May 20, 2007

The Week In Review: 2007, Week 20

Battles - Atlas (Warp Records)
Genre: Leftfield

Peter Chambers: The two tracks seem to wind into each other, not so much remixes as silent halves of the other that mutually intimate, stroke, and ground. The diehard math-rockers will hate it, and it’s too weird for the functionally-obsessed dancefloors of the world, but that’s (also) why it’s one of the more interesting EPs of the year so far.

Water Lilly - Invisible Ink (Mental Groove)
Genre: Electro-House, Minimal/Deep

Minilogue - Elephant Parade (Wagon Repair)
Genre: Minimal/Tech

Nate DeYoung: I’ve been told that Elephant Parade is a snorefest, and while I’m sure that’s the case for most people, I sleep on my belly.

Solomun & Stimming - Feuer & Eis (Diynamic)
Genre: House, Minimal/Deep

Escort - All Through The Night (Escort)
Genre: Disco

John Daly - Sky Dive (Plak Records)
Genre: Techno, Detroit

Skatebard - Vuelo (Radius)
Genre: Neo-Disco

Nick Sylvester: Makes me wonder whether I would have liked that Sally Shapiro album more if there was, cough, less Sally Shapiro.

Selway and Vincenzo - Dream Stealer (CSM)
Genre: Minimal/Deep

Weekly Staff Charts

Beatzcast #33: Crambe Repetita

May 15, 2007

Minilogue - Elephant Parade

I’ve been told that Elephant Parade is a snorefest, and while I’m sure that’s the case for most people, I sleep on my belly. This means two things - one, I can’t snore as much as I’d like and two, recent studies have shown that my sleep-position (described as “freefall”) reveals that my personality can be bit “nervy.” So give me a little lee-way when I say that the title cut here doesn’t bore me as much as it might bore you – it’s all in the nerves. Sure, dude riffs a bass for ten minutes that goes nowhere and sounds like that fact doesn’t matter a damn to him. But the live-ness of the recording is there, like the song could just fall flat on its face with each iteration of the corkscrewing bassline. And the group walks the line just enough to give the song the urgency it needs. But I’ll admit that I’m giving Minilogue a free pass for throwing a little dirt into their finely tuned and fluffed out epic-minimal compositions.

It might be time for a little reinvention for Minilogue, whose largest claim to fame so far has been changing from prog-house posterboys into prog-house-gone-minimal posterboys. Not to mince broad sides with nit-picks, but both sides of this single find the duo stretching away from the group traditional strengths. “Elephant Parade” has flab of a couple extra minutes that misses the brevity the duo showed when taking Radiohead in bite-sized chunks (ala “Certain Things Around You Part 2″). And “Birdsong,” despite the juicy faint echoes of a monkey house, is never sculpted as sublimely as “Girl From Botany Bay.” Despite the flaws, what sticks out is Minilogue’s insistence to try new directions on a label (Wagon Repair) known for encouraging artists to branch out, and it’s worth each awkward first step.

Wagon Repair / WAG 022
[Nate DeYoung]

April 17, 2007

Audion - Mouth To Mouth Remixes

Whenever I see a remix single of an absolutely amazing, individualistic record—like this is, one of 2006’s biggest and best tracks—I have to wonder why in the hell anyone would want to remake it. It just seems to be a losing proposition to try to put your own work up next to a classic in the making, especially less than a year after the original release.

The brave souls here are M_nus man Heartthrob (who takes it on twice, no less!) and Wagon Repair vet Konrad Black, both of whom should be commended for not only having the balls to take on a record bigger than the both of them put together, but also to do a fine job with it, all told. Heartthrob takes two similar routes, both maintaining the original’s singular sense of menace and stalking ability, and on the “Mantap Mix” he takes the swelling analog noise from the original that made you scream your balls off last summer. Beyond that, it’s pretty much par for the course: a tight, funky, minimal, throbbing analog steam. Konrad keeps it more on the lowdown, working the bottom end and the atmospherics into a thick, sticky froth, only to let in some light just in time to keep it from getting suicidal. Disaster averted.

