30 September 2010

DUST OFF: Acid-Pin-Ups I (JJ 005 - 1994)

Thomas P. Heckmann performing here, hiding behind the name Acid Pin-Ups and peeking at girls out there, having programmed for each of them a rough serenade. Acid record with tough and deformed sounds that, has unsuccessfully tried to add a funky edge to the entire stuff.
"Betty 101" and "Heather 202" just open the game that goes better with "Marilyn 404", concluding the A-side and just riding rudely over you. On the flip, "Ivonne 808" takes a few steps closer to acid hop and "Cathleen 909" blinks to electro.
JJ was a label in Frankfurt, retaining a solid distance to hard trance that had infected Germany then. The acid platform's first artist was Uwe Schmidt aka Atom Heart (aka Senor Coconut :-) whose interpretations on the theme "Azid Ramcash" will be still worth checking.

Surgeon - Fabric 53 (fabric105) - 8/10

Buying a DJ mix on CD sounds pretty moronic when the web offers zillions on podcasts for free. An exception can be made if both the form and content offer good vibes, like here.
Metal-case-release belongs to the series launched by London club Fabric in 2001. This mix session comes from Birmingham techno don Surgeon who kicks off with a field recording in the Tokyo underground. Follows a  patchwork of drums and loops that is sewn together with almost imperceptible borders between the tracks. It's more sound processing than a mix and in accordance with the metallic outfit.
The CD is like autumn weather in Estonia, changeable. The man himself has thrown in several own tracks ("Klonk" is good) and techno faction is represented by Luke Slater, Ritzi Lee, Robert Hood and others. Marco Bernardi ("Giro"), remixed by Iberian duo Exium, makes you fly. From the bass-dubstep and UK garage camp Scuba, Instra:mental and Starkey catch the ear. Darker tones are brought in by James Ruskin and Mark Broom ("Hostage") and inquisitorial Ancient Methods. Russ Gabriel ("El Juan") comes with a bright, latino-flavoured Detroit track and DJ Overdose ("What") with ecologically tested electro.
Surgeon performs a successful operation, but even a better one is his Wax Treatment mix from the spring 2010.

22 September 2010

Edge Of Motion Feat. Ronin - Back On Track EP (Djax-Up-Beats 378) - 7/10

With "Set Up 707", Edge of Motion was a torch bearer in the beginning of 1990's. Current release comes from 2005 and two Dutch masters have teamed up with Ronin aka Dave Ellesmere to create tense but constructive pieces of techno with harder edge.
A-side's "Break Da Roof" sounds like ordinary schranz that would have remained unnoticed in a DJ set by Chris Liebing five years ago. "3 Da Hardway" is not as much rushing but treats your skin with sandpaper and ears with howling acid lines. Concrete floors would hold out, but no guarantees are give for parquet. Quite efficient is also "Yeah Baby" - evil acid techno with masculine roaring. "Inattack" gives powerful finishing lines.
Probably one of the last releases by Edge of Motion and has to be classified not as a new record but something from the archives, as it lies already five years back. Full respect to the heroes of the past.

17 September 2010

DUST OFF: Surgeon Meets Vice - Creep EP (Ideal Trax 7/1997)

You think a meeting of Anthony Child and Jay Denham is noisy and pounding affair? Not necessarily, because two masters of techno keep a quite low-key and stripped-down dialog here. The title track undulates and swings on minimal bell-like sounds. "Creeper" is even more reduced and keeps up the same, a bit ghostly feeling. Techno pal D-Knox had come to say hello in the studio and left behind an hallucinating vocal footstep to complement track's hazy atmosphere.
B-side's "The Point" is a few degrees stronger and spins in a more metallic and technotic mood. A bit different and great techno record from 1997.
Surgeon needs no introduction and I recommend to get his recent Fabric mix-CD where he combines harder classic tones with new dubbier sounds. What concerns Vice, I was quite unimpressed of his Black Nation Records output, but current record gives a good understanding what he is capable to do.

