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Reviews: Various Genres


Review: Various Ryuichi Sakamoto: Bricolages

Label: Kab

Having won critical acclaim with his last release, Chasm, Ryuichi Sakamoto has upped the ante by passing along the material to 13 remixers from across the electronic-music spectrum. In one of the disc's most accessible moments, Taylor Deupree's reworking of "World Citizen" (with elegant vocals by David Sylvian) adds glitch while preserving the dark pop feel of the original. Another fine point is the inclusion of two different remixes of the starkly beautiful "20 msec.," one by film-score composer Craig Armstrong and another by guitar-ambient surrealist Fennesz. Read more » 

Review: Various Cassy: Panoramabar 01

Label: Ostgut

Cassy Britton is a resident DJ at Panoramabar and this 24-track mix pays tribute to the Berlin club. Panoramabar 01 snags your attention with intelligent track choices and subtle shifts in mood and rhythm. The disc emphasizes basslines that raise spirits and libidos, and unusual textural exploration. Cassy's mix gracefully combines serious tonal science with verging-on-peak-time euphoria-a tough balance to achieve. Read more » 

Review: Various Fabric 29: Tiefschwarz

Label: Fabric

Stuttgart's infamous tech-house brethren Tiefschwarz reinforce Fabric's mix series with a 14-track selection that's as filthy as they come. Read more » 

Review: Various Belly of the Whale

Label: Important

While Belly of the Whale provides some interesting manipulations and solid programming from the likes of Kim Cascone, Scanner, and Yannick Dauby, too much of the content either employs its exotic, spiny lobster- and orca samples as a pointless backdrop, or passes off overindulgent, Ableton-esque effects as calculated sonic expression. All conceptual wankery and Greenpeace propaganda aside, Merzbow's contribution, which sounds like the cast of Finding Nemo being pureed in a cocktail blender, definitely brings some much needed balance to the album. Read more » 

Review: Various Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed

Label: Staubgold

Germany's Kammerflimmer Kollektief aren't post-rockists; they're the second coming of Kraut rock in the style of Neu! Read more » 

Review: Various Rhythm & Sound: See Mi Yah Remixes

Label: Burial Mix

For this outing, Rhythm & Sound (German producers Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald) invites a cadre of free-spirited techno heavyweights to rework assorted Jamaican vocal tracks. Carl Craig injects rhythmic space and squelching effects to Bobbo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" while Substance micro-dubs singer Sugar Minott. François K casts vocalist Rod of Iron in drum & bass armor and Vladislav Delay makes Freddy Mellow feel cozy in his velvety beats. Read more » 

Review: Banco De Gaia Farewell Ferengistan

Label: Six Degrees

On Farewell Ferengistan, Banco de Gaia's Toby Marks attacks materialism's home with more than just Deep Space 9 references. (It's said that Ferengistan is Central Asia's-and Star Trek's-name for the greedy Western world.) Marks works his characteristically subtle sonics with socio-political concerns guiding him. The title track rolls out mellow East Indian vox and spooky piano tinklings while BdG actually rocks out on "Ynys Elen" before dabbling in ska ("Chingiz") and bhangra ("Kara Kum"). Read more » 

Review: Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid The Exchange Session Vol. 2

Label: Domino

On the second part of the real-time soundclash between instrumentalist Kieran Hebden and drummer/jazzman Steve Reid, these two sonic innovators manage to match the spontaneous chaos of the first Exchange Session. What begins as an ambient experience transforms into a blast of sampled horns and bleeps on track one, and then cools down into a tribal-like tranquility on track two only to re-intensify; the eerie calm of the third and final track properly closes out this exploratory union. Read more » 

Review: Jamie Lidell Multiply Additions

Label: Warp

Glitched-up crooner Jamie Lidell has commented that there is but a thin partition between arrangement and derangement. And with this remix and reinterpretation EP, the mercurial torch singer/bearer lets his colleagues push the source material's honest Stax homage into darker, more disconnected territory. The rhythmic regurgitations by Four Tet, Luke Vibert, and Matthew Herbert are dilated and dusky compared to the originally splashy, shimmering material. Read more » 

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