Anyone in for some record reviews? Actually, these ones here are not new but I've saved them from the archives of the IDM and Ambient mailing lists. Reading these, I feel fucking embarrassed now, but I guess one can't deny one's past...
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 1994 11:39:00 +0200 (EET)
just picked up the new double 12" from Salt Tank, ST 4: Laguna Calorado (Internal 8578031 UK: LIARX 16). Great melodic stuff from the lush Satie-esque piano licks and ethereal female vocals of'Olympic' with its flaunting hard-kicking rhythm sequences (which somehow reminds me of Los Bros Hartnoll) to the bit fast but tasty trance stompers of 'San Francisco HM' and 'Big Dipper' on the Disc Two. Innovative and soulful, moody but jamming; this one should appeal to all you Orbital/LFO/AI heads everywhere. Check it out.
Here's the track listing:
T1 La Reve de Beatrice
T2 March of the Holy
SS1 Gaza Strip
TT1 San Francisco HM
TT2 Big Dipper
All trainspotting IDM-ers should be aware that the aforementioned 'Olympic' has appeared earlier on the Trance Europe Express 2 compilation as a slightly different mix called 'Dreams'. Now only if I managed to get my hands on those Salt Tanks One to Three...
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 15:25:59 +0200 (EET)
I'm not too sure if this has been up here before, but I've just had Apollo 440's Liquid Cool 12" (Sonic Stealth SSXT3), which also has remixes from Deep Forest, Future Sound of London and Jah Wobble, and being a bit of a FSOL completist, I thought this was a must have.
Well, actually the FSOL mix with its heavy hip (trip?) hop drum loops and even heavier guitar driven (yikes!) melody line failed to meet my expectations; have heard this kind of thing one too many times lately... Still, looking forward to that 'ISDN' album -- don't let medown this time, guys :) The Jah Wobble mix was kinda funny, with that bass sound we have learned to know and love, and its sudden change of tempo in mid-song, which made it sort of trancey in a twisted way. Weird :) The Deep Forest mix offered even less surprises, so the prize must go to Apollo 440's own 'Theme For Cryonic Suspension' version in all its 12 minute sci-fi epic glory. Haunting, to say the least; also love those droning synths, whispered vocals and that lingering piano line. Music to get in suspended animation by.
I guess there must be an older version of this, because on my 'Rumble EP'('93) there's already a remix version. Anyone to know better?
A lso On Now: Retribution - Repetitive Beats 12" (Sabrettes) (yeah, actually left me a bit unimpressed, but it's for a good cause :)
... The finest surgical and cryobiological techniques are used to introduce state-of-the-art drugs to protect the patient against tissue damage at low temperatures, to insure optimal distribution of the drugs throughout the body, to provide optimal metabolic support for the patient, and to provide maximum control in the event of complications...
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 1994 13:01:03 +0200 (EET)
here's another psycho babble review from your mad Finn for anyone who cares. Yesterday I finally got the new Sabres of Paradise 'Haunted Dancehall' (WARPCD/LP26), and the drool dribbling from the corner of my mouth I hurried home to my measly estates. My hands trembling I carefully removed the first record of two from its sleeve, put it on the turntable, lighted a big fatty, and laid back.
Wonderful sounds started to sprinkle from the speakers. Mad, dubby hip hop riddims floated in the air blue from the smoke, which was just starting to thicken. In my ecstatic trance I saw visions of deranged Rastafaris shaking their limbs to the robotic Kraftwerk rhythms, psychedelic Ganja cowboys strutting their thing on the dancefloor, skanking with tattooed skinheads, Genesis P-Orridge reading mantras, floating five feet from the floor (sorry, a little inside joke).
There was 'Wilmot', which with its jazzy 30's trumpet sound put me in the mood once again; 'Tow Truck' with its spiky electric guitar and wicked organ strangely reminding me of the early Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd ('Lucifer Sam', anyone?), which is not really a bad thing in my book: just imagine they had Andy Weatherall to remix them in their late 60's heyday. And there were 11 other dub monster goodies to blow your mind, which made up for the whole year of bad AFX records (not really wanting to join the Aphex backlash, though),the massive disappointment of 'Lifeforms', and all that dire 'intelligent techno' stuff (ok, ok, some of it :-), which just left me so cold... If you thought 'Sabresonic' was scary, wait until you hear this one. What else can I say? Weatherall is God.
