From Berlin producer/dj Shed comes a new album, ‘The Killer‘, hailed by Resident Advisor as contender for techno album of the year, which can be streamed until July 27 here (much better sound quality than YouTube, so make sure to take a listen). It’s full of sparse, dystopic techno, but intermingled with all kinds of dub, breakbeat, ambient and classic house elements, making it a true sonic journey, rather than an album full of dancefloor killers.
For instance, check out this brutal, old-fashioned techno track, ‘I Come By Night’, very much the Berghain/Ostgut sound, but with an almost religious kind of melody on the background.
Also check out Day After. Possibly even better. Great interplay between kick and snare drums and a great melody, rather original too.
As of late we have become pretty diehard Scuba fans on LSD. So it’s big news on this blog when his long awaited Personality album has become available for streaming. Not properly released until February 27th, but you can listen to it in full here:
After a quick scan through the tracks it seems that Personality is a mixture of his older dark dubstep work and the recent rave-inspired EP Adrenalin. It’s also very accessible, especially when compared to his latest record Triangulation. Lots of promising stuff!
A couple of exceptions aside, hip hop is one genre I’m not into at all. At least, not the ridiculous millionaire gangsta rap that dominated most of the 2000s, especially the first half decade.
This new track ‘Liquorice’ by Azealia Banks, however, is really cool. ’212′ was already great because of the return to the old hip hop roots (Harlem, black and white video, great beats). This is equally cool, because of the once again great beats, old-school rave elements, and Banks’ voice. Check this out:
Very lucid explanation of how you can distinguish between the different genres in electronic music. Personally, I’m more of the “steady beat” (techno, house) rather than the “broken beat” school (dub, drum ‘n bass), on which this presentation focuses, but anyway, interesting nonetheless. Wonder if there’s anything that accurately puts into the words the differences between current genres in techno and house music.
Modeselektor‘s got a new album out! These guys are like the epitomes of Berlin cool, and their gigs are always a blast, so I had a couple of listens. The overall feel of Monkeytown is Modeselektor experimenting some more with some non-techno styles and directions in electronic music of the past few years. Glitchy 8-bit sounds, dubstep/garage sounds from the UK, and all the while mixed with the trademark fat bass drum of the Berlin duo. Examples are the chilled-out Blue Clouds and Grillwalker.
I’m not very fond of every foray of the duo into gangsta hip-hop though: Pretentious Friends is cool, but Humanized kinda sucks. Also, the tracks with Thom Yorke, Shipwreck and This sound more like Radiohead than anything else (and boring too). Still the production is, as always, impeccable. In addition to the dirty bass, there’s lots of cool synth sounds and spacy vibes to enjoy.
All in all, Monkeytown is not as original or unexpected as Modeselektor’s previous ones; it’s way more in safe water. Still it’s quite allright. Here’s hoping that Modeselektor won’t lose their edge. Please don’t put too many gangsta rappers and avant garde rockers in front of those techno beats, guys!
There’s a couple of old-fashioned highlights on the album though, that we don’t wish to withhold. Be sure to check out Modeselektor’s take on R&B, Berlin, and the Moderat-like track War Cry. The tracks YouTubed below are definitely my favourites though (and stick the most to the traditional Modeselektor sound):
The hipster kids are getting younger and younger these days. Check out this clip featuring kids in the disco by Hamburg producer and dj Tensnake. Tensnake is a producer who sorta combines the good sides of the mainstream sound of some popular dj’s with a more qualitatively appealing edge: in tracks like this one and Coma Cat you’ll hear disco, dub, Balearic, Chicago and acid house influences.
Jamie Smith is a member of The xx, so why not call your soloproject “Jamie xx” for clarity? He has been producing his own work since 2009 and he seems to be getting better and better. His latest double release at Numbers is pretty damn good. Mix some Kode 9 with Burial and a add a little The Knife and the result is “Far Nearer”, add some rave to that and you end up with “Beat For”. Listen to both tracks below:
We posted about the Mancurian/Berlin outfit Holy Other before: ghostly, dark ambient dub/house music that is very delicately crafted yet also powerful. Check three great tracks here.
