Thursday, January 12, 2017

Silent Pattern of the Tortoise's Walk - Voiski (Sheik n' Beik)

Title: Silent Pattern of the Tortoise's Walk
Artist: Voiski
Label: Sheik N Beik
Cat Number: SNBV009
Genre: Techno

1: 5th Dolphin Transmission
2: Let Down Disco

Voiski is one of those artists who doesn’t, on first listen, seem to be doing that much different to the rest; but further examination of his sonic palette suggests otherwise. He’s got a way with sound, which is, on the one hand richly subtle, tactile almost, and on the other powerfully honed to a fine degree. Both tracks here feel sparse but are layered and dense. The more I listen to the title track the more I like it, but then it ends. It’s ‘Let Down Disco’ however, hewn from a rich seam of synthetic italo and sped up to surf the wave of today’s warehouses that really hits the spot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dopplereffekt dans la Piscine

Video of Dopplereffekt playing live inside an Olympic sized swimming pool, 23/10/17 Montreal.


Improvisation on the dance floor within the strict confines of house and techno is something left to the imagination of the DJ, not the recording artist. The conservative confines of genres which have rarely progressed tangibly for the last twenty five years are not the correct spaces within which to experiment, at least not overtly. “Self indulgent” is a convenient label to hang on a DJ who plays for him/herself, and straying into more interior surroundings is always likely to heighten such accusations.

For some reason I’m thinking of Harvey’s Resident Advisor podcast from a few years ago which, I suppose, is an exercise in rampant eclecticism rather than improvisation. (Check it above, and the comments here). That’s generally the way forward I suppose. Another DJ whom I’ve been listening to a lot, from the comfort of my bedroom I hasten to add, I have yet to make it over to LA or indeed, haven’t been out for a long while closer to home, is Lovefingers.  Categorising these chaps is as dangerous as it gets; Lovefingers seems to play a selection of music that is, on the one hand a motley mix of styles but is, on the other, as Californian as it’s possible to be. Not because the music in questions comes from there but because of its overall vibe.

More impressions and random thoughts soon. In the meantime, keep it locked.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Silence - East Wall (Dark Entries)

Title: Silence
Artist: East Wall
Label: Dark Entries
Cat Number: DE145
Genre: Dark/Cold Wave

1: Intro
2: Silence
3: Ice of Fire
4: Twenty Five Sunsets Before Dawn
5: Blue
6: Angelo
7: Privacy
8: Twenty Seven

Evocative, sweeping, grandiose and wistful, ‘Silence’ doesn’t disappoint, but isn’t perfect either. East Wall made their name with ‘Eyes of Glass’ and this collection proves that they were no one-trick pony. The italo influence isn’t always evident, but on tracks like ‘Ice of Fire’ (which resembles Geslotem Cirkle’s ‘Submit X’ in parts) it comes to the fore. There is the occasional whiff of cheese throughout, but this is generally ok and expected. . .However, ‘Twenty Five Sunsets  . . .’ does disappear up its own arse somewhat, and the melancholic earache that ‘Angelo’ delivers is to be avoided. The title track is universal in scope and plays to cold/dark wave strengths, and there are signs of disco futurism in ‘Privacy’ and ‘Twenty Seven’. So, it’s generally a satisfying listen, but sometimes sets the teeth on edge.

Eyes of Glass - East Wall (Dark Entries)

Title: Eyes of Glass
Artist: East Wall
Label: Dark Entries
Cat Number: DE144
Genre: Italo

1: Eyes of Glass (Vocal)
2: Eyes of Glass (Instrumental)

It’s hardly superpowered, having being melded from more melancholic material; but ‘Eyes of Glass’ has its italo credentials in spades, largely down to a mournful vocal somewhere on the outskirts of comprehension and one of the all time great synth lines of the age. The plodding beat, however, does just as much to distinguish it, and adds emphasis to a masterly cold wave/italo combo. An excellent record which is , hopefully, pressed accordingly. (Reviewing on mp3s here).