Archive for December, 2008

The Futurist’s ‘Best of 2008′ – Part 2

These releases are the best ones from 2008, presented in no specific order and are equally good in different ways. Featuring both CD’s and vinyl’s, I hope this gives you a comprehensive overview from this past year.

Marcel Dettmann – MDR 04

Label: Marcel Dettmann Records / MDR
Catalog#: MDR 04

Tracklist:

A1: Clime

A2: Lattice

B1: Shatter Proof

B2: Corebox

Buy here

The MDR 04 is Marcel Dettmann’s most experimental release to date. Starting off with ‘Clime’, a Burial-like thunderstorm of ambience and drones, giving a hint of melancholic ambivalence between darkness and brightness – a “monument” over what’s coming over the next track on the release.

‘Lattice’ is one of the most powerful tracks of 2008, focusing around atmospheric changes in the background and a gigantic sweep in the foreground. Small changes in the wall-of-sound erupt from different angles. The kick is so fierce it needs to be played on a sound system with a good spectrum in the lower frequencies.

On the B-sides, ‘Shatter Proof’ shows a new and experimental sound from Marcel, which is best described as a purist techno track transformed into a stepping structure and ‘Corebox’, which brings things back into a straighter techno beat but still holding strong onto the broken beat style.

Not being only a really important release of 2008, it’s a warehouse destroyer – this is what you can expect from Marcel Dettmann.

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Spatial – Infra 001 EP

Label: Infrasonics
Catalog#: Infra001

Tracklist:

A: 80207

B: 70810

Buy here

At the edge of 2008, one of the best UK Garage/dubstep/techno/half-step tracks are released. On this 10″, UK producer Spatial shows great skill and production. Hopefully this is just the beginning.

Combining a modern styled techno attitude with the broken rhythms of old garage vibes, the A-side’s ‘80207’ maintains a calmness which crawls under your skin, together with a vocal that penetrates the bass and percussion in a deadly way.

‘70810’ on the other side is pure rawness and beauty, weird structures and scapes twirls around the bass and dubstep percussion. This is a fast paced electronic track which will definitely set standards in 2009 as it completely destroyed 2008…

Watch out for this one!

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Silent Servant – Violencia

Label: Sandwell District
Catalog#: SD 11

Tracklist:

A: Silent Servant / Kalon – Violencia

B1: Silent Servant – Violencia

B2: Silent Servant / Function – Violencia

Buy here

Jagging, distorted, raw and powerful warehouse techno – Silent Servant. One of the members from Sandwell District has teamed up with Kalon and Function to create one of 2008’s best releases, a wide arrangement of different styles of approach and expression.

Kalon’s version of ‘Violencia’ is the most raw one, re-arranging the track structure and energy, giving more space for the main melody, whereas the original version bring things down to a more subtle level with a more dub-wise structure and less noise.

The version by Function is more straight forward, bringing in a straight techno groove and subtle changes into the atmosphere rather than making the track atmospheric itself – involving certain trademark sounds and a burning hole into the blanket of warm sounds.

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Portable – Knowone Can Take Away

Label: Perlon
Catalog#: PERL 70

Tracklist:

A: Release

B: The Many

Buy here

Let’s walk away for a while with our drinks and sit down at the jetty, watching the sun slowly rise in the background, shedding light through the sails of the boats at sea. In the background, ‘Release’ is slowly mixed in at a perfect volume and there is no tomorrow, just right now.

The anthem of warm summer days was released in July, together with the house track ‘The Many’ on the flip. The warm and atmospheric wall of sound is so pleasant and flows through your ears, making you relax and slow down for a while.

This moment is never again…

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Trackwerk – 001

Label: Trackwerk
Catalog#: 001

Tracklist:
A: Untitled

Buy here

Warehouse anthem in a raw and distorted style, charted by everyone between Redshape and Dettmann. Extremely well produced house track with a real analogue feel, tripping melody and jacking beats. Killer track on a single sided issue, shows just how raw things can be before it gets too much.

Absolute killer, get your hands on it!

