Archive for December, 2009

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The Futurist: Trax and records of 2009

These are simply the best tracks and records of 2009, presented in no specific order. In order to keep the post and site fast, the list will unfortunately not feature any audio clips. Do seek up the releases on the internet or at your local shop to hear them.

Equalized #003
With ‘EQD003’, Shed displayed a new side of his sound. Leaving his influence with breakbeat techno and general bass focus, he made two tracks that defined this new approach and the result is devastating.

Seldom Felt 6 (A)
As the sixth Seldom Felt was released, the label managed to fuse it’s early sound with the new experimental side that number four and five had. The record went by pretty undetected, but giving the A side a proper listen will probably change that. Featuring not only a extreme groove, everything just falls into place because of that. A hint of early 1990’s shines through, but even though the execution of this track might fall into a thought of the early days, the quality feels very natural for 2009.

Do Not Resist The Beat! (All releases)
With a quite large amount of limited edition labels, small runs and exclusives; one of the best this year is Milton Bradley’s Do Not Resist The Beat!. Even though the inspiration may be the current underground sound of Berlin and many other places over the world, this has never been a bad thing. Concentrating on creating tracks that feels just as essential ones to press on wax, Bradley managed to create four essential 12″s this year alone.

Frozen Border (All releases)
This Sandwell District related anonymous output has proven that techno doesn’t necessarily need to feature a lot of elements to be just as good as it’s contradictions. Even though the FB001’s A side was a repress of Basic Pain Procedure’s first and only record ‘Disinformation E.P.’ on ZET Chicago, as well as the following releases sounded pretty much the same at times, it’s with the fourth one this label concludes it’s plans for 2009. There shouldn’t be any rules when you run a label that knows what they are doing, this is clearly shown with Frozen Border.

DVS1 – Klockworks 05
DVS1s first release was on Ben Klocks own Klockworks, being carefully parallell to Klocks own work for the label. Even though many considered the deadly ‘Running’ to be “the track of the record”, the overlooked ‘Floating’ is one of this year’s best tracks. Combining many elements from the music he plays as a dj, DVS1 certainly took an unexpected crowd to another level with this outstanding release.

Levon Vincent / Steffi – Panorama Bar 02 | Part II
The second sampler from ‘Panorama Bar 02’ features not only the deadly ‘Late Night Jam’, but also a steady groove from Steffi. Even though many djs prefer Steffi’s track over those featured on the rest of the samplers, both tracks resembles Panorama Bar in a different way. Explaining this is very hard as it’s highly subjective and theoretical, but Levon and Steffi manages to make this into something concrete.

Shed – Remixes
Two tracks from the best album of 2008, getting remixed by Surgeon and Martyn. That alone would suffice at the time, but since the release, the Martyn remix gained a lot more attention over the Surgeon remix. Even though the groove in Martyn’s remix is good, Surgeon made a remix that not only lies very close within my own all time favorites, but combines the elements from the original track ‘The Lower Upside Down’ into a new level of techno. Gritty beats wasn’t necessary for a track like this one, which Surgeon probably felt during the production, but leaving the beat in a 3 over 4 sense and pushing the 4 over 4 tempo into a high pace at the same time takes a large amount of skill – not to forget that extremely haunting melody…

Santiago Salazar – Arcade (A)
Even though this track feels a bit inconvenient due to it’s strange structure and atmosphere, Salazar made a real anthem. Remaining quite calm, a lot of energy is put into the calmness before the storm sense, which has been proven very successful. With a track like this, being played in the right moment it will certainly stand the test of time.

Jeff Mills – Something In The Sky
Coming out in late December, Mills starts off a new sublabel to Axis which is called Something In The Sky. When Mills leaves the higher tempos on the shelf, he manages to release one of the most inspiring records this year. ‘Something In The Sky’ features four untitled tracks that resemble each other in different ways. All four tracks manages to contain the same atmosphere throughout, as Mills unique productions continue on, they make you feel endlessly human.

