Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nacht Plank - Third Sacraments Council

self release: 2013

I've taken in a few Lee Norris projects now, though I haven't returned to his Nacht Plank one too often. In fact, aside from my earliest dabblings into his works which included Alien and the Moss Garden album In The Silence Of The Subconscious, I've barely touched upon his second-to-third most prolific alias. Gosh, looking back on my coverage of Norris' music, the first five were via Carpe Sonum Records releases – I didn't really begin branching out from that label until Lee started offering his older material as free Bandcamp downloads. Makes sense though, as much of his older material was of such limited manufacturing runs that most of it's been long out of print, save the occasional reissue or box-set gathering. I did nab up a couple other CDs from ...txt while they were still available, including one of those Nacht pairings with Ishq, but yeah, seems the only way I'll get to continue exploring Mr. Norris' older music is whenever he offers up these downloads. Or, I dunno', find streaming alternatives (but... physical!).

This particular album though – indeed, this particular series, if the 'third' in the title wasn't a clue – I couldn't have bought a CD if I wanted to. During that whole Italian Works period, Lee performed at the Basilica Don Juan temple in Piemonte - two nights and two recordings - from which Second and Third Sacraments Council come from. Though he has a dedicated fanbase, it isn't substantial by any stretch, folks looking to buy hour-long live drone compositions from Mr. Norris few and far between. But hey, post that stuff on Bandcamp, and make whatever cream comes your way from it, right? He also included them on the Sacraments Council thumb-drive, so you could technically have a physical copy of it, though just how 'physical' USB releases really are is a debate I've already had (jury's still out).

Oh, yeah, that's what Third Sacraments Council is, an hour-long live drone composition, and friends, does this one ever drone. It's the good kind of drone, mind you, if you're looking for minimalist ambience for calming meditative moments. For the first five minutes, we're dealing with little more than atonal pad work with some crackly treatments that almost sound like some loose wiring in Lee's gear (Nacht Plank is primarily his outlet for music created with analog equipment). A gentle, breathing two-tone melody emerges, acting as the steady rudder for the duration of the piece, with additional effects building overtop this minimalist melody, though never straying from the path its laid out. At various points additional sounds like mechanical bird or whale calls punctuate the mood, but that's about as dynamic as things get.

Despite a little flaking in its duration, Third Sacraments Council surprisingly held my attention throughout. Even more surprising was a co-worker noticing it too, commenting how relaxing it is. My co-workers never comment on the ambient music I play! Can't get a better recommendation than that, my friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Toxik Synther - Technocracy Assassins

Werkstatt Recordings: 2015

All these Werkstatt artists are blending into each other. For as long as I've had this EP, I thought this was a Toxic Razor release – y'know, that dude who runs the label. I was even making mental notes about it leading up to this review, a couple talking points about his impossibly high work-rate with so many projects and label management taking up his time, where this particular collection of four tracks fits into it all. Like, the music on here doesn't quite fit the mould of his other releases, less of that rough analog production compared to other items I've covered thus far. And when there's something kinda' different about a release in an artist's discography, that gives me tons of different things to wax the bull about! So I head on over to Lord Discogs to get additional info, submit the CD release of Technocracy Assassins because of course it hasn't yet, then realize Toxik Synther has only two releases with the Database That Knows All. Wait, what?

Ooohhh.... Toxik Synther, with a 'K'. Not Toxic Razor, with a 'C'. Huge difference, that. Just how many Toxic/k's is in synthwave anyhow? *sixty percent of synthwave stands up cheering “yo'!”* I knew it, I'm surrounded by toxins. Keep toxin, Toxics!

Unfortunately for me, Toxik Synther is yet another utter blank in the Werkstatt canon. Lord Discogs has no info, beyond listing his two EPs released on the label. There's no details with the Bandcamp pages for this and Agent Of Technology, save a Soundcloud link. And that leads to a page with three tracks on it, with no updates in three years. For all intents, Toxik Synther came in, released a couple tunes while synthwave was hot enough that any ol' chap or chappette could get material out, then went his separate way into the winds of MIDI. Or this really is a pseudonym for Toxic Razor.

Hey, don't snicker at that prospect. There's one tell that makes me suspect as such - okay, beyond the all too similar handle. In much of Razor's work, I've noticed an interest in anti-establishment, corporate-rebellion themes, which makes sense given how much he draws influence from EBM and industrial music. Synthwave, on the other hand, doesn't get heavy with the political too often, its chosen lane typically loving nods to the poppy and fantastical of '80s synth music. Yeah, it can sometimes paint as bleak a future-shock portrait as any John Carpenter score, but more in service of action-packed music than trying to drop Very Important messages about the corruption of the powers that be.

With track titles like Politics Of Deception and War Conspiracy, coupled with knarly EBM grooves, Toxik Synther ain't bullshittin' his stance on the rot that infects our leaders. On the other hand, Psychomancers Of Polaris is pure chipper, adventurous synth-pop, so maybe all is not so bad is it seems to be. 2015 was still such an optimistic time, wasn't it.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Various - A Taste Of Pork: A Collection Of Pork Recordings

Quango Records: 1995

This is a CD I always saw in the music shops, even as far back as I was allowed to go to the Vancouver music shops. As the years went on, there it forever sat, unloved, uncared, unappetizing. Like, who in their right mind would pay regular price for a compilation with just seven tracks on it, three of which are by the same artist? CDs weren't cheap, and when you're looking to wax twenty bones on a compilation, you want to get as much music as possible on it, with as much variety on it. No wonder those double-disc sets of 'european trance' or those hard house DJ mixes with thirty-five tunes were more appealing. This though, what's appealing about orange cover art talking about pork? Whenever is food a tempting association with music? Unless you have synaesthesia, they interact with completely different senses, generating completely different responses upon your brain-matter. I can no better taste the music than I can hear the ham - I sure as shit ain't shoving some sizzling strips down my earholes!

Still, I've been on a bit of a Quango Records binge as of late, most of their discs quite cheap and easy to come by. I figured there's no harm in dropping a couple loonies for this on the Amazon market, round out a little more of that early jazz-funk downtempo collection that keeps growing. And it makes sense that Bruno Guez would tap Pork Recordings for material for the fledgling Quango, the label the birthing home of future Quango staple Fila Brazillia. In fact, it was co-Fila member Steve Cobby that co-founded Pork Recordings with David 'Porky' Brennand (thus the print's namesake). They even produced a lone white label to kick things off, but it was clear Cobby's production as Fila and Heights Of Abraham (with former members of industrial group Chakk) would do the heavy lifting in Pork's early years.

Hence it's no surprise that of the seven tracks that make up A Taste Of Pork, Steve Cobby is in on all but one of them. As mentioned, Fila Brazillia gets three, Leggy and The Sheriff both doing that funky, chill Latin-jazz thing the duo's always been ace at (as they played back-to-back, I thought they were the same track!). There's also Subtle Body, a surprising ambient-jazz thing with gentle keyboards and twinkling bells with dubby overtones. Meanwhile, Heights Of Abraham get two cuts, The Cleric and E.V.A. (Instrumental), both much chiller and groovier than the Fila Brazillia material, almost treading into ambient dub's domain. Cobby even gets to shows off his solo project Solid Doctor, itself a slightly dubbier take on the burgeoning Kruder & Dorfmeister downtempo stylee.

