samedi, mars 14, 2009

You Have To Dance by Nôze, remixed by Mathias Kaden and Lee Jones

Apparently, the Mathias Kaden remix of Nôze's "You Have to Dance" is the top-charted track for February on Resident Advisor; that is, of all the DJ charts posted in February on that site, this track was charted the most. Although the original track isn't quite dancefloor dynamite, the Mathias Kaden remix is certainly golden. Also on the release are an acapella version also by Mathias Kaden that could be useful for bridging between two other tracks, and a more dubby and downtempo remix by Lee Jones. Here's the whole release from Beatport, so that you can hear a bit from each one. The track was released on Get Physical Music, which was also the top-charted label for February.

Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player

vendredi, mars 13, 2009

Lattice by Marcel Dettman

There was a feature on Marcel Dettman on Resident Advisor which is well worth reading. Not only does it give some insight into how he structures his 8+-hour closing sets at Berghain, it also provides some great photos of the interior of Berghain itself, which is usually a completely camera-free zone.

So here's a track called Lattice (Beatport link) from a release he put out on his own record label, Marcel Dettman Records (natch). I thought this would be a good one to post because it almost perfectly encapsulates the sound of the Berghain room, as opposed to the Panorama Bar room. So when you read my posts and you see phrases like "the techno was a bit too hard and pounding, better suited for the Berghain room," you'll know what I mean. I don't dislike this track, but it's the sort of thing that I tire of relatively quickly. A lot of the tracks I've posted in the past couple of days, on the other hand, would be PanoramaBar material.

jeudi, mars 12, 2009

Bingo Bongo by Paul Kalkbrenner

So Paul Kalkbrenner has been getting a lot of mainstream attention recently as the star of the film Berlin Calling..., a film about a Berlin DJ who finds himself overwhelmed by the the Berlin techno scene. I haven't seen it yet, as it's mostly doing just the film festival circuit at the moment, but I'm hoping to catch it soon. In the meanwhile, he's released the soundtrack for the album, which was pretty much entirely produced by him. Instead of giving you a track from the soundtrack (which I'm still trying to decide if I really like), here's a release of his from earlier in 2008.

The track is called Bingo Bongo, and it was released on an EP of the same name on the record label Bpitchcontrol last april (click here to see the release at Beatport). I like this track for it's dense but light use of accoustic drum samples, most of which sit at the middle-ground of the mix and don't overwhelm the sound. I like that he's managed to place the different samples in different places in the stereo field (i.e., pan right/left), without losing the feeling that there's a spatial centre to the whole thing. The track takes some time to build, but there's a nice breakdown at around 3:00, followed by a great return of the bass at 3:49. Good stuff.

mercredi, mars 11, 2009

Afefe Iku - Mirror Dance

OK, this track has been around since early 2008 and anybody that has been going to minimal parties in the past year will tell you that this track has been played to death, but I can't deny the catchiness of the xylophone patterns in this track (they start around 0:50). I had spent the entire year hearing that track, wondering who it was, asking someone nearby, and then either mis-hearing their response or getting bad information. And then today, as I was perusing the reviews on Resident Advisor, I fell across a review of a re-release of tracks on the Secretsundaze label, which included this track. Yay! Finally, I know who this is.

So Afefe Iku is apparently the protégé of Osunlade, a composer, recording artist and DJ that hails from the US but seems to have artistic and spiritual ties to Africa (in particular, he's a priest in the Yoruba religion of Ifa, according to his Wikipedia site). He founded and now runs a house label called Yoruba Records, which has been known for "soulful" house, but has also recently taken a "world music" turn, which presumably includes Afefe Iku's work. Afefe Iku himself hails from the island of Manda near the Kenyan coast.

I'm not sure what the musical traditions are on Manda, but certainly the presence of wooden ideophones (i.e., xylophones) on this track is a strong signifier of African-ness. You can find pitched hammered-wood instruments of all sorts in Sub-saharan Africa, especially in the west and the central regions. Kenya being on the eastern coast, though, I'm not as certain that this reflects his own local musical traditions. Then again, he could be making a more pan-African gesture with this track or he may not have any intention of referencing African music in the first place (although the fact that he's being mentored by Osunlade and he's on Yoruba Records makes this more likely).

UPDATE: According to a tip from my composer-friend Shawn, you should replace the word "xylophone" above with "marimba." I can never tell those two apart.

mardi, mars 10, 2009

Radio Silence for a few days

Well, I have a draft of a paper (which will eventually become Chapter 3) due this Sunday and I have little more than a few sketches to show for it. So I'll be quiet on the blog front for the next few days. I still owe a friend my arroz chaufa recipe (finally!), so I might take a moment to post that, and there's an exciting Akufen / Cabanne back-to-back party coming up this Friday, so I might post a few things about that as well. Anyway, enjoy the quiet! I might replicate what I did last November by putting up favourite tracks of mine. In fact, here's the remixes of "O Superman" (original by Laurie Anderson) that I mentioned in last weekend's post. The third one ("Reboot 20 Cubans mix") is the one Monika Kruse played.

Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player

lundi, mars 09, 2009

The Solemn March Home

Well, thanks to the fact that I actually got to bed at a “decent” hour last night (despite the lack of sleep the night before), I popped out of bed at about 10h00 this morning. I spent a bit of time preparing my blog notes and putting my stuff together in preparation for my flight this evening, and then got a message from Fantômette, saying that she was going out for breakfast. I headed out to join her, although a took a detour at a couple of stores on the way over. The night before, I had washed my new jeans in Florian’s washing machine, and the vibration from the spin cycle sent one of his glasses crashing into the kitchen sink. Thankfully, I managed to secure the rest of his kitchenware before there was any more damage, but I still felt bad about the glass. So off I went today to pick up a kitschy and set of replacements. Florian reads this blog, so I’m not going to tell you what I got him. It’s a surprise!

Anyway, Fantômette had some trouble finding the original breakfast spot she had wanted to go to in Kreuzberg, but she eventually ended up in a little lunch nook on Schlesisches Straße, near where the Watergate club is located. The food was decent, although my lunch item took ages to prepare. I had a baguette smeared with chives and cheese, but I could tell that the baguette had been pulled out of the freezer and cooked at the last minute. I mean, there are bakeries all over the place here. You can’t just walk down the street and buy a baguette or something similar?

Anyway, after our meal I left Fantômette to wander Kreuzberg and I headed back to Florian’s place to clean up, do the dishes, pack my bags and head out. We had a date with Janine for a coffee after her work and before our flight (Fantômette was on the same flight as I). The coffee was great and it was wonderful to spend a bit more time with Janine (who complained that I didn’t spend enough time with her on Sunday), but we took a bit too long to get back from the café and we nearly missed our train to the airport. Thankfully, Janine managed to sweet-talk our way to the front of the line at the Deutsche-Bahn ticket office.

The check-in desks for EasyJet at the airport were a mess (again), but we eventually got checked in and headed down to our gate. The trip back was uneventful, although we were both feeling pretty groggy after the athletic weekend we had just lived through.