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Loden, A better landing [Eat This Records – ETR13.1, 2003]

March 25th, 2004 Comments off

loden_better_landingA 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.

Endorphins, Discipline [Eat This Records – ETR11, 2004]

March 25th, 2004 Comments off

endorphines_disiplineFinally, after what seemed an eternity, the long, long wait for Endorphins album on Eat This surfaces. You get 8 tracks of beautifully constructed nostalgic beats, warm basslines and if you’re lucky a 3,5-inch floppy disk or if you’re even luckier an insanely limited 3-inch CDR… So was it worth the wait? There’s no doubt in my mind that it was. “Discipline” may not be as musically revolutionary as one would perhaps be hoping for, but it has other qualities and that’s the timelessness of quality electronic sounds and production. And why should it not be the case? Good beats are good beats and solid basslines are solid basslines. And there’re some harsher sounding elements as well. Maybe not what you would expect, but definitely not out of place, as in the track bearing the same title as the album “Discipline”. In short this album contains a great collection of electronic music and together with the “extras” it is a release that you want. Actually the fact that it is released on Eat This should make this decision an easy one.

AMBit3, Enwrapped [Nature Records – NAT2122MCD, 2003]

March 25th, 2004 Comments off

ambit3_enwrappedThe 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.

Lusine ICL, Condensed [Hymen – ¥734, 2003]

March 25th, 2004 Comments off

lusine_condensed“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.

Phako, Shipyards and Engineering Co. Ltd. [DUB Recordings – DUB CD06, 2002]

March 25th, 2004 Comments off

phako_yards“Shipyards and Engineering Co. Ltd.” is the album that followed the twelve-inch with the same name that was released on DUB recordings in 2002. The album contains the tracks from the single release other assorted Phako offerings as well as two videos. It’s not just something for the collectors, because it contains great beats intense electronic music too.

Cathode, Special Measures [Expanding Records – EVA5:03, 2004]

February 22nd, 2004 Comments off

cathode_eva503The first Expanding album to see the light of day in 2004 comes from Cathode and is entitled “Special Measures”. The ever so excellent artwork and packaging aside this album shows an Expanding Records’ in great shape. “Be red or yellow” starts off this album in a fairly analogue setting without giving up the glitch, layers of gentle guitars are fused with broken rhythms and a healthy solid beat sets the ambience. Onto the piece de resistance, unquestionably the best track on the entire LP is the equally aptly entitled “While making other plans”. The gentle melody, the convincing beats and rhythm introducing the track leads onto to clever use of bell-like sounds and an awesome build-up. Enter the strings… it’s all over and together with the processed vocals you’ve got one of the best tracks of 2004. Yes, I know it’s still early days, but I’m quite confident. The slightly more techno influenced “Spincycle” offers a straight kick and dynamic bell based sound structure. “Hayling and Brixton” got a decidedly analogue bassline and loveable melody, quite ingenious in all its simplicity. It’s electronica according to the non-existent blueprint. Flipping the record over and you get a mellower sounding “Roxburgh” starting off with high-frequency sounds and solid melodies interacting, All in all its’ familiar sounding, yet new. “Basic Assumption” has a brilliant ambient intro taking the tempo down even further, epic soundscape stuff, still with that analogue feeling lurking about. It’s beatless, processed and beautiful. The understated beats with corresponding bass filled melody creates great atmosphere in “This Just In (c90 mix)” a steadily building and flowing track. Mid-through, the track’s bearing elements become transparent only to be reshaped again, excellent production. “Lewy Body” features a fragile melody fused with strings and some residual glitch, then transforming into a nursery rhyme like forward moving track. A slab of uncompromised contemporary music being at the same time: dynamic, rhythmic, complex and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to whatever’s in store from the Expanding camp in the future. They manage to always serve as a source for inspiration, sonically as well as visually.

