Saturday, May 25, 2019

Sixtoo - Jackals And Vipers In Envy Of Man

Ninja Tune: 2007

It must be difficult holding out on chasing trends. The music rags rave on about what's 'cutting edge' and 'fresh hotness', your peers can't help but dabble in new tricks and toys, and all the while a burgeoning audience emerges from corners long thought untappable. Sure, you have your loyal, dependable, old-school followers, but surely the temptation lurks to explore a little, just a little. A peak around the corner, a glance over the hill, a click of a link from a somewhat trusted source. It didn't look like Robert Squire was in any rush to do so though. Even as his brand of scratch-heavy trip-hop continuously lost ground to the incoming wave of grime and dubstep, his Sixtoo project kept the faith for much of the '00s. Yeah, he found a couple toys to tinker with (sample pad!), but it never compromised his style.

After eking out a career in Eastern Canada, Sixtoo got picked up by Ninja Tune, and it looked like things were flying breezy for Mr. Squire. After the release of this particular album though, his studio suffered a break-in, with everything involving his Sixtoo project pilfered. Not just the material for a new album, but all his years of back-ups, archives, samples, and the works. Everything! Sensing it a sign to move on in his music career, Rob shuttered the Sixtoo alias, switched cities to the West coast of Canada, and started making deep acid house as Prison Garde. Because they all turn to house eventually (sometimes techno too).

Before that though, he released Jackals And Vipers In Envy Of Man, which looks to be the final Sixtoo record. Unless he starts feeling nostalgic for his hip-hop roots, which could happen, maybe, possibly. Hard to start from scratch like he'd have to though. Makes better sense starting a whole different project, maybe with some 'support from Sixtoo', if you catch my drift. Why am I rambling like this? Damn Raptors victories, distracting my thoughts so easily.

Like many of his previous works (Boxcutter Emporium, Duration Project), Jackals And Vipers is essentially an extended music session exploring similar sounds and samples, giving each 'part' a live turntable vibe. Except this isn't all live turntables, but mixing and matching drum breaks and samples with some effects fun thrown in. Take those sessions, refine them in post-production, and voila, thirteen tracks of various non-rapping hip-hop business. Some parts last less than a minute, but most reaching the three-to-five minute range.

And there's not much else to say about Jackals And Vipers, if I'm honest. As mentioned, Sixtoo brings an unfussy, uncomplicated style to the music, riding rhythms as he feels them out, never gunking things up with superfluous effects and nonsense glitchiness. I wouldn't have minded some rappity-raps over a few of these, but they're fine without vocals too. It's a vintage Ninja Tune sound, which again was kinda' surprising to hear in the year 2007, what with The Bug's London Zoo just around the corner.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

DJ Shadow - The Outsider

Universal Records: 2006

(a Patreon Request)

Above all else, you could not mistake DJ Shadow's third album as being released at any point other than 2006. There's a line about Dick Cheney shooting a guy! That's, like, soooo 2006, man! I guess all the hyphy tracks kinda' date this album too. Yeah, the Bay Area sound massively caught on the following decade, which some may argue is in favour of The Outsider for being that ahead of the game, but let's be real here. No one was turning to DJ Shadow for hot new sounds of San-Fran hip-hop in the year 2006, nor any time before or after. They were turning to DJ Shadow for his unique, seminal take on sampling, turntablism, and trip-hop, somehow expecting he'd ride that Endtroducing..... style forever after. Mr. Davis knew what was what though, hangin' out with dudes like Turf Talk and E-40, and was more than willing to gamble on their sounds, needing something new and fresh lest he grow stale as an artist.

It could have worked. As mentioned, hyphy was blossoming in the world of hip-hop, riding the same wave of frenetic, synth-heavy, party rockin' rap that had turned crunk and grime into huge movements in their regions. It would have been a shock to the DJ Shadow faithful, no doubt, but at least they would understand the abrupt change of sound, and maybe even vibe on it based on the genre's own merits. Unfortunately, DJ Shadow didn't commit to it, instead book-ending The Outsider with a half-dozen hyphy tracks, creating a drastic tonal clash with all the far more musical efforts within the record's creamy centre.

Even without the hyphy, The Outsider could generously be considered overly eclectic. Let's assume you skipped all the way past the David Banner featuring Seein Thangs (whoa, David Banner feature; it's 2006 alright), instead kicking things off with Broken Levee Blues. Cool, some guitar jamming and little spoken-word dialog. Nice an' chill, yo', still capturing that vintage DJ Shadow smooth downtempo- HOLY SHIT! How did we smash right into thrashy speed-punk from that? I'm spazzin' out here! Gotta' love it, and it looks like we're getting into some freaky psychedelic jazz-funk action in Backstage Girl after. So it's gonna' be this kinda' album then.

