Friday, July 31, 2009

set up!

i wasn't planning on posting any sets for a while, but there are just so many good ones i am listening to right now, i had to share! before i get into them, i am presuming everyone here already has the livepa from PvH and the dj mix from steffi over at LWE. if not, hurry up and get them. ok, onto the rest:

liasons dangereuses mixtape, 15/6/1989 pt 1 - pt 2 - pt 3: well, this is not exactly new. but i dug it up again last week. and it has been on repeat ever since. it is ridiculous how much good shit there is in this 3 hour megamix. it still blows my mind now, i can't even imagine how this would have sounded to fresh ears back in '89. respect! [from memory, one of the DL links is labeled wrong, but these are the right files.]

maurice fulton - bubbletease 51 mix: i used to follow the bubbletease mixes, but then they disappeared. i didn't realise he was still doing them until i saw someone on twitter lose their shit over this mix. and rightly so. damn. maurice. is. so. good. the scary thing about this mix is that it is made up of all his own productions. maurice is criminally under-rated. undoubtedly one of the best producers out there. a true house genius. impressive that a legend like maurice can be keeping it fresh after so many years. again, respect!

shed livepa @ sonar lab, 2009: this one kinds of speaks for itself. shed knows how to bring the hammer. his music has so much force to it. one thing i really like about this recording is you can hear a real development in his livepa in comparison to the bodytonic one from last year.

franco cangelli - hybridize five mix: to be honest, i normally like, but never love, franco's mixes. this is a reflection on me more than anything - he always plays plenty of great records and can mix fine, so no problem there. anyway, the good news is that franco and i have finally connected, as a result of his latest mix. it is a powerful set of deep, emotive techno. nice... the first hour has its moments, but it is the second hour that really does it for me. builds an amazing vibe and feel throughout the whole set. recommended.

roger 23 @ studio 80, 27.05.2009: roger 23 is someone i've always known by reputation, but never heard, so i'm glad to have finally come across a mix of his. i can see he deserves a rep. this is a lovely mix. he is part of the swayzak soundsystem and this does have some records from, and the feel of, those great groovetechnology and fabric swayzak mix cds. again, just take me word and download it. you'll be glad you did.

ok, that's all. think i've found an appropriate mix for 'sunday sounds', and one of these days i might try to do a more substantive post again. but lets not get our hopes up too high.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

mnml ssgs mx34: traversable wormhole

what do i like about 2009? techno is exciting again. no question about it. with a bit of luck we might just be witnessing the start of a techno renaissance... one label that has been contributing to this resurgence is traversable wormhole. i was interested as soon as i saw boomkat's description of the A side of vol. 1 as sounding like 'marcel dettmann in a jack-off with monolake and ancient methods'. and that's a pretty good take on it. the first 2 EPs are some of the best techno i've heard in 2009 and i am eagerly awaiting vol. 3 to arrive in tokyo record stores (it was released last week).

as soon as i got my hands on these EPs, i knew it fitted perfectly with the ssg sound. and sure enough, the mix traversable wormhole did for us is exactly what i hoped/expected: serious headfuck techno. the mix is defined by its raw, powerful feel; brimming with energy and vitality. exactly what techno should be. i have a feeling this will definitely bend a few heads...

mnml ssgs mx34: traversable wormhole - through the wormhole mix

massive thanks to traversable wormhole for delivering a top notch mix, and to the person who helped to get us connected. there is a traversable wormhole myspace and, as i said, keep an eye out for traversable wormhole vol. 3, which has just dropped. that's all for now, tracklisting to follow. better turn off the lights and pull out the strobe light again. headfuck techno time!

To and Fro and dainty dubstep, screaming divas, and... Oni Ayhun

Hey SSG peepz,

regular readers may have 'tuned in' when, about eight months ago, I was a guest on To and Fro, a radio show on Melbourne's RRR. For some weird reason, they decided to have me back in/on... hell, they've even decided to make it a semi regular thing. Must be all the amyl I gave them, after I ripped their shirts off.

Listening back on the recording, several repetitive, personal obsessions (which you may have also read me indulging here) came back to the fore: the undeath of plugins mnml; the general entropy of 'dance music' (good and bad); the overuse of the words 'balance' and 'convincing' to describe tracks I like... and the fact that I talk.... at speed, and in great quantities of words. Very strange realising the hyperactive pessimist I am.

In any case, may thanks to Dave and Tim for having me on the show - hopefully RRR listeners got a good SSG dose, hopefully SSG readers will get some idea of what I sound like and how the SSG sounds fit into the ambient background of Melbourne independent and electronic music, of which To and Fro is an integral part... it also may be interesting for listeners from all over to hear a slice of Melbourne's 'take' on things... you can also check out Declan Kelly's Against the Arctic [blog] [radio site] and Michael (who has an ironic moustache but a good record collection) Kucyk's Noise in my Head, both of which I really recommend....

