Monday, July 30, 2018

Various - Hits Of The 80's

Sony Music Select: 1993

It was the start of the '90s, and one thing was clear as day: CDs were the dominate medium of music consumption. People liked them for their portability and higher fidelity. Stores liked them for their ease of display and storage. And labels sure as Hell loved 'em for the insane mark-up they got, cheaply produced and sold for $20 a pop, not to mention that whole 'buying music you already had on a newer format' aspect. Them labels though, they weren't all greedy all the time. They knew they had a pile of music in their archives they already made max bank off of many years past, but were still favourites to many. Meanwhile, there remained a significant chunk of the populace who'd buy a CD of familiar music if the price was right. These consumers weren't the sort to scour record shops looking for the radio hits, but should they spot a collection for cheap in a discount bin by the grocery store check-out, well, what harm th'ar be in a $10 impulse buy, eh?

Hits Of The 80's was probably such a buy from it's former owner. Ooh, look, there's The Warrior. There's Bangles. There's Hooters. Recognizable songs, but the local rock radio doesn't play them anymore – too busy pumping out newer jams like Pearl Jam, or Unbelievable, or Pump Up The Jam. As I've said before, it was almost instantaneous in how the '90s music industry rejected anything that sounded like the decade prior, but that didn't mean fans of synth-pop, new wave, and glam metal went away either. Offering quick 'n cheap compilation CDs filled with this stuff was a sure-fire method of squeezing a few more drips of finely ground coin from those left wanting in the era of Spin Doctors.

That said, at ten tracks long, Hits Of The 80's feels skint, even for the cheap-o compilation market. What, couldn't squeeze two extra tunes on here, Sony? It's not like you're left wanting for selections in your archives. And how did they go about choosing which songs got included here anyway? The only thing I can say unites these tracks into any sort of theme is when I listen to it, I think, “Yep, those were hits in the '80s.”

So you get some classic, girl-fronted new wave music like Patti Smyth's The Warrior, Bangles' In Your Room, and 'Til Tuesday's Voices Carry (fun fact: for the longest time, I thought the chorus was “it's so scary”). That strange '80s fad of updating rockabilly is also present, in Cheap Trick's Don't Be Cruel and Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes. A good ol' power ballad in Warrant's Heaven shows up, while something smoother in Gloria Estefan's Words Get In The Way reminds us there was soul in the '80s too. Oh, and Toto's Africa is on here, which would have made a fun talking point two years ago, before the song was inexplicably and annoyingly memed to death. Damn millennials.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mick Chillage - Harmonic Connections

...txt: 2018

Oh, this is my first 2018 review. Well, anything from the current crop of ambient techno contingent had just as much of a shot as the dark ambient guys. With such limited CD runs, one must jump on new material the moment it's announced, lest missing out and resorting to digital (or worse, inflated second-hand market, the scabs). And Mr. Chillage, he always has an album or two in the works for labels curating this stuff (..txt, Carpse Sonum, Databloem), so odds were even greater it'd be him with the honour of breaking my 2018 Reviews cherry (what a strange honour). And if you think July is super-late for a First 2018 Review, might I remind y'all that it took until September of 2014 for me to review a new item of that year. Word up, Oliver Lieb's Inside Voices!

Of course, with as high a work-rate as Mick's, I've grown a little picky about what I get from him. I think I've had my fill of his chilly ambient, but he's adapted himself to other fields within the downtempo market, even inching into modern classical's domain recently. Ooh, might he end up on Dronarivm at this rate? That Between The Endless Silence album looks like it could have fit there.

But nay, what I'm mostly intrigued by is his trips into the realm of techno, something I honestly haven't heard him do often. Ambient techno, sure, itself that strange hybrid that sounds like neither ambient nor techno in their purest sense, but is better than calling it 'intelligent dance music'. Not contemporary stuff either, taking on elements of glitch and whatnot, but something a little more Warp, y'know, when the Detroit influences were affecting UK producers.

