Sunday, September 29, 2019

Radio Show & Supper Club

These are future ambitions which already feel like impossible dreams due to my current workload. Having just assumed coaching duties for my youngest son’s football team, it’s incredible how much of my time has now evolved into thinking about tactics and drills. I am a football enthusiast slowly becoming a coach. This will take time and perseverance. Things which were much more important have now become peripheral, like this blog and my plans of making it back into radio. Now everything is on a loop, with other situations waxing and waning as time permits. I have the energy and wherewithal to sort a few things out now. The first of those is to work on some home improvements, with a view to saving and maximizing what little space we have. This is not easy though. I’ve been waiting to start for the best part of three years. While I procrastinate another city gets built in China. 

So I imagine scenarios with accompanying playlists and then find it difficult to stay up later than 10:30 because I’ve got used to a cosy routine. This is a routine unpunctuated by reading at the moment, something which I’d began to get on top of once more, but it’me over a month to read a 250 page of Lovecraft short stories so I need to be more clinical. Also trying to listen to as much as I can and put some words up here which give a little something back to those who send me music. I’m quite sure very few people read it but it looks good on social media. It’s difficult to buy vinyl at the moment, and what’s the footprint? This is something I thought of the other day; it just came to me, coincidentally while I was watching coverage of the global climate protests. Maybe the best thing I can do to save the planet right now is to stop buying records, and go back to being vegetarian. Doubt I will though.

Current Imaginary Playlist for a Supper Club Under the Power of Beats:

Ride Kat – Pasquale Maassen (AC Records)

My Name Is Beuys von Telekraft – Anthony Rother (Telekraft Recordings)

Inspired – A² (Alien Recordings)

Truth Inside – Prime Minister of Doom (Planet Uterus)

Jap Collage – Edward (Giegling)

Time Is Running Out – Moxx (Yoshi)

1 Of Those Days – Pile (Perlon)

So Hot – Miles Maeda (Siesta)

Time – Cristian Vogel (Tresor)

Sandcastles (Mike Huckaby Remix) - Precession (Ferox)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September 2019 Chart

Everything Changed - 214 (Frustrated Funk)

I’m lapping up much of what both artist and label in question put out at the moment, all the better if transparent green vinyl plays a part. I realize this makes me sound superficial but who cares. This is a varied four tracker which does poignancy and aggression without batting an eyelid, giving a microcosmic glimpse of 214’s range in the process. ‘Voice Check’ is my personal pick.

 Tears/D.U.N.E. – S.O.N.S PRESENTS SYO (Nuagon Infinite Oceans)

I thought the last S.O.N.S. release was, to quote Alan Watts, “all retch and no vomit”. There’s a bit of that on ‘DUNE’, which threatens to take off but doesn’t quite make it. It’s all about dynamics I suppose. Play it loud enough and it’ll envelop any room. ‘Tears’ has more momentum and energy, and adds contrast. Both tracks fall into the “burgeoning trance” 
category and have an appropriate synthetic edge.

 The Dead Bears – Newworldaquarium (Delsin)

A triple purple vinyl rerelease of a record which first appeared back in 2007. I don’t have the original, which is seven tracks long. This recut, remastered version has eleven and is an understated masterpiece. Every composition has a part to play and contributes to a collection which is much more than the sum of its parts. Any more clich├ęs necessary? I think not.

 Alienplatz EP - Life Sciences Division (Salt Mines)

This was released back in spring this year and immediately grabbed my attention by being bouncy as hell and funky beyond measure. There’s a breeziness to most of what goes on here, tempered with a sharp edged machine funk sensibility which straddles trance and deep house in a dawn of time netherworld. ‘Belvedere’ is more bass-conscious and takes the groove biscuit for me.

 Parallax EP – Opal Sunn (Touch From A Distance)

Almost a year old, this release on Nick Hoppner’s label would complement the Salt Mines release very well in a set. Think glossy pill music, glistening, shiny MDMA, all clean lines and depth without end. There’s a tranced out aesthetic at play here, which is 2019 speak because it’s about that time innit? Great release, of which ‘Aura’ is the track I prioritise.

 Heavy Glow EP – Andu Simion (Palinoia)

From early last year on Eric Cloutier’s label, I came across this a few months back, mainly because I heard ‘Gen Y All’ on mixes by John Osborn and Solas and this track, with it’s insistent but patient bass, was a highlight. The other three tunes are ace as well, and showcase a lightness of touch, as well as a groove comprehension steeped in dissonance.

