Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Just a quick reminder to say that it's Mutant Pop this Friday down at the Arc Bar, and this month we'll be hosting Crosstown Rebels big man Matthew Styles, who'll be returning to his West Country homeland to show us what he's been digging back in the big smoke. Myself and Puffin will be joining him upstairs (you never know... Soft may actually bring some records with him!), whilst Vayge boys Mike Bull and Gareth Watkins will be smacking the back off the downstairs with a 5 hour set - expect the unexpected! If you haven't yet checked Matthew's more than capable spinning skills, then you'll be doing yourself a disservice by not downloading his excellent mix which was done for Resident Advisor's podcast mix series. Here's a link to the mix, and to register for the other ones you can head here.

Matthew Styles - Resident Advisor Podcast #17

1) Unknown Track (I lost the sleeve) // CD-R
2) Jens Bond - Untitled (Edit) // Highgrade Records
3) Krak Street Boys - Higher Than U // Tuning Spork
4) Dandy Jack & The Third Leg - Ixchel (Edit) // Perlon
5) Shinedoe - Seek & You Will Find // 100% Pure
6) Arne Weinberger - Oblivion Remix (Edit) // AW Records
7) Well Done My Son - Well Done My Son // Unknown
8) Ferrer & Sydenham - The Back Door // Ibadan
8) D Saw/Huntemann - Red Patches (Argy Remix) // Shallow Cutz
9) Matt O'Brien - The Portimão EP // Off Key Industries
10) Technasia - A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy For Ever // Technasia
11) Thomas Brinkman - Ulla 1 // Max Ernst

Also, I'll be playing at the under_score boys' party on Saturday night at The Tube where they've got a live set from Spectral's Bodycode (a.k.a. Portable) which should be a proper belter. I think it's safe to say that I'll be feeling a little ropey on Sunday...

I've got to get back to doing some actual work now, so I'll keep this short. Yes, it's another radio show! Expect driving looped workouts, crazy vocal tech-house, deliciously deep techno, and a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure. As always it broadcasts at 1am GMT tonight and you can listen live over at
Viva Radio's main page. The last four shows are also archived here, so if you missed any you can always catch up.

TAPE Radio - Show #16: 'TAPEpopmusik'
1) Rekid - Next Stop Chicago (Original 2004 Mix) // Rekids
2) Soundstream - Love Jam // Soundstream
3) Und - Fox In A Box // Trapez Ltd
4) Noze - Love Affair // Circus Company
5) Claude VonStroke - The Whistler (Audiofly Remix) // CD-R
6) Phonique - What I Fake (Sleeper Thief Remix) // Souvenir
7) Ricardo Villalobos - Smokes Magical Passes // CD-R
8) Spandex - The Bull // Rebelone
9) Sieg Uber Die Sonne - Regular // Cynosure
10) Tracey Thorn - It's All True (Martin Buttrich Remix) // Virgin
11) SCSI-9 - Railway One // K2
12) Telepopmusik - Into Everything (Zdar Dub Mix) // EMI
13) Skwerl - Betaserc // Sonar Kollektiv
14) Mock & Toof - Black Jub // Tiny Sticks
15) Zero 7 - You're My Flame (Justus Kohncke Vox Mix) // Atlantic
16) Plej - Blue (Akufen's Different Shade Of Blue Mix) // Exceptional

TAPE Radio - Show #16: 'TAPEpopmusik'

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dub on my hands

Something for the weekend…

We’ve twatted on enough in the past about the increasingly loud and appreciative dialogue between contemporary dubstep and techno. One producer more than any other has found favour in the boxes of the minimal lot – Shackleton. This elusive, Lancashire-born, London-residing chap is also proprietor of the mighty Skull Disco – whose various 12”s never fail to amaze with their grit, imagination and abstraction. Villalobos started the craze, but since then scores of techno producers have been dropping Shackleton’s tracks into the mix. His ‘Hamas Rule’ is a masterpiece of percussive bass music, but it’s ‘Blood on My Hands’ – with its mellow, Detroit-flavoured chords and ghostly, vocal incantation on the subject (apparently) of 9/11 – that’s garnered the most attention and appreciation, to the extent that Villalobos has actually gone ahead and remixed it. Being Villalobos, of course, he’s turned it into a radio-friendly, 3-minute power-pop tune. Oh, wait, no, sorry, he’s turned into a narcy 15min+ bass-n-conga marathon. You might love it, you might hate it. But you sure as fuck shouldn’t ignore it.

Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (Villalobos Remix) // Skull Disco - REMOVED

[Carnage: Apologies to Sam Shackleton concerning this. No matter how low quality this was, Soft shouldn't have posted it up. He's had his wrists slapped today, however. The tool...]

For a more eloquent appraisal of this track and its context, check the Sherburnator’s Jan 4 post at www.philipsherburne.com . Also see Blackdown Soundboy’s interview here.

And if you’re in London this Sunday, pop into t-bar for Dig Your Own Rave. As well as Matt Styles, Jamie Jones and the regulars, you’ve got a guest set from…yep, Shackleton. I for one am bloody curious to see how his strange, sludgy sounds will go down with all the tech-house-inclined Sunday ravers. Free entry, 4pm-late – get there early to avoid the inevitable roadblock. Look out for the lanky Indian. Also, Joakim live at the Scala, and Konrad Black DJing at Herbal, both on Saturday. Have a good weekend. They only come round once a week, don't you know.