Just to add some trivia, on the sleeve there's also some interesting excerpts from the 'Haunted Dancehall' by James Woodbourne. If that book is only as good as its 'soundtrack', it probably makes a damn good reading! Are there any literate IDM-ers among us who know about this stuff?
Finally, the tracks to melt your mind:
Bubble and Slide
Bubble and Slide II
Duke of Earlsfield
Flight Path Estate
Return to Planet D (Portishead Remix)
Ballad of Nicky McGuire
Jacob Street 7 am
Chapel Street Market 9 am
Sorry, if I have offended anyone again with my senseless babblings and my contrived first year English Majorisms. It's just that I haven't been this excited since my first orgasm... well, almost :) Just one more thing: get it on vinyl, and blow your bass bins to kingdom come.
PS. Hey, you Just-Say-No'ers out there, don't lose your night's sleep: I lied about that weed part. But if only I'd have had some... ;)
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 13:59:53 +0300 (EET DST)
** A REVIEW **
Artists: Pete Namlook & Richie Hawtin
Title: From Within
Cat No: AW 005
Made in Germany
1. Snake Charmer (13:25)
2. Sad Alliance (12:25)
3. A Million Miles To Earth (29:18)
4. Homeward Bound (12:20)
5. Lost (03:19)
From Within From Our Minds... To Yours. The long-awaited collaboration between the ambient hero Pete Namlook, who churns out a new album in a time it takes from us mere mortals to make ourselves a cup of tea, and the wunderkind Richie Hawtin, the unofficial crown prince of acid and specialist of sparse minimalist rhythms. A combination like this will undoubtedly make every obsessive's mouth to water, and may even spark interest in those who think both of these artists are hugely overrated among the IDM/ambient circles... Windsor, Ontario via a quantum leap to Cologne, Germany. And you guessed it: Namlook droning with the sparse Hawtin drums in the background, but all in all very tasty with its out-of-body-experience anaesthetic chemical landscapes not unfamiliar to any FAX loyalist.
Hypnotic, melancholic, a little sad - the rhytmic Detroit techno roots are apparent, although somewhat subdued (Snake Charmer). Simple pulsing bassline throbbing among the almost invisible hi-hats slowly accelerating with the lonely synth droning making electronic waves (Sad Alliance). Tiny Satie piano licks dropping like water from the melting ice turning to a brooklet turning to a stream turning to a flood in the most classic minimalist sense. (A stupid notion occured to me: maybe the original Chicago acid might have sounded something like this if those early DJ's and party people had dropped ketamine instead of LSD, but let's not be that silly...) I heard Pete Namlook called this song one of his best? (A Million Miles To Earth). A woman tells us to take out our identification in German or something like that, that clattering Hawtin snare/hi-hat and Floyd TangDream synths singing in unisono (credits thank Ludwig Rehberg of the legendary EMS synth fame, who supplied the gear) - silent dramatic wham bam thank you ma'm i'm in Ekstasis bursting song of Joy (Homeward Bound). Dissonant electronic wind outro, your captains thank you for the pleasant trip, please come again (Lost).
oNNow: Praxis - Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) [Axiom]
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 15:19:17 +0300 (EET DST)
Title: Prime Cuts
- Music For The New Electronic Generation, Volume 2
Label: Primate Recordings (UK)
Cat No: PRMTCD02
1. Paperclip People: Remake Uno
2. Plastikman: Smak
3. Emporar: Caligula
4. Percy X: Odyssey
5. Planetary Assault Systems: Booster
6. The Young Braves: Time & Space
7. Rabbit In The Moon: East Remixes
8. Tesox: Funky Bassline
9. Alien Race: You Ain't Sexy
10. Silvervox: Exciter
11. Pump Panel: Remover
12. Woody McBride: Rattle Snake
Continuous mix by Richard Stewart.
Picked this up from my local music store Epe's -- the track listing seemed very appealing, especially for someone living here in Tampere, where acid jazz and t**p h*p have taken over like a storm during the last six months. One only gets fed up with that quite soon, and you just want to give a good kick to the trendies' asses in their wannabe-white-B-boy XXXL pants after a while >:(
For starters we get Carl Craig/Paperclip People's good old 'Throw' in its 'Remake Uno' version, with Manuel Göttsching's 'E2-E4' thrown in for a good measure. Then, without warning Richie Hawtin rushes in wearing his Plastikman guise, and we get hostages under siege sounds from 'Sheet One'. Former Tonka Sound System stalwart Choci's 303 time machine takes us to the ancient Rome - Emporar's 'Caligula' rules supreme, with the whips cracking on poor slaves' backs. 'Odyssey' by Percy X of Scotland's joy and pride Soma funks the house up.
