Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Versions to appear on www.earplug.cc

Artist: Amon Tobin
Album: Solid Steel Mix
Label: Ninja Tune
Release: August 12

Reclusive by nature, Brazil's Amon Tobin prefers to let his warped, cut-up breakbeat constructions do the talking. Having recorded three artist albums for Ninja Tune, he contributes the fourth mix to the Solid Steel series, utilizing FinalScratch technology to allow him unlimited access to his own songs as well as the tunes that inspire him. This studio performance, free of any post-production, is an excursion into leftfield breakbeats and swollen bass lines, with tinges of drum 'n bass and downtempo to even things out. Rarely do you find one track playing on its own — generally, it's a multi-layered sonic collage constructed on the fly. Tobin airs special edits of his own productions, and, lest things get too abstract, he throws in a reworking of the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs." Amon Tobin is as jaw-droppingly innovative improvising as he is on his albums. (CJN)

Artist: Biosphere
Album: Autour de la Lune
Label: Touch
Release: July 6

In the 19th century, Jules Verne penned the eerily prophetic De la Terre à la Lune, which described a manned space flight launching from Florida and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Having been granted access to a '60s audio dramatization of the piece from Radio France's archives, Biosphere, aka Geir Jenssen, combined the material with his own productions and added samples sourced from the Mir space station. The result can most closely be compared to Brian Eno and Harold Budd's homage to the space age, Apollo. Biosphere's Autour de la Lune is a nine-movement symphony characterized by soft, expansive ambient tones and an occasionally menacing and otherworldly feel. Undoubtedly abstract by virtue of the subject matter and source material, the record conjures the vastness of space without resorting to cliche. (CJN)

Artist: Adam Freeland
Album: Fabriclive 16
Label: Fabric
Release: June 28

Though he has focused recently on his live band, Freeland, Adam Freeland's heart is behind the decks. He is widely seen as the world's foremost breaks DJ, and spends a disproportionate amount of his time touring. This latest edition of the Fabric series offers an excellent representation of what he has been playing out. Mixed using three decks, CDJs, and software effects, it runs the gamut from rock-influenced productions to the heavyweight electro bombast of LFO's "Freak." Moving toward a more organic, eclectic vibe, the mix is a welcome departure from the overly tech-focused sound that has dominated the breaks scene (especially in the US). The mixing allows subgenres to cohabitate and complement each other — one highlight is an Aesop Rock a cappella over Evil 9's heavyweight "Crooked," along with the crunchy synthesizer tones of Radioactive Man's "Airlock." (CJN)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

itunes mix 11:27 pm june 23 2004
email me if you would like a copy

A Soldier's Shoulder- Bill Wells, Stefan Schneider & Annie Whitehead-Pick Up Sticks

Microbial- Soft Verge- Channel 1 A Compilation Of Output Recordings
this is the hardest version king tubby- at the controls
Porpoise Song-The Monkees-Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vault
Smell Of Incense- The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Sunrise- Radio Colette No. 2
Royal Peppermint Forest-Kiln -Sunbox
Keeping Up-Arthur Russell- The World Of Arthur Russell
do you like worms-the beach boys- smile
Woundelife on Brayt a Cool- Radio Colette No. 2
PIng Pong- Plastikman- Closer
Skeleton-Black Dice- Creature Comforts
The Juan Maclean- track two- unreleased LP
superpitcher- babys on fire- kompakt total 4
Putsch '79- 1300 Disco Pogo For Punks In Pumps Vol.5
Everpresent [Original Mix]- Justin Robertson presents Revtone

Sunday, June 20, 2004

James T. Cotton
The Dancing Box
Ghostly International

A version to appear on prefixmag.com

Tadd Mullinix, known for releases under Dabrye and SK-1, drops his first LP as James T. Cotton on Ghostly International. For such a consistant label, The Dancing Box is certainly not another feather in the Ghostly cap. Rather, it’s an inconsistant mismash consisting of a few solid singles and a lot of distorted filler.

The album, rooted in Chicago acid and Detroit techno, succeeds in its intention with tracks like “The Drain,” which revel in old 303 tones and classic drum samples. “Blood Red” is drawn from a similar source, and stands as another highlight on the record. It’s acid-influenced, with a slightly more modern glisten. These two stand as the essential cuts on the record. “That’s How I Like It (illusions) stands in the middle ground, as it is reminiscent of Plastikman, but lacks the distinct cerebral element that make Hawtin’s productions stand out so much.

From here, the album descends into an almost unlistenable place. The beats grow more and more distorted (think Atari Teenage riot drum tones), synths get harsher and the compositions become more abstract. If Mullinix would have stuck to the acid revival sounds a bit more, the album would be considerably more consistant and dancable. However, as it stands, The Dancing Box is anything but an apt title.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Wagon Christ
I’m Sorry I Make You Lush

forthcoming on www.earplug.cc

In the past year, ever-prolific Luke Vibert has released the 303-reverent YosepH, disco oddity Kerrier District, and straight-up drum 'n bass as Amen Andrews. He now returns to a pseudonym from the Mo' Wax and Ninja days, Wagon Christ. I'm Sorry I Make You Lush uses breakbeats and hip-hop structures to support an array of the most varied and absurd synthesizer and organ tones of the past few years, illustrating the great variety in Vibert's production talents. He even samples C-3PO's spiel from Star Tours and gets away with it (at least until the lawyers read this review). In fact, the snippet serves as a good summary of the record: playful, nostalgic, and unafraid to embrace a few tried and true clichés. (CJN)
Beckett & Taylor/ Spandex
Lies 12’
Hand On The Plow

