Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RAW's 2008 Roundup

Love them or loathe them, end of year lists are something there's simply no escaping from and while such things are at best subjective they usually provide a few surprises, a little fun and a few new bits and pieces for the inquisitive to go and investigate. Unlike last year, I've actually managed to compile my best of's before the year's out and in doing so it's reminded me what a great year it was for electronic music...again! Langer's already done a tidy little summary of the year that was and as our taste's are fairly closely aligned I see little need to add anything further. As per my earlier comment, there's bound to be those of you wondering why some things rate so highly on these lists while other undeniably great tracks don't feature at all. Aside from the variance in people's taste's I simply put this down to the fact that there's just so much good music being produced that there's just not enough hours in the year to hunt down and listen to every last gem that's out there but as ever with these things if you think there's quality music that we've totally overlooked then we'd love you to set us straight so we can go and check it out for ourselves.

Tracks of 2008:
1. Bjork - Dull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor For the Girls Remix) // One Little Indian
2. Zomby - Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix) // Hyperdub
3. Redshape - Blood Into Dust // Styrax Leaves
4. Voltaic - Abyss // Point One Recordings
5. Jus Wan - Action Potential // Apple Pips
6. Darkstar - Squeeze My Lime //Hyperdub
7. Martyn - Vancouver // 3024
8. Jus Wan - The Crossing // Tube 10 Recordings
9. Substance - Relish (Shed Remix) // Scion Versions
10. Hud Mo - Ooops! // Wireblock
11. Likhan - Daoine Sidhe - 7Even Recordings
12. Ben Klock - October // BPitch Control
13. Minilogue - Cow Crickets & Clay // Cocoon
14. Jus Wan - Flashpoint // Tube 10 Recordings
15. Martyn - Suburbia // Apple Pips
16. Datashat - Stop The Message (Widescreen Edit) // Handsette
17. Blue Vitriol - Cryovolcano // Jahtari
18. TRG - Broken Heart (Martyn's DCM Remix) // Hessle Audio
19. Intrusion - Tswana Dub (Brendon Moeller's Beat Pharmacy Dub) // Intrusion
20. Darkstar - Need You //Hyperdub
21. Gowentgone - M.A.M. (Marcel Dettmann Remix) // Vidab
22. Simon Baker - U // Cocoon
23. MLZ - NewAnalogueCentury // Modern Love
24. Datassette - Damage Report // Ai Records
25. Minilogue - In A Distance // Cocoon
26. Shed - Estrange // Ostgut Ton
27. Shackleton - Death Is Not Final // Skull Disco
28. Skream - 2D // Tempa
29. T++ - Audio 1985#8_2 // Apple Pips
30. Emptyset - Endoxa // Caravan
31. Kode9 vs. Ld - Bad // Hyperdub
32. Pangea - You & I // Hessle Audio
33. Thom Yorke - Skip Divided (Modeselektor Remix) //XL
34. Rootah - Holy Mount // Jahtari
35. DJ Mujava - Township Funk // Warp / This is Music
36. Scuba - Ruptured (Surgeon Remix) // Hotflush
37. Dave Aju - Crazy Place (Luciano Ā«LikuidĀ» Remix) // Circus Company
38. Scuba - From Within (Marcel Dettmann Remix) // Hotflush
39. Nanorhythm - Third Day // Soliton Research
40. Nanorhythm - Sith Lullaby // Soliton Research

Albums of 2008:
1. Minilogue - Animals // Cocoon
2. Datassette - Datassette // Ai Records
3. Andy Stott - Unknown Exception // Modern Love
4. Scuba - A Mutual Antipathy // Hotflush
5. Radioactive Man - Growl // Control Tower
6. Shed - Shedding The Past // Ostgut Ton
7. Anders Ilar - Sworn // Level Records
8. Headhunter - Nomad // Tempa
9. Distance - Repercussions // Planet Mu
10. Third Man - Clarion Call // Ai Records
11. Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits // Planet Mu
12. Claro Intelecto - Metanarrative // Modern Love
13. Aether - Artifacts // Exponential Records
14. Ital Tek - Cyclical // Planet Mu
15. 2562 - Aerial // Tectonic
16. Hot Chip - Made In the Dark // EMI
17. Housemeister - Who Is That Noize // All You Can Beat
18. B12 - Last Days of Bilence // B12
19. Extrawelt - Schoene Neue // Cocoon
20. Michna - Magic Monday // Ghostly International

