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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!.

Plakto, Soul’d Out [El-Ljud – ELJD013, 2010]

April 30th, 2011 Comments off

Plakto’s ‘Soul’d Out’ is the thirteenth release on the until recently completely unknown (to me that is) Swedish net label El-Ljud. They already have some 14 releases to their credit so I for one have obviously missed out on something great. The thirteenth release ‘Soul’d Out’ by Plakto has overall impressive qualities. It is solid E-dub*, excellent production and plenty of bass to go around.

The 8 tracks on ‘Soul’d Out’ are a treat and there’s enough complexity for a truly enjoyable long recurring listen. Did I mention the ample amounts of bass, fused with the exact amount of glitch and echo? The build-up and beats’ handling in ‘Wasted Basket’ or the up-tempo yet dubby ‘Off Course’ are awesome. It is the workmanship of one talented producer and the list just goes on throughout the all the eight tracks of the mini-album. ‘Soul’d Out’ is available as download on the El-Ljud website. The strong recommendation is, to get and play it right now!

And after some more listening to the catalog it is just not possible not to name the rest of the artists’ exquisite releases on the label and if for no other reason so just for the sake of simplicity. And the artists are: Nacho Monetto, Maschinenschlosser, Node, Psonikadia, Foudish, Pliir, Plaktogen, Switchcraft. It’s not impossible that a text or four related to El-Ljud will surface right here in the near future, excellent stuff!

*After re-listening to both El-Ljud 013 and 010 I see myself forced to introduce a genre, new [Sic!] to resurface and that genre would be ‘dubstep’. The reason for this is simply that Soul’d Out is in part just that, a really well executed and highly personal take on the dubstep genre.

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.

Soutien Gorge, Bolida/Hó [Boltfish Recordings – BOLTDIGI018, 2011]

March 29th, 2011 Comments off

Soutien Gorge of Bitlab Records’ fame returns to Boltfish Recordings with another two-track treat of warm and in all aspects cuddly electronic music (JAN 2011).

The ‘Bolida/Hó’ is their third release on Boltfish following the ‘Vízállásjelentés’ 2007 and ‘Szerelmes Nóta/Délutániád’ 2008 releases. Not as friendly as their 2008 release ‘Szerelmes Nóta/Délutániád’, but comparing with a lot of the rest of the down-tempo stuff these days (2011) it’s still a genuinely warm and cuddly experience.

And you get two tracks of well produced warm lush electronic music and the only major question really, is what-ever happened to the ultra-sweet characters appearing on Soutien Gorge’s debut ‘Persze Remixes’ on Bitlab Records dating from 2005? I do hope the little ones are doing alright, in this cold, cold World!

aAirial, Together EP, [Imaginary Nonexistent Records – INR016CDR, 2011]

March 29th, 2011 Comments off

‘Together EP’ is aAirial’s debut release on Imaginary Nonexistent Records. The previous output includes “Le fil du temps” and “Incoercible” on the net labels Laridae respectively Breathe, not forgetting his contribution to the ‘Intelligent Toys 6’ compilation on Lithuania’s Sutemos label. The ‘Together EP’ is comprised by six delicate tracks filled with largely piano based ambient bass rich lushness.

In complete and utter unfairness to the rest of the tracks I’m going to single out ‘Like a Summer Evening…’ and ‘Piano Impro #2’ as my favourites, the first because of it’s solitary piano, imposing warm strings and possibly its title, since the snow is currently falling… the second for the same reason as the firstly named quality of the first to be singled out.

This EP as a whole has some definite cinematic qualities; it’s deeply melancholic and indeed exceedingly beautiful, music that is thoroughly enjoyable. In short aAirial adds another fine release to the Imaginary Nonexistent Records catalogue. Download or CDR is available at the inrecs website.

Zzzzra, Licorne Sans Corne EP [Insectorama – insectorama043, 2011]

March 14th, 2011 Comments off

In the endless fields of Internet labels, I indirectly found a very talented music producer with an equally impossible name ‘Zzzzra’ (actually, and obviously I’m not the fastest mover around, I’ve come to realize that it is indeed a very clever name if you would type ‘Zzz’ in any given search field you would find that the returned hits are reduced dramatically compared to a single or double ‘Z’ and you’ll basically get one and only one result automatically) making e-dub of the highest possible quality.

Zzzzra’s latest release is on the Leipzig based Insectorama label and is entitled ‘Licorne Sans Corne EP’ yet another digital slab of high grade e-dub. It’s a five track EP with two tracks and three remixes and they’re just a pure bliss.

Zzzzra also runs his very own Internet label called Perso Records. There you’ll find more e-dub gems of his making and if you like e-dub, do yourself a favour and check out Zzzzra’s offerings because the quality is outstanding. My absolute personal favorite tracks are: ‘Hronir’ from ‘Episodes Perdus’ and ‘Ruissellement’ from ‘Recompilation’. Both on Perso Records and both as *free* downloads.

