Archive for the ‘littlewhiteearbuds’ Category
Well, folks, this is the end of Little White Earbuds version 1. Thanks for being with us this long. We’ll be moving to littlewhiteearbuds.com at the end of the month and we hope you join us there. If anyone reading this has us bookmarked/blogrolled, please change your links. See you soon!
The Little White Earbuds crew
Picture by Swoe
Cassy, “Soul Saviour” [Perlon] (listen) (buy) (buy) (buy)
In a recent interview with the Ibiza Voice, Cassy explained her love for the Roland 808 and 909s: “Most of techno and house has been made with these two machines, so it’s a sound we’re familiar with. Even if you don’t know the machine, you recognise it immediately and it feels like home.” It makes sense, then, that a tune as foreboding as “Soul Saviour” (from Cassy’s second Perlon effort, “Nil Desperandum”) would rely heavily upon comforting rattle of an 808 to balance the ominous tone.
The low end is stacked high with pummeling kicks and dual bass lines (one that flares each note like a blown speaker cone pushed yet again beyond its limits; another that substitutes muted color for heft), an arsenal that would test the limits of even a good soundsystem. “Save my soul,” Cassy intones, firing off 808 cowbell clangs and a hobbled over synth vamp to let rescuers know that she’s stuck behind a wall of speaker cabinets. It’s a haunting ditty that betrays its outward restraint with each rewarding listen. Prosumer and Murat Tepeli share a similar love for vintage gear used on untraditional arrangements. Quite the follow up to her Beatstreet debut, “Somelightuntothelight.”
Ms. Modifyier asked me way back in May if I wanted to contribute a mix to her Process series that’s getting rave reviews from the likes of XLR8R. I was more than happy to comply; and after many, many delays chronicled in the piece, my mix has arrived. Check it out.
Round Two, “New Day” (Club Vocal Mix) [Main Street Records]
Julien Jabre, “Swimming Places” (Jerome Sydenham Remix) [Defected]
Sleeper Thief, “Freefall” [Sixty Four Records]
Ripperton, “Tainted Words” [Connaisseur Recordings]
Paul Kalkbrenner, “Altes Kamuffel” [BPitch Control]
Rodamaal, “Insomnia” (Âme Remix) [Buzzin' Fly Records]
Harri & The Revenge, “Lunar Tune” [Five20East]
Tiger Stripes, “Hooked” [Liebe*detail]
Argy, “Love Dose” (Luciano Remix) [Poker Flat Recordings]
Thomas Brinkmann, “128 Rua Villalobos” [Cmyk Musik]
Fabrice Lig, “X-Slaves Who Changed the World” [Versatile Records]
Simian Mobile Disco, “Hustler” (Shackleton remix) [Wichita] (buy)
Those Simian boys sure know how to call in a favor, eh? So far, their singles have been remixed by Prins Thomas, Switch, Armand Van Helden, Luke Vibert, Riton, Graham Massey of 808 State, and the “Hustler” single extends that to include Kevin Saunderson, Jesse Rose and Shackleton. I didn’t expect to see that last name on the list, but I was instantly intrigued when I did. “Hustler” is a raucous jam of bleeping bluster and boundless sassy energy. S. Shackleton gives off a darker vibe in his aggressively structured and ethnically influenced tracks, oftentimes fitting in the dubstep paradigm. But ever the shapeshifter, his take on “Hustler” is a different beast altogether.
Shackleton rides the rails of a ticking house beat, bittersweet harmonic burbles washing against the sides of vocal samples in pools of reverb. He fires off riffs into empty space and watches as they stretch further and further over hugely expansive bass pulses. His choice of vocal selections and their echo-laden treatment lend gravitas to lyrics like, “Gotta do what’chu gotta do” and “to stay alive.” There’s no romanticism in the Shackleton’s tone. However, the chord progressions and timbres he uses are among some of the most ear-pleasing he’s produced, though far from the pop mayhem of the original. Shackleton held up a mirror to this tune and captured a ragged minimalism befitting of its subject matter. It seems a bit of Ricardo Villalobos (who famously remixed his dystopian tune, “Blood On My Hands,” to epic proportions) has rubbed off on this shadowy producer. I think Ricardo would be proud, if he’s not already spinning this somewhere right now.
