August 3, 2007

Beatzcast #44: Nate Deyoung


Stylus contributor Nate Deyoung presents a mix of recent dance tracks…

01: Otterman Empire - Private Land [buy]
02: Black Leotard Front - Casual Friday [buy]
03: Studio - Life’s a Beach (Todd Terje Remix) [buy]
04: Kelly Polar Quartet - Rhythm Touch [buy]
05: Phantom Slasher - Lasagna for 10 [buy]
06: Runaway - Ain’t Afraid to Beg [buy]
07: Map of Africa - Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys [buy]
08: Harry Nilsson - Jump Into the Fire [buy]
09: Etta James - In the Basement (Theo Parrish Re-Edit) [buy]
10: Lq - Lies (Theo Parrish Re-Edit) [buy]
11: Lee Douglas - Our Song 99 [buy]
12: Giorgio Gigli - Circle [buy]

Subscribe to Beatz By The Pound.

June 28, 2007

Studio - Life’s a Beach! (Remixes)


Along with Finland’s Uusi Fantasia and Sweden’s Bjorn Torske, Studio are one of the groups whose sounds and sympathies orbit the cosmos of Prins Thomas’ imagination of space/disco/dub. Its “not disco” though, or not as we know it, but a form busted open by eccentric tastes and open ears. In a recent interview I did with Prins Thomas, he explained how the relative marginality of Scandanavia (and especially Norway) has kept things prised open, and open things prized. “On the one hand,” he explained, “I could have lived anywhere and made the music I do but the isolation is important. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s a lot of diversity here. We’re open to a lot of styles and it’s been an important part of generating our open approach…you have to work hard to please everybody when you play here there’s no sub-genre nights or anything like that. You can’t afford to be a genre fascist in Oslo.”

Prins’ remix of “Life’s a Beach” opens with an appropriately stomp-paced cosmic bassline with all sorts of shifting Balearic textures thrown over it, slowly rising to full swing alongside spills of space delay. Then, at the five minute mark, by the strange and welcome intrusion of a very 8-bit sounding note, the track reaches its peak (which only sounds once!), after which the whole thing just drifts away on congas and beachy spume. Meanwhile, back at the disco, Todd Terje turns tables on the tracks, rendering “Beach” nocturnally capable with some chunkier percussion, altering the mood from giddy to “giddy up”. Terje likewise uses the same 8-bit note at almost exactly the same point in the track, then opts for the a similar long outro, re-done in a more late-evening fashion. Oddly similar, the two mixes here are sun and moon to each other. Ah, so much good music.

Information / INF 003
[Peter Chambers]

May 31, 2007

Maximilian Skiba - Beginning

Six months ago I’d never heard of Maximilian Skiba. I chanced upon him in a record store, when I picked up a curiously scribbled-on EP with the suspiciously eccentric title “Apple of Disco” (see review here). My inquisitiveness was quickly rewarded with one of the kookiest, most interesting of EPs I’ve heard lately, fashioned through a form of electro soundscaping that moved between references, emotions, and structures more times within the space of one track than some mnml labels have in their whole back-catalogue. Without being a slavish Moroder/Carpenter cribber or dogmatically retro (*cough* Legowelt *cough*), Skiba laid out a ruggedly individual imprint that screamed “talented eccentricity” through a Moog Vocoder and a disco breakdown.

But this is something else. Gone is the hyper reverential work, in its place, tooth-loosening machine electro that kicks harder than a methed up drag queen in a burst of jealous rage. “Transphormer” spreads its muscular legs all over the A, galloping along at 45 with plenty of pressure for the peaktimeand in fact, the perfect “scene” for this record is a catfight between the aforementioned drag queen and his/her unfortunate partner. Sydney Roy (sounding very close to Siegfried and Roy) revs things up for his remix with a dose of “boots and pants”, reigning in the quirk and losing the great touch of Skibas original in the process. The B2 is another gem, “Bye-Bye c64″ it’s one of those tracks you fall into, come down with, or break up to like Todd Terjes “Eurodans” or Closer Musiks beautiful “Maria”, this is a real sentimentalists treat. Eyes on the young Pole.

Eva / EVA 006
[Peter Chambers]

March 2, 2007

Tangoterje - On the Beach / Belladonna Edits


In the race to mine the archive of early eighties sounds, theres bound to be a few strange excavations. All kinds of bad music, not least of all disco (and its bastard progeny), have been dredged up, washed off, inspected, re-evaluated and finally defended: You dismiss Antillean ska-folk disco, but actually Perhaps this intro is just an indication of my ignorance, not to mention my cynicism, toward the excesses of a necessary and interesting process. There are lots of instances of maligned genres containing fascinating musical ideas, could we but overcome our prejudice and listen carefully. Wally Badarous music is a fine example on this tip.

