Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Harold Budd - The Serpent (In Quicksilver)

Cantil/All Saints: 1981/2018

Harold Budd had made his proper debut with the well-received The Pavilion Of Dreams, which Brian Eno produced. Following that, they teamed up for the second entry into Eno's seminal Ambient series, The Plateaux Of Mirror. Being such a prominent figure of ambient's early years surely yielded many opportunities for the Buddian one, if not for the fact that scene was barely existent yet. Sure, you had the synth noodlings of the Berlin-Schoolers, and the electronic experimenting of the soundtrackers, but Eno and Budd's brand of abstract art music remained a super-niche side of ambient's emergent sound, especially Harold's classical approach to playing the ol' ivories.

Basically, despite having his name associated with a trendy tastemaker, Budd was still left without any sort of record deal for his own musical explorations. He thus did what many a genre-niche artist is forced to do: create his own print to self-release his albums. Eh, why didn't Eno just help Budd along with on his label? If I was to hazard a guess, it was either because Eno was between labels himself (Obscure, where Pavilion Of Dreams had come out on, folded before the '80s), or Budd wanted to release something without Eno's ambient treatments prominently involved, letting his own muse speak for itself. Neither would surprise me.

Whatever the case, Cantil was the result of Budd going into label business for himself, with The Serpent (In Quicksilver) being its first release. Um, out of three, according to Lord Discogs. Guess becoming a record mogul just wasn't in Budd's blood, but at least he got his records out.

And if setting up your own print to release your own music in the early '80s doesn't sound like a punk enterprise to you, then the production of The Serpent (In Quicksilver) sure will. If there was anything Budd took from his time working with Eno, it was realizing he could accomplish more making use of a studio than just recording some piano pieces and calling it a day. Unfortunately, ol' Harold didn't have the greatest connections in California at that point in his career, so he wandered from studio to studio, recording bits and pieces wherever he could, whenever he could. The almost renegade approach to crafting this album helps explain why it's so short, a mere six tracks long, half of which hover around the two-minute mark. Heck, the longest is a shade over five minutes, which may as well be a radio jingle where either ambient or modern classical is concerned.

So the short running time may be a turnoff for some, but let's be honest: the moment you hear that sliding pedal guitar opening in Afar, there's really almost no where else to go but down; or up, to a higher state of peace. Like, I'm not saying The KLF nicked the idea of a pedal guitar making perfect sense in the context of ambient music, but I'd like to hear of an earlier example of it than The Serpent.

Monday, July 29, 2019

DJ 3000 - Sälis

Motech: 2013

I've talked plenty about Motech now (CD bundle purchases help), but it's been a long while since I've gotten back to the man who started it all, Franki Juncaj, in more ways than one. Mr. 3000 was my introduction to Motech, and though I never really followed up on Galactic Caravan until way later, it seems fate (or self-imposed alphabetical constraints) has denied me the chance to return to his musical output. At least until I've given some of his label mates a little shine first. This isn't the last of my Motech material though, another release lurking somewhere along the line. Damned if I can remember what it was.

Have I mentioned buying so many bulk deals in, erm, bulk binges is highly counter-intuitive to actually digesting so much substance in single sittings? It'd be like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and grabbing one sampling of everything, but putting it all into a blender and slurping it down as some bizarre smoothie concoction. Sure, you've now technically sampled everything, but it's all mushed together into one singular taste. Okay, maybe it's not like that, but damn, what an analogy, eh?

Anyhow, Sälis was the album DJ 3000 released a few years after following Galactic Caravan. Or was that Besa? Both were released the same year, and some promo around the time claimed Sälis was instead a compilation of various digital releases. Sifting through Lord Discogs' database, however, reveals most of these tracks are unique to Sälis alone, save three cuts off the Moroccan Mint Tea EP. Sälis did initially have a Japan-only release, so perhaps it was intended as a compilation for that market, but wound up being a regular ol' album after the fact? Who knows at this point, doubt it matters half a decade on.

What I do know for sure is Sälis was produced when Franki returned to Detroit after some time spent in Europe. Being back in the techno mecca rekindled his faltering muse, from which the album takes its namesake (solace, so to speak). That chiller mindset resulted in an LP that's not quite so dynamic and boisterous as Galactic Caravan, but has its fair amount of choice ethnically-tinged tech-house on offer too. Tracks like Fade Away and Gateway To Mumbai throw in the requisite tribal rhythms, chants, and desert harmonies, while tunes like Shota and Lutë are more subtle about it, letting the Detroit vibe override anything ethnic.

And though there are plenty of uptempo, peak-hour tech-house tunes on offer, DJ 3000 tends to go deeper throughout, treading into the domain of deep-tech, but good! Like, obviously it would be, no European monotony in this Detroit alum's veins. I'd almost fit this with the same style of deep house/tech as whatever Dirtybird often churns out, though less silly about it. Overall, perhaps not the best starting point for folks getting into DJ 3000 – I still rate Galactic Caravan above this - but a worthy album/compilation/whatever from the man behind Motech.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ink Midget - Re-Leave

Exitab: 2012

There's some downright obscure shit out there, my poor Windows Media Player helpless in its attempts at auto-identifying whatever music it's currently decoding and digitizing to my external hard drive. Not a big deal, thinks I while sipping on pinot noir (or a Monster Sunrise). Just slot the CD in its appropriate alphabetical place within my “to review” tower, and I'll deal with the details when I get to it.