The lone track breaking up the Cobby showcase is R Resonant from R Earth. This was actually care of a re-issue Pork did for the 1990 single, though why they picked this, I haven't a clue. Is it just because a Kevin Bacon in this group? No, couldn't be that.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Various - Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau

Ghostly International: 2002

I wanted Legowelt's Disco Rout. Okay, I technically already have Legowelt's Disco Rout, but as part of a DJ mix (Sound Of The Third Season, as long time readers know). I wanted it in all its pure form though, preferably in an album context. Trouble is, Danny Wolfers never released a Legowelt album that included Disco Rout, just a single on Cocoon Recordings. T'was my hunt to be thwarted by personal collecting limitations? Not so, Disco Rout also doing a little compilation duty back in the day, the Ghostly International CD Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau the first of such outings. And, ooh, look at all these other electroclash acts on here: ADULT., I-F, DMX Krew, Lowfish, Hong Kong Counterfeit, Mat-101...

Right, calling most of these guys and gals electroclash is a bit of a stretch. Like so much retro-leaning music at the turn of the century, it all got lumped under the banner when lazy music journalists needed a quick, clever, catchy, contemporary tag for an old thing that simply hadn't much popularity in the decade prior. What's funny is all their tripping and falling over being at the forefront of the zeitgeist was for nought, electroclash essentially done as a movement by the time even this CD hit the shelves. A few acts carried on the original sleazy, ironic ethos, but soon enough folks were making proper synth-pop or electro without having their tongues so deeply embedded within their cheeks.

Honestly, that change is apparent even with Tangent 2002. I've no doubt that Ghostly International was looking to capitalize on a reinvigorated electro fad, but the artists on here display little of the sleaze that labels like International Deejays Gigolo helped create the image-conscious scene that was electroclash. Also, despite not loading this compilation up with big, obvious names (I think ADULT. had the most market presence, for no other reason than they often compared to Miss Kittin & The Hacker), quite a few of the artists featured on this compilation already had well-established music careers, making quirky electro, poppy techno, and synthy EBM on a lark. They didn't need electroclash added to their resume, but it's cool that they indulged in it for a bit.

One of the things that really struck me about the music on here is just how solid the songcraft is. Whether chipper electro-house (Susumu Tokota's Re: Disco, Charles Manier's Change You), space-age synth-pop (Solvent's My Radio, DMX Krew's Make Me, Memory Boy's (There Is No) Electricity), weirdo Detroitisms (Ectomorph's Lost Angles, I-F's Holographic Voice), or regular ol' deadpan electroclash (ADULT.'s Nite Life, Hong Kong Counterfeit's Metal Disco (Legowelt vs Orgue Electronique Mix)), it's all boss, with none of the insufferable irony that suffocated the scene's original momentum. And glory be, it's wonderful hearing such retro sounds with experienced musicians behind them. Not to knock all the synthwavers down, but it's quite apparent how many of them are still at the amateur level compared to this stuff. Give 'em time though, give 'em time.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tosca - Suzuki

Studio !K7: 2000

The only Tosca album you're supposed to have, even if you're not a fan of Tosca. This conclusion is based upon the fact that most of the Tosca tunes that have done serious compilation duty come from Suzuki. Tracks like Honey, Busenfreund, and many more were some of Dorfmeister and Huber's most frequently plucked items for downtempo collections. Yes, even when the promotion cycle would encourage their more recent material, there's still Ocean Beat doing the business, right along with Chocolate Elvis and Rolf Royce. That's some serious longevity, especially in an overstuffed compilation market, though it cannot be denied Studio !K7 were quite aggressive in licensing out their acts to corner that lucrative after-hours scene. And Tosca, they fit the bill quite nicely indeed, with Suzuki coming out right as said scene was blowing up. So effective was this album's marketing, tracks from it even appeared on things like Slo' Motion Trance, rubbing shoulders with trancecracker favourites like ATB's Trilogy, Rank 1's Airwave (Sunset Mix), iiO's Raputre (Soulside Remix), and Energy 52's Cafe Del Mar (Michael Woods Remix Edit). Wha'...? Tosca no fit with Blank & Jones, yo'! (the weird shit I find on Discogs, I swear)

For my money, I kinda' prefer Dehli9 over this album, but don't take my opinion with two tablespoons of sodium laureth sulfate – that shit might kill you! More to the point, Suzuki is just the second album of Tosca music I've taken in, and while this and Dehli9 do tend to have the most tune plucked from them for compilation duty, that doesn't mean they're the best in their catalogue. For all I know, last year's Going Going Going outclasses either of them, so until I hear every Tosca album (all seven of them, not including remix albums ...*sigh*), my opinion remains rather limited. Just from what I've heard between these two, Dehli9 has the more interesting tracks (bonus ambient piano CD doesn't hurt either).

Of course, we're still dealing with some class-A downtempo vibes with Suzuki. The simmering funk, the light jazzy touches, the dubby atmosphere all blend together for a collection of tracks that play perfectly in the background, never quite drawing your attention to them while you read your book, write that novel, play that online poker, or smoke that spliff. In fact, I'd say they're almost too unassuming, in that very little actually leaps out at you should you play it as background fodder. For sure when you pay actual attention to Rich' and Rupert's songcraft, there are wonderful little musical touches from track to track that never leaves Suzuki a dull, monotonous listen. I dunno' though, some personality is lacking compared to tunes like the oddball soul-jazz of Me & Yoko Ono, or the ragga' influenced Gute Laune (both tunes off Dehli9 - see why I like that album more!). It's not a deal breaker for Suzuki, but I doubt I'll be grabbing for it as often compared to my other plentiful downtempo options.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Various - Surf Beat

Not Now Music: 2016

At some point in my past, I realized I liked surf rock, even beyond it's starring role in Pulp Fiction. For sure there was that childhood interest in the Beach Boys laying the foundation, but it's more than that. The energetic pace, the abundance of echo and reverb, the general lack of vocals – why, it could almost be a form of 'techno'! My interest was cemented when a former boss put a bunch of it on the work playlist, a wonderful counter to the bland contemporary rock and pop we endured throughout the day. It got deep enough into my head that I concluded this was a genre of music that might be worth a little further exploration, just how fruitful a scene had sprung from Dick Dale's innovative guitar shredding.

However, the music came about when the single dominated the industry, and if I honestly wanted to take in all that this scene had to offer, I'd have to engage in some serious spelunking. Scouring the local used shops for records of various inches and lengths. Move beyond the famed bands like The Surfmen, The Revels, and The Champs, and discover unheralded acts like The Fireballs, The Frogmen, and The Trashmen. Then I'd have to go to the Meccas of surf rock itself: Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Topanga, Lower Trestles, Venice Beach, Zuma. Where surfers far and wide inspired musicians near and thin with their wave-ridin' skills, and undoubtedly flooded the market with a soundtrack to their carefree crazy pastime. Oh, the abundance of early '60 vinyl one is sure to find in all the pawn shops along the SoCal coastline, draining me of so much of my financial means, so very much.

Or I can pick up a 2-CD compilation of the stuff. That'll work too.

There's forty songs on Surf Beat, which may seem like a lot, but considering each tune only averages around two minutes, things breeze by like Frankie Avalon skimming the inside lane of the blue pipeline (is that how you do surfer jargon? I really haven't a clue). And while most of the famous ditties of the day are included, (no Wipeout, thank God), it isn't all surfer music all the time. Really, the term 'surf rock' only included a select few acts that made their mark in the surfer locales, while a lot of other rock bands of the day had their instrumentals often lumped in with the scene. Songs like The Ramrods' Riders In The Sky and The Outlaws' Indian Brave have more lineage with country music, painting pictures of galloping through the Sierra Range or Chihuahuan Desert. Ain't no surf in those parts of America, I reckon.