And Harmonic Connections does offer that, at least half the time. There's still ambient on offer too, though it's of an older vintage, reaching back as far as the '70s. Even the track titles feel retro, opener Beyond The Infinite almost cliche these days (because who hasn't ever been inspired by the Star Gate sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey?). Tune's pleasant enough though. Harmonic Space, meanwhile, casually lulls about with spritely synth tones and burbling acid, while Infinite Acid goes deeper and weirder with its pads and acid work, feeding us some proper Berlin-School vibes.

As for the 'techno' jams, hoo boy, will your Artificial Intelligence triggers ever be flaring. Telepathy's got the easy-peasy electro groove going for it as a gentle melody from the Ralf Hildenbeutel book rides along it. Art Of Symmetry is about as classic Aphex Twin as one can go without losing yourself in Richard D. James' madness. Room 303 threads that line where chill techno ends and classic trance begins, while the final run of tracks does early Warp alum Autechre and The Black Dog right. Not that I'm fingering Mick Chillage as ripping them off or anything. Sounding like classic Warp at this late stage can only be treated as homage.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Oak Ridge Boys - Gospel Hits

Sony BMG Music: 2005

Greetings, Past Peoples. It's been a while, at least from your perspective, that I, Sykonee Of The Year 2073, have graced this region of your 'inter net'. It's been a while for me as well, hopping the various timelines, seeing what events may come and how things may have turned different if things had just gone a little stranger. For instances, did you know there's a time-line where the German Nazis won World War 2 with a little item called the Heisenberg Device? You do? And they made a TV series out of that? Oh, well, that's arctic and all, but you all figured it just fictional, whereas I've seen the reality of it. Or the alternate reality. Sure t'was not mine, and t'is not yours, though whether my reality becomes your reality remains a mystery, don't it. I've noticed a few minor instances of differences of what I knew and where you are, but very little to suggest The Great Divide isn't still on course. No, fret not, the Atomic Brotherhood will carry you through it, saving us from all that unsavoury retrograde Murican business. They look out for their own kind, they do.

Of course and correctly, I'm back here to bring tidings of that indomitable musical force that at least provides our disparate cultures with some common ground of clay, the everlastingness that is The Oak Ridge Boys. We in the Cascadian realm admire them for their contributions to atomic resourcefulness, while those others adore their Jesus, Godly, and Murican themes, reinforcing their beliefs to an almost fanatical degree. It's strange how two cultures can find such different, opposing embracings of enjoyment from the same musical source. You folks in your times could learn a thing about that. Might even prevent what's to come, if you think what I live in isn't to your likening. Haha, just coming with the jokes there; my future is ordained.

So here we are again, with Another Oak Ridge Boys Gospel collection. It's astonishing just how many of these are on the market, isn't it? All with different degrees of quality, content, and presentation. I've been handed a couple impressive ones, a few redundant ones, but this one, this one is a big ol' lie.

Unlike so many other of their gospel collections, this one had some major-proper support from one of the big record companies of old, Sony BMG (eventual subsidiary of Disney-ZTE). The Oakies weren't signed with Sony BMG (eventual subsidiary of Disney-ZTE), but they had gotten a little surged patriotic love in rallying Muricans together in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. What better opportunity, then, than dusting off some rights-held recordings for the quick bucker compilation market?

Thus, even though the cover adorns The Oak Bridge Boys as they were in 2005, everything within is music recorded in the early Nauty Seventies, including when Lil' William Wynn was tenor. Deceived us, Sony BMG (eventual subsidary of Disney-ZTE) has! Should have just shown another church.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Beatbox Machinery - Glam Nights

Werkstatt Recordings: 2017

I've talked a lot about Werkstatt Recordings since stumbling upon them nearly two years ago (holy cow!). I've talked a bunch about ultra-obscure acts that hardly anyone could have a care for, but Werkstatt cared enough to give them a little promotional shove into the big, scary world of the music industry. I've even talked to some length about specific artists and their contributions to the Werkstatt legacy, diving into their myriad releases and projects with the label and abroad. And yet, I've barely mentioned much of Werkstatt founder, Toxic Razor (I still don't know what his real name is ...I think he prefers it that way). Obviously dropped his name in passing, as you're wont to do when discussing projects he's been a part of with Kriistal Ann, but actually taking in an album of his own music? Crazy to think it's taken twelve releases from the label for me to get there. Lucky number thirteen for Mr. Razor, eh? Also, has it really only been a dozen reviews for this label thus far? Huh, sure feels like more at this point.

