Some producers start their own labels so they can explore the intricacy's of dance music. Anders Trentemøller began the In My Room imprint and has been embracing rock instrumentation and feel with real zeal, both as producer (on May's Into the Great Wide Yonder) and as DJ, on his XLR8R podcast in May, which featured incense-and-black-lights treats by the Rolling Stones, Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse and Trentemøller's own spooky remix of Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper," from 1982's folk downer apotheosis Nebraska.
"Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" is a prime example of Trentemøller's new leanings. It sounds like a cross between the spiky '60s surf guitarist Davie Allan and the mid-'80s snarl of Sonic Youth. Andrew Weatherall's remix goes a welcome extra step by asking the musical question, "Who needs schaffel when you can just make glam rock?" He makes his point by giving things more of a stretched-out, krautrocky whoosh to go with its fey strut. Ingeniously (and no doubt unintentionally), Trentemøller's own remix works as a kind of reverse-negative of Weatherall's—the bass is swollen, the top percussion is digital-crisp, and the "Waaauuuugggghh!" vocals and very Ray Manzarek organ come in sounding straight out of 1967, tonality and everything. Wonderful
2. Bot'ox - Blue Steel
Bot’Ox is Cosmo Vitelli and Julien Briffaz, their sound is impossible to describe, even they have said so: “Don’t ask, we won’t try to categorise the Bot’Ox outfit”. Back in 2009 they released a hot single entitled Blue Steel, the kind of song that makes you feel comfortable yet a little bit uneasy at times (most of their music provokes this feeling). A sort of dubstep rythm complemented by Anna Jean’s melancholic vocals will get you hooked from the very first listen.
3. Discodeine feat Jarvis Cocker - Synchronize
Jarvis goes disco! On the latest in a stellar year's worth of singles from DFA Records (LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy's label), Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker teams up with French house luminary Pilooski's part-time duo Discodeine for a groove as suave as the vintage Chic records that clearly inspired it. Jarvis Cocker has always been a busy fellow, what with his various solo and Pulp endeavors and appearing in Harry Potter and Wes Anderson flicks and the like. But with the Pulp reunion still months away, how are we supposed to tide ourselves over in the meantime?
Fret not, friends. Cocker has lent his laconic vocal stylings to the new single by French duo Discodeine (a.k.a., Pilooski and Pentile, producers extraordinaire.) “Synchronize” is pure sexy Eurodisco, with Cocker’s contribution nothing less than a beat-heavy, nerd happy come hither. The combination is clearly designed to get people moving their midsections in as suggestive a manner as any given dancefloor will allow. But don’t take my word for it. Download the radio edit yourself and be transported into the swanky hidden pied-à-terre in the darkest corner of a Parisian discotheque.
5. Discodeine - D-A feat. Baxter Dury
The dusty loops and open-shirted facial hair and turned-out obscurities of latter-day disco revivalism have been used up pretty good over the past few years by Pilooski and Pentile. So here, together they vow to move on. The self-titled album by Discodeine, the duo's working name, is clearly cognizant of its own lineage. The music is ultra-classicist: sharp and refined like Chic, robotic and romantic like early Cajual, subtle and user-friendly as early-'80s post-disco and boogie. But this ismodest as well as ambitious; you find your way to this beautiful album, rather than it going out of its way to knock you out.
Which isn't to say Discodeine doesn't have some knockouts. I put "Synchronize" on my RA ballot when it came out as a DFA 12-inch this past December, & time just deepens and sharpens it. Part of the initial charge of the song was simply the idea of Jarvis Cocker singing zinging-strings disco—at last!—and subsequent listening convinces me that the thing itself is even better than the idea. "Grace" is an effortlessly stylish cross between Brazilian samba, Smith N' Hack's "To Our Disco Friends" and something Darrell Calker, the composer for animator Walter Lantz in the 1940s, might have cooked up for a fight scene in a Woody Woodpecker short, its fuse a hammering piano line played on the keyboard's far left. Matias Aguayo features on the album's opener, "Singular," whose synth-and-African-percussion combo, followed closely by the percussion-and-chant-focused "Fallkenberg," sound together like a far more polished take on something you'd expect from Compass Point Studio, circa 1982. Two hands up in the air for this one.
