Friday, December 28, 2007

Last of 2007

I love Christmas me, but there's only so many oysters you can eat, so much Champagne you can drink, before your thoughts turn back to 4/4/ beats. I've been sent a reasonable amount of stuff but, despite featuring it on my show, I never feel I'm giving that much feedback. Here are a few more reviews. Oh, and did I say the same this time last year? Probably. I'm going to revamp the blog this year, although I do have an affection for its rough and ready style. Feeds and all that . .
Here are a few reviews:

Title: Mango
Artist: Sascha Funke
Label: BPitch
Cat Number: BPC167
Genre: Slow-Burning

This is Sascha Funke's second album and it's a collection of bittersweet, melodic, trance-influenced compositions. It's a subtle spread that works well as a collection and is more than the sum of its parts. God knows why he decided to call it mango. It certainly doesn't remind me of fruit, rather an abstract flowering of nebulous proportions. In any case it doesn't have any real highlights which isn't a criticism, merely an observation which serves to exemplify its subtlety. 'Feather' is melancholic chill-out of the highest order while 'Take A Chance With Me' has a sort of suppressed menace that is continued on 'Double-Checked.' These textures echo throughout the album whose distilled essence is one of delicacy and nuance.

Title: A Picnic With The Hunters
Artist: Let's Go Outside
Label: Soma
Cat Number: Soma CD066
Genre: Sleaze Overall

Why am I reminded of dark Victorian streets and abstract shapes and phantoms while listening to this album? There's something here for everyone (and I know how cliched that is) not just over active imaginations like mine. Anyway Stephen Schieberl, aka Let's Go Outside is certainly fertile in the thought dept. Depth charge beats of varying intensity permeate this collection, along with crafty overdubs and sounds with a muted, shifting pitch. 'I Keep On Trying' is a good example of this wonkiness with its bass offset by what sound like processed pan pipes. There's more full-on bits like 'You Make Me Struggle' and 'I'm Sitting Alone' plus the corrupt musings of 'I'll Lick Your Spine' awaiting a rerelease with remixes by Ivan Smagghe and Massi DL. What I like most about this album, though is its use of vocals with no compromise on the instrumentation.

Title: Snap, Crackle and Drop
Artist: V/A
Label: Clever Music
Cat Number: Clever 023
Genre: Coiled Spring Waiting to Bounce

Mark Henning's Clever Music arrives at number 23 with a various artists EP that has funk and drive written all over it. First up is 'Special Brew' by Audio Dependent. This sounds like someone trying to keep a flea circus under control and losing. It's classic striped-down rolling house with a rolling bass that spirals. I like it a lot. 'Mind Funk' by Toketronic has some strange animal chants in the background and beats the drum for solemn tribalism. 'Le Jockey's 'Chew The Whale Fat' makes use of a prominent bass to guide it along. It's more of a mood setter than the previous two and bridges the gap nicely until we have the metronomic pong (as in the worlds first video game, not smell) of Zhao's 'Question.' The EP closes with 'Orange War Party' by Psycoded and Zoe which highlights some nice rimshot-like noises that breakdown into an insistent, synthetic groove. Good, Clever gear.

Artist: Rodriquez Jnr
Label: Leena
Cat Number:
Genre: Tech-House

Leenas fourth release sees one half of The Youngsters, Rodriquez Jnr take control. Anyway, first off we've got 'Rubber Swingo' which is aptly named as it relies on a prehensile synth line, along with muscular drums, to guide it through the dancefloor undergrowth. There are quite a few tracks out there at the moment utilising a similar technique, the Agaric remix of 'Reduxtion' by Acid Circus being another. 'Soledad' is more atmospheric, and reminds me of a soundtrack to a science fiction film I never made. It's an elegant piece of teched up space-age ambience that gives this double header an edge in the variety stakes.

Tomorrow it's the last show of the year so, as everybody else is busy organising their end of year lists I'm going to buck the trend and rummage around in the vaults for some stuff you may not have heard before. Oh, and the second hour of the show will feature a mix from the Fish from The Priory recorded back in November. The tracklisting will be posted on the 4/1 when I get back from my mum's.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mark Henning at Harry Klein, Munich, 15/12/07

Mr Mark Henning has kindly provided me with links to a mix he did at Munichs Harry Klein club last Saturday. check it out.

Here & Here

I'm playing Le Jockey's Horseplay Records party this Saturday at Cambridges Box Tree. On from 11-12. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Machines Playlist: 15/12/07 & Damo Download

Damo was the guest on last nights show. I interviewed him during the first half, we started chatting during Dan Ghenacia's 'Garden' and 'Spanish Breakfast' by 320.

