April 3, 2007

Joakim - Lonely Hearts

Joakim’s latest for the French label Versatile combines a nicely hummable tune with some elegant and funky padding in three mixes plus an acapella. The extended remix by The Loving Hand (aka Tim from the DFA) is nice to bop along with but is ultimately conflicted with too many ideas: deep house, acid, or electro, please make up your mind! But this is well worth picking up for the Radio Edit and Dub mixes, which keep the chunky, early-80’s vibe intact and turn up the melancholic, yearning vocals. The Radio Edit is a rock-solid pop tune with post-punk trappings, while the Dub version is actually a dub mix for once, instead of a merely gussied-up instrumental. It sounds just perfect for a hastily-planned, sweaty basement party in Paris, or wherever you happen to be this weekend.

Versatile / VER051
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[Mallory ODonnell]


November 17, 2006

Antena - Camino Del Sol (Remixes)

200612"Neo-DiscoBalearic

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
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[Peter Chambers]


October 13, 2006

I:Cube - Acid Tablet

200612"HouseAcid

I:Cube is a bankable producer, and Acid Tablet is no exception. While not tearing up any trees for innovation, if you like Europeans aping early American house/techno then you cant get much better than this. Acid Tablet is a rather standard 303 workout with some typical I:Cube strings welling up in the background. Danse De Saint Guy is the kind of mournful soundscape that I:Cube has been doing for years, with huge synth washes and lots of cowbell, plus garbled vocal samples and what sounds like Gregorian monks chanting. Un Proton Pour Moi, Un Neutron Pour Toi is a nice piece of electro-disco in a Maurice Fulton style that caps off this quality EP.

Versatile / VER048
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[Ronan Fitzgerald]