Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Nature abhors a vacuum

Hello. I do hope you're well. It's a been a while since my last post (relatively speaking), and I must say: as I sit down here, tea brewing and fag poised between my lips, I realize how much I've missed you. Yes, you - the unknown, the good, the bad, the tasteful, the alien and extraordinary. I've had, as you may have gathered, both a shit day and a fair amount to drink. Forgive me, therefore, both my sentimentality and my syntax being even more convoluted than usual (yep). Like some sort of techno Santa Claus returning from 364 days in snowy exile, with Yousendit as my trusty reindeer, I intend to shower you wih mp3-shaped gifts to make up for my prolonged and unnecessary absence. As always, I sincerely hope you enjoy.

Before I launch into anything, let me first point you in the direction of Twenty Four Hours. This fantastic blog is a TAPE favourite, and is currently hosting a live Todd Terje mix (entitled 'Ironkuru') that's almost offensively good. I was a bit late to turn onto Terje; it was only when everyone started raving about 'Eurodans' that the microscopic hairs which line my ears (and, I'm told, are responsible for conducting sound brainward) stood to attention. I mean, there's so much shit, hippified disco being peddled by all and sundry these days, that you can perhaps understand my caution - it's becoming our generation's trip hop; and for every Portishead there's a million Crustations (who remembers them? Exactly). The more I hear of this Terje fella, though, the more I want; for me, he totally hits the mark which Lindstrom narrowly, but consistently, misses (except, obviously, with 'I Feel Space', which I get tired of praising but never of hearing), and although I'm not so hot on the unabashed vocal re-edits by Tangoterje, I was overwhelmed by Todd's emphatic ripping up of spacey disco, leftfield funk, psych-rock and stripped-down electro on the 'Ironkuru' mix in question. I strongly advise you to download it; it sounds like a natural sequel to The Glimmers' utterly classic and madly underrated 'Mixed, Re-Edited & Fucked-Up' on Eskimo, another mix which seems to bend disparate styles/eras of music at will to fit its trippy, beat-heavy blueprint. The defiantly oddball tracklisting of Terje's selection is as follows:

1.Giorgio Farina - Discocross
2.Disco Very - Get It On (edit)
3.Lindstrom - Another Station (Todd Terje remix)
4.Nazareth - Morning Dew
5.Ray Mang - Toffee Crisp
6.The Broads - Sing Sing Sing
7.Fleetwood Mac - World Turning
8.Kc - Boogie Man edit
9.Kebekelektrik - Mirage
10.Lindstrom & Isabelle - Boks
11.Arbeid Adelt - Death Disco(edit)
12.Q Base - The Rain
13.Rita Jean Bodine - That's The Kind Of Love
14.Felix Laband - Whistling In Tongues remix
15.Pat Metheny - Spring Ain't Here
16.Chris Rea - Josephine

Thanks to Tooli for that tracklisting, good spotting.
The Nazareth track, believe it or not, is particularly tasty.


Treibstoff was something of an unstoppable force in my musical life last year; I failed to pick up on their earlier releases, but the most recent wave of minimal/disco/electrohouse action to carry the Treib name has been unwaveringly quality stuff. Robert Babicz (variously known as Rob Acid and, I imagine, Robert), who's fast becoming one of my favourite producers, dropped the astounding 'Organic Boogie' for the label around September time - post-Metro Area, techy disco for dancefloor and armchair alike; elegant and complex, but with enough bass oomph and drum crunch to wobble stomach and shake ass. On a more minimal tip, the eerily consistent Swat Squad teamed up with Alecs Marta for the canny, Martinez-esque 'Marciano Homeless' - spot-on production and an absolutely SICK breakdown, this was fantastic as much for what it held back as what it laid out. Anyway, after that teasing backstory I'm now forced to admit that I don't own either of those tracks in digital form (though 'Organic Boogie' features on Carnage's 'Tape Me Out' mix - see the post below for a link). I do, however, have the new Treibstoff twelve by Gabriel Ananda (pictured above left), which has just hit the racks. It's a markedly restrained affair, but with enough dubby friction going on beneath the surface to suggest it'll sound rude as fuck on a proper system (that seems to be the rub with Treibstoff's stuff - it takes you in off-beat directions while also delivering dancefloor power as a matter of course). Is it just me or is a previously unthinkable tribal influence entering our post-electro culture through the proverbial back door? It's no bad thing; it's just that everywhere, from recent Luciano/Bucci gubbins to DFA's afrikan disco armadas, I'm detecting that whole tracky bongo sound which has politely absented itself from electro aesthetics up till now. I mean, I embrace it fully, but let's not start getting too spiritual or anything. It took a profound re-adjustment of my 4X4 values for me to bask guitlessly in the (gasp) 'world' vibes of Luciano's mix of 'Yamore'; but re-adjust I did, and since then I feel I've opened a veritable Pandora's Box - leaving me grossly fearful of a future spent dancing contendedly at the fringes of festivals, frothing at the mouth, talking utter nonsense about spiritual enlightenment, whilst selling drugs to kids and my ugly, toothless girlfriend. I must be careful.

Gabriel Ananda - Bassmaschinchen // Treibstoff

I'm loving Louderbach at the moment. I know fuck-all about him/her/them/it, except that they (that's the democratic choice) turn out smooth minimal with plenty going on, and which does away with wanton clickery in favour of ballsy, expansively melodic synth lines that wouldn't sound out of place on a Wagon Repair release, laid over slick, Poker Flat-style low end business: a formidable combination. Most importantly, it's bursting with the one quality that's crucial to all the most effective dancefloor minimal - suspense. Check out this one:

Louderbach - Vacuum Packed // Underline

I'll spare you the drooling, textbook account of just how good the Mobilee stable is (if you haven't checked out their so-far small catalogue, get on it). Anja Schneider, the label's founder, and partner-in-crime Sebo K, have just put out a 12" featuring remixes by MIA (obviously not to be confused with the UK dancehall-electro-pop heroine/irritant/pioneer/idiot savant [delete as appropriate] of the same name) and Jennifer Cardini & Shonky.
MIA tackles 'Side Leaps' and does a great job - making a track that sounds sufficiently cold and dystopian to really stand out - high praise in a climate where cold and dystopian sounds are produced in staggering quantities every single day. Cardini, whose production work (especially with the curiously, unremittingly awful Dirt Crew*) has never really taken me by the bollocks, teams up with Shonky to renovate 'Rancho Relaxo'. The result is entirely - er - satisfactory, and the detailing of the production is attentive and interesting (I love the mechanical rimshots - you've got to love percussion that actually sounds serious), but the overall mood of the piece is so similar to the flawless original that, well, I just end up pining for the flawless original. As any sane man would.