Mixes / Compilations of 2008:
1. Robert Hood - Deep Concentration: The Grey Area Mix // M-Plant
2. Fuse Presents - Deetron // Music Man
3. Marcel Dettmann - Berghain 02 // Ostgut Ton
4. Jahtarian Dubbers Vol 1 // Jahtari
5. Sampler Zero Eight // Ai Records
6. Appleblim - Dubstep Allstars: Vol. 06 // Tempa
7. Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated by Vandals // Skull Disco
8. Ame - Fabric 42 // Fabric
9. Greg Wilson's 2020 Vision // 2020 Vision
10. Andrew Weatherall vs The Boardroom // Rotters Golf Club

Artists of 2008:
1. Martyn
2. Rustie
3. Marcel Dettmann
4. Datassette / Datashat
5. MLZ

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The Hot List 2008

Its been an interesting year for electronic music, it can be argued that the established sounds have waned in favour of new emerging styles. If some authors are to be believed 2008 sounded the death knell for Minimal Techno. Certainly this year Minimal has been lacking in inspiration and ideas. However Techno will survive and reinvent itself as it has done countless times over the last 20 years. 2007 was the year when Dubstep finally broke through into the world's consciousness, but by 2008 it was in danger of becoming just as formulaic as Minimal with the endless stream of 'Wobble' basslines getting heavier and more aggressive.

However it was the convergence of Dubstep and Techno which has given 2008 its most exciting sound. DJs such as Appleblim have pioneered the Dubstep/Dub Techno sound and producers from Leeds to Rotterdam via Berlin and Bucharest have produced new hybrids which will take the genre to new levels. Dutch producer Martyn has easily captured my 'Producer of the Year' award because of his innovative melding of the metallic shards of Basic Channel with 2 Step rhythms in his own productions and remixes that makes up no less than 4 tracks out of my current top 20 biggest records of 2008

This new hybrid however has still has yet to have a catchy name, my effort back in May, 'Dubtec' has still to catch on but I live in hope. My 'Hot 40' this year reflects my current love of this new sound and proves that after 18 years of listening to Electronic music it can still inspire me and surprise at the same time.

The 'Hot 40' Tracks of 2008

01. TRG - Broken Heart (Martyn's DCM Remix) // Hessle Audio
02. Martyn - Suburbia // Applepips
03. Appleblim & Peverelist - Circling // Skull Disco
04. Peverelist - Junktion // Tectonic
05. Zomby - Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix) // Hyperdub
06. Martyn - Vancouver // 3062
07. Simon Baker - Plastik (Todd Terje's Turkatech Mix) // Playhouse
08. Audion - Billy Says Go // Spectral Sound
09. Bjork - Dull Flame Of Desire (Modeselekor's Remix For Girls) // White
10. 2562 - Channel Two // Tectonic
11. 2562 - Techno Dread // Tectonic
12. Pangaea - Router // Hessle Audio
13. Flying Lotus - RobertaFlack (Martyn's Heart Beat Remix) // Warp
14. The Village Orchestra - Afanc (2562 Remix) // Stuff Records Promo
15. Hercules & Love Affair - Blind (Hercules Club Mix) // DFA
16. Simon Baker - U // Cocoon
17. Henrik Schwarz, Ame, Dixon - D.O.P.M.B. (Version 1) // Innervisions
18. Mujava - Township Funk (Ashley Beedle's Africanz on Marz Re-Edit) // This Is Music
19. Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes (XXXChange Remix) // Lizard King
20. M.I.A - Paper Planes // XL Recordings
21. The Long Blondes - Guilt (Pantha Du Prince Remix) // Rough Trade
22. MLZ - M-Brane // Modern Love (Released Dec 2007)
23. Basic Soul Unit - Tunnels (Sebo K & Metro Remix) // Mule Music (Released Dec 2007)
24. Jesse Somfey - Fricative White (From a Whisper to a Scream) // Archipel
25. Substance - Relish (Shed Remix) // Scion Versions
26. Syclops - Where's Jason's K // DFA
27. Skream - 2D // Tempa
28. Shackleton feat Vengence Tenfold - Death Is Not Final // Skull Disco
29. Jus Wan - Action Potential // Applepips
30. Scuba - Ruptured (Surgeon Remix) // Hot Flush
31. Scuba - Twitch (Jamie Vex'd Remix) // Hot Flush
32. Shed - Estrange // Ostgut Ton
33. Rustie - Zig Zag // Wireblock
34. Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You (Pocketknife's Considerate Eagle Scout Remix) // Flagrant Fowl
35. Beck - Gamma Ray // XL Recordings
36. Del Shannon - Gemini (Pilooski Edit) // Dirty Recordings
37. Datashat - Stop The Message (Widescreen Edit) // Handsette Recordings
38. Le Sarge En Board - Through The Robot Chicken Shed // Rotters Golf Club
39. King Midas Sound - One Ting (Dabyre Remix) // Hyperdub
40. Tiga - Mind Dimension 2 // Different


