Archive for September, 2008
Saturday, September 27th, 2008 | Album Review, Music | No Comments
Reformed and rejuvenated, Red snapper return from a seven year hibernation sporting a new saxophone turbo charger. Tom Challenger’s sax and clarinet skills have been brought in to add another dimension to the three piece band which can’t be filled into one pigeon hole.
This new album which was recorded live sees elements come from jazz, funk, rockabilly and blues with the occasional head nod to the trippy variety of hip hop. It’s hard to pin point the track’s particular styles, Red Snapper seem to just throw in elements from all over and the result sounds like a natural jam session of different influences. For example, Lagos Creepers has a jazz feel from the sax and percussion whilst the bassline is very funk. Whilst Wanga Doll is more blues orientated striding into the rockabilly realm.
Moving Mountain on the other hand is a very deep dub track which incorporates Chanllenger’s clarinet melody creates a interesting symphonic yet trippy dub sound. Clam is another highlight with its skipping jazz beat, sax spats and funk drenched slap bass.
A fitting and varied return for Red Snapper.
Buy Red Snapper – A Pale Blue Dot on (CD)
Friday, September 26th, 2008 | Album Review, Music | No Comments
If there ever was a practical compilation title award then Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol.1 would be a nomination. Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol.1 is…. well Balearic beats of a cosmic nature and it’s the first volume that Eskimo Recordings have put out. Mixed by Skinny Joey, the emphasis of the CD is to provide a platform for nurturing and developing new talent from all over the world. With the likes of Lindstrom, Prins Thomas and Allez Allez on Eskimo Recordings, you know this CD is going to be a funk fed free range organic chicken of a mix.
It covers a lot of ground with the track selection taking influences from Disco, funk, house, italo and electro. It’s set at a handbag strutting pace and oozes shoulder shaking funk with fuzzy synthesisers. The opening two tracks, Footprints by Stratus and Phoreski’s 80’s Boy embody that classic disco sound with plenty of cow bells and funk basslines, whilst Malstrom’s Petrichor amalgamates Moroccan influences with nu-disco.
As the mix progresses, more and more variations on the disco sound trickle through. Rubberroom’s midway track Cockroach has psychedelic synths and guitars, whilst the breathy vocals on Cosomo’s remix of Spektrum’s Fit Together is reminiscent of the Blondie disco days. The mix begins to round off with Ichisan’s epic and spacey Radar Pulse is Sent where the riding synths and step up in tempo sets up the grand finale to go out on a bang.
If you’re currently liking the nu-disco sound, then this CD is a great representation of the new talent coming through in this genre and an excellent showcase for Eskimo Recordings.
Buy Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol.1 on (CD)
Monday, September 15th, 2008 | Album Review, Music | No Comments
Mike Shannon marks his ten years in techno with his third EP release on Plus 8. Plus 8 themselves haven’t really been releasing too much of late, but when they do the quality is usually high and different to its younger sister label Minus.
On this release Shannon revolves the LP around a central style of warped alien like melodies and effects with plenty of mechanical/robotic beats and noises all layered in a classic Detroit futurism way.
Enero the third track on the LP uses a wobbly echoed alien like melody which rides over the top of layered soft pads, creating a dreamy disjointed outer space atmosphere. Love Fry soon follows with a more sinister feel. A distorted organ riff runs through cycles of builds and drops in intensity over skipping beats and interludes of airy synth stabs. Again there is a dreamy nature to the track but this time edging towards a sinister nightmare.
On Uno Para el Sol a different tact is taken. Syncopated jazz percussion and improve electric organ skits drift over a wash of well layered string pads. Its light with a hint of funk and quite different to the other tracks on the LP. On the other hand Closed Question runs with a squelching static background and heavy kick drums whilst a number of pads and synths intertwine keeping the alien theme running.
The final track, Japanese Censorship finishes the album on a bang. A big muffled acid bassline wriggles about in a foray of clean techno percussion, providing the album a full on filthy track for the clubs.
There are some great tracks on here, which are very well produced and with great depth in layers. As a whole I wished Mike Shannon would have ventured further from his central theme like on Uno Para El Sol. Instead when listening to the whole LP, some of the tracks lose their identity. That aside Love Fry, Uno Para El Sol and Japanese Censorship are great tracks.
