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Posts Tagged ‘CD’

Atheus, Compile [Silent Season – SSCD09, 2011]

May 3rd, 2011 4 comments

I simply had to write something about Silent Season! A label that is yet another new acquaintance to me, hailing from British Columbia, Canada (and you may think, rightfully; what is the meaning of all these geographical references on resurface.se?)

Well, for one thing it may have to do with the fact that resurface.se is located in Sweden (think extreme northern Europe), or that it was also a recurring theme on Electronic Desert, or that Turkey stands in line to be reviewed, but the hope is that the main reason is to point out the utterly beautiful and global presence of electronic music that is maintained by the first and only global* means of communication; namely the Internet.

And please keep in mind (or realise) that it has not always been and that it may very well be lost forever due to other forces that are in play in this, complex World of ours.

Now, let’s move on to the subject in the centre of this text: Atheus’ wonderful ‘Compile’ album on Silent Season. To establish a reasonable baseline let’s first conclude one thing: it is nothing but excellent! It is filled to the brim with e-dub of the highest order, with forward movement and fused with the right amount of static.

Nevertheless, there’s one track that simply (to my mind) is just a tiny fraction better than all of the rest and destined in becoming a future classic, the majestic ‘Einsatz’. The deep bass, the firm hand-clap, the hi-hat, the timeless atmosphere and the finely tuned tempo (on the upside) makes this track the perfect description of e-dub! This in all aspects close to perfect track actually follows another track entitled ‘Deploy’ that it is almost as good and it doesn’t stop there; consider the last track ‘Unendlich’ and you have a perfectly combined e-dub triptych.

If you’re remotely interested in electronic music or more precisely in e-dub (according to resurface.se’s definition: found and nurtured in Berlin, Germany), you should investigate this album and label and if you happen to like e-dub, then I suggest you get this album right now without hesitating. ‘Compile’ is a strong contender for album of the year, without question (not that I’ve ever actually succeeded in choosing just one album, but never mind that).

In likeness with so many other newly produced albums it’s like an electronic decoctation which has slowly been trickling down through layers of layers of ever-improving hardware and finally after all these years, are meeting the expectations of my ears harshly tutored in the era of lo-fi hissing C-90 music cassettes.


*You may belong to the part of the World that lack electricity, computers, Internet connections or may be occupied with more pressing matters, like basic survival for example, you may or not be living in the so called developing World and if that is indeed the case, you may not share these sentiments of Internet's contributions to mankind, however, nomatter where you live, please consider letting art lead the way.

Retina.it, Randomicon [FlatMate Music – FLT002, 2011]

April 30th, 2011 Comments off

Largely based around self-manufactured modular synthesizers the fourth Retina.it album release sees the light of day or is it the darker inner workings of an ancient machine? Minimal, experimental in nature and decidedly techno ‘Randomicon’ is the second release on newly started Barcelona based FlatMate Music label.

In the spirit of randomness (which is supposedly harder to create than one would maybe first be tempted to assume, mathematical randomness that is) this 500 piece CD-release will feature as many different digipak covers (500 unique covers). All based on a combination of characters found in the original album title and artist name; a very nice touch if I may say so.

‘Randomicon’ contains 11 tracks of well-produced and stripped-down techno music. A rough selection would have to include the up-tempo, chopped and menacing ‘Equation for U’, the very electro including subtle yet effective distortion on ‘Rotating Solutions’ and the nervousness of ‘Gamma Repeater’.

Grab your physical copy right now from Straight Distribution or wait until 2011-05-06 for the global digital download release available via dig dis!.

Biotron Shelf, Cloud Bands and Arabesques [Boltfish Recordings – BOLTLP012, 2011]

April 30th, 2011 Comments off

‘Biotron Shelf’ is Murray Fisher’s and Wil Bolton’s collaborative project and as any returning reader would surely know Murray Fisher records as Mint and Wil Bolton as Cheju and together they run the record label Boltfish Recordings. The first Biotron Shelf release was ‘33 Minutes North’ on U-Cover’s CDR series in 2006. Two years later they released ‘Transmissions’ (sadly yet resurface-unheard and extremely limited CDR-release on Smallfish Records).

‘Cloud Bands and Arabesques’ is as far as I know this is the first Biotron Shelf release ever on Boltfish (which is kind of funny given they’re the label owners). The production standard of these two electronic musicians is as high as ever. The Biotron Shelf you know and love from ’33 Minutes North’ are very much represented on this release to the novelties you could add the tracks with a more acoustic setting, like the equally lovely ‘The King’s Horses’.

In the 10 tracks on the album they successfully merge their two styles into one unique sounding treat once again. ‘Cloud Bands and Arabesques’ is scheduled for a summer release (JUL2011). More information at: Boltfish Recordings.

