April 2000 Reviews
Copyright © 2000 Scott Lazaruk & Thomas Robbs. Reprinted with permission.
after a hiatus over the winter, the ones & twos spring reviews have finally bloomed ::
April Techno/House Reviews
The following are reviews of promotional material
written by: Scott Lazaruk and Thomas Robbs (ones & twos)
(artist :: release :: label :: cat # )
T e c h n o
Niche & Neeper :: Life at 6900 Rpms :: Chair Recordings :: CHAIR007
Classic Chair material here -- Dan's back at it with a vengeance. Crisp percussion, bouncing melodies, and maniacal crescendos can all be found here. As always there's a lot of abstract rhythms and oddness -- this one's aimed squarely at the techno purists.
Submania/Ekmoah :: Zylacanth Ep :: Background Records:: BG004
Dusseldorf's Background Records delivers 4 minimal ass-shakers on their fourth release courtesy of the duo 'Submania / Ekmoah'. This piece is a fine addition to any crate, with two fairly experimental cuts, and two aimed solidly at the floor.
Submania/Ekmoah :: Low Voltage :: Background Records :: BG005
Düsseldorf's Background Records delivers 4 minimal ass-shakers on their fourth release courtesy of the duo 'Submania / Ekmoah'. This piece is a fine addition to any crate, with two fairly experimental cuts, and two aimed solidly at the floor.
Submania/Ekmoah :: Low Voltage :: Background Records :: BG005
German duo Submania / Ekmoah drop another finely tuned techno tool, this time a double pack of deep dubby experimental techno. Might be too abstract for every dancefloor, but superb material for a deeper context
LA Williams / Chunky Tracks / Chisel
LA drops a whole album of deep techno and tech-house, something fans of the sound he's been chiseling out with his new label have been awaiting. From deep & pumping to hard and banging, it's all here. Lots of raw tracky mixing tools, in addition to the more abstract and melodic pieces, make the album a joy to mix with as well as to take a long listen to.
Mike Parker :: Drain Hum :: Geophone Records :: GEO 005
Mike Parker sends us another release on his Buffalo, New York Geophone Records label which delivers his signature sub-bass minimal workout. Mike works his deep sub-bass stabs with a set of crisp mid-range samples that sets a heavy bottom-end atmosphere. Get set for a bowel movement on a large system.
H o u s e
Daniel Lui :: Big Smoker Nights Vol 1 :: Chair Recordings :: CHAIR006
Chair does house. It hasn't happened before, and unsurprisingly, it's a bit different. The a-side is a bumping guitar loop and odd, lilting melodies slide suspiciously underneath. The floor friendly percussion and bassline hold the oddness and pull the track together into a great mixing tool that could be worked in a variety of ways. The b-side gets a bit loungier, conjuring up cocktail dresses, tuxedos, and cigar smoke. Warbling melodies come and go like faces in a crowd, while a brooding bassline holds tension throughout.
Teknostep :: 416 Shuffletrax Vol 1 :: Undaground Therapy/Bangin Traxx :: BTM-006
Toronto's own Stephane Vera, known for his work on Roy Davis Jr's eps, drops a solo ep on Roy's label. Big shuffling beats and disco samples make for superb peak hour material on "Loft", while two more driving hustles make up the b-side. Keep an eye on his constant changes in percussion and rhythms -- they make superb material for cutting and playing in the mix.
Rick Wade :: Deep Threats :: A Touch of Class :: ATC001
Rick Wade, one of the deepest men in house music, kicks off this new German house label with the kind of quality, gritty, jazzed out house we've come to expect from Rick's Harmonie Park label. All four tracks rely on a deep pumping kick, funk sample loops and nice high end percussion to carry the groove. Very nice work indeed.
V/A :: Soul: Often Imitated, Never Duplicated :: Moods & Grooves Records :: MG 007
A stacked set of deepness from Mike Grant's Moods & Grooves label, packed full of sweet instrumental grooves and well chosen vocals. Nubian Shuffle rocks the house with sweet keyboard riffs and driving percussion -- peak-hour house from Chicago's Brian Harden. Mike Grant's 'Late Nite' describes its context fairly well, a throbbing kick, cool vocals from Blake Baxter, and vibes providing the love.
Alton Miller provides a beautiful morning groove, 'First Light' that keeps it dreamy and funky at the same time .. wonderful stuff. Brett Dancer closes out the ep on a pounding but melodic tip, with lots of snappy percussion and interweaving melodies. Great work from some of the finest house producers in North America.