Nope! A little score work in Triplicate / Something Happened That Day, and suddenly we're into the domain of indie rock, complete with a Brit warbler who's not Chris Martin, but sure sounds like him. And let's not forget the psychedelic folk from Christina Carter in What Have I Done, because Joanna Newsom was a thing in 2006, I guess? Is this even a DJ Shadow album anymore? What is this album? Oh yeah, that one with the hyphy in it. I'd forgotten it started that way, but here's a couple such closers as reminders.

No wonder Mr. Davis called this album The Outsider. It sounds like an artist trying to fit in various musical scenes with nothing in common other than having an interloper playing in their respective sandboxes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Luke Slater - Freek Funk

NovaMute: 1997

(a Patreon Request from Omskbird)

I feel compelled to go into a lengthy diatribe over how difficult it was to get this album. I mean, why this one? It's chump-cheap on the Discogs market, and Amazon isn't far behind. Somehow though, Luke Slater's Freek Funk was vexed, a Patreon Request from as far back as February, only now getting done due to shipping shenanigans. I wax enough over my music buying/hunting/savaging practices though, and who needs to read about disappearing shipments and borders confiscations.

So I've talked up Luke Slater plenty now, though almost exclusively his side-projects and side-projects that are more popular than his main-name albums. Still, Planetary Assault Systems remains his most fruitful alias, so it's no surprise he returned to it after a few shots at making a name for himself under his own name. The move from pummelling techno tools into more club-friendly territory was met with about as much resistance as you'd expect from the underground faithful, and the cross-over appeal simply wasn't having it in the year 2002. Back to the welcoming hands of faceless Berlin bosh, then, and everything was good again.

Before we got to that point, however, we have his first stab at a cross-over record; or a record that did away with the silly anonymous techno producer thing. Because if David Holmes and Laurent Garnier could make respectable techno records with their real names, then by g'ar so could Luke Slater. And I'm just being goofy in calling Freek Funk a cross-over album. Yeah, Luke Slater's no longer a faceless techno producer, and this stuff is certainly more accessible to the material he was releasing on Peacefrog Records or as The 7th Plain earlier in his career. Plus, in the year 1997, one couldn't help but fall sway to the trends of the time in his native Britain. So here's a big beat track in Bless Bless, and some trip-hop offerings in Zebediah and Walking The Line. Just, y'know, done in a techno-y sort of way.

And for you purists out there, Freek Funk provides plenty of the pounding bosh, Engine One, Filter 2 and Time Dancer doing the dutiful dancefloor demolishin'. Elsewhere Mr. Slater gets his futuristic Detroit-bleep on (Purely, Origin, titular cut), and even has a stab at the ol' electro with Are You There? Then there's Love, a track that sounds like nothing else on this album, but damn if it doesn't predict The Field's ultra-loopy melodic pseudo-trance vibes nearly a decade early. You'll definitely want to feel a good gurn on this one.

Lots of techno variety then, though that unfortunately impedes the album some, almost too much going on for it to stick in your mind. It's the same problem Garnier's 30 had, and though Luke does try bridging the more jarring stylistic transitions of Freek Funk with interstitial Scores, it still isn't enough for things to come together as a seamless whole. It's a messy album, but certainly worth a listen for the gems throughout.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Pet Shop Boys - Introspective

Parlaphone: 1988/2018

It's no secret Pet Shop Boys' success had as much to do with appealing to club culture as it was cranking out the radio hits. For their first couple LPs though, there was a clear separation of the two, the albums-proper containing the regular songs, and the EPs, singles, and dance compilations providing the extended disco versions of the hits. Which is how it was always done, or at least since the advent of the 12” records pressed specifically for DJ use. People at home ain't got time for pop tunes that don't wrap up in three-to-four minutes, while them crazies in the club just want that beat to keep going on an' on an' on an' on an'...

It was astoundingly audacious, then, for Misters Lowe and Tennant to craft an album so wholeheartedly embracing club culture while defiantly bucking the standards of pop music. There's only six tracks on Introspective, which under normal circumstances would be enough for an EP. Ah, but these are long songs, some peaking out at over nine minutes in length – the shortest, I Want A Dog, runs at six-fifteen minutes. By comparison, their longest prior LP song was One More Chance, clocking in at five twenty-eight. And as if getting Chicago house legend Frankie Knuckles in the studio with them wasn't clear enough Pet Shop Boys were all-in with this direction, they even released Introspective with a triple-vinyl option in its first run for maximum DJing efficiency.

