Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bootleg bitch v1.0

Purchased two nice Drum'n'Bass bootlegs recently although I don't like most of them booties these days. Big exception made 'ere...

T-Spark reworks Tweet's DigiSoul Uberhit "Oops! Oh My" which I loved from the very beginning when I received that tune on promo on his latest release over a quite familiar sounding Bristol roller. Guess this is something from the early Roni Size/Reprazent-stable but as I ain't good at remembering track names in detail I can't prove anyway. On the flip there's a male R'n'B/Soul-vox put on a JumpUp-classic - this fusion is called "Used To Love U" and a bit cheesy but functional. For chrissake - JumpUp is cheesy anyway.
For all the bootleggers out there there's an additional Acapella of both tracks. Nice one.

"Woo Ha / Bombaclart" [Shizzle 001] has Busta Rhymes spitting is classic lyrics on a JumpUp-tip as well and - this why I put that record in my crates - Elephant Man swearing on top of a dark Jungle stepper with a baaad, eeevil bassline tearing up the place. This is pure darkness - massive & 'orrible. Can't wait to play this out loud...

Parts in the post, pt. 7

Hamburg-based label Audiolith have been putting out a great 7" this week. I do love this format as most of you do know, but I gotta admit that I discovered my love for colored 10"es, too. Musicwise it is Egotronic's turn to amuse consumers and dancer with great C64-/SID-chip trash and cheap vocoder vox. A-Side is co-produced by Saalschutz which appeared on Audiolith before, but Egotronic's solo-production "Nein Nein" is by far the better track here - a true dancefloor smash with a great story plus surprising turn indeed. Catch the lyrics if you can. Btw - the records sleeves artwork is top notch, too.

Another one from Hamburg to be coming up in September is the second record on Boys Noize. Cool Minimal Techno in an anti-phonk style - like LFO's "Freak" has been kinda anti-phonkee as well, mind to call it Querkopf Techno ? - , based on a rock-ish drum-programming which as well fits into some NuBreaks-sets is to be found on Side A, while Frank Martiniq delivers a remix treatment on the flip. His rework is a minimalistic tool with a massive pounding bass on the deeper sublow side but I guess I'm staying with the Original Version as there are too much intellectual micro-sounds, mini-bleeps, nano-crackles found in here. Great for homelistening but this remix treatment is not that kind of thing I want to move my ass to on the floor.
Additional info: Don't get puzzled by the mixed up label stickers and watch out for matrix information.

U2 have never been the one's to deny electronic remix treatment in the last decade and now they're back with a new remix single on Island Records. "City Of Blinding Lights"' main - and best - retreat is the "Phones P.D.A. in N.Y.C. Mix". Stretched out over 8minutes and 40 seconds it's an ideal tool to give the DJ a break, soundwise fits well alongside the likes of Tiefschwarz, Märtini Brös. and such and is a big anthem due to Bono's voice and nice string arrangement. If you're not into vox anyway leave it out as the "Paradise Soul Vocal Mix" is also on a singing tip. Try this while the sun sets as it is deep and trancey.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Straight from the Ghetto - News on HipHop, pt. 3

Shady Records associated rapper Stat Quo has a new album to come soon called "Statlanta" and the first single taken from it is out now. "Like Dat" represents perfectly what I like in US mainstream HipHop-stuff. Chilled, but still bouncing beats, fat booming basslines and weird electroid bleepy melodies plus deep orchestra-sounds. I could listen to those instrumentals for hours without getting bored and I keep most of the records for the version only, even if I dislike the main vocal track. But this time I'm into the vocals, too, as Stat Quo keeps his voice calm, clearly pronounced and straight on point without getting into senseless screaming and shouting as many contemporary rappers do these days.

G-Unit geezer The Game's album "The Documentary" hit the stores recently and to be honest "Dreams" produced by Kanye West
, which hit my P.O. box this morning is the first of his tracks meaning a thang to me. Very low tempo, big string arrangements and good lyrics this time, reflecting the last four years in his life and taking stills of what happened, thoughts and stuff... . Not a track to be called "conscious" at all but one that is thankful and not about bitches, bling and b-boys.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Grime r_port

