Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Five-four-three-two-one!

Okay, this is the start of a new (ir)regular feature on Yer Mam! Because I kid myself I don't have the time to write about every little thing that's shaking my musical foundations (I could. I just don't wanna), I thought I'd do something of a chart, maybe every two weeks or so, to fill you in on things that I think are worth checking out. The Yer Mam! readership being such a clued-up bunch, you're probably already way ahead of the curve on me with this stuff but if you view me as a borderline-senile old uncle, you'll at least humour me on this. Pat me on the head in the comments in as patronising a manner as you see fit...

1. Dissident Distribution


This label really came out of nowhere the other week and had the right people chattering about them online straight away. No-one seems to know much about them but the three releases that surfaced are all top-drawer stuff. Limited to 100 copies each worldwide (all gone now, full releases to follow later in the year though), these three one-sided vinyls - Binary Chaffinch's 'False Energy', Gatto Fritto's 'Clem's Bounce' and Cage & Aviary's 'Giorgio Carpenter' - are eminently playable slabs of long-form, weirdo-disco.

Superfluously in step with the Lindstrom's, Prins Thomas' and Sorcerer's of this world on first listen, upon repeat plays it's clear that the Dissident crew are on a whole 'nother tip completely. Vaguely rustic (check the birdsong on 'False Energy'), but charmingly so and clearly on speaking terms with Dr. Strange, these three tracks are certain to make many appearances in DJ sets and lists before the year's out, so I thought I'd stick my oar in first.

Personally, I think the best of the triumvirate is 'Giorgio Carpenter'. It succeeds in being what the title obviously alludes to and that's a meeting point 'tween Moroder and John. Spooky and sensual, it presses all the right buttons in the correct order and does so for a mind-enhancing eleven minutes.

As I said, very little is known about these shadowy figures but I can confirm that Binary Chaffinch is, in fact, a pseudonym for Milo from electro-metallers, Chrome Hoof. There's also talk of one-half of Cage & Aviary's former life as a member of Gay Dad, but I'm willing to take that one with a pinch of salt. Anyway, have a taste.

Binary Chaffinch - False Energy (mp3)

2. Hercules & Love Affair


Of all the great stuff coming out on DFA soon (see below), the debut 12" from Hercules & Love Affair is the one that's got me worked up the most. That's mainly because I've heard it in all its glory (next week, my opinion will most likely change). H&LA is the brainchild of NY DJ, Andy Butler and frequent listeners to Beats In Space will no doubt be quite well-acquainted with his work by now (he recently did a guest mix and a few H&LA tracks have popped up on there since early in the year).

The 12" consists of two tracks - 'Classique #2' and 'Roar' - and it will be out early next month. They're both excellent, 'Classique #2' being very Detroit-y, a little Carl Craig-y and superbly bleepy, but 'Roar' is the standout. Featuring Antony (of ...& The Johnsons fame) on vox, it's an immensely fun, hedonistic jacker. All you Antony fans would be well-advised not to come to it expecting a torch song though; his vocal consists of two repeated, treated vocal snippets made to sound as though he's on the verge of some kind of sexual awakening. It's that kind of tune.

What's mostly impressive about these two tracks though is that they sound like they've been unearthed from another age (1987 to be precise), but both sound utterly modern. Hear them for yourselves over at Hercules & Love Affair's MySpace.

3. Everything else that's coming out of DFA between now and the end of the year.

It's an exciting time for DFA records and an even more exciting time for us DFA obsessives. They've teased us for too long with all this new stuff that's been getting aired on Beats In Space for what seems like an age now, so it's time for them to give it up. And give it up they will.

For starters, next week sees the launch of Death From Abroad, a spin-off label designed to release 12"s in North America of stuff that they like that has been or will be released on other labels elsewhere in the world. The first four releases from this stable read like this; Mock & Toof - 'K-Choppers' b/w 'Brownbred', Altz - 'Max Motion' b/w 'Yello', plus Idjut Boys remixes, Gucci Soundsystem - 'Acarpenter' b/w 'Lordamercy' and 'Acarpenter (Joakim Remix)' and Bot'Ox - 'Babylon By Car' b/w 'Tragedy Symphony'. I'm not a big fan of the Gucci Soundsystem tune (it was released on Bugged Out! last year) but the Mock & Toof, Altz and Bot'Ox releases are all winners in my book.

Next up is a biggie as far as I'm concerned. Still Going is Eric Duncan from Rub 'N' Tug and Olivier Spencer from Manthraxx and their DFA released 12", 'Still Going Theme' b/w 'On And On' is pure f'in bliss. Two big old piano house monsters sure to slay any discerning dancefloor. That should be all you need to know really. Oh, that one's out on September 18th.

After that, you've got LCD releasing 'Someone Great' as a single with quite possibly THE greatest remix package in the history of music. Soulwax taking on 'Get Innocuous!'? Check. Sorcerer adding a dash of coastal charm to 'Us Vs. Them'? Check. The aforementioned Gucci Soundsystem taking 'Time To Get Away' on an amyl-stained electro-house bender? Check. CARL FUCKIN' CRAIG sprinkling some techno angel dust on 'Sound Of Silver'? Fuckin' CHECK!!! I thought the 'All My Friends' release was hard to top but, barring any major phoning-it-in, this is sure to be the one that'll make you all cream.

Oh, and somewhere along the line there'll be the Shocking Pinks album, 45:33 finally getting a proper CD release with three b-sides (don't get too excited, it's just 'Hippie Priest Bum-Out', 'Freak Out/Starry Eyes' and the Onastic Dub of 'North American Scum', all of which have seen the light of day this year already), Holy Ghost!'s long-awaited debut single, 'Hold On' and - fingers crossed - new 12"s from Shit Robot, The Juan Maclean and that Eric Broucek solo thing that James Murphy let slip about at the LCD aftershow in Manchester back in March (clang!). It's a good time to be alive, ladies and gentlemen.

Shocking Pinks - Smokescreen (mp3)

4. Kasso - Key West (Jellybean Benitez Edit)

Old as the hills but still better than most things around right now. Jellybean is God.

Kasso - Key West (Jellybean Benitez Edit) (mp3)

5. Blockhead - Uncle Tony's Coloring Book (Ninja Tune)


Currently getting a lot of play round our gaff is the new album from Blockhead (aka Tony Smith. I can see why he changed his name). He's one of those people whose work I've always been aware of - mainly through his long-standing association with Aesop Rock - but I've never really investigated until recently. I won't try to over-analyse it because it just won't stand up to it. It's just a really fun, summery, light record of instrumental hip-hop that deserves more attention than it's likely to get. So give it some.

Blockhead - The Strain (mp3)

This was going to be a top ten but I kind of wore myself out on the DFA section and I'm hella tired anyway. Might throw in some more tomorrow. Then again, I might not.

In other news: You can listen to me bore the pants off you about new Swedish balearic pop duo, Boat Club on this week's Blog Fresh Radio, should you harbour the desire to listen to a dour, gruff-voiced Manc wax lyrical about such things.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous imunderpressure said...

i totally agree with you on your H&LA comments. I was recently gifted the 12" by Justin Miller. Absolutely killer tracks. You do an awesome job communicating the sound. Cheers.

8:05 am  

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