Monday, January 16, 2012

Better Late Than Never

OK, so the fact that we officially closed this blog in 2010 serves as some excuse for not dropping by here to give an update on things sooner but this post is a little overdue so as I'm here now, I'll cover off a couple of bits at once.

As mentioned previously, my main musical focus after quitting blogging was always intended to be making music of my own and last year finally saw the official release of some my music - hoorah! My debut EP, Beyond The Green Wall, came out as a digital release on Broken20 at the end of November and is available to buy via Boomkat and direct from the label. The EP contains two tracks from me plus two remixes from Broken20 label boss TVO and another from Spatial. It picked up nice reviews from Boomkat, who also put it on their 'recommendations list, and Bleep 43. Getting such nice comments from both of these camps made me really happy as I hold both organisations in high regard and have long used their views as a staring point for hunting out music to buy myself.

The EP proper also came with a great little bonus release; four additional remixes - one from me plus fellow Broken20 label mates Erstlaub, Production Unit and Kwaidan. The companion release is FREE and you can pick up a copy here.

So that's the main news from me on my Nanorhythm front - I started a new Nanorhythm blog over on wordpress so you can keep up with my production adventures there.

As it's the start of the year, I figured on also throwing my hat into the ring for a 'best of 2011' roundup. Characteristically, I'm somewhat late off the mark with this as people seem to be putting lists up earlier each year - some even starting as early as November which seems rather strange to me but there you have it.

For various reasons, I didn't really buy that many 12s last year but the pick of my rather limited crop was: a smattering of Sandwell District EPs, the awesome Black Dog 'Liber Chaos' remix package, the first part of the Drexciya reissues on clone, a couple of nice things Burial was involved with ('Street Halo' and the collaboration with Four Tet & Thom Yorke), Tropic of Cancer's 'The Sorrow of Two Blooms' plus a great Digital Mystikz remix of Lee Scratch Perry's 'Like The Way You Should'.

Album-wise my favourite was probably Zomby's 'Dedication' - it has loads of great moments that really do it for me although it's definitely something to be listened to in its original context as many of the tracks are ridiculously short and the album feels like a mix in parts with tracks effortlessly flowing between one another. On the dancefloor front, Byteone's 'Symeta', Omar S' 'It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It' plus Sandwell District's 'Feed Forward' (which actually came out very late in 2010) were all brilliant. Lucy's Wordplay For Working Bees' has some great moments and save for the guitar intro (sorry boss) I really like TVO's 'Amid the Blaze of Noon'. Kangding Ray's 'OR' is a sonic delight and finally Tropic of Cancer's 'The End Of All Things' is also very enjoyable, albeit that it doesn't really have any particular standout moment for me, unlike the awesome 'A Colour' from their Blackest Ever Black single that I mentioned earlier.

Anyhow, that's my brief roundup - no links I'm afraid as getting bogged down with such tedious admin was one of the reasons why we got bored of this blog in the first place. If you're interested enough, a quick google will soon help you track the releases down.

Bye for now and I'll hopefully be back later in the year with some more Nanorhythm news. Until then you can always drop by Cafe1001 on the second Thursday of each month to catch Langer, myself and a bunch of our mates dropping some of our favourite tunes as per the flyer Langer posted up previously.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Cafe 1001 Residency

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nanorhythm Podcast

Another installment in my irregular updates and it's good news on the Nanorhythm front again.
This time, my alter ego has taken to the decks and knocked out a mix / podcast for his new home, Broken20.

Clocking in at around 70 minutes, Bunker Funk dishes up a helping of stripped down warehouse-friendly techno, featuring cuts from some of my favourite dancefloor-focused producers and a cheeky little number, hot from my own basement studio.

Head on over to Broken 20 to check it out for yourself.

1. Nanorhythm - Micron [unreleased]
2. Marco Fuerstenberg - BBT (edit) [a.r.t.less]
3. Unknown Artist - FB06 - B [frozen border]
4. EQD - EQD004 - A [equalized]
5. Kevin Gorman - Shakey Metallic Beats [mikrowave]
6. Pattern Repeat - Ofetriade (Ben Klock Remix) [echocord colour]
7. Martyn - Seventy Four (Redshape Remix) [3024]
8. Redshape - Blood Into Dust [styrax leaves]
9. Conforce - Stop Hold [meanwhile]
10. N/A - Variance (Function Edit) [sandwell district]
11. O/V/R - Interior [blueprint]
12. Robert Hood - Museum [m-plant]
13. James Ruskin - Graphic [ostgut ton]
14. Mark Broom & James Ruskin - Hostage [blueprint]
15. Silent Servant - Untitled (Regis Edit) [sandwell district]

