Review: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Review: 'Ploy' is the imitating release by Basic Channel even before they had found their name under which they would create a complete outstanding release sequence. The vibe here is very infected by the early 90s Detroit techno movement. The B-side features an extended playing atmospheric remix by Detroit's major force Underground Resistance (2005 re-mastered re-issue!).
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Review: "The Einhorn EP" with Dario Zenker marks the come back of Bruno Pronsato on Telegraph. The release includes 2 marathon tracks between live and production. After living in Wasserburg, Dario Zenker comes back to Munich. He began his DJ career at the Ultraschall club alongside the likes of Acid Mario or Vitalic vs The Hacker & Hometrainer. 2006 is the year of his first productions on Balcon, Num and Telegraph. Bruno Pronsato (aka Steven Ford) has been subverting expectations within techno's upper echelons since 2003 but the Seattle producer took a circuitous path to reach his current lofty status. After his acclaimed releases on Orac, Musique Risquée, Milnormodern and Telegraph, 2006 would be the year of his consecration!
Review: Mike & Dot, already well-known for their luscious debut on Substatic (#52), now burrow themselves even deeper into technoid funk and succeed to uncover the tight floor pleasers once more. Each bar of the Lego EP is causing content head banging at the Substatic headquarters, underlining the idea of boosting new and undiscovered talent. They've got loads of that, those two junior techno heads from Jerusalem: In their extensive deep dripping tribalisms and DBX like bleeps & clonks stand next to post minimal 12-tone-madness and rapid glitch anthems, for the invincible optimists of a wild tap-dancing crowd. Almost boldly sophisticated, they distort their references and dash around the beats, however always leaving enough space to read between the lines. An unpretentious firework of good taste in four acts.
Review: Dahlback again in effect on his new second home, K2 out of Cologne. "Hearki" envelops you in a rotund bass drum, splashed with effects, nagging groove and delicately spotted with small percussive effects, deadly in the details. Watch out for the obliterated middle section as well, like a shoot out in an arcade, real horror show man. "Raido" flies a little too close to the big sun called preset for our tastes, but the choogling "Sailjo" rounds up and offers a necessary dry aftertaste to the aural palette, very new-Balearic, very good. Usual big stuff from Dahlback.
Review: Argy takes on the challenge to compose this year's summer soundtrack. From South America, to Africa and Persia, the young artist presents us his global music influences through a modern-electronic sound. On the A-side, "La Pasion", clearly presents the artist's passion for house music. Argy achieved to produce a modern but old skool sounding Latin track, which is definitely going to create a unique atmosphere and set dance floors on fire. "Third Night In Lebanon" takes us on a mental trip of oriental overtones. A reduced percussive piece with an intelligent arrangement of organic sounds consists one of Argy's most interesting works to date. The final track treats us to a sweeter, mood changing experience. "The Waves" is structured around a steady groove of airy and wet percussion layered with intriguing, spacey effects. Once again the young Greek combines innovative production with a raw sound full of passion and soul. Something he simplifies as nothing more than "Honest music from the heart".
Review: There is a colour TV program which airs nightly which is called: "The Most Beautiful Train Routes Of Germany"! During the show a locomotive travels over the tracks and the person on-screen is via the camera perspective at long last the conductor. It's a wonderful idea, where you seem to be somewhere between monotony and fascination. With this scenario in mind, you will be taken into the night and this is the soundtrack. The conductor must stay awake, and this music is the caffeine to get it done. The thoughts are freely suspended without the concentration having to suffer! The pillars of this music are melancholy: power and volition (will) which is thus paired with tenderness and passion. This is in connection with an irresistible swing of effortless movement out in the open revealing confidence in the darkness. Confused thoughts are with only a few ingredients steered to a specific determination of the sound cosmos helped by freely breathing. The concept all formed by a certain Douglas Greed who has a solid reference with two releases on the Combination Records. This one is actually well-known as a drum & bass activist in Thuringia. However, as it always is with the music "Schizo-Aficionado", the type must be stamped with a synonym for the crowds to put a face to, in this case powerful yet at the same time tender odes. It's for nothing for musical needs to be dimmed with psycho-pharmaceuticals, only because the ol'doc doesn't understand the split personality is an essential element. Mr Greed accompanied in the future by his familiar 'Live-Laptop-Action' handle spreads his musical seeds of dance fertilization over the speakers. When there 3 tracks don't comprise a proper bid there is only one alternative: migrate to an island and just play the bongos and didgeridoo! "Curie" from the darkness awakes the driving power of the gloom which within, brings light to the depths. Therein lies the guttural hovering of a bat of steel covered in soft golden feathers sauntering about. The further you descend, hope that all mourning has been defeated and the belief of positive in all is rekindled. "Fresh and Clean" the immaculate conception inside of an enormous machinery building! The devices are all dumfounded, only life matters - everyone experiences the resurrections of happiness. Through the milky glass streams the driving power of love. The intense ecstasy can be danced to! "Let's Roll" picture the docks at sunset. Everything moves along slowly, the will of the sea has been conquered on arrival just the effort needed. Everything is rhythm and melody, every finish and activity even the raising up the anchor and the drone of the propeller creates a sound of vastness. The dance on the water can now begin!