Only, I was left stumped on this Ink Midget. I knew it had to be part of my regular queue, as I'd uploaded it to my portable player at some point, but I didn't see it among the surrounding CDs. Might it have been a digital-only item? No, those at least have cover art. Well, whatever, I'm sure once I listen to it, I'll solve its mysterious origin. Wait, this is a dubstep release? How did I end up with this? Did someone hand it to me after Shambhala? Wouldn't be the first time I was given a promo from that festival.

As always though, Lord Discogs finally shed some light on the matter, at the very least providing me art I could identify it with. And upon seeing that Re-Leave art, I went, “OOHH-ooohh... it's that CD. Huh, I thought it was an indie rock thing.” Admit it, just from a glance, you'd never guess this is dubstep, to say nothing of the four-page foldout with even more water-coloured art within. Plus, it's a big, bulky digipak, the sort of thing I've come to expect from... well, not dubstep, that's for sure. Explains why it wasn't in my usual “to review” tower though, not fitting in the slots and all.

*whew* Alright, all that out and sorted, how does this album from Ink Midget stack up. It's... fine, I guess? Adam Matej certainly tries infusing the genre with some ideas against the tropes of the time, but adding a pile of glitch stutter effects to one's half-time beats feels overkill. He's clearly listened to a bunch of Hyperdub material, and wants to make music like that, but overshot the mark on the production level. There's a dub-trap cut in Night Float that's fascinated by the pitch of the snare's reverb. There's the clear nods to Burial ambience in Flue and Clue (heh). There's some “we're getting ultra-wrecked, man!” grime rapping in Fisheye (though Pjoni's Slovak). There's a dope double-time builder in Půlvlk, with a secret ambient song after. Hey, that's a novel bit of retro!

I dunno, Re-Leave feels quite middle-of-the-road where this sound is concerned, though I'm hardly an expert in this particular genre, my experience still at a surface level. Maybe folks who digest every tiny ounce of dubstep, future-garage, and UK (Slovak?) bass could give a better comparison of Ink Midget against the scene's grand pantheon. On the other hand, I had to submit the CD version of this to Discogs, so maybe this is rightfully obscure too.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

Chrysalis/Capitol Records: 1983/1999

The only Billy Idol album you're supposed to have ... is probably a greatest hits package, if we're being honest. If you must get one of his standard LPs though, Rebel Yell is probably the one. Sure, you're missing out on such timeless jams like White Wedding, Mony Mony and Dancing With Myself, but look at what you get here. Rebel Yell! Eyes Without A Face! Flesh For Fantasy! Uh, Catch My Fall and Blue Highway too, I guess.

Yeah, I'm not gonna' front. Vitol Idol remains my definitive collection of Billy Idol tunes; however, it lacks one of his all-time ass-kickin' songs, Rebel Yell. Essentially a remix album, the tracks on there were intended for dance club efficiency, and Rebel Yell was too much of an out-and-out rocker to fit that bill. Plus, Eyes Without A Face is a ballad, thus ineligible for Vitol Idol consideration. No, if I wanted those songs, I'd have to get the album from which they first appeared. Or a greatest hits package, but where's the fun in that? Like, this was Billy Idol's most successful album, so maybe there's a few overlooked gems that were overshadowed by the huge singles, and thus lost when folks started going straight to the hits collections instead. Alright, I'm super pumped in hearing some Album-Orientated Idol now. Let's do this, with a Rebel Yell!

And there's that iconic titular opener, and no matter how many times I've heard it on TV or rock radio, it never fails in getting me hype. Especially those little synth fills, ooh such shivers down the spine for a techno-boy such as I. Daytime Drama is our first instance of AOI, and it's a fun slice of new wave boogie for the inner-city clubs, including a jaunty little synth solo. Sounds good thus far.

Eyes Without A Face follows, and confessional time: for years, whenever I heard this on radios, I wasn't sure it was actually a Billy Idol tune. Yeah, the mid-song bridge, with Idol going full sneer and Steve Stevens' distinct shredding, should have been all the convincing I needed. Still, do you hear those ultra-tinny, heavy-reverb Fairlight drum machines in the beginning? The softer croon? The backing female in the chorus? Might this actually be a Human League song? Ah, the uncertain years of a pre-Discogs era.

As mentioned, Flesh For Fantasy and Catch My Fall are also here, but I'm so used to their extended Vitol Idol versions, they feel kinda' slight on Rebel Yell. And as for the rest? Blue Highway and Crank Call have fun solos. Stand In The Shadows is a fine uptempo rocker. The Dead Next Door serves as a decent album-closing ballad. Not much else leaps out from these filler tunes though, much less being overlooked gems in Billy Idol's wider discography. I'm not surprised though, Idol truly one of those classic artists who lived off his biggest hits. Was still time well spent confirming it though - nothing ventured, nothing learned.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dr. Atmo - Quiet Life

...txt: 2014

It's astounding that it's taken this long for me to get an album from Dr. Atmo. Chap was instrumental in luring me into the wider world of underground ambient music, first coming across him on the Ambient Auras compilation. Shortly after that, I picked up the Stud!o K7 VHS tape 3Lux-3, of which Dr. Atmo compiled, completing my early ambient indoctrination. You'd think I'd eagerly rush out and grab anything else I saw his name on, but Amir Abadi never made it that simple. He was first and foremost a DJ, often sharing chill-room space with the likes of Mixmaster Morris and Dr. Alex Patterson (what's with the DJing ambient doctors?).

And when he did get behind the producer's console, it was often with others, running through a number of collaborative aliases in the process. Most famous of those was as Silence (and Escape) with Pete Namlook, but also included Oliver Lieb (Java and Music To Films), David Moufang (I.F.), Ramin Naghachian (Sad World), plus many, many more. Of course, since most of these works came out on Fax +49-69/450464, they're all hopelessly obscure, hardly the sort of items a Western Canadian had much chance of stumbling upon.