Anja Schneider & Sebo K - Side Leaps (MIA Remix) // Mobilee

Anja Schneider & Sebo K - Rancho Relaxo (Jennifer Cardini & Shonky Remix) // Mobilee

*There I am, hating on Dirt Crew, forgetting their stupendous, masterful and imaginative rework of 'Soul Sounds' by Sasse on Mood Music. Phonica's Simon Rigg played it at TAPE's Birthday Party in November and, having never heard it previously, I half-swallowed my tongue in addled appreciation (Thankfully, I managed to puke it up with all sorts of other stuff when the track had finished). In an electro/techno set that, like the scene at large, stays well away from the ebony and ivory, the call and response between the doomy synths and ravey pianos which forms the track's hook sounded truly otherworldly. SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE SHIT. I just don't get it though...How can the people who came out with this classic (fuck, it even makes my left hand compulsively do that smoking gun appreciation gesture beloved of Italian ravers and teenage, middle-class grime aficianodos) - churn out such shit the rest of the time? OK, it's not shit, but it's sure as hell AVERAGE. And with kids pressing up electronic wonderment by the lorry-load every single day across the world, life's too short for average. Break 3000, one half of Dirt Crew, did collaborate with Adam Kroll on a track which Puffin and I would consider a TAPE set text - that is, 'Discotronic' on MBF. More like that, please, more like 'Soul Sounds' and less of the boorish, undemanding electro-house offal embodied in the recent 'Domino', please. We only want you to succeed. Anyway, here's the Sasse tune which I've prolly made sound just a little bit better than it is:

Sasse - Soul Sounds (Dirt Crew Solid Diamond Mix) // Mood Music

Now, if there's any label likely to head toiletward in the coming months, it's Get Physical. Believe me, the Berlin-based collective was, for me like everyone else, a source of infinite pleasure in AD2005. However, not to be unduly negative, I think things went a little too well for GP in those twelve heady months. OK, enough has been written/said/heard about 'Mandarine Girl' and 'Body Language' (true modern day rave classics), but let's not forget DJ T's album (and its singles), as well as 'Jah', 'Piccadilly Circuits' and a fair few other heart-ticklers whose names escape me right now. They've started strongly so far this year, I'll readily admit - with an upfront, if uninspiring, release from standard-bearer T ('Ambush/Stalker'), (quality) business-as-usual from Chelonis, and a cracker from new signing Jona - a swirling tech-houser which feels like an exact synthesis of 'Body Language' and 'Mandarine Girl'. But not as good as that lazy description might suggest. What else is to come? Booka Shade's next self-titled release is going to be accompanied by no small amount of pressure and expectation; the problem is, however good it happens to be, it's simply not going to beat the BS twin peaks of last summer. Anyway...The reason I've embarked on my usual Physical rant is to introduce two of the label's classics: 'Panoramic' by Booka Shade, and 'Starlit' by DJ T. Appearing on the flip of one of Booka's Memento remix 12"s last year, and re-edited to seismic effect on M.A.N.D.Y.'s Body Language mix CD, 'Panoramic' is a tracky, minimal funk monster with a bass drop which will have any self-respecting dancefloor grinning like a bunch of Spaniards at a Richie Hawtin gig. No probs. In a more electro-italo vein is 'Starlit' - chunky, mid-paced and, like all DJ T's stuff, ridiculously spacious. Always sounds a little vacuous at home, then you play it out and it's general fatness blows everyone, particularly you, away.

Booka Shade - Panoramic // Get Physical
DJ T - Starlit // Get Physical

Lastly, we have 'Demo 54' by Gus Gus. They've got form, Gus Gus, but I'm a little too tired to go into it. Enjoying something of a renaissance among the European dance cognoscenti, they're now releasing stuff which is deep, dubby and retro-modern (I know I say that about everything) in the best possible way...This track, appearing in its demo form (I'm not aware of any subsequent elaboration/update) has such an infectious melody and is so gloriously subtle that it makes me silently scream, and were Booka Shade to work it over and add some high-end lines to compliment the ineffable bassy chug, I'd probably die happy. But they won't, will they?

Gus Gus - Demo 54 // Pineapple

Planet E is far away...

First and foremost, did anyone see 'Death Wish Live!' on E4 tonight? If you didn't, you missed a hell of a show. Oh, the thrill of live TV. Ever since the dawn of reality television, the concept of live-as-it-happens TV has been stretched to its limits. Derren Brown's gun stunt is one thing, but a live hanging? The guy (famed for hardly ever successfully escaping the traps his dad sets him) has 30 seconds to escape from handcuffs (selected and brought along by an audience member, of course) and get his head out of the noose. Easy, right? You expect it all the go right at the last minute... but no! It goes tits up. The rope lifts him... he's strugging... gasping... waving his legs around like an uncontrollable mentalist... and down he crashes. The show goes off for a few seconds only to return with Alex Zane desperately trying to pretend that everything is ok in the only way that he can. Yes, that irritating MTV News way. Anyway... have some mp3s you greedy bastards! The first track's slightly relevant to things, and also excellent to boot! The treat in question is a piece of brooding ambient techno from Matias Aguayo (responsible for last year's excellent 'Are You Really Lost?' LP) and Dirk Leyers back in their days as Closer Musik. Matias' haunting vocal drifts over a delicate yet dubby minimal backing in what was their debut record for Kompakt all the way back in the dark days of 2000. Well worth rediscovering, if I do say so myself.

Closer Musik - One Two Three (No Gravity) // Kompakt

If you fancy the track in it's more recent 'acid' incarnation, it's 'floating free' at the end of my first 'Tape Me Out' mix, still available here. In other news, word reaches Tape Towers that a certain Mr Alkan finished his set at Bugged Out! on Friday with a song that he got from little old Tape! I recieved a very nice message from the man himself about a week ago exclaiming that the track was great and that he never even knew of its existence. Lovely man. Oh, what we dedicated Tapers do for you guys! The track in question is Josh Wink's excellent mix of Radiohead's 'Everything In It's Right Place', and is still available to download from here.

Anyway, here's a wonderful track that I believe Erol played in his Radio 1 Essential Mix. The original is a fantastic punk-funk/disco/electro mish mash, but Rub'n'Tug stretch out the drone, fuck up the percussion, and make you bounce all the way into next week... Quality dancefloor action that we've come to expect from Eric & Thomas.

Out Hud - It's For You (Rub'n'Tug's Panarava Remix) // K7

Here we have the latest release from Alan Braxe & Fred Falke under their 'Defender' guise. It's not what you've come to expect from the sleazy French lads, and sees them go more up the route of their electro brethren (Justice, Sebastian...) in their use of using ridiculously phased, fucked up synths. However, this is not the sound of a chic French bar. It's more of a lairy rave anthem and isn't scared to walk the line between cheese, and well... cheese. So Braxe and Falke are now doing cheesy rave music, are they? At the end of the day, it is what it is - a fun but ultimately pointless little side project, but you can't deny that it still has dancefloor potential if deployed at the right time.

Defender - Defender // Vulture

What is it with dance artists and self titled tracks? Is it a defining statement of intent? Or are they just too lazy to think of a different track name? Anyway, it really doesn't matter when the tracks are this good. A hundred times better than the Defender effort, this is an uber-jackin' tech-electro bosher taken from Duoteque's first EP, released on the Boxer Sport imprint last year. Words alone cannot do this track justice. The only thing that I can say about it is that it'll get your feet and neck moving like nobody's business. Fuck the cheese of Braxe & Falke... this is what you need in your life!

