plugin than art) and then, right over the top of that like some imagined “northern lights” pattern, come several big blue synth washes, one after the other. Atmospherically its nice, but at over eight minutes long the soft rinse begins to dry, drag, and then drone on. Compare this track to Sascha Funkes recent “Ey” (reviewed here a few months back) which conjures similar blisses of navel-gazing but with no more complexity. Perhaps with this kind of music, it’s all about the ineffable qualities of the sounds chosen (’cos after all, if it sounds on every beat you’re gonna hear it over a thousand times in an eight minute track). The B-side, “Ghosts”, sounds…thats right, spookier (!) than the A, but again, the track relies too much on the emotive effects of FX gimmicks and pays too little attention to the small details of construction and nuance necessary to make such flights of fancy soar.

Theres the nub of something promising here, and it is an improvement on Friends are Silence, but while Id urge Riley to continue developing his sound/ideas, I still wouldn’t inflict this on the dancing public.

My Best Friend / MBFLTD 12013
[Peter Chambers]

March 16, 2007

Charts: March 16 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Propaganda - Duel / Jewel [ZTT]
Silver Convention - Mission to Venus [Midland International]
Visions of Tomorrow - Galaxy (Charles Webster Edit) [Past Due]
Cat Stevens - Was Dog A Doughnut? (Pilooski Edit) [Dirty]
D-Train - Keep On (Dub) [Prelude]
Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence (Hands & Feet Mix) [Mute]
40 Thieves - Point to the Joint (Electric Boogie Band Remix) [Smash Hit Music Co.]
Sascha Funke - Auf Aix [BPitch Control]
Junior Boys - Dead Horse EP [Domino]
Juan Atkins - Wax Trax! Mastermix Volume 1 [Wax Trax]

Michael F. Gill
Teena Marie - Youre All The Boogie I Need [Gordy/Motown]
Brass Construction Movin (12 Mix) [United Artists]
Number One Ensemble Back To Heaven [Radio Records]
June Evans If Your Want My Lovin [H & H records]
Roundtree Hit On You (Tony Humphries Dub) [Discfunction]
Afx - VBS.Redlof.B [Rephlex]
Moonbeam Sunshine [Traum]
Each Sunrise (Original Mix) [Out of Orbit Recordings]
Joachim Spieth Connect [Paso Music]
Dub Taylor Schmidts Cat / Schmidt’s Katze (Part 1) [Organic Domain]

March 14, 2007

Sascha Funke - Auf Aix

Sascha Funke has been around the traps for quite a while now, and his music has had its small share of sublime moments, from the wonderful Safety First EP on Kompakt to occasional moments on his Bravo album that otherwise suffered from terrible vocals. At its best, Funkes music is propelled by a precious feeling contained within the melodic minimalist sound he works within. At its worst, we have more or less the same aforementioned elements failing to ignite the fire.

Auf Aix sees a condensation of these two sides pressed onto one piece of vinyl. To these ears at least, the A-side is a flopas is quite often the case with tracky music that doesnt work, you can hear whats happening at all times, the musical equivalent of seeing a conjurers sleight of hand. Its a dull, predictable track that plods along with very little rhythmic, melodic or timbral invention. Ho-hum. Yet Ey workswith a different arrangement of similar ideas (a delayed one-note synth line, a soft bass line, plus a very Cassy-ish vocal Ey) this track conjures a summer party in the sunshine of 2000, when M. Mayer was playing a lot of melodic minimal tracks right on the border between trance and tech-house.

Is it too early to call it The good old days? Walking the tightrope between deadliness and dud-liness, this EP is quintessential Funke, and a nice reminder of how this form of music, redolent of the early Kompakt classics, could move you so much with so little, when it didnt leave you cold and begging.

Bpitch Control / BPC 144
[Peter Chambers]

February 16, 2007

Hannes Teichmann - Jger Remixe

Festplatten has dug up Teichmann’s six year old tech-house track “Jger” for a set of new remixes, and unsurprisingly it feels a bit nostalgic. The machine-like percussion, rigid basslines, and a thoroughly neutral mood: these are definite hallmarks of minimal Germany in 2001, a far paler color than the abstract psychedelic, gothic, and avant-pop leanings of minimal 2007. But for home listening and warm-up sets, this is a solid release, with the Sascha Funke remix leading the wayits steely motifs are reminiscent of draining liquid hardening into concrete upon contact with the air.

Festplatten / FEST 34
[Michael F Gill]

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…


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

December 8, 2006

Audision / IVF - Vanish / Celine


A high-school friend of mine once quipped, without intended hyperbole: Did you know Shellac is a hobby band? Imagine: if they went full-time, the music would be so good, it would kill you. Without forcing a comparison few artists could withstand, Audision have always occupied a similar space in my soundmaptheres something so wonderful about their music, and years after other releases have begun to sound stale, tracks like Gamma Limit and First Contact have slowly found a permanent space in my box. How is it that these guys arent famous? Well, maybe its that, like Shellac, Audision also seem to be a hobby of sorts, with their releases trickling out without fanfare at the rate of one a year or so. Having explained all that, it has to be said that this isnt exactly an Audision record, but a remix of their Vanish by Sascha Funke and another piece by the unknown (to me at least) IVF. Funkes remix of Audision begins like a new school take on the old, not unlike some of Prosumers recent tracks for Mobilee or 240 volts, but then the synth melody calls the tune, humming a delayed melancholy through metallic filters, you can almost hear the sound of the originals heavy mood evaporating into a dark lightness. IVFs contribution follows in the same blue vein, tapping some of Pantha du Princes recent material on the (cold) shoulder. If youre a fan of Hanseatic gloom & the depths of minimal deepness, this is another wonderful EP from the slowest working masters of the mood.

&nd / andmusic 0 10
[Peter Chambers]

March 10, 2006

Kiki - Boogybytes, Vol. 1

If youre only after the Bpitch hits, then you need the simultaneously released Camping 2, as Boogybytes is a CD that, aside from Kikis own contributions and a few other digitally sliced and looped snippets, includes virtually no music from the label that is releasing it. In fact this isnt the place to come if youre looking for a simple mix of any kind as, as the title suggests, the tracks are chopped into hard-disk sound-dust and algorithm fodder then smeared across each other. To begin with the mix is too polite and breezy, little more than music for sped-up cloud footage. Geez, its electronica. Then, a third of the way through, about the time that the vox from Kikis own So Easy to Forget ride the elephant-noise trance of Michael Forzzas Kahana, theres the realisation that one has got caught in the upswell and from then on Kiki cranks up the pace and the rush. The end section, with tracks from Bedrock Records Guy Gerber, and Digital Excitation makes euphorically explicit the electro-house scenes current swing toward the once disparaged sounds of trance. Roll on May/June, for the Sascha Funke mixed second volume.

Bpitch Control / 120
[Patrick McNally]