Sunday, April 29, 2007

Miscellaneous Reviews From April's Arse End

As already mentioned, I'm being sent a few things at the moment. Long may it continue and multiply. So with this in mind I thought I'd round up a few bits that are currently lying strewn amongst the laudanum at Chateau Corey.

Fabric 34
Ellen Allien

Not bad, but not great. If I'm being honest I didn't really know what to expect but it's quite good. A relatively original tracklist, despite the inclusion of stalwart tracks like “The Sun Can't Compare”, “India in Me.” and the Plastikman remix of Baby Kate.” Having said that, it's not the strong release I think Fabric could have done with after the disappointment of Ralph Lawson's effort, but interesting enough.

10 Years of Tiefschwarz

Coming your way in June, “10 Years of . . . “ is a double cd package. One disc collects six original tracks along with a remix of each, the other is a mix. Like Ellen Allien's “Fabric . . “ the mix is alright and nothing more. I've only heard Tiefschwarz dj once live a while ago, but have listened to countless sets online as well as other commercially available packages and I've never been impressed. Having said that, last year's “Fabric” mix by them was a good 'un, but their skills leave a bit to be desired and although the tracks on offer here are generally good, programming let's the side down and the mix lacks symmetry. They're much better producers than djs anyway. Pick of the remixes for me, Shonky's re-rub of “Ghosttrack.”

Wrong Meeting Part 2
Two Lone Swordsmen
Rotters Golf Club

Andy Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood do rock. I suppose it's ok if you like that sort of thing, but I'm only into these guys for their electronic output and nothing more. Nothing narrow about this. I don't buy rock, haven't for years and I'm not going to start just because one of the best djs in the world is 50% of a beat combo. It's an indulgence that is probably getting more attention that it normally would due to AW's involvement. That doesn't mean it's bad, just different. I hope I'm not being too dismissive here.

This is Rong Music
Mixed by DJ Spun
Rong Music

Got this this morning, and it's really good. I tend to like the extremes of underground dance, from electrnic minimalism to the sun-drenched psychedelic disco espoused by Rong. This is another double cd, the first is a mix, the second a selection of unmixed tracks from the label. More on this when I've had the chance to absorb it properly.

Cult Copy
Rush Hour

Good stuff from Aardvarck. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Aardvarck gives his Detroit-inspired beats some Dutch steel which serves to lift this album above the sweaty mob of Detroit-alikes. His Cult Copy project has been in existence for about five years now and has nicely crystallized with this collection. There's a dvd to accompany the cd with a 26 minute “video mix” that rounds off the package nicely.

Aacid Code 8
Tarantula Continuum
Casio Casino vs Neville Atree
Gumption Recordings

“Aacid Code 8” is wonky and powered by the dark undercurrent that all good techno possesses. A voice urges you to “trip” throughout, and why not? It wouldn't be a waste of your time to embark on this roller-coaster ride of a track. One for the messy 4am set when you've got a strobe going off in the corner and little else except someone scrabbling around in the darkness, fingernails bitten to the quick, looking for some long lost beans that never really existed. “Tarantula Coninuum” is a dense, smoky low-slung groover that comes from the murky depths. Satisfying.

Inner Thoughts
Space Disco
TR One
Fine Art Recordings

Second release on Fine Arts, and after the shuffling tech -house of “Stolen From the Jake” we get two moodier, introspective cuts from an act eager to impress with their techno credentials, and they do. Acid dominates once more in “Inner Thoughts” the remix of which turns the tables and comes up with something a little bit more evocative and lusher. “Space Disco” is a scene setter and an ideal warm up/down piece that bumps along underpinned by some animal-like 303. Sonja Moonear's remix funks things up into an unrecognisable blend of skewed breakbeats and concave bass. Nice.