6. Fritz Kalkbrenner - Facing The Sun
It's probably little surprise that Fritz Kalkbrenner's debut album feels like a refracted '70s release for 2010: think of double albums like Songs in the Key of Life (or even Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall, given his warm, full-bodied voice) and you'll get a sense of his partial inspiration. Despite appearances, however, the instrumental track "Wichita Lineman" is an original rather than a Jimmy Webb cover, so Donna Summer doing "Macarthur Park" is perhaps a more oblique reference point. Joining such German or Germany-based performers like Chelonis R. Jones and Barbara Morgenstern in the search for techno as a soundbed for the art of the song, Kalkbrenner is compelling with his vocals as well as his music, though the latter is more prominent throughout the album, as the shuddering, high speed "Kings in Exile" makes clear from the start. Songs like "Collage" split the difference between maintaining mood and varying it; there's just enough happening from track to track that the album doesn't fully blend into itself, and keeps a quick, polite take on classic techno at the fore. "Right in the Dark" brings in both his voice and some acoustic guitar, further showing how the acoustic/electronic fusions of the 21st century almost work better when starting with the latter element rather than the former. The slick, echoed beats and four-to-the-floor beats always feel like the predominant point, especially on songs like "Was Right Been Wrong," but his vocals always add just the right feel and hook, and feel like his own accomplished guest performers. On "Facing the Sun," everything from the echoed beat and a full acoustic guitar part during the break to the easygoing swing of the main arrangement shows an artist in focus.
7. The Drums - Days (Trentemoller remix)
Trentemoller comes through with an excellent clicks and claps remix of The Drums’ “Days” track from last year. Using a soulful synth bed and some smartly arranged rhythmic loops, Trentemoller delivers some his best remix work here. In my opinion, remixing indie-rock songs is always risky business...and those who can do it successfully have to possess a certain level of multi-instrument music skills to pull it off. Trentemoller has skills in spades, & his ability to take this song by The Drums, select out exactly what he needs, then reconstruct a cohesive track that is moody and affective without any of that indie-rock whininess, is a perfect example of why this genre of music is a genuine form of art. I don't mean to hate on The Drums (I'm sure they are a very talented group of individuals) but I can't imagine why anyone would listen to the original while this re-interpreted version exists in the world. Turn it up!
8. Wir sind keine Menschen (Dirty Doering Remix) - Bonaparte
Carlo's Top 10 laid back tunes of August 2011
1. Marian - For you (Marek Hemmann & Fabian Reichelt)
Marek Hemmann and Fabian Reichelt released their first album as Marian through Freude Am Tanzen this month. Only Our Hearts To Lose is between electronic music production and classic song writing. This amazing album features mostly unreleased productions, from Hemmann, and a new version of Left which first appeared on the Left / Right EP. Marek Hemmann is best known for his melodic Tech-House releases on labels such as Raum…Musik and Freude Am Tanzen. His Marian project expands his style into a more pop-based sound, largely due to inclusion of Fabian Reichelt whose canny Erland Øye impersonation gives this album a wider appeal. Together they harmoniously gel a neat fusion of powerbook-ed beats and vocals, softening the edges with processed acoustic instrumentation and tender melodies.
"It seems lately that the techno world has opened a bit, allowing a fresh breeze from jazz, pop and vocals to blow through the window. At the same time it also lends to popular music a fine dose of electronic emotion." - Kompakt. I have to agree with Kompakt. This is an incredible album that's paving the way to new possibilities. Congratulations to all of you!
2. Oliver Koletzki & Fran - Echoes
The producer and DJ Oliver Koletzki and singer Fran are still firmly riding on the fast track to glorious pop music. After the first single “Arrow and Bow” of their new album “Lovestoned” they now release “Echoes”, both as a maxi single with four different remixes and a vinyl edition that includes three of the remixes. But let’s start with the original, which is easily one of the strongest and most powerful songs of the album. It is here where Koletzki’s background as a producer of house and techno meets with Fran’s ability to create divine lyrics and perform them with her unmistakable voice. With it’s groovy loop, some softly floating pianos and great musical synthesisers the track reminds of pop tracks by the likes of Mia or Morcheeba. A sure hit, for the dancefloor, the living room and the radio station!
