“A449/19″ is the title of the very first No Ground-R release an independent label activated in Great Britain. Releasing music and visuals on their main format of choice 3″ discs. “A449/19″ features ambient and slightly menacing soundscapes drowned in low frequency assemblies playing the leading role of structure. According to the background information the 20 min long track is based on the experiences and surroundings of the A449. A road between Newport and Monmouth in South Wales and it lasts for 19 miles (30,5km), during this distance it is not possible to turn around and go back to the place of origin. This is excellent ambient music with rich bass textures and very subtle rhythm. And you just got to love the 3″ disc format and the level of ambition of the entire No Ground undertaking of which No Ground-R is an integral part.
R&D Funcken have done it again! And what is that you may ask and the natural answer is: produced and recorded another epic mile-stone-esque full-length album! “Dyn” is released by quality label U-cover, it’s their 16th release and it features the one-of-a-kind masters R&D Funcken under their Quench moniker. You get 11 tracks of the finest electronic music available. You get to hear Funcken re-invent, re-define and re-edit themselves. There’s just no relevant comparison possible. This release comes with the highest possible recommendations. Get it now and your life will improve all you have to do is to embrace the complexity and discover the beauty!
Tougher than though Gridlock delivers a fantastic album entitled “Formless” is quality music through and through, make no mistake about it. Gridlock chooses to focus on the less furious side of things and have managed to compose an album that is intense, beautiful and filled with atmosphere. “Formless” is yet another great album out on Hymen.
A lovely 7-inch by Loden out on Eat This, Dutch electronics in force and at it’s finest. Loden recently contributed to the latest Jip release. It’s an Eat This release, it’s got to be good, right? And it is just that.
The opening track “A.M.beat” sets the mood for this mini-album entitled “Enwrapped” its produced by AMBit3 and released by Nature Records. Nature is home to number of celebrated artists among them the illustrious Passarani. “A.M.beat” is a fine tuned piece of melancholic electronic music containing feather light beats, understated yet with a lot of forward movement. There are seven songs in total: “T.S.L”, “Scrape-box”, “Fault-resistant”, “Electromotive” and “Blue Chill” are all examples of quality songs leaning toward understated electro. Wrapping it up with the seventh and last track “Ambientre”. Its beatless sound structures serves as a perfect ending to this nice and accomplished release. AMBit3 are apparently working on a full-length release, which is due this year (2004) and I for one is looking forward to that release.
“Condensed” is a brilliant collection of tracks taken from singles made by the equally brilliant Lusine. You get the excellent “Chao EP” released by Mental Industries that contains a superb Crunch remix, a track from the Delikatessen 10″-series, a track from Jip’s “1st Year”, Lusine’s offering to U-cover’s “Perspective Fragments” compilation and much more. 13 tracks on a CD, it’s out on Hymen and there’s not much more to be said on the subject.
It’s made by Vessel what can you say? Returning in style for 2004 on the evs series, where he also started his expanding adventure, after his acclaimed debut album was released on Expanding last year (2003). And his contribution is a treat indeed. In “Fold” the production is second to none, top-class beats in combination with bass rich enough to fill any void, lots of atmosphere and on top of that the sweetest sounding melody. Do you want to laugh or do you want to cry? You decide!In “Crowd Control + Kerna” you get epic sounding intro processed vocals included, beatless sonic excursions are ended mid-through making way for industrial strength strings and beats. I’m unsure whether this is actually two different tracks, if that’s the case one can hope that the track will be released in its entirety some time in the near future. The new evs series is looking as strong as ever. Get your copy now!
