22 February 2011

The Durian Brothers - Cuts EP (Diskant 03)

Rating: 9/10
I would not say that Diskant is the second best thing coming from Düsseldorf, after Kraftwerk. But it's very close. The label has decided to consistently pursue own distinctive, rhythm-obsessed sound. The website of Diskant Brothers ..ahem, Durian Brothers says it is polyrhythmic para-funk and I do not have any objections to that. The definition would work also for the second artist of the label, Harmonious Thelonious.
Dry drumming in "Overexposed Scream Contest" reminds of the first, Clubs EP, and shows how the party is started with ecstatic screaming. On the B-side, "Haisai" throws undulating rhythm patterns over hula-hula feel. In "Mille Yeux", that is unfortunately too short, the drums ease a bit while the track is ruled by a rubbing sequence and even surprises with a housey piano chord for the end.
By recycling the legacy of exotica musicians and great drummers, The Durian Brothers provide great sound food. I only wonder what they plan for the next, as the same recipe might wear out in time.

Drexciya - Neptune's Lair (Tresor 10129LP)

Rating: 10/10
Seminal, utopian, enigmatic - all these words and more have been said about Drexciya. Its EPs on Detroit labels like UR, Shockwave and Submerge are monumental electro that became instant classics - if we only recall wavejumpaaaa... Drexciya's first album, The Quest, was out in 1997 and included cuts from his earlier releases. "Neptune's Lair" was his first real album and marked the start of his European affair, with all remaining releases coming out on Tresor or Clone.
Tresor has blessed us with a reissue of the album that combines rougher floor-challenging cuts with sublime sound excursions. Perfect work from the master of underwater sounds. If you are interested in the the story behind Drexciya and its mythology then take a look at a The Wire article published in 1998.

16 February 2011

Various - The Box Vol. 3 (Theory Recordings 037)

Rating: 8/10
Sometimes I like fat menus. With mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, you name it. Also in the music, really fat stuff. Here come four calorie-saturated dishes, served by experienced chefs to make you feel heavy and happy thereafter. All the gear slaps and kicks to full enjoyment of bass addicts.
Raunchy introduction by DJ T-1000 with serious ghetto techno. The title "Bout' To Bang It" tells where we go and Ben Sims's remix adds some extra bangs. Then an oldie by DJ Skitzo: "Impact Zone" is originally from 1995. It's Lester Fitzpatrick, who did the craziest techno staccatos ever released on Relief Records.
On the B1, monsters moan and acid lines bubble in Tim Baker's and Elbee Bad's horror-movie feeling track "Sideways", remixed by Sims and Paul Mac. The latter goes solo in the B2: "DVD Crash" could be a digital era interpretation of Tyree's classic "Video Crash". I love this dirty and freaky sound.

Buy digital from Juno

08 February 2011

Alba - Philomena (Aube 010)

Rating: 7/10
Three synth cuts that express harmony and splendor we know from the previous Aube releases. The label's most celebrated artist Roland S. Faber has teamed up with Keen K and Aube's co-founder Michael Künzer to produce safe tunes for those who miss bygone times.
The theme of Philomena, named after Künzer's one-year-old daughter, is presented in three versions, as floating synth interpretations with samples of human voice.
"Part I" takes us back to Mediterranean resorts of 1980's and italo-influenced piece misses only some cheesy vocals like under sunny skies you will hear my lies. The B-side opens with my pick here - "Part II" is dreamy butterfly disco with a gorgeous melodic passage and feels like signed by Monsieur Jarre. A longing female voice lends to "Part III" very sweet feeling and the track keeps flying. A lot of happy feelings and brightness without inventing anything new on this slab of 180 gram vinyl.

04 February 2011

Skirt - In The Meadow Under The Stars (Horizontal Ground 07)

Rating: 9/10
Bethany is a girl who, ironically, performs under the moniker Skirt. Catalog number HG07 marks a convincing debut by Bethany DeMoss, hailing from Texas and now living in the UK techno metropolis Birmingham. As DJ she has been spinning industrial and harder sounds and it feels here.
The first track, "In The Meadow Under The Stars" is not about tenderness and young lovers but it's an embroidery of hypnotising hollow sounds on whispering of Gaelic elves. "Ikaros" is rude EQd percussion with interstellar background noise, a tense, almost industrial affair. But it's not enough as "Six Hours" abandons any human touch in angst-filled drone. Heavy.