You can check out the podcast here. Sendspace mirror is here. Tracklist is here. the very least, this is your chance to hear the b-side of Oni Ayhun's third EP in its entirety... which is something, given it's arguably the EP of the year so far.

...I'm also keen to carry on a discussion on any of the 'points raised' in the comments section.

Emjoi (gently)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

sunday sounds: on a cloud with cio

good news ssgs. a fresh mix from one of our favourites, cio d'or. this mix shows a different side to what we usually hear from her: the bleeps are gone, but the atmospherics remain in the form of deep dubbed out techno. i have to admit i am sucker for these sounds, and i love cio to bits, so i am totally biased, but i think this is a great mix. last week i got home from a difficult goodbye at the airport and then put this on, and it really lifted my spirits. deep, soothing sounds. which also makes it just right for a sunday...

cio d'or - on clouds 11 (special radio mix) @

style: downtempo deep dub techno
date: july 2009

1. Model 500 - Starlight (Immersion Dub) [Echospace]
2. Deepchord - Vantage Isle (CV313 Reduction II) [Echospace]
3. Echospace - Reduction [Fortune Records???]
4. Deepchord - Vantage Isle (DC Mix III) [Echospace]
5. AndrŽé Lodemann - Zap (Norman Nodge Mix) [Best Work]
6. Substance & Vainqueur - Reverberation / Reverberate [Scion Versions]
7. Remote - Reveal [Styrax Records]
8. Bvdub - Untouchable (Original Mix) [Night Drive Music]
9. Son.sine - Upekah [Nurture]
10. Bvdub - A Quiet Of Vengeance (Original) [Styrax Records]
11. Pendle Coven - Iamnoman EP [Modern Love]
12. Bvdub - Goodbye (Original Mix) [2600 Records]
13. Milton Bradley - Last Flight To Cologne (Original Mix) [Do Not Resist The Beat]
14. Bvdub - Dreaming Of Your Downfall [Styrax Records]
15. Cio D´Or - Organza (Transparent Dub)
[taken from Cio D´Or's forthcoming album release "Die Faser" on Prologue / Fall 2009]
16. Jichael Mackson - Breitling Orbiter [Phictiv]
17. Chain Reaction - Resilent [Chain Reaction]
18. Deepchord - Vantage Isle (CV313 Reduction II) [Echospace]

i think i'll try a do a 'sunday sounds' post semi-regularly, if i can find sets like this that are just right for the first/last day of the week. hope everyone has a good day. thanks so much to cio for sharing another gem with us all. enjoy this and start getting excited for cio's album, which is due to drop on prologue later in the year.


last night i finally got to see prosumer spin and he was even better than i could have hoped for. just to put things in perspective, this is what i wrote on twitter before the party:

"prosumer tonight. excited. will be shocked if he is anything less than totally awesome."

the fact he managed to exceed my very high expectations really says something about how good he was.

yesterday afternoon when walking home from the train station i was thinking about how to define or explain exactly what it is about this music that makes it so special and important. there are different ways this can be answered, but for me one part of it is this: when it comes down to it, the music can be such an incredibly powerful and overwhelmingly positive force. everything disappears and the sounds are like a guided missile aimed right at your very core. and when it hits, the result is an amazing and rare sense of clarity, happiness and gratitude. of course there are other fundamental dimensions to techno/house/electronic music, but this is a distinguishing feature - it can impact on me in a manner that nothing else does.

of course, this is not a constant sensation when listening to the music. far from it. most of the time it is a soundtrack to life, a constant that sometimes moves to centre stage, though is often just ticking away in the background. last night, however, prosumer created one of those special moments. for 3+ hours he played to a small, black dancefloor filled with a slightly small but high quality crowd (something increasingly rare in tokyo). the vibe was just right. the mixing was tight. the track selection was spot on. a large portion (i think) were old records: most i never knew existed and the ones i did recognise prosumer made sound fresh. when all this was put together i could experience a special and rare moment: everything faded away, all the bullshit disppeared, and what was left was just an incredible elemental sense of joy and happiness. for those couple of hours i was just so happy, and felt incredibly lucky to be able to experience something like that.

and that is what is should be like.

if achim happpens to read this, thank you.

and to everyone else, next time he is in your hood, go get yourself prosumered.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

mx 33 - lerosa: tracklisting

glad everyone has been digging lerosa's house classics mix. here is the tracklisting. i've got another post later today if i get around to it, more sunday sounds tomorrow and then the next ssg mx on monday or tuesday from traversable wormhole. hope everyone is having a good weekend...

