Fedaden, Fedaden [Nacopajaz – NCJCD03, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

feadadenFedaden is reportedly exactly 50% of recently written about Del Wire (FEB 2006) and one would be forced to make the same conclusion about Fedaden’s solo efforts: it’s not hard to like them. Fedaden’s self-entitled album is comprised by nine excellent tracks and in likeness with Del Wire the subtle references and clever incorporations of genre standard attributes makes this album a through and through pleasant experience. From the lounged out bossa fueled introduction “Ansiedad” onto the brilliant “Tant Apprendre” and its restricted use of vocal sample. Or “Empire” influenced by that prolific electronic musician of Mexican decent: Murcof with its ultra crisp treble exercises. The whole album in its nine tracks splendour continues along the same lines and a special note has to be said about the excellent “No Me Siento”. The subbass will shake your foundations and touch the very core of your being. The down-tempo, beat filled and sample laden album “Fedaden” produced by Del Wire’s and Nacopajaz’ Fedaden comes recommended.

Shulman, Random Thoughts [Aleph Zero Records – ALEPHZ05, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

shulman_randomThe latest release (MAR 2006) from Israeli label Aleph Zero is entitled “Random Thoughts” produced by the duo Shulman. This album share a number of similarities with the previous Aleph Zero release “Sines and Singularities”. It too could have been made back in the days when the so called ambient dub reigned (another name cornered by those inventive British music journalists), with a lush, warm, analogue bass infused and quite trancy sound and all meant to be understood in the positive meaning of the words. There’s a collaboration track with label mate Bluetech and among the remixed artists you’ll find: Sub6 feat. Michele Adamson, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Steve Shehan and Lee Triffon. If you’re looking for well-produced, warm house influenced electronic music with a dash of dub and trance look no further, as I’m convinced “Random Thoughts” will fit the bill perfectly.

John Barnes, 3 Yellows Make Black [No Ground-R – NG-R07, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

johnbarnesThis wonderful and 7th release (MAR 2006) from No Ground-R is signed John Barnes alias Sam Arnold. Sam Arnold used to be part of the group Mountain Men Anonymous and has previously released music using the John Barnes moniker on Machine Records. John Barnes’ music is heavily influenced by beat driven genres such as drum’n’bass and fused with delicate melodies he creates wonderful contrast. And the effectiveness of leaving some space in the production cannot be more clearly demonstrated. So there you have it, if you like beats, don’t mind basslines and support lovely melodies mainly comprised of piano and string instruments, you’ll like John Barnes. However, whether or not you actually like football is not relevant in this context, that being another enjoyable No Ground-R 3-inch release.

Del Wire, 01 [Nacopajaz – NCJCD02, 2005]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

delwireIt’s not hard to like Del Wire’s full-length debut album “01” released on the French label amusingly named (it is to me anyhow) Nacopajaz. The album contains 14 well produced predominantly instrumental (except of the occasional vocal samples) and soothing hip hop based electronic tracks. There are also some very pleasant bass excesses incorporated on the album. Sure there’s no musical revolution lingering around the next corner, however it does most definitely not matter. The way the tracks are put together at times with very subtle references to other genres and the coolness of the whole atmosphere it’s a pleasant experience all around. The aptly named “Basicide” is the personal favourite with its ultra deep bass and heavenly strings. A solid piece of down-tempo electronics is what Del Wire and Nacopajaz offer on the “01” album.

FortDax, Horizon Seven-Seven [Static Caravan – VAN084, 2005]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

van84“Horizon Seven-Seven” is a severally limited two track CD apparently containing the music intended for the Van 84 7-inch, when or why it was not released haven’t been disclosed as of yet. The first of the two tracks is the bombastic “Horizon Seven-Seven” starting off with menacing cello-like sounds and building towards a definite crescendo incorporating rather surprisingly harsh sounding drums straighter than Autobahn and layers of guitars. The second track is the quirkier and friendlier “A Beverley Mythic (2004 Version)” complete with nursery rhyme like melody, spinet-like sounds and hand clap. The sound of FortDax’ music is original and perfectly suited for Static Caravan.

Autophonic, Slack [On Records – ON205, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

autophonic_slack_on205On Records returns after the seminal 12-inch Funckarma remix extravaganza “ThemSongsByWe” 2003 release and what a return this is! Autophonic’s “Slack” is a best of and debut album at the same time, the first full-length single artist release on On Records and it is as good as it gets. There are 12 tracks of sonic delight on the release and all produced by the very talented Autophonic. The album includes eight of his previously released tracks: “Mekanix” taken from the untitled, early and wonderful DUB04. “Vicious Circles” and “Craft Crash” taken from the classic and superb DUB015 “Bathrobin EP” and “Seclusion” taken from the “Nummer Drie” compilation DUBCD03. “Mind The Dot” was included on the “MAS Confusion” Studio!K7 compilation, “Klont” was included on “MP3voor12” a compilation on the (to me unknown) Vpro label and “Flets” that apparently was included on a DVD entitled “Rawpikzl Video Oost” released on another label/festival unknown to me, called Rawpikzl. And last but not least “Kendu” that first appeared on the lovely On Records’ compilation ON002. (It also featured Funckarma using their Quench monkier.)All these tracks are excellent with complex beats, very high production standard and summarizes the Autophonic sound in a good way. The early DUB releases are sought after these days and it goes without saying quite hard to come by as well. The remaining four previously unreleased tracks show a new side to Autophonic’s musical productions: a jazzier sound with ultra-thick bass, warmth and a live instrumentation feeling. The first track of the album is entitled “Gasp” and it has industry-strength beats fused with live sounding bass and electric piano set in jazz mode all sprinkled with synthesized sounds. “Suspicion” flexes straight-forward hip hop influenced beats and bass doing damage. “Slack” has exquisite live sounding beat patterns and features massive basslines fused with horns and electric piano in short it’s an excellent track! “Flets” which has been previously released (see above) share a number of the previous track’s characteristics, but features less tempo and progressing at a sloth’s slow pace. “Bled” ends the album in a fitting way with a melancholic touch. Get this release immediately and that goes for the previous On records releases as well!