Dr. Atmo had apparently retreated from productions after the turn of the century, but an unmentionable label managed to drag him back in 2013 with Miss Silencio for a new album called Hush! I'm not sure how that one sounds, since almost all streaming options for it have been scrubbed from the internet. Fortunately, Lee Norris lured Mr. Abadi to his ...txt print for another musical outing, Quiet Life. Ah, sweet, I bet this is gonna' be some ultra-blissy chill-out material, or some melancholic mood music straight from the good ol' archives of Fax+'s golden years.

Nah, brah, Dr. Atmo's laying out them sweet New Age licks on yo' ears, brah. Wait, what? Opener Sunshine And The Sea is pure night-time tranquility, as though you're listening to a harpist gently pluck her strings beside a peaceful pond; y'know, straight up New Age schmaltz. Following that, we have a literal lullaby in Find Your Home, with one Nuwella Love softly guiding your straying thoughts to a light toy-box melody. I cannot deny it does impart childlike whimsy, the sort of trusting surrender one can only feel as a wee babe' with their loving mother cuddling you into a sense of ease. Takes a fair bit of dismantling of one's ego getting there though.

The rest of Quiet Life plays out more as I expected from a Dr. Atmo album (well, about as much as I could have expected given my limited exposure to his productions). Soft ambient techno, some tunes with a dubbier rudder in the rhythm sections (Road), others further treading into the New Age realms (Hang Garden, Subak), plus a good ol' collab' with fellow chill-room DJ alum Mixmaster Morris (Secret Of Mother). Yay, bouncy-happy trippy-dippy musics! What's he been up to, anyway? Ooh, a new Irresistible Force album, I see...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cosmic Replicant - Processes

self-released: 2018

Normally I'd prefer a little space between reviews of the same artist, but Cosmic Replicant has proven so diverse, I'm practically covering someone different with each album. Like, just from an ear-glance, you'd never have guessed the music on Processes came from the same chap who made Future Memories or Soul Of The Universe. You might have made the connection based off of Landscapes Motion, and perhaps, if you squinted in the right direction, Mission Infinity. Surely little that was released through Altar Records though. Honestly, I'm not surprised Pavel's gone the independent route, the music he's releasing of late hardly gelling with traditional psy-chill prints, but likely not finding much footing with labels outside that field either. Or who knows, maybe one of his pure ambient outings might find a re-issue on Carpe Sonum Records. They don't all have to be Fax+ alum to appear on that label, do they?

Where does that leave Processes though? What label might be willing to give this seven track album a little more shine beyond the Cosmic Replicant contingent (we small few but proud). I feel super-cheeky in suggesting this, but perhaps... Kompakt? Or baring that, maybe... Music Man Records? I'm getting a real neo-trance vibe from these tracks, techno that is rather deep, with subtle building layers of melody. Tunes that wouldn't sound out of place in a set shared with the likes of The Field or Petar Dundov, is what I'm saying.

Okay, not so much the first couple tracks, more following on the dub techno explorations Pavel first ventured with in Landscapes Motion. Hypno Snake treads a little into Detroit's pastures, while Ants In My Computer does the droning minimal thing with peculating sounds that would fit snuggly in on one of Luke Slater's Planetary Assault Systems records.

Those are mere warm-ups though, Factory Processes getting in on that lengthy, loopy melodic techno stylee that's made neo-trance a maybe kinda' sorta' thing with the above-mentioned producers; Silent Season too, at their more upbeat moments. Mirror Cube and Morning Robots try to get back to the proper dub techno vibe, but even they're too chipper and melodic (them sparse bell tones!) to fit with the serious Basic Channel disciples.

The final pair of tracks are about as trance as techno could ever sound in this day and age, and in some circles, techno's been sounding quite trance indeed. Lunatic Runner has the peppy pace, the building arps, and the atmosphere to spare, while some chap named Noraus gives Strange Dream a dubby, trancey rub of his own.

For a talented guy who probably got lost in the shuffle of annual psy-chill releases, I'm glad to hear Cosmic Replicant taking on styles well outside the genre's wheel-house. Yeah, another Nature Of Life would have been nice, but it takes something more to stand out in that overstuffed scene. I only fear an album like Processes may leave Cosmic Replicant without a willing home to nurture such musical ventures.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Lingua Lustra - Portal

Carpe Sonum Records: 2018

It's been two years since I took in a Lingua Lustra album, and it's not due to disinterest. In fact, I remain quite intrigued in his works, but he has so much out there, on so many different labels, it'd require some serious sleuthing on my part. Also, I've taken in enough of his works to realize some releases won't be as captivating as others. Noodly ambient is fine and all on occasion, but I remain utterly sated on the stuff based off my usual label explorations, thank you very much. If I'm gonna' start focusing on a specific artist's output, especially one as prolific as Albert Borkent, I'd like the creme of the crop right from the top. The rest can wait for a time when there's a week's worth of hours available for a deep Bandcamp spelunking.

Still, without sampling every item in an artist's catalogue, how does one find their best material? You go to the labels, my friends! Say what you will about streaming reducing the need for labels, but they still serve as useful curators, especially for a genre as impossibly massive as ambient. Even as I continuously poke and prod into this vast domain for new labels, there's something to be said for trusty ol' faithfuls, including Carpe Sonum Records. Given he stylistically meshes with much of this print's output, I'm surprised it took so long for Lingua Lustra to find himself there. I suppose there was no rush, what with his own Spiritech handling much of his music for a while (and, erm, the unmentionable label too).