I’ve been informed that the ‘free’ download ‘Licorne Sans Corne EP’ passed 20 000* downloads today (don’t know if mine was 20000, 19999 or 20001-something, it really doesn’t matter, however, people I’m telling you here and now, that is a vast number) and that in less than a month’s time! If you enjoy the music please make a contribution to this talented artist. I pledge that I will, and in any event ‘Hronir’ alone is well worth it.

*For 2011 I’ve really tried to refrain from comments about downloads etc. because frankly it’s all just getting tiresome, but this is just to much… the term ‘’failed business model’ simply doesn’t explain the problems contemporary artists are facing today. 20,000 downloads… Do you want to make a contribution?









Above is the place to do right.

Inigo Kennedy, Distant Circles [Asymmetric – ASY MP3 020, 2011]

February 22nd, 2011 Comments off

‘Distant Circles’ is the fresh start for the New Year on Inigo Kennedy’s Asymmetric label and the twentieth MP3 release (JAN 2011). And like it’s predecessor this EP consists of five exceedingly well-produced electronic pieces and once more epic techno tracks.

In sequential order; starting with ‘Albedo’, a big drum track with some subtleties, pure techno if that is even a valid term these days, a track that stretches back in time, with the big exception that the sound quality was very different at the time (no one would have known.) Tempo is most definitely up! (Maybe, just maybe drum’n’bass has something to do with that tempo change in music the past decade or so?)

‘Caverns’ has beautiful and classic build up (you need the time to play the intro though) and progresses along a pathway of good things, bass and added musical complexity and yes, the steppers can find their way as well, given they can survive the massive break! Rest assured the drum returns… in my inner vision I can see that build-up effect in all it’s beauty, the hesitation and I can also indeed see all the smiles! The drum is BIG, but so are the breaks. In one word sonic effectiveness!

This could very well be the most interesting track of them all, on Inigo Kennedy’s “Distant Circles” namely, ‘Skedaddle’ a hybrid of styles, but with a breakbeat focus that simply can’t be missed. And being produced by Inigo Kennedy there just has to be an individual twist and there most definitely is! It is a very effective track and in some senses a bridge between all the things that are well produced these days and that still remain in the up-tempo sphere (a lot of production excursions have taken the path down the BPM ladder rather than up). Kennedy, as renowned techno producer on the other hand has chosen, until now more or less unknown middle ground in ‘Skedaddle’ and it’s all to great effect! I really, really wish this track will crossover.

‘Jupiter’ is a techno banger with soul, BIG drums fused with sounds to keep you interested and most likely overwhelmed if on the floor (given the sound system is actually there). In my mind this is very close to the definition of ‘Techno’ music (whatever that may be). Finally I suspect that the title of the song doesn’t entirely reference the celestial body, but hey, it’s just my personal observation/suspicion.

The fifth and last track is entitled ‘Disorder’ and it concludes the ‘Distant Circles’ EP in an orderly way, and yet it is something different altogether. The setting is different and so is the track’s overall mood. Lushes of atmospheric sounds accompany the beats. Actually it is similar to the closing track on the previous release and it also stands as vivid reminder of just how good electronic music can be.

‘Distant Circles’ is available as free download from asymmetric and so are all of the previous releases.

Zainetica, Overcast City, [En:peg Digital – EN39, 2008]

January 19th, 2011 Comments off

En:peg Digital is, or rather used to be the only digital branch of US label n5MD. The label originally started out releasing MiniDiscs. That would be Sony’s quirky and strange MiniDisc format that they eventually decided to discontinue as recordable media in 2006. They then left the US label among a few others with CD:s, vinyl and digital downloads for output.

n5MD has released some of the very best electronic music makers around in the late 1990’s and beyond, for example all-time favourites and (in my mind) unsurpassed Dutch dynamic duo, the untouchable Funcken brothers. And if I’m not completely mistaken, the first Funcken Bros. n5MD release ever made was made using the Quench moniker and I’m also pretty sure that not all that many people knew the true identity of Quench at the time, even if their productions techniques is the obvious give away today…

That was the related history for this time around, let’s move on to the mighty Zainetica and his Overcast City album, definitely completely overlooked by me and dear I say some others… This excellent album starts out with the massive Overcast City stretching some 23 minutes and probably is two or three tracks combined in one majestic piece. Staring off with excellent scenic and continuing on a logical part to my favourite part some 12 minutes in when the mood changes and all the deepness is reinforced with solid bass and the most of the beauty materializes in to solid bass. The seven tracks on Overcast City are all a testament of Zainetica’s musical craftsmanship and mind you only someone in love would ever name a track The World is You, and could you, honestly think of a better thing in this World? It’s a beautiful song as well…

Zainetica’s Overcast City is available at the En:peg Digital site. I suggest you give it a listen right now!