Albums: Teebs, SBTRKT, Ekoplekz and more

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Teebs
Estara
Brainfeeder

I’ve pretty much given up trying to find acts that are in the Flying Lotus vein – I thought there must be a whole untapped community of freaky beat wizards out on the coast, and as it turns out, there were maybe five. Listening to Teebs’ first album was kind of like listening to the crop of “next Amy Winehouse” candidates, in that I realized just how much I was setting myself up for disappointment comparing artists to FlyLo. Sure, the textures were pretty, but where was the boom-bap? If I wanted drippy background keyboard business with hushed vocals, I’d listen to Sigur Ros. Funnily enough, E S T A R A is basically even more Sigur Ros like than Ardour was, what with the acoustic guitars and the echoing percussion and the bells and the ethereal choirs (yawn, gag etc). But since I got myself a decent subwoofer, I realized that Teebs’ music relies to some extent on the tension between the beatific sounds in the treble and mids, versus the ruffneck business in the bass. There ain’t nuttin nice in the big fat kick drum driving “Hi Hat” or the Zepplinesque break powering “Shoouss Lullaby.” More than before, he finds ways of marrying the sublime and the sub-frequency-violence that add up to more than their parts. Recommended.

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SBTRKT
Transition.
Young Turks

I don’t entirely get why people go nuts for SBTRKT. Is it the mask? It can’t just be the music, which is interesting but hardly worth going all gasp-and-drool over. Most footwork producers churn out tracks with similar textures and programming skill, only unlike this guy they pump out dozens of them every three months. “Kyoto” is admittedly a triumph of layering thin textures on top of each other until you can hardly stand it. But when he gets closer to “trap”, I lose interest. Is this another thing we can blame on Drake? (YOLO?)

phonica

Ten Years Of Phonica
Phonica

Record stores are your friends, people. The first time I hit up Phonica in London, I confessed to the guy behind the desk that I was having trouble finding fodder for this blog, and did he know any artists maybe I had missed? An armload of records later, I vowed to add the place to my must-visit list. This disc shows that I’m not alone, since presumably artists like Legowelt, I:Cube, Joe Claussell et al don’t just license their best tracks to comps by people they don’t like. The elusive Trevor Jackson (Playgroup) and Henrik Schwarz both contribute subtly simmering tracks, while Steve Moore’s remix of Iori and Juju & Jordash pitch their curve balls from way out in leftfield. But the real highlight is Raudive’s “Health” with its perfect balance of tribal and techy.

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Ekoplex
Unfidelity
Planet Mu

I’m an unabashed Nick Edwards fan, and not just because his Gutterbreakz blog was a crucial and singularly illuminating part of the music blog 1.0 revolution I covered in the early part of my career. Unfidelity is an uneasy listen, even if you’re merely focusing on the early-industrial-meets-sci-fi-soundtrack textures, all dystopian metallic percussion and dry mechanical drum machine brutalism. It’s hard to make that engaging for three minutes, never mind an album, but Edwards’ collection here is like watching a 70s techno thriller eg. Alien or The Andromeda Strain – you want to switch it off even as you’re admiring its aesthetics and claustrophobic mood, but every time you reach for the remote, the realization that you’ll have missed whatever lies around the corner makes you hesitate.

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The Analogue Cops
Heavy Hands
Restoration

I like minimal stuff – really minimal stuff. Drone? Sure. Tape loops? Where do I sign up? I also like some of Analogue Cops’ singles, at least to work into DJ sets. Things that are track-y are not necessarily dull. But this …is just dull. I appreciate the brute force of a good long drum loop and/or whooshy noise as much as the next person on epic quantities of drugs. But this… Nope. Just nope.

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Kassem Mosse
Workshop 19
Workshop

It’s rare, in my experience, to listen to 52 minutes of music and not have strong feelings about it one way or the other, but somehow Workshop 19 manages that underwhelming state of equilibrium. Some tracks are just clashing assemblages of interesting textures; others are neatly arranged sets of poorly chosen synth patches. I seriously wanted to say something more interesting than “I wish he hadn’t used that farty horn sound on track B2”, but I wish he hadn’t used that farty horn sound on track B2. MEH.

