Thursday, January 31, 2008

In The Box - January

Been very busy over the last couple of weeks so apologies for the lack of updates. TAPE went off with a bang a couple of weekends back - the club was packed out by 12:30 and we had great sets from all involved. The Kelly Twins busted out a proper old school electro selection that worked the dancefloor up early on, while Mark E traversed from loopy disco to pumping acidic house and back with ease. There were loads of fresh edits and tracks that were unknown to my ears, but their obscurity didn't make his set any less enjoyable. Nightmoves' Matt Waites (pictured above - cheers to Tulane Blyth for the photo) took Mark's disco baton and ran with it, peppering his slick selection with a few bangers and spaced out jams. In particular Part 1 of 45:33 sounded excellent at around 3am, and he finished with a classic anthem yet again (Prince's 'Controversy' this time around!).

Cheers Matt, Mark, and everyone who came down and made it such a wicked night, and we'll be back in on Friday 21st March with Bass Clef (Blank Tapes) and Peverelist (Punch Drunk). They'll both be rocking more varied sets than their usual dubsteppin' fare, so we hope to see some of you down for that one!

Anyway, it's reaching the end of the month so it's time to pull out another list of stuff that have been keeping me from jumping off the suspension bridge this January.

In the Box - January '08

1) Bjorn Torske - Feil Knapp LP // Smalltown Supersound
Words can't describe just how brilliant this album from Norse elder statesman Bjorn Torske is. Jumping from chuggy electronic disco, 8-bit dub reggae, smooth house grooves and sparse tribal techno with aplomb, Bjorn's whipped up a journey that'll warm the cockles of many a music lover once they expose themselves to its multi-faceted charms. Sublime stuff.

Bjorn Torske - Feil Knapp LP // Smalltown Supersound

2) Omar S - Psychotic Photosynthesis // FXHE
I first heard this on the mix that ISM's Pipecock did for us (which is absolutely cracking by the way - scroll down to get your fill) and was entranced by its delicate see-sawing melody and hypnotic groove. I'm sure that I'm one of many that are looking forward to see what Mr Smith has up his sleeve for later in the year after this quality slab of wax.

Omar S - Psychotic Photosynthesis // FXHE

3) Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity LP // Ostgut Ton
I'm sure that you've been told how good this album is quite a bit already, but it really is a great body of work. Sure, the production is clinical and there's some fantastic grooves all the way through, but what really shines out is the quality of the songs and the flow of the album. Both Elif Bicer and Prosumer's vocals are slick and emotive in all the right places, and it's clear that they've taken a lot of time over the track arrangements even though they seem so simplistic on first listens. Buy the double LP for playing out, but don't turn your nose up at the CD version as that's definitely the most satisfying way to enjoy this cracking collection of tracks. It's a shame that they didn't stick with the original cover (pictured above), to be honest.

Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity LP // Ostgut Ton

4) D1 - I'm Loving // Tempa
I was round Puffin's gaff when he pulled out the new Tempa 12, and was pleasantly surprised to hear this upbeat soulful cut from D1 oozing sexually from the speakers. Based around a sample of Ron Hall & The MuthaFunkaz cut 'The Way You Love Me' (never heard of it - not surprising seeing as it originally came out on Defected), 'I'm Loving' is packed with swelling melodies, perfect percussion, and great hooks. Balearic dubstep, anyone? Anyway, this is sure to be a big summer anthem with more open minded DJs, and to be honest I could see it becoming a big radio hit if it's picked up on by a major and re-released in a few months time. 'Instep' on the flip is a little bit wobbly-skank by numbers for my liking, but 'Speed' fares much better with its distorting clinks and hauntingly bouncy bass. The synth stabs sound a little unrefined, but that's a minor quibble. Tip.

D1 - I'm Loving EP // Tempa

5) Mark E & Dragon - Good Times // Internajonal
Mark kindly sorted us a copy of his forthcoming release on Prins Thomas' Internajonal imprint, and it's an absolute beauty - think Ibizan sunsets on a heroin drip, and you're nearly there. Sparse heavy kicks and bubbling synths make way for a killer bassline, before the gorgeously woozy melody takes over and blisses things right out. Bonus points for Dragon's vocal lifted straight from Chic's anthem of the same name. Prins gives the track a more percussive arrangement that should work well in warm up sets, and I think you know exactly what Quiet Village are going to bring to the table. Upping the horse factor by ten, this is slo-mo hypno-house at its finest. Verdict? Well balearic.

6) Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt // Freund Der Familie
According the Discogs, the original on this record is from back in '98, which seems surprising since it sounds incredibly relevant to the recent melding of dubstep and techno ideals. 'Konig Der Welt' is a heavily tonal steppin' dub techno track with light percussion and the occasional bass purge, and is sure to find a happy home in the collections of Basic Channel and Modern Love fans. On the flipside, Sven Weisemann contributes a remix that's similar both in style and quality to his recent works on Mojuba and Meanwhile. Get it before you've got to pay about £40 to get hold of one.

Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt // Freund Der Familie
Freund Der Familie - Konig Der Welt (Sven's dWorld Mix) // Freund Der Familie

7) Tony Lionni - Better Change // Mule Electronic
Solid three tracker from Madrid based Liverpudlian Lionni who looks set for big things in '08. He's got forthcoming bits on Versatile and Wavetec (which I've unfortunately not heard yet) as well as this EP that's coming out on Mule in March. A-side 'Better Change' is a gorgeous dubby piano houser that unfolds slowly across its ten minute duration, while the b-sides explore Tony's techier side. Eerie synths swell and surge away on 'The Presence', while 'Raices' takes Basic Channel-esque stabs and marries them to a crisp bouncing bassline. Tony should be sorting us out with a mix sometime soon, so keep checking back for that.

Listen here:
Mule Electronic myspace

8) Don Williams - Detroit Red EP // a.r.t.less
Simple but effective is the vibe on this, Williams' second outing on his own Mojuba sublabel. 'Beyond The Means' is a pumping techno cut with a rousing/annoying (delete as applicable) vocal paen to ol' Motor City, while 'Exhibition' takes a more emotive, chordal direction with irresistably sharp bouncing percussion.

Don Williams - Beyond The Means // a.r.t.less
Don Williams - Exhibition // a.r.t.less

9) Lee Jones - Aria (Original & Tiger Stripes Remix) // Aus
My My's Lee Jones returns to Will Saul's Aus imprint with a stonking melodic minimal houser. The groove is stripped back but packed with all the percussive intricacies that we've come to expect from Jones, while the chiming melody resonates its way into your brain for days on end. Tiger Stripes keeps the melody intact but gives things a more pumping tech-house spin for more peak time sets, and while it is good in its own stabbily chugging way, it's Lee's more subtle original that comes out on top.

10) Columbia #1 - Columbia #1 // Dissident
The highly annoying Dissident records (limited quantities of substandard singles does not a good record label make) depart from their disco excursions with this slice of throbbing dark techno that apparently comes from a mysterious British producer who wishes to remain anonymous. A female voiced space-age computer intones emotionally devoid commands over a relentlessly charging bass synth and a seriously heavy kick as queasy sharp melodies swoop over the metallic groove. 200 copies as usual, so don't sleep on this one if you like your techno to be as dark as your pint of Guinness.

Colombia #1 - Colombia #1 // Dissident

So there you go! I'm going to do a roundup of ten 12"s every month (should make doing the 100 a lot more manageable this time around!), so if you want to send me any promos for inclusion then hook me up here. Until next time...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't believe the amount of good music on serenity, wow.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Columbia #1 is simply mind-blowing!
other than that, most of this particular choice is a bit too conservative sounding (!) for me. do you guys like dubstep, like Burial or the invincible Shackleton for example? sorry for asking, in the UK, the perspective on that seemingly London-only (?) sound might be completely different. in Berlin, people are finally a bit fed up with Minimal so they start opening up for new, fresh sounds - like Dubstep. ironically it is "Mr. Minimal" himself - Villalobos -, who has introduced that particular sound via his Shackleton remixes to the otherwise quite pigheaded Berlin crowd.
cheers, zuckermann via

6:08 PM  
Blogger Richard Carnage said...

