Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kerrier District - Kerrier District

Label: Rephlex
Released: 2004
Style: House, Disco

"Luke Vibert pulls out the cheeky titles and grooved up disco vibes for his latest long player on Rephlex. Coming a few months after his ‘Yoseph’ debut album for Warp, ‘Kerrier District’ finds Luke in vibrant form, 10 tracks complete with bubbling basslines, subtle and sweet vocal samples and some classic analog action. Named after a district in Cornwall where Luke and pals grew up he parodies the Metro Area explosion by delivering an album of original disco classics for the 21st century. Opening with ‘Lets Dance And Freak’ a vocal spaced out disco number with vintage ‘party time’ samples and pogo-ing disco tom drums Luke fetches the track up to date with his monstrous 303 bassline that cements the track as a killer. With all manner of samples and noises appearing it continues in classic Vibert form, content, groove and a damn good understanding of Disco is the perfect combination. ‘Illogan’ heads straight for the Dan Hartman (Take That?) school of disco with its ‘Relight My Fire’ melody stabbing away, but Luke keeps it deep with a swooping funk bassline and wah wah guitar samples running in sync. On to “New York” which is just rampant hedonistic action from Luke as he visits the Big Apple with his 70’s synths and finger clicking drums, delving into a feelgood mood for the spaced out strings and horn like chord stabs that deliver an ace groove. ‘Disco Bus’ is a perfect chick tune, ass shuffling bass joins the padding 4/4 with vibes echoing around the beat, a cheesy sounding piano stabbing out a brilliant psuedo Italo melody and the fundamental vocal snippets that add the vintage feel, brilliant stuff. A class album from Vibert that shows as with every other genre he’s touched he can pull it off and here he evokes a classic era and fetches it right up to date. Killer." - Boomkat

1 Let's Dance And Freak (5:08)
2 Silhouettes (6:42)
3 Illogan (7:14)
4 Disclix (5:27)
5 Disco Bus (6:49)
6 New York (7:10)
7 Yesco (6:30)
8 Negresco (5:38)
9 Wide Vice (6:41)
10 Squaredance (4:49)


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Susumu Yokota - The Boy And The Tree

Label: Leaf
Released: 2002
Style: Downtempo, Ambient

"Susumu returns to his beatless musical magic fresh from jamming it with Phillip Glass, anything Afx can do..... 'The Boy and The Tree' offers a wider soundscape to that of the incredible 'Sakura', 'Grinning Cat' and 'Magic Thread' - featuring a world of hypnotic exotic instrumentations all sequenced into Susumu's lushed out compositional skills. Spiritual, graceful, hypnotic, rhythmic and calming. Think Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich, Brian Eno and you can also compare this to Thomas Newman's mesmerising score to the film 'American Beauty'. 'The Boy and The Tree' is in my top 10 album of year list for sure. Licensed from Japanese label Skintone specially for Leaf and issued exclusively here on vinyl as well as CD. Lovely." - Boomkat


1 The Colour Of Pomegranates (5:13)
2 Live Echo (5:31)
3 Fairy Link (4:33)
4 Grass, Tree And Stone (4:39)
5 Secret Garden (6:10)
6 Rose Necklace (2:44)
7 Beans (1:20)
8 Plateau On Plateau (5:50)
9 Red Swan (4:27)
10 Thread Leads To Heaven (3:42)
11 Future Tiger (5:26)
12 Blood And Snow (5:01)


Monday, April 21, 2008

Equinox - Acid Rain V.I.P.

