Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tomita - The Firebird

RCA: 1975/2016

Tomita's passing was sad, but not unexpected, the famed Japanese synth wizard having lived a long, accomplished life. And if there's anything positive to be gained from a storied musician's death, it gives their estate and associated labels a reason to push out a fresh round of re-issues of their seminal work. Not that it happens all the time – Prince's estate remains rightfully protective of the man's vaults of music – but far as I can tell, Sony and Tomita have been on okay terms for the past few decades. About as positive a relationship as anyone can have with a faceless monolithic entertainment corporation anyway. (they do make wonderful portable music devices tho'!)

Not that Tomita's '70s albums were out of print or hard to find, but it'd been a while since his famed records were last in fresh circulation. Heck, Firebird alone hadn't been released in non-Japanese stores since the early '90s, though to be fair, Snowflakes Are Dancing is generally regarded as the Very Important Tomita Album deserving of frequent re-issues, since that's where all his technical innovations (Phasing! Flanging! Spatial stereo!) first appeared.

Once he got all that sorted, Tomita was able to crank out more classical interpretations at a modestly steady clip – just which ones would he take on, then? Bach and Beethoven were clearly out, as Carlos had already created the defining electronic takes on them (for a while anyway). Nay, ol' Isao-san had something a little more modern in mind, one of the giants of 20th Century classical and ballet composers, Russian Igor Stravinsky and his Firebird suite. Even if you've never heard a single piece of orchestral music in your life (!!), you've likely heard some variation of Infernal Dance - pure heavy metal fodder, that. Though I always think final boss in jRPG, which makes sense since Infernal Dance kinda' is a final boss confrontation in the actual ballet.

Obviously Tomita couldn't perform and produce the entire suite, so we get a truncated version of Firebird, with most of the highlights intact (think Disney's Fantasia 2000 version). For a composition that traditionally utilizes huge orchestras, what Tomita cranks out here is quite remarkable, synth-heavy sections of Round Of The Princesses, Lullaby, and Finale hitting you with just as much gravitas while worming in quirky, bleepy, flanged sounds and effects. I cannot deny though, Infernal Dance doesn't pump the adrenaline so effectively with the tinny synths here. Give me that full-frontal horn assault any day!

A couple bonus compositions were made for Side B, including Debussy's Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun. I don't know much about this one, but it's pleasant enough. The second is another heavy metal favourite, Moussorgsky's A Night On Bald Mountain. Hot damn, but are those choir samples ever put to great use here! Even the weird, burbling bloops have me imagining dancing devils as some cyborg abominations. Like, if that Disney version went full anime. Makes sense, with all the players involved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gareth Davis - Filament

Slaapwel Records: 2016

Even in the current heat waves, I haven't had that much trouble sleeping, but I cannot deny throwing on the few Slaapwel CDs I've gathered does do the trick in a pinch. Daily commute aside, I think I've only ever completely listened through one of these once, if you want to count 'playing in the background' among the conditions. For sure they aren't intended as such, and I almost fear should I try them out as more consistent sonic background ambience, I'd nod off on whatever task I'm trying to accomplish. Like, how can I kick Persian ass as Alexander The Great in Rise Of Nations if I've conked out on my keyboard? Firing off all the hotkeys at once is a great strategy!

Gareth Davis' Filament has thus far been Slaapwel Records' latest offering ...released two years ago now. Hey, when I said the Belgian print has a 'lazy' release rate, I wasn't kidding. Mr. Davis himself is something of a journeyman musician, providing bass clarinet with several artists this past decade. Let's see if you recognize any of them, because I sure don't: Martin Stif Anderson, Daniel Biro, Machinefabriek, Elliot Sharp, Steven R. Smith, Aidan Baker, Merzbow... Okay, that's one, but wow, to work with the endless Japanese noise master, then provide a sleepy-time album in the same year, that's quite the contrast. I wonder which was recorded first, this or the Merzbow project? Filament technically came out after Atsusaku, though this was recorded in late 2011, whereas I'm almost certain Merzbow releases his stuff hours after recording. I must know which came first, the yin or the yang!

