Bristol based producer Borai takes Oli Warwick through the various record shops, club nights, individuals and institutions from the city that have helped shape his sound.
As well as their highly regarded work as Dadub, Giovanni Conti and Daniele Antezza can be considered Stroboscopic Artefacts’ secret weapon, responsible for mastering each release from the label. James Manning spoke to the duo about the processes behind You Are Eternity, their long awaited debut album.
Across its twelve year history Crème Organization has remained steadfastly singular in their approach. Here Richard Brophy speaks to DJ TLR about the label’s genesis and distinct aesthetic, strong links to the historic Bunker label and Crème’s place in the modern online-centric world. A selection of DJ TLR’s personal favourite Godspill art is scattered throughout and we also have an unreleased gem from the Crème archives.
With his joint role as as chief operator at Future Times, one half of Beautiful Swimmers and sole pilot under the Maxmillion Dunbar banner, Andrew Field-Pickering has been integral in releasing some of our favourite music of the past few years. Matt Anniss caught up with Field Pickering in advance of his second Maxmillion Dunbar album dropping to discuss eclectism, his love of shoegaze and percussion, and much more.
Last year saw Manuel Gonzales grace a succession of our favourite labels with his own distinct take on Detroit sound under the MGUN moniker – we despatched Brendan Arnott to track the producer down in his Detroit hometown.
January provided perhaps the most comprehensive and diverse selection of records presented with care and attention since this column began in earnest some twelve months ago. Read the rest of this entry »
Behind every great label there is a strong curatorial hand, an individual or group whose singular or collective vision helps guide their labour of love onwards with memorable and compelling results. Andrew ‘Lovefingers’ Hogge has done just this with ESP Institute, a label whose impressive output from an international cast of friends and like minded individuals transcends simple categorisation but feels perfectly at home. Emboldened by a strong visual aesthetic that’s been the work of one person throughout, ESP Institute has casually attained the kind of revered status that makes it easy to forget Hogge only founded the label roughly three years ago.
Whatever you think about the notion of the hard-core continuum, there is no doubt that the electro sound pioneered by Detroit artists Cybotron, Drexciya and Aux 88 has proved to have longevity; earlier this month, this writer witnessed arguably the greatest protagonist of this music form, Gerald Donald, perform an hour’s worth of sparkling yet robotic Arpanet tracks to a rammed Dublin warehouse, while a few weeks earlier, the latest Versalife record Rate of Change appeared on Frustrated Funk.
Emerging from the murk of the cassette resurgence resplendent in non-household names and unconventional approaches, Opal Tapes can be counted as a shining example of the rewards to be reaped from an acute combination of curatorial dexterity and aesthetic pride. Surfacing midway through last year, Stephen Bishop’s labour of love has already acquired a respectable stature for a relatively new label, and is already fourteen instalments deep that run the gamut from decaying techno to dissociative noise. As the label’s Facebook mantra would have it, “tapes & records – electronics & scuzz”.
As befitting a month where record companies applied the brakes on their release schedules, December saw a marked downturn in records worthy of inclusion in our monthly feature.
By 1984, a distinct “garage” sound was beginning to take shape in New York. Based around the dubbed-out, synth-heavy remixes of legendary Paradise Garage resident Larry Levan - particularly his reverb and delay-laden 1983 rubs of acts such as Imagination, Jeffrey Osbourne and Gwen Guthrie – the sound was slowly inching further away from straight-up disco and boogie and further towards what would later, in the hands of Tony Humphries and others, become garage (or, as it was known in the early years, “garage house”).
It’s been a long time since the word rave has held any real relevance. The only ones who can honestly say they are still doing it properly are the Dutch and eastern bloc forest dwellers seen by most on the internet. So is it with a post-ironic grin that rave – minus the glowing and chromatic regalia – finds itself edging its way back on to the dance floor?
I’m sitting in a dark room, bathed in the blue light of my Macbook screen, waiting for Huerco S to come online and talk. At 2:59, I’m one minute early, and in a two second span where I look away from my computer, his screen name suddenly appears, synchronized perfectly with the clock changing to 3. He’s ready.
Anonymity’s not what it used to be. During electronic music’s formative years, the phrase ‘faceless techno bollocks’ became a stock in trade (and later still a T-Shirt slogan) for cowboy-boot wearing, Bon Jovi-loving rock critics to dismiss a new music form that they could not comprehend. In that period, it was also the ultimate back-handed compliment for techno artists – the logic being that if a rockist used facelessness as a means to deride you, it was a sign that you were doing something right.
This New Year’s Eve appears to be one of those rare occasions where everyone does in fact like Mondays, with London once again reaching overspill when it comes to choices for the discerning club goer. True to form, the Juno Plus guide adopts a more international outlook picking out some events further afield that have us pondering last minute flights to Amsterdam, Berlin and New York.
Please note that some nights that would have featured here have now sold out – specifically the Jeff Mills, Moodymann and I-F featuring Dekmantel event and Mr Saturday Night’s residents only party in NYC.
Our final end of year feature has us looking back on some of the best sleeve art to have been commissioned over the past twelve months.
The Hague can do strange things to a man’s soul. Just ask Danny Wolfers, who comes from the west coast of Holland. For the past 15 years, the Dutch producer has been releasing his individualistic take on electronic dance music, mainly as Legowelt, but also under an almost schizophrenic range of guises like Gladio, Venom 18, Raheem Hershel, Jackmaster Corky and Smackos. Wolfers is among the second wave of artists from Holland’s West Coast/Hague environs. It’s tempting to posit that the grey skyline and relentless churn of the North Sea have had an effect on Wolfers, but it is certainly true that musical developments in Holland’s administrative capital played an even greater role, including the warped interpretation of US dance music articulated by I-F’s Unit Moebius band and Bunker Records. As Wolfers explains: “I came a little bit later than those guys you mention, in the early 90s. I was also listening to the usual stuff from Chicago, Detroit and Aphex Twin and other artists from the UK. I don’t know why other people started to make techno, but I was 14 and I just wanted to make music in a certain way – I started with just an Amiga. At the time most adolescent kids were playing in bands, so what I was doing was considered pretty weird.”
A few months ago I wrote that this year had been characterised by a lack of major narratives in underground dance music. Nowhere is this more evident than in the arena of what we call bass music, the genre formerly known as post-dubstep, whose early years seemed to be dominated by a clutch of producers releasing on Night Slugs, R&S, Hemlock, Hotflush and Hessle Audio who have increasingly been copied by a younger generation. Arguably bass music’s biggest change in 2012 was that it became a major commercial force; as divisive as his album Personality was, nobody could deny that Scuba and his Hotflush imprint are major brands now; Disclosure came out of nowhere to offer a bright, accessible take on the genre that cracked the British top 40, and even Ministry Of Sound released a compilation called Future Bass. As a term, however, bass is one that many writers (this one included) still feel reluctant to use with any degree of certainty, and the likes of Scuba and Disclosure encapsulate why this is so; although the musical inspiration for these artists may have started with dubstep or garage, you’d really struggle to describe the music they make as anything other than a strain of house music, and to call it “bass” feels like a fallacy.