In recent press photos, Eddie Ruscha has looked every bit the West Coast acid casualty that his vivid, kaleidoscopic productions have suggested. Surrounded by his colourful, out-there paintings and dressed head to toe in “tropical psychedelic” clothes – a distinctive concoction of rainbow-coloured scarves, baggy jewellery, strange masks and eye-popping patterned sweaters – he projects himself as the apotheosis of the 21st century digital hippy. Given the hazy look in his eyes, you’d never accuse him of putting it on; clearly, he’s more out-there and artistically inspired than your average electronic producer.
German producer Phillip Lauer has been called upon to provide the fourth release for Tim Sweeney’s blossoming Beats In Space label.
Last week Detroit don Andrés debuted on Tim Sweeney’s long running Beats In Space radio show with an hour and a half mix featuring a number of his own dusty, soulful productions.
Most journalists will tell you they treasure face-to-face interviews above all else: being in the same room as someone invariably brings out more colourful quotes than a phone conversation or the dreaded email communique. Yet being on the other end of the phone line to Tim Sweeney feels entirely appropriate – after all, his languid, friendly drawl is his most instantly recognisable feature. For the past 12 years he has hosted the weekly Beats In Space radio show from the student-run WNYU studio in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, building his slot into one of the most respected in the world of electronic music.
The first two picture disc releases from boutique San Francisco imprint Public Release featured some brilliant and oh-so New York photography, with contemporary 5 borough icons Tim Sweeney and Jacques Renault taking the musical reins. The former - Sweeney’s only official productions to date – was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it promo affair, while the latter featured four essential edits from the Runaway man.
For release number three we’re treated to a decidedly French affair; steak with chives, what looks like a blob of hollandaise and chips on one side of the record, an empty plate on the other; a brilliant visual concept. Indeed, so brilliant the obvious concern is that the music doesn’t live up to the visual mastery of the release. Thankfully, in the hands of Parisian producer Jerome Caron aka Gallic edit maestro Blackjoy such concerns are quashed well before the needle reaches the run out groove on Side A.
Aptly named the Jekyll EP, Blackjoy debuts his new, somewhat darker Joie Noire alias (which even the pathetically monolingual scribes at Juno Plus could deduce as French for ‘Black Joy’) on the A Side, with the heavy acid jam “Secret”. Bordering on techno, it carries a menacing undertone beneath the intricately layered synth work, showcasing an altogether new facet to the producer’s armoury – a distinct move away from the upbeat disco edits and insouciant house he’s known for.
Flip over and Caron works under his more familiar nom de plume, dropping a sultry slow-mo disco excursion characterised by some wonderfully languid funk riffage. Originally released in shorter form on Blackjoy’s 2010 Erotis album, here the track is extended and given some much needed room to breath.