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Sound Stream – “Live” Goes On

Label: Sound Stream
Catalog#: SST 04

Tracklist:

A: “Live” Goes On

B1: Rainmaker

B2: Dance With Me

Buy here

Strong pounding house tracks with all the best parts from disco, keeping an authentic feel but adding that Berghain-flavor which keeps things right in place.

‘”Live” Goes On’ is the track here, with a raw piano fused together with a deep structure and rhythm, making you move your legs and “jack yourself”. As ‘Rainmaker’ kicks in, things get a bit more uptempo and starlit and even MORE tripping – electronic LSD for your mind, body and soul.

The last track is ‘Dance With Me’, the height of pure soul transformed into a modern piece of house, the track pulls you into a feel-good vibe. The breakdown with only the samples and melody makes you want more, just then the kick pulls back in again and it’s on!

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Technose Distrikt – Technose Distrikt Volume 1

Label: Rush Hour Recordings
Catalog#: TND 001

Tracklist:
A: Untitled

B: Untitled

Buy here

Hard hitting and rhythmic, on the edge of stepping, techno grooves from A’dam’! Fierce and retro-sounding, these tracks from Technose Distrikt are one of the most interesting releases of 2008.

Keeping distance from similar tracks in the same style, Technose get things going through variation in small portions, keeping things looping but never being repetative. The high production class is what makes this release stand out – it’s so groovy you’ll dance until your shoes wear down.

The A-side has a dusty feel to it, keeping things brewing and subtle, while still being upfront. As for the other side, things get more direct – the intense and great melody swings around in a weird but funky way, keeping the stepping and straight parts of the track together and merging the percussion into the beat.

Buy here

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The Futurist’s ‘Best of 2008’ – Part 1

These releases are the best ones from 2008, presented in no specific order and are equally good in different ways. Featuring both CD’s and vinyl’s, I hope this gives you a comprehensive overview from this past year.

Shed – Shedding The Past (CD & 2xLP)

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: ostgut CD06  /  OSTGUTLP02

Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Boose Sweep
3. Another Wedged Chicken
4. Flat Axe
5. The Lower Upside Down
6. Slow Motion Replay
7. Waved Mind/Archived Document
8. That Beats Everything!
9. ITHAW
10. Estrangé
11. Ostrich-Mountain-Square

+ ‘Sweep Dreams’ on the vinyl release

Buy here: CD / Vinyl

This is easily the best album of 2008 – the present has never sounded so contemporary and old-school at the same time.

Taking the purest form of techno, reducing and expanding it, putting his feelings into it and experimenting with it creates a really great album with all tracks expressing their own attitude and position. The main ingredient in this album is the huge amount of influence that clearly shows how deeply rooted Shed is in what he’s doing, there is really no compromise in the wall of sound – jumping from atmospheric ambient numbers, through rough 4/4 beats and percussion down to broken beats infected Detroit techno, Shed delivers a very special piece.

My favorite tracks are:

Another Wedged Chicken

Flat Axe

The Lower Upside Down

ITHAW

Estrangé

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Silent Servant – The Blood Of Our King

Label: Sandwell District
Catalog#: SD 09

Tracklist:

A: Doom Deferred

B: Disciple To Master

Buy here

Silent Servant, with the coolest artist name ever, shows his best side. ‘Doom Deferred’ is a synth monster that grows over a steady 4/4 beat and atmospheric shapes and noises, creating a powerful puristic track. ‘Disciple To Master’ is a bit more reduced number with a broken structure and darkened beats, equally good to the A-side. Massive one.

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Unknown – Seldom Felt 2

Label: Seldom Felt
Catalog#: SELDOM FELT 002

Tracklist:

A: Catscan

B: Catscan Remix

Buy here

“Seldom Felt is a brand new label with no set geographical location. The only place you can find them is on the dance floor. No minimal, no Ibiza, no sunrises, no ketamine, no Myspace, no repress.”