What's most interesting about Lingua Lustra's first official album on Carpe Sonum is that it's almost a compilation. Despite the 2018 release, the tracks on Portal were made between 2013 and 2015, some of which even saw release elsewhere. Two had appeared on Carpe Sonum compilations, and another two found their way on Plusquam Chillout. That... may not be as impressive, Plusquam responsible for an obscene amount of Ambient [Theme] digital compilations in the year 2014, flooding the streaming market with their options. Gander at a sampling of their 'S' titles: Ambient Scape, Ambient Sessions, Ambient Shores, Ambient Sonics, Ambient Souls, Ambient Sounds, Ambient Stereo, Ambient Statros. Yeesh.

Back to Portal, Carpe Sonum sifted through Mr. Borkent's catalogue in selecting tracks for this release, including unreleased items. Whoa, you mean the lush, soul-melting ambience of The Gate Of Dawn sat in the Lingua Lustra archives sight-unheard for a half-decade? Even in his relentless digital-only release rate, Albert never saw fit to give this lovely composition the light of day? Oh, I'm sure he's got dozens of such releases, material sat on for whatever reason. The seven tracks on here are all quite lovely and spacey and dreamy and droney, though never exceeding the twelve-minute mark as some Lingua Lustra pieces have done in the past. If this album was meant to serve as a 'portal' in to his music (eh? Eh...?), job well done, Carpe Sonum.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

BT - Movement In Still Life

ZYX Music: 2000

(a Patreon Reqest from Omskbird)

And thank goodness it's a request for the original UK version, not the busted-ass American version. I've let my dislike of Movement In Still Life: US Edition known, but I cannot reiterate enough just how much that version turned me off from BT's future output. Like, the cover shot alone felt confrontational to a connoisseur of the clubbing underground, Mr. Transeau pretty-boy mugging suggesting a run with boy-band fame and fortune. Throw in the fact tracks were neutered to pop-friendly lengths, plus lacking two of my hotly anticipated BT cuts at the time (Hip Hop Phenomenon and Fibonacci Sequence), and you can understand my utter bewilderment after my first playthrough. For a release that was clearly executive managed for max North American appeal, it had the exact opposite effect for yours truly. Epic fail, yo'!

When I heard an alternate, original version existed across the Atlantic Ocean, I knew, unheard, it was the superior cut of the album. Then global internet forums compared notes, confirming my suspicion of just how shafted American BT fans were on Movement In Still Life: Inferior Version. Unless some of y'all liked the US edition. For the love of me, I cannot imagine why. Too much awesome to handle in the UK edition?

That all said, it was many years before I got around to hearing Movement In Still Life: UK Edition, for no better reason than it was too expensive to import. In fact, it wasn't until I started revisiting some of BT's earlier albums for this blog that I finally checked it out, and wouldn't you know it, I quite enjoyed what I heard! Hip Hop Phenomenon is here! The Sasha collaboration Ride is here! The Paul van Dyk collaboration Namistai is here! The full-length versions of Godspeed, Dreaming, Mercury & Solace and Running Down The Way Up are here! Andy Gray is here! Wait, what?

Superior songs and superior cuts of tracks notwithstanding, what makes Movement In Still Life: Superior Version so good is the flowing sequencing of tunes, of which the Paul Oakenfold co-producer had a helping hand in. It supplies a fun opening of various breakbeat tuneage, nu-skool still in its infancy and BT still showing restraint in how overtly complicated he made his productions. Following Hip Hop Phenomenon, we're served up some requisite classy progressive trance, most of which holds up to this day. Fine, I'll admit I was never that big a fan of Dreaming, but mostly due to how overplayed the generic trance remixes were – the nine-minute cut here at least provides some stylish detours throughout its runtime. The final couple tracks do a decent job winding things down, with Hybrid lending their breakbeat science to BT's non-abusive stutter effects, and Satellite serving as a nice, mellow chill-hop closer.

Overall, Movement In Still Life: The True Version does a good job capturing what was popping in UK clubland at the turn of the century. Perhaps not as adventurous as ESCM was, but certainly more consistent throughout.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

HIA | Biosphere - Polar Sequences

Beyond/Biophon Records: 1996/2019

I'm not sure which I figured would be more difficult to attain, this or The Fires Of Ork. For sure almost any Biosphere collaborative project seemed elusive to my isolated eyes, but I always had a sense that maybe, just maybe, I'd land me a copy of Geir's team-up with Bobby Bird. The label that initially released Polar Sequences was Beyond, they of the seminal O.G. Ambient Dub series, and I'd landed myself a couple of those CDs, not to mention later albums via domestic distribution. Logically then, odds were good that this would see a domestic release. Unfortunately, Beyond's time was up, and only a few thousand copies of Polar Sequences were made, a rather small amount back in those days. Mind, not so limited as Fires Of Ork initially ran, but that saw a number of re-issues down the road, whereas this saw but one when Bobby Bird tried launching his own label, Headphone. It didn't pan out so well. Too ahead of his time, mayhaps? I mean, it's not like Geir's Biophon Records is much different in concept, and man, what a roll he's been on with the reissues, eh?

In a strange way, it's only fitting that HIA and Biosphere would team-up. During the rise of bleep-affected ambient techno, these two were odd men out, name-dropped as part of the Artificial Intelligence contingent, but never signing deals with Warp Records. It likely helped them carve out distinct voices within that scene, but nothing to suggest they'd mesh in any significant way. Which makes Polar Sequences all the more strange. Yeah, bringing Geir back to his homeland for a musical performance was a given, but Bobby too? What could he contribute to the Polar Music Festival? Maybe they were just vibing at the time, and Mr. Jenssen wouldn't do the gig without Bird in tow.

