27 June 2012

Inigo Kennedy - Vignettes (Two) (SEMANTICA 36 - 2012)

A techno man for over 15 years, Inigo Kennedy was initially associated with labels like ZET and Missile in the second half of the 1990’s. Thereafter he took it easier until making a return to the studio some years ago. Formerly known as a backer of harsh 4/4 beats, Kennedy now explores new directions and follows up the first "Vignettes" experimental single released last year on Semantica.
The second installment sees Kennedy moving closer to the floor again. Made for club charts is “Shapeshifter”, a mid-pace techno cut with abstract notes and occasional deep bass rave stabs, sending fluorescent sinusoids flashing through time and space. “Disquiet” bombs protons in thin air in an electrofied exercise. The B-side concludes with digital ballad “Ihana”, which feels like picking the summer’s first strawberries. Different from what I remember Kennedy doing, but contains a fair amount of excitement.



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DU71 - DU 71 (Archetypes Records ARCH008 - 2012)

Nine tracks of unknown origin. The artist called DU71 is not eager to reveal anything, except stating that nothing is more and nothing is less. Seemingly a statement in favor of minimalism, which is expressed by techno language in the digital-only album issued on Archetypes Records.
Darker undertones and deep bass dominate in the release, which clearly targets the floor, but also flirts with experimental angles of the electronic music. “Beyond Space Boundaries” and “Remains Of The Remains” are good for physical exercises during peak hours in the club while mid-tempo “Helium Stars” mingles gaseous substance with dubbed-out beats and “Orga Meca” leans towards industrial abstractions.
When asking myself which tracks would deserve pressed on vinyl, one pick would majestically droning workout “Contentment In Difficulty”, but the real champion is “The Truth Awaits”. A killer track, which offers most devastating techno moments with hysteric background screams and boldly charging bass. An album for the fans of labels like Prologue, Zooloft, M_Rec and Subsist.

24 June 2012

Felix Denk, Sven von Thülen - Der Klang der Familie (Suhrkamp Verlag - 2012)

Man spricht viel über die Rolle Berlins in der Wende und beim Mauerfall. Als Hauptstadt Deutschlands touristisch bestimmt ein interessantes Ziel, aber das ist nicht der Hauptgrund, warum die Spreemetropole auch kulturell eine besondere Stellung einnimmt. Für die progressive Jugend der Welt bedeutet Berlin in erster Linie Tresor oder Berghain – die Stadt, die nimmer schläft, ist ein Inbegriff der hedonistischer Lebensweise rund um Party und Beat.

Gesprächsrunde zur Techno-Geschichte
Wie es dazu gekommen ist beschreiben Felix Denk und Sven von Thülen mit Hilfe der Szene-Insider im Buch “Der Klang der Familie”. Viele Bestandteile der neuesten deutschen Geschichte sind da: die DDR, die Mauer, die Wende, aber es geht in erster Linie um eine Szene, die sich im Gange der politischen Umwälzungen entfaltet hatte.
Das aus Interviews zusammengebaute Buch ist wie eine riesige Gesprächsrunde, wobei eine bunte Mischung von Ex-Punks, Poppers, Schwulen, EBM-Leute und Techno-Helden zu Wort kommt. Eigentlich alle die Rang und Namen hatten: von dem härteren Flügel Tanith und Alec Empire, dann Party-Motoren Wolle XDP und Dr. Motte, aber auch VIVA-Lieblinge Westbam und Marusha. Man bekommt ein Gefühl wirklich mittendrin zu sein und es macht das Buch gut lesbar.

Weihnachtsgefühl im Hard Wax 
Als Vinyl-Liebhaber habe ich sehr das Kapitel über die Anfänge von Hard Wax genossen.  Wie Mark Ernestus Ende 1990 in den USA war:
Mark kam mit einem Dutzend riesiger Kisten voller Platten zurück, die er in irgendwelchen Kellern  gefunden hatte. Da musste man natürlich dabei sein, als die aufgemacht wurden. Das war wie Weihnachten. (Vainqueur, S. 121).
Spannend ist auch die Entstehungsgeschichte Tresor-Clubs - die ehemaligen Bankräume waren wie ein archäologischer Befund, der nach viel Mühe und Sorgen das Epizentrum der Szene wurde, obwohl es sicherheitstechnisch nicht ganz Weltklasse war.

