New mix: Autopilot

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This one goes out to all the self-driving cars, vacuum-cleaning robots and anything else doing stuff we humans would rather ignore so we can play Pokemon Go. PS: That Marquis Hawkes album is killing it.

Download from Mediafire

01. Margaret Dygas – Wishing Well – Even 11 (Perlon)
02. Stimming – Pressing Plant – Alpe Lusia (Diynamic Music)
03. Mr. Fingers – Nodyahed – Outer Acid (Alleviated Records)
04. Blond:ish – Nada Brahma (The Persuader Mix) – Welcome To The Present – The Remixes (Kompakt)
05. Horsepower Productions – Kuriosity – Crooks, Crime and Corruption (Tempa)
06. Todd Terje & The Olsens – La fête sauvage (Prins Thomas Remix) – The Big Cover Up (Olsen Records)
07. Simian Mobile Disco – Staring At All This Handle – Staring At All This Handle EP (Delicacies)
08. Lawrence – Clouds And Arrows – Yoyogi Park (Mule Musiq)
09. Shadow Child – Work – Waves & Shapes Vol. 1 EP (Food Music)
10. Maymind – Prophet – Prophet EP (New Kanada)
11. Audion – Sucker – Alpha (!K7)
12. Tangents – Jindabyne (Four Tet Remix) – (bandcamp)
13. Patrice Bäumel – Dum Dum – Speicher 89 (Kompakt)
14. Marquis Hawkes – Fantasy – Social Housing (Houndstooth)
15. Donato Dozzy – A.Ritmica – That Fab (Spazio Disponible)
16. Junior Boys – And It’s Forever – Big Black Coat (City Slang)

Mixed June 23, 2016 by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo for a-void.ca

New old mix: Rapture

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Last week the Isley Brothers released a 23-cd boxed set of their RCA Victor and T-Neck (their own label) output, which includes some of the smoovest music ever made. I am fairly obsessed with ’80s Minneapolis-sounding electro R&B/funk (Prince/Cameo/etc) and have been plotting this mix for some time. I have listened to it so much I think I may already have burned out on it and have no feelings left. I am a robot. Pray for deemo. Enjoy!

Click here to download from Mediafire

1. Mandre – Fantasy
2. Dan Lissvik – Airwalk
3. KZA – Computerstimme
4. Todd Terje – Alfonso Muskedunder (Bullion Remix)
5. Joe – Thinkin About
6. The Police – Voices Inside My Head (DJ Harvey edit)
7. Golden Teacher – Back And Forth (Dennis Bovell dub)
8. Boof – Just On The Swings
9. Youandewan – Youandewan ’93
10. Aphex Twin – XMAS_EVET1 N
11. Blondie – Rapture (Wuss + Lame edit)
12. Prince – Head
13. Pye Corner Audio and Belbury Poly – Pathways
14. Robert Palmer – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
15. Cameo – Be Yourself
16. The Isley Brothers – Livin In The Life
17. The Cars – Let’s Go

Mixed on July 25, 2015 by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo for a-void.ca

Deemo – Rapture by Deemo on Mixcloud

a-void.ca’s best albums of 2014

Click here to listen to the Soundcloud playlist, featuring tracks from each album

WHERE IS T-SWIFT?

Ok, I admit it, I didn’t listen to it. Nor did I get through albums by Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Keyshia Cole, Calvin Harris, et al and sundry. I also didn’t hear all of Ariel Pink, Foxygen, Swans, TV on the Radio, Leonard Cohen, Julian Casablancas and too many others to count. Don’t even talk to me about jazz or country. (I wouldn’t have much of interest to say.) So WTF *did* I listen to? I’m not even sure how to describe it. Dave-core? Morris-dance? …maybe it’s better if I don’t.

This is the odd post-poptimist desert I feel like I’ve been sent to, via my escape pod hurtling from the full time music-crit grind. The barriers have all fallen – like a lot of right-thinking people, I’m perfectly happy to flip flop from Nicki Minaj to Neil Young to Young Thug in the space of an hour, but what happens when you don’t have time to devote to what might properly be called truly Catholic tastes? Does my embracing of a specialty – electronic music, not even really including the hip-hop that used to be part of my professional bag – mean I’ve re-embraced some of the biases I spent the early 2000s working to shed, like an earnest young Chinese party bureaucrat devouring Marx and Mao, and then giving it up in favour of Day Trading For Dummies?