Monday, September 8th, 2008 | Album Review | No Comments
Another month passes by and another Fabric CD arrives once again. Usually we bang on about how great the CD series has been recently, rattling on about the great DJs that have gone before. This month is no different. House duo of the moment Âme follow on from Luciano’s effort, bringing their Innervision’s sound to the hallowed CD series. The duo recently shot to stellar fame back in 2005 with their unexpected crossover anthem Rej, which opened the mainstream doors to the “German minimal” sound. Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedermann have always maintained that they weren’t “minimal” and just in fact deep house heads. When you look at their pre Rej releases on Sonar Kollectiv you’ll see that they cover an assortment of house flavours which continues through on their own label Innervisions. They explore the deepest darkest depths of house right through to the funk fuelled and soulful. With their label mates and collaborators Dixon and Henrik Schwarz they have carved out a new niche which has seen a lot of the big players follow suit and allowed a whole new set of characters break into the fore. Even Laurent Garnier is getting involved.
On their Fabric release, they do as they do, and that’s play great house music. Âme say, “This is made for a club or at home. It’s a bit more electronic and experimental than some people may expect. People often try to make a stamp on us but this mix shows that our sound is different.” This certainly comes through on the opening half of the CD. Even Tuell’s Untitled B1 is a slow and sleepy track where it pulsates a weighty bass. It’s as if the CD is awaking from a deep and lengthy hibernation. From there it slowly transitions into the Wighnomy Brother’s remix of “That’s A Nice Way to Give Me Feedback”. Its locomotive come tribal rhythm and chant steam ahead into a melee of bongo percussion, adding ever more progression to the opening half of the mix.
The experimentation continues through Jens Zimmerman’s Modmodblubblub layered with spoken word poem Moondog Monologue. The style of the monologue and wind chimes from Modmodblubblub conjures up a Hitchcock-eque horror movie scene. It’s odd but it works well before letting the mix step up a gear into the wobbling basslines of Berlin Dub and the twisted acid lines of Armando’s Don’t Take It.
The mix moves along a theme of dubby house music with a questionable clichéd preachy American Poem and a very raw and tribal Six Ten by 76-79. All this culminates in to the latest Innervision’s release D.P.O.M.B from the big trio Schwarz, Âme and Dixon. Its swirling bassline and funk driven percussion transitions the mix from the dark dub grooves to the more soulful and funk fuelled house of Matthew Styles and the KB Project, before ending on a nice touch of classic 909 techno with LFO Vs Fuse.
A great journey through all the things good about house and techno, Fabric definitely continue to keep the quality high.
01. Linkwood – Hear The Sun
02. Even Tuell – Untitled B1
03. Minilogue & KAB – That’s A Nice Way To Give Me Feedback
[Wighnomy Brothers Quintenzirkel Remikks]
04. Jens Zimmerman – Moddodblubbblub
xx. Moondog – Moondog Monologue
05. Mixworks – Berlin Dub
06. Armando – Don’t Take It [Thomos Edit]
07. STL – Something Is Raw
08. Edward Ft. Justus– Raw Structure
xx. Those Guys Ft Ras Baraka – An American Poem
09. 76-79 – Six Ten
10. Henrik Schwartz/Âme/Dixon – D.P.O.M.B [Version 1]
11. Matthew Styles – We Said Nothing
12. KB Project – The Symphony
13. Gowentgone – M.A.M. (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
xx. Broken Compass – Australiapella 2
14. LFO vs Fuse – Loop [Fuse Mix] – Plus 8
Sunday, September 7th, 2008 | Event Reviews, Events | No Comments
As we head into the dark and gloomy winter months we should really conclude what actually happened on the last two days of EarPipe’s Sonar weekend. In previous parts we told you about our escapades at La Terrazza with the Soma boys, our thirst for mojitos, the booty shakin breaks of Diplo and the mind warping sounds of Contakt. In our third and final instalment, we’ll be covering our haggered limp across the finish line from Saturday to Monday.
To kick Saturday off earPipe caught the Dirty presents showcase at the Sonar Dome. Until that day we had never heard of Dirty and their collection of French DJs and producers. Some digging about and it turns out these guys run a not for profit website hailing from Paris called d-i-r-t-y.com, where they release edits and compilations as well as run a bi monthly party. Their sound is a real mixed bag of stuff. Pilooski on his own was dropping all kinds of down tempo beats from soul classics edited in the Dirty way right through to upbeat disco and electro. He then followed his own set with Pentile on his joint live project called Discodeine. Together they combined the brash, rawness of electro with the funk of disco, but it’s not in your face jump around electro like their fellow country men Justice make; it’s more calculated, restrained and twisted.