Things are shaping up nicely on the release front too, with my debut EP, 'Beyond the Green Wall', scheduled to drop around June / July time, featuring two cuts of my own plus remixes from TVO and Spatial. You can check out Spatial's remix as the opener on his recent mix for Hyponik. Keep your eyes on the wider Broken20 schedule too as there's some killer releases on the way in the shape of superb dubby techno from Isodyne (Forward Strategy Group) and utterly immersive ambient drone from Erstlaub which is about to drop and available at a ludicrously cheap price from Boomkat.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Broken Memories

Hello again!

OK, so three months on from our 'final' post, things have been going pretty much as planned on the musical front with me having actually finished some new tracks and got round to sending some demos out. The vinyl release that I'm hankering after still eludes me but my release debut is looking ever more likely on the Broken20 digital imprint I mentioned previously.

You'll have to wait a little while until you can spend your hard-earned on some Nanorhythm product (I'm currently pencilled in for Broken20 release #4) but today sees the the first release on Broken 20 hit the shops so I figured it was worth me dusting off my blogging hat for the occasion.

Release number one comes from label boss The Village Orchestra / TVO and despite the quality of the goods on offer, I'll avoid a lengthy dissection and upbeat appraisal of the content as it would be hard for me to write a fully balanced review when I clearly have a vested interest in the label doing well so I'll resort to my tried and trusted method of getting the message across by providing some sound files instead - check it out here.

The label pivots around a concept rather than a specific sound or genre with the focus being on music "concerned with decay, erosion, entropy, mistakes and errors, line noise and tape hiss, hum and buzz." The five tracks on offer for the inaugural release help to showcase the way in which the label's aesthetic manifests itself in its varying roster with the first track actually being an hour long recording of a live performance from earlier this year and is a meandering sonic experiment which slowly evolves through drone and ambient territory with the interspersion of spoken word, choral excerpts and all manner of distorted effects before introducing rhythmic elements towards the end of the arrangement. These rhythmic elements hints at what is to come with the four shorter tracks on offer here which themselves showcase the label's alter ego where the textures are woven around a more DJ oriented track structure.

The release is scheduled to come out on limited DVD-R later in the year where visuals from the live performance will also be included but for now you'll have to make do with the mp3s which can be purchased from digital stores such as Boomkat.

In addition to the 'paying' releases, Broken20 also has a Podcast series, now in it's it's sixth installment, as well as the free 'BrokenZero' series which re-releases selected cuts from the label artist's archives.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Calling Time

As mentioned in my last post, changes are afoot at the ill-ec-tro-nic and the news is that Langer and I have decided to close the blog down.

Over the four and a bit years we’ve been running the site, we’ve enjoyed ourselves immensely and while we never really had a goal for the blog, its primary aim in providing us with a vehicle with which we could share our music tastes with a wider audience has been well and truly met and in fact had we been pushed to baseline our expectations at the start we would certainly have exceeded them as we never expected to achieve the hit rates we did or be sent so much great music (we also got sent an unbelievably large pile of dross too though!).

The most frequent comment we’ve received has been a 'thank you' for unveiling a new artist, track or label to someone and we can honestly say we’ve had great pleasure in helping to expose people to the music that we’re so passionate about. We’ve never seen ourselves as anything special for writing about and posting such music and in essence, the blog has only ever been an extension of the enthusiasm we show each other and our circle of friends when we find something exciting and new and share it with them.

So, given that electronic music is very much alive and well, why the decision to close the blog down? No single reason really, although running out of relevant and interesting things to say, a general lack of time and the fact that doing posts with any kind of worthwhile regularity became almost like a chore that felt like it needed to be done rather than something that we looked forward to like at the start - clearly not a good situation for bloggers to be in!

From a personal perspective, I also want to focus on producing music under my Nanorhythm guise as the blog has undoubtedly resulted in a reduction in my studio time over the years. Despite being given offers of releases on two occasions, both offers have failed to materialise thus far, although at the time of writing, there’s also possibility that some of my music may finally get a release as part of the forthcoming Broken20 schedule (a new label headed up by TVO so no doubt an interesting project to keep an eye on regardless). However, given my previous experiences with anticipated releases and the fact that it’s very early days for the label, I’m trying not to raise my expectations too high and will believe my release cherry has been popped if / when it finally happens.

