Beatz By The Pound
Distorto-Click-Doo-Wop House

a weekly look into the world of electronic musics...

Kitchen [12”]
[Trapez, 2005]

We have enough hindsight to talk about the most underrated records of 2005. Let’s start with a mention of Craft and Sounds, by way of a review of “Kitchen,” one of the most addictive singles of the month of December. Rubbery basses, a growling, spouting voice, an entirely too long outro. What more do you want? A punishing B-side, of course. “Tulip Schnaps” is distorto-click-doo-wop house at its finest. Recommended.

On The Edge [12”]
[Kompakt, 2005]

The kids seem to like it, and you can’t really argue with SCSI-9’s dream-house title track construction: the song is much like fellow Kompakt cohort Pass Into Silence’s ambient pudding: goes down nicely without a hint of bitterness: be careful, though: too much of this and you may find yourself playing “Sweets & Love” for a friend. This is 4 AM music. Not 8 PM.

Various Artists
Speicher 32 [12”]
[Kompakt, 2005]

Merciless is one word for John Dahlbäck’s “Gas”—but hugs for the guy who lays down a bassline and then unleashes all his tricks over it in the span of five-and-a-half minutes. Alex Bartsch’s side is as analog-rich as Dahlbäck’s, but gets deeper and heavier immediately, evoking a heretofore unknown dark side to the lover we encountered as one-half of Closer Musik.

Pelle Buys
Enemy Mine [12”]
[Italic, 2006]

One of the best constructed 12”s of the new year: “Enemy Mine” is pure Matthew Jonson infinity-analog, “Saw Off” brings it back to the Earth with a bit of Chicago acid-jack, and then we get all emo with “Tribute to Solitude” (anyone remember Novel23, by chance?). Needless to say, this one is going to pass right on by a lot of people—and that’s a shame. Recommended.

Dapayk Solo
Fat Kid’s Choice [12”]
[Resopal, 2005]

Dapayk comes off like an inviting Villalobos on “Perfume,” whispering come-on’s over a simple tech-house beat that veers into breaks every so often. But “Take It Back” is my highlight—featuring a woozy beat, a broken sonar pulse, and a clipped voice helpfully identifying the 1 and the 2. “Norbrac” is a straight bore, though, built for the floor and people who enjoy sound design.

Psych Doll [12”]
[Playhouse, 2005]

Fire the person that told Rework to make “Psych Doll” and A-side. Hire them back for putting the block rockin’ [sorry] and entirely too repetitive “Bodymaker” and filter discofied “Six on Saturday” on this 12” as B-sides. Then stage an intervention for Roman Fluegel and that annoying siren-y sound that he always seems to drop in his songs (or, in this case, remixes).

Mark Henning
Yeah But No But EP [12”]
[Freude Am Tanzen, 2005]

I’m 90% sure that this EP was named after that catchphrase from Little Britain, the oft-fellated, rarely humorous BBC import. No matter, though. Henning’s newest offering is as varied as his last with the seething minimal “Mahlzeit” residing next to the odd Basic Channel shuffle dub of “Skiffle Freak” on the A-side. The flip sees an stuttering acidic “1471” cohere every so often into something special, and the slow-starting “Gooner” never really cohere into much of anything at all. Henning needs to pick “yes” or “no” and stick with it.

Gazebo [12”]
[Border Community, 2005]

For those following BC, you’ll know exactly what to expect: glossy melodies, transcendent crescendos, basslines that build and build, and a pay-off that never gets the whole cork out of the bottle. This time out, the tools are particularly interesting: each is four-and-a-half minutes long and would do well outside of their original dance context on a possible ambient album. A sidenote: B-side “Gazelle” has to be the slowest aural imagining of the animal yet on record.

By: Todd Burns
Published on: 2006-01-05
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