it is days like today that i feel very fortunate and happy with how mnml ssgs has developed. after a string of killer contributions to the series, kevin gorman then drops this bomb in my inbox. kevin is someone that has been on the ssg radar for a while, both because of his productions and DJ'ing. after listening to this mix, though, i am not sure if there is much point separating the two, as what kevin is effectively doing is disolving the border between producer and DJ. what he has provided is a stunning showcase of his new 'elements' project. 'elements' consists of 4 monthly releases on his mikrowave label - part 1 is out, part 2 hits beatport on 9 april - where all the parts of the music are released alongside the original tracks, along with bonus beats and tools. as kevin explains, 'it is music released as i would want to buy it, loads of things to tweak and layer in ableton live.'
as we all know, there has been an ongoing and rather tiresome debate about vinyl vs digitial DJ'ing. what kevin demonstrates here is a point that pete continually emphasises - it is not software or hardware that really matters, but how it is used. before the advent of ableton we had more than our fair share of shitty vinyl DJs. we still do, only now they are joined by shitty laptop DJs too. but if used carefully, and one does not get seduced by technological fetischism, DJ'ing digitally opens up great space for tremendous creativity and innovation. i think this is what kevin demonstrates with great clarity and virtuosity here.
as for the mix itself: what has attracted me to kevin's DJ'ing is it always has a really sense of dynanism and power. his sounds always have real life, energy and vigor. in the mix kevin has put together for the ssgs you can find these same feelings, but in a very restrained, precise manner. i think the best words i can use to describe this mix come from surgeon's label: dynamic tension. it reminds me a bit of marcel fengler's contribution in the way he expertly keeps control over the tempo and structure: continually building and releasing pressure (the last 10 minutes is particularly mindbending - i can imagine a lot of people suffering from meltdowns hearing this).
the mix is composed almost exclusively of tracks from kevin gorman's 'elements' series, so not too much point hiding the tracklist for this one (if you can't see the picture clearly enough, click here)
mnml ssgs mx24: kevin gorman - elements mix (direct dl)
respect to kevin both for this mix and for seeking to push techno's boundaries. if you want to find out more about the 'elements' project, check his myspace and the site for his label, mikrowave. also, at beatportal there is an interesting writeup about 'elements', and it is also considered here at a cool new blog, 'the oblique angle'.
ok. enjoy. next week is a special live DJ set from XDB (metrolux music).