Tuesday, May 27, 2008

go the hose!

one thing i really love about the net is that it gives you the opportunity to discover people and sounds you might never otherwise hear. a good example of this is someone who has clearly been around for a very long time, but i've only come across lately: peter van hoesen. he has recently done two mixes, both of which i've been really enjoying. (i have also decided to give him the nickname 'the hose').

the first is his may 2008 mix, which he describes as: "bass-heavy techno, old and new". a nicely weighted and well put together mix that lets the tracks breathe. here is the impressive tracklisting:

Signal: Robotron (Raster Noton)
Kassem Mosse: Shaqued (MikroDisko)
Peter Van Hoesen: Standalone Policy Reduction (Unreleased)
Signal: Wismut (Raster Noton)
Claro Intelecto: Rise (Modern Love)
Hieroglyphic Being: Je Suis Musique (Spectral Sound)
Deetron: Life Soundtrack ft. DJ Bone - Radioslave remix (Music Man)
CH-Signal Laboratories (8003 Lucerne): Hypnotica Scale 1 (Sandwell District)
Peter Van Hoesen: Trusted - Norman Nodge Reconstruction (Time To Express)
Norman Nodge: Native Rhythm Electric (Ostgut Ton)
Isomer Transition: Heavy Water (Future Days)
Equalized: Equalized (Equalized)
Kalon: Haiku (Sandwell District)
KU BO: Um Korpo feat. Joyce Muniz (Man Recordings)
Fingers Inc: I'm Strong (Alleviated/R&S)
Funktion: Reykjavik (Sandwell District)
Mathew Jonson: The Big Dipper (Wagon Repair)
Kalon: Man Is The Superior Animal (Sandwell District)
Suburban Knight: The Warning (Underground Resistance)

the second mix from the hose is a special one he put together for the very excellent modyfier blog. in comparision to the first mix, this one is all old classics and rarities. you'll have to head over to modyfier for the story on the mix and the annotated tracklisting, but this is part of the description he gives: "the final selection is a combination of electronic new wave, early new beat, house and detroit techno." all i'll add is that hearing 'dead eyes opened' pitched down is simply sublime. you can find the download link and the full post about the mix here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

mnml ssgs mx02: norman nodge (berghain/ostgut/mdr)

as regular readers of this blog may have worked out by now, we are really excited about the sounds closely associated with the club berghain and a number of labels like ostgut, MDR and klockworks. one release on this tip that we all especially liked was MDR03 by norman nodge. knowing very little of nodge besides this excellent ep, and the important fact he is a resident at the mighty bergahin, we contacted him to see if he was interested in contributing to our little ssgmx series. luckily for everyone he said 'yes'. we worked on the assumption that nodge must be a good dj if he is playing regularly at berghain, and well, it appears we were definitely correct on this score. the mix norman has put together is an absolute beauty. have a look at the tracklisting and you'll get a bit of an idea of what to expect. this assured mix, as well as a quality new production on ostgut (read pete's RA review here) and remix on time to express, suggest that nodge is most definitely one to keep an eye out for.

proving what a nice guy he is, in addition to the mix, norman was kind enough to answer a couple of rather banal questions i posed:
ssg: tell us about this mix.
nodge: it was made with two turntables, urei-mixer and headphones. the mix is just some not-so-often-heard classics and a few new tracks.

ssg: tell us a bit about your residency at berghain. what is so special about the place? how has it influenced your music?
nodge: i play there approximately once a month. for me it’s the right combination of architecture, sound-system, professional organization and – not to forget – party-people, that makes this place unique for the crowd and the artists. i don’t know if playing there has changed my way of djing. who can say if or what i would play if i had not been there? ;-) i also don’t know if it has influenced me in producing music as much as you can read in some record-reviews.

ssg: vinyl or digital?
nodge: i prefer djing with vinyl (only some tracks from cd). i need something to put my hands on.

ssg: name a few major influences on you and your music?
nodge: it’s a bit to complex to give a satisfying answer. for instance, i would forget too many if i name some examples of music that has hit me hard.

ssg: what are you working on at the moment?
nodge: at the moment i’m very busy in my main job and with my family. but there will come the day when i return to my equipment ;-)

ssg: what is the future for norman nodge?
nodge: can i please borrow your crystal ball? ;-)

ok, enough talk - on with the mix!

mnml ssgs mx02: norman nodge

01) Ron Trent / Dark Room / Balance
02) DJ Joey Anderson /Thee Analysis/Strength Music
03) Peter Van Hoesen /Trusted (Norman Nodge Reconstruction) / T2X
04) Add Noise/ Handwerk 3 A/ Handwerk
05) Baby Ford & I-Fach Collective/Tea Party/Klang
06) Shamus Coghlan/5000 Miles/ 807 Rec.
07) Sian/Wear Your Scars Like Medals / Aus Rec.
08) Robert Görl & Karl O'Connor/The Right Side Of Reason/DN
09) Reeko/The Gravedigger And His Bitch /Mental Disorder
10) Equalized/ Equalized # 1/ Equalized
11) Corrugated Tunnel / My Machine Code/Nightvision
12) Pacou/ Tangent / Cache
13) Marcel Fengler / Friction / Ostgut
14) Jeff Mills / In The Bush / Axis
15) The Mole / Baby You're The One / Wagon Repair
16) Superlova / All Night / Raw Elements
17) Punisher & John Overfriend /Thermal Underwear (John Selway Remix) / Hej Rec.
18) Leonid / Mora / Statik

ok, that's it. enjoy. big thanks to norman for putting this fantastic mix together.

