#0022 Theo Parrish - Dance of the Medusa (2012)
Finally Theo is back with some deepness after some experimental tracks that are hard to know what to think about. “STFU” was passable, but the Shangaan remix flew over most peoples heads as well as ”Any Other Styles” which was just too plain weird. I might pick it up eventually though, but it hardly felt essential.. Or that is, this release sees him combine that experimentalism with deepness. “Ambalamps” is still quite weird meandering its completely own ways with subterranean bass, fragments of a organ melody and random bleeps. If it wasn’t for the hi-hats to keep things vaguely in place it would be a wreck, but this way it somehow works. The title track that I got the single for though is deep the way that first got me into Theos productions, without Theo repeating himself. It seems balancing is his forte as things fly around left to their own devices coming in and out of the mix without falling together, a five-note bassline, a theo-beat, trumpets, piano, bleeps, wisps all ask for your attention at the same time in a track that stops as abruptly as it starts. “Bubbles” is more patient working with fewer elements at the same time playing out the potential variations of each in turn before ending as a ugly edit(tm).
#0019 L. A. M. - Balance of Terror (1992/2003)
Four short, full-blast tracks with spooky interludes grabs unto one side pressed in 45 rpm for their dear lives not giving you much time to prepare next track and mix it in! First track “Radius of Infliction” sweeps over you like an atomic blast shrieking terrorized screams. The second tracks sounds like dr. Mengele conducting some evil experiment in his lab. Third track has a beat going for 16 bars or so and then goes into a interlude with post-apocalyptic feel. I like this one the best, but it is too short to play in a mix.. Good thing then that “Hostile Bacteria” last a bit longer and has a even freakier electrobeat to boot. On the flip “Toxic TV” approaches song-structure with the verse singing “We are on TV”. The horrors, the horrors!
#0020 Duplex - P.O.M. remixed (2005)
Two “Time Delation” mixes by Heinrich Mueller adorn the A-side where at least the first one could be soundtrack to a Dario Argento movie if he did science-fiction. A phantasmagorical choir comes in and out of a freaky scene, sharp blades stabs into it and strings of horror curtains it all. Both remixes start with german announcement fit for the tv in Poltergeist. But the second mix doesn’t dwell within that horror-scene, the beat instead transports us around in a ghost house with no big surprises, but that has constant changing menaces staring at you. “Mateschitz mix” takes it back into more regular electro territory which after Mueller’s scare feels too safe.. It makes me want to mix it with Vmax - 0% for some reason. “Spiegelreflex mix” keeps adding dizzying layer upon dizzying layer until you feel like a space probe lost in space clicking a steady signal hoping that someone listens.
#0021 Silicon - Get Up Move In
The Heath Brunner produced single on Frustrated Funk starts head-on with “Get Up Move In” a bass-heavy beast electro track with menacing, distorted (strangely only the vocals sounds like on a worn-out record, but the vinyl is EX) vocals and stabs. The label did good here, because this is both frustrated and funky. Next up is “Mad” which has many things going on at the same time. It starts of with some bubbling sounds, adds some sparkling sounds, then some heavy bassline, strings, you get the idea. They all play together and you need a good system to be able to separate all these sounds. First track on the B-side, “0%” is similar to first on the A with more cryptic vocals and is best structured of the lot so far, the bass is again massive and programming top notch. Last cut is the most immediate though. “SGB” has what the A1 and B1 has, but replaces vocals with a great undulating lead and is athmospheric despite its high drive.
#0016 Skatebaard - Future (2003)
The one and only Skatebaard in half electro and half techno mode here, of which I prefer the electro mode. “Future” is a sterile place where computers have taken over evolution from the weaker humans feeling akin to Dopplereffekt. Knut Saevik teams up for the 6581 remix of the same track is heavier on the beats and has the emotionless humanoid repeating “future” throughout as if a lamentation of not having human feelings, someone should fix that sentimental algorithm..
#0017 D.I.E. - The Men You Never See pt 2 (2003)
Detroit in Effect voiceovers a electro beat on this EP’s first track that seems to be recorded live at the Map Lounge giving it a feel of being pirate radio recorded on vinyl. Being so specific to the time it was aired I’m not sure if there’s ever a time to play this again so I guess you should take it as manifesting the spirit of that time. Anyways it serves as a good intro if you listen to the EP from beginning to end. “Space Travel” similarly has rapping (with all low frequencies filtered out) over the beat and it all doesn’t really go anywhere, but “Other People” ups the pace, adds some pads and whees and whoos making it come more together. The robotic voiceover insists that “We are the people from the other side. Let us take you on a magic ride.” Indeed. “U Can’t See Us” tells us the techno ethos of facelessness, you can’t see techno, but techno sees you! I prefer the less sparse tracks though, so next track “Keep Hanging” has more to offer for me with harder beats and more things going on. Could do without the positive message though. Last track has airy pads and some strings even. Best track is A3 with B2 a good second, the rest feels a bit too mnml.
