Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cosmic Carnage

Since there was a request for a few more cosmic delights, I thought I’d do a nice little bank holiday cosmic special for you all. To kick things off we’ve got a track that I pinched from over at Daughters of Invention, a fantastic little blog that I’ve been checking out for quite a while now. Go there now to pick up the Rub’n’Tug mix of Sly Mongoose, realise it’s fantastic, then go and buy the 12”. Jaime, the girl who runs it, posted this track from Lee Douglas' debut release on Rong a few months ago, and it’s a wonderful bit of vintage cosmic. Check here and here for more info.

Lee Douglas – Same Changes // Rong

So where did cosmic disco get its name from? Apparently, it was all started near Verona by an Italian named Daniele Baldelli (pictured above) who ran the ‘Cosmic’ night from '79 to '84, and played as a resident DJ in a few of the big clubs at the time. Mixing strange jazz and classical records, with disco grooves (many of them at the wrong speed), he was a Djing pioneer at the time, pushing the limited technology to its limit. People even turned up to where he was playing and wouldn’t even go in! They’d just park up in their cars, take drugs, and listen to Baldelli’s tapes that were circulating at the time. What I’d do to get my hands on some of those!

Daniele Baldelli - Pluton

You can’t really talk about cosmic disco without mentioning the Nordic kings of contemporary cosmic, Hans Peter Lindstrom and Prins Thomas. Once Lindstrom’s ‘I Feel Space’ worked it’s way onto both Pitchfork and Earplug’s readers’ iPods, the Balearic ball was finally rolling for the duo. Their album was a surprise to many of their fans expecting an LP of ‘I Feel Space’ x 12. Hans followed it up with the ‘Another Station’, and ‘Mighty Girl’ singles; the former being extremely disappointing but possessing Todd Terje’s remix wizardry on the flip, the latter being a piano laden Can cover, and an excellent one at that. This track is from their collaboration on their super slow ‘Arp She Said’ EP, and in my opinion, is one of the best tracks they’ve done together.

Six Cups of Rebel – Kontroll (The Organ Grinder’s Breakdown) // Feedelity

The highlight from Prins’s recent releases has to be the cosmic porn soundtrack that is his ‘Major Swellings’ LP. He’s done a fair few good remixes as well, notably Todd Terje’s ‘Bodies’ and this one for fellow Norwegians; Kalle, Magnus and Daniel. The bassline that underpins the song never tires, and you can’t help but marvel at the way Prins mutates the track through the percussion alone. Add those harps and spaced out synths, and you’ve got something a little bit special.

Kalle, Magnus & Daniel – Hjul Meg Ut (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)

One of the records that I blindly purchased from Juno recently was ‘Another Side Of Lindstrom’, a new compilation on Outer Gaze. Expecting a compendium of his better unreleased tracks, I was sorely disappointed when I found out it’s…well… a bit boring to be honest. Maybe a few more listens will reveal a hidden depth, but it stinks of an excuse to get a sub-standard record out to capitalise on their recent ‘cosmic god’ status. Better purchases were all three of the extremely dodgy Cosmic Dancer bootleg compilations, seemingly released by a label by the name of ‘Disco Obscura’. As you’d expect, all of the volumes are pretty hit and miss, but there’s some real classics on there like The Zebras’ ‘Paradise Garage’, Asha Puthli’s ‘Money’, and Space Art’s ‘Love Machine’ amongst others. One of those others is this cosmic disco classic from Amadeo. On ‘Memories’, the sparsely used strings and brass sound great when applied to a slowed down disco template. Yes, the guitar solo’s a bit shit, but the rest more than makes up for it.

Amadeo – Memories

Lawrence (pictured above) isn’t strictly cosmic, and neither are any of my other selections, but he does have this galaxial techno lullaby thing going on in his more vocal remixes. Luke Melchor (of Bristol’s minimal techno night ‘Underscore’) played the Aranda remix at his afterparty a few months back and it was exactly what I wanted to hear at that time in the morning. The Turner mix is one of those tracks that just begs to be played as the sun’s coming up with everyone limply yet happily dancing away. Hopefully one day I’ll get to test that theory!

Egoexpress – Aranda (Lawrence Remix) // Ladomat 2000

Turner – My Aeroplane Mania (Lawrence Remix) // Tiny Sticks

It seems that everyone’s talking about Carl’s Delia & Gavin remix on DFA at the moment, especially as it finally leaked over at Headphone Sex. Check that guy’s blog out cos he’s got some good stuff to offer your ears. For example, who else posts up Claro Intelecto on their blog? Exactly. You can still get the new Lindstrom mix of Franz over there, which I really should bootleg with Don Armando’s ‘I’m An Indian Too’. I doubt I will, however, probably due to sheer laziness. Anyway, back the the Delia & Gavin mix. I’d heard it out quite a few times previous to downloading it, so I knew that it sounded amazing on a big system, but listening to it on chunky headphones has been a real pleasure. Well done to Mr Craig on another fantastic mix! Now where's your new EP? Instead of posting up the D&G mix, I think it's only right to highlight another of his many previous masterstrokes. ‘Angel’ is taken from the b-side his ‘Darkness’ remix 12”, and needless to say, it’s deliciously deep Detriot techno.

Carl Craig – Angel (Caya Dub) // Planet E

Another thing that I’ve bought recently was the Ellen Allien & Apparat LP. From the frosty techno of ‘Jet’, to the almost dubstep ‘Metric’, ‘Orchestra Of Bubbles’ really is superb all the way through. Here’s one of my favourites from the album, the bass’n’bleep anthem that is ‘Do Not Break’. I hear that there’s an Ellen Allien mix of it kicking around on the interweb which sounds promising, but I’m yet to hear it. Does anyone know if it's coming out anytime soon?

Ellen Allien & Apparat – Do Not Break // Bpitch Control

This one’s dedicated to local electro godfather Lazerboy (check his dormant website here), who had his birthday this week and will be celebrating it this Sunday in London before the Phonica party. Me and Softie will be taking the decks to show those Shoreditch mugs how it’s really done! The dedicated track in question is so good, I don’t believe we haven’t posted up on here yet. Arguably the best track that’s sprung from Kompakt offshoot K2, the A-side from Gui’s first K2 12” is a building atmospheric minimal houser, complete with an ascending chord sequence that'll get your feet straight on the dancefloor, and your hands right in the air.

Gui Boratto – Archipelago // K2

From all at Tape, have a very good bank holiday weekend. I know we will! And remember; if you like it, go and buy it!

Don't Techno For An Answer

It’s been a while, but I'm finally back with a couple of posts to entertain you as you while your bank holiday weekend away. Firstly, I’ve got to take time to thank all the We Don’t Play guys for asking us to play with them at Cosies last weekend. I can’t say that the crowd were particularly enthused with what we were playing (I'm sure Puffin Jack'll have more to say on this in his long overdue post), but a few people seemed to be enjoying it. However, it was a good night all round for the Tape boys, though I can't say that I've ever had a bad night down there. Here’s what I played in a vague order:

Closer Musik – One, Two, Three, No Gravity (Ewan Pearson Acid Mix) // Out Of The Loop
Henrik Schwarz/Ame/Dixon ft. Derrick L. Carter – Where We At (Version 1) // Sonar Kollektiv

Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell – Alsema Dub (C2 Spiritual Dub) // Palm
Riton vs The Uber Audio Bros – Walk On Water // Get Physical
Run Jeremy – Windowlicker (X Rated Version) // White
Tomas Andersson – Washing Up (Tiga’s Na Na Na Na Na Remix) // Bpitch Control
Serge Santiago – Atto D’Amore // Arcobaleno
Royksopp – What Else Is There? (Trentemoller Remix) // Wall Of Sound
Fred Wesley vs. Lady Sovereign – Random House Party (El Jay Edit) // Rhythm & Booze
The Dix – Here Comes The Dix // Smacks
Who Made Who – Hello, Empty Room // Gomma
Padded Cell – Konkorde Lafayette // DC
Francisco – Malinco // Nature

As you can see, I started off quite mentally with the Ewan Pearson's Acid mix of Closer Musik, then built things up in a Detriot stylee before attempting to rouse the crowd with a few sure-fire bangers that still failed to get things going. Resigned to slowing things down, I had no choice but to pull out the party records (the Prince Paul produced track from The Dix, and the Fred Wesley/Lady Sov booty) before ending things on a bit of a cosmic tip. Here are a few of the tracks for all you mp3 fiends, a few boshers and a track from Francisco's luscious 'Music Business' LP. Why the hell didn't they album blow up? I don't think I've seen a single review of it, but trust me when I say that it's not just worth buying for the board game that you get in the centre of the gatefold. By the way, if anyone's got the Carl Craig mix of Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell, then a YSI would be much appreciated as it's absolutely killer - what a bassline!

