March 31, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 13

Faze Action - In The Trees (Juno)

Nick Sylvester: Especially with the crowd that space-disco’s drawing at the moment, you can’t go wrong re-releasing what in retrospect sounds like an accidentally seminal cut. Speaking of accidentally seminal cuts, don’t be surprised to find, as I did, the Carl Craig remix in otherwise aggravating neu-rave Franco-filter-metal sets happening in Lower East Sides near you.

Andy Stott - Handle with Care / See in Me 10” (Modern Love)

Lusine - Podgelism / Podgelism Select Remixes (Ghostly International)

40 Thieves - Point to the Joint (Smash Hit Music)

Tobias - Dial EP (Logistic)

Peter Chambers: In every way the sequel to Street Knowledge, Dial is the second part of a manifesto that lays out the unmistakable patterns of an incurable machine romance.

Mad Mike - Hi-Tech Dreams (Underground Resistance)

Patrice Bäumel - Just Electricty (Trapez)

Justus Köhncke - Justus Köhncke vs Prins Thomas (Kompakt)

Jacek Sienkiewicz - Good Night & Good Luck (Cocoon)

Michael F. Gill: As good as “Six Feet Above” and “Double Secret Life” were, “Goodnight & Good Luck” sounds like a breakout release, straddling high-clarity minimal techno with a set of winding trance-esque melodies a la Orbital.

2007 Winter Music Conference Coverage: Day Three, Night Three

Weekly Staff Charts
Beatzcast #25: Nativespeaker (Peter Chambers) - dysappearance

March 28, 2007

Patrice Bäumel - Just Electricty

Both functional and unique, Patrice Bäumel’s Mutant Pop 12” for the Trapez label was one of my most heavily caned platters of 2005. Anytime I couldn’t find a link in a DJ set, there were “Mutant Pop” and “Shower of Ice” with their building, extended intros ready to bail me out again. After that intro, though, came the unique part—where Bäumel basically built a mini-DJ set of his own inside the track as elements took their time in presenting themselves and then gradually fading away.

Bäumel’s newest 12”, Just Electricity, doesn’t work in the same way. Instead, each of the two tracks here are primarily useful for DJs looking to subtly change the tenor of their set. That’s why “Just Electricity” leaves you that synth pad bed underneath its pseudo-trance melody and even goes so far as to stop with a minute left for a few seconds to let slower DJs mix something right quick. “Fantomas” works similarly, seemingly begging its entire run-time for another, more distinctive tune to run up alongside it and guide the prospective set elsewhere.

Trapez / Trapez 073
[Todd Burns]

February 9, 2007

Audio Werner - Flatfunk

If samples were cats, then Audio Werner’s would definitely be among the pigeons. Like his popular Just Darr It EP on Trapez Ltd, this release is full of exuberant micro house with one eyebrow raised, but it’s less “hyper” than the Akufen-esque sound of yore or its even more manic French cousins on Circus Company. Anywhere you find it, these are likeable and useable tracks that easily fit between the cracks in your tiny wee house. It’s all about the drum samples, boys and girls, and Audio Werner’s predilection is for hits, taps, and toms that seem more likely to be drawn from an anthropologist’s field recordings, rather than some 909 drum sample CD-ROM. The title track lives up to its name, bubbling for a full ten minute workout, and sounds somewhere between Betrieb’s more accessible moments on Klang and some of the less schizo bits on Lump’s color series vinyl. “DBA” sounds like early Musik Krause, and funks along without a hiccup or a highlight. “Moved,” the B2, is filled with cool xylophone sounds and oddball percussion samples, bells, and spooky reverb. With a touch of Latin madness, it could easily be a Narcotic Syntax production. I have a feeling this one would layer really well in the mix, and can imagine it +8 betwixt two other rolling, shaking percussion monsters under the mixer of Villalobos or Luciano.