Anyhow, enough of my ramblings, other than to say it’s definitely been a blast and to give a big shout out to all the artists that inspired us to write about them, the kind folks that have sent (decent) music our way plus of course the people who have bothered to read our pages over the years.

As I write this, I'm not sure whether it will be the very final post for the site or not. Langer has suggested he may write a few words at some stage or it may be that we use the site to let you know of any parties or other relevant musical adventures we’re involved with so maybe pop back every now and then for a quick check.

So before I go, it seems appropriate to leave you with just "one more tune!" - one of my all time favourite records and something that seems fitting for the occasion.

Underground Resistance - Journey of the Dragons // Underground Resistance

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Tidying Up

Bit of a whirlwind tour of a few bits and pieces today ahead of a change to be announced in our next post.

First up is The Black Dog who've had two really tasty things out recently in the form of the excellent Music For Real Airports long player as well as a package of remixes from their last LP, Further Vexations. Both are out on Soma and despite my initial scepticism about what an airport-themed concept album might sound like, I'm glad to say my fears about MFRA were unfounded and this is full of warmth, depth and imagination and in fact not actually that much in the way of obvious airport-related sounds. With the exception of Silicone Soul, who deliver yet another track that adds weight to my earlier dismissal of them as one hit wonders, the other three artists (Claro Intelecto, Redshape & Octogen) on The Vexing Remixes do an excellent job, each delivering varied and interesting reinterpretations of the source material. The Claro Intelecto is definitely my favourite though:

The Black Dog - Northern Electronic Soul (Claro Intelecto Snake Pass Mix) // Soma buy

Another legendary electronic artist that's still spending quality time in the studio is Gerald Simpson, aka A Guy Called Gerald. As with The Black Dog, Simpson's place in the annuls of electronic music history is well assured given his early involvement with 808 State and of course his legendary Acid House smash Voodoo Ray but since these early days he's dropped back into the shadows a little although given his sizable back catalogue he's clearly not been lounging around. Given the length of time Gerald has been involved with electronic music and the countless changes and splintering that has happened to the early house and techno genres en route, it's fairly logical that his latest album takes on board many of these influences whilst still retaining true to the sounds of yesteryear (Pacific State even makes an appearance albeit not in as strong a guise as the original). I found the album to be a bit of a mixed bag, feeling in parts like a bunch of old ideas being rehashed and as seems typical of output from many of house and techno's elder statesmen these days, the overall result is one of retrospective competence rather than forward-thinking genius but there's several choice cuts present; in particular when he lets loose with the string section.

A Guy Called Gerald - Indi Vibe // Laboratory Instinct buy

Shifting the focus onto a relatively new producer brings me to Xhin's Plexus / Blade Moth 12" from a couple of months back. Similar in style to his Fixing the Error / Link release from the start of the year and in fact echoing the approach of two fully formed tracks plus two stripped down tools, the listener is once again treated to another outing of relentless, uncopromising club tracks perfect for tougher dancefloors. Depending on your passion for white noise and industrial thuds drenched in reverb you're likely to either love or hate this and it's certainly not something to file under armchair listening but it seems as if Xhin is pretty set on carving himself a very specific niche with his own brand of resolutely fierce and downright sinister sonics.

Xhin - Plexus // Meerestief buy

Closing for today is a track lifted from Michael Fakesch's remix album, Exchange. Reminiscent of classic Boards of Canada, this is the final track from a very varied compilation. So varied in fact that it's definitely something I've cherry-picked from the release as the album encompasses such a variety of styles that all but the most broad-minded or inquisitive listener is going to struggle to find it an easy ride from start to finish. Given the album is essentially a collection of reworkings that Fakesch has done for other artists at various points in time, it's probably not surprising that the album as a whole feels a little disjointed as this reflects the kaleidoscopic differences between the original artists and tracks. Some worthwhile tracks exist though (or else I wouldn't be mentioning it here!) and of particular note are the remixes of Mr Oizo, Her Bad Habit (Jimmy Edgar) and of course the Franz Kirmann track below.