Mix: Dark Days

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You may wonder why I only post reviews of albums on here and not singles. Or you may not. Anyways I’m explaining here, so STFU for a minute. I don’t review singles because, if I like them, odds are they end up in a mix like this. Thus I feel compelled to point out how totally fucking bananas-awesome Wesley Matsell and Gerry Read’s latest singles are, which is obviously why I included them. Also the Recondite track, which isn’t new. Did I mention you should listen to this? You should listen to this.

Click here to download from Mediafire

1. Pearson Sound – Raindrops pt. II – Raindrops
2. Kelis – Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix) – Jerk Ribs (Remixes)
3. DMX Krew – My Metro – Hot Punch / My Metro
4. Recondite – Riant – Bleep: The Top 100 Tracks of 2013
5. Lucy – leave us alone – Churches Schools And Guns
6. Neneh Cherry – Everything (Villalobos & Loderbauer: Vilod high blood pressure mix) – Everything
7. Dave DK – Woolloomooloo – Perfect Like You / Woolloomooloo
8. Wesley Matsell – Future Beacon – Total Order of Being
9. The Lionheart Brothers – The Drift (Frisvold & Lindbaek Remix) – The Drift
10. The Analogue Cops – Second Disco Crime (ft. Steffi) – Heavy Hands
11. Christian S – Number One – Pitch Rider
12. Boddika & Joy Orbison – More Maim – More Maim / In Here
13. Pinch & Mumdance – Turbo Mitzi – Turbo Mitzi / Whiplash
14. Sam Russo – Wanderer (John Tejada remix) – To The Brink / Wanderer
15. Gerry Read – Shrubby  – Shrubby
16. Snow Ghosts – Secret Garden (Matthew Herbert’s Wash It All Away Instrumental) – Secret Garden
17. Pearson Sound – Raindrops pt. I – Raindrops

Deemo – Dark Days by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

 

Albums: Lucy, Nochexx, Move D (Fabric mix), Brandt Brauer Frick (DJ Kicks)

I have been dipping my nib in the company ink… no wait, that’s not the expression I want. Um anyways I’ve been doing a bunch of freelance for the parts of the Globe that are not my day job, hence the subdued activity round these parts. Please enjoy my thoughts on the Jay-Z Daft Punk collab here, and feel free to peruse the reviews below that would never ever run in the Globe, at least not until I become top banana and make it an all-electronic-music arts section. *cackles conspiratorially*

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Lucy
Churches Schools and Guns
Stroboscopic

Lately I’ve been noticing that the minimal, techy stuff I once embraced is wearing thin, due to what must be overexposure. I fear I’ve hit peak bloop blorp. It’s largely the Lucy record that has pushed me to this conclusion, because under other circumstances I think I would be an unabashed fan. They might be tricky to dance to but there’s a lot to obsess over in the rich rhythmic and textural buffet of tracks like “The Best Selling Show.” And any album that casts samples of Peter Finch’s epic Network rant in a Blade Runner-ish dystopia of clanging pipes and shallow echoes (“Leave Us Alone”) can’t be all bad. But the number of times I’ve put the disc on and zoned out completely can’t be a good thing. At a certain stage, when the drums are kicking and the synth pads are padding, if it doesn’t hang together, well, it doesn’t hang together. Like rival gangs in a prison yard.

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Brandt Brauer Frick
DJ Kicks
K7

Here’s a stumper for you: when I got this mix, it came with the mixed MP3 as well as the individual tracks used in the set. I promptly stole at least three of them for my own mixes. And yet, do I enjoy this hour of wonky tech and house mixed by a group I generally enjoy, and featuring artists like Peverelist, French Fries, Theo Parrish, several guys from the Night Slugs roster and others whom I absolutely love? No, I do not. Maybe it’s just professional jealousy, since I mixed those tunes so much better, obviously. But my feeling after listening to this a dozen times is that maybe having three DJs in the mix just doesn’t work – everyone wants to drop their favourite techy new tunes, and a few left-field choices, but since no one person has enough time behind the decks to establish a mood and then get sick of it enough to want to change it, everyone creates their own mini-arcs that don’t jive with the experience of actually listening to the whole hour front to back. I don’t know if that’s the case, but I will say that the choice of that old Underground Resistance classic, Galaxy 2 Galaxy’s “Transition,” doesn’t really work where it appears in the mix. Considering what a banger that usually is, I wonder if BBF are just tone-deaf to the way a mix like this is supposed to work. (Paging Henrik Schwarz.)

