May 2007 Archives
It's not that I'm getting bored of music, but I think my enthusiasm for writing about music is diminishing. So, taking on a suggestion from Anil, I might start writing about web stuff and software in between the album packshots. As a result of this change, feel free to jettison this blog from yr bookmark's and feeds. I won't be hurt.
So a quick overview and critique of internet radio / music community / website / social networking site Last.fm coming up as well as a little round up of events happening over the summer. In the meantime, the latest podcast went up. Admittedly, I skipped 2 months in what was supposed to be a monthly series. Work, weddings, Warpmart got in the way.
My next one will be better!
Someone Else: Pen caps and colored pencils (Foundsound) - CD
After what feels like an entire winter spent immersing myself in dubstep, drone and disco. Spring arrives and I'm ready to hurl myself back into the bewildering world of minimaltechousetechno. Old labels continue to edge catalogue numbers into the hundreds. New labels appear every week by the dozen. And the whole dance machine trundles on with frightening ferocity.
The first artist to welcome me back is Philedelphia's Someone Else....
The title and artwork all point to a sprightlier, more bouyant interpretation of the house sound known as minimal. The clipped beats and piercing snares might offer a comfortable and familiar canvas. But the real fun is to be had from the mischevious timeline twists and turns that grace certain tracks. 'Play it Kershaw's efficiency in rhythm programming means that it'll never sound tired after repeated listens. Elsewhere the use of pitched-down vocals evoke the works of Carl Craig.
And the artist's idea of narrative seems to crumble as the album nears the end. With the last few tracks almost dispensing with the repetitive beats altogether. I guess my only criticism is in the total running time, few sharper edits here and there could have brought it down a tad. That aside, this is a pretty smart debut from a label that's barely put a foot wrong.
KK Null: Fertile (Touch) - CD
He's Japanese and he's noisy and he's been recording since '82. Which means that he's amassed the sort of discography that could fill an entire record store. Although looking at Discogs, his choice of album title's leaves a lot to be desired: 'Extasy Of Zero-G Sex', anyone?
But this debut recording for London's esteemed Touch label feels like the start of a new phase. Extreme frequencies, sure, but there are familiar passages of electronic trickery that almost sound too austere to be here. The fine line between punishing audio exercises and unsettling ambience explored to a refined degree. Start here, work your way back.
Aleksi Perala: Project V (Rephlex) - CD
In between disjointed, ill-advised releases like Voafose's dreadful machine dirge and Dopplereffekt's unsubstantial off-centre experiments. Rephlex occasionally remind us of their 'coolest record label on earth' status with near perfect pop statements like this. Alexsi Perala is better known as Ovuca; whose rapid-fire deconstruction of rave has resulted in some of the best releases on Aphex's business concern.
Movements like 'Path' are incredibly well crafted pieces of future funk. But the real fun is to be had in the bouncy midi drum pad workouts of 'Dark Energy' and 'Black Leicester'. Only the parting amen burst of 'Sunbath' briefly hints at Aleksi's rave past. Looks like Braindance is alive and well and living in Finland.
Battles: Mirrored (Warp) - CD
With the regular occurence of everyone telling, no....ordering me to go and see Battles eventually wore me down and in the end I just never bothered. It seemed to make sense that it should work live. The compiled 'B EP / EP C' merely reinforced that idea. Exciting, unpredictable, loaded with ideas that all seemed too stifled on the recorded format. No such problem on this, their debut album for Warp.
To me, it sounds like the album is split into two. The first half has all the 'hits', whilst the second does its best to break everything that went on in the first half down to its core components. The opening cycle of 'Race:In' shows off their dizzying approach to composition, especially when Tyondai Braxton's vocals appear mid-way. Eventually making way for the stunning single 'Atlas'. I remember the KLF writing in their 'Manual' that the music-buying public can stomach the glam rock riff every few years and it seems Battles were listening.
Pretty much the most fun I've had all year with a piece of recorded audio.