Beatz By The Pound
#011: Detroit Rules!

detroit has taken over! Stylus & Beatz by the Pound brings you complete day-by-day coverage of this year’s Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) as well as reviews of new releases from Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Docile, and just possibly, some people outside of Michigan. Let the trip down I-94 begin….


as reported by enemy.combatant

A quick history: The Detroit Electronic Music Festival was first held in 2000 following a concept that was developed by Carl Craig and Derrick May. This event is the pinnacle for Detroit in the watchful eyes of the global electronic community. DEMF represents Detroit’s selection and taste, or at least that was its intention in the past. It has been an event that was initially looked at with esteem and pride, and represented a lot of things to many different Detroit artists involved in its creation. However, since shortly after its inception as the largest free electronic music festival, it has become a clusterfuck of corporate-endorsed sponsorship and control.

I was ecstatic to have been given the opportunity to cover this event, not only because this was so important to the electronic music community of Detroit, but because a new organization was “stepping up to the plate because they did not want to see the City of Detroit lose out on such a great opportunity.” I respected this ethical statement, and now not only did I want to cover this event, but I wanted to make sure it succeeded. I really thought that with those words spoken, new DEMF promoters Paxahau would hold themselves up to a different standard than past promoters, and might even bring the festival back to its roots of free admission, so all the people of Detroit could enjoy the electronic music that we have come to know and love. I know some members of Paxahau personally, and had extremely high hopes that this event would receive proper representation. I even immediately contacted one of my buddies who DJ’d for Paxahau at various events and asked him how I could help out. He told me to send my info to an e-mail address, and that they would be making volunteer lists at a later date. Since this was two-plus months prior to the traditionally scheduled festival opening day, I really had no worries…until the third week began to approach the second week and I still had no information from Paxahau regarding volunteer lists, schedules, duties; no media information; and not even a final roster, let alone a schedule with set times on it. I was starting to worry.

I finally received word that there would be a volunteer sign-up being conducted at Hart Plaza on May 13, 2006. I made it down to Detroit with extra volunteers to boot, and was not going to let the fact that it was pouring freezing rain, there was no parking or validation, or that I had just traveled an hour to an hour an a half for a mandatory pre-meeting for volunteers affect my attitude or mood in any way. I knew Paxahau would be grateful that I had come all the way from where I was traveling from in the terrible weather conditions Michigan was having at that time, and that I would probably receive all the information and things that couldn’t be sent over the internet such as shirts, badges, etc. I arrived and went down the steps of Hart Plaza to the Underground Stage. There were 100+ people assembled near the Underground Stage, but it was for a hip-hop presentation. Humorously, I remembered DEMF 2001-2002; giant Trinitron screens were plastered all over the festival grounds that year that were constantly displaying a loop of Eminem walking down Woodward Ave. rapping, “It’s over / Nobody listens to techno.”

After proceeding past this assembly, I saw the Paxahau Movement sign-up staff complete with a card table and two Paxahau members handling sign-ups, and a few people waiting to volunteer standing in line. I rubbed my eyes and squinted, and proceeded to ask the people in my party if they thought that it was the sign-up area ahead. We all agreed in a slightly strange way. I was the first in line of my party, and I waited for 30+ minutes before speaking to a Paxa-Rep even though there were only four people ahead of me. By the time I reached the card table I was happy that there were only a few people here for sign-up, but still hoped Eminem was dead wrong.

I was asked what I do for a living, and in what areas I could help out. I explained that I am a studio engineer/musician. I was then asked if I would like to flyer. Puzzled, I also then explained that I would help out in any area, but that I was covering this event for a magazine, and needed to be able to move freely to cover the event. I was then told that I needed to write all this information down on a piece of paper (provided) and was told to give it to one of the two girls waiting at the card table a few feet away. At this point, I was asked for my ID, of which a digital pic was taken. With the organization level I was seeing so far, I immediately began worrying about identity theft. I then had a clipboard pushed in my direction with not so much as a hello or even a smile and was asked what shifts I could sign up for today. I explained once again, since the paper I had just written all this down on was not helping this individual, that I could work any shift or all shifts since I was expected to be there for the magazine anyway. I was then asked why I was even down here volunteering if this was the case. I explained that I thought I could help. I never got a response, only a shrug of the shoulders. I was then asked my T-shirt size, and was told I would receive one the day of the festival. I was then told in a very bossy way that I was expected to be ready to work every shift, and check in with my shift leaders for every shift. I was then told I could go, and didn’t even get so much as a good-bye. I felt somewhat frustrated at this point. All I wanted was a little pat on the head or any kind of slightly friendly gesture. It really might have helped morale since two days later, I was sent a barrage of e-mails from Paxahau asking to volunteer for airport runs and record lugging since their valet service was not covering this anymore.

