June 26, 2007

Turzi - Seven Inch Allah

Three pretty different tracks from this French act, though they all could have ended up on Optimo’s Psyche Out cosmic/dance/kraut mix from two years ago had they existed then: the uneasy trans-european chug of “Amadeus” whose sixteenth-note pulse recalls the pinprick synths on Delia and Gavin’s “Rise” (a Psyche Out track itself); the blast of surfrock punk in “Are You Thinking About Jesus” which could have pinch-hit for any number of Tarantino soundtracks (and any number of directors QT aped in the process); and “Hippy Heart”, a downtempo demo of Turzi’s “Afghanistan”, and something you might confuse for a Beastie Boys instrumental or, if you’re feeling generous, a grittier Serge. I hate the namedrop review as much as you do, but it’s worth noting that all of these descriptors are very good things.

Record Makers / REC 39
[Nick Sylvester]

June 19, 2007

Dopplereffekt / Los Angeles TF / Mike Dunn - Gesamtkunstwerk / Magical Body / So Let It Be House


Three more italo, electro, and house nuggets from Clone’s reliable Classic Cuts imprint, and the hits just keep on coming. First up is Dopplereffekt, the well-known Detroit electro collective featuring Gerald Donald of Drexciya. Gesamtkunstwerk is a reissue of a compilation that Gigolo put out in 1999, made up of all the vinyl sides from the group’s own Dataphysix Engineering label. It’s got all the hallmarks you’d expect to find on an electro record (sci-fi/technology themes, bleakly monophonic synths, precise/robotic beats) but with a consistency and a pop sensibility that the genre often lacks. The sleazy female vocals deadpanning on tracks like “Pornovision” and “Pornoactress” also predict what Adult’s Nicola Kuperus (and in turn, many electroclashers) would be doing years down the road. Great stuff.

Second up is a reissue of Los Angeles TF’s electro-italo smash “Magical Body” from 1983, sounding amazingly pristine here in a new remaster by Alden Tyrell. I wasn’t originally sold on the vocal version, where singer Taffy (of “I Love My Radio” fame) seems to over-emphasize the end of each phrase (”Magical! Magical! Is your bod-EE!”), but the tracky instrumental on the B provides immediate gratification, and shows why so many nu-italo producers were inspired to do what they do.

For the third helping, we get another EP of vintage acid house from Mike Dunn. Clone boss Serge was so scared to damage his vinyl copy of Dunn’s “So Let It Be House” he’s gone out and secured this reissue of it, along with two superior b-sides. While the press releases gushes about the title cut’s rareness, and frames 1980s Chicago as this exotic, magical place, to these ears it’s an overly sparse acid track with another “Birth of House Music” speech. It may be the weakest of this trio of releases, but I sort of get the cross-continental appeal. I’m never going to be a intimidating black man from the streets either.

Clone Classic Cuts / C#CC 004/005/006
[Michael F. Gill]

May 18, 2007

Charts: May 18 2007

Peter Lansky

The Black Ghosts - Anyway You Choose To Give It (Extended Version) [Southern Fried Records]
Passions - Emergency [Kitsune Music]
Para One - Midnight Swim (Surkin Drowning Mix) [Institubes]
!!! - Must Be The Moon (Hot Chip Remix) [Warp]
Black Devil Disco Club - The Devil In Us (Dub Version) [Lo Recordings]
Herbert - Moving Like A Train (Smith & Hack Remix) [Studio !K7]
Booka Shade - Tickle [Get Physical]
Bjrk - Earth Intruders (Spank Rock Remix) [One Little Indian]
Lindstrm & Solale - Let’s Practise [Feedelity]
Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) [White]

