Archive Page 2

Review: Marcel Fengler – Berghain 05

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD19

Tracklist:

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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Recommended!

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.

Chart: September 2011

http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/noahgibson/top10?chart=79435

Review: Levon Vincent – NS-05

Label: Novel Sound
Catalog#: NS-05

Tracklist:

A: Man or Mistress

B1: Making Headway

B2: No Regrets

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Recommended!

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.

The Office #18 – Levon Vincent (Novel Sound & Deconstruct, USA)

The Office #18 with Levon Vincent! We’re so happy to have Levon over for a real session. This is going to be great! Also playing are two residents from The Office, Johannes Björhn and Henrik Bergqvist.

Hope to see you there!

Mix: Henrik Bergqvist – Mix #4 New Frontiers

Review: Prosumer – Panorama Bar 03

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD17

Tracklist:

01. Steffi – Sadness
02. DJ Duke – Heard
03. Hunee – A Leaf For Hand In Hand
04. Soundso – Untitled
05. Theo Parrish – Twin Cities
06. Morgan Geist – Current
07. Romanthony – The House O’ God
08. Circulation – Sincerely (Creation Mix)
09. Lil Silva – Pulse vs. Flex
10. Soundstore – Take U
11. J.T. Melody presents Tina René – Prove It (Instrumental)
12. Fingers Inc – Music Take Me Up
13. Oracy – Bass Mood
14. i – L.T.B.C.Y.B.
15. T.S.O.S – Over And Over
16. Servo Unique – Let’s Swing It
17. QX-1 – Love Injection (Inject Me Love Mixx)

Buy here

Recommended!

Putting the discussion about “how important mix CDs are today when podcasts are around” or similar aside, and simply enjoying being in the hands of one of the most competent and no-nonsense house dj’s around, you surely not only forget useless debates over this and that, but you also sink into a area without time and only space.

Leaving the controls perfectly balanced on the mixer to leave maximum headroom is a technique that has been around for ages, but when it comes to creating headroom through music—that’s a different story.

I remember once when Prosumer was letting ‘DJ Boom – Kinda’ Kickin’ go, doing something very strange as lowering the pitch into unbearable slowness. For a afternoon with sunlight going through the shutters, myself and the fellow dancers got lost for a moment. For myself and probably other people as well, these moments are rarely there, but when they are, it’s something you remember forever.

When it comes to ‘Panorama Bar 03’, the sound of the bar is not where the emphasis is put. Interestingly though, Prosumer has captured a moment in his sound where it blends perfectly by the high standards of his residency, as well as releasing a personal document in time, not far away from the legendary ‘Berghain 02’ that came three years ago.

The mix starts off with Steffi’s best track to date, continuing down a long stream of classics that is either a little bit forgotten or previously unexplored. Theme-wise, it’s hard to pinpoint the ups and downs in the mix, which is actually very refreshing. Hearing a few small pushes on the vinyl’s here and there actually brings more magic into the atmosphere, by sensing the sweat and hard work that shines through not only the track selection, but the composition as a whole.

For ‘Panorama Bar 03’, it’s certainly a mix you will carry with you for at least some time to come in a use-and-throw away culture.

Review: Robert Hood – Omega: Alive

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM12

Tracklist:

1. Bells At Dusk
2. Run
3. Alpha: Alive
4. Omega: Alive
5. Minimal, Minimal
6. Who Taught You Math?: Alive
7. Unix: Alive
8. Side Effect: Alive
9. Minus: Alive

Bonus Tracks:

10. Alpha – James Ruskin Remix
11. The Family
12. Atomic

Recommended!

With the ‘Omega’ album from last year, Robert Hood took charge of techno once again. By going for his own interpretation of ‘The Omega Man’ movie from 1971, Hood showcased a side of his music that would fit in a new context, filling up the atmosphere with a more experimental mindset—but not at the cost of his forward headed and driving tracks from the early days.

At the time of the release of ‘Omega’, the very structured sound could at times feel that it was lacking something more. ‘Omega’ came on and off by delivering structures that was firm but at the same time Hood-like, which was forgiving. Although. almost a year has passed since ‘Omega’, where the sound has grown steadily, especially when it comes to Robert Hood’s own dj and live sets from last year, where his material from the album made perfect sense in the way he played it.

