Music Reviews



Marcus Intalex: Cabal/Mud

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 26 2012
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Artist: Marcus Intalex
Title: Cabal/Mud
Format: 12"
Label: Ingredients Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Ingredients manages to hire another reputed and versatile dnb master chef for his delicious menu, Marcus Intalex, who serves two tasty and quite different titbits: on "Cabal" (side A), Marcus grafts sinister trembling sounds and modulated breathing from a snorkel (or maybe a gas mask, considering the post-apocalyptic atmosphere and the perceivable sense of impending doom of the tune!) on a spluttering rhythimical pattern, which sounds even more hypnotical and immersive when this Manchester-based producer operates a sort of synch-mode between beats and a very deep sub-bass (if you have a graphical audiometer, you can verify they "chorally" shakes the same sinusoid in many moments of the track, which sounds close to some "futuristic" stuff he released on his own label Revolve:R), while on "Mud" (side B), he seems to insert some biotech enzymes within a pool of stagnant sonic waters, in order to make some sounds which he used to spread out (particularly those ones he co-signed with Lee Davenport aka ST Files) live again, so that the title seems to refer to such a nearness to his roots. Tear it off with your eardrums!

Break, Fields, Mako & Villem/Getz: Dilligence/My Soul

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 22 2012
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Artist: Break, Fields, Mako & Villem/Getz
Title: Dilligence/My Soul
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
The tenth release from Bristol-based young imprint by talented producer Mako, Utopia Music, looks like a lively family gathering as the label boss convoked a number of producers, who already stuffed Utopia Music's catalogue, for the preparation of a delicious soup of beats. On A Side, eight hands and four heads, belonging to Break, Villem, Fields and Mako himself, kneaded samples and percussive sketches which seems to be inspired by the distinctive style of the very first tunes, signed by the legendary producer Dillinja: after an epic intro, which could also remind that daydreaming and organic style, that notorious producers such as Makoto or LTJ Bukem pushed up, the track, wisely titled "Dilligence", diverts towards more aggressive sounds and a beat-rolling swinging rhythm, which sounds more distinctively close to Dillinja metal-grinding stuff. On B Side, you'll find "My Soul", a track by Sergey Bodryakov aka Getz, who adhere to his own style, an experimental mishmash of unpredictable samples - sometimes closer to lo-fi, techno, trip-hop sound banks -, which gets riddled with percussive bullets on somewhat monotonous, but catchy rhythmical gallows, by this interesting and quite unknown producer.

A Guy Called Gerald: How Long Is Now

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 21 2012
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Artist: A Guy Called Gerald (@)
Title: How Long Is Now
Format: 12"
Label: Bosconi Records (@)
Rated: *****
Manchester-born evergreen innovative producer and dj Gerald Simpson, most notably known as A Guy Called Gerald, comes back with this little, but appreciable appetizer after a relatively long period of silence and although many dnb lovers, who still remembers and praises authentic his masterpiece "Essence" are maybe hoping he could borrow his talent to the scene, he seems to like digging techno and house grounds more. To be frank, there's something more than just a sort of assertiveness training behind this release, as it has been released as a sort of devoted tribute to the Tacheles, an inspiring place after the reunification of Germany for the cultural renaissance in Berlin and homeplace of Gerald himself when he decided to move to the lively German capital, whose presence and impulse to the scene was so deeplt related to that place that some mysterious writer drew Gerald's face on the right side of that building together with the equally mysterious words "How Long Is Now", which have been reprised for the title of the doping and subly gloomy track on Side A of the vinyl edition. That's why you don't have to wonder too much in order to explain that subtle feeling of nostalgia, which seems to lie on the foundations of tracks on B Side as well: it seems that Gerald just renovates some stylistical facades which propelled Tacheles' parties both on "Groove Of The Ghetto" - a tribal-funky house track with seducing soulful vocals, which gets shattered by a phat bass frequency - and on "202" - a clicky'n'clappy computational restyle of acid techno -. A good way to celebrate those good old days of that area of Berlin by a qualified witness.