It’s not a question of openness, I’ve realized, but a question of how you apportion your listening time. For better or for worse, I shoved the stuff that seemed like a long shot into a hard drive folder marked ‘Later’ and threw on another platter of grime, and this is the list that came out.. There was certainly no kind of shortage of amazing electronics to digest; the volume of almost-worthy discs attests to that. (Sorry Tre Mission, SBTRKT, DMX Krew, Shi Wisdom, Mark McGuire, Run The Jewels, Pop Ambient 2015, I could go on.) The LPs that did make the cut seemed not quite dancefloor friendly, except in an abstract sense. Bits and pieces of LV and Joshua Idehen, Caribou, Distal et al slipped into my mixes with scant friction. But the inventiveness I loved often didn’t fit in the space between floor-filling singles, not that I mind. Still, this is a list borne of someone who experienced dance music in 2014 mostly in a bedroom or between headphones. Simon Reynolds’ inveighing against IDM-like anti-dancefloorism aside, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

The startling truth is that being kind of lazy, in terms of challenging your sense of what you like, can still be an astonishingly rich listening experience. There was enough originality and delight in my year in albums to make the absence of all that pop and hip-hop I missed feel about as painful as the knowledge that I didn’t eat nearly enough artisanal cheese in the last twelve months – not quite the sting of regret as much as the vague acknowledgement that I may have missed something good, possibly, but it’s not keeping me up at night.

If I had one thing I would ask of dance music in 2015, it would be for the most hypnotic, challenging, arresting, electrifying albums to be a little more melodic. I love the discs I chose, but as a whole I felt like my diet was a smidge on the grey side. Producers like Mumdance and Logos, Peverelist, Objekt and others put out single after single of holy-shit-guys-listen-to-this-ism, but when I put them all in a mix, I ended up taking a bunch out and replacing them with some chooons to break up the monotony. And the grab-bag of albums felt roughly the same, though I didn’t curate this list in a similar way. You can’t turn down a slamming, mesmerizing beat like the ones all over the Next Life comp or the Clap! Clap! record, melody or no. Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Top 25 Singles of 2014 so far

You better stop, children what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
No but like, seriously, what the fuck was that? It was hella loud, yo
– Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth”

There have been a lot of records this year in the burgeoning BANG! BOOM! CRASH! subgenre, where the samples and/or drums are so loud they feel like they’re jumping out of your speaker and hitting you in the face, even at low volume. But the best of them remain undeniably musical, and even catchy. Evian Christ and Bok Bok are tops in this department, through different approaches; the American upstart is relentlessly melodic even with his noisiest bits (a skill he shares with Skrillex, of all people) while the Brit turns even the rawest repetitions into R&B, whether it’s with 80s quiet storm synths or the very Aaliyah-like vocal stylings of Kelela.

Looking down the list, melody is the thing, however subtle. It’s there in Martyn and Four Tet’s twinkling kalimba samples, Toronto’s Jex Opolis’ Zither EP (especially “On The Cliffs” with its stabs of vocal “aaaahs” and gently burbling drums), DMX Krew’s oddly compelling lounge-pop and even H-SIK’s amped-up breakbeat science. I used to think a hummable tune was optional, even quaint, but maybe the years of minimal tech – and the waning of the prog house sound in favour of who knows what in EDM-land – have made it more palatable, if not outright necessary.

You’ve got your grime-oriented and just plain weird producers in there, of course – Mumdance coming with a couple of collaborations (with Logos and Pinch respectively) that make it sound like there’s a vacuum cleaner and/or a rogue mobile phone behind the boards, as well as Phon.o, Lakker and L-Vis 1990 all delivering sides that are more not-there than there. But the tunes predominate, however simple — from Vitalic’s uncharacteristically pop-oriented take on Paul Kalkbrenner’s “Altes Kamuffel” to the chugging grooves from Melchior Productions Ltd., Todd Terje and KHLHI (a.k.a. Four Tet).

*Oh, and in light of the Polaris Music Prize short list announcement, it’s worth remembering that – without taking anything away from Jessy Lanza’s accomplishment – there’s plenty of Hot Canadian Electronic Action happening outside the album sphere. Jex Opolis, Tiga and Hobo on this list, plus Adam Marshall’s New Kanada label (and Graze alias), Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts, Caribou’s Jiaolong imprint, Lunice, Kaytranada etc. Don’t sleep on the frozen north.