Label: Planet Mu
Released: 2006
Style: Drum n Bass, Jungle

"Planet Mu spew forth another batch of the tough stuff, this time an updated Breakage V.I.P version of the drumfunk classic 'acid rain', originally released on inperspective records a few years back. The original is tweaked and beefed into a turbulent display of breakbeat science ripe for experimentation, falling somewhere between the intricate technicality of Paradox and the brute force of Bizzy B's more hardcore works. 'Do you understand me' runs some classic teksteppin' breaks through an array of filters and DSP FX for some disorientating rollidge while 'Forgiving' goes for the dictionary definition of drumfunk with a taut selection of deliciously treated breaks battling for rhythmic supremacy whilst the bum end attempts to exploit any weaknesses in your speakers. A fine selection of forward thinking drum and bass from one its most respected practitioners. Checkkity friggin check." - Boomkat


1 Acid Rain V.I.P. (Breakage Final Chapter Mix) (9:00)
2 Breakestra Ting (7:16)
3 Do You Understand Me? (8:48)
4 Forgiving (6:02)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Deaf Center - Pale Ravine

Label: Type Records
Released: 2005
Style: Modern Classical, Ambient

"With the astounding quality of releases that have appeared on Type recently, it would be easy to become blasé over their output. Deaf Center shake you from any such complacency - delivering here a record that will be extremely hard to beat as album of the year for 2005. Apparently inspired by "old silent 8mm film reels and historical architecture", the Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland have produced a lambent debut that recalls the likes of William Basinski (particularly the 'Disintegration Loops' indebted 'Lobby'), Marsen Jules and Harold Budd. Over layers of warmly battered aural sediment, Deaf Center build the kind of vista-expanding, piano tinged music that has you thinking you're in your very own film. Manifesting itself in the stravaig and epic iciness of 'Thread', or the etiolated Nyman piano of 'White Lake', Deaf Center have a seemingly bottomless supply of aural dignity and pathos on which to draw. Other highlights include the tense strings and snatched choirs of 'Stone Beacon', the thrumming piano of 'Loft' and the soaring orchestral pomp of 'Thunder Night'. Just incredible music." - Boomkat


1 Lobby (3:01)
2 Thread (3:39)
3 White Lake (6:35)
4 Path To Lucy (4:54)
5 Stone Beacon (3:29)
6 Weir (6:34)
7 Loft (4:15)
8 Thunder Night (4:28)
9 Lamp Mien (3:58)
10 The Clearing (4:13)
11 Fog Animal (4:24)
12 Eloy (2:15)


Tom Burbank - Famous First Words

Label: Planet Mu
Released: 2006
Style: IDM, Downtempo, Experimental, Instrumental Hip Hop

"Alongside the likes of Kyler and The Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble, Tom Burbank further extends the Planet Mu remit beyond the perceived boundaries of its splenetic catalogue - with 'Famous First Words' a glitchy river of melodic hip-hop and electronic intricacies. Very much a contemporary of Prefuse 73, Burbank's sound relies heavily on the slippage that occurs deep within the digital heart when all is not right; lending 'Famous Last Words' a moody and melancholic edge that marks him out from the usual cut-up merchants. Kicking off with 'Fragile', the usual tick-list of elements are undoubtedly present (juddery beats, bursts of electronics, disrupted emissions) - yet whilst others have seen the surface as all important, Burbank ensures a real depth exists that sees him happily ranked alongside the likes of edIT and Prefuse. From here, 'Knuckles' is brashly regimented in it's gun-fire of crumpled tronics, 'Stay One' goes straight for the widescreen jugular with watercolour soundscapes of some beauty, whilst 'Tha Chop' sees the acoustic and machine living in perfect harmony. Closing with the sun-bleached strings and Air-esque atmospherics of 'Riding Off', Burbank has delivered a blissfully simple debut that doesn't need to show off to get its point across." - Boomkat


1 Fragile (3:12)
2 Knuckles (3:57)
3 Stay One (3:57)
4 Gnats (4:11)
5 Baghdad Mood (5:06)
6 Tha Chop (5:00)
7 Cracked (3:54)
8 Blabber Mouth (3:58)
9 Slab (3:56)
10 Dot (4:28)
11 Juno Rhapsody (5:35)
12 Riding Off (5:01)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Massonix - Subtracks