Monday, May 19, 2008

We Were Never Mnml, May 2008

Where we at, people? Already this month I’ve heard three people say ‘fuck, is it May already?’ I don’t know about you, but I think 2008 has been a panning out fairly well so far in terms of releases, sounds, directions, labels and so forth – a far cry from the dearth and glut that has afflicted food and finance worldwide. One thing that I personally can’t get enough of at the moment is the Berghain sound, and I don’t think I’m alone there. Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann even made the cover of Germany’s Groove magazine this month, with Klock doing his best impersonation of a GAP model and Dettmann looking monumental and angular, complete with the malamute eyes and chiselled cheekbones of a socialist-realist sculpture. But it’s their productions, more than their pin-up prospects, which are really of interest. Both producers have been totally on it for a while now, but it’s the release of Dettmann’s new Berghain 02 mix that should irrefutably consolidate the reputation of the club, its residents and their label (O-Ton) as Europe’s new ‘holy trinity’ of techno.

Much like O-Ton’s other associated artists Cassy and Prosumer, Dettmann puts the emphasis on the record itself. He lets the darned tune play, and pursues a style that is very comfortable in its own skin and not trying to be edgy, pretentious, (and ending up overblown or downright ridiculous). There’s a nice (and perhaps important) contrast between this kind of approach and a lot of others that lean heavily on the new capabilities of FX, looping, sampling and all the other bells and whistles of both the new mixers and digital mixing interfaces. A lot of prominent people in electronic music appear to have become slaves to an imagined ‘freedom’ and their fantasies of total control. If you ask me, it’s simply no good using key correction, looping and every possible effect under the sun if the underlying material you’re playing is rubbish. On the contrary, if the records are the business, all the DJ really needs to do is look after the fundamentals. As DJ Yoda (admittedly a very different kind of DJ) said to me the other month, “the most important thing is to rock the party with two turntables. That’s the fundamental. If you can do that, well then, anything you can add to make the set more creative, that’s a bonus.” In both their DJ work and their productions, O-Ton’s style is so utterly ‘fundamental’ that it’s almost stodgy; but (on the other) this is also a highly developed aesthetic that knows precisely what it is and how it wants to express itself. It’s the beauty of the bulletproof. I’m instantly reminded of some of the parallel ‘unbreakable classics’ of industrial design: the AK-47, the Nikon F2 and F3, the Technics 1200.

O-Ton is also without a doubt one of the labels of the year so far in terms of the traction that it’s had with fans. To this (whatever you or I think of their releases), you’d have to add Oslo, Wagon Repair, Uzuri and Styrax. Guillaume (of the Coutu Dumonts) is just about to drop another EP for the Oslo as The Per Eckbo Orchestra that’s getting good reviews, although I haven’t heard it and can’t vouch for it. Guillaume’s also about to release a solo EP for Musique Risquée with a Horror Inc. (Akufen) mix on the flip – could Marc ‘Akufen’ Leclair be about to make an overdue return? Meanwhile, over at Beatport, the sales tell another story, and it’s artists like Deadmau5 and Danton Eeprom that are getting all the love. It’s hard to know exactly, but there feels like a growing disconnect between the different digital outlets, not only in terms of the sounds they’re pushing and what’s getting the critical response, but also in terms of what people are actually buying. As Phil Collins once said, ‘we’re two hearts strivin’/into separate worlds.’ All this before he divorced his wife… by fax.

Back in Melbourne, the various announcements for the impending We Love $$$ounds behemoth may say more than they intend. I noted that Ali ‘Dubfire’ Shirazinia has been booked to come out, but on the bill posters the designers have been careful to bracket his personas, so it’s ‘Dubfire (Deep Dish)’ – a decision which demonstrates bad faith and/or careful research. Apparently Melbourne fans either only know (or actually prefer) Deep Dish. Hey, when it comes to pizza, I’m one of them. If I never have to eat another gutless, cheeseless, overpriced ‘gourmet’ pizza ever again, I’ll be a happy lad. And as for Ali… well, I’ve said my bit about Dubfire. Interestingly (and happily), Gaiser is making an appearance at We Love Sounds. Anyone who’s caught mp3 recordings of his live PAs would know how much (and how hard) they kick – in fact, he’s probably the best (and maybe the only) decent M_nus live act. And yes, I mention this as he’s coming with Marc Houle who… well, at least he’s better than Heartthrob. We Love Sounds is also collecting numerous other names, like Ellen Allien, who has been a rubbish DJ for a few years now – sorry, but it’s true. Then there’s Derrick ‘Same Old Shit’ Carter, Stephan ‘techno by the bald man’ Bodzin, Modeselektor, and (look mum no) Hans-Peter Lindstrøm.

