Music Reviews



Gudrun Gut: Going Up The Country

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 20 2013
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Artist: Gudrun Gut (@)
Title: Going Up The Country
Format: 7"
Label: Monika Enterprise (@)
Rated: *****
This lovely diddlysquat from talented musician Gudrun Bredemann aka Gudrun Gut, Berlin music scene ambassador and label boss of renowned Monika Enterprise, on the contrails of her appreciated album "Wildlife" wisely digs up an evergreen again: the lighthearted whistled jingle of "Going Up The Country", whose notorious flute line and more recognisable distinguishing feature came from "Bull Doze Blues", an unknown blues gem written by Henry Thomas in late 20ies before American blues-rock band Canned Heat rearranged it for the above-mentioned song, which has been considered as the unofficial anthem of the legendary Woodstock festival, feeds this funny electronic version whose punkish claws and bewitching grace of Gudrun Gut's voice immediately catch listeners. On B-side, you'll find a peppy remix of "Tiger" by which Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble repaid the favour of Gudrun Gut's collaboration for "Fantasie Madchen", which was included in their new album "Miami", while all those who will prefer digital version of the release will be awarded another bizarre remix of "Going Up The Country" by long lasting partner-in-art and friend Thomas Fehlmann, who prefers to toddle in the land of slow funk. Another tempting musical invitation to go wilder and wilder!

Seba: Shades Of Me & You/Never Let You Go (Blu Mar Ten Remix)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 15 2013
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Artist: Seba (@)
Title: Shades Of Me & You/Never Let You Go (Blu Mar Ten Remix)
Format: 12"
Label: Warm Communications (@)
Distributor: S.T. Holdings Ltd.
Rated: *****
The deservedly acclaimed full-length "Identity", recently released on his own label Secret Operations, canonized Sebastian Ahrenberg, better known as Seba, as one of the most talented producer of the contemporary dnb scene and tidbits like this little jewel on Warm Communication cannot but consolidate his standing by letting dnb lovers with bated breath (or supposedly orgasmic huff and puff) and swollen lovely daydreaming thoughts. Perfectly smoothed pad synths, emotional lyrics by female vocals which could cut you to the quick, catchy basslines and rolling drums in Seba's vein of "Shades Of Me & You" are going to lead listeners to revise your personal playlist at the moment. On the flipside, you will find a remix of "Never Let You Go" by London-based trio Blu Mar Ten, who kept almost unaltered the original version, but I'm not astonished about that as it's very difficult to enhance or just work on something which could be already considered in top shape.

Dj Rashad: I Don't Give a Fuck

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 14 2013
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Artist: Dj Rashad (@)
Title: I Don't Give a Fuck
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
The fact Dj Rashad needed no more than a couple of hours for each track could be a disdainful understatement which would fill the bill of the taunting mood of this doozy or the evidence of the instinctive talent by this beat juggler, whose ostensible flippancy clearly expounds an ill-concealed panache in drifting styles and samples. The games on vocals and vocal sample - from the initial title track ("I don't give a fuck...I don't give a fuck about you...I don't give a fuck about myself..You ain't gonna be shit" he repeats) to the mocking sarcasm on the repeated disfiguration of the sentence "I still love you" on the amazing "Everybody" - could let you think about the sonic jokes of a prankster, but the follow-up of "Rollin EP" include many funny minor surgeries of UK-rooted styles such as garage, dubstep, grime or juke like its predecessor: the fazing synth bleeps and incessant pitapat of snares and sub-bass convolution emphasizes the nihilistic hook of the above-mentioned "I don't give a fuck", the dollops of euphoric house, junglist breaks, garage vapours and blackening 808 wallops on "Brighter Dayz" that Rashad assembled with Dj Spinna, the garage-smelling high-pitched tones and the rhythmical spasms he and Freshmoon puke on "Everybody" and the female vocal samples, the loungy rnb flurries and the spray of hi-hat gunfires Rashad and Dj Manny chopped on "Way I Feel" succeed in displaying Rashad's remarkable collagist self-confidence.