So to Tromsø they headed, about as remote a location in Norway as one can get without crossing significant Arctic waters. They took a little cable-car to the top of a mountain, recording things and sounds along the way to be used in their performance. Once there, and with small contingents of Nor-folk funnelling into the little hilltop cabin, HIA and Biosphere fused their muses into a suitably cold, brisk collection of dubby electronics, brittle melodies, and cavernous field recordings. And hoo, I could never have imagined their styles would mesh so fluidly.

Bird mostly handles the rhythm end of the music, which is great because HIA's beatcraft was forever on point for downtempo tunes. That leaves Biosphere the atmospherics, where his icy dronescapes have ample breathing room within Bird's dubby electro. As with Fires Of Ork, there are clear sections where one producer's style dominates over the other, but always in service of the particular composition being performed. That Meltwater though, holy cow, is that ever pure Geir, almost entirely field recordings of being trapped by a trickling stream inside a collapsing glacial cavern. The germination of Substrata definitely starts here.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Subotika - Panonija

Motech: 2014

Just how Detroit must an artist be if they are considered Detroit techno? The easy, obvious answer is they must be from Detroit to be considered Detroit techno, and for nearly two decades, that was probably acceptable. No matter how much producers from the U.K., Germany, or Japan emulate the sounds of Motor City, they always bring with them distinct accents to the genre. The societal flattening of our globe, however, has made these lines ever more blurry. Are Detroit transplants making better bucks in the clubs of Berlin still Detroit techno? Could someone move to Detroit, and thus be considered Detroit techno thereafter? And if so, is there a gestation period before they're considered true-blood Detroit? How long would such a gestation period be? One year? Five? More than half one's life?

And then we get into Motech, run by DJ 3000, who most certainly is from Detroit, thus is considered true-blue Detroit techno (or more often, Detroit tech-house). This, despite lending his ear towards the Middle East, giving his tunes a wordly bounce so often lacking in Detroit's future-funk aspirations. The label has taken things a step further with Subotika, a Serbian DJ, and clearly half a globe away from Detroit. Yet here he is with a debut album on a Detroit label, making Detroit techno. Is this enough to be accepted by the staunch Detroit techno purists? Or did they even notice, their heads so far up their rectums they can barely tell the derelict neighbourhoods from the abandoned warehouses? (ugh, not as catchy a phrase as 'forest from trees', is it?)

So the question should be not how Detroit Subotika sound, but how much Serbian influence they bring to the Detroit aesthetic. And to that, one must ask what even Serbian techno sounds like? I honestly have no idea, the closest frame of reference the string of Romanian minimal-tech that brought that scene to new levels of... well, not dryness or sterility, the Germans remaining kings at that. Doesn't matter, as I don't hear much of that in Panonija anyway. A lone track, I'll Be Your, is about the extent of monotonous loopy minimalism we hear on this LP, and as but one cut out of eleven, I'll take that ratio any day. (Fractal a little too, but I like them pads so it gets a pass)

For the most part though, this is about as Detroit techno as you can expect out of a Motech release (do folks expect much from Motech? Are they big players in the Detroit landscape? Must pilgrimage to investigate further). Prozivka supplies some tribalism to the proceedings, Club Door and Evolving the speedy highway vibe (there needs to be an official Detroit techno 'outrun' micro-genre), with various other tracks flitting from dubby thump (From Afar) to simmering space funk (Ronin, Folklore). Can't fault much of what I hear, is what I say, Detroit purism be damned. Still, a little extra Serbian flavour could have helped this stand out more.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Opium - Pain(t)

Databloem: 2009

Yet another artist I feel should have gotten a fairer shake, if the realm of ambient music wasn't such an overstuffed scene where even a modicum of success is too swiftly buried beneath the bloat. Like, no way I'd have stumbled upon this chap if he wasn't on a label I've taken to diving a little deeper into, and even then that's almost by chance, the Databloem catalogue rather extensive in names I'm already familiar with. Who has time for Cymphonic or 45 KO when I can scope out more compositions from artists like Mathias Grassow and Lingua Lustra? Nay, with too much ambient music to possibly consume in one's lifetime, it's best to fall back on the safe and familiar, never exposing one's imagination to the wonders of the unknown. Oof, ouch, that actually hurt my brain, trying to think like that. It's just not possible for yours truly!

What I'm trying to get at is it almost seems a fluke I chose this album on my most recent Databloem splurge. A name like Opium should have glazed over my eyes like so many generic pseudonyms of electronic music past. “Ooh how clever,” the snarky snake in my cerebellum would say, “a 'druggy' handle for druggy music. That's like a trance DJ calling himself DJ Ecstasy, or a dubstep DJ calling himself DJ Ket-Bumps. I bet there's, like, a hundred Opiums in Discogs' database.” Man, that snarky snake in my cerebellum can be a real dick sometimes. (for the record, Matteo Zini lays claim to Opium (6))

Pluck up Pain(t) I did though, and now having listened to it, I'm left wondering how I never came across him before. Mr. Zini has crafted a sound that would fit quite nicely as track three or four on a Fahrenheit Project CD from Ultimae Records, a quieter piece of downtime between the heavy hitters of that label. There's a light psy-chill undertone to everything, but on more of a droney tip, rhythms burbling under warm layers of dubby pad work. It's like the meeting ground between Ultimae and Silent Season in how he can draw you into a widescreen vista of sonic splendour, yet remain firmly grounded. It's music I want to watch stars too, flickering through a canopy of pines.