It wasn't just Chicago house the lads from London were cribbing from. Freestyle was pretty big in the Latin clubbing areas of America too, and Domino Dancing offers nods to that genre's biggest sonic signifiers: the broken beat, and the orchestral hit. Speaking of the latter, the chap often credited with creating that distinct sound, Trevor Horn, offers his production on a couple tracks too. And hoo, can you tell, Left To My Own Devices and It's Alright featuring the sort of expansive studio work more befitting a big Broadway show than anything for an underground rinse-out (a full-on choir!). It almost makes the simple Knuckles groove of I Want A Dog quaint in comparison, but even he received quite the spit-shine compared to the rough stuff he released through Trax around the same time. No doubt having big studio bucks behind you can do wonders for the final result, and Pet Shop Boys were big clout havers indeed.

The songs themselves, while not as instantly identifiable as their early hits, are still effective in turning a worm in your ear. The topics range from their usual interpersonal observational material, to the mundane (he really wants that dog), all the way to the Big Picture. Like, after all the shit that went down in the '80s, it's has to be alright after, so long as we have dance music providing us with comfort. Oh, sweetie, if you only knew of the macabre and perverse sounds soon to emerge from clubland.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Lars Leonhard - Interstellar

self release: 2017

Dub techno is all well and good in exploring the minutiae of simple wonders and personal introspection, but those cavernous reverb effects demand the indulgence of wide open spaces too. Say, the huge vista of our galaxy - that's what I'm talkin' about. Oh, there's still something of an intimate nature behind this concept, a lonesome voyage into the realms of the impossibly vast, a singular path tread by those who need a little solitude from their hectic sociable lives.

Whatever the case, it's clear Lars Leonhard ventured outside his usual forte with Interstellar, at least at a conceptual level. We're still in his comfort zone of chill, groovy dub techno, some of which can up the pace a little towards the domain of prog-psy, though not much in this particular album's case. Also, I can only let myself down by all-too high expectations. Cover art alone had me hyped for all that hyperbolic stuff I gushed in the first paragraph, and Interstellar simply is not that. It's Lars Leonhard doing Lars Leonhard th'angs, and I'm fine with that no matter the context. I just need to temper my expectations some, lest I turn into one of those Game Of Thrones fans demanding ridiculous changes on something not catered specifically to me. I mean, if I wanted to hear exactly what I wanted to hear with this album, I should have done the logical thing and perform an incantation wherein I could possess Lars while he was in the studio, taking over his talents to create the album I was expecting. Or, at a more practical level, just make such a record myself. That almost sounds harder than studying the occult arts though.

Musically, there's only one thing throughout Interstellar that had me raising an eyebrow, a synth that kinda' sounds like an out-of-place car horn in Solar System, but that's minor. Nay, two things leaped out at me that slightly sullied my enjoyment of Interstellar, one of which really isn't the fault of Lars at all. First though, this album is kinda' tracky, in that it doesn't have quite the same narrative flow other releases of his have; just ten dub techno tunes with a light space theme running through them. I can dig on that, but it does put this album a step below something like 1549.

The other thing however – and I know this is an utterly selfish quibble – is the mastering sounds flatter compared to the rich, dubby texture I've come to know from Mr. Leonhard. Now, some of those releases were polished by the best in the game – it's unfair comparing the mastering of a self-release item like Interstellar to the EPs he put out on Ultimae Records. It's just when I have expectant notions of the cosmic grand already in my ear-brain, hearing a Lars Leonhard album that's a touch lower on his discography's scale can't help but leave me wanting. Maybe microspace is the better dub techno realm after all.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

P-Ben - Influence

Motech: 2015

I do wonder how 'made' some producers and DJs feel throughout their career. Like, obviously releasing anything with some modicum of success is an achievement in itself, but how high do they set the bar for themselves? When Benjamin Geelen first set out on his techno journey, did he have aspirations to be recognized by the music's Mecca, or just be satisfied with any ol' fame in France? I almost have to suspect the former, and not just because his Discoggian bio name-drops a Jeff Mills set as a catalyst in Mr. Geelen pursuing this particular path of electronic music.

When it comes to European techno, there's generally been two, maybe three, distinct camps that, while finding some heritage from Detroit, are clearly striding out in their own fashion. You'd expect a chap from France would hitch his wagon to the Berliners or Italians (French techno? What is this?), but never underestimate that Detroit allure. Sure, a few early P-Ben singles couldn't help but ride that Berghain minimal bandwagon, but he found room for the more vibrant, soulful tech-house sounds originating from the Michigan city too. After flitting about various European labels (including setting up a couple of his own), Mr. Geelen landed a few remixing gigs for Kevin Saunderson's KMS print. Shortly after, he released this debut album with Motech, and the journey for Detroit recognition was complete. Nothing left to do but bask in the adulation of techno snobbery.