Michael F. Gill

Andre Crom - Reiner Wahnsinn [Sender Records]
Shyza Minelli - Haunting Me [Tuning Spork]
Pablo Bolivar - The King Of My System (Phage & Daniel Dreier’s Whisper Mix) [MIS]
Ark & Mossa - Homme Sweat Homme [Complot]
Skream feat. Warrior Queen - Check It [Tempa]
Dee Scott - Irresistible [Electric Ice Records]
Scientist - Rids The World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires [Greensleeves]
Can - Soon Over Babaluma [Spoon/Mute]
Stephanie Mills - Sweet Sensation [20th Century Records]
Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy (Serge Santiago Version) [Catskills]

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

Various Artists / Various Artists - Vintage Future [Mixed by Serge] / ReCloned


Two handy state-of-the-union addresses from the Clone family, Vintage Future is a mix of recent releases and reissues, while ReCloned offers the best remixes from the label. Serge does a nice job of showing how easily the old (Marshall Jefferson, Mike Dunn, Egyptian Lover) mixes with the new (Alden Tyrell, Lindstrom, Dexter), blurring the lines of electro-funk, italo, and acid house with a fast-paced mix. The best rediscovery is the recently reissued “Every Sunday” by Crazy Gang, an electro-vocoder romp with lyrics about overbearing parents that make their child go to church every Sunday. ReCloned is unmixed, but shares the same family of artists and range of sound. Standouts include recent releases like Charles Webster’s spacey deep house version of Delguis “Highlights,” and Elitechnique’s mix of Alden Tyrells “La Voix,” as well as established classics like the Carl Craig remix of “Hand to Phone” and Tiefschwarz’s remix of Unit 4’s “Body Dub.” You might have to deal with a lot of “I Feel Love” style arrangements, but both mixes are great palette cleansers in a market currently cluttered with minimal and electro-house mixes.

Clone / Clone# cd8 / Clone# cd9
[Michael F Gill]

October 13, 2006

Lotterboys - Iron Man

Since yeah it’s obviously that “Iron Man,” electro-discofied to oh-so-campy proportions, and obviously it’s terrible no matter who sings over it (the always annoying Princess Superstar) or remixes it (the pretty reliable [italo-]disco editor Serge Santiago), I recommend staying away. It’s like not even worth knowing about. Lotterboys, to say nothing of composite parts Terranova and Detroit Grand Pubahs, have one pretty solid song called “Blazer,” whose aux percussion breakdowns and horn stabs and hard-plucked basslines could land the track into those Klaxons / EdBanger / Institubes / Kitsune franco-disco-metal type dance sets. But the goofy-electro stuff they deal in otherwise, e.g. this “Iron Man” cover or the punny “Heroine,” really never pops: the humor’s either overbearing or not enough.

Eskimo / 541416 501544
[Nick Sylvester]

May 19, 2006

Charts: May 19 2006

Mallory O’Donnell
My Robot Friend - 23 Minutes in Brussels
My My - Swiss on Rye
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Maida Vale Version)
Kris Menace - Voyage
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out (Dance Remix)
Snax & Ianeq - Fill Me Up
Mr. Cisco - Culo
Tim Paris - Standing Up (Goldman Remix)
Phonique - Gaga (Tim Paris Remix)

Ronan Fitzgerald
Serge Santiago - Anticipation
Falko Brocksieper - Hardwired EP
Hot Chip - Boy from School (Cosmic Sandwich Mix)
Pet Shop Boys - Flamboyant (Michael Mayer Mix)
Gui Boratto - Strobe
Fuckpony - Cell Phone Hit
Ost and Kjex Kjexterminate
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler
I-Robots - Spacer Frau (Boys Noize Remix)
Shyza Minelli - To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Michael F. Gill
Lizzy Mercier Descloux Zulu Rock
Donna Allen Serious
Full Intention I Believe in You
K Hand Mystery
Various Artists Cream Collect: Balearic
Awesome 3 Don’t Go (Kicks like a Mule mix)
Boytronic Bryllyant
Patato & Totico Patato & Totico
The Congos Congoman Chant
Roberta Flack The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face