---Surgeon Meets Vice "Creep"
Source: www.juno.co.uk

16 September 2010

DUST OFF: Peter Schilling - Major Tom (WEA 24.9927-0)

When 1980's arrived, Neue Deutsche Welle - teutonic counterpart of the British new wave - swept across Germany. Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF) was the group that personified this movement. But then NDW became gradually popular music to go to the charts with Nena, Falco and others.
Also associated with NDW, Peter Schilling was a luminous shooting-star of 1982 with David Bowie-inspired "Major Tom (Völlig Losgelöst)" that awakes fond memories among Germans having reached the middle age now. Nicely melodic and catchy refrain has been reused by other artists later. The 12-inch includes luckily a version extended to five minutes. On the B-side joyful guitar pop called "...Dann Trügt Der Schein" tells about appearances that are deceptive.
Although having made a few records afterwards, Schilling remained one-hit wonder. Now, in the autumn 2010, he has a new album out and goes on a tour. What explains why "Major Tom" has resurfaced in the play lists of German local radio stations.

14 September 2010

Stingray 313 - Sphere Of Influence/Sentiment [NakedLunch 006] - 9/10

Metaphers of oceanic fauna are very appropriate. "Sphere Of Influence" is a jellyfish floating calmly in the tropic floods of the Caribbean. Warm and even melancholic electro with hints of acid that, despite of certain softness, feels very deep and futuristic.
"Sentiment" is a highlight of 2010 - hot-tempered stingray, who else, with burning electro impulses full of high voltage. The fusillade of powerful beats is smoothed by the vocal sample I love you and genuine jingling synths.A bit longing, but soulful and rough track in the same. Like for those who dress in black and wear masks but place a fallen baby bird back to the nest.
Mask fits well Sherard Ingram: Known as Drexciyan DJ he likes to conceal his identity, as did prematurely departed mystical James Stinson; "Sentiment" may be well dedicated to him. Playing with the pitch would open new perspectives of this clear vinyl. Strong performance.

10 September 2010

Various - Groove 126/CD35 - 6/10

The kiosk version of Groove comes always with a CD promoting the cover boys & girls of the magazine and their upcoming or recent releases. The labels in the autumn issue of 2010 are mostly the usual suspects like Kompakt, Border Community, Dial, Ovum, etc. No mind blowing tracks here but some pretty good finds along the music I have heard thousands of times.
The start is brilliant: Cologne's big band Cologne Tape is featured with the opener of their excellent single "Render". Good one also from the French Circus Company - dOP comes with a funky orchestra-sounding arrangement along androgynous vocals between Seth Troxler and Nina Simone.
Oliver Ho, a man with repetitive techno past, has produced under Raudive moniker a track that initially sounds like a thin percussive and softly-grooving minimal piece for relaxing moments, but then piano-assisted pumping takes control. John Roberts and his creaky "Porcelain" represents the next wave of minimal producers with altering rhythms and creative sound processing. Gonzales plays piano and synths for burlesques at autumn fairs to give a good surprise for the end. The rest is quite commonplace fare: Superpitcher and electrofied pop house (again), CPU and dubstep-backed plus vocoded exercise, Luke Abbott and stretched indie-sounding computer music. "No Way" is a chord play from Shed's new album that has been immensely hyped but not impressive.
Other tracks are by Rekids artist Mr G, messaging darkness is calling me, and Shlomi Aber, Ukrainian Vakula and Tensnake in more or less housey interpretations. Pop coalition is represented by Bon Homme from Denmark with vocals reminding of Laid Back and paying a soft and poppy tribute to "Ray Ban".
Real Player people can listen audio clips here.

09 September 2010

Hauntologists - EP 3 - 8/10

Derrida coined the term hauntology that in the electronic music has been  extended to the productions of Mordant Music and Ghost Box. Although the term refers to a ghostly theme, this 12-inch would not exactly serve as a soundtrack for creepy movies. Hauntologists, a series launched by Jay Ahern and Stefan Schneider in Berlin, has advanced to the third release that offers the same formerly known ample, undistracted sound work hovering between techno and house, in a deep and dark atmosphere.
Knobs have been turned and FX used on the A-side to create a saturated and deep sound palette. B1 is as mysterious where only the  laser swords are throwing shadows on the dark walls. It would attract artists like Sleeparchive, Torsten Pröfrock or Mika Vainio to show their remixing talents.
But the third track is clearly the highlight - tension-packed B2 charges in a powerful way, marching along with hi-hat assistance to create a hectic feel. Old school pumping techno that still remains composed, is merged with a likeable groove.
Once Josh Wink praised the first Hauntologists EP in the Groove magazine and I'm also very happy with the second one. B2 is the winner of the latest addition, but the rest is lagging behind the former releases. Not to speak about Cheap And Deep.