It's impossible to write a chart at the mo' with one rubbish collection every two weeks and a huge amount of shitty pampers to wade through but one will come within the next few days. If Liverpool beat Chelsea and get through to the Champion's League Final I promise to post up Moodymann's “Technology Stole My Vinyle” as a download and risk having a “cap popped in my ass . . .” or something like that.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Machines Playlist and The Box Tree: 21/4/07

Here's the playlist for last night's show:

Supernature – Cerrone (Atlantic)
Theme Park – Aardvarck (Rush Hour)
Nip Slip – Mathias Tanzmann (Moon Harbour)
Hot Potato – Brett Johnson (Freerange)
Sky Dive – John Daly (Plak)
To Begin – Aril Brikha (Poker Flat)
Winter Ceremony – Paul Ritch (Resopal Schallware)
Carbonat – Piemont (MBF)
Ahck (Jichael Mackson remix) – Minilogue (WIR)
Lovin' (Hipp E remix) – Funk d'Void feat. Jay Leblone (Soma)
Baltrigue – Chateau Flight (Innervisions)
1985 (Jerome Sydenham remix) – Argy (Liebe Detail Spezial)
Techno Playtime – The Black Dog (Soma)
Ghosttrack (Shonky remix) – Tiefschwarz (Souvenir)
Twisted – GummiHZ (Mobilee)
Sequential Circus (Konrad Black remix) – Will Saul (Simple)
Moon Bounce – Kerri Chandler (Deeply Rooted House)
Deep (We Are) (dub mix) – Dirt Crew (Dirt Crew)
Soon (Andy Weatherall remix) – My Bloody Valentine (Creation)

The Box Tree was fun last night, but nothing got going until around midnight, by which time there was only an hour left. Anyway, Ed Davenport played the last two hours, and very good he was too. I wanted to record it and put it up for download but no one had the wherewithall to sort things out, like tell me where the recording sockets where at the back of the mixer. Sounds easy, eh? Well, if I tell you that for the first hour I sat transfixed as “Koyanasqaatsi” played over and over again on a big screen, you'l have some idea as to my mental state at the time.

Met Ed, who turned out to be a genial bloke, as did local drum and bass heroes Logistics and Commix, who told me about their upcoming album on Metalheadz as well as connections and remixes with Underground Resistance and Matthew Jonson. Oh, and before I go, a reminder that Derrick May returns to The Soul Tree on the 5/5.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Machines Schedule: 21/4/07

It's a guest free show this weekend. I'll be playing new releases from the likes of Will Saul, Aardvarck, Someone Else, Funk d' Void, Argy and Tiefschwarz, and of course loads more. Watch out for a guest mix and interview with Subculture's Damo on the 5/5.

Check the links at the right for all relevent info regarding the show. Derrick May's in town again on the 6/5.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Horseplay at The Box Tree 21/4/07

Horseplay at the Box Tree this week, featuring Johnny Davies, SamI Am and Ed Davenport on the wheels of chocolate. Shud be a good 'un. More to come.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Mix and Detritus & Jamie Jones, Robert Babicz Words

The last of the chocolate museum photos. Funny how they look just like my kids and their mates . . .

This week's show featured a Dave Kelso showcase, as well as a running interview with Dave throughout the show:

Puritan Fist – Two Lone Swordsmen (Rotters Golf Club)
I'll Lick Your Spine (Repeat Repeat mix) – Let's Go Outside (Pnuma)
Milo's Groove – Robert Babicz (Systematic)
Mouth to Mouth (Whorenando's Couch to Couch mix by Konrad Black Edit) – Audion (Spectral)
U Are Like Sunray – Davide Squillace (CMYK)
Hi Tech Dreams – UR (Submerge)
Thujon – Daso (Connaisseur)
Aura – Motorcitysoul (Stir15)
Boul de Gum – David K (Freak n' Chic)
Boney M Down – Lindstrom (Eskimo)

Dave Kelso:

Matt Lowe's a Soldier
Absences Doesn't . . .
Chris Jones is a Soldier

Extrapezlo – Alex Under (Trapez)
Long Green – Brett Longman (Clever)

I'm getting sent a bit of stuff these days, so I think it's time to open a reviews column. I've reviewed stuff on this blog in the past, and I've got links to the reviews section of Resident Advisor on the right of this page, but now I plan to stick stuff on this page regularly. So here we go . . .

Get Lost 2
Jamie Jones
(Crosstown Rebels)

Rising star of the London techno underground, Jamie Jones, whose main claim to fame up to now is having been behind Freak n' Chic's biggest seller "Amazon," steps behind the decks to show us what he's made of. Anyone expecting a mix in the vein of label head Damien Lazarus will be surprised, as Jamie forsakes the full-on for a deeper, more introspective groove. A friend of mine, who will remain nameless, once described the experience of listening to a Jamie Jones set similar to hearing "a homosexual Terry Francis," and it's not surprising why. I can only assume that the 'homosexual" was mentioned due to the depth and warmth of Jone's sets (don't know what I'm getting at here, to be honest), and having heard Terry spin on many an occasion, I can definitely understand the comparison.