I arrived at about 11:15 AM on the first day. I would have made it there much earlier even though the festival didn’t start until 12 noon, but there was no volunteer or media parking, and I had to lug all my equipment quite a long way, and absolutely no one I spoke to, including security, knew where the media entrance was, or the volunteer entrance for that matter. I finally found it, and immediately walked up to the press table. I was greeted by a sneering, short, bald man. I told him the magazine I was with, and he seemed to be looking me over a few times. I asked him if he needed to see my ID, since his assistant had walked over and whispered that someone else from Stylus had already checked in. Instead, he gave me a lanyard, and his assistant outfitted me with a yellow plastic wristband. I was then free to roam. I found it very interesting that I was not searched or that my identity was not checked in any way. Not that George W. was manning the decks this year for his N.W.O worldwide Uber-Freedom mix, but I thought that there would definitely be more attention paid to the safety of all artists attending this year.

I checked in at the media center after taking 20-30 minutes to find it since, once again, nobody knew where anything was. The people at the press table said, “It’s downstairs, you can’t miss it.” I was finally helped by one of the filmmakers from the film High Tech Soul, who was very helpful and friendly. Once arriving at the media center, I saw the organization level did not exceed that of the volunteer situation. I was told that I could interview anyone I wanted, and that I should try to catch artists after they perform. (I later discovered this was quite challenging to do since most artists arrived right in time for their set, and disappeared shortly after.) I went upstairs to check in at the volunteer table, and ran into a friend and his wife who lived near me. He told me that he and his wife just each had been given two tickets to the min2max (named for the new comp on Richie Hawtin’s M-nus label) after-party that night, two tickets to the Perlon after-party tomorrow, two tickets to another after-party Monday, two 1-day passes for the festival, two 3-day passes for the festival, plus a bunch of T-shirts, and other items.

I was immediately delighted, anticipating that finally I was going to see some appreciation from Paxahau. I might even receive more than the 12 after-party tickets and 8 festival tickets my friends just received since I brought three extra people down to volunteer for them. At least in my mind, and after I made it up to the volunteer table I saw that this was simply not the case. The person in charge of this table was right off the bat upset that I had a press pass. He immediately began questioning me and asking me why I was volunteering since I already had a free three-day pass into the festival. I explained I was just trying to help, but he looked about as clueless as he did originally when I made this exact same statement to him previously on the morning of volunteer sign-up. I was then asked what size shirt I needed. I didn’t bother making a comment about why I was dragged here in freezing rain on volunteer sign-up morning and not asked that question then. I thought that end was already predetermined. I guess not. I received my shirt, and then stood there for a minute. This person then consulted with one of the previous volunteer sign-up girls who then came over to me and very snottily ordered me over to the Real Detroit stage to see if they needed any help. I walked off toward the Real Detroit Stage without a thank you, a good-bye, or a damn ticket. I knew I shouldn’t be disappointed; my expectations of a reward were what was causing my disappointment, but instead I received a slight dose of what seemed to be the real spirit of the Movement—a genuine Paxa-bowel Movement right on my head. I didn’t feel so bad, though, because I volunteered for it.

I walked by the Real Detroit stage on the way to the Beatport stage. It could fit maybe 35-50 people in there comfortably. This stage was scaled down to about 20% of its size at past festivals. It was supposed to be the stage that represented real Detroit artists. I guess Paxahau thought only 35-50 people would care about about this stage and the Detroit artists; there seemed to be a lack of them this year.

