Wednesday, November 25, 2009

mnml ssgs mx41: hauntologists vs cheap and deep

one of the trends i've noticed over the last year or two is that many of the producers making waves are people who've been at it for a long time. these aren't new kids on the block armed with a macbook and a cracked version of ableton. two names that immediately spring to mind are peter van hoesen and move d, but there are plenty more. another one is jay ahern. this is a name you might not instantly recognise. but if you've been keeping up with the best of techno over the last year, chances are you might have heard records from two projects he does: the hauntologists, composed of jay and stefan schneider, and a new solo project, cheap and deep, which has been getting serious play from a lot of techno heavyweights (and rightly so).

we first got in touch with jay about mix a year or so ago, in relation to yet another one of his guises - add noise (check the 'handwerk' releases - they flew under the radar a bit, but are some seriously quality techno cuts). it didn't quite work at that time, but luckily for everyone we reconnected this year. so this has been a while in the making. but like so many other mixes in this series, definitely worth the wait. in true ssg fashion, jay has dug deep and put put together a special live recording for all of us, made up of hauntologists and cheap and deep material.

one thing we look for with contributions to this series are mixes that give a real representation of the artist's sound and that is certainly the case here. jay's live reflects his productions perfectly: raw, dirty, analog machine techno. this is what jay said about it in an email:

"this stuff is done exactly that way [machine techno], i don't even use midi, i use the 808 as the master, slave the sampler to it using a special box and then the 101 gets a clock pulse from the 808 , and i punch in notes live on the 101 while tweaking the 303 and 808, plus a bit of dubbing on the mixer... there's a couple of moments in the mix where i am really sweating, trying to juggle all that stuff, but i think that 'human touch' thing works out ok."

fuck yes it works out ok. much more than that.

mnml ssgs mx41: hauntologists vs cheap and deep
soundcloud mirror
sendspace mirror

* update: got a DL link for soundcloud. if it stops working, just try the other ones.

massive thanks to jay for putting this together for us. we are very proud and happy to have this, it really fits exactly with what we are about. big respect. for more info on jay, check his homepage and his twitter. now, it's time for some machine techno...

kassem and his funky machines in tokyo

i dont have much to say, except this shit is essential. unfortunately there is some crowd noise in it, but the recording is still good enough to check, especially as i'm pretty sure this is the first live set from kassem to appear online. unsurprisingly, it is shit hot: kassem mosse @ mariana, tokyo

thanks to dave for recording this. i'd also suggest checking his set from the night, definitely the best mix i've heard from him. good late hours techno.

and if you are in tokyo, the next mariana party is on 5 december, with two ssg favourites: cio 'dor and mike parker. dont let labyrinth fool you, the scene in tokyo is pretty disappointing these days. it is rare to get nights like these, so if you are in the kanto area, definitely go check cio and mike.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

sunday sounds: murmur (meanwhile)

following on from last week's treat from silent servant, something special again this sunday. this time it from the murmur boys. after falling in love with a mix they'd recently done i got in touch, and they had another one they'd also finished around the same time, and we thought it'd be good to present them together. 2 for the price of 1 this week... both mixes are bang on, excellent excursions into all things deep. they've got a great groove and feel to them, and well suited for a sunday...

murmur session mix

murmur single session mix

these guys keep an intentionally low profile, but if you are around manchester they've recently started a monthly night, with big things planned for 2010. the next one is on december 29th with sean canty from demdike stare/finders keepers. i'm hoping to get up there and check it in the new year. label-wise, meanwhile has 12 inches on the way from pendle coven (do these guys ever sleep?), murmur and conforce, which also have a longplayer. plus they've got a new handstamped label going, 1XA, so keep an eye out for that.

big thanks to murmur for hooking up with these mixes. have a good sunday people...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

to the bone

just a quick post: i'd strongly suggest heading over to RA and reading the new interview with dj bone. admittedly it does start in a horribly banal fashion: 'Detroit has always held a certain currency in the techno community. After all, the genre did first emerge as an underground black movement in the city, with originators Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson acting as musical prophets to an entire generation of DJs and producers.' jeez... if you skip that terrible intro and cut to dj bone talking you'll get an insightful and thoughtprovoking set of observations. to be honest, these days his music and dj'ing doesn't really do much for me, but years ago his 'subject: detroit volume 2' had a very strong influence on me, and he was one of the few artists from detroit besides jeff mills i really connected with. and while i am not so interested in his music anymore, i greatly value his reflections on techno in this and other interviews. i really respect his attitude and approach.

one thing i'd disagree with him about is the lack of filters now with the digital market. this is true to some extent, there certainly aren't the same barriers with starting labels and publishing music. in that regard, the entry point is much much lower and there is definitely a flood. but i'd disagree in his suggestion that there is no equivalent to the people in the record store 'who are knowledgeable about the music—that's their job and they know this stuff—and when the customers come in they say, "hey, i got a hot one for you".' in this regard, i'd say the filters have changed. i strongly feel that blogs like this one, test, LWE etc. fulfill a similar function. indeed, i'd say they do so in a more democratic and open way. often you'd have to be in with the person behind the record counter for them to give you one of the few copies of the hot record had come in. with blogs and other sources on the net this is much more equalised. and i should say that a very explicit aim in setting up mnml ssgs was precisely to act as a filter. so in this regard, i think dj bone is a bit behind the times. besides that, most of what he says is pretty much bang on.

respect to bone and i'll finish with these wise words of his:

'What I really wanted to say was that it's a crucial time for underground electronic music and the underground community to take a stand, and basically take stock in what they they've grown to love; so they need to be really, really, careful and they need to be smart about how they spend their money, who they support, and that they can't fall for any old bullshit that's out there. Make a choice based on what you feel is good and not just what's popular.'