Review: Stil Vor Talent introduces this month another newcomer called Freska from the beautiful Murmansk in Russia. The nice James Holden fan has taken guitar lessons and discovered the world of synthesiser and drumcomputer since 1996. Freskas tracks are reflecting the Nordic impressions of his snowy home. He reaches this unique atmosphere by using his acoustic guitar and his love for deep electro, which he proves with this release called "Some Turns Inside" which has already been charted by well known artists like Carl Cox and Kiki. Stil Vor Talent is proud to present another exceptional talent with style on our sweet underground label.
Review: Brand new label hailing from Argentina by way of Germany, bringing you an amazing 4 track artist collaboration custom designed for fans of the stripped down Pheek-style phunk. Speaking of, Pheek contributes the awesome cut 'Previews' here alongside equally devastating jams from Dario Zenker 'New Kids On Weed', Seph's 'Phound' and Motio & E Contact with 'Do You See'.
Review: Donnacha's closing salvo in this three part mini-series of six tracks - six tracks of six minutes duration across six sides, written recorded and edited in six days, locked in his Dublin studio. The mordant swells of 6.5 seem to indicate Donnacha's self imposed studio discipline could have had serious effects - like the distant sound of a Sahko party held in a bunker many metres beneath the earth's surface - there's tremors and beeps, but nary the semblance of a groove. On the upside 6.6 adopts a rakish jacking mode, a vocal opines "well that’s enough, **** it" and seems to sum up Donnacha, climbing up the ceiling of his Irish studio space in the advanced stages of cabin fever - delirious and cranking out deadly house music. As the closing refrain of 6.6 has it "Everything continuous" - indeed!
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: Well know for his remix marathons and as the one and only party-hard guy. He brings us another full effect peak time guaranteed floor-filler. Big support from Kiki (Bpitch control) who remixed this tune, more minimal but also more than DJ friendly.
Review: Six brand new shakers from Omar S...This is the sh*t! Never confined to one particular genre, Omar is again blending house, techno and even minimal styles into one big pot of deep Detroit underground funk. There's even some Basic Channel / Deep Chord vibes going on there somewhere. Simply killer.
Review: Peter Horrevorts once again kicks over the dancefloor as sound-vaporizer. He delivers with "Vaporize" a stunning two tracker of a timeless electronic masterpiece. "Vaporize Part 1" comes with a forward rolling bassline and a really big portion of lightness whereas "Vaporize Part 2" sounds more deep, with mysterious and moody elements, but also always warm-hearted.
Review: We asked our favourite remixers of the moment to tackle the electronic disco vibe of the original Sasse production taken from his recent album "Made With The Upper Stairs Of Heaven". Peter Dildo, the man behind Trackdown Records, delivers his phat trademark sound of deep-house meets-post minimal in a slamming arrangement of fine tuned drums and hypnotic synth stabbing.