Stil vor Talent’s goldfinger Niko Schwind who takes some of the best parts of the original vocal and bassline and adds some surrounding percussions and effects. By adding some strings to the vocal on the breakdown, he manages to create an eery moment that is juxtaposed by the pure beauty of the rest of this techy remix. After the original Version it is the Hamburg-based house don Solomun who drops a fat acidy bassline onto the sweet vocal and perfectly manages to have everyone going wild while at the same time hugging each other. Add some typical empathic strings and this is the ideal sundownder track. And, Solomun, like all of the remixers seems to be very much in love with Fran’s vocal. And to be honest, we can’t get enough it ourselves. Oliver himself ends the remix session and turns “Echoes” into a softly clicking understated piece of tech-house that evolves with every added sound from the original. The track is like a breathing organism that delicately speaks with Fran’s voice and slowly moves towards a blissful breakdown that includes chirping birds and piano magic.
3. James Yuill - This Sweet Love (Prins Thomas Sneaky Edit)
Singer-songwriters that don't add some kind of electronic element in their work, who wants to know? Folktronica - it's all the rage, isn't it? But in a world of Liam Finn, Jose Gonzalez et al, does James Yuill have enough to stand out from the crowd? 'This Sweet Love' may hold the answer to the question.
Despite the processed drums this is fairly traditional stuff; even in the keyboard-led break section 'This Sweet Love' still manages to sound beautifully rootsy. After seemingly borrowing wholesale the chord progression of Laura Marling's 'The Captain And The Hourglass', Yuill encourages us to be "the greatest man in history, the greatest man that you can be", which is a nice positive start any way you look at it. There are also some gorgeous Fleet Foxes style harmonies on the chorus and Yuill must be admired for managing to make such a warm-sounding intimate record whilst retaining the electronic elements he is obviously so fond of.
4. Marek Hemman - Left (feat. Fabian Reichelt)
Marek Hemmann has grown into the electronic music as a hunter, collector and true connoisseur of tones and sonics. It all began in the beginning of the 90’s with a guitar whose sonic spectrum was far too limited for him. The discovery of the samplers and the synthesizers suddenly opened new possibilities where the acoustic world could be conserved; it was now possible with sound and noise on synthesizers to create what the human ear has never before experienced. The reason for the sonic passion was delivered to him via the techno parties late 90’s in his home area of Gera which was soon a weekly anchor for electronic experimentation. Here was to be found deep and delightful connections with people, rhymes, light and sounds. Until the first live gigs would come just a few years later, he made music for himself and his flat mates. This emboldened him to eventually begin to play his music live, leaving behind self-doubt and found with his first gig his calling as a live act. From then on he refined and improved his sets from which grew the distinctive Marek Hemmann sound; a sound with a minimum on technique but rather a very wide diversity of noise and tonal sensibility. The result is a substantially reduced electronic dance music which having a solid house foundation orbits its original state. Deep bass meets voice fragments, shakers, and percussion carry the rhythm; a funky minimal techno with plenty of space for other musical elements.
Always on the search for the perfect groove and catchy melodies which fit snug and comfy in the ear. Since 2005 Marek Hemmann lives in Jena where his home, studio and label are in the immediate vicinity. Here he has the required distance for travel on the weekends, the locale allows for inspiration from the student life, and his creativity to flourish. After innumerable remixes and a handful of singles, in fall 2009 his debut album ‘In Between’ was published on the label Freude am Tanzen..
5. Etienne Jaumet - Repeat Again After me (Ame mix)
Parisian Etienne Jaumet was once better known for his membership in a variety of different bands than for being a solo artist. For someone who can make the saxophone sing in ways you’d never imagine and whose debut album was produced by none other than Detroit techno legend Carl Craig, one can’t help but wonder who Etienne Jaumet is and why you may have never heard of him before.