Having said all that, Im failing to see what Todd Tango Terje does in Belladonna and On the Beach. To me at least, this is just MOR dreck thats been given far more attention than it deserves. Belladonna, (originally by Andreas Vollenweider), is a kind of elevator music epic that belongs on the soundtrack to Blame it on Rio, melding a Brazilian jazz sound to disco and a yucky ethnic female vocal. Likewise, On the Beach (originally by Chris Rea) has all the hallmarks of a 1983 promo video for a three star conference centre in the Bahamas. Perhaps theres more to it than that and (once again) this music is not being given its fair hearing. Okay, but you try listening to it. Blech.

Balearic Biscuits / bb04
[Peter Chambers]

March 2, 2007

Charts: March 2 2007

Mallory ODonnell
Trippy Disco - Frankfurt in Fifteen [Radius]
Maximilian Skiba - Apple of Disco EP [Terranova]
Chris Rea - On the Beach (Tangoterje Edit) [Balearic Biscuits]
Tackhead - The Game [4th & Broadway]
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch (Hot Chip Remix) [Island]
Galen - Playing Games [Utensil]
Evelyn “Champagne” King - Shame / Nobody Knows [RCA]
Shades of Love - Keep In Touch [Body to Body] (Instrumental Version) [Venture]
V/A - Music of Quality & Distinction, Volume One [Virgin]
V/A - Dirty Edits 2-5 [Dirty Edits]

Todd Hutlock
Andy Stott - Handle With Care [Modern Love]
Hkan Lidbo - This Looks Infected, Doesnt It? [Musick]
Porter Ricks - Scuba Lounge [Mille Plateaux]
Beck - Cellphones Dead (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix) [Geffen]
Luciano - Keridos [Cadenza Split Composition]
Rod Modell Avionics [Echocord]
Cortney Tidwell - Dont Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Long Vox) [Ever]
JTC Trancender [Crme Organization]
tobias. Dial [Logistic]
Ace Frehley - New York Groove [Casablanca]

Michael F. Gill
San Proper & Tom Trago Catterpillar Butter Plus (Propers Mixdown) [Rush Hour Recordings]
Mark Broom Upside Down [Pure Plastic]
John Thomas Magic [Logistic]
Oaysis Incredible Bass (Slipmatt remix) [Vicious Vinyl]
Lopazz I Need Ya [Output]
George Demure Sister Valhalla [Tirk]
Keith Hudson Nuh Skin Up [Greensleaves]
Shackleton Blood On My Hands [Skull Disco]
Shed Well Done [Soloaction]
Steve Doesnt Drive Woman & Car [Did Records]

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…


November 17, 2006

Antena - Camino Del Sol (Remixes)


Antena were the greatest post-punk bossa nova band never to make it big outside of France. Their first single The Boy from Ipanema (co-produced by John Foxx and released on Factory Records Benelux outlet Les Disques Du Crpuscule) has been a sleeper hit ever since, prompting this, the second re-release of the original material in CD form, for your retro-diggin cool-kid delectation. Who better then to remix the originals than men of the moment Todd (not) disco Terje and the re-update / re-edit master Joakim (Kitsun, Tigersushi, Versatile, Pokerflat)? Joakims mix does unto Antena as Radio Slave recently did unto the Kills, rendering the original pumped and beefed enough for this seasons dancefloors while still retaining something of the original atmosphere, albeit very much in the background. He also adds some nice, celestial chimes and shapes the motherload into a growly arrangement with far biggernfurrier balls than any of the original members could have conceivably had (or wanted). Terjes mix keeps much closer to the original arrangement, retaining the vocal and the flow, but sending the whole kit (as is his wont) into deep disco spaceland. Compared to Joakims mix it all seems initially underwhelming, but repeat listening reveals a repeat of first impressions, plus the vague presentiment that neither treatments of the recordJoakims too much and Terjes too littlehave the right amounts of the good stuff to satisfy. Go for the original.

Permanent Vacation / PERMVAC 003-01
[Peter Chambers]

March 24, 2006

Lindstrom - Another Station


Perhaps it’s too cold in Norway…or perhaps it’s precisely cold enough. If the end result is Hans-Peter Lindstrom spending all his time in the studio instead of freezing his buns out of doors, then I’m praying global warming really is a myth. “Another Station” is a fantastic slice of deep-space disco much in the vein of “I Feel Space,” without the obvious Donna-isms. The charmingly subdued Latin/Tropical vibe really makes the track; it’s evocative without going all ‘La Isla Norwegia.’ As the song ends, cold winds whistle through the fjords and bring us back to chilly reality. Todd Terje pumps the mix up a bit on flipside, losing a little of the signature Lindstro-magic but still striking an effortless balance between dreamy and banging. Top class, as usual.

Feedelity / 006
[Mallory ODonnell]