Posts Tagged 'electro'

Review: Skanfrom – Are You Alone?

Label: The All-Clear
Catalog#: AC-3


A: Are You Alone?

B1: I Will Miss You 1

B2: I Will Miss You 2

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The future hasn’t felt as present than with this release from Roger Semsroth’s Skanfrom.

Picking up both a new direction and previous musical activites, sleeparchive has released a experimental noise 10″ on the sleeparchive label, as well as a extremely limited cassette(!) and a CD-R on an Hungarian label. As I’ve waited for another classic ZZZ release, Semsroth puts out this electro 7″ which makes me forget everything I was waiting for from him.

The extreme emotion and intensity of the first track brings out the best of futuristic visions, as well as bringing up memories of Blade Runner and pre-00’s nostalgia. The focus is on building and evolving melodies that combine each other in a very special way, making the track seem constant but at the same time going somewhere. The bassline is doing what it’s “supposed” to do, keeping it all in place.

The B-sides however follow the same pattern, but a more clear electro influence shines through, which feels like a fresh breeze (especially within the genre) – modern, sharp and self-distance tracks that feels like they all belong together.

Review: Vinyl Life – Vinyl Life LP

Label: Tape Theory
Catalog#: TT003-D

A1: Hot Sauce

A2: Hi Tops

A3: Bass Go Boom

A4: Electric Symphony ft. Nite Club

A5: Innovation – Sebastian Marciano Remix

B1: Like This

B2: Elevator Up

B3: Good Life (It’s More Fun To Compute)

B4: Future Beat

B5: Press Rewind ft. Uzimon

With extreme precision, know-how and old school equipment, the NYC electro group Vinyl Life releases their debut album on Tape Theory.

The aesthetics are something completely new, with a very freestyle oriented sound. Leaving a very esoteric movement within EDM in general, they manage to make something that sounds as something “anyone could listen to”. A playful and experimental attitude towards house, hiphop, electro, funk and freestyle; a mix of styles that might come even closer together with this album.

The first track starts out quite calm, keeping the funk intact, the other influences are more in the background here, heading towards a more purist hiphop-electrofunk mixup. The track doesn’t really mirror to the other tracks as well as the rest of the tracks do to eachother, but the sense of the wide range of influence shines through the excellent groove and vocal parts. A very playful track that shows the outset of one aspect of the album (electro).

Continuing towards Royal House, Strictly Rhythm and the linked styles, a junglist framework with resemblances to late 80’s Chicago house, ‘Hi Tops’ feels like a even more playful take on a little bit of everything in electronic music. A even more limp beat goes through the progression of ‘Bass Go Boom’, one of the more calmer tracks of the album – steady beats and a more refined synthesizer use feels more modern than the previous track. Excellent!

One of the best tracks on the album are placed perfectly as A4. ‘Electric Symphony’ displays a even calmer sound, building slowly into a atmosphere of electronics and futuristic funk, Vinyl Life makes a track that feels so confident and self-evident it’s almost funny. As for the hip-hop side of things, ‘Innovation’ is the track closest to the genre on the album. A bit of R&B as well as house is combined through their excellent synthwork and cocky raps.

The rap gets more central on ‘Like This’, which takes things down a bit, keeping a slower tempo and putting a more refined style on hiphop and electrofunk in general. ‘Elevator Up’, a track that feels a little bit as a filler on the album could have been left out, but does what it’s supposed to do, sum up all sides of Vinyl Life.

Ironically, the best track of the album is placed on the B3, a cool and highly electrofunk influenced track that shines through the entire album. The sound of the album gets even more clear with the last two tracks, featuring almost all elements from the previous ones.

All in all, this album might not be for everybody. One thing that’s hard to avoid though, is the fresh sound of it that has so many links towards techno, house, electro, hiphop, jungle and plain funk, it’s a bad idea to skip out on it.

Review: D. Dozzy & Nuel – Aquaplano 1111

Label: Aquaplano
Catalog#: Aquaplano 1111


A1: C1

A2: C2

B1: D1

B2: D2

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With all my heart, I can honestly say that this new release on Aquaplano is one of the best records this year. The amount of influence and feeling that Donato and Nuel show with these tracks are unbelievable.

