Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Out on a Limb, 1

Good piece at from PC at mnmlssgs on favoured recent releases, all three of them: John Maus' We Must Be The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves, Kangding Ray's OR, and Tim Hecker's Ravedeath 1972. The limit's a good thing, much better than your standard December top ten. More of a stand from PC, and easier to engage fully with.
I've not properly heard the John Maus - a quick scan on the computer last night, which revealed... something of genuine interest and invention. Definitely linked with the bleaker, goth-tinged end of seventies synth pop, but not tied to that. Christo at Mind Bomb was baffled by its success:
It seems just like synth waves hypnagogic retromania (sic) for 80s synth pop done by a guy brought up listening to indie music. “Streetlight” has some lovely synths, but the singing just isn’t up to it, while “Quantum Leap” (also known as “Dead Zone” is just a hidden cover of Mission of Burma’s “Academy Flight Song” done with a vocal delivery somewhere between Ian Curtis and Suicide.
which led to my lack of interest, but I will give it a proper go. Also interesting to see the launch of a new book on Maus - Adam Harper's Heaven is Real: John Maus and the Truth of Pop for Sale at The Wire Bookshop.

PC quoted Badiou which certainly resonates with my feelings, and links with much of what's been argued on the lack of adventure in much contemporary music by the likes of Simon Reynolds and Stefan Goldmann:
The audacity of thought is not to repeat 'to the limit' that which is already entirely retained within the situation which the limit limits; the audacity of thought consists in crossing a space where nothing is given.(emphasis mine)

And here's what I said about Tim Hecker:

Tim Hecker seems to be doing this with Ravedeath. Given his previous dissatisfaction with his work as Jetone and the need to work away from rhythmic structures, he's clearly an artist intent on challenging himself. As I wrote for RA, An Imaginary Country offered little beyond a retread of what he'd been doing since Haunt Me..., so he needed a rethink, and found it in Ben Frost. The point you make about time is pertinent here - the tracks seem to snake, swell, bloat, empty, divorced from any sense of strict timekeeping. This reminded me of VDelay's Anima. Pieces within suites bleed into eachother, as do the suites themselves, almost organically. If he's saying anything about the current state of things its that machines have lives of their own (clearly a Frost influence), with the fusion of instrumental and electronic timbres more fused than ever (without completely erasing themselves). Also he's feeding us our own thoughts with titles like 'Hatred of Music' and even the album title, and it sounds lovely! Worth hearing Janek Schaeffer's organ electronics album In the Last Hour for Room 40 alongside, it too is a doozy.

... and Kangding Ray:
I find Kangding more difficult, as he's working from within a predefined genre, and one I'm not personally fond of, and he offers little in terms of breaking out of it. There's no denying the depth and richness of the sounds he uses, which reminds me of a more musical Monolake, with more acoustic tones, but beyond this what does it offer or question? Good to hear voices creep in, but its done in just the way that artists like Burial and Actress have done previously (albeit more sparingly). Yes, he'd be great to hear live and loud, but beyond sound design I'm not sure what he's giving us.

PC has commented that OR is like a culmination of a genre, and also a true album statement, both of which I'd agree with. The former doesn't interest me so much, given my personal distaste for IDM-tinged techno (just can't enjoy that drum programming) but the latter is something at least - OR does proceed like an album in the traditional - almost retro - sense, something rhythmic electronic music has always struggled with. But beyond this...? I'm not so sure.

The genre question is one PC touches on too with regard to house and techno - that maybe all the experimentation and novelty was done by the early nineties, something I'd agree with. Also hinted at is the prospect of an examination of the return of microhouse:
Then there's the 'second coming' of microhouse, with new work from so many of my old heroes (call it Perlon and Playhouse, Kompakt and Krause... and Dial). Are the many returns happy? I think a whole post on Pampa and Re|dial (as the 'houses' of all the microhouse refugees) is warranted. I'm not sure I quite have the interest.

