Review: Ricardo Villalobos remixes Deardrum from Alejandro Mosso's album Isolation Diaries, recently released on hi-tech soul merchants Third Ear. Villalobos worked up a 40 minute jam from this nine minute section, which moves from a gentle pattering of sounds into a full on Villalobos style groove; taut and slinky at the same time, but irresistibly funky. The jam then subsides into chattering noises before the groove begins again. Burnt Friedman's remix of "Isolation Diaries" is a slow burning/super funky jam with classic dub elements you've come to expect from the German artist: laced through the track together with a twisted and phased melody. The closing track from the album "Mounivers" completes this fine release.?
Review: It's been six years since US producer Alland Byallo's debut album was released, but not much has changed. That's not necessarily a bad thing; the former San Francisco resident excels at making soft-focused, organic electronic music and Bones Flesh is full of such moments. From the hazy ambience of "Looking Long" through the mushy chords and melodies of "Sah" and into the blissed out "Fool Me Twice", Byallo's second album is full of seductive, melodic textures. That's not to suggest that he shies away from the dance floor - as the warbling synths and rubbery groove of "Beguine" and the drunken bass of "Singularity" both demonstrate - but this album's real strengths lie in the blurred sound scapes and murmuring vocals of "Periphery" or on the haunting chord sweeps of "Tomb Tomb".
Review: The first Brinkmann release in three years under his own name finds him in decidedly playful form. Opening track "Tt" has a jittery rhythm and a sense of urgency thanks to its grinding bassline and trancey chord sequences. "On Edge" is even clubbier; behind a buzz saw bass that grinds, builds and drops there lurks a stop-start, abstract rhythm. Guy Martin also shows what happens when Brinkmann gives full vent to his melodic side. "Blackhill" is a gloriously mellow, melodic arrangement, its kooky hooks unfolding over gentle broken beats, but with the kind of processed clicks and whirrs that defines every Brinkmann release.
Review: With his preferred tools of a 707 and a Nord Modular, Benjamin Brunn is unquestionably devoted to the out-of-the-box approach, but fortunately for him it has been many a year his fluid and exploratory sound has emanated from Hamburg, the place he calls home. As such, an album such as A Sun Life gives new light to the possible places you can go with such tried and tested sounds as these. Expect brave forays into the unknown as the album progresses past lively and colorful techno into such beatless dubby space as exhibited by "Pankhom Memories" with its pneumatic bass hits and gently building percussive harmonies, moving through distinguished key changes and dynamics that require the most wisened of touches. "ISS" is similarly bold in an entirely different way, oozing refinement as a single synth fills the dynamic range with an engrossing melodic progression. If there was any proof needed that Brunn's employment of old-skool hardware is rooted in something deeper than hype, it would be in the quality of production on the whole album. There's never a moment of distortion or fashionable scuffing, instead aiming for quite a pristine end result (albeit more attractive than a similar end pursued without the benefit of analogue gear). It's quite refreshing to hear a distinct lack of tape hiss behind the gorgeous swathes of synthesiser and machine beats, whether they intone a dancefloor message or extol an experimental virtue.
Review: Motor City techno legend Alan Oldham returns as DJ T-1000 and he's right at home here for British hi-tech soul merchants Third Ear. The guy behind such seminal imprints as Generator is in fine form and flying the flag for the timeless sounds from The Motor City: techno the right way! Starting out with the straight ahead, self aggrandizing groove of "1 Liquid Metal (Acid version)" which repeats the man's name continually, there's also "Shapeshifter" or "Air Berlin" which respectively are tough and funky: more reminiscent of the artist's classic sounds when he was formerly known as X-313 or The Neon Sex Fiend. The emotive "Marina 2" is the deepest and most uplifting offering on here and closes out the EP in nice style. Another fine release by techno's 'Renaissance Man'.
Review: One of the tracks from Lincoln Prevost's Ash release from last year gets the remix treatment. French house producer Dan Ghenacia delivers an offbeat groove littered with oddball vocal samples, while his colleague Shonky's approach is far darker and more jacking, led by powerful bass licks and an insidious vocal sample. The best versions of "Allez Ally" come from the author himself; the original version is a tripped out affair featuring a hypnotic organ solo, while the 'Deptford Dub' sees Prevost strip the groove back and introduce a series of subsonic bleeps that will floor even the most discerning club.
Review: What will this kid come up with next? Following a groundbreaking two tracker on Hyperdub and a melodic house remix of the Hundred in the Hands on Warp, Kyle Hall returns with the Must See EP on UK house label Third Ear. The title track maintains the raw vibe that Hall brings to his productions - be it jazz, house or dubstep - with an oh-so Detroit bassline, swirling synths and catchy claps. "Ghosten" sounds like an ode to someone or something lost, and shows Hall is just not all carefree enthusiasm - he knows how to get melancholic too. "Osc_2" keeps it restrained but with a shuffling high hat and hint of squelchiness in the bassline - it's tense and foreboding stuff - while "Body Of Water" rounds off the EP in a brilliant manner. Simply put, the Must See EP is a must listen.
Review: British imprint Third Ear drop this ace EP of "re-imagined" classics from the label's back catalogue. The headline track here is Rabih Beaini's Upperground Orchestra remix of Theo Parrish's "Falling Up" - the cosmic jazz outfit have remade the classic from the ground up, recording a new version live in Italy earlier this summer. "Falling Up" of course has already been on the receiving end of one of the most revered remixes of the past decade from Carl Craig and is quite the dusty, quantize shy delight in original form too. The Orchestra's contribution to Third Ear Re-Imagined follows the recent release of The Eupen Takes, a six track live album released on Beaini's own Morphine Records. The producers involved in this project were given the opportunity to select their favourite tracks from the Third Ear catalogue to remix; Red Rack'em chose one of his all time favourites in Ibex's 2008 beatdown cut "Spiritual War", while XBD has taken on Benjamin Brunn's kick drum shy "No Kicks". Dummy and left_blank producer Lorca - who remixed Recast's "Consensual" for Third Ear in 2011 - decided to remix Pirahnahead's underrated "Self Conscience". Class all round.
Review: Manuel Gonzalez has put out a diverse range of music, but this release for Third Ear is his most out there venture to date. "Fiber" is little more than a series of pitch-shifting tones, held together in the loosest sense by jarring rhythms, while "Meanwhile" is more subdued, its dubby beats seeing Gonzalez at his most laid back. The other tracks sit at opposing ends of the US producer's sound palette: "Extort" is a grainy banger, its rolling drums and stomping beats sitting somewhere between Omar S and Purposemaker, while "Mask" is a beautiful house groove, its chiming melodies unfolding over a fragile rhythm.