Also, I reviewed Martin Buttrich’s new single, “Hunter,” on RA. Some might be surprised that I’m not a bigger fan of it, but it’s a letdown in my book, especially the snoozephonic “Hunted.” I feel like he’s got something better inside of him yet, or at least I hope he does.
Jimpster on the decks… at his son’s 1st birthday, perhaps?
Last week I interviewed Jimpster for a feature which ran in this week’s New City. If you would like, I’ll post the actual interview as well. Jimpster plays Chicago’s Spy Bar on November 14th.
01. Pigon, “Promises” [Dial] (buy)
More lush, deep material from Phillip Sollmann, this time sharing the credits with Rndm (aka Oliver Kargl). Rendered from a series of lengthy improvisations, the title track’s winding progression is a modernistic echo of Manuel Göttsching’s seminal E2-E4. An EP like “Promises” gets my hopes up dangerously high.
02. Len Faki, “My Black Sheep” (Radio Slave remix) [Len Series] (buy)
Leave it to Radio Slave to rescue a semi-obscure LF track and transform it into a world-consuming colossus. Its bass tone starts nearly translucent (because it’s all around you) and grows soot black and toothsome — an army of brass players firing a forceful chromatic scale down a bottomless pit at volumes you feel in your chest. If I don’t hear this over a huge PA soon I might need to hijack the nearest DJ booth.
04. Ndru, “Vivisection” [unreleased]
Ndru’s latest and still yet unreleased track, “Vivisection” is like a window into an operation room that you can’t bring yourself to move from. As stinging vibrations and twitching atonal arrangements buzz at your ears the fleshy beat squishes sadistically to itself. Keep your eyes on young Ndru; methinks the best is yet to come. Download while you can!
05. Yellow Sox, “Zig Zag” (Roland Appel remix) [Freerange Records] (buy)
If I didn’t know better I would say this was made by one of the Innervisions crew: everything from its commanding presence to the thoroughbred construction and the characteristic wooshes between phrases screams Dixon & Co. Voom:Voom member and rising star in his own right, Roland Appel capitalizes on the tune’s inherent strengths (arresting string arrangements) and pushes it to the next level. Still plenty of time for this to have a significant impact in the clubs.
06. Kiki & Sasse, “Grand Cru” [Moodmusic] (buy)
Always nice to hear new music from Sasse and “Grand Cru” is especially kind on the ears. Its jacking, Chicago house-style beat (made from synthetic strings?) is well complimented by pock mark percussion and lip-puckering melodic tweaks. Serve to a luke warm dance floor and watch things bubble over.
07. dOP, “Allo Boom Boom” [Circus Company] (buy) (buy)
The dOP trio first caught my ear on Nôze remixes but now sound just as intriguing on their own. The hide and seek structure of “Allo Boom Boom” is refreshing, as you never quite know if you’re getting another loop or a frenetic keyboard/sax vamp or nothing at all. Deep house as made by those who never knew what deep house was supposed to sound like in the first place.
09. Radio Slave, “No Sleep (Part 3) – Dedication” [REKIDS] (buy)
Second appearance for Mr. Edwards in this month’s charts and both of them include horns. Coincidence? Most certainly; although this time around, we get to hear the unpredictable sounds of Radio Slave going deep. Well worth the wait to get cranking, “Dedication” makes great use of a gnarled, brassy loop — a sourness to be countered by the sweet Rhodes noodles.
Just kidding, I used headphones. Picture via Married to the Sea.