Review: Manmade Science is producer Michel Baumann (aka Jackmate/SoulPhiction), engineer Nik Reiff and percussionist Benjamin Lieten (aka Phlegmatic). With the feeling of a raw live session, this masterpiece comes along in a variety between jazz and techno, soul and house. It also contains a live track from a Manmade Sciences Concert at the Jazz Open in Stuttgart. There are also collaborations with guest musicians like conductor, musical-director and multi-instrumentalist John Thrower playing the sax on the starter "Chicago Sidewalks" and the last song "Brown Sugar". There are some lovely vocals from Isaiah Femi Awonaike on "Turn down the Lights" and the garage feel comes with the stunning voice of Haldor Laegreid on "Just tell me when...". If you're looking for something with more flesh than just bones check this out!
Review: Dear friends of Boxer Sport. Our emotions are hopping mad. After almost a year, Andre Dalcan & his buddy Greg Delon (aka Delon & Dalcan), the driving forces behind Scandium, are back on Boxer Sport with fresh stuff for your turntables, "Freaky Under My Skin". The remix comes from Martin Eyerer. A slick, rocking track that will make Odin swing his mace deep down into the hell of bass.
Review: The Sebo K and Metro make a partnership debut on Get Physical with "Transit". These upcoming house producers are so hot that this EP almost melts the vinyl that it's pressed on! "Transit" looks to the past and the future at the same time: inspired by old school Chicago house but boasting a modern techno approach to arranging, the nagging bass riff at the heart of "Transit" builds and builds along with Sebo and Metro's evocative chords to create a track that will raise the roof on any club during the peak time. "Transit" never loses its raw, hypnotic groove either, and after it reaches a climax, the sparse, raw rhythm is still there, urging the dancers to keep moving. Philly producer King Britt dons his Scuba hat to provide the remix. It's more understated than the original version, based on an off-beat groove, but, like a thief slipping through an open door in the middle of the night, Britt's reshape gradually introduces the hypnotic chords. Before you know it, his remix will have seduced any crowd who love deep, electronic house music. Get a move on to pick up on this future house classic!
Royksopp - "What Else Is There?" (Trentemoller remix)
Trentemoller - "Gush"
The Knife - "We Share Our Mother's Health" (Trentemoller remix)
Trentemoller - "Kink"
Review: Audiomatique are happy and proud to present "The Trentemoller Chronicles". This new double album is not a new studio album, but an overview of Trentemoller's impressive body of work. "The Trentemoller Chronicles" include Anders' personal selection of his best songs and remixes, which have only been available on vinyl or on compilations, as well as some new and exclusive songs. This is an essential piece of minimal/tech house.
Review: Steve Bug is back with a brilliant release to close 2007. In between A&Ring three labels, mixing and promoting two high profile club mix compilations, ('Fuse Presents Steve Bug' earlier this year and the 37th edition of Fabric's 'Prestigious Mix' series, released in November) we are glad he has found some studio time. 'A World Without' on the a-side is what we love Steve Bug for - his analogue warm sound and his simple understated fashion but unhurried ability to bring in slowly burning intensity, taking things to a different level and his talent in using minimal elements for maximum effects. The track kicks off with a subtle groovy beat plus Steve's vocal sample and shows him adding layer over layer of nifty sounds, building up to a hypnotic groove, after which the ever-increasing, stomach-punching synth kicks in - he then strips things back to the nude again in exactly the right moment. The track has something magical to it from the very first beats, a sure dancefloor winner that will captivate dancers and listeners at both peaktime and after hour sets. 'Cru Sauvage' on the b-side is based on a bubbly, bleepy melody, a collage of deep and twisted effects grooving around the beats, heavy offbeat snares and unexpected house chords. An impeccable production and the perfect flipside to Steve's last release in 2007.
Review: This time the Mojuba sublabel brings us the second part of the 'Detroit' series by the label owner Don Williams himself. This one-sided
record features two fine examples of music inspired by the city of D. The first one is a pumping, peak-time cut to hit the dancefloors with
and might become an essential tool for the ambitious DJ. The second track convinces in its very own character, providing a feeling that
many will recognize from the early years of techno, when this music was connected to the listener in a more deep and emotional way.
