Our next show will be broadcast live on http://www.hubradio.co.uk/ from 7PM on Thursday (tomorrow) evening. We’ll be pondering the excellent Big Chill line up, and will present a special selection of tunes from some of the names playing. Expect rare remixes that I guarantee you wouldn’t have heard before from Massive Attack and Martyn, with some stone cold classics thrown in from DJ Food, Theo Parrish, Appleblim, and Mixmaster Morris, plus the usual chat from Claude and myself in the Bristol Hub studio.
Big Chill will once again be set in the beautiful surroundings of Eastnor Deer Park, Hertfordshire, with a musical policy which transcends genres, delivering headline sets from Bonobo, Massive Attack, The Bug, and recent ninja tune signing Andrea Triana. Last year Marcus & Trufflehunter brought the electronic headplug radio show to Big Chillers listening in on Eastnor FM live and direct from the on-site studio – check photos of the weekend here.
1900 – 2100 / this Thursday / streaming live on http://www.hubradio.co.uk/
Other News – New show on FUTURE MUSIC RADIO !!!
I’m proud to say I’ll be starting an additional, less frequent special house/techno slot on the internet radio site FUTURE MUSIC, founded by the brilliant SHEFFIELD BLEEP. The roster of DJs on the station is pretty awesome, and includes MARK ARCHER (Alten8) and PLACID (Bristol under_score) amongst many others. I can’t wait to start and will let you know when my first broadcast is….
Vector Lovers – Long Wave ( Soma Records)
Daeja Sound – Kane’s Son (dub)
Gucci Vump – Sha Sti ( L- Vis 1990 remix)
Hodge – Conjecture (dub)
Andrea – You still got me (Daphne)
Vector Lovers – Crash Premonition (Soma)
Team Sleep – King Diamond (Maverick)
Pantha Du Prince – Lay in a Shimmer (Dial)
Funkstorung – A8 km34 (K7!)
Nauseous Youth Future – mbbdpp (Broken Fader Cartel)
global goon – craehrzhd (Balkan)
Autechre – Oval Moon (Warp)
James Holden interview
DJ KOZE – Bodenweich (Kompakt)
Bonobo – Eyes down – Appleblim & Komonazmuk rmx w / Andrea Triana (Ninja Tune)
Lawrence – Divided ( Ghostly International)
Kowton – Basic Music Knowledge (Idle Hands)
Mount Kimbie – William ( Tama Sumo & Prosumer remix) (Hot Flush)
The Other People Place – Eye Contact (Warp)
Mirko Loko – Love Harmonic (Carl Craig Soundscape mix)
Superpitcher – Tomorrow (Kaito remix) (Kompakt)
Deftones- Rocket Skates (M83 remix)
Marcus S in the studio with two hours of electronic / experimental music, classic acid from The Other People Place, techno from Superpitcher, Lawrence, and Carl Craig. . . with brand new remixes of Mount Kimbie and Bonobo, plus recent releases from Bristol’s Kowton, Cologne’s Pantha Du Prince, and Vancouver’s Daeja Sound. tune in on http://www.hubradio.co.uk from 7 – 9 PM .
135 MB / 1 hour 53 minutes / 192 kbps / stream recording
So Claude & I are on the home straight with the show, though I hope to continue it into the summer and next academic year. Last night went quite well, and we played out brand-spanking-new music from the likes of Efdemin, Ellen Allien, Bonobo, Caribou, and Four Tet, keeping to the show’s tradition with electronic and alternative music coming in equal helpings…. some bits here and there mixed in by Marcus on 2 x technics and a CDJ, gets a bit drill n bass flavoured towards the end with classic tunes from 2player, Enduser, and a track from the Echodub compilation from Autopilot. Recorded with Audacity off the stream > .WAV > 192 kbps mp3 download.
