Music Reviews



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Artist: eLan
Title: Next 2 Last
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Monkeytown Records
Rated: *****
Elan Stouffer is a guy living in San Diego who's also member of the WEDIDIT collective alongside Shlohmo, Groundislava, Juj & Jonwayne. Since the last year he had some EPs out on Fifty Weapons and Monkeytown Records. The latter is now releasing his first album which gathers different versions of his tracks already released on three Monkeytown Records EPs plus a second CD containing thirteen remixes made by Mindesign, HeRobust, Mike Gao, Byetone, Modeselektor, etc. On his tracks, Elan, is like redefining the style of his tracks looking for the right beat. Mixing samples, digital bleeps and minimal melodies, he created a sort of futuristic lounge music which passes from moments of tension (like on "Bleep Bloop Brrrrmmp" or "Dry Lemons", which is the one I prefer) to experimentations with house music. Often eLan music offer good moments where melody and rhythm look for each other without sounding pretentious or too experimental but his music isn't for an immediate fruition even if at first, because he focuses his tunes on few elements, it could seem so. Under the hood there's so much going on. Don't think only about the movement, there's a whole engine that has been tuned to achieve this result. It is also true that NEXT 2 LAST would need some track with a rhythm change, because almost all the tracks are mid tempos. About the mixes, to me the best ones are "Bleep Bloop Brrrrmmp (Lazer Sword Remix)" because it has a nice atmosphere that mixes techno tension and break beat influences plus "Saccharin On Top (Anstam Remix)" for the way it mixes dub and minimal techno intuitions.
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Artist: ENDE SHNEAFLIET
Title: Synthimental Love Songs
Format: 12"
Label: Trumpett (@)
Rated: *****
Do you remember the double vinyl compilation released by Enfant Terrible back in 2006, well, initially that was intended to be a three records compilation instead of a double. At the end eleven tracks didn't make it and Trumpett released them on CDr later. This new compilation that Trumpett is releasing on early November and titled SYNTHIMENTAL LOVE SONGS, gathers seven tracks unreleased on vinyl plus "Twistin' On The Tombstones", "Air Zaire" and "Voices Of The Dead" have been alreay released on "Trumpett Sounds" and "Trumpett Days" compilations while "Symphoy Romant (J. Tesla Schnitt)" is a previously unpublished edit of the full lenght version that featured on the rare and mythical Reminiscent boxset. The compilation opens with "My Mother Sells Tupperware", a great pulsating minimal wave track based on monophonic waves, tiny melodies and a deep bass line. "Panzerfaust 60m", sounds mysterious and cinematic thanks to effected drum machine beats and synth throbbing sweeps. "Poison" is an early industrial wave gem with dissonant melodies and cold vocals. "Lauda Und Reutemann" sounds nostalgic but it has pulsating bass sounds and robotic beats. "Symphoy Romant (J. Tesla Schnitt)" to me is a band's classic as it has a melody that will stick in your head, experimental atmospheres and cool analog synth sounds. I'd like also to mention "Voices Of The Dead (Snap Schnitt)", a dark track with distant distorted vocals, slow beats, sonar sounds and a damn cool cold atmosphere. This reissue is limited to 320 copies, so be fast!
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Artist: Live Better Electrically/Pip Williams (@)
Title: Sintax Error EP
Format: 12"
Label: Sheweytrax
Rated: *****
Ah yeah, those shrinkwrapped US import 12inches! What a feeling to hold one of these beauties, stare at the labels, read the credits, tear the wrap carefully only to pull out the record, smell it, spin it...
But... enough with the fetish side of things, let's get into the music of Live Better Electrically (LBE) and Pip Williams who are the people (equally) responsible for the "Sintax Error EP", the US import 12'' in question here ;)
There's a concept behind this record which is the growing wealth gap between the rich and the poor both in the States and the UK. Dave's (LBE) musical approach to this theme is exposed on side A, ie on the "Sintax Error" and "How Does It Feel?" tracks and it is characterized by a strong minimal techno feel, much in the vein of the first Underground Resistance releases. Dope stuff indeed! Phil (Pip Williams) takes the controls on side B for the highly infectious acidic electrofunk remix of "Sintax Error" (in my opinion one of the best remixes he's ever done!), the electro/techno remix of his robotic tune "Cold Love" and the absolutely motherfuckin' fantastic groovy number "Autonomix", a stunning piece of bouncy electronica which really achieves the impossible: your brain... dances like crazy while your body stays still and watch!!
