Exciting news from RVNG Intl, with the NYC-based label preparing a new album from Stellar OM Source.
The label compilation can be a very big deal in marking out the story of a serious imprint. Since its inception in 2009, there’s no doubt that Boddika has been steering his treasured Nonplus stable with a razor-sharp instinct that has seen it become one of the defining outposts of the dubstep fallout. Rasping electro has sat next to deluded deep house, half-step drum & bass alongside decaying techno, rumbling 140isms against churning 110 bpm grooves.
Kassem Mosse is the latest high profile contributor to Sounds Of The Universe’s Art+Sound label - stream the results here.
You can listen to Kassem Mosse’s recent live performance in Toulouse, France, in all its crunchy, distorted glory.
Introducing an artist to the world via a set of remixes of material not yet heard is a risky and rarely used method, but it can work. Back when Skudge were cloaked in all manner of faceless mystique, a brilliant Aardvarck remix of their then-unreleased track “Convolution” made for an instant mental entry on this writer’s internal notepad, as it probably did for many others, and possibly made a lot of people wonder who they were.
Announced to the world via the cultural barometer that is the Hessle Audio Rinse show overseen by Ben UFO at the end of January, this release from Kassem Mosse and Mix Mup has been searing a hole in people’s expectations ever since. Mosse is no stranger to Will Bankhead’s label The Trilogy Tapes, having produced a highly prized cassette tape mix a while back, and it’s indicative of the widespread revere for the producer from Leipzig that Thomson’s semi cryptic announcement on Twitter prior to broadcast that “KM has done a TTT” had the persons who are into cool music very excited.
It seems like every time Kassem Mosse puts out a record it contains a surprise. Just when fans of his Workshop releases thought that they had found the creator of the ultimate raw and creaky house groove, Mosse goes and releases wiry acid on Omar S FXHE imprint under his real name (Gunnar Wendel) or hooks up with Instra:mental’s Nonplus label to become the latest darling of UK bass. Unsurprisingly then, this latest release for the latter shows yet another side to the maverick German producer.
The title track is the most conventional arrangement here, its acid line droning over heavy claps and a tracky rhythm. “GS02″ shows a darker side to Mosse’s house work, its stripped back arrangement belching forth malevolent bass licks and eerie synth lines that mysteriously disappear as quickly as they appear, while ‘”Inswanna” comes across as a middle ground between his house and bass productions. A repetitive stab rides over a bassline that weaves its way in and out of stepping drums, creating one of the most haunting pieces Mosse has made to date. The real surprise however is left until last. “Sleepworking” is so unlike anything he has made that this writer had to double take. Essentially an electro track, the heavy, oppressive bass and shuffling 808s provide the basis for the kind of creeping, niggling acid line last heard on Wagon Christ’s Phat Lab Nightmare. Combined with a truly evil low end, it’s enough to make even more seasoned house fans shit their pants in excitement.
Those who have followed German imprint Workshop Records will already be well aware of the label’s strong visual and musical aesthetic. Built around a core of artists – chiefly label bosses Even Tuell and Lowtec alongside Move D and Kassem Mosse among others – the Workshop sound touches on melodic, dusty and raw house and techno. The label was launched in 2006 shortly after Lowtec (aka Jens Kuhn) folded his Out To Lunch imprint. Every release since then has been imbued with the deepest of grooves, from the woozy narcosis of Lowtec’s Workshop 6 to Move D’s disco-sampling jam on Workshop 4 and the epic B-Side of Mosse’s recent Workshop 12 release.
A distribution hook-up with Germany’s home of discerning dancefloor music, Hardwax, gave Workshop the platform it deserved, and it has flourished. Given the attention to detail that accompanies every Workshop release – it’s the little things that stand out, like shrink wrapping, hand stamped vinyl and embossed text – it should be of no surprise to learn that one half of the label runs a boutique fashion label, with Even Tuell (real name Paul-David) having launched Airbag Craftworks back in 1995. Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate caught up with Kassem and Even prior to the recent Workshop Records showcase hosted by London club types Electric Minds.
German producer Kassem Mosse pretty much owned 2010, consistently releasing records that touched on the raw, thumping end of house and techno. His remix of Commix was a particularly fine moment – indeed we here at Juno Plus crowned it our number one track of the year. His 12″ for Dial sub-label Laid was a melodic shuffling delight, while his remix of Braiden’s auspicious debut on Joy Orbison’s Doldrums imprint turned the mutant house original into a sublime piece of raw, dusky techno.
His influence should not be underestimated in the UK – he’s widely revered by dubstep and bass music producers as well as house and techno heads, and his sound appears to be what a lot of British dubstep-cum-house producers – most notably the aforementioned Joy O – are currently striving for.
Here Mosse (real name Gunnar Wendel) returns to the excellent Berlin based Workshop imprint, with “Track 1″ hogging the A Side, characterised by a tense mechanical rhythym and a looped up female vocal which remains central to the track as Mosse adds deft analogue tweaks which create a cavernous sonic landscape. The real heat, however, is on the flip; first Mosse takes things unfeasibly deep on “Track 2″ with chords that on first inspection appear to emanate from beneath the speakers, before the EP’s true gem, the all too short “Track 3″, brings the EP to a bruising finale with scorched kick drums juxtaposed against a gently undulating synth progression.
After a week in which we’ve cast fond glances back at our favourite labels, albums and more besides from the past 12 months, now is time for the pièce de résistance – our top 50 tracks of 2010. From sprawling disco chuggers delivered in one take to brooding techno, boundary pushing future bass and killer throwback house primed for sweaty dancefloors, there’s been something to suit everyone’s musical palette.
The collection you see before you are the 50 tracks that have soundtracked the past year at Juno Plus, and considering the site launched in late 2009 this serves as a neat little snapshot of where we are at. Our small team of contributors have all had a say, with the final list assembled through the kind of open, democratic process that would make Sepp Blatter blush. Some of the tracks included are obvious selections that will populate many a ‘best of’ list – and rightly so – but we’ve also taken time to include some of the less heralded but equally awesome tracks from 2010. Drum roll please…
A long time coming, Braiden’s debut release finally arrives on Doldrums and it’s mark of just how accomplished “The Alps” is that the accompanying release of DLDRMS002 from Joy Orbison – released in the same week – in no way overshadows the track. Indelibly shrouded with keen anticipation since Braiden debuted the track on his summer mix for Mary Anne Hobbs, it marks another reason to be more than a bit jealous of someone who is already an accomplished photographer, DJ and presenter for Rinse FM.
In syncopation with the aforementioned twelve inch from Orbison, “The Alps” is Doldrums realigning themselves towards a proper house and techno sound. By the time the end arrives your senses have been treated to a deeply pressurised amalgamation of raw throbbing house rhythms and metallic UK funky patterns which presents itself as an auspicious debut for Braiden. Just as exciting is the accompanying remix from Kassem Mosse that nudges the track further towards permaretro surroundings, flipping a tinny jacking beat over Basic Channel style dubbed keys before opening out in glorious fashion into a hypnotic acid house pulse reminiscent of “Blackout” from Lil Louis. This twelve aligned with a recently announced remix for Jacques Greene’s LuckyMe release mark Braiden as one to watch next year.
“Kassem Mosse lives in a nighttime world somewhere on the edge of forever,” we are warned on his MySpace page. Dark enough. But he continues… “Can it all be so simple? Choose your steps carefully, as black holes pave our way through the shadows (…) will the night last forever? I remember nothing.”
Cryptic, slightly sinister, are these mere ramblings or lucid, idiosyncratic thoughts? Who knows. One thing’s for sure, the German maverick – a purveyor of the deep, ambient side of techno and house dipped in a distinctly European aesthetic – is certainly an interesting character. He’s had releases on Mikrodisko and Workshop; comparisons have been drawn with deep house don Theo Parrish and his previous efforts have quite rightly garnered widespread applause and admiration. This time, he goes in on a deep, experimental tip for a release on increasingly eclectic Instra:mental owned label, Non Plus.
“We Speak To Those” begins with the thumping pound of marching drum beats, like hob nail boots trudging down a tarmac path. Solid as steel, the ticking percussive hiss kicks in, along with warm atmospheric waves and melodic vocal snatches. An organic flow of sound is sustained masterfully, with a hint of Autechre in there, and a pervasive sense of drift as sounds entwine themselves around the steady paced tempo, coming in and out of focus like wind down a tunnel. “Hi Res”, on the flipside, completes the package with a tripping, tribal pattering intro, which leads us to a more spaced out, experimental mid section. A warm, evocative background is hinted at behind a flurry of ecstatic sounds and hyperactive kinetics, creating an immense soundscape.