Total Science presents /VV.AA.: Tuned In 2

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 19 2012
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Artist: Total Science presents /VV.AA. (@)
Title: Tuned In 2
Format: CD
Label: C.I.A. (@)
Rated: *****
More than ten years after the first sampler, which fully uncovered their wide-opened vision on drum'n'bass, one of the most prolific and innovative British dnb producers, Jason Greenhalgh and Paul Smith, who paired up under the lucky moniker Total Science, delivers their renowned perspective by means of their notorious label C.I.A., whose acronym means Computer Integrated Audio and doesn't have any reference to that club of dangerous Peeping Toms, who usually bothers our planet with their megalomaniac spy perversions. Even if the above-mentioned first release was certainly more seminal, "Tuned In 2" seems to suggest many possible sylistical pathways, which sometimes bridge the gap between old school and new sounds besides pleasing many dnb listeners due to the wide range of styles it explores. Although soulful dnb (that stuff some hotheads and imps ironically connects with the sampler which enhances the productivity of gay bartenders) is not my favorite one, I could state the obvious when I ascertain the high quality of such tunes: the astonishing sentimental digression by Sinistar & Grimm, which is going to surprise those ones who knew the couple through harsher tracks such as "Dead Idolz" or other hard tracks by Jeremy Howard aka Sinistarr for the unavoidable influences from Detroit techno, on "Anything" alternates piano-driven sentimental moments with more popping parts, which both mantain a certain "Detroitesque" terseness, and such a duality comes out from other sweataned tracks such as "Lowend theory", a track signed by the impressive collaboration of one half of Total Science, J.R.Greenhalgh, aka Q Project and 8 Bits, who spill acid rains from the initial pink synth cloud, or "Stolen Moments" where Total Science integrate jump-up engines on Riya's enticing singing and synth-piano spotty melodies. Beyond more mysterious and "gothic" tunes such as the gloomy "Dream Demon" by Spirit - integrating Upbeats-like grime with mayhem sounds -, the entrancing "Trust" by French-born producer and MC Proktah, who combines grinding neurofunk beats with a foggy atmosphere, which could evoke a nuclear holocaust, the exquisitely suffocating sounds on Break's "Slipstream" or the nice metallic and gummy beat rolling on Fracture's "The Breaks", there are many tracks, which cling more tightly to my eardrums: my favorite one is the intial remix of Total Science & S.P.Y.'s "Past Lives" by Lenzman, who perfectly balance liquid funk, jump-up, uplifting tones and the vocal floating by Kevin King, but the snapping crystalline jump on "Clipper Man" by Calibre, the somewhat epic Riya's song "Cold Blooded" by Total Science, Break's "floral" contagious remix of Total Science's "Going In Circles" and the final dry and high jumping beats by Beta 2 on "Perceptions" stay at close range in my personal rank. A split version on vynil of "Tuned In 2" is also available. Just turn on, tune in and move out!

VV.AA.: Mise En Place pt.1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 17 2012
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Mise En Place pt.1
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Ingredients Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Powered by Bramley apples kindky recommended by Kinetic & Mark Recoil for the preparation of Granny Recoil's Apple Cake, the widely respected Ingredients label puts the first part of a series of EPs, wisely called Mise En Place - a French expression, which refers to the organization and the arranging of ingredients a cook needs for his delicacies -, in the oven, and I'm pretty sure these hors d'oeuvres are going to tickle the tympanic palate of many drum'n'bass fans. Beyond two well-known chief cooks of the scene - the former member of the supergroup Bad Company dBridge, who remixes Kodo's "The Jackal" by abounding with dry and trenchant jump-up, and Villem, who dresses Foreign Concept's "Jaipur" with perfect cut-ups and charming female chants which could remind some stuff by Aphrodite -, there are two skilled debutants: while the above-mentioned producers, Kinetic and Mark Recoil, offer a somewhat haunting tune on "Cold Streets", a combination of eerie atmospheres which sound like coming from scaring alleyways of a decadent suburb, Stealth & Stylus raises the air temperature and the buotant force of the montgolfier with airy daydreaming sounds and crunchy beats on "One Way", a title which perfectly describes the uplifting vector which is going to rise listeners up. There aren't any rotten apples in this delicious pie.


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