Monday, 2 November 2009
New arrivals to banish boredom
Recently I've found that I've been a bit bored. I've not bought much music for the past few months, and what I have bought has been from beyond my normal boundaries or it's been older tracks that I've been after for a while. I don't know why I've suddenly lost interest. Maybe its an autumn thing? I always find that my tastes tend towards a darker more atmospheric sound as winter draws in; perhaps its the start of this transition? Or maybe everything has gone a bit stale?
Well, having been at a musical loose end, in the last week or so i've found a few things that have started to draw me from my sleep. Most of these have been genre-defying treats that step beyond their boundaries to deliver something fresh, something new that pricks up the ears, but also draw on classic sounds and re-interpret tried and tested formula.
Redshape's Dance Paradox LP on Delsin looks from first impressions like it will be one of my albums of the year. Drawing on his unique retro sci-fi sound (if such a think can exist), the album delivers 8 mid-tempo tracks that draw inspiration from 90's techno, reworked in his inimitable style. Stand out tracks for me are album closer 'Dark & Sticky', a Workshop/Dettmann-esque crunchy slow shuffler and the broken beat, dub chord-ridden 'Man out of time'.
The return of the excellent Random Circuits blog (with added redesign) has brought some welcome treats. RC have had a series of deeper than deep guest mixes in the past that included podcasts by Taron Trekka, Vince Watson, Baaz, Langenberg, Anonm and my favourite from Rising Sun. Their rebirth has seen the launch of a new series called the Random Residency, designed to showcase residents from interesting clubnights. The first from Noah Gibson, author of The Futurist blog and resident at The Office in Stockholm is a Berghain influenced techno mix and interview.
The second features MB, resident at Colony, one of the most interesting nights currently running in London. The line ups at Colony are always eclectic, covering techno, dubstep, d&b and IDM- recent nights have hosted Noah Gibson, MLZ, Braiden, Chris Box, Untold.... and their next two parties see Perc, Kevin Gorman, Millie & Andrea and Ben UFO playing! Hmm, I think I might have to pop along to one of those- there's a couple of potential Oblique targets on that list... Colony have in the past hosted a superb series of resident mixes on their myspace, and MB's mix continues that trend- starting with dubby techno from Demidike Stare and Brendon Moeller and tech-stepping from Scuba towards Surgeon, this is an inspirational mix. Also worth a look is a mix by RC new boy Nihal Ramchandani, a grooving dubstep/deep house/techno mix.
Finally, a FACT article caught my attention this week- following on from their industrial-sounding Mnml Ssgs mix and the release of AM04, FACT have a lengthy interview with Ancient Methods. Although often too heavy for my ears, this interview suggests that maybe its not such a bad idea to look to the past for inspiration, that to be constantly searching for the new is not the only approach to music. Techno seems to be rediscovering its history- you only need to check out recent releases such as James Ruskin's Outsider to hear the early techno influence.
And I think that is what i'm feeling at the moment, and what all the items i've mentioned here suggest: Maybe it's ok that there's no 'next big thing' emerging to bring me from boredom. At the end of a decade, perhaps it is time to look back and to reflect on the legacy of electronic music, and let that influence the future.