Zomby – Tarantula (AA1)
Getting placed in a lot of categories at the same time, Zomby contributes to Hyperdub’s five year celebration release with an interpretation of Kraftwerk’s ‘Man Machine’. The devastating and classic UK-sense production fits right at the top with the excellent melodic work and modern feel. Even though the beat could be considered a little bit stiff, it does it so rightously as the melody gets all the space it deserves – this track manages to even outstand his own album from this year.

Robert Hood – Superman / Range
As M-Plant got up and running again by the master, Robert Hood delivered two tracks that not only was following his style in which he has pushed for so many years, but also managed to bring it into a new context. By the sound of it, the old “doing so much with so little” never felt so right with these two tracks. The energy is imminent by the first bar, the charm is within the progression of both tracks, where highs and lows are combined in a very, very unique way. Hopefully, this will get into the same regard as one of his most hunted records in the future.

Shake – Levitate Venice
Anthony “Shake” Shakir brings a release that does not only feel as one of his best records to date, but also one that feels so natural in the current experimental state within house, techno and dubstep. Even though there is always a strong connection to techno, the variations in the tracks of this release goes from one place to another – almost as they were made under a large timespan. One feeling is always consistant, and that is the extreme focus of the groove and structure of every track, they simply never stop to amaze.

Kris Wadsworth – Mainline (A)
Straight out of nowhere, Kris Wadsworth delivers a track that might at first strike a little bit as nothing special; given the amount of thought and strength that is the foundation of this track, things aren’t just so simple. ‘Mainline’ evolves around a vocal that hypnotises and brings in a feeling of timelessness, combining that with simple but yet very effective drum programming, ‘Mainline’ stands out from the rest. The amount of originality lies within the actual purpose of the track, which is to get people dancing.

WAX – Dub Shed Sessions I
It’s no secret anymore that Shed is one of the last decades most brilliant producers. With tracks that has such huge thought, emotion, lack of interest in what everybody else thinks about them and a certain feeling of knowing his own musical evolution, René Pawlowitz (Shed) displays a more regular electronic dub side of his musical taste. Giving a dub version of a unreleased track under the STP alias, René’s ‘Dub Shed – STP Remix’ feels as a track that fits just so perfectly as a timeless oldschool-not-oldschool track that does not only have a extremely proper synthwork behind it, but also a heavy weight bassline that gets accompanied by the mans classic percussion work. If that wasn’t enough, he also goes under the name Panamax to reduce and space up the ‘10001B’ track from WAX No.10001 from 2008.

I.F.M. – Back In The Days EP
This EP has a strange and unusual feeling to it. Even though all four tracks are straight up house tracks, they resemble something more. The base of all tracks are around the samples; this might scare off some of you, but giving this record a listen and more elements will be clearer – the straight beats and melodies goes directly into your feet and legs. One of those feel good records that might just as well stand after a few years.

T++ – Test#10Seed_Bit (B)
If you would put sounds to electricity, it would sound like this track.

Deuce – Deuce EP
René and Marcel created this very special EP, where both their harder influences got combined into a very fresh take on their own sound. Focusing on a rough groove, everything else seems to just fall into place where the sparse use of sounds seems more natural than anything. Hopefully, this new collaboration will lead to something more in 2010.

2562 – Unbalance
A really important release from 2562; furthering the fusion between four over four traditional genres with his own trademark broken rhythms, Dave Huismans created an album that does not only represent his own sound, but also put new life into the dubstepXtechno crossover.

Untold – I Can’t Stop This Feeling – Pangaea Remix (B)
This track is a monster, giving up space for a more traditional forward pushing beat, Pangaea’s remix on ‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling’ falls into so many ambitions of a dj set it’s remarkable. What at first might seem as a regular post-UK garage or dubstep track unfolds into a strictly dancefloor swing, with a heavy beat acompanied with a deadly melody – a tradition that has been around for many years, but feels fresh with this track.

