Sunday, February 26, 2006

03.03.2006 - 13 Years Of Jungle @ Kulturfabrik / Mühlhausen


DJ Da Cut [Rudel Records]
baze.djunkiii [Intrauterin Recordings / Rudel Records]

London, 1993. In der florierenden Rave- und Breakbeatszene entwickelt sich ein neuer, aufregender Sound - die Breakbeats werden komplexer, die Bässe tiefer und immer öfter vernimmt man den Sound von Ragga-/Dancehall-Samples in neuen Produktionen, die zumeist nur als Whitelabel und in kleinen Auflagen kursieren.

Ein Jahr später - 1994: UK Apache & Shy FX landen mit "Original Nuttah" nicht nur in England einen veritablen Hit und binnen kürzester Zeit ist der neue Sound nicht nur in aller Munde, sondern auch überall präsent - die Medien berichten auch in Deutschland über das neue Ding, die Londoner Piratensender senden 24 Stunden am Stück. Sie nennen es JUNGLE, angelehnt an die MC-Phrase vom "Original Jungle Tekno" die nur Monate zuvor die Fusion von Tekno mit hochgepitchten Breakbeats bezeichnete.

Kurz darauf beginnt mit der einsetzenden JumpUp- und Darkside-Welle eine Phase der Transformation. Jungle entwickelt sich weiter und wird zu Drum'n'Bass, einem Style, der in den Folgejahren die Tanzflächen London's dominieren soll, dessen Kunde sich schnell hinaus in die ganze Welt trägt und sich zu einem globalen Virus ausbreitet.

13 Jahre später - 2006: Der Underground brodelt wieder. Parallel zum rasant wachsenden Drum'n'Bass-Movement entwickelte sich in den letzten Jahre eine neue Szene, die sich den alten Werten des Jungle verpflichtet fühlt und diese auf ein neues, zeitgemässes Level hebt. Labels wie Mashit, Chopstick Dubplate, Bananas Crew, Big Kat, NPK / Infrabass, Rewind Records etc. erfahren internationale Wahrnehmung mit ihrer Neuinterpretation des Original Jungle Sound, legendäre Produzenten wie Bizzy B veröffentlichen nach Jahren der Abstinenz neue Produktionen und mit Genres wie RaggaCore und DarkJungle entwickeln sich immer neue, spannende Subgenres innerhalb des Jungle.

In dieser Nacht treten die beiden Hamburger DJ's Da Cut & baze.djunkiii an, eine Reise durch das gesamte Spektrum des Jungle zu leiten - angefangen von raren, klassischen Produktionen der Anfangstage bis hin zu hochaktuellen 12"es von den Jungle-Heroen der Neuzeit und - dem Geist des Genres entsprechend - unveröffentlichten Dubplates.

DJ Da Cut [Rudel Records]:

Seit 1991 unter verschiedenen Künstlernamen aktiv (DJ Da Cut, Donna Maya, Teil der Projekte: patinnen teil II, Cut'n'Lupuz...) wurde Maya Consuelo Sternel Mitte der Neunziger mit Jungle/Drum'n'Bass konfrontiert, bezog diesen Style unmittelbar in ihre DJ-Sets ein und bespielte in den folgenden Jahren unzählige Events, Locations und Venues - unter anderem das Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Pinakothek der Moderne / München, Transmediale / Berlin etc .
In 2005 gründete DJ Da Cut zusammen mit MC Lupuz das Label Rudel Records, da sich sowohl mit HipHop- als auch mit Jungle/Drum'n'Bass-lastigen Sounds identifiziert und aus dieser Kombination immer wieder Neues schafft.

baze.djunkiii [Intrauterin Recordings]:

Schon in jungen Jahren - 1986 - mit dem Virus der elektronischen Tanzmusik infiziert, erreichte das Junglefieber baze.djunkiii Anfang Jahr 1994 vermittels zweier verrauschter Tapes mit Radiomitschnitten von Jungle-Shows auf Piratensendern, die in jenem Jahr auf Dauerrotation in seinem Ghettoblaster gingen. Fasziniert von der Energie des neuen Sounds, machte er sich direkt auf der Suche nach damals noch rarem Jungle-Vinyl und begann in 1996, in den heimischen vier Wänden selbst aufzulegen. In den folgenden zehn Jahren spielte er in Clubs und auf Events in ganz Deutschland (Fuckparade/Berlin, Pathos Theater/München, MS Connexion/Mannheim, Fusion Festival / Müritz...), gründete das Label Intrauterin Recordings und veröffentlichte auf dem Sublabel Intrauterin Recordings diverse Jungle/Drum'n'Bass-Mixtapes - zuletzt zusammen mit der Ex-New Yorkerin DJ Ripley, die wohl zu den umtriebigsten Jungle/RaggaJungle DJanes der USA zählt.

Kulturfabrik Mühlhausen
Ledernes Käppchen 1
99974 Mühlhausen

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Elettronica Romana...

... is a label based in Italy associated with Rome's infamous Remix recordstore. Five releases under its belt yet and the sixth one to come soon which is actually 002 the label deals with all kinds of deep MinimalTechno without focusing on pure dancefloor functionality so there's enough space for a bit of listening stuff and/or so-called Intelligent Techno on most of the imprints releases.

Giorgio Gigli's "Geometrik Forms E.P.", which is the belated ER002, is scheduled for february 27th and provides two nice tracks perfectly working for a early hours set as both of them are long hypnotizing trips based on a minimal but slightly trancey athmosphere and deep, kinda proggy grooves. If you're into what happens on labels like Worldless Records or Frozen North Recordings these days you're about to like this 12" as well.

February 6th saw the release of Diego Capri & Andrea Gentile's 5-track E.P. "Minimal Configuration" as ER006, crossing borders between deep IntelligentTechno, excellent slow grungy Minimalism and pumping stripped-down-to-the-bone tracks for primetime dancefloor abuse. Recommended to advanced DJ's as well as for homelisteners addicted to cool technoid sounds.

Modern Heads "Pathology E.P." is ER005 which has been released earlier this year. "Treatment 1" on the A-side is re-treated by Donato Dozzy delivering an absolutely thrilling IntelligentTechno workout inna 1994 style - all of you headz regarding Richie Hawtin & John Acquaviva's "X-Mix-3 - Enter: Digital Reality!" as one of the most important compilations ever released will know what I'm talking about. "Treatment 2" is to be found on the flipside: 5 minutes and 46 seconds of sparkling MinimalTechno that'll set dancefloors on fire.

ER004 is Maurizio Cascella & Joe Casagrande's double-A-sided 12" "Ra-Moon-Koom" which features the tracks "Fujiko" and "Rex". While "Fujiko" explores spaced-out Electro meets Ambient Listening-structures and is to be loved by all ChillOut-area DJ's that have been around since the first heyday of non-dancefloor focused Experimental Electronica [talking mid 90's here], "Rex" is a pumping mover for advanced dancefloors including a few trippy, kinda acidic ingredients and a warm dubby bassline. Nice one.

Once again big up to Sandro @ Remix for sending out those 12"es... thx, m8.

Grime r_port vol. 8

Storming Productions have been putting out their sixth 12" a while ago, which is DJ Narrows' "Kik-Daan-Ya-Door" - a dark toolish 4Beat / SpeedGarage tune which has been featured on Destructive's CD "Back To The Underground mixed by Search + Destroy and Quiet Storm" recently. This one - as well as the bassheavy Grime remix provided by Dubchild to be found on B2 - is recommended to all those being into dark instrumental cuts, while "Hardcore (Take Me Higher)" fuses Oldskool Breakbeats, ravey stabs and samples with thrilling 4-2-Floor-beats. A perfect tool for Oldskool-headz to mix into Jens' legendary "Loops & Tings" released on Superstition back in 1993.

