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Bauri, Have No Fear [Expanding Records – EVS5:04, 2004]

September 14th, 2004 Comments off

bauri_evs504Bauri releasing on Expanding a stroke of genius? Bauri re-assumes his release schedule with a fantastic contribution to the evs-series. Warm and lush and this time maybe downplaying the Hip-hop influences displayed on his latest New Speak release “Everything is going to be OK again” a bit. Regardless, Bauri delivers to gorgeous tracks “Have No Fear” and “Hugs” on blue ultra-thick 7-inch vinyl packaged in thick opaque PVC with print. It’s the evs-series, there’re only 400 pressed and they will run out. Get one now!

Ludvig Elblaus, Furious Styles [New Speak – NSPK005, 2004]

September 14th, 2004 Comments off

le_furiosstyles“Furious Styles” is a superb 6-track release by Ludvig Elblaus out on New Speak (Hey, whatever happened to EDr?) and also his first release as a solo artist. (As you may or may not know Ludvig Elblaus is exactly one half of Frank and Bill.) One recurring trade or pattern is Elblaus’ strong focus on the rhythmic elements in his compositions with an acute sense for grooves, beats and percussive elements. None of the tracks on “Furious Styles” is an exception from this pattern. Each and every track has rhythms and basslines to die for and they all more or less carry the microscopic and subtle dub-influence that has been incorporated by Elblaus the past year or so. This EP moves forward like a freight train and has gotten literally everyone in the know on their toes, from distinguished record stores to respectable label managers, don’t miss out on the Furious Styles!

Various Artists, Skåne Revisited [New Speak – NSPK004, 2004]

September 14th, 2004 Comments off

skane_revisitedIt should be a project doomed to fail, a 12 track remix compilation of the same unreleased song. But “Skåne Revisited” is all but a failure and it works like a charm. The fourth New Speak release is just that a compilation CD with twelve remixes of an unreleased Komp track from 1998. As it turns out it seems like the remixee Komp is none other than Mr Tilliander himself. The remixers are a regular who’s who in Swedish electronica. Komp remixing himself, Ludvig Elblaus who is half of renowned duo FAB, Pluxus, Mitek’s Folie, Bill Yard, The Policy Unit, Bauri and Xela (well John Twells’ not really all that Swedish but bear with me here…). Ludvig Elblaus delivers a funked up, bubbling remix with microscopic dub-influences thrown in for good measure. Miami Bass Machine lives up to its name with a stripped down bass version. And the list goes on and on… By the sound of things you’re unavoidably led to suspect that label owner Ola Bergman has indeed laid his hand on quite a few of the remixes. But let it be said that it is pure speculation on my part and a strictly personal reflection. The point is that in the end the compilation is the perfect testament of what New Speak is all about as far as a recording label goes. A unique take on electro/electronica that leaves the hungry music masses craving for more.

Arovane, Lilies [CCO – TOWERBLOCK CD 20, 2004]

September 14th, 2004 Comments off

arovane_lilies“Lilies” is a simply beautiful 9-track full-length release by Arovane out on City Centre Offices. You get it all: expert production of beats, warm lush sounds and just the right amount of melancholy. “Lilies” is a perfect follow-up to his first CCO album release namely “Tides” and Arovane is as impressive as ever.

Funckarma, Smizm EP [DUB Recordings – DUB30, 2004]

September 14th, 2004 Comments off

funckarma_smizmThe supreme masters’ are back on vinyl as well as on DUB recordings. Complex beats, plenty of bass, as you would expect from the outstanding and untouchable Funckarma. A bit darker sounding this time around, but as with all their previous releases it is simply brilliant and it doesn’t get any better than this (well that’s my opinion anyhow.) Funckarma have done it again. Know this, you can’t touch them!

Stendec, A study of ‘and’ [Expanding Records – ECD15:04, 2004]

July 12th, 2004 Comments off

stendec_a_studyFinally the long awaited Stendec album surfaces, and it was well worth the wait. On “A study of ‘and’” they sum up their production from the past four years. You’ll find their contribution to the first evs series, Static Caravan and our very own Electronic Desert Recordings too. You’ll find parts of their previous only ever heard live tracks reworked and perfected and last but not least you’ll find never before heard material. Common to all the tracks are the quality and attention to detail that is a trademark not only to Stendec but also to Expanding in general. Warm, beautiful forward moving tracks is the nature of the study of “and”.

