Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dancefloor Delights

More goodness from the Stroboscopic Artefacts camp to kick things off for today. This time it's from the label's digital only arm and their beta sampler. The release showcases a more diverse output than the tracks I've heard on the label's vinyl offerings and rather than watering down the label's techno focus it simply pushes their agenda into house, minimal, dub techno and even dubstep territories. Each of the four cuts on offer comes from a different producer and is of a high standard but for me it's the dark steppa's filth of Perc's 'Wooden Art' that steals the show here with an uncompromising excursion into tough, rigid percussion and dark, haunting FX although Frank Martiniq is another worthy contender for top billing with his enchanting dub techno epic 'My Visor'.

We've been asked not to post full tracks for this one but here's a couple of samples from our favourite cuts on the EP.

Perc - Wooden Art (Sample)
// Stroboscopic Artefacts
Frank Martiniq - My Visor (Sample) // Stroboscopic Artefacts

You can pick up a copy of the sampler here.

Next up today comes something that will need little introduction for anyone who's been into techno for any length of time or knows of its history. Plus 8 Records was founded in 1990 by Richie Hawtin and John Aquaviva and is without doubt one of the most important techno labels of its time. As well as putting out a plethora of releases involving Aquaviva and Hawtin across a variety of aliases, it was also home to a lot of Speedy J's work throughout the 90s as well as other great releases from the likes of Dan Bell, Kenny Larkin and Vapourspace to name but a few.

To celebrate the label's 20th birthday it released a special remix package at the end of last year where modern day stars were invited to remix the label's back catalogue. Across 22 tracks, the artists list reads like a who's who of techno's history both past and present and the track selections on offer provide some interesting takes on the classic originals. Taking such a revered body of work and trying to improve on it is always going to be a challenging task and certainly where the compilation succeeds is in adjusting the original tempos and sounds to fit modern day dancefloors. While the overall package is a solid enough offering, it lacks any real killer moments though and in my mind at least it's beauty stems largely from the remnants of source material that bring a lump to the throat as the they cause memories to be unlocked. Definitely worth checking though.

Teste - The Wipe (Rex Sepulveda Remix) // Plus 8

Plus 8 - The Remixes is available from the usual digital outlets including Zero".

One thing that's changed a lot in 25 years of dance music is the way records sound these days. When done properly, modern day production techniques certainly make your ears prick up even if these same techniques are often derided for replacing the raw soul and passion associated with records from yesteryear. While not particularly being of a tempo or beat structure that I usually lean to, there's something about Tim Xavier and Camea's Velvet on Canvas release that really does it for me. I think it's the overall production style that I like; the way that everything is so warm and full sounding and where the groove just carries you - I can't quite put my finger on it but I know that I like it.

EDIT: Track Removed by Request

Pick up a copy at Juno.

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