Personally speaking, I’m deeply ambivalent about the predominance of big festivals like We Love Sounds. On the one hand, it allows promoters to put together incredible line-ups and tour artists who might otherwise not be a viable proposition; on the other, there’s a good chance you’ll shell out almost $100 dollars to hear your favourite artist play for thirty minutes on a substandard system in a dusty field. And then (if you’re really lucky), you get to share the experience with tens of thousands of gurning, fluoro-ed up munters off their mash on crystal meth, Jagerbombs, glowsticks and alcopops – the very same people (along with the ‘fuck and a fight’ philosophy that’s always guided a good night out on King St) who have inspired ‘the lockout’… (sigh)… I don’t doubt that this is a well-organised, exciting event featuring a number of highly anticipated artists. But, well, call me Grandpa Curmudgeon, but here’s hoping there are a few good sideshows.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nativespeaker: dysappearance

Well, here’s the next installment of the Nativespeaker mixes. Where 36 degrees was mixed on a sweltering afternoon with the imagination of heat haze blurring the corrugated iron roofs of the neighbourhood houses, dysappearence was made in the dead of winter. I was alone in the house, re-discovering Ricardo Villalobos’ fantastic Auch remix – easily one of his best. The mix is difficult to play to dancers if you let it unfurl, as it dissipates into a maelstrom of rainstorm and a forlorn, climbing melody. RV has an ear for a beautiful sample as good as Pete Rock or DJ Premier – who else could make a track as nominally simplistic as ‘Enfants’ work so well – but his ability to really hone in and mine the melancholy out of melodies is another of his ample talents, and it’s in full effect here. I build the whole mix around this track, my love for it.
There were also dynamic considerations at work – I get really sick of the typical narrative arc of a lot of published mixes. I had in mind something of the novel story told by DJ Koze’s ‘All People Is My Friends’ mix, which, if you diagrammed it, looks like the picture of the python who’s swallowed the elephant in Le Petit Prince. Koze makes a dysppearance here, along with Troy boy, Wolfgang Voigt, Efdemin, Richie Hawtin (most definitely pre ‘cube’), Claro, Moodymann, Pansonic, Nike.Bordom and a Ø remix of Björk, which comes in a wonderful sleeve by talented misogynist photographer Araki. I can’t help but wondering if he tied Björk up, and if so (guiltily), where are the photos? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Listen to it somewhere dark.

Louderbach – For Lack of a Better Solution
DJ Koze – Madame Zifandl
sleeparchive – Image Photometer
Studio 1 – Gold
Auch – Tomorrow Goodbye (Villalobos mix)
NSI – Clara Ghavami (extended)
Efdemin – Postscript Blues
Moodymann – Dem Young Sconies
Plastikman – Hypokondriak
Pansonic – Pyokki Halko
Claro Intelecto – New Dawn
Nike.Bordom – Unfinished Symphony
Björk – Headphones (Ø mix)

And you can download the mix here

N.B. - this mp3 is gutless, you have to turn it up.

Monday, May 12, 2008

the jacking zone

ok, this will be my last post for a few weeks. i suddenly have to run off to the UK, which means no ssg fun time for chris. don't worry, the great thing about this blog is we have a whole team of ssgs!

anyway, the title of this post seemed to suggest itself. it is one of the tracks on the new marcel dettmann mix. another record on berghain 02 is from samuli kemppi, entitled 'vangel' . right now, i think it could be the highlight of a really excellent mix. dettmann got me inspired to check out more of samuli's sounds and i found a recent livepa he did. i've been liking it a lot - definitely with the same berghain signature of dettmann/klock/nodge/shed/etc. he has also up'd two live dj sets, both definitely jacking and worth listening to if you are in the mood. you can find them here and here. the livepa especially suggests samuli is a guy worth keeping an eye on...

the dettmann mix also inspired me to go check out tadeo. for some reason, i hadn't before - i think because i mentally associate him with alex under, an artist who i struggle with (i am not sure why). so i grabbed a recent set of tadeo's and it is really, really rocking. sometimes the mixing is a bit rough and ready, but nothing wrong with that. jacking stuff and definitely worth a rub. i'm going to start listening to some more of tadeo.

tadeo @ club ego closing 11.04.08 (new link)


i had to add this new set i found today and just listened to. it is much less techy than the other sets posted, but man, it is certainly jacking. i can't remember the last time i heard such an excellent fun, party set. these guys are seriously rocking. check it!

melon, sebo k, 2000 and One tag team @ club 11, amsterdam 29-04-2008

*end edit*

someone whose mixing is never rough or ready is man machine ryan elliot. it is kind of scary how tight his sets always are. given the recent discussions about how technology may be limiting creativity and dumbing down the art of djing, elliot is a great example of where it all works and his djing is opened up to new possibilities, rather than being limited. have a listen to this set and you'll hear what i mean ).

ryan elliot presents the r-factor, may 2008 [alternate link here]

Manmadescience - Connect the Motorcities
The Model - Terminus Interlude
XDB - Espac
Jenifa Mayanja - Boundless (Jus Ed rmix)
Convextion - Ondes
Rhadoo - Aundi (Unanim rmix)
Jackmate - Male Kicks
STL - Moonwalk
Daso & Pawas - Det (Shatrax Beats)
Buks - Still Working
Mara Trax - Funk Me
Mountian People - Mountain 5.2
Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Turn Around (Cassy Smooth rmix)
Efdemin - Lohn & Brot (Tobias rmix)
DS - Orangefood (Jens Zimmerman rmix)
Langenberg - Estate
Kabale und Lauhaus - Makake
Move D - Quit Quittin
DJ Qu - Buzz
Trusme - War
Mixworks - Berlin Dub
Studio 1 - Silver
Monobox - Realm
Prompt - Elephant
Edit Select - Reduktion
Baby Ford - Serpentine Tail
Empty Set - Seclusion
Jackmate - Buccaneer
Kassem Mosse - Workshop 3 (A1)
Shed - Well Done (033472 Edit)
Shed - Well Done (030 Edit)
Equalized - Equalized 1 (A)
Matthew Styles - We Said Nothing
Dj Dozia - Pop Culture
Planetary Assault Systems - Kat
Dettmann and Klock - Places Like This
Audion - Against All Odds
Equalized - Equalized 1 (B)
Madteo - Alan Greenspin
Shitcluster - Doop 4

