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Nathan Fake
Dinamo / Coheed Remixes
[Traum, 2005]

There's something about Nathan Fake right now that's caught the hearts of most minimal listeners. It probably has something to do with his innate sense of melody, but it's hard to say for sure. Coming off the highly caned "The Sky Was Pink" 12" for Border Community and the best 12" from Traum this year, Fake has gotten two remix 12"'s released under his name featuring the talents of Dominik Eulberg, Michael Mayer, and Steve Barnes. While the ambient mixes that Barnes turned in on his more recent release don't do much to excite, Eulberg's mix of "Dinamo" does a great job of marrying the original's ping-pong sonar blips to a propulsive beat. Mayer's mix of "Coheed" is, if anything, better than Eulberg's by making it just as epic in four less minutes. Featuring his now-typical move of taking everything out of the track, only to build it back up again, Mayer turns the track into a pop-house gem.

Out of Tune
[Firm, 2005]

Geiger's mix of "I Think About You" was one of this writer's Kompakt Pop's tracks to yet surface, so this full-length on Firm was a nice surprise. A surprise because there is hardly anything here that could be described as straight dance music. Nice because it's the sort of rock music that's highly indebted to dance music and wouldn't be anything without it. "Cocain-E" is LCD Soundsystem fronted by Jamie Lidell, "Five Years" is a potent pop track that veers off into metal for the choruses, and "Studio Star" indulges in the acid narcotic. A wide-ranging pop album, Out of Tune might just be Cologne's answer to Phoenix.

Ricardo Villalobos
[Perlon, 2005]

Villalobos' return to the 12" is certainly a welcome one, but after the twin infinity of his Perlon full-lengths, you can't help but feel like vinyl hems the minimal underwater-prog producer's style in. Clocking in at 26 minutes for two songs, though, there's more than enough time for what sounds like two B-sides from Ricardo's latest to work their peculiar magic. The title track roils in the watery space that Villalobos has staked out so fervently in the past few years, throwing numerous melodic possibilities at the wall and trying to see what sticks. “Fadutron” has a more substantive beat that saves the wavering and shimmering for the bumpy and bruised melody that emerges over its length. You could listen to this all day and still not hear everything. Highly recommended for those that get high.

In Flagranti
Melody Maker
[Codek, 2005]

“Melody Maker” sounds like the computer program that Daft Punk forgot to consult on their way to making their latest album. It’s also the name of a song that beats them at their own game. Ineffable as it might be, the song’s riff is just much more catchy (and more expertly tooled around with) over its five-minute length, so that the song avoids the pitfalls that befell DP. “Paroli” and “Striking Ejaculation” despite their promising nature (due to predecessor and song titles) fall far short of expectations. The former is far better than the latter, but both go light on the riffage, instead focusing on drumcraft.

Chelonis R. Jones
Dislocated Genius
[Get Physical, 2005]

It’s hard not to overstate how good of an album that Dislocated Genius is. For those who found Superpitcher’s album exactly versatile enough (but experimenting in the wrong places), Michael Mayer’s album not versatile enough (but catchy enough in places to disguise that fact), Booka Shade’s album not quite strong enough overall (but with highlights to burn), and Ada’s album with the exact right emphasis on vocals, you’ll find this rubbing you exactly the right way. Try “I Don’t Know” and “Deer in the Headlights (Myth III)” on for size.

By: Todd Burns
Published on: 2005-07-28
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