Tuesday, August 30, 2005

HipHop meets Grime reminder

Well, I posted detailed info on this before but want to come up with a small reminder of what's going to happen at Hamburg's Komet on Friday 2nd. Hope to see a bunch of HipHop-headz and Grimeists out there...
Doors open @ 10 p.m. , donation of 2 EU will be requested.

If you cannot make it for any reason at least make sure to catch C-Flow playing at Hamburg's ?!fundbureau on Saturday 3rd, showtime is around 10.30 p.m. that day.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Straight from the Ghetto - News on HipHop, pt. 4

The Black Eyed Peas' new single "My Humps" is out on AM Records now. Forget about the vocal version as it is a totally bullshit imitation of Missy Elliott, but watch out for the instrumental cut which is a pleasure for all lovers of pure breakdance music. HipHop meets Electro once again and back we are where it all began...

David Banner is coming with a new 12" as well on SRC Records named "Play" exploring the same kind of area as 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" did a while ago. Cool stripped down to the bone beats plus hypnotizing and sex orientated vocals - very minimalistic, no additional instruments used apart from a few bleepy synth tones but this is more than enough to create a hormone driven athmosphere, even if you leave out the lyrics as the also featured instrumental does. "Ain't Got Nothing" on the flip sounds familiar to me but I ain't got a clue where I came across this before. Massive potential for mainstream success as this tune is anthemic.

The funniest HipHop record throughout the last weeks I received from a friend of mine without any comment. Just a whitelabel with the words "Monstersymbiose" and "Breakyuleg" as matrix information and eleven tracks on it, mashing up various German HipHop acapellas with other instrumentals from that genre. "Schwule Mädchen" by Fettes Brot meets MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This", "Türlich Türlich, Sicher Digger" by Das Bo is featured as well as old Dynamite Deluxe vocals, Boulevard Bou and Luniz "I Got 5 On It" instrumental plus many more. Bootleg business - get it quick.

Dubstep special

Once again thanks to Gutterbreakz for providing another great link - this time's a great interview on Soulchampion website featuring El Sid, Kode 9 and US-based dubstep DJ Joe Nice. Glad to hear that things start to happen worldwide referring to DJ-sets allover the world and I totally agree on Joe Nice that this sound is taking over. Might not happen now and in 2005 but one can yet recognize several influences on other styles of music. Also good to hear that they refer to the likes of El-B and Horsepower as roots of this movement - that's exactly the stuff which got me moving out of UKGarage exploring other - back then mostly unwanted in UKG-events in Hamburg - musical fields. "Nude vs. El-B - Reality", which has been the first ever release on Shelf Life is still sitting in my case whenever I play that stuff out...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Riddim Method

DJ C. of Mashit, DJ Ripley, Kid Kameleon plus a few others teamed up for a collective blog project named Riddim Method recently which seems to be another one to check out on regular basis. Kind of a manifesto or better description of what bounds them bunch of people together is to be found on their very first post. Nice one. Read, listen & learn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Parts in the post, pt. 10

Poker Flat Recordings, which has always been a reliable imprint for quality minimalism with high standards set and delivered from day one, have signed a new face to their stable. Christopher T Lee, spinning under the DJCTLee moniker in California's Santa Cruz-area, debuts with his first ever release on this highly profiled label on forthcoming catalogue number PFR062. Not as jacking and Chicago'esque as Poker Flat used to be in the last months Christopher T Lee glimpses at the deeper sides of dancefloor functionality introducing his production-alias Limacon here. I'd refer to both tracks - "Catch" and "Joni" - as subtle tools for either warming up a nice, tiny venue or slowing things down in the early morning again as both of them tunes spread deep, funky, organic moods. Could also have been released on Dessous Recordings but as there's never been a strict borderline between Steve Bug's imprints it makes sense anyway and is - maybe once again - another sign of the change of directions that seems to be going on. On the flip we have Peter M Kersten a.k.a. Lawrence reworking "Catch" under his Sten-moniker, fusing deep foggy melancholy and uptempo technoid minimalistic dancefloor approach. This one needs - as most of Kerstens tracks and reworks do - a special vibe within the crowd to work out and is not an easy to play one at all. Those who followed his music for a while will know what I'm talking about.

On upcoming PFR 063 we have Guido Schneider teaming up with Berlin's Sammy Dee, 50% of Pantytec on Perlon. Together they provide their vison of what might be called MicroTechno in the future - "Styleways" being a long ever evolving journey with a dangerous, futuristic, tension-driven athmosphere, while "Mistaken Identity" is on percussive, funky tip and explores humour in minimalism as well as there are several sparkling sounds popping out of nowhere, putting a big grin on my face. Will work well alongside releases of Richie Hawtin a.k.a. Plastikman.