Appleblim – Vansan (Gatekeeper remix)
Jack Sparrow – Tormented
Millie & Andrea – Vigilance
Planetary Assault System – (Appleblim & Al Tourettes remix)
Untold – I can’t stop this feeling
Bonobo – Kiara
Samiyam – Fishsticks
Oneself – Be Your Own
Pariah – Detroit Falls
Caribou – Sun
Matias Aguayo – Minimal (Rossknecht Mix)
Telex – Raised By Snakes
Four Tet – Sing
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Ellen Allien – Our Utopie
Efdemin – Shoeshine
Mood II Swing – Move Me
Mirko Loko – Love Harmonic Soundscape (Carl Craig remix)
Mosca – Nike (Club Mix)
Roska – I Need Love
dBridge – Mr Malcontent
Starkey – Black Monolith
2Player – Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ remix)
Enduser – Another Door Opens
Autopilot – Once More (Echodub edit)
Next week, a very special guest interview with Border Community boss, and new K7 DJ KICKS star James Holden.
We first talked to James back at Glade 2008, since then he’s continued to push himself as one of the premier and most exciting British techno talents, having also released music from his pals Nathan Fake and Fairmont. His remixes – for everyone from Madonna to Mogwai – have assured his place on the forefront of the techno scene, both at home and abroad, with a worldwide tour shortly about to commence.
Tonight from 7 – 9 catch Claude & Marcus with new tunes from Samiyam, Efdemin, Ellen Allien, and M83. Streaming live from Bristol on http://www.hubradio.co.uk
Live on http://www.hubradio.co.uk from 1800 this Thursday – join Trufflehunter and I for a General Erection special. With serato hooked up to the technics we’ll be playing out a mixture of house, techno and dubstep, featuring all sorts of styles and speeds, old and new, dark and, er, cheerful. This is ahead of the Westworld Clubnight #2 I’m doing on next Tuesday evening where we will be offering DJ support to Idle Hand’s latest signing Kowton.
Thursday evening Claude & Marcus return to the Hub Radio studio for another show full of musical delights, with a special exclusive guest mix from the DUKE DUMONT. The tracklist includes some brand new remixes from the likes of Apparat, Four Tet, and a James Holden remix of Radiohead. Marcus has also got some fresh new music from Headhunter, James Blake, Mosca, Floating Points, and Bonobo.
The Electronic Headplug team will be down at Butlins this weekend, swimming and stuff. It’s officially sold out and it’s the biggest weekend of the year for British techno heads with legends like Ellen Allien, Marcel Dettmann and Derrick May making very rare appearances alongside domestic powerhouses Autechre, Kode9 and Suregon. All at Butlins.
To mark this special weekend Claude and Marcus will be presenting a special Bloc warm-up show from 7pm tomorrow evening (Thursday) live on http://www.hubradio.co.uk . Give us a listen, check out the website for contact details, ring, text, or IM in with your thoughts.
Two hours of electronic and experimental music from Claude & Marcus. Classics from Autechre, Burial,Squarepusher and Luke Vibert. Marcus S on the decks for a half hour mix of garage from the past and the future. MJ Cole and Smith n Mighty sit alongside brand new tunes from hot names like Untold, Roska, and Bristol’s Hyetal.