Online exclusives are here, too, from Matthew “Audion” Dear himself and Ryan Elliott. Dear’s “Mund zu Mund” version rearranges some runs and kicks a bit more Latin-esque funk into the mix while still managing to turn those noises in for more thrills than they should be worth. Elliott strips it down for spare parts, working the perc into a frenzy and dropping a few of those big swells, too, just to keep it interesting. It’s a damn shame the online tracks aren’t available on wax, they are worth the trouble for fans.

Spectral Sound / SPC-42
[Todd Hutlock]

February 16, 2007

Midnight Operator - Midnight Operator


The first offering from Mathew Jonson and his drum ‘n’ bassier brother Nathan (aka Hrdvision) doesn’t sound too different from what you’d imagine it to be—squelching, menacing bass melodies set against housey breakbeats—but there is a warped sense of structure and an abundance of quick and filtered edits that makes it hard to fully grasp. Make no mistake, this is involving head music, but perhaps too involving for dancefloors.

The convoluted funk of the title track, which could be snuck into an adventurous dubstep set, would rather run in circles instead of leading you somewhere. On the B-side, a cut up of Mathew’s “Revenge of the Zombie Bikers” becomes more detached and solemn than the original, the famous bassline sounding closer to Kode 9 than Carl Craig. Worth investigating.

Wagon Repair / WAG 021

[Michael F Gill]

October 13, 2006

Charts: October 13 2006

Guest Chart: DJ Barbara Preisinger [~Scape, Berlin]

Alix Alverez & Mr.V - Beat Bodega vol1 [Sound Channel Music]
Shed - Shot Selection [Selection records]
Deadbeat - Version Immersion [~scape]
STL - Purple Saturn Days [Perlon]
Pantha Du Prince - Lichten [Dial]
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc - The Black Door [ibadan]
Nathan Cole - Musik Freak [Funk´d]
Andy Vaz - Remixes [Background]
Herrmann & Kaden - Corroboree [Freude Am Tanzen]
Beckett & Taylor - Hired New Hands [Hand On The Plow]

Michael F. Gill
And One – Sometimes (Instrumental) [Virgin]
Terrence Fixmer – Resistance [Gigolo]
Deepchild – Blackness of the Sea (Luomo Remix) [Future Classic]
Chagrin D’Amour – Chacun Fait (Dub) [Barclay]
Black Gold – C’mon Stop [Prelude]
Kiko – Solar [Notorious Elektro]
Alisha – All Night Passion [Vanguard]
Stephane Signore & Wehbba – Destiny [Bound Records]
Red Lipstique – Drac´s Back (Dub) [Magnet Records Ltd]
Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats – Let Them Talk [Soundway]

Todd Hutlock
Lawrence - “Deep Summer Hole” [Dial]
Lazy Fat People - “Shinjuku” [Wagon Repair]
Heidi Vs Riton - “Vejer” [Get Physical]
Sense Club - “Tommorrov Cocktail” [Perlon]
John Dahlbaeck - “Wet Summer” [Kompakt Extra]
Trentemřeller - “Always Something Better (Trentemřeller Remix)” [Poker Flat]
Meek - “Glowing Trees” [New Ground]
Andrew Weatherall - “Feathers” [Rotters Golf Club]
John Hassell - “Voiceprint (Blind from the Facts) (808 Mix Two - Latin In It Mix)” [Opal]
Dirt Crew - “Largo” [Dirt Crew Recordings]

Nate DeYoung
My My - Songs for the Gentle [Playhouse]
Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet [Kranky]
Rex the Dog - Maximize [Kompakt]
Matthias Kaden / Onur Ozer - Pentaton / Twilight [Vakant R]
Mobilee - Back to Basics [Mobilee]
Pikaya / Andomat 3000 & Jan - Grüne Raufaser / Entr’acte Music [Cadenza]
Bruno Pronsato - Lady Collage [Orac]
The Modernist - Presents “Popular Songs” [Faith]

October 6, 2006

Lazy Fat People - Shinjuku/T.V. 20

Ronan Fitzgerald: The hotly anticipated “Shinjuku” is finally here, and the rise of psych-house continues. As you expect from Ripperton and anyone who’s been on Border Community really, the melody on “Shinjuku” is vast and expansive, feeling like it could fill any space, with one note bleeding into another. One of the winter’s biggest records is surely upon us, this may lead the way for the new generation of big crossover minimal records. “T.V. 20” meanwhile is a darker club track, with less melody but never losing the eerie air of melancholy.