The first track is a droning ambient piece that reminds me of the Metal Gear Solid video game series, especially with it’s aesthetic and visual soundscape combined with the bleeping spacious sounds and Burial-like crackles. A defining track that places well in the all time charts.

When A2 kicks in with a groove that sounds so well thought out it’s crazy, you know that it’s a special track. The atmosphere is very clear as well as the steady progression of the track, which remains for the entire duration. Precise drum programming and oldschool-not-oldschool sense is combined in a beautiful way – you need to check this out!

For the B-side, a Cybotron-like groove is emitted with electro elements that sound very futuristic but at the same time timeless, combines the record in a perfect state of both techno and electro.

The Futurist’s ‘Best of 2008’ – Part 3

As well as the previous two parts, some records that have been reviewed are also the best from 2008. Since these are previously reviewed I won’t write something about them, but rather link the reviews:

EQD – Equalized #002
T++ – Audio1995#8 / Audio1995#8_2
Norman Nodge – MDR 05
Zomby – Were Where You In ’92?
Various Artists – Soundboy’s Gravestone Gets Desecrated By Vandals
Scuba – A Mutual Antipathy Remixes – Part 1Part 2Part 3
Unknown – Hate 03
Pangaea – You & I / Router
Unknown – Hate 02



Kenny Larkin – Keys, Strings and Tambourines

Label: Planet E
Catalog#: PLE 65303

1. Androgenous
2. Glob
3. Keys, Strings, Tambourines
4. Wake Me
5. You Are…Light
6. Drone
7. Computer Rain
8. Vibin’
9. Bass Mode – Original Mix
10. Siren
11. Gimme
12. Cirque De Soul
13. Deja Vu
14. Wake Outro

Buy here

Not being wholly made for the dance floor, Kenny Larkin creates a whole new dimension with his new album on Planet E.

Ambient drones and structures combined with sonic explorations creates a stunning wall of sound in every single track. Sometimes filled with beats and percussion, a emotional expression and a playful attitude shows that Kenny Larkin is really a part of the present with a musical history very few can be compared to.

The energy that blasts off every sound, note and key, seems to be infinite and combined with the warehouse anthems of ‘Wake Me’, ‘Androgenous’ and all versions of ‘You Are…’ it is transformed into excellent club numbers. Maintaining a experimental side with what “works and don’t work” style makes this album unique and very interesting.

I recommend you to look up Kenny Larkin’s previous work as well and you’ll be set with some really good music.

My favorite tracks are:



Wake Me

You Are… Light


You Are… Original

You Are… Dark


Various Artists – Berghain 02 – Marcel Dettmann

Label: Ostgut Tonträger
Catalog#: OSTGUTCD05

1. Tobias – Balance
2. Norman Nodge – Native Rhythm Electric
3. Pied Plat – Double Trouble
4. Planetary Assault System – Kat
5. Tadeo – Reflection Nebula 056n – Substance Remix
6. Risqué Rhythum Team – The Jacking Zone
7. Samuli Kemppi – Vangel
8. Kevin Saunderson – Just Want Another Chance
9. Clatterbox – Press On
10. Redshape – Plonk – Original Mix
11. Shed – Warped Mind
12. Tadeo – 4
13. Kate Simko – She Said – Ryan Elliott Edit
14. Deetron – Let’s Get Over It – Marcel Dettmann Remix
15. T++ – Mo’ #1
16. Radio Slave – Tantakatan
17. Luke Hess – Believe & Receive – Shedsdeepanddubbydub
18. Strand – Zephyr

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Letting Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann do the second Berghain mix CD on Ostgut Ton was quite expected. Even though, it’s a really good mix!

The Ostgut Ton people asked Dettmann to do the mix in 2007, so he had a lot of time to prepare and arrange it, and the result is very eclectic. Ranging from subtle and jagging Berlin techno, to classic US house and to calmer electro-ish beats.

It also features a exclusive track from T++, as well as at the time unreleased tracks from Norman Nodge, Tobias, Shed, Samuli Kemppi and the man himself.

I’m not such a big fan of mixes on CDs in general (unless it has some unreleased tracks or made by DJs I know about), but this one’s been played a lot actually and always seem interesting every time I play it. As I’m a fan of darker grooves I would rather see Dettmann do a mix that would suit me better, but his choice of tracks and the way he play them in this mix really is something special.