Rob Sparx: Babylonian EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 12 2013
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Artist: Rob Sparx (@)
Title: Babylonian EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Migration/NexGen (@)
Rated: *****
Another big little treat for your red-hot summertime comes from versatile UK producer Rob Sparx, who made the 8-bit spotted dubstep his Migration imprint (actually absorbed by US-based label NexGen) got famous for lay up for dub and reaggae roots by means of four impressive tracks. The strategies for this coalescence between dubstep and dancehall sonorities have been diversified: the most dub rooted one is the initial remake of a track by Symbiz Sound with Singin Gold on the microphone, which got wicked by bulldog shots and griming basslines, while the above-mentioned 8-bit sizzles spurt from "Look", second track of the EP, whose Rastafarian sparking rolls along a rising dubstep progression. Eastern melodic scents and ethereal female vocals blend in with Jamaican clouds on the following "Prayer For Life", which precedes another awesome lasso tightening around heart ofdub roots, that got pulled by Rob Sparx and MC Task aka Dubstitutes.

Tonikom: Found and Lost

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 11 2013
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Artist: Tonikom (@)
Title: Found and Lost
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Rated: *****
As some may know, Tonikom is the project moniker of New York City based electronic music artist Rachel Maloney, and 'Found and Lost' is her most recent release since 2009's 'The Sniper's Veil' also on Hymen Records. Apparently the 2009 European tour for that album knocked the wind out of her creative sails for a while, but there's no question she got it back for 'Found and Lost' released in September of 2012. Yeah, I know, this review comes very late, nearly a year after the album came out but we're mega-backlogged here and we get to 'em as soon as we can; to put it in the faux-Latin ' 'beta laten evah'.

On first listen I didn't much care for this album at all, so I put it away for and worked on other reviews. Coming back to it though after a while with fresh ears and a new perspective, I found myself hearing the album in a whole new light. Another thing I noticed is that the CD contains a Haujobb remix (how on earth did I miss that??) I think the reason I didn't care for it much the first time was that it seemed scattershot and too diverse. 'Found and Lost' is really hard to pin down. There are all sorts of things going on here, with the music staying in no one (or two, or three, or even four) particular electronic music genre.

For the opener, 'Across its glass surface,' you've got percolating electronics, syncopated tap-dancing percussion, and a cute little melody with icy background ambience. Break-beating drum programming with gated and effected snare and wild synth electronics is the modus operandi of 'Along the rail,' but even that's not a complete description. 'Stumble' is a slower number that changes tempo and time signature within the framework of the rhythm track while spacey streaking synth pads hold down the ambience. 'Detector' opens with old-school modulated electronic oscillations, ethereal synth piano (and other supporting synth-work) before it hits its percussive stride with some snazzy breakbeat programming and heavily processed drum track. This track in particular is reminiscent of artists from the Tympanik Audio label. 'Eternal Internal' sounds like what you might get if you threw Kraftwerk, Knife Party, Delerium and Massive Attack into a blender ' simple melody, wobbling dub-steppy bass, ethereal chorus and a lot of moodiness. 'Hope' harkens back to early (but not too) early Kraftwerk for the simple melody line and electronics but the percussion is straight-ahead drumkit. Rhythm-wise it has a clockwork feel. 'Interlude' is a mish-mosh of all sorts of electronic weirdness and sonic effluvia in the beginning, but becomes dark, dense and lower frequency dwelling by the middle. An echoed brief spoken word sample shakes you out of your complacency toward the end.

'Orbit' is one of two pieces that employs a (broken, beat-up) piano Rachel found in the greenroom of a club in Rostock, Germany on the 2009 European tour. It sets the mood with its wistful melody. 'Lost to the Flames' reminded me somewhat of Haujobb once it got going, in form, progression and style. 'Insense' (redux) once again reminds me of instrumental Delerium, more for its feel and pacing than anything else. 'This is what she felt' is the other track that uses that Rostock club broken piano but not until the middle where it changes the entire mood of the piece from a pleasantly melodic mid-tempo piece with full rhythm to something more melancholy sans rhythm.

I have no basis of comparison for Angina P's remix of '29 degrees' (32 degree remix) not having heard the original, but it's rather rapid percussion programming (approximately 172 BPM) with wailing, moaning, slow pitch-shifting synth in the background, some brief sampled (female) dialogue phrases and a subtle bass and chord progression. It was okay, but nothing thrilling. Haujobb's remix of 'Detector' is a radical departure from the original turning it trance-techno with a pulsing fast sequenced synth pattern, a slower repetitive sequenced synth pattern and other electronic sounds out of the Haujobb tool box. The melodic theme is altered in both melody and instrument, from piano (in the original) to string synth. Also, the rhythm is accented with TR-808 cowbell, a sound I don't particularly care for. Although I liked some sonic elements of the remix, I liked the original better. (Sorry Mr. Myer.) Overall though, 'Found and Lost' is an interesting addition to Tonikom's oeuvre despite its unevenness, and IDM enthusiasts are sure to find worthy material here.


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