Duoteque - Duoteque // Boxer Sport

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I get Aranda

I don't really have any new mp3s of particular note today, so what I do happen to upload will be chosen more or less at random from whatever comes to hand. May I take this opportunity to stress to you again how important it is that you listen to the following: the Einmusik mix of The Shock, and Todd Terje's astounding paintjob on 'Another Station' by Lindstrom. Both are available to download somewhere below, for a limited time. For the sake of self-validation and pedantry, and possibly your interest, witness my current Top 10:

1. The Shock - Manhattan (Einmusik Remix) // Boxer Sport
2. Lindstrom - Another Station (Todd Terje Remix) // Feedelity
3. Jamie Jones - Amazon // Freak-N-Chic
4. Audiomontage - Bounce 2 The Ounce // Freerange
5. Jona - Learning From Making Mistakes // Get Physical
6. Fairmont - Hotel Deauville // Playmade
7. Bodzin & Huntemann - Message In A Box // Unknown
8. Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse (Serge Santiago & Ewan Pearson Remixes) // Mute
9. Parker Frisby - Weil Ich In Einer Stadt... // Gomma
10. Chelonis R. Jones - Deer In The Headlights (DJ Hell Remix) // Get Physical

Most, or all, of these tracks are mpthreed in recent posts. If you like what you hear, help the artists to afford their food and rent and cigarettes by visiting Phonica or any other distinguished retailer of wax.

So, what shall we have today? I guess there are a few rules you can abide by in this confusing, Godless age of ours, chief among them being: If in doubt, choose Kompakt. Thomas Fehlmann, my oracle tells me, used to mince around with Palais Schaumburg, an avant-garde outfit from Hamburg,then founded a label and occupied himself with various noodlesome projects, before befriending Alex Paterson from the Orb and contributing to their Cologne-friendly, latterday releases. This solo track turned up on the 'pakt last year, and has an amiable, avuncular groove about it, and an analogue disco feel bobbing through the swathes of techno retrofuturist badness. Makes me want to do a really slow running-man dance. For that to work as a recommendation you really need to know me, and be able to picture me doing it (the image above may give you an inkling).

Thomas Fehlmann - Schone Grusse // Kompakt

Everyone's sorta digging Tirk at the moment, whether they know it or not. The Maurice Fulton Appreciation Society, whose membership numbers in the nervy thousands, have picked up on the schizoid techno-jazz-noise excursions of his Syclops stuff, while the reconstructed indie kids seem to be hooked on the knowing punk-funk sass of New Young Pony Club. As a member of both those heroic underclasses, I too have been Tirk-crazy in recent months. My favourite release on the London-based label, however, is one with questionable pedigree. Tom Findlay is one half of Groove Armada - scourge of festivals, and purveyors/peddlers of an anodyne 'dance' sound that has found mega-selling favour with the salad-fetishizing, Big Chill-attending gentry that seems to consitute an unhealthy 40% (at least) of the UK's under-forty population. I could spent hours ranting about this peculiarly smug demographic, but I don't think my typing could keep up with the accelerated malice of my thoughts. I once had the misfortune of watching a Groove Armada live set (at Homelands?) and was galled not only by their consummate shitness, but by the warmth of reaction they received from the smiley, awkwardly-jigging audience. It was all drummers with headphones, cod-urban MCs and bald men parping trombones. It was, in short, hell. But anyway...Tom Findlay has excused himself to me by also being one half of SugarDaddy, who released a spunky 12" on Tirk last summer. Comprising four(?) re-edits of strident funk classic 'Love Honey'(?), it was the self-proclaiming 'Acid' mix that caught my attention, and not without reason...Butch disco drums, a tactfully employed vocal and oodles of 303 action were enough to dispel, temporarily at least, memories of that terrifying festival performance. You prolly don't even want to hear it now, but...

SugarDaddy - Love Honey (Acid) // Tirk

Riding the bus on my way back home today, the knife-through-butter riff of Egoexpress's ludicrously understated 'Aranda' descended on my headphones. It sounded....good. So if you haven't heard this gorgeous canape of processed acoustica before, you know exactly what to do.

Egoexpress - Aranda // Ladomat

1, 2, 3, 4...

You may vaguely recall me banging on about one Matt Waites, a regular selecta at TAPE, Liars' Club and Bugged Out!. In September of last year, Matt turned out a rather tasty mix for us, CDs of which we gave away to the happy gathered when he last touched down in Bristol. I thought you might enjoy a little rinse through it yourselves, so I've made it available to download in the usual way (apologies again for the use of Rapidshare - Yousendit just isn't liking me at the moment). Some of the tracks may seem overfamiliar now (and I never liked that Tiga mix of LCD in the first place), but tanzmusik moves remorselessly fast, and Matt's due to drop a new mix imminently anyways. For now, enjoy an hour of glorious mayhem from one of our favourite disco infiltrators which manages to capture the sound of TAPE at its most bug-eyed and 'colourful'.

Matt Waites - September 05 Mix // CDR


1. Lindstrom - Unknown // Feedelity
2. The Juan Maclean - Give Me Every Little Thing (Putsch 79 Remix) // DFA/EMI
3. Royksopp - 49% (Ewan Pearson Remix) // Wall of Sound
4. Linus Loves - First Base // White
5. Inflagranti - Break Break (Halt's Maul Mix) // Codek
6. Bangkok Impact - Do It // Clone
7. Redanka - Waves (King Unique Mix) // Rip
8. Egoexpress - Braune Brucke // Ladomat
9. Jence - Fitness/Sickness // Systematic
10. Different Gear - Worry (Audiofly Remix) // Lazy Eye
11. Sono - A New Cage (Digitalism Remix) // ZI
12. The Electric Press - Evaluate // 2020 Vision
13. Mylo - Muscle Cars (Tiga Remix) // Breastfed
14. Soulwax - I Love Techno (Nite Version) // PIAS
15. Benjamin Thieves - Texas (SebastiAn Remix) // Kitsune
16. Death From Above 1979 - Black History Month (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix) // 679
17. LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations (Tiga Remix) // DFA

Matt also produces under the alias Dangerflirt. Last week I posted his wicked re-edit of Hot Chip's 'Over & Over', but in fact Dangerflirt's first foray into production was a reconstruction job on 'The Count', by indie-electro trailblazers Simian Mobile Disco. The original was a stormer in its own right, but here Matt whips it up into a bouncy, squiggle-happy acid monster that slays when deployed at high volume. It's early days, but I predict a glittering future for MW as DJ/producer. Hope you enjoy his work....

Simian Mobile Disco - The Count (Dangerflirt Re-Edit) // CDR

Saturday, January 28, 2006


2005 was a big year for Anders Trentemoller. Having made something of a name for himself with a string of nicely matured deep house cuts, the arrival of 'Physical Fraction' on Audiomatique and 'Polar Shift' on Poker Flat signalled a significant upheaval of his production sensibilities, and despite being labelled to the contrary, the sound which has become his trademark is anything but minimal. No-one else sounds like this guy (though Martinez, bless him, tries); I eagerly await his '06 output, though it's hard to picture him matching his seismic rockers from the past few months. Anyway, Carnage picked up on a track which 'Moller busted in his late Naked days, a remix of Andy Caldwell & Jay J. Released in '04, you can hear in this brilliant tune the seeds of the the tough tech-funk sound which would flower so magnificently in Poker Flat's garden the following year. Guaranteed to induce serious good vibes on the dancefloor, the breezy vox, fat drums and constant rush of effects are a joy to behold; I may have cheapened this phrase over the years, but believe me when I tell you that this is a big-titted, bona fide Lost Classic.

