Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November chart

 Last month before Xmas distortion and good stuff keeps coming out. This month it's been quite hard again to choose ten records that every techno/dark electronics lover should have (in my honest opinion, of course).

I can luckily say that the first one on my list is already on my hands. It's been a long time since I bought my last Drumcode reference, it was DC43 if I remember correctly so we're talking about more than three years. This time, I'm buying the second DCLTD edition served by Nihad Tule and Bauri, two swedish producers coming with two strong minimalistic tracks. I love the beat and the atmosphere they apply in both tracks.

The second reference I've chose this month is Liber Nox a limited edition 12" from The Black Dog. What can I say about the Black Dog? I think it's all said about them. Just check this two tracks they are bringing through they home label: Dust Science. The first piece it's an orchestral electro track that I think can perfectly fix every dj set when looking for "that special climax". Second one, much more British techno, makes the listener travel to haunted inhospitable places. It really reminds me that old Birmingham stuff that I miss lately...

There's a lot of Dubstep going out. It's been like that for the last two-three (?) years. It's hard sometimes to find the good stuff between all the amount of ... well, maybe I shouldn't use any adjective when talking about something that depends so much on musical tastes (respect!). The fact is I've found the B side on TKR's new EP on Paradise Lost nr. 16 just amazing. A side is OK but B side is great. I'm talking about "Breath" and it's Twisted Flying Carpet remix. The beat on the first one makes me inmediately look for a dancefloor and a strong soundsystem to play it. Pretty clean track where the rythm is filled with some tribal elements and a soft dub melody that perfectly does the job... Same as the remix, coming with a very simmilar beat, without all those sounds that put you in the middle of the jungle on the previous one, and adding some extra claps on it making the track a bit more energetic, if possible.

One of my favourite labels, Times to Express, has just released the 18th reference. I never get tired of T2X sounds... I must admit this is the first time I see the name of this artist: SP-X but the track he's serving on the A side is one of those tracks that will come to my mind when someone ask for the definition of techno. I think this time Mr. Hoesen and his amazing techno mind had an easy job to do the remix. The third track is also a pure techno track, please listen to that beat bringing all those Purpose Maker classic tracks to your mind... just delicious! SP-X a name to watch.

Let me approach this November chart to some, let's say, more ambiental and full of vibrations sounds. Synkro is a very special artist. For me, correct me if I'm wrong, he's in the middle of Scuba's and Burial's style. Two of my favourite non techno producers to define another artist, that can only be good... The three tracks on this release are calm down music. Maybe too far from the rest of the releases on this list but hey, I think it's a dj's job to make very different tracks sound good together if needed!

And here we go with the third and fourth Innertia compilation releases! I made an entry to speak about these amazing MUST HAVE compilation. I won't spend to much words again although I think this compilation deserves many of them, all positive of course. Let me please just mention my fave on each one... or... you know what? I won't do it, I'm feeling all the tracks from the first sound until the last one goes and leaves place to the static... because I'm always talking about vinyl, I hope that's clear huh?

Why do all Mike Paker's tracks sound so similar? And why do I like them so much? If you make that question to me, is because you didn't listen to him or, at least, not enough... I'm a big Geophone fan and I'm a big Semantica stuff lover too. Believe me: If we talk about abstract techno we can't leave all these names out. This time, Parker releases the 32nd reference from this Spanish Label owned by Svreca who's serving on this EP a very effective remix too. Go and get it before they're gone, because that's what uses to happen with Semantica releases... I can say that's been my own experience several times...

Can I say Sir Ruskin and Sir Broom to refer the two masters of good techno who have just released an album? One of those albums containing tracks that don't need to the mixed on a set to be properly listened to? One of those techno albums where techno is the less important part of the definition because we're talking about pure music? Where every track is an amazing track to the best electronica that only could be made when two specific minds put together all their wisdom? Of course I can, all these words are not enough to refer the incredible album James Ruskin and Mark Broom have released on Blueprint records, under the name of The Fear Ration (I love this alias). Please, go and have a listen. I've listened again and again for the samples on Juno and I just hope this is not sold out before my next order...

