Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009: A Year In Music

The final year of the Noughties has once again provided us with a plethora of fine releases which have blurred the boundaries of genres and thrown up more surprises than we ever thought possible. Its been nearly 25 years since the first House records and the electronic music scene is in ruder health than ever and shows no signs of abating.

Once again for me the Dubstep/Techno crossover has provided the most interesting releases and still commentators cannot agree on a suitable name for this genre. 2009 has also seen the re-emergence of 2-step and UK Garage influences being thrown into the mixing pot which has now created a sound which is part Bassline/8-bit/2-step/House. The name of this all encompassing new genre? UK Funky...... Hmm your guess is as good as mine.

The Techno scene, as well as embracing 2-step rhythms has shunned the minimal aesthetics of the mid Noughties and returned to its mid Nineties hard Techno roots evidenced on sounds coming out of the Berlin Berghain scene and British producers on labels such as Blueprint and Sandwell District going back to their Nineties origins. It's said you must look back to go forwards but I feel a certain sense of Déjà vu and for me it just feels like rehashing the past.

However as we come to the dawn of a new decade, one can look to the future with a certain degree of optimism because as though the Noughties changed the way in which we consume music forever, one thing always remains and that is the music itself.

Langer's Top 40 Tracks of 2009

01 Mount Kimbie - Maybes // Hotflush Recordings

With its Bladerunner atmospherics, Plink Plonk percussion and chopped vocal and melodic structure, no other record even sounded remotely similar to this in 2009.

02 Burial & Four Tet - Moth // Text Records

Four Tet with a melancholic riff that never lets up + Burial's woodblock percussion and atmospherics equals a record that certainly lived up to the hype.

03 Moderat - Rusty Nails // BPitch Control

Mournful vocals courtesy of Apparat and soaring synth work from Modeselektor

04 Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo // Hotflush Recordings

The biggest crossover record of the year and deservedly so. So uplifting it hurts.

05 Intrusion - Little Angel Feat Paul St Hilaire // Echospace [Detroit]

Dub Techno's finest moment this year pushed its way to the top because of an irresistible vocal from Paul St Hilaire.

06 Animal Collective - My Girls // Domino

Channeling Frankie Knuckles through lyrics about housing with Adobe Slats seemed the most unlikely combination you could possibly imagine. What resulted was pure uplifting, life-affirming pop.

07 The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea // XL Recordings

An 8 minute Krautrock epic from the Goth Mods which came out of nowhere and blew everyone away.

08 Scuba - Klinik // Hotflush Recordings

All Scuba's recordings this year have been faultless. My producer of the Year.

09 Moderat - Nr. 22 // BPitch Control

Pure Dubtec brilliance again from Moderat. From my album of the year.

10 Levon Vincent - Late Night Jam // Ostgut

One of the Techno riffs of the year comes in after 3 minutes of this epic.

11 Claro Intelecto - Chadderton // Modern Love
12 Cobblestone Jazz - Traffic Jam // Wagon Repair
13 Pangaea - Memories // Unknown
14 Florence and the Machine - You Got The Love (XX Remix) // Universal Island
15 Scuba - Speak/Negative // Naked Lunch
16 Wax / Shed - Dub Shed (STP Remix) // Subsolo
17 Joy Orbison - Brkln Clln // Doldrums
18 A Made Up Sound - Rework // A Made Up Sound
19 Gold Panda - Mayuri // Various Productions
20 Bill Withers - Who Is He (Henrik Schwarz Edit) // White