Label: Skam
Released: 2006
Style: IDM, Abstract, Electro, Experimental

"I think it's safe to say that Graham Massey's legendary status is now assured - not only was he part of crucial techno pioneers 808 State, he managed to turn his hand to countless production efforts, most notably for Bjork on 'Army of Me' which to these ears still stands as one of her finest moments. A long time coming (after years of occasional live shows), this is the debut Massonix release and has been much anticipated by all those who've witnessed Massey's killer live sessions. Apparently the melodies and rhythms were dragged from recordings of these sporadic live sets and then reworked into fully realised tracks, so we end up with the perfect retrospective of ten years of Massey's most intriguing work. From the cover you've probably already worked out that the theme is somewhat sub-aquatic, and that sentiment translates more than appropriately to the Drexciyan treats on offer here. Rolling step-sequenced percussion and buzzing analogue synthesizers make up the majority of the works and bring back memories of a day when techno was anything but minimal. This is music that simply revels in its sense of melody, with hooks aplenty and emotive bass-lines guaranteed to cause havoc on the dancefloor. Just flip over to 'Sargasso' with its chunky electro rhythms and wobbly synths; the track builds up menacingly before hitting you with gigantic arpeggiated bliss and descending into total abstraction. Elsewhere we have the almost Radiophonic workshop bliss of 'Deep Saline Green', or the staid rhythmic warehouse vibes of 'March of the Triton Titans'. The best is saved until last though, and the album finishes on two absolute stormers - the jubilant emotive electro classic 'El Rey De Rey' and the 10 minute ambient epic 'Pulsars'. If you fancy delving into some truly classic electronic music, from a time when electronic music didn't just mean random laptop experimentation and pointless plug-in over-use then look no further, Graham Massey is back. Highly Recommended." - Boomkat


1 Port Silat (Off Port Silat) (4:14)
2 Sargasso (Horse Latitudes, Giant Kelp) (3:32)
3 Debussa (Undersea Danube) (3:36)
4 Despina Farfisa (Continental Ridge) (2:48)
5 Gold Coast (Pro Bumba Colony, Sea Caves) (5:15)
6 Deep Saline Green (Light Conductor 45 Fathoms) (1:47)
7 March Of The Triton Titans (Rubber, Canvas And Lead) (4:33)
8 Forests Of Crespo (Kelp Forest Range) (5:27)
9 Boonadawn - (The Mackerel, The Sampan And The Marlin) (5:27)
10 Diamond Dance (4ths, Heavy Water) (3:57)
11 The Subatlantian (Black Smokers) (6:01)
12 El Rey De Ray (Warm Gulf Water Rising) (4:39)
13 Pulsars (Deep Ocean Basin To Jodrell Bank) (10:30)


Thursday, April 3, 2008

808 State - Utd. State 90

Label: Tommy Boy Music
Released: 1990
Style: Acid, Techno

"By the time the residual sweet swirl of Disco and the harder edge of Chicago House had dribbled its way into England via New York and Europe's booming rave scene, "Acid House" was born. At a record shop somewhere in Manchester, a group of future Acid House pioneers (Martin Price, Graham Massey and Gerald Simpson) formed 808 State. The group's first domestic release, Utd. State 90, was a drastically-revised version of their 1989 album 90. The hit "Pacific" (here in three incarnations) is the album's standout track, its slinky, synthesized sax and tropical chirps laid on a bed of percussive electronic beats. The album shifts moods quickly yet seamlessly, from the poppy, lyric-driven "Magical Dream" to the industrial edge of "Kinky National" and the epic grind of "Cübik." Utd. State 90 even enters Ambient territory with "Sunrise," a track in which 808's impact on artists like Moby is beyond palpable." - Slant Magazine


1 Pacific 202 (5:43)
2 Boneyween (6:09)
3 Ancodia (5:12)
4 Kinky National (3:58)
5 Cobra Bora (5:47)
6 Cübik (3:36
7 Magical Dream (3:52)
8 808080808 (4:20)
9 Revenge Of The Girlie Men (4:16)
10 Donkey Doctor (5:24)
11 Sunrise (6:33)
12 State To State (5:50)
13 Pacific 212 (6:49)
14 Pacific 718 (5:46)


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