Circus Company / CCS 017
[Peter Chambers]

February 9, 2007

Charts: February 9 2007

Todd Hutlock
Can - Mother Sky (Pilooski Edit) [D*I*R*T*Y Edits]
Tony Allen - Ole (A Remix by Moritz Von Oswald) [Honest Jon’s]
Riley Reinhold - Point Zero [Trapez]
Damero - Mope [BPitch Control]
Claude VonStroke - Who’s Afraid of Detroit? (Tanner Ross Remix) [Dirty Bird]
Thomas Melchior & Luciano - Solomon’s Prayer [Cadenza]
Villalobos – Ioda [Playhouse]
Mikkel Metal - Untitled (Vainquer Remix) [Echocord]
Dub Syndicate - Pounding System [On-U Sound]
Ron Trent & Chez Damier - Hip To Be Disillusioned [Prescription]

Mallory O’Donnell
Wendy Carlos - Sonic Seasonings [Columbia]
Morton Subotnick - Silver Apples of the Moon [Nonesuch]
V/A - Sub Rosa Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music, Volume 4 [Sub Rosa]
i-F - Mixed Up In the Hague, Volume 2 [No Label]
Kraftwerk - Ralf & Florian [Vertigo]
Drei Farben House - Any Kind of Feeling [Force Tracks]
Nathan Fake - Outhouse Remixes [Recycled Loops]
Legowelt - The Land of Lonzo [Bunker]
nofloatoutput - the sound of systems failing [Greystate]

Michael F. Gill
Mash – Somebody’s Property [Glasgow Underground]
The Work – Just Talk (Skatebaard Remix) [Powerblytt]
Sam K – Doesn’t Matter (Ripperton Remix) [Perspectiv]
Los Angeles T.F. – Everliving Fever [Proxima Centauri]
Fake – Donna Rouge [Did Records]
Mouzon’s Electric Band – Everybody Get Down [Vanguard]
Ritchie Family – I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby) [RCA]
Julia & Company – Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba) [London]
Modeselektor – Hello Mom! [Bpitch Control]
MAT101 - Goodbye Mum! [Balance Records]

January 19, 2007

Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 / To There

Todd Hutlock: South African producer Berry made a big splash in 2006 with three twelves (and a remix single with takes by Dominik Eulberg and Gabriel Ananda) and a download-only EP, but it was this, his debut release, that still sounds the strongest to these ears. On “Fillertet 2,” a series of rhythmic typewriters, ticks, phasers, and God knows what else assemble themselves into marching formation and bubble and twitch their way into your synapses and feet simultaneously, until suddenly your needle starts to buzz and malfunction. Is there a short in your cartridge? No, but the buzz keeps growing and growing, flitting between the speakers, increasing in frequency and fluttering to a gentle landing, leaving you breathless. By the time the break is over and the beat comes back in, you’ll be a sweaty pile of nothing on the floor. Gawd-DAMN! On the flip, “Polytet 3” is a similar sort of twitchy boogie with charms all its own, the buzz replaced by a steady, sinister hum and a shuffling static burn, but the dynamic on the A is what will keep you coming back for more and positively wrecking any dancefloor that can stand it. One of the best cuts of 2006, cursed by being released the first week of January in a genre that turns over faster and faster every year.

Todd Burns: Something changes halfway through Shane Berry’s “Fillertet 2.” A vacuuming nearly all-encompassing static takes over the track and begins to fill all available space. It then eventually envelopes the casual beat and melody to the point that they fade away and disappear and are replaced by a deep bass tone, only to return after the static has completely washed away any memory of the opening two minutes of the track. It’s an amazing trick, but one that makes me wish the entire song had been composed of it. That same static menaces at the edges of “Polytet 3” and then once again takes center stage halfway through in a similar fashion, riding, this time, at the periphery. The static takes a backseat on Berry’s second 12” for the label, released in March 2006, but remains a part of each piece in some way: on “Sigh” it adds color to the edges of each snare hit. It’s an odd affect, one that doesn’t always work (“For a Moment” seems like a retread)—but when it does, like on “Fillertet 2,” it adds a sort of millennial dread that works wonders on the decks.