First of all - I never been the one to hunt down the internet for the latest DJ-mixes and/or mp3-snippets of unreleased tunes or fresh dubs of whoever is meant to be the next groundbreaking producer or DJ in a "hype in the year after next"-genre and I guess I never will be. That's not only 'coze my internet connection sucks big time and my hardware needs not only an update but a full replacement, but I'm too busy to spend my time hunting down digitized tracks I can't actually put in my selection or order for the recordstore I work at. Plus I simply do not like .mp3 or similar formats like .ogg or whatever, I neither like CDr at all and would never consider to replace cutting dubplates with small silver discs. Musicwise I prefer to know about what is available right now or upcoming soon - going through distributors listings for information on that is one way, reading magazines, websites or blogs is the other apart from recommendations from people I trust musicwise. I think for people not involved in the most inner circle of a specific genre it's more important to build their own definition of what this specific music means instead of just copying what's happening in the inner sanctum. This is what keeps music alive and interesting, although the keepers and day one innovators might have a different opinion when it comes to this. Guess y'all know stories about a whole bunch of leading Drum'n'Bass-DJ's/producers teaming up for a conference on a mission to decide what the future of D'n'B will be... . No matter if this happened or not, music evolution will never stop and there's no point in trying to provide a further direction. It just won't work.

Anyway, there's music to write about and that's why we are - or at least I am - here in front of my computer. Shout outs to Mr. Gutter @ Gutterbreakz for providing detailed info about the new and first release on Skulldisco which is at least one to keep an eye upon. Shackleton's "I Am Animal" is more traditional dub than step and pushes genre borders even further than MarkOne did with his very last release on Boka Records, which was big time influenced by oriental sounds and mystic athmosphere. "I Am Animal" is quite calm and chilly, but comes with some spooky sounds and ethnic percussions that very well fit with the voodoo magic artwork of the cover sleeve. I doubt that anyone will brock out on the dancefloor to this as it is too far out but it's good for a true mindtrip. Maybe this is the next level - Ritual Grime or MythStep? I recently read about a geezer considering himself to play Conscious Grime and honestly I have no clue what this is meant to be.
Applebim's "Mystikal Warrior" on the flip is a true bassheavy Halfstep-weapon - spooky indeed but basicly built around an impressive, ultra-dark bassline which is by far heavier and more agressive than everything around these days. Massive headbanging on approximately 65 bpm. Pure madness, pure energy. Horrible.

South London-based label Rag & Bone, known for being stuck somewhere between dark ElectroBreaks, Industrial influences and experimental Grime, comes up with its ninth release so far which is exploring other than the usual terroritories. Title track "Isn't it powerful?" rips the classic early 1990's Techno/Rave-anthem "The House Of God" and puts the main samples plus parts of the 4/4 drumset into an oldskool '91/'92 Breakbeat context. One for the gloves- and whistle-kru but dark as dark can be. Whoa. The flip features two dry and quite static ElectroGrime choons which keep things very basic and will do their thing being thrown in a set as tools, bridges or whatever. Guess those tracks will also work with a Rhythm Industrial-crowd but I bet this two scenes Grime-geezers, Stepheadz and Industrial freaks will never meet ends.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Parts in the post, pt. 6

It's been a busy week due to the arrival of the new Intrauterin Recordings-release, so there's been less time for blogging. In-store date for Sascha Müller's "Travelbox / 19 [Intrauterin Recordings 005]" is approximately next week as the first records are shipped to german distributors. Watch out for Sascha's lovely little limited, stamped 7"-labeldebut on marbled vinyl and get hold of a copy quickly if you're up for dancefloor impacting Electro/Acid crossbreeds.

The week before last I received a bunch of records from the Poker Flat-headquarters which I've been checking out shortly but not reviewing properly until now...

Traffic Signs is - although it has never been announced officially - a secret subbranch of Steve Bug's main labels and has been coming up with massive dancefloor anthems on each of its former releases. Putting out one massive record a year is a great concept, keeping things anonymous is as well and so there's no information about who is responsible for the two tracks on Traffic Signs 004. "Infiltrate" is the one to never leave my crates again, building a whole track around a short vocal snippet saying - guess what? - "Infiltrate" and keeping things very very minimal and stripped down to the bone. But still it is quite funky in a sense of DBX's "I'm losing control" represents a special kind of funk in Techno. "Hold It" on the flip is minimal as well but with a slightly acidic feel. There's no characteristic 303 knob twiddling found here but it's still jacking to the max and features a great breakdown. Boom!

Dessous Recordings usually aims for the DeepHouse-crowd and early morning grooves in hot steamy clubs but makes an exception with its 54th 12" that hits the clubs right now. Phonique's "Weapon" is a hypnotic dancefloor weapon indeed. A ruff bassline and dirty metallic hooks cause similar brain destruction make you wanna dance, dance, dance... It's like in the good old days again when people experienced Techno and Housemusic as pure body music and gave a fuck about any intellectual talk at all. "A Walk In The Club" on B1 is playing around with a funny ever changing bassline and some oldskool vox snippet here and then which might be recognized by AcidHouse-veterans as part of their early dancefloor days. B2 is another version of "Weapon" - still ruff and I wouldn't be surprised if there has been some E involved in the production process as the sounddesign of the hook goes back to the ecstatic happiness of early chemical driven rave days.

