Benge, Meme Tunes [Expanding Records – EVA1:02, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

benge_meme_tunes_vinylPlease refer to the review of the CD version of this album. Vinyl tracklist: a1: adam – age loneliness a2: alpaca a3: a caped hero a4: faun six b1: urban b2: ajax goon b3: pica unit b4: eve’s escape valve

Proem, No_carrier EP [Component – COM108, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

proem_no_carrierIf you’re already familiar with and appriciative of Proem’s work, such as the outstanding “Burnt Plate no.1” album on Hydrant or his “Negative” album on Merck then you’ll not be the least dissapointed of hearing this release. And if you’re not familiar with Proem’s work then the “no_carrier ep” strongly suggests that you should become familiar with it. The EP contains 6 tracks, all carrying the Proem insignia of expertly constructed beats, melodies and carefully selected sounds creating dynamic and very listenable tracks. “Just Ashed on my Foot” and the track entitled “No_carrier” are perfect examples of that, the first one with clever beats programming drifting forward alongside beautiful echoed piano chords. The second one features strong melody, strong sounds and equally strong beats. In reality there’re only two things that troubles me with this release and firstly it’s the actual length of the songs, they’re too short and secondly it’s the size, the 3″ CD is so small I’m terrified I’ll loose it while in transport. To summarize: this is an excellent EP from Proem.

Quench, A Journey into Electonix [U-cover – 002CD, 1999]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

quench_a_journey_intoIt was a while ago this album by Quench was released, in 1999 to be exact. It doesn’t matter it has stood the test of time in a striking manner. Quench unmisstakable take on electronic music shines through on this release as it does on all their releases. The album entitled “A Journey into Electonix” contains some of the songs that were later released as DUB12.2 on the Dutch imprint bearing the same name. The 4 tracks that ended up on the 12″ were probably the very best from this album, but the remaining 7 tracks don’t fall far behind and they are as essential to the album as the others. The first and last tracks are remixes thrown in for good measure, one by Funckarma and the other co-remixed by Llips and Quench. Simply put, it’s brilliant, brilliant and brilliant!

Various Artists, Alba Absurdia [Alba Absurdia, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

alba_absurdiaA compilation with a somewhat unknown origin, at least as far as the actual label releasing it goes. The “Alba Absurdia” compilation contains 20 tracks all in all, with varying styles, some tongue in cheek samples, which actually isn’t really my cup of tea, but there’re some really striking tracks and fairly experimental tracks as well. And among them there’s a track that really stands out and it’s Kema Keur’s “Capital” an awesome composition! Bass to go around, the sweetest melody, interesting sounds and a layer of menacing perfectly crafted low-frequency distortion humming alongside the rest of the track. There’re some elements in this song that are very familiar sounding… Other tracks are: Christ’s “kanderal” and the short “splicer” by Dissolved, based on sampled conversation, beatless and very atmospheric. It is directly followed by Bovine Life’s “Svanejeger” that also relies on vocal samples, but that’s also the only thing these two tracks have in common, the vocals have been heavily reconstructed and layered and thereby creating a chilling track which is quite disturbing, but in a good way! And there’s more: Pulse Patrol’s “Moon Unit” with its quirky playfulness in both beats as well as the played bassline melody. Think Tank’s “The Shadow Legion” which is a straight up electro track, sounding the way electro is supposed to sound. This compilation is versatile to say the least and that also makes it interesting and Kema Keur’s “Capital”, what a track!

Various Artists, Music Volume One and Two [Benbecula – BEN 015, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

ben015_vol_one_twoThis Benbecula CD comprises two previously released 12″ compilations. As is often the case with vinyl releases they’re hard to come by and the “Music – volume one and two” is an excellent way of solving that problem. You’ll get a to say the least – competent compilation consisting of 14 tracks and as many named artists, well at least if the underscore character counts… Beluga does the honors and opens up with the paradoxically named warm sounding “tundra”. It is followed by Novel 23 who delivers “blink run away to east”, a track with a fair amount of nostalgia, but without looking back to far – a track reminiscient of the sound of the early nigthies, fuelled by a contemporary tempo and some nice melody thrown in for good measure. Fibla joins in from the spa.RK camp with a dubby, glitcy, melodic and great sounding “djam”. Then there’s Mikael Romanecko’s jazzy “evel.all” with beautiful and fairly melancolic claviatur and live drum setting. Romanecko also has the 2001 “To let go” 12″ release on Benbecula to his credit. The fifth track on the compilation is “Cargo Slip” courtesy of Bauri – an excellent track, which is simply best described as another masterpiece by Bauri. The bass, beats programming and melodic components all carry that Bauri patented sound ensuring top class music. Phase 6’s contribution is a strings filled, bass rich track, which is intro-like, and with some added time who knows what would have happened? Great track with an abundance of strings, and it can’t be a bad thing can it? Christ’s “moxeley moy” is a dream-like down-tempo beatless track with beautiful piano chords and some harsher sounding electronic sounds creating nice contrast. And what a sweet nostalgia track Joni’s “Too Stupid” is regardless of the actual titel! Number nine counting from the start is a track entitled “Absorption” Mr Projectile – a storming track with glitchy feeling brilliant beats, strong, strong melody and acute sound selection. Definitely makes me want to hear more. And if there’s such a thing then it’s possibly the best track on the entire compilation, alongside Bauri’s and _’s. Clubbed to death’s “Junk” contains a heavy dose of kraftwerk induced electro influences creating a straightforward track with nice atmosphere. “Tony Blair” is a track by Frog Pocket – the BOC influences are fairly evident, vocal sample handling, melody and downbeat beats programming to show. Frog Pocket is followed by a jazzy feeling aptly named “Retrospect” by East of Insanity” the guitar, the carefully laid out melodies alongside gently arranged drums and hi-hats are the building blocks of this track. Marcia Blaine School for Girls start of their “Ned Rites” with the fairly unusal selection of harp for melody construction, lay some solid beats ontop of that including a harsh sounding highly pitched rhytmic element riding alonside the otherwise harmonic melody. The final contribution comes from _ and it is entitled “London has let me down again”, beats with warmth and forward motion, a forceful build up of the track itself and heartshreading melody and sonic components. Great track and it is a worthy ending to a very strong compilation indeed!

