Archive for the 'Review' Category

Review: Abdulla Rashim – Endasilasie

Label: Abdulla Rashim Records
Catalog#: ARR003

A: Endasilasie 1

B1: Endasilasie 2

B2: Endasilasie 3

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When having found a way to do it, the hardest part in music is to meet yourself within it. Approaching oneself music wise tend to always lead to surprises, where the best of all is that sounding unique stems from being honest. In order to do so, it is important to feel that this process is under your own control.

For about two years now, Abdulla Rashim has taken things in his own hands, caring not only about his music, but also looking for a way to get by on his own terms. Finding his peers such as Donato Dozzy and the subtleness in music, Rashim has found his own expression while listening carefully to his inspirations and aspirations.

With ‘Endasilasie’, the third release on his own Abdulla Rashim Records, his sound has become even harder to describe. There has not really been a shift in his direction sound wise, but somehow his stream of atmosphere for which Rashim has put his trademark, has become even more clear and formidable.

The A-side is a cautious and entangling piece where the sound architecture similar to ancient ruins and forgotten rituals creates a hypnotic state. Carefully introducing additional buildings to this architecture drives the track forward, keeping a constant pace much similar to perfect breaks in harder techno.

Flipping the record, a immediate pace is set, where a less subtle and more naked track fills the groove on the B1. ‘Endasilasie 2’ showcases Rashim’s most refined state yet, where a daring move to use even less subtracted sound creates a interesting take on a already reduced atmosphere. A sharp, somewhat hard beat structure goes perfectly hand in hand with the swirling sounds, creating a less moody but more direct, live felt track.

With no light at the end of this tunnel, ‘Endasilasie 3’ digs deep into a dark place, without much hope for the better, a well crafted loop goes to additional states and elevations, setting a static and in that case comforting atmosphere for which Rashim has become famous for.

Review: Robert Hood – Motor: Nighttime World 3

Label: Music Man
Catalog#: MMCD038 / MMLP038


01. The Exodos
02. Motor City
03. Better Life
04. The Wheel
05. Black Technician
06. Learning
07. Drive (The Age Of Automation)
08. Torque One
09. Hate Transmissions
10. Slow Motion Katrina

11. Assembly
12. A Time To Rebuild

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The third installment to Hood’s Nighttime World (previously released in 1995 on Cheap and in 2000 on M-Plant), clarifies the current condition in his native Detroit. A vivid image of the history from the city that was built on the American dream, Hood’s personality and ability to reduce sounds in a way that he is the undoubted master of trades, this is a soundtrack that is very personal for him.

One general difference from the older releases by him, is that the absence of hardware for the production in his tracks has changed his signature a little bit. While the sparse minimalism that helped to create a very long time ago has come a long way, he uses the same reduction techniques to create “that” sound, a sound that really speaks and invites. Even though a more digital approach might seem to fall short to some listeners, imagining the atmosphere for which ‘Nighttime World 3’ was crated for, this is simply not something that should exclude but should rather be perceived as a development, the same development as Hood wishes to see for Detroit.

Right from the start, ‘Nighttime World 3’ transpires and changes the mood into Hood’s unique atmosphere. Sounding like a constantly shaking abandoned building, a story forms around the anger and frustration hidden deep within the tracks. Following a pattern in the track titles combined with the actual tracks themselves, Hood paints not only a vivid picture of a current situation for Detroit, but signifies the frustration and anger that electronic music in general so well perceives.

The strengths for every tracks can not be pinned down to single elements, but what makes them special is the tracks as a whole. This is almost of the essence to create electronic music that feels timeless and have a life of it’s own, something that Hood has created countless of times.

If there is a soundtrack for our current times, this might very well be it.

My favorite tracks:

The Exodus

Drive (The Age of Automation)

Torque One

Motor City

Review: Norman Nodge – Berghain 06

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD23


1. Birds Two Cage – Gase
2. Oni Ayhun – OAR 002-B
3. Mokira – Manipulation Musik (Redshape Tape Dub)
4. Patrick Gräser – From Foreign Territories
5. Hauntologists – Untitled (B1)
6. Staffan Linzatti – Morning
7. Jeff Mills – Keeping Of The Kept
8. Silent Servant – Untitled (A1)
9. DJ T-1000 – Metra
10. The Nighttripper – Tone Explotation (Planerary Assault Systems Remix)
11. Charlton – Black Slong
12. Architectural – Looking Ahead
13. Mark Broom – Vault 5
14. Ctrls – Socket
15. Chancellor – Roundabouts
16. Tim Taylor & DJ Slip – New York Minds
17. El Gato #9 – Coefficient Of Friction (Monty Luke Back Catalogue Remix)
18. Radioactive Man – Nastyradio
19. Xosar – Rainy Day Juno Jam (Legowelt Remix)


For a person where musical taste and life makes sense when proceeded on his own terms, Norman Nodge has always inspired many, chosing to remain in a less exposed place than a lot of people similar to his… calibre.