I hit up the Beatport Stage where John Johr from Paxahau was opening. I stayed for about 30 minutes of it before leaving. His set was unemotional and uninspiring, and left me with no emotion other that the Amityville Horror slogan, “GET OUT.” Fellefell followed Johr up without missing a beat, literally picking up off Johr’s closing record while it was still spinning and absolutely killing it. I did not leave this area until I had to take off for the Pyramid stage to check out Sean O’Neal a.k.a Someone Else. I was going to break off for a quick second to see Ezekiel Honig , but knew that if I did, I would not be back to hear FelleFell’s closing, since Honig definitely has a way of mesmerizing his listeners.

They seemed to be having a lot of trouble with sound on this stage. I was hoping this would be cleared up, since Dan Bell was playing next—the last time I had the pleasure of seeing him was at the last Paxahau party he played at (with Thomas Brinkmann) where the sound broke down at least three times while he was playing. They continued having problems with this stage through the next few sets. I checked out the beginning of Dan Bell’s set before making it back to the Beatport tent to peek in on Marc Houle. Marc Houle was really throwing down, and I did not want to leave, but my stomach told a different story so I gathered up some of my friends, and headed to Oslo, the local techno/sushi joint. (Oslo is a great spot. They have the best sushi in Detroit, and the best electronic musicians DJing and performing live in the basement bar. Highly recommended.)

I made it back to the festival in time to catch the beginning of James Holden’s set. I was very happy about the extra time that seemed to be allotted to many of the DJs this year, who were playing two-hour sets or longer. I stayed for the first hour of Holden’s set who hands-down represented why he is the CEO of Border Community, and why more people need to check that label out. At about five minutes until nine I made it to the Main Stage area to finally park it, and listen to the concrete stylings of Kooky Scientist (aka Fred Gianelli) followed by Robert Hood.

The sound was atrocious for this stage except for the main floor. I cannot see why they did not take more time with the acoustic design for this stage, since this would be the stage that most people remembered from the festival. My party ended up leaving about 20 minutes before the end of Hood’s set toward the min2Max after-party to which I had tickets waiting at the door for me (via a friend). Hood would have been much better if he would have played in Kooky Scientist’s spot since Hood’s set was not anywhere near that of an opening night closer. Everyone would have benefited by having the Cranky Scientist close the night because Giannelli was absolutely and completely on point.

Gaiser and Troy Pierce fucking leveled the Masonic Temple, of course, leaving no room for closer Hawtin, who seemed plagued with sound problems. Something to keep in mind, future Paxahau event attendees—the price of a small can of pop or an even-smaller bottle of water jumps from $3 to $4 after 2 a.m. according to the Paxa-concessioner who sold them of a cooler in the coat room. I am not sure why the price of alcohol didn’t go up, but maybe that concession was run by Budweiser. I was told that the price increase is customary, and is a standard practice at all Paxahau parties.

I didn’t attend much this day since the only two people I wanted to see for that day were playing on different stages at the exact same time—Niko Marks and Mark Broom. I was really unsure about the J-Dilla tribute, even though it had a lot of top-notch performers taking the stage. I couldn’t help wondering if this was just a cheap attempt by Paxahau to cash in on Jay-Dee’s death. Still, the tribute seemed as though it held the most promise for the day, other than a Planet of the Drums drum ‘n’ bass set which were the major showcases for the day. But I was wrong—after leaving the festival, I headed down to Foran’s Irish Pub which was recently renovated and had been hosting a slew of off-the-cuff, slammin’ DJ sets of late. I had just seen DJ Psycho, an underdog from Flint, Michigan, throw down a wicked booty set the day before, and soon realized that for the next two days, this was the place to be. Especially if you weren’t fond of the blazing heat, which just seemed to get hotter and hotter since the tents this year had gotten smaller and smaller.

I couldn’t wait for this day to start. It started slow, as I had to wait at the press gate for a new wristband. I had cut mine off the previous night, and was now being scolded by the sneering, short, bald guy. I asked him if they just expected me to sleep in it, and he remarked a rather loud, “YES!” It was at this point that I remarked that I was not told to keep my wristband. I was not a patient in a hospital or a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, and I don’t wear wristbands to sleep. I also remarked that I thought they would have changed colors on wristbands anyway for security purposes. He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess security is a pretty crazy concept for some people.