enjoy the sounds...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A+ for D

supposedly move d is someone who has been seriously under-rated for a long time. i don't know, as i only discovered him a year or two ago, care of fellow ssg pete. regardless, move d is definitely getting some love at the moment. and rightly so. his release on the up and coming uzuri label, quit quittin', is a fantastic ep, with the title track being the standout. this has been followed up by a collaboration with benjamin brunn on smallville (are these guys ever going to put out something that is less than brilliant?). since picking up honey a few days ago, i've had it on very high rotation. definitely one of the best things i've heard of late. strongly suggest giving it a listen. the good news is that move d has a new website up and running, where he is being very, very generous and has a large collection of recorded dj set and livepas. you can find it here. i am slowly making my way through and grabbing the ones i haven't already. for starters, i can strongly suggest the livepa at robert johnson, an excellent introduction to his sounds, and the tonspuren live recording, which is more on the ambient/chilled tip and really, really beautiful.

another set more on the house-y tip that some may be interested in, is this new set from tama sumo. for those of you who don't know tama, she's closely associated with the panorama/ostgut gang and her first release is coming out soon on ostgut. i need to listen to this a bit more, but the mix sounds pretty good. it covers a nice cross-section of sounds: centred around deep house, but she ventures into techno, italo and similiar realms. nothing too mindblowing, but an enjoyable set with some great selections throughout.

tama sumo @ pacotek 21.2.08 part 1 and part 2

i've got some other sets i really want to share, but they are more on the tech side of things. i'll try and post up some more goodies in the next day or so. enjoy these deep house sounds for now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Enthusiasm: our tracks of the year (so far)

The Algonquin Round Table vibe continues here at mnml ssgs, as the four of us recently gathered for a (virtual) fireside chat where we mulled over our favourite tracks of the year so far. It’s fair to say that we all love electronic music (and I know you do too, dear reader), but sometimes it’s a little too easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and hype of the new/now. But what happens when ‘now’ starts to become ‘then’? Does the enthusiasm remain? What tracks have stayed with you, and what have fallen by the wayside?

We thought it was about time to post some ‘enthusiasm’ for tracks that we’ve been loving in the past months, those ones that stick in your head, beg to be replayed, or that you simply admire because they are funkier, deeper, or anyways just better than your average boom-boom. So put on your favourite smoking jacket, light up a pipe and come join us by the fire as we share our enthusiasm with you, member by member.


In no particular order, here are my Five Faves since the start of the year.

Vladislav Delay: ‘Recovery IDea’ (Andy Stott Remix) (Semantica)
Whoever thought of this pairing is a genius. Delay's narcotic ambience effortlessly glides into Stott's dub/tech structures, the two intertwining perfectly. Brilliant.

Shackleton: ‘Death is not Final’ (Skull Disco)
The layers of rhythm at work in this track are absolutely insane. There's just so much going on here, it's incredible. Deep, dark, densely layered ... this is a real treat for your ears. Listen to it on the best headphones you have. Then listen to the killer T++ remix on the flipside.

Bvdub: ‘Remembering To Forget’ (3rd Wave Music)
13 minutes of warm gentle waves washing over you, underscored by an insistent four/four beat ... and then a squiggly acid line comes in, and the next thing you know you're nodding your head in time to the beats. Hazy ambient bliss to get your groove on to.

Kelley Polar: ‘Entropy Reigns (in the Celestial City)’ (Environ)
Pure pop brilliance. A boy/girl duet with overlapping/run-on vocals. 80s keyboards. Overly dramatic strings. A sudden and wonderfully dizzying twist that turns the end of the song into something entirely different. And not a trace of irony involved. You may think it's cheesy, but I love it. Has anyone heard the Ewan Pearson remix?

Hercules & Love Affair: ‘Blind’ (DFA)
Joyously propulsive new disco in which everything works (although you would never expect it to). A bold, triumphant brass section? It works! Vocals by Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons? It works! (And I don't even really like Antony and the Johnsons.) People were worried about the DFA label falling into a slump; worry not, it looks like Hercules is here to save the day.


2008 thus far has been a bumper year for techno & house. And this is coming from someone who was overall slightly disappointed with the 2007 spoils. It's seen the continuing remarriage of techno and house as many previous mnml techno strongholds continue to embrace house with a few notable exceptions. Luckily for those of us who still find the lighter house sounds lacking like myself, the punchier tribal Deep House sound pushed by the likes of Mountain People seems to be the biggest force behind the recent shift towards house and so far the MP replicants have been putting out some fantastic tracks.

Here's 10 tracks that have been doing it for me so far...

Mathias Kaden: ‘Swahili’ (Freude Am Tanzen)
Mathias showed on last year's ‘Myal’ EP that he was able to infuse tribal sounds to his techno sound to good effect but on his ‘Lucidas’ EP he's bringing a deep house sound. All 3 tracks on this EP are fantastic and it's clearly the best EP of the year thus far in my mind, but Swahili is the best track for the floor.

Daze Maxim: ‘Woodbird’ (Limitiert)
Good to see that one of my favourite producers from last year is still in good form. This is some more tribal deep house that's really heavy on the percussion that makes some good use of a killer bassline.