Beyond the Dark (DJS2 Los Hermanos remix) - Raiders of the Lost Arp (Nature)
Stars End Tazenda - The Model (Underline)
Garden - Dan Ghenacia (Freak N' Chic)
Flederlaus - Stefan Tretau (Heimatmelodie)
526 - Donnacha Costello (Minimise)
Fieberkurve - Andre Crom (Sender)
Spanish Breakfast - 320 (Infine)
005.1 - Mountain People (Mountain People)
Rugby (No Ton edit) - Matthias Tanzmann (Moon Harbour)
Red Cabaret (2000 & 1 remix) - Onur Oezur (Vakant)

Damo "Cognitive Dissonance" mix

01. The Tuss - Synthacon 9 [Rephlex]
02. Sleepless Crew - Zeros (The Wee DJs Remix 2) - [[unreleased]]
03. The Wee DJs - Cheap Shit [[unreleased]]
04. Volsoc - Easy Edit [Spacebar Sentiments]
05. Cane - Reez [Marguerita]
06. Phase Mojo - @cidic Movements [Pyramid Transmissions]
07. Mystery Artist - Ssiwsk []
08. Nymate Association - System Online (C. Mantle Remix) [Subgrade Records]
09. British Murder Boys - Don't Give Way To Fear (Side A) [Counterbalance]
10. Aphex Twin - Isopropophlex [TVT Records]
11. Mescalinum United - We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin TTQ Mix) [R&S Records]
12. Scorn - Gravel Bed [Combat Recordings [unreleased]]
13. Komonazmuk & White Boi - Apocalypse [Combat Recordings]

Here's a direct link to download Damo's mix. I wish I could think of grown-up titles for my mixes. Watch this space.

Download here.

I'm taking a break from posting mp3s until the new year. Some reviews still to come between now and Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Machines Are Funky: 15/12/07 with Damo

On this weeks show I'll be welcoming Damo back to 209 Towers, he'll be providing an eclectic mix of electro, techno, and dubstep, amongst other things. I'll also be chatting to him about his involvement with Combat Recordings. This is a label he DJs for and has also done their internet radio show "Ammunition" on Pulse Radio, Samurai FM and Play FM too.

I'll also be playing some stuff myself from, amongst others, Raiders of the Lost Arp, Andre Crom, The Model, Dan Ghenacia and Stefan Tretau.

Machines Are Funky: 105FM in Cambridge 7-9pm GMT

Click on radio link to get the show.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some Bits and Pieces

Flederlaus EP - Stefan Tretau (Heimatmelodie006)

Bettfluchthemmung (Martin Czubala remix)
Reiner Modern

Stefan Tretau debuts on Andre Crom's Heimatmelodie label with an accomplished four tracker. 'Flederlaus' skanks along with off-kilter synth stabs breaking the metronimic backing track and a spoken word saying "I don't need this shit". 'Bettfluchthemmung' comes in original and Martin Czubala mixes. The original is a dank, threat-filled journey through the darkside which, for some reason, reminds me of The Italoboyz. Martin Czubala's remix injects some funk into the proceedings and bounces along with Plastikmanish percussion. I prefer it to the two versions on offer, there is a muggy, pressurised feel to both though. 'Reiner Modern' offers something a little different to the rest of the EP, its more in-your-face and rawer and made for those dry ice moments. Nothing like a few contrasting loops going on to drive the dancefloor crazy. 'Camille' is a digital-release only track that, although it's described as a dj tool on the press release, still has more than enough subtlety to maintain interest.

Kardio EP - Andre Krom (Sender)


A polished and variety-packed release from Andre Crom. 'Adrenalin' is full of insect menace, and comes on like the bugs out of Starship Troopers in a disorderly phalanx ready for battle. 'Reha' jacks along nicely like what Chicago house would sound like if it had continued to evolve and not got stuck in a rut. 'Endorphin' has a concave feel to it that culminates in a regimental acid hoedown. 'Fieberkurve' with its playful sounding beats uses a muffled vocal sample that, along with Akufen-like stabs repetitively morphs into what sounds like manic laughter. The EP is an exemplary piece of robotic funk with four very playable tracks that could each find their way into most sets when the time is right.

Foundation - The Model (Underline)

Aglomerarea Lemur
Terminus Interlude
Priests of Anacron
Constant Expansion
Stars End Tazenda

This EP comes slow on the heels of last years 'Prelude to Foundation' which I found to be quite a competent piece of work. The titles allude to some sort of science fiction parallel world and there's more than a hint of the cosmic about this ep. 'Terminus Interlude' reminds me of Model 500 while 'Aglomerarea Lemur' relies on a loping bassline to drive it. Without going into exhaustive detail this is a strong release that shows a conceptual approach and a breadth of versatility. 'Priests of Anacron' is a lovely, wistful bouncer that pops and bursts when you least expect it. 'Constant Expansion' has a nice kick and a wiry build while 'Stars End Tazenda' hits the right notes with its medieval cadences. Space music of the highest order from Underline.

