07 April 2010

Democracy pres. Redshape

Friday 23rd April 2010 @ Geisha

The man with the mask performs live. Support from Andrew Utting, Kid Deep and myself. Doors open 10pm.

There is a backlog.

I'll get around to it one day.

18 August 2009

Astrobotnia - Part 01 / Part 03 [Rephlex]

One thing I know is that Aleksi Perälä likes ring modulators, and so he should! These have got to be two of my favourite electronic music releases and I think part of what makes these so special to me is how I relate my personal experiences and memories to the music. There is also Part 02 on 12" which I am currently trying to track down but first I will explain how I discovered the CDs in the first place.

In 2003 I was in my final year of high school and participated in a music tour to the UK. Around that time I was pretty into AFX so naturally I had become aware of Rephlex. I seem to remember downloading the Astrobotnia sampler from their website. There had been some hype about it at the time but it blew me away regardless and I was left wanting more. The concept of ordering it online hadn't even occurred to me at that stage and there was little chance of finding it in a record store in Perth. So there we all were in Bath, England with an hour or so at our disposal to do as we wish. Passing through a small alley I entered a store that caught my eye (I'm fairly certain it was Drop Records) and much to my delight I walked out with Astrobotnia's Part 01 & Part 03, Aphex Twin's Drukqs and a big smile on my face. I was thoroughly enthused!

I hate to quote the sticker on the front like everybody else but this music really is "an electric brain-dance fantasy; intimate, mystical and futuristic. Don't leave Earth without it." Lightworks is an amazing, ambient opener that perfectly sets the mood for what is to come, and that is LUSH synths, processed field recordings, deep bass tones and an array of retro drum-machine sounds and breakbeats programmed both mildly and wildly, mostly the latter. Hallo and Everyone follow on nicely, introducing more complex drum work and menacing character. Most of the tracks share common elements but each has a distinct atmosphere and feels complete in it's composition. Engaging listening.

Part 03 is my favourite of the two and overall has more edge to it. It is also a bit more complex, with tracks like Drops and Bifidus boasting masterfully executed displays of metric modulation. B and Esther Calling Jennifer are probably my favourite tracks of the whole series, balancing delicately between highly musical and abstract passages all the while developing over a solid groove foundation (not in a traditional dancefloor sense of course but you would catch me losing my shit if I heard it in a club).

What else is there to say? I highly recommend at least giving these a listen if you haven't before. Probably not for everyone, falling squarely into the "IDM" realm, but if you're into any sort of experimental electronic music I suggest you give it a go :)

17 August 2009

Minimal X-Posure feat. The Streamcrossers (Live)

Saturday 29th August 2009 @ The Velvet Lounge

Itinerant Records showcase / techno night featuring The Streamcrossers (Live), Andrew Utting, Essex, Flaunt, Bokchoy. Free entry, doors open at 8pm.

Loco Dice - Pimp Jackson Is Talkin' Now!!! [Desolat]

Pimp Jackson Is Talkin' Now!!! Love it. Ok, so normally I tend to gravitate towards the chin-stroking end of the spectrum but this record never ceases to put a smile on my face. Although the groove is super tight there's nothing groundbreaking about the pattern or production itself. However, the vocal ramblings of 'Pimp Jackson' are what brings the track to life.

"Yo, yo, keep it goin' bro!" "What you mean keep it goin'? That's some weird-ass shit!" And there you are in a session with Loco Dice and his mates. You can tell by the way he's talking that there was a lot more going on in the studio (i.e. the "weird-ass shit") that only appears sparingly in the final cut. The vocal recording is lo-fi but has been worked into the mix really well sitting alongside gritty percussion and a slidy, quasi- (non resonant) 303 bassline. There's an instrumental mix and acapella on the B-side which are handy extras but the it's the original for me. Basically, if you can't pretend to hear what Pimp Jackson is hearing the way he's hearing it you're missing the point.

12 August 2009

Mark Henning - Jupiter Jive [Soma]

Last year I reviewed this release for the RTR fm website. I've been meaning to do some more for them but haven't got around to it. Anyway, one purpose of this blog is to provide some perspective on the artists & releases I'm into so I may as well start with this. It's rather "review-y" but I hope to make future efforts a bit more casual.

Over the last few years Mark Henning has made a name for himself with a string of releases on quality labels such as Fruede Am Tanzen, Einmaleins, Cynosure and now Glasgow’s Soma Recordings. Henning’s sound fuses elements of Techno and House – his productions offer a clever slice of funk and drive while maintaining a relatively stripped-back arrangement and his debut LP Jupiter Jive is no exception.

Almaha913 sets the scene with a quirky, haunting vibe one might expect from Microhouse legend Akufen. Its vocal snippets, scratchy percussion and dark synths are all recurring themes throughout. Henning delves deeper into the twisted mood and it doesn’t take long before it’s really on! Moody Bastard delivers some intense moments with its menacing synths and crisp drums while Chav Land and Stash sound like they’re trapped inside an arcade game gone wrong, which can only be a good thing. Jupiter Jive is not all pure evil though; tracks like Frau Daudle and All Star Geek provide momentary relief with their more optimistic character.

If Jupiter Jive lacks anything, it’s stylistic variety, but even Henning himself has stated that it’s not a concept album. What we have here is an excellent collection of well produced, dance-floor oriented tracks that still pack a punch for home listeners.

Blog starts... now.

I'm taking control of the drum machine.