To finish the Dirty showcase, Pilooski took to the stage once again as part of the Dirty Sound System where the whole team just ripped the SonarDome to pieces. Playing a French blend of their trademark electro sound they had the marquee bopping about like lunatics. Definitely people to catch again in the future.
Back over in the Sonar Village, The Field, a one man production extravaganza was creating his epic soundscapes for sun lavished crowds. His productions are in one word beautiful, it is the way that they twist and turn in a pleasurable but not overpowering wall of sound. It is kind of minimal, but not through the ethos of removing elements more so minimal in the way his music progresses. The soaring sounds fit snugly for the late afternoon slot just as those mojitos were beginning to hit home once again.
EarPipe’s final stop off for the day was purely for comedy value. Inside at the SonarComplex DJ Scotch Egg had been mounting his Osaka Invasion all afternoon. If you haven’t heard of Scotch Egg, he is basically a mental Japanese fella who bangs out hardcore gabba music with an 8 bit computer game take on things, though a combination of gameboys, megaphones, distortion and a bit of crowd participation by throwing scotch eggs at them. Is Mr Egg avant garde? Probably not. It is however completely nuts music and really can’t be taken seriously by anyone on this planet. Its shear insanity and the fact that it could give you a brain haemorrhage, nose bleed, as well as make your ears bleed and induce an epileptic fit kind of makes it so entertaining and a little intriguing. If you don’t believe me watch these videos. Scotch Egg 1. Scotch Egg 2.
For the final visit to Sonar by Night, EarPipe manages to catch the last half of Soulwax on their Weekend Never Dies tour. We always enjoy the energy they create as they relentlessly plough through their songs, rarely stopping for breath. It’s a whirlwind show and their drummer must be one of the hardest working out there. Interesting takes on Daft Punk’s Robot Rock as well as their classics NY Lips and E-Talking. These guys have played Sonar for the last few years and they have always put on a great show.
Next up for EarPipe was Dubfire out in the SonarLab. The Deep Disher was flying solo in his new “back to my roots” techno persona. We did enjoy his set of techno beats, but we did feel a bit sterile afterwards. There were some great tunes in there, but on the whole the set just didn’t seem very imaginative. It was an onslaught of typical techno tunes which were fun but not really that memorable. If Dubfire wants to shake of the shackles of Deep Dish then he’s going to have to try harder. However it was great when he dropped his recent remix of Radioslave’s Grindhouse Tool.
Sonar’s grand finale came down to the legendary Ricardo Villalobos. Over the past year the guy has been brilliant, so what better a setting than the outside SonarPub with the sun rising in the early morning sky and a few thousand revellers ready to go completely mad. Ricardo’s set was nothing short of breathtaking. Probably being on the right side of inebriated, his mixing was tight and tune selection playful. Effortlessly cherry picking South American influenced percussive house and techno through to the down right heavy balls to the wall stuff. The cheekiness and range which he can play is something that many DJs envy. Evidence of this was when he dropped Sis’ Trompeta, which is basically this year’s Heater. But despite it being a corny track, its silly sample was perfectly apt to end a weekend of debauchery and serious electronic music, and like last year at Exit when Heater dropped, it erupted in various gypsy-esque dances. Keeping command of his crowd to the very end he rounds of preceedings with house classic Lil’ Louis’ French Kiss. Perfect.
And so ends another year at Sonar. Three days and two nights of great music, great atmosphere and plenty of mojitos. However it doesn’t stop there. On the Sunday Secretsundaze happened to be keeping the party spirit alive by doing their Sunday shenanigans at La Terrazza. It was an ideal club which completely encompasses what Secretsundaze is all about and what it should be ideally in the UK, open air with plenty of sunshine, a great crowd and the highest order of house you can imagine. For their Barcelona party Johnny D, 2000 and One and Mountain People all played exceptional sets, keeping my frail legs moving to the very end. I could give you details, but they’re a bit thin on the ground. But I do know we had a great time and it was a brilliant way to finish off the weekend and seal my fate for a fragile journey home. So until next year, Adios Barcelona!
