Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Metal machine music...or...do Terminators dream of electric disco?

Forward Strategy Group with an intense, moody, deeply textured and truly fucking awesome techno mix. Just grab it. You'll see. Tracklist and link after the cut.

burning star core // inside the shadows
milton bradley // hypnagogic
mike parker // reduction
remodulated // remodulated #01
retail & leisure // your reference to
forward strategy group // applied generics // b
aubrey // dark // mike parker remix
sigha // shake
sp-x // sp17
ra.h // spacepops
dj slip // jills meth // a
apathism // ten
jb3 // forklift (luke slater remix)
panasonic // urankemia
perc // wooden art
orphx // possesed
smear // transect // acappella
sd12 // unknown artist // regis edit
from karaoke to stardom // emofeeliac
g-man // quo vardis
oni ayhun // untitled // oar 04
dj slip // jills meth // b
surgeon // circles
oni ayhun // untitled // oar 01
elektroplasma // untitled

Because two links are better than one:

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Because I love you...

I give you awesome fucking mix links! Click the link for the shizzle.

Ramadanman with funk, bass and booty: http://www.bestiblog.net/2010/06/bestimix-23-ramadanman.html

Headhunter's alter ego, Addison Groove, with a bumpin' FACT mix: http://www.factmag.com/2010/06/11/fact-mix-157-addison-groove/

This is actually kinda old, but well worth digging up. Contakt's Turrbotax Mix. Dubstep, garagey bits, & techno done right:

And because we all love Surgeon: http://hotfile.com/dl/41389318/3e0d5fc/Surgeon_-_Live_at_Dommune_Tokyo_-_04.05.2010.mp3.html

Also, Stacey Pullen owns you. http://soundcloud.com/r_co/stacey-pullen-a-brand-new-vibe-proton-radio-08-06-2010

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Further down the rabbit hole...

This is the first in a round of reviews. There's techno from DNCN, Adam Jay and Angel Alanis, and a few off the wall, "not quite dubstep but sorta" releases in there from Helixir and Fantastic Mr Fox. And I had to share one of my favorites of late, Wireman, who's bringing the variety and exquisite production. I have been picking up music at a rapid pace this month. I quit smoking, so perhaps I am attempting to realign my addiction into further music nuttery? I hope so, because this is an addiction I can have with no regrets. ;) Reviews and links are after the cut. Annnnd here we go!

DNCN - Kitchen Sink EP (Dust Science)

After hearing DNCN's contribution to the awesome label Future Days, as well as his collab with Mark Henning, I always stop and take a listen when I see those 4 letters pop up on a release. "909it" comes out swinging, with (what else?) straightforward 909 hats, claps and snares driving the rhythm. It drops down into an acidy chugger of a bassline, before building right back up into a lean monster complete with synth stabs that keep the techno funk humming. Killer tune. "Swiss Army Knife" is one that is so promising, but ruined by a cheesy movie sample. It's got a big massive monster of a bassline underlying it all, but I just don't know if I can get past the damn sample (It's from Videodrome, for those who care). Rounding this one out is "Kitchener", which swings wide into the depths of stripped down dirty bass before the melodic synth kicks in, making this one a classy early morning tune for the stamina crew to work it out.

Adam Jay / Angel Alanis - You Don't Know Jack EP (Monoid)

What happens when you get two Midwest techno producers together, combining the dirt and boredom of Indianapolis with the history of Chicago jack? With "You Don't Know Jack" you get a percussive rager of a tune that keeps the space open, while bombarding you with a subbass whomp and the classic 4/4 snare jack action. Some tunes are just made to work your body. Count this one amongst them. "Life" is a bit more spacious, dropping the tempo and opening up into a bit more dub influence with the reverbed synths echoing their way through the background. "Bounce" plays with rhythmic space and an all-encompassing bass push, doing just what the name says. It's quite refreshing to hear some real Midwest techno that unabashedly plays in the dirt.

Wireman - Armour EP (Prime Numbers)

I don't know who this guy is, or where he comes from, and that is somehow appropriate, given the variety he hands us with his first release. From the semi-distorted opening beats of "Armour", Wireman lurches into a slow 4-to-the-floor beat that hangs out somewhere between dub techno and Aphex Twin, before shifting mid-song into something beautiful, sophisticated and yet still tinged with dirt and melancholy. "Forge" is an ambient landscape of synths and echoes playing with the occasional tease of a beat that could be the basis of a sci-fi score. The opening beats of "Axiom" make me feel as if Skynet could just be making its first move. Heading into a dubstep tempo with decidedly more robotic drums, this reminds me of one of my favorite tunes on Electron Industries back in the mid-90s that still makes me weak in the knees. While I have been decidedly over the whole halfstep feel of dubstep lately, somehow this takes the formula, retunes it to a different frequency, and grabs me completely. Closing out with "Perspex", we find ourselves firmly in electro territory, breaking it down into into a lovely square bassline underpinning panning synths from outer space. Essential release, for those with an open mind and perhaps slightly schizophrenic musical tastes.

Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches EP (Black Acre)

This is another one of those things that falls in the cracks between genres and makes it rather difficult to quantify. Usually that means I will end up liking it. Starting things off with a skippy beat reminiscent of 2 step, then falling into 8-bit data frying madness, "Sketches" tells you right away this ain't gonna be your run-of-the-mill "dubstep" record. Nope. Still have the sub bass, wrapped up in digital spasms and beats skittering around with quite a bit of bounce. Crackle and dirt are the foundation for the galloping beats of "BrickAbrac", reminiscent of the run-in grooves of vinyl, but then ramming directly into the blippity bitsmash of digital noise. It's a dichotomous, delightful romp of a tune. With the third cut, the tempo drops a bit, heading into deep and housey territory. "If I" is mesmerizing and filthy, with offbeat rhythms and vocal samples that sounds like the bastard child of dubstep, garage and house. I challenge house DJs to take this one and run with it. Rounding this one out, is a pretty bangup techno take on "Sketches" from SUBTRKT. Once again, I challenge techno DJs to take a leap and work this one in just for shits and giggles. All in all, a quirky, warm group of tunes for the more adventurous DJs of all styles.

Helixir - Convultions (7even)

This French label came running out of the gate from day one, hitting squarely in the more colorful and funky end of the dubstep continuum, and once again this is no dissapointment. Helixir takes it even further into the percussive realms with this one, with "Convultion" being an example of crafty beatwork, keeping the headnodding lurch of classic dubstep, but working the rhythmic elements into a slightly more spastic framework at the same time. This is a stripped-down cut, with beats and bass in the forefront. For the second side, he brings back a bit more of the melodic garnishes to give the frenetic beatwork some glue, but "Let Me Drive Now" still remains spacious and beat heavy, with only quick breaths of melodic sound, chopped and dubbed for maximum head fuck.

Stay tuned for more reviews. I have SO many tunes to go through, but I stick to picking the standouts. Lucky for you I LOVE to share my secret weapons! ;)
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tasty techno treat of the week!

You should download this now. Trust me.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Risen from the dead.

OK, not like that perhaps. But I have been off in my own world for a few years now, working and getting life together and all that.

But now I feel like I have neglected my duties as a music nerd in letting people know about the good schtuff that should be gracing their ears. So I will be resurrecting this for as long as I can maintain interest (and as long as anyone out there is paying attention).

To be honest, I am partially motivated by frustration at the homogenization of "dubstep" (techno as well, especially after my latest trip to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival last month) at the hands of DJs, even though there is so much amazing music to be played. Dubstep (and techno) has veered off into so many different sounds and nooks and crannies, encompassing more and more, and widening to accept so many different vibes.

And yet, I keep hearing the same drudgery coming out of the speakers everywhere I go. It's like there was this whole spectrum of colors handed to people, and they decided monochromatic was totally the thing. Boooring.

So anyhow, this is my pathetic attempt to share the wider spectrum, and hopefully it won't just be me out there playing the stuff. A girl can hope, right?

And don't expect genre limitations on what I share. I am large; I contain multitudes.

So there.

And as a little treat, here's a Youtube link to a tune that's doin' me in proper right now. Full album review later.

Altered Natives - Body Gal Read more!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sexystep for you and your favorite hottie

Serious Lurve, an anonymous boy/girl duo in their own kinda serious lurve, first brought us a deep and sexy mix called F.U.C.K. Vol. 1 (which can be found here) earlier this summer. Now they have brought us a little dirtier installment in the (hopefully ongoing) series, with Vol. 2. If Vol. 1 was foreplay, this is getting down to some serious, kinky, zebra print, vibrating bed business. Give it a listen, but only with the lights down low, some warming lotion, and your favorite fun partner. Those of us minus that last part, let your imagination run wild, I suppose.

Serious Lurve presents: F.U.C.K. Vol 2. You can stream the mix or look over on the right side of the Divshare page for the "download original" link.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Unsung: abZ

I wanted to focus on a few great producers whose tunes I am nuts about, but who just don't seem to get any recognition. Unsung will be a regular profile series spotlighting names you may not know right now, but you definitely will soon. It's a big world, and lots of great music is being made that doesn't always get heard.

The thing about abZ, is that you probably HAVE heard his tunes and didn't know it. His tunes have been dropped all over internet radio and in live sets, but thus far, no one has taken the plunge and put his tunes out. That's about to change, as abZ has taken it upon himself to go the DIY (do it yourself) route and make it happen on his own dime. His influences are obviously solidly in the drum and bass realm, but his tunes don't hedge on the "harder than thou, mash you in the face" factor, rather a complex interplay between staggered, sometimes off-time beats, melody and bass movement (check out DKWSS Revisited on his Myspace to get an earload of one of my personal favorites). His remix of Cringer's "Gate B5" has become a Midwest staple, with its subhuman basslines and beat cutups keeping you guessing.

Being based in Pittsburgh, PA doesn't always assure attention in the musical world, but thanks to the power of the internets, and the worldwide reach of dubstep and bass music, abZ has made quite a name for himself amongst those who know. For those who don't, here's a little peek into the man himself.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I have a good one for you, I have never flown in a plane. I'm not afraid of heights or anything like that. I even have a couple pilots in my family.

What did you do before dubstep? How did you find dubstep and what was the evolution of beginning to produce it?
I produced and dj'd drum&bass for about 10 years. I just kept seeing people type about dubstep on the forums. It sounded interesting so I found some mixes to listen to. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not at first. It was good enough that I kept listening to it. I ended up having a Joe Nice show stuck in the deck of the car for months on repeat. I started tracking down a few records that I was really feeling off of those mixes. I have a few weekly dj gigs playing dnb, I would just throw those records on at the beginning of my sets. I played a party where I was asked to play half dnb and dubstep. I ended up playing dubstep the whole night because everyone was really into it. I thought they might get upset if I started playing something else. I haven't played much dnb since. I didn't want to write dubstep right away. I wanted to absorb the sound for a while but I couldn't help myself and so it began.

You live in Pittsburgh, PA, which is not the hotbed of the dubstep sound. How do you think this affects your development as a producer?
Is it an asset? A frustration?

It is kind of in no man's land as far as dubstep goes but it's great to dj here. I was the first one to play full sets of dubstep in the area so I am responsible for quite a few addictions to dubstep that some people have developed recently. Every time I go out, even when I am not playing, people thank me for playing it here and ask me when I am playing again. People are genuinely interested in the music. It makes me feel like I am doing something important. LOL. I get lesser and smaller gigs here than I would if I was in a big city maybe, so it affects my performances for sure. I'm not sure how it would affect my production. I think I would be writing the same stuff no matter where I lived. Maybe I'd have learned about dubstep sooner.

What inspires you to write? Life, art, other music?
I guess it's just the creative process itself. That's just me. I always have to be doing something creative. Building something from nothing. I just have to get it out of me.

What is your favorite tune you have done to date and why?

That is a good question. I usually hate my tunes after I finish them so it's tough to answer. I guess the one I am working on now! Because it's fresh.

You have a label forthcoming. School us.

Yeah, Savory Audio. I have been kicking around the idea for a while. I have just been doing research and things of that nature. The base artists to start with are Jason Burns, Fiziks and myself. They are the only ones within a 2 hour drive of Pittsburgh that make dubstep and they do it rather well in my opinion. None of us has had an official commercial release yet. So we will all be debuting on Savory. I won't limit it to just us though; it is my intention to put out material from quite a variety of producers for whom I admire their works. It will also most likely be folks that don't get a ton of love from labels. It is going to be digital only and everything will be professionally mastered. Hopefully the first two songs will be available by October.

Any other interesting projects in the works? Remixes, upcoming releases?

Always. I don't like to talk about releases at least until they have been scheduled for release. I have had discussions with several different labels about various tunes, that is about all I can say. I'm not working on any remixes right now but those things tend to happen very quickly. I may have something finished by the time this is published. I have started working with a vocalist for something different. We have one song almost finished.

If you could work with any other producer, who would it be and why?

If I could also go back in time I would like to sit in on some of the legendary rock recording sessions of the early 70's. Wasn't the Dark Side of the Moon self produced? Maybe I'd write some tunes with Roger Waters or maybe I'd just sit there and watch him. Whoever I am working with, I am trying to steal as many tricks as I can. Hopefully I can return the favor.

And for fun, if you could do a tune to be played at a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game, what would it sound like?
It would be really corny. Some low ended polka with vox from Donnie Iris. Basically just like the famous "Here We Go Steelers". I am actually planning on doing a Penguins tribute tune. It would probably go better with a Sid Crosby highlight video than at the Igloo. I have collected a few samples like the horn down at the igloo and some goals called by Mike Lange. GET IN THE FAST LANE GRANDMA, THE BINGO GAME IS READY TO ROLL!!!!

Let's go Pens!

(I TOTALLY knew a question about hockey would get a good answer. - Shiva)

For more info and to hear abZ tunes, check out http://www.myspace.com/abz

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