Andy Caldwell & Jay J - Give A Little (Trentemoller Re-Adjustment)// Naked Music

Friday, January 27, 2006

I've got the Kiki, I've got the secret

Oi oi....before I do anything else, let me draw your attention to a fantastic blog I've been enjoying recently: 24:Hours. I've nicked a few bits from their site since TAPE arrived mewling and puking into the blogosphere; these (Swedish?) electro cats have impeccable taste (and, I suspect from recent postings, we share the same source of promos...), so if you like what we're doing here you're bound to get on well with them. Along with Oh My Gosh, it is, to me, the best mp3 blog around (please let me know of any others, I'm a greedy type). Check it out pronto.

Right. To other business. It's been an impressively shit day, though admittedly not the shittest. The shittest days offer no consolation and there have, it must be said, been some serious musical/televisual consolations to the colossal bills, relationship traumas, work difficulties and failed debit card fraud which have defined my last ten hours: that Einmusik mix of The Shock is so lush, I'm only just catching up...I mean, absolutely fucking superb production, and an overall mood tending towards Philip Sherburne's comedy coinage 'electremo'. Miss it at your peril. Also good, though not quite of such epic proportions, has been the final of Celebrity Big Brother. The last thing you want me to do is talk about that, so I won't, but suffice to say - why the hell did that dumb slut Chantelle, and not Pete B or Barrymore (pictured above, with the puppy later found dead in his swimming pool), emerge from the house victorious? Channel 4 editors/producers and BB voters of Great Britain: you make me sick. How dare you reward innocence and optimism over bitterness and self-hatred. What kind of an example are you setting? Travesty. Fucking travesty. But this is by the by.

While I try my best to get over the brilliance of the aforementioned Shock tune (available, incidentally, to listen to somewhere down below and buy here), I thought I'd forrage for a few carbuncles from days gone by and serve 'em up with specious annotations galore. How very unlike me.

I've been a fickle fan of Kiki ever since he hooked up with Silversurfer for cowbell classic 'Shake Off' on Crosstown two years ago...My eyes haven't exactly lit up at the mention of his name ever since the disappointment of his LP for BPitch Control, Run With Me. I distinctly remember the DJmag review at the time which implied this album to be, like, the definitive document of Berlin electro/techno. What lies. There were certainly moments: the title track, 'Drawing Circles' and 'Luvv Sikk Again', which first appeared (sans the 'Again') way, way back on Futurism 2, Lazarus's formidable 2nd wave electroclash mix for City Rockers - a compilation which signalled the arrival of a progressive mentality and technique in electro which continues to evolve and to underpin every bit of tuneage that me end up loving long time. But apart from these three fruity carbuncles, significant highlights on Run With Me are few and far between - not least because most of the other potential candidates are tarnished by distinctly dodgy vocals. But hey. Let's give Kiki a break. Clearly, he still has a lot of creative bullets to fire, and I look forward to being shot down; For that to happen, though, he and Silversurfer need to get collaborating again sharpish, 'cos that's when they really kick it. Here, anyway, is 'Run With Me', a buzzing bit of electro melodrama that sounded right at home on Tiefschwarz's canny Misch Masch comp of '04; them were good days.

Kiki - Run With Me // BPitch Control

That mention of Tiefschwarz has brought on a slew of misty-eyed, none too distant memories - memories of simple, happy times. There was undeniably a period in my life when I thought the brothers Schwarz would truly take over the world - you know, have their own country and their own laws and shit. Of course, they, and I, were brought back down to earth last year with the relative inconsequentiality (Tracey Thorn? 2005? What?) of the album Eat Books (Working title The Beers Are In The Fridge. God knows if they'd stuck with that, everything else would have fallen into place), and the chronic, fatal self-dating of peaktime electrohouse at large. When our wonderful era of underground electronic dance music comes to be documented, though, Tiefschwarz will be rightfully acknowledged as absolute key players. Their dub of 'Kinda New' is, quite simply, one of the greatest sides of vinyl in all Christendom and for me, before then a lanky Indian dividing his airtime between Wu-Tang and Whiskeytown, it opened the floodgates on a world I still joyfully, excitedly inhabit (Note: I am still a lanky Indian).
In the end, I venture that they blew all their ideas on that one track and the subsequent onslaught of stonking remixes they churned out - for a few special months, everything they touched turned to gold. Phonique's 'The Red Dress' always gets mentioned, but for me it's Tief's explosive re-rub of of DJ Tal's 'Digital World', done for Yellow Productions' wildly inconsistent Art of Disco series, which takes the, er, disco biscuit. It's the most Tiefschwarzy thing I've ever heard, with insane builds and breaks and drums and effects and orgiastic synths threatening to melt your brain into so much mush. OK, so we're all supposedly too sophisticated to dig the 'Schwarz these days, but come on, you play this out in the right set tomorrow and you'll still rinse even the most pretentious ravers into boggle-eyed submission. This was, and is, fearsome, electronic body music, precision-tooled to make MDMA and your bloodstream get on like the very best of friends. Vintage 2004, and nothing to be ashamed of.

DJ Tal vs Tiefschwarz - Digital World

p.s. apologies for the brief return to rapidshare, the yousendit server appears to be temporarily down.

Return of the Puffin

Hello once again, thought it was about time to post again...

There's been a plethora of good tunes released so far this year, Kiran and Rich have been really on it, highlighting some great releases, props to them for that! That new Jeff Samuel in particular is certainly very tasty. That deceptive Herbert-like beat, dropping in to some meaty sub bass, with a few bleeps providing the icing on the cake - right up my street. I think I like that new Dirk Leyers thing on My Best Friend, got it yesterday, but i'm still not totally convinced. The amount of house/techno i've been exposed to recently has left my ears somewhat fried and my brain bewildered! Due to this fact i thought it would be more appropriate to bang on about some other stuff (in a Mr Soft stylee) that i've been feeling recently.

Still getting heavy rotation on the Replay Records stereo is Robert Lippock and Barbara Morgenstern's 'Tesri' album from last year. Lovely Berlin style electronica, song based with nuff guitar and piano. Lots of variety, even goes a bit R'n'B in places. A thoroughly good listen. It's on Monika, get it on Boomkat or come and buy it from me if you're in Bristol.

The recent Moving Shadow represses have been reminded me of my enduring love for old jungle and breakbeat hardcore. I remember first listening to this kind of stuff on tape packs that my mates Pete and Yeatsey used to play. Getting stoned and driving round the countryside we listened to this kind of gear a lot. Check out the Kaotic Chemistry, Cosmo and Dibs, Deep Blue and Renegade represses. Old skool quality all round!

