Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rocky Beach 3 - Moscoman (Treisar)

Title: Rocky Beach 3
Artist: Moscoman
Label: Treisar
Cat Number: TRS003
Genre: House

A: Same Time Tomorrow?
B1: Rocky Beach
B2: Silver Lining Trail

This is part the third of Moscoman’s own ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas’, which leads one to wonder if he has a life. No matter as, if this release is anything to go by, it really doesn’t matter and we have to be grateful for his hermetic existence. That’s because the intricate grooves present on this release, straddling some mid tempo divide between the animate fronds of disco and house, are both beguiling and inspired. The title track is a case in point, managing to be an inspired mix of inebriated funk, full of eastern promise and borderline cheese all at the same time. It’s flanked by two divergently different compositions, each of which go off on their own, very elaborate tangents; with ‘Silver Lining Trail’ being the more unpredictable. Keep ‘em coming.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lovesteady EP - Electric Sound Broadcast (Echovolt)

Title: Lovesteady EP
Artist: Electric Sound Broadcast
Label: Echovolt
Cat Number: EVR024
Genre: Deep House

A1: You Can Be
A2: Finedrawn Overcast
B1: Sole Eterna
B2: Echoplex

A deep as you like release from Echovolt which reeks of sophistication and manages to avoid being a little bit ‘meh’ by picking up some pace. The first two tracks on the list are nice, but that’s about it. However, ‘Sole Eterna’ and ‘Echoplex’ inject some funk and become so much more interesting as a result. The former feels like the beginning of spring, while the latter’s busy bass and off-kilter harmonics endow it with a mystical edge. There’s a potent marriage of space and arrangement on this release, underlining the high standards set by this label, something which isn’t really harmed by the second half far surpassing the first. It’s all good.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I'm Not one Of Those DJs Who . . . Part The First

Other blog posts have dealt with similar themes, but maybe not in the detail I’m going to go into now. I first began playing records at an early age, as my Dad had a motley collection, the most defining characteristic being a predilection for some of the most famous musicals of the day.  Soundtracks I remember are: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, ‘Hair’, ‘Camelot’ and ‘Cabaret’ (they were all, with the exception of ‘Joseph . . .’ films). Other records which played a part in my pre record buying youth were ‘Mickey And The Beanstalk’, (Disney’s take on Jack And The Beanstalk), a moth-eaten covered copy of Holst’s ‘The Planets’ (‘Mars’ of course, being the pick), and a Tchaikovsky box set. I listened to all of them without reservation. I couldn’t afford to buy records myself, nor did I want to at that time. The first records I bought were generic Top Of The Pops stalwarts. Talking of which, I remember a collection of albums which were called ‘Top Of The Pops’ and were compilation forerunners of the likes of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’, the difference being that all of the tracks on these albums were covers, and you could buy them at the newsagent. I remember my mum buying me one once, me getting it home, and struggling to understand why the voices, and instrumentation sounded so strange. The early seventies were a blur of relative cak, but I knew no better. The indoctrination of the charts had done its job, with Bowie and Roxy Music being two indications of a stranger and more interesting world beyond. With no older brother or sister to turn to, I had to seek out things myself. It was the onset of punk which changed everything; the catalyst for everything since. It started my love affair with music and no matter how corny it sounds, shaped me for ever. A lot of it was shite, but the initial two years, 1976-78, were seminal. I bought my first record in summer 1977, and it was ‘Baby Baby’ by the Vibrators. I won’t lie and say it was ‘God Save The Queen’ on A & M, but I know those who did, Spunkhead. The next one I picked up was ‘The Modern World’ by The Jam. Something that took me completely by surprise were picture sleeves, I was very impressed, as the only 7” I’d bought up until that time were second hand ex juke box stuff, the ones that needed a plastic adaptor to play them. The look, as well as the music; punk was a lifestyle choice in vague, as well as obvious, ways. I started buying recirds relentlessly. Mostly in my home town of Wallasey at first: this has been covered before, but Phoenix Records in the shopping hall run by Jean, a hippy relic and friend of my mum’s. She was great and used to keep stuff for me all the time. I bought most of my first punk purhases from there. Bargain Box Records was a proper record shop, with a huge stock of posters as well. We’d go in there and nick album covers. Rox Records was OK, but a little expensive . . . but these places were all second rate cpmpared to what was over the water in Liverpool, particularly Probe, a shop which so typified the punk ethos and was so exotic compared to anything else which had gone before that I have trouble comparing it to anything which has come since. Not just a shop, but a commune of sort, nothing will ever come close to matching it. And of course they didn’t stock only punk stuff, the owners being far too into music to be that one-dimensional. I bought loads of reggae from there as well. I’d give vital parts of my anatomy to recover some of it now. The albums on Front Line por favor, as well as the vibe, and the feeling that whatever was bought was on the cusp of something revolutionary and interesting.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Andy Weatherall Live In Liverpool

This just crossed my radar, so here it is. First Weatherall mix, aside from his NTS show, in a while.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Getting Through The Day

The random thought processes which evoke our daily soundtracks remain shrouded in mystery, so I thought I’d try and shed some light on them. Are our internal scores just accidental earworms, or is there more thought behind them? A combination of both I think, and no matter how spontaneous, when all is said and done, there is a sense of more organization than chaos. There is no reason why any type of music can’t fit any type of situation,  so here’s a sample of what goes through my head when I’m going through the daily grind.

I was in Tesco about thirty minutes ago, and as I was confused by their packaging for the umpteenth time, you know, where apples are loose they’re weighed in grams, and then in packets it’s by kilos, I had side A of ‘Codebreaker’ by Underground Resistance going through my head. One of my favourite techno tracks, it’s one I return to again and again when I’m fondling fruit. Before I’d left , I’d got into the Mike Huckaby remix of Precession’s ‘Sancastle’,  and Chiapet’s ‘Tick Tock (Apocalypse Now Mix)’, fragments of course . . . in and out of the mix, perfect every time. It’s very difficult to fuck something up on purpose in your head.

‘Parasight’ by Balil, is another one that constantly enters my headspace; its dawn of time ambience the perfect foil for the local one pound shop. There’s always a few people in there who look like they’re one step away from cellular slime moulds, so happy days!  

And maybe this is one of the reasons why I tend to listen to my ipod rarely now. Apart from anything else, it’s incredible how many mixes I keep, only to listen to a small fraction. However, there are a few who rarely disappoint: Intergalactic Gary, Eli Verveine and Andy Weatherall to name just three. Each has a different approach and technique, but all three demystify the process of mixing by keeping it simple. Something which takes experience to perfect.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Facette EP - Luke Hess (Echocord Colour)

Title: Facette EP
Artist: Luke Hess
Label: Echocord Colour
Genre: Techno

1: Emerald
2: Lumen
3: Myriads

Reviewing a release like this is never easy. I really like all three tracks, they groove along so effortlessly and their subtle shifts in range and tempo mean that they are so interchangeable as to be able to squeeze into a set at any given time. They are, however, anonymous and formulaic, and there’s the dilemma. I knew that they would be what they are before I even started listening to them, are they any good though? Well I find their predictability comforting and can find a lot of use for their versatility. They are well produced and sealed in a sonic air lock, where they are hermetically looping for all eternity. I don’t mind that though.