Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Call It Dubtec.

The amalgamation of two genres and two sounds, both with very different origins has started to materialise. The Berlin Dub Techno scene has been around for over 15 years now, with the godfathers of the metallic Techno sound, Basic Channel, (Pictured) having influenced everyone in the electronic scene since their inception in 1993. Since then they have created era defining Techno, dubbed out House and Electronic Reggae all with the metallic shards of sound that became their signature and which has been imitated by so many.

Dubstep has its origins in a very different place. Out of the UK Garage/2 Step scene in the late Nineties emerged two separate genres. Grime, with its influences from Hip Hop and its utilisation of the MC as the main focus for the music and Dubstep, with its influences coming from Drum 'n' Bass and Dub Reggae. The commercial strains of 2 Step have been totally bred out from Dubstep's genetic structure, this has led to innovation and exploration of Bass and rhythm that now shares Techno's passion for innovation and pushing boundaries of sonic exploration.

Recently however a divide in the genre has become more evident. like Drum 'n' Bass a decade ago, Dubstep is becoming fractured between the heavy sounds and punishing bass for the dancefloor and the deeper strains which which are starting to be influenced by the Techno scene. One could argue that it all started with Ricardo Villalobos' remix of 'Blood On My Hands' by Shackleton, a tune which was already heading into deeper sonic territory than previous Dubstep offerings.

There are a new crop of artists emerging that are taking the Dub Techno influences to produce music that now seems a logical merger between the two sounds. Artists from the Bristol scene including Shackleton himself, Skull Disko co-founder Appleblim, and artists Peverelist and (dutch producer) 2562, both on Pinch's Tectonic label are merging Techno influences to create a new hybrid of Dubstep. I like to call it Dubtec.

Shackleton and Appleblim have always cited Basic Channel as a big influence and now what with Shackleton moving to Berlin and Appleblim being shown the 'secrets' to the Basic Channel sound from the Hardwax crew, and remixes by both camps now doing the rounds, this amalgamation of sound is set for a very interesting future.

Check the following releases to hear what I'm talking about.

Appleblim and Peverelist - Circling // Skull Disko 008

2562 - Channel Two // Tectonic

Peverelist - Junktion // Tectonic

Appleblim has just mixed Vol 6 of Dubstep Allstars. Buy.
The new album 'Aerial' by 2562 is released on Tectonic on June 2nd. Buy. Check out the review at FACT
Buy Peverelist and listen to his remix of Pole here.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Radioactive Man Competition

The Langer reviewed Radioactive Man's latest album, Growl, way back in February and now I've had a chance to listen to it too, I'd have to agree with the glowing report he gave it. The official release was only a couple of weeks ago and as is customary with such things, Keith Tenniswood is about to embark on a live tour to promote it.

The launch party takes place at London's Fabric this Saturday where his performance will also incorporate live vocals from Dot Allison. So, for an extra special Bank Holiday treat we've not only got a pair of tickets to give away for this Saturday but also two copies of the album!

A couple of people told me that I made the last competition a little too hard so this time lets go for something ridiculously easy:

Q) Who is Keith Tenniswood's production partner in the Two Lone Swordsmen?

Send your answers to us as and please indicate whether you are entering for the tickets, the CD or both.

The winner for the tickets will be notified on Friday but we'll leave the album comp open a little longer and the notification for these will be next Tuesday.

Saturday's Fabric lineup also includes techno legends Dave Clarke and Sterac as well as a Kompakt-themed Room 1 - full details available here.

Growl can be purchased from all the usual places including here.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Are You Having a Laugh?

OK, so we all love quality music and many of us spend endless hours searching out cutting edge tracks or rare classics but do you ever wonder whether you're taking things a little too seriously and should perhaps lighten up a bit? If so, then today's post may come as a refreshing change as it focuses on a pair or artists that introduce a welcome dose of humour into the world of electronic music.

Basing their name on their original recording medium of choice, Cassetteboy have been knocking out snippets of cut and paste humour since the turn of the century with some side-splitting results. Their approach is to generally record sections of audio then rearrange it all to make a mockery of the subject matter in question. While this is perhaps nothing that hasn't been done by others, Cassetteboy manage to maintain consistently good results by keeping the jokes short and sweet and mixing the audio commentary up with musical interludes and full blown comedy songs.