Far as I can tell though, Beatbox Machinery is his solo project. He has occasional drop-ins from Ms. Ann and others for a little vocal and synth support, but the musical direction primarily comes from his brain matter. And as befitting a muse with an ear for the retro, all the music is performed with vintage analogue gear, so that unpolished vibe you hear is intentional, yo'. The early Beatbox Machinery singles and albums leaned heavier into industrial and techno's realm, releasing digital singles at a ridiculous clip – how'd this guy ever find the time to run a label too?

It wasn't long before synthwave started gaining popularity, and Mr. Razor shifted gears to reflect that sound, seemingly capping another endless run of singles with a fifty-one track, triple-LP effort in A Synth Trilogy. Man, after all that, no wonder he and Kriistal decided to strip things down to a simpler sound as Paradox Obscur. He must have been feeling that synth-pop itch again though, as he's brought the Beatbox Machinery alias back for his first new album in two years. Hey, given the rate of output, twenty-four months is a heck of a gap for any Toxic Razor project!

I also get the sense that tireless work-rate leaves his discography lacking in some quality control. Eight tracks make up Glam Nights, all doing the synthwave, synth-pop, outrun, post-electroclash (!?) thing. The guest vocalists are fun - Occams Laser's turn on Fast Cars, Palm Trees & Hot Ladies reminds me Sexor-era Tiga , and it's almost bizarre hearing Kriistal Ann singing such a peppy tune in Love Is Gone. This production though... I get Toxic Razor likes keeping things real and authentic, as though he's in a synthwave garage band. Everything's so mushed though, I have difficulty getting into much here. Give me that stripped-down Paradox Obscur stuff instead, mate.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kevin Yost - Fundamentals (The Best Of The Early Years)

i! Records: 2010/2015

I didn't take much away from David Alvarado's contribution to the United DJs Of America series (or 'west coast grooves'), but it did remind me that Kevin Yost and Peter Funk had more tunes to their names than the deep house classic Dreams Of You. And that got me digging a little deeper, revealing that the two – and especially Kevin Yost – have had quite a busy career to this day! And wouldn't you know it, there's a Bandcamp with their stuff. With their music! And their CDs! Oh my!

Damn though, I've a lot of catching up to do. I'd best start at the beginning, and as luck (fate) ordained, Kevin Yost has a twelve-tracker called Fundamentals (The Best Of The Early Years). It was first released in 2010 as a DJ mix CD, but by the powers of digital music, all the original tracks were made available in their unmixed version too. So, I gets myself full versions of Dreams Of You, Another World, Stronger Love and Round Bout Midnight (nine minutes of deep house bliss!), but the DJ mix too, and a CD? There's gotta' be a catch. What's the catch? Oh, I get just the CD, no original digipak included. Well, it has been a while since Fundamentals first came out, so maybe the complete package sold out long ago. And it's not like I haven't received things from Werkstatt that came in little more than a plastic slip-case.

Ah, wait, I should probably fill in a few more details of exactly who Kevin Yost is. I mean, you may know Dreams Of You, but Peter Funk kinda' earned most of the glory of that collaboration (thanks, Mark Farina's Frisco Disco tracklist!). In reality though, Mr. Yost has by far been the more active producer between the two collaborators. He's released at least six solo albums (maybe more, if Lord Discogs isn't being accurate with me – it happens), not to mention numerous other collaborations with folks other than Funk, names like Horace James, Guy Monk, Howard Burns, Danny Walls... you know, jazz guys.

