Birdy Nam Nam
Hello. Hope you're well.
I haven't done anything of great interest this week, stuck as I am in the sombre cycle of chainsmoking, bacon consumption and desperate pseudo-alcoholism that always precedes my dreaded work deadlines. Still, there must be some news...Oh yeah, Matt Waites of Nightmoves, whose legendary-before-it's-even-been-released remix of The Klaxons will be coming out just as soon as Erol's done a version to go alongside it, sent me the in-progress mix of the Infadels which Nightmoves are doing next, and believe me it makes the Infadels sound waaaaay better than they are. And I got a very kind e-mail from Mr Matthew Styles, the amiable beard who runs Crosstown Rebels with Lazarus. After reading about DFA/EMI's (just about understandable) priggishness on Headphonesex, and my own experience with Wagon Repair, it's nice to see someone from a quality, established label like Crosstown extolling the virtues of a humble blog like ours, and recognizing that we're trying to get their music heard, not stolen. Anyway, I've been planning a HUUUGE tribute to the Rebels' sound for ages now, but I'm going to hold back further - what with my dissertation deadline looming like a Titanic-sinking iceberg on the horizon. Needs must. Anyhow, Styles and Lazarus put out their long-awaited Get Lost mix CD on June 5th. I've heard an advance copy, and it's as smooth and dark as you'd expect. Spread across two CDs, I haven't been feeling the track selection as much as I thought I would; but there's a fair few bangers on there - Rob Mello's 'Give Me', Anaerobic Robots 'Darwin or Lose', Si Begg's 'On Ice' and the fantastically catchy Someone Else remix of Butane's 'Sound of Digidown' are my current favourites. Admittedly, there's nothing to compare with the thrilling rediscovery of 'One of Our Submarines' (Villalobos Remix) on last year's Suck My Deck, but that'd be asking a bit much. I'll muse further on the CD's qualities/shortcomings when I've given it a few more listens; for now, I urge you to get your mitts on the vinyl sampler which hit stores this week. Available from all the usual outlets, the main draw for me is Position Normal's gloriously odd, smacked-out slice of Cockney-balearica (don't listen to me, listen to the tune) 'Jimmy Had Jane', but with three other sterling tracks from Koze, Andy Couzenz and Naum, you can't argue with the value. The opening track on the CD mix is Mlle Carro & Franck Garcia's sumptuous 'Far Away', which'll be finding its way onto Crosstown wax very soon, backed by remixes from Jennifer Cardini (pictured right with Superpitcher matey) and Mathew Jonson (the latter of whom has done a remix of 'Higher States of Consciousness' on Wink's new CD for Ministry. Anyone heard it/got it?). Can't fucking wait. Before that, the mighty Pier Bucci returns with his 'Tita' 12", which, along with a Dandy Jack version, will finally bring Eulberg's unforgiving mix of 'L'Nuit' to the masses. Woah. After a shaky winter season, the Rebels look to be back on track, so keep your eyes and ears open....
On a completely different note, some of you guys have been sending me your demos and productions and so far, they've all been fantastic...Will be posting up what I've received very soon, but let me take the opportunity to say again: If you have made or put out some music that you think we, and the people who read this, will like, send me a YSI/mp3 to firstname.lastname@example.org , or post me a CD/record to:
If I like what I hear, I'll post it and rave about it and rave to it. So get sending.
Softie's New Release Round-Up
Record of the week has to be Morgan Geist's Raremix 12", hot off the Environ press. Every track is solid, with the version of Daniel Wang's '24 to Vector Z' pushing all the right buttons for Soft - boogiedown production of the highest order. But don't pass over the other tracks on there, indeed, the housier mixes of Refection and Cim showcase an uptempo side to Geist that we haven't seen ever since Environ really hit its slo-mo-disco stride. Buy it. Perlon come up trumps with a quadruple LP of sublime, tetchy trackage from the leading lights in their minimal orbit. Steffan Goldman, Villalobos, Luciano, Pantytec, Narcotic Syntax - they're all on patrol. But it's scene darling Matt John who, for me, supplies the best cut on there - a vibrant, Detroit-inflected microhouser called 'Landing'. For 18quid or thereabouts, you can own all the minimalism you will reasonably need for the next month....The Digitalism mauling of The Cure has been whited; like Carnage, I've really lost interest in the Frenchmen's work of late - just too cartoonish for my sensitive palate. Of course, their tunes kill when you're out, but how many lacklustre, bloated re-writings of 'Zdarlight' do we need? I guess their track on the new Kitsune comp is pretty rude, but I'm still not massively impressed...especially when people like Hug are making tracks like 'The Platform'. I've started to ignore everything which John Dahlback does except for his K2 productions - he's made that label his own, really, ever since 'Fluteorgie'. 