Click on the image to download the MP3…
Sully – Leaves
Joe – Grimelight
Burial – Archangel
Eric B & Rakim – Follow The Leader
Odd Nosdam – On
Squarepusher – Squarepusher Theme
Tom Vek – CC (Set the fire in me)
His Name Is Alive – Someday my blues will cover the earth (nonplace rmx)
instra:mental – watching you
Dimlite – Bourneville Chamber
*Marcus S in the mix*
Hackman – Pistol in your Pocket
J-Treole – The Loot (Sully rmx)
Hyetal & Shortstuff – Don’t Sleep
Four Tet – Love Cry (Roska Remix)
Smith & Mighty – B Line Bi Flow
MJ Cole – Sincere
Martyn – These Words (Roska Remix)
Untold – Bad Girls
The Field – Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Autechre – Basscadet
Remarc – Bad No Blood clart
DJ Numark – Hobo Melody
Millie & Andrea – Ever Since U Came Down
A Made Up Sound – Rework
Luke Vibert – Cash n Carry Acid
1. Intro / Traumatic Times – LD
2. Ikonika – Direct
3. Joker – Digidesign
4. Brackles – LHC
5. Mount Kimbie – Sketch on Glass
6. Prelude – Bookstore / Rain on a Skylight
7. Peverelist – Erstwhile Rhythm
8. Martyn – All I Have is Memories
9. Mr Lager – Tell Me
10. Jus Wan – Action Potential
11. Appleblim & Geiom – Shreds
12. Pinch – Battered
13. Mala – Lean FWD
14. 2562 – Lost
15. Martyn – Broken
16. Calenda – Forever
17. Darkstar – Need You
18. TRG – Missed Calls
19. Joy Orbison – HYPH MNGO
1. Appleblim & Peverelist – Circling
2. Kode9 & Spaceape – Fukkaz
3. TRG – Drum Tribe
4. Neil Landstrumm – Shit Daddy Bass (w/ Carlton Kilawatt)
5. Babylon System & Noah D – Examination Of Time
6. Komonazmuk – Miss Her
7. Mala – Bury the Bwoy
8. Pinch – Joyride
9. Ghislian Poirer – Blazin’ (Modeselektor remix)
10. 2562 – Basin Dub
11. Pangaea – Bear Witness
12. Data – Leaves
13. Sully – Reminder
14. Appleblim & Ramadanman – Justify
15. Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (unknown remix)
16. Joker & Ginz – Purple City
17. Rustie – Tempered
18. Daedelus – Touchstone
19. Aphex Twin – Leaves
20. Loefah – Mud
21. RSD – Energy
22. Jack Sparrow – The Chase
23. Sigha – On The Strip
24. The Bug – Jah Wars
25. Appleblim & Gatekeeper – Tomb VIP
26. Andy Stott – Drippin
27. Ramadanman – Carla
28. Millie & Andrea – Black Hammer
29. Ikonika – Phonelines VIP
Big up Daega Sound coming out of Vancouver BC for some sick dubby two step techno.
This is a mix they did a while back for Rob Booth’s show (Electronic Explorations) and its worth a d/l.
We’ll be back on the air Thursday and will start podcasts up again soon too . . .
Quite a few new things to report:
- My night with one of the boys from HIGHER GROUND is starting next month on Saturday 24th at Day & Night. Claude is also involved. Headhunter / Atki2 / [sic] / residents . Big line up showcasing the Bristol techno/house/dubstep sound.
- Radio show kicking off again very soon in a new slot Thursday evenings 18:00 – 20:00 . I’ve been working with the Hub Radio manager on the new studio location…Watch this space.
- Upcoming gigs for Marcus S :
Tuesday 22nd Sept – Bower Ashton Paint Jam
Thursday 24th Sept – Frenchay Campus – w/ Dave Pearce
Thursday 15th Oct – Live Broadcast on Brap.FM – guest on the Further Fluent show B2B w/ Trufflehunter
Thursday 22nd Oct – LAB, Broad st – w/ Silkie, Quest [Deep Medi]
Saturday 24 Oct – Day & Night, St Nicholas st – w/ Headhunter, ATKI2, Trufflehunter
Marcus S and the unofficial third member of the Electronic Headplug DJ team Trufflehunter (Higher Ground) rinsed an extended DJ set on Big Chill FM earlier this month at the festival site which saw other DJ sets from Kode9, MJ Cole, Shackleton, and many others. Spanning three hours, the B2B set saw fifty-something songs spinned in quick sucession, starting with deep house and merging into UK Funky, Two Step, Garage, Techno, and finally some filthy Dubstep – all genres which in my opinion come under the umbrella of BASS MUSIC.
Claude and Marcus’s radio show will return within the next few weeks on a new Monday night slot and a newly relocated studio here in Bristol.
Gigs info soon.
