Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Weather's Shit, So I've Been Writing

Title: Dettmann
Artist: Marcel Dettmann
Label: Ostgut Ton
Cat Number: OSTGUTLP05
Genre: Techno

Quasi Intro
Taris Outro

Absolute belter of a record this. OK, I know that doesn't sound like a sophisticated piece of adulation for what is, to its followers at least, an exercise in intellectual rigour, but first impressions, if they count for anything, are very positive. The titles say a lot; single words designed to conjure up images from minimal output, as is the music. Funky, minimal, gritty, industrial, dirty, I could go on, beautiful and dark though. Evocative of controlled, repressed rage . . .'Captivate', funky as funk, 'Silex' features a foundation of demon voices that fester just beneath the surface. 'Irritant' is proper insect techno. I could go on . . . Luke Slater's Planetary Assault Systems hand is, as has been hinted, a very obvious influence but, even though not maybe as obvious, so is Jeff Mills', as this record falls just as much into the category of ambient as techno and Mills is one of that brance's greatest practitioners. Dubstep is also present, as on 'Home' but with a cosmic touch, and where did he get the dense, scratchy foghorn on 'Viscous'?

The aural equivalent of Man Ray's "Dust Breeding."

Title: Doloria
Artist: Dyed Soundorom
Label: Eklo Tools
Cat Number:
Genre: House


It's not called Eklo Tools for nothing you know. What you get here are two pieces of meat and potatoes tech-house (whatever that may be). Meat and potatoes implies something bog standard, but these two jams are as good as most within the genre. No real vocals, but voices are present. My favourite here is 'Dakatine' which is wonky and funky enough for anyone. It's darker and more driving than 'Doloria' which has a quirkiness similar to the 'Playmaker' remix. Messy, insistent and just the ticket for the discerning druggy dancefloor.

Title: Greatest Tits EP
Artist: Maayan Nidam
Label: Wolf & Lamb
Cat Number: WLM010
Genre: House

A1: Isitin
A2: Merry Go Round
B1: Na Und
B2: Better Stop

No surprise that Mayaan Nidam's first release for Wolf & Lamb goes down a disco route. 'Isitin' is a simple but very effective loop with funk in abundance. 'Merry Go Round' is the kind of funky, seventies dawn-of-disco get your knickers off slow jam they love. Is that a Barry White sample? Answers on a postcard please. 'Na Und' is an abstract piece of jazz that may or may not have sampled Ron Carter on bass. Nice piano tinkles cascade through most of it but it's a bit of an oddity, while 'Better Stop' comes across like a stoned, West Coast hip-hop jam, with some disembodied voices in the mix. Essential for that feeling of out and out disorientation. A game of two halves, but an interesting one.

Title: Prototype
Artist: Herman
Label: Fine Art
Cat Number:
Genre: House

April Skies

A release of evocative, dancefloor-friendly electronica. 'April Skies' has a batacuda rhythm running through it that mutates and invokes restrained crescendos that keep the drama within reasonable limits. 'Prototype' is a lovely fusion of house and electro that is similar to 'April Skies' in tempo but slightly deeper and moodier. A nice double-header from Fine Art that's more big room than you may have come to expect.

Title: Slow Days
Artist: Yasuo Sato
Label: Logos
Cat Number: LOGOS025
Genre: Techno

A Life With You
Eternal Sky
I Found My Own Place In Her Love
I Will Go To The Place Where You Live On
Love Ya Groove
Monochrome Pictures
Slow And Smooth
The 36th Scene

Nice release from Logos, albeit a little predictable. Very obviously Detroit influenced techno lovingly observed by Sato, which, while being wonderfully produced lacks edge. There's nothing to really dislike here but it's a little too nice and processed. Perfect summer evening listening, or sunrise music on nice acid, but that's not really what I listen to techno for most of the time. Some nice bits here though; notably 'Monochrome Pictures' which is balearic techno on a plate, and 'Love Ya Groove', euphiric techno from the school of synth stabs. 'The 36th Scene' and 'Tomorrow' are also worth a mention but 'Slow And Smooth' encapsulates all of my reservations regarding this release.

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