In the early ’00s, Etienne played saxophone and other assorted instruments in the acoustic pop (now gone electro-rock) band The Married Monk, and took on more of a producer role with the French pop act The Flóp, with whom he still performs when he can. Today, he remains one-half of the disco-y, kraut-y Zombie Zombie (with Cosmic Neman of Herman Düne) where the two explore tripped out tunes, horror soundtracks and other electronic-based musings. While each provides a specific outlet for the artist, nowhere does Etienne Jaumet shine more than in his solo work.
His first solo release, the 15-minute “Repeat After Me” (Versatile Records, 2007), is a stunning tune that recalls the psychedelic electronic compositions of the ’70s, which helped to establish a sound that Etienne would further explore. The Ame remix of the same track was later released on the minimal compilation Grandfather Paradox (BBE, 2009), an amazing compilation album from Henrik Schwarz, Ame and Dixon that explores 50 years of minimalism and the Moog. This remix breathed new life into the song for casual listeners and DJs all over the world.
Last year Etienne Jaumet released his first full-length, Night Music (US/UK? – Domino, FRA – Versatile, 2010), a five-song album, which was recorded as he went along, guided by its sophisticated conductor’s understanding of jazz, Krautrock, electronica and techno. Night Music is structured in a way similar to albums of the 1970s. It was designed to have an A-side and a B-side, starting with the 20-minute long “For Falling Asleep” and ending with “At the Crack of Dawn” – the entire album taking the listener on a cosmic dream of a journey into the past, the future and the present. With a huge love for natural instrumentation in techno myself, here i get to have a quick chat with the underground legend..
You were playing with The Married Monk back in the ’90s, would you consider that folk music?
Not really. I started to play with The Married Monk in 2004 but the band started in 1993. The music was closer to a kind of an acoustic pop folk at the beginning. Now it is more tainted by electronic and rock sounds.
Was that your first band?
I started to play with other people until I learned my first instrument, the saxophone. I think that the music has become more serious for me with Flóp. I still play with him when I can. It’s French pop music with beautiful lyrics and weird arrangements. I’m the co-writer of his second album, Rechute (Les Disques Mange-Tout, 2004) but most of the time I’m just a musician for him. I play with Flóp on saxophone, didjeridu, synthesizers, percussion and I sing.
Usually the sax is restricted to jazz and in some cases really bad music! Your use of the sax in your tunes is actually quite amazing.
Thanks! The saxophone is the only instrument I really know how to play. I learned it at the Conservatoire. Unfortunately everybody used it so badly in the ’80s, but I still love this instrument. There are so many things to do with it.
What are some of the things you like about the versatility of the saxophone that you can’t really get with other instruments?
Each instrument has its own personality. The versatility doesn’t come from the instrument but from the musician. He has to deal with the own sound of the instrument and his imagination. There are a lot of new things to do with a guitar even if it’s an old instrument – much more than the saxophone.
How do you think playing instruments affects the way you approach being a producer?
I can play with anything I’ve got close to me: guitar, violin, duduk [a traditional Middle-Eastern wind instrument], but the saxophone is the one I play the best. (Jokes) I’m not a good instrument player! I just try to have fun and play with instruments without trying to reproduce what I’ve got in my head. I just do simple things that sound good for me. I’ve got an instinctive approach to music, I don’t think too much when I compose. Most of the time I play and record at the same time. I never have any idea of what I want to do before I start.
Are you ever able to reproduce sounds in your head?
I try but it’s very difficult with analog instruments! Nothing can be stored and if you move a little bit of the setting it could change the sound totally. I prefer to deal with what I hear than what I’ve got in my head.
Is there a particular psych or psych folk scene from France that you’re inspired by or particular artists and tracks from France that have influenced you?
Check out Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes, Areski Belkacem, Brigitte Fontaine, Emmanuelle Parrenin, Albert Marcoeur, Heldon and Lard Free. These musicians are so important to me. There was a very important scene in the ’70s in France, and most of these artists’ albums have been reissued by Spalax Records.
What epitomizes a psychedelic vibe to you and how does it play out in your music?
I don’t know. I love experimenting with new sounds. I’m not afraid of chaos! Most of the time I let the sound guide my imagination.
