In The Box - January
Cheers Matt, Mark, and everyone who came down and made it such a wicked night, and we'll be back in on Friday 21st March with Bass Clef (Blank Tapes) and Peverelist (Punch Drunk). They'll both be rocking more varied sets than their usual dubsteppin' fare, so we hope to see some of you down for that one!
Anyway, it's reaching the end of the month so it's time to pull out another list of stuff that have been keeping me from jumping off the suspension bridge this January.
In the Box - January '08
1) Bjorn Torske - Feil Knapp LP // Smalltown Supersound
Words can't describe just how brilliant this album from Norse elder statesman Bjorn Torske is. Jumping from chuggy electronic disco, 8-bit dub reggae, smooth house grooves and sparse tribal techno with aplomb, Bjorn's whipped up a journey that'll warm the cockles of many a music lover once they expose themselves to its multi-faceted charms. Sublime stuff.
Bjorn Torske - Feil Knapp LP // Smalltown Supersound
2) Omar S - Psychotic Photosynthesis // FXHE
I first heard this on the mix that ISM's Pipecock did for us (which is absolutely cracking by the way - scroll down to get your fill) and was entranced by its delicate see-sawing melody and hypnotic groove. I'm sure that I'm one of many that are looking forward to see what Mr Smith has up his sleeve for later in the year after this quality slab of wax.
Omar S - Psychotic Photosynthesis // FXHE
3) Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity LP // Ostgut Ton
I'm sure that you've been told how good this album is quite a bit already, but it really is a great body of work. Sure, the production is clinical and there's some fantastic grooves all the way through, but what really shines out is the quality of the songs and the flow of the album. Both Elif Bicer and Prosumer's vocals are slick and emotive in all the right places, and it's clear that they've taken a lot of time over the track arrangements even though they seem so simplistic on first listens. Buy the double LP for playing out, but don't turn your nose up at the CD version as that's definitely the most satisfying way to enjoy this cracking collection of tracks. It's a shame that they didn't stick with the original cover (pictured above), to be honest.
Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity LP // Ostgut Ton
4) D1 - I'm Loving // Tempa
I was round Puffin's gaff when he pulled out the new Tempa 12, and was pleasantly surprised to hear this upbeat soulful cut from D1 oozing sexually from the speakers. Based around a sample of Ron Hall & The MuthaFunkaz cut 'The Way You Love Me' (never heard of it - not surprising seeing as it originally came out on Defected), 'I'm Loving' is packed with swelling melodies, perfect percussion, and great hooks. Balearic dubstep, anyone? Anyway, this is sure to be a big summer anthem with more open minded DJs, and to be honest I could see it becoming a big radio hit if it's picked up on by a major and re-released in a few months time. 'Instep' on the flip is a little bit wobbly-skank by numbers for my liking, but 'Speed' fares much better with its distorting clinks and hauntingly bouncy bass. The synth stabs sound a little unrefined, but that's a minor quibble. Tip.
D1 - I'm Loving EP // Tempa
5) Mark E & Dragon - Good Times // Internajonal
Mark kindly sorted us a copy of his forthcoming release on Prins Thomas' Internajonal imprint, and it's an absolute beauty - think Ibizan sunsets on a heroin drip, and you're nearly there. Sparse heavy kicks and bubbling synths make way for a killer bassline, before the gorgeously woozy melody takes over and blisses things right out. Bonus points for Dragon's vocal lifted straight from Chic's anthem of the same name. Prins gives the track a more percussive arrangement that should work well in warm up sets, and I think you know exactly what Quiet Village are going to bring to the table. Upping the horse factor by ten, this is slo-mo hypno-house at its finest. Verdict? Well balearic.
6) Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt // Freund Der Familie
According the Discogs, the original on this record is from back in '98, which seems surprising since it sounds incredibly relevant to the recent melding of dubstep and techno ideals. 'Konig Der Welt' is a heavily tonal steppin' dub techno track with light percussion and the occasional bass purge, and is sure to find a happy home in the collections of Basic Channel and Modern Love fans. On the flipside, Sven Weisemann contributes a remix that's similar both in style and quality to his recent works on Mojuba and Meanwhile. Get it before you've got to pay about £40 to get hold of one.
Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt // Freund Der Familie
Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt (Sven's dWorld Mix) // Freund Der Familie
7) Tony Lionni - Better Change // Mule Electronic
Solid three tracker from Madrid based Liverpudlian Lionni who looks set for big things in '08. He's got forthcoming bits on Versatile and Wavetec (which I've unfortunately not heard yet) as well as this EP that's coming out on Mule in March. A-side 'Better Change' is a gorgeous dubby piano houser that unfolds slowly across its ten minute duration, while the b-sides explore Tony's techier side. Eerie synths swell and surge away on 'The Presence', while 'Raices' takes Basic Channel-esque stabs and marries them to a crisp bouncing bassline. Tony should be sorting us out with a mix sometime soon, so keep checking back for that.
Mule Electronic myspace
8) Don Williams - Detroit Red EP // a.r.t.less
Simple but effective is the vibe on this, Williams' second outing on his own Mojuba sublabel. 'Beyond The Means' is a pumping techno cut with a rousing/annoying (delete as applicable) vocal paen to ol' Motor City, while 'Exhibition' takes a more emotive, chordal direction with irresistably sharp bouncing percussion.
Don Williams - Beyond The Means // a.r.t.less
Don Williams - Exhibition // a.r.t.less
9) Lee Jones - Aria (Original & Tiger Stripes Remix) // Aus
My My's Lee Jones returns to Will Saul's Aus imprint with a stonking melodic minimal houser. The groove is stripped back but packed with all the percussive intricacies that we've come to expect from Jones, while the chiming melody resonates its way into your brain for days on end. Tiger Stripes keeps the melody intact but gives things a more pumping tech-house spin for more peak time sets, and while it is good in its own stabbily chugging way, it's Lee's more subtle original that comes out on top.
10) Columbia #1 - Columbia #1 // Dissident
The highly annoying Dissident records (limited quantities of substandard singles does not a good record label make) depart from their disco excursions with this slice of throbbing dark techno that apparently comes from a mysterious British producer who wishes to remain anonymous. A female voiced space-age computer intones emotionally devoid commands over a relentlessly charging bass synth and a seriously heavy kick as queasy sharp melodies swoop over the metallic groove. 200 copies as usual, so don't sleep on this one if you like your techno to be as dark as your pint of Guinness.
Colombia #1 - Colombia #1 // Dissident
So there you go! I'm going to do a roundup of ten 12"s every month (should make doing the 100 a lot more manageable this time around!), so if you want to send me any promos for inclusion then hook me up here. Until next time...