FTEL 007 - January 2013
Fanu - Breakbeat Brew EP - guest review by noisemonkey
Lightless Digital download
"A Matter Of Life And Death" commences proceedings with some stylish breaks driven grooves and chanting. Blending in a bit of 80's style synth work which is almost reminiscent of M83 is a nice change of pace before the drums strike up again and groove the track in to full effect before warped acid lines conclude things like the end of the world.
"Monkey Got Choked" has even more manic stylings on the drums as a triple espresso is kicking in at Fanu's studio. A variety of weird vocal samples emphasise the frenetic mood.
"My Drumming Sucks" is surely an oxymoron in the world of Fanu so let's see what craziness is in store. A cinematic opening salvo of sampledelia regarding drumming abilties moves your feet before the bass gets to work on your bowels. A classic hip hop strut is the main feature of this one precluding more acidic melodies for laser reaching antics.
"Slack And Roll" is a rare excursion into 2 Step for Fanu, bringing with it some classic hip hop samplage and police sirens. Oh for the days of 1995 Emotif and late period Deejay recordings although the bonkers last minute or so of the track reminds you that arrangements and production standards have come a long long way since then.
The "Rescue" remix of "Slack And Roll" casts a sheen of Bass Music and shimmering synth work over proceedings that is pure candy to your ears. Further tunefullness to round off an EP that really showcases a further progression in Fanu's sound to take care of skillfull notation as well as the expected rhythmical dexterity we've come to know and love from the Finnish breakbeat maestro.
Dense & Pika - Crispy Duck EP
Hotflush Recordings 12' / download
This is diversive and bracing in a technoid kind of way, and for all its Techno rudiments - handclaps; breathing vox; crowd noise; grinding-gears synth streams - it still manages to unsettle. "The fear of negative evaluation may reflect underlying beliefs about being less good than others, different, or not quite up to scratch, and it usually goes with assumptions such as thinking that 'you've got to do things right to be acceptable." commented Gillian Butler in the "Overcoming Social Anxiety" handbook. The reason I mention that is, for one thing, I'd almost freak out negatively if I heard this EP clubwise, yet its elusion is part of the appeal. It feels like poison as I listen to it, letting it into my consciousness, yet at the same time it's great work in the genre which is usually all too much homogenised and saturated by minimal fake-orgasm-steppers. Dense & Pika have carved worthy echoes into Techno.
Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Parlophone CD / download
It’s high timing for another Bat For Lashes album after three long years – the storytelling lure of Khan’s “Two Suns” had started to wear off, and “The Haunted Man” definitely continues on a high note, cajoling as many as 5 different soundsets as ‘genre’ contradistinctions together in one track, so they form a clean rhythmic sheet: something Natasha always muses in. Journalists may finally start to see Khan as a female artist with her own musical identity, with her own sense of storytelling as a promising entry on the End Of Year 2012 list. Blending her Pakistani ethnic roots into and beyond the trite Kate Bush comparisons, she does more than “running up hills”; rather, you’re “running too slow” by the time communication and splendour of this album is over. Piano ballad “Laura” is the real tearjerker, a song of heartbreak where the listener is left to fill in the gaps regarding the pain. That filling-in-gaps is a befitting phrase for what I’ll call “occultasms” – the expulsion of emotion at times you don’t even have to hear to place. Haunting indeed, and the best Bat For Lashes album, by far, to date.
FTEL 006 - November 2012
Bazaar - Op-Ep-Requiem
Metanoia 015 netlabel download
Price up to a potshot; I'm clicking a heat dispenser, easing the rough spot. I find it incredibly draining, showering under a livid blotchiness; dishevelled gravity station on apartheid. A gloriously gloopy, non-garish, emulsifyingly fluid beat and synthesizer rail service, tracked spendthrift like a small kid in a chocolate factory - waiting line, Bazaar integrate the choralism symptomatic of Gregorio Allegri's "Miserere", to push from left to right and back again on the playlist, instead of up and down, in physical or mood-symbolic media maximalism. Each drum has a softblood pressure, that erupts low down in the filtration amidst clatter, natter and rattles. The sense of smell in these tunes for a right rollickin' racket, withholds the framework as abundant in keys, tempo calm and the non-homogenisation of Middle Eastern cultural sounds, with the bogginess of glitch and noise-based Improv. These tendencies are counterpointed on each other in opener "Hypertension" and finale "Heart Failure", as if the heart of the album starts to die in polygamist entry from the very beginning. What remains is an Orbital-esque trance-Techno induction via classic atmospheric 808 State road. Brain food from beyond the sane.