mnml sssgs mx33 - lerosa

Moody Boys - Acid Heaven
808 State - E-talk
Adrenalin MOD - track this
Mark Imperial & Co. - She Ain't Nuthin' But A Hoe
Jupiter 6 - tracking system
Unique 3 - Rhythm Takes Control (Voice Less)
Vandal - The answer
Asia Love - Come together
Utopia Project - File 1
Lil' Louis & The World - Club Lonely
Mr. Fingers - Amnesia
The Railway Raver - My Lacoste (577 N Mix)
Tyree - Acid Over (Piano Matey Mix)
Uknown artists - Mad on Jazz
Pat Joey - Party Time
N.Y. House'n Authority - APT. 3B

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

mnml ssgs mx33: lerosa presents 'house classics v2'

last december lerosa put together a gem of a livepa for the ssgs. it is an excellent showcase of his sounds and one of the many highlights in our mix series (if you haven't already listened to it, definitely go and download it now). we are now happy to have another contribution from leo, this time in the form of a dj mix. earlier this year lerosa did a house classics mix for real soon radio, which was very well received. the good news is that he decided to do a sequel and share it with the ssgs. here it is for your listening pleasure.

there is not too much description necessary for this mix: 'house classics' pretty much sums it up. plenty of bomb records here and the whole mix has a great vibe for those in the northern hemisphere currently enjoying summer. and, as pete wrote to me in an email, 'it actually sounds quite a bit like lerosa - or, at least, you can tell the bits from house's past that appeal to him.' a great mix of fun, memories and a bit of education along the way.

lerosa presents 'house classics volume 2'
sendspace mirror

lerosa released an EP earlier this year, 'minefield', on real soon. there is also a new EP with donato dozzy coming out soon on apnea, as well as a new solo EP on uzuri, and possibly a very limited mini LP on tape cassette for further records towards the end of the year. plenty to look forward to from our talented friend... and if you happen to be in/around dublin, lerosa is doing a vinyl only DJ set at the sycamore on august 2nd, and on august 14th he is playing live at a test party also featuring donato dozzy on the decks. from what i've heard leo and donato are very old friends so i have a feeling this will be a special night. for more info check lerosa's myspace.

big thanks to leo for this lovely mix. we've got the tracklisting, so don't worry you won't have to go crazy remembering these records for too long. enjoy these house sounds before next week we take you back to headfuck techno territory with mx34 coming from traversable wormhole.

Monday, July 20, 2009

mx32 - anthony parasole: tracklisting

before i forget, here is the tracklisting for anthony parasole's excellent ssg mx.

mnml ssgs mx32: anthony parasole

1- Fred P - Mind in Flight "unreleased coming out soon"(Soul People Music)
2- Dj Qu & David S- Fight From Beyond (Strength)
3- Solab - Distant Galaxy (Lifeworld)
4- Dj Joey Anderson - Thee Analysis (Exchange Place)
5- Metro Area - Rhythm Reel (Environ)
6- Zachary Lubin- Introduction to algorithms (Axis Records)
7- Omar S - Track #8 (Fxhe)
8- Dj Qu - Air's Force (Semesters)
9- Morphosis- Anat (Morphine)
10- Obsolete Music Technology- Lowjack (Emphasis)
11-The Oliverwho Factory- U Don't Know (Madd Chaise)
12-Samuli Kemppi- Avaruusraita (Pakkas)
13-Levon Vincent- Games Dub (Underground Quality)
14-James Kumo- Fluid (Delsin)
15-Intrinsic- Tachyon (Emphasis)
16-Claude Vonstroke- Storm on Lake Saint Claire (dirtybird)
17-Jackmaster Corky- Dimension 106 (Creme Jak)
18-Dead Prez - It's Bigger Then Hip Hop (Loud)

lerosa up tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sunday sounds

not exactly techno, but this is where i found myself yesterday. all pretty random, but quite a bit of fun. planning to catch margaret dygas spin tonight if i still have the energy/motivation in a few hours (i was thinking about going out friday and/or last night, but didn't get very far either night). anyway, here are two new sets that i've been digging. something to keep you company on this sunday, wherever you may be.

prosumer - php08 mix: i know some people have been shitting their pants over the recent recording of prosumer at the villa in oslo, but for whatever reason i much prefer this set. it could be because he plays a couple of classics i really like. anyway, easy option would be just grabbing both. i don't think i've heard a stinky set from prosumer yet. he is definitely on form at the moment. looking forward to finally catching him this friday.

eli verveine - tastes like blueberry mix: i like blueberries. i like eli verveine. i like eli verveine mixing tracks that taste like blueberry. then again, i am a total sucker for eli's sounds. another gem from one of the most under-rated djs about. get on it.

enjoy these mixes. enjoy your sunday. and make sure to keep enjoying anthony parasole's great ssg mx. we will have the next ssg mx on tuesday: lerosa who has put together a lovely selection of house classics. and next week we are moving from house back to headfuck techno, with a seriously mindbending mix from traversable wormhole.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Celer – Danielle Baquet-Long R.I.P.

