Sunday, April 26, 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
by Simon Reynolds
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Sidestepping DHR's full-frontal approach
Friday, April 17, 2015
my assertion of being compulsively drawn to the extreme is somewhat in contradiction to the opinion that Extremity is passe as voiced in this Over-Rated of 1997 bit (but then consistency is the hobgoblin of etc etc) which ran on the old Website Blissout aka A White Brit Raver Thinks Aloud. I wonder if you can guess who the unnamed opponent that is not-strawmanned-not-at-all-actually at the start of the piece?
cupboard marked "possibly someday, probably never".
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
BERLIN 1992 TRESOR COMPILATION: DER KLANG DER FAMILIE
THE HOUSE OF TECHNO: FRANKFURT TRAX VOLUME 2
Melody Maker, autumn 1992
by Simon Reynolds
Tresor is a famous Berlin club located in a vault that was once the safe of a department store. Maybe because the temperatures inside this strobe-blitzed sauna reach tropical levels, the techno made by DJ's and groups associated with the club (and gathered on Der Klang Der Familie) is sweat-less and cold-as-ice.
The Berlin sound as represented here has a similar clinical-but-crazed vibe to the stuff coming out of Detroit on the Plus 8 label, like F.U.S.E.'s "F.U.": basslines that pulsate in sinister wave-forms like radioactive ore, rigorous programmed beats, synth-twitches that instil a strange ectastic dread. Unlike UK hardcore's epileptic basslines and sped-up vocals exploding like fireworks, this music doesn't speed-rush forwards in blind propulsion; the repetition seems to take you deeper and deeper towards something primal and not a little threatening.
Voodoo possession is the model here, rather than the hyper-hyper exhiliration-whizz of breakbeat house. "Drugs Work" by System 01 is like venturing into a cyberdelic jungle, parting wave after wave of foliage towards some secret, pagan grove. Maurizio's "Ploy" is a cloud of oscillations and wave-forms that's almost beyond dance.
Voov's "It's Anything You Want It To be And It's A Gas" assembles programmed rhythms and grids of sequencer pulses into a percussive lattice of near-symphonic complexity. Mind Gear's "Don't Panic" is simply symphonic, rivalling the poignant grandeur of Orbital's "Belfast". A brilliant compilation.
Planet Core Productions's Frankfurt Trax offers more German vanguard techno. Abbreviate the label's name to PCP and you get a good idea of the vibe of the Frankfurt sound: mad-as-hell, mental-as-fuck, apoplectic/apocalyptic frenzy, all stomping 4/4 beats and gut-busting bass-blasts.
Mescalinum United's "We Have Arrived" is a storm-trooper stampede with a smeared, blaring riff that'll rip your entrails out. With its infernal bass and down-swooping drones, "Nightflight (nonstop to kaos)" by The Mover presents Frontal Sickness is like a cybernetic version of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man".
But it's not all mayhem. Six Mullahs' "Persian Lover" is an Islam-otronic mood piece. Project AE's "Whales Alive" is an extraordinary, undulating soundscape: stereo-panning slow beats, brief arias of whale song, tidal synths, a terra-technic bass that glows like the Earth's core. Imagine "Once In A Lifetime" if Talking Heads had been ripping off Kraftwerk rather than Can.
Another brilliant compilation.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
“Devil Got My Woman” (Skip James, rec. 1931)
(thing done for a German magazine in the mid-2000s if I recall right)