Now, Holy Other has released an EP called With U, with some (for me) new tracks on it. Check out ’With U’ and ‘Feel Something’. Again: lots of drones, Burial-like rave and R&B elements, synths, but also very smooth and dark. Imagine hearing this coming from huge speakers in a dark, forgotten cellar underneath a club somewhere.
Futuristic dubstep, minimal dubstep and 808 dubstep is what reviewers are calling Objekt‘s music. Objekt, aka T.J. Hertz, calls it “post minimal wankstep, shithouse or acid wonk”. His first single (check this one out!) made him an underground hit. Now, a few months later, on his latest 12 inch, he brings some more dubstep innovation from Berlin. I don’t dig the B-side “Unglued” that much, but “CLK Recovery” is really something:
Dutchman Dave Huismans, a.k.a. 2562, has been producing quality dubstep/dubtechno for quite some time now. He is pretty much in the same league as Martyn, Shackleton and Kode 9. And his latest album Fever truly is some next level sh*t! It’s hard to pick one favorite, so I have selected 3:
Let’s start with “Intermission”, an extremely deep track:
Next up is the title track “Fever”. You have to listen to it a few times to appreciate the different layers:
And click here for “This Is Hardcore”, the gnarliest one.
The latest album by Instra:Mental is called Resolution 653. And boy is it good. The British duo is primarily known for their drum and bass productions, a genre of electronic which is not quite my cup of tea. In recent years they have shifted to dubstep. But to put a genre label on this album is almost impossible, it is a mix of drum and bass, and dubstep, mixed with classic Juan Atkins-style Detroit techno and Marcel Dettman minimal. Let’s just call it very creative and innovative electronic music. These are my favorites from the album:
A while ago, Mr. maartenp blogged about two new tracks of the illusive English dubstep/grime producer Burial. Before that, undersigned blogged about two tracks Burial made in cooperation with Thom Yorke and Four Tet. These are all snippets (well, more than snippets) of an artist who only rarely releases material, but when he does, it’s spot-on.
The best example of that is still is 2007 album Untrue, which if you’re not familiar with it, you should definitely listen! If I’d compare it with anything in terms of originality, setting a mood and typical Britishness in electronic music, it’s Portishead. Burial’s tracks are dark, moody and very finetuned, with stripped-down soft beats and rave sentimentalities (like dispersed singing) everywhere. It’s like listening in a dark, concrete cellar, with the rain pouring outside, to the sounds of a rave party in its last throngs somewhere.
Three new tracks are enough for Pitchfork to dedicate an entire review to it, and since we already blogged the other two, here’s the third one, arguably the best. It’s called NYC, and you should definitely listen to it at least once.
Daedelus likes to don an “early Victorian Dandy” attire, as you can see in this clip for “Scaling Snowdown” for the Room 205 Project by Incase. He doesn´t only have a rather cool style, but he also makes some pretty progressive electronic music. This dubsteppy, jazzy song is very original and meanders slowly and comfortably for 4 and half minutes:
Apart from a collab and some remixes, Burial hasn’t released any new music since Untrue, which was definitely one of the best albums in electronic music in the last decade. Until now. Because a few days ago the EP “Street Halo” was released, featuring three tracks: a title track, “NYC” and “Stolen Dog”. The pitch is higher in these new Burial tracks, but the great eerie out-of-this-world vocals and pleasantly moody tone are still there.
Here’s a great dubstep track to close the day. Well, Shackleton is a dubstep-producer, but this track doesn’t sound like any dubstep you might have heard. The fast conga rhythms are something different than your normal droning dubstep breakbeat. The sinister atmospheric soundscapes are somewhat more dubesteppy. Well no matter what it is, it’s good. Enjoy:
Purity Ring’s Ungirthed is already one of my favorite tracks of 2011, and some really cool stuff must come out in order for that track not to end up on my best-of list this year.
Now listen to this brilliant, equally crazy remix of Ungirthed by Mancunian artists Christian AIDS. These days it’s really easy to make a track sound arty just by putting some noise and glitch in it, but these guys (just like Purity Ring themselves) really know what they’re doing.