Friday, September 18, 2009

Full Set says 'Hello Hiatus...' (sets on reflection like jelly in a mirror)

Hello fellow SSGs,

Chris and I have decided to take a full fortnight off. Yes, SSGs are having a fully-blown, no alibi holiday. Never fear, we shall return…. and in greater numbers… with some new ‘casts that we’re particularly excited about... more on that in a fornight, natch...

In the meantime, I thought I might list some of the mixes that have been favourites of the year so far. This list is in no strict order, and for reasons of humility (I suppose) I've excluded all SSG casts. Anyway, here they are. All of them come with my double thumbs up guarantee, having proved not only their superlongevity, but also the slow revelation of some glinting hidden gem.

Seth’s second Save the Cannibals podcast (Episode 22)

this one is just divine…. feels like you’re floating, then there’s the final track (sounds almost Depeche Mode-y, can someone confirm). Seth proves with every one of his very many ‘casts what an excellent DJ and tasteful selecta he is, but with this mix he’s created something elevated, rare, and, for my money, perfect. This has undoubtedly given me more pleasure and longevity than any other mix this year. Get on it.

Mike Huckaby’s Bunker podcast

Mixing is over-rated; track selection is not. This, to me, reminds me of an older tradition of mixing records. Huckaby lets every record shine (and picks classic after classic) creating dialogues between them that end up telling a bigger story, which then brings the whole thang home with a final track that ‘reveals’ the gestalt. I just dig this so much.

DJ Koze’s RA podcast

I’ve included this one here because of, enjoyment aside, its timely, symbolic character. Bookended as it is with Mount Kimbie at one end and Animal Collective at the other, Koze seems to be saying (whether intentionally or not I don’t know) that the whole micro/click/minimal thang has run its full course… or that’s how I read it: a kind of symbolic completion, the full play-through of all the recombinations within a genre. In a way, this is the last possible ‘great Kompakt mix’ in the manner of Koze’s All People is My Friends and Tobias Thomas’ Smallville mix… an era passes into the past.

Steffi’s Panoramabar Mix II

Steffi, for me, has totally eclipsed Cassy of late as the Panoramabar stylist par excellence. Where Cassy just seems to be just mixing one record into the next in an almost totally aimless way, Steffi has a masterplan. Her pace and programming is always impeccable – everyone of her mixes (like this and her still incredible RA podcast from last year) has this fantastic arc to it. She builds tension, she moves deftly, AND she knows exactly when to grant you the big release…. Steffi takes you places… I’m not bored of this mix 6+months/12+ rinses in, and that, on an iPod with a few hundred mixes loaded, says it all.

Jus-Ed’s “On the Roof” ( podcast

The whole ‘shout outs to the massive’ thang that the UK has unfortunately inherited from soundsystem toasting gives me the howling, screaming shits… likewise ‘banter’ on podcasts…. to me several of the To the Bone podcasts become junk after one listen, despite the impeccable track selection, because of the irritating, sniggery-pokery banter going on. Yes, I know it’s a kind of a radio show, but having a recording as opposed to a live on the air broadcast (which you intend to listen and re-listen to) changes the game for me. I’m not sure the radio paradigm works for files…. But Jus Ed has gift of gab, he’s charming and engaging – and he plays amazing music. I gave this to a friend’s sister as a gateway mix into the world of house… now she might as well be Screaming Rachel….

Scuba’s new Hotflush mix

Every now and then, somebody does do something new. Paul Rose in 2009 is just such a somebody. And boy oh boy… as if the SSG SCB mix for us wasn’t enough, here comes even more: this mix covers dubstep, techno, minimal/house, and even some two step… with a rock earcleaner in the middle which I dug too. This is some new shit, this is fresh, this is just fucking excellent. Please do yourself a favour and get on it right away: Scuba is digging the trench; watch everyone follow in his wake.