artwork

Move D
Fabric 74
Fabric

I once tried to collect the entire Roule and Crydamoure catalogs (on MP3, fine, stop judging me) which should tell you how big a fan I am of a certain era of French touch house. So starting a mix with a track from Roule (and others, obviously) alum Roy Davis Jr. endeared Move D to me almost immediately. We’re far enough from that era that a DJ can dabble in a bit of the swishy end of 90s – a snippet of diva vocals here, a “jazzy” (ugh) piano there – without tipping over into a nostalgia trip, and this mix feels distinctly modern while still channeling the sounds and vibe that made ’90s house such a juggernaut. Highly recommended.

Move D – fabric 74: 30 Minute Radio Mix by Fabric on Mixcloud

NTRC

Nochexxx
Thrusters
Ramp

I wouldn’t characterize the new Nochexxx as melodic, exactly. But even if the melodic fragments flying around Thrusters’ crowded sound world aren’t perfectly hummable, they are definitely refreshing, in the context of the aforementioned bleakness elsewhere. There’s a real sense of fun in these busy, hyper little tunes, which dart around like toddlers on a sugar high (save for the somber title track, with its sample of the ground crew’s reaction to the Challenger disaster used in a far more, let’s call it… appropriate way than on Beyonce’s album). I like to think of silent film characters acting out pratfalls and japes of all sorts, in jerkily high speed, as the album plays. That’s a good thing, FYI.

Mix: Geometry

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A selection of the finest in UNTZ UNTZ techno and house. Some great tunes I’ve been trying to work in for a while here, especially Tim Green’s mini-masterpiece and a total banger from Hobo. Geddit.

Click here to download from Mediafire

1. Cooly G – Hold Me – Hold Me
2. SCB – Rope – Rope EP
3. Leisure Muffin – Alys – The Bunker New York 001
4. Tim Green – Humming Syrup – The Humming Syrup EP
5. Baunz – Out Of The Window (feat. 3rd Eye) [Walker & Royce Remix] – Out Of The Window (feat. 3rd Eye)
6. Todd Terje – Q – Spiral
7. Sparky – Portland – Portland
8. Ondo Fudd – Coup D’État – Coup D’État
9. L-Vis 1990 Presents Dance System – No More – Dance System EP
10. Sam Russo – To The Brink (Original Mix) – To The Brink / Wanderer
11. Hobo – Mind Games- Mind Games
12. Bok Bok & Tom Trago – Hole Driller 3 – Get Me What You Want
13. DJ Zinc – King Kong     – Rollin’ Neatly
14. Leibniz – Bring It Don’t Sing It, Pt. 1 – What Matters
15. Legowelt – Do What U Gotta Do – Crystal Cult 2080 Album Sampler
16. Juan Atkins – Dayshift (Terrence Dixon Remix) – Scion A/V Remix: Juan Atkins

Geometry by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

Mix: Deemo – A Space Odyssey

deemo---space-odyssey

Shake off your hangovers and get into this mix. If you need motivation, consider it a kind of fitness boot camp for your ears – it’ll kick your ass and you’ll be glad it did. (It kicked my ass making it; I half considered calling it What I Did On My Winter Vacation.)