Iuengliss, Blank Matter [Plastic Sound Supply – PSS012, 2011]

April 30th, 2011 Comments off

‘Plastic Sound Supply’ is the name of a friendly label hailing from Denver, Colorado in the USA. Although not unknown to me this is still the first release being written about at resurface and I must confess it is due time, because their latest offering is also their twelfth release: Iuengliss’ debut album ‘Blank Matter’.

Lovely offbeat action in fourth runner up ‘Malaysian Caning’ and more of the same; somewhat dirty sounding and nostalgic straight-forward drum machine music in ‘Level Test’, ‘Time’, ‘Death Comes In The Rays’ and last but not least the up-tempo homage to days long lost in ‘Jungbeats’ (makes me smile).

All-in-all I like the playfulness of this album a lot and ‘Malaysian Caning’ and ‘Jungbeats’ are simply put excellent tracks! Preview, download and CD purchase opportunity possible at: Iuengliss Blank Matter . Visit Plastic Sound Supply for more audio and visual delights.

Sabi, Glued on Thin Memories [Boltfish Recordings – BOLTLP009, 2010]

April 30th, 2011 Comments off

A very competent and well-executed album released on the relentless and yet very friendly Boltfish Recordings’ label in 2010.

This 15 track album opens up with a classic take on electronic beats born on the other side of the Atlantic and may not be groundbreaking for 2011. However, the workmanship is most definitely there and it continues on with more lush US references and in a very good form at that.

Track four ‘Screaming Bulb’ is nothing short but excellent, effective; warm yet mildly complex, very nice build-up and nice processed vocal based melody and stretching 10:19 to boot. The Sabi remix of ‘Mano’ is more than good, it brings out the sun and beach in an instant and in all its straightforwardness it is simply put a beautiful piece of music.

I don’t know much about who Sabi is, however the talent is obvious and so is the display of knowledge of the output of contemporary electronic music the past decade or so. Not excluding Boltfish and the nearby musical surroundings, the reason for making that comment is that there are more than one or two unmistakable influences in there, it is a very well executed album nevertheless.

For more information please visit: Boltfish Recordings.

Teho Teardo, Soundtrack Work 2004-2008 [Expanding Records – ECD31:10, 2010]

December 19th, 2010 Comments off

After the release of Pq debut album ‘You’ll Never Find Us Here’ and following a period of quietness. This surprising second album appears on Expanding Records in 2010. It was released just a mere month or so later (AUG2010). As would be expected (it’s Expanding after all) it is another excellent debut album, this time around it’s entitled ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’ and it’s written and produced by: Teho Teardo. He is half of Modern Institute and in 2006 they released the ‘Excellent Swimmer’ album on Expanding Records the other half of Modern Institute is fellow musician Martina Bertoni.

On ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’, which also happens to be a very descriptive title of the album you’ll find expectedly crafted soundtrack tracks, a selection of Teho Teardo’s compositional work related to cinema. On the album (compilation) the sonic work included in five movies is included. Given that the origin is the same, that is, the same person has written the music there is a theme of sorts and listening to the album end-to-end is a gratifying experience. It soothing music with a lot of warmth, in some sense transparent and with nothing but a cinematic feel.

I usually try very hard to refrain from making references to the general or the concept of the general when writing about music, but when it comes to soundtracks, then it becomes really hard not doing so, because they, the soundtracks that is, do seem to have a general trait and would appear to be sharing something that is a common and mind you, this is not necessarily a bad thing. That being said, ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’ is one beautiful collection of music, put together with great care and it caters for a nimbleness listen and to sum it up it’s another great release from the pursuers of excellence: Expanding Records.

Pq, You’ll Never Find Us Here [Expanding Records – ECD30:10, 2010]

December 14th, 2010 Comments off

After being quiet for a period of time a new release on Expanding Records finally arrives (JUN2010)! And it is another debut album and it is as many times before a high-quality piece of music. Reflecting the undeniable and dramatic changes in the near past, this is appears to be a CD release only (no vinyl this time around, a pity, but not all that surprising). Once the unquestionable beacon of well-thought-through purist electronic music, Expanding has adapted its position in order to stay in front. And with the years’ that have past and especially looking back, Pq’s debut album is not a turning point for Expanding. I dear to say that it happened some albums ago and I also think that in even that aspect Expanding was ahead of their time. ‘You’ll Never Find Us Here’ is excellent and it seems to have a longevity factor to it (mind you 2010 hasn’t ended yet). It might be because of its production, it might be of its enticing beauty, it might be because it ‘s an Expanding release, it might or it might not be because the majority of the rest of the contemporary releases just doesn’t sound as good. Honestly, who can resist a solitary un-damped piano track? For sure it is not electro, and it is not all that electronic, but then again this is not the year 2000. Expanding Records manages to surprise once again… I strongly suggest you make up your own mind.

