Excellent six-track EP listed as Jip02 and Etr7.1, where Etr would stand for Eat This Records, the profilic Dutch label that already brought us goodies such as the equally excellent Kaihosha vinyl series. Apparently Jip01 is a now long-time deleted 100 issues CD consisting of lullabies made for a newly born in the etr camp. The follow-up is still available however (early 2003) and features smooth tracks by: Gimmik, Sumimasin, Koolfunk vs Arnoud on the first side and L’Usine, Legowelt and Quick & Brite on the other side. “Der kleine mann im mond” is a lovely opening track by Gimmik with the sweetest sounds and melody. Sumamasin’s “Barnvällig” title makes me wonder if it isn’t misspelled? Apart from that, it’s a very nice track from this unknown artist (too me that is). Nice choice of sounds for melody construction, dry beats alongside lush strings and lots of athmosphere. Ending the first side are Koolfunk vs Arnoud’s “Ilsa” a string-filled track with playful melody and straight forward beats. Other side’s man of the moment: L’Usine delivers a strong track and he seems to continuesly be developing his unique brand of rhythms and mixture of sounds basically reconstructing house music. Legowelt’s also contribution is an intro-like dreamesque piece. Quick & Brite go for the beats and do so successfully and tops it of with a bassline that makes me associate to the Tup Pac track “Me and my girlfriend”! It’ll be excting to see what will be served the coming year from this quality label for example Endorphins up-coming full-length album.
Tracks made up by relentless beats being at the same time, complex and minimal, complex because of the irregularities and minimal because they practically consist entirely of percussive elements. The first track is quite amazing apart from a short intro the beats are majestically in charge of the sonic picture apart from haunting soundscapes drowning in beats, cut-up beats and offbeat percussive constructions. The second track features: not as fierce beats, more structure but nevertheless a decidedly haunting atmosphere, filtered machine-like decomposing soundscapes rides alongside pounding beats. The other side features shuffled beats in combination with some sound handling without directly noticeble structure or composition. It’s a great techno oriented track that is not likely to be played on any techno floor in the near future. Fourth track takes yet another turn in this display of fairly lonely and effective beats collages. Last years’ (2002) EOG releases are the testament of craftsmen and scientists that are most likely employed in the beats R&D department. Brilliant stuff!
The third and last part in Eat This brilliant “Kaihoisa” series is a four-track 12-inch. The two previous releases were a 7-inch single and a 10-inch single and apparently all of the tracks are supposed to be interpretations of the word “Kaihoisa”. L’Usine’s “upcgriqr” was one of last year’s best tracks with nice intro and build-up leading to forward moving beats, deep bass and the sweetest of melodies. Gosub goes down the purists’ electro road with just that, a purist electro track entitled “overtown”. Recently reviewed Mitchell Akiyama makes the flip side’s first track “force to port”. However there’re no similarities between his “Meridial” release and the track in question an altogether different take on things are in play in this warm, forward moving electronic treat. It is followed by Math’s “hex” melancholic wizardry with slightly distorted down-tempo beats alongside a lonely forceful well-paced melody. Already stated that this, the third part “Kaihoisa” is excellent and naturally it also comes warmly recommended!
This three track 12-inch from Eat This Records starts off with “Meridial” a fully-fledged dubbed out glitch extravaganza. It is followed by “Spiral Jetty” considerably more sinister and somewhat disturbing track. The flip side’s “Wardenclyfte” is a track that stretches for miles and it isn’t made for the ones in a hurry… down-tempo to say the least and with underlying monstrous basslines. With this release Mitchell Akiyama offers a different direction for Eat This and it could very well have been released on Mitek or any of the other high-quality micro-tech labels out there.
Making a good hip hop track is not as easy as it may seem as this DUB release demonstrates. A good hip hop track is more than beats and lyrics, you also need a capable lyricist, however Funckarma makes the best of the situation on this 12-inch which is structured in a classical manner: original-, instrumental and acapella versions. It goes without saying that the instrumental versions are the best on this 12-inch which is a remix of a track originally released on the DUB compilation “Men with Boxes”.
Deep, deeper, deepest, the fourth offering from Cutting Pleasure is a three track 12″ aptly named “Digging Deeper”. It features Inigo Kennedy and make no mistake about it we’re talking about techno here. “Momentum” is classic vein techno rewired with strings floating in the background coupled with relentlessly forward moving beats and bass stabs. “Together Apart” is the jewel of the crown. The tempo is high, nervous stabs and soundscapes in combination with a distorted single melody carries the track forward, you’ve been warned this is as deep as it gets! The second track on the b-side is entitled “Funny Things Happen (Zcistajasna)” consists of shuffled beats layered and fused with beats working against each other, accompanied with dashes of strings. The beats are completely dominating the sonic picture and intensity is the word.