What are your feelings on Heaven 17? I've been enjoying the 'Penthouse and Pavement' album, saw it in a charity shop for a quid, bought it for 'Fascist Groove Thing' and have found it to be immensely enjoyable. The odd dodgy vocal here and there, but also a few tracks I would certainly play out!

In the small hours of morning as i'm drifting off, the sound of Cluster's 'Zuckerzeit' is exactly what I need to hear to induce some good sleep. Made in 1974 or summat this is some seriously lovely stuff. Mates with Eno and Neu!, Cluster were dabbling with electronix before most and produced some truly amazing records. Very hushed and dreamy, well worth checking.

If anyone in Bristol fancies spending their Saturday night listening to a truly eclectic mix of party tunes, surrounded by nice people, head down to Cosies Wine Bar in St Pauls tommorrow for Bristol's best kept secret, Big Ting! Now in it's fifth year this long running night has thrived by having the 'Baddest Selection'. Expect all styles from 50's R'n'B through to modern stuff, bit of reggae, disco maybe even some mellow breakcore. DJ's on the night Jay le Surgeon, NZA da Baron, Inlove, and myself, Puffin Jack. Door tax is £2.

Trapez Artist

I said I'd be back with my favourite track of 2005, and boy, I wasn't kidding! This track reached the dizzy heights of No. 12 in Mr Soft's Top 50 records of 2005, but it has an even more special place in my heart. The first time I remember hearing it was when our very own Puffin Jack started playing it at the summer Tape parties, and it really is one of those records that grabs you by the balls and commands you to be the happiest man alive! 2005 was a great year for Trapez, but this, their 50th release on the label, was easily the crown of their achievements. The deceptively hard kick with which it starts gives way to short, sharp bursts of melody and a ridiculously barmy cut-up vocal (if you can even call it that) before THOSE euphoric synth riffs come in and take you away to the all-night beach party of your dreams. Seriously great minimal house shizzle from a consistently exceptional label.

Patrice Baumel - Mutant Pop // Trapez

It's currently out of stock at Phonica, but you can still purchase it from Juno here.

The Emperor's New Clothes

Last week I was bigging up the new track by Bodzin & Huntemann; I have to say, beyond the initial excitement it hasn't been on heavy rotation round here, but it's going to be in the box - a sleeping giant for the dancefloor, I think. Stephan Bodzin, who as I've said works with Thomas Schumacher on Get Physical's Elektrochemie project, put out a fine single on Marc Romboy's Systematic in December. Sounds a bit like Tiefschwarz, what with all the urgent, parping, grinding synth noises competing for our attention. Standard, brutish Systematic fare I guess, and by no means is that a bad thing..

Stephan Bodzin - Caligula // Systematic


At this point, it seems appropriate to thank Oh My Gosh, a Swedish site without whose recommendations my life and tunage would be seriously barren. Check them out.


Everyone's politely up in arms because Boxer Sport have deviated from the tough, minimal-tech sound that's been making them sehr popular on discerning dancefloors and in the better class of record emporium. The label's 35th release is a disorientating punk-funk workout from The Shock, but it's the sympathetic (to both The Shock, and the Boxer fanbase) remix from Einmusik on the flip which you'll be playing out - it manages to retain the slightly out-of-time, wonky feel of the original whilst firming up the 4x4 backbone and laying down all kinds of delightful trancey sounds, melancholic guitar chords and smart percussion and scores very fucking highly. It feels necessary to say again, and with italics: real good.

The Shock - Manhattan (Einmusik Remix) // Boxer Sport

Also loving new business from Jake Fairley. This track will be out imminently on Playmade, distributed by Great Uncle Kompakt, and it's a slow-burning gem. Fairmont is in full effect - working taut, elegant structures out of nervy, moody sounds. Vaguely reminiscent of Villalobos at his Alcachofa housiestness. But not exactly. You'll have to have a listen.

Fairmont - Hotel Deauville // Playmade

Stealing from artists #2

Hey ho. I've just received a rather peevish message of complaint from matey at Wagon Repair about us providing opportunities for people to 'steal' their tracks. Firstly, I apologise to the Wagon Repair label, and I'm also sorry that this is how they choose to view what we do here. Now, as someone who has bought the vast majority of Wagon Repair's releases (at considerable expense)and who tries actively to promote their work, this attack kinda annoyed me. By the same token, it's an inarguable point - if you were going to buy the vinyl and you plumped for the mp3 because I offered it up for free, then we've all let down Wagon Repair and its artists. But I don't believe that we can work on that absolutist principle. This blog is meant to be a forum for the promotion and criticism of fine music on all the independent labels we love; and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't think that our writings/postings here are ultimately contributing to the popularity, record sales, gig revenues and general success of the artist concerned. So Wagon Repair - accept my apologies, but also please try to understand that we only want to push your sound to as many as people as we can, as long as we're liking what you do. I'm fortunate enough to be able to go to my local record store, pick the new WP out of the racks and listen to both sides at my leisure before I decide whether or not to pay eight quid for it. Not everyone has that opportunity. And certainly I wouldn't have bought the Wagon Repair releases I have done if I hadn't got into the label via an mp3 of 'Draconia' and surrounding online hype. But more importantly, the links to tracks on this site are extremely limited; each track is only up for 7 or so days - we hope people will go out and buy the vinyl after hearing the mp3s, because God knows we do. If you have a problem with a particular posting, please contact me and I will remove it.

Meanwhile, you, the readers of this page, please be good - if you like something you hear from us, I implore you to treat yourself to a lovingly packaged piece of wax from any of the great number of record stores out there. If you don't have a local, try Phonica, otherwise the guy on the cover of the Konrad Black 12"s (pictured) will come and get us all while we're sleeping. Seriously, these artists deserve your dollar - pay the fuck up.

Best online record stores:

Languishing links...

It struck me today that a lot of the earlier things that we posted up have been stuck right down at the bottom of the blog so that the new visitors aren't noticing them. They're all still available for download in the meantime, so instead of letting them expire down there, I thought I'd pop some of the links back up to the top so that no-one misses out. If you can be bothered to look, we've wrote about all these tracks earlier on, so just click the 'January 2006' link and browse through to find what you want.

Softie's Selections:
DJ Koze - Hicc Up // Kompakt
Padded Cell - Unknown Zone // DC
Answering Service - Call Me Mr Telephone (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix) // Mantra Vibes
Ricardo Villalobos - Sieso // Cadenza

Extra - Disco Tel Aviv // LHI
Ada - Our Love Never Dies // Areal
Jamie Jones - Amazon // Freak-N-Chic

Carnage's Choices:
Radiohead - Everything In It's Right Place (Josh Wink Remix) // White
Salif Keita - Yamore (Luciano Remix) // Cadenza
Duoteque - Drug Queen // Boxer Sport
Francisco - Big Love/Mega Love // Nature
Nathan Fake - Outhouse (Main Mix) // Border Community
Jurgen Paape - Mit Dir // Kompakt
Wighnomy Brothers - Wombat // Kompakt
Anja Schneider & Sebo K - Rancho Relaxo // Mobilee
Kelley Polar - My Beauty In The Moon // Environ
Sian - Sei (Steve Bug Remix) // Poker Flat

I think that I now must stress that all mp3 downloads are for evaluatory purposes only. If you like the track, support the artists. First stop should be your local record emporium, but if they're useless there you can always rely on Phonica, Juno, City16, Pure Groove, or Norman. Nuff said.