What was your thought process when you approached making a solo album?
I defined a simple concept: making an album especially for vinyl, 22 minutes max per side, with a long experimental song on one side and several small ones on the other side. Most of them were recorded and composed at the same time in one take. I just put on some arrangements in overdubs if there were some boring parts in it.
How did you actually write and then record songs? What kind of equipment did you use?
I record everything in my own studio in Paris. I’ve got a Revox mixing desk and a sound card RME. I use my computer as a recorder.
You worked with Carl Craig on Night Music. How did that come about?
After listening the rough mix of the album, Gilbert, the boss of my label Versatile, felt there was some Detroit influence on it, so he decided to ask to Carl if he would be interested in mixing it. Carl listened to it and said okay!
Can you explain how you guys worked together? Steve Reich says Carl Craig took what you did and enhanced it.
I just sent the files to him with no instructions. He erased some tracks but didn’t edit it at all. He just interpreted the mix with my songs. He optimized and made them really powerful. I was surprised at first, but he pushed the songs to new dimensions. Did Steve Reich really say that?
I read that quote from Steve Reich on Resident Advisor. Did you have an expectation of what Carl would do?
Carl’s a genius of sound, but he also understood what was good in my songs. Only a true master can do this. Carl interpreted them in different way than I imagined, but in a good way. That was what I had expected.
The first song on Night Music, “For Falling Asleep”, is 20 minutes long. Is that the longest track you’ve ever made? Do you feel restricted by a typical song format?
I play very long songs on stage when I’m doing a show. It depends on the atmosphere, the place, and the audience. I love not having a gap between the songs; it keeps the tension and doesn’t lose the feeling. I love doing very long sets – I need time to express myself! On records it’s more difficult to do long songs but I hope one day I will have the opportunity to do only one long piece.
“For Falling Asleep”, is on my airplane mix, which is designed to put me to sleep. I can’t remember if I’ve actually fallen asleep during that track though. Were you intending to lull people to sleep?
I think you can enjoy my music in different ways.You can dance to it or listen to it lying down. It’s all good with me. I think the best way is to listen to it is when you travel by car at night. When I play, I feel like I’m in another dimension. I hope people feel the same when they listen to it.
You take listeners on a journey with the album – it’s like a dream, where with “Crack of Dawn”, the sun is rising and you’re waking up from that dream.
Yes, I composed that song with that intention! I’m glad you understand it.
Your solo music has been considered a bit more mature and less goofy that Zombie Zombie. Do you think Zombie Zombie is goofy?
I see what you mean. We are close to horror music soundtracks. For me, there is more innovation in this style of music than most other styles. For most people, popular movies are not serious and inventive. People like The Goblins and John Carpenter are masters of music. Listen to it and you will see.
What do you think you can accomplish in Zombie Zombie that you can’t accomplish in your solo projects and what role do each play for you as an artist?
Zombie Zombie is a duet. I present my ideas to [drummer] Cosmic Neman and it’s very interesting. I have to play with him with sensitivity. It’s a time to explore new things. I really love playing with other people, which is why I need to play in different kinds of projects.
Who does Etienne Jaumet make music for?
I make music because I love it so much. I just do it for fun.
Do you improvise a lot? I saw a YouTube clip with you and some dudes totally jamming out playing on some machines with some modern dancers.
I think that improvisation is what I do best. (Laughs) You saw a jam session with Herman Düne and some dancers shot in 2000. That was so much fun! I’ve got good memories from that.
What is your live set like?
A long journey where time and space has no meaning. I feel like I’m in another dimension.
Talk to me about the Grandfather Paradox compilation. I love the way they framed their approach to a minimal compilation mixing the old with the new. It’s a pretty amazing set of music. Can you talk about that and how you fit into the mix?
I feel proud to be associated with such great musicians. I love Steve Reich, Liquid Liquid, Conrad Schnitzler, John Carpenter, and Arthur Russell. I hope I deserve to be in there too.
The Ame remix of “Repeat Again After Me” is a big tune, and kind of put you on the map. What did you think of that track?
Very good! They added a bass clarinet to it. The sound is amazing. I don’t think I’d have the opportunity to do a whole album if they had not done this incredible remix.