Thursday, November 19, 2009

full of love

just a quick post, my girl has been going on a big maurice fulton bender recently, and this has encouraged me to revisit this mix of his, which is very dear to my heart. this mix kept me company on many long, boring drives between melbourne and canberra... despite maurice being around since the year dot and generally being recognised as a house legend, i still feel he is massively under-rated. as far as i'm concerned, he is one of the best house djs about and his productions are light years ahead of most house music. simply put, maurice is the bomb. i'd strongly suggest following his bubbletease podcast mixes (i think this is the link). and here is this classic mix from him. warm house music that puts a smile on your face. enjoy.

maurice fulton @ betalounge 15.2.04

0:00-07:06 I:cube - vacuum jackers (maurice fulton remix)
07:06-12:35 Touche - Wrap it Up (maurice fulton remix)
12:35-17:35 Extra - Haven't Been Funked Enough (maurice fulton remix)
17:35-19:55 ?
19:55-25:55 Second Image - Can't Keep Holdin On
25:55-29:05 Quando Quango - Love Tempo
29:05-33:20 Tata Vega - Get It Up For Love (maurice fulton remix)
33:20- 40:05 MSFB - Love is the Message
40:05-45:20 Willie Colon - Set Fire to Me
45:20-51:05 A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray
51:05-59:00 Herbie Hancock - Thought It Was You (maurice fulton remix)
59:00-1:05:45 Skyy - Here's to You
1:05:45-1:12:50 Gwen Guthrie - It Should Have Been You
1:12:50-1:17:30 Jimmy Bo Horne - Is It In?
1:17:30-1:21:30 Boz Scaggs - Lowdown (maurice fulton remix)
1:21:30-1:25:20 George Benson - Love x Love
1:25:20-1:30:00 Stevie Wonder - All I Do
1:30:00-1:35:00 Billy Ocean - One of Them Nights
1:35:00-1:39:10 Chi-Lites - Are You My Woman?
1:39:10-1:43:10 Can never remember who this is
1:43:10- Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved
1:48:55-1:54:55 Gewn Guthrie - Ain't Nothin Goin' On but the Rent
1:54:55- Ost & Kjex (Cheese & Biscuit) : Eaten Back To Life EP (Maurice Fulton mix)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

sunday sounds: silent servant

we've got something special for you this sunday: a new mix by our very good friend, silent servant. inspired by a super deep opening set from regis at the recent sandwell district gig in berlin, this is a more downbeat and introspective mix, well suited for a sunday. in his own words, "it is an all vinyl mix from a stack of my favorite dub techno and dub inspired non techno tracks. it was mixed in one shot." this shows yet another side of juan mendez, further illustrating the depth and breadth of his musical knowledge. i am consistently impressed by this man's creativity, and strongly feel he is one of the most interesting and worthwhile voices in contemporary techno. respect.

there is a tracklisting, which i'll add in the comments section in a day or two. big thanks to juan for this mix. i'm very happy we've had another opportunity to collaborate with him. for more info, make sure to check sandwell district's 'where next?' blog.

have a good sunday people...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PC and Dave-stra-damus put the techno cat among the plugin pigeons

Hello all,

what follows is the uncut funk of a to-and-fro that I (Pete) had with Dave Wiltshire.... Dave has a musical prescience that borders on the freaky - I've learned that when Dave intuits something, you probably won't agree.... for a coupla years. Then you realise he was right all along.

Dave (DW) is the silent ssg in our midst; we'd initially planned to have DW as an integral active blogger, but he's repeatedly said it's not the kind of engagement he'd like to have..., then, is a different way through a thicket of problems, plugins, cables, rough patches, physical music, gag reflexes, personal obsessions, hang ups, ways forward, dead ends, and so on....

[12/11/09 8:42:52 AM] PC: You on?

[12/11/09 8:43:26 AM] DW: yep i'm here

[12/11/09 8:43:52 AM] PC: Well then... shall we get into it?

[12/11/09 8:44:01 AM] DW: yeah sure!

[12/11/09 8:44:28 AM] PC: So... about this time last year, you said, unequivocably, that Perlon had jumped the shark...

[12/11/09 8:45:00 AM] DW: yeah... but at the same time i was also praising oslo :P

[12/11/09 8:45:10 AM] DW: but yeah... i did!

