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Review: Anthony Parasole My Block

Label: Ostgut Ton

A typical Anthony Parasole record has a casual relationship with euphoria. That's not to say that they don't carry a certain euphoric quality, but in the three years that Parasole has put out music, it's become clear that it's the rough, rambling terrain leading up to the moment of release—and not the moment itself—that gives his imposing house/techno hybrids their pulse. On My Block, Parasole's debut EP for Ostgut Ton and his fourth solo release, the layers of his production creep onto each other with a genuine disregard for tension and release. As such, the terrain of My Block's three tracks is relatively flat, trading steep gradients for steady inclines and creating a ruthlessly hypnotic experience in the process. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/13/2014

Review: Torn Hawk Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time

Is Torn Hawk (a.k.a. Luke Wyatt) serious? This is a fair question of a producer who has given us tracks like "Put That Crotchless Thing on and Save My Life," and now, an album with an equally ridiculous name, Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time. There is a theme of corroded masculinity at the heart of Wyatt's work, both as a video artist and apparent body sculptor. In images, he often subverts his good looks with a bit of VHS glitch. On Let's Cry, he attempts to do something similar with his music, imbuing what is essentially melodic post rock with some busted percussion and slightly outsider moves. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/12/2014

Review: Mr. G Personal Momentz

Label: Phoenix G

Mr. G's sad recent losses have very much been our gain. Colin McBean's well-received last album, 2012's State of Flux, was inspired by the passing of a close friend, and this new one was produced in a 10-day period sometime after the death of the Londoner's father. And it shows: even though much of his work over the last decade has been focussed on tough, dusty, and elongated house, Personal Momentz feels even more expertly distilled and positively storied than anything he has released before. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/11/2014

Review: Joey Anderson Head Down Arms Buddha Position


Compared to compadres like DJ Qu and Levon Vincent, Joey Anderson was something of a late bloomer. Since the wider world has caught on to him, though (thanks in large part to a few well-placed pointers from Vincent on his Fabric 63 mix, not to mention Anderson's seriously shadowy debut LP on Dekmantel earlier this year), he has become one of techno's most singular and standout artists. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/10/2014

Review: Arca Xen

Label: Mute

Over the past few years, Arca (a.k.a. Alejandro Ghersi) has quickly become the poster boy for a clued-in generation of internet producers who pay equal regard to DJ Mustard and Daniel Lopatin. Back in 2011, the Venezuelan immigrant's first major effort was a download-only mixtape (consisting entirely of his own material) that came via web 2.0 mouthpiece DIS magazine. His twisted Stretch releases—which did exactly that to hip-hop forms—followed, as did last year's &&&&&, but it all felt a bit slapdash before Ghersi leveled up and started working with Kanye West, FKA Twigs, Kelela, and now, Bjork. Somehow, Arca has ascended from deviantART to working with the defining artists of our time—it's a Horatio Alger tale for the Ableton set. His solo debut, Xen, arrives on Mute, and comes amid a flurry of press in which the young producer has spoken frankly about his sexuality and stated that Xen is a sexless alter-ego that emerges when he's high. Without question, it's an arty concept album from an musician who's crept more than halfway into the mainstream, but it's also Ghersi's most gorgeous, personal work to date. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/04/2014

Review: Clark Clark

Label: Warp

Chris Clark has put out records on Warp for about 13 years now, but it would seem that he's one of the label's least appreciated artists. Off-the-cuff references to the long-running imprint almost invariably mention Aphex Twin, Plaid, and Autechre, perhaps because the label remains understood by more casual listeners as an IDM-industrial complex, a hub that's mass-producing electronic music with a specific intent to confuse, confront, and occasionally intimidate. That's patently not the case, and especially not so with Clark. The UK-born, Berlin-based producer makes music that is a bit more accessible than that of some of his more revered labelmates, though his last six albums have absorbed elements of the algorhythmic patterns and strident machine melodies of these artists. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 11/03/2014

Review: Mouse on Mars 21 Again

Label: Monkeytown

Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner are better placed than most to tackle the uniquely hazardous task of putting out a double album. Mouse on Mars is 21 years old, after all, and so the simply titled 21 Again is a reflection of a hard-won confidence and maturity after more than two decades of making music. During that time, the pair has covered a lot of ground; each Mouse on Mars album has seen the duo explore and absorb a diffuse array of styles and influences that, while mostly electronic by definition, have delved into the outer reaches of post-rock, hip-hop, R&B, noise, and ambient music. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 10/31/2014

Review: DJ Koze Reincarnations Part 2

Label: Pampa

When it comes to remixes, DJ Koze (a.k.a. Stefan Kozalla) doesn't follow a strict formula. In fact, the only sure thing about his reworks is that they will always be of a certain quality, because the German dance music curio is not someone who simply loads up a trademark Koze synth and lackadaisically layers it in before firing the results back to whoever commissioned his services. On the contrary, Kozalla's remixes run the gamut: some are subtle reworkings, some tease out only the slightest elements of an original, and some are wholly unrecognizable, but that's what makes him great. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 10/29/2014

Review: Dorian Concept Joined Ends

Label: Ninja Tune

When plotting artists' development, most seem to follow a smooth, upward trendline in which talent, songwriting, and personal voice are all developed in unison. However, on occasion, an exceptional talent like Oliver Johnson (a.k.a. Dorian Concept) comes along and carves out a very different path. Early tracks like 2008's "Trilingual Dance Sexperience" and 2009's "The Fucking Formula" showcased an unrestrained, youthful brashness and also proved that Johnson was capable of creating truly exciting and unique music that was simultaneously novel and heady. Several years later, he's returned—following a lengthy period of relative quiet—with his second LP, Joined Ends, and from the album's opening movements, it's apparent that he's learned to rein in his eminent musicianship while producing something that is both cohesive and edited. His voice has caught up to his talent. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 10/28/2014

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