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 | Single Review | No Comments
Does anything not turn to gold when Jamie Jones touches it? You just can’t fault his raw edgey tech house productions. His latest release 911 sees Jamie return to Damian Lazarus’ label Crosstown Rebels where he slides in haunting space aged blips with a classic growling tech house bass which centres on quite a comical 911 call about a marijuana freak out. It’s rough round the edges and has a great raw feel. Its simplicity and directness has one thing in aim and that’s to rumble a dancefloor to pieces.
Jamie Jones – 911 is out now on MP3
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 | Single Review | No Comments
We loved Ellen Allien’s album Sool. It took a while to grow on us but once there it seemed to make a lot of sense in its haywire abstractness. Out was one of the more abstract tracks. It was fully stripped down and just plain weird. Yet it had character and a certain infectiousness about it. The single release which we are completely late in reviewing, has the original accompanied with remixes by Thomas Muller and Audion.
Thomas Muller has tried to bring the very stripped down original out of its shell by embodying it with more dancefloor friendly beats. The abstract noises are kept, which take on a kind of insect crawling feel, whilst a deep bassline rumbles and rattles about in the background. Its effective and simple in its aim, but maybe a bit too minimal generic?
Audion’s Out for Infants mix is a completely different kettle of fish. He has a fascinating take on the original. He expands on the ploddy beats found in the original by making them more upbeat helped by some metallic percussion. A simple wobbling bassline gives the track a groove as elements of the original echo about in the foreground before accumulating into an oriental floury of an Erhu melody. A great interpretation of the original, keeping elements of the original, whilst still running wild with his own theme.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 | Event Preview, News | No Comments
Just a quick note to let you know those folks in Manchester are at it again. The third season of the Warehouse Project sees them take over the Store Street car park for the final time. For twelve chilly winter weeks you can see the finest lineups ever to hit Manchester in a stunning urban and underground setting. Co Founder Sam Kandel says,
“The programme for this years series is, we think, the best yet. It has been gradually pieced together since last October. This year there will be a second more intimate room of music, which has allowed us to go even deeper with the line-ups, putting on some really underground breaking talent in addition to the huge main room action you are used to. The preparation for the annual series has become a genuine labour of love for all involved – now everything is set its time to get moving… Welcome back to The Warehouse.”
So which nights are EarPipe looking forward to? Well the first one on our radar has to be the Minus Presents night on the 17th October. You would have thought we’d be sick of Richie and his label mates. But no we keep going back for more. Friday will see the Minus gang roll into Manchester ahead of their main Contakt event in London. Support comes from Troy Pierce, Gaiser and Barem. This will no doubt be a road block event, so get your tickets early!
The next big one has to be the Exhibitionist night on 1st November. The alien from Detroit returns to pummel the north with his space aged techno. Joining Jeff Mills will be three of the hottest heads in house music, Ewan Pearson, Ame and Dixon. Definitely not one to be missed.
Sven Vath does his usual stop off with his Cocoon night on 14th November. He’s joined by Extrawelt and Tobi Neumann, both hot property right now, especially after Tobi’s recent Secretsundaze CD release. They’ve also got all three of those Romanians doing the business right now. Raresh, Rhadoo and Pedro will be playing for six hours as the RPR sound system in the intimate backroom.
Finally if Novembers at home don’t mean anything to you the 21st November sees Resident Advisor host John Digweed and Luciano. The cheeky Chilean has also called in support from his label buddies Thomas Melchior, Alejandro Vivanco and Reboot.
So there the nights we think might be a bit alright. Obviously there are the other twenty odd nights which also look fantastic, there just isn’t enough room on these pages.
Don’t forget to check back for competitions to win free tickets to some of the nights we’ve picked out… .Viva Manchester, Viva Warehouse Project!
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 | Event Reviews | No Comments
It’s been such a struggle to get back to normal after the bank holiday weekend. There is just something about having an extra day of weekend and a day less off work which tips me off the careful edge of balance between recovery and debauchery. But why moan about such trivial things when the renowned August bank holiday was exceptionally fun this year.