Franz Kirmann - Little Baby Eyes (Fakesch Remix) // Musik Aus Strom buy

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Production School

Since having heard Production Unit's 'It's Personal' on The Highpoint Lowlife 2010 Mixtape I've been waiting eagerly for it's release. It seems like an age has gone by since then but the Ghost Track EP on which it features is now available via the HPLL website and I think will be hitting the main digital retailers within the week. The track and in fact the whole EP itself is not something that's easily pigeonholed although both dubstep and techno influences can clearly be heard throughout. The net result on It's Personal and, to a lesser extent, Axel, sounds like some kind of futuristic spaghetti western soundtrack. The rest of the EP is similarly intriguing and melds together distorted vocals, rave stabs and a variety of other electronic trickery on top of common themes of throbbing bass and crisp percussion. My biggest gripe about the whole thing is that (I think) it's a digital only release as this would surely have been an addictive piece of black crack.

It's Personal can be downloaded via the link below and the full EP can be previewed via Production Unit's Soundcloud page although if you've got any sense, you'll just head on over to HPLL where for the paltry sum of £3 you can bag the full release for your takeaway pleasure.

To help promote the EP, Production Unit has also put together a mix for Clash magazine - I've not checked it out yet but the tracklist is pretty interesting so I'm looking forward to doing so.

Production Unit - "It's Personal" by highpoint lowlife

For those not aware, Production Unit was part of the now defunct Marcia Blaine School For Girls which takes me nicely onto this little video which involves the other two members - Bryan Kerr on visual duties and Ruaridh Law aka TVO on the sonics. As regular readers will know, TVO has featured several times on these pages previously and given his varied musical output, each new offering is both a treat and a surprise. This time, the music is abstract and experimental and one for headphone listening. Taken from the forthcoming album 'Amid The Blaze Of Noon', again out on HPLL but not until late summer. The album will be out on both CD and DVD and while I tend not to spend masses of time watching visuals in a home environment the A/V pairing on this particular project seem to complement each other perfectly.

Dalston. Ala from Bryan Kerr on Vimeo.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blood Deep

As mentioned on these pages back in January, the debut release on Dark Arx Recordings was one that made me sit up and take note and set a high benchmark for subsequent output on the label to follow. Well, release number 2 is now upon us (has been for a couple of weeks actually) and this time it comes from label head Dark Arx himself and is most definitely a continuation of the initial high quality standards.

Where the first release hinted at a dubstep agenda, Dark Arx's Blood Vein EP places this medal proudly on its chest and in doing so propels the label forward into the dancefloor arena. Both Blood Vein and Streak meld stepper's rhythms with spacious techno sound palettes to deliver laid back yet totally danceable offerings that span the Berlin-Bristol divide. The third track on the EP, Argent and Sable, dispenses with the kick drum and makes a return to the kind of dub-infused electronica served up on the label's first release. The track doesn't so much unfold as kind of float along its four minute duration as the growling bassline bubbles away in the background while delayed effects pan across the speakers and a skittery hi hat keeps time before the track slowly edges back into the shadows.

To accompany the EP, comes another installment in the Dark Arx podcast series. Again, put together by Dark Arx himself, Podcast no.3 showcases the label's twin passions for dubstep and techno. As with all forward thinking DJs and labels, Dark Arx clearly has eyes on both the past and the present in order to help define the future. Podcast #3 takes on board techno classics from the likes of UR & Basic Channel and splices them together with modern day gems from scene heavyweights such as Dettmann and Scuba and emerging talents like Instra:mental and ill-ec-tro-nic faves Stroboscopic Artefacts.

Dark Arx - Podcast #3

All in all, both the EP and the podcast only serve to cement my initial inclination that Dark Arx was going to be an interesting little project to keep an eye. Roll-on release no. 3!

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Artificial Abstractions

Luis Flores isn't a name I've come across previously but on the strength of his Pain and Prosthetics release on Hidden Agenda it's certainly going to be one I keep an eye out for in the future. Delivering three dark and brooding club tracks full of tension and perfect for building up the climax in a set, this is definitely a release for discerning techno heads. The digital version also features a bonus cut in the form of 'Vitamins 4 U' which takes things in a slightly different direction due largely to the vocodered Anthony Rother-style vocals. Not quite as strong as the tracks on the vinyl release but provides a little variety and all in all this is a tasty little package.

Luis Flores - Bajando // Hidden Agenda buy

Keeping with the dark warehouse vibe, we move onto the latest installment of goodness from the Stroboscopic Artefacts camp. Back in March, fresh remixes of Lucy & Ercolino's Gmork & So The Nothing Grows Stronger came out; this time with Luke Slater & Dadub at the controls. Both deliver strong, reverb-heavy slabs of techno perfect for the rave although the Dadub one works it's way up to the pounding techno structure by taking in some dubstep influences prior to the breakdown so for me, provides the most interesting home listening - I suspect the Slater mix would nail it in a club environment though.