Filament is also the only time Gareth has done a solo recording (so sayeth Lord Discogs). Makes sense, as there aren't many out there who'd be down for a bass clarinet player tootin' his own horn for albums on end without something else accompanying him – at least, not outside jazz circles. Even Mr. Davis knew he couldn't just play it on his own without a little sonic wallpaper in support, so he provides field recordings of gently washing waves as a sort of rhythmic backbone to the piece. Huh, and here I thought those would have been sounds found in that other Slaapwel CD I reviewed, Seaworthy's Sleep Paths. I wonder if ocean tones might also be on The Boats' Do The Boats Dream Of Electric Fritz Pfleumer? (now that's a fun title to say out loud!)

From the opening lapping of salty brine upon rocky shores, distant sounds have me reminded of whale song, though is really Gareth's heavy clarinet tones fed through effects pedals, creating an eerie yet soothing drone. After a time the waves recede in prominence, lazy clarinet melodies and backing pad effects creating a sense of drifting among tidal pools. It's all very calm and relaxing, as intended, and at thirty-five minutes long, provides plenty of doze-off time. No, really, it's perfectly fine if you don't last the duration. It's kinda' the point.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release

Wichita: 2007

(A Patreon Request by Markus Hauru)

For the longest time, I couldn't shake the notion Simian Mobile Disco (a spin-off from Simian) and 2 Many DJs (a subsidiary of Soulwax) were part of the same conglomerate. There really was no basis in logic or fact for this to have lodged inside my brain – the two groups don't even hail from the same country! The only similarity they have is they're off-shoots of an established indie rock band, with a side-career in music making, remixing, and DJing that got them greater attention in clubland. Perhaps my confusion stemmed from both growing popular around the same time, riding the wave of disco punk and (eergghhh...) 'nu-rave' hype of the mid-'00s. They seemed about on par in popularity in my region of the world, though SMD were quickly promoted to New Hotness in the British press, their answer to the French juggernaut that was Justice and all things Ed Banger.

That the UK rags would prop their homegrown indie-cum-electro house darlings to minor chart success isn't a surprise. A decade hence though, does Simian Mobile Disco's debut album Attack Decay Sustain Release hold up, or is it very much a product of its heyday, when noisy, trashy maximal techno brought the rave back to the clubs? Considering Misters Ford and Shaw have kept the SMD banner going to this day, I'd say they tapped into something with lasting appeal. More successfully than Justice managed, in any event.

What I find remarkable about ADSR is how it crams so many ideas in such a short album. This record's a mere ten tracks long (a couple more if you sprung for an American version), with only the opener inching anywhere near the five minute mark. The rest hover in the three-to-four range, all perfect for the radio market, though none of them ever played on my radio. I'm sure It's The Beat and I Believe were all the rage on the merry ol' 2007 London airwaves though.

And while noisy, acidy electro house rules the ADSR roost, these animated primate clubbers show off some fun diversity too. Sleep Deprivation is the right kind of thumping, building opener you need to kick a party off, while follow-up I Got This Down gets, erm, down on the electro-funk! It's The Beat, Hustler, and Hotdog provides the cheeky trash, I Believe and Love provide the singalong anthems, while Tits & Acid provides more acid than you can handle. Bury your face in this bountiful bosom of acid! And... what on earth is Scott all about? It's like a primitive, weirdo prog-rock synth piece from the '70s. What an odd, strange, bizarre, confounding way to end an album that clearly has cross-over appeal firmly in its sights. I give it three thumbs and a goose neck up.

Attack Delay Sustain Release does everything an album from this era should. It gets in, hits you with all that it needs to, and gets out before the booze ruins your night with French regret.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ott - Fairchildren

Ottsonic Music: 2015

Ott (no relation to NHL player Steve Ott) reminds me of that super-dependable rock band that can always churn out quality music that tickles my earholes just right, but for whatever reason never inspires me to dig deeper and further, much less wax the hyperbolic purple as I dance to his architecture. What rock bands, you ask? Oh, geez, put me on the spot, why don't you? Like, I kinda' wanna' say Coldplay, the most traditional of all milquetoast name-drops, but there's better options. Maybe The Strokes, or The Killers. Yeah, let's go with that: Ott is The Killers of psy-dub.