Dario Zenker: ‘Womde!’ (Vakant)
Around this time last year I was all about the dark and deep Argentinean tech sound but it seemed to get a little stale as 200 drew to a close. But some of the producers have been able to progress and continue to do some really interesting stuff... Dario being one of these people. On his Vakant debut he's also fused his sound with tribal sounds and while hints of the trademark techno thrump remains, it's been toned down somewhat and there's some subtle leanings towards Berghain too.

Seuil: ‘Detroit Candles’ (Eklo)
Another fave producer from 07... This track starts off closer to the traditional Argentinean sound until the acid hooks and detroit synths come in. This is a huge bomb of a track with a nasty kick. Seuil's ‘Blood On The Congas’ EP from late last year is also worth a look at.

Agaric: ‘No One Knows (Post Doom Uberfunk Edit)’ (Sunset)
One thing I've always loved about Agaric is his unique use of effects. While some producers can sound like they're running random Ableton FX patches, Agaric is able to avoid this problem. This rather sparse banging track is no exception.

Luke Hess: ‘Believe And Receive (Shedsdeepanddubbydub remix)’ (Kontra-musik)
Despite all I've been saying about tribal deep house, I still think the most exciting music is coming from the Berghain sound. Shed is one of the major producers of this sound and has shown a knack for infusing some interesting Basic Channel-esque metallic ambience to his tracks which can be heard in on this stripped back dub of Luke Hess.

Ben Klock: ‘Steady Plus’ (Klockworks) / ‘Similarity’ (Bpitch)
In my opinion, Klock is the best producer in techno right now hands down. So it's no surprise that two of the best tracks of the year so far are from him. ‘Steady Plus’ has the trademark Klock shuffling bass but with a stronger acid influence. ‘Similarity’ is Klock on top of his game. It's rather straightforward dubby acid techno but I doubt there will be a more beautifully produced track all year.

Vera & Federico Molinari: ‘It Ain't Music’ (Oslo)
I know I'm not the first person to say this but Oslo is an absolutely brilliant label. It's got a distinctive sound, exceptional quality control and it's pushing a new sound which is relevant and fresh. This is from their sublabel but no less awesome as their other releases. On the surface Oslo seems to be a just a more minimal deep house but I think it owes much more to techno than is first apparent. It's a clichéd thing to say but it really does sound like house music…. for techno people – Much like Perlon. And Perlon is the only label which I'd place ahead of Oslo purely because it's been running for so much longer. As for this track, it's some bouncy tech house with tribal influences... pretty simple and repetitive but brilliantly executed and oddly addictive. Much like Melchior.

Mara Trax: Me Funk (Oslo)
I could have chosen anything from Mara Trax's excellent ‘It Got Me Funk’ EP but the bassline on this track combined with the fact it reminds me of Rosa era Thomas Brinkmann means i can't go past it.

STL: Paku Paku (Perlon)
The a-side of the latest Perlon is quite good but this track really isfantastic with its squelches and rubbery bassline. It took me a while to ‘get’ STL to be honest as many of his tracks are quite raw... especially those on his Something label. But he's a truly gifted producer.


I’ve listed some of the tracks I’ve been digging throughout the year so far. There is a partial overlap, but I wanted to join the others in the united SSG front. So this is certainly not my definitive top five for 2008 to date, but it is pretty close to it:

Mathew Jonson: 'Symphony for the Apocalypse' (Wagon Repair)

There was a time I thought Mathew Jonson could do no wrong. Then he started doing wrong. Well, actually he might have only done one wrong, but it was very, very wrong (that bikers track). And while the Cobblestone Jazz stuff was good, I soured on him – perhaps unfairly. I eventually got over my mental block to accept that ‘Stop’ was a great record. And this EP is definitely Jonson at his best. While many have been tipping the A, my preference is for the B. Screaming, emotive and wild – I love it. Very reminiscent of Aphex Twin for sure, but it most definitely has that slightly raw Jonson feel to it.

Tampopo: Helicopters Got Cameras (Tobias remix) (Metisse)

I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t repeat myself. Much. With the excellent Zander VT remix on the flip, this is one of the best value for money EPs you will find this year. Tobias really comes through with the goods. What I love about this track is its tempo – it has great energy. And it really does sound like a helicopter! The musical structure replicates the spinning blades as a helicopter lifts off, with the piano riff spiraling round and round. Definitely fun for the floor.

Prosumer and Murat Tepeli featuring Elef Bicer: Turn Around (Cassy’s Smooth mix) (Ostgut)

I’ve heard a couple of concerns that Cassy’s productions are starting to get a bit formulaic. There may be a bit of truth to that, but I haven’t gotten sick of the formula, especially when it works so well, which is the case on this record. Here, her vocals perfectly complement those from the original and the result is a hot house number that just smoulders. I think what I like about this is the vocals are so emotive and these, in turn, are really supported by the beats underneath. I’ve been digging Cassy’s productions to date, so I am going to be interested to see how she develops her sound further and if she can keep coming out with stuff as good as this.

Alex Cortex: Nox (Platzhirsch)

Ok, I’ll be honest. I don’t know who Alex Cordex is. No point sneaking over to discogs and trying to hide it. I found this record on the weekly Hardwax email with that magic word: ‘TIP!’ As soon as I see that next to the description I check it immediately. And as expected, Hardwax were right on with this one. Both sides are bang on, but ‘Nox’ is the real peak time cut. Anyway, rather than trying to explain it, I’ll just give you the Hardwax description: ‘Perfect & eternal oldschool-not-oldschool - TIP!’

