Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Work It Out EP - B Tracks (Regular Expression)

Title: Work It Out EP
Artist: B-Tracks
Label: Regular Expression
Cat Number: RE001
Genre: House

A1: Work it Out
A2: Meanwhile
B1: Anytime
B2: Downstairs

B-Tracks, aka John Barera & Soren Jahan are adept at blending house and techno in a way which should be obvious, but for most sadly isn’t. the funk and punch being prominent, but with added depth and gravitas. Barera in particular is on something of a roll at the moment, with his and Will Martin’s debut album just having been released on Dolly, but I don’t think there’s a tune on that release as good as the title track from this EP, a breathy, spacey filtered cross-fadered tour-de –force. The other three don’t quite scale its heights, but it's a close run thing.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Irreformable - Adam X (Sonic Groove)

Read my review of Adam X's excellent piece of work for Ibiza Voice here.

Visione - Marco Shuttle (Eerie)

Title: Visione
Artist: Marco Shuttle
Label: Eerie
Cat Number:
Genre: Techno/Ambient

A1 The Chaos… (with Donato Dozzy)
A2 And Then…
B1 Beyond The Mass
B2 Buona Visione
C1 Masay Lama
C2 Elephante
D1 Volts
D2 The Way Out

First impressions of the deeply contemplative debut album from Marco Shuttle range from the profound to the sublime and back again. It's a piece of work that forces the listener to take notice in order to not miss a detail. Something constantly bubbles beneath the surface but seems eternally out of reach. Making comparisons with the current prolific crop of other Italians currently plying their electronic music trade is the first crutch to lean on, but, although Shuttle doesn’t seem to have distanced himself too much musically; for example starting off with the  ‘The Chaos . . .’ a thirteen minute epic collaboration with Donato Dozzy, which is a primitive ambient journey, generally reminiscent of the latter’s sonic outlook, he has also plotted his own, deft path through the type of slightly disturbed post-industrial, landscape so often inhabited by his peers. Peaking with the full-fathom five brassy drone of ‘Elephante,’ onto the Millsian ‘Volts’ and appropriately calling it a day within the crystalline dust of ‘The Way Out’ this is a collection of thought-provoking compositions that has been strategically released towards the end of the year for maximum atmospheric impact.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Chart

Armchair Psychiatrist – Stingray 313 (Naked Lunch)

 Collision With The Past 1 – Versalife (Frustrated Funk)

 Maybe – The Hasbeens (Bordello A Parigi)

Shoot The Owner EP – Lerosa (Ferox)

 Ode – Tin Man (Absurd)

 Six – For Disco Only (For Disco Only)

 Night Time Is The Right Time – Drvg Cvltvre (Permanent Vacation)

The Underground Understands – Deetroit (Unknown Deetroit)

 Sound Transmission – STL (Something)

 Work It Out EP – B-Tracks (Regular Expression)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Some Arbitrary Thoughts

It’s been a while since I wrote something specifically for the blog, I can’t remember the last piece, but it was probably last winter. Of course, during that time I’ve been reviewing and interviewing for Ibiza Voice, communicating through a series of links and blurbs, and life, as it does, has taken over,. But it’s about time I started to redress the blogging balance. It’s therapeutic and, in spite of the recently rumoured drop off in all blogging activities, fills me with a nebulous sense of achievement, the same as finishing a particularly satisfying mix, only less fraught with difficulty and prone to error.

Watching the evolution of deep house, techno and its associated sub-genres from semi-rural Suffolk will always feel vaguely surreal. I haven’t been out clubbing for a while now, but still believe I’ll make it down to London for the next Thunder (something always scuppers my carefully-lain plans at the last moment). At the moment, my main objective is to try and make it to the next Free Rotation, but I need an invite, which could yet prove top be a stumbling block. (If anyone can invite me and a friend I’ll be eternally grateful). What I have done, musically over the past twelve months though, is go back to basics, sort of.

To my mind, the best music of any genre being made at the moment is coming out of the west coast of the USA. The deep, abstract, cosmic house sounds of Joey  Anderson, Fred P, DJ Qu, Nicuri and Jus’ Ed isn’t particularly revolutionary, but it’s crafted with such attention to detail and soul that it kicks everything else in the same genre into touch. Having said that, what comes out on the Sex Tags family of labels is equally vital, but from another angle entirely, lacking the reverence of the former group but being every bit as competent because of, not despite, its eclectic, loose-limbed approach. The reactivation of Ferox and Mosaic has gone swimmingly so far, while Steffi’s Dolly goes from strength to strength with some of the best deep house outside  the west coast being well-represented.

Right, it’s tiring trying to squeeze everything in, I guess I’ll just have to update a lot more regularly from now as it's the only way I’ll say what I need to. Having said that, I started this article with the sole intention of describing how difficult it is to put a mix together when time is tight. In effect, what this means is that I almost always start to out a set together from scratch, hardly having had a chance to listen to any of the tracks before playing, and being guided by my instincts throughout. This makes me think how any sets are regularly approached, and what level of concentration is required in order to play the perfect two hours.

Given the time and space I think I’d be the best DJ in the world, but we all would be if we had the chance. It’s important to me because, to my eternal regret, I never learnt to play a musical instrument. That being said, despite having sung in a few bands in my mid-teens, I doubt that being in a group would have been a good fit. Far too many rehearsals and practices for my liking. I get bored too easily and am a little skittish so, as far as my personality is concerned, DJing is  more me. Every set is different , even if similar records are being used. Plus you answer to no one, except yourself.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Untitled EP - Sleeparchive/Mike Parker (Repitch Recordings)

Times are currently hard over at Bling Towers, but a piece of writing before the end of the week on a random sonically-associated topic should surface, and the next instalment  of Thee Kaleidoscopic Rebellion is due this Saturday night, so things can't be all bad. Meanwhile, here's a little oblique projection of a review for Ibiza Voice.