Turns out Opium got his start on Silentes, the offshoot from the former Amplexus. He eventually fell in with the Databloem group through their sister Practising Nature (home to lots of Amplexus/Silentes alum) before releasing a couple albums on the parent label. Then, not much of anything else since. What's most damning though, is just how lacking his compilation game was. Who knows why at this point, but there's scant examples of his work being showcased elsewhere. And that's a bloody shame, because as mentioned, he'd have fit snugly with the above-mentioned prints, even with a contributing track or two. Plus, I'd have happened upon him much sooner than random chance a decade on, and that's what's most important!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pleq - Our Words Are Frozen

dataObscura: 2010

This was my doorway into the world of dataObscura, in case you're wondering. Oh, you're not? Well, I'm gonna' feed you the wonder whether you like it or not, for that self-imposed word count won't burn itself through discussion of the actual music within (such as it is, but more on that in a bit). As you may recall (it's been many months), I did a review on Pleq's collaboration with Segue for Databloem, The Seed. Segue was my intro to Pleq, but in doing the obligatory Discoggian research, I took in a nice gaze of Pleq's extended catalogue, this album in particular catching my eye. Like, there's just something about frozen vistas that my mind is impeccably drawn to. Arctic, alpine, ice balls in deep space... just send me to the places where time and motion remains in near-perpetual stasis. And naturally, where one album resides, surely th'ar be more near-abouts, leading me to the dataObscura options out there. Ooh, so many more examples of snowy cover art. Sci-fi stuff too! Must... consume... more...

Now that I'm dealing with Pleq specifically, here's what you need to know. Goes by Bartosz Dziadosz when dealing with the driver's depot. Classically trained, but prefers staying in the lane of glitchy dronescapes. Released quite the bundle of solo and collaborative albums at the turn of the decade, though seems to have slowed some as of late. Has also released on Dronarivm, Chemical Tapes, Murmur Records, Progressive Form, Ginjoha, Pocket Fields, Felt, and The Long Story Recording Company. Ooh, that could be a cool label, if they got Ian McKellen or Morgan Freeman to do the recordings. Not so much Ben Stein or Gilbert Godfrey. That's assuming they even do actual long stories, and not just have it as a clever label name. One thing's for sure though, even the above narrators couldn't make this aimless rambling listenable.

Man, I wish I had more to say about Our Words Are Frozen. I so wanted to have a lot more to say, but Pleq isn't giving me much to work with here. And yes, that kinda' is The Point, sounds so minimalist it practically forces you to clear all the clutter in your brain if you're to have any hope of focusing on the sparse drones and static fluff. Glitchy echoes and sporadic skittery percussion have you feeling like you're lost inside frozen desolation, while minute tones suggest melancholic moods, but are never beholden to them either. In some ways, I'm reminded of Andrew Heath's compositions, but he always has destinations in mind with his works, slow and languid though they are (all the better to take in the scenery). Pleq would rather have you remain fixated on specific moments and thoughts, letting them slowly erode from your consciousness, morphing through repetition as it melts into abstract memory. Challenging soundscapes, is what I'm say Our Words Are Frozen is, though highly recommended played at high volume. Let those drones envelope your being, yo'!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

SantAAgostino - Operazione Paura

Greytone: 2010

Time to get our murk back on, dark ambient once again seeping into my life, forever reminding of the ever-beckoning end that awaits our fates. Or something. Actually, I say this is dark ambient, and you'd certainly think it's dark ambient just by the cover art, but this could be something else too. Like, maybe nosebleed gabber? They certainly enjoy their gothic Reichland imagery. Oh, you already looked at the genre tags, confirming this is dark ambient. Clever girl.

This is another album I'm assuming I got in association with B°TONG, in that both appear on the short lived (and even shorter catalogue) label Greytone. And if there's anything I can't help doing these days, it's raiding newly-discovered labels of their meagre Bandcamp merchandise. What am I, some digital colonial minor-power? Probably, though fortunately, the online world is bountiful with musical resources to plunder. Just look at the obscene amounts of materials some Discoggian super-powers have acquired over the years. It's like thousands of British Empires staking claims on Jupiter.

I can't find much information regarding SantAAgostino though. Lots of poetic descriptions of what SantAAgostino does, mind you, but little of who they are, where they come from, and all that good stuff, not even a made-up mythology. I only know it's a 'band', because the Bandcamp info implies as such. It wasn't a long-lasting one though, this only their second album of three efforts, disappearing soon after into the mists of dark ambient's netherrealms beyond the ephemeral abyss. Or something. Look, I'm just style-biting the purple prose included in that Bandcamp blurb. It's infectious, yo'.

Despite having about a quarter of Italian heritage in my blood, my use of the language remains pathetically poor. Still, even I know Operazione Paura is an operatic opus, mostly dealing with death, decay, rot, and all the occultism surrounding such things. Just gander at some of these titles: Zombi: La Città Verrà Distrutta All'Alba; Necrofilia Su Barbara Steele: L'Orribile Segreto; Terrore Nello Spazio Infinit: Culti Morbosi. Scary stuff indeed.

The music's suitably coarse and abrasive too. We're treading into the harsh domain of power electronics, my friends, where melody and timbre gives way to atonal attacks and industrial grind. The opening titular piece is as effective in setting a confrontational mood as I've ever heard. Follow-up Zombi adds crunchy hardcore beats to the foreboding sounds and noise, while Necrofilia Su Barbara Steele is relentless in its aural assault.