Which just confirms my inclination that 'surf rock' is but a small part of what I like to call 'desperado rock', taking the music's rebellious overtones and applying it to Americana like The Old West and The California Coast - a romanticism of an America that never was.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Visions - Summoning The Void

Cyclic Law: 2010

I've dabbled in a few items from Cyclic Law, but haven't gotten much into the founder of the dark ambient label, Frédéric Arbour. That's because, unlike Simon Heath and his multitudes of Cryo Chamber works, Mr. Arbour only dabbles in the producer's console. He has a few different projects to his name, including this one as Visions, but only scant releases under any of them. Seems he's far more comfortable playing the role of music curator, bringing others into the Cyclic Law fold, giving their releases his mastering touch while consulting on cover art. Cannot deny he does provide a unique aesthetic in the dark ambient lexicon, a faded, gritty look that hints at the fantastical, but seldom ever implicitly confirms it. Always about what your senses don't reveal, this scene is.

Visions is Frédéric's most fruitful project, though at four releases total (so sayeth Lord Discogs), that's not saying much. In fact, he only added his fourth just this year, a collaborative project with Phurpa called Monad, and which marked Cyclic Law's one-hundredth release at that. Hey, it's only fitting one take their label's milestone for themselves, right? His first Visions album, however, came out way back in 2005 (Lapse), with Summoning The Void released half a decade after. Far as I can glean, this project has more of a space theme, but perhaps all the various cover art of Rorschach nebulae is deceiving me.

Like, opener Dawning does have that desolate, empty, impossibly vast space drone going for it, but it also has clanging bell tones echoing off the far reaches of the cosmic cathedral. Then, is that chanting I hear emanating from the void, as though summoning an Old One from the blackest pitch of the darkest hole of the unholiest realm? Are we lost in space, or did we hitch a ride on the Event Horizon? Which is worse? And speaking of voids, the titular piece lays out droning tones as though they're the horns of Azatoth, with layers of timbre almost suffocating your senses as wailing pads worm and snake about – and dearest me, is that actually an almost hopeful harmony fighting its way through the oppressive atmosphere? Tread not where hope ends in decay and death, o' ye' traveller of the forbidden realms.

The remaining three tracks follow in suite with the openers: lots of thick timbre and echoing drones, with spare musical elements piercing the murk throughout. Overall, I get more of a sense of ritualistic entrancement than sensory deprivation, especially so with closing piece Invocation (its full of stars). I come away from Summoning the Void not with a sense of fear and wonderment of the impossible emptiness that surrounds our little speck of mud, but of being beaten down by all that there is and more that we cannot see or begin to understand. Or maybe it's some handy Halloween music to play when doling out treats for the kiddies. That'll work in a pinch too.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sleep Research Facility - Stealth

Cold Spring: 2012

Now here's an alias up my alley! I like good sleep, but sometimes I feel I'm not getting the best sleep all the time. What the most efficient hours are, whether going down for huge blocks of time or interspersing it in shorter, nappier chunks is better. Should I keep milking those REM dreams or cut them off once they get too surreal. What I should take before lying down. What I shouldn't take before lying down! Sleep is one of the most natural things every complex organism does on this planet, yet it still remains one of the oddest things we don't fully understand. When did it become practical for a living being to simply shut down its higher functions for a period of time? Was consumable energy really in such scarcity in the primordial Earth that they had no other recourse than to hibernate for a while, preferably when the sunlight wasn't out and about? So strange, and we cannot fight it, no matter how many stimulants we may pump our bodies with. That there are research facilities dedicated to discovering these secrets is a-ok in my books.

All this has precious little to do with the album I'm reviewing today. Far as I can tell, Sleep Research Facility is simply a cool sounding handle Kevin Doherty adopted for making his dark dronescapes. His first album was called Nostromo, which yeah, featured some hibernating space-truckers (and gestating body horrors) but nothing involving researching their sleeping habits. He also has an album called Deep_Friez, something about the encroaching slumber of hypothermia, which I'm sure makes for fascinating study, but kinda' difficult to report your findings once you've turned into an Antarctic Popsicle.

Finally, we have his (thus far) final album, Stealth, which has nothing to do with sleep at all. Or maybe a little, those sleak, black killers of the sky moving as quietly as my computer in hibernation mode. I'm sure the B2 bomber has its own 'sleep mode' during its runs too, making sure its as invisible as possible from any observer. Remarkable feat of engineering, that plane. I'm not surprised folks find some inspiration in its aesthetic and design, even to create music based on it. This album though, has to be a first. Or at least a very unique interpretation.

For you see, Mr. Doherty posited the question: what would it be like as a stealth bomber? No, seriously, that's the vibe I get off this album! Unsurprisingly, this is a very minimalist drone album, almost entirely composed of electronic tweeting, chirping, whirring, and other assorted field recordings, all the while an ever present engine hum envelops you - it's like you're inside the machine, that you are part of the machine. Every so often the monotony is broken up by radio chatter, orders being relayed, information being sorted. I imagine if a B2 bomber had thoughts, Stealth is what its sensory A.I. perceives as reality. Or you're a hapless maintenance guy stuck in the landing gear.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Scott Grooves - Key Statements - The Beginning: The Soiree Collection 1992-1995

Soiree Records International: 2017

Yes, the beginning. The start of it all. The alpha happening. The prime, um, kickoff. Whatever you want to call it, these are the tracks Scott Grooves initially got his groove on with, a smattering of singles and remixes for Detroit based Soiree Records International. He'd shortly after get a deal with Soma Quality Recordings, which led to the single A New Day, the album Pieces Of A Dream, and we already know all this because I just talked about it in the Pure Mixin' It retrospective. So let's give a quick rundown on Soiree instead.

Not a major print by any stretch, but they've been in operation since 1990, releasing a few records every year to this day. I honestly don't recognize anyone on this label, but there must be enough love for acts like Glenn Vernon, Pleasure Device, Drivetrain, and CloudMasterWeed to have kept the lights on for nearly three decades now. Nothing can stop the Motor City deep house machine!

Yeah, we're in house's house, and really, if you clicked on a review for a guy called Scott Grooves and weren't expecting house of some sort, let me be the first to welcome you to our planet - please take your litter with you when you leave. This American house though, it's in that weird transitional era from the classic Chicago sound of the decade before, and the full-on loopin', disco n' funk revival that would define the latter half of the '90s. At this point, the deeper, bumpin' New York and Miami style was dominating the clubs, producers like Masters At Work and labels like Strictly Rhythm large and in charge. Scott Grooves may have hailed from Detroit, but that don't mean he wasn't heavily influenced by that sound either, much of the music here fitting comfortably snug within clubs out on the east coast. It'd be a few more years before Detroit musicians stopped fighting their natural inclination to put the 'tech' into their house.

Despite some ultra-tight drum programming that's just part of any Detroit producer's DNA, Scott Grooves doesn't do much here distinguishing him from the deep, eastcoast bump 'n grind vibe. Which is fair, the chap undoubtedly still learning the ropes of production while DJing remained his main focus.