Hot Wire My Knartz

After our brutal rinsings of Headman, Chicken Lips and Lindstrom's recent output, I thought that it might be best to focus on releases that actually brought a smile (or would that be gurn?) to our ugly mugs at Tape HQ. First up comes a track from an overlooked LP of last year. The chances are that if you've been out to a few clubs last year, you'll have heard Egoexpress' 'Knartz IV'. Originally released on Ladomat 2000, it's popularity outgrew the label and Virgin ended up swooping in to suck the profits dry from it. I found it very strange when the LP, entitled 'Hot Wire My Heart', slipped out without any press attention at all. I'm sure they're thanking Virgin for giving them that push... yeah, right! As far as the LP goes, it's not as consistently excellent as say, 'We Are Monster' or 'Los Siete Castigos', but some of the individual tracks really do stand out.

'I'm In The Army Now' starts with a pretty typical throb'n'pulse sound combo, but just what is that ultra-distorted sound that enters about 58 seconds in? I have no idea, but what I do know is that it sounds FAT! It just keeps building and building until an acoustic guitar bursts onto the scene. Affected staccato strums join the party and what do you know? A good vocal as well! A highly depressed young man sings about how he's in the army now, and it's all his own bloody fault. Ah... if only all moaning sounded this good!

Egoexpress - I'm In The Army Now // Ladomat 2000

Now let us take a journey further into the past. Not too far mind! Back in 2004, DB (Bertrand Lacombe to his mother) released the 'Future Now' on the eponymous Futurenow label. I've got no idea why he named the track after the label. Answers on a postcard to the usual address please... Anyway, Silver City boss Tim Paris was asked to remix it, and what a job he did! He turns the original into a jacking electro-houser with a down and dirty bassline and a breakdown to end all breakdowns! It was re-remixed (if that makes any sense) by Tim and
20/20 Vision boss Ralph Lawson for a 20/20 rerelease, but here's Tim's original version that caused such a stir at the time. I remember playing this as my last tune at our last Elbow Room gig, and just watching people's reaction as they wait and wait and wait for the accelerating arpeggio to break back into the beat... Believe me, when it does finally drop, their hands'll be in the air and they'll be dancing round like maniacs. Or was that just me?

DB - Future Now (Tim Paris Yoggin Mix) // Futurenow France

Thanks again to Philip Sherburne for giving us props on his site. His writing for
Wire's 'Critical Beats' puts pretty much every dance music journalist to shame, and you should also check out some of his writings for Pitchfork (click here to see his top 10 techno LPs of 2005) and Earplug.

Another quick reminder for you all: the 'Tape Me Out' mixes are still available for download, so go here to check out the tracklistings and the links (I promise I'll get round to writing properly about the rest very soon). Check back later today for more audio gubbins, including my favourite track of last year.

Whatever I want

Yo. What an evening. But you mercenary bastards don't want to hear about it, you just want more mp3s. Don't we all...Before I go on, though, let me say a couple of things - firstly, many thanks to Philip Sherburne for the props he's given us on his splendid site. I can say without prejudice that Philip is one of the best music writers around, contributing to Wire and Pitchfork among many others, and is one of the very few to give modern techno its critical due; so if you haven't checked out his fine jottings before, now's the time.

Secondly, due to popular demand, I'm going to start using Yousendit to post my mp3s. I haven't just been using Rapidshare 'cos I'm a cantankerous, mean old bastard; it's just that it uploads quicker and I've been posting so many tracks recently that speed has been of the essence. From this point on I will strive to make life easier for you by YSIing things, but don't hate me if I occasionally resort to my old Rapidshare ways. Love's a two-way thing.

OK. Let's get on with it.

While Carnage isn't making awful puns ('Give it to me Tejada'?!) and quoting Front Room's dishwater press releases, he's seeking out and recommending to me some seriously good tunes (as well as, I'm careful to stress, being a fine gentleman and exceptional DJ). The other day he gave me Zdar's mix of Telepopmusik and I listened to it whilst trying soulfully to remove a v.stubborn tomato sauce stain from a dinnerplate. I was mightily impressed. It's been around since last summer (the song, not the stain) so it's nothing new, but this is the first I've heard of it, and the plaintive strings and restrained, beatless acid sounds are a total winner here at Tape Towers. Zdar's a funny one; some of his remixes and productions are godawful, some sublime - he treads the same thin line occupied by his countrymen Digitalism, Daft Punk, Braxe and Falke, in that his tendency to turn out spangly, glossy boshers day in day out is what makes ands breaks him. So let's applaud the rare self-control on display here, 'cos god knows another retro, saccharine synth explosion from Zdar HQ is on its inexorable way.

Telepopmusik - Into Everything (Zdar Dub) // EMI

God. What else? Before I say anything, it wouldn't hurt to assert just how good that Terje mix of Lindstrom is. So fat. I mean, it's basically the last word on disco....for the time being (is tha a contradiction?). I hope Lindstrom raises him game for his next single - I feel this battle has some more dancefloor casualties yet to claim. Speaking of over-hyped Balearic types, what gives with the whole Whatever We Want micro-industry? This label has been heralded beyond all reason as the epitome of NY cool, and I can't help but feel that a significant reason for this is the ludicrously small amount of vinyl they're pressing up for each release. Still, it would be disingenuous for me to deny that there's been some quality smells wafting from their wax, in particular from Quiet Village, aka Quiet Village Project. Matt Edwards from Radioslave is the production maestro behind these impeccably laid-back, smugly allusive records; 'Can't Be Beat', which I've posted below, is a grainy, sweetly cheesy, string-laden cloud of candy-floss (am I mixing my metaphors here or what?) for comedowns, shakedowns, hoedowns and, er, eiderdowns (ok, too much), spoiled only by the 'hilariously' pitched-down vocal sample which pops up all over it. Still, this, along with QV's recent single 'Too High To Move/Drax', goes some way to explaining the fervour surrounding Whatever We Want's every calculated move.

Quiet Village - Can't Be Beat // Whatever We Want

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Give it to me Tejada!

Cheers to everyone who came down to System last night to check out Matt Tolfrey. He played an absolute blinder, so thanks are in order for the Nottingham electromeister. Personal highlights for me included Paul Woolford's 'Erotic Discourse', Carl Craig's mix of Theo Parrish (available for download here), and the closing double whammy of Ame's 'Rej' into Hug's 'Fluteorgie' on K2. We definitely hope to have him down again in the near future, so look out next time to see what you missed! Those interested should check out his label's website (www.leftroom.com) for more info and samples of his first Leftroom release (featuring tracks from Marc Ashken and Pheek amongst others). The online shop should be running soon, but at the moment you can still get it from Phonica here. Also, click over to the left.net section on the site to download his first online release by GummiHz. Here's the Tolfrey spiel:

"London based GummiHz a.k.a Alexander Tsotsos of Greek origin, started a long-term relationship with electronic music as a DJ in 1994. For the last four years he has been producing tracks to incorporate his own ideas to offer a more unique sound to his DJ sets.
The opening track entitled 'GummiHz' is a deep, drum driven track which has the flow that you've come to expect from the early hours of the morning. Fluttering structure and deep bass grabs your attention...Next up is 'Denz Music' which dives straight into that out of time rhythm that we've come to expect from Holden or Fake. I've had the pleasure of hearing this at Watergate in Berlin - not for the faint hearted! 'Illelectronic' has a similar feel to the opening track on the EP, but definitely with a more sinister and trippier edge. A persistent drum hook and spooky sample snaps makes this a must for the afterparty...Last up we have 'Folder 3' which is a quirky, stripped down track which will appeal to a wider audience for its simple but infectious groove."