Hot Albums of 2008

Santogold - Santogold // Lizard King/Atlantic
Hot Chip - Made In The Dark // EMI
2562 - Aerial // Tectonic
Shed - Shedding The Past // Ostgut Ton
Scuba - A Mutual Antipathy // Hotflush
Headhunter - Nomad // Tempa

Hot Compilations / Mixes

Dubstep Allstars Vol 6 - Mixed By Appleblim // Tempa
Pocketknife & Cousin Cole - Tambourine Dream (Unmixed) // Flagrant Fowl
Skull Disco - Soundboy's Grave Gets Desecrated By Vandals // Skull Disco
Andrew Weatherall Vs The Boardroom // Rotters Golf Club
Fuse Presents Deetron // Music Man
Luciano - Fabric 41 // Fabric

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Have A Psychedelic Christmas



Wishing everyone a very Psychedelic Christmas from the ill-ec-tro-nic.

Peace.

Rotary Connection - Silent Night Chant
// From the Album 'Peace' 1968

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Texan Melodies

Exponential Records is an independent label based out of Texas and since it's foundation in 2002 it's been putting out a steady stream of tasty electronica by a variety of largely Hispanic artists.

The label was co-founded by Ernest Gonzales and this year saw him re-release his 2004 album Lullaby. Originally put out on CD under the alias Theory of Everything, Lullaby was inspired by the news that Ernest was to become a father and upon describing the thought process behind the project, Ernest explains "I wanted to make music for my baby to fall asleep to...my original idea was to create peaceful sleep inducing music and what came out is very dreamlike and electronic." The 2008 version is a digital-only re-release and features six of the seven original tracks plus a new one from Ernest and remixes by some of his friends. The new versions are in line with the mellow sounds of the original compositions and I'm sure the gentle melodies of both the old and new cuts are still helping to soothe his daughter to sleep and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Ernest Gonzales - Run Jump Seek (Zoon van snooK Remix)

In it's thirteen release history, Exponential has put out two compilations and we featured the excellent Wait til the Ice Melts back in April this year. Aether's Forgive Me was included in the post but this time around he gets an even bigger share of the limelight as its his debut LP, Artifacts, we're talking about. Having already been picked out on iTunes weekly indie spotlight, we clearly aren't the first people to notice the strength of this release and if melodic hip hop / electronica is your bag then you're gonna be in for a treat! Aether, real name Diego Chavez, has a whole host of other musical aliases and by all accounts he's rather busy on the production front so if he keeps knocking out quality work like this, this young man is definitely going to be one to keep an eye on.

Aether - Autumn Pisces

Exponential releases can be bought from iTunes as well as direct from the label itself.

The label also offers a whole host of tracks for free download.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sneaking In There

I have just come across two albums which have managed to sneak their way into my consciousness just before the inevitable end of year roundups. Albums from both Shed and Scuba had escaped my ears earlier in the year but I'm very glad I've caught up with them now.

I became aware of Shed after the excellent remix he did of Substance's 'Relish' back in July, but didn't do any more digging for his other releases. Thankfully Boomkat pointed me in the right direction placing 'Estrange' as one of their tracks of the year. Upon hearing this gem I then sought out the excellent album 'Shedding The Past' which was released back in September on Berlin label Ostgut Tontrager, which when translated bizarrely means 'Ostrogoths Sound Carrier'!!? Despite the Ostrogoths being a tribe of East Germanic Goths from the Roman Empire days, this is an album of dub infused Techno and Electronica. 'Estrange' is the highlight for me with its mournful synths and future steppa drum patterns.

Shed - Estrange // Ostgut Tontrager Buy

Substance are one of the artists contributing a mixes for a series of remix 12"s of 'A Mutual Antipathy' the excellent album by Scuba released back in April of this year. Other artists brought in to mix selected tracks are Dutch Dubstep wonderkind Martyn and Berlin's Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann

Substance bring's his usual deep Berlin Dub Techno style to proceedings but it is the two mixes by Jamie Vex'd and Surgeon which are the undesputed highlights for me. Vex'd goes so far leftfield on his mix of 'Twitch' that that he his positively off the chart, combining big sub bass with wonky synth work and stuttering beats, reminding me of Jackson and His Computer Band's best glitchy work. Essential. Buy

Surgeon's effort bridges the Techno/Dubstep divide like no other track I've heard. It has the pumelling beats of his best Techno work, but has the undeniable swing of great 2 Step and Dubstep. The 'Is it Techno or Dubstep?' lines have become really blurred on this one. Superb.

Scuba - Ruptured (Surgeon Remix) // Hotflush Buy

LINKS NOW FIXED

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