Absolutely one of the best mix CDs of 2008 and I think it will suit almost everybody who gives it a listen.


Sebbo / Moritz von Oswald – Watamu Beach

Label: Desolat
Catalog#: Desolat 003

A: Sebbo – Watamu Beach

AA: Moritz Von Oswald – Watamu Beach Rework

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Sebbo is a producer that keeps distance between every release, but this time he took things to a whole new level in a sound that was getting to be more and more of a “beating on a dead horse”.

During 2008, “everybody” was supposed to do tripping minimal house grooves with ethnic percussion and keeping the track duration over 10 minutes. Nothing wrong with that at all, it’s a really good sound, but it’s a bit boring when it gets to be too much.

Sebbo on the other hand, took this sound that he had already tried out on his ‘Beirut Boogie’ track on liebe*detail, sampled Basic Channel’s Quadrant track ‘Q 1.2’ and created a fast paced, rough and heavy ethnic houseXtechno groove – and also threw in some chants to top it off.

Moritz von Oswald reworked the entire thing and created one of the best tracks of 2008. Removing most elements from Sebbo’s original, he redrew the entire soundscape with really deep bass and percussion, applying a new melody that just fits so well on top of everything else.


Technasia – Oxide – Renato Cohen Remixes

Label: Technasia
Catalog#: TA10RMX

A: Oxide – Renato Cohen Remix 1

B: Oxide – Renato Cohen Remix 2

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Two of my friends in our DJ collective showed me this release in the beginning of last summer, and I was instantly hooked.

From Hong Kong and Brazil comes one of last years most funky techno releases, featuring a well produced groove with sweeps that are exactly as good as sweeps can be, quirky and chopped up piano loops and weird vocal samples.

Usually when things get this weird, it doesn’t fit the floors so well. Dropping this at a warehouse party and you’ll be surprised how well this one works.


Kassem Mosse – Aqueous Haze (The World Dissappeared Into An)

Label: Mikrodisko
Catalog#: M5

X: No Peace/No Love/No Unity – Instrumental Edit

Y: 578

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Kassem Mosse delivers a swirling and highly emotional piece to Mikrodisko. Starting off with the A side (or the X side, to be more precise), he delivers a bit of a broken hearted slow paced highly technological techno track with concentration on the structure and atmosphere as the track progresses. A bit of dub also sees it’s way through on this one.

On the flip, ‘578’ is a deeper piece with a great melody and with well executed twists and alternations in the ambient sounds. Both tracks are very dusty and has a highly analogue feel to them, bringing in a different depth to the tracks and making them a bit more timeless.


F – Phase One / Icon

Label: 7EVEN
Catalog#: 7EVEN04

A: Phase One

B: Icon

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One of last years most dubstepXtechno defining releases comes from France and producer F. Heavy and rolling machine gun basslines and extremely well crafted synth sweeps makes this release essential.

‘Phase One’ is built around a heavy dubstep beat with percussion filled into the broken parts of the structure in the track, making it suitable in combination of techno tracks. A steady, building and massive synth crawls on top of everything else, filling up with reverbs and echoes and shifts in it’s presence over the progression of the track.

As for the B-side, ‘Icon’ is even more direct and with more attitude, following almost the same pattern as ‘Phase One’ but the sweeping synth is combined with a stabbing synth melody which is extremely raw and powerful. Together with the heavy hitting dubstep beat with well selected percussion and funky structure, it’s the best track on the release.

Extremely heavyweight production this one …


Dusk + Blackdown – Kuri Pataka / Con/Fusion

Label: Keysound
Catalog#: LDN007

A: Dusk + Blackdown – Kuri Pataka – The Firecracker Girl

B: Blackdown – Con/Fusion

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UK producers Dusk and Blackdown takes things into a global scale with their ‘Margins Music’ album out on Keysound. This is the third(?) single from the album and is a summarized piece of what to expect from the full length one.

Far east percussion and melodies mixed with rough British beats and tempo. It’s exactly as interesting as it sounds! The production on this one is really top notch, letting all elements from both styles merge in a really good way, it’s very balanced and has a deep feeling to it.

