Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009: Five Mixes

The second part of our review of 09 focuses on the mixes. Compared to a decade ago, the volume of available downloadable mixes and podcasts has increased exponentially. With this increase in volume has perhaps come an increased disposability of music and I find I have a much shorter attentions span when listening to mixes than I used to. Looking through my podcasts on itunes, there's no less than twenty different subscriptions I have that I regularly check, not to mention feeds that feature mixes that don't crop up in itunes. So with such a huge volume of music, how is it possible to listen to and really appreciate what different people are doing? I find that I regularly ignore sets by artists I'm less familiar with, or give them the skip through rather than listen to the entire mix. I've missed some really good mixes this year doing this- Sigha's Hotflush podcast for example, which I've only just discovered.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Out of all the mixes I've listened to this year, and the list is by no means exhaustive, I've chosen five that I have listened to and enjoyed most often. I've tried to keep away from the best known artists and biggest mix series, as these are well known and documented. The mixes I've chosen have been selected as these mixes offered something that stood out from the crowd. In four cases, these were artists/DJ's I didn't know much about but found them a fantastic listen; in one case the mix just seemed to fit my mood at the time. All explored sounds that were on the edge of my radar and so were somehow educational as well as being an enjoyable listen. So here we go, in no particular order, MJ's top 5 mixes of 09:

Pendle Coven - Fact mix

Pendle Coven's FACT mix from March showcased dubby techno old and new founded on the unique gritty sound of Manchester's Modern Love Records. Some great tracks from the likes of Wax, Larry Heard, G-Man and Tres Demented, as well as a good dose from Modern Love and its sub-label Daphne. If this is your bag, Modern Love's showcase for XLR8R is also worth a listen.

SMA - Process 132 (The Lost Library)

This was the first mix i'd heard by SMA, but is only one of a whole string i've downloaded this year. The mix for Modyfier focused on slow house, but includes deep house, dubby, moody techno, and slowed down dubstep. Since this mix I've become a fan of Sebastian and his blog- check it out for more deep house mixes. A close second favourite from SMA is his slow techno mix Mars Rising, check that out here.

CB - Colony 006

Colony host some great parties down in London town that cross genres from techno to dubstep to IDM and d&b. The guys also have a series of mixes online for download that showcase their sound- this is my favourite of the series by CB, a deep dubstep mix. Colony have recently been featured in Random Circuits Random Residency as well, with a technofied dubstep mix by MB.

Pan Pot - Mobilee Podcast 008 : Day/Night

This mix came out at just as summer emerged in Cardiff, and fitted my mood perfectly. Apparently recorded poolside at Sonar, this two part mix for the Mobilee podcast starts with an hour of summery techhouse before moving into the early hours with a darker techy set from later in the evening. Some great tech tracks on there, but no tracklist I'm afraid.

Goldwill - HIAF Guest Mix 13

Ronan Fitzgerald's House is a Feeling blog has been quiet this year, but for a couple of mix releases, the best of which was this from Goldwill. Traversing dubby techno, deep and techy house and a bit of techno and starting off with the sublime Birds by John Daly and including Ribn's Ctrl on Styrax and the Daschund mix of Chaton, two of my favourite records of the year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

2009 : Five EP's & LP's

We've been a bit slow to compile our best of 09 lists, but better late than never... to kick off, MJ rounds up his best of 09 extended and long players:

Redshape - The Dance Paradox LP
Redshape has peeked out from behind his iconic red mask to release what could well be the album of the year in the shape of The Dance Paradox. Slower house and techno rhythms combine with classic detroit sounds in an album that looks to the future of techno while leaning heavily on its past.

Shackleton - 3 EP's
Again this year Shackleton has been at the cutting edge of the dubstep/techno crossover- his excellent 3 EP's on the mighty Perlon combined his experimental dubstep sensibilities with Berlin house and techno. A great release from a unique artist.

Ben Klock - One
Ben Klock's One is the first album from and of the the Berghain residents, and as you'd expect it's a techno album through and through. Any of these tracks could fit the Berghain floor, from ambient early evening experiments through flirtations with dubstepping rhythms to peak time action. Both the album itself, the precursor EP 'Before One' and the remix releases are well worth a listen.