Transatlantische Verbindung
Interessant ist der Brückenbau zwischen Berlin und Detroit, wobei viele Detroit-Produzenten wie Robert Hood, Burden Brothers, Mad Mike und Jeff Mills zu Wort kommen. Auf der Entdeckungsreise haben die Amerikaner konstatiert, dass die UR-Platte “Punisher” eigentlich wie für den Tresor geschrieben worden war und Burden-Brothers fanden die Stadt wie Detroit, mit dem Unterschied, dass in Berlin Deutsch gesprochen wurde. Sonst war alles so grau, industriell und depressiv wie in der Motor City.

Kontroversen um die Familienhymne
Wir ihr weisst, steht hinter dem Titel “Der Klang der Familie” auch ein wegweisender Track von Dr Motte und 3 Phase (Sven Röhrig). Der Kapitel über die Platte berichtet von einem Zwist zwischen den beiden Produzenten, denn als Loveparade-Gründer war Motte schon ein Szenepromi und Tresor hat auf den Promos seinen Namen gross geschrieben. Röhrig hat sich als vernachlässigt empfunden, da er danach keine DJ-Gigs bekam und dieses Gefühl wurde stärker nach dem mittelmässigen Erfolg seines Longplayers “Schlangenfarm”, ebenfalls auf Tresor releast. Die Geschichte wurde noch bunter als Derrick May, begeistert von dem Track, die Platte auf einer Party schlicht in die Tasche gesteckt und einige Zeit später auf Transmat rausgebracht hatte.

Für Berlin-Insider bedeutet “Der Klang der Familie” wohl einen nostalgischen Rückblick in die jungen Jahren von Techno – und vereinzelte Einsprüche wie “nö, das war richtig nicht so!” auftauchen lässt. Für diejenige, die von der Szene nur durch die Musik und Mags wie Frontpage eine Vorstellung hatten, ist das Buch eine interessante Reise zwischen schon legendären Leute und Orte. Sehr empfehlenswert.

Auf der Suche nach dem Track zum Buch wird man schnell fündig :

19 June 2012

EDMX - Cerberus (Power Vacuum Powvac002 - 2012)

Release date is August 2012
Ed DMX, the man who was singing I am a mouse, I like eating cheese on "Nu Romantix LP", is now transformed into a brutal kind of species for a new release on Power Vacuum.
Launching the onslaught under the EDMX disguise, he drops with the title track "Cerberus" a violent acid banger, where wall-shaking bass drum reminds of PCP's school of hardcore. After being exposed to ruthless fire of machine guns, highly intellectually tit-led "I'm Rushing My Tits Off" feels almost downtempo, but the kick drum is not sleeping and suffocating electro with Polygon Window textures knock the brain.  Acid worms return in "Orange Squash", which features some elements of Rephlexian braindance. "Cerberus" definitely more impressive than Power Vacuum's debut release by Bintus. Feel the jaws of a beast on your neck.

POWVAC002 - EDMX 'Cerberus EP' preview
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18 June 2012

DUST OFF: Aamukirkko / Morning Church on 15 Nov 1992, Helsinki

A piece of paper awakening fond memories of a special night. November 1992, following The Temple rave in Helsinki's Paasitorni, numerous techno heads gathered in Lepakko (The Bat), a legendary home of youth culture and mad parties, to dance to exhaustion. DJs Ata, Heiko M/S/O and Pascal F.E.O.S. from Frankfurt am Main plus local heroes Jokke, Mr Kirk, H2 and Ender delivered it to the crowd that had just witnessed a massive celebration of raving spirit at The Temple, the event that warrants a special story.
For giving audio context to the flyer from 15 November 1992, Ongaku's "Mihon" is my choice. Strobes on!

