Sunday, April 23, 2006

First off, we are now FM . . . at least from later on this year. OFCOM awarded 209 Radio a five-year FM licence, which means we are now a “proper” radio station, albeit within the confines of Cambridge. This is a big deal for everybody involved. I’m looking forward to establishing my show on the airwaves, while continuing to enhance its online presence. Happy and exciting times ahead I’m sure.

Back to Friday night. I arrived at Legends Bar, (Cambridge City FC in case you don’t know), to be told by the door staff that there was no bar. I soon learnt that the “club” was shutting an hour early. Consequently quite a few people stayed away. Well they shouldn’t have. It was a novel experience to have an international recording artist play Badger Attack, I was even more surprised when I found out a few months ago that Mark Henning actually lives in Cambridge . . . I must find out where and get another night organised because he was class. Playing off a traktor-enabled laptop and vinyl he proceeded to slay the small band of faithful groovers who had kept the faith. Pete Lever played a solid warm-up. I had a great time. Oh, I tried to take some photos but couldn’t. Technology pissed all over me. I remember an ad in the 80s for betamax video recorders with John Cleese saying that they were so simple to operate that “. . even a cat can use one . . “ I had a mental picture of that cat with my camera in my head all night.

The Dance (Mr Negative remix) – Thugfucker (Was Not Was): This is electro that just about errs on the right side of cheese. Uberteutonic-sounding vocals urge the listener to do line dance-like things on the dancefloor while the track pummels you into submission. Ignore the original and head straight for the remix.

Horizons – Sebo K (Mobilee): Strangely enough, this track instantly reminded me of LTJ Bukem’s drum and bass classic of the same name. It’s probably the symphonic foundation and lush syncopation.

Hoarding-Various EP – Silent Paul (Enemy): The track titles are almost worth the price alone. Varied three tracker that gives full value for money and has more than a hint of darkness about it. Having said that, “On A Date With A Woman We’ll Call “Julie” “ has more than a touch of uplifting atmospherics about it.

Audio Therapy EP – Shelter Boyz (Stripped): Linear deepness. Nothing too complicated, it’s all in the detail, or lack of.

To There – Shane Berry (Trapez Ltd): Very understated, atmospheric deep techno by Mr Berry, whose previous release on the same label was something of a minor classic in Cambridge. “To There” is a steady builder with Captain Nemo on the Nautilus’ organ. “For A Moment” and “Sigh” make up the b-side and keep it moody and generally at the low end of things.

Goosehound Presents The Unfound EP (Goosehound): Similar in many ways to the “Hoarding-Various EP” a four tracker showcasing various artists, in this case the ubiquitous Butane, Someone Else remixing Ezekiel Honig and the less currently well-exposed The Suffragettes and Barem. It’s well packaged in a cartoon comic-style sleeve.

El Encuentro (Plus 8) & El Dilivio Azul (Trapez) – Alex Under: Both excellent slabs, highlighting Under’s talent as, in my opinion, the most talented of the techno new school, (along with Luciano). He seems to like Robert Hood and makes good use of synthesised string stabs. Which is nice.

Dawning – Dettmann/Klock (Ostguton): This is a new label run by Berlin’s Berghain club. It’s the first single, the first release being the Andre Galluzzi mix cd a few months back. It’s good.

The Vietnamese EP – Italoboyz (Treibstoff): These boyz aren’t Italian, nor does their music sound “italo” in the slightest. It’s London-based minimalism; dirty, gritty, a few pregnant pauses here and there, some grunty vocal samples . . .this is grubby minimalism for sweaty freaks.

Knock-Kneed – Steadycam (K2): Fast becoming a must-buy label for me. K2 is starting to plough its own furrow of off-kilter electro minimal. This is Steadycam’s second release on K2. I don’t have the first one, but after this I may have to search for it. I played C.LA.U.D.I.A. by MUFO a couple of shows ago and had some very interesting feedback about it. This is another strong release from K2.

Mix CDs:

Sci-fi Hi-fi – Luciano (Soma): Luciano does the business. As already mentioned in an earlier post, a lot of these tracks have been around for a while now, so there’s nowt too fresh here. It’s well-programmed though. Having said that, he could have done better.

DE9 Lite – Richie Hawtin (Mixmag) : Given away with this months issue. I like it, but that’s really because of the tracks. Rumoured not to be Hawtin at the controls but one of his minions. Who cares. It was free.

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