Yeah, if there's anything Yost has built his reputation on, it's infusing right-proper jazz vibes into the deep house template, himself or guest musicians laying out a little extended solo time as a bumpin', groovin' rhythm chugs along in support. Of course, he wasn't the first, nor the only house producer to do this, but he has such a distinct style, you can always tell when it's one of his tunes when it comes on.

And that's the basic gist of what to expect from Fundamentals. Smooth 'n groovin' deep house vibe, with assorted jazzy solos in support (saxophone, organ, flute, guitar, xylophone, probably others). Maybe there's a vocal loop thrown in, but not much else. Nothing else is needed, so why complicate things? With a dozen cuts capturing Mr. Yost's first half-decade of successful singles, Fundamentals is as tidy a primer in his sound as you'll ever find.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Alphaxone & Dronny Darko - Forsaken

Cryo Chamber: 2017

I thought this would be it. After many, many, many months, almost seven deep into our current calendar year, I'd finally (finally!) get out my first review of a 2018 release. I mean, there's precedent for it, my last couple years of critic-blogging establishing a pattern of sorts. Lollygagging on the current stuff, but not that Cryo Chamber hit, oh no. They're almost always first out the gate, since they're a label I keep most up-to-date on, with albums released at such a steady clip you're never left wanting for material. Odds have always been in their favour that they get the FIRST glory, and wouldn't you know it, this particular release features two artists that have even been part of those pole positions, Dronny Darko and Alphaxone. Can you blame me for having it stuck in my head that this collaboration album between them was a 2018 release then, and would be my first review of a release in this year? But nay, that is not the case at all, Forsaken rather coming out mid-2017, and it's only now that I've actually gotten around to it. Damn it, though, I could have sworn it was a Dronny Darko album that would do the deed, and something regarding 'cryo' at that. I'm forgetting something...

Anyhow, I got this album because how could I resist a pairing of these two? Alphaxone has built a career on crafting droning soundscapes leading you into alternate dimensions (or space), while Dronny Darko crafts droning soundscapes for when you're already in these alternate dimensions (or space). It's a match made in heaven-Hell (or whatever that labyrinth cenobite realm is), and I couldn't wait to hear what weird, strange, twisted, perverted, conceptual head-space these two would take me. Fiery towers in washed-out graylands? Deep explorations of quantum realms where only Event Horizon madness dwells? Ooh, such tantalizing, very fantasizing!

But nay, we instead get something... conventional? Like, Forsaken does have a definite narrative, but it isn't anything specific, at least to the degree 'Xone & Dron' have done before. The track titles are mostly broad, generalized moments of an inward journey - Immersion, Enter The Gates, Dissolution Of Thought, Approaching, etc. - but there's no indication of where are why this journey is taking place. The assorted imagery in the CD package also shows pictures of foggy city-lines and sail masts, which gets my 'dark ambient boats' triggers all a'twitter, but still doesn't clue me in any further exactly what's forsaken here. And speaking of the CD, why do the tracks have fades between them? It's clear this album is a continuous mix, but the fades makes it sound like we're taking a commercial break between tracks. I can only assume this was an oversight.

All that nitpicking aside though, the music (such as it is) perfectly captures Alphaxone and Darko's droning strengths, involving you in a weird journey of discordant tones and strange sounds. I just wish I knew exactly where I was going.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Gridlock - Formless

Hymen Records: 2003

Man, talk about a coincidence, two straight album requests featuring breaks cribbed from the IDM camps! Though as this isn't a Patreon request, I can't give a specific shout-out to the requester. Sorry, Philoi. (wait...)

More to the point, this was requested as a bit of book-keeping from the TranceCritic days, an item covered by one of the website's other writers that could use a dusting off for our current clime's. Thing is, I don't recall this crossing our path, nor do I have a back-up of said supposed review. Granted, I don't have every item we published, and this one could have possibly slipped through the cracks, but I'm fairly certain if something this obscure had made it into the TC archives (and my back-ups), I'd have remembered it.