Vladislay Delay: Recovery IDea (Andy Stott remix) (Semantica)

I’ve mentioned this one before, and now Cam has too. Simply put, this is remixing at its best. What Stott does is take the original in a direction that Vlad could, or would, never go and comes up with something fantastic. The result is a track that is stamped with the trademark gravity of Stott. Actually, I think partly what makes this work is you’ve got the combination of two really special and unique sound signatures, which produces something neither would quite by capable of by themselves. Respect.


Two things have really stood out to me so far: the first is the growing popularity of conservative, ‘traditional’ tracks that are little more than (admittedly enjoyable) recapitulations of old ideas, and the second is a predilection for dissipation, which is something I personally really like. I was listening to ‘Third Uncle’ by Eno last night, and it struck me afresh what a cop-out the fadeout always was in the pop context. But dissipation, on the other hand – now that’s something I can dig. Another thing I’ve found is that, because I’m doing research almost everyday, I listen to heaps of live sets and thus the big tracks get played out really quickly. You tend to churn through a lot, and burn out a lot. Much that was recently fresh is quickly stale. Large appetites require fresh meats for fine SSG making. But enough gabbing, here they are, selected very quickly (before I could begin to over-analyse my choices) and with regard to the fact that they are ‘tracks’. This does not mean that function is master, but it does mean that any of these would have a well-deserved place in my box.

Lee Jones: ‘As You Like It (Recloose remix)’ (Aus)

The recent My My record on O-Ton was a well made but slightly bland, functionalist piece of bandwagoneering, if you ask me. The wagon in question heading, of course, for the Swiss sound of the Mountain People, stopping off for a bite of Drumpoet’s Frankfurt on the way. But Lee Jones’ recent EPs for Aus have been amazing, mostly by retaining the incredible attention to detail and musicality of Jones’ drum programming that was in full effect on Songs for the Gentle. This music appears extremely lean and streamlined, but the details are all ‘under the bonnet’, which you can really hear if you take Jones for a random walk with the headphones on. In a way, it’s a shame to waste music this subtle on most sound systems, where all you’d hear is the main theme. That must be why Tiger Stripes added so many otherwise superfluous bells and whistles to his mix of ‘Aria’, already mentioned on this blog earlier this year. I was tempted to include ‘Aria’, but Recloose’s space-funk rework of ‘As You Like It’ is so loaded a pocket rocket that it managed to pip ‘Aria’ at the post. Be careful or you’ll cop a black eye – this one swings like Ron Jeremy.

Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts: ‘Les Gans (Audio Werner remix)’ Musique Risquee

G & the CDs have also been featured on SSGs a fair bit in recent months, but this EP really shines. Kalabrese fans should take heed – the bumbling sax lead is very much in the lazy (but tight) minimalistic funk mode that K does so well. I also really like the way this record is recorded – it’s fruity and easy on your ears. Audio Werner’s tactic is just to multiply and smear loops of the sax line over each other, dragging them along to achieve the audible equivalent of a car’s headlight across the open shutter of a night-held camera. Then things get all abstract… well, even more so. Not much good for filling the floor, but a really enjoyable listening experience. And the A is great, too. P Sherburne is just about to drop his mix of this one, too, if I’m not mistaken – here’s looking forward.

Appleblim & Peverelist: Circling (Skull Disco)

I’ve already reviewed this EP here, so just quickly – what a fucking amazing record. Most dubstep records are just d&b records pitched down and played at 33, but these guys are really, really mining some gold here, and ‘Circling’ is… well, I’ve already said my bit. I should add that there’s a spiritual affinity (at the very least) with Moritz’ equally sublime remix of ‘Watamu Beach’, which I’ve also been loving, and which deserves a sneaky in/exclusion on this list.

Matthew Styles: ‘Home Loan’ (Diamonds and Pearls)

I’d discounted Styles for the quasi-irrational reason that he’s had dealings with Damian Lazarus, who appears to be a no-talent cool hunter, which gives me the heebie-geebies. Anyway, bitch bitch bitch, who cares – the point is that Styles has a career and a life of his own (ie he’s not a Lazarite growth from Uranus), one who can also add to his thoroughly autonomous CV a growing list of really excellent tracks. His first EP on Dinky’s Horizontal was pretty good, but this one on D&P is off the chain. All thee tracks are exceptional, and each one is useful in its own moment. ‘Home Loan’ reminds me a bit of Matt John grinding against John Tejada – lucky for good manners the humping is most definitely dry. Just a rising synth bassline and some nice edits, very spare, very effective minimal tech house with whispers of boompty. The EPs title track is a real scorcher, and manages to update and deepen a very 2000 sounding loop-techno design for today’s ‘hectic dancefloors’ – must be why Dettmann’s been caning it. Then the EP closes with a nice, introspective electro-house composition. A valuable addition to any box, as well as to Diamonds and Pearls small (but shining) catalogue.

Rozzo: ‘I wish I was a Cat’ (Trackdown)

Of all the neo/tribal/deep-house tracks out there, this one really shines for me. A lot of this music will sound flat and stale in twelve months, but I can guarantee that this one will still be getting circulated in five years. It might as well just be a locked groove for all the progression, but it never feels like it’s flatlining. It’s just got that irresistible groove, and the percussion has been written with oodles of push, thwap and clunk, which makes dropping it a treat for you and the floor. Damn if this isn’t the funkiest groove I’ve heard all year. If you can’t dance to this, you’re odd (or perhaps dead).

