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New Electronic CD Releases 6/4/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 4, 2009 09:46am | Post a Comment

Holger Zilske
Holz
Playhouse

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin's Holger Zilske (aka Smash TV) for the Playhouse label. A leading proponent in the ascendancy of the BPitch Control label and the greater electronic landscape, Holger has cultivated his reputation as a techno visionary under the moniker Smash TV with over 8 years and nearly 30 releases to his name. Since then, Holger's distinct blend of complex arrangements and gargantuan bass lines has been refined incrementally. With ten productions laden with bubbling textures, sweat-fueled percussion and tropical artwork, Holz navigates us into summer climates with moist palms and deep, deep eyes. "Lichterfelde" transforms remote boroughs of Berlin into ecstatic wildernesses populated by looming insectoid tones and gusts of humid pad textures. Punctuated by stabbed Eastern melodies, bouncing bass drops and ritual drum patterns, the opener sets the climate perfectly. "Mes Yeux" pulses amidst decompressing pads and reverberant mechanical samples in a deep house descent, while the hazy beginnings of "Roter Rausch" swarm around steadily enveloping synth and bass progressions in an intoxicating techno mirage. Deep and penetrating synth tones define "Druckraum," which probes meticulously with lazy, clicked percussion and the distant chatter of echoing beats. "Work" commands your obedience with mesmerizing melodic passages and dystopian, metallic percussive accents. "Golden" builds a lazy pop lullaby with decaying samples, trickled percussion and the dulcet vocal contributions of Swedish artist August Landelius. "Metrodancer" builds a formidable house strut with poked bass and melodic punches of 8-bit synth. In a similar vein, "Olho Gordo" plunges into dark waters with ghostly pads, dry, percussive tones and enveloping beats to test your after-hour stamina. Under the pseudonym One Chef, August Landelius returns to team up with Holger on "Have A Cup Of This," which disorients with clattering percussion and certifiably dizzy synth lines that dance around plunging bass tones and ringing symbol rotations. Counting to close with resonant, clocked percussion, August reintroduces his intimate vocal reflections in another downbeat pop arrangement, "To Them To Me," providing the perfect soundtrack to the end of an evening, and an appropriate end to an album that signals a new dawn for Holger Zilske.

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HOUSE, EARLY 90's RAVE CLASSIC: JAYDEE "PLASTIC DREAMS":

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2007 12:46pm | Post a Comment

JAYDEE "Plastic Dreams"


Ever since last Sunday at the 14th Annual Clubhouse Jamboree when I heard DJ Spinna spin this classic early nineties house track (which, like most longtime electronic music fans, I own and have somewhere in my collection), the damn song has been stuck in my head non-stop. So consequently, I felt compelled to dig it up and play it on WFMU two days ago. And when I did I got a ton of  calls, emails, and comments from other music fans who shared my love for this everlasting funk-driven house classic from fifteen years ago. Odds are if you went to any clubs or raves or parties in Cali in the early nineites you too also know and love this song. It was released in 1992 on R&S Records, with the video (below) dropping a year later when Epic picked it up. The song was recorded by JayDee (no not J Dilla), the Dutch DJ/producer Robyn "JayDee" Albers, who consequently remixed/re-released it (including in 2004 --see 12" cover above), although the very original mix was just so perfect that it couldn't be topped (in my opinion). Look for it at Amoeba Music in various formats and on various releases. I own it on a 4-CD compilation from few years ago called Funky House No.1 -- one of many it can be found on.
And if you remember hearing this track at some club/party, please take a moment to share your memory in the COMMENTS box below. Thanks! 

The Cream of the Crop

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 25, 2007 02:50pm | Post a Comment

That's right - I said hott - with two "t"'s please. Lots of great music only comes out on vinyl. Here's a few 12" releases that are killin' it for the SF crew:

























































Dub Pistols - "Rapture" (Sunday Best)
Chin Chin - "Toot D'Amore" (Dialect)

Two seperate 12"s here, with the connection being their solid Prins Thomas remixes. "Rapture" is indeed a cover of the Blondie classic with ex-Specials vocalist Terry Hall on vocals, and it works just fine with its bubbling underbelly of faux-acid, big beat guitar riffs and hip-house. Flip the record over, however, and you get some *actual* acid as Thomas' mix is where it's at, adding a smidge of swing and sounding like some proper Chicago action. Chin Chin, on the other hand, come out on top with no less than three PT mixes on one 12". The Diskomiks is a funky congo affair replete with horn section and hella-funky afrodisco percussion while you get two 'bonus beat' tracks that work great as DJ tools or full songs in their own right. SF Electronica floorperson Brian is super geeked out on this as well, so i'll give it two thumbs up.

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Sweet Sweet Music

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 16, 2007 12:43am | Post a Comment
    At Amoeba SF's electronica section, we've usually got at least four or five titles each month that we're extremely hyped on. Here's our current batch:



    First we've got Gui Boratto's Chromophobia on Kompakt. Boratto's Brazilian heritage gives him an edge when making his brand of tech-house, and that's an ear for rhythm. Straddling between minimal and electrohouse, Chromophobia avoids any LP pitfalls by working equally on a dancefloor as on headphones, it's got enough oomph to sound fantastic on a large sound system, but intricate enough that you notice small details while listening at home. I love his way with melody, particularly the swooping tones of "Terminal" and the bleep counterpoint in "Gate 7"; it gets quite emotional. The rhythms are key, though, and it's clear from the first track on that Boratto has a good grasp of syncopation and funk. Between the Hug and Field albums and now this, Kompakt are on a bit of a roll, again!



    Next up is We Are Together by Japanese producer Kuniyuki Takahashi, released on Mule Musiq. This is an album that is a unanimous vote amongst the electronica staff - everybody loves it (well, at least four of us). It's jazzy house music only in the loosest sense of the phrase, managing to perfectly walk the tightrope between noodly and stiff. The thing I like best about this album is its sense of space, the production on every track sounds so expansive and widescreen as to conjure up images of the music's physicality. In that sense it reminds me of the Burial album where there's a very conscious sense of three-dimensional space - it's a real "smokers delight". Check Kuni's MySpace page to hear more of this excellence.

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A Basement, a Red Light and a Feeling

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 14, 2007 08:36pm | Post a Comment
This week I happened to receive new music by Elektrons, a Manchester-based duo who've recently released their second single, and it's one that has shot to the top of my chart - I've been humming it all week!

 

"Dirty Basement" features Eska, a vocalist who's worked extensively in the Broken Beat world with the likes of Bugz in the Attic and I. G. Culture, often the highlight of the songs she's singing, as is the case with the majority of Culture's vastly overlooked New Sector Movements album Turn It Up. She is wicked, and this is no exception. The staccato verses sound like she's channeling Missy Elliot a bit but once she really starts singing, it's purely Eska.



Elektrons
are also known as eclectic DJ crew  The Unabombers and throw an internationally-known club night called The Electric Chair (popular enough that they have their own CD compilations) that's been turning folks on to its varied music policy of fun, funky and leftfield dance tunes since 1995. Made up of Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey, the Unas both have a long history in music, with Crawford being behind jazzy downtempo act Only Child on Mark Rae's Grand Central Records as well as bassist for Madchester dance-rockers New Fast Automatic Daffodils (who are due for a major revival any day now - you heard it here first).

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