2562 - Unbalance
Dave Huismans continued to explore the boundaries of house, techno, dubstep and garage this year, with great releases from his 2562 and A Made Up Sound aliasses. While AMUS explores the fusion of house and techno, 2562 produces more of a straight up dubstep sound- Unbalance, his second album, is perhaps lighter sounding than last year's Aerial and showcases a unique sound that combines layers of warm bass with gleaming synths and bursts of colour.

Moritz von Oswald Trio: Vertical Ascent
MvO Trio are Moritz Von Oswald, Vladislav Delay and Max Loderbauer who have performed together on numerous occasions as a live act. This EP is a showcase of the best of these live performances; each Pattern of between seven and fourteen minutes is an organic exploration of african rhythms, unruly synths and heaving percussion. There's so much depth in each track that this gives something new on each listen and as with most Moritz keeps you coming back for more.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

WAX..... On

Saturday 6th February @ Cardiff Arts Institute : WAX Launch Night

Line up






Wax is a new night supported by a community of music lovers that enjoy deep, dubbed out electronic music. Each month Wax will rotate and program a selection of artists and DJ's to provide a fresh alternative on underground dance music. Launching on Saturday 6th February with the founder of Vessel Music, Kit Grill. Gareth Potter of South Wales's much loved underground parties, Crunch alongside HotProperty, Oblique DJs and Dougie Fresh will also be at hand to get you into the groove. Forget fashion and fads, Wax is about expression, enjoying yourself, meeting people, sharing a good night and good old fashioned dancing.

Cardiff Arts Institute - Powered by Funktion1 Audio
29 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BA
£2/3 from 8pm

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Wednesday Mix Up

A selection of mixes that have been tantalising my ear'oles this month, there's some good stuff out there right now. As usual, a while range of mixes from the deep to the pounding:

Perc October Promo
I've been listening to this for a while now, and its another great techno mix from Perc that has a few dubsteppers thrown in for a good measure. Great tracks from Xhin, Denhert, Ruskin, Scuba, Dettmann and so on. Also worth checking is Perc's podcast for Clubbed Up, available through I Tunes.

Emptyset, who recently released a new album through Caravan Recordings, have had a superb mix hosted on Sonic Router and an in depth interview with the guys. Growing from the ambient Fennesz, through Mortiz and Villalobos into broken techno and gritty dubstep, This mix is one of my favourite mixes I've heard this year, really inspirational stuff. Contacting Emptyset after hearing it, they pointed us in the direction of a more recent DJ mix they've put together, which has a similar feel and equally wide range- AFX, Substance, Shed, Mills, A Made Up Sound, Seldom Felt, Radioslave..... the list goes on. Highly recommended.

SMA is another artist who has been a revelation this year. His Modyfier and Mars Rising mixes were expertly pitched mixes of slow house and techno. His latest is a deep house that includes John Daly's awesome Birds (anyone know where I can get this?), Delano Smith, Steffi, Soulphiction, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Baaz. Perfect for the walk to work I reckon.

As usual the Soma Podcast broadcasts warm up sets form the Sub Club, this time Slam's warm up for Anja Schneider in October. A nice, deep and dubby mix, mmmm yeah.... includes Jim Rivers remixed by Cardiff based DJ/producer Paul Lorraine.

Finally, for anyone who's missed these, Bodytonic has had some fantastic mixes of late. Samuel L Sessions delivers number 58 in the series- I was a ling time fan of SLS about 6 years ago, I think I've got a stash of his loopy funky techno records somewhere. Here he crafts a mix that moves at a fair pace from deep techno through to harder gear from the Berghain crew, great stuff and great mixing.

Also worth checking are Elemental's live set (a slightly hapier version of Shackleton?), Van Rivers techno workout (XDB, Dettmann, Gorman, Stott, Ruskin) and finally Carl Craig's Detroit inspiration mix.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Post-Decade:Dance comedown

Thanks to all who braved the Cardiff weather to come along to the Decade:Dance, we had a great time! Thanks to Chris Dorn and Potter for a DC10 flavoured hour, and to Matt Joy and Owain K for a superb back to back set of classic house and techno. Check out the photos below, and see you next time!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Decade:Dance 3. Eastgood Sound

Third in the series of Decade:Dance mixes - and the first from Thomas. Warming up to late-night Friday, listen to a sample of Ostgut material and some others recorded in Autumn 2008 in Berlin. From Ben Klock To Marcel Dettmann et al. Enjoy.

Eastgood Sound