I hope he does, but not sure what can be said on the subject. My view is that all these labels and artists are treading well worn paths, tweaking things slightly, making slight improvements, but doing nothing new, and I mean NOTHING. Deep house in particular, the 'proper' US variety, seems overtly retro in its pursuit of indeterminate soulfulness and its championing of vinyl (something I'm guilty of), reminding me - unpleasantly - of retro jazzbos.

I still buy tons of it. More from me on this later.

For Part 2 I'll highlight my picks for the year so far, those that seem to be doing something new, addressing the strange world we find ourselves in, in line with the electronic focus of the mnmlssgs selections. Not so easy...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Internet Voids

When I used to work in classical music retail (2003-7) it wasn't always easy to find references to specific recordings on the interweb, particularly if it was old vinyl. Then, such absences were frustrating, and such was my faith in the web's omniscience that it had me doubting the existence of the real object (cue dismissive attitude to eager customer). Now if such a thing occurs it's so rare as to be exciting, discovering a fissure in the system, and seems somehow subversive, illegitimate, spectral... There's a covert pleasure to holding something in your hand which does not (yet) exist in webworld: music not downloadable, books not for sale, events unmentioned, photographs not jpegged... The 'Universal Library/Celestial Jukebox/Datacloud' is constantly expanding, almost faster than history is moving, and one shudders at the thought of it somehow someday eclipsing its real shadow, but for now these gaps remain.

Simon Reynolds speaks on this in Retromania:
...'Everything that has ever happened is available, all at once, all around us'... a vast cultural database containing every book and magazine article ever written, in all languages, and eventually every movie/TV programme/cultural artifact EVER.
But these cracks are being covered over, the Wikipedia/Googlemaps/Ebay/Discogs/Amazon steamroller streamrolling unstoppably onwards, ensnaring all of cultural history within its web. Strange too that the ensnaring is done largely and willingly by us, driven by a stupid self-willed urge to catalogue.

A recent record shopping expedition turned up a few unmentioned relics: some mail order classical releases with surprisingly high-calibre personnel involved; a French-issued Satie LP, reissued on CD but this pressing a mystery; John Field on an unknown and unrepresented Irish label. Struck by their online absence, I instinctively went for a camera to photograph and document, to 'put right'. Why? What forces us to add to the completion of the online archive? I have them right before my eyes! I can listen to the grooves! There is absolutely no need for mp3 versions or jpegs of album covers!

We should clutch at these occurrences as they won't last. We are experiencing this void. It will be filled.

Needless to say the voids I discovered will remain voids (and I urge others to keep discoveries of similar voids to themselves), but here's what I found that was legitimate:

One of Karajan's numerous adagio collections

Boulez doing Ravel vocal

Looks like a fifties country singer of the Chet Atkins/Eddy Arnold type

Tired Chopin hits

Steal - early modern masters for $2

Nice - pastoral English music with more bite than I'd expected

Pretty-but-spineless flute bonbons

Like Greensleeves, yet part of an old record club incompletely detailed online. Note the eighties wine bar font

The Argo logo here resembles Kompakt's Auftrieb. I like that this advertising photograph by professional online record dealer is so obliterated by easily avoided glare

Snappily-dressed Hungarians play Schubert (very well). They're in casual attire on the back, but as it's not online you'll have to track down the record to see it

I covered the title track with pal Benedict Moleta, downloadable here. Also produced a very shaky 'Spatial Dub', here.

Double LP for $1 of guitar music from around the world by Aussie virtuoso Williams, featuring an excellent transcription of a Japanese piece. The cover I have is much better, featuring a mock cross-stitch image of a guitar head, but no one has posted it online (ha!)

Can stop listening to a shitty mp3 version now of 'Can You Feel It'. On vinyl it revealed instruments and passages never-before-heard on grainy digital.

Marc Romboy predating the current Jack revival, and Steve Bug's titular remake, by 6 years.

And I almost bought the CD

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Can You Cream It?

