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Achrid, Achrid [Benbecula – BEN515, 2006]

May 2nd, 2006 Comments off

achridAfter Benbecula’s massive 13 disc Minerals’ series they press on with hectic release schedule. The current and upcoming releases contain regular albums as well as a limited number of releases taken from the Minerals’ series. Achrid is one of those releases, it’s a nine track long album of live and studio takes. Starting off in the realm of glitch and moving through onto droned-out soundscapes. The rhythmic elements are slowly dispersed until only sonic texture remains. Maybe not what would light up your regular party, but why not and in any event that is clearly not what this musical exercise is all about. The minimal composition is at its best in track number 5 entitled “Waffle” the rhythmic structure is more tangible and balanced compared to some of the other tracks where the fascination towards the actual sounds that can be produced seems to take overhand a little. In any event Achrid’s album is an interesting one and a quality release from Benbecula.

Inch-Time, As the Moon Draws Water [Static Caravan – VAN104, 2006]

May 2nd, 2006 Comments off

inch_time_as_the_moon“As the Moon Draws Water” is Inch-time’s soon to be released (MAY 2006) follow-up to the “Icicles and Snowflakes/ Almond Eyes” 7-inch single that was released on Static Caravan (FEB 2006). The current release is a full-length album comprised by 10 tracks. The production is lovely and the sound selection is individual throughout this very nice album. Many of the tracks have common traits, apart from the fact that they’re all based on beautiful melodies fused with deep bass and complex rhythms, they share the masterful production with live sounding instrumentation and an overall jazzy feel. In one word: lovely! Inch-time’s album “As the Moon Draws Water” comes highly recommended!

Various Artists, London Electrics [London Electrics – LE01CD, 2005]

May 2nd, 2006 Comments off

london_elLondon Electrics is the result of six collaborating labels: Ai Records, Expanding, Highpoint Lowlife, Seed, Suburb and Uncharted Audio that all have their base in London town, hence the name. This twelve-track compilation is filled with high-quality electronic music not all that surprising considering that it is precisely what one would expect by each and any of the involved labels. The artwork and accompanied website are keeping to the highly set standard. Expanding’s contributors are the usual suspects: Benge and Vessel. Benge who is also Expanding’s founder has contributed with “Panhard” taken from his latest full-length release “I am 9” classic Benge’s stuff and thereby as excellent as soothing piece of electronic music. Vessel’s “State” is taken from his full-length “Resist”. Other familiar faces would be Digitonal and Posthuman of Seed fame. The surprise is courtesy of Highpoint Lowlife a label previously unknown to me that offers two high-quality tracks. Bovaflux’s and Fisk Industries’ both contribute with forward-moving bass enriched delights. This compilation is a testament to London Electrics and it’s a good one!

Modern Institute, Excellent Swimmer [Expanding Records – ECD23:06, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

modern_institute“Excellent Swimmer” is the title of Expanding’s next musical offering to the World. An interesting release in more aspects than one, since it sees this high-quality label taking a slightly different musical path than usual, yet unmistakeably in that very typical Expanding way, the music made by “Modern Institute” still fit precisely into the overall musical scheme. As is the always the case on Expanding (with the odd exception) the album is also a debut release. If nothing else it is a testament to the clarity of vision held by Expanding’s A&R where each subsequent release offers something new and at the same time offering something very, very familiar. Modern Institute is a duo comprised of Theo Teardo and the cellist Martina Bertoni and the latter fact would account for the dominance of that particular instrument and to great effect I might add. And at times this well executed mix of various acoustic and electronic sounds have striking similarities to both label mates Stendec and Benge. At second thought maybe not all that surprising. To summarise: Modern Institute’s 1st and Expanding’s 23rd album release sees the label go in a new direction, leaves them looking stronger than ever and manifests Expanding’s position as one of the most interesting labels in the World today.

Fedaden, Fedaden [Nacopajaz – NCJCD03, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

feadadenFedaden is reportedly exactly 50% of recently written about Del Wire (FEB 2006) and one would be forced to make the same conclusion about Fedaden’s solo efforts: it’s not hard to like them. Fedaden’s self-entitled album is comprised by nine excellent tracks and in likeness with Del Wire the subtle references and clever incorporations of genre standard attributes makes this album a through and through pleasant experience. From the lounged out bossa fueled introduction “Ansiedad” onto the brilliant “Tant Apprendre” and its restricted use of vocal sample. Or “Empire” influenced by that prolific electronic musician of Mexican decent: Murcof with its ultra crisp treble exercises. The whole album in its nine tracks splendour continues along the same lines and a special note has to be said about the excellent “No Me Siento”. The subbass will shake your foundations and touch the very core of your being. The down-tempo, beat filled and sample laden album “Fedaden” produced by Del Wire’s and Nacopajaz’ Fedaden comes recommended.

