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]

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May 25, 2007

Thinking Out Loud: Physical vs. Digital

Thinking Out Loud developed from a series of open-ended email conversations and ruminations between Beatz staff members. In this article, Michael F. Gill and Peter Chambers discuss the merits of dance music on vinyl and MP3.


May 9, 2007

Oliver $ - Hotflash Vol 2

Another day, another glitch-house track. I remember hearing “Hotflash!” on that Jesse Rose mix for Get Physical last year and wondering, for the first time maybe ever: Whatever happened to Akufen? I really used to like glitch, in no small part because I needed something like “the sampladelic nature of glitch-house” to combat my intense worry that dance was stupid and vain, that I was just wasting my time. Ironies abound but here we are: Berlin’s Oliver $ (pronounced, I think, “Oliver Dollar”) know well enough to keep the beat relatively steady and let the crazy microsamples flutter in and out unintrusively, but when he grooves for a few seconds on a hiccup of filterhouse, I suddenly remember how infuriating glitch can get. I want that hiccup to last forever, a hiccup that comprises the best moment on the whole twelve-inch, but Oliver’s already moved on. I got glitched!

Grand Petrol / GP 016
[Nick Sylvester]

January 19, 2007

Sessomatto ft. Carolyn Harding - Movin On


Many are the things we here at Beatz By the Pound never tire of, when adequately deployeda radiant sunrise after an exhausting night of dancing; that sound that goes whap-whap and the one that goes wrrw-wrrw-wrrw; the first bars of our summer jam being mixed into whatever is playing right now; a little bump of something to get us through the night; a diva vocal with gospel touches telling us something great about our love. All of which stand and deliver during the course of Joey Negros 2006 Sessomatto single (and aforementioned summer jam) Movin On. Im all for beardy meanderings, minimal midnight assignations and space-disco dust, but come four in the morning I want a song exactly like this onecrazy peaks and valleys cranny-crammed with every trick thats worked a thousand times on a thousand house twelves and enough collective upliftment to raise a boat full of ravers to the top of Mt. Etna. Call me old-fashioned.

Z / ZEDD 12 084
[Mallory ODonnell]

November 17, 2006

zgr Can - On a White Day

Fuck me, for some reason I thought this was a Holger Czukay record. Instead it’s this Swedish guy practicing with his sweet new computer but on my time, shitting out three minimal trance cuts (i.e. short on ideas, zero build) of the same flimsy loops: a quote spooky whatever bells in the water riff, a faceless kick, and some stuttering percussion. A1 (”Whitest”) to A2 (”Whiter”) to B1 (”White”), Can changes up sub-genre dressing but keeps that ass bell loop, all to increasingly bad effect. The electro-housed A1 gets by because it sounds like a Bpitch demo, but A2 couldn’t even cut it on a Spectral comp, and B1 desperately wants to be acid-house but forgets the mindmelting squelch. Buy this record only if you have a comically large coffee mug and happen to need a coaster.

Precinct / PREC 014
[Nick Sylvester]

October 20, 2006

Interview: Juan Maclean & Tim Sweeney

On the occasion of the 2006 US DFA DJ Tour, Stylus stopped for a moment to chat with the Juan Maclean and Tim Sweeney over sushi and Sapporo as they swung through Houston…

So, Juan, working on album number two?

Juan: Yeah, album number two is the next step.

Are you gonna be using a lot of players from the live setup?

Juan: Sureit’s really become a different thing livelike a happy acid house jam band. Like the Grateful Dead crossed with the Chemical Brothers.

My friend saw you play at the Winter Music Conference in Miami and he wanted me to ask you if you’ll be getting more use out of the big button? The one that makes everything super-loud…

Juan: Ohthe up-down button. We do this crazy thing where we break songs down really quiet, then build up a big drum fill that comes crashing in on the one, and I press the button and everything comes screaming back in.

Tim: The target button!

Juan: I do a similar thing when DJing. It’s very sneaky. I just set up two records but really there’s a mix CD in there, ‘cuz I don’t know how to DJ or anything.

They won’t notice here.

Juan: They’ll know. When they see my skills. Mad skillz! (Laughing) No, he likes to make fun of me (points to Tim) because he says that guys who play in bands can’t DJ. It’s true though, that just trying to DJ without having produced anything of your own is really tough.