I'll finish this month's chart with Oscar Mulero's new reference on one of his labels Pole Recordings. What a relief! Mulero has been one of my biggest influences for me and I've been feeling the need to see him renewed for quite a while now... Listening to this EP made me happy, I was sure he was able to do it and he's perfectly done it! He's adapted his personal sounds to the actual needs and I'm really satisfied with the way he's done it... There's still Mulero's essence on this EP no doubt, but he's come out from the loop in which he was, this is a personal opinion. The opinion of a big Mulero stuff lover, not just criticism...

Check my November chart HERE

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sigur Rós: INNI

I still remember that night, about three years ago. It was one of those nights you are not awake nor sleeping in front of TV watching everything but watching nothing at around 2 a.m. trying to find a reason to get up and go to bed. On one of those many times your eyes are closed and open again and again, something made me keep them open and focus on the screen again. An amazing staging that reminded me some kind of "Cirque du Soleil" spectacle and a mixture of sounds I had never had the chance to listen to until that moment, made my eyes and ears open widely and suddenly feel awaken. At the beginning I was a bit confused, because that concert took place at FIB Benicassim Festival, and although I always tried to avoid prejudice at that moment I didn't like at all that indie/pop/neo-hippie way of life FIB represents, at least for the ignorant people like me. I'm still not a fan of all that movement but at least, I want to show my gratitude to FIB and that channel playing that show that night because on that night, my mind opened a bit more and, since then, my musical hungry is even more voracious, or maybe we could say I was just eating meat until then and now I also like vegetables and fish (even sushi sometimes!)... I think I love even more every form of emotional music (which is almost all of it, except mainstream music of course) and I take even more time trying to find new and different sounds. I also think with Sigur Rós I've learned that electronica and acoustic music can go together as far as they express a common mood. And Sigur Rós' music, uses to be close to my mood...

" 'inni' is either the first-ever sigur rós live album, or second live film (and follow up to 2007's acclaimed iceland tour film heima). in fact, it is both: a 75-minute film and 105-minute double live album of the band captured in full flow at the close of their last tour in november 2008, here housed within one single fat package.
filmed at alexandra palace over two nights by director vincent morisset (arcade fire's 'miroir noir'), the movie 'inni' could best be described as the anti-'heima'. whereas that film took a band about whom the world knew little, and placed them in the cultural, social and geographical context of their homeland, (with winning and humanising results); the new film strips away everything save the raw performance of the four musicians themselves. where 'heima' was widescreen and open, 'inni' is close and single focussed.
this is intentional. for while 'heima' was successful at "explaining" sigur rós, it was less so at conveying what it feels like to actually watch sigur rós play. that is the job of 'inni'. in order to accomplish this goal, morisset has taken his time and employed a number of different analogue post-production techniques to create an emotional understanding of being in the room with the band and going 'inside' the music. ("inni" literally means "inside").
unlike many concerts, watching sigur rós is seldom a communal experience; it is instead intensely personal. by almost entirely removing awareness of the crowd and any sense of place, morisset brings you closer than ever to the players, using multiple camera angles to reveal in sometimes minute close up the concentration and effort involved in delivering such a powerful rock show.
originally filmed on hd digital, 'inni' was first transferred to 16mm film and then projected and re-filmed once, sometimes through glass and other objects to give a strong impressionistic look, a feat accomplished with the help of godspeed you! black emperor visual collaborator karl lemieux. the film was then meticulously pieced together by 'heima' editor nick fenton, who chose to break up the flow with unexplained archive footage, including interview and concert material from before the band's exposure to the wider world at the tail end of the last century.
it's worth mentioning also that the film has only one song in common with 'heima' (the closing 'popplagið') and that it draws for the most part on the darker end of the band's material. the double live album by contrast, covers the entire sigur rós spectrum over its hour-and-three-quarters, the songs played in the same order as on the night. mixed by sigur rós house engineer birgir jon birgisson, 'inni', the live album, stands as the definitive sigur rós live recording.
the performance captures the band playing as a stripped down four-piece for the first time since they were joined by string section amiina at the start of the decade. this fundamental 'boiling down' makes 'inni' a more forceful and primal proposition, much at odds with the popular misconception of the band as purveyors of instant emotional heft for film-makers in need.
the album features 15 tracks, with songs taken from all five sigur rós studio albums. there is also the bonus of an unreleased studio track in the form of 'lúppulagið', which is used both over the credits of the film and as the final non-live track on the album. the dvd/blu-ray, meanwhile, also includes four extra songs from the night. "
Source: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ballistic Records