The time is ripe for Mr. Luke Slater and his Planetary Assault Systems, assisted by Alan Sage. I, for one, shed bitter tears after having missed their 'Booster' on Peacefrog Records. Here it is now anyway, serving the cyberdelikatessen chilled, in the good intergalactic funk mode and percussions galore. Alas, The Young Braves cut it short with their trancer 'Time & Space' with clanking rhythms, ultra-tense keyboard twiddling and the flutes straight from the Andes. David Christophe and Steve McLure aka Florida's Rabbit In The Moon heavily trance-induce 'East', originally from Hamburg's Superstition label.
We are in for an acid holocaust, when Tesox of Germany's Plastic City Records takes the controls with 'Funky Bassline'. Stuttering hi-hat and nagging 303 turn to a murder in high heels, someone has spiked our drinks! The lysergic mayhem continues with Simon Wilthshire from Underground Music project, with his Alien Race. 'You Ain't Sexy', he tries to assure us, but it's so hard to believe, when the walls start breathing and the acidic rhythm keeps burning. The pHilanthropic Choci jumps in again as Silvervox, and as the very title promises, 'Exciter' will get the dicks hard and the pussies to moist... This is getting seriously X-rated! Erm, and it only gets worse with Tim Taylor and Pump Panel w/ 'Remover' -- someone call the cops now! Alarm 303030303030303, ten four! They're all crazeee, officer.. But oh no, the one-man exterminator team from Minneapolis, Woody McBride has arrived. Open fire on the dance floor, no hostages, the survivors (if there are any) will suffer a serious post acid shock years after, with serious damage done to their mental healths and recurring flashbacks. Hope to see ya in the next world, mate!
Distant Adrifting Circles
Pineapple Circle's first album, like B12's 'Time Tourist', sounds both pleasantly old-fashioned and ageless at the same time. Not quite like Sähkö's stylus-stuck-in-a-lonely-groove ultra-minimalism, and more electroish than Aural Expansion's serene soundscapes, Pineapple Circle treads that tender path between ambientish listening techno and the good old style electro - tracing the very word both to its early 80's European and NY incarnations - preaching their electronic sermon for those who want their techno wrapped in nice melodies and soothing electronics of that last decade gone by.
Whereas Jimi Tenor looks hopefully in the direction of the leaping Barry White cocktail lounge lizards, Pineapple Circle seems to get their inspiration from those early Eighties synth futurists, à la Depeche Mode circa '83 and that ilk (though fear not - even that said, Pineapple Circle is more 'Clear' than Gary Numan); 'Sliced Circles' even reminiscing the haunting, mysterious chanson melody of Grace Jones' 'Libertango (I've Seen That Face Before)' thrown together with some pre-'Stripped' Mode pictoresque hummability and alongside a soft, steady 808 beat. In all their quirkiness, Black Dog never managed to sound so unashamedly nostalgic like this; although with our tropical flavour-drenched duo the taste is untaintedly fresh in all its memory-evoking familiarity. Why, that's a melancholic little melody so much favoured by the Finnish popular music thriving in the shadow of our (believe it or not) soft-hearted Slavic cousins.
One of the hardest things in this world is to write a memorable original song using only the sparse colours of that technological palette at disposal of an average electronic musician - and even in the light of their obvious promise, one gets sporadically the feeling that some of Pineapple Circle's tunes need a bit of fleshing out, but as a hope-raising debut 'Distant Adrifting Circles' works just beautifully. Well, there's maybe a compulsory trendy t**p f**k tune like "Trip To Another", featuring one MC Maniac James, sounding a little bit too obvious and run-of-the-mill by now, and somehow out of the place too (is that a mutated drum loop of Funkadelic's 'I'll Bet You' I keep hearing...?) - but everyone must have their growing pains.
The sleeve jacket design by Harri and Aslak - a stylized crayon pineapple can with a hue of yellow and Underworld/Tomato black & white font lettering inside - is worth a mention, being refreshingly different from all your usual computer-generated "Day-Glo androids tripping in cyberspace" fare. Anyway, with some good luck, Pineapple Circle may in time prove themselves to be Intelligent Dance Music's best kept little secret.