Seba, Return to Forever [Combination Records – CORE060, 2008]

July 6th, 2008 Comments off

seba_return_to_foreverIt is completed and ready for release (AUG2008) “Return To Forever” is the long awaited debut album by the prolific drum’n’bass producer known as Seba. After a long string of twelve-inch releases on various labels his discography contains labels known and respected all over the World including his very own Secret Operations.

In short the time has come to add another chapter to Seba’s musical journey. “External Reality” in its album version displays to the fullest the level of beats programming expertise held by Seba. The deep, heavy bass and heavenly beats are the perfect starting point for the “Return to Forever” album.

Read more…

Various Artists, One Point Two [Rednetic – RN012, 2007]

August 10th, 2007 Comments off

one_point_twoOne Point Two is the most natural name for the sequel of the first Rednetic compilation One Point (you guessed it) One that saw the light if day in 2004 and was the second release ever on this not that old thriving yet successful label. There’s little point in denying it this compilation is very good and if it has any shortcomings they’re surely down to musical preferences and nothing else. The opening track Queasy by affiliated artist Mint of Boltfish fame and it’s the perfect lush opening for a 14-track session of contemporary electronics. Queasy strikes me as quite an unusual track for being Mint masterminding it somewhat less nice than his regular output. Boc Scadet’s She Spoke of the Sky is another emotive high-tech production by Boc Scadet and it’s not hard to understand how this track ended up on the One Point Two compilation. Polestar’s Retro Future is brilliant with warm lush sounds submerging the sonic picture as they are contrasted with crisp beats and plenty of forward motion a simply seminal piece of music. Zainetica’s Awaken track is classic Zainetica material and the bubbly bassline would grace any open-minded dance floor and the musical references are as vast as is the undeniable talent held by this artist. Cheju’s Hubl holds all the characteristics of a Cheju track apart from the bassline that is decidedly more 80′ like than I’ve ever heard before. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely a different approach for being Cheju. Vizier of Damascus’ Murmurs is anything and everything you would expect from Vizier of Damascus a great ambient track with an edge and the rhythmic work on Murmurs is excellent. However the track’s playing time is too short, weighing in at 03:12 it is much too short. The eleventh track Harajuku is an interesting collaboration between Joseph Auer and household name Lackluster. Actually it seems to be a remix by the ever so productive Lackluster, so I guess it should read something like Joseph Auer Harajuku (Lackluster Pitchmix). And as it turns out it was originally named Harajuku Rain and is taken from his Kyoto Tokyo 2001 EP released in 2004 on the very same label. In the remix Lackluster is opting for the big bass and the slow beats in this summery roller keep the bass heavy and the beats kind of hollow, ya’ll feelin’ it? Joseph Auer’s Probes off Io has all the qualities and the unmistakable sounds of any J.Auer track. It is a solid slab of Americana being served by the artist. Complete with lush strings and forward moving beats in perfect harmony. Superb production and another piece of fine music signed J.Auer. Inigo Kennedy’s Faraway Towns has a melancholy struck melody, crisp beats and massive amounts of bass. It is an unforgiving slightly distorted bassline that is a monster. In Faraway Towns you get the sweet with the rough in a brilliant way. You’ve been warned so watch those bassbins! Sunosis’ Leap is the last track on the compilation and it is taken from the lovely Warmed EP released (and reviewed) on Rednetic earlier this year. In conclusion: One Point Two – More Digital Listening Music from Rednetic (as the full title reads) is a definite show of force by Rednetic and a welcome as it is refreshing collection of tracks that rely on electronics rather than acoustic instruments in what seems to be an unstoppable wave of acoustic releases the past year or so. After all this is the E-desert!

Ludvig Elblaus, Flannel Poet [ELECTRONIC DESERT – ED003, 2007]

August 10th, 2007 Comments off

ed003_webbScandinavian producer Ludvig Elblaus explores the possibilities of setting machines free to create their own music without human intervention judging by his titles, he probably gets them to make them up as well. But on a hands-on, upbeat track such as “Hitta hem”, whose stiff forward momentum and manic irregularities recall such John Baker classics as “The Chase”, such worries are quickly dispersed. The nervous, distended pulsations on “Rymd” and the slowly evolving convulsions of closer “Baltice” both suggest a strong feel for a beat and sure sense of timing, even when his powers of description may have deserted him.

Electronica Reviewed by Ken Hollings, THE WIRE 279 MAY 2007