The Garden EP - Dan Ghenacia (Freak n' Chic)


Freak n' Chic label boss Dan Ghenacia returns to recording action with this January-bound two tracker. 'Cycle' doesn't do enough for me to keep things interesting. It's a solid enough workout but lacks variety, a good piece of functional mixing gear though. 'Garden' is more appealing and sounds like a more confident piece. It strolls along and has a nice throb to it. It reminds me of something but I can't for the life of me remember what.
'Garden' saunters along while 'Cycle' is more hesitant. Two sides of the same coin. A good release, but one track is visibly more appealing than the other to moi.

Reduxtion EP - Acid Circus (Droid Behaviour)

Reduxtion (Agaric remix)
Unkle Jak
Uncle Jak (Audio Injection 1/2 Weird remix)

'Reduxtion' on its original form is a quirky, funky little beast with an off key melody and a skippiness that reminds me of speed garage. The Agaric remix is an altogether different propostion, taking things deeper and darker, but what I really like about it is are the background effects, that rush in and out and sound like someone tunefully screaming as they're being strangled by violin strings. Played loud this rocks. Unkle Jak is, inevitably, a Chicago influenced belter that gallops along and has some disembodied voices (I love 'em) sinisterly moaning intermittently in the mix. Audio Injection's mix is a bit sparser than the original, but has all funk elements intact.

Baby Moon - Itokim (Fine Art)

Baby Moon
Glittering Way

After the success of Basic Unit's 'Fedass' EP, Fine Art look to the east, Japan specifically, to consolidate their success. 'Baby Moon' is a deep, warm, analogous composition that begs to be played on a big system, having said that it's just as likely to make you curl up in a crepuscular ball as make you dance. 'Glittering Way' is a subtle percussive journey lit up along the way by lightness-of-touch synth stabs. A sophisticated release which, for me at least, reminds me of some of Ferox's more melodic moments.

The More Things Change EP - Tom Demac (Hypercolour)

The Clock (Live)
The More Things Change (original)
The More Things Change (Agnes Cardiff Headz remix)
The More Things Change (Agnes Wales Beatdown Reshake)

The live version of 'The Clock' really is hyperkinetic techno of the highest order. A keen ear for squelching that doesn't sound a million miles away from early Daft Punk lays a foundation for grooviness that drives things along nicely. 'The More Things Change' comes in three different versions, (quite why Agnes chose to christen his efforts the way he did is anyone's guess). The original is a restrained moody journey and while it simmers with a brooding intensity, is very different in tone from 'The Clock.' Agnes' 'Cardiff Headz remix' takes things down a notch, retaining the depth of the original but dispensing with the simmering intensity to drift off on a highway of analogue warmth. His 'Cardiff Beatdown Reshake' (what happend, did he bump into Craig Bellamy during a Wetherspoon's happy hour?) is a housier take on the tune which bumps along accompanied on its way by well-chosen squelches and some interesting background orchestral samples cunningly phased to make this a jack track that sounds just that little bit more menacing. Strong release from Hypercolour. All the bits are worth your time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Size Zero & Andy Mac

Size Zero is Mark Henning's new monthly London residency. It kicks off this Friday and the opener promises to be a belter, with Losoul and Ed Davenport in close attendance. I've got other business so shan't be there, but I won't miss the one after. I've lazily copied the details straight from an email.

Size Zero
The Egg, 200 York Way, London, N7 9AP
10pm til 6am
£10 or £5 list (anyone can msg or txt 07786
264 933 with names)
thin house, skinny techno, boney electro
Friday 14th December
Losoul (Playhouse)
Mark-Henning (Trapez, Freude-am-Tanzen, Einmaleins)
Ed Davenport (Liebe Detail, Leftroom)
Alex Stephens (Size Zero)
07786 264 933

Here's a new mix from Skints A & R man, Andy Mac. I've yet to listen to it but I'm sure it'll be up to his usual high standards. Links where it says parts 1 and 2.

andy mac live at digital, brighton 8.12.2007

claro intelecto - 'dependent' (modernlove)
maurizio - 'm5' (m series)
round two - 'new day' [dub] (main street)
mike huckaby - 'my life with the wave (synth)
tim deluxe - 'you got tha touch' [martin buttrich instr.] (skint)
ame - 'kuma' (innervisions)
mr g - 'song for harri' (unreleased)
lcd soundsystem - sounds of silver [c2 remix] (dfa)
theo parrish - synthetic flemm (sound signature)

theo parrish - synthetic flemm (sound signature)
the youngsters - the third knife (20:20 vision)
mr g. - untitled [radioslave remix] (unreleased)
alter ego - jolly joker (klang)
untitled - untitled
lfo - lfo [burglar tom re-edit] (warp)
simon baker - confused (20:20 vision)
mr g. - untitled [wink remix] (unreleased)
untitled - untitled
unknown - dancing bears [phil kieran remix] (unknown)
soulgrabber - motocross madness [bart b more remix] (loaded records)
filth n dirt - i81u812 (unreleased)

