Archive for October, 2009

Review: Marcel Dettmann / Prosumer & Tama Sumo – Phantasma Vol.3

Label: Diamonds & Pearls Music
Catalog#: DNP 13

Tracklist:

A: Marcel Dettmann – Helix

B: Prosumer & Tama Sumo – Alien Mutts

Buy here

A certain mystery surrounds this record, it has a feeling of ghost like perception and a general sense of time alteration.

Marcel Dettmann brings us ‘Helix’, a track that leaves the straight grooves in a different flow, keeping it all intact by reducing melodies and weird percussion and samples. The steady rhythm is there, as always, only that it isn’t as distinct as his previous tracks. A consistency binds all elements together in a way that is very hard to explain. It’s also here the groove of the track lies within, keeping things very raw but fresh at the same time.

Being featured on Tama Sumo’s ‘Panorama Bar 02’, ‘Alien Mutts’ displays a more distinct groove and direct sense than ‘Helix’ – although the same sense of mystery is maintained. Being one of the more strange tracks coming from both Tama Sumo and Prosumer devided, this combined output sounds a lot different from their previous tracks. There’s a hightened sense of knowledge behind this track, as it feels more secure than ever.

‘Phantasma Vol.3’ is out in early November.

Review: Redshape – The Dance Paradox

Label: Delsin & Present
Catalog#: 80dsr/rds-lp1 80dsr/rds-lp1 ltd present black

Tracklist:

A1: Seduce Me
A2: Garage GT
B1: Bound – Part 1 & 2
B2: Man Out Of Time
C1: Globe
C2: Rorschach’s Game
D1: Dead Space Mix – Edit
D2: Dark & Sticky

10″

A: Man Out Of Time – Major Space Dub
B: Dead Space – Next Door Ultra Dub

Buy here

Recommended!

Honesty is engraved on the A and C sides of the vinyl release of this album. It is, without becoming to pretentious, the first thing that at least I come to think about when I listen to it.

When listening to the man behind Redshape’s previous material and putting it side by side with Redshape’s output over the years, the other releases seem to be a bit off focus. There’s this distorted, yet a calm before the storm sound that Redshape has pushed into his own for over three years now. That might not be a long time in retrospect, but it’s well time enough for a talented producer to create his own sonic world – this album might just be Redshape’s magnum opus, together with the exceptional ‘present white‘ release from 2006.

It all starts out so slow, you feel and hear every space that the sounds of ‘Seduce Me’ create, going from what seems almost to be ambient material into a state of “space dub”. A floating yet very direct intensity flows through, almost like machines making jazz with instruments such as steam, air and fire – the impression gets even stronger when you know that Redshape’s talent might very well be strained when making this track. It’s hard to describe everything that’s going on, but one thing is certain; putting this as a first track is an excellent introduction to a slower yet very intense side of the familiar sound of Redshape.

The intensity gets a faster pace with ‘Garage GT’. An extremely heavy kick, accompanied with original percussion and a atmospheric recording of a busy street might not at first sound that interesting, but as the track progresses, the idea with it all shines through and it all seems just so logical.

With a slow start comes the urge for something more powerful. ‘Bound – Part 1 & 2’ is the first proper techno track on the album. Even though it has moments where it feels a little weak, it makes you forget about what’s going on and let’s you go into it’s own state of flow. This is something that is appreciated when listening to a track of this sort, since it’s moving in a level between a track made for the dancefloor and a track “made for an album”. There’s this live feeling of the drum work which can seem a bit unecessary for a producer that in regular cases makes quite mechanical tracks – the inspiration for this move could be anything, but it’s nice to see Redshape wanting to create something new, and in some aspects unique.

One of the best tracks of the release is the ‘Major Space Dub’ of ‘Man Out Of Time’. The original has a certain groove that makes you want to move, but that dub version has a extremely special sense to it – Redshape really shines through with the whole ‘present black’ side-by-side release to the original album. Unfortunately, it’s limited to 295 copies and will probably be very hard to get hold of. Putting that into it all, the original seems a bit less of a substitute and more a track of it’s own – this is when it get’s the attention it needs, because the amount of detail in the original version is incredible.

The intensity is probably deliberately lost for the course over the next two tracks, which feels more like a breather and a display of feelings more than dance tracks. This is appreciated, even though a feeling that Redshape could at least put in one more track that has such a clear purpose and then move over to a more experimental state, they are still exceptional tracks.