Carl Craig was opening this day with a three-hour set. I couldn’t believe this guy was going to play this festival again after his bad experiences in the past. True perseverance—Carl played an amazing set.

I got a quick bite before making it over to the Beatport Stage where I watched Mikkel Metal perform, and spoke to him briefly afterwards. He was very happy to finally be invited to perform at the festival this year. I asked him what he thought about scheduling this year at the festival, including the fact that instead of spreading all the Kompakt artists out over the course of the weekend for maximum exposure and visibility, everybody was crammed into the Beatport tent on the final day. Mikkel rolled his eyes and chuckled. He explained he was not a promoter so he shouldn’t say much about this, especially if he was expected to be invited back. He did, however, comment that most of the DJs and artists performing were doing after-parties to pay for expenses. I explained that I couldn’t see one reason why anyone wasn’t paid enough, considering how expensive single tickets and a three-day pass cost, as well as the extra 13% surcharge Paxahau was charging on all credit card orders. Mikkel chuckled once again, and explained that wasn’t the problem with him, but he could see how it might be a problem with others.

I cut our little conversation short since I needed to be at the Real Detroit Stage to see Kill Memory Crash. Mikkel told me before leaving to be careful so I didn’t get grouped in with the subversives. We both laughed, and I was off to Kill Memory Crash. I had missed the first 20 minutes of their performance, but the last 40 more than made up for it. I can honestly say I don’t think there was a stage big enough for their sound, and for some reason they were placed in the smallest tent. Go figure.

After they finished I spoke briefly with Adam of Kill Memory Crash before heading over to the Main Stage to see Adam Beyer finish off his blazing set. Beyer was followed by Derrick May, who dropped classic after classic. I didn’t stay for May’s whole set as I wanted to speak with Clark Warner, but realized upon entering the way-too-overcrowded Beatport tent that this just wasn’t going to be possible. I stayed for the finish of his set, and the start of Mr. Jeremy P. Caulfield’s live performance, which was more than promising. Then I dashed out to see Nitzer Ebb, who where absolutely hammering down songs like there was no tomorrow. They were followed up by Richie Hawtin, who seemed much less plagued with sound problems this shake around.

It was sad to see this stage as packed as it was when other tents weren’t full. I can definitely see how scheduling here was completely mismanaged—going on at the same time were the absolutely unreal performance from Kero (perhaps a couple hundred feet over in the Real Detroit tent), and one of the best DJ sets I have probably heard out of Frank Martiniq in the Beatport tent.

Overall, I had a good time at Movement: DEMF 2006. I got to see a lot of performers that I would not get the chance to see or speak with normally. But...

I also think that it could have been promoted much, much better, and with three months of planning, there shouldn’t have been the level of confusion and disorganization there was surrounding this event. The pre-flyering was not straightforward, and there were no times posted until the very last minute. I did like the schedule booklets being handled by REAL DETROIT WEEKLY, a very nice presentation with lots of important, pertinent info and minimal advertising. I didn’t see the need for volunteers for the most part. If there was such a need, I didn’t really see it used efficiently. I mean, why else would you place a qualified studio engineer to put up flyers?

I can say, however, that I was disappointed by the size of the tents, and the lack of decent audio fidelity on all of the stages and tents. I felt that with the amount Paxahau was charging for a three-day pass (including a surcharge), the sound quality should have been top-notch and unmatched. Paxahau has been known for throwing great parties in the past, but the last few events have caused me to reassess my position on them. I wonder if they’re are losing touch with their roots, like Detroit’s own Eminem, who would never even have got a MC gig at the Motor Lounge if it wasn’t for techno promoters. So Em, be glad some people still listen to techno. I was also very disappointed with the terrible scheduling, and the definite lack of Detroit artists. I just don’t understand how you can throw a musical festival to benefit the city of Detroit without more musical representation from Detroit artists. I mean, C’MON, how can you throw a electronic music festival for in Detroit without at least having someone from the Underground Resistance camp? And finally all I can say to the person handling scheduling this year is that next year it will work so much better if you take your head out your ass. Until next time...