Back to the coincidence, Gridlock wasn't an actual breaks act like Tipper. Rather, they hail from the industrial camps, early adopters of the aggrotech scene (aka: when industrial discovered big-beat ...kinda'). Basically, a lot of noisy beats, angry shouting, with occasional moments of respite in dark ambient dirges. As time went on though, to two Mikes behind the project (Cadoo and Wells) drifted away from the industrial abrasiveness, their music becoming something more common among the IDM camps. They still kept the glitchy, harsh rhythms, but you could find that among breakcore or drill n' bass anyway. What pulled their music into a completely different scene, however, was just how nicely melodic it had all come, none of the menace and macabre of industrial remaining.

Formless was their final album, and serves as a nice capper of their transition from their bleak, early work. The beats are still all crunchy and glitchy and noisy, but so often coupled with charming melodies and pleasing ambient timbre that you almost forget there's a mechanical racket going on in support. What's nice about these beats is they never overwhelm the songcraft, over-indulging with fancy effects to the detriment of whatever musical ideas Gridlock performs. While this is hardly a new idea in the realms of IDM, I haven't heard it done quite the way Gridlock does here. Mind, it's not like I've gone super deep-diving into the realms of IDM, and there are still plenty of moments that have me thinking mid-'90s Aphex Twin (because it always comes back to him in this scene, doesn't it?). For the most part though, Gridlock have found a lane for themselves, and ride it with skill and finesse.

In fact, they stick to that lane so diligently, it kinda' hampers the overall album. Formless is fifteen tracks long, some short interstitial doodles, others breaching the nine-minute mark. Most, however, hover around four-to-six minutes, and while they all sound fine, there's also a noticeable lack of sonic variety too. Industrial beats, ambient techno melodies, and that's about it for the duration. I'm never bored by what I hear, but I cannot deny the mind drifting a little towards album end too. Annoying when the grey matter does that.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Tipper - The Critical Path

Higher Ground: 2000

(A Patreon Request from Omskbird)

Despite it soon dominated by *those* basslines, there's a reason why nu-skool breaks was briefly considered among the cutting-edge tuneage in electronic music: producers were eschewing traditional standbys like sampling and bigging-up the beats in favour of cribbing technical innovations from the IDM camps. Micro edits! Digital scratching! Glitchin' that shit up! Of course, by the time the nu-skoolers had gotten their mitts on these toys, the IDM world had long moved on, but it's not like the IDM and breaks scenes would ever cross-pollinate again. (oh hi, Venetian Snares)

Among those early innovators was Dave Tipper, a nu-skool hero for the headier heads (and a glitch-hop favourite when nu-skool became old-n-busted school). He never achieved the same level of commercial fame as other players in this particular scene (Rennie Pilgrim, Adam Freeland, that attention whore BT, who only dabbled in nu-skool but somehow took almost all the glory... *ahem*), but that's how his followers like it. Tipper is their guy, making music for their brain matter. Sure, it's nice you can find him headlining festival stages and all, but he's playing his music for their DMT trip. Why yes, I've had this conversation at the Shambhala Music Festival, why do you ask?

After a couple singles sticking to conventional breaks of the '90s, (big beat, acid crunch, trip-hop), his Twister record marked a sudden change in how his sound would carry forward. The Critical Path is the debut album that followed, and offers ample amounts of that nu-fangled take on the broken-beat. No samples of obscure funk, every piece of rhythm an original construct. Except maybe opener Seldom Vile, in that it at times reminds me of Aphex Twin's Acrid Avid Jam Shred. Hey, I told you nu-skool were aping things IDM had done half a decade prior.

At eleven tracks long, Tipper gets plenty of room to show off all the fancy nu-gimmicks in his computer arsenal, more than half the tracks varied examples of what breaks of the future might evolve into (before the 'tear-out' guys sullied it). This being the year 2000, he gets in a couple trip-hop cuts too, including Zero 7 favourite Sophie Barker on vocals. And what would a breaks album of that period be without a little Hybrid borrowing, a few tunes working in orchestral swells as well.