Peter Chambers: Here’s the latest in a long line of minimal releases following the tacit maxim of what I call “Luciano’s bastards”: “as little as possible, for as long as possible.” If you like to keep your mixes wide open for as long as nine minutes, there could conceivably be a reason to buy into a musical philosophy that thinks it’s okay to write a track that goes for as long as six Little Richard tracks without ever squealing “Lucille,” if you dig. It’s either a test of your patience, or the presentation of a different timescale that presumes another way of listening to music. To these ears, this Richard’s too big and too long. After six minutes of farnarkling around, the Lazy Fat People finally menace their audience with the promise of drama. “Wow, something’s gonna happen.” But unfortunately, what’s true of “T.V.20” is true of Gertrude Stein’s famous impression of Oakland: when you get there, there isn’t any there there. “Shinjuku” is a place, and is much better, but wastes its head of trancelectro steam on a lazy, boring breakdown, after which the riff runs out of puff, failing to convert its one good idea into anything memorable. This track could easily find a second wind with a sympathetic mix-out or a remix that efficiently channelled its confused energies into something focused and finished, but as it stands this is flabby stuff indeed.

Wagon Repair / WAG 017

September 29, 2006

Charts: September 29 2006

Guest Chart: Kiki

Mr Gone - Do 4 Love (Radio Slave Remix) [Rebirth]
Henrik Schwarz - Imagination Limitation [K7]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innervisions]
Lazy Fat People - Shinjuku [Wagon Repair]
Jamie Jones - The Capsule [Freak n Chic]
Latex - The Porcupine [Rebelone]
Underworld - Pig Play (Buick Project Mix 2) [White]
Shonky - Closer to Pluton [Resopal]
Kiki - Trust Me [Bpitch Control]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]

Todd Hutlock
InBetween DJs - Horns in the Attic [Wallshaker Music]
Raudive - Ultraviolet [Klang Elektronik]
Marc Houle - Edamame [Minus]
Andrea Parker - Ballbreaker [Mo’ Wax]
Cobblestone Jazz - India In Me [Wagon Repair]
Metope - I’m So Ready (Sleeparchive Remix) [Areal]
Christian Dittmann - Buena Decision [Echocord]
Paul Kalkbrenner - Queer Fellow (Ellen Allien & Apparat Remix) [Bpitch Control]
Fraktion - This Fever Works [Resopal Red]
Thomas Melchoir & Luciano - Father [Cadenza]

Mallory O’Donnell
Morgan Geist - Crash Tracks EP [Metamorphic]
Daso - Daybreak (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [My Best Friend]
The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute EP [K2]
Putsch 79 - Doin’ It Remixes [Clone]
Scarlet Smears - Spitfire [Blank Start]
Lindstrom - It’s A Feedelity Affair [Smalltown Supersound]
Scissor Sisters - I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (Linus Loves Remixes) [Polydor]

Michael F. Gill
Chris & Cosey - Walking Through Heaven [Rough Trade]
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop (Instrumental) [Profile]
Ahzz - New York Moving [Land of Hits]
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly Soundtrack [Curtom]
The League Unlimited Orchestra - Love and Dancing [Virgin]
Legowelt - Bonn 1978 (Discodubmix) [Legowelt]
Dilo vs Gurtz - Piedras (Dandy Jack and the Latin Elvis Remix) [Roman,Photo]
Cohen vs Deluxe - Just Kick! (Carl Cox Mix) [Intec]
Kevin McKay - Summer Breeze [Muzik/Glasgow Underground]
V/A - Idol Tryout Two [Ghostly International]

September 22, 2006

Mathew Jonson - Automatic


Mathew Jonson’s EPs don’t contain tracks so much as the blueprint for an evolving arrangement, one that’s only completed once it’s de/re-constructed in his own scorching live sets. He’s one of the few “producers” who, like the blues greats, have to be seen live to be understood properly. If his earlier work blissed out or brooded away on its own beautiful arpeggiating melodies, recent EPs have seen him return to the low-end party with bells on. “Automatic,” very much like “Zombie Bikers” before it, sounds like Zapp and Roger on mushrooms in the sunshine, or maybe Jonson hallucinating about seeing Zapp and Roger in the sunshine, while on mushrooms (ahem). It’s the B side that deserves your hard earned fungi though; it’s a massive expanse (a veritable Jonsonscape) of swirling drums and revolving grooves, turning and turning in and out of itself for nearly twelve minutes, only exhausting itself right toward the very end as it dissipates into the past, like the clouded memories of a hedonistic weekend.