Shulman, Random Thoughts [Aleph Zero Records – ALEPHZ05, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

shulman_randomThe latest release (MAR 2006) from Israeli label Aleph Zero is entitled “Random Thoughts” produced by the duo Shulman. This album share a number of similarities with the previous Aleph Zero release “Sines and Singularities”. It too could have been made back in the days when the so called ambient dub reigned (another name cornered by those inventive British music journalists), with a lush, warm, analogue bass infused and quite trancy sound and all meant to be understood in the positive meaning of the words. There’s a collaboration track with label mate Bluetech and among the remixed artists you’ll find: Sub6 feat. Michele Adamson, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Steve Shehan and Lee Triffon. If you’re looking for well-produced, warm house influenced electronic music with a dash of dub and trance look no further, as I’m convinced “Random Thoughts” will fit the bill perfectly.

John Barnes, 3 Yellows Make Black [No Ground-R – NG-R07, 2006]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

johnbarnesThis wonderful and 7th release (MAR 2006) from No Ground-R is signed John Barnes alias Sam Arnold. Sam Arnold used to be part of the group Mountain Men Anonymous and has previously released music using the John Barnes moniker on Machine Records. John Barnes’ music is heavily influenced by beat driven genres such as drum’n’bass and fused with delicate melodies he creates wonderful contrast. And the effectiveness of leaving some space in the production cannot be more clearly demonstrated. So there you have it, if you like beats, don’t mind basslines and support lovely melodies mainly comprised of piano and string instruments, you’ll like John Barnes. However, whether or not you actually like football is not relevant in this context, that being another enjoyable No Ground-R 3-inch release.

Del Wire, 01 [Nacopajaz – NCJCD02, 2005]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

delwireIt’s not hard to like Del Wire’s full-length debut album “01” released on the French label amusingly named (it is to me anyhow) Nacopajaz. The album contains 14 well produced predominantly instrumental (except of the occasional vocal samples) and soothing hip hop based electronic tracks. There are also some very pleasant bass excesses incorporated on the album. Sure there’s no musical revolution lingering around the next corner, however it does most definitely not matter. The way the tracks are put together at times with very subtle references to other genres and the coolness of the whole atmosphere it’s a pleasant experience all around. The aptly named “Basicide” is the personal favourite with its ultra deep bass and heavenly strings. A solid piece of down-tempo electronics is what Del Wire and Nacopajaz offer on the “01” album.

FortDax, Horizon Seven-Seven [Static Caravan – VAN084, 2005]

March 29th, 2006 Comments off

van84“Horizon Seven-Seven” is a severally limited two track CD apparently containing the music intended for the Van 84 7-inch, when or why it was not released haven’t been disclosed as of yet. The first of the two tracks is the bombastic “Horizon Seven-Seven” starting off with menacing cello-like sounds and building towards a definite crescendo incorporating rather surprisingly harsh sounding drums straighter than Autobahn and layers of guitars. The second track is the quirkier and friendlier “A Beverley Mythic (2004 Version)” complete with nursery rhyme like melody, spinet-like sounds and hand clap. The sound of FortDax’ music is original and perfectly suited for Static Caravan.

Autophonic, Slack [On Records – ON205, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

autophonic_slack_on205On Records returns after the seminal 12-inch Funckarma remix extravaganza “ThemSongsByWe” 2003 release and what a return this is! Autophonic’s “Slack” is a best of and debut album at the same time, the first full-length single artist release on On Records and it is as good as it gets. There are 12 tracks of sonic delight on the release and all produced by the very talented Autophonic. The album includes eight of his previously released tracks: “Mekanix” taken from the untitled, early and wonderful DUB04. “Vicious Circles” and “Craft Crash” taken from the classic and superb DUB015 “Bathrobin EP” and “Seclusion” taken from the “Nummer Drie” compilation DUBCD03. “Mind The Dot” was included on the “MAS Confusion” Studio!K7 compilation, “Klont” was included on “MP3voor12” a compilation on the (to me unknown) Vpro label and “Flets” that apparently was included on a DVD entitled “Rawpikzl Video Oost” released on another label/festival unknown to me, called Rawpikzl. And last but not least “Kendu” that first appeared on the lovely On Records’ compilation ON002. (It also featured Funckarma using their Quench monkier.)All these tracks are excellent with complex beats, very high production standard and summarizes the Autophonic sound in a good way. The early DUB releases are sought after these days and it goes without saying quite hard to come by as well. The remaining four previously unreleased tracks show a new side to Autophonic’s musical productions: a jazzier sound with ultra-thick bass, warmth and a live instrumentation feeling. The first track of the album is entitled “Gasp” and it has industry-strength beats fused with live sounding bass and electric piano set in jazz mode all sprinkled with synthesized sounds. “Suspicion” flexes straight-forward hip hop influenced beats and bass doing damage. “Slack” has exquisite live sounding beat patterns and features massive basslines fused with horns and electric piano in short it’s an excellent track! “Flets” which has been previously released (see above) share a number of the previous track’s characteristics, but features less tempo and progressing at a sloth’s slow pace. “Bled” ends the album in a fitting way with a melancholic touch. Get this release immediately and that goes for the previous On records releases as well!