Farah from the disco label Italians Do It Better does the female singing on both tracks, mixing her calm voice with the rest of the production is really the big payoff on both sides, but I prefer the B-side because of the more sensitive take on the music as such.


Len Faki – My Black Sheep – Interpretations 2/2

Label: Figure
Catalog#: fig. 8

A1: Samuel L. Session’s Choice Mix

A2: Samuel L. Session’s Bang The Drum Mix

B1: Marcel Dettmann Mix

B2: My Synthappella

+ Marcel Dettmann’s Digital Mix

Buy here

Len Faki’s remix series of ‘My Black Sheep’ are really something. Radio Slave’s take on it was a milestone for at least my musical direction in 2007 with it’s no compromise, no bullshit sound. The Luke Slater (L.B. Dub Corp) remix was also good, but it’s the A side on the first one’s where the money is at.

This time, Samuel L. Session of Sweden and the one and only Marcel Dettmann transforms the rough original into a Detroit influenced hi-tech piece with killer pads and percussion, moving on into a transformed evil monster towards the end of the release.

Samuel is responsible for the A-sides and Dettmann for the B-sides (and the ‘Digital Mix’). Both sides have their special feeling, but I prefer Dettmann’s take in the long run, simply because it has so much energy and that special reduced sound that I love. In my opinion, the ‘Bang The Drum’ mix could’ve been replaced by the ‘Digital Mix’, it just doesn’t do it if you compare it to the rest of the tracks.

Overall, this is a eclectic and powerful release which is one of my most played one’s from last year.


Luke Blair – BBQ / Genie

Label: Thriller
Catalog#: THRILLER 001


B: Genie

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Golden, pitched down R&B and dubstepping and rolling beats from Luke Blair (Lukid).

Taking a bit of everything and transforming it to something between techno or disco, Blair makes a really experimental piece. ‘BBQ’ is a bleeping monstrous downtempo-broken beat track with massive sampling and atmosphere giving a hint of old school hiphop and R&B.

‘Genie’ is my favorite on this one. Resembling a bit to 1980’s electro grooves, this track reminds me of Man Parrish and Cybotron. Rough and focused groove with high pitched keys makes ‘Genie’ something special.


Levon Vincent / DJ Jus Ed – These Games EP

Label: Novel Sound
Catalog#: NS-01

A1: Levon Vincent – These Games

A2: DJ Jus Ed – Don’t Answer The Phone

B1: Levon Vincent – Deeper

B2: Levon Vincent – Sync Jam

The excellent skill of Levon Vincent is truly getting a righteous space with this release. Reduced and experimental house with a large spectrum of sound structure that seems to be infinite. Setting off his new label with relationship drama, I hope Levon Vincent will continue to pave the way in 2009.

‘These Games’ is a vocal concentrated track with a heavy but slow paced beat and with a ambient progression. Excellent choice of subtle eruption of noise and effects, Vincent creates a unique sound that brings this lead track to a whole different level.

DJ Jus Ed speeds things up with ‘Don’t Answer The Phone’. A reduced New York house attitude with sparse use of elements creates a rough but minimalistic piece that makes you nod your head from the first beat.

On the flip, ‘Deeper’ brings things down to a dub infected atmosphere. Reverbed echoes and percussion, small melodies combined with a metal drenched synthline brings in the heavy stuff but keeps it on a house oriented level. ‘Sync Jam’ takes things back to the faster route, adding to the introduced sound of DJ Jus Ed, Vincent makes use of the Roland machines to create a very stylistic piece.

One to pick up on sight …


Various Artists – Edition 1

Label: Metrolux Music
Catalog#: mlm 004

A1: Atheus – Side Effex

A2: Arne Weinberg – Midas Touch

B1: XDB – Jet

B2: XDB – Rising Sun

Buy here

Finest dub techno of ’08 comes from the first various artists release on Metrolux Music. Raw and extremely present dubbed tunes from four of the scene’s finest producers.

Elements of a faster paced groove are present in every track, making it hard to define the emotions on both sides of this release. Swirling and subtle changes in atmosphere and melody keeps you sharp while the track progress, always making unexpected turns and elevations.