Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Shimokitazawa One Night Stand - S.O.N.S. (S.O.N.S.)

Title: Shimokitazawa One Night Stand
Artist: S.O.N.S.
Label: S.O.N.S.
Cat Number: SO-03 JP-NS
Genre: Techno

1: A New Life (Planet Earth Mix)
2: Reversed Skies

It takes a while to get going, the beats not properly coming in until around the halfway mark, but while its worth the wait it would have been nice had they come in a couple of minutes sooner. ‘A New Life (Planet Earth Mix)’ feels hoisted by its own petard.  Analogue acid and breaks from pre-Cambrian rave get some momentary traction and disappear, the desired ambience fading more quickly than a mayfly’s life. ‘Reversed Skies’ is similarly frustrating. Clocking in at ten minutes long, two more than track one, its elemental power could have been so much more effective had a little more happened along its length. These are two interesting compositions, and are magnificent mixing fodder, but they don’t justify the hype.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Range of Regularity Remixes 1 - Samuel Rohrer (ArjunaMusic Electronic Series)

Title: Range of Regularity Remixes 1
Artist: Samuel Rohrer
Label: ArjunaMusic Electronic Series
Cat Number: AMEL-EP716
Genre: Minimal

A: Uncertain Grace (Vilod Remix)
B: Lenina (Ricardo Villalobos Remix)

Minimal still divides people. It’s all about the groove and ride, but so much of it descends into self-indulgence that it can be difficult to see a beginning and an ending. It often lacks muscle, too frequently spiraling up its own spiral sphincter of linear monotony. Heard out, it needs more stamina, in isolation more flourishes. I generalize inasmuch as I believe it’s often one person’s word against another in such circumstances and there’s a time and a place for everything. The Vilod remix of ‘Uncertain Grace’ falls into the category I like; it has drive, a purpose and versatility. It’ll soak up anything layered with it and peak at the right moments. Stepping away from Max Loderbauer, Ricardo Villalobos interpretation of ‘Maria’ is in a category all of its own, and while you won’t catch me dancing to it, I may read a few Edgar Allen Poe poems to its accompaniment.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Elevation EP - Ohm & Kvadrant (Kontakt Records)

Title: Elevation EP
Artist: Ohm & Kvadrant
Label: Kontakt Records
Cat Number: KNT-1
Genre: Techno

1: Ejer
2: Laki
3: Laki (Octal Industries Remix)
4: Yding

There’s nothing I like better than muscular, dubby beats pounding out through a pair of speakers. ‘Ejer’ is one such beast; solid and uncomplicated, with barely noticeable sonic flourishes, volume is its driving force. It’ll sound great either side of your favourite JT Zeiter track. Mind you, so will ‘Laki’, a track characterized by synth washes and rim shots; not a familiar combination, but devilishly effective here. The Octal Industries remix does little, save add a plodding beat over the top and feels lazy. Said beat acts as a brake on the backing track and creates friction. ‘Yding’ is light and airy, and in keeping with the other original offerings on this EP; it goes down the dub route deliberately, and contains a slight whiff of Augustus Pablo.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fear of Death - Andre Leira (Carpets & Snares)

Title: Fear of Death EP
Artist: Andre Leira
Label: Carpets & Snares
Cat Number: CARPET01
Genre: Deep House

A1: Raining Sun
A2: Raining Sun (Steve O’Sullivan Dub)
B1: Fear of Death
B2: Not the Way

The opening salvo from Lisbon’s Carpets & Snares, from the record shop of the same name, is nothing short of superb. I love a linear, infinite groove and the three original versions on this EP are all great examples of this. ‘Fear of Death’, with its eponymous spoken word snippet is the one which grabs me the most, but all three are brilliant, eloquently straddling a nether world of melancholy and optimism as their velocity drives them tirelessly on. Steve O’Sullivan’s dub offers a foil in the shape of a delicate break beat, which has echoes of snowy Japanese mountains.

Perilous Voyage, Slant of Light - D'Marc Cantu, Paulo Iocca (RA-1)

Title: Perilous Voyage/Slant of Light
Artist: D’Marc Cantu/Paulo Iocca
Label: RA-1
Cat Number: RA1004
Genre: Techno

1: Perilous Voyage
2: Perilous Voyage (Savannah Mix)
3: Slant of Light
4: Slant of Light (Starman Mix)

Mr. Cantu is responsible for ‘Perilous Voyage’, while Mr. Iocca composed ‘Slant of Light’. ‘Perilous Voyage’ is a lanquid, narcotically-inflected piece of rubber funk, whose slowed-down groove is on the one hand enchanting and on the other mildly unsettling. The remix is a hollowed-out abstraction, which sounds like the soundtrack to a night in a synthetic rainforest. ‘Slant of Light’ is, in contrast, more uptempo in both its forms. The original relying on surging synths enclosing feather light percussion, the Starman mix, as its name suggests, having more thrust and encompassing limitless possibilities.