[12/11/09 8:46:00 AM] PC: What was it about those two labels at that time that made you think so... 'cos by that stage I was dead sick of Oslo, and I thought Perlon had had quite a good year... from memory you were saying that the big Perlon records, especially the STL one, *wasn't* a Perlon record

[12/11/09 8:48:26 AM] DW: i'm not sure i can totally explain why i liked oslo at the time. but perlon to me has always been a very important part of techno and a label that was always pushing their own sound. but that sound appeared to be less and less obvious in their records. like it was being diluted

[12/11/09 8:48:45 AM] DW: or like in STL's case it was just them taking one of his releases to borrow his sound

[12/11/09 8:49:53 AM] DW: they were one of the few big labels left that still appeared to be making it their aim to continuously push forward or at least keep its ground

[12/11/09 8:50:01 AM] PC: Right.... not just suPerlongevity, but also hyPerconsistency.... but in 2009, both quantitatively and qualitatively, where is Perlon? ... Both the Dygas release and the San Proper release, they're timid and boring... but see this...

[12/11/09 8:50:56 AM] DW: hahaha

[12/11/09 8:51:00 AM] DW: holy shit

[12/11/09 8:52:08 AM] PC: Hmm... yeah, so if Perlon abandons 'Perlon', in what sense does that old minimal/house assemblage meaninglfully exist anymore?

[12/11/09 8:52:49 AM] DW: i can remember when you could listen to most perlon releases and work out why they decided to release it... but why san proper?

[12/11/09 8:53:20 AM] PC: And meanwhile, you have Sascha Dive, who, for me, was totally one of the people perpetrating the very dull bandwagoneering minimal/house + "soulful" sound, unloading here and saying this: Right now it feels like there's not as much good music out there as there was before. Most of all this so-called minimal/deep/Detroit house sounds all the same. There are unfortunately only a few labels and artists left making good music these days. You can fell that what they do comes from their hearts; has a lot of soul. Many just jumped on the train simply because it's the new hip thing. But it's not new at all actually. Good house music has been there since the very beginning of this whole culture.

[12/11/09 8:53:57 AM] DW: like how kalabrese's chicken fried rice was the first thing perlon released from a demo. it was really hard to get a release on perlon. but what the fuck is with san proper?

[12/11/09 8:55:02 AM] PC: ...yeah, what's 'proper' about it?... that Sascha Dive comment reminds me of Magda's comment in 06 or 07, when she says, when I think about minimal, that's not what we play.... ....yeah, the Kalabrese EP is a good example... I mean, it's *such* a good EP, and still holds up. I played it on the radio the other week, then listened to the podcast of the recording, and was completely immersed in it...

[12/11/09 8:55:21 AM] DW: yeah exactly. that was what depressed me at the time when i thought perlon had jumped the shark. it's kinda a big deal in some ways
[12/11/09 8:56:14 AM] PC: ...maybe it's like: once upon a time everyone wanted to be playwrights. The standard was high, the field competitive, and lots of good, memorable plays got 'wrighted'.... but how many great 'wrighters' wanna write plays anymore... probably they're writing the Wire in stead, no?

[12/11/09 8:56:28 AM] DW: yeah i don't know what to say about the sascha comment. i haven't really listened to much of his stuff but from what you and chris said he seems to be the worst offender

[12/11/09 8:57:21 AM] PC: ...well, we're in a year where vinyl retail has been more or less cleaned out of everywhere, and all the big 'names' (Luciano, Isolee, Losoul) have been releasing stinky, second-rate work...

[12/11/09 8:58:42 AM] PC: ...well, for me, the Sascha thing is that, well, he made some funky, swinging minimal/house records, they were fine as tools, but no more... but he became the flagbearer for this whole movement, which was mostly about all the plugins/mmnl people being able to dig as 'deep house' what was, really, just more flatlining plugins minimal... you just substitute ping-pong reverb a la Robag Wruhme for bongos... and presto!

[12/11/09 8:59:25 AM] DW: for me the problem is techno was always supposed to be (for me) about pushing forward with new sounds and use of technology. the whole "future music" thing... then also with a punk aesthetic in sound but also with culture (raves, drugs...)

[12/11/09 8:59:48 AM] DW: techno needs constant progression

[12/11/09 9:00:35 AM] DW: and also a relationship between man and machine (or computer) but how is there such a relationship when someone is using plugins?

[12/11/09 9:00:57 AM] DW: isn't that just machine-machine instead of man-machine?

[12/11/09 9:01:08 AM] PC: Yeah... my schtick right now is that we need music which much, much, much more PHYSICAL

[12/11/09 9:01:52 AM] PC: In March 2007 I wrote this: and quoted Mad Mike as saying the following:

[12/11/09 9:01:56 AM] PC: In a recent ‘Slices’ DVD interview, Underground Resistance’s Mike Banks talked movingly about the impact of hearing Kraftwerk as a kid: “When we were kids and we listened to Kraftwerk, we thought they was robots. We figured ‘Hey man, this is some cool shit’ and the guys was robots. We never thought ‘black Kraftwerk’ or ‘white Kraftwerk’ – it was just ‘Kraftwerk’. And the shit was funky and it permaeated the inner city.” It’s cute imagining ‘lil Mike dreaming of robots, but boyish chuckles aside, what’s so touching about the comment is the bitter, metallic taste it leaves in my all too human mouth. Fact is, we gave up dreaming of a future filled with electro-hearted robots in the mid ‘80s.