Wagon Repair / WAG 016
[Peter Chambers]

September 22, 2006

Charts: September 22 2006

Todd Hutlock
The Rice Twins - For Dan [K2]
Donnacha Costello - 6.3 [Minimise]
Mathew Johnson - Beach Party [Wagon Repair]
Nitzer Ebb - Shame (Derrick May Remix) [NovaMute]
Porter Ricks - Port of Call [Chain Reaction]
Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew [Clink Music]
Thee Madkatt Courtship - Da Mindfuck [Deep Distraxion]
Sami Koivikko - Dore [Spectral Sound]
Limaçon - Ajar [Intrinsic Design]
Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It [Trax]

Nate DeYoung
My My - Butterflys and Zebras [Aus]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral]
Heidi vs Riton - Vejer [Get Physical]
Cobblestone Jazz - India in Me [Wagon Repair]
Donato Dozzy - Dimensions EP [Dozzy]
Jona - Tizia [Get Physical]
The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute [Kompakt]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing You [Mobilee]
Madonna - Get Together Remixes [Virgin]
Justus Kohncke - Advance [Kompakt]

Cameron Octigan
Alice in Chains - Dam That River [Columbia]
Dominion - The Light of Day [unknown]
Jan Jelinek - Im Discodickicht [~scape]
Jesu - Your Path to Divinity [Hydrahead]
JPLS - Program 01 [M_nus]
Limp Wrist - Just Like You [Lengua Armada]
MDK - Rohe Gewalt [Weird System]
Putsch 79 - Doin’ It (Putsch 79 Edit) [Clone]
Rex the Dog - I Look into Air [Kompakt]
Ricardo Villalobos - Que Belle Epoque 2006 [Frisbee Tracks]

Michael F. Gill
Voigt & Voigt - Was Du Willst [Kompakt Extra]
V/A - Dashammer Remixes [Max.I]
Gusgus - Mallflowers [Pineapples]
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (Instrumental) [EMI]
Phreek - May My Love Be With You [Atlantic]
Dalton & Dubarri - I (You) Can Dance All By My (Your) Self [Hilltak]
Moment of Truth - So Much for Love [Salsoul]
V/A - Historical Archives Volume 2 [Members Only]
Gino Soccio - There’s a Woman (Carl Craig Re-Edit) [Moxie]
Munich Machine - Bolectro [Casablanca]

August 11, 2006

Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck


Hector Rodriguez: Being unaware of this side project of Mathew Jonson’s, I cracked it open expecting something along the lines of his slamming electro fuelled tracks, but I could not have been more wrong: it’s fuelled by a more jazzy, vaguely Detroit groove. The B side, “Peace Offering,” is the highlight. An electronic bass line with a simple break provides a foundation, which is punctuated with the occasional reverb soaked keyboard flourish. It works well as anticipation for some incredible jazz inspired keyboard work by band member Tyger Dhula. It’s the kind of track that could easily be slipped into a Lindstrom set, especially as a bridge to something a little more forceful.

Nick Sylvester: Apparently Cobblestone Jazz privilege heart over head, are bringing back improvisation to dance music composition, all that… I dunno. Of the three CJ guys I only know Mathew Jonson’s work, but after seeing two monster Ableton sets of his in Montreal a year ago I’m willing to bite. “Dump Truck” has all the makings of Moodymann redux but then somebody in CJ decided to get his glitch on (his words not mine), somebody decided to throw down a boxed Eurohouse progression, somebody decided to over-vocode a bad female vox hook—so the less said the better. A better time can be had on the flip. “Peace Offering,” if you remember the no-man’s-land minute between LCD Soundsystem’s “Yeah” (the song) and LCD Soundsystem’s “Yeah” (the indulgent acid-house freakout), sounds exactly like that for eleven minutes. It’s a ticking bomb set to rock drums, and it never blows out, not even when CJ add more percussion or trigger (old Herbie?) jazz-funk keyboard riffs in succession. It could have been a “Yeah” disco edit, but there’s no fun in that, which might be the larger lesson here.

Wagon Repair / WAG 014

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