Riton vs The Uber Audio Bros – Walk On Water // Get Physical

Serge Santiago – Atto D’Amore // Arcobaleno

Royksopp – What Else Is There? (Trentemoller Remix) // Wall Of Sound

Francisco – Malinco // Nature

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sweaty Disco Balls

We're not just all about house and techno here at Tape. Over the past couple of years, more and more disco has been creeping into my listening agenda, and I thought that I'd share some classics of the genre with you. First up we’ve got the mother of all disco party-starters, the pretty self-explanatory ‘House Party’ by Fred Wesley in all of its low slung, swaggering original mix glory. There’s a bootleg of it that mixes it with Lady Sov’s ‘Random’ out on Bristol based ‘Rhythm & Booze’ label that’s absolutely killer (check the sample over at Phonica). Every time I’ve heard it played out it goes down a storm, and not without good reason. Everyone’s got room for a bit chav-disco their hearts.

Fred Wesley - House Party // Custom Service

If you haven’t heard D Train’s classic hands-in-the air disco anthem ‘Keep On’, then you’re seriously missing out. That bridge alone elevates it into a class of its own. It’s so good, I don’t even have to witter on about its quality. I’ll use the space instead to plug the free magazine of the same name. All you lucky UK residents can pick it up from your record shop for free and it is house and disco heaven! Take the last issue for example; you’ve got articles on Todd Terje, Tom Moulton, Idjut Boys, Darondo, and boy, do they love their lists. Get over to their website to download some of the previous issues.

D-Train - Keep On (Vocal) // Epic

Speaking of Tom Moulton, Soul Jazz have released a collection of his remixes on two double 12”s recently. Well worth getting your hands on if you love a bit of vintage gay disco. Tom seems to be having a bit of a resurgence recently, and it’s strange that Shep Pettibone isn’t mentioned as much. After all, he did put out great mixes of Loleatta Holloway’s ‘Love Sensation’, and First Choice’s ‘Let No Men Assunder’ amongst others. Later in his career, he produced Madonna's 'Erotica' LP, spawning the number one, 'Vogue'. One of favourite mixes that Shep's done is by Candido (pictured above). His remix of ‘Jingo’ is a booty-shaking, cowbell plinking, wonky-disco masterpiece, and if that description doesn’t want to make you listen to it, then I don’t know what will!

Candido - Jingo (Shep Pettibone 12" Remix) // Salsoul

First Choice - Let No Man Put Assunder (Shep Pettibone 12" Remix) // Salsoul

Disco-legend Patrick Cowley was, along with Giorgio Moroder, one of the synth pioneers of the 70s and 80s. Often lauded as bridging the gap between disco and house with his e-funk epics, he stands as one of the main influences of pretty much anyone producing electronic disco today. One of his early fans was male-not-male disco diva Sylvester, who upon witnessing his technological prowess picked him to produce some tracks, most notably the Studio 54 classic, ‘Do You Wanna Funk’. He went on to produce some of his own material, which in my honest opinion, eclipses the Sylvester material he worked on. Every part of ‘Get A Little’ oozes pure class and is a real example of his synth mastery. To top it off, you’ve got the sleaziest, bounciest bassline that Cowley could muster – seriously, Chicken Lips would rape their grandmothers to even get close to something like this. He went on to remix both Tantra’s ‘Hills Of Kathmandu’ and Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ into their definitive 15 minute long edits, and produced some cracking solo material, not least ‘Sea Hunt’ and his biggest hit, ‘Megatron Man’. Sadly, Patrick died from AIDS back in 1982 (apparently the first major entertainer to do so) but his legacy, however short, will live on in the hearts of disco fans forever. RIP Patrick.

Patrick Cowley - Get A Little // Megatone

Sylvester - Do Ya Wanna Funk (Patrick Cowley House Mix) // Megatone

Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Mix) // Casablanca

One man who’s definitely a massive fan of Mr Cowley is Norwegian disco editor extraordinaire, Todd Terje. I’m guessing that you’ll be familiar with his ‘Eurodans’ record that’s been doing the rounds the last few months, and, like me, be dying for a bit of new material from him. He’s back into old habits however, churning out a few more edits to keep the landlord at bay. First up we had ‘Get It On’ (which is great by the way), and now we’ve got his re-edit of Michael Jackson’s ‘I Can’t Help It’ in a subdued lounge-disco vein. Admittedly, I was a little reserved at first about this (I had heard that it had been championed by fucking Gilles Peterson, after all) but I can safely say that its top Terje! Also, here's his edit of Giorgio Moroder's future-wonk symphony, 'Utopia'.


Michael Jackson - I Can't Help It (Tangoterje Re-edit) // White

Giorgio Moroder - Utopia (Todd Terje Edit) // White

Massage My Egoexpress

Just found this piece by Tobias Rapp on how blogging culture is changing the industry and the way music is consumed. It's from a daily Berlin newspaper, Die Tageszeitung which apparently, is is a "cooperative-owned German daily newspaper catering to the intellectual left." Good old Wikipedia. Here's the link, for all you skilled multilinguists.

For every other ignorant English speaker like me, here's a very muddled translation courtesy of

Extract from "Gossip into the hands and say!"

"....With which still nothing would be said about the largest advantage of the Musikblogs: the possibility, which pieces, over which one writes, of placing as mp3 directly into the text. If most Blogger frightened until recently before it still back, the introduction of yousendit (, this changed homepage, which offers temporally limited Downloadmoeglichkeiten, perfectly. The service is free, seven days stands the file on-line and switches themselves off thereafter automatically, more than thousand Downloads is not possible. That comes the need after against underthe radar remaining exactly the same as to topicality, one must to-remain and every few days check, which goes. In on-line forums, which dedicate themselves to the music, "ysi postal code" is for "yousendit please" meanwhile one of the most frequent letter combinations. Which a magazine settled CD could compete with it?

An example: Tape ( Picked out, because it is not a so aussergewoehliches Blog, it is made only particularly affectionate. Daily there is one, sometimes several entries of the operators, three young from the British Bristol - under the text frequently a left is long criticisms of short plates, to be inspired, to Techno and House Maxis up or down-written on the appropriate Yousendit side, where they platziert the mp3-Datei. Above in the corner they have a small note: All mp3s is "for evaluatory purposes only. Buy the records!"

One can take that quite seriously. Unites the files marks one that they are overacted from plate into the computer. Here people want to divide their enthusiasm. And that people come to their parties - every few weeks finds one detailed public insults, because again enough people did not come to a party. No magazine can compete with the love, which speed, which euphoria and the detailedness, briefly the attitude, with which dedicates itself to the music here. The number of these Blogs might go into the hundreds.

Here no new golden age of the music journalism announces itself, it is long there. With everything that belongs to: Hypes over moderate of volume, endless texts, which connect everything with everything, in order to lend to the own enthusiasm expression, embittered trench combats around nothing, first its. And the faith, one could transfer the energy of this explosion somehow into the established media, is an illusion. This uncontrolled growth is determined institutions to develop sometime. Straight its Unprofessionalitaet, its readiness for the mistake and for the wild speculation distinguish him, the doubtful relating to crafts, the anti-journalism.