Pilote - Do It Now Man
Certificate 18 CD
Stuart Pilote's music is naturally exo-thang-ular: it shakes its' beats' syntax like a raunchy handclap at a hen night; while the vocal samples he interjects, seem more self-therapy on all records, than intended idiosyncratic narratives off. "I'm not actually a murderer, but I've felt at some times like killing myself" - I find this a lyric we can all relate to at some point, and trajectory, in our lives. The key to a great listen, is that Pilote doesn't labour emotion, or do the crocodile tears melody tricks lesser deep individuals try shoehorning down mass media throats. I bought this CD from the ever-reliable impeccable taste-maestro Statto in 2006 when Selectadisc Nottingham was open - hasn't left my memory since.
Soul Delay - Threshold / Float [wanted by me for Certificate 18]
Keyboard workhorse with relaxed, welcoming exterior rhythmicism, spiralling like visors on a motorcycle in a thunderstorm, angularly optic, hipnotic aka Soul Delay got his start via the now-golden 15 Minutes Of Fame Mix Series Pt.3 - "Shades Of Everlasting", by Muttley. Signed to Subtle Audio after, "Ustad" spiralled viral amounts of tracks, beginning with a terrific understatement - a possible B side in "Threshold", a whirling dervish of pulverizing Assembly Line and Tighten Up breaks.
Paragliding through the multiverse of relevance, on a turtle's release, I received a letter through from Counter Intelligence label concerning running the Certificate 18 imprint after its mid-noughties hiatus. I'd love to do that, and these two tracks by Soul Delay would be a deserved double A-side. Hipnotic formed part of the band Keiretsu, programming drums, and playing with saxophone parts. On the two tracks here, the story continues at a much deeper level.
"Float" is all Turkish-mixulative percussion sprinkled with This Mortal Coil's Liz Frazer on the simulative chorus. Builds are heavy like a pig's trough, ready to snuffle for truffles with the consecutive, and asymmetric, pairing with "Threshold". The outro speaks a long-lost neo-junglist language - reversed 16ths of quantization simmer, over dirt-nosed bass that crusts over the quarks, and belly-dives you straight into complex heaven.
FTEL 005 - November 2012
Eschaton - Drum & Space
Omni Music CD / download
Like an exercise bike, patience and persistence is prerequisite for Omni Music label owner Eschaton's sounds. And like the pedalling motion of one such bike, this needs space to work. "Drum And Space" emblematizes the ellipitical trend, stretching drums with time in Serengeti-tiger clusters: fiercely intelligent Drum & Bass for the new age. A selector's dirge imprint Omni Music isn't: Chris Wright acknowledges his Acid House and early GLR period obsessions, and fragmentarily navigates a plucky cauldron of transcendentally introspective courages. "Pegasus" and "Alpha Centauri" are two early highlights in the 12 track runtime, melding syncopated rhythms with sleep-dusty two-step stattaco. An excellent introduction to both Omni Music's artist roster, plus a noteworthy album of quality guarantee to the sometimes wonderful world of post-'98 D&B.
Pinecone Moonshine 006-020 & PCMS EX 005 "Pay What You Want" Releases
Pinecone Moonshine subscription vinyl / downloads
Like a lead automaton, malfunctioning on its own frequency after metal corrosion, Pinecone Moonshine's introduction is best stated externally: precursor corollary track "Curse Of Coincidence" by Paradox, as a simile for Reinforced Records first and second wave. The 1993 'Ardkore continuum pioneered by Simon Reynolds still exists, in PCMS: a funkulation on the primary elements of Rave: drums and bass. From Equinox's dramatic, impossibly hissy remix of Ibunshi & Indijinous (recently released on Omni Music, do note) "Swamp Funk", all the way back to 011's "So Finister Die Nacht (Fracture's Astrophonica remix)" by Sub, Pinecone guests are exuberant as producers, open to the deadpan skit of dry dub dreariness. While inter-pressure on Nic TVG's label is: all the tracks sound like dubs, in released form: fresh out the studio for good evenings, universal toke. Latest batch, cat no's 006-020 with PCMS EX 005, bristle with heavy-bellied energy, repaying nerve tic tack repeats. With feral focus on one thing: Jungle-oriented Drum Funk with a heady, A-positive attitude.
Transient Waves - Transient Waves
CD / download
Like electronic ethno-Ambient with a sturdy shoegaze devisement. Love Transient Waves: "Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words. Art thaws even the frozen, darkened soul, opening it to lofty spiritual experience. Through Art we are sometimes sent - indistinctly, briefly - revelations not to be achieved by rational thought" argued Alexander Solzhenitsyn in "One Word Of Truth: The Nobel Speech In Literature". The gentility of the synth soundscapes served up by Transient Waves, aka Eric Campbell, Loren Jackson and Sid Tucker, are as elegant as they are pleasantly fleeting - a rare something exists within, too, that stops the beats, and layers from insipidly breaking down. Transience in this light, then, might best be worshipped as an exercise in untainted, calm solitude, and the pull of a warm Cuppa Soup vibe late at night. Highly recommended, especially for morning commuting.