A civilised delayed start to the weekend took place this year for EarPipe. Rather than listen to one hour Tenaglia sets in deepest darkest Clapham, EarPipe decided to start the weekend on Saturday night in fine fashion at Hi Tek Soul, who happened to host the most Detroitiest Detroit line-up a none Detroit person would have seen outside of Detroit this year. Taking place at the ritzy glitzy Ministry of Sound for the third or maybe fourth time this year, the punters had the delectable selection of DJ Rolando, Stacey Pullen, Ken Ishi and of course Derrick May. Also, let’s not forget Jim Masters, who does such a sterling effort warming up or closing down for all these techno heavyweights.
From midnight onwards there was no hanging about with DJ Rolando. He just jumped feet first into a deep techno puddle, splashing all those around with relentless beats and bass. Like a kid with wellies on, he just splashed about care free dropping everything from upfront tracks to classic UR. A clichéd but perfectly apt moment was the dropping of Rolando’s own seminal classic Knights of the Jaguar, possibly my favourite EDM track of all time.
Out back in the bar, the versatile Stacey Pullen was teaching the kids about house music. Digging out some Chicago and Detroit beats, he did what he does best, effortlessly gliding between the slower end of techno and the Chicago side of house; such a talented DJ that seems to consistently deliver.
Derrick May was on deck duties from 4am onwards. By this point it starts to become a blur. All I know is that Derrick continued along the heavy foundations laid down by Rolando, momentarily stepping out for moments of funk rhythms. A solid set from the Detroiter, however I guess the combination of Clapham Park dancing in the day and the late set time meant much of the crowd had begun to thin halfway through his set. Unfortunately when that happens at Ministry the atmosphere of the Box room just gets sucked right out, leaving the night to slowly wind down to its 7am finish.
Despite that, Hi Tek Soul still remains the only thing worth going to Minstry for. Well that and when Secretsundaze takes over the courtyard.
As for the Sunday, the antics were supposed to be of a carnival nature. Plans for some Good Times and a bit of Panza were hampered by the increased police presence. No we didn’t get arrested for inter-gang warfare; it was only the conservative denial of entry to the Middle Row streets due to Carnival being a bit too busy. Who woulda thought? So the day was spent sitting in front of the job centre drinking cans of G&T whilst eating curried goat as busy Carnival people bustled around. It’s a glamorous life.
Tearing myself from the streets of Nottinghill, I venture south to Southwark where Mulletover, Disco Bloodbath and Resident Advisor have all joined forces to entertain the masses in a car park for the Eastern Electrics event. Being too ginned up there was a major failure in making it down for Raresh’s outdoor set. We did however make it down in time for Geddes who is consistently good right now. Every set EarPipe hears from the man is perfectly set for the crowd and venue. Sunday was no exception. He was precariously edging towards techno but nicely keeping those beats caged up; occasionally letting them take a swipe at the crowd.
Over in the Resident Advisor room Will Saul and Gerd Jansen were warming the second large railway arch as more destitute clubbers filed in from Secretsundaze. Still feeling the buzz from Carl Craig’s set the crowd were more than welcoming to Will and Gerd’s assortment of electronic sounds. Whilst in the Disco Bloodbath room which had taken over from Mulletover, Maurice Fulton was pumping out the disco. This was the first time EarPipe had ever heard or seen of Maurice, but on first impressions we decided this guy definitely knew how to spin disco. It wasn’t just Disco though; he’d often wonder off road and pick up some delectable acid house fruits to add an extra dimension to his set, truly a great DJ who probably stole the night for us. If you get the chance, definitely catch this guy.
Meanwhile Cassy was taking command of the RA room. I always expect her to play her restrained hypnotic loops which are so familiar on all her productions. But the two times we’ve caught her she has just gone fully for it. Long hypnotic minimal loops probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for a large cavernous room with a bunch of people that had been out all day. Gauging it right she drops some great techno and house dropping tracks from SIS and Johnny D and thus proving why she is so revered on the Berlin scene.
Appleblim had the tough job of following Cassy. After hearing Appleblim’s acclaimed RA podcast it was going to be touch and go whether their dub techno come dubstep sounds would be invigorating enough to keep the bank holiday crowd alive. Unfortunately the dark and moody sounds just didn’t suit for that time in the morning. Which is a shame as we could see what they were trying to do but when you’re up against tired legs they just didn’t stand much of a chance.
For their first outing, we must say Eastern Electrics was a hit. The venue was superb coupled with a great crowd and atmosphere, lets hope they get more gigs going there.
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