Anyway I digress. This cd weighs in at sixteen tracks, five of which come from the Rebels stable, one is a forthcoming release from Jones himself, "Panama City," whilst others come from producers on fire, (and Jones favourites) Jennifer Cardini and Shonky, the perennial Dennis Ferrer, sometimes Seasons artist Franck Rodger and Larry Heard (feat. Mr White). These deeper tracks nestle comfortably together with the more jacking fare of Jeremy Caulfield and Sebbo (it's when these tracks meet that the mix peaks) while another Jones staple, Plasmik contributes another future Rebels track, as well as a Ripperton remix.

Minor quibbles aside (the inclusion of five Rebels tracks, a piece of strategic product placement?), this is a good mix that is more than the sum of it's parts. It's not going to set the world on fire, but in these days of instant gratification it's good to hear something that demands a bit more patience from it's intended audience, patience which is ultimately rewarded.

A Cheerful Temper
Robert Babicz

Acid house/techno veteran Robert Babicz comes up with the goods for Marc Romboy's on form Systematic label. This is an unashamed club trax album that both moves and evokes. It's fair to say that this music has a frozen, epic feel to it that could only have been produced in a European environment but what makes it stand out is Babicz's experience in production, which gives this collection a head start in the sound quality department.

There's also a range of moods evident in the compositions that is rare in this format. The album is well programmed and the different pieces add and subtract from one another on a variety of levels. Not just in keeping up a momentum that alleviates any boredom, but also in subtly varying the dynamics and the underlying perspective from track to track. "Warsaw" jumps out of the mix, and appears three dimensional compared to "Neoreplicator" which comes before. "Imperial Star" is an updated version of Robert's massive club hit from 2005 "Battle Star" (Punkt), and is more restrained and linear than it's predecessor.

All in all this is a strong album that preserves the essence of the dark, sweaty dancefloor with only a single strobe for company. It's as sophisticated as club music production gets, and that's not because of the compositions themselves, all of which are strong, but due to the care and attention to detail implicit throughout.

And finally I thought I'd get my act together and do a mix. Download it here . . .

Here's a tracklisting.

Intro: Sleep Characteristics
The Siren (Jahcoozi's Marc Jacobs Handbag remix) – Unknownmix (Playhouse)
Kungstradgarden – The Persuader (Svek)
Galaxy 82 – Makossa and Megablast (Gstone)
State of Mind – Motorcitysoul (Lo-Fi Stereo)
Magic – Harry Axt (Grand Petrol)
Save Me – Marc Antona (Micro Fibres)
Zapped – Johnny Fiasco (Cajual)
My Definition – The Martinez Brothers (Objektivity)
Species – Redshape (Present)
Gravelifter – Foremost Poets (Soundmen on Wax)
Meteor Im Eis (Guido Schneider remix) – Tom Clarke (Highgrade)
Violet – Nick Hoppner (Ostgut Ton)
When the Funk Hits the Fan (Mood ll Swing When the Dub Hits the Fan) – Sylk 130 (Ovum)
Dopamin – Robag Wruhme als Ralf Olsen (Freude am Tanzen)
Hi Tech Dreams – Underground Resistance (Submerge)

Done with two Technics 1210s, two Pioneer CDJ 200s, and an Allen and Heath Xone:32 on Easter Sunday 2007 at Chateau Corey inna Babraham. The first of a monthly cut out and keep series.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Horseplay Live Set: 31/3/07

Get Le Jockey and Tom Akam's set here.

Bear with me on the audio. It's the first one I've done and I need practice!

More to come. A mix from yours truly next week. The excitement is palpable.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Horseplay at The Box Tree 31/3/07

. . . and a good time was had by all. Great crowd at The Box Tree last Saturday. However, the postion of the decks behind the bar and the speakers/monitors down the other side of the room meant that proper mixing was impossible. Before you go on about “bad workmen blaming their tools . . .” the sound was shite from where I was playing and it's made my decision not to post up my, Dave Kelso's and Sam's sets very easy indeed. We wrestled with insurmountable odds and didn't do too badly, but glitches are present so I'm not putting them up for download. I will try and get Jockey and Tom Akam's set up by the end of the week.

Chart to come very soon . . .