[12/11/09 9:02:25 AM] PC: ...I wanna say, isn't that what's great about Pansonic? It isn't electronic, it's electric. And it gets you in the guts.
[12/11/09 9:03:34 AM] DW: yeah i agree. for me the most "techno" thing someone could do right now is make their own synths or drum machines and pump out their own stuff. even if it had more in common with 80s acid than anything else that would still be more techno than a lot of the new stuff

[12/11/09 9:03:43 AM] DW: oh yeah totally

[12/11/09 9:03:59 AM] DW: that's what i mean... pansonic is more techno than almost anyone else at the moment

[12/11/09 9:04:34 AM] DW: love that mad mike quote btw :)

[12/11/09 9:05:09 AM] PC: ...Raster Noton, too... I mean, the shit is BANGING.... I mean Perlon 2009: you listen to that Dygas record, or the San Proper record, or the Baby Ford record... reminds me of that Lou Reed lyric: "I'll take Manhatten in a garbage bag, with Latin written on it that says: "It's hard to give a shit these days."

[12/11/09 9:05:56 AM] DW: oh my fucking god cyclo was so amazing

[12/11/09 9:06:13 AM] PC: Yeah, the other Mad Mike quote at the end is great, too: A robot future was a better future – Mad Mike talks in the same interview about how Kraftwerk came and ‘hi-teched’ the mindset of inner-city Detroit youth, giving the first-wave of techno innovators a dream of a brighter world. But the robots, and their future, never came – Detroit, Takadonobaba – the revolution never happened, then it returned as a cute setpiece in the middle of an erstwhile junkspace. No wonder techno floundered – they were no longer able to dream. Back to you, Mike: “We need some hi-tech motherfuckers to come through. Until that, kiss my ass.”

[12/11/09 9:06:31 AM] DW: also, have you heard the album nickolai and mika did on raster notion back in hte early 00s? it's like the best thing on the label. pure electricity

[12/11/09 9:06:52 AM] PC: So were Cyclo some high-tech muthafuckers? .... No, I haven't. Can you hook a brutha up?

[12/11/09 9:07:17 AM] DW: yeah will do! it's super droney but awesome

[12/11/09 9:07:35 AM] DW: yeah cyclo were super hitech and funky too

[12/11/09 9:07:39 AM] PC: ...but don't you think this is why Oleva resonated so strongly with techno people? 'Cos it was like, you needed someone who didn't have this laptop/Ableton/plugin/produce/remix/tour/DJ mindset to come out and say THIS is what it sounds like...

[12/11/09 9:07:42 AM] DW: people were dancing their asses off

[12/11/09 9:08:06 AM] DW: sorry don't follow.... what's oleva?

[12/11/09 9:08:11 AM] PC: ...but then Richie comes along and plays the Byetone 'plastic star' record and tweets it as he goes... something dies in techno everytime Richie tweets

[12/11/09 9:08:14 AM] DW: is that an old mika ep? can't remember :P

[12/11/09 9:08:48 AM] PC: Mika's last 'Ohm' record

[12/11/09 9:09:12 AM] DW: ahhh yeah got it

[12/11/09 9:10:16 AM] DW: i think you make a good point in the 2nd mad mike grab. the relationship between man and machine has changed so techno has to change accordingly

[12/11/09 9:10:57 AM] PC: But, the thing about Mad Mike that I agree with is, it's a mindset: we need to renovate our mindset. I mean, it's unfathomable to me that 2009 has been a boring year for music... I mean, it reminds me of my sister's ex, who moved to Madrid and now says 'Melbourne is boring'. I mean, Melbourne is a bit boring, but the thing was - HE was boring in Melbourne. Then he goes to Madrid and he's got this 'I'm on a working holiday' mindset, and the whole situation changes...

[12/11/09 9:11:55 AM] DW: techno is just due for a slump

[12/11/09 9:12:05 AM] DW: but it will pick up eventually... i hope!

[12/11/09 9:12:54 AM] DW: maybe indie is the answer... like what jay-z said with indie and hip-hop. he said the indie revival is great because it has overtaken hip-hop in innovation which should "push" hip-hop producers into lifting their game

[12/11/09 9:13:02 AM] PC: ...yeah, like Jeff Mills' black/sci fi/Metropolis futurism... he's never given up on it, to his credit... I kinda feel... I know this is weird, but I was watching the new Star Trek film, and it reminded me how incredibly timid people have become about the future... I mean, the only Americans with a Vision for the Future in the early 00s were the fucking neocons....

[12/11/09 9:13:09 AM] DW: he went on this big rant about it after going to a grizzley bear concert

[12/11/09 9:13:41 AM] PC: Indie is *not* the answer... I mean... well yeah, if you mean Grizzly Bear, then yes... but if you mean Pitchfork-reading motherfuckers in tight jeans on fixies, then NO

[12/11/09 9:13:42 AM] PC: :)

[12/11/09 9:13:49 AM] DW:

[12/11/09 9:14:16 AM] PC: Yeah, well hip-hop died because it became inward-looking and conservative and rejected innovations in lyricism and sound design as

[12/11/09 9:14:33 AM] DW: yeah just like techno :P

[12/11/09 9:15:15 AM] PC: sorry... as not hip-hop.... thus all the Anticon stuff, Prefuse, you know, they were really taking things in one direction, Outkast in another, Miss E and Timbaland in another, but all those directions were regarded as anomalies by people 'within' hip-hop... they rejected it, 'cos they could read the new signifiers as hip-hop...

