Monday, June 04, 2007

Bon anniversaire!

Happy Monday to you all!

Everyone have a good weekend? Glad to hear it. Let's crack on then, shall we?


Ame - Balandine EP (Innervisions)

Following the hypnotic, preternaturally excellent 'Fiori' on Ostgut's Shut Up And Dance! compilation of techno music for ballet dancing to, comes this bonafide club-slayer on their own Innervisions label. 'Balandine' comes on all Carl Craig-like at first before traversing down a more direct route. I'm tempted to say that it is essentially just a big dumb techno track, but there's smarts in them there peaks and troughs that bely the tracks's single-mindedness. Turn down the lights, flick the strobe on and get lost. 'Enoi' on the flip recalls Henrik Schwarz' darker moments and is no less thrilling either. Ame are steadfastly staking a claim for techno artists of the year right now, so don't get left behind.

Sticking with the realm of club music, three of the most intriguing, exciting labels around are currently enjoying reaching landmarks of varying longevity and they've all decided to release compilations celebrating that fact. Let's take a look.

Matt Edwards (Radioslave, Quiet Village, er, Rekid) launched his label Rekids (a co-venture with James Masters) a little over a year ago now, with the release of his own 'My Bleep', under the Radioslave moniker. Since then, it has quickly developed into a label with an astonishingly high hit-rate and an identity all of its own (helped by the eye-catching, idiosyncratic, sparse artwork that adorns each release).

Rekids Compilation One consists of two discs: the first being a kind of greatest hits set, cobbling together some of the highlights from Rekids' first thirteen 12"s, with the second being a collection of remixes of said releases. Listened to as a whole, the second disc fares better than the first, as it's a more varied set, taking in both trippy and upfront disco (QV and Prins Thomas' re-dos of Toby Tobias' two Rekids releases), crowd-pleasing techno (Claude Vonstroke's wobbly take on Luke Solomon's 'Ghosts') and spooky minimal glitch (Radio Slave's monumental mix of Matt O' Brien's 'Serotone').

It's the first disc though that will become the label's calling card as it moves into its second year. Having achieved so much in the first twelve months, it's hard to see where Rekids will go next, but with the master-of-all-trades, Edwards at the helm, it's sure to be exciting finding out.

Luke Solomon - Ghosts (mp3)

Toby Tobias - A Close Shave (Prins Thomas Disko-Tek Miks) (mp3)

On the block for ten years now, it's easy to be snarky towards Sonar Kollektiv. Their jazzwise brand of electronic music often errs too much on the side of coffee-table tastefulness all too often for my liking. That said, anniversary comp Ten Years, Who Cares? (self-effacing tendencies come in handy for fending off criticism) is a mostly pleasurable, if erratic listen.

Jazzanova's accompanying mix is more successful than the up-and-down unmixed collection that inhabits disc one. It's perhaps fitting that the label founders remain the most interesting artist on the SK roster, but you can't help that SK's, and J-nova's thunder has been stolen by the rise and rise of Innervisions, once an adjunct of Sonar Kollektiv. If you like your house and techno with a twist of jazz however (or vice versa), then you can't really go far wrong with this collection. Just don't blame me when you start idly poring over the Ikea catalogue and fetishising everything you see.

Siriusmo - U-Again (mp3)

Jazzanova - Let Your Heart Be Free (2007 Edit) (mp3)

Ah, Get Physical. Has it really been only five years? Seems like this German label has been around forever, so seismic has their impact on European house and techno music in the last half-decade been. The conglomerate of Booka Shade, DJ T and M.A.N.D.Y. have released some of the most prominent, enduring underground dance music of the noughties so far (I'm thinking 'Mandarine Girl', 'Lucky Bastard', 'Tonite'), but they've also proved themselves to be great talent scouts too.

The emergence of the likes of Chelonis R. Jones (everything he does is great), Elektrochemie and Audiofly X (all present and correct here) have highlighted the label owners' ear for where dance music is heading. This compilation, while undoubtedly pretty great, feels like a bit of a missed chance though. Perhaps by wanting to give the punters something altogether new, instead of money for old rope, they've bypassed an opportunity to hook in the newbies by failing to even bother compiling the label's past highlights.

Disc one is a collection of remixes of former glories, the best of which being Earl Zinger's outlandishly askew re-rub of Elektrochemie's 'Pleasure Seeker', Herbert's funk-concrete remake of Chelonis' 'I Don't Know', and the surprisingly brilliant string orchestra cover of Booka's 'Night Falls'. Disc two goes down the route of exclusives and, as such, is a varying set of brilliant one-offs and hmmm... interesting off-cuts. We don't really need to hear 'Body Language' again, but it would have been nice. And where the fuck is Fuckpony?!

Booka Shade - Night Falls (Larry Gold String Version) (mp3)

Elektrochemie - Caiti (mp3)

In other news: read my reviews of The Aliens live, The Stills' new album and Black Lips' new single over at High Voltage.

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Blogger Tal said...

You have a really great blog, man.

And our tastes seem to be interestingly almost *exactly* the same.

Are we the same person? Hrm.

9:58 pm  
Blogger benjimite said...

Wow just got to the June 2007 post section and this really was a good month. Awesome selection of tunes mate. Cheers

4:38 pm  
Blogger benjimite said...

And just like that hopes are gone, no working links, shame :(

4:39 pm  

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