Knew there was a Kompakt rerub of the Jacksons' 'Can You Feel It' and found it this morning: 'Cream' by Jurgen Paape from Total 6. Paape reduces it to the opening bump n' grind bass n' drums intro, adds a chord change, and introduces a snaking buzzing synth late in, but its pretty barren, as per standard Paape formula. What it lacks are those tolling bells, which could have been brought in somewhere, adding disco glitz.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Shameless Giddy Abandon

Not much to say about this apart from that it's fucking great and has ruled my roost for the past week. The summation of Sebo K's set praised not-unjustly-but-a-little-too-enthusiastically here, which must have brought the house down in Barcelona. My daughter likes it too, but not as much as Michael Jackson.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The High Quality of Contemporary Classical Music Releases

It's hardly surprising that classical music is among the genres least affected by the digital music revolution. Its consumers are for the most part financially well off and happy to pay for CD releases; budgets remain for new classical recordings to take place, funded by relatively stable record labels and a healthy base of philanthropic support; live performance of classical works continues in well-funded halls and venues around the (Western) world; schools and academies around the world continue to support performers and composers to continue the tradition; the classical tradition exists as an always-available pool of repertoire for new recordings, performances and arrangements, with a financially healthy pool of consumers all-too-happy to continue to purchase new recordings of old work; state, private and community radio stations worldwide continue to promote the established tradition, and promote new recordings of work from the tradition; classical music relies on intensive listening and high quality sound played through expensive systems, not MP3s played through earbuds and computer speakers; classical music benefits from wordy written analysis, written by learned academic critics, made available within a discourse of books, magazines, CD liner notes, radio commentary (and websites and blogs); etc. etc. etc... *

There's plenty to get frustrated about here, but there is also an exciting, niche industry for the creation of new classical music. Much of this music works most effectively by engaging with classical music tradition and providing options for ways in which this tradition can be pushed, pulled, tweaked, mocked, followed, discarded, celebrated or destroyed. An understanding of this tradition helps to engage with new composition, but it's by no means essential. I came to classical music through an interest in sound as sound, lured by the shamelessly pretty yet dark and mystifying piano music of Ravel and Satie, the orchestral drones of Ligeti and Penderecki, primitive electronics of Xenakis and Stockhausen and the intriguing processes of Cage and Messiaen. Listening to all this as abstract sound is thrilling, and, in me at least, inspired a pursuit of further understanding, which fortunately the canon is more than able to provide.

The quality behind a lot of contemporary classical CD releases is inspiring, particularly in the current industry climate. The care, effort, commitment - and expense - that go into releases on labels like Bis, hatHUT Kairos and Wergo, is consistently impressive. Naxos too have gone from budget label to major player, regularly releasing the work of new young composers and unearthing under appreciated music from little-known composers throughout history, and from composers from wider parts of the world. Liner notes, recording quality, packaging, all point to a devotion to the music recorded, and whatever issue one has with classical tradition the care and attention to detail cannot be faulted. It's difficult to criticise this aspect, particularly given the incredibly narrow, specialised, hand-to-mouth status of many of the smaller classical labels.

Exemplary of this standard is the Dacapo label, "The Leading Label for Danish classical music", who recently sent me a swag of new releases on chamber music by contemporary Danish composers (reviewed here). Everything about these discs was impressive, as they proudly proclaim at their first rate website:

We present a vast selection of Danish music, encompassing everything from contemporary electronic music to the earliest notes of the Middle Ages. Since Dacapo was founded in 1989 we have released over 450 CDs of Danish music. And with each new CD the picture only gets clearer: There is so much original and exciting music in Denmark that you forget how small the country actually is!

Our recordings are made in the best possible sound quality that is based on proud Danish traditions of a natural, precise and spacious sound. Every link in our productions are of the highest quality, which has among others brought Dacapo a large number of distinctions that include the Cannes Classical Awards, Grammy nominations and lots of Danish Music Awards.