On the one hand, techno and minimal music is so modern, but the notion of using machines as instruments is something that isn’t really new at all. Compare classic minimalism to modern minimalism.
I don’t try to do anything new. I just improve myself through sensations and exploring fields I never expected in my own music.
There’s definitely a difference between the more avant-garde composers and artists who are making pure techno music on nothing but laptops. What are your thoughts on the similarities and differences between the older electronic compositional artists and what’s going on in music today?
The problem with the new digital instruments and software with computers is the presets. Everybody uses the same ones, so everybody has the same sound. It’s very hard to make your own music with your own sound nowadays. You need time to find your own expression. With computers it’s too easy to make music but on other hand it’s much more difficult to do something original.
In terms of electronic forefathers, can you talk about some of the ones who are most influential to you? Like if you had to give a 101 of avant, classic minimalists who would be the top three-to-five artists that you would consider most relevant?
I love this quotation from John Cage, ‘My favorite music is the music I haven’t yet heard.’ I think that everybody should listen to music with this idea in their head. Other than that, I’d say Harmonia, Raymond Scott, Suicide, Silver Apples and Kraftwerk.
What are you currently inspired by?
The sound of the instruments.
What are you currently working on?
An album, hopefully with a jazz player called Sonny Simmons. He’s a saxophonist from New York who started in the ’60s with Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus. He is a free jazz player and it’s a real chance to have the opportunity to play with a real master of music.
6. Black Devil Disco Club - To Ardent (feat. Nancy Sinatra)
Ladies and Gentleman, roll up roll up…The Black Devil ringmaster returns with his weirdest album to date, aptly titled ‘Circus’ featuring a host of fantastic collaborations including Nancy Sinatra (of Frank Sinatra fame), Poni Hoax, The Horrors, Yacht and even Afrika Bambaataa!
To mark the release we’ve got an exclusive sneak at the Horse Meat Disco rework of the Sinatra collaboration which is due out late July. This is great warm up/down material espeically when those lush etheral keys come into play. It’s certainly a little more spooked and ’voodoo’ than what I would expected from the Horse Meat boys, but a nice surprise. If you have seen Bernard Fevre's live performances as Black Devil Disco Club, you know what he looks like: a crazy French scientist beamed from the '70s playing psychotically on a cheap Casio in a second hand turtle-neck and brown corduroy pants. There is something quite awkward about the entire thing; it's both mesmerizing and embarrassing at the same time. He also looks quite lonely up there. To counter said loneliness, Fevre has invited an impressive list of collaborators to contribute to Circus, his sixth album.
Immediately striking are the names: Nancy Fortune, CocknBullKid or YACHT make obvious sense, since these artists more or less all belong to the same ever-expanding electro galaxy. "In Doubt" pushes all the right Patrick Cowley-like buttons while CocknBullKid's sassy delivery intertwines with Fevre's own propulsive Italo motifs. "Stay Insane" is even better, as YACHT's Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans let their cosmic inner preacher out to the sound of Heaven 17 jamming with Cut Copy. "Distrust" has Fevre in full staccato mode, his voice turned into twirling effects surrounding The Horrors' Faris Badwan's more enigmatic croon. Musically speaking, these wouldn't sound out of place on 28 After (the album he recorded for Lo Recordings back in 2006 that marked his return to the music scene after a two decade long hiatus).
More interestingly, though, are the unexpected collaborations. American indie blues don Jon Spencer speaks his bad ass way through the introductory "Fuzzy Dream" while Nancy Sinatra lends her vocals to "To Ardent," her interpretation mimicking the track's plaintive and desolate synthetic orchestrations. Afrika Bambaataa, meanwhile, shows up on closing track "Magnetic Devil," a song that channels Alden Tyrell, Lindstrøm at his most synthetic, Moroder and even Kraftwerk, proving that Fevre's productions are both contemporary and timeless at the same time.