 Enter The System EP – ES Q (Dolly)

One of my favourite labels which comes correct with four bassy, acidic wormholes. It’s also another one which has been around for a while, since early spring this year, but while having known of its existence all this time, I’d never bought it. Four percussive, driving tunes are what you get for your hard-earned sponds, with ‘Wintage Gear’ being my fave.

 Cobby & His Animals - Patrick Conway (Fusion Diagnostics)

Just found this in my mailbox the other week, after having been alerted to its existence by Patrick Conway, aka Hypercolour’s Jamie Russell. This is more varied than the ESP release, (which is reviewed here), and features two remixes, but it’s the originals I prefer, and the title track in particular, which is a relaxed piece of idm – inspired slow-motion cosmic techno, ideal for watching silent loops of the Nostromo gliding through space to.

 Chemistry Radio - Chevron (Shipwrec)

I normally avoid tracks with certain words in their titles, but ‘Aqua Bitch’ is a drunken, acidic, electro gem. ‘Dave Smith Dropped A Mitsi’ (didn’t we all?), also deserves a mention for obvious reasons, but it’s a different proposition, with its break beats sounding almost whimsical with their elastic backing. There is a range of moods and approaches here of which acid is the dominant motif, and which coalesce to produce a rave cross-section. Sort of an aural document which I would listen to much more at home, smoking a pipe and enjoying a small bottle of Lucozade, than out.

Eraser - DJ Richard (Flexxseal)

Introduced to the world through his once imperious White Material label, DJ Richard now makes himself heard in small doses on other imprints. Predominantly Dial over the last couple of years, and now on Christopher Joseph’s Flexxseal. ‘Eraser’ is an uncompromising, industrially-tinged listen, whose tunes each feel like dense dramatic undertakings, unctuous and frictional, eking out postmodern maximized muscular monograms of mood and melody. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Warmwoods - EOD (bbbbbb)

Title: Warmwoods
Artist: EOD 
Label: bbbbbb
Cat Number: BBB013
Genre: Electro

A1: Warmwoods Mesh
A2: (Untitled) (w-R6)
B1: dog_bits
B2: The Battery Poles (Are Conic!)

These tracks are almost fifteen years old, but like much of DJ Guy’s similar output, have aged very well. The tempo is, in the main, mid and melodically engaging with depth, exemplified by the title track and ‘The Battery Poles (Are Conic!)’. Both the intriguingly titled ‘dog bits’ and ‘(Untitled) (w-R6)’
 take things up a notch, combining skittish acid squirtles over an undulating bassline and sweeping strings to great effect, while ‘CQC’ layers similar motifs on top of the other but more deliberately. Uniting the diiferent elements of this release is an omnipresent, uncontrived moodiness which swings across these tracks like a rhythmic searchlight, while simultaneously allowing for an unpredictability to flourish.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hell Is Other People EP - Neil Landstrumm (UTTU)

Title: Hell is Other People EP
Artist: Neil Landstrumm
Label: UTTU
Cat Number: UTTU097
Genre: Techno

1: Hell Is Other People (feat. Si Begg)
2: Aviemore
3: Jackshit

Certain electro motifs get me everyt time, and there’s nothing I like more than an other worldly vocoded voice deadpanning itself across the sonic stratosphere. This happens on the title track with pleasing regularity and, accompanied as it is with an equally deadpanned bass line, it makes for an engaging, and reassuringly extraterrestrial listen. ‘Aviemore’ has its bleep credentials intact, and there’s more than an LFO whiff about it, but its a little bit whimsical. ‘Jackshit’ feels like an elongated version of its predecessor, but with added depth and darkness. A very strong release which has an extra tune on the vinyl version.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Imaginary Lands 1: 9/9/19

Alle Kinder – John Beltran (Delsin)
Metal XR 993 Side B Trk2 – DJ Guy (Unthank)
Mind Drift – ARDB (Geodesic)
Liman – Vern (Lokomotiv)
Lucy’s – Anthony Naples (ANS)
Bring The Noise – Diego Krause (Unison Wax)
Realization – DJ Profile (End Recordings)
Protostar – Camelia (Fake Society)
I Believe I Need – Tofu Productions (Perlon)
Description – Anderson (Tresydos)
Exercise - Gettraum Hors Serie 002
Proton Beams – Skymaster (Offshoot)
Stereo Turtle – Robon Ordell (Hello? Repeat)
Mystical Wisp – Alphonse (Klasse Wrecks)
A Kaos – Stephan G & The Persuader (Svek)
Algorhythm – S. Moreira (Slow Life)
One  - The Exaltics (Clone West Coast Series)
Programmed Memories – Blotter Trax (Frustrated Funk)
Monolith – Bitstream (Vinyl Underground)
Phase Distortion – John Shima (Firescope)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ESP-Llll - Patrick Conway (ESP Institute)