Mark O'Sullivan and John Dahlbäck, younger cousin of Jesper Dahlbäck, introduce their cooperation project Mark & John on the latest Audiomatique 12". After a furious kickoff with "The ChiChi Squad ft. Kaori - Treat Me Right" the new release holding number 007 in the labels catalogue is the second I'm really into - three dark athmospheric, slightly acid-orientated tracks: title track "The Most Dangerous Animal In The Zoo" is a massive banger, while each "Trap 2" and "Last Chance To See" are more subtle and hypnotic, pumping through a large black tunnel filled with flickering strobe lights and sex hormones, using unusual melodies, handclaps, trippy voice samples and cowbells and at least getting you by the balls either if you want to dance or not. Especially "Trap 2" is going to be an underground club anthem soon and will be hammered out by upfront minimal jocks...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mate Recordings

A few words to be lost on the Manchester-based label Mate Recordings, associated to the club Music Is Better existing twice in Manchester/UK as well in Helsinki/Finland, which are killing it with their new split 7" these days. Stamped brown paper bag packaging is a definition of cool and the music proves that big time. Both tracks - Roger : "Kiss In The Darkness" / Boys Of Scandinavia : "Worse Than A Girl" - are taken off the 2004-released compilation "Music Is Better Volume One - Manchester vs. Helsinki" and are mashing up dancefloors each time played out as both of them tunes go along those that refer to the legendary Manchester-rave days with bands like Happy Mondays and such due to their catchy hooklines, the nouveau hip of an Elektroclash-crowd rediscovering song structures and guitars at places like NagNagNag and last not least Wave-audiences still living and loving the 80s synth pop dream. Especially Boys Of Scandinavia are running things with their anthemic track which uses a bassline not so different from that infamous last years "7 Nation Army" uber-hit. So there's a big crossover potential and - not only regarding to the fact that both tracks being airplayed in different countries as USA, Sweden, Canada, Germany apart from others - there's a proper chance that those two bands are breaking through and gain a bit of mainstream attention soon.

The labels compilation is more diverse though, covering the full spectrum of what might be summed up under the Electro flag. Pure dancefloor tracks like Alcohell's "The Lovely Bedsit Dweller" that might be played out by DJs like Andrea Parker and obscure electronic popsongs, wave influences all under one roof, written by artists like A Maze, Nu Science, Kompleksi and more providing an interesting homelistening journey of about an hours length. Check out...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Longplay love v3.0

This is weird. With more than 15 years of listening to electronic music on the back which is basically more than 50% of my lifespan there are still suprises out there. Sometimes I come across an album that is somewhat interesting, proper produced, exotic but still I simply don't catch the point, the basic intention the producer must have had in mind while settling in the studio - sometimes it's a message to be spread, intellectual sound research or just pure dancefloor functionality which as well fits with me but sometimes... . To reveal a name I'm talking about Erik Sumo's new album "My Rocky Mountain" which is to come on Pulver Records on 26th of September. Each of the 12 tracks would perfectly match with the former "Sushi 2002"-compilation series on Bungalow Records which focused on Japanese ClubPop and other weird Exotica/Musica Obscura, melting vocals, ethnic percussions, Jazz-influences from East Europe, BrokenBeats, 60s Pop and other musical madness. Each track on his own as tribute to a compilation like the mentioned would be nice, very nice indeed, but having 12 of them on one album is a bit too much of weirdness.

Pharmacom Records celebrates its 10th release these days. The collaboration project Speak With The Machines comes up with their "Secret Jamsessions" which is a limited to 100 copies CD in special military packaging. This CD features three parts - all of them seemingly unedited and analogue live-sessions of experimental electronic dance music. The range of genres is wide - from a bit of weird Drum'n'Bass in the beginning to oldskool Steve Stoll'esque TechJazz or early Cari Lekebusch-like bleepy ElectroPhonk, deep Electronica are found as well as melancholic Electro excursions. I love the idea and concept of pressing up live jams onto vinyl discs like it has been done on Djungle Fever's forthcoming "Helden der Revolution live @ Club Camouflage" although one can recognize every shift of speed or sometimes the point when things are going wrong and patterns do not match any more. It feels like being there, standing right in front of the equipment watching the artists' knob twiddling and fader movements - having this feeling reproduced on a record just feels good and therefore it's worth to hunt down Pharmacom's website, get in touch and try to get a copy of this album as it ain't carried by any distributor.