Simply put, doing what he does best is strictly shown in this sixth installment of the Berghain mix series. Being slotted at early nights, tourist prime times or at any time during the Sundays, Norman always remain eclectic, fast thinking and interesting. This mix CD was apparently live recorded at Berghain at some point, showcasing in a very faithful style how he sounds at his residency.

With a brooding atmospheric start off point, Norman paces things up in a excellent manner, where careful yet excellent track selection instantly sets the mood.

This mix will surely fit among the ones where mood swings are the come back point—something that has drenched this mix to the fullest.

While the atmospheric beginning sets the compass correctly, the totally blurred out line from the beginning until the middle part of the mix creates a tension not too far fetched from the actual club nights themselves. This is probably a lot of the reason for the Berghain mix series, which makes this sixth installment one to keep.

Even though the focus is on rough and reduced tracks, they all fall under the same palette of giving away just enough space to keep the pace at a excellent rate. There’s just enough tension all the time, where surprises such as where the next track finishes to leave room for the next, the sense of being truly timeless in a perfect setting hasn’t been this clear for a very long time.

‘Berghain 06’ is released the 22nd October 2012.

Review: Vatican Shadow – Iraqi Praetorian Guard

Label: Blackest Ever Black
Catalog#: BLACKEST008


A1: Cairo Sword Unsheathed

B1: Gunmen With Silencer

B2: Church Of All Images (Regis Remix)

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Hinting a slight lesser dystopian atmosphere as previous ‘Blackest Ever Black’ releases, Vatican Shadow manages to express a even more melancholic 12″, where the darkness still leaves room for hope and light.

A interesting side which translates into sparse use of these elements and music that ‘Blackest Ever Black’ stands for, makes the sound more clear and precise, making it into one record that is easily returned to.

Opening up with ‘Cairo Sword Unsheathed’, where the Black Hawk helicopter-like sound twirls around some sort of chanting, embraces the atmosphere. Ambient sound textures and haunting samples gives in to the dub-like pace of the track, keeping the low key groove in a very steady structure, where Fernow’s expertise in handling sounds really comes out of the shadow.

On the other side of the record, ‘Gunmen With Silencer’ continues to build upon the political theme, but the pace is more in the forefront of things. This track feels like a combining bridge between the A side and B2, where Regis is able to create the sound of military intelligence mixed with his trademark drum work.

This is a solid and unique record, where talent and experience is taken in hand in hand, and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

Review: DVS1 – Klockworks 08

Label: Klockworks
Catalog#: KW08

A1: Break Away

A2: Behind Lines

AA: Confused

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DVS1 has gone a long way in a short period of time. Building his atmospheres on what seems to be endless journeys through the history of techno (and in some cases house) through his dj sets, he manages also to charm, inspire and give hope through sparse, tense and suggestive tracks on Klockworks, Transmat and his own new label Hush.

‘Break Away’ gives a tense and thrilling groove, where DVS1’s style shines through in a way that feels refined and carefully arranged. Broken structures swirl around a straight and hard edged beat, similar to his previous releases. He has become a sort of expert in this field.

When going deeper into his own territory, something in the lines of ‘Behind Lines’ is what lies ahead. Less eccentric than the sounds and production than the other tracks from him, DVS1 give way for a more experimental edge, that shatters and rumbles in just the right way.

Being part of the ‘Berghain 04’ mix CD from Ben Klock, ‘Confused’ is a well established track in the case of Ben Klock, but also gives DVS1 a special place and atmosphere. This is perhaps the KW08 equal to ‘Running’ from KW05, but less tense but built on a more of a floating approach.

Review: Martyn – Ghost People

Label: Brainfeeder
Catalog#: BF025


A1: Love And Machines (ft. Spaceape)
A2: Viper
A3: Masks
B1: Distortions
B2: Popgun
B3: I Saw You At Tule Lake
C1: Ghost People
C2: Twice As
C3: Bauplan
D1: Horror Vacui
D2: We Are You In The Future

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You know when an album has that cinematic feeling that seems to endlessly paint pictures in your head? Martyn’s ‘Ghost People’ might be the blockbuster when it comes to that scenario.