Just when I thought this album couldn't get more unbearable though, things suddenly take a turn for the moodier and minimal. Virus and Terrore Nellow Spazio Ininito sound like they could be score work for a cyberpunk thrillers, while L'Occhio Nel Triangolo works the ol' industrial drone. I suppose the retreat from the noise works in L'Abominevole Dott's favour though, in that it sells its discordant grand organ vibes more effectively. Quite all over the place, this album is, which is cool, if you can get past that initial assault on your headspace.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Various - Nu Cool 3

Hed Kandi: 1999

A Very Important compilation, this, for without Nu Cool 3, there would be no Hed Kandi. Okay, label founder Mark Doyle almost certainly had the brand percolating in his head for a while. This one though, this one kicked it all off as its own entity, paving the way for future staples of the compilation racks like Disco Kandi, Back To Love, Serve Chilled, and many, many, many more. Then the brand would grow too big for its own good, branching out from its lounge origins into gaudy mega-clubs and decadent pools parties, forced into Ministry Of Sound servitude to handle all the bloat. Eventually the easy-cool vibes it peddled would pave way to desperate trend chasing, just to keep pace with a rapidly changing clubbing environment, a once respected franchise mutating into a parody of its former glory. Gosh, thanks, Nu Cool 3, for all that.

“But wait!” you say, “How can Nu Cool 3 be the start when it's clearly the third in a series? What happened to 1 and 2?” Uh, haven't I touched upon this before? Well, an ultra-brief recap: Hed Kandi got its start on the jazz 'n' soul print Jazz FM Records, where the first two Nu Cool compilations appeared. They soon after got the backing to launch Hed Kandi proper, with this particular item. And, uh, that's it. We sorted, then? Good, let's get going.

It's quite the timewarp going this far back into the Hed Kandi canon. Their earliest releases were always known for skewing towards the soulful side of dance music, but some of the tunes on this two-discer sounds like it could have come direct from The Garage of the early '80s. I had to sleuth through Lord Discogs checking all these acts and remixes were (then) current. Lots of Masters At Work productions, plus plenty o' contributions from soul-jazz house mainstays like King Britt, Kevin Yost, Rae & Christian, Sylk 130, and Francois K. The Latin side of things gets repped by Cesária Évora's Sangue De Beirona and an Ashley Beedle run on Airto's City Sushi Man. Moloko's Sing It Back is also here, because you just gotta' have at least one big anthem in a collection like this.

Overall though, Nu Cool 3 serves up as fine a dish of house, garage, disco, funk, and soul as you could expect from that scene in the late '90s, providing well-worn tunes while shedding some shine on a few lesser known cuts. A fine way to kick of a-

What the...? Why on earth is Ooh La La from The Wiseguys on here? Sure, tacked on the end of CD2, but holy cow, talk about a tonal whiplash! That tune's always been regarded as big beat, hardly what I'd deem as the 'new cool'. A couple examples of acid jazz action follow, which is a bit more on brand, but still rather rough an' tough compared to all the smooth action that came before. Weird end to this compilation.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Gorillaz - The Now Now (Kayfabe Review)

Parlaphone: 2018

It took long enough, but Stuart Pot finally got to make his own Gorillaz album. Yeah, he sneaked one out under Murdoc's broken-ass nose while they were on the Plastic Beach tour, but that was basically a solo album, with no input from any other members at all, much less a proper studio behind it. Makes me wonder though, how can The Now Now also be considered a Gorillaz album without involvement from the man who founded the band (albeit mostly through kidnappings)? Sure, three of its members are here, but without the demented brain-child of the band acting as its rudder, it's just a clutch of chummy talented musicians working together, feeding off the nostalgia of the brand to their own benefit.

It reminds me of when Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, and Steve Howe joined forces for an album. Everyone within prog-rock circles felt this was as close to a classic Yes reunion as folks would get (until the actual reunion called Union), but lacking Chris Squire, it wasn't really Yes, not without the bassist who formed the band present. Maybe Murdoc's relinquished some of the Gorillaz licensing rights to the other members, letting them do as they wished so long as it benefited the brand in the long run. Would fit with his recent attempts at rehabilitation. Heck, he wasn't even that sour over his cousin Ace Copular replacing him on the subsequent tour.

Anyhow, The Now Now. As mentioned, this is essentially another 2D album, but with the full, proper backing of the band. It was also mostly written on the road while Gorillaz toured Humanz, so the song writing remains comparatively slight when stacked against previous records, almost no guest features on hand. And that's fine, something like this probably needed after the celebrity-stacked bloat that was Humanz. I don't even think Stuart could make an opulent record if he tried, his simplistic songcraft reflective of his simplistic worldview. That's not a bad thing either, music sometimes best served as a laid-back sweet indulgence, especially in the summertime.

The tunes definitely sound more confident compared to the ones from The Fall, which isn't surprise considering Murdoc's overbearing abusiveness was safely tucked away in a jail cell. If you don't feel a silly grin forming on your mug after the jubilant opener Humility, I dunno' how you can be alive, my friend. Tracks like Sorcererz and Magic City keep the peppy synth-pop vibes going, while tunes like Tranz and Lake Zurich offer some classy club-ready fodder. Heck, even moodier Hollywood doesn't lose a step in dancefloor fun, what with its Jamie Principle guest-croon (Snoop's there too, doing Snoop th'angs). A couple introspective pieces like Fire Flies and Idaho keep things somewhat grounded, but overall The Now Now is a fun little offering from 2D.