Featured Release

Jeff Mills
Natural World
Purpose Maker / PM-021
May 2006

Jeff Mills has always been a prolific artist, and his music often sounds just as restless as he does, like trying to fall asleep after three cups of coffee. On this three-track EP, Mills is back on top form with a return to his classic “Millsian Minimalism” style, as well as a return to his Axis-offshoot imprint Purpose Maker. In Mills’ case, “minimal” doesn’t always refer to the instrumentation, more to the activity within the grooves—his music is deceptively simple and hypnotic, but always shifting and changing in such a subtle way, one might not notice until the fourth or fifth time through. Lead track “Transport” starts with a repetitive set of synth, drum, and cymbal patterns, then gently phases and tweaks them in and out of the mix in that style that has been copied by everyone from San Francisco to Tokyo and back again. Before your eyes snap open, four minutes have gone by, the drums are going off, one synth is gone, and the cymbals are crashing. “Kat Luck” builds the groove in layers and moves them around dub style—just what the hell is he doing to those cymbals anyway? Flip side “The Clairvoyant” unfolds layers of clattering percussion and a deeeeeep bass bubble before a bleeping analog synth wanders in the room and back out again. Mills has never sounded finer, and that is really saying something.
[Todd Hutlock]

The Consensus
A Beatz by the Pound Roundtable Review

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom
DFA / dfaemiwl 5159
May 2006

“Relevee” was the only song that went somewhere on Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom’s overrated, astrokraut homage, The Days of Mars. Their repetitious analog synth melodies orbited the earth for 13 minutes in a strong lysergic haze. On this EP, two techno icons further explore that melancholy. Carl Craig saturates the melody in a thick, acid-electro texture, and then stares at his hands for four minutes until he finally drops a mid-tempo bass kick. The spaceship later lands in Renaissance Harlem—a piano jazz solo peeks at the machine down from its bedroom window. It’s a refreshing surprise that is sorely lacking in UK acid pioneer Baby Ford’s remix. He breaks down “Relevee” and loops it into a droning tribal rhythm that is too monotonous and dull to justify its ten-minute run-time. And then there is the DFA crew who would rather pass out on a Paradise Garage bathroom floor than test the weightlessness of screws in a space shuttle. They deliver the best DFA remix I’ve heard in years, relaying sweaty disco percussion with the carnal intoxication of house. The remix is completely unfaithful to “Relevee,” but stands eight miles above Craig and Ford.
[Cameron Macdonald]

Two great things: First, the remixes presented have little, if anything at all, to do with the original track, “Relevee.” Secondly, fucking Carl Craig did a remix (more on that in a minute). The Baby Ford remix leaves everything to the imagination by stripping nearly everything away from the song and inserting a beat that just makes me say, “Oh, IDM.” And then there is the Carl Craig remix, which has had more a more pervasive buzz surrounding its release than perhaps any other record this year. Although there is something to be said for the way that the dreaminess of the original melds with Craig’s own spacey, blissed-out productions, it seems that the allure of this track is the fact that it really is a Carl Craig and DFA collaboration. In fact, that Craig has collaborated at all with a label that gained notoriety with bands like The Rapture is, if I may say so, pretty fucking cool. The track amounts to this: two minutes of arpeggios, a few more minutes of layered groove, followed by a piano interlude. However, I prefer my Detroit a little more Detroit, and Craig has done much more interesting work. The saving grace of this release is the anthemic, Chicago inspired DFA remix. Black Leotard Front fans may notice the similarities between “Casual Friday” and this mix of “Relevee,” but it’s the 99-Records-for-a-new-millenium percussion that has an even stronger presence. The subtle introduction of a clean piano sound makes it abundantly clear that James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy have some tricks left in their bag.
[Cameron Octigan]

David Wulle & Andy Garcia
Docile / DOC-014
May 2006

Detroit-based Docile Recordings has been toiling in semi-obscurity for a few years now, and it is a crying shame. Over a series of 12-inches, none of which feature song titles, David Wulle and Andy Garcia (and a handful of others) have crafted a truly dynamite set of DJ tools, and this release is no exception. Equal parts Akufen, Jeff Mills, and Basic Channel, Wulle and Garcia turn in four tracks of short, clipped, and looped noises, beats, and throbs and mix them up dub-style for a truly intriguing mix. And just when you think you have them all figured out, track B1 drops the kick drum altogether and is all the spacier (and effective) for it. Did I mention it comes on cool grey marbled wax? Don’t sleep.
[Todd Hutlock]

