30 May 2012

Plant43 - Driven By Magnetics (AC Records AC_11 - 2012)

Vinyl-only release of melodic electro by Plant43 AKA Emile Facey from London, published on German imprint AC Records  A good succession to Plant43's recent "Dreams Of The Sentient City" on Semantica, it contains four interpretations from a science lab ruled by precision and purity. The highlight is "Resynth", a remix of a Sync24 track, but entire green vinyl offers enjoyable listening experience and would find friends also on the floor.

24 May 2012

Arcanoid - Migration To Nowhere (SEMANTICA Z - 2012)

Release date is June 2012
Arcanoid is a trusted player in Semantica's roster and presents an all-around first aid kit consisting of different sub-genres of the electronic music. Born as Luis Cantalapiedra Vázquez and having spun music under the name of DJ Muerto, experienced producer from Spain can look back to a few releases on Madrid label and returns in style with "Migration To Nowhere".
The end is the beginning: ambient-minded introduction "Time To Die" is for meditative moments in Arizona wasteland, but thereafter black Dr. Martens are worn in "Espora", a mix of electro, IDM and EBM influences, which might track back to Aracanoid's beginning at the end of 1980's. "Force Of Gravity" continues in electro mood, but the B-side is different again. "Interzone" would be classified as tech-house and would be a good suggestion for summer parties in the sun. For the most ecstatic track of the EP synth worms are unleashed in "Zero G", which is not far from MFS trance. All in all a release with many faces and a functional tool for DJ cases.

23 May 2012

Jerome Derradji Presents: 122 BPM - The Birth Of House Music (Still Music STILLM3CD006 - 2012)

Release date is June 2012
A reflection of the days when house was born: "122 BPM" features a number of unreleased and hard-to-find tracks from early to late 1980's. It's not about the house Trax built, but a compilation from the catalogs of Mitchbal Records and Chicago Connection Records.
Gospel and rhythm in the blood, the kings and queens of the scene stimulate a hedonistic party in "122 BPM" with sexed-up grooves from the jack's adolescence. Some tracks have felt the rotation like "Fantasy" by Z-Factor Feat. Jesse Saunders or "I Can't Forget" by Mr Lee, but there is plenty  to discover in Libra Libra, Dezz & Grant, Risque Rythum Team, McGhee, etc.
Most often Chicago house means producers like Mr Fingers, Marshall Jefferson, Lil Louis, found on numerous compilations on the theme. "122 BPM" offers many interesting discoveries from a different angle with a triple-CD or double-LP, plus a single featuring Frankie Knuckles' project Unfinished Business with "Out Of My Hands".

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17 May 2012

Various - Nonnative Vol. 1 (SEMANTICA NNN 01 - 2012)

Release date is June 2012
Another delivery from dark caves. The first release in Semantica's new techno series "Nonnative" features four tight cuts by Edit Select & Shifted, Rhea, Donor and SHXCXCHCXSH. Hum, hiss and bass in different quantities.

16 May 2012

Heinrich Dressel - Sighing Melodies Thru The Graves (Mannequin MNQ 024 - 2012)

Heinrich Dressel, half-brother of Franz Falckenhaus and cousin of Klaus Weltman, embarks on a new synth and wave mission for Italian outlet Mannequin. Travelling with a passport issued to Valerio Lombardozzi, the producer from Rome has recorded under the Composite Profuse pseudo and is closely associated with contemporary school of electro-synth-wave.
Still remember Dressel's "Mons Testaceum" on Legowelt's Strage Life Records, which sounded like a sonic testament of gladiators perished in the arena of Colosseum. Now he comes with a mini-LP where the title track "Sighing Melodies Thru The Graves" surprises with italo-inspired synthwave jolliness. In fact entire release is rather floor-minded and shuns macabre feelings, although the title would predict something else. Uptempo synthetic grooves are in the main role in "The Black Radiant Sky", "The Fifty Days of Mighty Lunacy" and "Afterlife Was Writ In Water", while more cosmic-minded "Nestled Against the Aurelian Walls" adds some dramatic notes. Programmed with skill and wit, Dressel presents a highlight of the genre in 2012.

Jean Piché - Heliograms (Digitalis DIGIV040 - 2012)

For listening "Heliograms" living room is the minimum requirement because the album aims to the spheres well above the clouds, even higher than the normal cruise altitude. Crystal clear skies would be a perfect setting for a sacral experience with the music of Jean Piché.
Especially the first composition, "Ange", is a lucid minimalistic drone for believers, under protective wings of holographic angels. For visual support just imagine medieval paintings with biblical motives. "La mer à l’aube" continues with vibrations of computer music, in a more complex composition with ebbs and tides of synth waves and touches of musique concrète. Moving in the backwash of the end-1970's disco craze,"Rouge" is the most rhythmic part of the album, where a staccato of synth sequences gradually transforms into floating layers. The title track "Heliograms" makes a return to the cathedral, for introspective moments with digitized organ and piano
Thirty years have passed since the first release of "Heliograms". Canadian composer Piché recorded the album between the years 1977-1980 during his time in Vancouver and created a fine collage of synthesizer sounds, compositions like art installation and reflections of inner-self. The album contains deep undercurrents for a profound listening experience, brought to you soon by Digitalis Recordings.

14 May 2012

Under The Gun: DreXciya

Found among old flyers a 1996 issue of Energy Flash, a lo-fi zine from Detroit. It invited readers for a Q&A session with Drexciya before the release of UR-037, "The Return Of Drexciya". So anything you wanted to know about the aquatic electro act, or maybe not ...

11 May 2012

DUST OFF: VOOV - It's Anything You Want It To Be, And It's A Gas (MFS 7016-5 - 1992)

Current reading of "Der Klang der Familie", a book about the foundations of techno and party scene in Berlin, brought me to some classics from the beginning of 1990's. MFS, shortened from Masterminded For Success, was an influential label back then, specializing on (hard) trance with acts like Effective Force, Cosmic Baby, Futurhythm, Microglobe and many others. After overkill a few years later trance became a style despised by many, but in my view the work of MFS artists made a huge contribution to the evolution of the European electronic music.
VOOV stands for Violation Of Ordinary Values and was a project by Christian Graupner, who was also a member of Futurhythm. "... And It's A Gas" sounds like a manifest and is still in the very top of record titles till today. The CD version contains five interpretations of the theme. The intoxicating intro of "Smoke Machine" invites to an ecstatic trip, to the world of mutated sound samples and rolling arpeggios, and "Strobe Light" adds a staccato of helium-treated voices. All valves are opened in "Oxygen Mask" and energetic substance flows and flows, developing to a bleepy and sweaty workout with UK hardcore influences. As a CD bonus, "3-D Trance" is overrun by a menacing and endless synth avalanche, which stretches the track to almost nine minutes. All that is just pure fun.

09 May 2012

Uku Kuut - Vision Of Estonia (Peoples Potential Unlimited PPU-034 - 2012)

Peoples Potential Unlimited, a label from Washington DC, is on a mission to excavate forgotten treasures of  funk and soul. It was only recently when Andrew Morgan's label issued a seven-inch by Uku Kuut, bringing the artist's past not only to the consciousness of native Estonian audience, but also attracting wider recognition. Now the time is ripe for a LP, a collection of vibrating funk from Kuut's teenage years.
Exiled with his mother Maryn Coote (Marju Kuut) from the Soviet Union, Kuut recorded most of the tracks in the home studios in Santa Monica and Stockholm. He also produced for Maryn and used for a while in Herbie Hancock's studio, though not having a chance to meet the master of funk himself, Kuut told to Eesti Ekspress newspaper.
There are no weaker links in the LP and because of its integrity it feels like being produced as an album right from the start. Two versions of the title track "Vision Of Estonia" are blue funk tunes with velvet percussion, for feeling the Northern breeze at Estonian seaside. "Mayday" is clearly a track destined for floor action, featuring awesome boogie spirit with Maryn's and Uku's vocal contribution. "Dream Lover" sounds like not fully cooked, showing the unrefined and hectic side of funk. "Stevie Bossa" would work as a tribute to Stevie Wonder, while "Soft Fashion" and "I Ask U Now" represent delicate side of the LP. For the end, in big city dilemma "Right Or Wrong" the man himself does the vocals.
On this very album Kuut, now 47 and living on the island Saaremaa, proves that white guys born at the 60th parallel North can funk too. "Vision Of Estonia" is like a good wine without any real expiry date.

For sound clips and vinyl purchase go to PPU or Rush Hour, for a CD. Also thanks to Biit for delivering a copy to myself plus a few dozen people in Estonia.
Buy CD from Juno

04 May 2012

Various - Donato Dozzy & Hieroglyphic Being Reworks (Morphine Records redose 1 - 2012)

It might sound as an exaggeration, but the upcoming single on Rabih Beaini's Morphine Records is from another dimension. The effect is intoxicating, by means of sound and voice processing executed by producers at the very Olympus of today's electronic music.
Two tracks from the label's back catalog have been picked for reworks: Beaini's own "Spacepops" is deformed by Donato Dozzy into effervescent acid psychedelia with Dynamo Dreesen's alienated voice. Hieroglyphic Being's bold-bass version of Madteo's "Freak Inspector" comes with his trademark abstract jacking undertones and Sensational's abraded voice, all that resulting in otherworldly experience. Alice in Wonderland would dig it.

Spacepops (Donato Dozzy Remix)

02 May 2012

L-Vis 1990 - Club Constructions Vol. 1 (Night Slugs NSCC001 - 2012)

L-Vis 1990 in the ghetto for a booty-shaking and testosterone-dripping jaunt, in full compliance with old Chicago traditions. In a broad and load manner the UK youngster drops five striking cuts sounding like Dance Mania on steroids. "Workout" kicks in the best a**-n-ti**ies style, but real gems are "Video Drone", a percussive attack of killer bees, and rhythm orgy "Hard Drive", with no strings attached for ecstatic peak hours. Some percolator is given in "Girl Clap" and "Rubber Crash" issues alarms like Robert Armani did in old days.
Full props to L-Vis 1990 having embarked on a mission to give a new life to Chicago heritage. While acid house has been around all the time, ghetto has stayed in the background since DJ Assault on Electrofunk. Now a restart is on, which also brings Night Slugs back to my radar.

L-Vis 1990 - Club Constructions Vol. 1