Dubloaded’s regular mid-week slot is irrelevant to its clientele, Pinch’s club night having hosted both Kode 9 and Martyn in recent months. The club’s regular sound system is reinforced as per normal, though the service of DJs who might be from further afield than the city’s ring road is not needed tonight. Forsaken and Kidcut are regulars on this circuit and the pair’s excitable performance is not wasted on the few who have made it in before 11pm. One tune is cut mid-chorus only for Forsaken to wipe the needle and casually re-assure the bemused audience that his actions will make it “sound much better.”
It’s this almost domestic enthusiasm for both sound systems and dubstep that, as epitomized at last week’s St Pauls Carnival, is central to Dubloaded and more broadly the Bristol dubstep scene. Tonight’s headliners Pinch and Peverelist, then, are surely two of the most pivotal figures involved, the latter to be found usually behind the desk at Rooted Records. From the body of a set mostly occupied by white labels, the dark, thick sound that Pinch has been pursuing since 2006’s ‘Underwater Dancehall’ contrasts deeply against Peverelist’s autonomy which holds techno more closely to its centre. The rhythms never fully transcend the 4/4 framework of the aftermentioned genre, though it’s only the delay and echo of dub, or the soulful vocals of a female MC that hold this ominous threat in balance. Martyn’s Vancouver sounds just as fresh and brilliant as it did when it was released almost two years ago, but whilst his recent visit showcased a set that encompassed other genres such as funky and bassline, the impression is that these two, and Peverelist in particular, will always stay set on a darker path more in tune with the constantly referenced and always attractive aura of Berlin.
The night’s showcase of local producers currently touring worldwide is completed by Joker and Ginz, and it’s clear within half an hour who obviously reigns this back to back set. If turn length was to decide who was to be perceived as tonight’s most significant and popular producer between the two collaborators, then Ginz needn’t apply – Joker’s reassurances that he’s going to drop just the one more tune before stepping back being culled from the most bedroom of DJ’ing ettiquete. It’s amusing to watch – and it might be unnecessary to say he didn’t do the same whilst sharing the same slot with Rustie and Hudson Mohawke as he did at this club 8 months ago. But since that night Joker’s sound has arguably surpassed that of his Glaswegan counterparts, and though tunes such as ‘Tempered’ and ‘Play Doe’ pay tribute to a circle of producers all very much on similar trips, the pair‘s ‘Purple City’ and the Joker tune on Pinch’s recent label compilation ‘Untitled RSN’ goes a step further in conjuring a technicolor, hazardous, and psychedelic sound. As Joker imitates the wild synth licks that frequently occupy his productions on an imaginary violin, the 10” serato controllers are exposed to frequent rewinds executed by other stage occupants if the DJs themselves aren’t obliging. It’s an atmosphere only possible at small, local nights such as these, that showcases a sound that, though imitated elsewhere, might be at its most vibrant in Bristol.
Been sat on this for a while – recorded a few weeks ago – serato + 1210s
Lots of my favourite dubstep from the last few years – some tracks you’ll definitely know from Kode9, TRG, Rustie etc – alongside some lesser known bangers from Milanese, Marcus Intalex, and Elemental. The first 15-20 minutes is slicing 4×4 dub techno – amazing 2562 remix of TVO, with some local bristol producers Headhunter and Appleblim too.
1. Benga – Zero M2 (Tempa)
2. Headhunter – Paragdim Shift (Tempa)
3. TVO – The Dark is Rising (2562 remix) (Simple)
4. Sideshow – If Alone (Appleblim & Komonazmuk remix) (Aus)
5. Stereotype – Jahman (G-Stone)
6. 2562 – Morvern (Tectonic)
7. Martyn – Vancouver (3024)
8. TRG – Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM Remix) (Hessle)
9. Geoim – Reminissin’ (Berkane Sol)
10. Headhunter – Your say (Tempa)
11. Martyn and Marcus Intalex – After seven (Revolver)
12. Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack (Martyn remix) (Warp)
13. Pinch – Get Up (Tectonic)
14. Pattie Blingh_And The Akebulan 5 – Brother: The Point (2562 Remix) (Ramp)
15. Zomby – Spliff Dub (Rustie rmx) (Hyperdub)
16. Kode9 – 9 Samuari (Hyperdub)
17. The Bug w/ Flow Dan – Skeng (Kode9 mix)
18. Modeselektor w/ Paul St Heliare – Let Your Love Grow (Bpitch Control)
19. Elemental – Raw Material (Hotflush
20. Milanese – Double Face (Planet Mu)
A couple of weeks ago Claude and Marcus went into the studio with two guests DJs Whatnot and Trufflehunter for a special B2B mixing session on the technics – and the show is now here for you to download in MP3 form.