Trapez Ltd 040 / 042

January 19, 2007

Charts: January 19 2007

Michael F. Gill
Sylvester – I Need You (Dim’s Maxi Disco Blend) [ITH Records]
Remute – Bounce 23 [Trapez]
V/A - This Is Rong Music [Rong Music]
Lil Louis - I Called You (The Story Continues) [Epic]
E-Dancer - Oombah [Planet E]
Midnightrats - Goalmaker [Magic Circus]
Macho Cat Garage - Ghetto Blues [Viewlexx]
V/A - Make Me What [Minisketch]
Benfay - Pink Silk Panties (Bang Goes Remix) [Stattmusik]
The Nova Dream Sequence - Interpretations [Compost]

Todd Hutlock
Depeche Mode - People Are People (Underground Resistance Remix) [Mute]
Tomas Andersson - Mot Matsalen! [Bpitch Control]
Radio Slave - Weeeze [Rekids]
Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Technasia Rmx) [Third Ear/Syncrophone]
Hot Chip - Over And Over (Naum Gabo Remix) [Astralwerks/DFA]
False - Kickball [Plus 8]
Thomas Fehlmann - Dusted [Kompakt]
Pier Bucci - L’nuit (Dominik Eulberg Mix) [Crosstown Rebels]
Booka Shade - In White Rooms (Shinedoe Remix) [Get Physical]
Nitzer Ebb - Control I’m Here (Superchumbo Dub) [NovaMute]

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 22, 2006

2006: The Year In Review

Welcome to the Beatz By The Pound year-end roundup for 2006, a veritable smorgasbord of lists, thoughts, and reflections about the current state of dance music. And while all of our writers handed in very diverse ballots, we were able to come to a consensus on a couple of key releases, producers, and labels. Let the madness begin…


December 15, 2006

Insect O. & Sören Matschiste - Dschoanna


Another solid German four-tracker from a new label - is there no end to this? Though distributed by Kompakt, Etui is an unknown to me, and these spooky-yet-warm dubs slide somewhere in between the trancier end of Kompakt and the graceful tones of the Traum / Trapez axis. The A-side consists the shuffling title track and its’ slightly crunchier rework, “In Bed With Dschoanna,” a dark, pounding piece of subtly-hued minimal trance. The flip heats up considerably on “Da Ist Noch Sand,” adding more defined drums and a wobbly bassline, yet retains the delicate aura (especially on the tickling, bright synth line woven through the midsection). “Sommer and Sprosse” ends things on a bright, early-80’s-inflected note, contrasting solid kicks with slurred pads and funky layers of percussion. The slight vocal samples scattered across the EP assist the deep, humanistic electronics in justifying Etui’s slogan of “emotions for the dancefloor.”

Etui / ETUI 004
[Mallory O’Donnell]

November 17, 2006

Thomas Brinkmann /Alex Under - Naranja Monje


After the decidedly un-Brinkmann-like Lucky Hands LP in 2005, electronic pioneer Thomas Brinkmann has been a bit quiet, and from the sounds of his track on this split EP with Spaniard Alex Under, he’s spent that time honing his old sound rather than moving further away from it. Brinkmann’s “128 Rua Villalobos” sounds like it could have been lifted directly from one of his singles circa 2000, an up-tempo, Basic Channel-style dub workout that doesn’t do much but sounds oh so good doing it. Buoyed by that familiar looping, loping style, Brinkmann’s side slips on like an old comfortable shoe, pulsing along with that familiar rhythmic invention and phasing technique that made that style so irresistible in the first place. CMYK boss Alex Under, for his part, heads in the opposite direction, with the jumping “Naran Jamón, jejeje,” following in the funky footsteps of his EPs on Plus 8, Apnea, and Trapez from earlier this year—rollicking, bumpy, and full of shifting layers of clicky percussion that keeps the action moving along with regularity, with a really nice breakdown series in the middle to top it off.

CMYK Musik / CMYK009
[Todd Hutlock]

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