Martyn’s signature is all over this record, even more so than on ‘Great Lengths’ from 2009. Being a producer with such eclectic influences and having such a character sound wise, one of the real accomplishments with ‘Ghost People’ is that Martyn has managed to package it all onto two LPs.

Starting off in a futuristic (an ironically present sound), the intro is one of the perfect examples of how Martyn has grown into knowing how to find the perfect grooves and building structures. A mixture of both cinematic scenery as well as tracks closer to the dance floor, ‘Ghost People’ is interesting in that sense, where two different atmospheres meet and creates a personal space.

The highlights is when Martyn freaks out a little bit, such as the intro or the last track, where it seems as if a clear vision has been recorded under a live take—something that probably will boost his live sets that he’s just begun with.

As a second album, Martyn has done a great job to keep it personal and more in a story-telling direction, something that leans more to a one way dialogue from Martyn—in a sense something that has previously been lacking due to experimenting with styles and so on.

My favorite tracks:

Love And Machines (ft. The Spaceape)

We Are You In The Future

Review: Dave Clarke – Fabric 60

Label: Fabric
Catalog#: fabric119


01. Raudive – Shiver
02. Crotaphytus – Cnemidophorus Sexlineatus – The Mr. Pauli Monster Bass Guitar Remix
03. Tommy Four Seven – Armed 3
04. Marc Romboy vs. Paris The Black Fu – Dark N Lovely – Kenny Larkin Remix
05. Ray 7 & Malik Alston – I.D.F.D.F.I.
06. Cristiano Balducci – Pride
07. Cute Heels – Silence Complot
08. Stephane Signore – Sacrifice – Radical G 2k11 Edit
09. Gesaffelstein – Aufstand
10. Scape One – Time Falls – Dynarec Remix
11. Exzakt – Clarity – Lethal Agent Remix
12. Sync 24 – We Rock Non-Stop – Heuristic Audio Remix
13. Heliopause – Destination Planet Earth
14. Dez Williams – Foreign Object
15. Clatterbox – Coolicon
16. w1b0 – Alternate Sequence
17. Baz Reznik – The Attic

Always going in his own way, Dave Clarke brings a very specific aesthetic into his productions. Leaning to a very “hands on, boots strapped tight”-sound, Clarke gives his this mix his own style and taste maximum headspace.

There is a pursuit of an industrial sound, where Clarke gets deep into a spectrum of repetition and a “dirty” sound. To tread carefully here is vital for not making the mix feel meretricious but rather honest. The first problem with ‘fabric 60’ is shown here. Clarke manages to showcase himself in an excellent way, keeping the mix interesting in moments, but the tracks he has chosen doesn’t feel as gritty, noisy and expressive as his older mixes, and foremost productions.

Keeping the mix soudwise submerged and “deep”, Clarke also manages to keep the lights and cold air style intact—a balancing act between deep beneath and high above, a mixture of two complete opposites. It’s also here where Dave Clarke shines on ‘fabric 60’—but in the long run, it’s simply not enough to keep it all together.

The mix starts off in a organic type of way, where chrystal clear sounds and actually a bit shallow track selection takes place. The problem with this type of opening is the clear resemblance and tedious debate over digital and vinyl dj’s; ‘fabric 60’ is a testament of the rock solid track arrangement and static transitions which occours when two tracks are mixed in absolute perfection. The difference is that no matter what format a dj chooses, it’s always more interesting to hear trasitions that communicates a “in the now”-sense, where everything falls into place and elevates the dancefloor.

Dave Clarke manages to go through a lot of tracks that sounds hand picked for this mix, which saddenly resemble each other in a way that doesn’t give any space. Imagine a air locked chamber, where everything is all good but you would really love to get some air.

Although ‘fabric 60’ isn’t Clarke’s finest moment, he has a style that is personal, tasteful and carefully developed in a way that stands out.

Review: Floorplan – Sanctified EP

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM13


A: We Magnify His Name

B1: Baby, Baby

B2: Basic Principle

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Light, dark, hopeful and exact—Robert Hood’s new release as Floorplan goes in a lot of parallel directions. The ‘Sanctified EP’ feels as a very personal release from Hood, as a religious theme is center in this release. The aim with Floorplan is to give output to the tracks that Hood believes is in between his usual styles and inspiration—much like an artistic playground of high quality.

With ‘We Magnify His Name’, Floorplan delivers a fresh and interesting take on gospel in general, and house in specifics. A very well made foundation with straight jacked beats, companied with excellent hats and moods, the track floats perfectly and gives a new and special angle of Hood’s sound.