Alva Noto’s Bunker performance

It’s amazing to see somebody cross so convincingly out of the white box of the sound/art world into the black box of the club/floor. This live set has so much white intensity (in all senses of the phrase)… ‘Gosh’, as a white person might say. So much intensity, so much passion in such precision. It’s not very often that Raster.Noton brings on a bout of spasming head-banging… I want to say: be careful listening to this one if you’re already on your way, you might just lose your shit.... unfortunately, the bass is way overblown on the other Raster sets, so I can't recommend 'em, but this one....

DJ Pete’s Wax Treatment cast

This one’s just got a real ‘sound’ to it. No super outstanding moments or ‘gee whizz’ Alva Noto-ish highpoints…. and yet… I just have to keep listening to it. What can I say? This is just extremely good dub/substep.

Bruno Pronsato’s Bunker performance

SSGs might know that Chris and I are split on ‘The Question of Bruno’: Chris can’t seem to see ‘it’; me and silent SSG Dave W both think that Make Up, Break Up is one of theeeee pieces of music this year so far in any genre, and both got longlasting microhouse stiffies (now there's an image to make weep) over Why Can’t We Be Like Us…. there are other Pronsato sets floating around, but for me, this is where he really, really, really nails ‘it’: not just his own material, but also the laptop/live perfomance… and it’s a perfect sublimation of most of what was interesting about minimal, but with more, so much more....

Matias Aguayo’s FACT mix

….I get that 14 tracks thing from boomkat, and when the Aguayo one came in the other week, I thought to myself: ‘come to think of it, Matias *actually* wrote several of the best tunes on Kompakt’… and might have been their most talented artist, or one of the three. Certainly, he’s one of he only ones who’s doing something now that doesn’t have a nasty whiff about it… anyway, I’ll spare all of us the Kompakt rant, not least of all ‘cos Matias is doing something new here, doin’ his own thang. The Whirlpool Productions track in this set is like a fucking firecracker up your sex bits…. in fact, that’s the hallmark of this whole set: it’s fucking sexy. Red rocket, coming right up ya.

…okay, so that’s the full set from me, what about you SSGs? Let’s use the comment section for everyone to nominate a few of their own faves from this year so far…. in the meantime, I’m off. See you all in a fortnight... oh, and sorry for the bodgy layout here, Word imported it with all this formatting, then I added the links (all too late) and, sorry, I can't be bothered going back and doing it again.... anyhoo....


  1. Here's my two cents, and in no particular order:

    RA.162 nsi.: This one was utterly brilliant, as far as I'm concerned. It spawned a ridiculous debate on the RA forums unlike any I've seen (on the RA forums). I was really surprised to see the hostility towards it.

    XLR8R Modern Love label mix: I may be a bit biased as Modern Love is perhaps my favorite label :P

    Hotflush Pocast 02 Sigha: Slow, deep dubstep brilliance.

    And not sucking up, but both the Scuba and Traversable Wormhole SSGs were stunning. If the Scuba podcast isn't on the RA Top Podcasts of 2009, i will be very VERY surprised.

  2. Nice selection cheers. Would have to agree with you re. the Mike Huckaby Bunker mix. Exceptional track selection.

    The Jus Ed and Function Bunker podcasts also brill too. Looking forward to seeing the latter at The Lab on Monday. Bring it on!!

  3. i dont get it? chris , what is happening with everybody? ok holiday is holiday i understand, but ssgs was in holiday for 3 weeks almost nowww...:(( sad news to start the day

  4. First I'll say that Silent Servant's "La Segunda" and the Traversable Wormhole ssg mixes have been on heavy, heavy rotation for me.

    Both the nsi. and DJ Koze podcasts at RA really did it for me. Koze's is simply the best mix I've heard all year and nsi.'s was almost like a new LP from them.

    Every podcast Peter van Hoesen has done this year has been amazing, but my pick is the one he did for Extremely well put together, ending in what I still believe is the best record of the year ("Attribute One").

    I've also listened to Phillip Sherburne's Timecast mix a lot, given that the tracklist is out of this world.

  5. Anything I've heard Pete, Scuba, Steffi, Gorman or Troxler put their name to this year has been fab and I would certainly feel the same love for Koze's RA cast as so many ssger's here - a brilliantly unpredictable yet perfectly meshed series of tracks from a spectrum of genres, and one of those mixes that proves it's not all about homogenising styles but plotting an emotional narrative (couldn't bring myself to say 'journey').