Fly Me Away
Mute / 12Mute361
May 2006

Whatever fountain of youth Carl Craig drank from recently, I want some. After laying in wait for the last few years, Craig has exploded in a flurry of activity not seen since his heyday in the mid-90s. His remixes of Goldfrapp’s “Fly Me Away” (two are featured here, and there are two more to be found elsewhere, although all four are cut from the same cloth) strip things down to beats, moody synth washes, and some bleepy analog riffs before the divine Ms. Goldfrapp joins the mix, hovering triumphantly like a phoenix. I was reminded of Craig’s amazing work on Tori Amos’ “God” more than a decade ago, and that is a good thing. The DFA remix “Slide In” on the flip, turning it into an epic Studio 54 monster, nearly 13 minutes of mirror-balled goodness, complete with floaty strings, keyboard stabs, a chugging disco rhythm, and of course the requisite cowbell and timbales. DFA’s schticktastic remixes might be tired to some, but until someone does it better, they are still the kings. It might go on three or four minutes longer than it has to, but excess always was the hallmark of great disco.
[Todd Hutlock]

Rhythm & Sound
SMY Remixes #4
Burial Mix / BMX-4
May 2006

With the recent trifecta of Carl Craig remixes, "Poor People Must Work" could appear the slightest next to "Fly Me Away" and "Revelee." Not drenched in arpeggiated synth puddles, the Rhythm & Sound remix sounds the most literal interpretation of the bunch. But it's definitely no less nimble or overwhelming. Stretching tics into leitmotifs, Craig begins with springtime Cologne chimes and flirts with a series of spiraling squelches and drums against the song's gradual swells. When "There is no place to sleep / There is nothing to eat" cuts in 2/3rds of the way, it's impossible to ignore the sentiment and that's a feat in itself. "See Mi (Basic Reshape)" might wear its heart more in pocket than on sleeve, but Mark Ernestus & Moritz Von Oswald don’t mind. And either do I.
[Nate De Young]

The Dan Bensons Project
So Lovely
Unlocked Groove / UG 003EP
June 2006

It took awhile for “Six Million Dollar Dan” Paluska to earn my forgiveness. Just imagine “Lazy Sunday” rapper Adam Sandberg mimicking James Murphy on the karaoke mic after his fifth Pabst. On the Dan Bensons’ single, “So Lovely,” Paluska yelps, “Girl, heh, I know you don’t love meh / But you’re so lovelah / No one above meh / I need some bubbleh!” However, collaborator Ben Recht saves his soul. His groove locks a Solid Gold-era Gang of Four clang into an infectious, minimal-techno pulse. Better yet, the sound avoids the dilettante toe-dips in the “disco-punk” pool. The stronger and tauter B-side, “Ladies Get on the Flo’” is an ace late-era disco groove. Witness Romeo Paluska sing falsetto to cross-armed lasses staring at their drinks on the dancefloor, and enjoy that cowbell stolen from the DFA studio. It’s entertaining enough to make me pretend I didn’t read that word, “Flo.’”
[Cameron Macdonald]

The Platform
K2 / K2 12
May 2006

Greg Bird of [Kontrol], a San Francisco minimal techno powerhouse, once said to a friend of mine that “techno is the best when you can’t tell if it’s house or techno.” The Platform is exactly that sort of release … techno, sure, but I’ll be damned if there isn’t a serious electrohouse thing going on at the same time. Opening with titular track “The Platform,” John Dahlbäck booms and bleeps his way through a DJ-friendly intro before loose, electrified snares, (dare I say) pleasantly sloppy, and clear tone swells give way to a beautiful series of electro chimes. A minute or so later, he unleashes a delightfully obtrusive bass that gets things really going, breaking down, and going again. “The Chopper,” which may as well be called “The Stomper,” is a speedy space battle in a damaged ship. Dodging most of the asteroids, and unmoved by the explosions in the distance, Hug flies through the galaxy discerningly blasting enemy ships with his techno lasers. “Faceless is More” is the perfect after-hours, backroom track to calm down after the dancefloor smoke has cleared. Hug shows us the Platform and raises the bar.
[Cameron Octigan]

