Sunday, June 18, 2017

I'm Not One Of Those DJs Who . . . Part The Fourth

Not really having much time to play with, I’m always ready to jump into a mix with little or no preparation. This approach is perennially slapdash, but comes with great rewards, as well as frustrations. I’ve always liked to be spontaneous when I play, but when the results are recorded the errors stand out. In a lot of cases they’re never as bad as they seem. However, slight miscues or jumps in tempo can time stretch across what seem like minutes, rather than the seconds they are. I haven’t played out for a long time, but will always remember the extemporaneous evolution of such a set with fondness. Like most reasonable people, I was always able to find the correct record telepathically. Having said that, although selection skills are always Important, a modicum of skill is just as critical. The more technically adept isn’t always the most entertaining, but a minimum of beat matching prowess is very important. “I’d rather hear good tracks badly mixed than crap tracks well mixed” is often said, but I think we’d just all rather hear good tracks well mixed, wouldn’t we? Alas, I cannot lay claim to being exemplary in that department. Maybe I should start touching my efforts up. I have the technology, but have never gone over a mix and edited it after it was completed. I have the old-fashioned notion that everything should be done live in one take. Of course I’ve screwed up the beginnings of many, but as long as I’m not too far in I’ll go back and start again. There’s little you can do if this happens far along the line though, so steps have to be taken to minimize the pain. My mixer isn’t the most expressive, so it’s not possible to eliminate whole sonic areas. This can be a problem if you don’t know the records you are playing well. Having said that, the element of surprise is always exciting, and I think that a DJs 6th sense comes into its own when using intuition and occasionally riding one’s luck. Anyway, you can hear the results of my efforts on my Mixcloud page, which is linked to on the right.  From the next mix, my Soundcloud is going to be under new quality control. Another thing I must do is revive my Modyfier ‘Process’ mix, which wasn’t a mix at all, but a selection of influences. The Soundcloud algorithms removed it without warning a few years ago.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Exiles EP - Cold (AE Recordings)

Title: Exiles EP
Artist: Cold
Label: AE Recordings
Cat Number: AE06
Genre: Techno

1: Aerials
2: Phased Out
3: Exiles
4: Dialogic
5: Goosebumps

This is a major event. Cold was the first artist to release on Iceland’s peerless Thule, with ‘Hyper Experience’ back in 1996; a release that contained the classic ‘Strobe Light Network’. AE is a Thule associated label and, unless I’ve been remiss, this new EP ‘Exiles’ is his first release proper since 1996. Derrick May never came in from the recording cold for obvious reasons, so has Cold, aka Isar Logi Arnarsson, still got it?

Well I suppose so, although there wasn’t that much to go on in the first place, and the five tracks here more than double what he’s already released. From what we have hear it’s the three dubbier tracks, which make the biggest impression: ‘Phased Out’, ‘Exiles’ and ‘Goosebumps’ are all great example of their kind, with the creeping menace of the title track standing out. As for ‘Aerials’ and ‘Dialogic’, I’m not as keen. They both make use of a shuffling beat, but it is far more pronounced on the latter than the former, which drives more conventionally, compared to what sounds like a souped up Ark on ‘Dialogic’. Overall though, a very good EP that is very much more worth your time and money.

Tilted Reality EP - Jor El (Echocord)

Title: Tilted Reality EP
Artist: Jor El
Label: Echocord
Cat Number: ECHOCORD074
Genre: Techno

1: Tilted Reality
2: Elevation
3: Solitude

It’s a really nice EP this. Unhurried and sure of itself with a certainty that comes from knowing that the surface has been skimmed and there are unknown depths still to explore. As far as trying to wring out even more from a relatively formulaic approach is concerned, this release pretty much nails it. Taking a step back into the shadows on all three tracks, and opting for a beat filled ambience which is subtle enough to adapt to any sonic environment, but takes a certain amount of skill to manipulate.

Vanishing Point - A Sagittariun (Hypercolour)

Title: Vanishing Point
Artist: A Sagittariun
Label: Hypercolour
Cat Number: HYPE063
Genre: Techno

1: Vanishing Point
2: The Pathway
3: The Pathway (Matrixxman Remix)

The title track is a grand, transcendental gallop that just skirts the right side of big room cred, while ‘The Pathway’ is a robust workout which is great mixing fodder, but lacks distinction along its length. It’s the Matrixxman remix which inevitably adds a little more bounce to the ounce. Keeping the lateral line of the original around which is woven a cavernous bleakness, it’s the most distinctive component of a release which feels like it could have given a little more in places.

Monday, May 29, 2017

DJ Deep Cuts Remixes Vol.1 - DJ Deep (Deeply Rooted)

Title: DJ Deep Cuts Remixes Vol. 1
Artist: DJ Deep
Label: Deeply Rooted
Cat Number: DRH054
Genre: Techno

A1: Surge (Mr G Protected Dub)
A2: Surge (Steve Rachmad Remix)
B1: Stressin (Ben Sims Remix)
B2: New Horizons (Roman Poncet ‘Steps’ Remix)

Both cuts of ‘Surge’ are similar in approach, Mr G’s being hard, stark and raw, (always a pleasure), while Steve Rachmad’s is more liquid and amoebic. Ben Sims’ take is a Claustrophobic, high tempo, syncopated shuffle, while Roman Poncet lets the track breath. This is a solid release that doesn’t tear up any trees. Each to his own I guess.