Zuckermann - You might be quite surprised to know that Bristol is probably the second epicentre of dubstep goings on in England. Appleblim (Shackleton's Skull Disco partner) runs the label from here in Bristol, Tom from the Rooted shop (probably the best specialist dubstep shop in the country - produces some amazing techno influenced dubstep as Peverelist and runs the fantastic Punch Drunk records, Pinch also runs the Tectonic label from here, there's Headhunter and the Hench crew... I could go on! Did you not enjoy the D1 12" that I mentioned though?

Anyway, Peverelist and Bass Clef (now living in Hackney, but he used to work here at Imperial Records with Puffin Jack before it closed) are playing our next party in March, but they'll be playing more wide ranging sets than the usual straight up dubstep fare.

Hmm... conservative selections though? Fair enough - most of them are fairly deep and you're looking for something that's a little more edgy, maybe? I have to admit, most of the dancefloor rocking techno cuts that I've heard this month have bored me to tears - hopefully next month will be better for that type of stuff.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

richard, thanks for all the infos! so what i said seems to be the typical continental navel-gazing again - not to speak of berlin... fair enough!
you know, even though drum 'n bass was relatively big over here back in the days, it could never really compete with the "native" 4/4 dancefloor breed. and so it went with 2 step garage which was a big hype during 6 months over here and then, it just com-ple-te-ly disappeared (actually, i was member of one of the berlin garage acts then, "fab factory", we even had some releases inkl. a full album of "bassline garage" - just for the records).
So my point is, people don't really follow the UK scene as much as they should maybe. and it's only when "institutions" like villalobos shed some light on fresh sounds that people are becoming aware of UK's music - but just a little, like myself (uhm, see your response ;-). On the other hand, you have that comparatively really, really well oiled hype machine of the UK music markets, which makes it hard for people over here to take developments seriously. maybe these are 2 sides of the same coin? more competition makes for more pressure makes for more creative output makes for more/ better music to promote?

anyway, about conservative selection, it might reflect some of my own frustration with most releases at the moment, so i hear a track like Tony Lionni - Better Change, and instantaneously i think "beautiful", to only have that thought running through my veines ;) a millisecond later "wait a minute, has really nothing happened during the last 15 years?".

so inspite of the super saturated vinyl/ club/ dancefloor markets we are facing today, the real talents seem to be as rare as ever, to name but a few: hot chip (uhm, not exactly a dancefloor b(r)and), villalobos ("he's from barcelona", nay, south america!), shakleton (the UK stroke back!), Noze (see my comments/ your response on the years best 100 post of yours), DJ Koze (northern humor-soul), carl craig (from a press release: "his remix factory complex build by sir norman foster helps big time to deal with all the remix quests..."), the first album of fuck pony (the best modern house in a long time, and that was 2006, wasn't it?), wighnomy brothers (creaking, groaning, and mooing on the dancefloor), etc., etc...
so much about a couple of my favorite's of those last 2 years - i know, quite conservative a selection...
cheers, zuckermann via

1:13 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

'Aria' is the jam. A gushingly enthusiastic review of that is going to be going up on RA soon...

10:18 AM  
Blogger x said...

you make that lee jones sound mighty fine - will have to check it out. glad you're making a regular thing of this.
i'll have to see if i can head over to one of your nights sometime - they seem like great times!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Sean-Michael Yoder said...

Love that Bjorn Torske album! Very eclectic. Glad you like it, too.

5:57 AM  
Blogger TRICKY DISCO said...

Good selections as always Rich - loving the Omar S and the Mark E.

Oh, and regular TAPE readers, check: It's kinda like this, but done by the other half of the best before: crew (i.e me, Sean, Tone etc).

Sorry, had to get that plug in!

11:50 AM  
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Anonymous porn said...

you make that lee jones sound mighty fine - will have to check it out. glad you're making a regular thing of this.

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