Review: As well as being a vocalist for peerless disco outfit Hercules and Love Affair, Aerea Negrot has a great sideline in more tech and dub-influenced songwriting. Following on from last year's debut single "All I Wanna Do", BPitch Control drop her latest collection of songs this week and they're a revelation. "Miss You" sees Negrot feed her vocals through a vocoder and duet with herself over a slow and sultry waves of synth pads, while "Right Body Wrong Time" channels the golden age of Chicago with her commanding vocals dipping in and out of a minimal-jack beat. "Childhood" is equally fascinating, with Negrot's swooping vocalisms strongly recalling Liz Frazer of the Cocteau Twins mixed with Grace Jones.
Review: Ellen Fraatz must be one of the hardest-working women in dance music. She's been making music for 20 years, now, and there's little sign of the quality dropping. There's predictably much to admire on this brand new three-tracker, from the melancholic chords, impassioned vocal wails and electro-influenced grooves of opener "Butterfly", to the wonky, late night tech-house assault of "Come To Me", whose distorted synths and sludgy bottom-end are complimented by distinctly foreboding chords. Best of all, though, is "Freak The Night", a jaunty fusion of deep house, acid and tech-house complete with warm, woozy chords, shuffling rhythms and punchy electronics.
Review: This latest album by Bpitch boss Allien is a long way from the label's minimal, sometimes trancey roots. It sounds like the author has grown up musically, and LISm flows through a series of mood pieces. This writer listened to the work as one continuous track, and this is how it works best. Beginning with what could be the sound of demented monkeys wittering away, it moves into jangly guitars and blissed out vocals, before a series of isolationist bleeps kick in. From there it moves from late night jazzy sax, dense drones before kicking back into deep, ethereal electronics. It's a major artistic triumph for Allien.
Review: This latest album by Bpitch Control boss Allien is a long way from the label's minimal, sometimes trancey roots. It sounds like the author has grown up musically, and LISm flows through a series of mood pieces. Although this special edition divides the whole 45 minute piece into discrete chunks, this writer listened to the work as one continuous track, and this is how it works best. Beginning with what could be the sound of demented monkeys wittering away, it moves into jangly guitars and blissed out vocals, before a series of isolationist bleeps kick in. From there it moves from late night jazzy sax, dense drones before kicking back into deep, ethereal electronics. It's a major artistic triumph for Allien.
Review: Like her last album, The Kiss sees Ellen Allien explore an alternate route than the skewed, rough and ready minimalism she made her name with. Indeed, "The Kiss (Extended Version)" deploys an old school Chicago bassline with mysterious synths and a jacking rhythm. "Need" is less memorable, but Allien has the good sense to draft in Redshape for remix duties. The masked producer drops sweeping synths and a powerful, pulsing bass to lend the track some extra menace. Bpitch has also commissioned German duo Snuff Crew to rework "The Kiss" and they don't disappoint, using playful cowbells, mournful strings and a powerful, pulsing bass to create an unforgettable retro-style remix.
Review: The calibre of contributors to this remix album is a sign of the high regard that Bpitch boss Ellen Allien is held in. Aux 88 depart from their trademark electro sound for a tight, stabby techno take on "Ever", while Bodycode brings his eerie organ sound to the spacey "Dream", straddling this seemingly disparate mixture with snappy percussion. Meanwhile, Kassem Mosse delivers a beautiful, chiming bell and breathy vocal-laden take on "Our Utopie". There are also some fine left of centre versions, like Tim Hecker's organic ambient version of "Sun the Rain", John Roberts's gradually unravelling, tripped out melodic interpretation of "Should We Go Home", and the piece de resistance, the Ripperton take on "My Tree", which progresses from dense drums and foreboding trance riffs into soaring electro bass and epic indie guitars.
Review: Berlin has by turns been a minimal, dubstep and purist haven over the past decade, but the latest release from Ellen Alien hints at something dingier. Taking inspiration from the low-slung rhythms and tape hiss of L.I.E.S, the Bpitch boss contsructs a grungy, acid-caked groove on her own edit of "Free Nation". It's a similar tale on "Delta Zoo", where violent bass licks lurch under grainy riffs and crackling percussion. If Alien's edits represent Berlin's seedy side, then Thomas Muller's versions of both tracks imagines a modernist veision of the German capital. Booming drums and dramatic claps fuel this approach, but the murmuring vocals suggest something untoward still simmers beneath the surface.
Review: Following on from the release of their Dominonation album for BPitch Control back in January, Argy and Mama are given the remix treatment by two sizable names within the European house and techno fraternity. York's Hot Since 82 gets excitable with his version of "Recluse", starting out in a restrained late night fog before opening up with Mama's vocals and some choice tech house stabs that make all the right moves. Meanwhile Bloc Party front man turned house producer Kele Okereke has a jolly time whipping "Deep Found Vibe" up into a chord laden bouncer loaded with garage swing and an anthemic hook.
Review: Greek house auteur Argy has been through many faces and phases. From starting out on Poker Flat making some sweet minimal grooves, to stints making techno on labels like Ibadan to his pop inflected house tendencies of recent times. Now some tracks off his recent Dominonation album (in collaboration with vocalist Mama) on B Pitch Control get the remix treatment. Man of the moment Alan Fitzpatrick lends his hand to "Without Me" giving it just the right amount of attitude for those pre peak time moments. The Mike Starr remix of "Without Me" is pretty neat; a bass driven deep house workout that reflects his time honing his skills in NYC, London and now Berlin. Finally Keinemusik label boss Rampa's remix of "Who Am I" is the kind of dreamy and spiritual deep house reminiscent of Osunlade's Yoruba Records. Feel the vibe!