Archive for August, 2009

Just a reminder

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London #1

Last Saturday, I went to London to play at COLONY in Hackney.

The place was very nice, a small but very atmospheric bar close to Dalston, with residents that played excellent tracks as well as a good but random crowd. A nice mix of dubstep and techno, things got pumping when Braiden (Rinse.FM) threw off a lot of UK funky as well as scientific beat-focused dubstep, really nice to hear him play.

Thanks to MB and CB for letting me come over and play, I enjoyed it very much! Riding the Stansted Express into London is just as good as its always been.

Just a reminder

Review: WAX – Dub Shed Sessions I

Label: SubSolo
Catalog#: sub005

Tracklist:

A: Dub Shed – STP Remix

B: 10001B – Panamax Mix

Recommended!

Displaying his excellent production skills within techno, Shed moves over to straight up dub sessions with the ‘Dub Shed Sessions I’ on SubSolo.

Fierce bass meditative drops circles around the excellent atmospheric keyboard patterns, combined in a way that sounds both fresh and unique, but still rating 100% on Shed’s own trademark sound. Leaning towards a bit of contemporary straight dub techno with ‘Dub Shed – STP Remix’, the focus is on a more direct and present take on the tracks progression, rather than inviting the listener into an already set-up wall of sound. Shaking off the melody from the centre, the spacious patterns reveal themselves as the extreme basslines comes in, removing all doubt about the direction of the track.

Taking the very straight up techno track from ‘WAX No. 10001’ B side, Shed displays yet another moniker(?) as Panamax, fusing the same linear groove from the original but taking the tempo down to inhumane tempo and filling the already colourful spectrum with wide percussion and even more slow building electric synthesizer swirls.

Time might tell how well this record works, but at the first listen, it’s something that feels a bit strange coming from Shed (yet, at the same time not).

Review: Various – Fantastic 4 EP

Label: Not on label
Catalog#: FF001

Tracklist:

A1: D-Malice – Full Effect

A2: DVA – God Made Me Phunky

B1: Ill Blu – Time To Get Nasty

B2: Roska – Holograph

Buy here

Recommended!

With all the new styles going on in the UK, four of the most forward pushing producers are on the same vinyl. This collaborative EP sums up what is usually referred to as UK funky. Drawing a lot of inspiration from dubstep and house, all four tracks manage to create something entirely new, adding to the wide spectrum of various genres and styles within EDM – especially within dubstep.

The strong parts of all tracks are the depth and punching percussion and drums that make up for the sometimes cheesy vocals and attitudes. As well as being cheesy, they are also cheerful and plays nice alongside a lot of current dubstep tracks.

D-Malice’s track ‘Full Effect’ resembles the most to Chicago house, putting the dub aspects a little bit in the background. The clever use of simple percussion and rhythms is a genious move, going back to the limited hard ware era of early 80’s and 90’s, which with such limitations makes the track breath between every element. A effect that is more often forgotten than used. Soca influences combined with dubstep atmospheres and modern technology frames in DVA’s ‘God Made Me Phunky’, a track that explodes intensity and a bit of playfulness, going strong on traditional soca and dub.

Ill Blu’s ‘Time To Get Nasty’ could just as well be a standard R&B track, but the amount of reminiscent of hardcore and jungle shines through too much and makes it into something quite unique, without losing touch with it’s influences. The same goes for Roska’s ‘Holograph’, sounding instantly as a track from the same producer that gave us a quite long stream of white label’s this year, as well as equally funky and funny tracks on his own Roska Kicks & Snares.

This is a hate or like record, I hope it grows on most of you, so give it a shot!

Review: Vinyl Life – Vinyl Life LP

Label: Tape Theory
Catalog#: TT003-D

A1: Hot Sauce

A2: Hi Tops

A3: Bass Go Boom

A4: Electric Symphony ft. Nite Club

A5: Innovation – Sebastian Marciano Remix

B1: Like This

B2: Elevator Up

B3: Good Life (It’s More Fun To Compute)

B4: Future Beat

B5: Press Rewind ft. Uzimon

With extreme precision, know-how and old school equipment, the NYC electro group Vinyl Life releases their debut album on Tape Theory.

The aesthetics are something completely new, with a very freestyle oriented sound. Leaving a very esoteric movement within EDM in general, they manage to make something that sounds as something “anyone could listen to”. A playful and experimental attitude towards house, hiphop, electro, funk and freestyle; a mix of styles that might come even closer together with this album.

The first track starts out quite calm, keeping the funk intact, the other influences are more in the background here, heading towards a more purist hiphop-electrofunk mixup. The track doesn’t really mirror to the other tracks as well as the rest of the tracks do to eachother, but the sense of the wide range of influence shines through the excellent groove and vocal parts. A very playful track that shows the outset of one aspect of the album (electro).

Continuing towards Royal House, Strictly Rhythm and the linked styles, a junglist framework with resemblances to late 80’s Chicago house, ‘Hi Tops’ feels like a even more playful take on a little bit of everything in electronic music. A even more limp beat goes through the progression of ‘Bass Go Boom’, one of the more calmer tracks of the album – steady beats and a more refined synthesizer use feels more modern than the previous track. Excellent!

One of the best tracks on the album are placed perfectly as A4. ‘Electric Symphony’ displays a even calmer sound, building slowly into a atmosphere of electronics and futuristic funk, Vinyl Life makes a track that feels so confident and self-evident it’s almost funny. As for the hip-hop side of things, ‘Innovation’ is the track closest to the genre on the album. A bit of R&B as well as house is combined through their excellent synthwork and cocky raps.

The rap gets more central on ‘Like This’, which takes things down a bit, keeping a slower tempo and putting a more refined style on hiphop and electrofunk in general. ‘Elevator Up’, a track that feels a little bit as a filler on the album could have been left out, but does what it’s supposed to do, sum up all sides of Vinyl Life.

Ironically, the best track of the album is placed on the B3, a cool and highly electrofunk influenced track that shines through the entire album. The sound of the album gets even more clear with the last two tracks, featuring almost all elements from the previous ones.

All in all, this album might not be for everybody. One thing that’s hard to avoid though, is the fresh sound of it that has so many links towards techno, house, electro, hiphop, jungle and plain funk, it’s a bad idea to skip out on it.

Robert Henke (Monolake) at OSC09

Yesterday, Robert Henke from Monolake performed his Layering Buddha concert. In a gallery called Färgfabriken in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the most indulging musical experiences took place as Robert started to showcase droning and ambient material in a way that was truly unique.

In a large space, the largest gallery space in the entire building, everybody was either lying or sitting on the floor with Robert in the middle. All lights where out, and only Robert’s computer screen and emergency exit signs lit up the room.

As the sound progressed through various scapes and loops, he created an atmosphere that was mesmerising and very pure – a high quality 6 point speaker system pushed the concert further into a state of hypnosis. I was really calm and lied down on the floor, just focusing on the sounds. A moment of a true genius showcasing what he does best – sound.