His two Key Statements cuts work a sparse groove just fine, with that punctual squarewave bassline bobbin' about as a soul sista' or piano/organ/saxaphone/xylophone improvises between the vocals. His remixes for Pam Vernon, Sweet B, Lawanda, and Kiata generally follow the same formula, though the production's got a deeper, richer atmosphere to them – less stiff than the Key Statements cuts. The collection ends on a couple unreleased items - On My Way and Anything 4 You - and it's here Scott's Detroit lineage peaks through, tunes sounding far more futurist and 'techy' than anything New York was churning out, but still on that deep house vibe nonetheless. Dang, why'd it take this long to revive these, yo'?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Jacob Newman & Devin Underwood - Sending The Past

Carpe Sonum Records: 2015

Man, another pure ambient album from Carpe Sonum Records so soon? Don't I review anything else? Hey now, it hasn't been that short a turnaround. I reviewed Bubble's OI only [checks notes]... Um, only... [re-checks notes, checks actual blog]... Holy cow, it's been nearly a month? Doesn't feel a day past Thanksgiving. Point is, I've covered plenty else in the meanwhile such that it shouldn't feel like I'm getting into a repetitive rut. Stuff like dark ambient, or piano ambient, and, um, ambient techno. Ooh, look, there's some house and synthwave in that mix, plus a few glitchy items too (erm, care of Patreon Requests), so what rut be th'ar, ask I?

This particular album comes care of a duo, Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood. They also make music together under the alias Gapfield, which Carpe Sonum has actually attributed to the digital version of this release, but since it's their names and not the alias on the cover art, I'm sticking with that (Lord Discogs approves). The two also have respectable solo careers, Jacob releasing under his own name, while Devin taking on a Specta Ciera handle. And gosh, rummaging through their respective discographies, I've noticed they too have music out on that dataObscura print. It... it's a sign, that I've noticed this label two reviews in a row. Must... now... buy... from...

Where was I? As far as ambient music goes, Sending The Past plays things fairly conventionally. It's got the spacious drones, the subtle melodies, the soothing atmosphere, though whereas most ambient composers find a lane and stick with it, these two seem to take on a few different schools on a track-to-track basis. Compositions like Light Point, Sequester, and The Elusive has me reminded of all those Andrew Heath albums I've covered, where the ambience is very minimalist as stray sounds and tones permeate the empty, echoing spaces between, whether of piano, strings, field recordings, or those little bloopy sounds from a radio transistor. Mind, Misters Newman and Underwood fill their spaces with more pad work than Heath, but the craft remains similar enough for me to do the name-drop. I'm sure there's other names I could have dropped, but with all those Heath albums behind me now, his style has kinda' imprinted upon me above all others.

Other tracks, however, go more for that traditional long-drone form, though we're never getting into obscene lengths here. The longest pieces - Mist Field and Day Stretch - don't even break the double-digit mark, and Rotations even comes in at a snug two-and-a-half. Overall, I'm getting that planetarium ambient vibe from Sending The Past, what with twee melodies sprinkled about like twinkling starlight. Yet the omnipresent pad drone keeps things relatively obscured and submerged. So, like, I'm watching stars, but from under water. Or starlight shimmering across the blackened waters of a harbour at night. No, wait, those are just squiddies coming up to the surface for their mating dance. Calamari tonight, boys!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pleq & Segue - The Seed

Databloem: 2010

For as much as I've name-dropped Databloem, I sure haven't gathered much of their discography, a lone double-LP from Mick Chillage the only release to have entered my coffers. Time to remedy that, said I, and wouldn't you know it, they too offer some bulk rates of their catalogue. Sweet deal, that means I can round out a few discographies of artists I already- no, wait, I should use the opportunity to explore new artists, ones I've never heard before! Like, who knows what wonderful artists I've yet to discover, names like Skua Atlantic or James Shain or The Circular Ruins or Mnnsk. I mean, it worked with another pseudo-ambient label that started in the early '00s, before going completely tits-up. Somehow though, I figure Databloem has some longevity behind it. Call it a hunch.

Anyhow, I'm not going into this one totally ear-blind, as one of the players involved I do know: Segue. Most folks these days know him for his contributions to the Silent Season catalogue, his Pacifica in particular hailed as among that label's best works (eye-grabbing cover art helps). This was released before that though, when he was doing a little collaborative work with a chap named Bartosz Dziadosz, but you can call him Pleq. Now this dude, he's got himself an extensive discography, releasing a few dozen items this past decade on such labels like Crazy Language, Impulsive Art, Dronarivm, Chemical Tapes, and vu-us, vu-us. As he mostly plies a minimalist glitch ambience with modern classical leanings, I should have stumbled upon him sooner, but no, this collaboration with Segue is the fist time Pleq's graced my ears. That Our Words Are Frozen on dataObscura looks intriguing though.

As the Pleq genre-drop implies, we're in minimalist glitch territory here, though I wasn't expecting things to be this loopy and spacious. The Seed isn't a full-on collaboration between Pleq and Segue, only a couple tracks billed as such (The Piano, The Seed, The Mornings Begin Chilly). Pleq crafts two pieces on his own (Lulled By The Rhythmic Creaking, Calm Coolness), Segue gets a solo outing of his own (Late April), and both trade remixes on two tracks apiece.

If this seems confusing, don't worry, you won't tell much difference between the artists within the music itself. This is an album with lots of fuzzy static, clicky-poppy glitch, and minute looping melodies wrapped in a soft blanket of white noise. Melancholy headphone music, to the extreme!

Okay, it's not extreme, but it is very ambient, in that modern glitchy sort of way. I find things are more interesting when there is some form of melody leading things, whether pad work, piano work, or string work – the pure drone-gltich works like Calm Coolness and No Sky evaporate in my brainpan too easily. Overall, I feel like Pleq's aesthetic dominates over Segue's, but as I've only taken in a couple Segue albums, and none of Pleq's (yet), take that conclusion with a pound of sodium carbonate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Spacetime Continuum - Sea Biscuit

Astralwerks: 1994

It shouldn't have taken me this long to pick up Sea Biscuit. It never occurred to me that I could though. When I first heard Spacetime Continuum, it was as part of Coldcut's Tone Tales From Tomorrow Too, a mix CD that sounded so strange, so leftfield alien to my virgin raver ears. I concluded the tracks within were so underground that I'd have no hope of ever finding them in my trips to the Vancouver shops, much less in my Canadian hinterland homestead.

Then along came a Lord by the name of Discogs, showing me the light – these tracks do exist beyond the unknowable realms of the deepest crates, some even care of familiar labels (that Namlook fella' was part of Alien Community? Go figure!). That didn't mean I could now rush out and buy 'em all up though, oh no! Tone Tales was more than a half-decade old by that point, ages where electronic music was concerned in those days. Surely items off there were long out of print and impossible to find for a college student on a minimal income just learning the wonders of Amazon shopping. Little did I know that one tune was always easily accessible, the Astralwerks label among the most prominent electronic music prints in North America. No ridiculous import fees, no inflated collector's market prices, no dodgy bootleg deals; just a nice, simple used-shop cost, plenty available no matter what your Amazon preference be. Yep, no reason to not get the Astralwerks version of Sea Biscuit if you want this album (from Astralwerks). No reason at all.