“Science/Fiction” is the debut album for “end” who’s released three tracks previously: “global media engine” for Hymen’s Masonic “tea” (with speedranch) for Planet Mu’s the Cosmic Forces of Mu and “are you normal enough?” remix for Snog’s Relax into the Abyss also on Hymen. Starting of with string arrangements and fast paced beats of “Eclipse of Reason” that also got a dramatic break included. It’s reminiscent of the master Tupilaq’s work, and that is a good thing indeed. The second track “Immeasurable Distances” is a track filled with atmosphere and bass, bass, bass alongside haunting soundscapes. There’s a healthy dose of drum’n’bass theory in this piece. And by the way that could be said for a larg part of the compositions on this album. “The Image Economy” is a funny title on a track and it contains fast paced beats contrasted by offbeat counterparts combined with severally cut-up breaks. It’s followed by a 4/4 bass causing damage in “Global Media Engine” moving on via “Simulacra and Simulations” onto “An Elaborate Accounting Hoax” which also contains elements from the d’n’b sphere in combination with rich sound textures. Number seven on this album is entitled “Society of Spectacle” and it is followed by “The Culture Industry” displaying a nice change of rhythmic elements, and showing that the hip hop influenced beats works as well. “Theatres of Memory” has crisp beats, underlying sub bass and a piano based melody riding alongside the beats. The choice of choir for melody creates a haunting effect in the eleventh “Semiopolis” the album is concluded by “Science/Fiction” a nice rewiring of a classic d’n’b formula. This is a nice debut album and it’ll be interesting to see what end will come up with in the future. Hymen is clearly continuing on the path they’ve been following the past five years and it’s a good one according to me. A final note and a bit surprising with this album is the degree of reference that is made to the drum’n’bass genre, however it’s both quite cleverly done as well as refreshing, in one word: well done, end!
The first release on New Speak Records is the 12″ “The Great Family Hotel” by talented Ola Bergman. With one previous release under his belt, the acclaimed Geiom split 05/06 12″ on Smak his latest released work shows great maturity. There’re blissful melodies and straightforward drum programming throughout the six track EP. Noticeable are the clear electro influences contained in the productions however far from falling into the category itself. Nice stuff! Mr. Bergman is also an apt live performer which he has demonstrated at several occasions both in Spain, England and Sweden and last but not least in the Electronic Desert! Since it’s been a while since the release you might experience some problems getting hold of the record itself, but rest assured it will be worth your every effort. If you’re out of luck or patience keep a look out for nspk002 that is supposed to emerge any time now.
A lovely, lovely opening track on this eight track 12″ by Multicast et al released on k2o and it is Multicast doing the honors with “Spitfire”. Starting of with a lonely acoustic guitar and a beautiful build-up adding choirs and basslines creating one of this year’s most beautiful pieces of music. Crix Madine treats us a low-key electro-influenced track complete with drum machine enhancements and lightly processed vocals in “Crix Madine’s Theme”. Multicast returns with crisp beats and very nice melody in “Foehn” which by the way was also included on the recently released k2o compilation “No Space for Dogma”. A side is ended by a virtually beatless track with nice atmosphere signed Ted Surgeon. B-side starts of with an electro track by Multicast and a nice one at that. In “The Defection” by Crix Madine you get massive soundscapes alongside cut-up beats and it is followed by a house inspired drum machine based track with lonesome piano chords drifting along. Multicast ends the 12″ by bringing down the tempo adding processed guitars and vocal samples in “La Honda” (It is what it is). This is a fairly strong 12″ offering by k2o and they will be able to look back on 2002 with a smile. Finishing notes must be to push a little extra for the first track by Multicast it truly is something else.
The debut CD by Folie released on Mitek it is a well-balanced collection comprising of 12 tracks. They’re overall down-tempo and with attention to detail in sound and melody. Track 4 “Stiltje” got a dubby feel alongside some glitchier elements and foremost an amplitude of melancholic melody it is a top-class tune! Directly following is “Boulevard” with nice beats handling as well as vocal sample processing all wrapped in the nice down-tempo vein of things. Lush melodies, beats and bass in clever combinations creating a crisp yet warm atmosphere. Track 9 “Time” stands out on this album with its deep bass, crunchy beats and contagiously played bassline, creating lots of forward motion. All in all _misspass is a good debut album by Folie and release for mitek.