New Electronic CD Releases 7/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 23, 2009 05:03pm | Post a Comment

Vertical Ascent CD
Honest Jon's

This is the highly-anticipated debut full-length release by The Moritz von Oswald Trio, comprised of members Moritz von Oswald (Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound), Max Loderbauer (NSI, Sun Electric), and Vladislav Delay (Luomo). Through Basic Channel and Rhythm And Sound -- his collaborations with Mark Ernestus -- Moritz von Oswald first of all conjured from thin air, then comprehensively mapped out the grounds of a deep exchange between real-deal Jamaican dub and classic, Detroit-style techno. The duo's accomplishment and influence are immense. The repercussions of their work within electronic dance music have been incalculable. Though a departure, Vertical Ascent retraces various signatures of the earlier styles -- the fastidious density of sound, the massive bass and detailed upper registers ("a frequency massage," Ricardo Villalobos has called the album), the stripped, stepping repetitiousness, the seriousness. The striking differences stem from the qualities of live performance (the driving, clattering percussion in particular, and the loose, improvisatory approach), the exploded palette of sounds, including a trace of steel drums, something like a cuica -- and of course, most of all -- the fresh line-up. Vladislav Delay is a drummer and electronic musician from Finland -- like von Oswald, trained in classical percussion (while the third member studied classical piano for 20 years) -- who released a landmark album on Basic Channel's Chain Reaction imprint, before working with a diversity of artists (under pseudonyms like Luomo and Sistol), from Massive Attack to the Scissor Sisters. On Vertical Ascent, he plays home-made metal percussion. From Munich, Max Loderbauer was a partner in the ambient duo Sun Electric. Behind the scenes, his work has ranged between Tresor and Can's Spoon Records. In 2004 he teamed up with Tobias Freund to form NSI (Non Standard Institut). On Vertical Ascent, he plays synthesizers, alongside von Oswald, who also contributes Fender Rhodes and additional percussion. At the heart of Vertical Ascent is a dream crossing of Basic Channel, Larry Heard and Can -- as at home with calypso as it is Stravinsky.

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New Electronic CD Releases 6/19/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 18, 2009 03:26pm | Post a Comment
Endless Forms
Crosstown Rebels

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin by-way-of Saint Louis Alphahouse label-head, Andrew Rasse, aka Butane. Endless Forms is the future of electronic music, exploring fresh directions and true experiments in sound, heralding the arrival of one of the more pioneering artists of our times. The title is a homage to Darwin, the true master of progress, and the discoverer of evolution. Butane took inspiration from Darwin's concepts, considering "all the complexity that surrounds us has developed from ultimate simplicity." Working from this notion, Butane has created a project that holds the beauty of simplicity, yet listen carefully, and you can hear the intricacy of its craftsmanship. "This Is Your Brain On Music" takes a sample from Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist/musician, talking about his book and encapsulating the message of the album -- "that scientific and philosophic inquiry into the nature of things leads to new forms of artistic expression." Endless Forms drifts through the organic sounds of Butane's production in tracks such as "His Story" and "Mutation," each creating new patterns in the engineering of modern techno. "Transmit The Music In Me," "Almost Finished," and "Idle" further augment the atmosphere, where industrial beats encounter laid-back harmony. Taking influence from evolution, he embodies a wide musical range, encompassing anything from seamlessly-blended soul-led techno to warm, deep, cerebral house music.


