January 2007 Archives
Just an update on the whole podcast thing, thanks for the kind comments and mails I've been already getting on this. Nice to get feedback, even if its just to say "you're shite!". The podcast now has a proper home with tracklistings and some commentary. The link is permanently on the right there. Bookmark http://www.failme.net/failcast in your browser. If all works well then the next show will automagically be pushed to your podcast program in around 3 weeks time. Blimey!
OK. To disguise the fact that it might be total rubbish, this first issue of the Fail podcast (cunningly called FailCAST) can be considered a test run. The intricacies of both XML and MP3 meant that I'm sure I'll be tweaking things for a while. There'll be a dedicated page up in a bit with tracklistings, links and commentary. But for now type in http://www.failme.net/failcast/index.xml into your podcast program to subscribe.
Recorded and mixed in one take (mistakes'n all) using a battered old Samsung X10 PC laptop running Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Native Instruments' Traktor 3.1.2, Evolution X-Session MIDI controller and eMagic EMI 26 soundcard. The file is 62.1Mb and lasts for 90 minutes, compressed to 128Kbps VBR.
Feel free to mail me with any comments or problems, also be good to hear about any issues with sound quality. Otherwise, more of the same nonsense again next month!
Not quite got back into the swing of things post Xmas. Seem to be churning out reviews and doing little else. But I'll interrupt this with some texts about things other than music. Ignore at your leisure.
PS. In a tide of releases where ownership is rarely recommended, the two Nettle albums below buck that trend. Music as artifact.
Nettle: Firecamp Stories Remixes (theAgriculture) - CD
The original album - 'Build a fort, set that on fire' - was pretty incendiary stuff (as you'd expect from DJ/ Rupture) and this remix exercise is a worthy companion. Leafcutter John's revision is a brilliant folk meltdown, Ove Naxx peppers the spiky arabic rhythms with 8-bit Nintendo riffs and Hrvatski wields african drum loops as if it were the Amen break.
Venetian Snares: Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding (Planet Mu) - CD
The only Venetian Snares album that I can't seem to get along with. Sounds way too austere and clinical for my liking. Like the title and artwork suggest, this is the product of sterile environments and digital clarity.
Jimmy Edgar: Color Strip (Warp) - CD
Not met anyone who's liked this yet. But then most of my friends are the wrong side of thirty. Still, seems to be popular with 'the kids'. And with catchy sing-alongs like 'My Beats' and 'I wanna be your STD' it's not difficult to see why. Near perfect electro-pop fodder. Peters out near the end, but on the whole I found this a lively update of the sort of stuff Model 500 used to dish out back in the day.
Nettle: Build a fort, set that on fire (theAgriculture) - CD
Randomly picking unreviewed CD's from the absorb pile of yesteryear, I amusingly pick this and its remix companion (see above) in the same week. If you haven't got time to read all of this review, then just let it be said that this is a fucking insane album.
There are so many geographical/musical reference points crammed into the fifteen tracks that it could sound scattershot and unfocussed on first listens. But repeat plays reveal the direct turntable manipulation and laptop mangling to an even greater detail. Reinforces my experience of disruption to eastern musics. I can remember traveling across southern asia, listening to the local radio at night. Music delivered over a layer of static and interference.
Nitzer Ebb: Body Rework - Remixes (Novamute) - CD
Never got into the whole industrial movement and judging by these remixes I'm glad I never did. There's nothing subtle here, every preset is processed to the max. Even with the likes of Derrick May and Robag Whrume remixing, this seems to be trying to revive a music that should really be left alone.
Various Artists: Mary Anne Hobbs presents Warrior Dubz (Planet Mu) - CD
Excellent summation of the current state of digital bass. Superlative contributions from The Bug, JME and DMZ's anthemic 'Anti War Dub'. But despite the heavy presence of dubstep, my preferred moment is the Basic Channel kick of Andy Stott's 'Black'. Which neatly leads me onto....
Andy Stott: Merciless (Modern Love) - CD
According to my last.fm profile, Andy Stott is one of my most listened to artists. I wouldn't say that's entirely accurate, but this impressive debut album is not going to affect his ranking at all. 'Edyocat' seems to reflect his Manchester surroundings, re-connecting the links to Detroit as opposed to looking to the current crop of house practitioners from Berlin. I can also hear echoes of early Skam in there too. Results in an album that works well in the living room, but satisfying synth heavy moments like 'Boutique' has dancefloor dynamics in abundance.
Various Artists: Total 7 (Kompakt) - 2 x CD
Not only a great way of avoiding purchasing all that horrible vinyl stuff but also a neat summary of the best singles that Kompakt released during 2006. This documents a slow shift away from the trademark heroin house sound into more disco fueled territories (especially on disc 2). But my highlights: The Wighnomy Brothers' ethereal remix of Triola's 'Leuchtturm', the hypnotic loop of Superpitcher's 'Tonite' and the downtown melancholy of The Rice Twins' 'For Penny and Alexis'.
Karsten Pflum: Idhax (Rump Recordings) - CD
Do people really still make IDM? More to the point, is anyone still listening? All these questions gleefully ignored by Mr Pflum, whose third album instantly triggers musical reminders of the past. Aphex, Autechre and just about the entire Rephlex roster can be heard being liquidised in amongst the nine tracks. Ideas splinter off midway, rhythms are collapsable and melody never hangs around too long. Best summarised by the rat-a-tat breakbeat frenzy of 'God'.
DJ Olive: Bodega (theAgriculture) - CD
Excellent scattershot collection of deconstructed dancehall, broken breakbeat and hallucinatory hip-hop. Stylistically reminiscent of DJ/Rupture, with clever inserts of arabic and middle-eastern rhythms / textures. Best moments are the shorter tracks, where sudden jolts of sub-bass and noise are simultaneously unravelled and discarded. Introverted headphone immersion.