Ruff Sqwad's "Cuckoo" has been released earlier this year, but is still a damn good tune - watch out for a whitelabel matrixed DIRT002. Main tune is featured as vocal cut plus instrumental, including some really weird bird sounds and, once again, excellent dangerzone stakkato-string arrangements. No doubt that this is nothing but straight street music. On the flip there's another pathetic, string-loaded Halfstep riddim plus a second one coming up with barking dog samples and a beat structure similar to Dexplicit's StakkatoGrime stylee.

Skull Disco are back with their second release and it's the future! While Shackleton provides another uber-cool RitualGrime/MythStep workout named "Majestic Visions" featuring his trademark loose hypnotizing, voodoo-driven beats, growling sounds, huge basslines and dubby accordion-hook, Applebim explores a sci-fi fusion of Dubstep and Elektro/Electronica with two tracks - "Cheat I" and "Girder". Yes, this music is far out stuff and maybe a bit too far out for contemporary dancefloors but due to this Skull Disco is one of the most upfront and groundbreaking Dubstep-related imprints of today. Big Up!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Straight from the Ghetto - News on HipHop, pt. 10

March 31st sees the release of the new Pussycat Dolls' 12" named "Beep" on AM Records. While the LP Version is a proper Pop meets R'n'B-track which will be airplayed by commercial radio stations for sure all jocks should check the instrumental featured on the flipside as the beats are quite fast and the string breaks are top notch. Will move dancefloors for sure.

Busta Rhymes is about to be back with a remix-12" of his massive tune "Touch It" to be released on Interscope soon. Three new versions to be found here with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Rah Diggah & Missy Elliott flexing on the first cut, Lloyd Bank & Tapoose on the second while DMX rocks the mic solo on version number three. All of them spitting on the same riddim used on the first 12" which seems to be disappointing for some at first, but as Swizz Beats delivered a next level piece of beat-art here it's ok not to change them. Check this one.

"Babygirl" is the first single taken from Raggabund's album "Erste Welt" on Artist First. Apart from Radio Edit and Instrumental there's three other remixes featured here, one of them provided by Hamburg's infamous Silly Walks Soundsystem.

LL Cool J teams up with Jennifer "Jenny From The Block" Lopez for his new single on DefJam named "Control Myself". Imitating the Rap flow of the classic "Funky Cold Medina" over a booming 808-driven beat which features some quite familiar filtered Electro-/Breakdance-hook samplewise this will be appreciated by many, but the real b-boys will prefer the instrumental on the flip for sure as this is the one to pop your body or do the robot to. Oldskool flava!

Another great 12" on DefJam Recordings is Rihanna 's upcoming "S.O.S" which is to be released on March 24th but put on promo circuit this week. DigiSoul-influences meet pumping 4/4-flavored beats meet bassline & hookline of Soft Cell's uber-hit "Tainted Love". Love it or leave it, but this is to be a sureshot and no-one is to doubt that.

20.02.2006 Montags: Permafrost @ Komet / Hamburg

turntables: baze.djunkiii (Intrauterin Recordings / Rudel Records)

file under: Electronica, Experimental Electronics, Downbeat, Mutant HipHop

Erichstrasse 31
Hamburg St. Pauli

Monday, February 13, 2006

Longplay love 14.0

Well, even if you're used to get promos on a regular basis opening your daily parcels can be surprising or even puzzling. This has been the case with the latest - 015 - release of Sascha Müller's own imprint Pharmacom Records. I know Sascha for quite a long time now as he's been one of the first artists sending me tracks for my own label and I know that he's into a wide range of musical styles, but his "Hot Jazz Compilation" as it is named paying respect to Lounge, Jazz-influences and Bossa is something I'd never expected to be released on Pharmacom as the label's been dedicated to more "electronic" music and not to what might be called a mixture of nice Lounge- and Easy Listening-tunes. Expect ten tracks and a running time of about 43 minutes here provided by artists like Hiroshi Yamaoka, Memphis Belle Crew, Die Stereo-Typen, Superstar JC and others... Btw - "Hot Jazz Compilation" is limited to 100 copies only.