[12/11/09 9:15:29 AM] DW: but it will be back... as will techno. but that whole "tweaking" of the sound and revisiting old sounds which you were talking about last year is a good point but only part of the solution

[12/11/09 9:16:05 AM] PC: ...yeah, just like techno... to finish up on the Star Trek thing, it's like …we forgot to boldly go. We forgot to dare… I remember Cam talking to Brinkmann, and him saying (of German DJs and certain records): ‘they do not dare!’

[12/11/09 9:16:24 AM] DW: haha! it's true

[12/11/09 9:16:32 AM] DW: i'm waiting for "post-techno"

[12/11/09 9:16:55 AM] DW: it will be like the early mego stuff. anti-preset and in many ways anti-technology

[12/11/09 9:17:13 AM] DW: techno doesn't need to tweak the past it needs to learn to hate it and rebel against it

[12/11/09 9:17:22 AM] DW: and totally piss off the detroit fanboys

[12/11/09 9:17:34 AM] DW: when they get offended then we'll know things
are on the right track :P

[12/11/09 9:17:47 AM] PC: Yeah... well, how come so few people sample techno in the same way that house does with disco and hip-hop did with funk and soul... ...nah, it's 'cos the plugins/mnml people have no historical horizon in their music... 'cos plugins/laptops is the future, sailor

[12/11/09 9:19:17 AM] DW: yeah good point... we need someone to sample and bastardise the past

[12/11/09 9:19:27 AM] PC: Yeah... the key is to not equate technology with progress... most technologo-centric producers have a very stupid undersanding of technology... one which is totally 'unplugged' from history, context, anything.... was talking about it here

[12/11/09 9:19:28 AM] DW: like your detroit sampling group idea

[12/11/09 9:19:38 AM] PC: I thought that was your idea, no?

[12/11/09 9:20:03 AM] DW: i think it was both of us... but you in particular mentioned sampling detroit very heavily

[12/11/09 9:20:23 AM] PC: To sample 'sacred' Detroit techno records, and turn it into fun music, like early Daft Punk/Stardust... something a bit fucking ridiculous... is humourlessness not techno's worst problem?

[12/11/09 9:20:51 AM] PC: Yeah... like get that double CD of Derrick May's classics, and shred them... .with love, natch...

[12/11/09 9:21:00 AM] DW: the residents are a perfect example. they were futurists by tearing up the past. they released a few albums of "awful" covers of old classics... especially the beatles and james brown

[12/11/09 9:21:19 AM] PC: Did you ever listen to James Forrest?

[12/11/09 9:21:56 AM] DW: yeah i loved his ideas... didn't quite like the execution (too fast and frantic for me) but really liked what he was trying to do

[12/11/09 9:22:22 AM] PC: Yeah, this album:

[12/11/09 9:22:44 AM] DW: oh wait i didn't hear that one though...

[12/11/09 9:22:48 AM] PC: ...also Soft Pink Truth... I mean, that's where Matmos' high concept rubber really hit the road for me...

[12/11/09 9:23:04 AM] DW: yeah they were good too...

[12/11/09 9:23:27 AM] PC: But Q: why haven't more people emulated the 'ethos' or mindset of Richard James? Why have we got these po-faced, humourless laptop muthafuckers whingeing about boring music which they're perpetrating?

[12/11/09 9:23:36 AM] DW: but i want someone to do it much more disrespectfully

[12/11/09 9:24:12 AM] DW: in my opinion "put your hands up for detroit" was such a great track for that reason. i want something like that but with a little more irony

[12/11/09 9:24:15 AM] PC: ...I mean, why was it that laptops captured imagination... it's 10 years of Ableton, and it's been the Ableton decade for dance music, definitely...

[12/11/09 9:24:16 AM] DW: or like crazy-frog!

[12/11/09 9:24:48 AM] PC: ...yeah, but .... yeah, crazy frog! That's why I didn't mind the last Alter Ego... the thing is though, I think it was 'seriously' fun music....

[12/11/09 9:25:15 AM] DW: fuck "serious-fun"

[12/11/09 9:25:34 AM] DW: actually no i take that back... serious fun is good

[12/11/09 9:25:42 AM] DW: but i want some other forms of fun too

[12/11/09 9:25:45 AM] PC: So is fun, natural fun.

[12/11/09 9:26:18 AM] DW: isn't the sort of fun we're talking about just free-creativity?

[12/11/09 9:26:24 AM] PC: All these visions have been put forward though - KLF sprung to mind immediately - so how come the serious laptop music thing took hold so much?

[12/11/09 9:27:00 AM] DW: mabe because it was easier? i dunno...

[12/11/09 9:27:06 AM] PC: Yeah maybe... .creativity, expression... but, I mean, Shed's music isn't 'fun' per se, and it's definitely classicicst techno, but it's great... same as Redshape... the difference is some kind of 'power' , I guess.

[12/11/09 9:27:08 AM] DW: was it you who told me that kid-606 quote?

[12/11/09 9:27:17 AM] DW: about how easy it was to make music now?

[12/11/09 9:27:21 AM] PC: no? Which one?