Soft's Current Top 10:

Track of the year so far?
Matey's on fire
Another dose of street (or rather house) knowledge
4. !!! – MYTH TAKES LP // WARP
Silly, unpredictable and very, very welcome
Take it or leave it material. May as well take it
Everything but the...oh shit. She's back. Emoting.
Loving those multi-tracked vocals
Rare production outing for the Crosstown Rebel - and it's sound as a pound
A breakneck run-through a year's worth of bouncy Cologne nuggets

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Olanto boom

Lee Jones is fast becoming my favourite producer on the block (I’m not sure how I define “the block”, but you know what I mean). The ex-pat Englishman is the backbone of Berlin’s My My DJ/production team, whose Songs for the Gentle LP was one of my favourite records of ’07 and, judging from the results and red carpet chatter of our recent TAPE Awards, probably one of yours too. Jones can produce really intense, skyscraping house and techno without sacrificing spaciousness and bubbliness and low-slung funk, resulting in tunes that sound as good on an E-ridden dancefloor as a hungover sofa, as befitting to a stroll down the street as to a journey through space. This may have something to do with his anchoring background in chilled, downbeat gubbins, when he recorded and remixed for labels like Ninja Tune and Talkin’ Loud back in (the not too distant) day, under the name Hefner (not to be confused with the now-defunct indie no-hopers Hefner, whose ‘Hymn For The Cigarettes’, much to Carnage’s disgust, used to be and still is one of my best-loved indie no-hoper anthems). Jones can excite without agitating, and he’s got a sense of musicality and melody that’s rare even among some of the most talented producers we praise in these pages.

Of course, My My is a joint project with Carsten Klemann, Nicolas Hoppner, but Jones (pictured left, with some bloke), I gather, is restless and productive enough to pursue a parallel ‘solo career’ as remixer/producer – and it’s in that capacity that he’s really been catching my ear. His version of Sideshow’s ‘Philly Soundworks’ , with it’s delicately picked-out piano notes, sweeping Detroit synths, chunky analogue riffage and a whole load of other disparate elements skilfully teased into compatability, was utterly brilliant – and possessed a warmth, a generosity if you will (you won’t, will you?), which is to me the hallmark of The Lee Jones Sound. I thought the Sideshow track (check Sideshow’s album, incidentally, which places his own refreshing, dubby excursions alongside reworks from Mathew Jonson, John Tejada and, of course, Lee Jones) might be a one-off, but then I heard Lee’s mix of Jacapo Carreras (pictured way up top), on the ever-reliable Lan Muzic, and entitled ‘Olanto’. As with ‘Philly Soundworks’, Jones manages to take things way deep even as he prioritizes making arses shake; there’s little more to say other than that it’s incredibly satisfying and incredibly GOOD. I all but guarantee you’ll love it.

Promos are doing the rounds at the moment; keep an eye on Phonica et al and snap up a copy at the earliest opportunity, yeah? Yeah.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Timeless Boogie

There's not really much new stuff on this week's show (excusing the cut from the Chromatics' LP, and an exclusive Prins Thomas edit of Ann Margret's 1981 disco classic), but there'll hopefully still be a lot of fresh stuff for you to get your ears around if you're into all that discofied business. Listen out for Grace Jones' dubby cover of Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control', Carl Craig's wonked up interpretation of Yello, and Rinder & Lewis' 'Phenomena Theme' under their In Search of Orchestra moniker.

TAPE Radio - Show #15: 'Timeless Boogie'
1) Chris Carter – Moonlight (Tonic Re-Edit) // Mindless Boogie
2) Chromatics - In The City // Troubleman Unlimited
3) Yello - La Habanera (Carl Craig Remix) // Urban
4) Kaos - Cerebral Tremolo (Brennan Green Edit) // Rong
5) Neu! - Hallogallo (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Edit) // 3rd Mynd
6) Alexander Robotnick - Dance Boy Dance // Materiali Sonori
7) Eleanor - Adventure (Edit Version) // Compost
8) Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Maladie D'Amour // Ze
9) Change - The Glow Of Love // Warner Bros
10) Barrabas - Woman // RCA
11) Willie Hutch - Slick (Theo Parrish Ugly Edit) // Ugly Edits
12) Ann Margret - Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes (Part 2 - Prins Thomas Edit) // CD-R
13) Raw Silk - Do It To The Music (12" Version) // West End
14) In Search Of Orchestra - Phenomena Theme (Extended) // AVI
15) Ian Dury - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll // Stiff
16) Grace Jones - She's Lost Control // Island
17) Major Swellings - Pole Vaulter's Delight // Noid
18) 'lectric Workers - The Garden (Vocal) // Discomagic
19) Chas Jankel - 3,000,000 Synths // A & M
20) Ish - Faster Than A Speeding Bullet // Clouds
21) Tony Munn - Who Built The Pyramids? (Part II) // Ariola

TAPE Radio - Show #15: 'Timeless Boogie'

The show goes out at 1am Tuesday night (it'll actually go out live this time, I promise!), and will be archived thereafter.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

80,000 Dubs Under The Sea

Another week, another show. This time we're starting off with some super dub which makes way for the dubby techno excursions, deep, dark techy business, a few jackers, and some wonky minimal before it all collapses in a blissful heap with new cuts from LCD Soundsystem and Partial Arts. Hopefully there'll be some fresh stuff in there for you all - enjoy!

TAPE Radio - Show #14: '80,000 Dubs Under The Sea'
1) King Tubby & Jacob Miller - 80,000 Dubs // Motion
2) R.A.P.P. (feat. Archie Poole) - Guns, Bombs, Handgrenades // Y
3) Mike Monday - Bhalobashi (Sideshow Remix) // Simple
4) Substance & Vainqueur - Immersion // Scion Versions
5) Henrik Schwarz, Ame & Dixon feat Derrick L. Carter - Where We At (Beatless Version) // Innervisions
6) LB Dub Corp - Rhythm Division // Mote Evolver
7) Crash Course In Science - Flying Turns // LD
8) Will Saul & Tom Cooper - Sequential Circus (Konrad Black Remix) // Simple
9) Matt O'Brian - Serotone (Radio Slave's Panorama Garage Remix) // Rekids
10) Justin Martin - The Fugitive // Buzzin' Fly
11) Bent - Waiting For You (Nightmoves Remix) // Godlike And Electric
12) Wax - The Crocodile // Rebelone
13) Pantytec - Maybe // Perlon
14) Pantha Du Prince - Butterfly Girl (Sten Version) // Dial
15) SCSI-9 - Woodman // Neuton
16) Ada - Luckycharm // Areal
17) LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great // DFA
18) Partial Arts - Trauermusik // Kompakt

TAPE Radio - Show #14: '80,000 Dubs Under The Sea'

EDIT: After much confusion, this airs live tonight (Thursday night) at 2am GMT, but is already in the archives. So what are you waiting for?