Another great piece of art is the fifth official album by Earth named "Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method" upcoming on September 19th on Southern Lord, an album not recommended for the sensitive minded or those already suffering from depression or grief as it reveals dark moods, loneliness and a kind of post-nuclear MadMax scenario in a winters desert, based on the dark melancholy of slowly echoing electric guitars. Titles like "Land Of Some Other Order" or "The Dire And Ever Circling Wolves" truely give a clue of what to expect here and those appreciating bands like the beforementioned Charalambides, Guapo or Fantomas' opus "Delirium Corda" should unquestionably add "Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method" to their collections. Off road desert music, 1000 miles beyond any urban areas and, as Earth are hailing from Seattle, another comment on the cities or even societies de-civilized condition, a prelude that welcomes the threatening clouds proclaiming the forthcoming Day of Judgement. Hallelujah!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Parts in the post, pt. 9

Sascha Müller, responsible for the current release "Travelbox / 19" on Intrauterin Recordings, debuted on Northbeatz Audio about four weeks ago with his "Toxic Action E.P.". Three tracks of pounding hard functional Techno purism for the headstrong to be found here - B1 "Peng!" sticking out most as the tune uses a sample of Kraftwerk's legendary "Boing Bumm Tschak". Quality stuff.

German label Zeitgeist licensed Lil' Love's "Little Love" from Italy's Rise Records and provides one for the lovers of cheesy, uplifting House featuring innocent naive female vox. Well, in 99 out of a 100 times I'm not into that kind of music anyway, but this is a big exception from the norm. Can't exactly figure out why I like this but I guess it's out of retrospective reasons as "Little Love" does remind me mind of the innocent hedonism ruling the House in the early 90ies. Ever danced your ass off to tunes like Rozalla's "Everybody's free", Calvin Rotane's "I Believe", Movin Melodies' "P.A.R.T.Y." or House II House's "Did You Ever Ask Me" ? If so you'll be into this 12" for sure.

A bit more of advanced listening music comes from US-based producer Rekall - head of Actualmusic. The first release on his own label is not only limited to 300 copies and looks fresh - clear vinyl with a big, also clear spot of blue in the centre - but reveals four tracks of nice music as well. Breakbeats meet deep space Electronica plus a bit of Electro influence, one experimental Drum'n'Bass track as well. Recommended to those who do like the infamous "Space Night"-compilations and video animation released by Elektrolux. There's no distribution neither in Germany nor Europe yet but I hope this'll change soon so that we'd be able to stock that at Otaku Records in the near future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

02.09.2005 HipHop meets Grime Showcase @ Komet / Hamburg

C-Flow (Rudel Records) :live HipHop
Cut'n'Lupuz (Rudel Records) :live HipHop

baze.djunkiii (Intrauterin Recordings) : Grime/Dubstep DJ-Set

Komet - Erichstrasse 31 - Hamburg St. Pauli / Germany

Really looking forward to this little bashment as the whole bunch of us will be playing together more often from now on. Two more gigs upcoming in September and further things to be scheduled for 2006... Watch out.

The wonderful world of Felix Kubin

Felix Kubin - known to many as solo-artist, his music for Mariola Brillowska's animated short films as well as for his collaboration project Klangkrieg alongside Tim Buhre focusing on Experimental Music and Noise - comes up with two releases on the 7" label Meeuw Muzak, which seems to be fooling around with their catalogue numbers.

"Felix Kubin feat. Mark Boombastik a.k.a. D Grossmutter - I Hate Art Galleries / Stelle Am Mund" is on Meeuw Muzak 026 while "Felix Kubin - Antarktis Slow Rock / Shakin' Tundra (Explicit Mix)" is on MM009 although they are released shortly. Doesn't matter anyway as both of them made it into my crates for some reason. First mentioned 7" is pressed on red-pink'ish vinyl and a kinda aggressive piece of anti-art as the title's sense suggests anyway. "I Hate Art Galleries" seems to be a live recording done - guess what - in an Amsterdam-based art gallery called Galerie van Gelder. Funny if you think about it and I guess thus artsy geezers have been shocked anyway or even thought of the whole performance as good joke. Is being anti-art fashionable artsy behaviour? Flipside "Stelle Am Mund" is also underlined with aggressive attitude, lo-fi electrobeats with psyched german lyrics banning several (semi-)important actors, artists and things from Kubin's dreams. Crazy fucker...
"Antarktis Slow Rock / Shakin' Tundra (Explicit Mix)" is the complete opposite, nice melancholic easy listening which ain't exactly easy but deep. A deepness like strange film music can provide and somehow the whole thing feels french. Can't tell why, but I had to think of frenchness while listening to this single although I neither have been to France or have an idea what exactly is it that makes things "being french". Weird thoughts - lost a bit of sleep last night and so I'm off for today.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Longplay love v2.0

