Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dude, Where's My Sleeve?

As every music enthusiast knows, the ability to quickly locate a given track within their collection is almost as important as having the record there in the first place. Artwork is without doubt one of the best ways of making such a task possible and even with a (well ordered) large vinyl collection, it's easy to pick out specific releases based on spine markings. However, over the past year or so, I seem to be picking up an increasing number of records that are sold in nothing more than the flimsy paper inner and to make matters worse, many of these releases bear little more than a rubber stamped label logo rather than the usual artist and track name details.

Many of these records seem to be coming out of Berlin and are frequently associated with the Hardwax and Berghain crews e.g. MDR and Equalized although another Berlin label that really surprises me with it's lack of proper packaging is Styrax Leaves as this seems totally at odds with the care and attention that clearly goes into their artwork (not to mention the music itself).

Sandwell District is another label that's (sometimes) guilty of this too and in terms of the ueber-anonymous protagonists, Seldom Felt has clearly decided that the UK can hold it's weight against the mainland Europeans by sharing little more than catalogue numbers and a brief statement around the label's ideology.

OK, that's my moan over and in reality this is little more than a minor annoyance which can easily be resolved by picking up some sleeves from a local independent store. All that really matters is the quality of the music contained in the grooves and this is without doubt where all the labels mentioned here are right on top of their game and what keeps me going back for more of these little beauties.

Berghain-related material has been getting a lot of column inches of late and the residents seem to be gravitating towards iconic status so I figured on sharing two tracks that are worthy of similar praise although you'll have to make your own guesses about who's behind the Seldom Felt one.

Silent Servant & Kalon - Violencia
// Sandwell District buy
Unknown Artist - Seldom Felt 4 (A) // Seldom Felt buy

The final part of today's post goes out to a mix that I got sent a few weeks back which takes a whole bunch of this sort of stripped down techno that I'm so fond of and splices it all together to deliver 60 minutes of warehouse style goodness. It's from a little-known known DJ called Benjamin Anon and if you like what you hear, why not pop over to his Myspace and say hi.

Benjamin Anon - State of the Art


Sleeparchive - Radio [ZZZ]
Dasha Rush - Ionik (For Me Mix) [Fullpanda Records]
JPLS - Synthesis (Wax Edit) [Minus]
JPLS - Quasarlude [Minus]
Brian Aneurysm - Certify (Remix) [Ironbox]
Samuli Kemppi - Vangel [Ostgut Ton]
Function - Burn [Sandwell District]
Marcel Dettmann - Corebox [Marcel Dettmann Records]
Robert Hood - Side Effect [Music Man Records]
Len Faki - My Black Sheep (Marcel Dettmann Mix) [Figure]
Jonas Kopp - Ruido De Junio [Weave Music]
Plaid - OI [Warp Records]
Kalon - Man Is The Superior Animal [Sandwell District]
Gowentgone Remixes - ibex (Marcel Fengler Remix) [Vidab]
Regis & Female - CChaos [Dust Science]

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Original Detroit Shit

When I received a promo copy of the new Omar-S Fabric mix I could hardly wait to slap it on the stereo. Omar-S' reputation has been steadily building over the years with consistently solid releases on his own FXHE Records. Having previously only heard a few releases, including the stunning 'Grandson of Detroit Techno' and 'Psychotic Photosynthesis' from 2007, It was a treat to get a mix that was purely made up of his own tracks, a kind of retrospective mix of his work including exclusive re-edits of tracks plus a few unreleased gems as well.

The mix flows beautifully and Omar's music is quality throughout, taking inspirations from Carl Craig and Theo Parrish's productions to create House sounds which are uniquely Detroit.

The Fabric Mix is out now Buy

One track which is not included in this mix is the aforementioned 'Grandson of Detroit Techno' so I thought I'd share it with you now.

Omar-S - Grandson of Detroit Techno // FXHE Records Buy

Also Omar-S has produced another exclusive 30 minute mix comprised solely of Scott Grooves tracks in preparation of his appearance at Fabric tonight.

Omar-S - Scott Groove Mix


1.Scott Grooves – Over You (Soiree/BMI)
2.Scott Grooves – The Journey (From The Studio Of Scott Grooves)
3.Scott Grooves – Old School (Unreleased)
4.Scott Grooves – Dark Blu (Natural Midi)
5.Scott Grooves – Over you (Unreleased)

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Further Variations

As their name suggests, Various Production have long since established itself themselves as an act whose musical output is not going to be easily pigeonholed and with past efforts including everything from folktronica to dubstep, each new release brings with it the anticipation of whether it's going to better their previous high points and which direction they're going in this time round.

Various' Trycycle EP is due out on March 23rd on their own eponymously titled label and sees the duo keeping their trademark heavy beats but on 'B Side' in particular, taking on board influences from the wonky / aquacrunk sound that's been gathering momentum over the past year or so. As is often the case, Ramp sees Various bring a vocalist on board and this time the honours go to V.E.X. who spits out his urban rhymes to the accompaniment of sparse percussion and playful synths. Last up is the title cut which is a rather loopy instrumental outing and while pleasant enough, it brings less to the table than 'B Side' which for me is the real gem in this package.