 Today I'm celebrating the launching of Ballistic, a project by Delusions from Barcelona city.

Everytime a new techno label is born it's a reason to me to be happy. But when the label is from Spain, and its first release is a vinyl including tracks from Casual Violence, Agony Forces and Delusions and Deep's Edayar, I must say I have something to celebrate.

This label is strongly influenced by the Industrial techno sounds and the Birmingham scene as most of us are. But what generated more interest in me is they also declare a dedication to a more dub and berliner side of techno, on wich I'm pretty focused lately. Of course, I never forget my beginings but well, this is what I'm feeling lately and that's why I'm sure I'll be watching this new project I'm talking about. It looks like Triplevisions will take care of the distribution.

The first reference was published at the end of September and it starts with a strong industrial track served by the owners (Delusions) followed by Casual Violence, bringing a dark atmosphere industrial tune too. On the B side, Agony Forces has recorded a very energetic track, as they normally do, but it has surprised me that they seem to make a nod to something a bit more dub including some different chords in it. I think my favourite tune is D. Edayar's track, the last one on this release. Maybe too different from the rest of the record but it makes this release fixing perfectly with their statement of principles: Industrial & Birmingham / Berlin & Dub.

Let's see how this difficult days affect to this label but from here, I want to show my full support to my neighbours and wish them a lot of music and good vibes...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inertia compilation: Resisting routine.

It's been a while, although not as long as I should, since I've been following Delsin Records and all his family. I've got to say this is one of the most respectable labels I've found during these years of music investigations. It's main focus is traditional detroit oriented techno but the thing I like most of them is they don't fear to release anything that sounds special and deserves to be part of the dedicated dj's collections... My September mix includes some of them.

But well, the reason that made me start this entry is more specific. Delsin's beautiful sister, Ann Aimee, is releasing a 4 reference compilation called inertia and, although I only have the two first releases, I can already say the series is already an important part of my collection.

Inertia #1 was released on October 14th, 2011 and includes cuts from Time to Express Chief Peter Van Hoesen and Fachwerk’s Roman Lindau as well as fellow label recruits Delta Funktionen and Sawlin. I'm not a big Delta F. fan but I'm really feeling this track, a very deep one this time. Van Hoesen's cut maintains the level he's used to serve. I love his hability to put severe and strong beats together with a well ridden dub feeling but well, who doesn't love him this days? Lindau's coming with a heavy stomping beat too, I think I'll be playing this one a lot. And finally Sawlin offers a quality trippy techno track. For me this one could be the best of this release. I simply love it please: have a listen. The cessation of motion is due to the opposing force...

Inertia #2 was released together with the first one. I don't understand why they decided to do this but I'm sure there's a reason for that. First track is from Marcelus, a new name for me, who offers a heavy house and techno fusion, I love the classic feeling on this track. One of the men of the moment, Sigha, goes deep and ominous with a track that, honestly, I think is one of his best ones. Redshape, well... I've never liked his sounds I'm sorry... this is too electro-techno-ish for me but I must admit that if I had to choose a track from him, it would be this one. Area Forty_One close out the package with a really useful track, pretty oringinal! If there is no opposing force...

