Thursday, August 31, 2006

Smoke On This

Having spent most of 2005's TDK Cross Central wandering between stages in a bid to check out loads of different acts and then going home a little disappointed by the lack of decent music I'd seen I'd decided to not only turn up much earlier this year but also to be more selctive about who / how many I saw. Things got off to a bad start what with our motley rave posse finally getting through the gates at just gone eleven then making an ill-judged (based on crowds) trip to see Spank Rock before heading right back to where we'd started to check out Alex Smoke. From here on in things got much better and Mr Smoke turned out an absolutely belting live set in the packed heat of The Cross. We then checked out Ellen Allien on DJ duties who was also wicked although I'm not gonna post any of her stuff up as she seems to be hogging a little too much of the blogosphere limelight at the moment. Hot Chip were also pretty good although the atmosphere when I've seen them at this and other big gigs was nowhere near as good as their set at a small club in Nottingham I checked out earlier in the year. As the night was getting on at this point we decide more raving was in order so we headed over to The Key for a spot of Ivan Smagghe who was pretty solid although not as dirty as I would have liked but still good enough for us to stay there until what we thought was the finish. However, as we wandering wearily towards the exit some tasty tunes were still coming from the outdoor stage / tent so feeling up for a final shuffle we headed in there and threw what was left of our moves particularly when the DJ (not sure who it actually was) dropped the jackin' techno filth of DJ Hell's mix of Paranoid Dancer which damn near destroyed the place. Oh yeah, he then followed that with a little known tune called Strings of Life by some chancer from Detroit - respect! Roll on next year :-)

Alex Smoke - Pingu Simple Things EP 12"

Alex Smoke - Something's Gone Paradolia LP

Buy Alex Smoke

Johannes Heil - Paranoid Dancer (DJ Hell Remix)

Buy this here

Friday, August 25, 2006

Feeling It

Here's some tracks I'm feeling at the moment. Paul Kalkbrenner rocks it with a Techno monster on BPitch Control. A live track from Apparat recorded in Berlin imaginatively titled 'Berlin' on the label with the best name ever, Shitkatapult. His sound also comes into its own on 'Cheap Thrills' with a breakbeat led Techno/Electro tune utilising his trademark fuzzy synth sounds.

Paul Kalkbrenner - Keule (Original Mix) BPitch Control 12"

Apparat - Berlin (Live recording) Shitkatapult 12"

Apparat - Cheap Thrills BPitch Control 12"

This track is available free as part of a Beatport promotion of tracks from the Monegros Desert Festival

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Can You Guess What It Is Yet?

My good friends Dom and Andy have been making music as Echaskech for nearly 2 years now, however their history of being involved in the scene stretches way back. I was introduced to them by fellow blogging partner Bauer and it was through them that I got my first gigs DJing in London at their Information Parties at Scar and The Rhythm Factory. Since they started producing their own music they have gone from strength to strength, culminating in the pair being signed to Just Music and their live performance at this years Big Chill going down a storm. With their debut album on the way I thought it was high time I gave them some props and gave you a chance to listen to their lush electronic sound ranging from downtempo ambience through Electro to floorfilling party anthems. (There seems to be a big Orbital influence in there whadda ya think?)

Below is a video for new tune 'String Break' with visuals by Mach V as a taster for their forthcoming album.

And if that wasn't enough to wet your appetite check some of their older live material below.

Echaskech - A Slow Day Taken from 'Live In Session' DVD

Echaskech - Frequency Apogee Live

Echaskech - Out There Still Live

Echaskech - Popstars Live

Echaskech - Shallow Seas Live

Check their website for more info on upcoming releases and a live set from the Big Chill

Saturday, August 12, 2006

UR Kidding

Not many names in techno are respected as much as the mighty Underground Resistance collective. So it was with great anticipation that we went out last night to the European premiere of the Interstellar Fugitives 2 film. Now a techno documentary was always going to involve a certain amount of overly enthusiastic studio talk but to say I was not impressed with what we actually got to see is a serious understatement. Shot on a budget of about $5 (for the batteries in the camera) the video quality was nowhere near good enough for it to be shown on a full size cinema screen, the commentary levels were muffled and inaudible, the camera work was out of focus, shaky and shot in dark studios (ever heard of lighting guys?) and when you could actually hear someone speaking they were babbling on about how privileged they were to be a part of the record – no interesting insights into the history of the workings of the organisation here then! Thankfully the musical soundtrack accompanying the studio, DJ and live shots in the film were fully audible, towering over the spoken word and it was these bits that reminded you why you were watching this in the first place. UR’s ability to consistently deliver orchestral techno & electro masterpieces has never been surpassed due to a plethora of quality releases by artists including Drexciya, Suburban Knight, Mike Banks and DJ Rolando, the producer of arguably the greatest techno record ever made

The night, organised by The Outlet Collective, also included a showcase of the UR artwork by Abdul Haqq, unfortunately a dark club space is not the ideal location for an exhibition, and it was very difficult to see any details in the prints. A bit of a missed opportunity I think.

It was not a complete disaster though because the music played lifted the night to new levels, James Pennington aka Suburban Knight, was on top form mixing all styles of Detroit Techno and Electro effortlessly. A special mention also has to go out to Matt Chester of 11th Hour Recordings who made his debut live performance, with a killer mix of his own material, building up the crowd beautifully in time for Pennington.

Having Jeff Mills as one of your founder members and with Robert Hood being involved along the way too is always going to result in some impressive releases & our recommendation to you is to check out ISF2 (the LP!) and go and explore URs back catalogue. And our message to UR is to stick at what they do best…especially as they do that so damn well!

The Aquanauts - Crackzilla Interstellar Fugitives 2 LP

Mad Mike & The Trinity - Burning Spear Interstellar Fugitives 2 LP

Suburban Night - Midnight Sunshine Underground Resistance 029 12"

Buy UR releases here.

Check out the UR website

Hear more tracks at their Myspace site

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Strictly For The Purists

Exclusive New Mixes Part 2

This is the second of the Bacardi B Live exclusive mixes. Metro Area have done a pure disco mix which showcases the influences on their sound. There are none of their own productions in here and none of the new 'space disco' sounds of Lindstrom, Alden Tyrell et al. A track listing is unavailable at present but I will keep you posted if I get my hands on one.
Warning! if you are not a serious Disco fan then step away from the vehicle. This one's for the fans.

Metro Area - B Live Mix 57 mins

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Eyes Have It

I was sent these links from Hefty Records straight out of Chicago. Its a live set from Retina.IT recorded as part of the Hefty showcase this year at Sonar, Barcelona. Whilst at Sonar myself, I didn't see these guys, but it sounds like a very interesting set of glitched-up downtempo electronica.

You can subscribe to the podcast here or download it direct as a zip file below. Check the Hefty website for more info.

Retina.IT - Live @ Sonar 2006

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