Ten and Tracer, Keylemon Reports [Inc.Us – INC.US006, 2001]

September 8th, 2002 Comments off

ten_and_tracer_keylemonA very nice release from Ten and Tracer on Inc.Us, the vinyl section of the Belgian U-cover label. This six track 12″ contains a selection of warm and slightly melancholic compositions. You could quite easily come up with an association, music wise, but in all honesty that would be unfair to the artist and this work, so I will refrain from doing that. The opening track “Hoxton for You” contains some great beats programming and sounds and starts of this EP’s general feeling. “Understanding Waves” continues in the same direction, while “Moraine Park” decreases the tempo and puts emphasis on the bass elements. All executed with the same clarity and vision. The flipside’s first track is entitled “Two Medicine” and it is also down-tempo, beat-filled, bass-rich and with great atmosphere reaching over to “Kemia Divine”, picking up the overall pace, but holding on to the feeling created, simply beautiful. The sixth and last track “Keylemon Reports”, again some light treading and forward going beats and strong melodic components. This EP leaves you wanting to hear more and wanting to hear it again.

Various Artists, Masonic [Hymen – ¥719, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

hymen_masonicHymen is celebrating the fifth year of record label activities and what better way of celebrating than releasing a double CD? The “Masonic” contains all imaginable music from the electronic music field, exactly in the same manner as this versatile label has evolved during these years. You get it all, from the melancholic to the straight up abusive! In the order they appear and with no other guiding principle than order, commencing with item number one: A2, Neutral, Dead Hollywood Stars, Beefcake, L’usine ICL, Funkstörung, Imminent, Baracuda, Scorn, Venetian Snares, Frz & Blue Baboon & Etero Expandum Club, Fourplay, Solar-X and Sonic Dragolgo. The order of appearance on item number two is the following: Gridlock, Xingu Hill, Lilienthal, Bochumwelt, Substanz-t, Starfish Pool, Noosa Hedz, Somatic Responses, Xanopticon, K_chico, Red Sparrow, Llips, Trifid Project, End, So Fucking Jazz and Fanny. And to single out some tracks in the high quality breakbeat vain of things on the first item: 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.08, 1.09 and 1.11. And to single out some more tracks in the high quality breakbeat vain of things on the second item: 2.01 – 2.08, 2.12 and 2.14. If you like breakbeat based electronic music then my recommendation is the following: get a copy of the “Masonic” compilation.

Benge, Meme Tunes [Expanding Records – ECD09:02, 2002]

September 6th, 2002 Comments off

benge_meme_tunesBenge returns with his first album since 1999’s “Silicon Valleys” on the Belgian label Quatermass and follows last years brilliant 7″ “Baud and Unary” and the subsequent contribution to the “The Condition of Muzak” compilation CD on Expanding Records. As all great artists Benge has his very personal take on electronic analogue/digital music and he is involved in a constantly changing process. “Meme Tunes” is most likely his best work so far the compositions on the album are best described as truly beautiful pieces of music. And the clarity in production and sound selection is overwhelming. The CD contains 11 tracks and three of them are not featured on the vinyl counterpart. The tracks that didn’t fit on 12″ are called “Nike”, “Tame/Rude image” and “Proton”. And among them are “Proton” a singularly well-crafted track, with feather like beats, astounding beauty and atmosphere this track almost makes it a pre-requisite to have the CD as well as the vinyl. Actually there’s another argument that goes along the same lines of thought and that is the limited booklet that accompanies the CD. It’s a cleverly constructed description of how the actual track titles were constructed food for thought is always nice! It goes without saying Benge’s “Meme Tunes” album comes highly recommended regardless of format.

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.