Inertia#3 has been released this week, yesterday to be more exact. What could we expect from a release including four names like Lucy, M. Bradley, M. Dehnert and Ozka (another new name to me, thanks Delsin Recs.)? Exactly : perfect compressed dub, a perfectly driven techno track, a pure class club banger and a perfect darker and deeper textures track... what can I say? I just find this release perfect! The Motion Will Never Stop

Inertia#4 released also November 11th, closes this series that I think will be one of those that will mark an inflexion point of techno evolution... Filled with four contemporany big names, 4th Inertia starts with Skudge's "Pollution" a simply constructed but effective track as they've us used to. I really like Skudge and I'm always watching out for their newest stuff, which I'd like to be more frequent! Next track comes from Conforce and I could define it as the beauty of deepness, really recommended too. A bit more dubby comes Cosmic TRG, check this out, I think it'll be a name to follow too (at least I'll do). Fachwerk co-founder Sascha Rydell gets a little spaced out on his kinetic and melancholic effort, a really well chosen closing for this great compilation... I just can't wait to put my hands on nr. 3 and nr. 4... Stand out on its own, but peerless when paired with the other three parts, Inertia 4 ends a special project indeed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wesley Allsbrook: illustration.

Today I've been checking Juxtapoz magazine. I like to check it once per week because I think they have a very interesting view of the contemporany art. A very modern and open minded concept that it's very close to what I like when I'm looking for inspiration coming from a visual source.

I'm not a great connoisseur of the illustration art. I've always been next to really talented graphic designers and I think I've been lucky for that, but I simply like it and I have my own taste but I insist: I have no clue about that. Anyway, today I've found an illustrator that really caught my attention. I'm talking about Wesley Allsbrook:

Wesley Allsbrook was born and raised in the verdant piedmont region of North Carolina. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, she settled into life as a freelance illustrator. Give her a ring. She'd love to hear from you.

If you have the time, please check her site to find her illustrations, some of her comic works and even her blog. I love the old 50's comic touch filled with a very actual criticism on her works.Allsbrook's illustrations are plenty of hidden details that have captivated me from the first moment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October 2011 techno set

This week I've recorded and uploaded my fall mix. This one is not an experiment like the set I recorded in September, plenty of downtempo and even some ambient sounds. This season, as I use to do in every season, I've tried to pour my feelings about fall. This year it's being a late fall, because we're living some kind of sunny spring instead of the cloudy and bit colder weather we should consider as normal. But we can't escape to the days going shorter and the nights being colder* so I think that's why this set keeps going from hot to cold and to dark to bright (all the brightness I can give, I know that's not too much) continuously.

Compressed dub, that's a definition Lucy used to talk about SA sounds and that I'd apply to this set too. First, because it's plenty of SA stuff and second because the rest of the tracks are really dub too... The set starts with an intro I built with two tracks from Surgeon and it's followed by two SA tracks by Dadub and I think that's where the main part of the story begins... This time I'd like to highlight, in addition to the SA stuff, the Sandwell District because I think this is the first time I felt comfortable playing a SD track... You'll notice too that James Ruskin is always present on my mixes... and I've just realised that this is the first time I'm not playing any Token! I promise I'll solve this one the next set, I'm sure because Token 19 has just come out and I'll be buying it this week. You can check the rest of the tracks under these lines. I'm not quite happy with mixing this time, but I think the great stuff on it, really worths a listen or two. Listen to my set on the link below and feel free to leave any comment:

01.- Surgeon - Presence
02.- Surgeon - Transparent Radiation
03.- Dadub – Metropolis
04.- Lucy & Ercolino - So The Nothing Grows Stronger (Remix – Dadub)
05.- Reeko - Inroad (Remix - Ben Sims)
06.- Jeroen Search - Hybrid
07.- HU – Čaj
08.- O/V/R - Interior
09.- Forward Strategy Group - Token Ring
10.- O/V/R - Descending The Left Corner
11.- Lucy - Bein (Remix - James Ruskin)
12.- Sandwell District – Grey Cut Out (Version)
13.- Frank Martiniq - Dark Star
14.- Dimi Angélis & Jeroen Search - Jupiter
15.- Lucy - Dub Man Walking
16.- Orphx - Vapour
17.- James Ruskin – The Outsider (ME Remix - Luke Slater)
18.- Mike Dehnert –Discrete
19.- Jonas Kopp – Alkitran
20.- Ben Klock – Compression Session 1

   humo - late fall - october 2011 set by humo

*(that reminds me that Fink lyrics... fuck! today he's playing in Barcelona and I was supposed to go but finally I couldn't be there at because of family affairs... frustrating because it's the only music with a singer on it I've been listening to this year, well, Fink and Emika)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October chart

Another month has passed and another barrage of good releases has made it hard to me to select ten records between all the amazing music coming out. It's a bit frustrating for me because I made an order simulation with the records I'd buy this month if I could afford all of them and well, it was around 300 EUR... impossible... 

First of all, I've found a label I'll try to study carefully. I say that because it's new for me and, mainly,  because seeing the names on the first releases and listening to this 8th release I've charted, make me think this is one of those extremelly eclectic labels that use to hide some musical jewels that don't get the attention it deserves. I'm talking about Idle Hands, a Bristol based label that has just released this amazing two tracker produced by AND.

This month has been really productive for me, I've made several findings and I'm really happy to see new labels that still believe in vinyl and it's charm, and more if it's a Spanish one. First because it's my country and second because it looks as the only European country that's not being refreshed with the new sounds wave that floods all the continent at this moment. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good producers and some really strong and respectable labels, but I didn't see any evolution for the last 2 or 3 years, unless certain exceptions. Eleve records, from Spain, is one of them in my honest opinion. It has released his first reference and I want to express my full support to this project, started some years ago and focused in the most ambient/dub side of techno music, have a listen to this EP and feel this special sound they have. And keeping the dub feeling, I've also found very impressing the last Echocord release by Skudge. I've still so many things to learn... I found Skudge like a new name for me and they have even their own label! Well that's the beauty on life, isn't it? This time I found a still dubby release but more dancefloor addressed release than what I'm used to find on Echocord... another useful record to put your hands on, if you can.

Julien H Mulder is the responsible of Färden nr. 3 and it looks like this release is his master piece. This is a very personal opinion but I think at this moment the best acid is coming from Sweden. A clear proof of it are these three outter space acid tracks that in some moment could have some millesque reminiscences. This is the kind of techno that really touches my brain and makes me want to be on a dark dance floor somewhere in Mars... very good one!

Nachtstrom Schallplatten 042 (42!), by Tex Rec. Well... I think they don't need any presentation. The great job this label has done since it came out in 2008 and the great evolution Tex Rec has made during the last years, only can provide a highly effective EP on which I'd specially recommend the third track "Androlium" ... supertrack! Supertrack is also "Pretend" from Emika on every one of the versions they've recorded. I have a special feeling for the Brandt Brauer Frick version, just sublime. Seeing it live is just a gift.  You'll also find two versions of "Professional Loving" on this release. Emika has her style, and I simply love her stuff.

It was a big and welcome surprise when I saw another producer that's raising the roof lately publishing in one of those labels you think, in your intimacy, that only you and few people follow... I'm talking about Apotek, I have some releases from this label and I have to be sincere: if you asked me if Xhin could fix on Apotek my answer would be "NO". But this time I'd be wrong again. 

I won't commit demagogy and I won't repeat what's everybody already said and it's obvious so, if you didn't yet, GO AND BUY NEW P.A.S.' ALBUM ON O-TON! Even if you don't spin records anymore... I think this is the perfect definition for "a must have", even if it's only for collectors motivations.

For collectors too and if you don't believe me, just come back to me in a couple of years, it'll be this new Inertia series from Ann Aimee. I hope I can get the four of them before they are sold out! For the moment I've charted the first one but the second has come out too and I think it's amazing too. My advise is to keep an eye on this Inertia series.

And finally, my loved Token Records label has released its 19th reference. What can I say... I'm in love with Token from the first release and I have all the releases and keep them as one of the most important parts of my vinyl collection. Token + Inigo Kennedy = pleasure for mind, body and soul. I really don't know the reason why Iningo could need a "Revenge" but if this is some kind of punishment, I'm a masochist...

Check my October 2011 chart here