[12/11/09 9:28:42 AM] DW: i can't remember exactly but he talked about how he could make a track in 15 minutes nowadays or something like that. he's a pretty interesting guy actually... good quotes

[12/11/09 9:28:48 AM] DW: i think i read it in inpress a while back

[12/11/09 9:29:12 AM] DW: sorry it was years ago now so can't remember

[12/11/09 9:29:25 AM] PC: ...yeah, but then, some of the Gas records were made in an hour... ...I wanted to say, this Alex Cortex 'statement' REALLY got my goat

[12/11/09 9:30:09 AM] DW: this is what i want to see

[12/11/09 9:30:23 AM] PC: ...just some laptop entrepreneur whingeing about 'the scene'.... I dunno, is *that* a reason to make music?

[12/11/09 9:31:26 AM] DW: i kinda like this though

[12/11/09 9:31:38 AM] PC: ...great clip.... I wanna say, I agree with Terre when he said this: How do you see your craft developing (if indeed it is a ‘craft’ to you)? And how is technology influencing this?

‘Craft’ is no longer suspect to a lot of electronic producers. Especially in the house genre. Everybody wants to be a full-on musician. I think that makes a lot of music complacent, because we stop challenging social norms around how music should sound or be performed.

As for technology, does anybody else find it unbelievably patronizing that the default file name for most Apple software follows the formula ‘My…’ – ‘My Disc’, ‘My Song’, ‘My Movie’, etc.? It's a real sign of how we've socially come to project personal identity onto corporately structured media. It goes hand in hand with the rise of the ‘DJ as Artist’.

[12/11/09 9:31:53 AM] PC:

[12/11/09 9:32:14 AM] DW: it's like techno people know there's something wrong and are finger-pointing and in-fighting. admittance is a good first step :P

[12/11/09 9:33:29 AM] DW: hmmm maybe computers have to be shunned entirely in techno?

[12/11/09 9:34:19 AM] DW: i want some really elitist new producer to come out and make some sweeping statements like "techno cannot include laptops" or something silly like that. even if just to ruffle feathers

[12/11/09 9:35:30 AM] DW: haha this is exactly what i want to see!

[12/11/09 9:35:47 AM] DW: but do it with detroit instead of rock classics

[12/11/09 9:36:36 AM] PC: # Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.[1]
# Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?"
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.[1]
# Bargaining — "Just let me live to see my children graduate."; "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the person is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..."[1]
# Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die . . . What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.[1]
# Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the person in the fifth stage will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.[

[12/11/09 9:37:08 AM] DW: haha that's what i was thinking

[12/11/09 9:37:27 AM] DW: in the meantime i want some techno troublemakers... to speed up the process??

[12/11/09 9:37:47 AM] DW: maybe that put your hands up for detroit guy can rip off The Bells or Jaguar :D

[12/11/09 9:38:16 AM] PC: Imagine the outrage... back to Brinkmann: they do not DARE!

[12/11/09 9:38:34 AM] DW: we need outrage

[12/11/09 9:39:00 AM] DW: and we need outsiders to "out-techno" the current scene. to damage some egos

[12/11/09 9:39:10 AM] PC: And a power outage.... ...I mean, from a purely sociological point of view, what is the difference betwen the contemporary scene and a massive multiplayer like Warcrack? Not enough, unfortunately.

[12/11/09 9:39:30 AM] PC: ...hasn't Animal collective kinda done that with Merriweather?

[12/11/09 9:39:48 AM] PC: It's so much more bold and colourful than stuff within the mindset of electronic music...

[12/11/09 9:40:01 AM] DW: yeah i think so! also, i get the feeling that animal collective wouldn't even know much about techno. which makes it so much better

[12/11/09 9:40:55 AM] PC: ....hmm... yeah... but so many of the people making interesting techno don't listen to techno much... Vladislav...

[12/11/09 9:41:19 AM] PC: ...Ben Frost doesn't listen to much laptop music, and his new album is amazing... I'm not saying it's amazing BECAUSE of this, but...

[12/11/09 9:41:45 AM] DW: yeah i'm pretty impressed by the frost too

[12/11/09 9:42:22 AM] PC: It gets you 'by the throat'... a very visceral music, very physical response...

[12/11/09 9:42:22 AM] DW: it's pretty much unclassifiable too

[12/11/09 9:43:29 AM] PC: Hmm.... true... so, to kinda wind up, would you say that techno's being bad is gonna be good for techno?

[12/11/09 9:44:10 AM] DW: because we need people to stop being comfortable

[12/11/09 9:44:27 AM] DW: and the boosterism telling them they are still talented and progressive

[12/11/09 9:44:43 AM] DW: how doesn't luciano know he's being a total tool now? seriously

[12/11/09 9:45:32 AM] PC:'s true... complacency is the real disease... ....yeah... but that Luciano album is too weird to simply suck... I mean, it's so 'off' it's kinda on... and that cover? Is he taking the piss? No! But it's the kinda yacht rock phase of minimal/house....

[12/11/09 9:45:46 AM] DW: techno people need to feel like they need to lift their game... and mnmlssgs and a few other (correct) vocal minorities isn't enough unfortunately

[12/11/09 9:46:40 AM] PC: ...what I really don't like is the new Tama Sumo mix.... I mean, she looks so UNHAPPY on the cover, and it is such a boring, boring, boring mix... even though I really like Tama as a DJ and I really dig a lot of the artists she chose... but the 'final statement' is a 'serious mix by a serious Dj' and it's seriously fucking boring to listen to....