Munich-based project Raggabund have scheduled their first album "Erste Welt" on Artist First Music for April 2006. As the name suggests they fuse influences from Reggae / Ragga / Dancehall / Reggaeton with German [sic!] lyrics, which - at least in approximately 50% of the tunes - spread a kind of conscious / political message, and put a bit of mainstream appeal into this mixture. Maybe diehard grown-up fans of original Reggae-/Dancehall-culture won't dig this as most of them prefer them lyrics in patois, but for a younger audience this might be interesting as most of them kids just don't understand what jamaican or UK-based artists are talking about, which messages are spread in Reggae/Dancehall in general and which issues are dealt with. This album should be regarded as an attempt to introduce all this to at least a part of the younger german audience interested in Reggae/Dancehall and might as well introduce this kind of music to a wider audience.

"Wenn ich nicht hier bin, bin ich auf'm Sonnendeck" has been the main message of Peter Licht's first smash hit a few years ago which meant something like "When I'm not in this place, I'm taking a sunbath...". But instead of sunbathing Peter Licht has been locked down in the studio throughout the last months and seems to have a new 13 track album scheduled on Motor Music in the near future which now appeared in my postbox a few days ago without any additional information on release date or album/track titles. Once again Mr. Licht sticks to innocent Singer/Songwriter-Pop musicwise and naive lyrics with a kind of dada-istic flavor. Best quote to be taken off the whole album: „Denn wer saufen kann, kann auch ausschlafen und den Tag in die Matratze drücken bis ihm das Kissen an der Backe klebt.“ [~ "The one who's able to drink all night is also able to sleep until he's sober and press the day into his mattress until the pillow sticks to his cheek". Love it or leave it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Parts in the post, pt. 27

Austria-based label Hirntrust Grind Media just released its second 7", a split-release of 1Bomb1Target and Hard-Off. While 1Bomb1Target's track clearly focuses on grinding, de-structurized Harsh/HateNoize it is Hard-Off's part to work dancefloor crowds with a funny cutup of various Gabba/Hardcore- and Pop-tunes. If you're into early works of the likes of Jason Forrest/Donna Summer or Knifehandchop you gonna dig this one, too. Make sure you ask yr local dealer about this soon as this 7" is limited to 290 copies worldwide.

Tilt Recordings, which are based in Germany's Drum'n'Bass-capital Mannheim, are coming up with their third release these days, a double-A-sided 12" straight out of the studio of the producer team amex/Kaiza. Both tunes are recommended for those being into the dark side of technoid Drum'n'Bass - "Shrinz" on side A is a heavy specialists tune with its monotonous bassline, non-standard grooves and offbeat snare while "Next Level Nature" is dedicated to fast straightforward beats, threatening Industrial-flavored sci-fi stabs and evil, thrilling basslines that perfectly fit in a context of year 2k releases on labels like Biotic, Coup De Main or XXX without being dated at all.

Greek producer Mud Max, whom I met in Athens a few days ago, has been responsible for the first release on Balkon recently. His "Dog Bite E.P." containing his minimal primetime-bouncer "Dog Bite" - the one to check out first if yr local dealer stocks this 12" - plus two remixes by Novox and Popnebo, which provide proper tools for the late night hours when everyone on the floor is longing for hypnotic and tripped-out music. Especially Novox wins here as he adds a nice Breakdance/Electro-breakdown to his "Bitten RMX".

Mud Max has also released his "Hunger E.P." on german label Ware not too long ago. Rumors say that this one has been sold out within weeks, but will be repressed soon. Three tracks to be found here, all of them quite deep, trippy and not to far away from what has been called Intelligent Techno back in the days. "r2deat2" on B2 is my personal fav here due to its weird bleepy sounds which fit well alongside the legendary Mike Inc. remixes of Andreas Dorau's classic "Telefon".

Sunday, February 05, 2006

5 Questions To Covenant

As most of you reading this website on regular basis will already know that Covenant's new album "Skyshaper", which has been reviewed in this space a few weeks ago, is to be released in about four weeks. Due to this I contacted Joakim Montelius, who is one part of the trio, via email for a little interview... As my musical background is not exactly based in EBM / Wave / Industrial I discovered Covenant in 2002 due to the remix work of Ellen Allien on your track "Bullet". What was your reason to choose her as remixer and did you get response from the Techno / House-scene on that remix which was also featured on her remix collection?

Covenant: Our music is influenced from all forms of music, but looking back there were 3 distinct steps of evolution that led to the formation of Covenant: we first discovered electronic music with Kraftwerk, The Human League and the first synth pop/New Romantic wave; then we took our first steps influenced by EBM such as DAF, Portion Control, Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb; and when the underground rave culture reached Sweden around 1989-90 we found the third important ingredient. Since then we have always kept a keen ear on the latest developments in the dance scene. Even if it can be said to have slowed down lately, underground dance music has undergone amazingly diverse and rapid changes for almost 20 years, always coming up with new and fascinating ideas. No other music scene that I know of has managed to keep such a pace of evolution. If you listen to our debut album from 1994 (Dreams of a Cryotank) you will clearly hear the Gabber influences that we mixed with dark EBM. Since then we have incorporated elements of contemporary dance music in various degrees on all of our albums.
When we recorded „Northern Light“, the album where „Bullet“ came from, we were partly influenced by Ellen Allien’s „Stadtkind“ album. So we proposed our label to ask her for a remix which she was kind enough to agree to do. Listening closely to your album the track "20 Hz" caught my attention for the use of shuffled beats which were quite popular in german Techno - especially provided by a label named Kompakt - a while ago and some tones reminding me of my early rave days. Are you influenced by the Techno/Dance-scene in any way and do you see a potential of a crossover success of your music in these days where acts like Terrence Fixmer and Douglas MacCarthy - which you have actually remixed - do impact as well in two scenes which seem to be fairly seperated from each other although they have the same roots?

Covenant: I got the Kompakt compilation „Shaffelfieber“ around 2001 and I really enjoyed what was then a very fresh take on dance music. We had just finished „Northern Light“ and I immediately started making shuffled beats. What you hear in „20 Hz“ is one of those early loops. Speaking of Fixmer/McCarthy we made a shuffled mix for their 12“ „Freefall“ in 2004. We pick what we like from all areas of electronic music, throw it all in our Covenantifier and end up with a unique mixture of most everything. And we are not alone in doing this. Terence Fixmer, Andreas Kremer, Thomas P Heckmann, Sven Väth, DJ Hell and whole host of others do the same but from the opposite perspective. The mix of EBM and techno is a growing trend, they even call it „TBM“ these days. A lot of artists from „our“ scene do it too. There is definitely common ground here, where something new and interesting can grow.
But we try to stay clear of letting ourselves get pigeon-holed in a trend. We had ideas of going more electroclash when we started writing songs for „Northern Light“ in 2001, but we realized that it would be suicide to jump on a train like that and used that sound only as a minor influence for some of the songs. We don’t make dance music per se, or EBM or darkwave for that matter. We make pop music with a certain darkness and strong elements of past and present dance culture. That way we hope to make music that survives current trends and have more longevity. What's the story behind "Happy Man"? The track, which is my personal favorite btw, seems to be kind of two-faced as the lyrics and strings are filled with melancholia and sadness while those 8bit bleeps are, well, not exactly positive but funny at last. This is kinda tricky as the track triggers opposite emotions at the same time and causes a kind of puzzling feel.

