Released earlier this month on Berlin imprint Ostgut Ton, Fünf (German for "five") celebrates five years of Ostgut Ton as one of the world's premiere techno labels. Not unlike London club Fabric's double-life as a record label, Ostgut Ton is owned by some of the resident DJs of fabled Berlin nightspots Berghain and Panorama Bar. Fünf puts those venues front-and-center with a unique field-recording concept that finds many of the compilation's producers capturing the pedestrian noises of both clubs, either in spirit or in actual live recordings. The album features 26 tracks made exclusively for the release, one of which is Marcel Dettmann's "Shelter," a highly compressed and white-noise-laden slice of techno that chugs along with machine-like efficiency.
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This taste from the latest compilation to come from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label, Brownswood Bubblers Six, is a rough-draft recording of "Liiines" by rising London-based wordsmith Ghostpoet. The affectionate MC calls this version of his brief piano-led tune a demo, but the way we hear it, maybe it's not entirely necessary to make that distinction. Sure, Ghostpoet's vocals are a bit murky and distorted for whatever reasons, but those kinds of homespun nuances lend the song an even stronger intimate feel, like he had to rush to get the song out while still in the thick of his own desolate emotions. And the beat? Well, that sounds as dusty and handmade as it should—demo or not.
Like a dirtier, less-conceptual Matthew Herbert or Soft Pink Truth, the elusive Parisian producer known as Ass of Bass (yeah, we're not keen on the name either) makes dubby, housey, disco-flavored dance tunes full of twisted vocal snippets, musical randomness, and deep vibes. There are plenty of sampled treasures and random sounds to be heard throughout "Duee Connexion #2," but it's the slamming four-on-the-floor and bouncing low-end that remains in the forefront—carrying the energetic tune for over seven minutes. You can discover how else the musicmaker twerks that sticky sound palette on his debut for Salon, a four-song EP with two original takes on "Duee Connexion" and two remixes from DJ Donna Summer, here.
Washington, D.C., chill-groove electronica trio Thunderball gets a serious makeover here, courtesy of San Francisco's tropically inclined bass excavator Ghosts on Tape. However, for his re-work of "Runaway," the original of which is taken from the forthcoming 12 Mile High record to be released on Thievery Corporation's ESL label, DJ/producer Ryan Merry switches out his percussion samples and low-end rumbles for something better fitting of an illegal warehouse party circa 1993. But it's not all glowsticks and Blow Pops on this track; Ghosts on Tape toys with ethereal vocal sampling à la UK bass music's finest, drops in some classic clubby synth melodies, and flips his production halfway through for an ominous finish that's purely his own. At nearly 10 minutes, it's certainly the longest song we've heard from Merry, but it might very well be his best, too.
Full-length records coming from DJ/producers with a distinct focus on the dancefloor and no more than a handful of remixes and EPs under their belt are relatively few and far between, so when one surfaces—especially an album from a fresh tunesmith of notable caliber—it's best you take notice. With that in mind, next year will see the release of the debut long-player from Toronto-based musicmaker Egyptrixx, the ten-song Bible Eyes. UK bass hub Night Slugs, which also dropped his excellent The Only Way Up EP, will bring the project to fruition on February 9, but before then, we get our first taste of Bible Eyes from the heartfelt "Chrysalis Records." Named after the now-defunct imprint that once hosted luminaries like Blondie, Gang Starr, and Sinéad O'Connor, Egyptrixx's new single flaunts woozy synths and a subtle crunch within its evolved pop format—sounding not unlike the vintage media released back in the UK label's heyday. Singer Maya of Canadian band Trust threatens to steal the spotlight from the lush instrumental with her simple-yet-intimate vocal delivery, an unlikely pairing that works in subtle, affective ways. You can check out the full tracklist for Bible Eyes, and watch a slick video for album opener "Start From the Beginning," after the jump. Read more »
Brooklyn sound sculptor Dale Parsons is Parsod, a beatsmith interested in spacey soundscapes, dissected hip-hop grooves, and thoughtful bass rumblings. His first offering of that sort is a self-titled, four-track EP, from which "Parade" is taken. As the EP's lead song, "Parade" takes no time getting started. Disjointed rhythms, 8-bitty sound effects, arpeggiating synth melodies, and all kinds of floating cosmic transmissions launch into the forefront within in seconds of hitting play, and are over seemingly just as quickly. If the brief excursion perks your ears up without fully satiating your appetite for intergalactic sonics, you can find out what the rest of his blippy beat explorations sounds like over on his SoundCloud profile, where all of Parsod is available to stream.
Just about two months ago, we gave you the heads up about San Antonio, TX, producer Sonora and his downloadable Siempre Fresco EP for the Austin-based party/blog/label Peligrosa. Now, we have a choice remix of one of those five tunes by the producer's friend and fellow San Antonian Mexicans With Guns (pictured above). MWG's booming rework of "Paraiso" grabs the cumbia- and reggaeton-inspired rhythms and equatorial sound palette of the original track and, after a slow build, wraps them around his own staples: eye-rattling 808 kicks, filthy low-end undulations, and a club-ready swagger. Maybe it's because of their southern roots, but this pairing of the two producers shows us that Texas may have a thing or two to teach the world about sweltering Latin party music.
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