And still something is interesting. If one wants, one can draw parallels to similar departures in the past: Also the post office Punk era was coined/shaped of the visual possibilities of the Copyshop aesthetics, the Fruehneunziger Rave era owed itself the simpler availability of first layout programs for PCS a quantity. The change of the public, which carries out itself here, is however at the same time more fundamental and more superficial. More fundamentally, because the concept magazine begins to disappear. More superficially, because this whole mad movement, these new possibilities of cross-linking and accelerated grass root communication takes place so completely uncoupled from a musical revolution. This revolution does not have a sound TRACK. It applies to each music form equally.

Which has to do also again with the technical possibilities. Where each iPod owner a non removable disk with itself carried, on which not only as much music is as in a large disk collection, one however exactly the same to assume that knows that this music is not stylistic mixed like a generation before, one gets everything equal simply from the countless exchange stock exchanges - there settles itself about questions progress, which can be defined simply aesthetically.

taz of 3.3.2006, S. 15, 305 Z (TA-E.G.-ARRANGED), TOBIAS RAPP"

Such lovely musings (though does anyone know what 'außergewöhliches' means?), so I think it's only polite to dedicate this next one to Tobias. Cheers!Egoexpress were pulling out all sorts of treats last year, with all of their singles from the 'Hot Wire My Heart' album being very worthy purchases. Knartz IV was just a guaranteed dancefloor smash every time, and all of the Aranda (sleeve pictured above) mixes are great. Check out the synergy of 'Aranda' and 'I'm In The Army Now' that is the Egoexpress mix, and the Lawrence mix for a bit of early morning heaven. Their latest release, Everybody, features a new track from them, entitled 'Fool Of The New City'. It's been out a while, but I know that Mr Soft's not got round to listening to it yet, so why not share it with all you Tapers? Get over to their
website to see the Aranda video and check out some of the other tracks from the LP.

Egoexpress - Fool Of The City // Ladomat 2000

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Night Falls

In theory, the best records of the year will appear in the next three months, as producers and labels strive to achieve that glorious and elusive thing - an underground hit for the summer season, this year's 'Phonix' or 'Wombat' or, God willing, an outright anthem, a 'Geht's Noch' or 'Mandarine Girl'. It's funny how it happens, dancefloor canonization - sometimes a record really needs time. I remember Chardronnet vs Afrilounge's 'Phonix', when it came out at the beginning of May last year, selling copies because it was on Poker Flat (and, furthermore, hot on the heels of Trentemoller's mind-boggling 'Polar Shift'), but being dismissed by many (myself included) as too straightforward, a little bit, well, disappointing - certainly a few miles short of a classic. By the end of the summer, what we'd intially thought to be little more than a tech-house makeweight had absolutely slain dancefloor after after dancefloor - and we all came round to realizing what a phenomenal production it was. So, who knows, things that we're quick to condemn in Spring could be, after a summer's dancing, clutched tightly to our hearts by Autumn. I mean, can you believe, I actually fucking dismissed 'Mandarine Girl' as 'boring' the first few times I heard it. Mandarine Girl. What foolishness. So, it's with some caution that I leap into a quick survey of some of the fortnight's significant releases. But first, if you haven't heard it, it's about time....

Chardronnet vs Afrilounge - Phonix // Poker Flat

Softie's New Release Round-Up

So, Booka Shade (pictured left) havefinally seen fit to release their long-awaited Night Falls EP. I've talked lengthily about this record before, and at the time I panned the title track. Well, you'll have to forgive me for contradicting myself, because 'Night Falls' is actually super-fine: I guess the best and worst thing about it is that it sounds SO much like a Booka Shade record. In other words, the quality is high, but the progressions and hooks are mightily predictable. Still, Arno & Walter recycle their winning blueprint well - a wobbly, irresistibly melodic bassline does the hard work, while a trancey build half-way through ensures dancefloor popularity, but, as always with Booka tunes, it's the intricate, clicky and kinetic percussion sounds that really make the thing fly. All in all, 'Night Falls' sounds like it could be one of the better cutts off Memento, holding more in common with the future-disco sounds of 'Vertigo' than the skyscraping E-peakage of 'Mandarine Girl'. The B-sides, too, are more than merely competent - 'Trespass 06' is the one I'll be playing out, driven as it is by a narcy, insistent synth pattern and exquisite drum programming that falls somewhere between disco snap and minimal twitch. 'The Spectralist' is probably the most forceful dancefloor track on the EP, sci-fi-jugular tech-house which gives way to an absolute killer break four minutes in, luxuriantly draped with interlocking synth lines. The main riff, essentially one note repeated and echoed, will sound colossal on any half-decent system and, once again, the drum track is superb. If nothing else, the Night Falls EP provides ample proof that Booka Shade are top-of-their-game producers, but the fact is - we knew that already. On the one hand, I feel inclined to rubbish their new work because it hasn't had the same impact on me as 'Body Language' and 'Mandarine Girl' - but that would be churlish, because though nothing on Night Falls holds a candle to those twin peaks of post-electro-house, it's a fuck sight better than most things I've heard this year. OK, the futurist in me has (I like to think) already moved on to more sophisticated sounds, but even if Booka Shade's innovatory period is over, their ability to make some of the most energetic, dramatic and ultimately rewarding club tracks out there remains undimmed. In particular, the B-sides here, if well deployed, will captivate any decent 'floor, for sure.

Booka Shade - Night Falls // Get Physical

If there's one thing you can say about Border Community, it's that they sure as hell don't flood the market with releases. This week finally sees the arrival of 'Big City/Dark Water' from Lazy Fat People (pictured right. I know, cheap.), both sides of which have been floating around the internet for God knows how long. It's 'Big City', which featured on Holden's recent At The Controls mix, that's the real winner here ('Dark Water' sounds like trippy nonsense to me) - breathy, padded house driven by a tremulous, uplifting riff of that usual anthemic BC quality. However, those of you who, like me, are still coming to terms with quite how special ‘Gazebo’ was, shouldn’t expect such heights of druggy majesty on this nonetheless impressive release (NOTE: Rayon/Ripperton, who's previously released on RebelOne and Connaisseur, is one half of LFP). Cio D’or, kind of minimal’s answer to Miss Kittin, unleashes a new three-tracker for Karmarouge. The lead track occupies exactly the proggy, brooding territories which we all like to visit of a gurnsome 5am, but there’s nothing on this 12” as superlative as D’or’s delicious Treibstoff single ‘Hocus Pocus’. Butane’s new EP, Visualize The Path, kicks off with a wild mash-up of The Spice Girl’s ‘Wannabe’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’. No, you’re right, it doesn’t, it’s actually another healthy dose of hardline, rhythmic minimalism that’s mightily respectable if a little too uncompromising to win him any new fans. John Tejada wheels out his I’m Not A Gun project for an LP, We Think As Instruments, on City Centre Offices – folky, jazz-inflected landscapes delivered with an electronic precision befitting Palette’s finest..The result sounds, perhaps, as Tortoise would have done, circa Standards, if they hadn’t gone completely off-the-boil. But somehow not as good as that description makes it sound. If it’s jazz/techno hybridizing that you’re after, look no further than ‘Study for a Skyscraper’ by Roman Flugel & Christopher Dell. I’ve raved about their LP, Superstructure, here in the past, and that album is still worth checking if you want to hear the pair’s consummate fusion of harsh 4x4 shapes and instrumental colour properly, spaciously defined. Still, the busy, grinding remix provided by, of all people, A Guy Called Gerald (pictured left), is reason enough to part with your cash for the 12”. The first instalment of DJ Koze's Kosi Comes Around remixes is out too this week; Farben lends a deep, bubbling groove to ‘My Grandmotha’ - mighty fine, but leaves me pining for the elegant, gritty simplicity of Koze’s original; Audion sets to work on ‘Raw’, producing a, er, raw acidic throbber which will do no doubt do far more damage out than at home. For me, the highlight of the package is Koze’s own reading of ‘Bobby’, a relaxed, deep house cruiser faintly reminiscent of Steve Bug’s ‘Sei’ remix. Something for everyone on this Kompakt release, but I’m still waiting for the rave-tastic ‘Don’t Feed The Cat’ to get the single pressing it so richly deserves. Run for your lives, because Duoteque has decided to sing on his new EP for Boxer, Daki.. If you can keep ears closed long enough to locate The MFA’s instrumental mix on the other side, you’ll be glad you did – the BPitch boys insert a momentous build and a sick, Gigolos-esque synth riff that’ll rip your dancefloor to shreds. Paul Woolford’s new fifteen-minute monster also hit the shelves this week, but such is the excessive hype attendant on everyone’s favourite Erotic Discourser, that the first batch of copies has long since sold out; believe me, it’s not all that – a systematic assault of (fairly tired) acid noises that, I admit, will probably melt a few brains when inflicted on a dancefloor. But still – are all these Dubsided/Made to Play guys really worth the attention they’re getting? City 16 have got hold of some more whites of Rub N Tug’s Beastie Boys re-edit – the vocal mix is, in its way, probably the best, certainly the fattest, thing I’ve heard this month (if anyone gets hold of an mp3, for God’s sake, please leave a comment). Another score for Thomas and Eric (pictured right) who, after their emergence from the punk-funk birthing pool a couple of years back, seem to have found their natural home in the wilful perversity of the nu-disco edit sphere. Pier Bucci and Jay Haze are on remix duty for Decibel’s Versus EP on Mineral, with the former’s version displaying all the usual warmth, and attention to detail. M83 remix Telex, and I haven’t made my mind up yet about the result; while my favourite tune this week is probably Williams’ remix of synth-pop pranksters Ignition (whose single ‘Love is War’ was memorably acidified by Chicken Lips). Once again, Wills shows too fingers to modishness with a melodious electro-house barnstormer that invites us to party like it’s 2004. I don’t know about you, but I gleefully accept.

