Archive for April, 2011

SOUL AID

The SOUL AID site is a Japanese relief site, where you can download music for free. There is also a possibility to donate money to the site which aims to help in the rebuilding of Japan.

Please have a look, at least you’ll find a lot of good music!

Review: Skudge – Phantom

Label: Skudge Records
Catalog#: SKUDGE LP01

A1: Ursa Major
A2: In Between
A3: Sandblast
B1: Eleven
B2: Downtown
B3: Vanisher
C1: Realtime
C2: Pressure Drop
C3: Blackout
D1: Shivers
D2: Phantom
D3: Modular Storm

Buy here

Recommended!

Even Skudge can not avoid the fact, that depth in the kind of sound they pursue lies within a structure above what at first might seem as dance floor tracks; paying a lot of attention to the tracks, getting the sounds to go into each other with perfection and to put them into the analogue expression of not only the equipment used, but also through the tape recorder, Skudge manages to achieve something that is more unclear than what has been said about ‘Phantom’ already.

‘Phantom’ shows the best of its strength in the ambient pieces, the details trapped between the beat structures and the progression in the tracks. An experiment in removing the beats in all of the tracks would simply showcase their ear for what is simply defined as techno, rather than trying to aim directly to the dancefloor—although Skudge manages to aim with precision and delivers in that field as well.

Combining the two; creating tracks that are meant for the floor as well as setting a mood for an atmosphere reminiscent to areas far below the earth, Skudge sums up a lot of ambition and dedication to their journey this far.

The album sums up Skudge’s previous work in a interesting way. It does resemble a lot to their B sides of their EP releases, but there is not a single track that goes into the direction of the sound they became most famous for—the A sides. A interesting, but more importantly, bold move. By creating a album dedicated to a deeper sound in which they always have been going for, Skudge manages to explain more of their sound in this album than all the A sides from previous EP releases combined.

The diversity in each and every track lies in the details. Splitting them up one by one may seem as they follow each other in a quite static way, but the truth is that they are meant to be viewed, and listened to as a whole. Highlighting differences between the tracks is hard when Skudge has established themselves soundwise, but ‘Phantom’ doesn’t require this in order to stand out.

The most important aspect of the LP lies somewhere in between the functionality and style. This aspect comes into the clear with ‘Realtime’, a track with its steadyset mood and attitude creates a penetrating track that has a strict framework in which it moves around freely—something fans of Skudge will recognize and take in.

The highlight of the album, except the brilliant ambient material, is in ‘Pressure Drop’. A track that is so static in its progression that it tickles just in the right places. The sounds that feel in a way misplaced fits perfectly in the secure groove, as it creates a utterly unique experience. Especially under the feet of the right crowd.

Even though a few tracks have been balancing on the edge of going into a more haunting direction, ‘Shivers’ feels almost as a visual experience and surely falls over. Stabbing synthwork that at first might feel a bit uneasy, makes perfect sense as the track digs into itself through the pads that surrounds the rest of it, in a perfect way, making it extremely mesmerizing and that unexplainable weirdness feel more natural than ever.

My favorite tracks:

Blackout

Pressure Drop

Shivers

Modular Storm

Thanks to E&G for this release.

Chart: April 2011

http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/noahgibson/top10?chart=66708

Review: Mokira – Time Axis Manipulation (Parts 1—3)

Label: Kontra-Musik Records
Catalog#: km018.1—3

Tracklist:

km018.1

A: Time Track

B: Time Track (Silent Servant Remix)

Buy Part 1 here

km018.2

A: Axis Audio

B: Axis Audio (Echospace Model I)

Buy Part 2 here

km018.3

A: Manipulation Musik

B: Manipulation Musik (Redshape Tape Dub)

In three parts, released at different dates, Mokira digs into the atmosphere of dub techno rather than following the traiditonal structures, by processing the details ranging from very organic instruments to samples seemingly taken from erosion.

Even though Mokira manages to create atmospheres very similar to nature itself, the framework surrounding the sound structure feels more industrial or perhaps more mechanical than what would’ve seem more fitting—this approach to the sounds feels more fresh and interesting would it have been in any other way.

Keeping the music close to the origins from which it sonically seems to stem from, the remixes are more focused on bringing them into a much deeper and aged sound. Silent Servant’s remix on ‘Time Track’ goes through the Soundwell District architecture, with a cleaner, but at the same time deeper sound than the original. SS seems to have focused on creating a new vibe rather than expanding Mokira’s atmosphere with the original.

With ‘Axis Audio’ on the second part of three, Mokira expands his sound into a territory which feels nordic as a concept, but actually more rootless in context, where the sound floats more freely without going too far with the “experimental” touch. Nothing against experimenting, but losing to much of an atmosphere in pursuit of a extremely unique one could make the track lose focus and resulting in a lesser version—Mokira has carefully managed to balance on the edge of both, leaving ‘Axis Audio’ interesting, yet at the same time unique enough to keep the listener interested.

Echospace brings ‘Axis Audio’ into a more familiar territory, where a very suitable beat structure collects the fragments from the original, in order to push the track in a different direction.

The last part of the ‘Time Axis Manipulation’ releases, ‘Manipulation Musik’ goes into a very warm, almost summer like atmosphere, with organic textures and a floating ambience which combined, amazingly keeps it all together.

Redshape manages to bring ‘Manipulation Musik’ into a magic state, not reaching too far of his almost blue sound structure but at the same time digs into new territories without losing the mask.

Part 1 and Part 2 are out for sale, with Part 3 being out soon.

Thanks to Kontra-Musik and Ulf Eriksson for this release.