Title: ESP-Llll
Artist: Patrick Conway
Label: ESP Institute
Cat Number: ESP-Llll
Genre: Breaks

A: Know The Future
B: Digital Warfare

Ominous titles these, so it’s no surprise that there’s an ominous intro to ‘Know The Future’. This is a good thing as well, as it paves the way for a very accomplished object lesson in deep, dramatic break beats. This is a track to get lost in, one with multiple levels which will work well at most points in a peak time set, but best open with it or save it for sunrise. ‘Digital Warfare’ feels like something from Robert Hood’s ‘Nighttime World’ blended with Burial. Again it’s a portentous piece of sonic stealth, managing to maintain a sweeping level of intensity from start to finish. This is apocalyptic stuff with swagger.

Friday, September 06, 2019

On A Clear Day I Can See You Forever - Lindstrom (Smalltown Supersound)

Title: On A Clear Day I Can See You Forever 
Artist: Lindstrom
Label: Smalltown Supersound
Cat Number: STS346
Genre: Disco/House

1: On A Clear Day I Can See You Forever 
2: Really Deep Snow
3: Swing Low Sweet LFO
4: As If No One Is Here

The title track is a ten minute plus impressionistic saunter down the fjords. This is a tenuous link to Lindstrom’s nationality, but a worthy one I think. Beatless and cavernous, it’s a composition to get lost in and sound like Debussy on crack. ‘Really Deep Snow’ is equally evocative, but more urgent and with that gliding across the steppes feel. Both of the other tunes have more in common with ‘On A Clear Day . . .’ than ‘Really Deep Snow’, embracing a deconstructed abstraction  which is both amorphous and enveloping. 

Nuit - Photonz (Dark Entries)

Title: Nuit
Artist: Photonz
Label: Dark Entries
Cat Number: DE257
Genre: House

01: Xentra
02: Shifting Symbols
03: Ode To Nuit
04: Celestial Palace
05: Shakti
06: Nobody
07: Avalon
08: Lusting
09: Doomsday Dub
10: Brighter Tomorrows
11: Genesis

Photonz, aka Marco Rodrigues has built up a solid body of work since he started releasing in 2006, so it’s surprising that this is his first album. His brand of dark, mystical leaning house music is quite distinctive, managing the difficult trick of being uncompromising and flexible at the same time and this collection highlights this versatility. The album makes a strong start in the shape of the first three tracks, with both ‘Xentra’ and ‘Shifting Symbols’ trading blows in the surreal and offbeat frictional facets of funk and ‘Ode to Nuit’ evoking raw Detroit with more than a circumstantial whiff of Suburban Knight. Tracks like ‘Avalon’ and ‘Lusting’ are like coiled springs, and ‘Brighter Tomorrows’ combines deep house and a tranced out ambience to point a way forward, although it’s not clear exactly to where, it’s optimism all the more tempered by the dissonant, frenzied ‘Genesis’ which follows.

Yama Music 004 - Yama Music (Yama Music)

Title: Yama Music 004 
Artist: Yama Music
Label: Yama Music
Cat Number: YAMU 004
Genre: Minimal House

A: Acisaronno
B: Chinchilla Shuffle

This Yama Music double header is a minimal shuffler which preoccupies itself with trippy, skittish rhythms adorned around, in the case of ‘Acisaronno’, high end percussion, and a more linear low end with ‘Chinchilla Shuffle’. I always feel that I’m doing tunes like this a disservice listening to them on my computer, as the subtleties are rarely emphasized in the way they would be on a bigger system. Taking them for what they are though: ‘Acisarrano’ is the busier of the two and more interesting. There’s a lot going on and in manages to be compact and disorientating at the same time. ‘Chinchilla Shuffle’ is bland by comparison and lacks bulk. OK, but predictable.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Seafire - Bochum Welt (CPU)

Title: Seafire
Artist: Bochum Welt
Label: CPU
Cat Number: 01001111
Genre: IDM/Ambient

1: Color Me (Extended)
2: At Dawn
3: Southern England In Summer
4: Canyon Drive
5: THR (Dance Mix)
6: N Hayworth Ave
7: Color me (Mix 2)
8: Sentimental
9: Melodie d’Aout
10: Mavic 1
11: More Light

This transient collection lugubriously stirs the emotions and gently lays them to rest under layers of cold weather vibrations, only going up a gear on ‘THR (Dance Mix)’, ‘Melodie d’Aout’ and ’10 Mavic 1’. It finds its niche in a world were the Cocteau Twins have been shorn of guitar and are trying to make as many variants of the ‘Picture Box’ theme tune as they can. There is something very English about the music being made here: ‘At Dawn’ sonically echoes a location easy to imagine but difficult to convey. The same can be said for ‘Southern England In Summer’. The sequencing of the small, but concise compositions reminds me of The KLF’s ‘Chill Out’, but it’s an impression rather than a full-blown similarity. The placing of ‘Color Me (Mix 2)’ six tracks on from its original version is suggestive of an ambient set drawing the audience into its second phase, with the mood fluctuating, and becoming more urgent before burning out on a beach in the early morning.