Higher Ground has been resident of Portland Square’s underground venue/bar Cosies for over a year now, and brings the funk down on a bi-monthly basis – with big Bristol guests always heading the bill, and funk, soul, hip hop and reggae pertruding from the Friday night Bristol air. Whatnot and Trufflehunter themselves have been about Bristol for quite some time now and most recently featured on the DMZ / Skull Disco lineup at Motion skate park, rocking the outdoor terrace with some silly disco skills.
The two hour set here is a mix of warm-up ambient, breaks and hip hop, before things get a bit filthy about 45 minutes in and the dubstep / techno tip comes to the fore. All, of course, interspered with some lovely microphone work from Claude (and one or two technical glitches). Rare Flying Lotus bootlegs sit alongside classics from Leftfield, and of course some brand spanking new tunes from modern names like Ramadanman, Geiom, Appleblim, and so on. Bass from both local and far away lands – with four St Pauls DJs at the helm. Find the download link and tracklist in the playlists section. More updates concerning the show coming soon !!!
So, here it is : The first show of 2009 – more or less in mixtape format : Marcus returns to the studio, and with it the decks & mixer are put to good use. Brand new music from dubstep pioneer Mala, Ramadanman, Telefton Tel Aviv, Warp record’s Harmonic 313, Animal Collective, and Amon Tobin (Two Fingers). A rare bootleg white label from Flying Lotus. Some of the best tunes of 2008 from Martyn, Glasgow’s Rustie, Dj Paleface and Bristol’s Joker. Expect electronic, dub-tech, glitched out lushness along with some heavy bass.
Daedelus – Doorbell (Eastern Developments)
Daedelus – Girls (W/ Busdriver & Abstract Rude) (Plug Research)
Harmonic 313 – Cyclotron (Warp)
Flying Lotus – LTWXRMX(Warp)
Hudson Mohawke – Overnight (Warp)
Ramadanman – Carla (Hessle Audio)
Mille & Andrea – Sample Clearance (Daphne)
Shut Up and Dance – Epileptic (Martyn’s No Strobe Mix) (Shut Up And Dance Records)
Scientist – Laser Attack (Greensleeves Records)
Mala – Miracles (Deep Medi Musik)
Joker – Grimey Princess (Earwax)
Rustie & Joker – Play Doe (Kapsize)
Rustie – Tempered (Kapsize)
Daedelus – Touchstone (Ninja Tune)
Dj Paleface – Do You Mind (Crazy Cousins Mix) (Maximum Bass)
Kode9 & LD – 2 Bad (Hyper Dub)
Daedelus – Sundown (Ninja Tune)
Peverlist – Clunk Click Every Trip (Punchdrunk)
TRG – Put You Down (Ramadanman Refix) (Hessle Audio)
Calenda – Forever (Heavy Artillery)
Two Fingers – What You Know (W/ Sway) (Big Dada)
Animal Collective – Daily Routine (Domino)
Telefon Tel Aviv – The Birds (Bpitch Control)
Below are some of Marcus’s thoughts on his favourite releases of 2008 – 12″s, LPs, and remixes. Some of them are well enough known – You’d have done well to escape the hype surrounding Flying Lotus this year – but others, such as Sten, the Long Lost, and Headhunter – you might be less familiar with. In no particular order . .