I liked Skylon a great deal, still have it in the regular rotation. and when Ott reissued his discography on his own print, you bet I snagged up a copy of his debut Blumenkraft. For some reason though, I was only mildly interested in hearing a follow-up. Maybe I was feeling psy-dub burn-out at the time, coming across too many artists that were only emulating the style Ott and Shpongle had popularized. I needed a little absence from it, and boy-howdy did Ultimae and Altar provide a good excuse to do so. Ott also appeared in need of a little diversification in his songcraft, but when I heard he chose to go the road of dubstep, I promptly 'NOPE'd on Mir, and didn't look back. Which was stupid, of course, but you cannot begin to appreciate just how over-saturated dubstep had become in the year 2011, especially in my hub of the world. Just... brutal...

But time has passed, as has the dubstep fad, and when I heard his fourth album Fairchildren being hailed as more a return to the tasty sonic soup that made his first two records such standouts, I had no problem diving back into the Ott fold. Erm, and it seems he's found himself a new toy to tinker with in glitch hop. I don't mind the stuff, but God can it ever grate when a producer overdoes it with the random sample wankery, which Ott succumbs to in Harwell Dekatron. So much directionless wibble – I need my wibble to have some momentum, y'know (Eat Static does the wibble good).

That's just one track of eight though, and aside from brief dabbling in Ship Is Not A Child, things don't go that wonk anywhere else on Fairchildren. Instead, we get bouncy psy-dub rhythms, cavernous dub echoes, vocals and instruments played, plucked, and plundered from lands far and wide, with just enough fun, wibbly, trippy effects keeping things cruising the psychedelic avenue to the dawn's morning light. Or through the afternoon heat on the beach. I've only seen Ott live in the latter setting.

And yet, I actually find myself just as dumbfounded in talking this music up in any specific detail. It's an Ott album, and if you know your Ott music, you know exactly what what you're gonna' hear. Won't deny it's that consistency I slapped my hard-earned bones down for though.

Friday, July 13, 2018

John Beltran - Everything At Once

Delsin: 2016

John Beltran should be a more important person in the world of techno. For sure he's highly regarded and respected, a two-decade veteran of the Detroit scene that's danced with the Belgian dudes just as often. He even scored a licensing hit in Collage Of Dreams - not many Detroit producers can claim that. And whenever a new album from Mr. Beltran drops, it always earns plenty of props, kudos, and love from the techno community. For whatever reason though, he's never quite broken through the ceiling that separates the Darn Good producers from the Legendary Name-Droppers. I can only assume his frequent flirtations with the ambient techno camps isolates him from the True-Pure Detroit leagues – Motor City don't take kindly to those who pall about with them softy Belgian boys, I reckon. Pft, as if that ever stopped Juan Atkins' status after releasing material on R & S Records.

Early seminal works aside, two decades of music is daunting to dive into for the Beltran newbie, few albums sounding quite like what came before. How nice of him, then, that for his tenth outing, John went with the ol' 'career retrospective' take, Everything At Once intended as a reflection of all that he's done. Can't think of a better excuse for a 'jumping-on point' than that!

And absolutely does Beltran deliver a smorgasbord of his various musical inclinations. There's ambient! There's techno! There's ambient with techno! There's twee acoustic glitch (She Dwells In Beauty)! There's dreamy indie loop-jazz (Dream Lover!)! (!!) There's Kraftwerk homage (Tanzmuzik)! There's... um, drone-tone...? Whatever Gentle Boxes is.

So there's eclecticism on Everything At Once, and at seventeen tracks, can get a tad overlong to sit through. While I'll always champion musical diversity, there needs to be some uniting theme tying it all together for each piece to properly settle into my brain-matter. Otherwise, bloopy jazz-shuffle tracks like White Rainbows get lost among the fuzzy ambient drone of Nice Sun and mellow Aphex nods like A New Room.

It also doesn't help matters when many of the lengthier tracks are front-loaded in this album, second-cut Faux giving us over seven minutes of soft clippity-clop breaks with acoustic strums and warped, harmonizing pads. That's followed upon by the titular cut doing a jazzy groove with haunting soul singing (paging Dr. Burial, if you may), while Sine M gets back to that vintage, chill Detroit techno, and Lift works the electro-jazz 'bells-n-bleep' businesses. Bookend this opening act with two short ambient pieces, and you'd be forgiven for thinking Everything At Once nicely wraps up just a shade shorter than many breezy albums do these days.