FTEL 004 - March - October 2012
Laurel Halo - Quarantine
Hyperdub CD / download
Piano-pins on plush line for eccentric disco-traditional swirl-fest "Airsick", Halo's vocal "Travelling heart, don't go away" repeated like a log pile smoking, striking scant eye contact flint with two travelling love doves circling above eternal flame. "I will never see you again" / "You're mad because I will not leave you alone", next calling coo, soft, gradually accentuated like a lovesick clockwork merangue whipping its pieces into cream. A joie de viva-la-vida-loca in terms of love infatuation signals, vocalist Laurel to her anomalous and anonymous subject on "Quarantine", all ways: these songs carry such multidimensional weight and purpose. The beats jab up your ears like rolling marbles working in unitary peacedom, priveliged just to be underneath her sultry drones and wisps of candlelight supper singing. The 42 minute duration nonetheless is a misleading time-directive, a bleeding for every problem and solution metaphorically through spoken voice, not broken bones or relationships - let's stay that trend.
Andy Skopes / Fushara - Oriental 808 / In The Shadows They Work
Bitrate Music 001 & download
The abbreviation of 'dnb', rather 'drum 'n' bass' The Wire magazine priorly called it, questions intellect quota; sound in notation as constructive, de-regulated block between discovering true noisemakers, all staying true to Hardcore's emotive ecstascy recreationality. This runs right for Drum & Bass and Jungle retroactively, in their newest grouped forms. Subvert Central stringently lacks heresy in cutting off dnb from Drum & Bass - the written dialectical description ('dnb') to the aural examination ('D&B' / 'Jungle'), bypassing artificial intelligence. Favouring rhythmical sampladelic divergence from accepted wisdom. Journalism's fashionistic industrialisation; when 'the' D&B originally fell in late 1997; it placates Carl Rogers' ethicalities in positive congruence with Jonathan Statto's Charles Ives quote on the Subvert Central MySpace description - "ATTA BOY!" - hard fighting quality D&B and Jungle, or we eat hats past the Certificate 18 label.
Andy Skopes and Fushara are releasing tracks on Shiva's Bitrate Music definitely affording their own vinyl from the same proprietors. But that would obscure reasoning behind his message. D&B and Junglism is in a new golden era. It has been slowly developing this implicit recreaction, a philosophical and dance-happy baby candy from 2005 ("Thinktank's 'Skyscraper' my fave D&B tune of all time) to 2012. The 'dnb' upturns counter-text-speak easiness of 'n' to 'u'. Meaning everyone with roots from Improv to Closcrete can play roles to shape new electronically bright futures for all of us. The Wire has changed it's byline from "Adventures In Modern Music" to "Adventures In Sound And Music" in light of my interview with SC records label owner Jon, partnered with Rob Phokus of Jungle & D&B discography www.rolldabeats.com. Promotion of D&B beyond "yoof energy" (David Stubbs, Bark Psychosis interview, The Wire, pre-2007) now extends generationally, as: recognisable 80bpm / 160 rooted at its basic building mantricism.
And what's been the longstanding tempo of popular culture's radio Muzak. The 'dnb' remains natural partialist's linguism. Describing concomitant circumspect of future-looking developments, to the music press at large. Bopping, propping the teens and kiddies pleasurably as well as adults and Antiqus - me from far as Africa to America. Going back to the music: I've madly amerous manlove for this label's tunes. They've plenty of staying power in their force, especially the secure militant stances of Andy Skopes and Fushara on "Oriental 808" / "In The Shadows They Work", a possible destabilisation of any unjust racist remarks, pursuing oriental mythology and culturalist values from India. Dustmites' release is comparatively very jolly and joyous in extension. Not letting the bed bug bite, before the party gets truly started.
The drumwork of Skopes and Fush on 001 and 002 here reminds me of the punchbag thick-crunch of Fanu's "This Behaviour Is Not Unique" on Subvert Central, a blinder tune for the ear-wax at a speed discriminating up Dubstep's benchmark 140bpm to 150. "And as far as I'm concerned, 'This Behaviour Is Not Unique' is dnb, just at a slower tempo" commented Statto, 2008, proving opinions, facts and inter-P.L.U.R need not fuss nor fight over genre templates in play-grouted social maintenance, its creators suffering in any shape or form; it is wrong and to be preserved in archives, bottled in green grasses of home; further on the outer limits of love.