Jonah Sharp's debut album as Spacetime Continuum is oft hailed a classic of ambient techno, though I sometimes feel every ambient techno album released between 1991-1995 is hailed as such. It's definitely got a lot of things going for it that tickle my earbuds proper-like. Pressure, the tune that appeared on Tone Tales Too, is all retro-future sci-fi electro bliss. Subway gets in on that dubby ambient-bleep action that has my Higher Intelligence Agency triggers flaring (squee!). Ping Pong wouldn't sound out of place in a Mixmaster Morris set of the time. Q 11 isn't much removed from the sort of stuff FSOL were producing on their Lifeforms singles. Plus, we get a couple lengthy noodly ambient outings in Voice Of The Earth and A Low Frequency Inversion Field, which puts Sharp quite comfortably within the larger Fax+ canon. Can't be part of the Namlook legacy if you don't have at least one endless track of relaxing pads and minimalist sonic doodling.

So I like Sea Biscuit, but it's more for Sharp utilizing familiar tropes of dubby ambient techno than anything unique to his sound. Aside from Pressure, which hints towards his future leanings into techno-proper, there isn't much here that I couldn't find on other releases from that year. Still, if you're looking for another addition to such a collection, it remains an easy album to find on the used market.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Islands Of Light - Ruebke

Home Normal: 2014

It's always nice whenever I get a timely album to review, and there's no better time than now if I'm gonna' write about music inspired by the autumn falls. The local Vancouver fauna is in full colourful decay now, with leaves shedding all that energy-producing chlorophyll as they hunker down for a bitter West Coast winter (bottoming out at -5 degrees Celsius; brutal!). Most trees in my neighbourhood settle for the yellows and oranges and browns, but there's a few in other areas with a blazing red foliage, nearly blinding my eyes as sunlight reflects off them.

Eventually though, they'll all fall into the streets, forming huge piles that will never, ever be taken away by municipality services. The rains will come, washing the leaf piles onto all the sewer drains, clogging them. Giant ponds – curb lakes, as some call them – will form, as the rains won't stop, and the drains won't get unclogged. Meanwhile, the huge leaf piles on the streets that aren't washed away will start rotting, congealing into festering lumps of slimy biomass, occasionally freezing overnight if the rains let up and the temperature drops low enough. After a time, the city will take the lumps of rot and decay away, but not without leaving a smear upon the pavement, from which will never leave until the spring sun warms and bakes the residue away. I'm not reviewing more dark ambient here, I swear!

I doubt Dino Spiluttini had all that in mind when crafting Ruebke, an album centred around the change of summer to fall, even releasing it on the autumn equinox of 2014. Sure, the shortening days and chillier temperature can bring a sombre vibe to our daily going-ons, but ooh, pretty leaf colours, yo'!

Much of Dino's work entails modern classical with droning overtones, often maintaining a melancholic mood throughout, so an autumn-themed album makes sense within his discography. However, he felt an itch to explore something more piano based, and thus created this alternate alias of Islands Of Light to do so. Yes, in a bizarre coincidence, I got myself another piano album on that Ultimae Records Shop splurge. It was never my intent, but lo', such interesting cover arts, these piano ambient albums have.

It isn't all piano music either, Mr. Spiluttini's classical drone finding its way into pieces like Honung, Heisternest, and Heimfeld. And while gentle, quiet, reflective keyboard playing is the main mood throughout Ruebke, there are a couple chipper pieces too – like busy squirrels rummaging about looking for fallen hazelnuts. Meummelmannsberg in particular sounds like he's using piano strings and even the frame as a form of percussion, and even settles into a string drone before returning with the clanking piano. Why yes this is the most interesting track on the album.

Overall, Ruebke feels like an album best served gazing out into a brisk autumn evening, a cool mist oozing through the firework displays of trees prepping for seasonal twilight. Through a window, that is.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Miami Beach Force - The Revenge

Werkstatt Recordings: 2014

This is about as peak synthwave as you're gonna' find, isn't it? Like, I'm hesitant calling it cliche, because part of the scene's modus operani is taking the cliches we associate with '80s synth music and art, and relishing in them. No Carpenter movie untouched, no hard-boiled cop show with pastel suits left un-homage'd. True, this title's lacking anything pulp sci-fi or purple vector grid based, but when we think of the most Cannon of films out there, it's always cheap, direct-to-VHS action movie sequels involving some form of revenge, typically undertaken by an action force, and half the time set in Miami. Or Los Angeles, if the film crew is really cheaping out on location shoots.

What I find funny about billing yourself as Miami Beach Force is, depending on the era, you could have been a completely different type of music. Obviously if an M.B.F. posse had existed in the Actual Eighties, they'd have been a freestyle act, rockin' the Planet Rock break as everyone from Miami was (or lift it direct from the Kraftwerk's Numbers break, they weren't picky). Flash forward to the Nineties, however, and an act going by the nom de plume of Miami Beach Force could have been anything from Florida breaks to trunk-rattling audio bass to even some Latin infused dance music (reggaeton, maybe? It had started its migration by then). What it definitely would not have been, however, was anything retro-synth related, such sounds utterly unhip and dead throughout that decade. The '00s are trickier to nail, all manner of scenes likely contenders for drumming up a Miami Beach Force handle: electro house, a crunk crew, even an insufferably ironic emo punk band!

In this case though, Miami Beach Force are in fact a pair of Swedish brothers (I'm assuming brothers, what with both having last names of Ekman), and have mostly plied their synthwave sounds through Soundcloud streams. Werkstatt Recordings gave them their first taste of proper label distribution with this particular EP, which was kinda-sorta their second release...? They had enough prior tunes on their Soundcloud to make up an album's worth, but I'm not seeing any other outlets curating them into such (and lord knows Lord Discogs remains indignant with these streaming synthwavers). They've eked out a little career since the release of The Revenge, even appearing on that hip New York City synthwave label NewRetroWave, but that's neither here nor there (what a strange phrase, that).

I wish I had more to say about The Revenge, but I'm still quite synthwave'd out right now, and Miami Beach Force aren't doing anything here that distances them from the pack. It's got a couple moody numbers, a couple high-octane cuts, and it all sounds very vintage and deserving of a mini-movie staring tough, mullety cops out on the beat, serving up justice in a neon-soaked glow. Stylishly. Sexily. While ducking for cover behind white brick walls. And dammit, they really could use a shave. That perpetual 5am shadow must be itchy.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Plaid - Reachy Prints

Warp Records: 2014

I've gotten the Most Important Plaid album (Not For Threes) and the latest (because it was there), but there's a hefty clutch of material between those two points, not much of which gets talked about. You'd think Warp Records would be more generous in promoting the Plaid discography, veterans of their label and all, but then it's not like the duo have the same clout other IDM wonks on the print. Everyone with a passing familiarity with electronic music knows of Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Squarepusher (because journalists keep name-dropping them as bases of comparison... *cough*), but poor Plaid gets lost in the shuffle.

On the other hand, the duo didn't do themselves many favours following the turn of the millennium. Most of their '00s was spent getting into the soundtrack gig, leading some to wonder whether they'd given up on regular Plaid output. An album called Scintilli eventually popped up in 2011, but folks didn't hear much on there that lit their world on fire, plus the duo almost immediately went back to work on another score, so things looked dicey for the Plaid-Heads of the world. I don't know what a hardcore Plaid fan is called. A Flaid?