On Poker Flat Recordings there are two new 12"es these days.
PFR58 is "Tracks From The Lab" by Märtini Brös., a double A-side with fresh material. "Darkroom" is heavily pumping house with a short anthemic breakdown plus the quite cool vocal sample "Computer games don't affect kids. I Mean, if Pacman affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music". Well, I neither have been into gaming nor chemz anyway, but still I prefer darkness - not darkrooms! - and repetitive structures... guess something has gone wrong here. "Joystick" on the flip is what I'd call a contemporary relaunch of AcidHouse. Positive minimalism, twirking and squeezing sounds, hypnotizing. Some deep strings as well. Nice one.

On PFR59 it is Martin Landsky's turn to tear up the dancefloor with another jackin' 12" influenced by the oldskool vibe of Chicago House. His last release on Poker Flat called "FM Safari" was a bit deeper than this current workout is, but no matter if either "Back (Go for The)" or "I Can't get Up" is your fav on his new single - pure dancefloor satisfaction is granted.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

11.07.2005 "Montags: Permafrost" @ Komet / Hamburg

Turntables: baze.djunkiii [Intrauterin Recordings]

File under: Postrock, Experimental Electronics & Advanced Ambient

Komet - Erichstrasse 31 - Hamburg St. Pauli / Germany

doors: 10 pm

Another one to watch out for. Komet is a small bar originally located @ Gerhardstrasse in Hamburg and now moved just round the corner to a bigger venue. First time I've attended that place must have been somewhen before I even moved to Hamburg in 1997 and since then I used to hang around every now and then. Also I've been playing some funny sets there which were basically more obscure and weirdo stuff - playing records one after another, diggin' the crates for funny or novelty discs. "Montags: Permafrost" will be a bit like that, too - a mixture of what has been done musicwise in my former radioshow "Die Nachtschwestern" and the former clubnight "Die Gesellschaft Ist Krank" which I installed in a venue called Lunacy in 1998 and - after a longer break - also took place at Hamburg's Astrastube for a while.

The Zeitverschiebung-event - did I translate that as Timewarp before? - on Friday was fine. Although it wasn't packed at all there seemed to be more people than at the first party which I didn't attend at all but heard about a small audience. People were dropping in in small groups from the very beginning and slowly started moving while Sylvana & Lakin did a quite liquid and funky warm-up. When Slider took over he dropped a few funky tunes, too, but quickly moved into Clownstep and mass appeal mainstream Drum'n'Bass which he also includes in his rave sets. With this it's like love it or leave it and as I never was the one to be into classic JumpUp one can guess that the nu skool of JumpUp does not mean a thing to me at all. I can't help it, it's just not my style. Quite happy to change musical directions I opened my set with Mas I Mas Soundsystem's "Dune D'n'B RMX" followed by Giana Brotherz' "The Float" on Incubation Records which is one of my favorite 2004 releases. Of course the new releases of Digital Terrorists Rec. and No!Breaks Records proved expected dancefloor qualities as well as a bunch of dubz from the Intransigent-stable did serious dancefloor destruction. Unpacking my records after arrival at my place in the morning I realised that there wasn't - apart from Goldie's "Say You Love Me" and two tracks of Bizzy B.'s "Science E.P. Vol. IV" - any UK-Drum'n'Bass included in my set at all. A good thing that is as it shows there's things happening & steadily growing independent from the so-called D'n'B-capital.

BigUp to Beeside & kru for setting up this show and shoutz to Moskau, Daniel & Missy "Kebap Thief"...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

08.07.2005: Zeitverschiebung @ U Bar / Hamburg

DJ SLIDER [Lifeline Promotions / Bremen]
BAZE.DJUNKIII [Intrauterin Recordings]
BEESIDE [Phatlinaz / Hamburg]
LAKIN [Phatlinaz / Hamburg]
SYLVANA [Phatlinaz / Bremen]
MC STROPHARIA [Junglistic Scientists / Bremen]

U Bar
Schulterblatt / Ecke Nagelsallee
Hamburg / Germany
doors: 10 pm
free until 11 pm / 6,- EU after 11 pm

It's been a while since I've been rinsin' a pure Drum'n'bass selection for the Hamburg massive - club- and radiowise that is - so if you're hangin' out in town and into the dark side of Drum'n'Bass just drop by and get your brain washed from 02.30 am onwards as this is my scheduled time to step on stage. Prepared my selection yet as I'll be too busy to do in the next days and it's gonna be baaaad... 'eavy dubplate rotation to expect. I'm also curious what Slider is going to drop as I never 'eard him in a club context before, so there'll be a bit more on that right after the show.