Review: Sascha Funke has been a busy man this year. After several 12" releases and remix projects, he finished his second
album in his new studio. You can definitely hear, that Sascha still has the six months he spent in Aix-en-Provence in his
mind. Sacha's new album goes by the beautiful title 'Mango', out on the Bpitch Control label, and it is just great. Gernot
(one half of Modeselektor) was really digging the new tracks, when he first heard them he asked for a copy right away,
as according to him "this is the most mature music Sascha ever did". Like its forerunner 'Bravo', you can expect nothing
like 08/15 speed- techno with 140 bpm - but a fresh and direct, catchy sound. Sascha's demand for techno, amongst others,
is the directness that is created by the structure of his tracks. On the other hand, you can associate something with every
single song on the album. Mr. Funke definitely found his style and knows how to prevent boredom. Every track is full of surprises.
'Mango' is the perfect opener for this album, as it begins to slowly introduce the emotions of the further tracks.
Review: Trentemoller's Into The Great Wide Yonder sees the Danish producer dipping his toe into new territory to deliver an LP that sounds wholly natural and unforced, showcasing yet another side to his musical prowess. Not that we should be surprised - 2006's critically acclaimed debut The Last Resort was a crisp dance record, while his first mix compilation, Harbour Boat Trips, came loaded with varying sentiments of indie, rock and pop. Into The Great Wide Yonder completes Trentemøller's transition from his roots as a dancefloor producer into the more instrument-led domain of pop and rock tinged electronica. Still using a driving kick drum as the core to the album, the In My Room head honcho is still very much part of the dance scene, just not in the club focused way that we're used to.
Review: A taster for the trio's forthcoming third album, Horizontal Structure, this single sees Von Oswald and collaborators Max Loderbauer and Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay) further explore the notion of merging dub techno with other, previously unconnected styles. "Restructure 2" is a swirling, atmospheric piece, its languid, low-tempo groove accompanied by some tastefully spacey guitar playing and mellow jazzy vibes. It's understated, studied and about as far removed from Maurizio's "Ploy" as one can get, but yet it still retains much of the same cavernous production sound. The choice of remixer, Mala, is also surprising as it eschews Von Oswald's techno habitat in favour of dubstep. That said, the Digital Mystikz producer has a credible string of releases for DMZ, Tectonic and Soul Jazz, and like the Basic Channel producer, fully understands the power of the bass. There is also some subtle referencing to the time that Van Oswald first rose to prominence through the use of 'Intelligent Techno'-era melodies and the ambient outro, but Mala's remix is all about the tumbling drums and tribal, swinging rhythms.
Review: What really impresses about Meteorology, the third album from post minimal adventurer Daniel 'Frivolous' Gardner, is its cheeky playfulness. Sure, there's a minimal-ish swing to the beats and liberal use of crackly noises, but these are offset by deliciously melodic bounce, a wonderful sense of adventure and even the odd nod to jazz. Gardner regularly gets on the mic to add his own bittersweet vocals (see the swirling noughties jazz-house of "Red Tide"), and thinks nothing of offering up both Nicolas Jaar-ish experimentation ("One Fine Solstice", "Lunar Phaser") and global dancefloor fusions (the tango-techno of "Cinemascopique", chiming "Olstagia" and thrilling "Serenades Des Excentriques"). It makes for an album that entertains and exceeds expectations throughout.
David Borden - "The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint" (part 9)
STL - "Dark Energy"
Percussions - "Percussions One"
C++ - "Angie's Fucked"
Burial - "Street Halo"
KMA - "Cape Fear"
WK7 - "Higher Power"
Ricardo Villalobos - "Sieso"
Four Tet - "Pyramid"
Red Rack'Em - "How I Program"
Active Minds - "Hobson's Choice (Tune For Da Man Dem)"
Armando Gallop & Steve Poindexter - "Blackholes"
Four Tet - "Locked"
Review: The Fabriclive series maintains its fine run of form with Four Tet's eagerly anticipated inclusion into the canon. Stitching together field recordings of the club itself, ambient tracks from Michel Redolfi and David Borden, a selection of lost, dusty UK garage from the likes of Persian and Crazy Bald Heads and recent productions from Burial and Floating Points, it's not so much a DJ set as an impressionistic rendition of Hebden's own memories of clubbing itself. Considering the fact that Hebden's own productions are usually so saturated in melody, it's a relatively dark mix, dominated by murky bass tones and sharp, brittle beats, with a constantly shifting sense of urgency that encourages rapt attention throughout. The stellar mix is capped off with two brand new Four Tet tracks, "Pyramid" and "Locked", which only seek to highlight his growing ability to produce devastating club tracks.