How long have you been DJing? Even just playing with it?

Juan: Oh, I don’t knowyears!

Were you ever a radio DJ, or…

Juan: Yeah, years and years ago, but real club DJing I didn’t really take seriously until a little while ago.

I usually find it a lot more fun when people don’t take it too seriously…

Juan: No, no… I take it seriously…

As far as the mixing, or what you play…

Juan: Yeah, definitely! (Meaning all of it)

Well, that’s good tooit’s just another instrument, reallyif you can bring a musical approach to it, it really rewards the listener.

Juan: Coming from playing instruments, it’s just another instrument that I have to learn how to play, I’m not gonna just get up there and not be good at it.

That’s good, I guess what I meant more, is that I get tired of as a listener is the cult of the DJ where the DJ plays a four-hour set of basically the same song.

Juan: I hate that! It’s really boring.

Especially with the focus lately on minimal sounds…

Juan: I know… well, I won’t say their names… I have friends who are minimal guys. And I like that stuff, but it’s endless…all that stuff sounds like an endless track, like the same track after a while…

Tim: You’re talking about minimal stuff? Who?

He’s not gonna name names, we’re on the record here.

Tim (gleefully): Name names!

[Juan looks askance]

Tim: What’s your problem (teasingly)? I thought you had more of a diverse outlook on music than the rest of the DFA?

Juan: Well, they make fun of me at DFA for liking certain things.

Like what?

Juan: Well, I’m probably the most tasteless DJ on the DFA, cuz I’ll play things that are just like retarted and fun or whatever…

Tim (smiling): Oh, I’ll agree…

Juan (continuing): But there are DJs that are infinitely tasteful, but it’s like nobody wants to hear it…

Tim, give me your rundown on radio DJing versus live club DJing

Tim: Well… it’s two different things… on radio, you obviously don’t have to worry about the crowd, or if anyone’s listening…

Do you get into that vibe when you play live, or find yourself wanting that freedom?

Tim: No, I love playing with the crowd, because sometimes you have this connection or whatever and you work with that, but you get a lot more nervous, worrying if something’s going to clear the floor or whatever… but opening for Juan, it’s like I can’t do any worse than he does. (Laughter)

Juan: I can do whatever I want to, because of who I am!

You have carte blanche, then?

Juan: A blank slate, even.

Tim: Oh, you don’t have a blank slate.

[Mallory ODonnell]

July 28, 2006

Quiet Village Project - Circus of Horrors / Free Rider


Free Rider by this recently Virgin signed duo sounds like early Ninja Tune flipside fluffjust some lazily looped cocktail party spillagewhich isnt whatever I want from a label that charges about as much for one 12 as I set aside for a months supply of food. Luckily, Circus of Horrors ups the heat considerably, recalling a time when budget record labels jammed out session band tributes to Deep Purple and Anglo musicians of a certain type managed to make cash and experiment doing soundtracks for wiggly horror flicks (think Psychomania or The Abominable Dr. Phibes.) It pits rocksteady drums under fuzz guitar and an almost as fuzzy flute, and is topped off with screams and vocals that are macho, if by macho you mean a certain type of intrinsically camp performance. And therein lies the disco, I guess.

Whatever We Want / WEWW10
[Patrick McNally]

July 28, 2006

Map of Africa - Gonna Ride / Freaky Ways Instrumental

When does a record with a drum solo (and I dont mean an intro of 4/4 kicks for eight bars) get reviewed in Beatz? When its by Thomas Bullock (Rub n Tug) and DJ Harvey. Gonna Ride is cowbell-clonking cheap brew rocknrollif you think youre above listening to Career of Evil by Blue yster Cult, then stay away. The vocal-heavy Freaky Ways Instrumental, leans out with some nu-balearic handclap, synth bass, and flanged, summery guitar, before keeling over into the aforementioned Iron Butterfly-style drum soloing. Oddly, by recreating the sounds of early disco, when it was a way of playing records rather than records themselves, Map of Africa have also recreated the pot bellied hard rock sounds favored by the disco-burners of Kaminsky Park.

Whatever We Want / WEWW007
[Patrick McNally]