went record shopping yesterday (my favourite passtime, but one i have to be careful about heh cha ching).
leibe * detail is ann independant german label distributed by tastemakers 'word & sound'.
there is a remarkable amount of excellent, hard to find and subsequently expensive (as in like $18 for 2 tracks) german dub music out there... the magic seems to come from excellent technical ability in mastering... records from artists like 'basic channel' have a depth, dynamic and all important BASS like few records have... its just thick and lingers. on a serious soundsystem it can make some of us see colour.
the same applies to the better german techno... probably the one genre of music breaking new ground this past year, simply in the incredible production and mastering leading to phenomenal sound. if there's ever been an arguement between mp3's and ipods vs. vinyl, class A amplification and analogue... its the sound on these records. its enveloping.
liebe * detail # 7 with tracks from serafin and vincenczo aurally illustrates this incredible depth... crisp chimes, tones and resonance combines with honey deep low end to create a thinkable, danceable dymanic that's comfortable in the living room and devastating on the dancefloor...
limited pressings and excellent graphic design make these releases highly collectable, but more importantly the sound is original building on recent themes of dub, microhouse and broken beat in the electronic music world and creating a tangent of danceable idm tinged techno that would fit comfortably into sets by richie hawtin, luciano and others... even ME.
the first new release on the previously defunct +8 records (founded by richie hawtin in windsor canada in the early 90's) stockholm sweden's adam beyer releases a long pulsing techno workout called 'a walking contradicction'. this is harder edged upbeat techno coming in around 128 bpm... sounds are deep and resonating... bass is thick, snappy and controlled with short stunted pad sounds lending a tense atmosphere that builds in slow urgency through part one (side A) of the records and comes to deeper fruition on part two (side B). the track never reaches its implied crescendo, instead allowing listeners and ultimately dj's to take their own direction. i'd call it a bridge track and like many techno records it's likely more effective and impactful when layered with additional upper range sounds which could provide more dynamic and narration by phasing them in and out of time. this would be a great track to use as a lead up to more peak hour record with wider peaks and valleys... still it provides good atmosphere and the dark intensity +8 was known for and apparently still all about.
led zepplin goes under the big room house knife and has thier classic 'whole lotta love' remixed by the cheesarific but effective 'dirty funker' who's done similar treatments of nirvana and other classic rock tracks. i don't think i could stomach the obvious build ups, beefed up beats and air guitar atmosphere with an endless set of this kind of thing all night long... but this kind of thing is devistatingly good coming out of something darker like the adam beyer track mentioned previously... this is the pot of gold the end of the rainbow... fun, familar and a release of the contained energy that many techno sets get stuck on. even the dark cornered die hards would have a laugh when 'gonna give you my love uh uh' breaks out like a ray of light toward the end of a darker warehouse set. fun!
this past year has seen a pretty much endless string of excellent, orignal and interesting releases from german powerhouse distributors kompakt. speicher is a atmopheric techno oriented sub label made famous for breaking the schaffel 2 beat sound a few years back... this release find the wighnomy brothers finding a slowly tempo track that breathes with emotion... lots of pads and swooshes... the kind of thing you play after a burning set that's left a room sweating and ready to breathe, hug and reflect before taking them back up... it's a gorgeous warm sound that redefines the more metallic stereotype of the techno sound. justus kohncke and heimermann's 'albatros' removes the beat entirely leaving only textures and tones with reverbed and resonating strings picked up from an old fleetwood mac song... its a sunrise or sunset track... one to lullaby people home or blend with warmer beats as part of a chillout set... or those late night emotional bedroom sets i know all too well heh.
i can't pretend to understand the extended blasts of noise black dice are responsible for, so i won't. the original mixes of this track 'smiling off' are basically unlistenable as far as i'm concerned... perhaps there is some theory in the chaos of noise... but i certainly can't find it. remixers luome and zz pot take elements of the madness and create cohesive tech house and funk flavoured tracks that ride the fine line between dark sound experiments and fun dance floor standards. label 'dfa' the new york based studio and production team have released a lot of good late 70's and early 80's punk/funk influenced music in the last few years... most of it better than what came out in the 70's and 80's... and this record while weird is no exception in its reinterpretations.
go forth and find the music that moves you... there's so much more out there that what the radio tries to shove down your throat. support music made, released and supported by artists not marketing executives. there is a difference... it's in the belief, enthusiam and willingness to take chances and move away from formula. its not about what's popular... its about with stirs you. find it!