The next installment of Stroboscopic's digital only sampler EP is due out this week and once again offers a bit more variety that the typically heads-down fodder of their 12"s. That said, the killer on 'Gamma' is Abstract Souls' Abstract Subway which is a deep and heavy dancefloor workout with another well placed nod towards Basic-Channel. Given that Discogs suggests this is this artist's first release, they're certainly out of the gates on a flyer so lets hope they can maintain this quality on subsequent outings. The rest of the sampler contains some nice cuts too: Modern Head's 1969 is mesmerizing in its simplicity and sure to find dancers shuffling along in contended bliss while Donor strips things down to a sparse and cavernous kickdrum and modulating bassline formula that takes in a variety of sonic effects as it meanders along while Claudio PRC finishes things off with a slab of dark sci-fi ambiance.

One thing that's currently puzzling me about this label is why neither Boomkat nor Phonica are currently stocking it in the UK - come on guys you're really missing a trick here - get on it!

In respecting the label's wishes, we're only going to put snippets from these releases up again. You can also check out previews from Juno / Juno Download & Zero" who clearly have the good sense to have the full SA catalogue online.

Lucy & Ercolino - So The Nothing Grows Stronger (Dadub Remix) (SAMPLE) // Stroboscopic Artefacts

Abstract Souls - Abstract Subway (SAMPLE)
// Stroboscopic Artefacts

Stroboscopic Artefacts also featured heavily on Modyfier last month with no less than 5 installments in their Process Series! I've not had chance to check the mixes out in full yet but if the crew's DJ skills are of the same high standards as the label's productions then I suspect there's some treats in store!

Keeping with the dubby vibe but moving into stepper's territory is a promo mix we were sent a while back for last Friday's FWD night at Matter - I meant to post ahead of the event but kind of got sidetracked! The mix takes its time to work all the way up to full dancefloor strength, starting off with tracks from across a variety of genres with some of the early selections not being the kind of thing you'd typically expect to hear on a mix from one of the big names in Dubstep. However, fans of Appleblim will know what to expect as the showcasing of his eclectic side is something he's done previously, particularly on his excellent Rinse FM mixes from last year.

Appleblim - FWD / Rinse Promo Mix

Rounding things up for today is a tasty little freebie sent to us to promote Mount Kimbie's latest release - a collection of remixes out on Hotflush that comes in 2 parts. Part 1 is out now (actually sold out in a few places) and features the Falty DL version below plus remixes by James Blake & Instra:mental. I've not heard the second remix package yet but it features Tama Sumo & Prosumer and label boss Paul Rose in his SCB guise. Part 2 was originally due out at the end of April but doesn't appear to be in the shops yet so I'm guessing it's slightly delayed but due to drop imminently.

Mount Kimbie - Serged (Falty DL Remix) // Hotflush buy

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Bank Holiday Bonanza

In celebration of their latest two (Saturday night) mix CDs and the fact that the curators of said mixes (DJ T. & Optimo) are both playing at Fabric next Saturday we have one of each mix plus a pair of guestlists for the night up for grabs.

Both mixes are pretty tasty although it will probably come as no surprise to anyone who's been following the ill-ec-tro-nic for a while to hear that it's the Optimo mix that really sets our pulses racing. Optimo's proven track record of throwing seemingly incompatible tracks together but managing to make them gel so well and create a near constant party vibe is without doubt what's made them such heavyweights on the electronic scene and why their sets are the stuff of legend. Fabric 52 is no different and includes their usual mix of everything from punk-funk to techno; taking in disco, house and pretty much everything in between too.

All good DJs pride themselves with an ability to pick out tracks that other jocks aren't playing but Twitch & Wilkes must surely push these exploratory boundaries further than most; showing their tastes are not just vast and eclectic but that even when they select cuts that don't really stand up on their own, they still manage to find them a perfect place in amongst the stone cold killers.

So, in order to stand a chance of getting your mits on this tidy little package, just mail us at with your answer to the following question.

Q) What is JD Twitch's real name?

The competition closes at midday, Friday 7th May. If you are entering from abroad or are otherwise not able to attend the actual club night, please let us know in order that we can split the prize and give the tickets to someone who can.

The full lineup for next Saturday is available here and you can pick up the mixes direct from Fabric's website (the Optimo one isn't actually out yet but drops soon).

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