I have to make a special mention to this decent Californian label Sheweytrax which is active since 1994 delivering vinyl that ranges from electrofunk to deep house and techno, helping the underground electronic scene to stay alive and kickin'. Keep it comin' guys!
Please go to sheweytrax.com and buy this fine record. Apart from the great music content it is also a collectors item as it comes in a limited edition of 200 copies worldwide ;)
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Artist: Noisy Pig (@)
Title: Impopsible
Format: CD
Label: Cochon Records
Distributor: Cargo
Rated: *****
Neither a parody of Christina Aguilera's "Impossible" nor a reprise of Figurine's IM-possible (even if some sonorities are close to that nice act from Berlin music scene), Impopsible could be considered as the official nomination by the Berlin base music performer Bernardo Santarelli aka Noisy Pig as head minstrel of the electro-pop to come. You could argue the inappropriate choice if you're asking yourself the reason why this lad decided to name himself referring to a pig instead of a rabbit (obviously a white and neurotic one), the famous character from Carroll's novel Alice In Wonderland you could immediately associate Bernardo's dressing up in the nice videoclip for the song "The Queen Of Hearts" you can find in the physical issue of this release, or a cat, the animal whose whore-mongering attitude could be easily associated to electro pop musicians beyond its reference in the track "Copy Cat". Well, I have no idea about the reason of such a choice; maybe it's 'cause you don't trash any part of the pig or maybe 'cause a white rabbit could be replaced by a noisy pig in Wonderland in the near future as rabbit's sexual incredible activity is somewhat piggy! What is important to us is the way this pig makes noise by combining electronic buzzes and refrains to playful melodies, twisted lyrics, toy sounds and catchy tunes, so that his sound looks like hooking a certain electro-punk attitude with that kind of unruly carefreeness some nostalgic listeners could have recognized in generational anthems such as The Cure's "Close To Me". A more hebephrenic touch has been added in the pretty Marklion (ex Dat Politics' founding member Vincent T) remix of The Queen of Hearts, whereas the computational nursery rhymes by Noisy Pig are imbued with a more trancey sauce, just like the final track of this EP, entitled "Noisy For Ever", whose childplay-like dress could cram your oneiric production with smiling killer teddy bears!
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Artist: TEICHMANN
Title: They Made Us Do It
Format: CD
Label: Festplatten
Rated: *****
Active in the last twelve years the Teichmann brothers Andi and Hannes were exposed to music by their father, the Jazz saxophonist Ullrich Teichmann, right from the early days. This teached them to have a different approach to music and convinced them to start in 2001 a cooperation with the composer/zither player Leopold Hurt, under the name "Teichmann Hurt". They recorded a soundtrack for the silent movie 'The Holy Mountain' (Arnold Fanck/1926) and became part of the 'DJ Machaut' project. Together with a classical vocal ensemble they did reworks of motets by French composer Guillaume de Machaut. Recently they were assigned by Goethe Institute to represent German electronic scene in numerous countries ' a journey which has taken them in the last years from Algeria, through China, South Africa, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to Afghanistan. In all these countries Teichmanns were not only giving live- and DJ-performances, but also held workshops and actively sought out local art and music contacts and built networks. In the years they released different 12"s for Kompakt and an album titled "The Number Of The Beat" for Disko B in 2007. They released also different solo 12"s on own label Festplatten which now is releasing their newest album THEY MADE US DO IT. It contains thirteen new tracks where the brothers mix dance/minimal techno influenced by Chicago house and electro wtih to German psychedelic krautrock, ambient and classical music. The reuslt is a fresh melting pot full of ideas and good vibrations. In this adventure they had collaborators who helped them with vocals or else. The list is quite long. We have: Foremost Poets aka Johnny Dangerous (Nu Groove, Soundmen on Wax, New Jersey), Tijana T. (Abe Duque Records, Belgrade), Fran Bareth (Friends Electric, Buenos Aires), Sasha Perera (Jahcoozi, Berlin), Benni King (The Happy End, Berlin), Uli Teichmann (Regensburg), Rubber Inc (Sweetspot, Manila), Alois Späth (Collegium Vocale, RIAS Chor, Berlin), Leopold Hurt (Teichmann Hurt, Hamburg), Mathis Mayr (Ensemble Mosaik, Piano Possible, Munich) and Chloe Richardson (Berlin). Be ready for the sax improvisations mix with analogue sounds of the ten minutes long "The Faketory", the clarinet/percussions/bouncing synths of "Atari Funk" or the techno ambient percussions of "Automarsch". Check it out!
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