Before I sign off, let me point you towards the Diary section of Damian Lazarus’s site, where everyone’s favourite self-aggrandising Rebel describes, in fantastic detail, his recent trip Stateside for the WMC - tales of losing Hawtin’s laptop, Bucci & Luciano bowling and Holden in a bikini abound. I was annoyed that I couldn’t make it down for Lazarus’s free, all-day Stink special yesterday, where Chloe, Magda and Clive Henry were joining the usual crew to dispense some electro-tech badness for the bank holiday. I return to university tomorrow (my last term ever. Fuck.), so you’ll have to forgive me if posts are few and far between for a few days as I re-acclimatize in embarrassingly time-honoured student fashion. I’ll be working at FACT magazine the week after, so with any luck I’ll have some Barleyish happenings to report to you then.


Telex - How Do You Dance (M83 Remix)// EMI

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sonar, so good

So, the week before last the preview line-up for this year's Sonar festival 2006 was announced. Seems to be plenty of interest on the bill, though perhaps not quite as much as I'd anticipated - I'll reserve judgement until the full line-up is announced next month.

This much we know...

Hawtin & Villalobos return to continue their 'residency' at the festival; having never caught these guys in the flesh, I'm looking forward to seeing quite how they've forged their reputation for ripping it up so emphatically live. Also on a 'versus' note, Diplo & A-Trak are making an appearance, which should provide some joyfuly uncerebral booty-shaking to break up the bleepy minimalism which I'll be chasing all over the place. Output's Circlesquare, along with Hot Chip, will fill my quota for whiteboy funk, while good ol' Matthew Herbert is on the page, but will alas be performing with Dani Siciliano, rather than turning out one of his coruscating laptop deej sets on his lonesome. We've got Isolee live, which I dare say will be sometihing of an event; BPitch offer up both low-end assault (Modeselektor) and floaty nu-trance stylings (The MFA), while Tiga will be there to scoop up the fun-lovin' hordes and transport them to a sugary parallel universe where electro-house is chart-pop and Erol Alkan is prime minister, or something. I'll certainly be there. Oddly enough, I'm also looking forward to Sasha's keynote set; he used to symbolize, for me, all that dance music has strived to get away from, but recently I've become fascinated by the hushed reverence which the prog overlord commands from any serious muso who was raving in the 90s. The man was, let's face it, ahead of his time, and being unfamiliar with all his past work, I'll be interested to see how he panders to the Kompakt generation.

The label showcases seem to be tending towards obtuse electronica this year, but I may investigate the ~Scape event, which features Pole and Barbara Preisinger. I'll almost definitely be wigging out at the Spectral Sound showcase, where Audion (pictured), Body Code and Ryan Elliott will be cooking up an unforgiving storm, I'm sure. Most of the remaining space on the provisional schedule seems to be taken up by obscurist, noodly electronix (including a lot of Japanese stuff that I've never even heard of) - but if there's one thing Japanese and noodly that I will be attending, it's the 'Insen' collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto. Shit, my chin is going to hurt from all that stroking. Anyway, given the paucity (relative to last year) of electro-tech happenings, it's good to see that the off-Sonar rumour mill is going crazy. Confirmed, er, apres-ski events include a Kompakt vs Musik Krause party at NITSA (oh yes), headlined by Wighnomy Brothers; a Get Physical night at the Loft, featuring Booka Shade live and M.A.N.D.Y. behind the wheels; and the Cologne Pop beach party, where Superpitcher and Michael Mayer will be running tings. Shit, I'm getting excited already, though I must admit I haven't bought my ticket yet. If you haven't yet, fucking do it if you can, sell your grandmother or something and let's go....

I spent most of last week trying to write a lengthy post on the subject of Herbert, but my attempts kept descending into outrageously lengthy, sub-academic meditations that sapped my will to live. It's a credit to the depth and diversity of the Large Headed One's work that he had me so stumped; so here, instead of three pages of my po-faced musings, are a brace of new tracks from his almost offensively likeable, showtune-parodying, suspiciously low-on-glitches forthcoming LP Scale. It's coffee table fodder, but not as we know it...


Matthew Herbert - Something is Not Right // K!7

Matthew Herbert - The Movers and The Shakers // K!7

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

TAPEr's Chart 14/06

Howdi. Below you'll find this weeks TAPEr's Chart, a roughly sequenced list of the new or recent(ish) tunes which all you guys who read TAPE claim to be enjoying, based on the various comments you've left - tracks that seem to be creating a consensus of hype or pleasure, and the odd random choice that sounds like it might be interesting. Not rocket science, I'll grant you, but come on, it's kinda nice....
I should have a 'celebrity' guest TAPEr's Chart on the way for you in the next couple of weeks, look out for that. Enjoy your Friday night, do something good.


Orange Alert

Any one in London today is heartily advised to head down to the Faith afterparty at The Old Blue Last, where you'll find Prins Thomas playing a secret set this lunchtime (11.30am-1.30pm). Rumour has it that the elusive Darshan Jesrani (Metro Area) (pictured left) will also be spinning at the OBL today, but I'm afraid I've no idea at what time. If I were you, I'd get a pastry and a coffee down you, buy a packet of fags, transport your arse to Shorebitch right now and drink your way through Good Friday in the ill disco style. Shame I'm currently at the other side of the country.

Fast-forwarding to the May bank holiday (only 2 weeks to go!), as well as the Bugged Out!/Phonica do on Sunday 30th (see below), there's an all day party at Birmingham's Electric Chair night, culminating in a semi-live set from Lindstrom & Prins Thomas, and followed by a warehouse party where Ivan 'cor blimey!' Smagghe will be plying his filthy trade. I don't think I've ever been to Birmingham, but it seems, like Manchester, they've got a really thriving nu-disco scene; next month, the same night plays host to Metro Area, but alas they're, like, fifth on the bill amidst all kinds of take-it-or-leave-it nu-jazz gubbins (including a Gilles Peterson headline set. Bleh.) Anyway, I'll post some more details when I have them.