16 June 2012

Triangleforever - Brink Of Disappearance (2012)

Known for tweeting graphic codes, Triangleforever has now outed as experimental musician with a digital album called "Brink Of Disapperance".
The Bandcamp page creates an impression of smoked glass placed on your screen, so the design wonders are not limited to the myriad of symbols on Twitter. The release itself features seven tracks of Gothic electronica under the veil of sentimentality, with domination of dark emotions. "Just A Moment" is a song performed by a choir of lost souls and "Claudia" is a slowly burning witch-house derivative. Cinematic dialogue on dreamy drone can be found in "No Forgiveness" and of the two reworks of "Just A Moment", synthetic Sleetwalker Remix is worth to mention. The next stop is Tri Angle Records?

Triangleforever

14 June 2012

MPIA3 - Wttp / Casual Welding (Avian AVN004 - 2012)

A new bird is about to land on Shifted's label Avian. MPIA3 is a new moniker of an artist from London who prefers to conceal real identity for the time being. Only I can say the act is not associated with the Buckingham Palace.
With the new signing Avian enters the world of acid, a phenomenon resistant to any climatic and political change. Both tracks kick big time and are made for big systems. "Wttp" is something I would describe as acid tune, where functional tightness is somehow diluted by a merry sequence, but basically does not spoil the game characterised by skilled use of tension-filled breaks and EQ control.
The flipside features serious business in „Casual Welding”, which would nicely decorate Drop Bass Network catalog. Sledgehammer bass, charging acid jabs and rave age signalling make clear the track is created for sweaty moments in abandoned steelworks. After that expecting further research in corrosive sounds from MPIA3. About "Ely / Squatter's Dog" (Avian 005) with another two acid techno blasts read here.



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12 June 2012

Population One - The Return (Chronicle EVENT0001 - 2012)

Thrilling anticipation every time when Terrence Dixon announces new releases, which are rarely disappointing by the artist I’m keenly following. While not seeking broad publicity, Dixon is among Detroit producers of trust and has got talent to provide techno masterpieces. Introducing Chronicle, a new sub-unit of the US label Thema, Dixon has dropped again an exceptional release, this time under the Population One moniker.
Right from the start he follows the standards set in Population One’s groundbreaking 1995 release “Minimalism” on Utensil. Built on hollow bass drum, hiss and crackles, “Transition” is destined for drifting in Jupiter’s magnetosphere and sending transmissions to distant nebulae. Taking off to interplanetary journey, 909 showdown in “Relay” belongs to the same league with Jeff Mills’ recent output, like “Something In The Sky” series. Further feeding alien imagination, blurred oscillations of the B1 track “Approaching” see a space station docking amidst meteor shower. Functional fare fills the rest of the B-side, with loop-driven solid workout “Escape” and “Thinking” in the same rhythmic vein.
Although Dixon has actually never been away, with “The Return” he presumably updates his status as techno producer of choice. The EP is a strong manifest of his and Detroit’s abilities and essential techno release for 2012.

Just a footnote: When speaking about true reduced techno, then two producers have been leading the way: While Dan Bell AKA DBX has represented jacking and funkier side, Dixon has produced smudged sci-fi textures, but both of them have played a pivotal role in the evolution of minimalistic sounds.

Population One - The Return (Soundcloud clips)
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08 June 2012

Tolouse Low Trax - Jeidem Fall (Karaoke Kalk LP 66 - 2012)

"Jeidem Fall" has been on heavy rotation in recent months and in my view it's a strong contender for the Album of the Year title in 2012.
Detlef Weinrich, a member of Kreidler collective, has been operating for a while as Tolouse Low Trax, the project like a tribute to French post-impressionist painter Tolouse-Lautrec, and  "Jeidem Fall" is the fourth album, after macabre "Corridor Plateau" published last year on Apparent Extent.
Combining modern and ancient, the new LP is an ode to percussion and processed human voice. With its rhythm-focused agenda it reminds of Harmonious Thelonious and shares some common features with Klaus Schulze.
Tolouse Low Trax knows the art of voodoo, if we just take the most hypnotic tracks on the album: "Geo Scan" and "Sussing", where Weinrich captures the audience to neolithic trance and the rhythmic bliss finds a great continuation in upbuilding "Barka".