Scintilli had some supporters, mind you, but it seems with Reachy Prints, the global Flaid brigade finally got the album they'd been waiting on for over a decade, a return to form for the purveyors of clever beatcraft, charming melodies, and all the things Flaids enjoy from Plaid. There are a couple nods to contemporary trends (glitchy rhythms, etc.) but seeing as how Plaid were doing contemporary trends long before they were trendy or contemporary, things fit quite snugly within their larger discography while sounding not a touch out of time. Except maybe Liverpool St, the obligatory orchestral tune that sounds better served in a soundtrack. Just can't shake that itch, I guess. All said, Reachy Prints is a lovely little album, if rather short, but is a nice entry point for those who haven't been swayed by Plaids muse yet, even if they still aren't doing that 'super-serious challenging IDM' stuff their Warp Records brethren are known for.

And that's when it finally hit me as to why Plaid never seemed to get the same name-drops as the Aphexes and Autechres, despite hailing from the same ambient techno lineage: their brand of IDM isn't 'challenging' enough for the true critics and connoisseurs of this scene. You know the ones, who are very serious about how they listen to music, and can only accept it if it's actively fighting the brain's natural biases and disposition towards rhythm and melody. Plaid's music ain't like that, at least to not the same extreme, so of course all the Very Important Talkers aren't always talking 'bout them. Me though, I'm not very important at all, so have no problem talking Plaid, and I'm talking up Reachy Prints if you need a nice, easy, tasty primer into their work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Scott Grooves - Pure Mixin' It: A Decade Of Natural Midi 2007-2017

Natural Midi: 2017

It's Bandcamp's fault my music collection's ballooned to its current size. Take Scott Grooves, a dude most know from his hit Mothership Reconnection of two decades past, and perhaps only the Daft Punk rub at that. It certainly was about the extent of my knowledge of the man, but in scoping out his Discogs page while Adding Pieces Of A Dream To [my] Collection, I couldn't help but check out that Bandcamp link as well. To satisfy my curiosity, see, of the sort of swag Mr. Grooves may have available. And while most of it featured your usual digital releases, vinyl releases, and assorted t-shirts and slipmats, a CD compilation of older material couldn't pass me by. That's not what I'm digging into here though, but rather a bonus CDr Mr. Grooves threw in with my purchase. Only, this too has a proper release, just not the version I got, which looks more like a demo. I've made this sound more confusing than it is. Point is, because of Bandcamp, where I intended to buy one CD, I somehow ended up with two. No wonder I'm already in need of more wall-mounted shelves.

Soma Quality Recordings may have been instrumental in giving Scott Grooves his biggest breakout, but the man from Detroit has generally been a strict student of Detroit Independence, setting up his own labels to release his own music, screw whatever promotional push a bigger print affords. Thus after the Soma experiment ended, he retreated back to his own devices, initially starting up the From The Studio Of Scott Grooves print. That one is still technically in operation, but hasn't offered much material since its inception beyond reissues and 7” vinyl. Seems the other label he set up after, Natural Midi, has received more of his attention, singles released at a steady clip since 2007. As the title of this CD states, it's had ten years of operation, and what better time than last year to whip up a little celebratory mix of your tunes. None better time, says I.

Naturally, I hadn't a clue what sort of music Scott Grooves had been releasing on Natural Midi. Like, I assumed it would be house, because that's been his breaded butter since the early '90s, but I wasn't expecting house music so stripped down and retro, especially after the slickly produced and polished Pieces Of A Dream. Right, that album came out a decade before the first Natural Midi single (A'round Midnight, for the record, though nothing from that record appears on here), plenty of time for Scott to feel that classic Detroit itch to return to the basics of house and techno. Plus, y'know, 'minimal' was trendy in 2007, so a stripped-down sound wouldn't be out of place anyway.

And despite the retro production, Groove's namesake still carries through all of these tracks, that unmistakable, ever-present, deep Motor City funk no matter how simple these tunes get. An acquired taste, for sure, but one that remains timeless.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

GosT - Possessor

Blood Music: 2018

If I'd been more slack in my review schedule, I could have had this album out for a spiffy Halloween date. Nothing spookier than demon possession, with The Exorcist often hailed as one of the most frightening movies ever committed to celluloid. I wonder though, is demon possession really a Halloween thing? Like, the Church Of Satan, from which GosT takes a lot of inspiration from, exists year-round, so most things associated with Hellspawn, Beelzebub, and the whole kebab would be as well. Heck, I remember in ye' olde date of June 6, 2006, a big media blitz surrounding a scary movie about Satan or something (a remake of The Omen, I believe?), and that's as far from late October as you can get without being April 30. Regardless, despite the latter half of October being dedicated to all things spooky, scary, and devilish, something like demon possession is probably considered a phenomenon priests must be vigilant against all days of the year. If you buy into that sort of thing, anyway.

Like, I appreciate The Exorcist as a white-knuckle, psyche-mauling thriller, but despite my name, I'm not Christian. The religious implications of that movie and the events its based upon don't phase or frighten me. That said, I cannot deny GosT's Possessor is one of the few times that I've been suitably unnerved listening to music. And considering the amount of dark ambient I've listened to, that's no mean feat.

There's no denying hearing guttural Latin screamed like a wailing banshee will scare the bejeezus out of any soul, but too often I've heard it used as little more than a jump-scare, especially in the context of music. A lot of high-BPM hardcore loves its Exorcist samples, which is fine in amplifying the extreme nature of that genre, but it doesn't actually fill me with fear. Hearing GosT use it in the chaotic, cacophonic climax of closer Commandment though, sweet merciful God, it makes me want to reach for a rosemary.

While it's not all Hell-shrieks in Possessor, GosT does play things out more viciously than even his usual aggressive fare. Sigil and Malum get more on a darkwave vibe, The Powler and Loudas Deceit reach back to GosT's electro-house roots (with some requisite horror movie strings and samples, 'natch), while Shiloh's Lament is a fierce slice of apocalyptic outrun, but these are the album's outliers. GosT generally sludge his tracks right down before unleashing a heavy, thrashy assault of synths and samples, letting you know under no uncertain terms that the endtimes are nigh, and GosT, possessed by Baal, is leading the charge.

Still, it does sometimes come off corny to my ears. There's only so much “this are serious horror music!” I can take before it crosses into the realms of parody, the sort of thing low-grade death metal is rightfully mocked for. For the most part though, GosT toes the line well enough, such that my eyes are buggin' out rather than rollin' out.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Autumn Of Communion - Polydeuces

...txt: 2016

Oh ho, another album I got a digital version of due to over-inflated out-of-print CD scarcity? Nah, fam', I actually did take the Discogs Marketplace route with this one, the alluring cover art of Saturn constantly drawing me to its page for a lovingly glance, all the while scoping for a chance 'discount' opportunity. And lo', one did emerge, for a 'reasonable' €25 - still a tad over what I would normally pay for a CD, but about as good as I figured I'd ever get on the used market. Besides, the seller was Mick Chillage himself, and seeing as how he likely never saw a single penny for those records I bought from Psychonavigation Records, I guess it's fair he receives a little extra financial compensation on this one.

So, Polydeuces, the first album Autumn Of Communion (Chillage and Lee Norris, in case you're just tuning in) released after all their prior albums had been numerical self-titled outings. It also marked the start of the duo's more freeform approach to songcraft, going in with little preconceived notion of what music they'd make, what sounds they'd build, what gear they'd utilize. They'd go full-tilt with the concept in the following Broken Apart... series, but here it sounds as though they're still in a feeling-out process, figuring out just how in-sync their musical synergy truly was when they're simply letting things flow as they go. Mind, I still only have Autumn Of Communion 4 as a base of comparison with their older material, their other albums just as out-of-print as this one. Except for that massive box-set they released, which I skipped on because, eh, I already have four of their albums now. Seemed redundant to get them again, y'know, especially having just sprung for this one on the Discogs Marketplace. Hmm, the timing on that, now that I think about it...