This anti-peeve on multiculturalist worth T.Goonewarde and A.Skopes have as working together on one release - Fush being a great Asian lad and Andy a good white egg from Chris Inperspective's Technicality jewel-crown. Shows, in itself to Chris' own black dominance for cultures; London's patient, reserved and cultivating side commingling. Conserving foundations of what this music's always really about, in the initial inception. We're Intabeats as Bailey could say, a Technicality guest, one playing tunes just like these pre-leaving 1xtra off his own accord.
So much more great work out there as forthcomingly good as Bitrate Music's ride-of-a-sprightly-time Orbital tiger-weaning, blazing a torch in contained histrionics of us - savour for the moment. Stepper realism of Metalheadz and Paradox-reminiscent Defcom Recordings Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch, healing the Subvert Central core, much as wider Bass Music. With quality mastering from the SC mastering team member Bob Macc, co-taught by Ben Scope, the forum's fatherly eye and king of "Subversive Beats", ATM mag issue 69's leading article, statement is on.
Sabre - A Wandering Journal (Club Mixes)
Critical Music download
Sabre's "Language Barrier", championed by Subtle Audio's Code in his Limerick NuKillaBeats events, permits the periphery of nomenclature appropriate to Sabre's tautology; previewing-ore-ironing mechanism that's weaved into many his tunes under this alias. On "A Wandering Journal", his tautology is diametrically instated like Paranoid Society's leftfield D&B; Syncopathic Recordings - gelling excursions for propulsive subconscious platitudes, reshaping neurological tech-funk, pleasing further than neurofunk's ever capable of doing. The LP's tunes are a mono-sympathy trip of Downtempo Dubstep flavours - D&B speed tunes sound mesmerisingly good slowed down with a CDJ on this album. Upward like smooth potato salad, Alix Perez collaboration "Javelin" wins day; an arrow to level-headed heartiness, subtracting swanning.
FTEL 003 - September - October 2012Lifted from:
Martsman - Black Plastics Vol.1 & 2
Martsman Bandcamp download EPs
Scenically spun turf from Berlin's Martsman, recreating Hospitality to a Regg-a&e blockbuster - no surgery, breakbeat bludgeoning disseminated from foundational contraprism. Light, dark and intra-rhythmic modality, turning CI Recs classic "Antifunk", anti-frost, feasting amygdala. In essentialist terms, he understands constructive Dancehall psy-riddims, transmogrified into Reinforced planetary funk. Extending past Dub's Jamaican root wires, paving a minimalist reductionism path in D&B. Thereafter what alienated wider audiences, reclashing subsidiary Med School, key component of Bass Music's mainstream 2007-2009. Always the martyr, never the mart - "Black Plastics" interrogates sublime pop-techno-spinning pieces, second volume centred around Rhythm & Sound's motor-Techno gravitas for Martsman's 170bpm parking lot.
Rhythm & Sound Spotlight: Boomkat Digital 8 Pack
boomkat.com digitial downloads
The boomkat.com "14 Tracks" series was born from "Last Dawn Before Meltdown", the 14-piece opus - and primer - to the now 60-instalment strong 15 Minutes Of Fame Mix Series. 'Something Special' is their spotlight section, and Rhythm & Sound, the minimal and dub Techno pioneers since the group's inception in the late nineties, are a chlorinated tooth polish on the digital salivation sense, doing a job very much fitting - the art of a so far thus, a real long there. Picking two releases from the bunch, it'd have to be the "Compilation" for sheer strength of Rhythm & Sound's ouevre, and "Roll Off", a two-title catch all for the theoretical ethos behind this mention. R&S have been like the blind leading the blind in dub Techno terms, a cats eye on the road of propulsion's steam without blue lines to inter-spleen.
ICR - My Very Personal Miss-Tape Vol.1
ICR MixCloud download
A longstanding purveyor of feverishly deep D&B, one beaver who built continuity dams from Hungary to IChiOne's all-together gigging proposals, shown through Misspent Music's artist Sub, on the label Zoltan set up in 2007; for digital vinyl-off-putts to the regularity media. Like an eternal heart dangling beneath carefully crafted timbre stairways, each recording allows air and the decisive creator's touch to emblematize his monologue in a certain time and place. There's tunes with no lyrics, songs about kissing, condiments of love and affixing relational elasticity and stability, of the oneness possessed by courtship and wisdom. The effect of this emotional interpenetrating is, rather like a sprinkler shut off: rigged into an extractor fan, blitzing an electric buzz to external vent - time not Misspent in every respect.
For The Electronica Lovers...review and mixtape archive 001