In our new Dacapo Music Store we now offer our full catalouge instantly available with just a few mouse clicks: You can download the music in various formats, from the popular mp3 format to 24-bit digital audio, which will deliver far better sound than you're are used to from CD playback. It has never been easier to explore the world of music - and it has never sounded so good. We would like to welcome you to discover Danish music. And the journey begins right now at your computer.

Enough flattery, but others could learn a thing or two from Dacapo.

* I'm also happy to hear that Harold Moores Records, the independent classical shop I worked at in London, is still going strong while HMV, Virgin, ZAAVI etc. have died. They certainly weren't doing well when I worked there.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Recorded Music in the Digital Age

For me, much of the joy in listening to recorded music, particularly acoustic music, has to do with hearing the recording process itself, acknowledging - celebrating even - its artifice, self-referentially incorporating this process into the finished product. This is why records are such a rich medium: the noise of needle on vinyl is inescapable and intrinsic to vinyl playback.

The Hi-Fi phenomenon of the twentieth century was obsessed with noise reduction, a 'problem' which seems to have been largely mastered (pardon the pun) by the advent of digital recording and CDs. Or, more likely, no one cares anymore in the frenzied everything-for-free fileshare deluge, heard as low bitrate MP3s through little white earbuds or computer speakers. I'll moan about some of the other issues with MP3s at another time, but the sound quality alone is enough to champion vinyl, or CDs even. Since we've gone all-vinyl at home I find even CDs sound shit, and now view digital files purely as the 'reviewing tools' argued by music giveaway blogs. I'm a prolific 'previewer' of digital files, I'll admit, but I feel less guilty about it now.

This hot issue has kicked off a regular series in The Wire featuring various arguments on digital music and quality, value, storage, listening habits, etc, and its been interesting to follow. I feel strongly that musicians need to get paid, but I also feel that policing the ceaseless flow of stolen music on giveaway blogs is an impossible task and one that now its too late to start trying to enforce. As one side of the argument has articulated, the landscape has irrevocably changed and the past cannot be recaptured. Given this, that the initial shock over music freely available everywhere online has passed, we've reached a kind of plateau and something has been realised: there exists a demand for quality music releases on physical formats, and that some people are willing to pay for music in these forms.

The issues here lie around the idea of 'quality', and the volume of music that people are willing to pay for versus the volume of music they want to acquire and listen to. The quality argument came up at mnmlssgs and by Stefan Goldmann at LWE, and touched on in varied forms by countless others, and cannot be overstated - given the saturated market we find ourselves in, and the lack of financial reward available to most music producers, its more difficult than ever to create original music work of high quality and have it recorded and released to a high standard. I'd argue that this is less of a problem in certain genres, particularly classical (and I'll post about that soon), but in most areas of music there's complacency and tedium from the many issues that digital music has raised.

As for how much people are prepared to pay for music, this area will continue to be defined as time passes within this situation, ie as those listeners prepared to pay AT ALL for music begin to cement their spending habits in this age. I still buy far more music on vinyl than I need/ought to, but never as much as I'd like to. I also trawl charity shops for bargain records, something no one aside the charities benefits financially from, but given that most of the people involved in the production of the record are long dead, who cares?

I also download a lot of music, scan, promptly forget and/or abandon in search of the next new cheap hit. This seems symptomatic of current music consumption habits, that given the lack of investment, in all senses, in music downloaded and skimmed through portable devices, music consumed in this way can only be heard cursorily. This practice is wearying, causing exhaustion and depression (and guilt), but can be corrected. Sit back in your listening space, turn on the stereo, dust off some records, have some people over, play whole albums, talk about them, let them lead you to other records, study the covers, read the notes, buy some more ...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Cyclic July roundup:

The Machinist – Of What Once Was
(Moving Furniture Records)
Two deep long drones with field recording and distorted guitar fuzz.

Leonardo Rosado – Opaque Glitter (Feedback Loop)
Mournful synths and crackle veering from blissful ambient to deep unease.