#0018 Glass Domain - ? (1991/2003)
Clone released some decade-old electro hidden in the vaults of some faceless legends on the genre on this EP and on #0019, both on the experimental rather than the usable side. “Hiccups” is electro with, you guessed it, hiccups. The alleged victim naturally asks for a glass of water. “Fairy” comes out of the closet. I guess literally. “Interlock” retains the playful beats, but goes into pop-territory singing poetically about lego-blocks. My pick of the bunch, though playing “Hiccups” can be hard to resist given a too serious audience.
#0014 Le Mystere - Jazz De Tombouctou (1976, reissue 2011)
After hitchhiking through Sahara desert with a soundtrack of West-African slow-music I’ve been addicted to the sound and vibe. It really fits the landscape and gives comfort in the vastness of it all. So I picked up two out of three represses of old jazz-records from Mali released on the excellent Kindred Spirits label and I’ll probably get the last one too when I have the chance. Both of them are fantastic and I can’t choose a favourite. This one in particular is quite dance-hypnotic, surprisingly so given its slow pace and religous content (one sings the islamic faith “doctrine” il y a Allah, Muhammad rasool Allah). “Wale” was the one song I felt was kind of dull, but then it exploded a third in, in carnivalesque power. Just teasing in other words. “Leli” relates, as far as my poor french goes, how young people of the fula-tribe go through the sahel semi-desert and this is the funkiest track on the record feeling more afro-beaty and therefore moving the sound a bit further to the south towards Nigeria. “Dina Waliji” is a slow circular prayer to Allah with eternity in sight. “Teiduma” is a even slower chant with some horns chiming in. Horns are dominating “Tarekh” which is more hectic and uneasy compared to the rest which can be due to its political nature. A good release all in all and a big thank you to Kindred Spirits for making this available for record-buyers again.
#0015 Nacho Patrol - Lineas Angola (2012?)
Also on Kindred Spirits this is timbuktu-jazz transported far into the future by Danny Wolfers. I am unsure of the connection to Angola, though, if any other than Mr. Wolfers penchant for general african mythology. Anyway this is a brilliant track consistent with the other Nacho Patrol releases. One soaring melody takes over for the next melting together into one conglomerate much in the spirit of african jazz in general. There’s a Shangaan remix on the flip by one Nozjima which is less structured and less epic sounding (Legowelt should make soundtracks for revolutions). It doesn’t feel very “electro” either though it claims that in the title. What it does is to play with the rhythm, threatening to disintegrate the structure by replacing their order. By the end of this track you are bound up to be too confused to know up from down, which is a good thing.
#0012 Lindstrøm & Todd Terje - Lanzarote (2013)
This will probably always stand in the shadow of its big brother of last year that became one of the biggest tracks of last year released as the first on Olsen records (“Inspector Norse”). It stands nicely on its own legs though. Certainly it pushes the same buttons and it sounds bi-ig, building and building until fading away with a list of places we wanna go, a mix of famous resorts and places in Norway few people would care to mention .. Diskjokke dubs it up a bit and tease the listener with giving mere snippets of the melodies before letting it all roll together not really adding much to the fine original. Nice cover by Bendik Kaltenborn too.
#0013 Dj Fett Burger / Dj Grillo Wiener - Disco Tre / Disco Fire (2013)
The latest release on Ufo sub-label of Sex Tags Mania straight outta Moss sees the camp in disco mode, “Disco Fire” the most explosively wild of the pair. As most disco-edits it sounds very familiar, but I can’t think of where I heard it all before. Anyway it is good stuff again from the people who gave you “Pulehouse” and other classics.
#0010 John Heckle - The 4th Dimension EP (2011)
More excellent playful athmospheric techno from Heckle on Mathematics recordings. The title cut is my favorite as the melody jumps carefree over the beat. “Forgotten Lights” gets much more serious and can make you imagine comets crashing into Jupiter. All hope is not lost though, halfway through the storm lets up a little for a dance of northern lights over it all. On the flip “Ahead of Time” must be a homage to Fingers Inc.’s “Washing Machine” with its start and stop beat and dizzy melody, albeit here with a bit more kao-tic melody than its predecessor. The title rightly gives the about 25 year older original credit where credit is due, as this still is the sound of the future.
#0011 Fingers Inc / Ralphi Rosario - Washing Machine / U Used to Hold Me (1996)
Two seminal tracks from the Trax-catalog got a re-release on this 10”. One side is one of Larry Heards best moments, a futuristic acid jam sounding like, you guessed it, a washing machine. Ralphi on the other side is classic chicago house built on foundation (that can never crumble) of disco.