The B1 gives into a jacking and dramatic swing, as the track title is repeated into suspense, release and groove. A very simple but powerful track that does a lot with very little elements. Where ‘Baby, Baby’ gives the lightness of the release a bit more strength, total darkness falls over ‘Basic Principle’. Here, Hood goes straight into a significant amount of depth, where super tight beats fits perfectly beneath a organ driven melody—one of the best Floorplan tracks to date.

Review: Marcel Fengler – Berghain 05

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD19


1. Emika – Count Backwards – Marcel Dettmann Vocal Edit
2. Peter Van Hoesen – Axis Mundi
3. Terrence Dixon – Tranquility – Octogen Remix
4. Byetone – Plastic Star – Dr. Walker Remix
5. Tommy Four Seven – G – Regis Remix
6. Marcel Fengler – Thwak – L.B. Dub Corp Remix
7. Secret Cinema – Timeless Altitude – Minneapolis Mix
8. Ratio – Doublefeature
9. Gerd – Time And Space – Duplex Southside Mix
10. Seiji – More Of You
11. Claude Young & Takasi Nakajima – Think Twice
12. Puresque – 001A
13. Ben Sims – Slow Motion
14. Vril – UV
15. Marcel Fengler – Sphinx
16. Skudge – Man on Wire
17. Reagenz – The Labyrinth
18. 20:20 Vision – Future Remembrance – 20:20 Livestyle Mix
19. Convextion aka E.R.P. – Vapor Pressure

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Marcel Fengler is always able to present a multi-faced personality in his music. At one moment, the course and energy of his dj sets can suddenly shift, but it’s hard to notice that specific moment. Due to his talent in reading in how the tracks float, the shifting between them is done flawlessly and without momentum—a strength that is very unique for Fengler.

The strength in ‘Berghain 05’ is the uniqueness and feel of it. There is a subtleness that lies as a foundation similar to a real piece of art, where everything comes together in a pace that is hauntingly slow and never loses energy at the same time.

From the start, Fengler puts in a anthem like approach. For the sound of his residency, this is a mark of a very special night there and usually a sign of a well engaged dj or live act. The sign in this case, is the excellent beginning, where Dettmann’s vocal edit has somewhat become one of the tools for this. Following the exclusive ‘Axis Mundi’ from Belgian Peter Van Hoesen, Fengler manages to capture a lot of emotion whis is streamlined into a euphoria—a daring and pushing track that fits perfectly as a beginning.

Continuing on through the mix, a very futuristic attitude is presented, where broken rhythms, gritty sonic architecture and aggressive beat programming sets the mood from Germany’s capital. The special sound isn’t one similar to your regular noise-based techno, but closer to a spiritual journey put into a cathedral like atmosphere.

‘Berghain 05’ peaks in the middle, where all the built up tension gets released. Going through a anthem like parade of tracks, Fengler shows a real strength in keeping the pace. Nearing the end, the mix echoes through as it will never end, a emotion that is closely knit to Fengler’s Berlin residency, and somewhat the point of the Berghain-mix CD releases.

Review: Levon Vincent – NS-05

Label: Novel Sound
Catalog#: NS-05


A: Man or Mistress

B1: Making Headway

B2: No Regrets

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For Levon Vincent, the momentum between the releases is used as a strength utilized as a driving force in order to put out tracks that are meaningful to himself as well as to all other’s experiencing them.

A careful ear will hear all the developments in the tracks, where a tighter groove with a little less light on them sets the atmosphere in a much quicker way, as well as going into more interesting states and areas not so present in other releases right now.

For the A side, ‘Man or Mistress’ recalls ‘Late Night Jam’ in one way. Only this time, the anthem-warning is put on a more wild approach and thus making the ‘Man or Mistress’ track feel more unique and perhaps more tasteful. With a very reminiscent texture and sound, Levon goes two steps forward and brings a playful, yet perfectly moody melody into focus, with perfected arrangements and excellent use of effects. Some might regard time and “getting tired of” as a factor to watch out for concerning the A side, which is usually mentioned for a track using a melody in this way and having this type of energy—the other side of this coin is, in fact, that the energy is always there and provides enough memories in order to stand out as other more classic anthems over time.

‘Making Headway’ and ‘No Regrets’ feels as more personal transmissions from the studio to the turntable, as a more cool and laid-back production feels as the outset for them. This is of course not a bad thing, as Levon proves that he is a master of both being able to make music that goes into a extreme party level (‘Double Jointed Sex Freak Pt. 1’, ‘Late Night Jam’ or ‘Man or Mistress’) and also being able to deliver super cool tracks as these.

A focused and much welcomed return on Novel Sound, Levon Vincent shows what he has in store and what he’s capable of when things are on his terms.