Anyhow, five main tracks are contained within Polydeuces, most hovering in the ten-to-thirteen minute mark, with a tiny three-minute stinger at the end. With titles like Oort Cloud and Cassini Spacecraft (squeee!), you bet we're on some space-age vibes here. Um, there's also tracks called Tectonics and Sikhote-Alin Mountains, about as earthly of concepts as you can get. And finally, a pair of tracks called Cathode Memory and Kolbe Reaction, which brings things down to the microscopic realms. Is it any surprise these tracks are conceptually arranged from 'bigness' to 'smallness'?

Naturally, we're mostly in ambient's domain here. Some tracks come off like long-lost compositions for a Hearts Of Space planetarium score, others edging closer to the realms of ambient techno, often within the same track. For a supposed freeform approach to creating these pieces, each track never feels like it's just randomly dawdling about, and Tectonics even offers a bit of an ear-wormy hook, in that understated ambient techno sort of way. I doubt Polydeuces will convert anyone to Autumn Of Communion's charms, but at seven albums deep, Mick and Lee deserved a little creative indulgence.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Cryogenic Weekend - Polar Sleep

Reverse Alignment: 2018

Some days, the world gets you down, and you want to escape it all, but where? Space flight to distant stars is still in the realm of sci-fi fantasy, and despite what Disney movies suggest, running under the sea solves nothing – just a vast, barren abyss, carrion eaters looking for any score. And everywhere else, there's people. In the forests, on the mountains, in the deserts... people everywhere! The polar regions though, ain't hardly anyone 'round those parts. You could reside there and not see a soul for ages.

Heck, if other sci-fi stories are believable, one could go to an Antarctic glacier, bury yourself in the ice, and remain in cryo sleep for centuries, presumably waking up in the future when things are different. Right, there's a chance things are worse in the future after such a sleep (re: Sabled Sun), but they could be better too! And if it doesn't work, well, at least one will have gotten a nice, lonely sleep, with none of the worries of the world bothering you. Unless... you're not so alone in all that ice as you thought. Who knows what could be frozen away for a millennia, sleeping, waiting for such a time that mankind's hubris melts its glacial prison, unleashing it upon an unsuspecting civilization. And hey, if I just happened to be snoozing beside it in that time, maybe we can be, like, bunk buddies, me serving as a right-hand man in its impending rampage. Or it's first sacrifice. I ain't picky.

Cryogenic Weekend is a collaborative effort between Dronny Darko and Oil Texture, the latter of which I know little of. Apparently the two had never met, but somehow found each other to create a couple mini-albums of frigid dronescapes as their inspiration. Sounds like someone's been feeling that Ugasanie vibe! As is Reverse Alignment's wont, the label compiled the two mini-albums for a CD release, with Cryogenic Weekend throwing in a third CD's worth of extra material for a triple-LP outing in Polar Sleep. Holy cow, this is gonna' be as though I am trapped within the frozen wastes, isn't it?

Well, this album sure is a lengthy drone fest, of that there's no doubt. There's fourteen tracks total, which may not seem like a lot, but considering it's three CDs worth, there's no small cuts here (save five-minute Darkest Glide). There also aren't any obscenely long tracks, most hovering around the ten-to-twelve minute mark, with a few reaching a few minutes longer. And yeah, it's all foreboding, desolate, claustrophobic, icy drone ambient, almost no hint of melody in earshot. There's some field recordings scattered about (burbling and churning in Flotation Tank, radio chatter in Who Couldn't Remember, barking dogs in Faraday Station ...oh God, why are the dogs barking!?), and Towa Tödo features lonesome bell tones. Beyond that though, you're in for one deep descent into the frozen fringes of icy ambient. Be sure to wear a parka and bring a flame-thrower for your headphones.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Peter Broderick - Partners

Erased Tapes Records: 2016

I'm perusing the Ultimae online record shop, sifting through a bunch of items, when one with a striking cover catches my eye, as cover art is wont to do. Like, it's not derelict boats, but dead trunks of trees strewn across a beach, bathed in the dark blue of pre-dawn (maybe), it triggers something within my grey matter of a wistful past. I'm certain this is a shot of the Oregon Coast, a lovely strip of Earth where the endless Pacific crashes upon sandy dunes, filling the surrounding lands with salty air (wait...). It's not too dissimilar to the regions of the West Coast Of Canada that I grew up in, though my locales were far more rocky than the Oregon sands, due to all the fjords creating different erosion conditions. See, with all the power of the Pacific crashing down, waves and wind can erode coasts with ease, but fjords limit that process, all the while creating larger tidal pools where a multitude of crabs, shellfish, starfish, regular fish, and seaweed flourish. Life as we know it may not have existed without these tide pools! Not that I'm saying sandy beaches are over-rated, but c'mon, give those slimey, slippery rock beaches with the gas-filled seaweed that squeaks and pops when you walk over it, as though crying in pain from your negligence, a little respect, yo'.

ANYHOW, I just had to buy Peter Broderick's album blind. Like, I thought the name looked a little familiar, and it turned out I had seen it as part of the Slaapwel Records catalogue, plus an interview with Resident Advisor, but that was the extent of my recognition of the man. Looking through his Discoggian data reveals a lot of albums released in the past decade on a number of labels I don't know of (Kning Disk, Digitalis Limited, Fang Bomb, Hush Records, Brian Records, Type), though he's made Erased Tapes Records a semi-home as of late. He's also run the gamut in terms of musical leanings, indulging in folk rock, dream pop, and modern classical, to name-drop a few.

It's in the modern classical camps we find Partners, and of the 'minimalist piano as played in an grand empty concert hall' variety at that. I didn't know that when I bought the album, and after hearing the opening track, I thought I was in for something entirely different, some sort of spoken-word poetry record. That's just the first track though, and there's an exhaustive detailing behind the process it came about, which ties into the second track, Mr. Broderick's take on the John Cage composition In A Landscape. Cage's deconstructionist methods inspired Peter's own piano pieces, something about rolling dice, assigning numbers to notes, re-rolling to determine their order... It's all rather artistically pretentious sounding, but the music itself is quite pleasant, with subtle electronic touches and treatments filling in the ambience. Definitely an album where the process can be a tad thick, but it doesn't detract from the finished product.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mahiane - Oxycanta

Ultimae Records: 2006

After years (a decade!) of ducking, dodging, denying, and diatribing, I've finally relinquished. Oh, you knew such a time would come wherein I'd go back on my word, my proclamation, my mantra. The ceaseless thrust of progress demands sacrifice, tossing the norms of old into the tempestuous Cauldron Of Change (defeat a Level 72 balrog to attain said cauldron!), including a music collector's steadfast ideology that if a physical copy of an item exists, he shall not buy the digital version. What is said music collector to do, though? There exist artifacts of old that, while attainable, are financially unfeasible to procure. Maybe a time will come when such items work their way out of the over-inflated collector's market, and into the more practical used market, but so long as the demand exists, so too do the scalpers. And out-of-print Ultimae CDs, the demand is high indeed.