1. Evian Christ – Waterfall (Tri Angle)

2. Bok Bok – Your Charizmatic Self EP (Night Slugs)

3. Martyn – Forgiveness (EP) – (Ninja Tune)

4. Jus Now – Bare Wine (feat. Swappi) / Vodou Riddim (Gutterfunk)

5. Jex Opolis – Zither EP (Good Timin)

6. H-SIK – Sonic Rage / No Promises (Black Acre)

7. Sam Russo – To The Brink / Wanderer (Air London)

8. Jamie XX – Sleep Sound (Young Turks)

9. Mumdance & Logos – Legion / Proto (Tectonic)

10. Alex Coulton – Murda / Break Pressure (Black Acre)

11. Gerry Read – Shrubby (Aus Music)

12. KHLHI – Percussions (Text)

13. Komon and Appleblim – Jupiter EP (Aus Music)

14. Paul Kalkbrenner – Altes Kamuffel (Vitalic Remix) (Paul Kalkbrenner Music)

15. Juju & Jordash – Waldorf Salad/Third Planet from Altair (Dekmantel)

16. DMX Krew – Hot Punch / My Metro (Fresh Up)

17. Pinch & Mumdance – Turbo Mitzi / Whiplash

18. Melchior Productions Ltd – The Return Of The Cosmic Kids (Aspect Music)

19. Lakker – Containing a Thousand (R&S)

20. Todd Terje – Spiral (Full Pupp)

21. L-Vis 1990 – Ballads EP (Night Slugs)

22. Tiga & Audion – Fever (Remixes) (Turbo)

23. Flava D – Home / Hold on VIP

24. phon.o – Cracking Space Pt. 1 (50 Weapons)

25. Hobo – Mind Games (Soundz)

Field Day: Day 1

Field Day Sat

London’s Victoria Park never looked finer than when it played host to a very solid lineup of electronica artists, many of whom I had never seen before. Read on, intrepid festival-watchers (and forgive my camera-phone pix).

Gerd Janson

Epic beard, epic sound, limited crowd. But a few bongos and some spacey disco edits don’t go astray at 2 in the afternoon. Also notable: he was spinning vinyl. However I suspect he was really looking forward to his set at the after-party. Not that we were spared the smoke machine.

Gerd Janson

James Holden live

I feel reasonably convinced that James Holden’s modular synth wizardry is already the best thing I will see all festival. It didn’t start out that way. Nothing sends chills down the spine of a grizzled jazz vet like walking into the dance tent to the sound of an auto sax player jamming to a “funky” beat played by a drummer in a bad hat, with a bit of synth squall unintelligibly roaring in the background. Horrible memories of fusion gone rancid soon left, replaced by some Deutsch rock throb, with Holden’s eurorack setup unleashing a full band’s worth of noise, arpegiatted melody caught in an infinite regression and the sax player actually fitting in for once. (He’ll be kicked out of the overplayers’ union, I’m sure.)

James Holden 1

Even a laptop malfunction that sent Holden scurrying backstage seemed to fold comfortably into the show, like a long drum solo that builds anticipation for the inevitable roaring finale. Holden was a pro through it all, grinning boyishly as the crowd clapped their encouragement. So far, so very very fucking good, Field Day.
James Holden 2

Omar Souleyman

I admit that my scheduling was a bit short on the hedonistic fun-o-meter but Omar Souleyman made up for it. Dec ked out in traditional Bedouin garb and sunglasses, despite the dark tent, Souleyman and his keyboardist – an adept synth performer, putting plenty of melody and feeling into his playing via some expertly controlled pitch bends and octave popping – got the party started.

Omar Souleyman 1

Omar Souleyman 2

The lack of a band wasn’t really an issue; Souleyman worked the stage like a pro, measuring every gesture to elicit the maximum crowd impact. And the tunes from his latest, Wenu Wenu, went down like a shandy on a hot day. (I noted the albums producer Four Tet getting down to the rhythm at side stage. Along with what I think was his mum? Cyuute.)

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Oneohtrix Point Never

There’s that inevitable exodus of all the hot girls whenever someone like Daniel Lopatin announces his presence by emitting a volley of unconscionable noise. Amazingly, his set survived, and perhaps even thrived, thanks to his inventive textures, able Veejay providing flickering echoes of David Lynch-esque landscapes and freak 3D-rendered creatures being distended and torn before our eyes. There’s also his mastery of extreme volume – at times it.felt like a noise show and an ambient set flipping in and out of focus like two TV stations jockeying for the same frequency. And it was a lot more fun than I’m making it sound. Seriously, I would say Lopatin is doing for melody what Apex Twin did for drums, if it didnt make me sound like a pretentious asshole. (Too late.)

Oneohtri Point Never

Blood Orange

Dev Hynes can sing. He can also play guitar, damn well, and his band is formidable. But be honest – it’s all a bit Terence Trent D’Arby, isn’t it?

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Evian Christ

After a quick chorizo sandwich and a not so quick queue for a Red Stripe, the train arrived at the set of this very talented, very young, and mercifully very American dj. I say mercifully because I hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear some cussing over trap beats (it had been several days) until that handsome white-t-clad gent started rapping along to a storming Weezy verse and I suddenly felt the bass hit me somewhere in the back of my throat. He showed some dexterity by dropping a couple of his own, distinctly hard and dry riddims, such that I saw the women in front of me convulse slightly. But when he dropped a fresh Young Chop beat there were right back with him. Sweaty trap party, yes please.

