Friday, June 30, 2006

Ananda Rising.

Gabriel Ananda is the new rising star of Minimal Techno. First brought to the attention of these ears by fellow bloggers Modyfier and TAPE.

If you read his Biog on his website you will discover the origins of his sound and the influence of Sven Vath on the young producer when he heard him DJ in 1995. Now with over 20 releases on such labels as Hörspielmusik followed by several 12" releases on imprints like Trapez, Utils, Treibstoff and Karmarouge Records, Gabriel Ananda is about to emerge as a leading light in the techno scene.

Gabriel Ananda - Ihre Personliche Glucksmelodie (Dominik Eulberg remix) Karmarouge 12" 2006

Gabriel Ananda - 21 Ampere (Original Mix) Karmarouge Noir Four 12" 2006

Gabriel Ananda - Live @ Springborn Garden

Buy his releases at Beatport

Genres: [Minimal] [Techno] [Remixes] [Electronic] [Live]

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sonar Style

Well we are back from Sonar in Barcelona, the city of porn moustaches, mullet boys and dubious eyewear. And what a time we had, highlights from Friday afternoon were the minimal Dub Techno stylings of local DJ D.A.R.Y.L. and Scape Records presenting Bus featuring MC Soom-T Live, Pole & Live Band and Babara Preisinger DJing. Also the Scissor Sisters played an unannounced show on the main stage in the sunshine. (I'm not their biggest fan but it was fun all the same). The less said about Sonar by Night, the better. I do not like the cavernous venue and feel it is a really impersonal space. The Friday night line-up was nothing special, however Jimmy Edgar had his moments and the crowd went apeshit when Jeff Mills dropped 'The Bells' (Is it just me or has he been playing the same records for the last 10 years? I thought you said Techno was about progression Jeff?)

Saturday's highlights included a set from Fat Freddy's Drop which sounded blissful in the stoned haze of the sunshine, however not my normal listening. Saturday night's best moments included a great funky set from Hot Chip (First time I've seen them live, and would love to see them again in the confines of a smaller club.) However the prize for my favourite performance of the weekend has to go to Isolee. He was magnificent, even if he didn't play 'Beau Mot Plage' his set consisted of tracks from his latest album We Are Monster plus old material and he really kept things kicking by mixing tracks quickly and keeping the interest up as well as the tempo. It made a refreshing change from all the other Minimal Techno that seems to have taken over Barcelona at the moment.

Isolee - My Hi-Matic We Are Monster LP 2005

Hot Chip - Boy From School (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework) One Sided 12" 2006

EDIT: Beatport are doing a Sonar promotion. Download 10 free tracks at

Artists include Richie Hawtin, Isolee, Dave Clarke, Herbert, Modeselektor, Aardvarck, Senor Coconut and Audion.

Jimi James and Mrs Brown’s hot tips for a choice Sonar experience.

Find out what and who is when, before putting your money down. By buying individual day tickets, and not bothering about Sonar by night, you will save yourself the pennies and the headache. Firstly getting out to the night venue can prove a challenge, when travelling on over-subscribed buses after a day of partying in the sun. Secondly, Sonar has become a showcase for different record labels putting on free or minimally charged parties back in the city; on beaches, rooftops and in basements. Read the flyers you get given when queuing. These line-ups often rival if not surpass Sonar night offerings.

Do your research: The Sonar newspaper you get on the first day tries, but still only gives minimal profiles on the musicians. Even better still, check them all out on line before going .

Supplies. Bags were checked thoroughly in evenings but not so much during the day. There is a limited selection of food and drink on sale (vegans, vegetarians, and organic food lovers check out the 6 euro salad buffet for lunch at Organic just 3 mins down the road from Sonar by day, or pack your own picnic, the Boqueria food market is nearby as well.) Disco supplies were not so readily available, and if offered, watch out for dodgy merchandise, as we soon found out. (see picture ‘Alerta’)

Book your hotel/ pension well in advance. Needless to say rooms at the best pickings in your lonely planet were ultra-scarce. Even better than a pension, book an apartment with a group of mates. There are plenty on offer. Hot tip: enquire about a fan or ventilation if you are planning on packing it out with plenty of warm bodies.