It is thus, under such circumstances, that I sprung for the digital releases of a few such select items in their catalogue. I choose them sparingly, logically, knowing the odds of them seeing any sort of re-issue at this late point is nil. The albums, they all have some chance of resuscitation, but the second-tier compilations, what hope have they? None, common sense tells me, so it is with defeated resignation that I finally complete my Oxycanta collection with the digital version of the first in the series, released a year before I knew the label even existed.

Still, I get some small sense of rhyming the circle, or echoing my mirror, or whatever cliche you prefer. It was the second Oxycanta – Winter Blooms, that truly lured me into Ultimae's fold and all the wonderful, panoramic sonic delights the label could offer. It makes sense I finish the path I started with as I embark upon another undiscovered country.

As this is mid-'00s Ultimae, you know you're in good hands music-wise, the label really hitting its stride. Music includes all the main players of the time (Asura, Solar Fields, Aes Dana, one-half of CBL), plus a couple future luminaries to grace their discography (Cell, Hybrid Leisureland). Kind of disappointing that some of their tracks have appeared elsewhere, making Oxycanta a tad redundant for the Ultimae completist, but you also get a couple exclusives from these dudes too, so all balances out. Scope out the compilation to find out which I'm referring to!

As for the rest of the tracklist, it includes some rather unknown ambient composers (Between Interval's Aerolith reminds me of Space Ace's Sea Of Japan - now that's an obscure call-back!), the Ultimae office posse (Vincent, Mahiane, Dessaeaux) collaborating for a tune as Subgardens, and a track from Omnimotion. Wait, the same Omnimotion that appeared on Waveform Records? Why, so it is! Small world, eh? His ultra-blissed ambient piece Magic Tree's a wonderful meditative closer to Oxycanta, with sounds like a tall, creaking tree slowly swaying in the wind as you chill among its branches. Gravity never felt so irrelevant.

Monday, October 1, 2018

ACE TRACKS: September 2018

Ah, the 2018 releases are finally trickling in. Slowly, steadily, but surely enough. It just takes a bit of time for me to gather up some items that interest me, for them to filter through my convoluted alphabetical systematic approach in consuming them, and finally find my thoughts course through the neural membranes sending signals to the bones, tendons, tissues, and muscles that control my arms and fingers typing them such that they can be transmitted via other electronic pulses into a-

You know what, let's just end this here. We all know how long this path of over-explaining the blogging process can go. Still, it's remarkable all the little things that must correctly happen for my thoughts to have a chance to enter your eyeballs, no matter where you reside on this little life-sustaining ellipsoid. I'm getting way to philosophical right now, so *poop joke*, and we're off the ACE TRACKS of September 2018.

Full track list here.

B°TONG - Monastic
Kubinski - Life Boy

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 6%
Percentage Of Rock: 0% ...unless you want to count folky Young and glitched-up Sweet Trip rock.
Most “WTF?” Track: Either some of those Dr. Octagon lyrics, or hearing the minor-trap in Perturbator. (it just not done, mang!)

Pretty good playlist, all round. Enough variety to keep things interesting as it plays, with a few genres getting the shine over others if you've a preference for it (yeah yeah, ambient always dominates). I know it's a wild coincidence, but I'm surprised how some of the Patreon Request music meshed well together. You'd think different people would have radically different albums they'd want highlighted, but maybe I've cultivated a certain kind of audience?

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 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 Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cryogenic Weekend 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. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzdance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jimmy Van M 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 Joris Voorn Jørn Stenzel Josh Christie 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 Kaico Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevin Yost Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Ki/oon Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze Klik Records 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 Kubinski KuckKuck Kulor Kurupt Kwook L.B. Dub Corp L.S.G. L'usine Lab 4 Ladytron LaFace Records Lafleche Lamb Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Le Moors Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Burridge 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 Lotek Records Loud Records Louderbach Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Magik Muzik Mahiane Mali Mammoth Records Mantacoup 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 Metamatics Method Man Metroplex Metropolis MF Doom Miami Bass Miami Beach Force 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 Modeselektor Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Morgan Morphology Moss Garden Motech Motorbass Moving Shadow Mujaji Murk Murmur Mushy Records Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute MUX Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystery Tape Laboratory Mystica Tribe Mystified N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nashville Natural Midi Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neon Droid Neotantra Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Beat New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nightwind Records Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana nizmusic No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu noise Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller North South Northumbria Not Now Music Nothing Records Nova NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-italo nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nunc Stans Nurse With Wound NXP Oasis Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard Olan Mill Old Europa Cafe old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen OM Records Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Open Canvas Opium Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Origo Sound Orkidea Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ottsonic Music Ouragan Out Of The Box OutKast Outpost Records Overdream P-Ben Paleowolf Pan Sonic 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 Andersson Peter Benisch Peter Broderick Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phantogram Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pinch Pink Floyd Pioneer Pitch Black PJ Harvey Plaid Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Assault Systems Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platinum Platipus Pleq Plump DJs Plunderphonic Plus 8 Records PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings Pole Folder politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep power electronics 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 Psysolation 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 Rae Raekwon ragga Rainbow Vector raison d'etre 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 Republic Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Richard Durand Riley Reinhold Ringo Sheena 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 Ruben Garcia Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun SadGirl Sakanaction Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim Samora sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz SantAAgostino Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Saul Stokes Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scooter Scott Grooves Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Seaworthy Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Sghor sgnl_fltr Shackleton Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Sidereal Signature Records SiJ Silent Season Silent Universe Silentes Silentes Minimal Editions Silicone Soul silly gimmicks Silver Age Simian Mobile Disco Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simon Scott Simple Records Sinden Sine Silex single Single Gun Theory Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records Sixtoo ska Skare Skin To Skin Skua Atlantic Slaapwel Records Slam Sleep Research Facility Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. SMTG Limited Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg Snowy Tension Pole soft rock Soiree Records International Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment SOS 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 disco Space Manoeuvres space synth Spacetime Continuum Spaghetti Recordings Spank Rock Special D Specta Ciera speed garage Speedy J SPG Music Spicelab Spielerei Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stacey Pullen Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Brand Steve Lawler Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Steven Rutter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Subharmonic Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Subotika Substance Suduaya Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Supercar Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak Sweet Trip swing Switch Swollen Members Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synth-pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Take Me To The Hospital Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Taylor Tayo tech house tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Telefon Tel Aviv Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Angling Loser The B-52's The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Circular Ruins The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Field The Gentle People The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Herbaliser 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 Sabres Of Paradise The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes The Winterhouse themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Third World Tholen Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Life Music Time Warp Timecode Timestalker Tipper Tobias Tocadisco Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Too Pure Tool tools Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records Toxik Synther Traffic Entertainment Group trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transcend Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Tristan Troum Troy Pierce TRS Records Tsuba Records Tsubasa Records Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U-Recken U2 U4IC DJs Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage UK Hard House Ultimae Ultimae Records Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Motown Universal Music Universal Records Universal Republic Records Unknown Tone Records UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records Utada Hikaru V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Versatile Records Verus Records Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Victor Entertainment Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Visions Vitalic vocal trance Vortex Wagram Music Waki Wanderwelle Warner Bros. Records Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Wave Records Waveform Records Wax Trax Records Way Out West WEA Wednesday Campanella Weekend Players Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings WestBam White Swan Records Wichita Will Saul William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wrong Records Wu-Tang Clan Wurrm Wyatt Keusch Xerxes The Dark XL Recordings XTT Recordings Yamaoko Yello Yes Ylid Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zoharum Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq