Monday, December 21, 2009

Nacho Patrol - The Africa Jet Band (M Division Recordings 04) - 9/10

For this occasion Danny Wolfers AKA Legowelt is king of the jungle, under the Nacho Patrol moniker. Dutchman's fantasy in inventing cool artist names is boundless. More impressive is his ability to control all the music machines and produce tracks that are retro-sounding and contemporary same time.
As Nacho Patrol he pours gallons of funk to the discomobile's tank, steps on it and let's the fun out. "El Fuego En Nosotros Todo" is a powerful start and my favourite here. Psychedelic and etherial mood set in the first track carries on throughout the release. In "Cheetahman" we encounter a chimpanzee that imitates classic jazz funk. "Hippo Aviation" adds a few drops of ample jack and "Caravelle" is a nice tune to listen to while peeking through the window of a intergalactic spaceship. 
The Africa Jet Band release is a sibling of dusty records from the 70's and 80's but despite of partial recycling this 2009 release sounds exciting and very refreshing.

Cottam - Untitled (Cottam 3) - 8/10

Third record in the Cottam series, from the UK and this time with a green label. An intensive and tribal-minded track on the A-side that reminds of Teknotika. Rhythm hits hard but the overall composition is rather dull. 
B-side is deeper and shows some evolution. Bass is charging and in the middle of the track a gentleman with African roots lets the vocal out. It fits well into the tribal and funk feel of the B-side that is the winner here.

Various - Voyeurhythm EP 1 (Voyeurhythm 001) - 9 /10

A confession to start with: the history of soul and funk, and this part of the music world in general, is something quite alien to me. It's for the experts to say if this record is freshly squeezed tasty juice or just warmed-up bouillon of edits from the cellars. Anyway, I'm impressed about this greatly rolling piece of wax that fits to the home listening, as well as to the club floor.
A-side belongs to Benjamin Sun and "When You Looked" that is a joyful and clamorous piece of old school funk. Megadon Betamax (what a name!) opens the happy proceedings of the B-side with "Heavy Lifting" and with a thoughtful sovereignity of an old funk king. Hollywood Nites, whoever he/she is, serves a more uptempo delight with a cheerful disco-like "Too Many Bells". All in all something very beautiful and high-spirited.

Emptyset - Emptyset (Caravan Recordings 010)

Rating: 8/10
There is a tunnel. And there is light at the end of it. Or is it the Black Hole. Emptyset takes us in a shady world: starting with "Aleph" and hardly audible hum. The rest of the A-side is filled with evil growling of machines that accelerate slowly - pitching 33 RPM record up would help those who are in need of more speed. Am I the only one to hear in "Gate 1" fragments from "Flash" by Fix and "Sharevari" by A Number of Names?
"Beyond" is less depressed but still keeps the tensions up with hypnotic determination. C1 or "Completely Gone" is different and would fit into any techno set, a floor-oriented track that sticks to the dark atmosphere of the album. The next, "Beyond 2", hits like Ancient Methods with lazy-paced but hard techno. The end is reached with heavyweight compositions relying on distortions and effects that remind of Pan Sonic and John Carpenter.
Emptyset is a duo consisting of Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg, the latter being the founder of the label Vertical Sound and co-founder of pioneering dubstep label Tectonic. Not bad fellows at all who have done not a bad album.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Durian Brothers - Clubs EP (Diskant 01) - 8/10

Drums in excess on the first release of Diskant, a label based in Düsseldorf, the birthplace of Kraftwerk. "Inside Palace" promises musique concrete and abstract noise but then percussion picks up, complemented by bubbling rhythms spiced with subtle strings. Dervishes are spinning, directed by one million sound layers, and signs of cacophony appear towards the end of this 10-minute piece. On the flip, "hamigokakiko" starts with a hiss and playful sequence, then percussion takes the control with some 1970's feel, I mean Sun Ra and krautrock. "Planete Sauvage" drops the tempo to gives a bit distorted bass and bells in a laid back mood.
Stefan Schwander, know as Antonelli Electric and Rhythm Maker, is behind The Durian Brothers. Always being fond of minimal (club) tracks, he has now taken a new path with experiments with heavy percussion. Clubs EP is sightly monotonous but hypnotising intellectual rhythm music.