'The Platform' is just straightforward, immaculately judged narco-house that'll sound divine in the club... Softie favourite Patrick Chardronnet turns up on the A-side of Cosmic Sandwich's Man in a Box Remixes 2 package. To be honest, his trendy trance schtick fails him on this release, and it's the tough, bleepy version by Markese and Cosili on Side B which makes the 12" worth your dollar. Falko Brocksieper is responsible for the new Tuning Spork; and while the A-side sounds to me like bog-standard, swinging minimal fare, the B1 'Point88' is killer, marrying sharp old skool synths to a clicky rhythm track with dancefloor-decimating aplomb. Tip. Trentemoller's work is fast becoming a guilty pleasure for me, which is very odd when I think how menacing, original and incredible 'Polar Shift' and 'Physical Fraction' sounded in '05. His recent Poker Flat EP Nam Nam is exactly that - the sound of 2005 - but stripped of its newness, its originality, its verve. Probably because it's mid-2006. Wake up, Trentemoller (pictured)! The A-side, 'Killer Kat' certainly has its virtues (the twisted riff is pretty irresistible), but really, Anders needs to change the settings on his equipment - it's like listening to Martinez doing Trentemoller doing Martinez doing Trentemoller doing Martinez doing Trentemoller. Anyway, Samim & Jay Haze wheel out their Fuckpony alter egos for a new 12" on Get Physical - quirky as hell, you'll either love 'Ride The Pony' or hate it, but rest assured the rich, rhythmic precision we demand from GP releases is present and correct. 'Schmoozin', hiding coyly on the flip is the one you really want - fidgety minimalism with a warm build that spills U-N-L-I-K-E-L-Y A-N-T-H-E-M. The Lindstrom mix of Franz Ferdinand is actually really good, if you can stand the increasingly nauseating sound of Alex Kapranos at his remorselessly campest. Another chooka-chooka Norse disco jam that recalls HP's version of 'Tribulations'. Speaking of which, have you come across this LCD Soundsystem Def Beat Remixes 2x12"? Sounds as illegal as fuck, but the reactionary in me kind of welcomes a bit of piracy directed their way after the unsympathetic blog-chastising their (or EMI's) people have been carrying out. Anyway, on this package you get that mix of Le Tigre, and an 'unreleased extended disco dub' of 'Beat Connection' (i.e., the one on the DFA comp CD (?)) and, more intriguingly - what purports to be an LCD Soundsystem remix of The Rapture's 'I Need Your Love', 'Endorfun' and a dub of 'On Repeat'. I've not bought this release yet, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the track names or the quality of the music therein, so if you can enlighten me please leave a comment. The one that's going to be getting a lot of punters hot-under-the-collar this week is the long-awaited, irritatingly spelled collaboration between Erol Alkan and Riton (pictured), 'Squauque Eyes' - after the plaintive, exotic punk-funk of Erol's blinding Hot Chip mix, this track sounds a tad unsubtle - one of the less remarkable kind of beefy, glammed up electro-housers that he and Henry destroy Bugged Out! routinely with. Still, I need to hear it out before I cast judgement. What really makes the 12" worth putting in your basket is Riton's re-rub of 'Angerman' - a proper cut of clattering, druggy, punky-funky house that'll have your dancefloor in pieces. The 'fidget-house' revolution continues in earnest with the Speaker Junk EP from Trevor Loveys & Joshua Harvey. I've really liked Loveys' previous releases on Freerange/Frontroom, and after initial distaste I've really come round to that whole Dubsided school, but the lead track on here just sounds to me like a fidget too far. The sudden shifts, contorted vocal samples and sub frequencies will, I grant you, sound tasty out; but really just seem to disguise the flagrant lack of ideas at the heart of the record. It'll still sell loads of copies, though, so what you can say? The Juan Maclean is back with another single off Less Than Human; the original sounds a bit limpid and insignificant to Softie's ears, but it scarcely matters 'cos the A-side is a superb organic disco workover from TAPE-readers and Tiny Sticks proprietors Mock & Toof. Boom. Speaking of which, M&T deliver a pitched-down, almost breaksy (gasp!) version of Wekan's 'Skid' on the latest Back Yard 12". Originally released twice on Tiny Sticks last year - first with a version by Style of Eye, then on a remix pack boasting reworks from Tigerskin, Kango's Stein Massiv and an absolutely banging, if somewhat moronic, electro-house remix from former Wiseguy Touche, it's the latter that leads off this canny re-licensing. Watch out for the next slice of Tiny Sticks 12" freshness, Dondolo's 'Dragon', which will be dropping soon and comes with a tasteful disco-funk edit from Brennan Green and a STORMING, epic re-moulding from DFA's Shit Robot.
Wekan - Skid (Touche Nu-Club Edit) // Back Yard
Gabriel Ananda's 'Ihre Personliche Glucksmelodie' touches down in remixed form this week, with a passable house-ification from Freeform Five and a slow-burning, widescreen trancer from the peerless Dominik Eulberg - the description of the latter on Phonica sounds as if it's been translated badly from German - "He builds his remix around explicit pieces and melodies, shoots his tunes through different filters, surprises us with an up-and-down dramaturgy and finally presents his showdown in a pink-dabber-trancemovie-style!!!" but gives you an idea how much is going on with the track. Alas, there's no room on this 12" for Ananda's robust, unbeatable original, but let's not carp....
Gabriel Ananda - Ihre Personliche Glucksmelodie (Dominik Eulberg Remix) // Karmarouge
The 'real' house revival continues apace with Future Vision's re-issue of Ron Trent's 'Love to the World' - not sure if I'd play it out, but undoubtedly worth having. Telegraph have repressed the classic Post Office EP from 2004 - it's not that old, I grant you, but the producers on board have since developed fanbases far larger than they were back then. Akufen provides some of his typical tackle, twitching and hovering between irritation and the sublime; Luciano & Serafin's 'Yaki Soba' finally gets the airing it deserves; Villalobos is on respectable but not wildly inspirational, glitchy 4x4 form but for me it's Daniel Bell's deep, self-explanatory 'Rhodes 2' that justifies the price tag. If you've got cash to spare, you could do a lot worse than to invest in the Rekid LP, Made in Menorca - sludgy, dissolute disco-dub to soundtrack domestic narcosis. And really rather good.
Rekid - Lost Star6 // Soul Jazz