For all those who haven't been to U Bar before and wonder how to get there it is not on the "Schanzen"-side of Schulterblatt! You have to cross the Max-Brauer-Allee at Bar Rossi and go straight ahead for a few hundred meters until Schulterblatt becomes Eimsbüttler Chaussee. To the left is Nagelsallee then and here you are...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Supralinear music

There's news from the Force Inc./Mille Plateaux stable, which has been silent for quite a while after the breakdown of EFA Medien. A few of the former staff joined forces to launch the new imprint Supralinear, exploring fields of experimental electronic music as well as more dancefloor forcing but still different and not necessarily ultra-functional 4-2-the-floor workouts.

SL002 is a CD album called "Unheard Treats" by Dawid Szczesny. This young artist from Poland uses piano tones as source material, arranges them in a quite moody, ambientish and relaxing way and adds a few layers of small crackling noises on top like the ones taken from a quite old and worn out vinyl record. Due to this the whole album sounds very warm and the cover text does mention that some people refer to it as film music, which is a good description indeed although there is a few irritating skips breaking up that relaxing athmosphere. Those being familiar with the musical works of Oval will recognize parallels here.

SL003 is a 2xLP as well as CD-available album from the studio of Alka_Rex entitled "Shapes To Phases". This duo sets things straight on the dancefloor with a nice mixture of Minimalism, Intelligent/Armchair Techno, Dubtechno influences and a few short excellent Ambient/Listening/Chill interludes. Sounds - especially the high frequencies - are very precisely processed and sound very digital throughout the ever evolving, slightly shapeshifting tracks, but the grooves and basslines have a quite organic feel. DJ-wise "Shapes To Phases" is perfectly matching with Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia's "Record Of Breaks" which is - released in 1995 - still a masterpiece and one of my personal reference points when it comes to MinimalTechno and associated genres.
Both records are highly recommended and set a high quality standard for things to come on Supralinear in the future.

For those interested in purchasing copies of this releases here is - once again - a link to Hamburg's Otaku Records.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Parts in the post, pt.5

Serious dancefloor damage is caused by the upcoming 12" of a project called Drumkombinat on Apwood Recordings which combines the joined forces of german Techno producer Axel Lüers & Michael Lambart. The so-called "Schachtgesänge E.P." is the fourth release on Olaf Apholz' label and kicks of quite oldskool styled with an epic, slightly acidic intro and hard analogue Techno beats similar to vibes spread on the 1993 released sampler "Rauschen 5" on the now defunct label Force Inc. Music Works. This was a kind of state-of-the-art compilation of what happened in Techno Deutschland back then and featured artists like Biochip C., Car & Driver, Space Cube, Exit 100 and more. Fast, hard, noisy and big time Acid influenced although not necessarily using the twirking 303 lines but more hypnotic, bubbling and aggressive noises banging outta the legendary silver box. But back to 2005 now and there we do find two more tracks on the flipside of APW004. Those are as functional as Techno can be, very primetime, tracky and quite ruff. This'll for sure touch any oldskool veteran on the floor.

For those hooked to more anthemic stuff there's a new 12" out on Chica Discos. This time it's Ibiza's Sin Plomo teaming up with vocalist Janet Taylor on a quite emotional tip. The "Chica Mix" is a perfect tune to fill peoples eyes with tears when played right at that magic moment when the first rays of sunlight kiss the night goodbye but also does fit into a deep groovin' House set in a hot and steamy club. The "S.P.C. Mix" on the flip is one for the followers of what a friend of mine calls Stadium Trance - energetic sound which opens huge spaces, big string arrangements, balearic guitar and massive vocals. I do prefer the deeper side of things and due to this I'll play the "Chica Mix".

Hailing from Spain is DJ Sammy which has a new one out on Data Record, a sub of Ministry Of Sound. I received the Phunk Investigation Remixes of "Why?" recently and I'm not too sure what to think of this - the vinyl is cool though, 'coze it's orange and I bet it's glowing in the dark. But musicwise I'm puzzled. I mean "Phunk Investigation Dub" is a big tune for those who love anthemic Progressive TechTrance, works well and stuff and is able to set the roof on fire. But why the hell they put Annie Lenox' vocals of her early 90s ballad "Why?" on top of this on the flipside? Why is someone remixing "Why?" ? There are some tracks that do not need any kind of rework, update or however they might call it and "Why?" is one of these for sure. What's next - Hardstyle Mixes of Sinead O'Connors "Nothing Compares 2 U"? Gosh, I hope not.