Da Sampla :: Sampaholic :: Moods & Grooves Records :: MG 008
The latest from the Moods & Grooves camp is a three track 12" which takes... "Pop" drops a throbbing bass kick in with a filter workout that adds nicely in the mix. On the flip, "The Rider" will catch your ear as it takes you down an eerie late-night drive while "Lamenated" takes some old-school samples and reworks them into a moody hip-hop style.
Norm Talley :: The Mystic EP :: Trackmode Recordings :: TM-15
Late nite grooves from Norm Talley that are not to be missed. Every time I hear something from this man, it's gold. Pounding bass, riding chords, and just enough snap in the highs to keep butts wiggling and heads nodding. The full length, "Circles", takes things up just a notch, with great samples .. 'perfect love' indeed. Keep an eye out for Mr. Talley's releases, they will bring you love.
Silicone Soul :: Nosferatu :: Soma Recordings :: SOMA 93
Reedie and Morrison come together as Silicone Soul for another great release on Soma Recordings. The title track, "Nosferatu", dishes up a heavy dose of sub-bass cut up with a monsterous top-end that expands the sound to every nook and cranny in the dancefloor. Beware of cracked window panes! "Gimme Danger" takes steps to brighten the mood with a bubbling disco ride to the top. Closing out the ride is "In Your Own Sweet Time" that oozes soul compliments of Chippy on guitar. This is the cut for deep house heads.
Johnny Fiasco :: Clicktrax Vol. 1 :: UC Afterhours :: AH-136
This 12" has been out for a short while but it's worth mentioning twice. What I enjoy most about this 12" is it's ability to be worked into many different contexts ranging from a minimal techno setting through to a late night house sweatfest. The rhythmic expertise of Mr. Fiasco comes through with every click and tweak, pushin' every ass to and fro!
Mateo & Matos :: Got a Message :: Glasgow Underground :: GU 52
DJ Sneak remixes Mateo & Matos with that big bumpin' house vibe that Sneak fans will instantly indentify with. His "Messenger Mix" fills the A-side and puts the bassline on the shelf through the shuffling percussion mix before thumping it down, message intact. For those needing a second reading, Sneak's "Biggie Size Dub" will get your groove on.
Moloko :: The Time is Now :: Echo :: ECDJ 881
In what will surely be a follow-up hit for Moloko, "The Time is Now" drops with one of house music's biggest names getting in on the mix. Francois K drops the main vocal mix which brings up the sun with a melody that you'll be grinning to for months -- spring has definitely arrived! Can 7 lays down two solid remixes alongside a mix from DJ Plankton and the original full length cut. Francois K closes the doublepack out with his "Blissed Out Dub".
Pure Science :: Bare Knuckle Bassix Vol 1 :: PS Communications :: PS 005
Dim the lights low and wrap your butt around that tech-house groove that is Pure Science. Back on his own PS Communications, Pure Science drops a 4-track 12" that delivers a complete toolbox for the DJ. His subtle loop-mixing style results in a different workout with every cut.
Steve O'Sullivan & John Beer :: Undercurrents :: Mosaic :: MOS 023
Harris and Solomon "refreak" Sullivan and Beers "X-Rated President" into a slower deep house groove, while the original on the flip offers a snappier attack at the dancefloor. Skipping hi-hats and a solid bassline offer the foundation for deep and funky hook. "Breeze" rounds things out with a deep rhythm section and subtle change-ups that keeps the dancefloor bumpin'.
Cricco Castelli :: Escape From Rome EP :: NRK Sound Division :: NRK 029
Simply a juicy SIX track double pack from Germany's NRK Sound Division. Every track carries the shuffling beats of Cricco Castelli that are just screaming to decimate a dancefloor. From the grooving saxophone in "First Love" to the ass-shakin' bassline in "Very Stylish Jazz", each and every cut is a pleasure.
M i s c .
Various Artists :: Statra's Paradigm Shift :: Statra Recordings :: STATLP 2000
New from the Statra label is a 2x12" compilation featuring the broad range of Statra styles. The breadth of sounds in this compilation will surely appeal to even the most discriminating of electronic music tastes be it "down-tempo", "IDM", or techno. The stand-outs for me were Lypid's "Uptown" and Denver McCarthy's "First Reflections". All in all, some nice work from the Statra camp that makes for a great aural soundscape.
Lypid :: Stratospheric :: Statra Recordings :: STAT2001-12
A nice mixture of sounds for all tastes on this latest from Statra recordings. The title cut, 'Stratospheric', is a nice deep drum & bass cut, with a beautiful intro and hectic percussion. Henrik B provides a remix on the bangin techno tip. Spacetime Continuum delivers a great downtempo instrumental, full of funk and groove. 'Pensiero Tardivo' closes out the ep on a very spacey, abstract note -- great for a listen after a long night out.