21 Sideshow - If Alone Feat. Paul St Hilaire (Chateau Flight / Appleblim Mixes) // Aus Music
22 Boris - Buzz In (Optimo (Espacio) Mix) // Scion Audio Visual
23 Millie & Andrea - Temper Tantrum // Modern Love
24 The Streets - Blinded By The Lights (Nero Remix) // 679
25 Joker - Digi Design // Hyperdub
26 Kode 9 - Black Sun // Hyperdub
27 Gravious - Futurist EP // Highpoint Lowlife
28 Likhan - Redlight // 7even
29 2562 - Embrace // 3024
30 Martyn - Hear Me // 3024
31 Hector & Bryant - Tension (Original Mix) // Phonica
32 Andy Stott - Night Jewel // Modern Love
33 TVO - Afanc (2562 Remix) // Stuffrecords
34 Instra:mental - Watching You // Nonplus Records
35 Headhunter - Prototype (Modeselektor's Broken Handbrake Remix) // Tempa
36 Ghosts On Tape - Predator Mode (Roska Remix) // Wireblock
37 Darktown Strutters - Lucifer Rising // Unknown
38 Vitalic - Flashmob // PIAS Recordings
39 Ratatat - Mirando (Animal Collective Remix) // XL Recordings
40 La Roux - In For The Kill (Skream's Lets Get Ravey Mix) // Polydor

Langer - Best of 2009 Mix 60 mins

Albums of 2009

01 Moderat - Moderat // BPitch Congtrol
02 Martyn - Great Lengths // 3024
03 Animal Collective - Meriweather Post Pavillion // Domino
04 The Horrors - Primary Colours // XL Recordings
05 Atlas Sound - Logos // 4AD
06 Deerhunter - Rainwater Cassette Exchange // 4AD
07 Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport // ATP
08 Falty DL - Love Is A Liability // Planet Mu
09 Intrusion - The Seduction of Silence // Echospace [Detroit]
10 Point B - Suicide Beauty Spot // Combat Recordings
11 Echaskech - Shatterproof // Just Music
12 Gold Panda - Before // Unknown

Labels: , , , ,

Xmas Gold

What with it being Christmas Eve & all, blog posts aren't really that high on my current list of priorities but I've got just about enough time to squeeze this one in.

It comes with a festive theme and as I'm sure you're all starting to tire of the same old Christmas classics I thought I'd share a quirky synth-based version of an old favourite that we were sent.

LJ Kruzer - We Three Kings

If this whets your appetite for more, LJ's Christmas carols EP (long since sold out on CD) is still available for download here.

Have a great Christmas.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Orchestral Delights

Another slightly overdue post, this time featuring two heavyweight releases from the rather prolific TVO.

First up is his 'Rooks' 12" for Stuff, a two-tracker featuring a fresh mix of Afanc plus a new track Dots & Hashes. The original version of Afanc featured on the limited CDR given away with early copies of the Dark is Rising EP, although it's probably the 2562 remix on the aforementioned 12" that's the best known version to date. It's TVO on the remix duty this time round and he takes the track back to it's original techno structure but ups the pace a bit and delivers a constantly evolving version that sounds, in parts, not dissimilar to Aril Brikha's early works but finsihes in glitchy cinematic soundscape territory. Dots and Hashes is another constantly shifting affair but this time the haunting melodies and broken percussion kick off the proceedings before the track morphs into a full blown 4/4 workout around the halfway mark, throwing more ideas into a single track than the average minimalist manages in a whole EP and delivering a barrage of low-end party fun.

Copies of Rooks are still available here.

Moving onto 'The Starry Wisdom' on Highpoint Lowlife, opening track Akio Cut With Saffron carries on perfectly from where Dots & Hashes left off with another helping of old-school bass but this time underpinned by hypnotic percussion and a dark, Detroit-tinged undercurrent. Where Rooks had a broadly techno feel, Starry Wisdom leans more into electro and electronica territory although as ever with TVO's work he tends not to get stuck into any one particular camp for too long, so it's no surprise that so many influences are on display here. 'Akio' is probably my favourite track but the booty bass fun of Non-euclidian is also a particularly strong offering as is The king in Yellow. All in all, this is a very solid package and Highpoint's decision to put this out on vinyl after following a 'digital only' path for a while pays testament to the quality of the goods on offer here.

TVO - Non-euclidian // Highpoint Lowlife - buy vinyl or mp3

Before I go, one final thing to mention is TVO's recent mix for Fact magazine. Sure, I'm going to be a little enthusiastic about this one as it happens to feature one of my own productions, but putting that aside, this is a seriously killer mix, taking in all manner of electronic delights and exhibiting the vast influences and creativity that can be heard in Ruaridh's own work but also showing that he can cut it with the best of them behind the DJ booth too. Check it out here.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?