30 September 2009

STL - The Unseen Voyage (Something Vinyl Series 09) - 8/10

Stephan Laubner from Germany opens the record with a nicely ticking and smoothly grooving but somewhat unoriginal track, raising fears that he, too, suffers from complications of the minimal virus. Despite of a sci-fi-sounding title, "Space Warriors" is the most  laid-back cut of the EP but because of its length embraces the listener and the groove keeps haunting afterwards. Then "Radionoize" is a fragmented short-wave cacophony. B-side sends on a journey across the Atlantic as "Walk With Me" follows the footsteps of soulful Detroit house. A gentle but rhythmic track that harmonises well with the final "Me, Myself and I". Four loops come as a bonus.
STL is like a kindred spirit with Danilo Plessow AKA Motor City Drum Ensemble, fellow German and Moodymann disciple, and presents a lively and attractive release here.

17 September 2009

Robert Hood - Obey / Resurrection (M-Plant M.PM2) - 8/10

Hood, one of Detroit techno greats ended his period of hibernation at the end of noughties and this release is a superb present for the admirers of mature analog sounds. Gurus are sometimes inclined to repetition of earlier works, Jeff Mills being one of the examples. But his pal Hood has engineered a high-voltage and catchy techno record. Two functional tracks, lovely.

10 September 2009

Ancient Methods / Various - The Whip / Eat Like Hawks (RSB 7) - 10/10

A procession is shuffling along a cobbled street, squeezed between dark and ancient town walls. Hooded beings feel the fatigue in their feet. What is eating them - are they still in a shock about the execution of a despotic landlord or are they ridden with fear after having learned that the entourage of inquisitors is approaching? Or are they just the believing men in-trance who obediently follow the beat of a mad drummer?
On the A-side, Ancient Methods takes us back several centuries and uses medieval-like rhythm patterns that run through the filters of dark techno. The result is hypnotic and deeply sinister stuff on "The Whip". It's launched with a minimalist but heavy-hitting industrial drum that gathers more power, then changes the rhythm and gives you a slight break before finishing in more digestible tones. Meant to be played on 45 RPM but works well with 33 RPM - the right speed is somewhere in between.
B-side sees a bunch of troublemakers from Denmark: Bjørn Svin, Karsten Pflum, Jonas Olesen and Copyflex. Their "Eat Like Hawks" is less varied but matches well the A-side mayhem with distorted analog sounds and exotic vocal samples spoken in an unidentified language. 
During the first week I did listen three times to the record - it is too much but I just wanted more. Great techno that sounds fresh and is so medieval at the same time. Devastating unearthly tracks take you on awesome trip!

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