07 June 2012

Cassegrain & Tin Man - Carnal (KILLEKILL008 - 2012)

Red vinyl ordered directly from the label
About a year ago, when stocking up my vinyl collection at Hard Wax, came across a Killekill release for the first time, by Bill Youngman. Since that have kept an eye on the label's affairs and seen impressive releases, especially by Snuff Crew and Neil Landstrumm. Now the Berlin outlet presents a truly global connection with producers of Welsh/Greek and Turkish/Uyghur (Cassegrain) and Finnish/American (Tin Man) origin getting together for trippy workouts. Although both acts have been in the limelight for a while the collaboration seems to be of a surprising kind - but with maximum effect.
Crackling and sizzling sound fog, bold underwater bass and vigorous acid lines make the title track "Carnal" essential part of the EP. Marching off with beat pattern reminding of Green Velvet's "Flash", acid worms start eating your mind for pulse-raising moments on the floor. In a more reduced note comes "Visitor" in the position A2, with wriggling acid lines and padded percussion, partly recalling Plastikman's "Sheet One" from 1993. In terms of club functionality "Sear" reaches out to the levels of "Carnal", featuring initially rather jolly acid lines, which turn evil closer to the end. And then you need some "Rest", a restrained caustic symphony.
Cassegrain and Tin Man have really saved the best of their talent for this release. Although some artistic influences are audible, the way the four-tracker is composed is a good reason to earn respect in today's techno community. Visual context has been lent by the crew of the29nov Films, all four videos found on Killekill's Youtube channel.

Cassegrain & Tin Man - Carnal (snippets)

05 June 2012

Albert van Abbe - No Comment_0006 (NoComment06 - 2012)

Abdulla Rashim, Stockholm's enigmatic master of droning deepness, has taken on a remix duty for Albert van Abbe's label No Comment. The result is outstanding: equipped with a dubbed-out loop, gentle percussion and hi-hats, Rashim impressively wanders in lunar dust. Albert's own 10-minute "NCS_5600200512 [V2]" convinces with bass throb and electro particles and "P4S_88880003" is a quiet scream of drone monster.
So another great release promised from the label, which in addition to Albert van Abbe brilliance has succeeded in attracting impressive cast, like Heinrich Mueller, Convextion, Sleeparchive and others, for guest appearances.
Rashim's summer plans are not limited to this: "Weldiya", his debut on Prologue Music, is expected at the end of June. Meanwhile "Asayita" and "Gizaw", first two releases on his own imprint, have been restocked at several vinyl sellers.


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04 June 2012

Penik Ettek - Black Catalogue Ritual Acid LP (Panzerkreuz 1009 - 2012)

Greetings from Panzerkreuz, the doom department of Bunker Records. Penik Ettek is a true disciple of the padrones who once pulled the strings in Acid Planet and Unit Moebius and the acid project launched by Albert van Abbe and Paul van Gent gives full respect to the old school guys in organising a thunderstorm of acid lines.
Penik Ettek does not run for the award of the most complex acid programming and instead opts for simple, but astonishingly functional power tracks. A lot of straightforward 303 and 909 action paired with loud bass, whereas the low frequencies in A2 seriously go through the walls of concrete. Hardcore frenzy with a throbbing kickdrum is faced in B2 and distortions in B3 remind of Ra-X. A bleeding nose is promised, except in beatless conclusion of the LP.
The only downside is technical: The middle hole of my copy, and probably of entire edition, is too big, though does not affect home play.