And the music itself? Well, if you like Phase 1 nu-skool, you probably already have this. It took me a little to get warmed to it myself, and there are portions where Tipper comes down with BT-itis, over-indulging the effects to ludicrous extremes (oh God, are they ever ridiculous in Last Informer - impossible to pay attention to Ms. Barker's lyrics with that much nonsense going on in the background). Overall, I was more impressed by Tipper's sound design than his songcraft, but so long as tunes like Twister, Sort Code, and Supersport have me imagining blistering down hyper-sonic race tracks through ancient temples and lunar colonies, mission accomplished, I say.

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)

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.

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.

Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 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 2018 2019 20xx Update 2562 3 Loop Music 302 Acid 36 3FORCE 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave a.r.t.less A&M Records A&R Records Abandoned Communities Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Trace Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Acroplane Recordings Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Advanced UFO Phantom Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Aidan Casserly Aira Mitsuki Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Smoke Alex Theory Alice In Chains Alien Community Alien Project Alio Die All Saints Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion Ambidextrous ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Anatolya Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell Anduin Andy C anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Annibale Records Anodize Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Paul Kerby Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aoide Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquarellist Aquascape Aquasky Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asia Asian Dub Foundation Astral Projection Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Attoya Audion AuroraX Autechre Autistici Autumn Of Communion Avantgarde Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axs Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap B°TONG B12 Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu Battle Axe Records battle-rap Bauri Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beatbox Machinery Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Bedrock Records Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Bent Benz Street US Berlin-School Beto Narme Beyond 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 Amazon Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen Bluetech BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bogdan Raczynzki Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Bonzai Boogie Down Productions Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Bows Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records BPitch Control braindance Brandt Brauer Frick Brasil & The Gallowbrothers Band breakbeats breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Britpop Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Bubble Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bursak Records Bush Busta Rhymes C.I.A. Calibre calypso Canibus Canned Resistor Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records Castroe Cat Sun CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cevin Fisher Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill out chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Chris Witoski 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 Club Tools Cocoon Recordings Cold Spring Coldcut Coldplay coldwave Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Convextion Cooking Vinyl Cor Fijneman Corderoy Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmo Cocktail Cosmos Studios Cottonbelly Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Creedence Clearwater Revival Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cryogenic Weekend Cryostasis Crystal Moon Cube Guys Culture Beat Curb Records Current Curve cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyclic Law Cygna Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse D-Topia Entertainment Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Dag Rosenqvist Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Lentz Daniel Pemberton Daniel Wanrooy Danny Howells Danny Tenaglia Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkcore darkside darkstep darkwave Darla Records Darren McClure Darren Nye DAT Records Databloem dataObscura David Alvarado David Bickley David Bridie David Guetta David Morley DDR De-tuned Dead Coast Dead Melodies Deadmau5 Death Grips Death Row Records Decimal Dedicated Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Deetron Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Delsin Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit Devin Underwood Deysn Masiello 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 Divination 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 Dooflex Dopplereffekt Dossier Dousk downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Dre Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dr. Octagon Dragon Quest dream house dream pop 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 Eastworld 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 Electronic Music Guide Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Emiliana Torrini Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton Empire enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta EP Epic epic trance EQ Recordings Erased Tapes Records Eric Borgo Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnica Etnoscope Euphoria euro dance eurotrance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson Exitab experimental Eye Q Records Ezdanitoff F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Falcon Reekon Fallen fanfic Fantastisizer Fantasy Enhancing 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 Fontana footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Frans de Waard Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly 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 Gary Martin Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Geometry Combat Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah Ghostly International glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Communication Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Gravediggaz Green Day Grey Area Greytone Gridlock grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA H2O Records Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard techno hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harlequins Enigma Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hefty Records Helen Marnie Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hexstatic Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hide And Sequence Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast High Note Records Higher Ground Higher Intelligence Agency Hilyard hip-hop hip-house hipno Home Normal Honest Jon's Records Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Howie B Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hymen Records Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I-Cube i! Records I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM Igorrr illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus Indica Records indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Ink Midget 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 Islands Of Light Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Item Caligo J-pop Jack Moss Jackpot Jacob Newman Jafu Jake Stephenson Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Blake James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Jamiroquai Javelin Ltd. 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