Not that there's isn't nice music in the remaining two-thirds, but they don't imprint quite the same, tracks seemingly more about Beltran indulging himself. Which is fine, ol' John more than capable of crafting engaging pieces even at his most left-of-field tendencies. It just leaves the back-end of Everything At Once a tad wanting, 'tis all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Porya Hatami And Lee Anthony Norris - Every Day Feels Like A New Drug

Unknown Tone Records/...txt: 2013/2014

Another in Lee Norris' semi-regular series of 'Albums I Made A Number Of Years Ago, And Are Giving Away As Limited Free Bandcamp Downloads To Fans Following My Music, Because You Guys Rock'. It's a nice series, though I can't imagine it being terribly profitable. Then again, given the limited runs of the original CDs, it's not like there's much money left on the table now. Unless you're one of those shysters in the second-hand market, selling music at over-inflated prices because you know there's enough easy marks with collector's cash to make that investment worth the while. How nice of Mr. Norris to bypass all that for his fans who just wanted to hear the music on a streaming service. Still, I do wonder what Porya Hatami's say in all this is? Like, I can only assume he's fine about it, but what if he was hoping to squeeze a couple extra dimes out of a purchasable Bandcamp download from this album? The margin of profit in the ambient scene isn't terribly high to begin with – gotta' get all you can get while the getting's good, amirite?

Every Day Feels Like A New Drug was Misters Norris and Hatami's first pairing, initially coming out on Unknown Tone Records. Yes, it's Yet Another Ambient Label, though I don't recognize it, nor many names there. *sigh* And of course, they have some tasty-looking items too, much to the chagrin of my bank account. At least they're based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, so shipping shouldn't be that expensive. I hope...

So obviously this album sold out, but given the buzz generated by their other collaboration, The Longing Daylight on Carpe Sonum Records, Every Day Feels Like a New Drug saw a re-issue on Lee's own ...txt print. That CD's likely all sold out now too, hence the limited digital giveaway on Norris' part. Or maybe not, the Hatami-Norris brand of ambient perhaps just a tad too deep on the Mellow Spectrum for all casual costumers of their music to consume. I mean, I sure wasn't in a hurry to hear more of it, only jumping on this album because Norris offered it up for free. I like their stuff, but it didn't exactly leap out from the glut of ambient works I've buried myself in either. Short album lengths don't help either.

Comparing the two albums, I find The Longing Daylight has a little more personality going for it, in that the unique approaches to ambient Norris and Hatami offer come through clearer. Here, I get the sense neither artist really wanted to outshine or subvert the other, so it all mushes together into a similar tone throughout. Soft pads, dusty background textures, glitchy reverb washes, gentle pianos, and bubbling field recordings. And The Birds Flew In A Different Direction sparks my Adham Shaikh memory membranes, but nothing else grabs my attention the way their other works have. Ambient music in its truest form, I guess.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Andrew Heath - Europa

Disco Gecko: 2016

Y'know, I do like Andrew Heath's vibe, but even four albums worth of his minimalist ambient feels a bit overkill for my music collection. Just how many times can I take hearing his sparse piano tones, treated field recordings, and ephemeral synth harmonics before it all it starts blending into the same sonic soup. It's not really a style of songcraft that lends itself to radical experimentation. While there are different ideas and settings he can approach his compositions from, his basic texture hasn't changed that much in the four years he's released material on Banco de Gaia's label. Perhaps that's why hearing his most recent album, Soundings, open with that clickity-clack of typewriter typing was so effective at grabbing my attention – it was a sound astoundingly unique in Mr. Heath's overall sonic palette. Either that, or I find something intimately relating in hearing the sporadic striking of a querty keyboard.

Still, Europa should satisfy at least another innate tug at my soul, wanderlust. No, I mean actual wanderlust, not Wanderlust, the Andrew Heath piece with the typewriter sounds (I can't get over it!). After his first couple albums most dealt with the idyllic, pastoral vistas of the British countryside, Heath set his ears to the recalled sounds of mainland Europe, reflecting the areas he'd travelled while touring throughout old lands of Empires long passed. It definitely lends itself to a different vibe compared to The Silent Cartographer and Flux.

Andrew's music has always had a sense of journey about it, though seldom with any particular destination in mind – you can imagine slowly floating down a small creek in a tiny village as his music plays. Europa, on the other hand, has far more territory to traverse, so that same languid pace isn't quite so prominent. For sure the pieces crafted here remain as calm and soothing as anything Mr. Heath's crafted – he's quite comfortable in his lane – but in trying to capture the sprit of the different regions of his travels, it doesn't feel like we're completely taking in all that each setting offers. Some local folk music flavours in Lunz, sight-seeing unique fowl fauna in Requiem, partaking in the pleasant child activities in The Summer Boys, checking out the historical cultural achievements in Sputnik | Little Earth. So much to see, so little time to see it all in (approximately 74-80 minutes, plus another twenty if you sprung for the extra-deluxe bonus tour, er, tracks).