What a great Rock album. Lungfish, hailing from Baltimore, are coming up with their longplayer "Feral Hymns" on Dischord, which made a big exception from their basic idea to focus only on the Washington D.C. area when it comes to releasing music. So what it is that makes "Feral Hymns" that special to break the concept? Basicly it's proper high quality music which even can convince a pure electronic egghead like me. Operating in its 17th year of existence - sic! - the Lungfish delivers what I'd refer to as Campfire Rock in the most positive of all meanings. There's a very basic instrumentation - drumset, electric/bass guitar and vox -, there's mostly downtempo songs and instrumentals so its proper music to chill out to and there's a melancholic feel throughout the whole album, similar to my mood when sitting near to a campfire at night, talking god, the universe or philosophy... . Nice one. Guess this'll be one of my favorite non-electronic albums in autumn 2005. But wait - looking out of the window and strolling round town these days it already feels like autumn in Hamburg so it's gonna be one of my favs until the end of the year.

Just for trainspotters interest: my last years non-electronic favorite has been Charalambides "Unknown Spin" on Chicago's Kranky-imprint.

But back to the dancefloor again. I mentioned Leipzig's Moon Harbour in my last post a few days ago. They are celebrating their 5th anniversary next month with a compilation named "FIVE - 5 years of Moon Harbour" which will be out as 8 track double vinyl album or 14 track CD. I received a preview-CDr of that forthcoming vinyl version which features Luna City express, Martin Landsky, Gamat 3000, Audio Werner and others delivering sparkling functional MinimalHouse tunes of the highest quality. Pole position for Luna City Express and their tune "Venus"!

Question. Most labels are complaining that vinyl sales are going down these days and I know that shipping vinyl for promotion is expensive. But what's the point in sending out CDr- or mp3-promos to DJ's? In my point of view it doesn't make sense at all, coze if the customers and future customers - it's the kidz I'm talking here - do see DJ's spinning CDr, mp3 or Final Scratch only how can they be convinced to buy vinyl?
There should be an alliance of people that stand up for the traditional physical formats which are vinyl discs and dubplates as they still do run things and - who can deny this? - good sales rates are one of the or even most important parts in the food chain of music industry no matter if deepest underground or major company level, having effect on everyone involved in the scene - producers, DJ's, clubs, promoters, label employees and punters - in one way or another. Anyone up for this? Feel free to get in touch...

I read an interview with a UK-based top Drum'n'Bass-DJ recently which seems to share this point of view and still spends a thousand quid on dubplates per month just to promote the same kind of thought. Forgot about the name but I want to give a shout out to him anyway. Respect for being concerned about what's happening in real life, man.
Don't get me wrong as I'm not trying to front any of those mp3-on-demand systems here as I honestly think that they can add value to a labels cash flow as well, especially when taking care of sold out tunes or delivering music to homelisteners which do not necessarily buy records or even own a set of turntables.
Talking digital distribution here - there are plans to make sold out back-catalogue of my label Intrauterin Recordings available again soon, so watch out for news on that.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Parts in the post, pt. 8

Leipzig-based label Moon Harbour put out their 20th release in mid-july. Responsible for the four-tracker is Daniel Stefanik who put out another two releases alongside Matthias Tanzmann within the last months which gained support from the likes of Laurent Garnier and David Duriez. While the title track "Move Me" - also reworked by Poker Flat's Guido Schneider on the flip - is minimalism as we love it, functional and positive. "Liquid" on A2 is quite deep and groovy, referring to the label's roots in DeepHouse and works best in small, steamy clubs a few minutes before the sun rises again - this is lovers music: slow, hot & sexy. "Deviant Behaviour" on B2 crosses borders between mimalism in House as well as Techno and puzzles brains with endless hypnotic modulations.
Catalogue number 021 on Moon Harbour is to be released on August 24th and comes as second offshoot from the Luna City Express which is the combined force of DJ Phage and Norman Webber. Especially "White Russian" is a massive pumping Housetune with fat handclaps and heavy bass pulses - oldskool style and a gift for those still remembering DJ Enrique's 1995-release "The Talent E.P.". Killer. Two more tracks on the flipside: "City Slickers" as well as "Higher" are keeping things on a more reduced level and can be called a bit of experimental as their dry pumping grooves are accompanied by some funny vox sample experiments. Not recommended for warm-ups but for ecstatic peak time crowds as you need a bit of open-mindedness on the floor to rinse out these tunes.

Another label from Leipzig is Curl Curl Music which has its 3rd release coming out this month: "Opensouls - In Your Hand *Remixes". Four reworks featured on the forthcoming 12" by the likes of Gerd, Zimbala, Inner Eye and Opensouls re-editing their own tune again. The whole E.P. reminds me - soundwise - of King Britt's Sylk 130-project - BrokenHouse meets Phusion and a whole lot of (Philly)Soul. Although there's not many clubs in Germany dedicated to this special kind of sound I'm sure this vinyl will make it to the crates of several music connaisseurs and - of course - deejays as well. Choosing one out of four for a favorite version it is the "Inner Eye Remix" which builds decently and slowly and reveals a jazzy kind of vibe while using nice piano sounds and live improvisation-feel on top. I'm sure DJ's like United Future Organisation will love that one, too.

Jacques Lu Cont a.k.a. Les Rhythmes Digitales' "Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)", originally hailing from 1997, is now revived on Wall Of Sound and hits the clubs again on three different 12"es. Version 1 featuring "Club Mix" and "Switch Remix" was sitting in my P.O. box today - two storming, high energy House tunes which soundwise still refer to Les Rhythmes Digitales BigBeat-roots, fusing them with a bit of Daft Punk-y filter action and funky bass abuse.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Grime r_port vol. 2

Seems like Mark One, one of the most prolific producers these days, has launched his own label recently as his new whitelabel "Devil Man / Plodder" reveals MO 001 as matrix number. Both tracks are dealing serious halftime bizniz - "Devil Man" is really spooky and pathetic due to the use of some weird opera or chorus samples while "Plodder" features a quite hypnotic bassline figure, some oriental sounds, dubby flava and a sample shot like sayin' "Turn the motherfuckin' music off".

A new label established is Slit Jockey Records, regarding to themselves as Stateside Grime and promoting White Label Exclusives as their sticker on the stamped whitelabel says. Their first release is a 7" and I guess that they do come from a more IDM/Breakcore background as their sound reminds me a bit of the Grim Dubs series and DJ Maxximus. The featured artists aren't pure grimeists as well. Dev79 comes up with "From The Get" which is more a slowest Electro tune with distorted grimey bassline. On the flip there's Starkey ft. Zilla of whom I never heard before. Their tune "Less Than Paper" is one for the IDM/Breakcore-posse, shuffled breakbeats are to be found here alongside weird acid bleeps but the whole thing turns into a few seconds of Grime after a violin meets piano-break in the fourth quarter of the tune and then stops. Strangely enough, but finally this might be used as a bridge between faster beats and Grime/Dubstep. Recommended for those who are into the wicked freestyle Breakcore abuse of the likes of Peace Off and such...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Longplay love

Well, being a vinyl addict and record collector for more than ten years there's not much to praise about CD's at all. Although there's a near to four digit number of CD albums/CDM's in my collection these days I'd always prefer vinyl when I purchase music, but receiving loads of promotional stuff from various labels my collection still keeps growing this way which is actually great, coze there's one little benefit that vinyl discs cannot provide. It's nice to work, have a chat on the phone or hang out with friends with a bit of background music and not being bothered to turn around the 12" for another song or dig in the crates for the next record to be played every other minute. Due to this there'll be a new column here, dedicated to the silver 5" format.

Canada's DJ DS-1 of Furious Records-fame has released an official Mix-CD named "Signal To Noise" lately which can be purchased in Germany only at Otaku Records at the moment. A nice album for those who love classic Drum'n'Bass featuring 23 tracks by Concord Dawn, Pendulum, Capone, J Majik plus a whole lot of exclusive or unsigned tunes from DS-1 himself and the Furious Records-stable. BigUp!

If you are a calm geezer enjoying Ibiza sunsets as well as Cafe Del Mar-compilations you are most likely to be into "Terra Del Sol - Selection Three" as well which is to be released on Hamburg's Chillball Music soon. Alberto Hauss, masterminding this project, created a harmonic 70+ minutes journey into the world of Ambient Downbeat & Chillout House which is perfect background and/or bar music. Big strings & pianos everywhere but a selection of nine or ten tracks would have been enough of ambience as there are a few fill-ins to be found which are a bit too cheesy and mellow. But - if you're parents and have a crying baby child just put this on and be sure the your wee offspring is to fade away into the land of dreams quite soon.