For the past month or so I’ve been meaning to post about the deep immersive ambient drones of Celer, whose music I’ve only recently discovered. A husband and wife duo (Will Thomas Long and Danielle Baquet-Long), Celer use strings, loops, and field recordings to create richly textured haunting dronescapes that are by turns meditative, melancholic, majestic, and graceful. Their albums move between long compositions that take the time to fully envelop the listener as they gently drift along (such as on Discourses of the Withered and Engaged Touches), and collections of snapshots that quickly carry the listener from scene to scene (such as on Nacreous Clouds and Capri).

Although they have only been recording for a few years, Celer already have an extensive back catalogue – I was happy to discover these artists and was looking forward to exploring their sound-worlds. However, I am shocked and saddened to learn that Danielle Baquet-Long suddenly passed away last week at the young age of 26. I would like to offer deep condolences from myself and the rest of the ssg crew to Danielle’s husband, Will Thomas Long, to all her family and friends, and all fans of Celer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

mnml ssgs mx32: anthony parasole

after a short break, we are back with another ssg mix, this time from new york's anthony parasole. during my brief trip to NYC in february, i went to a 'save the cannibals' party where he was playing along with cassy. i was impressed with what i heard from anthony and thought he'd fit well into our mix series. he agreed and i'm happy to share the result with you all.

anthony has been making a name for himself over the last year or two as part of a resurgent new york scene. besides dj'ing, he recently co-founded the deconstruct label with levon vincent, which has begun in fine fashion with the 1st two releases from levon being very well received. anthony has also started along with bryan kasenic (beyond booking/bunker) the house-n-home loft-party series, which has been bringing a string of quality house and techno acts to new york. and with the next deconstruct release, he'll be making production debut. so all in all, anthony is a busy boy...

anthony's mix is another all vinyl effort, recorded in one take. what i like about it is the whole mix has a really great flow and structure. it all fits together (this is very important for me). simply put, this is house with balls - the mix has a real raw feeling to it that really appeals. anyway, enough from me. you can hear it for yourself:

mnml ssgs mx32: anthony parasole presents 'steeple chase park' mix
sendspace mirror

the 3rd deconstruct is a double ep featuring a dj qu track, 'party people clap', along with remixes from anthony parasole and fred p , levon vincent, and jus-ed. the next house-n-home party is on 1 august featuring santiago salizar and dj qu. after that will be their one 1 year anniversary on 12 september with 2 special guests. plenty to look forward to... for more info about anthony, make sure to check his myspace.

big thanks to anthony for the mix, and also to levon who mastered it (yes, the ssgs know how to treat you well). tracklisting will be up next week along with the next ssg mx: another repeat performance, this time care of lerosa, who has done a special dj set of house classics. after all the headfuck techno, we figure it is time for a bit of house. enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the village orchestra - blank page mix

richard from stuff records kindly sent me this recent mix by the village orchestra (tvo), and after listening to it today, i immediately wanted to share it with everyone. basically tvo grabs your mind with one hand, and your balls with the other, and refuses to let go of either. i've included the tracklisting because it gives you a pretty good idea of the quality of the mix.

the village orchestra - blank page mix

Paul St Hilaire and Rene Lowe - Faith (vox)
Pangaea - Coiled
Boards of Canada - Amo Bisop Roden
Clouds - Elders
Zomby - Liquid Dancehall
Savath and Savalas - Transportation Theme (TVO edit)
Appleblim and Peverelist - Circling
Autechre - Sim Gishel
Mundo and Lifted MC - Bring Murda
Byetone - Capture This (iii)
Appleblim - Vansan
2562 - Channel Two
STP - The Fall (Additional mix)
Inner City - Good Life (Matthew Jonson's Acid mix)
Teste - The Wipe
Drexciya - Solar Wind
T++ - Storm
Shed - Flat Axe
AM/PM - The End (10)
Redshape - Plonk (Dub mix)
Deepchord - 4
The Marcia Blaine School For Girls - Bottle Stain (TVO/PU edit)
Round Four - Find a Way (Version)
Substance and Vainqueur - Resonance
Mike Parker - Inversion 7
Autechre - Slip (TVO edit)
DJ C - Exhibition Virtues (Hardcore Tonight mix)
Armando - Don't Take It (Thomos edit)
Shed - That Beats Everything!
Mike Parker - Caesura mix 1
King Cannbal - Arigami Style
Oscar Mulero - 46 (Surgeon mix)
Subhead - Butkins Rage
Cristian Vogel - Time
Merzbow - Ecobondage (ending) (Autechre mix)

tvo has a new ep out on stuff records, which includes a 2562 remix. more info about stuff records here and the village orchestra here. these guys really know their music and are worth paying attention to.

the next ssg mix will be up tomorrow, care of deconstruct's anthony parasole. until then, i'd suggest enjoying this...

Monday, July 13, 2009

go go optimo

if there is one thing that all the ssgs agree on, it is that optimo are criminally under-rated. the depth and breadth of their musical knowledge, and ability to manage to combine such an incredibly rich range of sounds in a set never ceases to impress.

here is a new mix from half of optimo - JD twitch - which is simply awesome. it is one of those mixes where you find yourself completely losing concentration and dancing like an idiot by yourself in your lounge room, bedroom or wherever the hell you are. listening to shit like this just makes me so happy.

here is how they described the mix:

"Shortly the Optimo website is going to have a total revamp and finally enter the 21st century. There will be lots of new features and content and one of the things we are going to introduce is a series of podcasts to take us into the second decade of the third millennium.

These will range from mixes recorded at the club to radio type shows, spoken word, mixes of music that tickles our fancy, or anything else we come up with that we'd like to share. ...

The [first] podcast is called "Synth Summer" and is a selection of (guess what?) synth based music from around the planet. It covers a broad range of styles and a broad time span - from 1980 to some tracks that haven't been released yet, and that may indeed never see the light of day. It is a dj mix but not a club mix. The flow is the way it is so as to be a listening experience rather than for the dancefloor, even though all the tracks are "dance" tracks. Wherever possible, as much of each track as possible has been included.

There is no tracklist as we think in this day and age with the abundance of mixes available on the internet that people often judge something based on the tracklisting rather than actually listening to it. If anyone really wants to know what a particular track is, we will be happy to tell them.

The mix was recorded using two turntables and a laptop. Wherever possible the original vinyl was used but some of the tracks don't exist on vinyl. Track one (which we would like to thank Mr. James Holden for providing us with after searching for it for many years) only exists on a cassette from the early 80s so please excuse the fidelity, although it actually sounds pretty fab considering. A tiny bit of post mix editing was done as one of the tracks skipped during the recording and the levels were a little askew in a couple of places. The mix contains 17 tracks, lasts just over an hour and the download is a 192kbps mp3 and is 84.5mb.

Enjoy. "

jd twitch (optimo) - synth summer mix

put it on and rock out. the end is especially awesome. actually, the whole thing is especially awesome.

tokyo party report

ok, well i've been to plenty of parties in tokyo over the past month and i was planning on doing write ups for most/all of them. but that never quite happened. so here is a quick summary of the people i saw over the last month...

*edit* april 2010 - almost a year later and ssgs are still receiving complaints about this post. while i stand by my original assessments of the performances by the various artists, we've decided to remove the pics and a few comments both directed towards the artists and the blog that cross the line a bit. anyway, you live and learn online. but basically the post said:

fumiya tanaka

audio werner
modern deep love quartet

mike shannon
the mole

ok, that just about covers it. a mixed bag. seen some amazing stuff, some average stuff, and some really awful stuff that makes me wish ableton was never invented.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Luke Slater confesses: I lived the ups and downs of a Planetary Assault System (and let me tell you, space is more important than the hit)

Luke Slater is a difficult man to pin down, as RA's Lee Smith discovered recently, with this interview. Lucky for techno fans, Slater pours himself into his music: this year's Temporary Suspension takes the Ostgut sound and heats it until it's white hot: like last year's 'Plastic Star' EP by Byetone and tobias.' 'I can't fight the feeling', Slater's new work manages to achieve the auditory sensation of melting transistors and incandescent wires. But this is also body music, that gives you a deep reaction simultaneously physical and mental: ECT for darktime dancefloors? But enough preambling and description: for God's sake, listen to the album if you haven't already, it's hot. But what makes Luke wanna make all that heat and noise? And, for that matter, what makes his system hum? Escape, space, mistakes, mess, highs, lows, obsession... sounds a bit like that new PAS record...

What drew you to music? What draws you to music?

I think when I was a small kid it was some kind of escapism, to this mystic world where some kind of energy was bottled up in a recording. A hidden world that spoke directly to me, and selfishly to me alone – I was willing to share but takers were few. I was acutely aware that I was quite alone in this in terms of obsession, but I couldn't help myself.

