If you were ever to seek out a record that encapsulated what Unknown To The Unknown was all about, Ohm’s ’92 classic “Tribal Tone” may well be it. DJ Haus’ pet project of wildly careering rave fodder always keeps one foot firmly planted in the good old days, just as much as it charges ahead to celebrate the future-minded facets of electronic music, but importantly everything is underlined with a tongue-in-cheek irreverence that keeps things from ever getting too po-faced.
Hype and expectation have warped how we appreciate music, with far too much analysis placed on the quantity (or lack thereof) of musical content from any particular artist. This is of course required to some degree to provide context, but the creation of music is not necessarily something that can done to a regimented schedule; the disciplines involved vary from artist to artist, and besides, sometimes the number of releases is the least interesting element to an artist.
With Caribou’s massive remix of Virgo Four’s “It’s A Crime” being undoubtedly one of 2011’s best and it must be said, ubiquitous tracks, it was always going to be difficult for Rush Hour to follow it up. Wisely, Rush Hour’s choices for this second round of remixes tread the slightly more esoteric side of house, sidestepping any attempt at trying to strike gold twice. Of course this doesn’t mean that these remixes from Capracara & Scott Fraser and Hieroglyphic Being respectively should be read as failures; if anything their dark qualities highlight the fact that, although undeniably effective, there was actually something slightly naïve about Caribou’s remix.
With a skeleton crew left in the Juno offices the week before Christmas, it wasn’t necessarily the best time for a mountain of records to arrive, but arrive they did, with a few long awaited gems making a welcome appearance.
Fine Art Recordings chief Nitzan Hermon clearly has a sharp eye for concepts. One of his most intriguing ideas to date was the 2009 MVSICA project – pronounced ‘musica’ – a CD compilation of downtempo music from producers known primarily for their 4/4 techno output. The CD, a collaboration with Sawdust studio, was released on a special ‘scratch off’ surface on hard laminated paper, meaning that the cover would evolve over time – much like the music contained within. Those who bought one of the 200 copies made could either keep it in pristine condition or subject it to the rigours of regular use and thus earn something genuinely unique.
Sometimes a record comes along that ticks all the boxes for a humble vinyl addict. A luxuriously presented sleeve with eye catching art work, an inner sleeve (all too absent these days) and music that surpasses the presentation. This latest release from boutique London imprint Fine Art Recordings does just that, giving Capracara’s “Panic Beats” the full release it deserves.
In a sporadic production career to date, the producer has excelled with releases for DFA and Soul Jazz as well as the odd remix for Detachments and The Hundred In The Hands. “Panic Beats” may be his finest moment to date though; a glorious ode to Giallo horror soundtracks, the track originally surfaced last summer on Seed Records’ Seed X Part 3 compilation. It’s migration to another vastly underrated UK imprint in Fine Art might well belatedly endow the track with the recognition it deserves.
“Panic Beats” proves to be every bit as exciting as anything you might find on the recent and critically acclaimed Giza EP from Gatekeeper. An expert melding of hefty industrial textures, haunting chords and ever twisting electronic arpeggios atop a punishing EBM beat, it’s a track that bears repeat listening.
Diskjokke steps up to remix the track, seeming to revel in the menacing origins; crafting a reimagination filled with dizzying showers of percussion, amidst which sits an ever changing backdrop of gristly acid stabs and soaring, heavily funked organ riffs that sound oddly nicked from a 20:20 Vision record. It’s this menacing and schizophrenic rhythmic thrust that ensures this record sits well beyond the realms of pedestrian nu discoism.
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