2ManyDJs/Soulwax are hosting their Nite Versions 'warehouse' party at Canvas on Saturday, supported by a colorful, if rather chummy and backward-thinking, guest list: Tiga, Headman, WhoMadeWho, New Young Pony Club, Jamie Jones and, if my sources are correct, er, the thinking man's Morgan Geist that is Zoe Ball (no shit). On the one hand, like, a big resounding whatever; on the other, fair enough, that'll be an entertaining party - so enjoy it if you're going.

I almost shudder to say it, but I got a ticket to see Hot Chip at Oxford's Zodiac next month. I mean, the last year or two I've been very tight about going to see bands play, but I thought I'd make the exception for the 'Chip. Last year at Benicassim, myself and pal stumbled into the DFA tent just as they were counting in 'Over & Over' and, Jesus yes, it was pretty electrifying. Ever since then I've been eager (by my paltry standards) to catch them in the flesh again, so let's see how they fare in the more prosaic setting of the Zodie. (Note: I live about 5mins walk away from the venue; if I didn't, God knows I probably wouldn't have bothered...). But still, you know, I'm looking forward to it.

Hot Chip - ABC // Moshi Moshi

God. Hot Chip. Makes me feel like a true blogger.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Triple drop and lose your shoes

Sorry for all these small, scrappy posts, but if you don't do these things while you think of it, you never do 'em at all.

Gareth Watkins is a resident at Mutant Pop along with myself, Carnage, Puffin and Mike Bull. Gaz and Mikey have been spinning separately and together for a while, but have really hit their stride in the past year, supporting the likes of Alex Smoke and Justin Robertson. Their guest slot at TAPE in summer of last year was one of the best we ever had, and ultimately led to us all collaborating on our new night. The pair have recorded a few brilliant CD mixes which have blown up locally; Mike's Back to the Marina Pt. 1 session was a seminal set for the Bristol electro/techno scene, an ahead-of-its-time, afterhours mix which precipitated the wee minimal explosion which has occurred since. Also highly recommended are Gaz & Mike's joint effort Death to Warped Vinyl, and Gaz's recent Seville Sunrise set - both kickin' selections of skeletal, druggy grooves. You will like them, so do yourself a favour and head here, where you can download the lot of 'em.

These are the tunes currently weighing down Gareth's box:

1. Bushwacka! - Beastman // Olmeto
2. Jeremias Werner - Dolby in Mono EP // Einmaleins
3. Stratos - Mrz EP // Kickboxer
4. Mikael Delta - Timeless Beauty EP Pt. 1 // Nuevo
5. Steadycam - Knock-Kneed // K2
6. Bruno Ponsato - Wade in the Water, Children // Hello?Repeat
7. Italoboyz - The Vietnamese EP // Treibstoff
8. Butane - Still Waiting // International Freakshow
9. Tom Dazing - Intenze // Toys for Boys
10. Ricardo Villalobos - Que Belle Epoque 2006 // Frisbee Tracks
11. Novatek - This and That // Preset
12. Bug & Tanzmann - Shick 'n Shock // Poker Flat
13. Italoboyz - The Titty Twister EP // Einmaleins

Catch Gaz supporting Butane at the next Mutant Pop on May 5th.


Bug & Tanzmann - Shick // Poker Flat

Steadycam - Knock-Kneed // K2

Encore une fois

Ok, so in my lavish praise of Etienne De Crecy last week, I completely neglected to mention the monster remix that he and Alex Gopher did of Kraftwerk's 'Aerodynamik' in that vintage year 2004. I can't believe I forgot about it, 'cos the Frenchmen's version was a big, big record for me when it came out, coinciding as it did with my then recent conversion to all things electro-ey. I can remember playing it at a lot of house parties (good and bad ones, mainly bad) back in those days, and I have a particularly fond memory of playing it at the first ever TAPE (and the second. And probably the third) - it's no surprise that my vinyl copy looks like its been sleeping rough for two years. I went to the Homelands festival in 2004, a hateful expedition which I'd embarked on mainly to see 2ManyDJs (who had completely re-calibrated my sense of music when I caught them in Spain the previous year). I allowed myself to get far too excited, and when the brothers Dewaele began, I found myself curiously underwhelmed. With foolish youngster logic, I figured that if I chomped some more pills then everything would suddenly sound amazing. It continued to sound mediocre, and I continued to chomp pills, until suddenly I'd had about eight of the fuckers and was basically just watching the side of the tent, out of my nut, talking untold nonsense to myself. Hideously disappointed, and about three days shy of being sober again, I was thankfully rehabilitated by a phenomenal set from Richard X in some lounge area, which gave me just enough strength to get to Erol Alkan in one of the smaller tents. It's a sign of how bad Homelands was that year that Erol had attracted a pitifully small audience (or maybe it was huge - I'd basically lost my vision by this point. Still, his set was amazing, and when he finished with 'Aerodynamik' I more or less died and went to (disco) heaven. But I digress. Re-listening to the thing, it's easy to see why I fell so bad for it - it's a seismic, bloated shitstorm of a track, full of teeming acid noises and swooping, panned effects, and it boasts two of the most colossal build-ups it's ever been my privilege to ride skyward on. And let's not forget the inanely catchy vocoder sample - all together now, "A-ee-ro, dee-na-meek!"...File under: Stupid, effective, amazing.

Kraftwerk - Aerodynamik (Alex Gopher/Etienne De Crecy Dynamik Mix) // EMI

P.S. Thanks to Eddy Current for reminding me of 'Aerodynamik''s existence, and sorting me out with some fine French mp3s. He's currently working on a retrospective Gallic house mix which, if he allows, we'll post up here when complete. Merci, Monsieur Current.

Party Monster

Very excited about this one...

The Key, my favourite London club, plays host to the ever-reliable Andrew Weatherall, who's joined, among others, by honorary Berliner Ewan Pearson (wow), Safari Electronique's Marc Ashken and Treibstoff's Gabriel Ananda & Cio D'Or, not to mention the formidable Phonica DJs - including one of TAPE's favourite past guests, Simon Rigg. What a way to start the summer - hope I see some of you there. Simon will also be playing the Noise of Art multimedia festival at the National Film Theatre on Friday 28th April, in support of Nathan Fake and I:Cube...bound to be good.

Dominik Eulberg & Gabriel Ananda - Harzer Roller // Traum



The Arc, Broad St, Bristol

Friday May 5th
special guest BUTANE [Alpha House / Dumb-Unit]

Friday June 2nd
special guest MATT WAITES [Nightmoves / Liars' Club]

With residents:

Mike Bull's Current Listening

Mike is co-founder and resident of Mutant Pop along with his partner-in-minimal-crime Gareth Watkins and us wily TAPE boys. This is a list of his current top tuneage, in no particular order save for the ubiquitous Carl Craig mix of Theo which firmly takes the crown of Top Tune. As he himself said to me, "I know it's hardly news but this fucker rocks and after the reaction it got when I played it at Mutant Pop on Friday it needs to be at the top. I LOVE THIS TUNE!!!!!"

> Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix) [Third Ear]
> 3 Channel - Scary Movie EP [Trenton]
> NSI - Non Standard Institut (Clara Ghavami Extended) [Extended]
> Oxia - Domino [Kompakt Extra]
> Mark Henning - Bombay Kicks [Foundsound]
> Alex Smoke - Snider [Soma]
> GummiHz - A.A.K.N.Y [Mobilee]
> Dan Berkson & James What - The Dig [Poker Flat]
> Richie Hawtin vs Sleeparchive - E9Archive (Jamie Curnock Re-Edit) [White]
> Italoboyz - The Vietnamese EP [Triebstoff]
> Dan Curtin - Underground [Tuning Spork]
> Ellen Allien & Apparat - Turbo Dreams (Marc Houle Remix) [BPitch Control]
> Roger 23 - Looking For a Title But I haven't Found One Yet [Playhouse]
> Dapayk & Padberg - Fishin' For Your Love (Lump Remix) [Mo's Ferry Productions]
> Butane & Someone Else - Tiger Bitch (Quenum Remix) [Alphahouse]
> Argenis Brito - Sentidos Opuestos EP [Junion]
> Louderbach - Ememy Love EP [Underline]
> Donnacha Costello - Bear Bounces Back (Troy Pierce's Too Sad To Bounce Mix) [Minimise]
> Marek Bois - Aris [Rrygular]
> Ricardo Villalobos - Que Belle Epoque 2006 [Frisbee Tracks]
> Sleeparchive - Radio Transmission EP [Sleeparchive]
> Italoboyz - The Titty Twister EP [Einmaleins]
> Pom Pom - Pom Pom 24 [Pom Pom]
> Bruno Pronsato - Wade in the Water Children [Hello Repeat]
> The Knief - Silent Shout (Troy Pierce's Barado En Locombia Mix) [V2]

All fine choices, I think you'll agree. Catch Mike spinning at the Arc Bar, Bristol on May 5th, supporting the mighty minimalist Butane, alongside Gareth and the whole TAPE crew.

Sleeparchive - Bleep 04 // Sleeparchive

And, I have to say it, don't forget to leave a comment with your favourite current tunes for inclusion in the put-upon but ever-ambitious TAPEr's Chart.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Soft's Current Top 10

A new, addictive slice of techno-pop notably different in temperament to the unforgiving, linear techno of Mr Dear's previous releases as Audion. Released, I think, to promote his appearance at the SXSW festie. Correct me if I'm wrong. [EDIT: Ok, so I've thankfully been corrected. It seems 'Tide' is in fact a Matthew Dear track, taken from his 2004 Spectral LP Backstroke. That explains a lot. I'm an idiot, but you can also blame SXSW for widely promoting it as an Audion track. Sorry...]

Audion - Tide // Spectral Sound

2. AARON CARL - HATEFUL (ORLANDO VOORN REMIX) // WALLSHAKER MUSIC A Detroit tech-soul bomb, as The Underground Resistance fella wrings the best out of Aaron's vocodered vocal (key line: 'And if you can't tolerate my kind, you can kiss my fucking ass', strapping it to a gritty synth riff that'll have any dancefloor rapt.

3. LINDSTROM - TAKE ME TO THE METRO // OUTERGAZE Taken from the new and rather surplus to requirement Another Side of Lindstrom LP, here Hans-Peter pays homage to the modern New York disco sound, supplying a budget Bontempi take on Metro Area's inimitable, organic boogie operations.

4. ALEX UNDER - MULTIPLICANCIONES 2 // APNEA One of the hottest producers around, on this release the Spaniard delivers three mesmerising tracks of spacious, boompty minimal which is ever unfolding and plenty jacking. Amazing stuff, and the best of Under's recent slew of output on quality labels (Trapez, Plus8, etc)

5. PADDED CELL - ARE YOU ANYWHERE // DC RECORDINGS Another instalment of the cinematic disco-funk we've come to expect from this label, complete with shameless sax lines, murky effects and an irresistible bassline. I'm happy with that.

6. DABRYE - TRUFFLE NO SHUFFLE // GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL I've been going a little bit mad for Ghostly of late, and this bit of sludgy, techno-inflected hip hop is one of the reasons why.

7. M.A.N.D.Y. - NUF // FINE The Get Physical flag-wavers get, er, physical, with a stylish electro-houser heralding the arrival of the new, and surely already behind-the-times(?) F.U.N. II compilation. This immaculately groomed track holds few surprises, but the programming's smart and the hook is moreish - reulting in the kind of clipped, melodic GP E-funk that invariably finds favour on the dancefloor.

8. TODD TERJE - BODIES (PRINS THOMAS ORGASMOTRON) // BEAR FUNK Just got into this, the A-side from Terje's first release on Bear Funk back in '04. Prins Thomas really excels himself, bringing all kinds of panning effects and an onslaught of eccentric percussion to what is an already fairly groovy party.

9. VARIOUS PRODUCTIONS - I'M REALLY HOT // VARIOUS PRODUCTIONS The increasingly compelling VP expand their repertoire of punky R&B piracy as they pour Missy Elliott's 'I'm Really Hot' into the electro-dubstep blender, turn the fucker on and press up the resulting paste.

10. HIGH FEELINGS - LEAVE NORWAY Counterfeit west-coast rock from Norway gets re-edited into a horribly likeable psyche-pop gem by Swedes with nothing better to do. Softie approves. You can download this in the post below if you're quick.

P.S. As always, add your own choices to the comments section for inclusion in this week's TAPEr's chart.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Les 10 Jours Fous

I’m currently enjoying (or should that be enduring?) a two-week spell at my parents’ home in East Yorkshire. Despite every moment here providing some affirmation of either my (or everyone else’s – it has to be one or the other) limitless insanity , there are certain advantages to returning to the pastoral setting of my childhood. For one, I find myself reunited with what I once hubristically referred to as my CD 'collection' – that maddeningly erratic, plastic-encased colossus which describes a ten-year arc of ambition, love, learning, prejudice and pretension. Note: The first album and single I ever bought were actually cassettes, which in this age where three-year-olds are au fait with Ipod shuffles, makes me feel rather old.

The album, if you’re wondering, was Crossroad, the best of Bon Jovi, and the single ‘Here Comes The Hotstepper’ by Ini Kamoze. Both classics in their way. Bon Jovi were a laughing stock before Crossroad, sure, but a loveable one; after that formidable comp celebrating ten years of unsurpassed poodle-rockery, they just went a bit weird and crap (‘These Days’ was a real point of departure...). I blame Jon’s terrible solo album Destination Anywhere for giving him delusions of seriousness and, admittedly, the onset of old-age probably played its part (isn’t Tico Torres, like, 82?). But fuck me, at one time they really did know how to write tunes; I mean, forget ‘Living on a Prayer’, sullied by a decade of inclusion in even the most streamlined cheese cannon, but the rest – I mean, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, come on – amazing. You know, there are teenagers in the Third World who worship Jon Bon Jovi with the same arrogant assurance that we make of a God of Villalobos…Anyway. Before I try and manoeuvre out of this embarrassing cul-de-sac, can anyone answer an unresolved enigma (well, two) of my childhood – did Richie Sambora have absolutely shitloads of plastic surgery over the course of Bon Jovi’s career, or did I just imagine that? And was the band’s latterday bassist called Alec John Fuchs, or did I imagine that too?

