Thursday, 29 October 2009

Thurday Mix Up

A few sets that have been on my ipod recently. A real mix of moods, from laid back electronica to full on techno:

Oliver Deutschmann mix for keep-it-deep
Just found this one, a really deep mix by the Vidab man and there's an interview in German for anyone fluent enough on the keep-it-deep blog. I couldn't understand a word, but the mix speaks for itself- deep house and techno all the way.

Kowton's Blackdown mix:
Is this dubstep for house heads, or house for dubsteppers? Either way Bristolian Kowton seems to have developed a unique sound, a slow, dark and groovy take on dubstep.

Phillip Sherburne's Unsound 2009 mix:
Now this is a beauty, a mix of as many artists from the Unsound festival as could be squeezed into 97 minutes. This mix combines live/traditional mixing and Ableton sequencing in a really innovative way- you can read all about the process over at Modyfier here. Not knowing much electronica, this eclectic mix was a real eye opener as much as anything else- really worth a listen.

Surgeon Bunker podcast:
Over three hours long, and featuring an eclectic range of records, this is one of my favourite Surgeon mixes. Recorded live from the Bunker, Surgeon really programmes the builds and drops nicely through a mix of rock hard techno that features a few unexpected tracks and a few classics.

Max Cooper Modyfier mix:
A second Modyfier mix, this time from Max Cooper. Max is definitely an emerging talent to keep an eye on. His take on techno combines Border community leftfield-ness with some progressive minimalism to great effect.

And a few others I'm sure everyone's seen but just in case they've been missed the following are well worth a look: The fantastic Sandwell District RA podcast, Shed's dubby, bass heavy Wax treatment podcast and Delta Funktionen's October promo mix.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

An interesting article on two decades of clubbing in Berlin was featured in the Guardian this week, it's well worth a read if anyone's interested in the history and diversity of the city's nightlife- featuring Berghain, Haus Schwarzenberg, Volksb├╝hne and so on. Find it here.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Vinyl Only #5 : Shackleton - 3 EP's

Shackleton has been responsible for some of the most startling links between techno, electronica and dubstep. Skull Disco's compilation 'Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated by Vandals' was my soundrack to winter 2008; the sparse ethnic-influenced rhythms, massive sub-bass and arctic synthlines combined into a perfectly miserable accompaniment to the darkening of days. So much did I enjoy this unique, otherworldly sound that Shackleton was one of my 'must see's' at Freerotation, but playing after 2562's peak time, floor destroying set, his performance left me intrigued and sonically challenged, but mostly uncomprehending of what I had heard. This extended release sheds light on his set that night and the evolution of his uniquely bleak sound.

After the death of Skull Disco and relocation to Berlin, Shackleton has released little new material, but instead has released several killer remixes including a sublime take on Moderat's 'Rusty Nails'. The Three Ep's release (Shackleton's first album or three independent EP's?) on the much respected Perlon shows a marked move away from the dancefloor and a focus on electronic experimentation, resulting in a beautifully dark melancholic sound described on RA as forays into "the fathomless nether-regions of dark, leftfield computer music."

Listening to opening track "[No More] Negative Thoughts" all the trademarks of previous Shackleton material are present: a sparsely minimal and atmospheric arrangement, ethnic toms, reverberant spoken vocals, all underpinned by deep bass and soul-less synth stabs. These dark themes continue through "Asha in the Tabernacle", "It's time for Lone" and "Moon over Joseph's Burial", two tracks that drone and whisper unceasingly and slightly scarily.

'Let's Go' steps up a gear, as the title would suggest. A wondering 'get-up-and-dance' bassline underpins explorations of the ethnic material that made early Shackleton material so interesting- vocal chanting, clipped horns, reverb, reverb, and more reverb, topped with plenty of whistling, pinging and clattering. The fittingly titled 'Mountains of Ashes' has a rumbling, earthquake inducing sub-bass that would reduce all before it to rubble, with an ever growing and changing smattering of eastern influenced percussion. 'Trembling Leaf' takes a Burial-esque approach with cut up and seemingly petrified vocal snippets over intricately programme rhythms.

The final tracks see Shackleton leave any dancefloor tendencies (if there are any in this release) well and truly in the distance for some of the darkest industrialised leftfield experiments I've heard. 'There's a slow train coming' really rumbles out of your speakers with skittery off kilter bass and rhythm accompanied by the darkest oscillating synthline in existence. Prize for the scariest track on the release goes to 'Something has got to Give', an all enveloping and morose track that is restrained from the suicidal by occasional bursts of metallic rhythm. This really is something that would kill your Granny.

For me, this release by one of the most interesting producers out there at the moment sees him letting go of the shackles (see what I did there) of the dancefloor and exploring the agitated and restless contrast between his trademark sounds: the most pure black, suicide inducing and otherworldly atmospheric soundscapes fight throughout with skittering, wandering ethnic influenced percussion that pull the sound back from the edge, all underpinned by rumbling bass. This album will certainly be my soundtrack to the long winter nights this year, and all I can say is bring on the cold.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Laurent Garnier, Layo and Bushwacka, at Shake It! Southwark, London

Resident Advisor review of the Garnier night now online... a five star night.

Shake It! Featuring Laruent Garnier

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Thanks, Laurent Garnier. Seen at Shake It! London, October 3 2009.

I had my faith in the London techno scene restored over the weekend. I saw Laurent Garnier at Shake It! in Southwark, reviewing for Resident Advisor. And suffice it to say until the review is published, the night was good. Very good.

Thanks, Laurent Garnier.

I think these pictures say something, as well. Keep an eye on the blog for when the review is out.

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's October now, and we are very excited to have Chris Box travelling from London to come play at Oblique. We met Chris at the Freerotation Festival in August, invited him, and he's just said yes - so, expect cutting edge techno and house from the Runsounds man, who's just off to Berlin for the Netaudio Festival and when back, he's heading to Cardiff to come join us.

Potter, MJ+Thomas provide the support...

24 October at Undertone, 10FeetTall, Cardiff Church Street
£4, £3nus

We hope to see you there...

About Chris Box:
As dj and promoter of run, Chris Box has played alongside internationally renowned artists such as Zip, Jay Haze, Philip Quenum, Pheek, Andy Vaz, Geoff White and a host of others as well as introduced other acts from across the world (Barem, Ben Parris, Fusiphorm, Cabanne, Jeff Samuel, Johan Skugge and Someone Else) to London.

Although he started off chopping & cutting up techno & electro at warehouse & outdoor parties across London & Europe in the 90s with Sonic Sound System playing at teknivals and festivals alongside the likes of Desert Storm, Mutoid Waste etc., recent years have seen the bpms drop & the music get deeper and more stripped down.

Having always been into the more experimental and sparse elements of electronic music (from the early jackin Chicago trax to the tweaked acid of Plastikman and DBX via early Warp bleeps) it has been a natural progression of style and aesthetic from the early years to today.

Aside from run, he’s pushed his mutant strains of techno & house at various nights & events across London and the UK. In addition to playing locally, his record bag has also taken him further afield with regular trips to Berlin and to Brazil.