As always with white labels, there’s quite a lot of discussion around who’s behind the tracks. For me, this doesn’t really matter – except when the tracks are such killers as the one’s over at Seldom Felt. My best guess is that Marcel Dettmann has done the remix, but I have no idea about the original.

This release is absolutely one of my all time favorites. The killer structure and power on both sides keeps you on your toes, as the raw electro melody from the original kicks in, you fall over backwards. The remix reduces the original to it’s darkest elements, kicking down the tempo a notch and transforming it into a 6 minute energy blast.

If you can get this one, do so.

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Jaydee / Second Phase – In Order To Dance Remix Sampler Vol. 2

Label: R & S Records
Catalog#: RS 0804

Tracklist:

A: Jaydee – Plastic Dreams – Audion Can’t Go Home Mix

B: Second Phase – Mentasm – Redshape CTX Mix

Buy here

The second remix sampler from the 2008 issue of ‘In Order To Dance’ features a tripping groove from Audion and a hard hitting techno remix from Redshape – both frequent in my DJ sets (although Redshape’s remix is currently getting played more!)

Jaydee’s classic is revamped into a soft and rolling Cadenza-like house track with added vocals and melodies. Very little is used from the original track and it has a completely different sound over the original, which came as a welcome surprise. Mellow strings!

Redshape on the other hand creates a excellent remix on Second Phase’s ‘Mentasm’, adding more dust and rawness to the track and restructuring the main melody.

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Unknown – Wax No. 10001

Label: Wax
Catalog#: No.10001

Tracklist:

A: Untitled

B: Untitled

Buy here

In June a suspicious reduced techno release came to my attention after a friend showed it to me. Rolling grooves with house infected attitude, created with a touch of techno, made this 12″ something special. To my disappointment, it showed up on Beatport a while back (together with Equalized #001) – white’s should stay on wax, just because it’s simply cooler.

The A-side is a proper tech-house(?) number with specific details and a horizontal energy that progresses over the entire length of it. The focus is always steady and the small changes in the sound makes it interesting all 8 minutes.

As for the B-side, things are getting more rough. Lash sounds that hits your eardrums with maximum power seems like it’s almost enough with the track going on like that forever, then the hi-hat kicks in…

Just give this one a listen, through-on-through, and you’ll hear what I’m on about.

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Zomby – The Lie

Label: Ramp
Catalog#: RAMP015

Tracklist:

A: The Lie

B1: Dripping Like Water

B2: The Lie – LV Remix

Buy here

Zomby takes Sizzla’s voice from ‘I Was Born’, twisting them and chopping them up and putting it on a stepping groove – creating one of the best tracks of 2008.

Being an anthem-like tune, they are often eroded over time and lose their energy after a while. But, I get the feeling that this one’s so special, that it will be around for ages without getting old. Intense synthlines together with a hard-edged dubstep beat and a both melancholic and angry vocal creates a rough track that will destroy the floors.

On the B-side, ‘Dripping Like Water’ let’s you “come and meditate on bass weight” on a haunting stepping groove with rave-like sounds and attitude – gwan track. LV’s take on ‘The Lie’ transforms the original into a more tripping version, with tense bass and with more percussion. Excellent remix, couldn’t have asked for a different sound!

Zomby is a artist to look out for in 2009.

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Omar-S – The Further You Look – The Less You Will See

Label: FXHE
Catalog#: 432 B / 432 F

Tracklist:

B: The Further You Look – The Less You Will See

F: Tecky Alexander

Buy here

Omar-S is a man of real soul. His ‘Psychotic Photosynthesis’ showed that he is capable of creating timeless analogue house music with incredible depth.

This one’s even deeper. With ‘The Further You Look – The Less You Will See’, a steady hypnotic groove with swirling synths and a slow bassline creates a magic piece. The ever building structure is always there and keeps you focused.

On the flip, ‘Tecky Alexander’ has a 80’s vibe and a happy groove, bringing the B-sides of Bernard Badie’s classic to mind. Tripping synths that falls down from everywhere with a jumpy kickdrum and percussion fills up the spaces between the melodies. It’s a trip!