So many others (Andy Stott, Shed, Omar-S, Jackmate), but as I’m not Dave (and we’d agreed to do five) I’ll leave it there and offer the remainders for discussion in the comments section. Onward!

oslo: yes or no?

last year the ssgs were in very regular and ongoing email conversations about music, and these proved to be one of the main sources of inspiration for getting the blog going. anyway, today we all got into a conversation about oslo, one of the hottest labels of 2008. simply put, dave is a big fan, pete is somewhere in between, chris is not convinced and cam hasn't heard enough to come to a judgment yet. we thought some of the discussion we had might be of interest (and/or amusement), so i've put the transcript of our conversation below. i can't be bothered editing it, so it is definitely much more rough and ready than our usual posts.

let's see how this experiment goes. it may work, it may not. either way, feedback is much appreciated so we know whether to post something like this again in the future. (by the way, this is a picture from my visit to oslo. seemed a good visual description on my take).

seriously. how friggin awesome is this Oslo? i've been listening to nothing but their EPs for the past 3 days... the last time i've been so heavily hooked on something was probably liars or Mu... i can never recall being so heavily into one particular techno label or artist.

chris i know you don't like them but how about cam and pete?

i love all their stuff but i'd have to say my fave tracks are "It Ain't Music" by Vera & Federico Molinari and "Enerverende" by Federico Molinari... the Mara Trax release is the best EP.

come on lets hear some oslo love!

The Johnny D EP, surely. By far the best. I like the Mara, but it's 'junk food' - but good DJ tools, for sure.

Dave, your passion for 'dry funk' never ceases to amaze.

Brinkmann must have affected a blood transfusion via the headphones, or something.

oslo is very appropriately named. it is boring, just like the city.

dont like the johnny d stuff at all, actually. there is a livepa of his here.

havent listened to it yet, though.

dry funk is awesome... always has been and always will be. i've always loved how good electronic producers can extract stuff like funk, soul or rock via something which should be so cold and emotionless. just wish more people outside of Maurice Fulton could extract some punk.

the Guillaume EP is pretty good but probably my least fave on the label. it's the only release that doesn't 100% fit the oslo sound either. but yeah it's good and i'd imagine you'd really like it.

the first Johnny D EP is brilliant! the 2nd one is good too.

btw i don't really get why it's referred to as "dry" funk. it's really no different to the post punk/funk that came out of New York in the early 80s... stuff like The Contortions, ESG, Talking Heads... it's an extention of "white boy funk" more than anything else... and also pushing the rigid electro funkiness Kraftwerk started... which was then embraced by the rnb/hip-hip scene and is now being reclaimed by germans. actually i'd say the futuristic rnb by The Neptunes and to a lesser extent Timbaland has a lot in common with this so-called "dry funk" sound.

Definitely, but I feel it's even dryer, IMHO. Brut de brut. Neptunes/Timbaland is moistened by the syrupy vocal harmonies and strident trance synth chords, but w/ Oslo it's

like the title of that Guido Schneider track

'As Dry as I Can'

guido. now there is a guy who is waaaaaaaaaay too dry for my tastes. he is kind of like the musical equivalent of that freeze dried food they give astronauts...

Yep, and one can acquire a taste for that, too....

i really don't get how oslo is dryer than neptunes... particularly when they get really electronic on tracks like Drop It Like It's Hot or on The Clipse album. i dunno maybe i'm immune to dryness.

chris if you've only heard the A on the new johnny d then you can't really judge him because it's quite different to all his other work.

who's guido btw?

if i find the first Soul Centre album brinkmann did to be the funkiest electronica ever then i must have a taste for the dryness... what's an example of funky electronica that is the opposite of dry? like electronic wet funk? and not the kind that cheats by heavily sampling funk tracks or using live instrumentation

guido schneider. you love the recent ep he did on cadenza (with galluzi and someone else). not my thing, though.

so is it possible to make funky electronic music without the use of disco/funk samples, vocals or live instrumentation?

Is <-> this a stupid question (?/.)

"Funk is what you don't play." - George Clinton

this is funking boring. haha. i am almost as funny as dave.

i'm serious! i just don't understand why you guys are referring to this olso stuff as "dry" funk... how is it different to other funk and why does it need to be differentiated by referring to it as dry? i honestly see this stuff to be just as funky as traditional funk. it sure makes me want to dance more

i think what they mean is that it is supposed to be funky, but it is actually shit and boring.

Ha! That's some Chris clarity for you.

i haven't been all that interested in discussing techno lately but oslo has sorta got me in the mood because it's exciting and fresh to my ears. and i was curious as to why you other guys haven't been sharing that excitement considering you are into mountain people / rozzo which would have suggested you'd be into it.

Like I said, I like Johnny D's first one, and one or two of the tracks on Mara.

But Rozzo's 'I wish I was a cat' is the best of all these by far.

I think the thing is also that Chris and I do research and listen to sets all day, which means we hear tracks a lot and therefore sounds get played out in a matter of weeks, rather than months.

Voracious appetites need fresh meets for good sausages.

To be honest, I haven't heard much of the Oslo stuff at all ... so I really haven't formed an opinion yet.

i only heard oslo about a month ago for the first time so yeah i'm late to get into them... and that was only one EP. i got 4 of their EPs over the weekend so that's why i'm excited now.