Check out the Visual Art events scheduled in relation to Sonar. Music and Art have a symbiotic relationship, and the Sonar venue is full of exhibitions and potential interactive opportunities. Not only that, Barcelona is a very creative city. Hit the streets, check out the graffiti, the museums, and take a walk up to Gaudi’s ‘Parc Gruell’.

Calculate those air miles and figure out how to offset your carbon emissions, or alternate ways of travelling to Barcelona. (One single short haul flight produces roughly the same amount of global warming gas as 3 months worth of driving a 1.4 litre car) Just because you listen to electronic music doesn’t mean that you can’t wear sandals and worry about the future of the earth…

Finally, pencil it in for next year children…

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ole Ole Ole

Seeing as the world cup is now well and truly underway and many people are spending most of their waking hours thinking of ‘the beautiful game’, I thought it would be great idea to post up some of England’s finest world cup anthems over the next few weeks. That is until I reminded myself that I’m not one of the aforementioned people & that I’ve never heard a football song that I even consider half decent! I therefore decided that doing a series of posts based around fine music to be associated with the host nation would be a much better idea.

Therefore, for the first in my series of tentatively linked ‘world cup specials’ I’m going to focus on the artists behind one of my favourite albums of last year; Modeselektor - Hello Mom.

These guys put both fun & originality back into music and their tracks are always suitably varied whilst still maintaining their staple ingredients of glitched hi’s and a ludicrously heavy bottom end.

First up is a live version of Hasir, one of the mellower moments of the aforementioned album, recorded at the Parisian techno haven Rex.

modeselektor-hasir (live @ rex,paris)

This track is actually taken from the special musick for special people complitaion available here.

Next up is another track with a live feel, this time taken from Labland, their multimedia collaboration with Pfadfinderei. I’ve not actually seen the DVD but by all accounts it rather good and if the visuals are even half as good as the soundtrack then I reckon you’re in for a real treat. You can pick up a copy here. The track posted below has somewhat of a mashup feel & I particularly like the bit near the end where it turns into a full on four four stomper.

pfadfinderei and modeselektor - nightcreatures

Anyway, that's all for today, remember to tune in soon to see who makes it through to round two.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sonar, So Good

Summer is finally here and the temperature is soring in London town. The mercury hit 90f today. The summer festival season is starting to get into gear and the main event for all electronic heads is the now mandatory Sonar in beautiful Barcelona. This will be the second time I've made the trip, the first being in 2003 when a whole posse of us experienced the delights of listening to the obscure glichtronica of Akufen, when suddenly his poor Laptop died and a crowd of die hard electronic heads were deprived of the genius of his micro stylings. Even with the premature end, it was still one of the highlights of a sundrenched afternoon of blissful noise.

Akufen - Live at Sonar 2003

While planning this blog post all about the beauties of summer and mellow electronics I happened to stumble on these gorgeous gems from the depths of my collection. Perfect summer listening.

Air - Modular Mix Mo Wax 12" 1996

Moodymann - Black Mahogany KDJ 12" 1998

Tranquility Bass - Cantamilla California Dreaming Compilation 1993

Lambchop - Up With People (Zero 7 mix) City Slang 12" 2000

Genres: [Downtempo] [House] [Jazz] [Chill Out] [Micro House] [Techno] [Glich] [Indie] [Alternative] [Remix] [Trip Hop]

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Time To Jack - 20 Years On

Moving away from the minimalism that seems to be defining House and Techno at the moment, I think we need reminding why we primarily got into electronic music in the first place. The raw funk of Chicago House music has inspired millions and from it has evolved the multiple styles and genres that we now see today. It was 20 years ago since the first producers in Chicago started laying down their own minimalist version of the 70's and 80's Disco and Italo sounds. What came from those simple drum machines and the Roland TB303 in particular has stayed with us ever since. 20 years later we still dance to them like it was the first time. They still sound as fresh as the first time. This is Timeless music.