[12/11/09 9:46:40 AM] DW: i actually haven't listened to it all the way through!

[12/11/09 9:47:09 AM] PC: Tama, or Luciano?

[12/11/09 9:47:59 AM] DW: serious music is only interesting if it's really progressive and fresh. so techno isn't in the position to be serious at the moment imo :P

[12/11/09 9:48:01 AM] DW: luciano

[12/11/09 9:48:34 AM] PC: Yeah. I'm with what AGF says on her new AGF/Delay album (which is actually really, really good) "There's nothing progressive about/progressive thought, ever"

[12/11/09 9:49:20 AM] PC: I mean, progressive house? Like Margaret Thatcher: If you have to say you're a powerful lady you're neither...

[12/11/09 9:49:35 AM] DW: hmmm yeah very true

[12/11/09 9:50:35 AM] PC: The moment for me was when stinky mainroom proggers from Sydney - Sydney, OMG! - started putting out minimal mixes.... ...but now I'm bitching... shall we wind it up?

[12/11/09 9:50:53 AM] DW: yeah i should probably get going

[12/11/09 9:50:57 AM] DW: it's been fun though

[12/11/09 9:51:03 AM] DW: always fun to bitch :)

[12/11/09 9:51:18 AM] PC: Cool... well, thanks for your time... yeah,really
fun! Wanna do this on a semi-regular basis for ssgs? I mean, whenever we feel the urge

[12/11/09 9:51:42 AM] DW: yeah sure no probs!

[12/11/09 9:52:05 AM] DW: alright, cya!

[12/11/09 9:52:57 AM] PC: Cool, Cya!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Feelings: 11/11/01 - 11/11/09

Hello all,

I'll hope you'll indulge me with a bit of a personal mix.

It's November 2001: I've finished my undergraduate degree and I'm working in a shop flogging Japanese antiques, dreaming about being elsewhere and not quite managing to actualise one of several plans for becoming the human being I'd prefer to say I was.

It was coming up to my twenty-second birthday, and, well, I was depressed, buried under the wake of the September 11th attacks, the predictable responses, the warmongering, the paranoid-schizoid rants about 'them', the CIA operations in Afghanistan already underway... ...all I knew was that the next decade was going to be hijacked by the worst possible interests involved in the stupidest possible conflict... I wasn't disappointed. And meanwhile, I just wasn't able to get my shit together in mean ol' Melbourne... it was so strange to be overtaken by large events while day-to-day life seemed crushed by the banality of working in retail. I spent the lead up to Christmas driving my car to the crowded staff carpark nearly a kilometre away from the shop where I worked with people I hated in a shopping mall that gave me mild panic attacks. Boo hoo, I know...

My two consolations at the time were love and music; I compiled 'Happy Feelings' both as a way of trying to get myself out of the funk with the funk (recalling George Clinton's aphorism: 'Funk doesn't just move, it re-moves') as well as reflect some of the songs that had soundtracked the process of falling in love which had occurred in the year preceding. Without love and music, I would have been lost. Without love and music, I would be lost.

I worked my arse off getting the track selection and programming right on this mix, which went through several versions in the early days of November, but I think it was worth it - well, you tell me. But I think this one holds up, both as a personal document and as a mix in its own right for anyone who's feeling partially buried under the sometime concrete of existence.

11/11 is a significant date, too. Armistice Day, the anniversary of the creation of Sesame St, silent SSG Yuri's birthday, as well as the anniversary of the death of my dear friend Manabu's mother. It's also just after the fall of the wall, as well as, maybe, the quiet grave of rave culture ('89-'01).

Please NB - I have not published the tracklist here, and probably won't, as there are a few big names that might track I down. This version of the mix was made by taking a WAV of the CD direct from a player (which was then transformed to 320 kbps mp3). The old CD-R struggles at points, and you get a few nasty wee digi-pops along the way... but then again, this is integral to the artefact.

Anyway, I'll shut up, here it is. I wish you happy feelings.

soundcloud mirror

...and click on the image below, too... funny what google images throws up...

Monday, November 9, 2009

sunday sounds

i didn't know quite what to put up this week, but found myself listening to this on the way to the office today and realised it'd fit just nicely... here is a lovely little mix by ezekiel honig for his anticipate label.

ezekiel honig - anticipate mix #1
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1. M. Templeton + aA. Munson - It's OK to Fall - Acre Loss
2. M. Templeton + aA. Munson - Safer - Acre Loss
3. Nicola Ratti - Voluta Musica - From the Desert Came Saltwater
4. Sawako - Purple Sky Coming - Madoromi
5. Ezekiel Honig - Past Tense Kitchen Movement - Surfaces of a Broken Marching Band
6. Nicola Ratti - Coconut - From the Desert Came Saltwater
7. Mark Templeton - Please Take Me - Inland
8. Morgan Packard - Untitled - Album title TBA
9. Mark Templeton - From Verse to Verse - Standing on a Hummingbird
10. Klimek - Sound of Confusion - Movies is Magic
11. Klimek - For Marvin Gaye and Russell Jones - Dedications

quiet, reflective ambient sounds for a sunday. enjoy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Godspeed You Black Notebook: Ben Frost's theory of machines

An example before an explanation: I'm planning a series of thinkpieces for the end of the year and decade. Before I launch into paroxysms of introspection, critique, invective, hand wringing, finger pointing, genuflecting, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and (finally) affirmations for the future, this is one set I'd like some ssgs to wrap their best auditory apparatus around... I also think you might dig it... I hope so... also check out Sherbs' big megamix for unsound, which is another way to do critique without 'dancing about architecture'... it also all somehow fits back into Karin Dreier's outstanding RA podcast, which I'm sure some of you have heard, but deserves the widest possible audience.