‘Omega: Alive’ is almost an hour long showcase of how the previous album could sound when Hood performs it, where the sound architecture fits perfectly and creates a killer mix CD.

Combining old and new material into new shapes, Hood starts out with the tripping ‘Bells at Dusk’, which completely engages and forges the rest of the album in a special way. Continued along the track ‘Run’, which draws a lot of the more classic Hood tracks, with steady and static arrangement.

The mood is transformed a lot throughout the mix, where Hood blends both the calm and wild aspects of his tracks, shining special light over ‘Alpha: Alive’, a new version of ‘Alpha’ from the ‘Alpha / Omega (End Times)’ EP from last year. This time, the sound of this track is more down to the earth and less penetrating, as a new atmosphere follows in line with new melodies—a perfect reworking into a new state of mind.

Straight from the mind of the master; ‘Minimal, Minimal’ is an anthem of crazyness. Working perfectly as a bridge for the live set, it is interesting and good that Hood includes the briding tracks too, as they are needed to continue on when playing live. Even though it might seem as a strange track, it makes perfect sense in a live set, especially from the man himself.

A dangerous move, but a very good one in this case, is the reworked classic material from Hood’s extensive back catalogue. He manages to rework them so they fit the atmosphere of the ‘Omega’ live set and pushes them into a new territory. The reduction both limited to the style of his, but also by the probable equipment used at that time has made the tracks into the special ones that they are today. Interestingly, Hood has elevated the sound of them into a different one, not being able to compare them (there’s really no point), but gives a feeling of refreshment and excitement.

For the bonus tracks, Robert Hood included the James Ruskin remix of ‘Alpha’, as well as the previously released ‘The Family’ and the new track ‘Atomic’. ‘Atomic’ is more experimental in a way that was introduced in ‘Omega’—just as with the album from last year, it will probably grow a lot within time.

‘Omega: Alive’ is released on CD and digitally the 20th of June.

My favorite tracks:

Minus: Alive

Alpha: Alive

Bells at Dusk

Minimal, Minimal

Thanks to Jonas at EPM and Robert Hood for this release.

Review: Soundstore / Steffi / Hunee – Panorama Bar 03 EP

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: o-ton46

Tracklist:

A: Soundstore – Take U

B1: Steffi – Sadness

B2: Hunee – A Leaf for Hand in Hand

Straight from the combined forces of tracks from the ‘Panorama Bar 03’ mix CD due later this month, Ostgut Ton releases a sampler with three previously unreleased tracks. As with the previous mix CD’s from Ostgut, a lot can be said about the diversity that the label is displaying by getting this material out for other djs as well.

The difference this time though, is that it’s much harder to pin-point a common ground for the sampler, due to the diverse range of styles being put into it.

Soundstore’s ‘Take U’ strikes out in a traditional sound, based around a high energy mode and extravaganza, being balanced perfectly between what could be considered a “party” sound but keeping the depth of sound in check. A momentum track that goes straight for the gold—as well as a perfectly insane ending not suitable for any eardrum.

‘Sadness’ is a new track made by Steffi, who with her excellent and unique ‘Yours & Mine’ LP set her ambition soundwise, where ‘Sadness’ feels even more thought out and carefully crafted for the special moments. Especially the moments created by her residency, but Steffi manages to also transform that spirit into a track that carries a lot more weight than a specific place, which in return makes it stand out a lot and almost reaching out of the structures of a track-like sound.

The last track of the EP comes from Japan’s Hunee, who goes deep into the momentums and details, bringing in a fresh approach to the essential piano tune action. ‘A Leaf for Hand in Hand’ showcases a studied sound, with a perfect balance between the old and the new, making the atmosphere positive as well as pushing into territores of Prosumer’s dj style—something that explains a lot for Prosumer’s choice to feature Hunee’s track on the Panorama Bar 03 mix CD.

The EP is out soon, together with Panorama Bar 03.

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.