Happy listening. Some reviews on their way before the weekend.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The New Batch

So Get Up - Underground Sound of Lisbon (Tribal UK)

Comes in original and Junior Vasquez mixes. Camp American accented spoken word intro exhorts you to "Get Up . . ." because the world's about to end. Classic tribal gear that was omnipresent at The Sound Factory at its height. Also available with Danny Tenaglia reworks.

Klugh - David Alvarado (Ovum)

Tribal heaven, bongo fury. The original's the one for me, but DJ Dozia's mix is pretty good too, and an interesting take on the track. Listen and be uplifted.

Spliffhead Remix - The Ragga Twins (Shut Up And Dance)

British rave that pulls together reggae, techno and early drum and bass. From the classic album "Reggae Owes Me Money." Futuristic whilst sounding decidedly retro.

6400 Crew Theme - Onionz & Master D (Tango)

Nothing too distinctive about this one but it works the floor. Early Tango releases, like those of Siesta relied on a similar gene pool of artists and, thus, cultivated a very similar sound. Onionz is a very underrated producer and has recently produced a remix "Ginebra (Onionz Corrosion remix)" for Funk d'Void on Soma. Not as prolific as a few years ago but still top notch.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Machines Playlist 1/12/07 & Bits

Last nights show featured a Horseplay Records showcase courtesy of Johny Davies, aka Le Jockey. There was also a randomly conducted interview which started around the time 'Opium Haze' was played.

Accretion - Kirk Degiorgio (B12)
Sources - Matthew Styles (Horizontal)
Fedass (Gary Beck remix) - Basic Unit (Fine Art)
Craichouse - Metrotek (FVF)
I Feel Speed (Audion remix) - Dubfire (Sci-Tec)
Opium Haze - Gavin Herlihy (Kindisch)
Panic Attack - Audiojack (20/20 Vision)
Albertino - Schneider, Galluzzi & Schirmacher (Cadenza)
Italia Subculture (Slam 'Paragraph' remix) - Subb-An (Leftroom Ltd)
Reduxtion (Agaric remix) - Acid Circus (Droid Behaviour)
Sessions (Main mix) - Mike Hickaby & Pacou (Cache)

Horseplay Records Showcase:

Menys - Lego
Untitled - Tom Akam
Kenpeitai 83-84 - Anthony Reckitt & Le Jockey
Jankovic Bumblebee - Anthony Reckitt & Le Jockey
Roald Dahl - Christian & Le Jockey

All I Can Say - Danton Eephrom (Freak N' Chic)
The Underground Bullshit - Gel Abril (Ovum)

There was also a competition to win some Horseplay records goodies. Here is the question:

Which Cambridge college was Johny Davies head chorister at?

The lucky winner will win a Horseplay cd and vinyl copies of the first two singles. The comp is open until Christmas day. Send entries, marked "Horseplay Comp" to, or to, or leave a comment on this blog. All entries must contain, in addition to the answer, full contact details, and if you leave a comment on the blog include your email address too. Good luck!

Now the weekly installment of grooviness from the vaults.

Mushrooms (Salt City Orchestra Out There mix) - Marshall Jefferson vs Noosa Heads (Airtight)

I was reminded of this track while reviewing for Resident Advisor recently. I think it was Michal Ho's 'Take Away' that had a similar ambience, minus the hallucinogenic, laid-back lyrics. Salt City Orchestra raised this to more rarified heights with their remix. A deep house classic.

Golden Gate - Strange Attractor (Phono)

Jona Sharp aka Space Time Continuum aka Strange Attractor etc made this for the fledgeling Phono label, which was also Herbert's early home, releasing his first four classic eps. This is a nice techy deep house track, rather in keeping with this weeks output. Nice.

Quality of Life - Synchrojack (Ferox)

Sandcastle - Precession (Ferox)

Probably my favourite ever label. Russ Gabriel's seminal British techno label not only laid down a blueprint for all like-minded imprints but released music of consistently high quality for all techy occasions, from Ian O' Brien'slush soundscapes to Synchrojack's funky dancefloor doings (btw, where are Synchrojack now?) through to Steve O' Sullivan's minimal meanderings as Precession. More Steve O' Sullivan and Ferox to come in the future.

Burner - Floorplan (Drama)

Drama, was an M-Plant sub-label and any outlet for Robert Hood's output is fine by me. This is a loop-laden monster that does exactly what it says on the tin.