Triple R
Friends Are Silence
My Best Friend / MBF 12021
April 2006

Riley Reinhold collaborates with four of his buds on five separate tracks, and if you can believe it, only two tracks here do the "talking sample set to ass beat" thing. One of the offenders, the Jorge Gebauhr-assisted "Tengo Suerte Esta Noche," has that train-whistle doppler effect sound though, which raises the question: Can one cliché excuse another? Negative times a negative equals a positive or something? Keep in mind the track might be making some kind of political statement. After that, skip to "Polyester." Remute by his side, Triple R first goes for filterhouse but refuses to drop a steady beat, let his pastels breathe, etc., until he absolutely must. The break comes quiet but pitchbent and cocksure, though with all those Mouse on Mars microrhythms on either side I wonder if this wouldn't make for a better IDM track. Five years ago, that's a no-brainer.
[Nick Sylvester]

Booka Shade
In White Rooms
Get Physical / GPM 050
May 2006

Granted the original's big riff—a fuzzy bum-bum, bumm, bum-bum, bumm in the low end—is nothing special. But it's so insistent, and so clearly the song's keystone, that the three new takes on "In White Rooms" have trouble shaking it off without seeming contrarian. The "Neo Mix" teases out the song's trancier sounds—that huge Eiffel 65 synth chorus, e.g.—and flaunts them with slightly less trepidation. Higher highs, lower lows—normal people might actually dance to it. The "Elektrochemie Remix" risks more with those rotary telephone overlays and trippier, if not slightly new age, quote-unquote ethereal organ longtones, though Booka Shade's clearly going for paranoia here with the reconfigured vocal cutups, so maybe it all evens out in the end. Don't bother with "In Blue Rooms."
[Nick Sylvester]

In the Mix: Nate De Young

01: Rhythm & Sound - Poor People Must Work (Carl Craig remix)
02: Gui Boratto - Sozinho
03: Jona - Learning from Making Mistakes
04: Ost & Kjex - Kjexterminate
05: Gabriel Ananda & Cio D'or - Lauschgoldengel
06: Digital Mystikz - Conference
07: Shackleton - Blood on My Hands

Todd Hutlock
Fraktion - Nebokki [Resopal Red]
Alex Under - El Encuentro [M-nus]
Bodycode - Bounce Back [Spectral Sound]
Trefa - 77 Hz [Mission 6277]
Jeff Mills - The Clairvoyant [Purpose Maker]
Gerald Mitchell - Bellydancer [Motech]
The Martian - Tobacco Ties [Red Planet]
Shane Berry - For a Moment [Trapez LTD]
Alex Smoke - Snider [Soma]
Baby Ford & Zip - Morning Sir [Perlon]

Cameron Octigan
Gabriel Ananda & Cio D’or – Lauschgoldengel [Treibstoff]
Patrick Chardronnet – Eve by Day [Connaisseur Recordings]
Delia & Gavin – Relevee (DFA Remix) [DFA]
Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation [Salsoul]
Adam Kroll - Stalker [Traum Schallplatten]
Nerk und Dirk Leyers – Monster One [My Best Friend]
Rekid – Nite [Soul Jazz]
Remute & Riley Reinhold – Polyester [My Best Friend]
Shift – Roller Rink Funk [P&P; Records]
Unlimited Touch – I Hear Music in the Streets [Prelude]

Michael F. Gill
Jimmy Ross - First True Love Affair [Full Time]
Answering Service – Call Me Mr. Telephone [Third Label]
V/A – Background 50 [Background]
Auto Repeat - Auto Disco (Soundhack Remix) [Lazycuts]
Susumu Yokota – Siva Dance [Skintone/Lo Recordings]
Angie Stone – Brotha (DJ Spen Remix) [Arista]
Justin Harris – Hangerang [Paranoid Music]
Irakere – Siete Tazas De Café [Escondida]
Kissing The Pink – Big Man Restless (Extended Mix) [Magnet]
Janet Kay – Silly Games [Solid Groove/Trojan]

By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2006-06-16
Comments (1)

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