Various Production - Trycycle // Various Production (Vars022)

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Poker Flat Competition

This Saturday sees Steve Bug and his Poker Flat crew heading to London for a right old cockney knees up to celebrate the label's 10th anniversary.

Joining him round the Old Joanna will be Martin Landsky and D'Julz and their chosen venue of choice will be Fabric.

To help celebrate this prestigious occasion, we have some birthday treats to give away in the form of a pair of tickets for the night plus a Poker Flat 10th anniversary t-shirt and a pack of Poker Flat 10th anniversary playing cards.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is e-mail us at AT and tell us the the artist and title of the first Poker Flat release.

The competition is open to everyone and if you want the full package you're most welcome to it (assuming you win of course) but please let us know if you're not able to attend the club night and are only entering for the merchandise as we can split the booty if needed.

The winner(s) will picked at random and notified on Friday.

Full details of Saturday night's lineup can be found here.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

"The only German word I know is Scheise"

Not relating to myself as I actually studied and lived in Germany for a while but these are the opening words uttered by Kovas on CLP's Dip Shorty.

The track is from their Supercontinental album that I posted about back in January but tomorrow sees the release of the 12". It's a double A side release also featuring the other Kovas cut from the LP Homecourt. Both tracks appear in their original guises and the EP also contains remixes from Housemeister plus CLP themselves.

The digital only package also features another pair of remixes including this rather excellent offering from Unsportsmanlike which turns the original electro crunk outing into a filthy, orchestral rave monster reminiscent of Modeselektor's work - nice!

CLP - Dip Shorty (Unsportsmanlike Remix) // Shitkatapult

CLP also sent us a mix and at just shy of 90 minutes with 30 tracks along the way it's a fast-paced journey packed full of jump up party tunes.

CLP - Factory Fresh Mix

You can check out the tracklist here.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

More Future Dubs

I've been busy purchasing some brand new Dub Techno and Future Dubstep releases of late and there seems no let up in the quality of new material that is springing up out of these merging scenes. It really is a fertile time for the 'Dubtec' genre at the moment with superb releases from the likes of Scuba, STP (Shed) and T++ all gracing my stereo of late.

For this post I'm going to focus on 4 releases that have really hit it big with me.

Intrusion is one of the many aliases for Stephen Hitchell who co-runs the Echospace label out of Detroit which is the American home of all things Dub Techno. 'The Seduction of Silence' is the new album and as you'd expect it is full of classic Basic Channel inspired Dub excursions. 'Little Angel' featuring the unstoppable Paul St Hilaire is the highlight for me.

Intrusion - Little Angel feat Paul St Hilaire // Echospace [Detroit]
The CD is a strictly limited edition of 300 copies but you can buy the high quality MP3s at Beatport

Next we move into more familiar Dubstep territory and some tracks which you may have heard a lot of lately, Bad/2 Bad by Kode 9 Vs LD. This release has been getting lots of attention recently and showcases Kode 9's newer influences from the crossover Techno sound on 'Bad' and also the 'Funky' sound currently sweeping the British underground. (2 Bad)

Kode 9 Vs LD - Bad // Hyperdub Buy

Martyn was one of a handful of producers that really broke through last year and his new album released this month has many people salivating with anticipation. Martyn's metallic synth sound is very distinctive, so I was quite surprised when I heard this next track. I initially thought 'The Untitled Dub' by F could be one of his productions. However 'F' is the rather minimal moniker of one F. Aupetit, who releases material through the French label 7even

The Martyn comparisons aside, this is a seriously good slice of Techno Dubstep.

F - The Untitled Dub // 7even Recordings Buy

7even were featured on Mary Anne Hobbs' Radio 1 experimental show on Jan 13th. You can download a 30 min mix of fresh upfront 7even releases through their myspace

And saving the best til last we have a seriously good remix package that has just been released on Aus Music. 'If Alone' feat Paul St Hilaire (yes him again) by Sideshow has been given the remix treatment from Chateau Flight plus Appleblim and Komonazmuk. The very chilled out original has been transformed into a beautiful dubbed out slice of Tech House on the Chateau Flight mix but it is the Appleblim and Komonasmuk remix which is gathering much attention as they have transformed it into a straight up 140 bpm Techno track complete deep subs and a breakdown of Balearic style guitars lifted from the original.

However it is after the second breakdown about 5 mins in that this track really takes off when in comes the classic 2 step 'swing' of stuttering beats along with the metallic Techno shards, elevating this track to instant future classic status. Essential.

Sideshow - If Alone feat Paul St Hilaire (Appleblim and Komonazmuk Remix) // Aus Music Buy

One other special mention goes out to the new release from Scuba. 'Tense' is a brilliant slice of future Dubstep and follows on very nicely from the remix packages that were released at the end of last year. Scuba has done an exclusive hour long podcast for XLR8R magazine, where you can capture glimpses of his own productions plus Techno and future dub. It is one of the best mixes out there to showcase this sound.

Scuba - XLR8R Podcast

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