Oslo engages some people, sometimes. But Chris.... none of the time?

i am over exaggerating (as i often do). oslo is ok. but i dont like the johnny d. and the federico and vera mix i heard i didnt like. same with mara trax. it just sounds very derivative to me. and watered down house music.

deep house lite: that's oslo for you.

ok so i'll try this all again... just to clarify, i'm asking because i'm curious not because i want ot convince you all that oslo is the absolute shit.

the most confusing thing is why Rozzo/Serafin get the thumbs up while oslo is seen as the lesser. in my opinion both are sensational. and i can't really hear why someone would prefer one of them much more over the other. but obviously people can and do! so why is it?

and why is Hello? Repeat! and oslo seen as dry? to my ears it's the most dynamic and exciting techno out there... yeah it's very clicky and technical but it just sounds so fun... at the moment i switch between berghain and this HR/oslo sound. and i turn to the oslo when i'm thinking "hmmmm i want ot hear something FUN now!" and it makes me grin and get all giddy. so it just seems to odd to me that others tag it as dry. it's totally cool that you do but it's really mind
boggling to me. it's like calling Dettmann "chilled" or Tiesto "intellectual" and i'm not exaggerating. it really doesn't compute.

so please explain!

i dont think dry is meant in a negative sense (or so, only weakly). for me, with hello?repeat, i just can't connect. it is good for 5-10 minutes but not long after that i am wanting to switch it off. as for oslo, i wouldnt describe as dry, just not that good. i mean it is fun, but but but...

I meant 'dry' more as a technique/technical thing.

They use very short sounds with not much reverb.

On an FX tone pot (such as reverb) that would be dry/wet.

So, 'cos they use very 'dry' sounds as well (metallic, mineral, wooden... all percussive elements that would be dry and inorganic if they were physical objects)

I call it 'dry funk'

[and that is where we are up to...]

Thursday, May 1, 2008

set up

sorry for the radio silence peeps, it has been a pretty busy week or so for the mnml ssg crew. there should be a few new posts in the coming days, including the second installment of the mix series being provided by berghain resident norman nodge (yes, we are excited). so stay tuned...

in the meantime, here are a couple of sets i've been enjoying the last few days:

eli verveine - dustbunnies mix.

a new set from this special suisse dj that the ssgs have really fallen for. she manages to play deep house sounds that fit with the current vibe, without slipping into same-ness or bland beats. like all the music ssgs love it has personality. eli really has the groove. worth a listen. we are trying to get eli for a ssg mix. lets hope it happens. this girl is a real hidden gem.

martin schulte @ sinergy networks showcase

i am going to have to plead complete ignorance on this one. sinergy networks appears to be a pretty well established mp3 label, with some really good artists and sounds. this dj mix is from part of a label showcase which includes livepas from LOD, pep gaya and marko fuerstenberg. i haven't listened to these other ones properly so don't want to post them, but can give links if people are interested. anyway, this set of schulte's is excellent. i am not sure quite how to describe it - it has dubby elements, but certainly isn't straight up dub techno. if anything, it could perhaps sound like something you'd be hearing on force inc if they were still around. so have a listen. it is a very well crafted set.

jan krüger berlin + osaka mixes.

here are two recent recordings from the head honcho of the hello?repeat label. i must admit i sometimes find their records a bit too dry and clicky for my tastes, but our silent ssg dave can never get enough of hello?repeat's sounds, and there is little doubting their quality. anyway, no one could accuse jan krüger's djing of being dry. both of these live mixes have a great groove and he does an excellent job of switching between sounds, as well as the old and new. the osaka mix is a bit more jacking, while he goes deeper in berlin. best thing you can do is just download both.

jan krüger @ watergate, berlin 02.04.2008

jan krüger @ sunsui, osaka 29.02.2008

tracklisting for osaka set (care of the peeps at mnml.nl):

000:00 Alter Ego - Lycra (Wishmountain's Tight Fitting Lycra Mix)
002:30 Lil' Mark - Feel The Rhythm
008:00 .Xtrak - Flada
011:50 DBX - Flying Saucer
014:00 Daze Maxim - Unreleased
019:40 Vera & Federico Molinari - It Ain't Music
024:20 Alexi Delano - Debajo
029:30 DS - Orangefood (Jens Zimmermann's Vitamin C)
034:10 Ricardo Villalobos - Panpot Spliff
039:20 Daze Maxim - The Trickster
043:30 Brother's Vibe - Spherical Bones (Long Version)
047:30 Ido Oshkopun - Naypyidaw
053:00 Johnny D - Orbitalife
058:30 Derrick L. Carter - Where Ya At?
062:30 Chez Damier & Ron Trent, M.D. - Hip To Be Disillusioned
066:30 .Xtrak - Don't Stop
069:00 Wolf N' Flow - I'm Feelin' Moody
073:40 Steve Poindexter - Work That Mutha Fucka
076:20 Schatrax - A Question Of Timing
081:00 Phil Weeks & Chris Carrier - Method To The Madness
086:00 Freak Seven - Pitch Black (Orlando Voorn Remix)
091:00 Terence FM - Feelin Kinda High (High As Hell Mix)
097:00 G-Man - Quo Vadis
102:00 Plastikman - Snark (Ricardo Villalobos Edit)
105:00 Ido Oshkopun - Out Of Burma
110:00 Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Mederico
114:30 Dj Sneak - Recycled Loops
118:30 Daniel Bell - Warped
120:00 Stax - Str8 Nasty