Evian Christ

Todd Terje

I was promised a live set, dammit, and all I got was this not lousy DJ set with cuts from his album (“Delorean Dynamite”) as well as some tasty disco selections. But where were the cascading keyboards, the odd-timed drum freak outs, the interminable bass solos? Nowhere to be found. Maybe Danny Brown had borrowed them. Few spinners are as adept at reading the crowd as Terje, and fewer still have crates as deep, which made his set pleasurable despite the crowded environs and the tilt towards deep house. If anyone’s going to go there, Terje is uniquely placed to do it, and while I was slightly sore about the lack of a live PA I can’t complain about the conflagration of fine sexy ladies in the RA tent that he brought. When in Field Day, do as the girls with the flowery dresses do.

Todd Terje

Until tomorrow, Vic Park…

Crowd Shot

Two totally bitchin’ albums you may have missed

toddterje

Todd Terje
It’s Album Time
Olsen

Much has been made of how long many of us have been waiting for Todd Terje’s magnificent, kitschy, richly detailed, party-starting masterwork of an album. Less has been written about why everyone wanted an album from Terje so bad, as though a series of singles wasn’t basically the same thing. Joke’s on you, album-lovers: the best cuts on It’s Album Time have already been released as… wait for it… singles. The man is not what you’d call prolific, and what’s wrong with that? Stupid insatiable free market.

Anyways, we’re still richer for knowing that Terje is not just a great programmer but also a keyboard savant; other producers sample riffs from latin-jazz-fusion rarities, but I’ll bet my piano-key tie that Terje’s playing the stuff himself. “Preben Goes To Acapulco”  sounds like it was made by someone who’s spent a lot of time with Weather Report and/or Herbie Hancock’s mid-’70s catalog, “Svenk Sas” and “Alfonso Muskedunder” are built on montunos fast enough to at least startle Chucho Valdes, and all of them feature what seems like an endless supply of vintage-synth wibble-wobble soloing. All of these things make me indescribably happy, in case you were wondering where I was going with this.

But it’s the dance-iest tracks that really make the album more than a retro pastiche, and I defy anyone to stay still when “Strandbar” comes on. If this album has a flaw (other than the Bryan Ferry vocal on “Johnny and Mary,” which isn’t my cup of lounge-lizard mumbling, but your mileage may vary) it’s that the version of “Strandbar” is only 4-odd minutes long, unlike the 12-inch version. Four minutes of that unstoppable Rube Goldberg-goes-disco machine, even with its brilliant and harmonically sophisticated piano-led bridge, is not nearly enough. You’ll like the other tracks, and it’s no exaggeration to say you need this collection as a whole, but if you don’t listen to “Strandbar” early and often, frankly I’m a bit worried for your general well-being. They should hand out copies in office buildings and stores, like hand sanitizer.


CS518246-01A-BIG

Pye Corner Audio
Black Mill Tapes Vols. 3-4
Type

Some years ago I got in the funny habit of combing through those newsletters that record stores like Amoeba and Aquarius put out, and making a list of any records I’d never heard of, but that sounded interesting so that I could add them to my eMusic saved items. You’d think with the bazillion records hitting the interwebs every day, not to mention the plethora of media sources offering to filter said bazillion records according to your taste, culling an artificially-selected herd of new records every week would be a colossal waste of time. Funnily enough, it hasn’t been.

One of the discoveries I remember making a big impression (and coming out in 2010, around the same time as the similar-in-nature Moon Wiring Club and Belbury Poly) was Pye Corner Audio, whose Black Mill Tapes Vol. 1 was one of the year’s highlights. It seemed like a quixotic project that would appeal more to synth nerds than to listeners – it can’t have been an accident that the pseudonym of the man behind the 1970s and 1980s school-science-filmstrip was “The Head Technician.” But most nerds can’t make a catchy number out of their virtuosic attention to detail, which is why it’s so gratifying when one of them does it – and in robust quantities.

If you had to be fleeing a villainous cyborg or removing a mind-control device from your crainium, you’d want the soundtrack to be the carefully-constructed yet gauzy ambiance of “Memory Wiped” or the music-box-synths gone sinister and John Carpenter-y of “Electronic Rhythm Number Eight.” More surprising to me was the emergence of dancefloor-ready tracks amid the sci-fi-soundtrack fodder. Both “Electronic Rhythm Number Two” and “Void Bound” have a kind of dull, rubbery sheen to their pulsing grooves that make them great set-openers, all you budding DJs. Oh and did I mention that synth nerds will love this? Because you will. Love this.

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