Tell me a little bit about your musical development: what did you listen to as a kid? What did your parents, siblings and friends listen to? (How) was this influential?

My Dad was a music devotee, he also needed music like water. I think he would have liked to be a musician, but was 100% happy with listening to it through the best system he could afford. He was a big band/jazz/dance 1920s and 30s fan, and I grew up surrounded by piano solos, drum solos, huge horn sections, lo-fi recordings, ragtime, and upbeat stuff, rather than crooners. I know a lot of those 1920s dance records, they are ingrained in my head. I was fascinated by the medium itself, too – the way the music was held in the slate or plastic, the apparatus needed to play it back. The bass and treble controls.

My brother and sister on the other hand, cast records and music aside like a pair of old trainers. Their 7" records would be cast on top of a pile of toys, cover lost, played once and forgotten – a quick fix. To me that was strange and alien but I got the feeling early on that most people around me, friends of sorts, their parents etc were not obsessives like me. Whenever I went to a friend's house when I was a kid I would look for the record collection to kind of get a foothold on things. I started to gauge people by music. My Dad was incredibly supportive of my developing obsession. I started converting 7" rock and pop records later on in childhood, the first record I bought was 'Alright Alright' by Mungo Jerry, which I got from a second hand store where I lived and played over and over. The drum break at the beginning just before the verse starts still gives me a buzz now. It's too short though! Noticing that breakdowns were too short quickly developed into a different obsession when I stopped listening to 'songs' per se. Then I started to find a secret desire in mistakes: the shout captured by mistake, the fade out where you could hear the band change direction before it was cut, the two second fill which took on a new life for a second, then vanished. The sound of the drums, the distant echo before the rack starts (where the tapes had been stored the wrong way round leading to imprint on the tape underneath). The production itself – rather than the words – this is what obsessed me, even though I had no idea I was listening to the production. And I imagined everyone heard the same as me in the music.

How did you get into electronic music?

Well, of course, many pop records were being made in the beginning of the 80s with electronic instruments. But somehow all this floated by me, it didn't connect until one day at school my mate bought in a copy of Street Sounds Electro Hip Hop Vol 1. He suggested we go to his house at lunchtime and listen to it. We did – and my life changed forever. I went to his house with no direction or concept of rebellion and came out an adolescent in a new world where New York had my soul, where rhythms were raw and sparse, where the new sound called scratching was everywhere, and man, man, man, doesn't breakdance, electric boogies, cuts and scratches just sound soooooo good still! So dirty and muffled where the grooves have worn out, but meant like a statement of 'this is how we do it' rather than let's keep it clean. It was the street – minus bitches and guns of today's hip hop. They could have been rapping about anything though, I was hearing the music. I felt I could understand the music like no one else could have. Again, I became obsessed and it took over my life. I wanted to learn how to do the music they were doing. I had an identity.

What role (if any) did partying play in this? Was this a revelation…. or… tell me about this time in the late 80s when you were getting into everything, how it was like, how you felt, what happened, etc.

Around the Electro Hip Hop early 80s era I had learnt to mix records, not on 1210s though, and learnt to scratch records, to bring in and out parts, to do pause button mixing and to play mixes on the street for crews to dance to. Sometimes we met up with a couple of guys – Ben and Dom in London – and went to Covent Garden to do it all: me the music, them dancing. In the area where I lived a couple of guys were also doing the same, Matt Cogger and Lee Perkis.

When electro hip-hop became over-commercialised the music suffered, the vibe got lost. Eventually it became a joke and I was left with no music in my life – this was around the mid 80s. It was a sad time: I had to deal with the real world and couldn’t do that very well. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t like any music that was coming out. I couldn’t understand why people were wearing chinos and denim shirts, and I didn’t understand clubs I ended up at where the main mission was to chat up a girl. I was lost... until around 1987 me and a couple of friends decided to go into town to check out a couple of clubs. One of those clubs, in Charing Cross, was called Troll at Soundshaft Heaven. This was my second life-changing revelation, and once again it gave me a purpose.

What I witnessed in there first and foremost was a DJ (Steve Bell RIP, sadly missed) mixing electro – but with a 4/4 beat, in a continuous mix, without speaking in between the records. There was no rapping, just a groove from the gods, an electronic groove made with drum machines, stripped down to its essential elements. I had come home. I had found my family. I ended up as resident DJ there for a year. Wild times.

What is most precious to you in music?

Integrity, meaning and purpose. Its got to say something and mean it.

And in life?

Life is a very different animal. People I love and who are close to me are the most important.

Describe the relation between your work, your identity, and politics.