Soul Out Of Time EP - Westcosat Goddess (Slam City Jams)

Title: Soul Out Of Time EP
Artist: Westcoast Goddess
Label: Slam City Jams
Cat Number: SCJ006
Genre: House

A1: Satisfaction & Clarity
A2: Soul Out Of Time (Loop Dreams)
B1 Open Heart
B2: In Search Of Darryl P

Westcoast Goddess is a he apparently. So we can only speculate regarding his choice of moniker, which is more mysterious than his music. The four tracks here were written and produced between 2002 and 2018 and are an “amazing analog take on house music”, which is shorthand for, hidden gems which aren’t so amazing after all. OK, maybe I’m being too harsh. However, saying something is “well produced” is often code for competent but dull. Which is what I think of this package. It’s euphoric at times, driving and dramatic, emotive and bittersweet. All of these adjectives are apt enough to describe the music therein, but you’ve heard it all before and ultimately you may find yourself nodding along to it, dancing as well; but it doesn’t leave it’s mark.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

We Are The Future EP - Anthony Rother (Stranger In The Night)

We Are The Future EP
Artist: Anthony Rother
Label: Stranger In The Night
Cat Number: STR003
Genre: Electro

A1: We Are The Future
B1: Super Future Metropolis
B2: The Message

D1: We Are The Future (D-Cut)
D2: The Message (Space Mix)

I own one Anthony Rother record, but what a release. ‘Red Light District’ along with ‘Destroy Him My Robots’ are standards of the scene and put an image of Rother in my mind as someone who dabbles in the seedy and dystopian side of electro; a parallel matrix in which the machines have taken over with the consent of mankind. His tracks are full of hooks, often through significant and variable use of the vocoder, and they have great depth and drama as well. All of these elements coalesce best on ‘The Message’, but ‘We Are The Future’ and ‘Super Future Metropolis’ are able escorts, each combining momentum with melody and distinctive focal points using the vocoder and italo-inspired arpeggios. Lovely stuff.

Changes EP - ADT (R12 Records)

Title: Changes EP
Artist: ADT 
Label: R12 Records
Cat Number: R12002
Genre: Electro/Breaks

1: Departure For Peace
2: Escape From The News
3: Immaterial Meeting
4: Relief

The music is good, and characterized by an emotive dissonance which gains traction in certain tracks. Everything here feels familiar, but is toyed with in order to render new impressions. Both ‘Escape From The News’ and ‘Relief’ are confrontational break beat led barnstormers, while ‘Departure For Peace’ is more subtly representative of electro fragility. The opportunity for peak shape throwing is reached on ‘Immaterial Meeting’ which stamps its authority within the confines of a parallel cold war. It’s a many layered cake with occasional flourishes of melodic icing.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Habit Of Mind EP - Bud Burrows (Seventh Sign)

Title: Habit Of Mind EP 
Artist: Bud Burrows 
Label: Seventh Sign
Cat Number: 7RS031/A
Genre: Deep House

1: Masks
2: Aiken Drum
3: 161256
4: Oleano

Classic deep house, crisply produced and floor focused. There are obvious nods to Detroit all along its nicely weighted length. Individual pieces are characterized by simple, but effective breakdowns which don’t labour their points and remain flexible. The pace is reflective, and there is plenty of air within the beats to facilitate mix enhancement. ‘Oleano’ breaks free from the template a little, leaning towards electro, albeit of the more organic shade, and provides the most memorable moment on this assured release.

Alopex EP - Nullptr (Fanzine)

Title: Alopex EP 
Artist: Nullptr
Label: Fanzine
Cat Number: FAN010
Genre: Electro

01: Alopex
02: CN2
03: GeneRec
04: Wake-Sleep
05: HEXQ

Eddie Symons, bookends 2019 with his second release of the year as Nullptr and, as with ‘Convergence’ back in February, we are treated to some variant shades of electro which are as good as anything out there in their breadth and simplicity. There is an understated funk present throughout this package, and the different tracks hang together very well, the pace fluctuating, the devil being in the detail. The creeping reptile menace of ‘GeneRec’ is my personal fave of a well-balanced EP which adds up to more than the sum of its parts.