Thing is, I can't help but feel P-Ben's adhered to the Detroit legacy all a little too closely with Influence. There's little I hear that I can fault, but equally little I can recommend for those who don't want more of the same. Which has always been Detroit techno's crutch and its curse, hasn't it? An identifiable style that inspires many, with remarkable room for personal creativity should one indulge it, but insanely strict in keeping things within the boundaries of what it deems pure and true. Some claim Detroit techno can't even be Detroit techno unless it's made by someone from Detroit. Does that include those from Detroit who moved to Berlin, or vice-versa then?

Anyhow, P-Ben takes us through ten tracks of various strains of techno, most of which wouldn't sound out of place at any number of DEMF parties. Fifteen Years There Was Bones, From A South Place, and July touches on the groovier, future-funkier stuff. Good News and Ultimate get more on that bangin' action, though the track Bang surprisingly doesn't; nay, that one goes dubbier, as does Good News. Elsewhere, Analog Trip and Another Way strut the Jeff Mills minimalism, while Old Soul Music and This Song Is The Way offers a couple peak-time anthem options, including a 'house sermon' in the latter. So yeah, all the bases touched, with nary a duff cut among the lot. Just, y'know, coming off serviceable and straight-forward as well, a collection of techno tools for the Detroit faithful. And that's fine, really it is. It's fine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Brasil & The Gallowbrothers Band - In The Rain, In The Noise

Cat Sun: 2010

I admit I'm not the most adventurous of music consumers, generally sticking to the lanes I'm most comfortable in. Like, compared to some vinyl hounds out there, who buy anything they find just to add to the piles in their sheds, I tend to be a little more selective. I'm not one to dive into second-hand shops or yard sales gathering up the numerous Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot compilations I find – heck, I don't even buy every Neil Young album, and I likes me some Neil Young more than others. When I do tread beyond my boundaries, it's almost always due to incidental circumstances that I do – taking on someone's former music collection, for instance. Turns out, there's another method of exploration I never knew existed, one that Databloem provided: the mystery splurge!

At their online website, they give you the option of a 'surprise box' of either ten or twenty CDs from their backstock, which had me rubbing my beard as I arched an eyebrow ever so inquisitively. The back of my conscience advised me that these selections couldn't possibly be the best they had to offer, most likely items that had failed to sell-through in their initial runs, and were now being offered as an enticing package to help clear stock. To which the hoarder in my brain responded, “Yes, and?” What if something unexpected and unique came about from this offer, leading me to a fresh path of musical discovery I hadn't considered yet? Plus, this being Databloem, I was confident they wouldn't go that far astray from what I was familiar with. Surely some mundane post-rock was the worst I had to brace myself for.

I honestly might have already covered an album or two from that 'surprise box' purchase, but this one was definitely the first that leaped out for me, exactly what I figured would be the bulk of what I was in for. Brasil & The Gallowbrothers Band is a group name that fits the post-rock bill, as does a title like In The Rain, In The Noise, with song titles like After Dark I Only Hear The Echoes Of Their Footsteps and Another Night In Cottage No. 21. This seems modus operani for this trio of Domink Savio, T.E.R., and Tomek Mirt, who've flitted about the Polish abstract-ambient scene for the past two decade now under various projects and guises, this particular album the last under this particular alias.

And there's some cool sounding stuff on here, a quirky, trippy minimalism that touches upon ambient's more psychedelic aspects - Spider Is Awaken sure reminds me of The Orb's Spanish Castles In Space in capturing pastoral chill. Still, this is all a very indie rock approach to the music, which seldom succeeds in drawing me in the same way as traditional ambient does. I don't know why that is. You'd have to deep-dive into my brain to figure that one out, and really, who want's to do that?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Waki - Hurry Up And Relax

Databloem: 2011

Oh, is that an order? A command? A decree? I... don't think I can take that kind of pressure. Like, have you ever had one of those nights where you have to wake up at a specific time to make important appointments, and you can't help but feel stressed out over the need to just relax and get to sleep? Having an album title literally demand that of you is that feeling, only ten times more so! What happens if I don't hurry up and relax as Waki instructs me to? Will I not get the full context of this record without my brain turning its attention span down several notches within the first few minutes? Or will something more sinister, more insidious happen, like a ticking time-bomb planted within my psyche that will implode if I don't chill the f' down soon enough? Should I consider the caffeine content within my bloodstream before throwing this album on, whether it will significantly impede upon my ability to relax within the ascribed amount of time Waki has allotted within, whatever that time-frame may be? Just so much pressure from a single title. Just... so much...

Even more disconcerting is the fact that Hurry Up And Relax is such a schizophrenic album, I couldn't chill out to it if I tried. You'd think this being out on Databloem, it'd contain some nice ambient passages, or pleasant downtempo vibes. And it does, but th'ar be techno here too. And Kraftwerkian electro-pop. And ...drum 'n' bass? No, wait, Drum & Space is atmospheric jungle – totally different! Still doesn't make a lick of sense on Databloem though.

Still, Wakisaka Akifumi has been a rather eclectic musician for much of his career, so genre dalliances isn't that much out of the norm. Mostly fussing about in Japanese obscurity while self-releasing his stuff throughout the '90s, he caught a small break getting picked up by trendy Cologne techno label Traum Schallplatten (Music For Lazy People), then shortly after got a release on the fledgling Databloem (Music For Waki People). This is the follow-up to that, released some seven years later. Guess he figured the 4CD retrospective Special he released in between would sate all the Waki-fans for a while.

When I say Hurry Up And Relax is schizo', I ain't messing. This album has the sort of lengthy, minimalist pieces of dense timbre you'd expect out of harmonic Japanese ambient, but will follow them up with something out of a totally different release. Stargate sounds like it should be in a Swayzak DJ set, not surrounded by two atonal drone compositions. How does Ocean's retro Berlin-School noodling mesh with the aforementioned Drum & Space? Going from the languid ambience of Family to the oddball electro-pop of Dr. Loveburger? Sure, I think these are all interesting tracks on their own, but come off nonsensical when mashed all together as they are here. Context: an important factor that I'm either completely missing, or Hurry Up And Relax lacks regardless.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Sabres Of Paradise - Haunted Dancehall

Warp Records: 1994

I didn't have the greatest introduction to The Sabres Of Paradise, which may seem strange considering it was their agreed-upon classic Smokebelch II (Beatless Mix) that was my introduction. Appearing as it did in that Techno Nights – Ambient Dawn compilation though, it sounded so out of place and strange, especially on the supposed 'techno' CD. Even as time went on and I understood the significance of the tracks selected for that collection, Smokebelch II still never clicked with me. I assumed it would remain one of those tracks that made perfect sense if you had “been there” when it was rinsed out at all those infamous British raves during a misty sunrise in farmer's fields, but not walking home in the grey rain of the Canadian west coast.

Still, that didn't stop me from being intrigued by their sophomore effort Haunted Dancehall, if nothing else than for Jack Moss' review of it on TranceCritic. I mean, just the concept alone is catnip, the idea of crafting a soundtrack to a raver noir novel that didn't actually exist. Or maybe Andrew Weatherall had the story in mind all along, but lacked the confidence in his written prose to do it justice, settling on liner note 'excerpts' instead. Hey, I can dig that. Some folks feel they're at their creative best in specific lanes, and Weatherall clearly knows his lane's in the DJing domain. Still, his production ain't much of a slouch either.

Though let's not forget the other players involved with this Sabres Of Paradise project, including members of Brit-tronica outfit The Aloof in Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns. Throw in a Portishead remix on Planet D and a proper dancehall-dub contribution from Steve Gilderon Wilmot, and you've one remarkably diverse album in Haunted Dancehall. You wouldn't expect anything less from an early Warp Records record though, would you?

In fact, I'm not sure folks really knew what to make of it back when, what with no clear-cut singles springing from the album. The Sabres basically had to self-release the funky blaxploitation breaks of Theme as an EP, while dubby groover Wilmot did some solo business as well. No Smokebelches though – not even a Beatless Mix. I wager that Chapel Street Market 9am comes close though, capturing a similar 'morning after daze' vibe.

And gosh, the rest? Whatever that ultra-metallic funky rhythm is in Bubble And Slide. The rolling jazz-dub of Duke Of Earlsfield. Tow Truck screaming for a British crime-caper. The effortless cinematic IDM funk of Ballad Nicky McGuire (seriously, d'at rhythm!). While not quite as leftfield as stars of Artificial Intelligence went, the sound-craft on Haunted Dancehall easily puts it on par with The Black Dogs and Autechres of the era. The only reason it doesn't get brought up in similar discussion is either The Sabres' earlier discography of straight-forward rave records, or their audacity in tying all their tunes into some sort of narrative. Fools, we can't have folks actually understanding these tracks!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Skare - Grader

Reverse Alignment: 2015

Yet another indulgence of mine in breaking the chains of digital purchases. Not a huge one, mind, and looking back now, it seems odd that I'd do so with an item out on Reverse Alignment from an act I knew nothing about. Even the cover art, while still invoking that frigid-blue alpine clime' I'm strangely drawn towards, isn't that terribly unique among such things. Maybe just in the context of Reverse Alignment releases, hence it leaping out at me when browsing for more things from SiJ and b°tong? Certainly more than the one with the ruins in a mouldy green, or the one with an obscured dark symbol, or the one with the vampiress in the the red dress, or the one with... y'know, I haven't a clue what's going on with Stratvm Terror's This Is My Own Hell. Something un-right, that's for sure.