I'm not political at all, but if I was I wouldn't moan about it. I'd get of my ass and try and change it. My identity constantly clashes with my work identity, and depending on the day one of them will win. My work is definitely the great escape for me, I fall apart more frequently under real life fluctuations. My mood can swing from being tip top creative, walking on air, at peace with all, to downright assholic self deprecating loathing monster. I’ve yet to find a proper balance – and when I tried in the past I missed my other selves too much.

What is something (musically and generally) that life is bullshit without?

Life is definitely bullshit without Indian food, technology, eccentricities and some damn looooooovvvvveee.

What are some key records of the past few years for you (artists, EPs, labels, sounds etc)? Which of these has had the greatest influence on the music you make now?

As far as PAS goes clubs and the sound for the club tend to influence me a lot. A club has a sound, not just in the records everyone’s playing but just the vibe. Maybe the reverb in there makes the records sound different, maybe the system promotes certain sounds more than others. A few times I’ve done gigs and used some shit going on with the system has caused a accidental effects, a strange artefacts. The best example I remember was a couple of years ago when playing a festival in France, a big stage, big system, and every time I pulled the fader down on the mixer white noise came out of the system. In the end, like a ship on a rough sea, I used that noise to punctuate the tracks I was playing instead of fighting the fault. Luckily, that white noise sounded good, the idea stuck. That’s not to say that shit systems rock... cos they don’t. Funktion 1 is the one for me.... Label-wise of course Ostgut Ton; very, very up my alley. Also Token, Theory, Equalized, Coda, Figure and my own label Mote Evolver, to name but a few.

What makes a track exceptional to you? Tell me a classic that you feel is really outstanding and describe what it is about it that moves you so much.

'Mad monks on Zinc', by The Holy Ghost Inc. Very much close to my heart. Just a one time piece of music that you can crawl into get lost and explore and also feel the groove. It’s beautiful, dark, melancholy, funked up – and way out there. It's a true classic.

What is the relationship between the different elements in your compositions? What role do they play and how do they interact? What do drums express that the drum machine cannot/does not, and vice versa?

I don’t know. Its gotta be valid, its gotta have a reason to be there not just to fill up the track, there’s no point sticking a hit hat in if the track doesn’t need a hi hat to make it work. Formulas are needed but also destructive – you gotta deconstruct to build. The drum machine doesn’t groove, what’s around it makes it appear too. Space is more important than the hit. Creation is messy. That’s a lot of quotes :)

What other things (not restricted to music) have the greatest influence on you?

Everything. Real life batters you into shape, it's an uncontrollable force. Highs and lows to defy that and writing music must be a gift – especially when you come up with what you want.

What makes a good DJ? And what has made you a better DJ than you were?

I’m an established DJ, people know who I am, but the message and thinking have never changed. Each gig is still a new gig, I go to a gig to play to a crowd, in the same way I always have. It's my style: the music changes, the reason doesn't. I want the night to be good, but I’m not a lecturer.

Do you have a ‘theory’ of DJing? Are there things that you always bear in mind when you play?

I like to try and take people on a journey using records, using parts of records too. On a perfect night the whole set will be one evolving movement.

How have Ableton and other key digital technologies changed the way you play, make, and think about electronic music?

There’s been a lot of new software and hardware development over the years. Some worth it, some not. Making a dance track has become accessible to everyone: but it's ideas that write music, not computers.

It would appear from a lot of people that I speak to that mix CDs and production don’t really pay the bills like they used to, and that people are increasingly dependent on appearances to draw an income from electronic music – how does this accord with your experience?

As Hunter S Thompson would say: 'When the going gets tough, the tough get weird!'

Is vinyl dead, dying? And, if so, is this something to be mourned?

Vinyl is still there, CDs audio files, all still there. I think I can say that piano rolls, slate 78s and tape cassettes are dead... Actually, I have a friend who just mastered off cassette...

What’s something that people often ask you about you and your music (that you find unexpected or strange)?

Were you on drugs when you wrote it? Do I practice DJing at home?

What’s something that people never ask or notice about you and your work (that you wish they would)?

I don’t expect, if I can help it.

Tell me something about yourself, your music, the world, or whatever you like, something that we would never guess about you….

I never planned anything, honest.

What kind of music would you make in a world without electricity?

Ha, don’t worry, I’ve got some bongos and a drum kit.

What makes you angry in this world at the moment?


And what gives you hope?


Head to the always on it for a recent set of Luke's. If the link is still broken, maybe you could pester them (nicely) to re-up it?

Edit: And here's a mirror! Thanks Codix.