Covenant: That’s the idea. People are often filled with conflicting emotions. And sometimes we wear an aura or mask of being content towards the outside world even if we are on the verge of despair on the inside. So the contrast is quite deliberate and it’s meant to be puzzling. To each of you - what's your personal fav taken out of the albums tracklist and why?

Covenant: Unfortunately the others are busy preparing the tech stuff for the tour, but I’m sure they’ll agree with me when I say that we don’t have favourites. We don’t release anything that we don’t like. The reason for the variety of the music we make is that we want an album to suit several moods. We try to make a soundtrack for life and to do that you have to make songs in different styles. The result will hopefully be an album where you can pick your current favourite according to how you feel at the moment. Talking piracy - I've been quite surprised to find the vocal announcement "This is a promotional copy..." on each and every track of the album. Is this your or the labels decision and did you ever experience problems with people ripping upfront copies to mp3-formats and spreading them via p2p-platforms? According to this - do you regard promotional copies as a risk and do you ever have considered other ways of promotion like exclusive listening sessions or similar?

Covenant: We did exclusive listening sessions for our last album „Northern Light“ but who can possibly get all the nuances of a full album in one or two listens? Naturally we don’t want our work to get spread before the actual release. If we wanted that we’d post it for free download on our website. But we believe in the idea of getting a new record, unwrap it, take out the booklet and look at it while you walk over to the CD-player, put the record in, pour a cup of tea or a glass of wine, shut off your telephone, press play and get that amazing experience that only a great album can give. Read the lyrics, think about what they mean, replay that break part with the weird sounds, get into the groove, fly away to another world. Some music is best at a club, with friends and loud volume and some music is best in your sofa or in your bed. We try to do all of that. And to get it all we think it’s best to have the whole package that we’ve produced.
A download is only a part of the experience. That’s why we try to keep people from downloading our work before the „real“ thing has been made available as an alternative. And to be honest, promo copies are the only way for unreleased albums to spread like wildfire over p2p’s and torrent sites, It only takes one, you know. That’s why the nagging voice is there, even if we tried hard to make it as unobtrusive as we could. Thanks for the interview...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Parts in the post, pt. 26

Sascha Müller's "Back For Good E.P." is out now as 011 of Supersix Records. Expect three excellent pieces of deep thrilling Techno paying respect to times when there was plenty of space for experiments in straight 4/4 dancefloor music. Call me a nostalgic geezer but I do miss that in most of contemporary Techno. "The Interaction", which is the first of three tracks included on this CD, would well fit in the mix with Modesty's "Mind Fly" originally released back in the days on the legendary freestyle imprint XXC3.

Bremen-based label Northbeatz Audio has scheduled feb. 15th as in-store date for their fifth release which is Plan-E vs. Sharky-X' "Tabasco E.P.". Each artist delivers two tracks here, all four of them are uncompromising and functional HardTechno-tools for primetime abuse. Not recommended for weak-heartened persons that don't like to bang their foreheads against concrete walls.

Malente pres. ManroX "Theme from ManroX" 12" will be the fourth release on Azzido Da Bass' own imprint Luscious Sounds. Scheduled for feb. 22nd this is first release of a signed artist on Azzido's label which once again keeps dancefloors in a busy mode. Main title "Them From ManroX" is a nice tool featuring oldskoolish C64-sounds - cool for people that have been raised alongside bleeping SID chips but not the best track on this 12". B1 "Aargh!" is pretty pumping and a hypnotizing work of art due to the big monotonous bassline responsible for a proper "Abfahrt!" as party people like to call it in german while B2 "Dizko Sh*t" causes hysteria on the floor with the main vox sample "This is grade A 100% pure columbian cocaine - Disco Shit!" alongside sparkling minimalism and a quirky bassline ride. Quality.