    Mixes I've had on repeat have included Levon Vincent at RA, Prosumer's incredible Villa Oslo mix, Untold's Sonic Router effort. Am mildly surprised no-one's mentioned Ben Klock's funky and uncompromising FACT mix too - one of the best Berghain mixes I've heard. Cio d'Or's On Clouds mix shows she's getting better and better and is surely my favourite techno deej right now.

    The bulk of great mixes this year seem to have had a common denominator though - mnmlssgs. Lerosa, Yuka, Gorman, d'Or, Parasole and Brunn - all amazing. Silent Servant's though - fackin 'ell! It takes a hella mix to stick it's head above this lot but that it does. Rockin.

  6. i am definitely in the Pronsato thumbs up camp. Great minimal will continue to live on! a nice selection of sets, listened to most of them a lot already; looking forward to checking out the rest. thanks PC. happy holidays

  7. What Panoramabar-mix by Steffi? Next edition in the ostgutton-series will be by Tama Sumo?!

  8. Markus, here's the link to the Steffi mix. Agreed on the Steffi vs Cassy comment.

    I loved the Levon Vincent RA mix as well.

  9. @Marc: thanks for the comment on Steffi, I understand now.

    Three of my favourite podcasts not mentioned here yet are the Joy Orbison downbeat set posted a few days ago, the 2562 mix over at Fact and most recently - to be honest, I discovered it today - the mix Eric Cloutier did for Save The Cannibals.

    Wen it comes to mnmlssgs mixes, may favourites are without a doubt traversable wormhole, yuka and scb!


  10. All ssgs, all the time for me. Cio, n/e.s, Traversable, Ancient Methods, and more than any others, Yuka. Those were all pretty much a weekly listen for me.

    Sure, there have been other Non-ssg mixes this year. But you guys just get the best ones!

    Thanks for all, and have an awesome, MUCH deserved holiday!

  11. PC, the last track on Seth's mix is "Tiga - Gentle Giant".

  12. i already had a couple but didnt know about the seth or dj koze mix..SICK. cheerios!

  13. Yes, have had Troxler's STC mix on repeat since it dropped.

    Agree with Marc on Levon Vincents RA mix, too. Get on it!

  14. Completely agree about the koze podcast. Really lush electronic stuff there.

    will definitely have to check out couple others there you've mentioned. Didn't really dig Matias RA podcast but will have a listen to fact one.

    Would also mention Soul Claps Wolf + Lamb podcast mix, great selection of tracks there!

  15. Yuka. Giving it another listen right now, and it's still exciting. And those other ssg mixes aren't too shabby either ;)
    Agreed about Cio d'Or's "On Clouds" mix too.
    I'm really liking Red D's "About Making Love and Fucking" house mix on infinitestatemachine. Tracks from San Soda, STL, Ron Trent, Redshape--yummy stuff.

  16. PC, you're gonna force me into seriously contemplating an external hard drive for all this stuf... sigh.

  17. +1 to the soul clap mix... most of the wolflamb stuff has been great

    and in laziness and at risk of groupiness, merci multo for the id on that final track on the seth stc mix. thats bank

  18. PC -

    Final track on Seth's most excellent STC mix is Tiga - Gentle Giant.


  19. loving that mike huckaby mix. what *is* the last track. i should know, and i'm sure i've heard it out, but...


  21. Thanks for the links.

    I dont suppose anyone could ID any of the Bruno Pronsato set? That is incredible.
    Recongise a snippet of the make up/break up and On My Own but thats about it.

  22. wtf is going on with Pete & dubstep??!! :-))

    a love is in the air?

    i dig some dubstep productions & i attend some good parties when the chance is given, but Pete playing so much dupstep really took me by surprise!


    (p.s dmz parties in London are over urban city with dubstep soundz!!)

  23. correction:

    "are taking over the urban city" meaning they prevail, they are massively succesful*


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