Also, check out Toby Frith's article for FACT, which in turn spawned this Bleep 43's mmmmassive mix of 90s UK techno, including some PAS material and Luke's favourite, 'Mad Monks on Zinc'. Thank you Toby!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Endless, Endless (musique.... non-stop)

I just love this so much.... from this interview with Ralf Hütter recently in the Guardian. In some way it reminds me of the story of the two Zen masters faxing each other blank faxes....

"hello john

further to our interesting conversation this afternoon

some thoughts about the continuum in the music of kraftwerk since the seventies

autobahn ... the endless journey ... the timing of the composition resulting from the technical possibilities of the vinyl longplaying record ...

europe endless .... and the final sequence ... endless endless

trans europe express .... sequencer rhythms playing themselves ...

and finally .... the robots .... and ...... music non stop ...."

.... to be continued. ralf."


Friday, July 3, 2009

july charts

ok, been meaning to do this for a while, here some of my favourite recent and upcoming releases. i've been listening to a lot more albums than i usually do, which is reflected in my choices:

oni ayhun - OAR003 [oni ayhun records]: you may have seen me twitter about this. probably my favourite ep of 2009. who is oni ayhun? i don't know exactly. but what i do know is that he/she/they are completely awesome. i don't have a record player right now, but i still immediately bought it for my friend so i could listen to it on their turntable. both sides are completely awesome. you can listen to samples at oni's page here. currently in the process of getting oni on board for a ssg mx, lets hope it happens because this person (people?) are doing something very different. and totally amazing.

humate - 'love stimulation' (radio slave remixes) [flying circus]: to be honest, i don't actually know how good these tracks are. i have a feeling i like the concept of them more than anything else: radio slave remixing humate? it somehow seems to make sense. the 'vox' remix is the one i like. while it has the standard radio slave sound - which is growing very tired - he is working with strong enough source material to make it work.

silent servant - 'negative fascinations' [sandwell district]: recent ssg mixer delivers what could perhaps be my favourite out and out techno release of 2009. violent, powerful, so much pressure and dynamism. 'discipline' is an absolute killer.

traversable wormhole - 'volume 1' & 'volume 2' [traversable wormhole]: another new label sticking with the hard wax style - printed labels, no info etc. - that works fine for me, but i am curious who is behind these sounds. both eps are very good, cut from a similar cloth to the ostgut sound, but not quite so 'clean'. worth checking.

giorgio gigli - 'observation document' [prologue music]: this is the next ep from giorgio, who put together a great ssg mx for us this week. definitely in the italian deep tripping techno style, but at the same time, he clearly has his own take. deep, subtle sounds. recommended.

dozzy & nuel - 'aquaplano 1111' [aquaplano]: staying in italy... this is also one of my favourite releases of 2009. not much to say really. wow. find a copy before they disappear. definitely a label to follow very, very closely.

donato dozzy - 'rudeboy' [unreleased]: ok, last italian one, i promise! expect the unexpected... donato told me about this in london then played it to me, and all i'll say is that i think this is going to be a big, big track. love it.

cv313 - 'live' [echospace]: this is a japan only release so far, but hopefully the rest of the world will see it. cv313 recorded live at smart bar, chicago, plus a bonus cd with a recording from the DEMF 2008 after-party. no surprises here, spatial dubby techno done extremely well. dub techno really has reached saturation point - there is so much junk out there right now - and even the people who do it the best (like these guys) are only just managing to still pull it off. this is a nice release, though. kind of like comfort food. soothing sounds well suited for a sore or tired head. but dub techno better start reinventing itself soon.

brock van wey - white clouds go on and on [echospace]: this eagerly awaited album is as good as you'd expect. unsurprisingly the bvdub cd is intense, emotional music. my only complaint is that it is perhaps too much so (but you can say this about most of brock's music). sometimes i just can't listen to it. too much! but this is more a reflection of its quality, that it can have such a strong impact. the intrusion reshapes are also really nice, and he mostly manages to escape the trap he sometimes he falls into of sounding very 'samey'.

moritz von oswald trio - 'vertical ascent' [honest jons]: i don't think this album was ever going to be shit, but even if it was i think i still would say it is awesome because of my love for these guys. if moritz and sasu recorded farts and put it through a vocoder i'd probably call it release of the year. it does, however, happen to be an excellent album. very dense and complex. there is a huge amount going on in each track (not surprising given the talent of the 3 contributors).

lawrence english - a colour for autumn [12k]: been listening to a lot of more ambient stuff recently, and this is probably the best of the bunch. i discovered english quite late - only last year with his 'kiri no oto', but i prefer this album. very delicate, beautiful sounds. definitely worth checking.

ok, that's a pretty decent summary of my favourites of late. please feel free to leave charts, listening suggestions etc. in the comments.

have a good weekend. off to see tobias. tonight!