The best track of the album is without any doubt the album edit of ‘The Playground – Dead Space Mix’. Being one of 2006 most important releases, this edit has a different and fresh arrangement to the elements, focusing more on giving it a proper groove and what follows with that. The power of techno as such could not have been showcased in any better way, combined with the insight Redshape seems to possess about his talent as a producer, including a track (even though it’s edited) that is well over 3 years old.

Concluding with ‘Dark & Sticky’, a track that feels well placed as and end. The same experimental side from the middle part of the album is the foundation here, but being placed last, there’s this certain beat that moves in dancefloor limbo – being connected to a more ambient structure but yet making the dance aspects content.

My favorite tracks:

Man Out Of Time

Man Out Of Time – Major Space Dub

Dead Space – Next Door Ultra Dub

Dead Space Mix – Edit

Review: Tama Sumo – Panorama Bar 02

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD10

Tracklist:

1. Tin Man – Constant Confusion
2. John Daly – Birds
3. Nina Kraviz – Voices – Jenifa Mayanja Remix
4. Steffi – 24 Hours
5. Lerosa – Plesso
6. Prosumer & Murat Tepeli – U & I
7. John Roberts – Blame
8. Trus’Me – W.A.R. Dub
9. Kassem Mosse – Zolarem
10. Shed – Stiff Job
11. Newworldaquarium – Trespassers – Redshape Trespassed Mix
12. Mike Huckaby – Wavetable No.9
13. XDB – Jet
14. Levon Vincent – Late Night Jam
15. Lucretio – Good Words
16. The Oliverwho Factory – Together
17. Basic Soul Unit – Things Pass
18. Marcus Mixx – Without Makeup – Ron Hardy Mix
19. Ost & Kjex – Continental Lover
20. Tama Sumo & Prosumer – Alien Mutts
21. Soundstream – All Night

Buy here

With the discussion of mix CD’s general necessity, an output of two of them in one year may seem as a dare move for a record label, especially one held in such high regard as Ostgut Ton. What makes the Ostgut mixes different from many others is the amount of ambition, idea and talent behind every mix – something that is hard to show through just the music itself. Provided with that, the anticipation is risen to a higher level; but at the same time the tolerance of track selection is lower, giving a expectation of almost extreme proportions.

Over three years has passed since Cassy’s Panorama Bar 01 was released. At that time, many of my friends and myself had never experienced something quite like that CD – it was so unique and very inspirational. Highly limited records where mixed together with extreme precision as well as the futuristic sounds of, by that time, the only four to six year old (depending on how you see it) dubstep genre.

As the news of a second Panorama Bar mix got out, “everybody” was expecting something that continued in the path of the first mix, following the same sound but with fresh ideas. With this reference, it’s very hard to showcase something that means a lot to the DJ behind the mix – I guess this is the case for Tama Sumo. Going off with tracks such as Ost & Kjex’s ‘Continental Lover’ together with The Oliverwho Factory, XDB, Shed and Kassem Mosse on the same CD, it seems very difficult to maintain a certain consistency that is in fact the groove of the set. I never hesitated that Tama Sumo is a very talented DJ and I really appreciate the Ostgut label managers to choose her for the second mix, but there’s something vital missing with this release.

The ingredients are there and the emotion of Panorama Bar is certainly there – but that very undefinable feeling of time distortion, sweat, hard work, extreme track selection and a pursuit of a “higher level of conciousness” is not there. It’s more like a shell that, surely is a good mix, but not a lot more unfortunately.

For what it’s worth, the effort with this mix is something that should be considered when buying it and it’s something that will grow with time – the one thing that would probably dissapoint the most is the direct impact it does not have at the first listen.

THANK YOU!

Review: 2562 – Unbalance

Label: Tectonic
Catalog#: TECCD006

Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Flashback
3. Lost
4. Like A Dream
5. Dinosaur
6. Unbalance
7. Superflight
8. Yes/No
9. Who Are You Fooling?
10. Narita
11. Love In Outer Space

Buy here

Recommended!

With ‘Aerial’, 2562 created an album that felt as a pulse check of EDM in 2008 – something that felt inviting, welcoming and cheerful, with a perfect mixture of melancholic melodies and danceable rhythms and techniques. A process that has evolved a lot since then. With new releases in the same field by Martyn, Untold, A Made Up Sound (another alias for 2562) amongst a whole lot of producers getting into the same sonic scenery as 2562 himself.

One thing that makes Dave Huismans’ (2562) music so special, is the lack of external influence – what I mean is the disregard of current trends as well as a steady and consistant high quality output without a lot of hassle. The release schedule is sparse and slow, but once something is out it gets a tremendous amount of support from almost every big DJ worth dancing to.