Targets range from world leaders through TV personalities, fellow musicians, the general public plus just some stuff they've produced because it's damn funny.

The guys have got a new album, Carry on Breathing, out on Barry's Bootleg's next month and it's well worth the investment. Their dig at possibly one of the most annoying men on radio features below as does some of their earlier work; a clever splicing of the commetary from the bi-annual tedium of Big Brother and a surefire chat-up winner for all you male charmers out there.

The selections below provide but a mere glimpse of what an album has to offer with the latest one weighing in at around 100 tracks. Keep your eyes peeled for it hitting the shops and you can also catch the guys on tour soon including slots at Glastonbury and the Glade Festival.

Cassetteboy - Why Brother // Inside a Whale's Cock (2003)
Cassetteboy - Cassetteboy // Dead Horse (2005)
Cassetteboy - Chris Moyles // Carry on Breathing (2008)

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Illectro Works

Electronica duo 7 Hurtz make a welcome return to the fore with a new EP on the Process label. We'd like to take some of the credit for their return and subsequent naming of their new EP, "Illectronic #1". We await our royalty cheque with bated breath ;-)

The duo have been quiet since 2003 with their last release "Electroleum" on Trevor Jackson's now legendary defunct label Output Recordings. New track "Illectro" is yet more subtle and melodic Electro with spaced out synths riding high and soaring strings. The other two tracks "The 5 Voices of The Prophet" and "Snowblind" are more melancholic affairs reminiscent of Plaid and Black Dog Productions

The Illectronic #1 EP is out now on Process. Buy the tracks at Juno Download

7 Hurtz - Illectro // Process

I couldn't leave without sharing one of their classics. "Stokers Motor" was the track that got me into their sound and still sounds totally fresh and relevant today. The remix version here has extra vocal samples in the breakdown and wailing sirens to really lift it somewhere special. Classic.

7 Hurtz - Stokers Motor (Remix) // Output Recordings 2000

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Fine Beast

Promise of a Minilogue album has been brewing for a while now and after 3 years in the making it's finally dropped. What's perhaps more impressive than the actual delivery finally arriving is that unlike many such elongated projects this one's actually worth the wait! Furthermore it'll take you a fair while to fully absorb it as the CD version is spread over two discs. Disc one (and the vinyl version) contain the dancefloor cuts all of which are in techno / minimal groove and contain plenty of pops, clicks and jackin' rhythms to keep you nicely interested. Tracks are structured rather than just loop-based; a format which gets further room to grow in the fact that the CD version is a seamless journey from start to finish so tracks build nicely up and down again as they blend smoothly into one another.

Disc two continues to deliver on the consistently high quality but this time things are focused squarely on armchair raving as these are chilled out vibes, some of which are totally beatless. Additional discs of this nature often end sitting on the sidelines but after several listens of this one the beauty of the tracks is still growing rather than fading for me and this disc easily stands up as a quality long player in its own right.

So folks, in case you hadn't guessed, I'm rather smitten with this particular opus and am eagerly awaiting the restock of the vinyl version at my local record emporium!

I've posted a cut up from each of the discs below but these are only promo versions so come with a nice lady reminding you of this. You can pick up a proper copy of here.

Minilogue - Cow, Crickets And Clay (Promo Version)
//Animals LP (Cocoon Recordings)

Minilogue - Six Arms and One Leg (Promo Version) // Animals LP (Cocoon Recordings)

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

ill-ec-tro-nic @ Islington Academy

Next Friday, 9th May the ill-ec-tro-nic goes large with a night at Islington Academy. Promoted by Mark Solo, one of the residents at our monthly Cafe1001 night (next one next Thursday btw), a veritable smorgasbord of electronic delights will be on offer ranging from a DJ set from the chart-bothering Infadels through the one man live electro madness of Drums of Death to the tastiest techno grooves of our own Langer and Deep Down and Dirty's Simon Morel.

Tickets £4 advance / £5 on the door.

Hope to see you there!

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