Depth Affect, Mesquin EP [Autres Directions In Music – MOULIN003, 2004]

February 22nd, 2004 Comments off

mesquinThe third release from Adim (that would be Autres Directions In Music for the ones who hasn’t red the two previous reviews here at ED one of the last outposts of contemporary electronic music in Stockholm.) is a hip-hop based excursion courtesy of Depth Affect. They really make the best description of their music themselves: “…our way of proceeding isn’t original it simply consists in exploring the different aspects of electronic hop hop music.” and they do exactly that, heavy beats and looped melodies create convincing tracks. “Mesquin Eye” relies on all these elements and it is quite melodic. “Dialect” is decidedly minimal and has awesome old school drums and bassline that completely dominates the sonic picture. The choice of title shows great sense of humour given the sampled vocals used in the track. The third track “not Forgotten” is of epic proportions even though the chosen opening beats are close to render the track generic, but it is saved by the overall composition and it is a lovely track all in all. The forth and last track on the EP is a remix of the opening track “Mesquin Eye” entitled “Vertigo Remix” the remix is made by Melodium who also did the honors on Moulin 001 and he does a great job here too. Adding some different sounds to the original and cleaning up the beats to the verge of minimalism and even throwing in some filtering for good measure and outro. You can’t but like Adim and all you have to do in order to get their releases is to go to their website and download them or buy them for 5 euros each!

ENV(itre), Teaktshramin [Aphorism Records – APHORISM001, 2004]

February 22nd, 2004 Comments off

envitre_teaktshraminTeaktshramin is the debut album by ENV(itre) that also doubles as first release on the brand new Aphorism Records. This is good stuff and Aphorism is clearly an interesting newcomer. An album sporting 14 tracks and weighing in at 45:58 min will either suffer the judgement that it’s too short or that there’s too many tracks on it. Both things can be said to be true of “Teaktshramin” but it is still an excellent first release as well as debut album. The opening track “Couldec” serves as a perfect intro and sets the mood, great choice of sounds and solid beats programming with complexity and harshly treated sounds combined in such a way that the forward movement isn’t lost. The second track “Andrea” is built along the same musical drawing as the opening track, but considerably less harsh sounding. It’s craftsman’s electronic music without being the least generic. “Do the Gew” manifests the first induced feeling of a solidly produced album. When the album progresses so does my associations and they point me in the direction of the likes of M-tech and possibly Phonem. Not bad influences I might add. The vocal experiment? “A Breathe (with Morbid_monja)” however, painfully illustrates the difficulties involved with using vocals… no matter how they sound. “Brummede and Surje” is a quality piece of electronic music that also succeeds with incorporating some nostalgic references without being retro. “Fillit” is an excellent track with understated melody and awesome beats programming. The same can be said about “Beljron”. “Avril Afech”, “Ohms Groove” and “Heflit” the last one being a drum machine marvel it’s too bad it only lasts for 120 seconds. “Purlinpark” is great and the references are clearly visible here as well, but it doesn’t matter. Then there’re the beat filled, filtered and beautiful compositions of “Q Boonp”. The thirteenth track is entitled “The World would be better without” and has some intense off beat programming, cut-up trickery and a message to boot. It’s only for the headstrong though. “Velcq Calling” is a beatless and intense track that also ends the album. I don’t know what Velcq means but it doesn’t seem entirely safe… This album is with one exception a thoroughly enjoyable and an equally good first release. ED welcomes Aphorism Records to the wonderful world of electronic music and look forward to the next Aphoristic offering.

Praveen, Circle Song [Expanding Records – EVS3:03, 2004]

February 22nd, 2004 Comments off

praveen_evs303A new acquaintance at Expanding Records by the name of Praveen delivers a striking contribution to this year’s evs series. “Circle Song (Dedicated to Adam Lee)” features lead heavy beats, complex layering as well as atmospheric melodies it’s a track made for Expanding or any quality conscious label out here for that matter. It’s brilliant music that will probably not be played enough times. The flipside is even better, the ambiguously entitled “Nameless (P. Diggity Dog)” starts off as a quite regular exercise in hip-hop based electronica, but soon evolves into something decidedly different. Harshly compressed beats that gets space to move in opens up the track and delivers a sonic experience that you’ll be sure to want to relive again and again and that’s even before you get to hear the call and response melody! In one word: masterful. And even the distorted feedback noise that sounds like ground failure plays its part. Praveen is another great find by Expanding.

Vessel, Fold [Expanding Records – EVS2:03, 2003]

February 22nd, 2004 Comments off

vessel_evs203It’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!