Fantastic 4 E.P.
Probably the best post UK garage release as a whole this year, with the deadly ‘Holograph’ by Roska. Hard hitting grooves that ties to both house and dubstep, taking a little bit of both and creating a new groove. As easy as it sounds, the result are usually the most interesting when making things more simple. A certain old school feel surrounds this EP, but it also feels very fresh this year.

Norman Nodge – MDR 05
Following up MDR 03 isn’t an easy job. Even though he created a very defining 12″ for MDR, the 05 breaks loose from the third release, bringing four tracks that are extremely good. The darkened sense is there, as with the previous and current MDR releases, but this record is more stripped and in some sense calmer. Steady grooves are the focus here, with tight as hell melodies and sounds, Norman Nodge gives us the best reduced techno release this year.

STP – The Fall Remixes
T++ and Peverelist managed to take the classic ‘The Fall’ by René into new levels. Where as the unstructured Peverelist remix feels as a storm with everything going at all directions, he manages to maintain a focus on the melancholic base where the original ‘The Fall’ stood, sharing a place with this remix. T++ on the other hand, took us to a new dimension with his own interpetation of the original, making it sound as a new track – with very small hints of the original beneath the beats.

Ra.H – Time
Very futuristic release by Ra.H, that with it’s own world and originality, brings a clear picture of a new idea for techno. Taking the aesthetic of the futurism surrounding the sound today (and even more before), the four tracks that might not fit as club tracks in a traditional sense, certainly brings the feeling of weightlessness that should apply to all good floors. Certainly one of the most indigestible releases this year, but giving it time and room to breath, will amaze with the best.

Donato Dozzy & Nuel – Aquaplano 1111
This subtle and alien EP felt so natural when it got out, that the continuation of techno would be paved after it. A few months later, I still don’t really know how to play it in a set. Which in any case doesn’t matter; the record is a soundtrack of the music today, where they stand in their own.

Actress – Ghosts Have A Heaven
The mysterious groove from Actress has never felt so defined as with this release. He manages to make subtle tracks that leans more towards house than anything else, with classic Rhythm & Sound inspired dub structures. The energy lies deep within every element combined, and seperating the parts holding all three tracks together would destroy the charm and atmosphere that he managed to put into them. ‘Ghosts Have A Heaven’ is a record that might not feel as a natural choice, but does infact feel as one of the most interesting records this year.

Levon Vincent – Double Jointed Sex Freak
“To Rebecca – A true athlete”

DJ @ Cocktail Club Retox, Boxing Day (26/12)

The Office #11 – Donato Dozzy

Thanks to Evelina for all the pictures

DJ @ Fabriken, 18 December

Donato Dozzy + Funktion One @ The Office

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12.12.2009

Review: Equalized #003

Label: Equalized
Catalog#: #003

Tracklist:

A: Untitled

B: Untitled

Buy here

Recommended!

With the ‘Deuce’ project started, both Dettmann and Shed follow their combined outlet in their own apart productions and sets. Pursuing a harder sound, ‘Equalized #003’ displays a rougher edge towards Shed’s previous material, also combining all those elements into a old-school not old-school state.

The A-side, with a strong and steady groove, gives the track a large amount of energy throughout. Just letting the beat go by itself in the beginning and end brings in a rougher edge to it. You can’t sit still to this track! The focus is on a organ, in somewhat the same melodic sense as The Vision on Metroplex; Shed manage to create a timeless piece as a definition of this year’s sound – as always with Equalized. Not only is the groove otherworldly, the tripping aspects are intact because of the very subtle arrangement differences that was introduced with ‘Deuce’. Two things that usually are very hard to combine.

On the other side, the track remain at the same atmosphere as the A-side, but bringing in a different groove that feels more locked – in a good sense. Heavy warehouse materials combined with that nuclear-electric swirling defines this track as a solid one – bringing not only the familiar sound which Shed has built up over the years, but also bringing something new to the table. An effort that seems more natural to him than to anyone else in the scene.

Do not miss out on this one.