‘Unbalance’ is a suitable name for an album that manages to intensify the music with utilising just that one word – the whole context and content of the album soars of unbalanced rhythms, patterns, sounds and structures. It’s very hard to define how Huismans manages to do it, but think of Shed being from both Bristol and Amsterdam and you might get a diffuse picture of it.

With ‘Intro’ getting the sonic pace in place, the three directly following tracks are very consisting and true to Huismans sound. They manage to somehow float together, with just enough variations to keep the sense of them being four separate tracks. The production skills are unique here, there are so much going on you can’t stop wondering how he actually managed to create these tracks.

‘Dinosaur’, being the fourth track, the whole pace is shifted into a more direct groove. Chopped up samples and melodies might scare some of the listerners off, but if the extremely concentrated beat gets the space it needs, the track displays some of the most talented productions this year. Five or six melodies goes through a large range of variations, until they finally meet and gets locked into each other – just to be brought apart again to get accompanied with new beats and shifted percussions. At the end, everything goes quiet, and the “glue” of the track comes through – a atmospheric recording of a transtation, harbour and roadwork lying steady as a foundation of the track.

The title track, ‘Unbalance’ displays a very daring experimental sound. Leaning towards early Tempa-dubstep and even more Bristol influenced darkness, 2562 elevates the album into something different. Being unprepared of how the album might sound, I would never have guessed that a track like this would be the title track. Electricity and a very visual sound defines this track, combined with a steady pulsating beat and a tremedously precise bass line that fills up all the space that the melody leaves for all the other elements. Haunting percussion and rhythmically advanced patterns are maintained throughout, being more consistent than the previous four tracks – but the increased tempo is very welcomed as early as this for an album. Just enough the keep the attention of the listener and placed perfectly as a fifth track.

As for the rest of the album, 2562 takes the previous variations and combines them in different way. There are absolutely no track that feels as something being placed on the release just to make up for an album – they have all different moods, grooves and spaces. The one thing I appreciate the most is how the album always seem to keep itself together, going from all sorts of places and experiments. The consistency is always there, which makes it interesting and fun to listen to.

This is one of the best albums of 2009, don’t miss out!

My favorite tracks:

Unbalance

Yes/No

Love In Outer Space

Mix: Pre-The Office #10 with Alan Oldham (DJ T-1000)

As some of you might know, this Saturday we bring Alan Oldham from Chicago to our underground world. The 10th celebration called for a special guest and we felt that Oldham (also known as DJ T-1000) would suit this party perfectly!

To get things pumping, get the vibe into place and to make you forget about October 18th, I made a mix here at home. I’m a bit reluctant to make a tracklist, but I hope you will listen to it anyway.

Download

Thanks for listening!

Review: Marcel Dettmann – MDR 06

Label: Marcel Dettmann Records
Catalog#: MDR 06

Tracklist:

A1: Apron

A2: Kernel

B1: Rerun

B2: Tattered

Buy here

Recommended!

With a very anticipated label comes the expectations of extremely good quality with every release, as well as the ability to deliver with each rising catalogue number.

WIth ‘MDR 06’, Marcel displays a new take on his traditional sound. This side of his music feels probably a bit strange, but at the same time familiar with all elements included. ‘Apron’ keeps things at the peak just like the previous tracks, but it has a certain calm feeling to it that lets the strength of the attitude behind the track take most of the space. A unclear rhythmic ground, going from one path to another, constantly shifting between them, brings a more subtle and concentrated power and punch from the percussive elements.

‘Kernel’ shows a somewhat certain Sähkö influence behind the feelings of the track, a very static melody that feels extremely transistor generated, is acompanied by a extremely scary bassline and drum. Not leaving a single element behind, ‘Kernel’ kicks (litterary) the shit out of the speakers with full force, creating a track that will take a lot of momentum to make fit in a DJ set.

As for the other side of the record, ‘Rerun’ starts off with full force, only this time with a more classic and less spare sense. The direct feel of the track shines through as the mesmerizing rhythmic melody slowly goes into itself and then back out again, creating a feeling of everything going forward – horisontal energy at it’s best.

‘Tattered’ has the same aspects of ‘Kernel’, but it feels a lot different due to it’s more IDM-like nature. Unidentifiable elements combine each other in a way that feels very forgotten for 2009, as well as a very new and fresh take by Dettmann. The track is the one that feels most honest of all four, leaving the record in a perfect state of full content.

Excellent material that takes the direction of techno into a state of absolute cluelessness.