Rytis Mazulis – Musica Falsa (Megadisc Classics)
Thrilling canons and overtones from the Lithuanian superminimalist and ATTSWOH favourite realised by flute virtuoso Manuel Zurrio.

Lucia Mense: Electric Counterpoint (Satelita)
Excellent survey of new music for recorder from live Cologne performance.

Eisuke Yanagisawa: Ultrasonic Scapes (gruenrekorder)
Buzzing ultrasonic frequencies from organic and inorganic sources in Basic Channel steel box.

Mompou: Piano Works 6 (Naxos)
Positively dreamy undiscovered piano music from the willfully naive Catalan composer.

Nicolas Bernier: Usure Paysage (Hronir)
Award-winning musique concrete from the prolific Bernier.

Various: Contemporary Danish Music (Dacapo)
Impressive and high quality productions and performances of obscure chamber music by contemporary Danish composers. More on this label soon.

Villalobos and Loderbauer: Re:ECM (ECM)
Expertly pitched electronic doodling of ECM samples by Berlin techno duo.

Yoshio Machida: Scape Dance (Amorfon)
Patient Feldman-esque tin-pan improvisations and processed digital tin-pan digitalia accompany strange pastel visual cut ups on DVD. More on Amorfon, "the music adventure label and hair salon", soon.

Angélica Castelló: Bestiario (Mosz)
Chaotic sampladelica by Mexican subbass recorder player.

Coming up: New ambient stunner from Chihei Hatakeyama on Room 40.

Monday, 15 August 2011


Everyone knows what a producer Terre Thaemlitz is but he's also a good DJ, not in the deft Q-Bert/Jeff Mills turntablist manner but as a selecter, crafting cohesive and convincing narratives from a string of distinct records. This set for Made Like A Tree is an understated stunner, crafted entirely from Thaemlitz productions it's naturally consistent, but the blend between subdued house and beatless ambient is beautifully achieved, creating a wonderfully downbeat whole linked by gaseous synth swirls and jazzy piano interludes.

Thaemlitz's ivory twinkling can actually become quite dissonant, which upsets the usual mold of mindless jazz-house riffing, but it's so washed out by processing that it's easily overlooked. Listen up though and you'll hear Cecil Taylor-esque forearm chords and dynamic atonal stabs, doubtless played on the same overtly plastic midi piano used on her Rubato records.

I'd read about Thaemlitz's penchant for playing whole tracks, crossfading at song's end, but it's more complicated than that sounds, and in part closer to Michael Mayer's late beatmatch approach. The tempo is consistent(ly slow) throughout, and the beatless selections that link most tracks segue effortlessly, as do those with drums. It's inspired me to want to try and play records differently, and mix ambient more readily with rhythmic house music.

Right Click to Download: G.R.R.L. Mlat46

1. Terre Thaemlitz - There Was a Girl / There Was a Boy Declaramation [Mille Plateaux]
2. Terre Thaemlitz - Taking Stock in Our Pride [Mille Plateaux]
3. Terre Thaemlitz - G.R.R.L. : Face (Extended Dub Edit) [Comatonse]
4. Terre Thaemlitz - Double Secret [Comatonse]
5. Terre Thaemlitz - Chugga : Theme From Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (500 Year Orbit Mix) [Comatonse]
6. Zeitkratzer & Terre Thaemlitz - Down Town Kami-Sakunobe [Zeitkratzer Records]
7. Terre Thaemlitz - Commodité Sexuelle [Mille Plateaux]
8. DJ Sprinkles - Brenda's $20 Dilemma [Mule Musiq]
9. DJ Sprinkles - Ball'r (Madonna Free Zone) [Mule Musiq]
10. Terre Thaemlitz - Chugga : Theme From Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (Deep Space Probe Mix) [Comatonse]
11. Terre Thaemlitz - Systole.009 [Mille Plateaux]
12. Terre Thaemlitz - Residual Expectation [Caipirinha Productions]
13. Terre Thaemlitz - Resistance to Change - 4. Transformative Nostaligia [Mille Plateaux]
14. DJ Sprinkles - Midtown 120 Blues [Mule Musiq]
15. DJ Sprinkles - Grand Cental Station. Pt. II (72hrs. By Rail From Missouri) [Mule Musiq]

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Sight Below / Rafael Anton Irasarri

I've been a big fan of Rafael Anton Irisarri's work since I heard his incredible The North Bend on Room 40 - bleak Badalementi-esque ambiance evoking some terribly sad place, less defined by portentous Lynchian horror than by the barren aftereffects of such menace, the alienation of a world emptied of hopes and dreams. After that I tracked down all his stuff, the Lynch connection made concrete on 'A Great Northern Sigh':

... and 'Lumberton' (a favourite of bvdub):

... along with his other influences - 'VoigtKampff's nod to Wolfgang:

... recordings of Satie's 'Gnossienne #1' (with Goldmund):

... and Part's 'Fur Alina':

... all demonstrate just how close his tastes are to mine. It's fortunate, and oddly rare, that I like his music, as all too often one comes across artists who cite fantastic influences only for their work to be total shit.

I'd read somewhere about Irisarri's other project The Sight Below but only heard it this morning, thanks to my dear friend Christo. Here the Voigt influence - read Gas - is clearly audible: dark, slowly unfolding synthetic waves powered by steady bass drum. There's less presence than with Gas, and less detail in the midrange drones, which Irisarri creates from effected guitar, not samples. There's also ample originality to justify its independent existence - a kind of shoegaze Voigt, or 'Gas meets Grouper' as one friend put it. These from 2008's Glider:

By 2010's It All Falls Apart there's less Gas and more Grouper, with Slowdive's Simon Scott on board to deliver added whoosh, as on 'Stagger'

... and there's vocals even, by Jesy Fortino of Tiny Vipers on Joy Division cover 'New Dawn Fades':

Beautiful and interesting music. I'm reminded too that other titan of ambient techno, Markus Guentner

Irissari favours vinyl, so check here for links to buying it.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Riot Music

One victim of the London riots was PIAS Music Distribution who had a lot of their stock in a warehouse in Eltham which burnt down. Lost in the blaze were releases from such labels as Soul Jazz Records, Fabric, Poker Flat, FourTwenty, and many many more. Blissblog have pointed to suggestions of how to help out these fledgling labels linking to a Quietus Feature on recommended purchases. I'll second them and say buy these:
Various: Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds (SJR) - praised here.

GAS: Nah Und Fern (Kompakt) - absolutely essential classical-ambient-techno collection reviewed for RA here.

Robert Hood: Fabric 39 (Fabric) - Fast and furious Detroit techno.

Various: Forward to the Past (Poker Flat) - cheeky collection of retro Chicago-esque house.

And while it won't help Pias it's a fine time to dig this out:

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Good Generic Minimal Tech House 2: Sebo K

After my Maya Jane Coles appreciation/generic minimal tech-house moan , I'm going to sound hypocritical commencing a series of posts praising the very generic nature of this music, but what the hell... this is pretty darn good. Sebo K makes strong tracks, and was among those responsible, along with Efdemin, Lawrence and doubtless a bazillion lesser-known-and-unsung others, back in the mid-late naughties for championing bigger housier sounds within the pervading mnml scene of the day, and it's a sound he's hardly altered. Indeed like everyone in minimal house land its one they do nothing but refine. I first heard him on Mobilee's Back to Back comp with the still stunning 'Moved' with Prosumer, then via his podcast for RA in early 2007. This, along with Efdemin's two podcasts later, seemed to signal a shift in mainstream-underground minimal house, at least as sign-posters like RA documented it.

Sebo K feat. Prosumer: 'Moved'

Sebo K: RA Podcast 55

I saw Sebo K and Efdemin play shortly after their 'casts at RA's June '07 off-Sonar party in Barcelona, and while too wasted to actually remember anything danced my socks off from open til' close. Philip Sherburne was there too, playing to an empty room upstairs, but when he heard Sebo K he rushed to the front of the floor and danced all night too. As we see today, it's an endearing sound.

Four-and-a-half years later and the variants of minimal house have actually narrowed, with more tracks than ever trading on the basic template these - and yes many many others - housey minimalists have been hammering for years. We're at the asymptote of the development of a kind of perfect dance music, or at least a perfected form of minimal house, but one that, of course, can never be reached. It's this kind of fruitless pursuit, this Quixotic quest for the unattainable, that good generic minimal house sets capture, driving along that endless highway, on a dead-straight road, devoid of the kinds of heights and dips that come with more dynamic, and less focused, sets. Even mnml jerked and twitched in ever so annoying ways.

So, to Sebo K's mix at the 2011 Mobilee Off-Sonar Party: 3 hours of sleak, streamlined, bumpin' generic minimal tech house. All changes are slight, with each track offering subtle variants on the tools and structures of its neighbours. Like the digi-dancehall instramentals praised here these tracks are (for the most part) cookie-cutter jigsaw pieces, pure 'tools' with little identity outside of the group (but where I celebrated the isolated oddness of those dancehall tracks here there's little to get excited about individually). Where Sebo K is good is in his restraint, holding back the tension such that you're always (almost) on the edge of your seat but, it being the kind of wishy-washy genre it is, you never are, really... This teetering contradiction is the whole point and one Sebo K does well here - avoiding boredom by embracing sameness, celebrating it. Like Cage said: If something is boring for one minute do it for ten, then an hour, then two hours... Sebo K does it for 3 and it pretty much works.

In its fluid linearity this reminds me of stellar microhouse sets like those by Kettenkarussell , but with a different agenda: Sebo K - and most/all minimal tech house DJs - is more about funk, groove and sashaying movement, albeit in a compressed and blankly repetitive manner, with a shallower expression of emotion, more warmth, greater diversity, more by-rote and perfunctory (all intentional and not necessarily pejorative), whereas Kettenkarussell... is another story...

Sebo K - mobilee & friends - Sonar 2011 - Hotel Diagonal Saturday by mobilee records

Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds

I'm rather new to the digital reggae and dancehall thing, although my entrypoint to reggae proper was via the digital techno-dub of Pole, Basic Channel, Kit Clayton and co. There was a big ignorant Bob Marley stigma to overcome, but from there the floodgates opened...

I'm still hesitant with vocals, but after hearing the Honest Jons + Mark and Moritz's Basic Replay comp I was sold on digital production methods, heck, more than - enthralled. My boredom with contemporary house and techno has led me more and more into dubstep realms without ever being quite sold, but these earlier strands of bass heavy digital Jamaican sounds have become very appealing.

The whole package of Soul Jazz Records' Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds is enticing, particularly the focus on hitherto critically disregarded digi riddim tools, as highlighted in the cheesy sci-fi ad emblazoned full page on the back cover of July's The Wire:

Invasion of the Killer Mysteron Sounds brings together the most exciting electronic producers in Jamaica with current sound artists in the UK and beyond who all create music based on revolutionary sounds in 3D – Dancehall, Digital and Dub.

The Wire went on to review it finding it simplistic and lacking in this exposed, unmixed format, but I find the very nakedness what makes it so weird and appealing. The oddball pinball bleeps and clunky computer basslines are thrilling from the get-go with Steely and Clevie's 'Streetsweeper':

Highlight is King Tubby's 'Fat Thing' riddim, much better without the vox.

The contemporary tracks are good, but like contemporary Chicago house remakes lack the historic roughness.

As a taste of what's in store, get Tubby's Fat Thing Version here.

Shamelessly uncritical and promo-heavy this post, but jeez its good. Listen more and buy here.