Stendec, Untitled [Static Caravan – VAN43, 2002]

July 23rd, 2002 Comments off

staticcaravan_van43_2002Stendec from Expanding Records on Static Caravan! A lovely two-track see-through 7″, free of directions created artwork and all-around nice packaging. The guitar sample sets the analogue feel of “pyat” which is the first track on the single. The straight forward programmed beats and the choice of sounds to build melody works fine. The ending contains some very electronic sounds and creates a nice contrast to the above-mentioned sample. The other side’s “auchinek” is a low-key track with some really nice sounds and gentle beats carefully carrying the track forward, in combination with the underlying sound structure you’ve got a classic in the making. Furthermore these two tracks also clearly demonstrates the uniqueness of Stendec and indirectly of both the represented Expanding and Static Caravan labels as well.

Sierra Romeo, Nevel [FWD – FWD2001, 2000]

July 23rd, 2002 Comments off

fwd_fwd2001_2000The first release on the Dutch [FWD label was honored to Arovane and this the second, to Sierra Romeo and the result was this four-track 12″. First up is “nevel” a sweet sounding track with sounds reminiscent of early tupilaq recordings. Which naturally is a good thing! It is followed by “carcass” a minimal, slightly more somber track with floating eerie sounds – it falls into the more ambient side of things. The b-side features “c-en” with nice sound textures and suggestion of throbbing bassline alongside percussions light as air. This is a really beautiful piece of music – which also falls into the more ambient side of things. Last and fourth track “drant” delivers a solid bassline with a joyful melody, the kind of track you’re compelled to play at least twice in a row. Quite uncomplicated but the melody is very effective.

Christ, Pylonesque EP [Benbecula – BEN 016, 2002]

July 22nd, 2002 Comments off

benbecula_ben16_2002Wicked stuff from Christ on the benbecula label. This, the latest seven-track EP entitled “pylonesque ep”, is a structured piece of work, very much on the down-tempo side of things and with a melancholic touch. Starting of with “dream of the endless”, a track that compels you to listen and making it impossible to miss the unique soundings of the strangely named artist in question. Beats, bass accompanied by among other things what could very well be a gently treated guitar. A tempo change creates a dramatic effect in this down-tempo track with an abundance of sounds. It is followed by “arctica”, a short beat-less track with a fitting vocal sample that works as an interlude and connects the first and third track nicely. The third track “spengly bendly” features massive bassline alongside echoed distinct percussions and chorus sounds out of this world, the carefully crafted beats builds the track and pushes it forward, it is hypnotising and extremely beautiful. I can’t say I ever heard anything quite like it. It is simply brilliant! “pylonesque” features a rather interesting choice of sound for building the melody. Does it work? The answer is, yes it does, another good minimal track on this intriguing circular piece of plastic. First engraved on the b-side is “fantastic light” and what a fitting track title it is, it is like watching the sun shining through heavily clouded skies and thereby creating a mood change in the overall sound picture. It is followed by “perlandine friday” featuring more of those strong melodies and reinforcing the mood change. The EP is concluded by “absolom (for lucy)”, a track with light treading beats, clear and distinct vocal samples and melody. It is striking how well the tracks fit together and Christ’s “pylonesque ep” is clearly benefited by a continuous and sequential play. The conclusion: a really nice benbecula release.

Peter Benisch, Benisch Tracks 1 [Eevo Lute Music & Technology, 2002]

July 22nd, 2002 Comments off

evolute_eevo2201_2002A four track 12″ signed Peter Benisch that starts of with “Sabine’s song”. A sweet, sweet, sweet melody on a blueprint Benisch track, that is, the sounds and production bears his unmistakable insignia. Which would make it a sweet track and all and all that’s exactly what it is. The second track “Faster than light” features an array of massive strings and an eerie filtered vocal that flows alongside a beautiful piece of melody and some upfront solid beats. The track finishes of with a cleverly arranged breakdown. And yes, wouldn’t it be nice to move along in that speed! Warp Drive anyone? A cello gets to start of “River of time” the first b-side track and it is followed by more strings building up to a slightly retro mid-eighties feel track. What does that mean? Think Paul Hardcastle or Arthur Baker in their prime and you get the idea. But we’re not talking about a copy here, it still very much a Benisch thing. The 12″ is finished with a down tempo beat-less track with atmosphere to go around called “Redshift”. Consisting of sounds which might very well be a message sent to the heavens above. The question: is it first contact or contact of the third degree?

Quench, O.M. – X.H. [Inc.US – INC.US010, 2002]

June 29th, 2002 Comments off

incus_incus10_2002Quench’s “O.M. – X.H.” release on Inc.Us is yet another strong release. With multiple releases on DUB, an album on U-cover and on Eat This they continue their musical mission. Their characteristic beats programming, acute sense of melodies and exceptional atmospheric constructions shine through as always. The 4-track 12″ starts off with beats as crunchy as they get on “Okran” and is followed by a slightly more sinister “Madkem”. The B-side features two tracks: “Xen” and “Hidh”. If you like complex beats, beautiful textures and sounds then you probably like this Quench release as well. It simple really it is top quality stuff.