Which is par for the course when it comes to tourist vacations, always in a hurry to get to your next destination, being herded like cattle onto buses or monorails before the deadline, and ooh wait, there's just one extra thing I want to see, no, don't leave me behind, I don't have enough local currency for a hostel stay, wait! Er, not that I've ever had to deal with such inconveniences when sight-seeing abroad. I've heard stories though. Oh, have I heard stories.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dynatron - Escape Velocity

Aphasia Records/Blood Music: 2012/2016

Dynatron has been oddly quiet since Blood Music re-issued his two albums. Considering the three year gap between the 2012 release of this one and Aeternus on Aphasia Records saw a few complimentary EPs plus a bundle of compilation works (enough to fill two LPs worth!), that's quite a surprise. Aside from a lone 2016 EP with Blood Music (The Rigel Axiom), there's been nada since. I can understand a little grace period as his new label rolled out all his old material, but for a talent that had a remarkably productive four-year period, I can't imagine why Mr. Hasseriis would lose that momentum full-stop. Maybe the pressure of greater exposure's weighing down on him? Understandable, as a lot of these synthwave dudes are just chaps making a few quirky retro tunes for fun and releasing them on ultra-obscure net-labels, their biggest brush with fame positive comments on YouTube or Soundcloud. While Blood Music is far from being one of the music industry's major driving forces, it has grown into a rather big fish in its small, Scandinavian glacial-melt pond, especially since branching out from its death metal origins. Maybe Dynatron just needed a little me-time in the wake of all that increased attention, hunkering down in the studio for a triple-LP opus of epic space-synth awesomeness. One can hope.

Anyhow, time to dig into his first album, Escape Velocity. Straight-up, I like this one a little more than Aeturnus. Don't get me wrong (I prefer when you get me right), Aeternus was good fun and all, but this record tends to stick in my brain matter better. While I could make excuses for this like “catchier melodies” or “tighter songwriting”, I cannot deny a major reason boils down to cover art. Escape Velocity has everything a retro space-synth fan could hope for. Planets! Wormholes! Vector grids! '80s fonts! Purple! Not to mention individual art for every single track within the inlay! I love it when albums have that. Aeternus was cool and all, but it didn't have all that.

I also don't get as much of a sense of album narrative with Escape Velocity either. Okay, I felt that was a tad lacking with Aeternus too, but only in comparison to Dynatron's synthwave contemporaries on Blood Music (they've set a ridiculously high bar – like, cosmic high). It did have some though, spreading out the uptempo tunes with ambient interludes and reflective downtime. Escape Velocity mostly comes off as a clutch of dope space-synth tunes, though with it's own share of chill interludes too (Vox Magnetismi, Andromeda Bleeding - oh God, stop the sad-pain, please!). Then there's the mid-tempo cruisers (Aurora Nights, The Pulsating Nebula, Pulse Power), the orbit breaking action pieces (Space Operators, Fireburner, Wormhole, and Propulsion Overdrive including a Glorious Guitar for all your air shredding needs). All in all a tidy, fun collection of synthwave with its eyes in the stars rather than the paved streets of Miami. Gotta' love that consistency.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

ACE TRACKS: June 2018

So this past month hasn't been the most active with regards to reviews, not even cracking the twenty-mark. Whatever has caused this plunge in productivity, you may wonder. Has the uncertainty of continued gainful employment sent my psyche into chaotic disarray? Perhaps a comparatively dreary June has sent me into a depressive sickness and funk? Or maybe those weekly bonus mini-reviews over on my Patreon have eaten more free writing time than I could have ever predicted? None of the above, I say!