Review: German house abstractionist Isolee makes a welcome return, surfacing on Pampa with his first new material since dropping his album Well Spent Youth on Koze's label back in 2011. Creative batteries recharged, Isolee is in familiar form on the three track Allowance 12"; the title track adopts his trademark bare bone approach with soothing lines of melodic intoxicants gently pulsing with intent over the soft edged house groove. This hypnotic opener hogs the A Side, leaving the chiming minimalist rhythmics of "You Could Do Your Memories" to duel for your attentions with the far too playful "Wobble".
Review: Amygdala, the forthcoming LP from DJ Koze holds the dual title of being one of this year's most keenly awaited long players as well as the album with the most bizarre cover art. Quite why the producer is riding a reindeer hasn't been made clear yet, but this two track 12" does clue us in to to the possibility the album will hold up to such high expectations. "La Duquesa" is one of the few tracks on Amygdala not to feature a collaborator and stripped bare of any outside distractions finds Koze on sublime form; equal parts tender, refined, casual, serious, deep and euphoric. When those strings hit is a joy to behold. In contrast "Burn With Me" is dark, druggy, delicious and decadent.
Ich Schreib' Dir Ein Buch 2013 (feat Hildegard Knef)
Review: Though his career has taken many turns over the last decade, DJ Koze has remained that most illusive of creatures: a minimal-minded producer with an ear for a melody. This fourth full-length, packed to the rafters with big-name collaborations (Apparat, Caribou, Ada and Matthew Dear all feature), continues his move towards the home-listening sphere. So, while many of the heady rhythms and shuffling grooves hark back to his stripped-back past, Amygdala impresses with its woozy songs, genre-straddling fusions (see the modern soul meets deep house of "Homesick" or the steppy, tropical vibes of "Marilyn Whirlwind") and homely atmosphere.
Review: In his funk-informed, edit-rich guise for Daphni/Caribou's Jiaolong imprint, Chaz 'Toro Y Moi' Bundick drops another sublime two-tracker of impeccably informed groove for sharp dancers and fearless romancers. "Grind" wastes no time in getting down with a sublime roll of drums, sleek bass and perfect touches of boogie synth, leaving space for some spaced out vocoder vocal over the top. "Prelims" heads off into more experimental territory with a low riding beat and droning, detuned melodies aimed squarely at creating a future-soul hybrid for the open-minded heads to tap into. There are serious legs to Bundick's project and this record serves to build on those pins with plenty of grace and oodles of style.
Review: Despite some ill advised comments from Vondelpark stating their apparent lack of interest in current dance music trends, it's clear that the R&S signed troupe focus on a sound that makes them eminently remixable. Robag Wruhme is the latest producer to remould Vondelpark on this pair of remixes for DJ Koze's Pampa label, drawing on the sounds of "California Analog Dream" for inspiration. Kudos to Koze as the Kompakt mainstay is on sublime form here; the lead 'Moppa Habax NB' version retains certain elements of Vondelpark's original but weaves a loving ultra-violet sheen around them whilst laying down the kind of sumptuous house beat that makes you ponder the validity of Vondelpark's aforementioned comments. The accompanying 'Habay Latoff NB' version pulls the track deeper into DJ tool territory and feels like the sort of track Michael Mayer would drop deep into a set.
Review: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmospherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
Review: With a sound perfectly crafted for the emotive pop tones of Kompakt, Kolsch delivers the 1977 long player in a cascade of effervescent melody rendered through bold production. There are light, fluffy moments such as the hands-aloft opener "Oma" and the lamenting closer "Felix", while elsewhere you can find the German producer indulging a love of dub techno with the crafty delays of "Basshund". It's not all soft and sweet though, as the electro-house grind of "Eiswinter" attests as it works up a sweaty main room fervour. Likewise "Bappedeckel" has a stadium-sized approach to synths and track dynamics aimed squarely at getting huge crowds moving in unison.