The Long Lost – Luckiest Charm 12” (Ninja Tune)
Finally, and at last, Daedelus’s project with wife Laura Darlington on vocals came to fruitation this year with a 12” featuring the two lead songs from an LP which was long ago recorded and finished – with two Flying Lotus remixes on the flipside. The Art Of Kissing is unmistakably West Coast, psychedelic, sunny, and before you have time to glimpse at pictures of the pair and their unmistakably blissful air of melancholy you’ll already be in love. The artwork, lyrics and title of Luckiest Charm all tie in to form a romantic allegory that’s both touching, quaint, and unmistakably Daedelus – or should that be Darlington. If only we were all so lucky in our quest to please our heart’s longing.
Andy Stott – Unknown Exception (Modern Love)
Listening to 2006’s Merciless, the signs of Andy Stott’s potential were obvious, and anyone who witnessed, as I did, his appearance at the following year’s Sonar Festival in Barcelona, would have found themselves only more intrigued. Tracks like Florence demonstrated an uncanny talent for techno with a sentimental air – similar to that of Lawrence/Sten, whose Dial Records has done much to shape the innovative streak shown in the techno of the last few years which keeps headphone listening primarily in mind. So, then, a few years later, and a long series of 12”s on the Modern Love label confirmed Stott’s place alongside Claro Intelecto as being two of the biggest names in dub techno. With every new production their sound mutated and grew to new heights and senses of subtlety. The Resident Advisor podcast of 2007 remains my favourite to date and is an hour’s worth of deep, widescreen techno, best enjoyed on a train ride in content solitude.
Unknown Exception may only be a collection of these already released tracks, but put into LP form they, as mentioned, transcend the dance floor format of most techno and become a piece of work with a body that is whole and complete. Replace and Credit in particular retain an industrious aesthetic of cold, hard drums, best associated with his native Manchester. Yet he manages to transcend these sterile notions with some of the most heart warming, sentimental and emotional piano and synth melodies you’re likely to hear in a genre more used to 12”s being handled by DJs rather than romantics.
Appleblim / Peverelist – Soundboy 12” 2008 releases –
Soundboy’s Ashes Get Hacked Up and Spat Out in Disgust
Soundboy’s Suicide Note (Skull Disco)
Underlying the aggressive, Ralph Steadman-esque artwork of these two most recent 12” releases is the genre-defying quality of the work that exhibits outstanding subtlety from both producers Shackleton and Appleblim. Indeed, before the beat kicks in on both sides of ‘Soundboy’s Ashes’ you would be excused for thinking the two tracks were the ambient works of a melancholy and pacifying quality, the nostalgic synth of ‘Over Here’ signalling the beginning of something almost romantic. Yet the two (and Shackleton’s tracks in particular) retrace their steps to an all more disturbing and unsettling sound – with surely *thee* dirtiest bass heard in 2008 on ’Circling’, before the final few minutes revert to a blissful sound more akin to the works of Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series. Accomplished, professional, yet raw and unnerving – the intricate drum programming of Shackleton’s Shortwave rushes through a six minute shit storm of ferocious drumming before you have time to make sense of it all. A recent gig in Bristol confirmed that the man is as physically in touch with his music as it sounds – furiously swaying in time whilst simultaneously having a go at the sound engineer to turn it up. Soundboy’s Ashes contained my two most played songs of the year, with both truly outstanding artwork and a memorable title to boot.
Martyn / Marcus Intalex – After Seven 12” (Revolver)
It would be easy to single out Martyn’s Broken Heart remix for TRG as maybe the track of the year, but then again the Ramadanman refit of Put You Down is exemplary rather than exceptional, and if this is about releases rather than songs, it’s Martyn’s collaboration with Marcus Intalex which remains the most resounding. On first listen, the three collected tracks sound clumsy, hastily finished and mute. But the more you listen, the more the two separate influences of these great individual produces become obvious and imminent – On Storm Watch, the intricate drum programming is blatantly that of drum and bass kingpin Intalex. The piano strokes are only an accompaniment to the general make up of the track, before the chord progression strikes and it all falls into place – a method of song structure that would be very familiar to fans of Martyn’s dubstep productions – and indeed Broken Heart in particular. On the other side After Seven sounds like any other echo filled dub tune before the rhythm releases deep, shifting tones and a stomping beat. JW on a Good Night lightens up things somewhat but remains progressive in its connotations for two producers of conflicting styles. Sure, Martyn used to make drum and bass tunes, but ask any of the fans he’s made in the last year and they would swear he’s been working on perfecting his dub tech style his whole life. One of the most unique releases of 2008 right here – and probably one of the only things my radio co host / housemate didn’t mind me rinsing the shit out of time and time again.