Le Sacre Du Printemps
Macro Recordings

Beloved and renowned Berlin-based producer and head of the Macro Recordings label Stefan Goldmann delivers a groundbreaking edit of a classic: a minimalistic cut-up on the edges of perception, celebrating one of the most thrilling works in music -- Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre Du Printemps. Staying 100% true to the original score, he moves through over a dozen classic recordings of the work in 146 individually-treated segments. Nothing has been left out, nothing has been added. Still, everything totally changes every few seconds. Probably the most radical approach to editing, ever, and serving to officially electrify classical music to its core. These are some of the most revolutionary notes in the whole history of music. Written in 1913, Le Sacre Du Printemps redefined what music could be, much as Beethoven's Eroica had done a century before. While its debut performance caused massive riots, it has become one of the most celebrated works of music ever since. It has been performed and recorded by basically every renowned conductor and orchestra in the world, and is one of the most often played orchestral works of all times. Stefan Goldmann's edit is as radically innovative without ever messing with Stravinsky's intentions. With each listen, you will encounter a different performance, room, and recording set-up. This is a minimalistic journey into the depths of interpretation and concert hall acoustics, microphone positioning and mixdown decisions. Goldmann on the editing process: "Each time a different world in the headphones. Also the different shades of tape hiss in the recordings make it sort of an electroacoustic avant-garde work, as you can follow a floating noise contour throughout the work -- probably the clearest evidence of the edit process. It's putting a focus on the subtleties of orchestral interpretation -- a field often neglected and widely unknown to the electronic society. Identify the edits through analysis of interpretation parameters! It's a very quiet intrusion into the material and I have been extremely careful not to change sound color or to mask any relevant elements." This is an utterly masterful celebration of an original. This disc also features a "classic" 1957 live recording of Sacre with Pierre Monteux conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.



Presenting the first full-length on Moodmusic by producer/DJ duo Peter Gijselaers and Felix Eder, aka Dirt Crew. Blow sees them back on the block with more of their original, raw-as-fuck house music. This album reveals the true roots of these pioneers of European electronic house music, with influences ranging from early Chicago warehouse tracks, sophisticated mid-'90s NYC-inspired house productions, and pioneers of UK dub house from the likes of Warp and DIY. "Deep Cover" slowly evolves with a dubbed house feel and perfectly-arranged vocal samples. Followed by "Rough Roads," the theme stays the same, deep bass confiscating the groove, holding no hostages with a building, arpeggiated synth-line. "Blow" throws old school samples and deep keys into the mix with stunning results. Keeping the pace mid-tempo, the groove just keeps going. "Clap" layers synths and vocal snippets into a frenzy of house bliss, ending in an FM synth-horn crescendo which could be from a Jovonn production from 1992. "Redux" is an old school stomper with 2009 production to keep it fresh. Borrowing a touch from early Deep Dish, this has a massively hypnotizing, hands-in-the-air factor in true Dirt Crew-style. "Slope" is a darker affair with a well-paced Berlin peak-hour frenzy that never gets too dark. "Parade" is an ode to classic house -- deep, pulsating bass and groove mixed with some tasteful keys and vocals. "Scenario" enters darker territory, with pitched-down vocals and echoed percussion, keeping the groove on high alert till the keys drop and the dancefloor explodes -- another DC classic, for sure. "The Real Shit" is a bouncy, almost techno production with distorted beats, true DC bleepiness and dubbed-out vocals -- a demented dancefloor bomb already. Finally, "Star" starts with mesmerizing keys and a murderous bass line, evolving over minutes of modern house music at its best to a crazy horn breakdown. There's no stopping the Dirt Crew now.


White Clouds Drift On And On
Echospace Air

San Francisco's Brock Van Wey (also known as bvdub) has been spreading his ambient-textured deep techno to the world for the past few years with releases on Styrax, Millions Of Moments, Southern Outpost, Meanwhile, and his very own Quietus imprint. His love of abstract shapes and forms of electronic music caught the echospace label's attention -- so much, in fact, that Stephen Hitchell (Intrusion, Echospace) has made his own interpretive versions as an additional album, included along with the original. This is a soundscape of subtle beauty which paints a picture of lands yet to be explored, a sonic collage filled with heartbreak, love and happiness, all played in the same key. A pure, refined sonic collage, filled with influences that could easily be said to border the surface of works by Steve Roach, Gas, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Cage, or even the ambient works of Basic Channel, and yet, this still has an identity all its own. Beautiful layers of sound rush over you like waves in the ocean, a tidal wave of organics and textures so subtle, soft and virtually hypnotizing. There is a sense of space felt here which cannot be described in words, a sense of displacement which takes the listener out of their normal environment and away to someplace else. These spare musical fragments voyage off into the land of dreams, a place where everything appears to move in slow motion and hours feel like seconds. Simplicity in its own world is the most beautiful of things, an art of restraint -- not to do too much but to do everything at the same time, which is exactly what Brock has perfected here. This is an absolutely gorgeous gem of the highest caliber and one that the folks at echospace consider an integral part of any ambient or electronic music lover's collection.