A while ago the kind fellas over at Soulclap invited me to contribute a mix set for their podcast. After innumerable gear snafus and a few extremely stretched self-imposed deadlines, the mix is finally completed and posted! Here’s the tracklisting:
The Youngsters, “Third Knife” [20:20 Vision]
Naughty, “World Of a Woman” [Moodmusic]
Carsten Jost, “Love” [Dial]
Redshape, “Pink Dust” [Styrax Leaves]
False, “Face the Rain” [M_nus]
Osborne, “Outta Sight” [Spectral Sound]
Arto Mwambe, “Noh Ngamebo” [Brontosaurus]
Jesse Rose & Rob Mello, “Do You Wanna” [Front Room Recordings]
Prosumer & Murat Tepeli, “What Makes You Go For It” [Ostgut Tonträger]
Chelonis R. Jones & Marc Romboy, “Helen Cornell” (Stefan Goldmann Macro Version) [Systematic]
Kissogram, “My Friend Is A Seahorse” (James Priestley & Dan Berkson’s ‘Bariz E Syntho’ Remix) [defDrive]
Siobhan Donaghy, “Don’t Give It Up” (Carl Craig Dub Remix) [Parlophone]
Check it out if this looks like something pleasing to your ears. (Please excuse the chaos surrounding the Jesse Rose track. Its fidget rhythms may have gotten the best of me, but the rest is fairly smooth sailing.)
LCD Soundsystem, “Sound of Silver” (C2 Remix Rev. 3) [DFA/EMI] (buy)
Whereas Carl Craig has been techno royalty for many years, it’s only within the last year or so that he’s broken into the indie-dance consciousness. It helps that remixes for the Junior Boys, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom and now LCD Soundsystem have ranked among his best work in the same time period. On “Sound of Silver,” Craig cheerfully and deservedly discards all but the vocals and builds a roiling synth monster to breath melodic fire upon the dancers. With the vocal stutters of “Like A Child” and the drawn out construction of his Kevin Saunderson and Siobhan Donaghy remixes, it’s not a hugely surprising redux, but it’s just as effective. Expect to hear this caned in parties where pajama print hoodies and tight, sleeveless shirts share the dance floor. Maybe they’ll even bond over some E!
Michael Jackson, “Thriller” (OOFT Music Phazed Edit) [Five20East] (buy)
The always generous Five20East sent me their new release, L.E.S.S. Productions’ Forever In Their Death, which features new work from Harri, The Revenge, the Alessi Brothers, and OOFT Music, including this edit of “Thriller.” In case you were in need of a great track for that Halloween party you’re DJing, this is it: looping the Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton’s sinuous core groove throughout the track’s extended length (with an extra “woo-hoo” for good measure), OOFT preserve the track’s forward motion and make it friendlier for DJs to mix. Download it while you can. Keep your eyes on Five20East for forthcoming material from Harri & the Revenge, who put together the stellar “Tunar Tune” earlier this year.
Solomun, “Samba” [Dessous Recordings] (buy)
It seems fitting to write about Solomun’s new single in the same post as C2′s LCD remix, as they both employ the same understated method of constructing their tracks. More minimally-inclined than “Jungle River Cruise” for liebe*detail or his work with Stimming, “Samba” (for Steve Bug’s deep imprint, Dessous Recordings) is all about ostinato and legato progressions bouncing happily atop sustained tones. It might take a few spins for this one to sink in, as the real action showing up in the second half of the 10 minute song, and even then, there’s not much of it. Though it’s nothing close to a samba, this reserved production could raise heart rates a few BPM without so much as batting a lash if deployed effectively.
Sure, Guns N’ Bombs single “Nothing Is Getting Us Anywhere” came out months ago, but titled as it is, fans may forgive the lateness of its requisite music video. Shot with a video camera either rescued from a dumpster or an uncle’s basement by Senior (of the Junior/Senior duo), the blurry vid is choppily and looped for maximum laughs and creepy moments. As puerile as it is, watching Filip flop to the ground five times straight or Johnny Love striding across a field in Echo Park like a hipster flamingo is entirely fitting of both the group and the tune’s resigned theme. Hopefully they can muster the effort to put out another single sometime soon.
Also, I wrote a review of Justice’s recent live show in Chicago which is now up on RA, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Quite often it seems producers need only a few powerful singles on well-rated labels to have their name uttered in adoring tones. Matt Edwards, on the other hand, has not been one to rest on his laurels for even a moment. Since forming Radio Slave in 2001 with Serge Santiágo (who quit in 2002), the British producer has maintained a chained-to-the-synthesizers prolific release schedule. Edwards is perhaps best known for his seemingly endless vault of wall-crashing remixes of his techno peers (including Trentemoller, M.A.N.D.Y. and Audion) and pop stars (such as Kylie Minogue and Elton John) which have kept him in high demand. And he’s no slouch on his own productions either, as evinced by his twisted electro-house banger, “My Bleep,” and “Made in Menorca” album.
Although Edwards adopts new monikers for subsequent projects and also makes up half of the beardo-disco duo, Quiet Village Project, the sounds he emits often return to the same principles: dark, nearly subterranean atmospherics, dense arrangements, tidal-wave riffs and extended-track lengths. Edwards is also doing his part to hold up the UK dance market with his label, Rekids, which has released tracks by up-and-comers Spencer Parker, Toby Tobias and Matt O’Brien. Chicago is the last stop on his first full-fledged North American tour; and if his tune “Next Stop Chicago” is any indication, he’s got nothing but love for our fair city and might well pull out all the stops.
Radio Slave performs with Monologic (live) and Hac Le at Vision, 632 North Dearborn, on Saturday, October 20, at 10 p.m. $15, $10 before 11 p.m. with RSVP at visionnightclub.com.
Nick Solé, “World Dubbing” [Mojuba] (buy) (buy)
Mojuba, the label which brings this gargantuan record to your hands and ears, has stratified its vinyl fetish into different degrees of obsession, with a regular version, a limited edition regular version, and a “hurry the fuck up” limited color vinyl which is never to be touched — never. “World Dubbing” expands on the deep house aesthetic Solé has built with tracks on Mojuba and his own label, Nick Solé Trax, but on a planetary scale. Its mind-expanding dubs wash up against open-air synths with minor variations, a few more urgent elements stopping by to keep the 14-minute long behemoth moving including ethereal female vocals and distant crashes. A fine recliner would be a better place to hear this than a club, but that doesn’t make me like it any less. On the reverse is “Children,” a more mobile but just as lumbering track, all of which builds on a melodically palpitating bass line with viscus effects bouncing off its sides. It’s a bit spare, but a nice splashy track on a huge cannonball of a record.
Peter Grummich, “Another Day EP” [Sthlmaudio Recordings; out soon]
Grummich is hardly a new jack on the scene, having already released for Kompakt, Spectral Sound and Shitkatapult, but he’s still new to my ears. The title cut from his forthcoming “Another Day EP” for Agnes’ Sthlmaudio pushes a tight needling pattern through some fawning deep pads and occasional digital claps for a nice push-pull effect. “Another Day” is fine a building block for a modern deep house set. Its flipside, “What’s Up Adults,” is a bit too itchy and scratchy for my taste.
Uusitalo, “The Korpikansa EP” [Huume] (buy) (buy the album)
Sasu Ripatti has been rather prolific this year with new albums out as Vladislav Delay and Uusitalo, though it doesn’t seem his packed schedule has negatively impacted his work. The “Korpikansa EP” offers four club edits of tracks from his Uusitalo album, Karhunainen. Both the “Karhunainen” and “Satumaa” are smothered in warm-blooded pads and Ripatti’s characteristic sample kinks, though the former stands outs for its near-Italo arpeggio riff and the dense latter has the charm of a house track cranked out on vintage gear and pots and pans. Though the other two tracks struggle to live up to “club” designation, “Karhunainen” and “Satumaa” make the EP a valuable addition to a DJ’s bag. [Upon further investigation, it doesn’t seem as though the version I received was the final. Beatport’s “Korpikansa EP” includes three tracks, with “Karhunainen” missing and “Nälkälaulu” replaced with “Himo Perkele.” Though I can't vouch for the whole album, that's where you'll be able to find my favorite cut on the EP, "Karhuaninen."]