Ben is an artist that I think a lot of people working in electronic music with a groove-based mindset need to listen to; the application of the loud/soft dynamics of Kranky-associated post-X sounds reminds me of what's possible... and this is just such a great set.

Ben has also just released a new album, which you can check out at Boomkat.

Another important missive in the battle between creative expression and complacent recapitulation... but more on that very soon.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

brussels bound

just a quick post about the cimatics festival in brussels later this month, which is going to be my next techno roadtrip. i booked my flights for the final weekend for what looks like two great nights of music. on friday 27th, there is a time to express label night with function, peter van hoesen, eavesdropper, sensu, and the first ever live performance of sendai. nice. very excited to see the belgians on their home turf and function killing it again. then on saturday 28th, vladislav delay is doing an audiovisual show with lillevan at the brussels planetarium. i'm super excited about this. vlad has been my favourite producer since about 2000 and now, finally, i will be able to see him live. can't wait. and if that isn't enough, to finish things off, donato dozzy and norman nodge at playing the closing party at fuse. nice. a perfect weekend of tasty ssg music.

in related news, i'd strongly suggest having a look at this new indepth interview with dozzy. a really interesting discussion that covers a lot of ground.

more soon when i get a bit more inspiration. feeling rather flat after a very demotivating experience in london last weekend. but more on that later.

Monday, November 2, 2009

mx40: dasha rush - tracklisting

tracklisting for dasha rush's ssg mixes...

intense vertical
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1. A crack in the sky / Machines talking/ - Max Cavallera & Oliver Morgen Roth / Parasound /
2. Naga /Asia ep / - Yuka /fullpanda /
3. Taversable wormhole /003 /- Traversable wormhole
4. Tankakern /Quaristis / - Autechre
5. Native rythmelectric -Norman Nodge - /Ostgut /
6. Acid love making -Acid Junkies /DJax up beats/
7. Everytime It Takes Awhile - Dj Slip (Falko Brocksieper Remix) /Sub static/
8. Czeslawa -Ben Klock /Ostgut tontrager/
9. D Mandala - Dubfunk - (guy j remix ) /Audio Therapy/
10. Nelio Avaruus -Samuli Kemppi /Pakkas-levyt /
11. Morpheme /Swedish Silver/ -Samuel L Session /Drumcode/
12. Dum Dum /S-politik / - Brixton - Slavery 2000
13. Under water -Dasha Rush / forthcoming release/
14. Dino Sabatini & Donato Dozzy - In Vaderz /forthcoming prologue/
15. The wipe - Teste /Probe records/
16. Trinket Pusher - Toise / fullpanda demo ,fothcoming /
17. Bassrace - The previous / Design music/ /dasha rush, dj edit/
18. Comme La neige -Dasha Rush /E383 remix / /IF/
19. Repose toi /Sous hypnose /- Vromb /Ant -Zen/
extra sound ,loops by dasha rush.

sleepless horizontal
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1. 12" Unien holvit - Mika Vanino - / Oleva - Sahko recordings
2. 12" B1 - Cyclo /Cyclo - Raster-Noton 041
3. 12" Sight fi - Chrunch /The laurel ep - Colony productions
4. 12" A1 -Tellemake /Scarlo ep -Angstrom records
5. 12" For amlified small sounds -John Cage - 1960 -Catrige music
6. 12" Part O -M.Uhlig /Fragment 36 - Drone records
7. CD Nice food - Infant - / Seriously Undergroud shit -Music expirience recording
8. 12" Brusnika - Veet Vecher /Lunar abyss deum organum ep/ Drone records
9. CD Backgroung story -Tetsu /Ambient system 3 / Instinct ambient
10. 12" Kausaaliton - Mika Vanino /Oleva - Sahko recordings
11. CD Blue equals black -Mike Parker /Dispatches -Geophone records
12. 12" 4:13 -Liquid watch aka Light Speed Drivers /Unpolished portions -Hunger to Create

Text. "Russian forest" Victor Pelevin / Life of insects/
Voice . Tim O'Loghlin

Sunday, November 1, 2009

sunday sounds

a short post for a short mix... tin man has quietly been making a name for himself with his very distinctive productions, incorporating old school acid, ambient drones and vocals. might sound like a weird combo, but totally makes sense with tin man. pretty much all his productions are spot on. as far as i'm concerned, this guy is definitely one of the most talented and interesting producers about at the moment. very interested to hear his future releases... anyway, this is a short ambient mix that used to be up on his homepage, which is a good introduction to his more downbeat sounds. and perfectly fitting for a sunday...

tin man - ambient mix

more soon...