It's free, so you've got no reason not to check it out! Last night also saw me and Puffin hit the decks, but technical problems meant that I couldn't really play the set I wanted to...Unfortunately, the cd that had all my new stuff on it wouldn't work 'cos the cd decks weren't loving the brand of CD-Rs that I've been using recently. Sony!? What are you playing at? So no new stuff this time, but what's it matter? "A Tape tune's a great tune"! Anyway, here's what I played:

Henrik Schwarz - Leave My Head Alone Brain (Mix 1)
Todd Terje - Eurodans
Hot Chip - Just Like We (Breakdown) (DFA Remix)
Quiet Village - Too High To Move
Superpitcher - Tell Me About It
Martinez - Time Illusive
Steve Barnes - Cosmic Sandwich (Cosmic Sandwich Remix)
Sian - Sei (Steve Bug Remix)

Salif Keita - Yamore (Luciano Remix)
Thomas Dolby - One Of Our Submarines (Villalobos Remix)
Riton vs. Howdi - Closer
Nathan Fake - Dinamo (Dominik Eulberg Remix)
Christopher Just - I'm A Disco Dancer (John Tejada Remix)
Buckley - Block Party
Digitalism - Zdarlight

For your downloading pleasure today, we have one of the tracks I played last night, John Tejada's mix of Christopher Just. Tejada (pictured left) here has his sights fixed firmly on the dancefloor, creating what is basically 'Sweat On The Walls' version 2 with a uber-camp, re-recorded vocal from Ozen. Her sultry delivery fits perfectly with John's unique brand of bouncy minimal, and what results is arguably his most fun production to date.

Christopher Just - I'm A Disco Dancer (John Tejada Remix) // International Deejay Gigolos

Hell sounds great

Chelonis R. Jones is not the source of a great deal pleasure for me. Nor is DJ Hell. The first man's postmodern plastic soul schtick just doesn't tick my boxes, and serves as a kind of brutal restatement of the fact that Booka Shade, his producers, were the musical force behind Aqua's 'Barbie Girl' (though a. is that just an urban myth? and b. chelonis does NOT sound like Aqua. Fair's fair). In short, I guess I despise soul. That sounds like a heavy thing to say. By this I don't mean that I hate the Temptations, Sam Cooke, James Brown and their esteemed ilk (for a start, those fellas actually had soul). But, near-sighted though I might be to think it, I do hate it when 'soul' infiltrates dance music - it makes me stop dancing, it makes me feel stupid and seriously unmoved. Such is the condition of the electro generation. Hell, meanwhile, is the antithesis of soul. Though he's the spiritual godfather of 90% of the music I love, I've never felt obliged to venerate him unduly for it: I'm just a touch too young to have got the whole Gigolos thing, and though the label and its influence still reverberates about my hips, decks and ipod, I can't bring myself to respect the man himself. Michael Mayer is my DJ Hell. Or something. Anyway, as you may have guessed, Hell has remixed Chelonis on a new Get Physical 12" and I really like what's emerged. OK, Jones' voice still grates a little bit, but the production is really nice - housey as fuck but with an unexpected Metro Area thing going on. I find it hard to believe that Hell was behind this, God bless him, so big up whoever the hell (no pun intended. i wish it was...) engineered this. It's really nice, and I'm too hungry to adequately explain why. Listen:

Chelonis R. Jones - Deer In The Headlights (DJ Hell Remix) // Get Physical

Yesterday I suddenly remembered that the Soft Pink Truth's 'Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth' actually exists, and that I didn't dream it up in a moment of idle genius. A classic album, in many ways, and certainly a fantastic document of consummate, self-consuming musical snobbery that could only have been made in the 21st century. Basically, The Soft Pink Truth, who's one of the dudes out of electronica rat-botherers Matmos, decided to do a covers album of classic post-punk and US hardcore songs from the late 70s/early 80s. A bunch of vocalists were enlisted to camp it up nicely, but it's the ludicrously good production that endures to this day...Dystopian punk covers in a sub-rattling, electro-dubstep punk-funk fashion? How spot-on is that? Well, how many hyphens are required to describe it? I'm surprised it wasn't bigger when it came out, maybe 'twas just too clever for people who now treat Hot Chip like they've just wiped out world poverty (hey, when I heard 'Over & Over', I kinda slipped...). Certainly I ignored 'Do You Want New Wave...' when I first heard it. But anyway, the point is that this shit is fierce, danceable, indie-as-fuck and absurdly referential - if you get it, you'll feel smug for it, even a coupla years on. What's not to like? Have a trio of tracks on the house, but track down the LP if you like what you hear or SPT will hunt you down, lock you in a maze and sample your screams...

The Soft Pink Truth - Out of Step [Minor Threat] // Soundslike

The Soft Pink Truth - Do they owe us a living? [Crass] // Soundslike

The Soft Pink Truth - Real Shocks [The Swell Maps] // Soundslike

And just to keep the techno end up, here's a bit of bleak, funkische minimal in the form of the Wighnomys' classic mix of Triola. Nice. Have to go out now, so I'm rather distracted - expect some more intensive posting when I return home pissed.

Triola - Leuchtturm (Wighnomy's Polarzipper Mix) // Kompakt

Fake tales of Cosmic Disco

God, where does the time go? Well, recently much of it has been frittered away watching Celebrity Big Brother (how good has that been? Fuck me...) and listening to absurdly long disco workouts. I was hardly lavish in my praise when I posted the mp3, but that Ewan Pearson mix of Goldfrapp is really, really good. Sure, I'd never play it out. But as an affectedly glamorous soundtrack to my various unavoidable domestic negotiations (cleaning, studying, surfing, self-pleasuring) it's impossible to fault, and should I hear someone else playing it out soon I will almost certainly go wild, wild, wild.