Loden, Valeen Hope [Eat This/Plexiphonic – ETR14CD, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

loden_valeen_hope“Valeen Hope” is the title of Loden’s debut full-length album, which is a split release (OCT 2005) involving one of my absolute favourite labels, namely: Eat This Records. They’ve released this album together with newly established label Plexiphonic that started out as an electronic events’ promoter in Brussels, Belgium. The latest release by Loden on Eat This was the excellent 7-inch entitled “A better landing” and Loden also contributed to the equally excellent JIP2 compilation (both reviewed here at ED.) “Valeen Hope” sees Loden taking a new musical direction incorporating predominately pop/rock associated elements such as guitars and vocals, and is quite far from his earlier releases sound wise. The first intro-like track “(In)” leads onto “Vlugt (and more for you)” and its distorted guitars and vocal elements. The beat is simple and the structure is pop-oriented with a strong melody. “Tenofour” beats and chords have unmistakable references (read BOAC). “A Star on Your Shoulder” is very similar to “Vlugt (and more for you)” in its composition. “Komop” is probably my favourite track of the album, a steady beat fused with Oriental sounding string instrumentation and solid bassline and quite melancholic at that. “Valeen Hope” and “Our Exploding Lives” features acoustic guitar respectively electrically powered one for base and is musically linked to the before mentioned “Vlugt”. “Tears For the Thirsty” has obvious sonically references and could be paired with “Tenofour”. “So this is Reality” more guitars in a track that has some interesting things going on in the beats department. “Sugar Tea” quite fast-paced track fusing guitars and synthetic beats, maybe a bit too much tongue-in-cheek for my personal taste. “Ideal Skies” and “KNKK” end the album in the acoustically based manner as it was started. On “Valeen Hope” Loden’s displaying a different musical side compared to his earlier releases and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, in the end it’s a question of musical tastes and subjectivity and the dominating pop/rock associated elements are really quite far from my personal liking. Nevertheless it’s still a well-produced and well-packaged album and as an added bonus there’s a video to “Tenofour” included on the CD made by Ewo (who also accidentally happens to be Plexiphonic’s label manager). Finally you may wonder why it’s taken close to four months for this release to be written about. The reason is simply that the first copy “got lost” in the progress of being delivered to the 59° latitude by the various national postal services.

Lackluster, What You Want Isn’t What You Need [New Speak – NSPK008, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

nspk08_lackluster_what_you_“What You Want Isn’t What You Need” is the title of Lackluster’s full-length release on New Speak and by the looks of it is also possibly the last New Speak release ever! On the album Lackluster has searched his extensive archives and comes up with 10 tracks produced during the years 1996 – 2006. His +3 hour live extravaganza at New Speak for Beginners 3 the 29th October 2005 demonstrated just how extensive this archive is with the outmost clarity. And as you would expect from Lackluster and New Speak it’s a collection of high-quality electronic music that is contained on the album. Ranging from down tempo to up-tempo, with house-influences and without, all in all generally beautiful and well-produced electronic music. Actually the first New Speak release Ola Bergman’s “The Great Family Hotel” coincided with the first ever ED-event and if this really is the eight and last New Speak release, they’re already sorely missed!

Mescalinaeden/Eventless Plot, October/Artificial Embrace [Gracetone – GRACE01, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

mescalina500The first release from the Greek label Gracetone Recordings is a split 7-inch featuring the artists: Mescalinaeden and Eventless Plot. “October” by Mescalinaeden is a sinister sounding piece with metallic slightly distorted beats and some reversed sound engineering, sound wise similar to grossly underrated Seefeel. “October” is very good stuff indeed. “Artificial Embrace” is Eventless Plot’s debut release and relies heavily on processed guitars virtually beatless to start with and most definitely down-tempo. It’s a haunting track that evolves slowly. The track is ended by the surprising addition of distorted and rough breakbeats, quite cinematic in its setting and somewhat freighting. Last but not least another good track. The format, matching handcrafted artwork and website are all nicely put together. Congratulations to Gracetone Recordings on their first release are in order and it will be interesting to see what the future releases will sound like.

Scorn-Fury, Invaders [Rednetic – RN007, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

rn007_scorn_fury_invaders“Invaders” by Scorn-Fury sees Rednetic taking a slightly different musical orientation than previously, namely down the good ol’ drum and bass path. “Invaders” is a 4 track EP with plentiful of beats apart from the opening track “Dark Cults of Evil” that rely on vocal sample, heavily synthesized sounds and a lonely stab. “Invaders” bearing the EP’s title is a classic take on drum’n’bass and given you like the way it used to sound (and apparently still can) you will not be disappointed. “Snowflakes” is excellent, with nervous and very electronic sounding elements (when I come to think of it almost devoid of beats, so much for the introductory statement made above) and its perceived simplicity is just brilliant. “Kages” ends the EP in style and share all the characteristics of “Invaders”. This is another fine effort by Rednetic this time aimed 50% or more towards the dance floor.