My point, I think, was that being at home I have the opportunity to re-acquaint myself with those CDs which I acquired in my long, hormonal schoolboy daze (I think that pun was intended.), before file-sharing existed for me (I missed out on the whole Audio Galaxy embargo) and when vinyl meant my dad’s shit records in the garage. So, while there are some aural diamonds cluttering my shelves, there are also some real howlers (and I don’t mean, like, Spice Girls albums, but really bizarre, economically determined choices like Tim Buckley’s worst album, Ry Cooder’s most anodyne set, etc, etc)…The Englishmen among you might correctly attribute the acquisition of these audio atrocities to years of shopping at HMV, with their hit-and-miss seasonal sales which at the time felt magical – this was where, for £4.99 a pop, you picked up your Grace, your Blue Lines, your Blood on The Tracks, but also a whole load of other shit which you still haven’t listened to the whole way through. Let’s not forget that even five years ago, the internet wasn’t quite the resource it was, and how was I to know that The Future was probably the wrong Leonard Cohen album to start off with? Anyway, this is all off the point. I think. The item under discussion is, basically, the Super Discount album which was produced, overseen and released by Etienne De Crecy (pictured above) back in 1996. Now, this was kind of when Gallic dance fever was about to break out of the Paris underground and take Britain by storm – mainly Daft Punk and Air, but all kinds of other shit hanging on their coat-tails. I remember buying the ‘Da Funk’ single, I’m sure only because I digged Spike Jonze’s unforgettable dog video (a few years later, like everyone else, I’d realize it to be one of the greatest tunes ever, dog or no dog). So yeah, Daft Punk we’re in ascendance, and Moon Safari was on its way – and eight years on, you can say what you like about 10,000 Hz or, Christ, Talkie Walkie, but that debut album (OK, excluding the Premier Symptomes thingy) remains an unassailable blast of brilliance, pure class – I mean what sounds, what style, what substance, what proto-electro irony… Alas, the fruity Frenchmen were never to scale such dizzy heights again. Anyway, Etienne De Crecy, whose sojourns into house, dub, hip hop and downbeat techno with Motorbass and La Chatte Rouge had already been met with sincere chin-nodding from those in the know, blasted on to the world stage with a record which remains, for me, one of the most immaculately conceived, designed and executed projects to ever be called a record. Basically (and forgive me if you know all this already), De Crecy assembled his mates who were making waves on the then still fairly underground French dance scene (Alex Gopher, Air, Minos Pour Maine Bass, Mr Learn, Mooloodjee), commissioned a track or two from each of them, knocked off a few himself, and compiled them all under the simple title Super Discount (though intended simply as the title of the collection, it’s taken ten years for De Crecy to realize that Super Discount is a far more recognizable moniker to do remixes under than his own name). The sleeve was amazing, a lurid black-and-yellow parody of the pile’em high sell ‘em cheap superstores and signs which you find everywhere (especially on the Continent). Even some of the tracks themselves yielded to this overall theme of cut-price commerce, with titles like 'Tout a 10 Balles' (Everything at 10 Francs) and 'Fermeture Definitive' (Closing Down Sale). The whole thing, dare I say it, had an affably postmodern je ne'sais qua (in a very, very 90s way), but all this would have meant nothing (except a lowly life in the real life Super Discount bins of motorway service station shops) were it not for the revelatory brilliance of the music contained therein. The housier tracks are, of course, more aligned with the fast, filtered proto-Stardust sound that was the toast of the time, than the slightly pitched-down electro grind that we naturally think of as house on this side of 2002. De Crecy’s productions are quality: ‘Prix Choc’, with its jazzy chords and brushed snares riding a frenetic kick, topped with a warped sample of a fella saying "Sensimilia…Marijuana" is maybe a little bit juvenile conceptually, but musically it's sublime, with a truly louche groove emerging beneath twinkling xylophones and a sound which is so, so, so delightfully French. It’s unlikely I’d play it out now, but I credit my re-discovery of this piece of stoner-house six years down the line (NOTE: when I bought this album as a fourteen-year old, absolutely everything but the Air track (and the aforementioned lyrical frisson of ‘Prix Choc’) went entirely over my head) with winching me out of the trip-hop ghetto and into the ever-expanding coterie of 4x4 delights which I now consider my first language. That isn’t to say that there isn’t any trace of what we’d loosely define as trip-hop on Super Discount – in fact, it’s all over the fucking thing, but in its most refined and elegant forms (De Crecy’s remix of Air’s ‘Soldissimo’, a vocalless first draft of the Moon Safari weepie ‘All I Need’, is particularly superb). More satisfying to my ears now are Alex Gopher and Mooloodjee’s wonky disco-house hybrids, and the unabashedly French filter-fest of ‘Le Patron Est Devenu Fou!’ (by Minos Pour Maine Bass). In short, the whole album’s superb, a gallery of immaculate, detailed and diverse productions, each deeply invested with the spirit of dub; turn up the bass, light up a funny cigarette and pretend it’s sunny outside (if it isn’t really) for maximum listening pleasure.


Etienne De Crecy - Prix Choc (Price Shock) // Disques Solid

Alex Gopher - Super Disco // Disques Solid

Mooloodjee - Les 10 Jours Fous (10 Days of Madness) // Disques Solid

…But that’s not the whole story. As you’re probably aware, Monsieur De Crecy returned (after a solo record, Tempovision, that was dubious in places but not without merit – check the awesome ‘Scratched’) in 2004 with, wait for it, yes, Super Discount 2. The album featured a more stripped down cast of players than the first outing, but with the notable contribution of Philippe Zdar (formerly of the De Crecy-affiliated La Funk Mob). In a clever update of the first volume’s cut-price theme, each track on Super Discount 2 took its name, rather endearingly, from a file sharing service – Bit Torrent, Soulseek, Audio Galaxy and so on. Of course, by the time this record emerged, electro-house was the going rate in credible 4x4, so you would expect Super Discount 2 to have been totally behind the times, right? Well no, because if anything, it played its future-acid house hand a little too forcefully, with the dubby, relaxed intimacy of its precursor jettisoned in favour of straight-up electronic house. This made for some stunning tracks, but, I guess, also abysmal sales: the release was so low-key that it probably entirely escaped the notice of the generation who went mad for the first volume, and even if it did reach them, a lot of them were no doubt put off by its alien, electro-ey topography and absence of nineties chilled-out vibes. The electro-house bods, meanwhile, were too busy panting at the Phonica counter, waiting for a new Tiefschwarz remix to arrive, and failed to buy as many copies as SD2 deserved to sell. Still, ‘Fast Track’ became an underground hit (a staple of Erol Alkan’s sets at the time and fused brilliantly to the 'Never Be Alone' acapella on his Bugged Out! CD) before being tarted up and sanitized with a female vocal for a re-release thrown at the Tongy hordes. Forget that version, though, because the original is a total winner, boasting one of the most insane and effective build-up/breakdowns I’ve ever encountered in my deep-fried experience. Only problem is, as the title suggests, it’s a little fast….'Poisoned’, the track he did with Zdar, is an uplifting, bouncy house track distinguished by its cartoonish orchestra of manic acid lines, and ‘Grokster’ is a competent electro track with a fat, faintly dystopian synth riff which’d do the business at 5am. De Crecy isn’t exactly on the dole (he’s recently turned out a nice remix for WhoMadeWho, as well as a few smart earners for Moby and, oddly, The Bravery), but I can’t help but feel that he doesn’t get the recognition, or adulation, that he deserves. Fact is, Super Discount 2, in the ludicrously rich climate of electro-houseishness we occupy, is pretty workaday; however, Super Discount 1, any time, any place, is am absolute fucking masterpiece. I mean, just listen to that Alex Gopher track above…So says I, anyway….[EDIT: One of our sage readers has pointed out that, in all my De Crecy-praising, I completely neglected to mention he and Gopher's totally stunning Dynamik mix of Kraftwerk's 'Aerodynamik', which came out in 2004 and was absolutely massive with everyone from Erol to, well, me. I don't have an mp3 of the track, but as soon as I do, I'll put it up - because if you haven't heard it before you're missing out on a bonkers rave anthem of the highest, highest order.]


Philippe Zdar & Etienne De Crecy - Poisoned // Disques Solid

Julien Delfaud, Alex Gopher & Etienne De Crecy - Fast Track // Disques Solid

Etienne De Crecy - Grokster // Disques Solid

A lot of you probably have the mp3 of this by now, but if not, it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you the A-side from the new High Feelings 12”. High Feelings is a newish label which everyone’s calling “Sweden’s answer to Whatever We Want”. The comparison isn’t as lazy as I imply; both labels peddle epic, discofied re-edits of old psyche tracks, both have quality artwork, and both have ludicrously small press-runs for their releases. It’s the last feature which is, in some ways, most definitive - and it would be easy to see it as nowt but a cunning strategy to achieve cult status double-quick, were it not for the pretty inarguable quality of the music itself. This new 12” from High Feelings is reminiscent of Otterman Empire’s last one on WWW (Private Land/Texas Radio) – an obscure, harmony-drenched rock track (‘Go to California’ by a Norwegian band called, er, Motorpsycho) given the requisite nip, tuck and expansion by the High Feelings people to elicit some of the ol’ boogaloo on the dancefloor. Not one that I’ll necessarily be playing out, granted, but it’ll do nicely for breezy West Coast vibes when the summer finally catches fire and spending evenings outside getting high won’t seem odd at all. Makes me wonder though, when are all these disco re-edits going to dry up? I’m not against them, but will a point come when there isn’t actually anything left to re-edit? Furthermore, what’s the next generation of disco fans going to make of the noughties’ extreme, all-encompassing disco edit fetish? Will a kid in 2040 know the difference between the Otterman Empire edit and the original Doors track? Will people be releasing re-edited re-edits of re-edits? God knows. Let’s not even think about it now, it'll just make my head hurt.