Click here to download from Mediafire

or scroll down to stream

Tracklist:
1. Kyson – Sunnyvale – The Water’s Way
2. Policy – Postscript187 – Postscript
3. Mathew Jonson – Sahara – Her Blurry Pictures
4. Jay Daniel – Brainz – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part One
5. Sophie – Bipp – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
6. Dino Sabatini & Donato Dozzy – Penelope – Journey Back To Ithaca
7. Martyn – Be My Own Pupil – Be My Own Pupil
8. Gerry Read – Beatin My Dick To The Beat – Been A Lot Of Places Seen A Lot Of Faces
9. Erol Alkan – Bang! – Illumination EP
10. Tazz – Piano Kinesis – Science Friction
11. Adam Marshall – Chaos – Memphis
12. Mumdance & Logos – In Reverse P.I.V. – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
13. Slackk – Blue Forest – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
14. Pearson Sound – Starburst – Starburst
15. Roman Flugel – Duck And Cover – Gerd Janson Presents Music For Autobahns

A Space Odyssey by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

Mix: Sweat / Sweatpants

When Nelly came out with two albums, sold separately, on the same day in 2004, it was such a colossal act of hubris that it almost defies description. It doesn’t help that, as I recall, neither one was very good or very well received.

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But Sweat and Suit are a testament to an ego big enough to more or less destroy a successful rapper’s career in one catastrophically grandiose gesture. And that’s why I’ve concocted my own version, the music world’s first answer-double-album: Sweat/Sweatpants.

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One for bro-ing down in the club; one for sipping wine with a doo-rag on. Download one or both, or neither, but either way, enjoy.

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Click here to download Sweat from mediafire.com

1. DJ Nori – Happy Sunday (Maurice Fulton Mix) – We Don’t Know EP
2. Komon and Appleblim – Silencio (Prins Thomas Remiks) – Silencio (Prins Thomas Remiks)
3. Mike Mind – Second Circle – Aether
4. Gui Boratto – Gate 7 – The K2 Chapter
5. Fort Romeau – And Now – Stay / True
6. Darkside – The Only Shrine I’ve Seen – Psychic
7. Joe – Slope – Slope
8. Gardland – Syndrome Syndrome – Syndrome Syndrome
9. Egyptrixx – Water (Reduced) – Water (Reduced)
10. Audion – Motormouth – Motormouth
11. Randomer – No Hook – Ruffa
12. Factory Floor – Two Different Ways – Factory Floor
13. Trevino – Gone – 3 And 1
14. Peverelist and Kowton – Beneath Radar – Livity Sound
15. Ctrls – Modular Framework – Shifting States EP
16. Tessela – Gateway – Nancy’s Pantry
17. Blawan – Shader – 30 Years of R&S Records
18. Gerry Read – Rubber Hands – U Got No God Damn Groove
19. Trade – Half Nelson – SHEWORKS005
20. Jam City – Worst Illusion – Club Constructions Vol. 6
21. Distal – Drone Circle – The Shadow Egg

deemo---sweatpants

Click here to download Sweatpants at mediafire.com

1. Prins Thomas – Sur Svie – Prins Thomas 2 Bonus Tracks
2. Cut Hands – Inchantment – Madwoman
3. Peverelist – Aztec Chant – Livity Sound
4. Adam Marshall – Memphis (feat. Maaskant) – Memphis
5. Policy – Wiseblood – Postscript
6. EMMA – Dream Phone Vip (Vip) – Blue Gardens
7. Acoustic High-End Research – Beer and Air – Gerd Janson presents Musik for Autobahns
8. Nguzunguzu – Break In – Skycell
9. Jam City – The Raven – Club Constructions Vol. 6
10. Morgan Zarate – This – Taker EP
11. Ital Tek – Violet – Control
12. Purity Ring – Amenamy (Jon Hopkins Remix) – Amenamy (Jon Hopkins Remix)
13. The Ethiopians – Empty Belly – Studio One Rub A Dub
14. Ride – Moonlight Medicine (Portishead remix)
15. Primal Scream – Higher Than The Orb Mix – Higher Than The Sun CDS

Four pon de floor roundup: Hot Since 82, Gardland, Hieroglyphic Being

Here are some four pon de floor discs for your consideration. This wraps up album review week; if you missed it, check out the Rappity raps and Beats Etc roundups at your leisure. Next week: a new mix, and maybe some additional surprises…

Continue reading “Four pon de floor roundup: Hot Since 82, Gardland, Hieroglyphic Being”