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!

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