One of these days though, I'd love to hear a Gorillaz album where all the band members are operating as a fully-functional unified band. The stuff of dreams, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Orb - No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds

Cooking Vinyl: 2018

Yay, it's a Youth orientated Orb album! Those are always my ...favourite? Wait, am I certain of that? If I had to make a definitive ranking of Orb albums, I'd put records like U.F.Orb, Orbus Terrum, and Orblivion above The Dream. Yet Martin Glover has been involved in some of my all-time ace Orb tunes like Little Fluffy Clouds and Perpetual Dawn (among other, less known works). He's, like, the steady dub rudder of the group, always dragging The Orb back from too much weird experimentation, or monotonous techno expeditions, or over-hyped superstar pairings. I get why some folks think less of the Youth productions, what with them not being as 'serious' as other releases, but when have The Orb ever been regarded as a Very Serious outfit? The cheeky stoner vibe has always been part of the group's charm, and I've long enjoyed them more when they indulge themselves while providing an ear-wormy hook.

Still, even I must have my limits in how far this three decade old (!!) outfit tries appealling to an ever expanding collection of punters. I wouldn't blame old-heads in the slightest in writing off No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds based on the first couple minutes, opening track The End Of the End getting in on wub-wubs and trap hits (also: that hook sure reminds me of Dido's bit from Eminem's Stan). Never mind the fact the track settles into a more traditional dub reggae ditty by the end, it don't take much to turn folks away if they'd rather be hearing something else. And gosh, all those air-horns in Wolfbane? Who do The Orb think the are, Gen-Z YouTubers?

Okay, I think that's cleared out the naysayers for this album. Here's what you get if you're willing to hear all these sounds The Orb deems no longer out of bounds. The first half feels the Youth influences the most, plenty o' peppy reggae dub vibes and soulful world beat. Past Wolfbane though, things take a turn for the deep and downtempo. It kinda' comes off like a continuation of Chill Out, World, and no sounds are certainly out of bounds (Harmonica! Trumpet! Orchestras! Roger Eno piano! Jah Wobble bass! Thomas Fehlmann 'techno'!). It's also rather meandering though, and a stark contrast to the punctual pop overtones in the first half of the album.

Really, it all feels like appetizers before the fifteen-minute closer, Soul Planet. Plenty of calm ambient lead-in, settling into a jaunty soul-house groove with Andy Caine on the croon, and a dubby, trippy, minimalist outro session of all those non-bound sounds. Can I call Ultraworld-era Orb retro now? Because this sounds retro Orb, another shocker considering how blatant a trend-wagon jump the start of this album had. As mentioned though, that's always been the best part of Youth's collaborations with The Orb. He'll hit you with music unabashedly ready for the radio, but still takes you to those blissy downtimes that's kept a dedicated following of this conglomerate for so long.

Monday, July 1, 2019

ACE TRACKS: June 2019

So apparently all the original Final Fantasy soundtracks have made their way to Spotify. That's... really f'n awesome! Along with Dragon Quest, that franchise has been responsible for some of my all-time favourite video game scores, to such a degree I went out of my way to actually import Final Fantasy VII direct from Japan. Back in the '90s. From the internet. When I was still a teenager. Okay, technically it was my dad that put his credit card into the wild west of the old web, and was he ever questioning my birthday request back when, believe you me. Hell, I think it had to be ordered from a Japanese retailer, Amazon still barely a thing beyond a massive book store. These were the efforts one[s folks] had to do to get their jRPG vgm fixes. To say nothing of nabbing myself a copy of the holy grail of Final Fantasy scores, Final Fantasy VI. Oh, there was an ad for it in the SNES package (along with Secret Of Mana), three CDs of peak 16-bit musical perfection, but no way I'd get to snag me a copy of that along the way (much less pay an over-inflated collector's market import price).

But now they're all available on Spotify for me to enjoy to my heart's content. Not to mention update my Ultimate Master List with the appropriate tracks, no longer needing to rely on 'Local Files' for the task. Though it's funny that of all the scores I've checked out, it's the thirty-second loops of Final Fantasy I I've probably indulged the most now. Meanwhile, here's the ACE TRACKS for June 2019:

Full track list here.

Various - Hed Kandi The Mix: Summer 2004
Anatolya - Mirror Messages
SiJ - The Lost World
B°TONG - The Long Journey
Curve - Cuckoo
Sghor - Le Grand Mystère
Specta Ciera & The Circular Ruins - Mnemosyne

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 0%
Percentage Of Rock: 0%
Most “WTF?” Track: Nothing at all. Unless the concept of 'contemporary trance' throws you for a loop.

Compared to the cluster-foo that was last month's playlist, this one is remarkably consistent throughout. Probably helps everything comes in nice little chunks, a little house or techno/trance followed by some downtime, then moving back to the uptempo stuff. Probably also helps that the huge amount of ambient I did cover last month just wasn't available in Spotify. Makes for a shorter playlist (under three hours), but eh, as GZA once said: “Half short, twice strong.”

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 fsoldigital.com Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London futurepop g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Gaither Music Group Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gareth Davis Gary Martin Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Geometry Combat Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah Ghostly International glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Communication Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Gravediggaz Green Day Grey Area Greytone Gridlock grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA H2O Records Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard techno hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harlequins Enigma Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hefty Records Helen Marnie Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hexstatic Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hide And Sequence Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast High Note Records Higher Ground Higher Intelligence Agency Hilyard hip-hop hip-house hipno Home Normal Honest Jon's Records Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Howie B Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hymen Records Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I-Cube i! Records I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM Igorrr illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus Indica Records indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Ink Midget Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Ishq Island Records Islands Of Light Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Item Caligo J-pop Jack Moss Jackpot Jacob Newman Jafu Jake Stephenson Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Blake James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Jamiroquai Javelin Ltd. 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