20 years ago, Massive Attack started to release albums on which an array of guest vocalists would come and go without the sound of revolving doors ever affecting the core of the group's sonic identity. Electronic dance music artists have made full use of that template since then, from The Chemical Brothers and UNKLE to Death in Vegas and Agoria. Not unlike Wolfram's recent offering for Permanent Vacation, Circus shows how discofied synth-pop also can accommodate the most disparate of voices. Fevre collects ten tracks on an album that barely lasts half-an-hour, making for a dense and prismatic listening experience that can verge on the dizzying at times. But the way he makes the old and the new cohabitate in such a unified way is unexpected and exhilarating.
Snap your copies up at all the usuals!
7. Wolf and lamb - Shoeshine Boogie (Mock & Toof rmx)
These days Wolf and Lamb is synonymous with good quality, forward thinking music as well as a bloody good night out. The boys from Brooklyn can do no wrong at the moment as the reputation of their label, music, parties and names have spread far around the globe. The label in particular has served as a launching pad for spectacular up and coming talent such as Seth Troxler, Shaun Reeves, Soul Clap and Nicholas Jaar, whilst their countless DJ appearances across Europe and in their hometown New York have firmly cemented their places in clubber’s memories. So for Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Einsenberg, it seems like the perfect time to release their debut artist album which is an accumulation of material produced whilst on the road from the last year of touring.
During that last year of touring they must have had a lot of fun as this album is a blink and you’ll miss it seven tracks long, not to mention one of those tracks being a Dyed Sondorom remix! But as the saying goes, its quality not quantity that matters. Across the short space of seven tracks we get glimpses of the Wolf and Lamb eclecticism we’ve all come to love. In the opening moments we see their willingness to experiment outside of house’s conformities. The opening track ‘Just For Now’ combines abstract ambience in to hypnotic house grooves, whilst their remix of Mock and Toof’s ‘Shoeshine Boogie’ fuses the mechanical ticks of old skool electro hip hop with acid riffs and sweeping melodic synths. Later in the album we’re subjected to further experimentation with ‘Monster Love’ which plays around with some of the abstract themes of Jazz. Its use of tumbling percussion, smoky double bass basslines and muted trumpet motifs all phase in and out of time with a loose rhythm making for some interesting listening.
But no Wolf and Lamb album wouldn’t be complete without some homage to straight up house music. Title track ‘Love Someone’ sides with the bouncey happy side of house. Its whirring strings and horn riffs loop round and round to create a bright, warm cage rattler of a track. Whilst in contrast there’s the restrained bounce of Dyed Sondorom’s remix of ‘Want Your Money’ or the hypnotic driving bass of ‘I Know You’re Leaving’ which covers the subtler and deeper strings of the Wolf and Lamb house bow. With these tracks they really show they can make quality house music that sounds great in a club or at home. They’re danceable yet have the quirky depth which gives it that edge over other house productions.
Since their debut release "Free Men We Are" in the summer of 2009, El Mundo & Satori are two of the fastest rising stars in the international tech house scene.The amount of releases and remixes by El Mundo & Satori increases by the day of several labels worldwide.As it all begun on 90watts with "Free Men We Are" and "Valley Of The Kings" it's our pleasure to serve you these timeless themes in some re-interpretations by our kindred spirits; musical soulmates around the globe.Free Men We Are (Mihalis Safras Remix)El Mundo & Satori: "We've known Mihales (Material records, Greece) for about 18 months, since we released 'Spread The Word' on his label. We have been good friends ever since and we're really happy with his remix. It's a Bomb!!"Support by: Monika Kruse, Danny Howells, Pig & Dan, Gel Abril, Slam, Butch, Daniel Sanchez, Slam, Wally Lopez, Thyladomid, Amo & Navas, Dualton, Wollion, Presslaboys, Lars Wickinger & more...
10. Gold Panda - Same Dream China
In July 2009, East-London beatsmith Dervin, a.k.a. Gold Panda, lifted himself above the remixing masses with the drop of an original 7-inch called “Quitter's Raga.” Tag-clouds gathered on the horizon at the moment of its birth, and the sibyls of the net declared favorable auspices. The scant, stammering chop-job pairs tabla and hand-clap, sitar, and gittar just in a way that conveys a sort of sleepy-eyed transglobal bustle. Textural yet hard-hitting, Dervin's “Raga” transfixes through its two-minute run. But troubling questions dogged the track as it made the rounds: Did it lean too heavily on its co-opted Hindustani sample or, even worse, on its Western audience's 19th-century sense of the exotic? Did it constitute anything beyond a novelty, a musical canapé for bloggy self-styled sophisticates? It comes as something of a surprise, then, that Lucky Shiner, the LP that now emerges from that murk of speculation, is such a compellingly human record.