Holkham, Komatta Saru [Expanding Records – ECD14:04, 2004]

July 12th, 2004 Comments off

holkham_komattaAn album released by the label that is synonumous with quality, both in music and artwork: Expanding Records. After starting releasing the second single series and introducing new artists on their label, that is, the artist Praveen and his debut evs3:03, Expanding present yet another new artist to their label: Holkham. However, Holkham has extensive previous experience of recording music and is vividly interested in the structural aspects of sound. Both these pieces of information comes across very clearly on “Komatta Saru”, which is his debut album on Expanding. It’s a strikingly well-balanced and well-produced album, with definitive rhythmic qualities. Starting off with the soundscapes of “Holkham” serving as a perfect intro, and it is followed by “The Conversation” analogally tainted beats and strong melody. You could say that the album contains and is built by contrasting pairs, structure is confronted with formlessness acting as short interludes and tie the album’s tracks together. “Bose Bose” is a kind monster of a song, heartbreaking strings flows over heavy drums and in comes the right amount of distortion sounding as a gentle rain, digital rain that is. “Bose Bose” is clearly among my faviourites on this fine album. Moving on to “Juv3_1” that introduces some dubbier aspects to the album. No dub e or any other kind can exist without bass and there must be a lot of it too. “Juv3_1” is naturally not an exception and builds slowly adding element after element creating a really nice e-dub track. “Mice” has a lovely intro and beatless bliss with washes of carefully selected sonds slowly increasing in intensity. Top-class! “Tam” lovely subbass in this epic track, the played bassline is fused with featherlight percussion and they simply rolls along. The second layer of percussions is added and it keeps on building and building, in order to be deconstructed in the end. It’s excellent and easily one of this year’s best tracks “Scrophularia” goes for brute force and has got big drums the added glitch and premium crisp brokendness create a compelling track. It too is among the favourites. The album is concluded by an array of beautiful compositions that seem to be flowing into each other seamlessly creating the impressive outro that the album deserves. On “Komatta Saru” Holkham succeeds in making an album that sounds like it was specifically made for Expanding without sounding as anything previously released. It’s easy to see why Holkham was selected to release an album, because it’s a perfect macth if I ever saw one! Expanding’s on track.

Peekay Tayloh, Sofa O.D. [Poeta Negra – PN23, 2004]

July 12th, 2004 Comments off

peekaySuperb stuff from Peekay Tayloh on Poeta Negra, however if you don’t care for rythmhic complexity you might as well stop reading now, because this is nothing but examples of the finest material in that area. Masterfully crafted beats and breaks with a touch of jazz with seriuos leverage and stopping power. To make the release completely irristable they’ve also thrown in a remix by no other than Beefcake! Ever heard of Poeta Negra? Lucky you! I sure hadn’t until I came across their latest relases (Summer 2004) and what a treat it has been. The releases featured in this latest batch of reviews (PN23-25) all have outstanding quality in music as well as packaging and they alone make this Greek label well worth the attention.

Dani Joss, Liquid Photography [Poeta Negra – PN24, 2004]

July 12th, 2004 Comments off

dani_jossEpic and ambient soundscape stuff on Dani Joss’ debut on Poeta Negra that has definite film score qualities. The EP is ladden with heavy strings and other processed string elements all riding on top of continously flowing washes of sound. It’s quite beautiful, powerful and as the last echoe of a guitar, piano or string dies out, you’re left wanting more. Ever heard of Poeta Negra? Lucky you! I sure hadn’t until I came across their latest relases (Summer 2004) and what a treat it has been. The releases featured in this latest batch of reviews (PN23-25) all have outstanding quality in music as well as packaging and they alone make this Greek label well worth the attention.

Coti, Lido Lato [Poeta Negra – PN25, 2004]

July 12th, 2004 Comments off

cotiDecidedly ambient and minimal first disc in a set of two on this beautifully packaged double CD. Soundscapes and glitches fused with with fragments of sounds, the experience of incompleteness of these fragments gives the composition an overall sinsiter feeling. The distinct feeling that something bad has happened… This music requires your complete attention. If the mood is right, it’s compelling, however I very much doubt that my sister would approve. Second CD offers more structure as sound pieces of piano are looped, layered and combined, but the terrible event has already occurred and no one can change that, so the sinister feelings linger close by even in “Beben P” with its happy children voices vocal base. It is like an old family movie spinning on a DVD-player, it’s on repeat and playing for itself without (human) audience whatsoever. It’s extremely melancholic and also very beautiful music. Coti’s Lato/Lido is an excellent piece of work and I complement Poeta Negra for such an ambitious and fine release. Ever heard of Poeta Negra? Lucky you! I sure hadn’t until I came across their latest relases (Summer 2004) and what a treat it has been. The releases featured in this latest batch of reviews (PN23-25) all have outstanding quality in music as well as packaging and they alone make this Greek label well worth the attention.