Skare is a pairing of Mathias Josefson and Per Åhlund, who've done various works while living around the Stockholm region. Mr. Josefson appears the busier of the two, a discography stretching back to the turn of the millennium, even releasing a few solo items on Reverse Alignment as Moljebka Pvlse (plus other labels like Cold Meat Industry, Greytone, Isoramra, Gears Of Sand, and AudioTONG ...hehe, go on, say that one out loud, I know you can't resist). Some time during the late '00s, the two crossed paths and released a collaborative album as Skare on Glacial Movements Records. Huh, that's an interesting name, I wonder what they have? Ooh, I see there's Rapoon, BVDub, Stormloop... oh my, a CD bundle deal on their Bandcamp too? *sigh* Another one for the bookmark folder.

Grader isn't so much a follow-up to the 2009 album Solstice City, but a gathering of live performances done before the release of their debut. Um, just two of them. Look, Solstice City only had three tracks on it, so it's not like they had a wide catalogue to pull from. And that's beside the point, as the two compositions here are original pieces, bumping the entire Skare discography to five tracks. That's at least one more than a fly-by-night, anonymous synthwave alias!

-5° is a fairly empty track, but that's kinda' the point. Muted clicks, distant drones, and what sounds like someone scraping metal across a violin string about make up the bulk of it's first half. Then things go real deep into the minimalist drone, discordant timbre, barren field recordings, and sparse piano tones, eventually layering to an atonal crescendo. I imagine this is the dread mountain climbers feel when they see an incoming squall barrelling down on their former tranquil setting. -30°, meanwhile, comes off as though we're surveying the aftermath, haunting drones painting a setting of everything turned to a ghostly frozen waste, the screams of the dead ensconced within icy prisons. Man, mountain climbing's some scary shit. Like, I already get nasty vertigo in open heights, but when the weather is just as deadly as the gravity, well...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Wanderwelle - Gathering Of The Ancient Spirits

Silent Season: 2018

The release of Wanderwelle's debut album Lost In The Sea Of Trees was something of a turning point for Silent Season. While not the first foray into vinyl for the label, it was the first time the format was the lone hard-copy option for a long-player, skipping out on a CD version entirely (erm, and hence why I skipped on it as well ...if I must, I can wait forever on snagging a digital copy). More prominently though, it was the first time Silent Season went with something other than a picturesque photo of local scenery for cover art, instead offering an image out of a children's fairy-tale book. As the chaps behind Wanderwelle claimed the music was inspired by the pagan tribes of ancient Europe, I suppose slapping the usual misty mountains or Pacific rainforest fauna overtop wouldn't do the concept justice. (oh, and the album was wonderful; will definitely spring for a digital copy, eventually)

A year later, and the Dutch duo have come forth with their second album, Gathering Of The Ancient Spirits. Sweet, more European paganism? Nah, guy, misters Bartels and van Dulm opting for something a little more tribal here. Or tropical. French Polynesian, if we must be specific, which at least keeps with the 'Silent Season represents music inspired by the Pacific Ocean' thing. Just, y'know, the literal opposite corner from their usual haunt of the planet's largest body of water. And even then, it's not so much being inspired by Tahiti, but by the “ultrasavage” artwork of French artist Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin, who's own paintings were more an idealized depiction of the region and cultures residing there. I feel like I'm falling into some deep inception levels of inspiration here.

This tribal-tropical-Polynesian motif has generated one of Silent Season's more unique offerings. For sure such ideas have been explored before, though typically in the context of rainforests (equatorial or taigan). To say nothing of how often we hear coastal ambient dub and aqua techno from the label (new genre alerts? Oh God, no!). Gathering Of The Ancient Spirits combines these ideas into something quite soft and haunting, tapping into that same well-spring of primitive vibes that reminds me of TUU. Just in a dub techno-y sort of way.

That said, I honestly don't have much to detail on a track by track basis. Absolutely some compositions have things that prominently leap out – d'at bassline in The Seed Of The Areoi! Different forms of percussion are featured in various tracks, while the ample use of field recordings remain diverse enough such that I never feel like I'm hearing the same croaking crickets, twittering tucans, or bubbly brooks. Still, the general tone blends together into a singular overpowering mood. It all feels like I'm lazing about a tiki lounge at some resort surrounded by palm trees, but being encroached upon by the recesses of a passing culture, long since eradicated save some weathered artifacts. There's mischievous spirits on them islands, I reckon.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Utada Hikaru - Deep River

Eastworld: 2002

(a Patreon Request from Philoi)

Upon receiving this album, I couldn't help but do a double-take. Was I certain this was a j-pop album? It looks nothing like the preconceived cliches of the genre my Western eyes have been inundated with. In fact, aside from the artist name and kanji on the back, I'd have easily thought it an American R&B release, not that dissimilar to a traditional Mariah Carey or Beyoncé cover. Throwing it on for a listen, the American influences are even more prevalent – were it not for the different language, this wouldn't have been out of place in any Western R&B chart. And with American artists cribbing from 'ethnic' cultures as it was (s'up, bhangra), turnabout is fair play. Did make me wonder if Utada Hikaru might have had any success over here if she tried a crossover album.