Lucky Shiner feels at once painfully intimate and intercontinentally expansive. A handful of track names (“Parents,” “Marriage,” “Before We Talked,” “After We Talked”), as well as the record's origins in Dervin's family home in the Essex commuter-belt town of Chelmsford (which, okay, isn't exactly Arcadia; Squarepusher's also from there), turn out to be somewhat misleading. There's nothing pastoral or even suburban about Gold Panda's blipping, fluorescent sound. Instead, it's the roaming Nipponophile in him that takes precedent, as the album zeros in on the glowing melancholy of solo travel. Any expressions of human contact come filtered through lonesome synth washes, as if our electronic pilgrim is revolving them while in the lull of transit. “Marriage,” for example, sounds less like a tribute to matrimony than a rain-sodden jaunt through Higashiyama. Although the track progresses at an airy 124 BPM with 4/4 bass kicks and snare, Gold Panda suffuses it with vinyl fuzz, drips brittle treble overhead, and submerges the whole mess at its midpoint. The most striking feature — an expertly incorporated koto loop — erodes the celebratory, House-approximating vibe with its pure, doleful sound.
Gold Panda's jones for distinctly Eastern samples perdures, and it becomes alternately one of the most effective tools at his disposal and his greatest defect. The latter occurs on the penultimate track, “India Lately,” the album's weakest spot. A droning drum-circle racket that fails to build and then flatlines, draped with chanting runs and sitar buzz, it's the only moment where Lucky Shiner acquires a “world music” whiff — where Dervin finds himself on the wrong side of the subtle divide between “travel” and “tourism” due to an over-reliance on his nonnative source material. Inversely, one of the most continental joints on the album, “Snow and Taxis,” adeptly balances danceability and sonic palette using chiming glock, diffused vocals, a stammering martial beat, and nary a shamisen. There are moments, however, when Gold Panda successfully marries these two approaches, as on “Same Dream China,” where undeniably Reich-ian mallets and Chinese lute tones coalesce to form a fleecy stylistic alloy.
Most importantly, Dervin's work as Earth-spanning sample librarian helps avoid the hobgoblin of lesser producers: sameness. The track-to-track variety ends up being one of the album's biggest boons, as Gold Panda grafts in everything from lo-fi strums to Game Boy-sourced chip parpings. The range of BPM and breadth of tone renders any and all of the subgenre tags that have variously been ascribed to this guy misguided and bordering on clueless: downtempo, dubstep, goddamned glo-fi. Some of the songs on this record seem to have little to do with one another — for example, the purely synthetic “Vanilla Minus” runs right into folky respite of “Parents” — but the common denominator throughout is an emotional one. This is music produced in solitude, probably best enjoyed in solitude, and that feeling permeates its every second.
“You,” the superb, coruscating single whose two versions bookend the album, also provides its thesis by way of its only remotely intelligible lyrics. In the opening version, a thoroughly blitzed vocal sample warbles the words “you and me” — it states the simplest relationship possible — and Dervin chooses to sonically shatter it, make it skip, and draw it apart. Lucky Shiner deals with the disintegration of emotional bonds, and his treatment of those words is the perfect expression of that. Sure enough, on the closing version of the song, only “you” remains, longingly legato, until the beats fall out and only a desolate theremin wails.
CARLO'S TOP 10 LISTS
May 2011 - http://theorganicjam.blogspot.com/2011/04/carlos-top-10-laid-back-tunes-of-may.html
February 2011 - http://theorganicjam.blogspot.com/2011/02/carlos-top-10-laid-back-tunes-of.html
Music Couture - http://theorganicjam.blogspot.com/2010/09/music-couture_20.html