The loveable DIY label Autres Directions in Music are back with their second offering: Moulin 002. The second release is delivered by Dudley and is entitled “Seasonal LP”. This release is continuing on the musical path struck by the first release Moulin 001, where the very same artist also contributed with a remix of one of Melodium’s tracks. On “Seasonal LP” you get analogue coloured melodious electronic music. The seemingly untreated guitars looped over forward moving gentle beats and naive melody in the opening track “Adequat” is representative of this album. Quite impossible to categorise or is it pop-music in a good sense? “Fall Song” develops along the same line of thought, but it’s more loop based and the beats are just a tad heavier, not forgetting the massive strings. But I must admit that it is close to impossible not mention Wagon Christ’s “Throbbing Pouch” as the obvious reference in this particular case, that being said it’s really good track nevertheless. “Little Whril” is more up-tempo and has classic but excellent beats, the sample is eternal and probably not cleared so we’ll leave it at that, too bad it only lasts for 2 min 15 sec. The sonic ambience gets richer in “Let Down” with it’s down pitched beats and dirty sounding edits. The track with the longest title is also my personal favourite “The flower that eats the moon” got classic breakbeats and excellent understated sub bass and a playful melody, but it is the understated bassline that makes my night any day. Being obsessed with breakbeats and all… “…With Rain” returns the album to the curious untreated guitar sounds, they’re fused with beats and flute, quite original sounding actually. “Monday” features more talented loop manipulations and layered strings, leaning toward hip-hop it is still a hybrid with the breakbeats lurking around the corner and finally almost making the track succumb, but the lonely guitar is victorious in the end. “Kashcut” defies my description but it is still good. Quite nostalgic and at the same time not… “Point of Disgust” is a vocal based track, which is decidedly pop-oriented. Maybe it doesn’t really do the album justice, but the lyrics are quite convincing… The Adim label is going its own way and that is always refreshing. This label also raises some rather serious questions about the music industry, distributors, independent record labels, quality music manufacturing and so forth. One can but applaud the releases so far, what is next? Even though I personally have a hard time accepting/realising that in the world today some of the best musical things are for free at least for the consumer… that is strange.
The two influential record labels Expanding and Static Caravan join forces and release “Exp/static” a 10″ picture disc for the Christmas season 2003. The expanding (xmas waistline) team is represented by the core of expanding’s artists: Benge, Stendec and Vessel. The static (auntie val’s xmas nylon jumper) caravan team is represented by: Lilienthal (recently reviewed at ED), Hulk and Marcia Blaine School for Girls.With “Bambie” Benge delivers a fantastic track with his unique sound and this time around the genre to be re-invented and Bengefied is decidedly dub related. “Bambie” contains excellent string arrangements as well as beats and a contrabass-like played bassline, there’s just one Benge and this is how he sounds. Stendec really showing brute production force in their contribution “Incluse”, with excellent handling of the beats, beautiful and expertly chosen sounds and a warm atmosphere second to none. If I’m not mistaken it’s a version of a track that featured in Stendec’s 2002 live show. Vessel returns in form on “Sticker” after his delightful full-length album that was released on Expanding earlier this year. Clever build-up/construction of the beats leading up to the main melody and melancholic atmosphere, but as often is the case with Vessel the sun rays are just waiting to break through the clouds and all of a sudden you’re happier once again.Lilienthal’s “King of Information” is quite acoustic and apart from the effective beats and vocal arrangements it’s main feature is a lonesome unaltered guitar. It’s quite beautiful and different sounding. Hulk delivers “Paper Rock Scissors” a lo-fi number consisting of a quite disturbing vocal-like melody and generally claustrophobic feeling. I’m not familiar with Hulk ‘s productions, but this track is intriguing. Marcia Blane School for Girls venture out on the beats-tip with “Miss Prism” adding unusual sonic elements (vibraphone?) and creating a track that is as unique as it is quirky. But that’s more or less their trademark, so it is to be expected. The disc itself is a colourful, thick and limited piece of plastic, yet another fantastic release by Expanding and Static Caravan.
At last this record got released and it’s FAB’s contribution to the ever growing and exclusive Smak split series. Other familiar faces here at Electronic Desert that has previously contributed to the Smak series include New Speaks’ Ola Bergman. This is another excellent release by the grossly underrated duo known as Frank and Bill. Their side, which would be 12 features three beautiful compositions filled to the brim with beats and breathtaking melodies.Starting off with some solid beat programming and atmosphere in “Pontiak” fused with an ending tasteful break and a hint of glitch makes the track work beautifully. “Early Morning Mambo” displays the warmth of the FAB sound to the fullest, the beats and the layers of melodic elements contrast in a very harmonic way. Did I mention their melodic strength? On to the third and last track and also my favourite on this release, “K20″ is a classic in the making! It’s saturated with melancholy, superb forward moving crunchy beats and a melody to die for. The vocal influenced and played sounds complete the sonic picture. It’s an instant replay and it’s safe to say that Frank and Bill are going from strength to strength.The individual dwelling on the other side of the vinyl (actually I suspect it is the first side or 11, but I’m the one doing the reviewing here) is Laurent Brondel and his contribution differs in almost every conceivable aspect from FAB’s. “Siliconized”, “Synchronized” and “Materialized” could have been three beats intense electro-influenced excursions, landing in the harsher sonic spectrum, but the overtly use of vocorised vocals and generic use of female ones, completely spoils that attempt. However, it is positive to use the split format fully and you literally get a two-records-in-one deal. Take your pick. If you manage to get your hands on a copy, that is.