Been thinking about techno tracks with strings recently, and one of the old gems that instantly came to mind was a little number called "Tia" by Richard Wolfsdorf, aka Ricardo Villalobos. With his earlier, more jacking style on full display, Mr. Villalobos crafts a track where the strings subtly build until they become the track. Not an amazing trick, but a truly pleasant and effective one. Would love to hear this on a huge system sometime, as I'm sure the mids and hi-frequencies are just brutal by the track's end.
Richard Wolfsdorf- Tia
Tomorrow, thinking something new!
Donnacha Costello is most well-known for his Color series, and perhaps my favorite of these is the Grape edition. The B-side is legitimately one of those tracks that begs to be heard on a monstrously large system or some high-end headphones, as this is the only way the subtle shifts and insane pans will really come through. With acid squelch, a wildly propulsive bass-line and an excellently synched mid-range siren working as a clock, this is one of the more versatile tracks of the decade, I think, and most certainly one of Costello's best efforts. Highly recommended.
Donnacha Costello- Grape B
Labels: Donnacha Costello
Friend unit Ablehearts has just completed his first album under the moniker. The Flood is some weird, warbly, naked electro-acoustic music with bits of punk, anti-folk, and a lot of insane knowledge of electronics. "May at the Farm" could very well be on Type Records, with its hallucinogenically pitched-up, multi-tracked vocals, and its slow, hissed-out acoustic guitar line. Like a transmission from a melancholy alien barn one hundred years from now. Really amazing things are happening with the guy behind this— watch out. (Released digitally on Shinkoyo).
Ablehearts- May at the Farm
Tomorrow, thinkin' some Philly raw shit.
Been rather busy these past days, but I promise to post some downloadable tracks here tomorrow. For now, though, some YouTube vids that I've been enjoying recently.
I don't really know what to say. Sure, it's just a remixed track from Amélie, but Jay Haze knows how to take those wistful piano lines, loop them, and make a pounding house track with an endless emotional depth.
Obvously, I'm going through a Lusine period.
This might be one of the best videos on YouTube. Ripe for remixing, indeed.
I love Lil Jon, and quite honestly, this video is the biz.
See you tomorrow!
Back in July, I wrote about how the boys of Teengirl Fantasy were playing a show with San Francisco's own Bookworms, and posted a track from the latter. Well, the show was excellent, and I've seen one more ofthe man's shows since then, and it was also excellent— in fact, both were slamming affairs, very beat-heavy and pleasing to the techno heads in the audience.
So when the latest EP from Bookworms on Solos arrived in my inbox, I was pleased, and for good reason: this is top-tier stuff. The original of "African Rhythms" is an epic, Detroit-style marathon run through wild polyrhythms, KDJ-like synths, and some echoey, disembodied vocal samples culled from Ganja & Hess. If Culoe de Song had grown up in Detroit and befriended Kyle Hall, his tracks only might sound as good as this... but I doubt it.
Bookworms- African Rhythms
As if the original wasn't awesome enough, the EP also comes with two remixes, one by Bookworms' close associate Fat Transfer and another by compatriot Yao a.k.a. Yaoser. The first is a softer, more washed take on the original piece, and the second is a stuttering, Theo Parrish-like number with some extra funk for your junk. Exciting sounds, my friends.
Bookworms- African Rhythms (Fat Transfer Remix)
Bookworms- African Rhythms (Yao Remix)
Tomorrow, some shimmerings...
As I'm sure most of you know, Luciano has a new record coming out in December, titled Tribute to the Sun. I've been listening to it for the past couple of days, and can honestly speak to its greatness as an album— though it contains elements that will be familiar to anyone initiated into the Cadenza sound, it also has a fresh and brilliant sonic palette. On top of all that, it is perhaps the first danceable full-length that Luciano has ever created, eschewing the tool-kit sound of No Model No Tool and the more esoteric Blind Behaviour. Certainly will be considered one of the best full-lengths of the year by many, and for good reason.
And no, I'm not giving any of it away. Wait a few months, friends.
In the meantime, though, I've been digging through Luciano's back catalogue, going from the cold heat of "Octogonal" to the trancey shimmer of "Amelie on Ice." The Switzerland-based producer is also well-known as a master of the remix and the edit, and for this reason, I'm sharing two of my favorite examples of this work with you today.
First, we have Luciano's remix of Salif Keita, the Malian afro-pop master known as the Golden Voice of Africa. "Yamore" was originally a collaborative track with the fado/morna doyenne Cesaria Evora, and might just be one of the saddest songs written in the past ten years. Watch and listen below.
Luciano turns this lament into a twelve-minute long workout, keeping the melancholy tone intact whilst adding pounding kicks, stretching the strings into hallucinogenic dubby echoes, and providing a breakdown that is one of his best. Gorgeous stuff.
Salif Keita- Yamore (Luciano Remix)
Next, we have the re-edit of Nina Simone's take on "Sinnerman," which takes the tune's piano line, loops it, and stretches it for thirteen minutes.
Furthermore, the most wailing parts of Simone's vocalizings are isolated and brought to the fore, allowing for another intense, kick-heavy hypnotism that is bound to cause as many tears as dancefloor antics. Quite something.
Nina Simone- Sinnerman (Luciano Re-Edit)
Tomorrow, some old school stylings.
Jimi Tenor is among the producers who have dipped into many different genres, and so it is no surprise that his ReComposed installment from 2006 is an insane ride through some of the 20th century's more innovative composers. Perhaps the best piece on that record is Tenor's re-working of the 'Tres Rapide' section of Pierre Boulez's "Messagesquisse." (One can see a performance of the original piece here). Tenor turns the bit into an insanely fast, near-breakbeat number, replete with punctuating grunts and some brass. Truly energetic stuff from a truly excellent producer.
Pierre Boulez- Messagesquisse (2. Tres Rapide) (as ReComposed by Jimi Tenor)
Tomorrow, a return to more techno stylings.
Margaret Dygas has been creating waves with her unorthodox approach to techno, incorporating elements of noise, industrial music, and even folk into her sonic palette. The b-side of her latest 12" on Perlon is a fine example of what this Polish-born, California-raised producer is capable of— "Frankly" features deep kicks, funky congas, and a truly jackin' groove. With washes of hi-frequency sound leading to acoustic guitar-based sample builds, the piece is an unmistakable summer jam, with pans and background atmospherics reminding one of a traffic-clogged beach-side roadway. Big ups here!
Margaret Dygas- Frankly
So, after a week of recovery, I'm back! Strep throat is one hell of pain— can't imagine how I managed to survive so many bouts with it as a child.
Anyway, today I'm bringing you a 2005 joint from Theo Parrish, whom I've been thinking about quite a bit since my attendance at a recent poetry reading by Peter Culley. It isn't often that I meet other poets who are into house and techno, so when Peter read his astounding piece, "House is a Feeling," I was heartened. (You can read that poem here and order his excellent book Hammertown here). After the reading, we ended up talking about Theo Parrish, Mr. Fingers and other old-school heads for a while. Peter, this one's for you.
"Capritarious #7" is a slo-mo deep house beat featuring some crystalline hi-hats, heavy kicks, and secondary percussive flourishes that really make for a funky good time. Paired with one of the wonkiest synth lines Parrish has ever come up with and hi-frequency string rides, the piece has an excellently dusty, epic feel. It really is ten minutes of deep house bliss! Highly recommended.
Theo Parrish- Capritarious #7
Tomorrow, a brand new flavor in your ear.