2562 – Aerial (Tectonic)
Hailing from The Hague in Netherlands, it wasn’t until I was in line at passport control in Schlipol Airport last autumn that it dawned on me just how much I liked this album. The stern, formal action of queuing was unable to keep me from bopping away like someone who had just arrived in a club and was finding their way about. 2562 uses skeleton dub rhythms and then combines them with deep, intricate production and sampling more akin to the deeper sound of IDM or electronica. His recent side project A Made Up Sound demonstrates these qualities more clearly, but it’s on Aerial that the producer breaks the mould of dubstep, making tunes that certainly don’t sound like they could be made in five minutes as many of the genre’s pedants would have it. ‘Morvern’ and ‘Moog Dub’ are moody, brooding statements of intent from Dave Huismans, the former mustering up an air of the exotic with its bird call samples Combined with more minimal, intended-for-DJ-play tracks like “Basin Dub”, and the fact this came out on Pinch’s Bristolian label Tectonic, Aerial was one of the most forward looking LPs of the year.
Flying Lotus – Los Angeles (Warp)
Much has been said and written about Flying Lotus since the release of his Warp EP over a year ago. Many accused the basis of the album’s aesthetic values to be that of a rough, incomplete and unfinished producer for whom making beat tapes meant a likening for quantity over quality. But for anyone who has followed his rise since 2006’s
album, 1983, Los Angeles was nothing but a qualified and logical step of progression in his sound. His LP release for Plug Research opened with the hazy, disorientating sounds of the ambient title track, and ‘Brainfeeder’ repeats this trend albeit in a much more confident and coherent way. It’s these very same trademark productions that were at first steadily discounted – a dislike for quantization, a rough, unfinished sounding bass, and clumsy song structure – that quickly became the common sounds for a wider group of producers who came to the fore during 2008 – Glasgow’s Lucky Me crew (Rustie, HudMo, et al ) being amongst them.
Neil Landstrumm- Lord for £39 (Planet Mu)
If anyone could please make sense of the cover then hook me up with an explanation. Surely the best and most comprehensive electronica release on Planet Mu of 2008. I would dare say Neil Landstrumm is a man who enjoys his own company, and that you can tell by this record. It’s not his blatantly Scandanavian exterior that betrays such an influence in his personality – though he looked quite the beard-scratcher at a recent gig in Bristol, surrounded by drum machines, synths and sequencers – but instead the harsh, unforgiving sound of Lord For £39 that, though still based on a similar sound to Restaurant of Assassins – expands and varies on it greatly. Old Rabbits sounds like it’s been taken as a sketch from the Analord series, fed uppers that have been cut with headache pills and ushered on into a bloody fist fight – with Rustie and Si Begg watching his back the whole time.
Headhunter – Nomad (Tempa)
The young Bristol producer has seen his bookings expand to the worldwide market since the release of this highly entertaining and varied LP. Finely treading the line between dub tech and dubstep, this release defies genres and undermines their importance as a reference.
Sten – The Essence (Dial)
The only reason this isn’t higher up the list is because I’m much, much more fond of his productions under the Lawrence alias. With Sten, he tears apart all notions of the experimental in terms of electronic music as an art form, and instead fuses together pure dance-floor focused minimal fury. The Essence is a grower – the more you listen, the deeper and more intricate it appears and sounds – a tone shift here, the smallest of changes in the high hat there – amplified to great effect. It’s one of those albums that you wouldn’t recommend as a starting point for someone unfamiliar with techno. I think an analogy I swear to god I made up in one of my dreams is most valid here – Introducing a techno newbie to The Essence would be like trying to tempt a vegetarian with Panda meat.
I will stop myself there.