But forget all that. Right now, it's Todd Terje's mix of Lindstrom which is causing all the excitement in my humble abode. Until recently, Lindstrom has been the leading light of the 'cosmic disco' firmament, and has been infinitely praised for his prodigious musicianship, productivity and breadth of output. All fair cop. But I dare say I'm not alone in thinking that a lot of his productions are so much dumb, over-egged non-entities, enjoying favour with the techno crowd for the abundance of melody so lacking in the militant minimal everyone loves these days. 'I Feel Space', for one, is inassailable. The same goes for Hans-Peter's mix of LCD, and 'Call Me Mr Telephone' and a fair few others in the huge Lindstrom discography...But when I first laid my ears upon his new Feedelity single 'Another Station', I felt my worse suspicions of the Norse disco don had been forcefully concerned. I mean, is there no one out there taking the cosmic disco aesthetic to more impressive conclusions? (apart, that is, from the Idjut Boys, whose long-term commitment to the sound and wilful lack of self-promotion have seen them cruelly ignored by the majority). Well, yes, there is someone else, and it's Todd Terje. Everyone new 'Eurodans' was something special, and expectations were raised accordingly. In commissioning a mix from Todd of 'Another Station', Lindstrom has set up a battle far more focussed than his recent 'Battle' twelve with Riton. It's facetious, but altogether satisfying, to take 'Another Station' as a head-to-head competition for all-out disco supremacy. Well, thinking in those terms, Terje is the new king, no question. Dispensing with the proggy elements that have been plaguing/enriching nu-disco cuts of late, he aims squarely at the dancefloor right from the outset. A butch, faster than you'd expect beat is the track's driving force (and immediately lifts it out of the stoner ghetto where most CD unwittingly resides), but the number and quality of other elements at work here is mind-boggling - echoed pianos, elastic bass, insane arpeggios, manic bongos, plenty of cowbell, phased vocals - it's all here, and all sewn into a simple, phenomenal groove...The break which occurs about four minutes in is so satisfying I have to strain to not cream my pants. Basically, this is superb dance music, full of ideas, that will have any decent dancefloor's collective heart in its dry collective mouth. It's really fucking cosmic, and it's really fucking disco. Basically. Lindstrom, you're a hero, but as of now Todd Terje (pictured in the post above) is the boss.

Lindstrom - Another Station (Todd Terje Remix) // Feedelity

Thursday morning fever

Good morning/afternoon/evening. I have to go out now and sing for my breakfast/lunch/supper, so no mp3s for the moment - but fear not. I'll be back in a couple of hours with, among many other unthinkable treats, Todd Terje's predictably stunning rework of Lindstrom. Check back soon, and if you haven't already, download the Essentials I've listed below. Safe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's me or the prog

Fuck. Another day, another shedload of fine tunes to dutifully shove your way. It took a good four hundred and thirty years, but eventually everyone came to dig Sebastien Tellier's 'La Ritournelle', reaching gamely for the hyperbole and the laboured 'Unfinished Sympathy' comparisons. I mean, yeah, it was pretty sublime - but the critical frothing it engendered made it seem like no-one had ever heard a pretty tune and a bunch of strings before. Not to belittle Seb's artul arrangement, tender vocal and the crucial act of just GETTING IT DONE, but...Anyway, the current issue is - how can this laconic French stoner (pictured) follow such an idiosyncratic hit? Well, for a start, he can commission a rolling, druggy disco-funk remix (God, there's not many of them about) from the Chicken Lips. Coming across like one of the less remorseless tracks by Andy 'Lip's Emperor Machine project, this version of 'Broadway' is well produced - but beneath the squelchy, motorik psychedelia sounds we all naturally warm to, something is curiously amiss. I confess I haven't heard Tellier's original, so it's difficult to know who to hold to account for the wishy-washy bass/synth melody which underpins things...Given that said melody is repeated continuously for the track's entire eight or so minutes, it needs to impress - and it doesn't, seemingly one note short of anything approaching perfection. Smoke a few, and the insidious squiggles and subtle crescendos will grip your brain tightly. Apart from that it's just....boring. If anyone's first impressions are often seriously skewed, though, it's mine. So judge for yourself:

Sebastien Tellier - Broadway (Chicken Lips Dub) // Record Makers

The other day I put up Serge Santiago's stellar re-rub of Goldfrapp's 'Ride A White Horse' - it was, to all intents and purposes, the absolute shit - like all the best disco, old and new, it was camp as a row of tents (poor, and not even mine..) and hard as nails at the same time. A triumph. So when I stumbled across Ewan Pearson's 'Disco Odyssey Mix' of the very same tune, my eyebrows rose of their own accord...I mean, what could Ewan do to match the effortless italo strut of Serge's mix? Well, he could produce an elongated studio jam that ticks off pretty much every disco sub-genre on God's earth as it stretches out well into next week. And guess what - that's exactly what he has done. The sounds are as pleasurable and precise as we've come to expect from Kidderminster's finest but given that the track clocks in at an unforgiving 15minutes+, he permits himself a fair amount of time to show off. Ewan, wry as ever, says of this mix on his website: "You can judge for yourselves just how bloated and ludicrous I have become." Well, my judgement is, um, very. But the bottom line is this: the end product is fantastic, retrofuturistic house writ large. I wrote last week that I'm waiting for the day when these expansive, arsey disco 'odysseys' start becoming unbearable, and it's with a mixture of glee and dismay I announce to you that the day in question has yet to arrive. Probably, I venture, 'cos it's consummate, cerebral dancefloor engineers like Ewan P running the show. We all know that this is a golden age for production, so let's allow these guys to indulge themselves, and more importantly us, for a little while longer. Think of the colossal body of work that the noughties is leaving in its insane wake. Now that's ludicrous.(Prog)Rock on.

Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse (Ewan Pearson's Disco Odyssey Mix Pts. 1 & 2) // Mute

I don't know shit about Australian duo The Presets, there's really no point in lying...What I do know is that on this mix Cut Copy (pictured above) bring the electro-pop goodness and acquit themselves as able, sensitive producers who know where to locate the melody amidst the funk (and in doing so blow the normally-reliable Digitalism's mix of their own 'Going Nowhere' out of the water). The result is so breezily catchy that it's almost forgettable. Know what I mean? No, me neither. Basically, it's really fucking nice and madly addictive. Download it.

The Presets - Girl and The Sea (Cut Copy Remix) // Modular


If you're in Bristol this evening, you better head down to Native for System. Tonight's proceedings are hosted by TAPE, with our very own Puffin Jack & Richard Carnage setting the scene for a headline set by Matt Tolfrey, one of the most hotly-tipped electro/techno/house DJs in the UK...Based in Nottingham, his co-productions with Craig Sylvester have been getting props across the board, and their single 'The Horn' was released on the mighty Crosstown Rebels imprint last year. Having refined his skills on a worldwide tour with his fellow Rebels (among them Pier Bucci, Jennifer Cardini, Clive Henry, Kiki & Silversurfer) in the summer, he's becoming one of Britain's most respected DJs - and the youngest person ever to have played Fabric's legendary Room 1. Basically, the kid's got talent to spare, and he's been good enough to visit Bristol to show us how it's done...Expect upfront electro-house and techno from one of the genre's foremost practitioners. In short, expect it to be FAT. Fuck Thursday.

System presents

// Crosstown Rebels

+ TAPE DJs: Puffin Jack & Richard Carnage
Wednesday 25th January
cheap entry & cheap drinks

@Native, Small St, Bristol.


Mark Ashken - Bus Driver (Matt Tolfrey & Craig Sylvester's Out-Ed Reinterpretation) // Perc Trax

Carnage here to add a little footnote:
If you want a bit more of an idea what Matt'll be spinning tonight, check out his promo mix, 'Tails You Lose', available for download below.

Matt Tolfrey - Tails You Lose mix
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