When Neneh Cherry-singer, 80s it-girl, grandmother-announced a new record for 2014, it was met with a collective "huh" of quasi-anticipation. At least, of curiosity. This may be because, in spite of her past fame, most of us still don?t know who she is or what she has to say.
This will be the perfect dance track for serious technophiles. The last two tracks, 'Story of Aurea' and 'Wash Over Me', do precisely that and draw us back to sand at the edge of the sea to draw new faces, only to wash them away as Shifted's waves wash over me. This techno is truly great.
Elegant bits of string performance mix with studio chop-and-screw, funny mouth noises, cello farts, and dusty samples. It has no coherence as an artistic product, except what it is not?the album is an exercise in negativity, in showing what its creators are trying to avoid.
Probably because of Oliver Ho's tendency to weld mischief into the fray and open my mind even further to the fact that intelligent, experimental electronic musicianship like this still continues to exist and turn the pages of the industry like a book that you just can't put down.
When Zephaniah's silky voice says "Let me hear you say 'Multiculture'". (Amen.) Let me hear you say "roti, roti", we are hearing one of the finest observations in electronic music about the issue of cultural assimilation through a crass commodification that pervades Brtitish culture, which fails to address the ethnic diversity that underlies many of Britain's current social problems.
Secromance, for all of its 'flaws and it has some big'uns' impossibly captures the feeling of tramping home through the Chi-town winter with a strange and beautiful record in your bag, that bright and secret thing, a telegram from some like-minded soul.
Techno purists aren't going to love this album and neither are the hipsters, but hey, hipsters are the exact same bunch that thought that Stacey Pullen was a woman. Nevertheless, I love this album - for every ounce of diversity and soul that it comes with, and will be probably be playing it A LOT in the months to come.
'Dettmann II', the Berghain minimal magician's sophomore album released on Berghain label Ostgut Ton, is a subtle step up from his debut effort ('Dettmann'), this time containing more well-rounded offerings and more spacious sound design, along with your usual dancefloor-oriented loop techno.
It's space-rock, for sure. But inner space. Jaar manages to conjure an expansive emotional landscape within an inward and rather constrained palette of sound. 'Psychic' is a microcosmos, a galaxy of infinitely small gestures. And at this tiny scale, every move feels important.
In a time when it's anyone's guess as to what form the next revival or sound might take, Moderat offers us a possibility that most would be able to derive much from. Sonically traversing the various eras, the trio have stitched together a record that celebrates the tension between underground credos and popular sensibilities.
Emotive, self-referential, fun and undeniably talented, this album should not be cast away. Outwardly colorful packaging and distractive sideshows aside, careful listening and deeper digging reveal a sensitive artist wanting to be heard and make a difference.
For what it's worth, this album is an excellent showcase of Oliver's deep repertoire and what Vidab as a label has to offer. It has its hits and misses but fans shouldn't be disappointed. Also 'Out of the Dark - Remixes' is out now featuring three of my more favored tracks on the album. Check it out.
Just by reinventing himself, and bringing forth the kind of music he wanted to hear in his favourite club - a stripped down, sci-fi-industrial sound that crosses genres - Adam X got the scene to sit up and take notice, rising up not from obscurity but with it. And true to his alias, he did it all within a short space of time, in (inter)stellar fashion.
The laws of physics seem to apply when the album is listened to as a whole. Dadub demonstrates an instinctive aptitude for building tension, momentum, density, and propelling an album through with sheer driving force. The end result is powerful but perfectly nuanced.
Mr. 8040 has managed to write a storybook and a soundtrack to it that could very well be Star Trek re-visited, beyond the 24th Century, only a hell of a lot more funked up.
With such a cinematic, curtain-rising ending to 'Treat Me Right', one feels as if one has been told a love story through Wolstencroft's music playing by the album's end. It might be the producer's most techno-sounding album to date but in any case, his remixers of late would have already indicated the artist's growth in that direction.
While it won't be surprising that this album might have mixed reviews, it's quite certain that longevity is to be found in change for Nosaj Thing...it does leave one wondering whether it would have made a difference if 'Home' was someone else's debut effort instead?
Channelling otherworldly 'cosmic intuition', Legowelt expertly conjures up some very sweet vintage synth sounds with his collection of analog equipment. Not to be dismissed as a mere exercise in nostalgia - there are nods to early techno, house, acid and rave (or as Legowelt puts it, "90's weird English stuff from all over the place") - the end product is decidedly modern.
In pursuing this creative experiment of fusing jazz together with soul and hip hop, the album unfolds in exceptional glory, seductive and romantic. It straddles between the contemporary and conventional, where music is injected with a fresh perspective without straying from the catalyst of traditional influences.
Let's just leave pigeonholing to the folks at Beatport shall we. To do that with Keiling's work, would be a big mistake and a sad injustice in every sense. Just call it great music, soul food or mind fluid if you must. But it's something anyone who looks for beauty in life or in music should own.
A pioneer of not just Singapore's DnB scene but underground electronica in general, Kiat is a firm stalwart who becomes more relevant with each year. Here we break an exclusive interview and a review of his LP 'The Inner Galaxy' released in June 2012. Catch his performance with album collaborator, Isaac Aesili for Midnight Shift's 3rd Anniversary on 17 Nov 2012.
From Omar S to Moodymann and Analogue Monsta, Scion A/V has been dishing out gems of free releases from artists of said caliber. Here, Nick Hook's Without You is no different, with standout collaborations with the likes of Machinedrum and Computer Jay & The Gaslamp Killer.
Those expecting the usual fare of Robert Hood?s fiercely spare, loopy Detroit techno will be surprised. Continuing in the vein of previous instalments, 'Motor: Nighttime World 3' largely relays Hood?s mellower side with poignant electronics foregrounded over percussive dancefloor ingredients.
"Those randomly strewn hacked up pieces that glazes the cover of 'Traces', are significant and probably, also the solution to the jig-saw puzzle within the album. The sum of all parts add together to reveal an interesting collection of classic meets future classic." Brendon P reviews Delta Funktionen's debut LP 'Traces'.
"The musical arrangement and production on this is second to none and if this is anything to go by, a blueprint for other house producers to start re-building upon." Brendon P reviews Iron Curtis's debut LP entitled 'Soft Wide Waist Band', to be released on Mirau on 21 May.
"Without Delano there would be no Derrick" - Derrick May. Detroit's Delano Smith has been around the circuit since DJing in 1978 but only releases his first LP now (albeit after many singles). A real treat for fans tuned into his sound, but for new converts? The answer is 'maybe'.
The Burden brothers aka Octave One release an album of favourites remixed by their favourite producers. Brendon P reviews and interviews the beloved duo as we welcome in the year 2012 on the right note.
Reel by Real aka Marty Bonds makes a first comeback after 20 years. What are we to expect from this Detroit veteran?
Omar-S, native Detroit DJ and producer, releases his second LP called It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It.
As a member of the raster-noton family, Kangding Ray and his music are necessarily concerned with the click-clacks of minimal electronic sound design; conceptualised through artistic missives and scientific sequences; and realised through experimental projects, publications and installation works?. etc., etc. and more etc.