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Reviews: House / Techno

 
 

Review: Thomas Hammann and Gerd Janson Live at Robert Johnson Vol. 4

Frankfurt clubbing institution Robert Johnson keeps it close to home on the fourth installment of their ongoing mix series. Having manned the decks for nearly a decade at the club's Liquid night, Thomas Hamman and Gerd Janson are no newcomers to the world of house, and on Live at Robert Johnson Vol. 4, the duo weaves a striking, confident testament to the genre. Mirroring the exemplary track record of Janson's Running Back label, the selections here are impeccable. Read more » 

Review: Pantha Du Prince Black Noise

Pick

The third full-length from Hendrick Weber maintains the high quality of previous efforts while pushing certain elements of his shoegaze-y, minimal-inspired techno sound further. Noah Lennox (a.k.a. Panda Bear) contributes some lovely multi-tracked vocals to "Stick to My Side," giving even more emotional resonance to Weber's always-emotional sonic palette. And in a nod to classical minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, the prepared bells and other organic percussive elements heard on the album repeat in hypnotic swirls, yet change slightly every so often. Read more » 

Review: Cassy Simply Devotion

Label: Cocoon

Perhaps best known for working the decks at Berlin's Panoramabar, Cassy Britton is a DJ and producer whose penchant for sultry, lush sounds has long set her apart from her minimal ilk. Yet on her second official mix CD, her technique seems a bit off, if only because the first half of the mix features some questionable choices in contrast. Read more » 

Review: Marcus Nasty Rinse: 10

Label: Rinse

By now, any electronic music aficionado with a pulse has heard of UK funky. Punctuated by shuffling garage beats, tropical-flavored percussion, and R&B flair, the music is the latest in a long line of post-garage urban sounds emanating from the British Isles. One of the scene's figureheads is Marcus Nasty, founding member of legendary grime collective N.A.S.T.Y. Crew, who took notice of this new crop of producers—most of them coming from grime—making this new mutant house strain and quickly began promoting the sound on Rinse FM. Read more » 

Review: Riva Starr If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Italian-born Riva Starr (a.k.a. Stefano Miele) is difficult to pin down. His talent for catchy hooks is as well known as his predilection for pilfering sounds from various genres, and both tendencies are on full display here. Read more » 

Review: Lindstrøm & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool

Pick

After hearing Where You Go I Go Too, a three-song, 55-minute opus, one might not expect Lindstrøm to follow it up with a pop-disco collaboration like Real Life Is No Cool. As it turns out, the Norwegian superproducer has been intermittently working with Christabelle since 2001 and all the years of back-and-forth were clearly worth it, as Real Life is simply stellar. Read more » 

Review: My Robot Friend Soft-Core

On his third full-length album, Soft-Core, the imaginative Howard Robot of New York-based My Robot Friend has retrofitted his usual light-dappled indie-electronic milieu with a surprisingly simpatico cast of diverse musical characters. A cover of Luna's "23 Minutes in Brussels" finds Robot alone in his multi-textured electronic element, while "The Short Game," a clicking, infectious collaboration with Germany's Zombie Nation, draws comparisons to Hot Chip with its soft mood and sweetly aching vocals. Read more » 

Review: Demdike Stare Symbiosis

Label: Modern Love

Miles Whittaker has been a bewitchingly busy fella of late, releasing warehouse techno under his MLZ moniker, playing dubby doubles with Gary Howell in Pendle Coven and Andy Stott in the cheeky Millie & Andrea, and now teaming up with Sean Canty in the earthy, neo-pagan Demdike Stare. Spread too thin on the dark side, you say? Read more » 

Review: Quantec Cauldron Subsidence

Label: Echocord

Joined at the hip, sonically speaking, minimalist producers in Detroit and Berlin subverted standard (and increasingly stale) techno and house of the mid-1990s by reducing music to architecture you can dance to. Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, and Plus 8 artists all got there first, but youngish German Sven Schienhammer (a.k.a. Quantec) was apparently doing some active listening back then. Echoes of this shift in sound design and texture are all over Cauldron Subsidence, his second full-length in two years. Read more » 

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