#0007 Mondo Grosso - Souffles H (1995)
One of Masters At Works most famous remixes this, and I must admit I haven’t heard the japanese original before. The MAW dub and Louie Vega/Joe Claussell collab “King Street Club mix” is where the money is though, when it comes to arranging house music, they truly are masters. They can make even ex-Spice Girls sound good (Mel B - I Want You Back). The “Phunky Horns”-remix is a horns-overdose for my sensitive taste though. No, actually, I take it back. “Louie’s Phunky Horns” is the juiciest track with horns I know, just choose the time to play it wisely!
#0008 Roy Davis jr - Something Inside of Me (1999)
On #0007’s parent-label fittingly sees Roy Davis jr dedicating a track to his namesake parent. Side a has Roy singing about unconditional love over a steady housebeat and under soaring looped disco-violins. Clearly this is from the era of Dj Sneak and as a instrumental it doesn’t make as much sense, but the a-side certainly has enough Royness about it to be played now and then.
#0009 Deee-Lite - Power of Love (Remix) (1990)
Towa Teis poppy sound here gets remix treatment by Pal Joey, Tony Humphries and Satoshi Tomiie. Pal dubs away the happyness, keeping the deliciousness, Tony ups the vocal drama while Tomiie surprisingly steals the show here with his more psychedelic treatment of “Build the Bridge” that makes me search for more ravey UK-stuff.
#0005 Sylk 130 - The Reason / When the Funk Hits the Fan (1997)
Picked up in the same bin-raid as #0004, this is a funkier hiphop affair altogether. Two similar mixes (the Lowdown Wikit mix replaces the flow of Bahamadia with a trumpet) of an ode to uncritical love “The Reason” grazes the a-side together with the real classic and a Mood II Swing remix of the latter on the b. Though seeing the remix on the b convinced me to get this, the gem is still the original mix squeezed in as last number on a. Acoustic,
funky disco as good as it gets. In comparison the remixes don’t feel exactly essential, especially the dub is horribly “tribal”.
#0006 Avenue B Band - Bumper to Bumper (1980)
Finding one rainbow-adorned Salsoul giant single after another in the bins proved to not be the goldmine I hoped at first, so I left the store with only this one out of four. This however is a great disco number with a hiphop flair that snugs in somewhere between Fatback Band and Solar.
#0002 TM404 - The Morphosis Korg Response (2012?)
The always interesting Rahib Beani remixes TM404 on swedish label Kontra-Musik and the result is perplexing. Not knowing my synths well enough, I can only assume that the track titles are a list of the equipment used, but if
this is the case of the originals, the remixes or both I don’t know. Seeing however that this is called Korg Response is it the case that the originals were produced on Rolands (several 202s, 303s and 606s) and that these two remixes went through a Korg? Anyway, what is important is the music. This is the kind of deep uncompromised techno that Morphosis are known for and that in the process alienates those not open to such transcendental sonic experimentation. As for me, I love it. The a and b-sides are similarly abstract, but the b gives way to a brutal thumping beat through the last quarter of the track amidst its squeaking bird-like synths. Thanks to Tsubasa for t
#0003 Container - Treatment (2013)
Released on mr. Rahib Beanis label Morphine, this is even more sinister than the above entry (TM404 Morphosis Korg Response). Still it’s of a similar breed of techno, but more industrial, less abstract, more insisting and even grittier. “Treatment” forces you unto its claustrophobic journey which is not unlike standing on the plane of an uncovered wagon of the ore-train in Mauritania where sinister black dust hits you like hail from every possible direction and the you have to ride it the train to the next station, ma-any miles away. “Obstruction” is similar, but shorter and more condensed. My track of choice though is on the a-side, “Interior”. The dark industrialism is funkier here, reminding me for some reason of Claude Young, with brittle, frozen storms of oredust swooshing around your ears like arctic storms to keep you on your toes. “Saturated” is kinder and more straight-forward. If you play this to a girl on first date and she likes it, marry her, it means she is special. Great cover art too.
#0004 Pop Device / Indigenous Tribe (1998)
Finding stuff on Aphex’ label Rephlex in the bins are always good moments and I certainly don’t regret getting this one. Pop Device does some inane talk about blackness buried deep in the mix with some heavy drums and 303-action. Halfway between hiphop and techno. Same with the flip, but here the talk is replaced with a rap about hiphop-life and it’s not techno. Both sides are short and take up a fraction of a 12” and could certainly fit on a 7”, mr. Richard D. James probably think that makes as much sense as to live in a tank in your parents garden (which he reportedly does).