Then I did the post-listen research and discovered, shit, she don't need success over here in the slightest. For Utada Hikaru is huge in Japan. Like, Mariah and Beyoncé huge! Like, owner of some of the country's top selling albums ever, absolutely trouncing her nearest chart competitors. Her first album First Love crushed it at 7.6 million copies sold there – by comparison, Michael Jackson's Thriller, the agreed upon most successful global record ever, sold only 2.8 million in Japan.

Yet, despite her monumental success in her homeland, she's nary a presence over here, a lone soundtrack appearance on the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker movie Rush Hour 2 her closest brush with success in America. There's also frequent contributions to the Kingdom Hearts games (including the closing song from here), but that's a comparatively niche audience. Yes, I know, entirely different cultures and all, but again, the music she's making here isn't that different compared to American R&B, her cadence easily on par with the divas of the U.S. Just use the ol' Shakira Strategy: record an English version, get a major label backing it (EMI handled distribution in other South Asian markets at the time, though she's since signed with Sony, so maybe a re-issue?), and see what may come.

I'm sorry I'm dwelling on this so much, but it honestly and truly boggles my mind that someone could be so successful in one country, and not here. It's not even like her music is too culturally dense to work elsewhere. It'd be like if Shania Twain or Celine Dion never broke out of Canada because they name-drop Montreal and maple trees (true, not so evocative as Tokyo and sakura trees).

Also, I honestly don't have that much to say about Deep River. As mentioned, this is an R&B-styled record, a genre I only have passing interest in, and where vocal presentation is first and foremost. Ms. Utada definitely has the pipes, such that I do hang on her words even if I don't know what they specifically mean. Translations reveal they're mostly about relationships and empowerment – standard R&B tropes – but that only takes me so far.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

DJ 3000 - "Diligence" Mix

Motech: 2009

This is the bonus disc included with DJ 3000's Galactic Caravan album, which I reviewed nine years ago, and also did an Update Review six years ago. Why, then, did I not mention it in either of those write-ups? Complete and utter mental burn-out in the case of the former, that album the last I wrote for TranceCritic before essentially hanging it for good (I got better). As for the latter case, I didn't have an actual hard copy of Galactic Caravan at the time, so never knew of the bonus CD's existence. Check that: Lord Discogs did tell me there was one, but the not-so-proper MP3 copy I'd gotten for review way back when didn't include it, thus I was in no position to discuss something not in my possession. Which, erm, could have been said for a lot of those MP3 rips I acquired for review in the TranceCritic days, but like Hell I could have afforded them all. Had to cut costs somehow.

However, upon indulging myself on a Motech Bandcamp bulk deal, DJ 3000's Galactic Caravan was included in the package. Hey, cool, I can finally have a real copy of the album for my CD shelves (as, um, I should have way back when). Do I really need to do another review/update of it though? No, no I don't, but there's that bonus CD I could wax a few hundred words over. Look at all those additional artists I can talk up: Underground Resistance, Nomadico, Subotika, DJ P-Ben, DJ Compufunk, DJ Dex, DJ Bone. Huh, weird. Usually whenever I see that many “DJ”s in a tracklist, it from a bargain bin knock-off compilation, with names changed from original artists, or one dude running under a zillion aliases. Total coincidence here, I'm sure.

Anyhow, opening track Orbit from DJ Compufunk is definitely some vintage Detroit future-funk. The mix into Los Hermanos' Dazed And Deceived wasn't the smoothest though, its thumping tribal rhythms clashing out of key with Orbit. And oh dear, why is DJ 3000 riding this mix so long? And by the time Dazed And Deceived has settled into its own groove, we're into another rough transition in P-Ben's Believer. Some dope Detroit tech-house tuneage from there, but dear Lord, are these mixes ever rough. What is this, some freebie mix that's only meant as a promotional item and not intended for critical analysis? Oh, it is. Guess that means I'm going about this totally wrong, aren't I?

Yeah, I ain't 'reviewing' this as a DJ set anymore. I mean, it'd have been dope if this was a real-proper commercial set or something, but it's quite clear that's not the point, Diligence little more than a fun bonus, like mixtapes of old, handed out at underground shows. I honestly found it a better listen the less I paid attention to it, generally humming in the background while doing other stuff, critical switch flipped off. Stupid Ableton era's ruined the 'rough mixtape' mystique, hasn't it?

Friday, May 3, 2019

Cosmic Replicant - Future Memories

Altar Records: 2013

Now that I've unshackled my restraints in consuming music of a digital-only nature, it's only appropriate that I go back to those labels and releases I stubbornly skipped. For sure prints like Ultimae Records and Silent Season were tops on my 'must-fill' list, but let's not overlook good ol' Altar Records in this discussion. They've release many CDs this past decade, but offered a significant amount of digital items too, mostly singles and EPs. A few full-length items were in this mix though, typically from artists just breaking out, and thus likely an uncertain investment from the label. At least, that's how I assume it went down with Cosmic Replicant's signing on Altar Records, his first two LPs never receiving the CD treatment. In fact, Mission Infinity remains his lone hard copy album, a shame given a ten-album discography to his name. I likes me some Cosmic Replicant though, so if I wanna' hear more (and, um, support the artist), it's the Bandcamp route I must go.

Pavel Shirshin must have had a hefty chunk of music stored up before his break, as Future Memories and follow-up The Nature Of Life were released within months of each other. Comparing the two, however, it's quite clear this album had been gestating a while longer, the songcraft rather simpler and not so subtle in where his influences were coming from. Oh yeah, the Asura stylee's all over this one.

But hey, I likes me some Asura just as much as I like me some Cosmic Replicant, and even though that likesesing is coming from somewhat different origins, meeting them at the centre's not so bad either. So what if Sense Of Life reminds me some of Galaxies, or Morning Star reminds me of Celestial Tendencies. Those are dope tracks to be compared to! Not to say Future Memories is some Life²-redux – it's much too straight-forward as psy-chill to reach that lofty peak, especially for an album released half a decade later – but the sonic markers are enough that it draws me in just the same.

If you've payed attention to previous Cosmic Replicant reviews, you'll remember that Pavel has shown remarkable diversity in his various releases too (just like Asura!). This being his first album though, it's clear he's playing things safe, offering up the sort of music the Altar Records faithful would be most interested in (ain't no dub techno here). Thus we get the pure meditative ambient opener (Rise To Light) and closer (Return to Gaïa). In between there's the gradual build from dubby, psy-chill numbers (Clear Mind, Opening Lotus), the mid-album prog-psy session (Enter The Void, Sunshine Way), plus the downbeat lead-out (Future Memories, White Elephant, with acid!). As said, nothing really out of the ordinary here, the album doing what it must for the intended audience with skill and finesse. Erm, sounds kinda' boring when I put it like that, doesn't it. Fortunately, Pavel realized it too, finding a distinct voice shortly after.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

ACE TRACKS: April 2019

So apparently Game Of Thrones is coming to an end soon, a series I know quite a bit about without having seen a single episode or read a lick of novel. Like so many things that infect pop culture, its permeated so much of everyone's daily discourse that one cannot help but absorb it through osmosis. Some will say that I'm not really experiencing the series in such a way, that getting a general glean of it from funny memes, think pieces, parody spoilers, and water-cooler talk doesn't begin to detail all the nuances the show offers. Pshaw, I say. After so many years of the show being around, I know plenty 'nuff of it. There's a winter coming, a wedding massacre, a bunch of people vying for a throne, a lot of people dying that deserve to die, and a lot of people dying that don't deserve to die (also: lots a' bewbs). Plus, I already know most of the main characters. Gander:

Ned Stark: Is Sean Bean. Most definitely is killed.
Jon Snow: The Aragon of this fantasy series.
Cersei: Queen bitch, trifle not with.
Tyrion: That cool dwarf dude.
Arya Stark: The Battle Angel Alita of the series.
Sansa Stark: The other Stark daughter; taller than Alita.
Joffry: Some punk kid everyone really hated early on.
Dragon Lady: Has dragons, eventually.
Jason Momoa: Does Momoa things, probably.
Bran Stark: Important, I think? Don't see many memes with him though, so how important, really?
Hodor: Holds a door.
The Night King: Is Snoke'd.

I think those are the main beats covered. And speaking of beats, here's another playlist of ACE fresh Track beats from the month of April 2019!

Full track list here.

The Circular Ruins & Mystified - Fantastic Journey
Various - fabric 14: Stacey Pullen
Nunc Stans - Elementa
Ambidextrous - Echoes of Science

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 0%
Percentage Of Rock: 0%
Most “WTF?” Track: Nothing terribly out of the ordinary in this one, though a Prodigy track may turn your head.

Nothing too fancy in this playlist. Just the usual assortment of genres that leans heavily into my preferred tastes, as can be expected when going through albums I've recently picked up for myself. Nay, the real eclectic stuff tends to leap out when I'm doing the big blocks of singular letters, where decades (!!) of music gathering shows its face. Or, y'know, I come into ownership of another person's decades-old CD collection. Been a while since that's happened though. Have I gotten all that others are willing to part with?

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. 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