Monday, January 15, 2007

TAPE Awards 2006 - The Results

This has been lingering as a text file on my computer for ages, so I better get this up before February smacks my lazy arse. Thanks to everyone for voting - I know that not giving a shortlist made voting difficult for some, but I didn't want to exclude anything to make voting a bit fairer. Also, anyone who casted multiple votes in particular categories had their vote split between everything they included (it's our own fault for not being able to make up your minds you indecisive fools!). Anyway, here are the results in full - not many surprises but there are definitely a few interesting inclusions (Booka Shade in the top LPs list? What have you guys been smoking?!).

12" Single of 2006
1) Cobblestone Jazz - Dump Truck // Wagon Repair
2) Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom - Relevee // DFA
3) Martin Buttrich - Full Clip // Planet E
4) Minilogue - The Girl From Botany Bay // Wir Im Rhythmus
5) Audion - Mouth To Mouth // Spectral Sound

LP of 2006
1) J Dilla - Donuts // Stones Throw
2) The Knife - Silent Shout // Brille
2) My My - Songs For The Gentle // Playhouse
2) Alex Smoke - Paradolia // Soma
2) Booka Shade - Movements // Get Physical

Compilation of 2006
Kaos & Sal P - Danse, Gravité Zéro // Faith
2) Tom Moulton - A Tom Moulton Mix // Soul Jazz
2) Kompakt Total 7 // Kompakt
2) Superlongevity 4 // Perlon
2) Tropicalia // Soul Jazz

DJ of 2006
1) Optimo/JD Twitch
2) Luciano
3) Erol Alkan
4) Ricardo Villalobos
4) Magda

MixTAPE of 2006
Sean Johnston - Autumn Machine Music
2) Richard Carnage - After Hours
2) Richard Carnage - Mutant Disco
2) Richard Carnage - This Is Mutant Pop
3) Puffin Jack/Doodlebug - Doodledub
3) Richard Carnage - Don't Techno For An Answer

I'll probably write a bit more about the winners when I'm at work tomorrow, but for the meantime the only thing left for me to do is announce the winner of our voting competition. I asked you guys to hazard a guess at the combined age of TAPE, and a few of you hit the nail right on the head. Little did I realise (it was actually the technophobe that is Puffin Jack that pointed this out) that you could've gone through all of our Myspaces to find out the answer... D'oh! Anyway, we picked one of our correct voters at random, and I'm glad to say that the winner of a lovely fresh double 12" of the Metro Area LP is..... Rob! Drop me an e-mail and we'll get your prize sorted out (and if you've already got the Metro Area album I'm sure we can find something else good for you). The correct answer by the way (as if you're interested!) was 25 (Puffin) + 23 (Soft) + 22 (Carnage) which equals 70... which reminds me - best pop down to the post office to collect our TAPE pension.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Grind

More farm-fresh tuneage for you, again on a more dubwise tip. You may recall us extolling the vitues of our pal Ralph (pictured), aka RLF, aka Bass Clef. Here's what the fellas at Boomkat said about his recent LP on Blank Tapes, A Smile is A Curve that Straightens Most Things. I know those guys always gush, but I can assure you there's no hyperbole going on here:

If you're able to produce the kind of bass-drops and low-end charges that inhabit much of this excellent debut album from Ralph Cumbers' Bass Clef project, you'll find yourself in very good company at the tail-end of 2006, a year that's ushered in Low-End theorists with the kind of feverish excitement not seen since the heady days of 1970's towering dub. Bass Clef don't quite straddle the tried and tested Dubstep templates that have become de rigueur for the scene as the months have passed, instead opting for a more schizophrenic approach that takes-in Cumbers' evidently well-worn collection of Idm, Dub and Jungle records, mashed up and re-processed with a heavy analogue underlay that gives each of the 13 tracks here much of their charm and untold heaviness. Not entirely unlike the Werk label's excellent Actress, Bass Clef don't discriminate against any given styles, pairing off Cumbers' Bristol roots against his current surroundings in Hackney - a sort of geographic trawl through bass culture that's incredibly modern yet well-grounded in over 30 years of beat science. "A Smile Is A Curve..." is precisely the kind of album the scene needs if it's to circumvent the faint whiff of fatigue starting to seep out of its pores. Like Boxcutter's "Oneiric" from early on this year it manages to be a jack of many trades and master of pretty much all of them - the proverbial having your cake and eating it, urban styles. Excellent.

You need to buy that album, so like, do.

The tune we have for you today is Ralph's re-rub of 'The Grind' by another talented Bristolian, Peverelist - aka Tom, who works at Rooted Records and supplies Puffin with his weekly dubstep fix. Check out their site www.rootedrecords.co.uk for all your low-end needs.

Peverelist - The Grind (Bass Clef Remix) // CD-R

Have a good weekend, and check Chris Bones' myspace for details of an interesting minimal-inclined party in London on Saturday night, if you're in Bristol head to Cosies tonight for Andy Stott & Pinch, and I'll probably sidle over to Blogger's Delight at the Lock on Sunday, for the usual early-evening high jinks from Casper and Skull Juice, with Herve and a special mystery guest also on board. Whatever you do, have a good one. We haven't got long to live...

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Er, Happy Birthday, us. So, the first year is behind us. Thanks to all those who've visited us, left comments, sent us tunes, flattered us and rinsed us. It's been a pleasure, and we hope to not only continue but also to improve in 2007. Coming soon - more interviews with techno/house/disco heavyweights, upfront mp3s and sneak previews, the usual guest charts and exclusive mixes and, if all goes to plan, the first TAPE party in our nation's fair capital (London, fact-finders). There's a lot of shit I need to get done with regard to all the above, so it's not really the time for nostalgia.

First up for your delectation, a b-side to the new release from Bristol boy Joker, on Pinch's other label, Earwax. While Tectonic has been the focus of our attentions in the past year, with heavy productions from the likes of Loefah, Distance and Skream, we're rather enchanted by Earwax's more dancefloor-oriented, grimey curveballs. Here's how Monsieur Pinch describes Joker's styles:

Already, at the age of 18, he’s well known in Bristol for his sound – from his Kold Hearted days and through DJ sets at the premiere dubstep night, Dubloaded. Last year his beats received massive amounts of airplay on BBC Radio One from The Plastician and, more recently, by Roll Deep at Sidewinder and many others on Rinse FM – bringing him into a much wider circle of awareness. His productions are tightly engineered and smack of originality and quality – like Neptunes meets melodic grime, with totally off-the-wall results.

Intrigued? You should be. Enjoy the tres demented 'J.V. Anderson' from the Kapsize EP, set to arrive in stores around mid-February, at which time you should check Boomkat, Phonica, Rooted, the usual outlets.

Joker - J.V. Anderson // Earwax

Also look our for the new Tectonic 10" from Moving Ninja lined-up for imminent release - it's well tasty.

More 4x4 tackle and banter on its way to you tomorrow. Oh, and Carnage should finally get round to announcing the winners of the 2007 TAPE Awards this week. Check out the mixes from Sean Johnston and our very own Mike Bull (see below) if you haven't already.

And again, thank you to everyone who shares our unholy obsession.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guest MixTAPE: Sean Johnston - 'TAPE Subtraction'

Sean Johnston is no stranger to TAPE's pages, and if you haven't already checked out his excellent 'Autumn Machine Music' mix then I implore you to go here right away and feast your ears on some techy disco nectar. Originally hailing from the Mr Soft's hometown, Hull (a city so boring, they actually have to print t-shirts stating that 'It's never dull in Hull'), he's since managed to escape the Welly and played on the Balearic scene with the likes of Justin Robertson and Darren Emerson. Then, as part of Flash Faction, Sean recorded for both Weatherall's Sabres of Paradise imprint and Third Mind records, and also founded the short-lived but much-loved techno label Flashcomm in the 90s. Expect Mr Johnston to be manning the TAPE turntables sooner than you think...

Sean Johnston - 'TAPE Subtraction'
1) Trentemoller - Nightwalker // Poker Flat
2) Audiofly X - Are We There Yet // Get Physical
3) Tokyo Black Star - Blade Dancer (Dixon Edit) // Innervisions
4) Rekleiner - The State of Things // Connaisseur Superieur
5) Joakim - Drumtrax (Radioslave Remix) // Versatile
6) Agoria - Baboul Hair Cuttin (Radioslave Remix) // Different
7) Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink (Holden Tool) // Border Community
8) Booka Shade - Darko (Radioslave Remix) // Get Physical
9) Jamie Anderson - Time Is Now (Radioslave Remix) // NRK
10) Sieg Uber Die Sonne - Regular // Cynosure Recordings
11) Shonky & J Cardini - August in Paris // Mobilee
12) Martin Buttrich - Cloudy Bay // Poker Flat
13) Kiki - Trust Me (Cowboy Mix) // Bpitch Control
14) Shonky - Solar // Sub Static
15) Martin Decara - Powered by // Mermaids In Space
16) Dennis Ferrer - Transitions // King St
17) Barem - Link // Minus
18) Minilogue - Certain Things Around You (Pt 1) // Traum
19) Francesco Tristano - Strings of Life // Infine Music

Sean Johnston - 'TAPE Subtraction' mix

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sunrise Selection

After a brief rest for the holidays, we're back to usual genre bending shenanigans this week with blissed out techno, wonky contemporary disco, dippily deep dubstep, other assorted dancefloor gems, and also a few little surprises.... Including some Yes. Ahem. The show goes out live tonight at 1am GMT, so check it out if you're feeling those insomniac vibes. The show's much more suited to an insomniac's sunrise anyway...

TAPE Radio - Show #13: Sunrise Selection
1) Geiger - Good Evening (Supermayer Remix) // Firm
2) Lexx - Slow Burning (Mudd Remix) // Bear Funk
3) Extrawelt - 3000 // Traum
4) Mungolian Jet Set - Navigator // Jazzland
5) Marcus Mixx - Without Makeup (Ron Hardy Mix) // Let's Pet Puppies
6) Shane Berry - Fillertet 2 // Trapez
7) Marc Romboy - Jack Is Back // Systematic
8) Johannes Heil - The Magician (Thomas Schumacher Remix) // Klang Elektronik
9) Popnoname - Romance // Italic
10) Skream - Dutch Flowers // Tempa
11) Horsepower Productions - Hand Of Death // Tempa
12) Shackleton - Blood On My Hands // Skull Disco
13) Melchior Productions - Different Places // Perlon
14) Yes - Heart Of The Sunrise // Atlantic
15) Ganymed - We Like You (The Way You Like Us) // Bellaphon

TAPE Radio - Show #13: Sunrise Selection

Monday, January 08, 2007

Soft's Current Top....Five

Yes, only five in this lil' chart, as I've been posting all day and I do have a real job I'm supposed to be doing (albeit an insufferably dull one). No filler, all killer - the following are records you need....

Double CD that assembles various Dumb Unit sure shots on one disc, and lets the JC loose on the decks for disc two – with gems like Exercise One’s ---- and Italoboyz’s ‘Programmer’ pinging about like nobody’s business, s’all minimal funk par excellence.

Straight-up, stripped-down techno from the vaults of Berlin’s Cabinet, it’s all about the 2nd disc of previously unreleased tracks that mainly plough a furrow of low-slung funk sprinkled with killer acid lines, and sound super-fresh and super-good despite their age and obscurity. Will post some highlights soon.

Carnage’s inclusion of the epic ‘Djed’ in one of his recent Viva Radio mixes made me remember how much I used to dig this album. Fished it out of the childhood bedroom when I was at my folks’ place for Christmas, banged it on the ipod and, woah, fuck me, it’s a hundred times better than I remembered it being and I remembered it being GOOD. Seriously, this is one of the greatest LPs ever. If you haven’t heard it, you best sort it out. I’ll try and help you with this later in the week.

‘Mad’ Maurice Fulton at the controls, and brushing aside the sonic assaults of his Mu and Syclops work, the Sheffield resident works up a italo-inflected, grainy disco bomb. The cyclical synth drop that kicks in ¾ of the way through has had me walking around town with a strut and a smile befitting of a man who’s just won the lottery and, by as well as rather than because of, got with the girl of his dreams. The reality being that I’m hells skint and have all but given up chasing the (spoken-for) girl of (some of) my dreams. But that’s the power of music for ya…

Puffin tends to pop on this bruk belter every time we’re all-a-gurnin’ but a little technoed-out. I always light up when it plays, ask what it is, and then promptly forget all about it. Well, I took matters into my own hands and finally picked up the atrociously-packaged but loudly-cut 12” and it’s barely left my platter since. If you only ever buy one techy-but-soulful broken beat badboy, make it this one.


So, 2007. It's shaping up alright. I've enjoyed the first week of it, at any rate. Not sure how I'll fare through a further 51 but, well, I must. We all must.

And not only must we survive, we must also improve. Or so I've been telling myself.

After a customarily hectic New Year's weekend, I've been pretty sober since the 1st; I've been staying in (hard to do in a city of infinite distractions) cooking virtually every night (only those unfortunate enough to be familiar with my kitchen 'skills' could understand what an achievement this is), sleeping the recommended 7.5 hours per night and generally focussing my attentions on being a better class of human being. I slipped slightly on Friday; having met up with some old friends in a pleasant(ish) bar and drained a few warm, soapy pints of Stella, I was convinced by said friends to accompany them to Trailer Trash, an emphatically awful clubnight that clings aesthetically, as you may have evinced from the name if not your own experience, to a tired ideal of 'sleazy' clubbing that had its heyday four or five years ago, and accordingly pedals the most grim, grinding and toothless electro-house (dotted with over-flogged 'anthems' like that Coburn tune we all used to sortof like) as a mere soundtrack/aural encouragement to the sexual exchanges of the lower class of liberally ecstasied bisexual buffoon [Note from Soft's lawyers: Mr Soft is not equating bisexuality with buffoonery] (the beautiful people having long since migrated elsewhere). God, I sound old-fashioned (and snide). Anyway, it was rubbish, and in my infinite foolishness I necked a bean to pass the time. After thirty minutes of half-arsed move-bustin', I was disturbed to find that the club had no seating whatsoever (I may've just been too fucked to find it), so did the sensible thing and got a taxi back home, where I found my pissed and stoned flatmates sofa-bound, watching 24. I'd never before followed Jack Bauer's terrorist-capping exploits pilled-up; I never wish to again. The reason I mention all this is, I woke up about five hours later, lamenting the fact that my much-feted health-drive had been obliterated by one cack(ish) night out; and so, unable to sleep, the rain lashing down outside, I did something I haven't done for, oh, four or five years. I put on my shorts and t-shirt and trainers, pocketed my ipod and went for a RUN. I was actually surprised at how much stamina I had, but a combination of Pop Ambient 2007 on the earphones and, presumably, a fair amount of e still in my bloodstream, made it more than bearable.* It was PISSING it down, which made the whole thing seem even more cleansing. I came home feeling more virtuous than I've felt in a decade.

...And get this. I did it AGAIN the next day.

Yes. And then later in the afternoon I went on a five mile walk along the Thames and back (Millions Now Will Never Die, The Blue Notebooks and Eureka on the 'pod - now that's therapy). And no, I can't feel my legs today and have the painful gait of Ed Norton post-shower scene in American History X. But fucking hell, I still feel virtuous. I'm here to share with you the track that made the second of my two jogs possible: 'The Porcupine' by Latex. Now, I'd heard this track carve up many a dancefloor before I realized what it actually was (Carnage played it to me months ago when I was all absinthed out - he may as well not have played it to me at all...), but only at the tail-end of last year did I work out what it was (helpful be-afroed trainspotter piped up when Mayer dropped it at Stink). Anyway, Crosstown Rebels' 'anonymous' Rebelone imprint has brought us some great tracks over the last couple of years (Silversurfer's 'The Mouse' as Nylon to me far betters all of his real-name productions; Ripperton's 'The Panther' as Rayon, etc, etc,...incidentally, anyone who knows who did Wax's 'The Crocodile' (a classic), Spandex's 'The Bull' or P.A.N.'s 'The Lizard' (underrated), please leave a comment - a geek like me should know their respective identities, but I don't), and it was man-of-the-year (in some quarters, anyway) Loco Dice who stepped up to the plate to bring us 'The Porcupine'. Driven by a xylophone-like melody, a jabbing synth and seasoned with a little wah-wah pulse that I can't help but associate with George Michael's 'Flawless', it's dancefloor/exercise/smoking/whatever dynamite, and the more I listen to it the more I feel it should have comfortably breached the top 5 of my Top 100 Tracks of '06. Anyway, no time for regrets. Here's a low-res (out of respect to people over at Crosstown who don't like their stuff being given away for free but remain very supportive and understanding of this blog and it's activity) mp3; if you like it, go out and buy it, though Phonica's reserves seem at this time to be dry, dry, dry.

Latex - The Porcupine // Rebelone

*This run lasted no more than (a solid) 20minutes. If all goes to plan, I should be able to last the duration of LCD Soundsystem's '45:33' by the end of 2007. Coming soon on DFA: LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 (Mr Soft's 19:20 I Haven't Got Off My Lazy Arse Since 2003 Edit).

Mourning air

While we're loosely on the subject of death...

Ewan Pearson is a something of a legend round these parts; as I never tire of pointing out, I love him as much for his way with words (check the 'Enthusiasm' page at ewanpearson.com) as for his remixes/productions - which range from the thrilling and essential ('1,2,3 No Gravity' or the Two Fairlight Bitches' mix of 'Me & Madonna') to the extremely fussy and extremely dull (has anyone listened to that 'disco odyssey' remix of Goldfrapp recently? No. Life really is too short.) Anyway, it's always nice when Pearson teams up with his pal Al Usher - under their Partial Arts guise - to dish out some original production shizzle on their own terms. Their last big release was for Dialect's Battle series - the (appropriately) mid-tempo 'Cruising', which had plenty of low-end beef and high-end snap, crackle and pop. If you know what I mean. It was hardly a classic, but, you know, I liked it. Anyway, all this is hardly relevant, because Partial Arts' latest offering for the consistently inconsistent Speicher imprint is a dark, faintly majestic corker [EDIT: this is actually out on Kompakt proper].

"Trauermusik" has been a bit of a labour of love. Trying to do something a bit more affective, lots of chords, violas, cannons going off (you think I'm joking?). Minimal it ain't. Maudlin pseudo-classical self-indulgence like only we know how... :)

On the flip Alter Ego have done an amazing remix which manages to segue from Flügel-fidgit to "Rocker"-ish electro-excess to Belgian new beat and back in the course of 7 minutes and gets away with it. Over-the-top definitely but a dancefloor killer none-the-less.

PS "Trauermusik" means funeral or mourning music. We nicked it from Paul Hindemith [pictured]. Thieving AND pretentious? You betcha.

Just as my heart leaps when Pearson and Usher collaborate, so my heart sinks when Roman Flugel hooks up with Jorn Wuttke as Alter Ego (I infinitely prefer the former's solo productions); still, as Pearson attests, their remix of 'Trauermusik' is nothing if not interesting, and is as silly and dancefloor-slaying as Alter Ego (for better or worse) trackage invariably is.

Partial Arts - Trauermusik (Alter Ego Remix) // Kompakt

YSI, so very low download limit, so be quick if you want it. Needless to say, it's the original version 'Trauermusik' that's the goer on this 12" so make sure you pick it up from Phonica, Kompakt mp3 or any other of the usual outlets (release date: Jan 15th). What with us living in the age of high capitalism rather than a high-efficiency-farming, clusterfucking moneyless utopia, artists MUST be paid for their work. I implore you to see to it that they are.

Speaking of getting paid (sorry), Ewan again:

If you go to www.myspace.com/traceythorn you can hear "It's All True", the first single from Tracey's forthcoming solo album "Out of the Woods". Darshan Jesrani from Metro Area, Sasse Lindblad and I wrote the music in Berlin last year, and recorded the song in London with Tracey this summer. It's just promo'ing now and was already Essential New Tune on Pete Tong's BBC Radio1 show last Friday.There are a brace of very fine remixes to come too from Martin Buttrich, Kris Menace and NYC's Escort. The single is due for release in February 2007 and the album in March. I produced another 5 tracks on the album, with appearances from Zongamin, Al Usher and Gabe Andruzzi from The Rapture.

Bowing out: Trash (1997-2007)

End of an era tonight, then.

From trashclub.co.uk:

Tonight, Trash bows out after a decade.

It seems fitting that after 10 years, we should seal the lid on something which has been extremely special. Closing it at one of it's peaks is in honour of the special times we have all shared together.

Erol will be leaving his residency to concentrate on new projects, but will still feature in the next chapter, which will take the form of a new night involving many of those who make Trash what is it. But more details of that will follow in due course..

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the bands and dj's who have guested and played with us, and also thank the staff (from the doors, bars, security, cloakroom and the toilets!) who have worked tirelessly to make Trash happen week in week out, and a big special thank you to our home, The End, who have help make the last 6 or so years as groundbreaking and exciting as they have been.

Last and by no means least; to every single one of you who has ever come out on a Monday to dance, drink, laugh, love, cry, court, sing, shout, shuffle, stamp, jump, cheer and clap; to everybody who dressed up in ways that only they could; to the quiet kids in the corners and the mental party monsters in the middle; to all the lovers; to everyone who should have grown up a long time ago and probably never will; to the Ravers, Rockers, Mods, Club Kids and Freaks; to all the beautiful girls and gorgeous boys and those inbetween; to everyone who nursed a Tuesday hangover and lied to their boss / teacher / parents; to all you wonderful, noisy b*stards, whether you only came once, or were there every week; to all of you..

Thank you.

Trash was yours and you deserved it.

It will love you forever.

---Tonight will be a celebration of those 10 years. Expect nothing but the HITS!Dj's - Erol Alkan, Rory Phillips, Mavs & The Lovely JonjoDoors 9:30pm - Till we're doneEntry £6 Do we need to stress this? Please arrive early!

We could talk about the shortcomings of Trash and its high-school drama attendees, particularly in the last couple of years, but that hardly seems appropriate - god bless them for bowing out now rather than later, and god bless Erol & his crew for quite honestly changing the face of modern clubbing and for providing belting Monday nights week in, week out, and keeping everyone - from the Top Man clones to yours Softly - (more or less) happy.

Sob. See you there...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Exclusive: Mock & Toof, 'Black Jub'

New business from our pals Mock & Toof M, the brilliantly named 'Black Jub'. Jub? Jub:

\Jub\, n. [Perh. corrupted fr. jug.] A vessel for holding ale or wine; a jug. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Mooted for release on Tiny Sticks at some point, but for now exclusive to TAPE. Until I press 'Publish Post', that is. Oops.

Mock & Toof - Black Jub // CD-R

not forgetting

More M&T/Tiny Sticks news/tuneage on its way to you in the new year.


Guest TAPEr's Chart: Tim Sweeney (DFA / Beats in Space) - 10 for 2006

Oh, and fuck, gentleman & scholar Tim Sweeney, of DFA/Beats in Space, very kindly knocked us up an exclusive Top 10 for 2006 which I, in my scattiness, completely forgot about. So, a month or so after he handed it in, but no less interesting or wise....

1. Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russon - Revelee (Carl Craig Remix) // DFA
Carl Craig just seemed like the perfect person to remix Delia &Gavin's synth work, and he came through with probably my favorite track of the year. A beautiful remix and perfect for making a party explode.

2. The Knife - Silent Shout // Brille
Much talked about, but I think it deserves it. The Swedish duo made a great album of dark, strange, synth-heavy tracks that were able to cross over to a broad range of people.

3. Hot Chip - The Warning // EMI
Another much hyped album, but again, they deserve it. Tracks like"Over and Over," "Boy From School," "Colours," "No Fit State" and"Just Like We Breakdown" made this album a real standout for 2006. I think there might have been a little overkill with the number of remixes released from this album, but there were some really great ones (Erol, DFA, Maurice Fulton).

4. Larry Heard presents Mr. White - The Sun Can't Compare // Alleviated
It's hard to believe this track was made in 2006, as it sounds like it was taken straight from Mr. Fingers in 1986. No one can do it better than him as he breaks it down to just vocals, 303, and a 909. Classic.

5. Antena - Camino Del Sol (Joakim Remix) //Permanent Vacation
Joakim turns this track from 1982 into a dance floor filler. Lot's of synth action and hints of Carl Craig and Booka Shade.

6. Sly Mongoose - Snakes and Ladder (Rub n Tug Remix) // Mule Musiq
New York's Rub N Tug duo have been turning out great remixes this year, and I think this is one of my favorites. It's a piano driven disco track that's just a lot of fun.

7. Glissandro 70 - Portugal Rua Rua // Constellation
This Toronto based group is the combination of Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo) and Craig Dunsmuir. This track sounds like Animal Collective meets Arthur Russell with a hint of Juan Atkins (at the very end they chant lyrics from Model 500's "No UFO's"). It's beautiful, repetitive, strange and refreshing to hear.

8. Shit Robot - Wrong Galaxy // DFA Shit Robot has been having an amazing year with this, his first 12" on DFA, plus his amazing remix of Dondolo on Tiny Sticks. "Wrong Galaxy"always seemed to get the dancefloor going whenever I played it this past year.

9. Home Video - Penguin (The Loving Hand Remix) // Defend
The Loving Hand is the new alter ego of DFA's Tim Goldsworthy. After only a couple remixes under his new name (Wolfmother, Radio 4, The Rakes), this is the definite stand out of the bunch. With a melancholy feel, it floats along with sections weaving in and out of each other, but a steady bouncing bassline that keeps it on the dancefloor.

10. Kathy Diamond - All Woman // Permanent Vacation
This Maurice Fulton production is very similar to what he did with Hot Chip's "Over and Over." He takes things back to that 80's jazz-funk-disco feel. It's a perfect late night jam for David Mancuso's Loft Party.

Check www.beatsinspace.net, as if you needed telling.

Justus for all

...and if you haven't checked out Resident Advisor's Top 30 tracks of '06 (here), make sure you do - for a limited time only, they're giving away a bunch of mpfrees, including the genius 'Advance' by your favourite Kompakt weirdy beardy Justus Kohncke (pictured) and various bits by Isolee, The Field, Louderbach and Cobblestone Jazz.

MixTAPE: Mike Bull - This Is Mutant Pop

Gosh, we're spoiling you today. Not only has Soft posted three killer tracks, but you're also being blessed with the latest instalment of the 'This Is Mutant Pop' series from MP resident Mike Bull. Puffin Jack's the only resident left to do his, so expect that in... ooh... 2008 maybe?
Mike Bull - This Is Mutant Pop

1) Pom Pom - Pom Pom 24 // Pom Pom
2) BLM - Silent Sleeper // Fear of Flying
3) Martin Buttrich - Lazy Fucker // Poker Flat
4) Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. - The Back Door // Ibadan
5) Marcel Knopf - Lloyd // Rrygular
6) Seph - Arena // Phonocult
7) Robin Porter & Mike Carr - Farthernature (Barem Remix) // Immigrant
8) Daniel Stefanik - Missing Summer // Cargo Edition
9) Miskate - Esprite (Remix) // Alphahouse
10) Pheek - Magda Had a Little Troll (Gurtz Remix) // Clever Music
11) John Taylor - Samba // Resopal
12) P.A.N. - The Lizard // Rebelone
13) Alejandro Vivanco - Nomade // Dumb-Unit
14) Fuckpony - Pony Pumper // Get Physical

Mike Bull - This Is Mutant Pop Too

Mike Bull & Gareth Watkins - Various Mixes

Also, all you Bristolians shouldn't forget that it's Mutant Pop at the Arc Bar tonight. It's a residents' special, so expect a healthy dosage of disco, minimal, house, dubstep and techno with some inevitable surprises along the way. See you down there!

Items and things

Hello, and happy 2007. I intend, at some point, to grind out parts 2 and 3 of the End of Year Review begun below, but for now, content yourself with some '06 nuggets still hitting home....

...We've been pretty tight on our mp3 postage in the last few months, mainly to try to lead by example and promote a bit of respect for the artists (often claimed, but all too rarely displayed) whose long-term prospects we boost, but short-term profits are frequently liable to extinguish. Remember, you don't have to spend £7.99 on a 12" to hear a tune, mp3 shops like Kompakt-mp3 are totally on it and will supply you with upfront gear for mere pocket change. We more than anyone understand the value of mp3 blogs and the tunes they supply, but none of us should really be taking the piss as we (or certainly I) did in '06.

That said, I will have a great deal of fresh bits 'n pieces for you in the coming months; I'm going to continue to use YSI because, despite being unreliable, it puts an automatic limit on downloads and its sheer awkwardness means that only a few beardy cats will be patient enough to download the mp3s. Not a logical strategy, I grant you. Anyway, you'll have to be nerd-early to get hold of tracks, so bookmark us in your browser and in your mind.

For now, let's look to the (recent) past for inspiration.

First up, a clicky bomb from Steve Barnes, aka Cosmic Sandwich. I'm lazy above all things, so by way of annotation/explication here's the review I wrote of the 12" for RA:

Ever since his 2004 tech-disco smash ‘Cosmic Sandwich’, which conquered dancefloors in both its original and remixed form (courtesy of Dominik Eulberg), Steve Barnes has taken that track’s title as his primary production moniker (releases still appear under his own name, and his Process guise). It’s been a reasonably quiet year for Barnes so far, despite having remixed Hot Chip to, well, uninspiring effect, and having commissioned versions of his own 2005 belter ‘Man in A Box’ from the talented likes of Patrick Chardronnet and Andre Kraml, so this new 12” on Cologne’s My Best Friend arrives to a real rustle of underground anticipation.

Well, the first thing to say is that neither track on this excellent record lives up to the mighty ‘Cosmic Sandwich’, and nor should they be expected to. That track emerged at the right time, and at the right place, fashioning something perfectly discerning and original out of familiar components, while Eulberg’s epic reimagining upped the warp factor to the point of darkest ecstasy and remains, arguably, the German’s finest moment. Both those versions have been, if not copied, then absorbed into the language of modern 4x4 production, a curse and an accolade that is unlikely to be repeated.

The eponymous A-side to ‘Battle Twig’ is, nonetheless, an entirely satisfying affair – dubby but sharp minimal house that, rhythmically-speaking, favours disco snap over techno thud, but is full of the kind of hyperactive edits and gritty, squiggling computer melodies that make it a worthy tool to have in your box. It’s not, however, one of those tunes that’ll have people coming up to you and asking, “What’s this?”

There’s a concerted shift in style for ‘Scatter Realm’ on the flip; while ‘Battle Twig’ is a deliberately sparse, uncompromising groove (no bad thing), the B-side recalls DJ T’s finest moments – tasteful electro-house with plenty of melody and beef, and a high-pitched synth motif appearing two minutes in that’ll put smiles on faces any time of day or night.In short, a top-notch 12” which fails to eclipse Barnes’ finest work, but blows a fair few of his so-called contemporaries out of the water. If you dug ‘Man in a Box’, get your mitts on this.

Cosmic Sandwich - Battle Twig // MBF

Ok, next up one of my favourite floor-rocking producers, Mr Axel Bartsch. Axel's label Sportclub put out some not-too-shabby 12"s last year (his own 'Raubertochter' is a belter of a track), but it's various issues on Kompakt and its sublabels that have most intrigued and satisfied. 'Shifting' is the B-side to Speicher 41 (the A-side belongs to Bartsch as well), and it's a moody cruiser you shouldn't be without.

Axel Bartsch - Shifting // Kompakt Extra

And for dessert, the fourth and probably finest track off Minus Allstars' Spaceships & Pings EP. Again, I'm a lazy fuck, so here's the RA review I did (though admittedly only one or two sentences deal with the tune in question):

The M_nus Allstars – that is, M_nus regulars/Run Stop Restore trio Troy Pierce (pictured left), Magda and Marc Houle, along with Wagon Repair main man Konrad Black – inaugurate their new label Items & Things with a stunning EP, ‘Spaceships & Pings’. Black, who scored a massive underground hit last year with his gothic electro-houser ‘Medusa Smile (Don’t Look Back)’, kicks off this 12” with the appropriately named ‘Coma Couch Surfing’. A real departure both from his usual bolshier fare and the rigorously minimal M_nus sound, the track is a cosmic disco cruiser that you might more readily attribute to Lindstrom or Kirk DeGiorgio – with an addictive bass melody and dreamy, swirling synth sounds, this will surely go down well at your more discerning afterparties. So while Konrad Black provides the ‘spaceships’ of the title, the mighty Marc Houle takes it upon himself to deal with the ‘pings’ – his ‘Kicker’ is a tough, insidiously funky tech-houser that sounds at times like a malfunctioning arcade game (in a good way) and has bass drops and scuzzy acid lines to die for. Magda too takes a break from her usual trackier productions, providing a masterful, minimalist take on electro with ‘Black Leather Wonder’ that isn’t a million miles away from classic Autechre. But it’s the closing effort from Troy Pierce that makes this package essential – ‘The Day After Yesterday’ is a plaintive, bare bones house workout, with a strung-out soul vocal and an ascending, almost trancey melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Get Physical or Innervisions release. It’s extremely unusual but extremely effective.

Troy Pierce - The Day After Yesterday // Items & Things

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

TAPE in January

Nightmoves - Beats In Space mix:
1) Tussle - Comma // Troubleman
2) Fleetwood Mac - Tusk // WEA
3) Tullio De Piscopo - Stop Bajon // ZYX
4) Lindstrom & Solale - Mystery Track // CD-R
5) Rodion - Fisico // Gomma
6) Johnny Wakelin - In Zaire // Pye
7) Methusalem - Zombie // Supersound
8) Bjohn Torske - God Kveld // Smalltown Supersound
9) Daniel Wang - Echo By Midnight // Basenotic
10) Antena - On The Boat (Disco Devils Rubber Room Mix) // Permanent Vacation
11) Force Of Nature - Unstoppable (Broken Rule Remix) // Headinghome
12) Faze Action - Stratus Energy (Special Disco Mix) // Faze Action
13) Dinosaur L - Kiss Me Again (Serge Santiago Edit) // CDR
14) Shocking Pinks - Smokescreen (Glimmers Edit) // DFA
15) The Chap - Baby I'm Hurt'n' // Lo Recordings
16) Lopazz - Gimme Gimme // Get Physical
17) Argy - Love Dose (Luciano Remix - Prins Thomas Re-Edit) // CD-R
18) Lee Douglas - Our Song // Rong
19) Hatchback - White Diamond (Prins Thomas Remix) // Thisisnotanexit

Nightmoves - Beats In Space mix

Mark E - Cool In The Pool mix:
1) New Funk Pheory - Always // Airtight
2) Kenneth Bager - Fragments from a Space Cadet 2 // Music for Dreams
3) Bill Withers - You Got The Stuff (Mark E Edit) // CD-R
4) John Nick - Grip Of A Python (Mark E Edit) // CD-R
5) Hiro Ohta - Kakera // Miso
6) JJ Cale - Ride Me High (Joakim Edit) // D*I*R*T*Y
7) Newworldaquarium - ThemefromNY // Delsin
8) Mark E - ?? // CD-R
9) Lovebirds - Modern Stalking EP // Winding Road
10) No Pheory - Devils Dance // Sin & Soul
11) Aroy Dee - Kiss // NWAQ
12) Voom Voom - Best Friend (Charles Webster Dub) // G-Stone

Mark E - Cool In The Pool mix

For more tip top mixes, check www.coolinthepool.com and www.beatsinspace.net, and we'll hopefully see you down at Native on the 19th. This Friday we've got Redshape, Shackleton and October down at Timbuk2 for the Cuisine night, so if you've got any passing interest in electronic music, that's the place to be. See you down there!
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