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Radio Slave – No Sleep – Part Four

Label: Rekids
Catalog#: REKIDS 022

Tracklist:

A: Tantakatan

B: Grindhouse Tool

Buy here, Shed’s remix 12″ here.

My favorite part of the ‘No Sleep’ series from Radio Slave. ‘Tantakatan’ is a jacking breakbeat house track with a tripping piano, stabbing snares and deep, mechanical bassline. Shed’s take on ‘Tantakatan’ (REKIDS 031) turns up the tempo and adds a bit more jungle-wise beat (listen to it here below).

‘The Drunken Shed Mix’

‘Grindhouse Tool’ on the flip has been in my mind since I first heard it in November 2007. This is one of the most haunting tracks of 2008 – imagine it on a really loud sound system in a darkened warehouse/club and you’ll know what it’s all about. Rolling beats with a chopping hi-hat, lash percussion and a trombone that’s at the height of evil. Don’t bother with the remixes of ‘Grindhouse’, they’re nothing compared to the tool.

Chart: December / Christmas 2008

1. EQD – Untitled (#002A)  /  Equalized

2. Roska – Boxed In  /  Roska Kicks & Snares

3. Tan-Ru – Changeling – L+H Dub  /  Trelik

4. Unknown – Cunning Love  /  HATE

5. C.B. Funk – Subway To Cologne  /  Story

6. Levon Vincent – These Games  /  Novel Sounds

7. Zomby – Test Me For A Reason  /  Hyperdub

8. Radio Slave – Ego Trippin’  /  Running Back

9. TRG – Put You Down – Ramadanman Refix  /  Hessle Audio

10. Scuba – From Within – Marcel Dettmann Remix  /  Hotflush

Review: EQD – Equalized #002

Label: Equalized
Catalog#: EQD002

Tracklist:

A: Untitled

B: Untitled

Recommended!
This is one of 08’s best releases, the A-side with it’s magic and enchanting melody and breakbeat is really something special. It starts off with a break, which lasts for around 2 minutes and out of nowhere the beat drops – and you just close your eyes and float away. The excellent sparse use of elements gives the track unbelievable power and energy, total floor loveness.

The B-side reminds me of WAX No10001, maybe it’s the same producer? The groove on this one is more straight forward techno, executed with perfection. Small progressions and a steady beat drives this track forward.

Excellent release, a ‘must-have’ for shure. Buy here, limited copies.

Review: Norman Nodge – MDR05

Label: Marcel Dettmann Records / MDR

Catalog#: MDR05

Tracklist:

A1: Attitudes

A2: Maniac

B1: ManMade

B2: Rush

Recommended!


Low key raw techno – that’s really all you need to say, but this release is really something special.

MDR04 consisted of dark and experimental techno, starting off with an intro and slowly transforming into a more stepping groove. Norman Nodge has put things back to the 01-03 releases with these raw techno cuts.

‘Attitudes’ on the A1 has a straight groove with a subtle approach, keeping things at a slow atmospheric and haunting state. Norman has taken things to an entierly different level with this one. Continuing onto ‘Maniac’, things are getting a higher tempo with a more direct approach. Extremely raw melody that’s fused into a reduced beat, with only core essentials left, sparse reverbs and echoes makes this the most reduced track on the release.

On the flip, ‘ManMade’ starts off with a earlier Shed-alike groove that has a tomtom-bassline and the familiar drenched snare, that fits perfectly with the hard hitting groove. This one feels the most as Norman’s previous work – great raw beats and good attitude.

‘Rush’ is the most experimental track, with haunting samples on a minimalist Robert Hood-alike beat, the later introduced bleeps makes track extremely interesting.

A few ‘pre-sale’ twelves are out on Hard Wax, so be very fast, don’t wait. Buy here.

The Office with Damon Wild

News: 17th December 2008

Hi,

Sorry for the lack of updates, but there’s some stuff coming up. Reviews of Norman Nodge’s ‘MDR05’, Equalized #002 and some other ones. As well as a December chart.

Stay tuned!