High Feelings - Leave Norway // High Feelings

No one hates Radiohead arcana more than me, but I’m curious about the tracks on the latest ultra-limited 12” to be lifted from the Exit Music compilation – interpretations of ‘Nice Dream’ and ‘Airbag’ by the prince of found-sound provocateurs Matthew Herbert (pictured above at Sonar last year) and RJD2 respectively – bound to be interesting, but probably not worth the Ebay price tag the vinyl will probably have acquired by now. I keep meaning to do a massive post on Matthew H, but I never get round to it and I don't really have sufficient mp3s to do him justice - my love for the man is based less on his crackpot sample odysseys and more on the devastating, minimal laptop sets he does live (Does anyone have a Herbert DJ mix that they could ysi me? I would be UNBELIEVABLY grateful if someone did...). Elsewhere, there’s a new EP on the shelves from a TAPE favourite, Kango’s Stein Massiv, whose past, none-more-wonky offerings on MBF and Trailerpark have invariably gone down a treat. The new one from this potty purveyor of fjordfunk (his word, not mine) is called Letbeint Liten Sak, and it too is on Trailerpark. Buy the vinyl from the usual outlets, I’ll post a track if/when I get hold of it.

As always, check the links on the sidebar if you need more mp3s/bloggishness – I should draw your attention in particular to Skull Juice, where Alex has kindly put up Erol’s long-awaited ‘Horrorhouse Dub’ of Daft Punk. It’s very silly, but you know you want it….

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mutant Bop

Friday saw us launch our Mutant Pop night in style at the Arc. After some hasty equipment fiddling ("Argh! The speaker's not working! The decks are fucked! There's only enough phono leads for one cd deck!") we got down to business, with the Arc already surprisingly busy by the time I started playing. Very strangely, I was set up by myself (the previous DJ being the Mutant Pop mix)...I popped the opening piano chord of Superpitcher's 'Tell Me About It' over the Ame mix of 'Tarzan' and away I went, encompassing 'micro-goth' (see here), futurist disco, and techno of all shapes and sizes. Sensing the dancefloor bubbling away, the jacking yet tasteful house was pulled out to much success, before taking things down a notch with Steve Bug's deeply delicious interpretation of Sian's 'Sei'. Here's the setlist for anyone who's interested.

Richard Carnage's Set
1) Superpitcher - Tell Me About It // Kompakt
2) Padded Cell - Unknown Zone // DC
3) Gui Boratto - Archipelago // K2
4) Riton vs. Howdi - Closer // Get Physical
5) Rekid - My Bleep // White
6) Spandex - The Bull // Rebelone
7) Shit Robot - Wrong Galaxy // DFA
8) Wighnomy Brothers - Wombat // Kompakt
9) Bodzin & Huntemann // International Deejay Gigolos
10) Solid Groove & Sinden - Din Da Da // White
11) Del Costa & Pedro Goya - #37 // Classic
12) Abe Duque - What Happened? // Abe Duque
13) Freaks - Tweekers // White
14) Sian - Sei (Steve Bug Remix) // Poker Flat

I could quote good old Erol's chart here and say that "you should under no circumstance try to download any of these from any file sharing communities such as soulseek, limewire or whatever..." (see his chart for some top tunes), but it's probably less hypocritical instead to advocate the use of these file-sharing services to evaluate the tracks, and then grab the ones that you like from either your local (ie. Replay!) or not so local (see sidebar for links) record emporia. Anyhow, here's a couple of the aforementioned jackin' tunes to get your ears around; the Solid Groove & Sinden track that samples George Kranz's 'Din Da Da' (also sampled by Patrice Baumel on 'Mutant Pop'), and the boompty-rant anthem that is Abe Duque's 'What Happened?'.

Solid Groove & Sinden - Din Da Da // White

Abe Duque - What Happened (Feat. Blake Baxter) // Abe Duque

Puffin's already mentioned in the comments section that his discofied opening 'went down like a sack of shit', but personally I quite enjoyed it, especially Don Armando's 'I'm An Indian Too'.


Don Armando's Second Avenue Rhumba Band - I'm An Indian Too // Ze

By the time he was rocking the Innocent Sorcerers' latest, the crowd started to get on the same wavelength, and things were really kicking off by the time the Mathew Jonson-esque bassline of Tekel's Metope mix hit. Or maybe it was just all the techno-heads waking up after the oestrogen injection of Palermo Disko Club & Baxendale that preceded it. Either way, Puffin rocked the mixed crowd with a varied yet discerning set, worthy of the Mutant Pop moniker. Here's the penultimate track that he played; Ashley Beedle's hands-in-the-air, piano housing remix of The Streets.


The Streets - Weak Become Heroes (Ashley Beedle's Love Bug Vocal) // 679

Puffin Jack's Set (in a vague order!)
Junie Morrison - Techno-Freqs // Ze
Happy Mondays - Wrote For Luck (Vince Clarke Remix) // Factory
Blondie - Rapture (Ripture Edit) // White
Don Armando's Second Avenue Rhumba Band - I'm An Indian Too // Ze
The O'Jays - Put Our Hands Together (Yorkshire Rapper Re-Edit) // Better Days
69 - Sub Seducer // Planet E
12th Floor - Salsa 313 (Trickski remix) // Raw Fusion
Innocent Sorcerers - One Dollar Race // Raw Fusion
Sharon Phillips - Want 2 Need 2 (Switch Remix) // Gut
Makosa & Megablast - Kumuaka // G Stone
Tomboy - Samba // Kitsune
Palermo Disko Club - Pump // Kitsune
Baxendale - I Built This City // Kompakt Pop
Metope - Second Skin (Tekel Remix) // Sender
Billy Nasty & Tresher - Black Sorcer // Electrix
Christopher & Raphael Just - Popper // Combination
Tiga - You Gonna Want Me // PIAS
Paul Woolford -
Erotic Discourse // 20:20 Vision
The Streets - Weak Become Heroes (Ashley Beedle Remix) // 679
Kerri Chandler - Bar A Thym // NRK

The night was rounded off by the ketaminimal stylings of honorary Tapers and Mutant Pop cohorts, Mike Bull and Gareth Watkins (pictured right and left, respectively). Personally, I can only remember a couple of their tunes by name; those being Bug & Tanzmann's 'Shick' (recently released on Poker Flat), and one of last year's personal favourites, the incredible Rocket's Revamp mix of Konrad Black's 'Medusa Smile'. As you'd expect, the latter caused total dancefloor demolition, and rounded off what was, by all accounts, a very successful launch party. Thanks to everyone who came down, and I hope that we'll see you there for the next one on May 5th. Our special guest will be Butane who's been releasing stuff over the past year on Alphahouse, Rygular, and International Freakshow amongst others; most notably 'On The Ket', which came out last summer on Jeremy Caulfield's Dumb Unit imprint. Road trippers be warned - you've got no excuse this time as new night Cuisine opens on May 4th at Timbuk2 with a hip-house extravaganga, hosting both Ed Banger's Uffie and Bpitch's Feadz. It's great nights like this being put on on weekdays that make me hate the fact that I've got a day job. Timbuk2's been so popular recently that it's been really hard to get a weekend slot there, so make sure you support Cuisine to make sure that it becomes a long-term fixture. If they keep the line-ups like that then I'll be there every time!
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