Sunday, February 05, 2006


Yo, sorry it's been a day or two since my last missive, been busy working and playing (with limited success in both fields). Found myself at the Zodiac for the first time on Friday, in questionable company, at a motherfucking ska/reggae night. I mean, I have nothing against ska (provided there terrible affix 'punk' is nowhere to be seen), but having lived in Bristol (where all Jamaica-centric music has a remarkably authentic bunch of performers, DJs and audiences), witnessing several hundred students going wild to a risible live set from a heinously poppy and, er, 'impure' ska group called, I think, Baldie, was a little too much for my Stella-weakened constitution to withstand. On leaving the club, I passed K2 Kebabs, which always reminds me fondly of the no-nonsense Kompakt offshoot, causing me to buy things from them even when I don't want them. On the evening in question, I went for a needlessly extravagant £3.70 chicken doner which I could barely afford, let alone digest. About three mouthfuls later I was watching my insides splatter the pavement and cursing Cologne's finest for twisting my brain out of reason. I'm convinced, as I reflect two days on, that it was the horrorska I was subjected to, and not the kebab or the booze, that induced such horrendous nausea. Anyway, I'm glad I had a shit night, 'cos that means my star's in ascendance for tomorrow night, Monday, which sees Carnage, Puffin and myself hitting our nation's fair capital for a spot of Stink action - DJ Koze and Damian Lazarus, with support from Matt Styles. Hailed as the best DJ in Germany, it's Kompakt star Koze I'm really looking forward to; I'll be amazed if he can live up to the frankly ludicrous expectations I have for him, but the Crosstown boys Lazarus and Styles alone are worth the entrance fee - which, no reflection on Laz/Styles, just so happens to be zilch. What larks. Anyway, expect a full report when I return on Tuesday; Stink is taking place at the T Bar on Shoreditch High St, 9pm-late, so if you're in London I strongly advise you to check it out.

Right. To present matters. I'm currently testing out that new Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, and I guess it sort of does the trick...But I wonder if it's at all, well, substantial? I mean, catchy tune, nice beats, etc, but - it's not 'I Feel Space' is it? That's a bit of a cheapshot, you might say, but I for one am still waiting for Lindstrom to come up with something that matches the supernatural wonderment of said tune...and 'Mighty Girl', like its recent predecessors, is not up to that particular scratch. And what's with all these pianos? A coupla days ago I was celebrating the return of the piano to the shores of discerning 4x4, but I hadn't prepared for the wanton keystroking of this track, and I'm not sure if I approve...Sure, I'm in an itchy, reactionary mood, but I have to say - is 'Mighty Girl' cosmic disco magic or a Zero 7 b-side? Come on Hans-Peter, come on Prins. If Todd Terje wasn't hanging you out to dry with every production he puts his name to, I could happily call this track 'good enough'. But he is, and I can't, so get thee to your studio, have a think and work that synth. And come back when you're actually ready. Sheesh.

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Mighty Girl // Eskimo

So, over to Thomas Schumacher (pictured above). When not bashing out weird substandardbutkindafatanyway electro-trash for Get Physical with Stefan Bodzin as Elektrochemie, Tommy S is a Formula 1 legend and creator of trancey, techy electro-house under his own name, for his own label Spiel-Zeug. Last year's 'Inside', off the hideously packaged Bring it Back EP, was too functional to hold its own with the the true classics of 05, but when I wanted to set the controls for 'bosh' in the space of one track, 'Inside' was straight out of the box and onto the deck. I guess it was the meaty, stylish but defiantly uncomplicated production which did the business; it's these qualities which continue to stand out in Schumacher's latest cut, 'RedPurple', which co-opts the warped bass that's come to define the Elektrochemie sound, adds some typically Get Phiz spyflick/Krypton Factor/Dutch disco synths and a spot-on drum track, and will, if played at the right time, go off big time. Highly recommended.

Thomas Schumacher - RedPurple // Spiel-Zeug

I didn't discover him until last year, but Peter Grummich (pictured above) has been releasing on quality labels like Kompakt, Spectral Sound and, er, Shitkatapult, for some time now. Back in the summer, Carnage unearthed one particular track by PG - an itchy, ambient-ish slice of minimalism - that continues to get heavy rotation chez Soft. An album track from the dodgily-named Switch off the Soap Opera, 'You Don't Know' manages to sound unnerving and oddly soothing at the same time, and only a madman or a genius would play it out. But as an end-of-the-night face-muncher or as armchair/strolling music for a regular waking life, this is nothing short of exceptional.

Peter Grummich - You Don't Know // Shitkatapult

There are so many releases/remixes by Wighnomy Brothers/Robag Wruhme, that I must confess I've sort of started to ignore them. Despite being responsible for my favourite track of last year, the all-conquering 'Wombat' on Kompakt Extra, their brand of lush, skeletal techno is sometimes so minimal that I gloss over it, or it completely passes me by, perhaps because I'm missing the vital nuances on my shitty PC speakers or shitty ipod earphones. But whenever I hear their tracks in a mix, or played out, my radar instantly starts pinging furiously, and I groan audibly as I try to remember who the track I'm hearing is by. Well, that happened with Robag's mix of 'Bulldozer' by Matthias Tanzmann; I heard it loud as fuck and suddenly it was lodged in my brain - celestial synths straight outta Aphex mingle with clicky percussion and the inimitable Wighnomian snap, crackle and pop (how do they make those sounds?) to wondrous effect. After racking my brains as to who/what it might be so that I could download/buy it, the penny dropped and I realized that I actually owned the fucker. Here, then, is 'Bulldozer' Robag-style, and I promise never again to dismiss anything of a Musik Krause persuasion.

Matthias Tanzmann - Bulldozer (Robag's Herbstmoosmutzel Mix) // Moon Harbour


Blogger aschka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:13 AM  
Blogger ilya said...

Havent' downloaded "Mighty Girl" yet so can't say if it is related but there's a Can (the german rockers) composition by that name on one of their Peel Sessions which is full of piano. It's an amazing piece.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Blackest said...

aschka - what do you think? x

7:34 PM  
Blogger willem said...

ilya is right, it's a cover of that Can song. It's nice, but remains in the shade of the original, imo. Most importantly, it lacks the guitar playing that gives the original (Karoli) so much more tension. About the Mighty Girl 12", "Vran Gog" is by far my favourite. Gorgeous, spacey and a great oceanic guitar. Love yr blog, by the way ;-)

8:22 PM  
Blogger willem said...

Just found out that the full name of the b1 track is "Vrang og Vanskelig", which more or less translates into "acrid and arduous". By the way, if you're interested in a ysi (or something similar) of that Can track, just let me know.

7:03 AM  
Blogger aschka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Richard Carnage said...

Not heard that Can track before. It's not on any of the LPs, is it? I'm guessing it's an unreleased bootleg cut, right? Bang it up on YSI!

6:09 PM  

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