Released on the legendary Trax imprint out of Chicago in 1986 'No Way Back' by Adonis is a bonafide classic. Its funky bassline, spoken word vocal, 909 kicks and stabs has come to define the Chicago sound. You can read a biog of Adonis on his myspace page and check his website

Adonis - No Way Back Trax 12" 1986

In The Beginning There Was Jack - Classic House Acapella

"In the beginning there was Jack, and Jack had a groove, and from this groove came the groove of all grooves, and while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared 'LET THERE BE HOUSE' and House music was born......."

Yes! I know precious little about this acapella, apart from the fact that it defines everything house music is. Those in the know, please enlighten me.

DJ Skull - The Graveyard Orchestra Djax-Up-Beats 12" 1997

The Graveyard Orchestra by DJ Skull is an over-looked classic in my opinion. It has the most immense bouncing bassline I have ever heard on a Chicago House record. Play this in any club at the right time and it will take the f**king roof off!
Djax-Up-Beats is a label set up in Holland by Saskia Slegers aka Miss Djax who provided a platform for Chicago producers to release their music in Europe when no else gave them the chance. Find out more info and a history of the label at

You can buy downloads of Djax releases from here

And now to a homage to the Trax Acid House sound.
It was the German based Label Gomma that released this slab of old skool Acid House. Made by Headman and remixed by a couple of English blokes with a penchant for Eighties Disco and Chicago House. Chicken Lips transformed this into something so old skool and retro it does actually sound like it was made in 1986, not 2003. The simple 303 riff, complete with cow bells and simple 909 kicks makes this a classic Chicago Acid House record that never was. Just wait for the Hi Hats to kick in and it almost feels like you were listening to Ron Hardy dropping this at the Music Box circa 1986. Proper!

Headman - It Rough (Chicken Lips Trax Dub) Gomma 12" 2003

Buy Adonis and Headman records from Juno

Genres: [Acid House] [Chicago House] [Electronic] [Remix] [Acapella] [Spoken Word]

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Back to Basic

Basic Channel are back! Well you could argue that they never went away. Since their last release 'Trak II' as Phylyps on the Basic Channel label, in September 1994, Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus have been busy with numerous other projects including the M series as Maurizio, Deep House grooves from the 'Round' series, as well as Dub and Reggae with Rhythm & Sound productions. They formed the Chain Reaction label as a continuation of their minimal sound asthetics featuring releases by other artists Perlon, Scion, Porter Ricks, Monolake and Vainqueur. Rhythm & Sound and other label Burial Mix have released all their Reggae collaborations with such artists as Paul St Hilaire aka Tikiman, Cornell Campbell & The Chosen Brothers.

The main reason for all the excitment is that Rhythm & Sound have just released part 4 of the 'See Mi Ya' remix series with mixes by longtime Detroit collaborator Carl Craig. Carl released their 'Quadrant - Infinition' release on Planet E back in 1993 and has been remixed by Basic Channel for his 'Remake' and 'Climax' 12"s. Carl also contributed a remix to 'Domina' for Maurizio on the M3 release. Basic Channel have also given Rhythm & Sound (ie themselves. Er it gets confusing here) A Basic Reshape.

Enough with the tangled web that is the Basic Channel history, they have always let their music do the talking. And what spacial, subliminal music it is.

Rhythm & Sound - See Mi Version (Basic Reshape) Burial Mix 12"

Rhythm & Sound - Poor People Must Work (Carl Craig Remix) Burial Mix 12"

Basic Channel are rightly legends within the Techno community, their subtle, spacial dub 'fluff in the mixer' sounds are unequalled in electronic music circles. Many have imitated, none have bettered. Check these slabs of metallic brilliance and you'll see what I mean. Respect.

Basic Channel - Phylyps Remix [BC-03]
Basic Channel - Octagon (Edit) [BC-07]
Basic Channel - Quadrant Q1.1 [BC-04]
Maurizio - M4 (Original Mix) [M4A]
Quadrant - Infinition [Planet E]

More information can be found at
You can buy releases at their shop in Berlin Hardwax

Genres: [Techno] [Dub] [Reggae] [Minimal] [Electronic] [Remixes]

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