forthcoming in prefixmag.com

Hand on the Plow's first release, the 12’ “Work” garnered copious praise from the electronic music cognoscenti. Matthew Herbert named it one of the best records he’s been sent in some time, and the often highbrow Wire showered it in praise. Not bad for a debut. Here, Beckett and Taylor return with another four track, split release. “Lies” is generally in the same vein as their first release; Microsamples, crunchy textures and attention to detail tied together with an underlying pop sensibility that seems to be reemerging in electronic music today. In short, it’s catchy as all hell. “More Lies” is a 4/4, uptempo continuation of the same formula--small chunks and slices of the original vocal track cut up and pasted back together over a stomping beat. It’s reminiscent, yet not overly derivative of the aforementioned Herbert’s productions. The highlight of this release, Snakeskin Teeth by Spandex, is an absolutely warped electrofunk tune with a dirty synthline, heavily edited vocals and lyrics that tend not to leave your head-- The most logical pick for the dancefloor. “Abusing the Body” is a leftfield mishmash of Hall and Oates microsamples, with shards of percussion and elements of the original tune chopped up and rendered nearly unrecognizable, other than the familiar lyrics to “I Can’t Go for That.”
Milk and Honey

forthcoming on www.earplug.cc

If forced to pick out highlights from the last two Kompakt Pop Ambient compilations, it’s a good bet that Klimek’s contributions would shoot to the top of the list. An impressive feat indeed, given the consistent quality of music showcased. For his forays into the genre, Frankfurt-based artist/composer/sound designer Sebastian Meissner uses an instrument rarely explored in ambient music—the acoustic guitar. It’s a uniquely analog source that adds a layer of familiarity and emotive human comfort to the largely electronic soundscapes. The songs have a uniquely cinematic quality to them, best exemplified by album opener (Sun) Rise. Gentle, sparse string plucks are set against crackly, warm textures. It is, in essence, an audio evocation of the tender moment just a few seconds before sunrise.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Get On Downz 12’

A version to appear on turntablelab.com

Freerange have gone for the both sides of the house spectrum with the Get On Downz 12'. Switch bring a funky, groovin’ house number with the original--it’s got catchy vocal hooks, peaks and valleys, the whole bit. However, the remix is where it’s at for me. Henrik Schwarz, known for his stellar “Chicago” and a host of recent remixes, lays down a slow burning 10 minute track. His mix takes bits from the original, brings the tempo way down and reconstructs it completely. The remix is best described as Moodymann meets Plastikman with layers of percussion a la Theo Parrish. It’s extremely cerebral, with dub/jazz undertones and twisted pitch-bent bass. Light, distorted keys float in and out, along with a heavily edited vocal sample from the original. The track starts building with tense, repetitive piano notes at about 3:15 in, and swells in grandiose fashion before subduing to build back up again. All and all, it’s a spellbinding, hypnotic mix that illustrates you don’t have to be uptempo to have amazing dynamics.
From: "John Sundermeyer"
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 14:36:50 -0800
To: colinjn@yahoo.com
Subject: Fwd: Treasure takes thrown

There is a new Make Out King reigning over the province of San
Francisco. Had a holloween party last Saturday in the basement of shras place,
pretty fuckn fun, got trashed and DJ'd all night. Treasure came out, drank
way to much and started making out all over the place with this chick on the dancefloor. I first saw him yelled FUCK YOUUUUUUU AHHHH and threw
vondka in his eyes, then rushed him upstairs cause his eyes were burning out
bathroom freaked out and let him right through -suckers. Josh carman showed up
also, lots of kids there dancing, technics chris scratched alittle, Slant
eyed Nick came an relieved me for a bit on the turntables, but kept playing house music that the kids hated so after fighting with him a bit shira just pulled the plug to all the power and I went back on, pretty shitty
move. I couldnt really stand up straight and kept falling over drunk and
trying to reach the fader from the floor, I pulled through and kept the kids
dancing, Treasure wasn't so lucky he and the girl passed out in the middle of
the dance floor cold as ice, D.O.A, P.O.W, M.I.A shiiit he was done, I had
to drag him out by his ankles at the end of the night. he ended up
crashed at my place. next morning II go to wake him up and my bare feet step in something wet "What the fuck is this treasure?? Did you spill
something over here?? uhwhat? I dont know ehhAhhhh back to bed" finally I get it
out of him that in the middle of the night he was too trashed to make it
to the bathroom so he just rolled over and pissed all over the floor and
carpet, sneky little fucker, GODAMN HE TURNING INTO A FINE YOUNG MAN THOUGH!
you would have been proud. anyways that waas a good weekend, the kids that
fun fanclub at the lipo lounge dug my set so looks like Im going to get a regular gig there on thursdays, pretty hot that place is hoppn'. robby
P just didnt have the heart to fire his allstar so looks like I stay and everyone else that was working gets the axe, I really have no clue how
that happened but whatever, holloween is tomorrow they dont have that one
over there do they? theres a pre party at this comic book shop below my
house go get drunk with abunch of geeks (prized for best Xmen costume I here)
I'd make a helluva wolverine I think, a bunch of us a going there, then
the owner of the shop rented limos to go to castro should be a fun one
think Jitson and I be on noogie patrol. Im going as a space assasine, got a
lazer gun, jumpsuit, helmet, computer chest pack and a bottle of Skyy should
be good, but thats the news from the front, crazy town leftovers? you
dirty sunuvabitch, pass that shit to nagy and git yourself some proper girl
with fucked up teeth and big tits. over and out- Gavin