Truth is, I've been distracted by something far more insidious, a Real Time Strategy game. Yes, I decided to dust off the ol' Rise Of Nations, and let me tell you, if you've ever played it (or it's genetic ancestors Age Of Empires and Civilization), it can be one serious time sink of an experience. Single battles aren't that big a deal, as they last no longer than ninety minutes anyway. No, what truly eats into your life are the Conquest Modes, five different campaigns where you get to... TAKE OVER THE WORLD (you heard it in the voice, admit it!). By adding Risk elements to the whole experience, you can spend whole days retracing the steps of Alexander and Napoleon, or take control of a Native American civilization to expunge European invaders from your lands (or vice-versa, if you must), not to mention a good ol' Cold War extravaganza (yay Nuclear Armageddon!). It's a very addictive, very time-consuming game, is what I'm saying. AND THEN there's the time spent watching various Let's Plays of Rise Of Nations, just to see if there's some tips or tricks I might have missed. I've concluded that, while everyone of these players are good, they all seem to miss a couple things that could have made their games much easier (does no one know about the TAB hotkey, seriously!??) Overall, there's never enough hours in the day, just never enough. But hey, here's some ACE TRACKS from June at least.


Full track list here.


MISSING ALBUMS:
Spacetime Continuum - Emit Ecaps
Ishqamatics - Earthbound
Curve - Doppelganger
Plunderphonics - Plunderphonics
Michael Mantra - D#m / Gm

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 9%
Percentage Of Rock: 0%
Most “WTF?” Track: 9mm Goes Bang, at least as an opener.

Ah, this was a much smoother, flowing alphabetical playlist. Probably helps there's a hefty chunk of Werkstatt material on here, so a little synth- pop/wave homogeneity is present. The few detours into techno, breaks, rap, and trance at least help keep things spicy.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Spacetime Continuum - Emit Ecaps

Astralwerks: 1996

The whole kerfuffle surrounding a dodgy re-issue of Jonah Sharp's Sea Biscuit did result in one positive: rekindling my interest in his old Spacetime Continuum project. I always assumed it was among those nigh-impossible to acquire discographies, released in ultra-limited fashion or on hopelessly obscure labels. Well, Sea Biscuit was on Fax +49-69/450464 (among other collaborative works with Namlook), and Mr. Sharp did have his own print, Reflective, which was about as underground as it got back-when (though the lads at Ninja Tune liked them). In any event, preconceived notions confirmed, amirite? Yeah, then I learned Jonah was also signed to Astralwerks, possibly one of America's longest, most respected electronic music promoters. They partnered with the almighty Virgin, fer' crise'sakes! How an ambient techno guy got signed to a label that promoted the likes of Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim blows my mind, but then Astralwerks did lean that way at their start too. Couldn't resist those almighty Virgin dolla's tho'!

And as Astralwerks was plenty profitable during the compact disc's glory years, there's plenty copies of Spacetime Continuum floating about, making gathering some vintage Jonah Sharp far easier than I'd ever have anticipated. I haven't gotten all the albums, mind you (that collaboration with Terence McKenna seems a little too out there for my interests), a couple mid-'90s items suiting me just fine. And as always, alphabetical stipulation starts us off with one of Mr. Sharp's lesser known works, his alias Emit Ecaps. No, wait, that's the name of the album, Emit Ecaps just a couple one-off tunes for compilations. What does 'emit ecaps' even mean? I keep thinking drugs.

As for the album, Emit Ecaps, you can definitely tell it sprung from the mid-'90s, when electronic music scenes were frequently cross-pollinating, yet it's rather timeless too. Opener Iform gets down with that funky electro business, but doesn't sound retro in the slightest. Follow-up Kairo starts off in ambient techno's lane, but somehow gradually morphs into jazzstep d'n'b before shifting onto an ambient dub path – Sharp sure makes good use of the twelve minutes dedicated to this track.

And the genre fusion doesn't let up. While electro, Detroit techno (of course) and dub tend to dominate Sharp's aesthetic, there are nuggets of other genres scattered throughout too. Out Here spends a significant chunk of its time being flighty, bleepy space ambient before dropping some solid techno thump for its final minute. Vertigo has some kind of jungle-breaks bleep ambient techno thing going for it (and is pretty darn dope while doing it). Pod pairs grumbly technobass with floaty electro melodies, perfect for cruising the Oceanus Procellarum Boulevard. Funkyar could almost be a tech-house track, if it didn't stutter-pause its rhythm so often.

Listening through Emit Ecaps, I realize it's perhaps a tad too 'IDM' for the sort of customer base Astralwerks had started cultivating in '96, which sadly caused it to slip through the cracks. There's no excuse overlooking this little electro gem these days though.

Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20xx Update 2562 3 Loop Music 302 Acid 36 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell Andy C anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Anodize Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquarellist Aquascape Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Autumn Of Communion Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Bauri Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Bedrock Records Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Berlin-School Beto Narme bhangra Bicep big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biophon Records Biosphere Bipolar Music BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen Bluetech BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Bonzai Boogie Down Productions Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records braindance Brandt Brauer Frick breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Britpop Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes Calibre calypso Canibus Canned Resistor Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cevin Fisher Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Christmas Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast City Of Angels CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Cocoon Recordings Coldcut Coldplay coldwave Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Cor Fijneman Corderoy Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmos Studios Cottonbelly Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cube Guys Culture Beat Curb Records Curve cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyclic Law Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Dag Rosenqvist Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Wanrooy Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkcore darkside darkstep darkwave Darren McClure Databloem David Alvarado David Bickley David Guetta David Morley DDR Deadmau5 Death Row Records Decimal Dedicated Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Delsin Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit DFA DGC diametric. Dido Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house Disco Pinata Records disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ Soul Slinger DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dopplereffekt Dossier downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Dre Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dragon Quest dream house DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass DrumNBassArena drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted Dynatron E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast Eastcost EastWest Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton Empire enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta EP Epic epic trance Eric Borgo Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnoscope Euphoria euro dance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson experimental Eye Q Records F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Falcon Reekon Fallen fanfic Fantastisizer Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Firescope Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly fsoldigital.com Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London futurepop g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Gaither Music Group Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gareth Davis Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Geometry Combat Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Communication Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Gravediggaz Grey Area grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard techno hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Helen Marnie Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hide And Sequence Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast High Note Records Higher Intelligence Agency hip-hop hip-house hipno Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Ishq Island Records Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Item Caligo J-pop Jack Moss Jafu Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Jamiroquai Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzdance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Acquaviva John Beltran John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan John Oswald John Shima Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Jørn Stenzel Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut jump up Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze KMFDM Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Kriistal Ann Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal KRS-One Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf KuckKuck Kurupt L.B. Dub Corp L.S.G. Lab 4 Ladytron Lafleche Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Legiac Legowelt Leon Bolier Les Disques Du Crépuscule LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Liquid Zen Live live album LL Cool J Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Masotto Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Loud Records Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Mali Mammoth Records Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Marcus Intalex Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Method Man Metroplex Metropolis Miami Bass Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mantra Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mistical Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Moss Garden Motech Moving Shadow Mujaji Murk Murmur Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute MUX Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystery Tape Laboratory Mystica Tribe N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nashville Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neon Droid Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nightwind Records Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller Northumbria Nothing Records NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nurse With Wound NXP Oasis Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard Olan Mill old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Canvas Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Orkidea Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ottsonic Music Ouragan Out Of The Box OutKast Outpost Records Overdream Paleowolf Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Patreon Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Pendulum Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Benisch Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pink Floyd PJ Harvey Plaid Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platinum Platipus Plump DJs Plunderphonic PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings Pole Folder politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep Prince Prince Paul Prins Thomas Priority Records Profondita prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psy-chill psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychomanteum Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Public Enemy punk punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Purple Soil Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quantum Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Raekwon ragga Rainbow Vector Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant Rapoon RareNoise Records Ras Command Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Renaissance Man Rephlex Reprise Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Riley Reinhold Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scott Grooves Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Seaworthy Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Signature Records SiJ Silent Season Silicone Soul silly gimmicks Silver Age Simian Mobile Disco Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simon Scott Simple Records Sinden Sine Silex single Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records ska Skin To Skin Slaapwel Records Slam Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg soft rock Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment soul Soul Temple Entertainment soul:r Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller Space Manoeuvres space synth Spacetime Continuum Spank Rock Special D speed garage Speedy J SPG Music Spicelab Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Lawler Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Substance Suduaya Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak swing Switch Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Taylor Tayo tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Field The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Oak Ridge Boys The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Tholen Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Life Music Time Warp Timecode Tobias Tocadisco Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Tool Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records Traffic Entertainment Group trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Troum TRS Records Tsuba Records Tsubasa Records Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U2 U4IC DJs Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage Ultimae Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Motown Universal Music UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Verus Records Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Vitalic vocal trance Vortex Wagram Music Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Wave Records Waveform Records Wax Trax Records Way Out West WEA Wednesday Campanella Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings WestBam White Swan Records Wichita William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wrong Records Wu-Tang Clan Wyatt Keusch XL Recordings Yello Yes Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq