Records from Eglo, Public Possession, Optimo Music and Emotional Rescue all stood out for their own distinct reasons in July.
The ‘fourth world freakouts’ of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night are due in mid July.
Optimo Music have revealed details of the long promised collaborative release between Factory Floor and cult New York musician Peter Gordon.
2013 feels like the age of increasingly analogue production in dance music, and one possibility as to why might be the emerging idea that making music via computer has become too sanitized and safe. In the same way that DJs condemning digital software and sync buttons may have contributed to the resurgence of vinyl, this writer wonders if analogue records are becoming paired with an unpredictable spontaneity that closely controlled digital music lacks.
Daniel Avery and The Deadstock 33′s is a trusted combination – hear their forthcoming Optimo Music release here.
The next local Glasgow act to benefit from the curatorial vision of JD Twitch are Golden Teacher – stream their riotous “Dante And Pilgrim” here.
Nik Void and Gabe Gurnsey of industrial synth outfit Factory Floor have collaborated with cult New York composer and saxophonist Peter Gordon.
As one of the two men behind Glasgow institution Optimo, JD Twitch has seen more as a DJ than most could ever hope to. Thanks to its open musical policy and loyal following, the Optimo club night, which started at Glasgow’s Sub Club in 1997, saw the rise and fall of various dance music fads and scenes, before Twitch and his DJ partner JG Wilkes eventually called time on the party in 2010. Their skills and selection talents remain in high demand, and they have relented to their own desire for a hometown party, recently announcing the bi-monthly return of the night to the Sub Club. Of course Optimo is more than just a club night and name for a DJ duo; it’s a name that conjures up images of a whole musical ethos, which is why it came as no surprise when Optimo Music was born in 2009, a label which would allow Twitch (working independently from Wilkes) to indulge in his own musical taste to release records that reflect that ethos. But meeting Twitch in a café close to his Glasgow home to talk about the label, it soon became apparent that Optimo Music was just the latest incarnation of a project Twitch has been experimenting with for almost 20 years.
It’s amazing how certain pieces of music can still sound fresh and revolutionary 20 or 30 years after their initial release. This is a more frequent occurrence in rock and pop music than in the electronic sphere, where improvements in technology often render old recordings obsolete. While there is usually a certain raw charm to early examples of synthesizer-heavy electronica, very few records of this ilk have dated well. Some early industrial records have lasted well, but only because they were so confrontational and out-there in the first place.
Chris Carter’s “Moonlight” has aged wonderfully. Originally included on the Throbbing Gristle man’s experimental 1984 album Mondo Beat – something of a sought after classic for fans of synth-wave – it has gone on to achieve cult status thanks to its unique combination of sparse, bubbling electronic rhythms, ambient chords and darting, alien melodies. It’s considered by some to be an unlikely Balearic classic, and a re-edited version appeared on the first ever Mindless Boogie 12” a few years back.
Here, it gets a deserved re-release on JG Wilkes and JD Twitch’s Optimo Music label. Twitch has long been a fan of Carter’s work and included “Moonlight” on one of his synthwave mixes a few years back; furthermore there is even a fanboy style write-up about how great the record is on the Optimo website. Listening again, it’s hard to better the original for atmosphere and raw emotion; even now, 27 years after its original release, “Moonlight” is a powerful record. Yet for this re-issue, Twitch has taken the bold step of commissioning two new remixes.
There’s a certain sense in getting Oneohtrix Point Never to reinvent the record; his experiments with vintage synthesizers and electronic equipment could be seen as a kind of continuation of the experimental work of Carter, Throbbing Gristle and others. Certainly, his take on “Moonlight” is faithfully adventurous, recasting the bubbling and melodic original as an eerie drone-scape full of endless chords, discordant electronic noise and cacophonous reverb. It barely resembles Carter’s original, but it comes from the same place.
The other remix comes from John Selway’s Neurotic Drum Band project, the New York act who’ve impressed with some decidedly atmospheric electronic disco releases on Wurst. Wisely, they choose to retain many of the original elements, adding some moody new sounds to give the track extra potency. Like the near-faultless original, the results are weary but inspired.
The next release on Optimo Music sees JD Twitch & co once again dig into the voluminous archives of Chris Carter to reissue and remaster “Moonlight” – one of their favourite tracks from the producer on a 12″ that also features reinterpretations from two contemporary Stateside acts.
Factory Floor’s career to date has seen a thrilling graduation from the Joy Division leanings of their early material such as Outside Sound – “Bipolar” in particular – to modern day sonic terrorists feted by everyone from Throbbing Gristle’s Carter and Tutti to respected disco jockeys like Rory Phillips and Stopmakingme.
This coming of age was fully signposted by last year’s thumping “Lying” – a track that demonstrated the London trio are one of a few bands in today’s climate whose sole priority seems to be how far they can push the sonic envelope whilst retaining a sense of rhythm and melody. Factory Floor releasing “Real Love” on the Optimo Music imprint seems like such a perfect fit and we can only hope that the relationship results in more than this sole release together.
As with all Factory Floor material, “Real Love” is perhaps best heard live as part of panoramic Quadrophonic Sound rig the band currently employ, but here on vinyl it still packs a veritable sonic punch to your guts – driven by a throbbing industrial synth arpeggio that rises and falls amidst a multitude of sonic crescendos and backed with the hypnotic vocal leanings of Nik Void.
With the original so close to harsh perfection, there are few people on this earth who could match or even better the track, amongst them JD Twitch – a man familiar with abrasive rhythms (as anyone who has heard his under appreciated hoover rave remix of Dave P & Adam Sparkles can testify). The Optimo Espacio remix can only be described as jaw droppingly monstrous – applying that arpeggiated lead to a rising cloak of sensory destroying sonics which seem specifically designed for that elation filled moment of dancefloor ecstasy where people have forgotten everything apart from the primal urge to dance.